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Thursday, September 30, 2004


Paul, at Wizbang, catches an"expert" creating "proof" that the discredited TANG memos could have been produced on a typewriter, and has advice for him.

Here is a hint for the good Professor-- If you are going to forge documents DON'T LEAVE THE EVIDENCE on your webserver.

And if you don't think that TH nailed him, feel free to download the PHOTOSHOP DOCUMENT he was working on when he created the forgery.

Not only did he forge the document but he let the work in progress in an open web folder.

And Professor, if you are reading this- and I know someone will mail it to you, I have downloaded your entire website as evidence and I saved screen caps of it, so don't bother delete it. I also had an interesting phone call with the head of your department. You might give him a call.

The entire post is hilarious as the updates continue... the good professor trying to play catchup, editing his pages, adding disclaimers, while the blogosphere rolls over him like a skunk on the dotted line....

update - Wizbang does a little digging and finds a familiar name attached to the photoshopping professor - CBS producer Mary Mapes

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Jeff Jarvis followed tonight's debate the same way I did - over the radio, and catching bits and pieces.

He had the same reaction I did. Mine was entirely predictable - I know too much about Kerry to have had my mind changed by style points and media spin. I was listening for content, and what I expected is what I heard.

Jarvis is different. He's been endorsing Kerry on his blog in recent weeks and states he was 85% certain he was going to vote for him.

Tonight I rushed out of my kid's back-to-school event and turned on the radio to hear the debate soon into it. And I got upset with Kerry from the first.

Kerry was pushing his Coke-commercial view of a world marching together hand-in-hand and I don't buy it. I don't buy that the U.N. or Old Europe will come into Iraq to save our skins -- or to fight for democracy or the rights of the Iraqi people. If you say that Bush mislead us to think we'd find WMDs in Iraq then perhaps you also should say that Kerry misleads us to think we'll ever find a French butt on the line there. I fear the consequences of giving these countries what amounts to veto power over what we must sometimes do; the result will be paralysis.

In this new era of terrorism and of our role as the sole superpower, I want to see a new vision and strong strategy for foreign policy. The Kumbaya gambit won't cut it.

I heard Kerry criticize the war over and over without hearing a clear plan for winning it -- and a clear will to win it. I also did not hear Bush give a clear plan for winning this war -- but at least I still hear his will. It's not that Kerry flipflops. It's that I don't hear iron will. And in a time of war -- war against terrorism -- we need a leader with iron will.


Posted by Kate McMillan on September 30, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

PM Blair and the case for Iraq

Over at C-Span.org I found a speech Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered at the Labour Party Conference in the UK. About 38 minutes into the speech Primer Minister Blair lays out, once again, his reasons for joining the coalition to oust Saddam from Iraq. It is pretty long so I will put some parts here, but you see the whole transcription at my site.

…There are two views of what is happening in the world today. One view is that there are isolated individuals, extremists, engaged in essentially isolated acts of terrorism. But what is happening is not qualitatively different from the terrorism we have always lived with. And if you believe this we carry on the same path as before September 11th, we try not to provoke them, we hope in time they will wither. The other view is that this is a wholly new phenomenon. A worldwide global terrorism, based on a perversion of the true honourable, peaceful faith of Islam, that it’s roots are not superficial but deep in the begrassis in Pakistan, in the extreme forms of wahabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in training camps of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, in the corner of Chechnia in parts of the politics of most of the countries in the Middle East and many in Asia, in the extremist minority now in every European city that preach hatred of us and our way of life. And if you take this view you believe September 11th changed the world. That Bali, Beslan, Madrid, scores of other atrocities that never make the news are part of the same threat and that the only path to take is to confront this terrorism, remove it root and branch and at all costs stop them acquiring the weapons to kill on a massive scale because these terrorists would use them.

…And of course, at first the consequence is more vital but Iraq was not a safe country before March 2003. Few had heard of the Taliban before September 11th but Afghanistan was not a nation at peace. So it is not that I care more about foreign affairs than the state of our economy, NHS, schools or crime it’s simply that I believe democracy there means security here. And if I don’t care and act on this terrorist threat then the day will come when all our good work on this issues that decide peoples lives will be undone. Because the stability on which our economy in an era of globalization depends. And that stability will vanish. And I never, I never expected this to happen on that bright dawn of the first of May 1997 and neither did you. I never anticipated spending time working out how terrorists training is some remote part of the Hindu coothe could end up present on British streets threatening our way of life. And the irony for me is that I as a progressive politician know that despite the opposition of so much of progressive politics to what I have done the only lasting way to defeat this terrorism is through progressive politics and values.

Clearly the only sane response to this speech would from the likes of MP Carolyn Parrish; PM Blair, what an idiot!

Posted by Greg Staples on September 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ooooo, love ta love ya, bay-beh

There is something of an incoherent but amusing rant out of Toronto (a city in eastern Canada) by local newspaper columnist Antonia Zerbisias who, while endorsing the new pro-Kerry movie Going Upriver, gives us her brief summation of the last three decades--in case you, like so many others, completely missed 'em--starting with the end of the Vietnam War;

No wonder that, after the last U.S. Marine scuttled up the helicopter ladders from the U.S. embassy roof in 1975, the nation went into mass denial and memory suppression.

Political action gave way to disco action and spouting ideals made way to snorting cocaine.

Then, on Sept. 11, 2001, four hijacked planes crashed into the long-running frenzy of consumerism, trivial pursuits and blissful ignorance.

Because so many Americans don't recall their history, they are repeating it.

Okay, Antonia, if you say so. Thanks for that warning about about cocaine use and repeating history. Haven’t heard that before. (Aside; why did she leave out Punk, New Wave, Grunge, Rap etc. and only credit 70's disco with stopping “political action”? Led Zep fan circa 1979, "Man, disco sucks..." And what about modern jazz, and modern dance?) That strange paragraph/sentence describing the terrorist attack on the "long-running frenzy of consumerism" et al seems to imply that she thinks it is time to get serious. I wonder how should we get serious? Well, we can start by going see this movie and that will tear away the disco/cocaine coating off our senses and carpet bomb us with truth (in case you missed the gazillion other films and documentaries about Vietnam over the last 25 years, Apocalypse Now, Hamburger Hill, The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Coming Home… oh bloody h-ll, here a big list). Apparently, we just haven't been informed. Damn cable TV, you see, as Antonia points out:

But these matters have not been clearly articulated to Americans who mostly rely on cable channels for their news, assuming they are following the news at all. [as opposed to getting her take on the last 30-years, see above]

So Going Upriver will hit them like a B-52 bomber. Despite playing like a 90-minute campaign ad...

Now, that last bit quoted is an endorsement we all should heed. Yessiree, I'm dying to shell out 10 bucks for a 90-minute campaign ad.

But I don't have an extra 10 bucks because I just spent my last few pennies on the DVD of The Big Lebowski to replace my video tape (I still quote too much from this film, and have taught a nephew of mine to do the same). Think I'll watch it yet again and have a good laugh at the character Walter who has--as the actor who portrays him, John Goodman, points out in the accompanying special feature--"got an army background and that's his career, reminding people of his service in Vietnam."

WALTER: Those rich f--ks! This whole f--king thing-- I did not watch my buddies die face down in the muck so that this f--king strumpet--

DUDE: I don't see any connection to Vietnam, Walter.

WALTER: Well, there isn't a literal connection, Dude.

DUDE: Walter, face it, there isn't any connection. It's your roll.

--from the script of The Big Lebowski, 1998

Posted by Kevin Steel on September 30, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

That's Democracy Baby!

The truly wonderful thing about democracy, revolutionary really in the context of human history, is the even the brain-dead can vote. Leading the charge is Ms. Cameron Diaz, as found on the DrudgeReport.

Ms. DIAZ: We have a voice now, and we're not using it, and women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. We could lo--if you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote, and those are the...

Obviously I am not up to Ms. Daiz's mental capacities, because I don't follow the necessary and sufficient logic that leads from banning late-term abortions to the legalization of rape. I don't think this even meets the standards of fear-mongering as this is just too plain stupid to take seriously. But that is the problem isn't it? Oprah brings on Cameron Diaz, P. Diddy and Drew Barrymore and expects to get an intelligent plea to the youth to vote. I wouldn't vote either if I was only exposed to Hollywood idiots.


Posted by Greg Staples on September 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

We just can't afford the NDP anymore

Comrade Jack Layton and his merry band of mama-statists have a plan to implement the Kyoto Protocol. Their wise counsel is to be made available to the Liberals free of charge. This is a very exciting development, because the Liberals were undoubtedly running short on ideas for overburdening taxpayers and fueling separatism in Alberta. Just in the nick of time. That's the great thing about socialists. When one stumbles a bit, loses sight of the overall goal of growing the hive, another zips in to shore up the collective. Brothers in harm. Undaunted by facts. Never quailing in the face of reasonable scientific opinion opposed to their quasi-religious quests.
Their jaunty slogan: "From each according to the limits of his endurance, to each according to our whims"

Occam’s Carbuncle

Posted by Alan Rockwell on September 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR(where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US, a new poll shows George Bush ahead going into tonight’s debate. In a late-breaking development, multiple explosions in Baghdad have killed 37 people, mostly children.

In Washington, Republicans are proposing to legalize rendition, which was Maher Arar’s ticket to Damascus. The Washington Post leads with Washingtonians celebrating the return of baseball, a.k.a. our formerly-beloved Expos. The editorial board apologizes to Montréal.

(Here’s the story in La Presse and Le Devoir’s editorial; well, at least Toronto won’t be getting a new stadium.)

The French are in a foul mood--wondering why two Italian hostages were released and their two journalists weren’t, while authorities consider—believe it or not--a tobacco ban in cafés and bistros.

In the UK , Kenneth Bigley is again pleading for his life and Tony Blair has invited the kidnappers to make contact. Bono did--he began his address to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, "''My name is Bono and I'm a rock star.'' Sounds familiar, eh?

Blair faces a by-election today in Hartlepool. The New York Times’ editorial board admires his speech in Brighton .

The French are in a foul mood--wondering why two Italian hostages were released and their two journalists weren’t, while authorities consider—believe it or not--a tobacco ban in cafés and bistros.

In the UK , Kenneth Bigley is again pleading for his life, and Tony Blair has invited the kidnappers to make contact.

The New York Times’ editorial board admires his speech in Brighton . On the op-ed page, Bill Kristol, Madeleine Albright et. al., serve up tough questions to ask George Bush and John Kerry tonight.

In the Washington Post, Peter Beinart says George Bush is preparing to retreat from Iraq . Jim Hoagland assesses John Kerry’s challenge. David Broder wants the debates opened up. Surprisingly, George Will writes about the debate, not baseball.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board sees progress between India and Pakistan ; another editorialist sees a threat to freedom of the press. Margaret Carlson explains why Bush looks good to women. Max Boot beats up on Kerry.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has debate tips for the Democratic candidate. Pete du Pont is thinking outside the box.

At home, there were more revelations about management of the sponsorship program yesterday.

The Globe and Mail fronts the latest from the Gomery inquiry, Adrienne Clarkson--the Governor-General who’s expected to stay on--and Ralph Klein telling Ottawa where to go. (Here’s the Edmonton Sun’s version.)

From Beijing , Geoff York reports on unexpected visitors to our embassy. Mark MacKinnon reports that Russia is about to ratify Kyoto . Allan Freeman serves up a set-up on tonight’s debate.

Christie Blatchford has more from the UCC pederasty trial. Murray Campbell writes about the coming Ontario hospital showdown. The editorial board says the RCMP’s hands may not be clean in the Arar affair.

Lawrence Martin wants John Kerry to win but figures he’ll lose because he’s too intelligent and “In American politics, colouring books sell better than encyclopedias.” Margaret Wente says her American dad would probably be dead if he had to rely on Canadian medical care.

John Ibbitson supports an extension for Adrienne Clarkson, which “will annoy some Canadians, who think her style is too viceregal by half. But no one could deny that the Governor-General has the knowledge and the experience to manage a constitutional challenge, should one arise. “

Eric Sparling says leash the owners of pit bulls, not the dogs. Russell Smith says neither Reuters nor CanWest is right in their dogfight over the use of “terrorism”; he wimps out by not commenting on the Globe and Mail stylebook rule.

The Toronto Star follows up on yesterday’s sushi story and on a Torontonian who lost a daughter in Beslan. The US government is seeking to throw out Maher Arar’s suit.

Inside, Tim Harper sets up the presidential debate, and Olivia Ward dishes up a feature. From Shanghai , Martin Regg-Cohn reports on the Beijing embassy invasion.

The editorial board says the US needs a change of course, and Toronto needs a ban on pit bulls. Haroon Siddiqui has debate advice for John Kerry. Jim Travers weighs in on missile defence.

The National Post fronts the rising loonie. John Ivison profiles three young Conservative MPs.

Animal activists are targeting the Mounties’ furry hats and an NDP faction is targeting Jack Layton’s pro-Israel policies. (Here’s Layton’s reply, and here’s the original letter.)

In commentary, Bernard Lord explains his offer to striking hospital workers. L. Ian MacDonald, a great fan, explains the Expos’ demise.

Don Martin declares Calgary “oil king.” Adam Radwanski thinks the NDP should have bigger fish to fry than the ownership of federal buildings.

The editorial board weighs in on the Montréal assisted-suicide, and bids adieu to the Expos—a story the paper fronts.

The Montréal Gazette naturally fronts the dearly-departed, the editorial board serves up its views and Don MacPherson is relieved they’re gone.

Inside, Sue Montomery reports on the assisted-suicide, “Charles Fariala had it planned out for months: mix a lethal cocktail from a recipe found on the Internet, have his loving mother at his side, and leave this world, just as he had lived in it, invisibly and without fanfare.”

The Ottawa Citizen fronts toxicity on Parliament Hill and old news about a scientist who says anti-missile defence is a fraud.

Inside, Ujjal Dosanjh “favours full disclosure of the results of clinical drug trials, unless there are "compelling reasons" for secrecy.” The editorial board favours debt cancellation.

In the Calgary Sun, Rick Bell writes about the Alberta Advantage. In Edmonton , Neil Waugh warns Ottawa to keep its hands to itself. From Ottawa , Greg Weston wades in on MPs wages.

Posted by Norman Spector on September 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Guess Lynne Cheney hit a nerve

Lynne Cheney apparently mocked John Kerry's shiny new tan today, prompting this response from the Kerry campaign:

Responding to her comments, Kerry campaign spokesman Bill Burton said, "Is Mrs. Cheney jealous considering how hard it is to get sun in the undisclosed location with her husband Dick? Or is she distracted over how red-in-the-face George Bush should be considering his failed presidency?"

Harsh! Not to mention over-the-top and silly.

Just over one month to go. Glaring signs of desperation already appearing.


Posted by Adam Daifallah on September 29, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What's wrong with hockey and how to fix it

I have co-written a column with Michael Taube that appeared in today's Vancouver Sun on the hockey lock-out, what's wrong with hockey (it's not its finances but the product on the ice) and how to fix (contraction). A couple of snippets:

"In the 1990s, NHL owners greedily sought new owners willing to pay exorbitant expansion fees, utterly blind to the long-term effects it had on the game. A half-dozen new teams required about 120 NHL-calibre players, players that unfortunately don't exist.

Stuck with an economic mess and inferior hockey, the NHL stubbornly refuses to downsize.

... The NHL is not a marketable sports league any longer. There are too many teams paying ridiculously high salaries for a talent pool of middle-of-the-road players.

And even though the vast majority of well-paid players lack enough talent and the ability to sustain long-term careers, their artificial market value has skyrocketed. The problem is not the superstar getting $10 million a year, but the third-string winger or fifth defenceman getting $2.5 million. But in an oversized league, a legitimate third liner becomes a recent expansion team's starter who can command big bucks."

When I was young, I loved watching hockey and I devoured the recaps of the games in the next morning's papers. I collected hockey cards and hockey stickers, I could name the third-line players and backup goalie for every team and I played Strat O Matic hockey. But by the early 1990s, when I reached my 20s, the game became insufferably boring. Unless your team is a winner, there is little reason to watch the NHL. It seems millions of other (former) fans came to the same conclusion. In the winter, I can go weeks without looking at the standings and it has been at least six years since I paid for hockey tickets. And none of this can be explained by the fact that I (allegedly) grew up -- I love baseball, as I joke, a little less than God and a little more than I love my wife and children. The NHL needs to admit that it grew their league too quickly, filled their teams with mediocre players which forced coaches to adopt the defensive and dull New Jersey Devils style of hockey, and fans decided that they'd rather do else than drop $150 at the arena in Nashville, Calgary or Phoenix. Owners' eyes lit up at $75 million expansion fees without any consideration as to the long-term health of their league. The moral of the story: something about the love of money being the root of evil.

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 29, 2004 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How we treat our heroes

[originally posted to Daimnation!]

The Canadian Forces are launching an investigation into the treatment of Canadian snipers who served with - and were decorated by - American forces in Afghanistan:

The military ombudsman has launched a special investigation into why Canadian Forces snipers were treated like "turncoats" by their comrades after serving with American troops in Afghanistan.

The probe was started last week by Andre Marin after he received an unprecedented request from Gen. Ray Henault, chief of defence staff, The Canadian Press has learned. "It's the first request we've ever had by the chief of defence staff to investigate a case," Marin said Wednesday. "We're taking it very seriously."

Hailed as heroes in early 2002 by the U.S. military, the six Canadian marksmen were later given highly coveted Bronze Star medals - awards normally reserved for American soldiers who display extraordinary heroism during combat.

However, sources close to the investigation say the snipers were treated with much less than high regard when they returned to their Canadian bases, both in Afghanistan and back home.

"They were treated as outsiders and sort of turncoats," said one source who didn't want to be identified.

"At least three of these guys have since quit the army over their treatment."

Posted by Damian Penny on September 29, 2004 in Military | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Send your thanks to Dalton

It is an article of faith among leftist Ontarians that the economic boom Ontario enjoyed after the Harris tax cuts was pure luck. Ontario just got carried along on economic currents larger than themselves and all those jobs created, economic growth and associated growth in government revenues had nothing to do with the hated tax cuts brought in. So, logically speaking, there could be no economic consequence to raising the taxes again.

Except - Esso moves HQ from Toronto to Calgary:

"Imperial was founded in Ontario. It's had its headquarters in Toronto for a long period of time, and every time we looked at the arithmetic about whether it makes sense to relocate somewhere, whether it's in Calgary or elsewhere, we couldn't make that arithmetic make sense," Bob Peterson, Imperial's former chief executive, said four years ago.
Of course the biggest change in the arithmetic from four years ago is the Dalton McGuinty Tax IncreaseTM, though the company doesn't exactly come out and say it.

So, Calgary, as you welcome your new taxpaying corporate head office and all those taxpaying citizens be sure to send a thank you note to Dalton McGuinty and all those who elected him.

And Ontarians can start to wonder just how unlucky they have become as it appears Canada may very well soon have a single province that actually pays into those equalization payments.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on September 29, 2004 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Najaf - Safer Than Saskatoon?

The Belmont Club puts the data cited in a NYT article on "sweeping" violence in Iraq into perspective. Or more accurately, into a graph.

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 29, 2004 in Military | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crediting The Source

Question for our professional journalists at the Shotgun:
Consider this and comment, if you would. (Hotlinks and images are at the original link.)

An image from My Pet Jawa was shown on MSNBC last night. The image was from a story I broke on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's website being hacked on 9/22 (story here). The image can be found below, in the extended entry. Despite my best efforts to get mainstream media outlets to run the story, none did. However, a number of bloggers took up the call to arms and the news slowly got out. I received hundreds of e-mails asking for Zarqawi's website address from that original post and it's follow up. The image I grabbed from Zarqawi's website also was reposted on dozens of other blogger's websites.

Yesterday, Zarqawi's website was hacked again (story here). That news was broken by Chad Evans at In the Bullpen (story here). Luckily, Chad grabbed an image from the website before the webhost fixed the problem. Both hacks were done by a group calling themselves "TeAmZ USA", their website is here.

A number of bloggers, including me, ran the story yesterday. By late afternoon, a poster at Free Republic had mentioned the hack. By yesterday evening at least one internet news source was running the story, and by late evening Reuters had picked it up (Reuters story here).

Last night I was flipping through the news networks and tuned in to MSNBC for a few minutes. They also picked up the story. They ran three images as background, all from the internet. One of them I didn't recognize, one of them was a screenshot saved by Global Terror Alert (the URL was embedded on the image, thus showing the MSNBC producer had simply grabbed it from the internet), and the last made me jump out of bed. It was the screenshot I had saved from the original hack job done by TeAmZ USA on August 22 (see below for image)!!! The hack job that I actually e-mailed a number of "legitimate news outlets" about. The hack job that not a single mainstream media source had announced.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Is there any discussion going on in the halls of the MSM about the ethics of using the research of others without credit, not to mention - compensation? For all the snobbishness from traditional media about the blogosphere, there seems to be no shortage of those in the profession who aren't above stealing from it.

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 29, 2004 in Media | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR(where the articles are hotlinked).

Unlike the Post, USA Today at least has the decency to stuff what I’m absolutely, positively certain is not yet a done deal. But, hands down, the New York Times has today's best headline: "Quake Hits California 11 Years Late."

In the UK , the Italian hostages are big but Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Brighton speech is bigger. The Times’ lead says it all (“Fallible Blair admits 'I am Labour's trust problem'.”)

The French, with their two hostages still sitting in Iraq , seem envious of the Italians, who participated in the Iraq war.

They also seem to be making a big deal about—and are busily setting pre-conditions for--an international conference on Iraq proposed by Colin Powell that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention in any of the papers I read, with the exception of Le Devoir.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board accuses the CIA of waging an insurgency against President Bush. The New York Times’ editorial board weighs in on global warming.

Nicholas Kristof, who’s been in Pakistan looking for Osama, has not found him but “did encounter a much more ubiquitous form of evil and terror: a culture, stretching across about half the globe, that chews up women and spits them out.”

William Safire stands up for freedom of the press. Al Gore offers his advice on how to debate George Bush; I kid you not.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board offers advice to the debate moderator, and looks at Colombia. Doug Schoen says the spin, not the debate matters.

The Washington Post’s editorial board outlines the issues it would like to see the candidates debate tomorrow; another editorialist considers the rhetoric to date.

Anders Aslund wades in on Ukraine , Kate Martin on reform of intelligence agencies.

At home, documents released yesterday at the Gomery Commission reveal that (Liberal Party) political and (Chrétien government) policy goals coincided neatly in the sponsorship program.

(Here’s my take back in May; you’ll find an expanded version next week in this book on the Airbus affair.)

The Montréal Gazette fronts Jean Chrétien’s “panic” after nearly losing the 1995 referendum, and the imminent loss of the Expos. The editorial board sees a good side to high oil prices.

L. Ian Macdonald says Paul Martin and his ministers are having problems staying on message about the health deal, which “is in provincial jurisdiction…[and] the Constitution Act of 1867 is highly asymmetrical in nature.” (I think the problem is the ill-thought-out federal position itself.)

The Ottawa Citizen fronts the same sponsorship story as the Gaz under the headline: “Liberals created sponsorship scandal by trying to sell Quebec on 'a Canada worth keeping’,” along with the latest installment in its defence series.

The editorial board congratulates our Paralympic athletes. The Citizen has today’s best correction; runner-up goes to the Gazette.

The Toronto Star misses the real news on the sponsorship story and fronts Tim Harper from Florida, chases a Margaret Wente column that fretted a sushi ban, and another by Bill Curry in the Ottawa Citizen about Gilles Duceppe boycotting a meeting with the GG.

Harold Levy reports on the UCC trial. (Where’s Rosie?) Sandro Contenta reports on the Blair speech. The editorial board pans the MP pay raise, and Paul Martin’s anti-missile dodge.

Carol Goar writes about converts to conservation. Ian Urquhart says Ontario ’s health minister cannot win his war with hospitals.

Richard Gwyn wants John Kerry to win, and the former adviser to Eric Kierans (who, by the way, supported the Iraq war) offers advice that is guaranteed to torpedo his dwindling chances.

After touting the health deal initially, Chantal Hébert is catching up with the confusion in the Paul Martin camp, which her colleagues Tom Walkom and Jim Travers have been onto from the beginning. (You can see for yourself here.)

The Globe and Mail stuffs the sponsorship story, and fronts Doug Saunders’ idiosyncratic interpretation of Blair’s speech along with the stalled Canada Corps.

The front page then goes full tab--Christie Blatchford at the UCC pederasty trial, the Montréal mère who assisted her son to commit suicide and a dancing Toronto mum who assisted the crib death of her infant daughter. (The Toronto Sun banners the story.)

Inside, Tu Thanh Ha reports from Montréal’s “schmatta district” on the Expos, and Stephanie Nolen reports on AIDS from Johannesburg . Marcus Gee is in Taiwan reporting on a government that keeps hitting its head against a wall called China .

Jeff Simpson, who used to be a fan, eulogizes the departing Expos: “The demise…has its own detailed history, but it can be also seen as part of baseball's decline in a country that's just lost interest in the sport.”

John Ibbitson serves up an incoherent piece on Alberta , Ontario , equalization and a whole bunch of other things. On the other hand, Bruce Little correctly notes that we’re in the midst of a commodity squeeze.

Arthur Shafter writes a fine piece on the ethics of euthanasia. Konrad Yakabuski dishes up an excellent piece on the asymmetric society’s distinct television market.

Shira Herzog says it’s time to clear up the fog in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute; after reading the maundering piece, I can only say Amen. And inshallah.

The editorial board surveys the implications of $50/barrel oil, and warns Ottawa against an NEP redux. Another editorialist explains the bizarre process of MP pay raises.

A third considers the Montréal assisted-suicide: “We would not wish to prejudge whether an assisted suicide occurred; but in general, assisted suicide without a public system of safeguards may be a tragedy for all involved.”

In CanWest land, the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and the National Post front Imperial Oil’s move to Calgary (the Calgary Sun banners the arrival), and Ottawa’s failure to clean up EI.

In Post commentary, Andrew Coyne serves up a fine piece on the US campaign. Don Martin says Fox news, which has been “banished” from Canada , may be coming to Canada ; funny, I could have sworn that his own employer already holds a licence for the service.

Lorne Gunter explains why the Alberta-Québec alliance always breaks down; viewing Québec as a teen-ager, as he does, might be part of the problem. The editorial board draws the line at giving Québec special status in international affairs.

Another editorialist unloads on the Globe and Mail for not correcting made-up George Jonas quotations that were published on its comment page.

In the Toronto Sun, Salim Mansur explains why John Kerry will defeat himself; in the London Free Press, he pans Paul Martin’s performance at the UN.

In Winnipeg , Tom Brodbeck poops on Gary Doer’s two-tier smoking ban. In Calgary , Roy Clancy reports on a smoking ban in Alberta prisons.

In Edmonton , Mindelle Jacobs reflects on assisted-suicide, and Paul Stanway writes about the rich Albertans the Globe and Mail has discovered.


Ottawa 's 1996 approach to unity was partisan

The Globe and Mail’s DANIEL LEBLANC reports:

“The federal government's confidential national-unity strategy after the 1995 referendum explicitly called for the "substantial strengthening" of the Liberal Party in Quebec , documents released yesterday at the sponsorship inquiry said.”

Posted by Norman Spector on September 29, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quantifying Election Promises

Australian election campaign promises are quantified:

The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 outlines arrangements under which the Secretaries to the Departments of the Treasury and of Finance and Administration may be requested to cost Government and Opposition election commitments during the caretaker period for a general election. The Charter also provides that the responsible Secretaries may, jointly, issue written guidelines recommending approaches or methods to be used in the preparation of policy costings.

Is there some sort of obvious flaw to this idea that I'm missing, or is good old self-interest the reason no one else does this? I suppose one can worry about some sort of institutional bias in public servants for parties that would expand their role, but then such dishonesty runs the risk of incurring some pretty nasty wrath if those evil right-wing budget slashers make it in.

I guess I'm trying to find alternative explanations besides the obvious. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Posted by Kelvin on September 29, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Barbara Walters: The Dan Rather Interview

"If you were a fish, Dan, what would it be?"

Update: Ratherbiased.com is down, so I've redirected the link to Jeff Goldstein's save of the story

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 28, 2004 in Media | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Great marketing disasters (cont.)

I secretly rejoiced at Dairy Queen's delightful brush with racism, after they launched the curiously-named beige Moolate frozen beverage. I assumed that the chain had killed the concept after the after being unable to find any mention of it on their web site. Amazingly, I was at a DQ last week and it seems the mixed-race dessert is still on the menu.

But my admiration for DQ's political incorrectness was forgotten once I witnessed Kentucky Fried Chicken's new commercial for their big family meal offer. You may have seen it. The one where we hear the inner thoughts of family-round-the-table, each secretly hoping that no other member will want to take any of the one item they desire most: the kid hopes no one else covets the tater puffs, the dad hopes no one else plans on having a buffalo wing and mom apparently plans on eating a whole bucket of chicken on her own, because in her thoughts we hear her desperately hoping that no one else wants any of the colonel's original recipe bird.

And then there's grandma, who quietly croaks that her wish is to have to herself the "lovely hat." Pan out and we see granny wearing the KFC bucket on her head. Commercial for chicken or the Alzheimer's society? You decide.

Well, actually, it may be too late. Seems that someone else has decided for you. I recently spied the commercial again, and curiously, the whole point of the commercial, the "granny shot," if you will, had been clipped entirely. I don't know how significant the outrage really was, though I guess there was some. And KFC has many large and formidable enemies that seize on any opportunity to attack it. Still, when it comes to standing behind the lunatic ideas of your marketing department, the Dairy Queen clearly reigns supreme.

Posted by Kevin Libin on September 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

This makes too much sense to pass

There is movement to get the UN to formally condemn suicide bombing as a crime against humanity. My first reaction is, well, duh! Of course it is a crime against humanity. The whole point is to strap yourself with explosives and indiscriminately kill as many people, in a public place, as you can. All talk of asymmetrical warfare can be cast aside, because this is the perfect UN project. The "world community" can condemn attacks, after the fact, with the full weight of a UN resolution, without the possibility of doing anything about it. Just like genocide.

Posted by Greg Staples on September 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Missile defence goes live

The Missile Defence Agency has installed the fifth interceptor missile at Ft. Greely, Alaska. The command and control systems will be brought into operation in the next few weeks. Notice the precise language they use to describe its capabilities:

The interceptors are part of an integrated system of sensors, ground and sea-based radars and an advanced
command and control, battle management and communication system designed to detect, track and launch an interceptor to destroy a target warhead before it can reach its intended target in any of our 50 states. Although the system will initially have a limited capability when it becomes operational later this year, it will mark the first time the United States has a capability to defend the entire country against a limited attack by a long-range ballistic missile.
They only claim to be able to defend our fifty states, not North America.

If they can track the trajectory of an incoming missile closely enough to be confident that it will land in Canada rather than the U.S. they presumably can allow it to continue on its way in accordance with the wishes of the Carolyn Parrish wing of the Liberal Party and their NDP fellow travellers. Until we send them the memo that we will gracefully allow them to defend us, too, that is.

Yes, there are still questions about how effective this technology is. An attempt to take out an incoming missile may very well fail. But it's being installed and will be continuously improved over the years whether we like it or not. It's hard to see what sane objection Canada could have to being covered as well.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on September 28, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Mr Wall goes to Calgary

It was the first time in a long time that I enjoyed listening to a Saskatchewan politician speak last Thursday when Brad Wall hosted a young professionals' dinner in Calgary. I found him articulate, friendly, dilberate, and fresh. No disrespect to Elwin Hermanson, but it was quite the change from the party's previous leader, to be sure.

While he had the floor, he presented his new vision for the Saskatchewan Party: The Promise of Saskatchewan: It's Time to Keep It, the document in which Wall outlines his economic plan for the time when he becomes premier. It contains much of the usual Saskie euphemisms about the future: renewed entrepreneurial attitudes, removal of barriers to growth, promises of change, avoiding another SPUDCO, that sort of thing. To his credit, with his Enterprise Saskatchewan plan, Wall has gotten somewhat more specific than what was trotted out during the last provincial election .

In addition to the floridity, Wall also promises to develop an agency which "will replace the line department economic development function of government" and "will ensure industry groups, local governments, First Nations, post secondary institutions, labour and economic development bodies such as Agrivision and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce are part of the planning, implementation, governance and monitoring of Saskatchewan's economic development strategy."

Such lofty rhetoric usually disguises the creation of a committee-type agency which has the potential to do more harm than good. In this case, Wall is attempting to have the government "cede significant control over the formation and implementation of economic development strategies to a broad partnership of economic stakeholders with the full support of the Premier and Executive Council." To me, the "support" of the Premier and Executive Council sounds as if the "government" would still be highly involved in the decision-making process. And that's without adding more political stakeholders--local governments, First Nations--to an organization which would be attempting to eliminate governmental interference.

Then again, understanding the frightening intrusiveness of Saskatchewan legislators within the local economy, I admit that any ceding of control from the Premier's Office and Cabinet would be a good thing, no matter what the degree.

One other bone I have to pick would be the insistence to not sell Crown Corporations as "they will play a key role in the implementation of the Enterprise Saskatchewan plan." First of all, the electorate will not believe this. The last election saw the S.P. stutter and muster their way in denial of such an allegation, which might've been true with many members of the Party anyways. Perception is key and unavoidable. Secondly, there should be no reason to promise not to sell them if the Enterprise agency actually does find that one of them is adjudged "a barrier to growth". It's potentially setting up either a lie or a broken promise when all that is needed is an open and honest debate on the role of Crown Corporations.

One thing at a time, I suppose.

Otherwise, I do appreciate the rest of the document as the majority of the sixteen elements outlined give the right message. I especially enjoy the discription of "Promote Saskatchewan":

The promotion of our province is a key element of the Enterprise Saskatchewan plan. However, Saskatchewan will be promoted to Canada and around the world only after the product to be marketed--a competitive, investment friendly, enterprising, and entrepreneurial province--is refined and fully developed. (Emphasis their's.)
I'll do you one better; once the "product" is "refined and fully developed", the promotion will handle itself much more competently than possibly could be done by any government agency. Lower the taxes, increase the incentives, and the companies will find you more often than not. The plan should inherently promote itself. But I like what it's getting at.

It's not a recipe for an economic miracle, and Brad Wall's no messiah, but I'm glad to see someone is finally waking up to the idea that what's already been done hasn't worked. I'm also glad to hear the words "we want you back" without the sentimental patooey being thrown in the mix. If you want us back, give us something to come back to. And perhaps Wall will do just that.

Crossposted to BumfOnline

Posted by Rob Huck on September 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR(where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US, two new polls show George Bush holding a solid lead heading into the first debate; lest this depress (the majority of) you, the race is tightening.

In the UK, leadership jockeying within the Labour Party is the buzz at the Party convention in Brighton .

In the Mideast, a CNN producer is likely being held either by Islamic Jihad or Hamas, though no one has claimed responsibility.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at the Iraq election. Richard Cohen looks at the US vote. David Ignatius looks at who’s winning the war.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at barriers to student voting. Paul Krugman tells journalists what they should be looking for during Thursday’s debate.

Daniel Ellsberg explains the virtues of leaking documents, and wonders why this war has not produced any paper. David Brooks explains why democracy and elections matter--in Iraq and Afghanistan .

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board looks at tactics to boost Black voter turnout in the US. Brendan Miniter criticizes John Kerry’s latest position on Iraq .

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at the US election; another editorialist criticizes the Guantanamo tribunals. Robert Scheer won’t be voting for Bush.

Michael Keane explains the virtues of kidnappings and beheadings. Yusuf Islam (aka, Cat Stevens) recounts his ordeal.

At home, the National Post has the goods on the cat, in a news story that likely will attract international attention.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa , MPs are back at the trough and in Québec Claude Morin is back—he’s pleased Canada is ready for “asymmetric federalism” and proposes a referendum on the powers and rights that would put flesh on the bone.

The Toronto Star fronts Tim Harper’s report on the election race in the state of hanging chads. Bill Graham has more to say about missile defence--as does an anonymous American official, who will definitely get tongues wagging in Ottawa.

From Montréal, Miro Cernetig reports on the end of the Expos. The editorial board comments on Ottawa ’s refugee mess.

Jim Travers looks at the Arar mess-up. Stephen Handleman reviews hypocrisy at the UN. Tom Walkom explains why John Kerry is losing Minnesota .

The Globe and Mail fronts $50/barrel oil and MP’s 10% disappearing pay raise. Matthew Kalman reports on a medical advance in Israel; Mark MacKinnon reports from the Beslan school; Ingrid Peritz reports on a Montréal woman who helped her son commit suicide.

Inside, Stephanie Nolen reports from Johannesburg , Doug Saunders from London . Christie Blatchford reports on the UCC pederasty trial in Toronto .

Estanislao Oziewicz editorializes in his lead on behalf of a former Canadian diplomat who's been wrong about the Mideast before and likely is again.

John Ibbitson finds humour at the Gomery Inquiry in Ottawa , but says things could get serious if the sponsorship program involved kickbacks.

Roy MacGregor has a friend who longs for the Cold War; he should find a new crowd. On the comment page, Margaret Wente frets a possible sushi ban.

Jeff Simpson says that George Bush is the odds-on favourite to win; ideas once considered “extreme” are now mainstream Republican—a Party that is no longer part of the “liberal consensus”; good thing his family moved to Canada .

In a case of "You steal my editor, I steal your former publisher," the Globe publishes John Honderich, now of Toronto Mayor Miller’s team; he says big cities should get Ottawa ’s money. The editorial board reviews the performance of Canadian athletes at the Paralympics.

Another editorialist reviews Rathergate: “CBS's mishandling of the story from beginning to end gives plenty of ammunition to those who believe there is a media conspiracy afoot to topple President Bush. But it also puts a greater onus on all news organizations to ensure they have done their due diligence before going to press or air.”

The National Post fronts Cat Stevens' front, along with $50 oil and John Ivison on the 1973 cabinet documents released yesterday.

Inside, Don Martin writes, “If Alcock has half the brains I think he has, he'll convince the Prime Minister to honour his election promise and kill the MP pay hike. And then he'll do what's fair. He'll give the unions a basic cost-of-living contract and start the messy business of shrinking and steamlining a public service that's grown fat and inefficient.”

David Frum asks who will benefit if terrorists strike during the election campaign: “My guess, based only on instinct, is: Kerry. Bush claims to have made the country safer since 9/11.” (In the Ottawa Citizen, Andrew Cohen agrees.)

The editorial board says MP’s should vote on missile defence. Another editorialist attacks Jack Layton, who “took the stage in front of a huge picture of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, then proceeded to compare the Tamil terrorist head to former South African president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela."

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Montréal Gazette fronts the “compassionate” mom who helped her son commit suicide.

The editorial board poops on the proposed MP pay raise and Québec speaking for Canada at UNESCO. Another editorialist says assisted suicide is not the better way.

In Edmonton, a candidate accused of buying votes with booze and smokes has withdrawn from the nomination race. The Calgary Herald editorial board says family law is biased in favour of women.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts inadequate defence budgets and more from the Arar Inquiry. The editorial board pans the proposed MP pay hike. Barbara Yaffe makes the case for helping Haiti .

In the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington explains why George Bush is today’s Churchill. In Calgary , Paul Jackson is down on Ralph Klein and the federal Liberals.

In Edmonton , Neil Waugh looks at those high oil prices. In Winnipeg , Charles Adler touts two-tier health care.

In Ottawa , Val Sears writes about his health problems. Greg Weston comments on the healthy MP pay raise.

Posted by Norman Spector on September 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, September 27, 2004

Why John Kerry will lose

I find it hard to believe any politician could say this:

Kerry said America's middle classes had suffered from the huge tax cuts that Bush had presided over and which Democrats say mainly benefit the most wealthy.

"He doesn't care, he's out of touch," said Kerry.

How could the middle class possibly suffer from tax cuts? Call them unaffordable or warn that deep spending cuts will be required, sure. But right now your typical voter cannot possibly think he's suffering from a tax cut.

I wouldn't mind a little of that kind of suffering myself.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on September 27, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The blind leading the blind

The Globe and Mail has the funniest headline I've seen in a while: "Canada offers to train African troops."

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 27, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


An American Soldier:

If I am able to get out of the Reserves later this year, I am thinking about the idea of re-upping. However not in the Reserves, I am thinking of joining a Special Forces Group that is near me. However that entails joining the National Guard.


I know my resource can be used to help people.

My wife came to me after and asked me if I watched the video. I acknowledged her and she said: "You should just go, why don't you go back and help those people. Make it so people don't have to get killed anymore!" I just looked back at her and felt a sense of peace that I could go again and she would be ok. She would be ok because she knew I was helping people. She knows the consequences but yet she knows that no matter what, I would be helping, even if it was one person from not getting killed like that again.

So folks, with that said. I have placed a call with the person I would need to talk to.

Some people go through their entire life to try and find the reason for their existence. It was in that instance yesterday that I knew what mine was.

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 27, 2004 in Military | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Celsius 41.11

Celsius 41.11: the temperature at which the brain begins to die.

You have the right to know the truth behind Michael Moore's lies!

The trailer to this film includes graphic violence and yet more graphic stupidity. It is important to steel yourself and to watch it nonetheless.

Cross-posted to Ghost of a flea.

Posted by Ghost of a flea on September 27, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Partying over Petro Canada

Ezra Levant writes that Petro Canada has been a $100 billion fiasco and that we should celebrate the fed's divestment of its last shares. So is Ezra and the Western Standard going to host a great bash in Calgary? Oh wait, Levant left himself and out because he says don't celebrate too much, for the government still meddles too much in its affairs, as well as the affais of other energy companies. So perhaps it will be just a small party.

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 27, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US , Hurricane Jeanne vies with the presidential campaign, terrorism and more bad news from Iraq for front-page attention.

In the UK , the Labour Party conference begins today, amidst leadership jockeying between the Prime Minister and his finance minister. Sound familiar?

A new poll for the Times shows the British people have lost confidence in Tony Blair but still prefer him to the Conservatives’ Michael Howard. In France , the Conservatives lost their majority in the Senate.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at reform of the intelligence agencies, investigation of the CIA leak and secret trade courts.

William Safire comments on the kidnap weapon. Adam Clymer tells us what to look for in Thursday’s Bush-Kerry debate.

The Washington Post’s editorial board reviews their respective environmental policies. Sebastian Mallaby reviews candidates for the top job at the World Bank.

Jackson Diehl wonders whether the US can take Fallujah the way the Israelis took Jenin—not the way the CBC reported it, mind you.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board weighs in on Indonesia . Peter Scoblic says countries sometimes spy on their allies; yes Virginia , Canada does it too. Sebastian Mallaby pops up in LA today too; he’ll miss Naomi Klein and her friends next weekend in Washington .

In The Wall Street Journal, Henry Sokolski asks whether Iran ’s drive for nukes can be stopped.

The editorial board looks at a Commonwealth country election: “ Australia is not Spain . It is a measure of just how different attitudes are Down Under that Mr. Latham understands that he's unlikely to win if he presents himself as Mr. Zapatero. In response to direct rebuttals from the Howard Administration -- whose foreign minister last week called the U.S. alliance "fundamental to our security" -- Mr. Latham has had to hedge his bets. In July he appointed as his defense spokesman Kim "Bomber" Beazley, a former defense minister who has a reputation as being solidly pro-American. The pledge to withdraw the troops from Iraq has also been modified.”

At home, the Toronto Star fronts Hurricane Jeanne and a Hamas official the Mossad killed in Damascus yesterday; I suspect that this one’s no conspiracy theory/urban legend. Inside, Ian Urquhart writes about a fight Ontario teachers have lost.

Chantal Hébert says the Martin government is tired and the internal wars in the Liberal Party have resumed. (In another column today, Hébert tells her Le Devoir readers that Mario Dumont’s proposed « autonomous state » is damaging Quebec’s bargaining power, because it illustrates the disintegration of Canada opponents say will result from « asymmetrical federalism. »)

The editorial board says the PQ internal report showing that youth are cynical about sovereignty is good news, but it’s too soon to break out the champagne. Ain’t that the truth—what most reports last week didn’t tell you is that a poll a couple of weeks ago in La Presse showed support for sovereignty in the 18-24 group stood at 58%.

The Globe and Mail fronts the US election, Canadian equalization, the US in Iraq, Israelis in Damascus and a sole-source contract handed out by the Gomery Commission. (Memo to Daniel Leblanc: Have you looked at the Copyright Board?)

In commentary, Lysiane Gagnon wants Jean Charest to be Jean Charest. Bill Thorsell says conservatism is about more than the National Post’s tax cutting agenda; I’ll drink to that.

Bruce Little finds an interesting number: “despite free trade, we bought only 61 per cent of our imports from the United States in 2003, down from a high of 70 per cent in 1983. The nine-percentage-point loss by the United States in its share of the Canadian import market has been mainly gobbled up by countries in Asia and Europe .”

CAW economist Jim Stanford is looking at other numbers: “The income we produce in Canada is being radically redistributed in favour of business, more dramatically than at any time since Canada began collecting these statistics. What's more, the economic effort of business — measured by its investment in new facilities and equipment — has flagged to the weakest point ever.”

Hugh Winsor pans Paul Martin’s performance at the UN: “All words and no muscle. That is the internal book on Prime Minister Paul Martin's rhetoric at the United Nations last week supporting international intervention to protect victims of civil war, oppressive dictatorships or natural disasters.”

Former diplomat David Malone says the UN itself is hurting: “UN staff, many highly dedicated and professional, most prepared to take personal risks in the service of their ideals, need to get a grip. We don't need the UN in Denmark or Canada . We need UN staff to deploy in notoriously difficult and often unsafe environments. …A moving ceremony was held in New York last month to commemorate one year later those killed and wounded in the Baghdad attack. The UN now needs to move on.”

The editorial board says, notwithstanding Nova Scotia’s decision to perform gay marriages, “it remains very important that the nation's highest court pronounce on this issue and assure the timid federal government, as the lower courts have ruled, that it is unjust to deny gay couples the social legitimacy that marriage confers.” The suspense is killing me.

The National Post fronts the first in its new womb to tomb series--this one on baby gender selection—along with the hit in Damascus and another in Pakistan . The premiers are promising to be back for more money for health.

Inside, Mario Dumont says he’ll do things that aren’t strictly legal. In commentary, it’s get the Globe and Mail day--and I'm not referring to buying it at the newsstand.

Colby Cosh goes after CAW economist Jim Stanford, and says Air Canada , not WestJet is getting its comeuppance.

George Jonas goes after “Mazen Chouaib…and by extension The Globe and Mail for stepp[ing] outside the boundaries of polemical journalism into the realm of forgery” by falsely attributing a quotation to him; he’s asked for a correction—“So far no response. The Globe seems to tolerate falsity just fine. Pity.”

The editorial board stands up for civil liberties; another editorialist says anti-missile defence is necessary and Canada should help out.

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Vancouver Sun fronts a precedent-setting alimony order. The Montréal Gazette fronts Jeanne and a mom who may have helped her ailing son commit suicide.

Inside, Québec’s intergovernmental minister says asymmetrical federalism is good for Canada . The editorial board likes the Montréal film festival; another editorialist says Paul Martin’s Liberals are divided.

L. Ian MacDonald says Martin opted for the Pearson view of federalism over Trudeau’s and he must explain his vision to the country; I’d say that ascribes a coherence to the health deal that doesn’t exist, and I have. Speaking of PET, Ezra Levant pans Petrocan in today’s Calgary Sun.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts analysis paralysis in our defence policy. In commentary, Susan Riley says Paul Martin hasn’t stopped politicking and he should start governing; sounds about right to me.

Deputy editorial page editor Leonard Stern disagrees with anti-gay marriage Margaret Somerville but defends her right to comment; like the Globe’s editorial board today, he fails to address the voluntary polygamy argument. Here's my take.

The Citizen’s editorial board says that Québec doesn’t speak for Canada and that “Paul Martin needs to remind his ministers that when it comes to constitutional borders, everybody should know their place, lest the whole place fall apart.”

Posted by Norman Spector on September 27, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't use the "G" word

[cross-posted to Daimnation!]

Unlike those John Wayne types south of the border, we nuanced, intelligent Canadians aren't going to do something simplistic like calling the Darfur situation "genocide":

Despite evidence of war crimes in Sudan and crimes against humanity, Canada says it is still "premature" to describe the situation as genocide.

"We're supporting very strongly the Security Council resolution calling for an independent investigation of the possibility of genocide," Aileen Carroll, the Minister for International Cooperation, told CTV's Question Period on Sunday.

"And we're willing to stay with that -- at this time."

Carroll spoke to CTV from Khartoum, where she is leading a Canadian delegation to Darfur in the western part of Sudan.

When asked if Ottawa would echo the warning of U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and call the situation "genocide," Carroll stuck to a more nuanced diplomatic tone.

"The decision to use that word may still be premature," she said.

Isn't "soft power" grand?

Posted by Damian Penny on September 27, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Margolis' fantasies

I recall that during the free trade debate in 1988 my high school science teacher said that Canada was wrong to align itself so closely with the United States because Japan was the economic way of the future. Science teachers can be forgiven for getting economics and geopolitics wrong but Sun Media foreign affairs correspondents cannot be. Eric Margolis writes in the Toronto Sun today:

"Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went to the UN this week to request a permanent seat on the Security Council. He has been trying to tiptoe Japan into world affairs.

It's high time the UN gave a seat to the world's No. 2 power. Japan needs to be politically integrated with the world and thus exercise a stabilizing influence. Its exclusion from the Security Council is illogical, unfair, and increasingly counterproductive."

Can Margolis be serious that Japan is the No. 2 power? And does having the second largest economy really make for being the second most important economy? Whatever problems there are with the Secuirty Council -- and in the next paragraph Margolis argues that the SC is useless -- giving Japan a permanent seat is not going to fix them. And giving Japan a permanent seat on the SC is not likely to help avert future conflict(s) in North Asia, one reason Margolis cites for putting Japan on the Council. One can't help but to think that Margolis' viscious anti-Americanism is directing his analysis on Japan.

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 26, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

All You Need is Love.....

Who knew that John Lennon fans were such ardent supporters of the death penalty??:

".... if Chapman is released after 24 years in prison, some Lennon fans have already threatened to take action. News of the parole hearing has spread on the internet and dozens of websites have been filling up with messages from fans around the world, many already promising to take revenge on the man who gunned down Lennon on 8 December 1980 as he arrived at his New York apartment building off Central Park.

'Chapman should be executed. I would gladly get rid of him myself,' wrote a fan from Finland on one website. Another fan has already set up an online petition to have Chapman's parole denied. It is already full of messages that show Chapman's safety outside jail would be difficult to maintain. 'If Mark David Chapman is let out of jail, he wouldn't last a day. There are too many people who want him dead,' wrote a New York-based female fan. "

I'm thinking of a new version of an old Lennon classic:

"all we are saying
let's kill him fast"

I suppose they are all wishing the crime was committed in Texas instead of New York now?


The Meatriarchy

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on September 26, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US , Hurricane Jeanne slammed into Florida, but most of the action took place after the Sunday papers had gone to print. (Here’s a report from Haiti.) In a late-breaking development, Israel has claimed responsibility for killing a senior Hamas official in Damascus.

The New York Times leads with a health story, the Washington Post leads with Iraq . The Post also fronts, from the Bible Belt, the first in its series about growing up gay in the US .

The Los Angeles Times leads with the presidential campaign and off-leads an interesting piece on the new face of al-Qa’ida.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at Iraq ’s election. Mahdi Obeidi says Saddam posed a nuclear threat. So what?--Maureen Dowd says Iyad Allawi is George Bush’s Mini-Me. Public Editor Daniel Okrent looks at the Times’ corrections policy and the use of anonymous sources.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at the presidential candidates on Iraq . Ombudsman Michael Getler reviews the Dan Rather affair. After a half-century as a journalist, David Broder is embarrassed by the media.

Michael Kinsley wonders whom Osama is supporting. Jim Hoagland says he’s trying to split the UN.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at a true tale with a modern lesson, especially for dog companions/guardians. Chalmers Johnson says money talks in elections.

Carlos Fuentes says George Bush gives Latin America the willies. Edward Glaeser has some bad news for most Canadians: no matter whether Bush or Kerry is elected, the US will remain the most conservative nation in the world.

In the UK , Tony Blair heads into the Brighton conference with Ken Bigley still hostage in Iraq . A poll for the Independent on Sunday has Labour at 32% against the Tories' 30% and the Lib Dems' 27%. A News Of the World poll puts Labour in third place for the first time in more than 20 years.

At home, Prime Minister Paul Martin was in the “asymmetric society” trolling for votes, but you have to have read the French papers to discover what he said Friday night. (Here’s my translation: "I believe in asymmetrical federalism. I believe in the specificity of Québec. It’s an advantage. It is not an illusion, it is one of the strengths of our country.”)

The Toronto Star fronts an assassin pleading for refugee status in Canada . Sandro Contenta reports from the place seriously wounded US soldiers go. Tim Harper reports that Americans now have a clear choice on Iraq; as for his colleague Contenta, it's clear that Kerry is Harper's choice.

Mitch Potter is in Bethlehem looking at the situation of Christians; interestingly, he mentions that Yasser Arafat's mother-in-law is "of the faith," but not that Suha was required to convert to Islam before the wedding.

In commentary, Richard Gwyn says Paul Martin did not know what he was doing at the health care summit. (Here’s my take.) Graham Fraser was frightened by something else.

Linda McQuaig says the problem of homelessness can be solved. Rick Anderson reports on exciting things happening in Europe . Haroon Siddiqui says the UN is doing nothing about Darfur because George Bush invaded Iraq ; seems to me it did nothing about Rwanda or Kosovo when Bill Clinton was president.

Antonia Zerbisias says US media should have spent more time on the 9/11 Commission, less on Rathergate; you’d think as the “media-critic” for Canada’s largest circulation daily, she’d spend more time telling Canadian stories to Canadians--from the televised Gomery Commission hearings, for example.

The editorial board “still cannot conclude with any more certainty than we could 15 years ago as to whether the benefits of the free-trade deal exceed the costs, or whether it is the other way around.” Give the former Liberal apparatchik who writes this stuff another 15, and maybe he’ll figure it out.

In the CanWest corral, the Calgary Herald fronts Alberta ’s rat patrol. The editorial board disses an unmarried federal judge who’s crying “discrimination.” Their counterparts in Edmonton are cynical about Ralph’s big bucks for cities.

The Montréal Gazette fronts Hurricane Jeanne’s arrival in Florida . The editorial board wants municipalities to have a seat at the fed-prov table.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts a soldier mouthing off about medicare and the military. Pierre Berton says that, after 50 books, he’s written his final word. In the Citizen Weekly, Shelley Page serves up a first-rate report on the Broadbent-Mahoney battle in the June election.

Meanwhile, Chris Cobb examines the role of “influential Pearson and Trudeau-era advisers who gathered for a secret summit early in the June election campaign and decided that unless some radical fix was made to Paul Martin's message, the Liberals were going to lose the election. And so they launched "Saving Private Martin," a desperate lobbying campaign from within the hopelessly fractured Liberal party.”

Sounds like a bunch of spin from some has-beens looking to take credit; in any case, we’re glad they got involved, or at least the plurality of Canadians are.

In the Toronto Sun, Christina Blizzard reports from the health care front lines. John Downing tries to see Toronto as others see it; you ain’t seen or said half of it, John. Lorrie Goldstein explains John Kerry’s woes. Bob MacDonald writes about hi-tech terrorism.

Eric Margolis says Japan should have a seat on the Security Council, something Brian Mulroney said 15 years ago and which his son will probably write 15 years from now. (Today, Ben writes about Nelson, BC’s proposed monument to draft resisters/dodgers.)

Peter Worthington also has his mind on military matters. Over in Calgary , Ted Byfield blames voters for perpetuating Liberal "rot." Rick Bell writes about Ralph bonds. Bishop Fred Henry writes to Klein about what he should do with Alberta's surplus.

In Edmonton , Paul Stanway has his eye on the same big bucks, while Mindelle Jacobs writes about the world’s first STD vaccine, which I’m not sure the Bishop would welcome.

From Ottawa , Doug Fisher has been watching the Gomery Commission and Paul Martin on television. Greg Weston writes about the mess at Public Works, and he says it could get worse.

Posted by Norman Spector on September 26, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Monumental Stupidity

NELSON, British Columbia -- Plans for a bronze monument and festival to honor U.S. draft dodgers in 2006 in this picturesque lakeside town have generated a wave of anger in the United States, local officials say.

Reports on the plan were provided to news organizations earlier this month by The Canadian Press and The Associated Press, and angry responses began pouring in after a feature was broadcast Monday by Fox News cable television.

"We've been inundated with e-mails and phone calls," Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce manager Roy Heuckendorff said Tuesday. "With the exception of one e-mail from New York, they have all been very angry."


In announcing Our Way Home, a celebration set for July 8-9, 2006, director Isaac Romano said the purpose was to honor "the courageous legacy of Vietnam War resisters and the Canadians who helped them resettle in this country during that tumultuous era."

Also in the works: "Pol Park" - a family-oriented theme park featuring the Khmer Rouge rollercoaster, and interactive video displays for a fun filled trip through post-war Southeast Asia..

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack


Kathy's betrothed co-spouse, Mark Steyn, offers scathing criticism of what is left of the Left and the small man running against President Bush.

What a small, graceless man Kerry is. The nature of adversarial politics in a democratic society makes George W. Bush his opponent. But it was entirely Kerry's choice to expand the field, to put himself on the other side of Allawi and the Iraqi people. Given his frequent boasts that he knows how to reach out to America's allies, it's remarkable how often he feels the need to insult them: Britain, Australia, and now free Iraq. But, because this pampered cipher has floundered for 18 months to find any rationale for his candidacy other than his indestructible belief in his own indispensability, Kerry finds himself a month before the election with no platform to run on other than American defeat.

More weekend reading can be found at Ghost of a flea.

Posted by Ghost of a flea on September 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why Kerry Is In Trouble

Mark O. Hatfield;

As a young Navy officer in World War II, I was one of the first Americans to see Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. That experience lives with me today, and it helped to shape the view I held during my public service career: a view that war is wrong in nearly every circumstance.

As Oregon's governor, I was the only governor in the nation who refused to sign a statement supporting President Johnson's Vietnam War policy.

As a senator, I joined with Sen. George McGovern in an unsuccessful effort to end that war. I was the only senator who voted against both the Democrat and Republican resolutions authorizing the use of force in the 1991 Gulf War.

In my final years in the Senate, I opposed President Clinton's decision to send American troops to Bosnia.

During my 30 years in the Senate, I never once voted in favor of a military appropriations bill.

I know that this record will cause many to wonder why I am such a strong supporter of President Bush and his policy in Iraq. My support is based on the fact that our world changed on Sept. 11, 2001, a day on which we lost more American lives than we did in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I know from my service in the Senate that Saddam Hussein was an active supporter of terrorism. He used weapons of mass destruction on innocent people and left no doubt that he would do so again. It was crucial to the cause of world peace that he be removed from power. ...

I believe the choice is clear. I will proudly cast my vote for President George W. Bush.

Via Wizbang.

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 25, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where you'll find the hotlinks).

In the US , John Kerry has sharpened his attacks against George Bush. Laura is sprucing up the White House.

Across the pond, domestic politics vies with the British hostage in Iraq for front-page attention. The French are mourning novelist Françoise Sagan, and detect a shift in the US position in Iraq.

The New York Times’ editorial board says President Bush’s campaign is un-American. Nicholas Kristof is in Pakistan , helping him out. David Brooks unloads on the UN. Frank Rich reviews Philip Roth.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at the two candidates’ energy policies. The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board pans Fidel Castro.

At home, the Mounties have admitted to bungling the Arar file. Jack Layton is doing back-flips supporting asymmetry for the province that leads the way in private health care. Paul Martin says he’s opposed to autonomy but would like to see that province sign the Constitution.

The Globe and Mail fronts Arar along with a report that the Chinese are coming and that the Russians are shooting first and asking questions later.

Inside, Christie Blatchford reviews the testimony of mum and dad at the Jakobek trial, and does double duty at the Bernardo proceedings.

Murray Campbell says Bob Rae wants to get Canadians talking about higher education, which he says should be a higher priority than health; perhaps the former Ontario premier could start with the OECD report buried by the media a few weeks back, which shows Canada to be a world-class spender on the tenured.

Rex Murphy, who does double duty on CBC and therefore knows something about media bias, says of the Dan Rather affair, “Perhaps hubris and carelessness marching hand in hand with some mix of unacknowledged partisan zeal is a start to understanding CBS's deep and shameful folly.”

Jeff Simpson says Mario Dumont’s proposals are a pipe-dream and Jean Charest has an overly-ambitious view of asymmetrical federalism; he concludes, “Federalism is somewhat on the defensive in Québec.” I’ll say.

Margaret Wente writes of another Peggy, “Ms. Atwood has built a phenomenally successful literary career on her creepily paranoid view of Western civilization and its prospects.”

Jane Taber says Michael Calcott is hot; you have to wonder what she and others were writing about when the Treasury Board official was writing Groupaction memos that were being ignored.

John Fraser says Holocaust and genocide studies have taken off in Canadian academe, and Ernst Zundel deserves the credit. Speaking of genocide—or, rather, not speaking of it--Heather Mallick hates Republicans and is still “shaken by the resemblance of the coverage of their convention to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will.”

The editorial board praises Shawn Green, who "listened to his conscience. Sadly, baseball only heard the money talking (by scheduling a game on Yom Kippur).

On the theory that misery loves company, a second editorialist reports that people all around the world are dissatisfied with their health care: “Trying to slake the health-care monster is futile. Setting limits on what it gobbles up is the responsible next step.”

A third editorialist turns his attention to Iran’s drive for nukes: “To prevent such a disaster, the West must set aside the divisions over Iraq and take a firm, unified line against Iran's nuclear cheating.”

The Toronto Star fronts failing schools, a new deal for Toronto and Jim Coyle on the Jakobek trial. The editorial board sees troubled waters in the Great Lakes .

Tim Harper says it’s not easy to ambush George Bush, but I'm sure he'll re-double his efforts. Sonia Verma files from Haiti .

Olivia Ward weighs in on Chechnyan orphans. Miro Cernetig reports that Jean Charest did not bounce after the health deal.

In commentary, Jim Travers understands the sponsorship scandal and what it takes for evil to triumph. If you have time to read only one column today, this is the one.

Leslie Papp writes about politicians’ perks. Ian Urquhart says Premier McGuinty and Mayor Miller are grooving.

The National Post fronts the Jakobek trial and also has the Chinese coming—along with the coming pay raise for MPs and judges.

Inside, editor Kelly McParland explains why she changes some Reuters copy: “The killers at the al-Aqsa Brigades are terrorists, by any definition. If the CBC can't figure that out, it needs a kick up its airwaves.” (Here's my take.)

In commentary, Ralph Klein insists he does too have a plan. Andrew Coyne says the genie is out of the bottle in Québec and concludes,” We are already on the brink of national dissolution. Now yet another federal government is making yet another attempt to finish the job.” (Here's my take before and my take after the rout.)

Robert Fulford says too few Muslims speak out against terrorists. Raymond Heard says Nelson Mandela was never one.

Across the table, Gillian Cosgrove outs four EU ambassadors, “At the "not for attribution" luncheon at the penthouse residence of Como van Hellenberg Hubar, the ambassador of the Netherlands, the Eurocrats lamented Canada's deplorable spending on defence and foreign aid. And yet, that very day, the PM was preaching to the UN about helping the world's poor.” Ouch.

The editorial board, which not too long ago was giddy about Mario Dumont, looks at a couple of bad Québec ideas, including his. Another editorialist comes to the defense of rich kids, and says the Ontario Liberals should not be taunting John Tory. A third says it’s game up for Dan Rather.

The Post has today’s most important correction (though it reads more like a lawyer's apology):

“In Saturday's National Post (Sept. 18, page A4) an article was published about Earnscliffe Strategy Group and Veraxis Research and Communications. This newspaper did not intend to allege in the headline and body of the article any impropriety by the principals of Earnscliffe Strategy Group and Veraxis Research and Communications. This newspaper regrets any damage that may have been caused by the publication of the article to the personal and professional integrity of David Herle, Harry Near, Michael Robinson, Bruce Anderson, Elly Alboim, Earnscliffe Strategy Group and Veraxis Research and Communications.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Calgary Herald fronts big bucks for the city's roads (the editorial board says Ralph Klein must do more yet). In BC, Premier Gordon Campbell is promising to do more to promote tourism. The Times-Colonist editorial board says Paul Martin rolled over and played dead on health.

The Montréal Gazette fronts the unhealthy situation in Haiti and a local health story, along with the 25th anniversary of the demise of its erstwhile competitor, the Montréal Star.

Inside, the Gaz wins the award for today’s best correction. The editorial board urges Tony Blair not to give in to terrorists, and Mario Dumont to grow up.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts the Arar screw-up, along with Richard Foot’s in-depth look at Canada’s military and a re-cycled story about Bill Graham’s plans to fund additional troops.

The editorial board stands up for two-tier medicine, brought to us by the Americans. Another editorialist urges Tony Blair not to give in to terrorists’ demands.


Mounties escape punishment over Arar

Posted by Norman Spector on September 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, September 24, 2004

I'm sure he'll get a lot of support

A deserter from the U.S. military here in Canada is asking us Canadians to write in and support his claims of refugee status.

"I'm just asking for their support and hope that they'll pressure the government to allow me to stay because we believe that is what's going to cause them to allow us to stay - pressure from the public and public opinion," Hughey said.

"If there is enough pressure from the people, we believe the Liberals will have to allow us to stay."

He said he's hoping Canadians will get in touch with their MPs and write letters.

Well, we already let in families that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan and have close links to Osama bin Laden, why not soldiers who refuse to fight against those families? We could become the new home for terrorists and the people who refuse to fight them.

Read on.

Posted by Steve Martinovich on September 24, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

My last pitch for the weekend about my book

I may have mentioned that Freedom Press (Canada) Inc. has published my book Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal. Here are five reasons you should buy this book if you haven't already.

5. Ezra Levant's introduction. He slaps around Chretien in 800 words, getting the former prime minister ready for the lacerating treatment he's going to get in the next 200+ pages. Ezra's introduction is worth the price of the book alone.

4. As Gerry Nicholls of the NCC said when he saw the original manuscript, he couldn't believe all the scandals he had forgotten about. We must not forget the patronage, broken promises, lack of ministerial accountability, abuse of power, pay-offs to friends and the petty, personal pursuit of power that is Chretien's true legacy.

3. Lawrence Martin's Chretien's biography cannot be allowed to stand as the only history of the decade of Liberal rule.

2. I have a family to feed (a wife, three kids, another on the way) and I would rather not spunge off taxpayers.

1. Support the embryonic conservative infrastructure that has been discussed over the past three months following Adam Daifallah's National Post column on the subject. Let me explain: Freedom Press (Canada) Inc is a small, upstart publisher that seeks to give a voice to new conservative writers. Canada needs a conservative publishing house. By purchasing Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal you are helping to secure its viability; your are helping to ensure Canada has a Spence Publishing or Encounter Books. Second, Freedom Press (Canada) Inc is hoping to advertise in The Western Standard, Canada's premier conservative magazine. It needs to recoup some of its expenses for design, layout and its first run before it can do that. If enough of you buy my book, the dead tree parent of this blog will get advertising dollars.

The deal I have mentioned previously where you don't pay S&H ends Sunday. If you pay over the internet, you'll get a $5 reimbursement check; if you send it by mail, date the cheque no later than September 26 and just pay the $26.99.

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 24, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Much Needed Self-Reflection

A refreshingly direct indictment by a Muslim on the rise of terrorism as a political tactic in parts of the Islamic world (via usemycomputer.com):

These images are grim, shameful and despicable for us when we gather them and lay them out together in one day [here in this article], however instead of ignoring and justifying them we must first recognize the validity [of this sad truth] and not compose articles and speeches declaring our innocence. It makes it easier for us to treat ourselves if we recognize the sickness.

Parts of it are still a bit wishy-washy, such as naming anonymous "political [radical] groups" as the culprit instead of directly pointing at Wahhabism. But it's still a start, and a lot better than this.

Posted by Kelvin on September 24, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

if our governments were this enthusiastic about going after, I don't know, real criminals?

Ontario's health minister rushed new legislation into law yesterday and promised to go personally to the U.S. border to stop an American for-profit company that provides health tests on wheels.

"They're not welcome here," George Smitherman said of Life Line Screening, a private medical testing firm from Cleveland. "I'll meet them at the border or confront them where they are."

Ah. So Smitherman (there's a superhero-with-a-lame-name joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite work it at the moment) is prepared to bring to full force of governmental authority, nay! even willing to speed up the passing of legislation, nay! even willing to go to the border himself to confront those, those, those... bastards who are... offering mobile facilities which "test for blood vessel problems that could lead to stroke or other problems". Nice.

Smitherman appealed to the public to help fight for-profit health companies from south of the border.

"Ontarians, every single one of them — 12 million of them — can in a sense be deputized to play a role in this," Smitherman said. "If anybody finds out about this stuff, you call that in. We have a quick response capacity, and we will stamp these out. We will protect public medicare in the province."

Got it. If someone sees the unmitigated evil of the fell demogorgon named "for-profit health care" (sometimes being so conniving as to operate under the street name "American-style"), fear not! Smitherman, Liberal attack schnauzer, will "stamp them out", with his "quick response capacity"!


Hey, um, Mr. George, sir? Any chance we could get that "quick response capacity" to take on, I don't know, say, the murderous pedophiles your government releases onto our streets? No? Shucks. Oh, well. I guess we can thank our friendly neighbourhood Liberals for ensuring that we don't have the opportunity to indulge should we ever have the temerity to desire to spend our money the way we see fit. Keep those eyes peeled, George! You never know when someone might be trying to make a buck trying to sell something that people actually want to buy! Courage!

[cross-posted to Let It Bleed]

Posted by Account Deleted on September 24, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

We are not amused?

From the editorial in this morning's [Vancouver} Province. Emphasis mine:

Thumbs Down. Make it a plethora of thumbs to televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who sermonized in a Canadian-aired broadcast about killing any gay who might want to marry him. Swaggart says he was just joking. Well we rate in down there with jokes about bombs on airplanes. This sort of thing doesn't belong on our airwaves. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council might want to remind Swaggart of that.

It seems that the "ban jokes we don't like" meme that started with the CRTC targeting that Quebec radio station is gaining steam.

It strikes me as a bit silly that any newspaper would be calling for the government censorship of free speech. (Also, the paper belittles its own case by writing that jokes about bombs on airplanes, for goodness sake, is just as objectionable as what Mr. Swaggart said. Okay then, Airplane 2 is now banned in Canada!)

I may be making a "slippery slope" argument, but The Province should be careful about what it wishes for. The newspaper may get it some day, in the form of a government-run Canadian Newspapers Standards Council.

[Not crossposted at Rick's Miscellany :) ]

Posted by Rick Hiebert on September 24, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I feel safer already, don't you?

Here we go. CP: Mounties short of national security know-how after Sept. 11 [2001] attacks. That's after, not before. Well, huzzah for our national police.

An RCMP report tabled at the federal inquiry into the case of Ottawa engineer Maher Arar said the force lacked the expertise to carry out effective security investigations.

I feel safer already. Perhaps they just needed time to refocus their investigative resources after hounding former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for eight years in the Airbus affair, an investigation they finally dropped in April, 2003. Thanks for all the memories!

Perhaps it's time to call for the resignation of Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, who seems to have been around for most of the time of that Airbus thingee, named to the post of Commissioner by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Sept. 1, 2000, by complete coincidence around the time that Shawinigate thing started to break, if memory serves me right. (But who needs a memory when you have the Internet: CBC: Indepth Shawinigan.)

Gotta love this part from the CP story: "About 25 per cent of the 76-page report, prepared by RCMP Chief Supt. Brian Garvie, was withheld from release." Doesn't say why. National security reasons, I presume. Maybe, security-wise, things are looking up! Sky's the limit, boys, sky's the limit.

Posted by Kevin Steel on September 24, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The Boston Globe reports on a peculiar attempt to use "superheroes as role models for people in the Middle East, presenting the West with a more positive image of the region." Hey AK Comics, here's a tip. If you want to change my impression of the Egyptian media as a festering pit of vicious anti-semitism unseen since 1930s Germany you might reconsider casting your villains as the "Army of Zios".

Cross-posted to Ghost of a flea.

Posted by Ghost of a flea on September 24, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Press Review

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

Most of the US majors lead with Iyad Allawi’s visit, which also attracts attention in the UK . Across the pond, however, the top story is a mother’s plea for the life of her son being held hostage in Iraq .

The New York Times’ editorial board reviews Allawi’s performance. Paul Krugman says George Bush should get real about Iraq . Noah Feldman weighs in on elections in that country; Stanley Fish on the election at home.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reviews Allawi’s performance from the right. Daniel Henninger says the Dan Rather case shows the decline of major media power. The Journal’s European edition serves up new revelations about Kofi Annan’s son and a possible link to the UN’s oil-for-food program.

The Washington Post’s editorial board reviews the case and release of Yaser Hamdi, and applauds the democratic process in Muslim Indonesia.

Charles Krauthammer says John Kerry is abusing the US ’ few remaining friends. E. J. Dionne says George Bush is twisting the truth. David Ignatius says he and Kerry should be debating economic policy. Richard Cohen comes to the defense of Dan Rather.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board calls Allawi’s Iraq a Potemkin Nation. Yossi Klein Halevi wades in on Madonna’s trip to Israel . Juan Cole comments on Iraq . Jonathan Chait unloads on George Bush.

At home, too, the Allawi visit attracts some attention, as do the latest revelations at the Gomery Inquiry. The Prime Minister is defending his health agreement. On that subject, the Sun Parliamentary Bureau’s Kathleen Harris serves up the howler of the day:

“NDP health critic Bill Blaikie criticized the deal's "grievous fault" of failing to address privatization in the health system, but sees no problem with a special deal for Quebec .” (Memo to Bill Blaikie: haven't you heard about the private clinics in Montreal, and about French immersion—the death knell of politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths in the two solitudes?)

Bill Curry must be a graduate (he's young enough to be one of Trudeau's children), as he chases a fine story in yesterday’s Le Devoir that ends up on the front page of today’s Ottawa Citizen—the latest in asymmetrical federalism (and/or of a Martin minister trolling for votes in Québec).

The Citizen also fronts news that our ambassador to Ukraine is in trouble for sounding off—a specialty of our diplomatic service, in my experience—and the sale of surplus Canadian helicopters to the Dominican Republic, “a nation whose armed forces have been repeatedly accused of human rights violations.”

The Montréal Gazette fronts a story on Québec hospitals where sick people go to get sicker. The Gaz also proves the benefits of French immersion today, with another article Le Devoir fronted yesterday—an internal PQ report suggesting that young people are losing interest in sovereignty.

The editorial board rejoices in that news and also liked Paul Martin’s speech to the UN; Josée Legault says the PQ could learn a thing or two from Mario Dumont (here's part of the reason).

The Toronto Star fronts Tim Harper’s report on Allawi, along with another fine article by its reporter in Haiti.

Inside, the editorial board weighs in on home care, and reviews testimony at the Gomery Commission. Chantal Hébert surveys the shenanigans of sharks within the Liberal Party. Carol Goar writes about Canadian medical stars.

The Vancouver Sun has a scoop on a top doctor Canada is trying to attract--Dr. Sam Aparicio, a Cambridge University molecular pathologist, who is one of the world's leading gene researchers. The Sun also fronts Premier Gordon Campbell's plan to crack down on panhandlers.

In commentary, Vaughn Palmer predicts BC will adopt a new voting system. Barbara Yaffe figures Paul Martin is burnishing his international image in preparation for the next election. Yours truly weighs in on the controversy surrounding CanWest's use of the "t" word.

Elsewhere in CanWest land, pit bulls are being seized in Windsor. In Edmonton, the Journal reports that major bucks are about to rain down on Alberta cities, to preserve the rein of you know who.

In the have-not province in which I live, by contrast, municipalities will get to keep the proceeds of tardy traffic tickets. And the Times-Colonist editorial board is scandalized by the moneys wasted in Ottawa.

The Globe and Mail fronts Allawi, along with more from the sponsorship inquiry. Capitalism is coming to China, but Edmonton is the place to go if you’re going to have a heart attack. Meanwhile, the Ontario government is trying to control health costs.

Inside, Stephanie Nolen reports on the digital divide in Africa . John Ibbitson reports on divisions within the natural governing party:

“The Liberal Party that fought for a generation against an equal partnership between federal and provincial governments is the author of that ultimate partnership. The forces in the party that might have raged against the betrayal are mute. The challenges to the Prime Minister's leadership are farcical, in part because this party has governed for so long, and become so tired, that there is no credible figure apart from Paul Martin fit to lead it. And he is old.”

The editorial board reviews the latest sponsorship revelations and concludes, “The memos this week make it clear many people were aware early on that something was wrong. The inquiry's task is to trace the breakdown to its source.” As if there were any doubt.

Another editorialist says Buzz Hargrove’s position on the FTA qualifies him for membership in the Flat Earth society. In commentary, Murray Dobbin is displeased the CLC is accommodating itself to the FTA; he says it has cost us dearly.

Rick Salutin likes Kofi Annan and says the whole world liked John Kerry and he does too. Jeff Simpson, too, would vote Kerry; today he struggles mightily to make sense of his man’s policy on Iraq .

In the Toronto Sun, Christina Blizzard wades in on the health care wars. Salim Mansur says it’s time to dump Salutin’s hero, Kofi Annan. In Calgary , Link Byfield weighs in on various Liberal scandals. In Ottawa , Michael Harris goes after the Correctional Service.

The National Post stuffs Allawi and fronts a Petrocan deal in Russia along with a Solomonic Los Angeles Dodger (Shaun Green will play one on Yom Kippur but sit another out).

From Jerusalem , Matthew Fisher reports on the latest gun battle in Gaza . At home, young Quebecers are bored with sovereignty and the ADQ’s Mario Dumont wants to re-name his province the 'Autonomous state of Quebec '. As the comedian Yvon Deschamps put it--Quebecers want an independent Québec in a strong, united Canada .

In commentary, Vaughn Palmer reports on BC’s cabinet shuffle. Sheila Copps says John is her kind of Tory, but Scott Brison is clearly not her kind of Liberal: his proposal to sell off federal buildings is “a short-term cash grab that will cost Canadian taxpayers dearly in the long run.” The editorial board was unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s speech to the UN.


Ad firm drew loud complaints

The Globe and Mail’s DANIEL LEBLANC reports:

“Officials in at least four federal departments complained internally about the quality of the work by Groupaction Marketing Inc., with some of the grumbling reaching all the way to the Privy Council Office, sources said yesterday.”

Posted by Norman Spector on September 24, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 23, 2004

World War IV in a paragraph

Victor Davis Hanson in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

"These are surreal times. Americans in Iraq are beheaded on videotape. Russian children are machine-gunned in their schools. The elderly in Israel continue to be blown apart on buses. No one--whether in Madrid, Istanbul, Riyadh, Bali, Tel Aviv or New York--is safe from the Islamic fascist, whose real enemy is modernism and Western-inspired freedom of the individual."

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 23, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There's something about sitting on a fence that Bill Graham enjoys

This morning's Ottawa Citizen:

"Canada should sign on to the U.S. government's ballistic missile defence shield for North America, Defence Minister Bill Graham said yesterday in the strongest indication to date that the Liberal government will support President George W. Bush's controversial plan.
'This is not Iraq, this is not an engagement somewhere else. This is about North America. I think it's very important for us to be associated in any program that deals with the defence of North America,' Mr. Graham told the Citizen."

This afternoon's Globe and Mail website:

"During a speech to Toronto's Royal Canadian Military Institute late Wednesday, Mr. Graham said ballistic missile defence might assist the government in its 'fundamental responsibility to protect Canadians' and stressed the need for Canada to 'maintain a close working relationship with our American neighbours.'
Mr. Graham denied reporter suggestions Thursday that those comments indicate that Canada has little choice but to join the program.
'There's no change in policy — we have a choice whether we join it or not,' Mr. Graham said after a cabinet meeting. 'What I said is that as Defence Minister, I'm in favour or pursuing those negotiations. It's exactly what I said in the House of Commons before when I was the Foreign Minister'."

Now I could be wrong, but I think Bill Graham is in favour of missile defense but doesn't want to appear as such. This ambiguity must drive the Americans nuts.

Posted by Paul Tuns on September 23, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

One of these things is not like the other…

Anybody else notice a slight difference in these two policy statements? I don’t know. That first one…it seems, well, a little shorter or something.

From: Conservative Party of Canada - Policy Statement, September 8, 2004


71. Diversity Principles

The Conservative Party of Canada believes that Canada’s multicultural society is a valued reality and accepts the need to foster understanding and equality of opportunity while promoting common values across Canada."

From: Areas of Agreement - Conservative Party of Canada Partial Policy Statement, February 4, 2004:
"The Conservative Party of Canada believes that Canada’s multicultural society is a valued reality and accepts the need to foster understanding and equality of opportunity while promoting the common values Canadians share.

A Conservative government will uphold the freedom of individuals and families to nurture aspects of culture that are important to them, recognizing that institutionalized multiculturalism as a taxpayer-funded program has run its course."

Evidently institutionalized multiculturalism has undergone a rehabilitation of sorts in the eyes of Conservatives. The big question - will the next Liberal Prime Minister of Canada be Stephen Harper? Stay tuned.

Occam’s Carbuncle

Posted by Alan Rockwell on September 23, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The CBC is a patronage dumping ground

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has actually done something useful -- they're out with a list exposing the political patronage at the administrative level at CBC and the CRTC.

According to Friends:

-- 92% of appointees [to the CBC presidency and its board] have been affiliated with the governing political party;

-- Only 21% of appointees have been women;

-- Only 3 of 152 appointees have been visible minorities or aboriginal people;

The report also takes aim at the CRTC, and notes that since 1968:

-- 83% of appointees to the CRTC were affiliated with the governing party;

-- 25% of appointees to the CRTC have been women, two appointees have been visible minorities and none have been aboriginal.

Interesting stats given all the talk from this country's literati about how the CBC is so "representative" of the Canadian reality. Obviously, that's a myth.


Posted by Adam Daifallah on September 23, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Terrorism Nests Within Us"

Mundir Badr Haloum, for Al-Safir (Lebanon), September 13;

"Twelve Nepalese citizens are slaughtered - Islam. A metro station is bombed - Islam. Civilian aircraft crash - Islam. A school is taken and the souls of 50 children [are lost] for the soul of [each] terrorist - Islam. A bus is bombed here, a railway train there, and before that there were hospitals and theaters, etc - all of them Islamic acts. [Behind] the color green are exposed rivers red with blood, flowing in the streets and public squares. And Muslims everywhere.


"Self-examination - would result in favor of abandoning Islam - yet what gets passed on from one generation to the next is - the latest version of Islam - Algeria, Afghanistan, Moscow, and New York, the version of the planes and the buses, the metro stations, the theaters and the residential complexes. What gets passed on from one generation to the next is the faith of Jihad that takes lightly the spilling of others' blood. How easy it is to shove someone into the category of the enemy. What gets passed on from generation to generation is the belief in legal rulings that forbid thought and permit killing. Religious Muslims prepare an offering to heaven - a fresh bit of human flesh, meant to be evidence of the truth and the proof of Jihad for the absolute truth.

"Indeed, we as Muslims produce terrorism, succor it, and praise it. We condemn it only when forced to. Motivated by considerations of power, interests, and diplomacy, we wear a pained expression on our faces but in our hearts we rejoice at the brilliant success - a large number of casualties. Unfortunately, in this black reality it does not matter if it is an American, Israeli, or Russian mind who is responsible for certain terrorist operations or whether those who kill themselves are poor, ignorant, or destitute."


"Islam is in need of true reform. Islam's need [for reform] - or, to be precise, our need for Islam's reform - is not less than the need for reform in the Arab political regimes. This is the need for people who are capable of fearlessly acknowledging that terrorism nests within us as Muslims and that we must exorcise it. Unfortunately, the meaning of delay is more death. The reform will take a long time and the price will be high, but it is the only path to our return to history as Muslims and not as terrorists."

Crossposted to small dead animals.

Posted by Kate McMillan on September 23, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The latest hazard

We're doomed. Nothing new about that, we're always doomed according to the environmental activists. But this time it's cleaner air that will do us in:

AIR pollution may have masked the true extent of the threat posed by global warming, according to a leading scientist.

Aerosols - particles of pollution in the air - help to cool the earth but, as they diminish in coming decades, global warming may be found to accelerate, Professor Meinrat Andreae of the Max Planck Institute in Mainz, Germany, has claimed.

This is interesting. After attacking Bjorn Lomborg for daring to make the case that our air was getting cleaner, not more polluted, they now concede his argument was correct but claim that cleaner air will just make global warming worse. Personally, I'll take my chances with the cleaner air.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on September 23, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR (where the articles are hotlinked).

In the US , tax cuts are all the rage, as are ballooning deficits. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has the presidential candidates running neck-and-neck.

In France , the finance minister handed down a deficit-fighting budget, amidst another form of leadership challenge. In the UK , all papers lead with a British hostage in Iraq pleading with Tony Blair for his life.

The New York Times’ editorial board pans President Bush’s plans for Social Security, and backs California ’s to boost stem cell research.

The Washington Post’s editorial board looks at the two candidates’ education policies; on tobacco, the Post says Bush prefers lawsuits to genuine leadership.

The Post serves up Jessica Matthews on Iraq , George Will on Iran and Jim Hoagland on the presidential candidates’ worldviews.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at e-voting, and sensitive teachers. Max Boot says history can offer Bush hope; Andy Borowitz takes a light-hearted look at the Cat Stevens terrorism threat.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board writes, “Americans horrified at the latest hostage beheadings in Iraq might be interested to know that there's at least a debate among their captors about how to kill infidels. Some within the Islamofascist community believe that bullets, rather than knives, are Allah's preferred method. About the propriety of killing innocents, there is no debate.”

In commentary, Victor Davis Hanson asks who cares about the UN. Paul Martin, that’s who, judging from yesterday's speech .

The Prime Minister receives front-page treatment in the National Post, La Presse and the Toronto Star but, interestingly, the Globe and Mail stuffs Martin’s words, consistent with international coverage, which is non-existent. (Here’s the CP dispatch.)

The Post also fronts Mark Steyn’s George Jonas’ take on the Martin speech. Inside, Barry Cooper wades in with the latest in Alberta alienation, which could turn into asymmetry if he gets his way.

John Ivison leads his column with a nice turn of phrase on the health agreement:

” It is becoming more clear by the day that last week's health accord was a very Canadian deal -- the opposition meekly agreed that it was a masterly work of statesmanship by the Prime Minister, while his own side is now demanding a recount.” (Here’s my take in today’s Le Devoir and in Monday’s Globe.)

William Watson says athletes deserve every buck they get and that “In the end, bargaining strength, not right and wrong, will decide [the hockey] dispute. Adam Radwanski advises John Tory to be true blue to his Red Tory self.

The editorial board supports the single judge who claims she’s suffering discrimination. Bill Curry reports that Buzz Hargrove is displeased with the CLC’s softening position on free trade. Terence Corcoran didn’t like Ken Georgetti’s speech either, though from the opposite direction.

In a semi-rowback on yesterday’s Post front pager, we learn from Curry, “In dispute is the paper's statement that "it is time to acknowledge that the free trade era as a whole, contrary to some of our most pessimistic predictions, has not been an economic disaster." CLC president Ken Georgetti clarified his position yesterday, stating the Congress continues to oppose free trade, but is proposing ways to work with the deal because there is no political will to do away with the North American Free Trade Agreement or the Free Trade Agreement.” (Here’s the Globe’s report.)

Elsewhere in the CanWest corral, the Ottawa Citizen fronts Bill Graham getting off the fence on missile defence (here’s the Globe’s report), and the latest from the Gomery Commission.

The editorial board praises the GG for visiting Vancouver ’s Downtown East Side (in the Vancouver Sun, we learn she bought her suit at Holt Renfrew); another editorial pans Paul Martin’s speech and our foreign and defence policies to boot.

The Citizen wins easily today’s award for best correction: “A file photograph on this page on July 21 misidentified the person shown with former external affairs minister Lester Pearson as former Canadian diplomat Herbert Norman. The photo in fact shows Mr. Pearson with A. D. P. Heeney, another former Canadian diplomat.”

(The Globe is a close runner-up, since the bulky bulldozer is a hard guy to miss: “A story Wednesday said incorrectly that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon waded into a hostile audience at the Likud Party convention surrounded by bodyguards. The bodyguards waded in; Mr. Sharon remained on a stage, separated from the crowd by barriers.”)

The Montréal Gazette stuffs Martin and fronts wire copy from Haiti . Inside, uppity patients want to sue the hospitals that made them sicker. The editorial board says Ken Georgetti is talking sense on free trade.

The Toronto Star fronts a report from its own reporter in Haiti and a US firm bringing private medicine to Ontario. Mitch Potter reports on the latest suicide bombing in Jerusalem . (Here’s the Globe’s report.) We learn about the CBC’s new schedule.

The Prime Minister thanked Colin Powell for freeing a Canadian hostage in Iraq . (The story leads in today’s Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun, as well as in the chain’s Toronto paper; here’s the Globe and the National Post reports.)

Inside the Star, Bill Graham is sounding defensive about talking missile defence. Peter Calamai gives us the latest on global warming.

The editorial board calls for a truce in the hospital war and reviews (favourably) the PM’s speech to the UN. Haroon Siddiqui finds moderation in the Muslim world.

Antonia Zerbisias thinks that, unlike CanWest, most papers give straight news; anyone who reads this daily press review and has the time to compare the coverage can see with their own eyes that they all have their biases.

Jim Travers says Canada ’s international influence is at a nadir and heaps praise on a former diplomat (who helped bring it there, in my humble opinion. And here’s the Sun’s Greg Weston on less-than-stellar performance by bureaucrats at home.)

The Globe and Mail fronts the latest from the Gomery Commission. Stuffed inside, the young reporter who started all the trouble on sponsorships, reports where the buck stopped.

Barrie McKenna informs us that Canada benefits from the off-shoring of jobs. Commentary editor Patrick Martin reminisces about meeting Cat Stevens.

The editorial board looks at Ariel Sharon and likes what it sees: “reviled now by both Palestinian and Israeli radicals, but respected by the moderate majority. This puts him precisely where a statesman should be.” Yikes.

Ralph Goodale, on the other hand, is being overly optimistic in his fiscal projections; got that one right. A third editorialist says the mutual fund industry needs stricter oversight. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Margaret Wente unloads on the UN, and sideswipes Paul Martin in the process. John Ibbitson writes about all the good jobs he has open in Ottawa , including at the CBC. Lawrence Martin says Stephen Harper may be another Robert Stanfield—the losing side of this outstanding man—and the Grits could be in for another majority.

Meanwhile, Jane Taber reports the plotting has begun against the new crowd (who would have thunk it), as she serves up today's


Liberals quietly fashioning shadow campaigns

The Globe and Mail’s JANE TABER reports:

“Two former Jean Chrétien cabinet ministers, including one who was once a staunch Paul Martin loyalist, are beginning to put together leadership teams to replace the Prime Minister, according to Liberal sources.”

Posted by Norman Spector on September 23, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack