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Monday, February 28, 2005

Two more MPs against SSM

defendMARRIAGE.ca reports that Liberal MP Walt Lastewka (St. Catharines) and Conservative MP Lee Richardson (Calgary Centre) have decided to vote to defeat Bill C-38.

Posted by Paul Tuns on February 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Thousand Dead Gap Employees

Goldstein responds to Chris Rock's Oscar monologue; "He started a war,³ that's cool, support the troops, he started a war.  Now just imagine you worked at the Gap. You're $70 trillion behind on your register, and then you start a war with the Banana Republic… 'cause you say they got toxic tank-tops over there.

³Well, in the sense that he ordered the invasion, Bush certainly started the fighting, though to say he started the war is a stretch.  To wit:  what Rock neglects to mention is that GAP employees had been fired upon daily in the employee parking lot by Banana Republic staffers for twelve years following the GAP's repulsion of Banana Republic from Abercrombie and Fitch (which it tried to take over by force in 1991.  After the GAP and its allies from Cinnabun, Panda Express, Bad Bath and Beyond, etc repelled the invading Banana Republic volley, Banana Republic signed a cease fire agreement, which it then proceeded to violate; additionally, Banana Republic's longtime CEO planned an assassination attempt on a former GAP president-who just happens to be the father of that same George Bush who supposedly "started" the war).

The rest of the The Annotated Chris Rock. While you're at it, be sure to catch today's (Lebanon) installment of "Chimpy McHitlerBurton's smirky rodeo ride through history" with a bonus link to Den Beste in Bill Quick's comments *section.
The lefties hate Bush because Bush is unapologetically nationalist, unapologetically American. Clinton and Kerry were at least willing to apologize for their nation; Bush won't. Bush thinks America is a force for good -- and to lefties who are invested in the idea of world governance, that is the worst threat imaginable. Because they cannot establish a world government unless they somehow convince the majority of Americans that the United States as a nation and the US Constitution as a political experiment are utter failures which must be abandoned and replaced by something better -- i.e. by world governance and the emerging socialist utopia predicted by the sainted Marx.

Vintage Den Beste. How I wish he were still blogging.

Posted by Kate McMillan on February 28, 2005 in Film | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

College Cancer Ward

For those of you who like university-leftie-prof stories and so are following the Ward Churchill controversy, here's a recent offering from Frontpage, Churchill’s Champions by Jacob Laksin. For those catching up, here's Ward Churchill Exploits Indians by David Yeagley in the same mag. I like this line, "And with scrutiny comes meltdown" that accompanies this, a comparison of one of Ward Churchill's artworks with a sketch by Thomas Mails in National Ledger. Here's a fun little exercise in Human Events: A Tale of Two Churchills: Professor 'Debates' Prime Minister comparing some quotes of the professor's with those of Winston Churchill. Note: Faculty demands end to Churchill investigation. And finally, here's the essay by the Tenured-Prof-without-a-Ph.D. that started it all: Some People Push Back--On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.

Posted by Kevin Steel on February 28, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Red China's threat to world peace

Here's an old but important story from The Standard (Hat tip to You Big Mouth, You, via Chrenkoff) on Red China's land and maritime disputes with "no less than 13 of its neighbours," including Vietnam, Philipines, India, Russian, Indonesia, Japan, and, of course, Taiwan. Reporter John Daly says:

"Given that China's military capability is growing apace with its economy, the potential for military conflict over the disputed regions is similarly on the rise.

While China up to now has attempted to address these issues diplomatically, the fact that many of the unresolved border disputes involve potential energy reserves might prompt China to use military force to resolve issues of strategic economic interest."

The problem, of course, is not just Red China; as Beijing becomes more belligerent, its neighbours must also prepare for potential military conflicts, raising the chances of regional conflict.

There are also other reasons to worry about China's regional ambitions. I wrote an editorial for The Interim last year that noted China needs a large military because of the growing number of marriage-less males, a result of the country's one-child policy. Noting Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. den Boer's Bare Branches, I said: "In Asia, high rates of abortion, fuelled by China's one-child policy and India's depopulation schemes, are leading to sex ratios so skewed that China and India may become imperialist nations just to quell the domestic problems that such ratios engender."

Posted by Paul Tuns on February 28, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

John Paul II's wordless sermon

Newsweek's Christopher Dickey doesn't like the fact that Pope John Paul II didn't leave a living will: "... this same pontiff who continues to assert his will in the daily life of the church has given his doctors no instructions about how to sustain his life, or not, should he slip into a persistent coma." Perhaps that's because he has the will to live -- and, more importantly, something to teach the faithful about dying and suffering.

(Cross-posted at Sobering Thoughts)

Posted by Paul Tuns on February 28, 2005 in Religion | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Cedar Revolution

The dominos continue to teeter towards democracy and reform in the Middle East.

BEIRUT, Feb 28 (AFP) - Two weeks after the assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, some 10,000 people massed in the streets of Beirut early Monday in defiance of a ban as the government faced a tough test in parliament where the opposition planned to present a censure motion to bring it down.

The Lebanese opposition vowed to defy the pro- Syrian regime on the streets and in parliament on Monday, amid claims of ministerial resignations, after a top US envoy upheld demands for an immediate Syrian troop pullout from Lebanon.

Waving the Lebanese flag and shouting "Syria out!" the protesters ignored a ban on demonstrations and converged on the central Martyrs' Square as hundreds of heavily armed but good-natured troops aided by police deployed jeeps and trucks to the main crossroads leading to the square.

Publius is collecting reports, and Caveman In Beirut reports crowds could be as high as 200,000.

It's going to be a rough ride, though, as evidenced by this report of a blogger's arrest in Bahrain. Jeff Jarvis is watching Egyptian bloggers, who have justifiably mixed confidence in election reform under Mubarak.

Update - breaking reports that the Syrian-backed government has resigned.

Via Instapundit this email published at Belgravia Dispatch;

On Friday evening I headed down to the mosque where Hariri and his body guards are buried. A mosque still under construction, the outside protective walls of the site are covered with urban graffiti, people writing condolences and messages for freedom, truth and independence. At the grave site itself, the earth is still fresh over the coffins, and has become home to shrines, covered in flowers, images of christianity, verses of the koran, all of it alight with burning red and white candles. Throughout the evening and during the following day people have been streaming through paying their respects. At the foot of the mosque is the Place des Martyres, a Statue erected by the French. Since the 15th of February, the day after the assassination, a steady number of Lebanese have been setting up tents around the statue and now expanding outward in the square. Essentially a political squat, inhabited by activists making up the faces of the 8 anti-syrian coalition parties have congregated in a similar way to those involved in the Orange Revolution which just took place in the Ukraine.

Posted by Kate McMillan on February 28, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


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


Majority skeptical of Gomery testimony

High rollers chewed fat over cigars


Canadians open to missile plan

Manley's comment draws fire

Missile shield loses support in Canada

Posted by Norman Spector on February 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The last 1000 words on BMD

Great cartoon at Cox and Forkum.

Posted by Paul Tuns on February 27, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Jonah Goldberg on abortion and gays

I wrote last month a post on how the discovery of a gay gene might lead to eugenic abortions of gay fetuses. Jonah Goldberg has written a worthwhile column on this same topic and on the larger political implications of the advances of biotechnology. Goldberg wrote this column in reaction to the introduction by a Republican legislator in Maine of a bill prohibiting abortions based on sexual orientation.

Posted by Laurent Moss on February 27, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spring Cleaning In Syria

Ed Morrisey on the news that Syria has "captured" and handed over Saddam Hussein's half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, and 29 other Baath Party officials;

It's starting to look like an early bout of spring cleaning at Chateau Assad. The Iraqi Ba'athists have become very, very expendable.

(AP story here.)

Against a backdrop of announced multi- candidate presidential election reform in Egypt, this observation from John H. Hinderaker at Powerline;

There has never been any doubt about the fact that die-hards from Saddam's regime were participating in and directing the Iraqi insurgency from what was thought to be a safe haven in Syria. The fact that the Syrian haven is no longer safe seems enormously significant, for two reasons. First, Assad is obviously worried about his own survival if his regime continues to try to undermine the new Iraqi government. Second, Syria has apparently concluded that the insurgency is being defeated and is going to fail. Why else would it turn on the Iraqi Baathists whom, until now, it has sheltered and encouraged?

The principal reason for deposing Saddam Hussein, as articulated repeatedly by President Bush and others in his administration, was to begin the process of reforming the Arab world--the only long-term strategy for dealing with the problem of Islamic terrorism that has yet been proposed. Two years ago, no one could have known how likely the administration's policy was to succeed, and today, of course, there are still huge uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems fair to say that all current indications suggest that Bush's Iraq policy may be more successful, and sooner, than even its most optimistic backers had dared to hope.

Incidentally, neither story can be found on the CBC news website at time of writing.

Posted by Kate McMillan on February 27, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


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


Feds paid ad exec $15M: Documents


It's time for a Liberal leader not from Québec

Terrorist returns

Hampton urges probe of university land deal







Canada Breaks With U.S. Over Missile Shield (NYT)

President of Egypt Calls for Open Election

Blair is election liability, warn Labour aides

Vatican tells Pope he must delegate duties

Maybe Slam Dunks and Orange Pucks Would Help (NYT)

Queen 'thinks Charles has put gratification before duty'

Le ressentiment à l'égard de la Syrie monte au Liban

New charge undermines Blair claims on Iraq war

Iran Was Offered Nuclear Parts

Within C.I.A., Growing Worry of Prosecution for Conduct

Islamic Jihad Says It Was Behind Tel Aviv Bombing

Posted by Norman Spector on February 27, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Blogging For Chickens

As a result of past posts in which I've taken swipes at Canadian political and media types over their ambivilance/ignorance of the blogosphere and internet communication in general, I've been working behind the scenes with a couple of individuals who've expressed an interest in venturing into it themselves.

The learning curve is proving to be steep. For example, when explaining the pros and cons of opening comments, I've found myself explaining what a "troll" is. ("Now that over there, to the left, sir, would be your brake pedal", said the driving instructor). What I wouldn't give for a Usenet Wayback Machine.

I've discovered that explaining the blogosphere to an internet neophyte is rather like teaching a chicken to swim. All the time you're carefully describing paddling technique, the intricacy of the currents, warning about the whirlpools and submerged rocks .... you secretly wonder if you shouldn't just toss the round eyed, blinking thing into the water and offer encouragement from a safe distance.

The same way the rest of us learned.

That said, political types aren't known for their risk taking behavior, so perhaps it's more humane to direct them to this piece by Patrick Ruffini. He provides excellent advice in this post written specifically for politicians;

Blogging by political leaders has the potential to revolutionize campaign communications in this respect: it takes the press out of press releases. Blogs mean that politicians can communicate with constituents directly, without the media filter.

Yet powerful institutional obstacles remain, as evidenced by the fact that only 4 Congressional offices have started blogs. If you're a communications director, chief of staff, or even a Member, and you're looking to overcome internal opposition to a blog, consider this post your guide.

Oh. Who's Patrick Ruffini?
  • Webmaster, Bush-Cheney '04, Inc
  • Deputy Director of Online Communications, Republican National Committee

    Paying attention now?

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 26, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (78) | TrackBack

    We let our friends down

    The Halifax Herald editorializes:

    "... Americans understandably feel let down. Mr. Martin first backed participation in missile defence. When it proved unpopular with the public and his party, he didn't try to win support for what he supposedly believed in.

    At bottom, Washington wanted our moral support. Instead, Mr. Martin caved to anti-American sentiment in his party. The Americans can hardly see this as other than weak and fickle."

    During a conversation with my 14-year-old son this week he explained how he saw Paul Martin's BMD snub: Canada and the United States are friends and even if we don't think we (Canada) will ever need missile defense, our friend south of the border desperately wants and needs it. But deep down we know we need it too and furthermore we know that our friends, the Americans, will place us under the protection of missile defense if for no other reason than as a form of self-defense for themselves. Therefore, we are free-loading. But true friends don't free-load. Canada has become like the friend who will never pick up the bill for lunch.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 26, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

    Palestinian Anger?

    Charles Johnson notices a certain lack of enthusiasm for the Tel Aviv bombing;

    Palestinians expressed anger
    Saturday at an overnight suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed four Israelis and threatened a fragile truce, a departure from former times when they welcomed attacks on their Israeli foes.


    In contrast to the dozens of previous suicide bombings, no celebrations were held in the West Bank on Saturday and militant groups didn't hang the customary posters of congratulations at the bomber's home.

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 26, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Where's the CBC?, part two

    There was a "free Syria" rally on Parliament Hill. Still waiting for the CBC to give these folks a minute of airtime.

    Posted by Ezra Levant on February 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Gee, why isn't this on the CBC?

    Imagine that -- thousands of Europeans cheering for George W. Bush. I guess there was just too much on the CBC schedule to find time to mention it.

    Posted by Ezra Levant on February 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    What Terri Schindler-Schiavo can look forward to

    With the agonizingly protracted execution of Terri Schindler-Schiavo set to begin on March 18, neurologist Dr. William Burke describes how one starves to death:

    "A conscious person would feel it [dehydration] just as you and I would. They will go into seizures. Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucous membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining ... death by dehydration takes 10 to 14 days. It is an extremely agonizing death."

    (An important note about the column in the New York Post by Arnold Ahlert from which this is taken: Terri has not been in a comatose state for 15 years. While she has been incapacitated (unable to get out of bed or to take nutrition without the aid of a feeding tube), she has reacted to loved ones around her by following their voices, smiling and moving. It certainly is not helpful for journalists who seem to be on side to get these elementary facts of the case wrong.)

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 26, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    Is Harvard University also bigoted against southpaws?

    Link: All in the Mind: 26 June? 2004? - Left Brain Right Brain: Fact or Fiction?.

    Is Harvard also bigoted against southpaws?

    Natasha Mitchell: What did you do to unravel what the right hemisphere does?

    Michael O’Boyle: We began working with an actual theory behind all of this. And it’s a bit of a digression to get too far into it but sufficed to say that one of the things that was unusual about these extremely talented math gifted types was that there were far too many males compared to females. Like 6 to 1 at this highest level of mathematical reasoning, more males than females.

    There were far too many left-handers represented in this group. In the general population left-handers constitute about 10%, in the math gifted it turned out there are about 23% to 25% representation.

    That, left handedness as a sort of indicator of right hemisphere development, plus the fact that there were too many males as compared to females, suggested to a researcher long ago a neurologist by the name of Norman Geshwin at Harvard, that perhaps testosterone prenatally was exerting some kind of influence on brain development which enhanced the right side of the brain at the expense of the left which of course would mean more representative left handedness than right handedness.

    And of course if you think of testosterone dosage, who’s going to get the most testosterone? Well, the males will.

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Friday, February 25, 2005

    Successful Test: BMD "Emergency Deployment"

    Paul Martin's timing is impeccable.

    PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, Hawaii, Feb. 24, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System and Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) destroyed a ballistic missile outside the earth's atmosphere during an Aegis BMD Program flight test over the Pacific Ocean. Raytheon Company develops the SM-3. Lockheed Martin develops the Aegis BMD Weapon System.

    The Feb. 24 mission -- the fifth successful intercept for SM-3 -- was the first firing of the Aegis BMD "Emergency Deployment" capability using operational versions of the SM-3 Block I missile and Aegis BMD Weapon System.

    This was also the first test to exercise SM-3's third stage rocket motor (TSRM) single- pulse mode. The TSRM has two pulses, which can be ignited independently, providing expansion of the ballistic missile engagement battlespace.

    The SM-3 was launched from the Aegis BMD cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and hit a target missile that had been launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

    via Drudge.

    update - One of David Frum's readers responds to Paul Martin's assertion that ""We would expect to be consulted"prior to a BMD deployment.

    In other words, Canada wants no part of missile defense right up until the time of incoming. At that point we can count them in."

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 25, 2005 in Military | Permalink | Comments (31) | TrackBack

    Kyoto Storm Warning

    Record cold thins ozone layer

    Cold is thinning the ozone?  Wait wait wait. RECORD cold?

    I thought the planet was heating up so fast the ocean's were set to boil?

    More "cool" headlines here.

    The Meatriarchy

    Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on February 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack


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


    PM draws fire over missiles

    'Whimpering no' further sullies our image


    World Anglican leaders rebuke Canadian church

    Health Minister attacks makers of Vioxx

    Congés parentaux: un accord imminent

    Court backs deportation of Ernst Zundel





    Posted by Norman Spector on February 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Thursday, February 24, 2005

    Fraser Institute on budget

    Most of the post-budget talk is about the tiny tax cuts, a child care program and investment in the military. But as Jason Clemens, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, and Niels Veldhuis, its senior research economist, note: "Program spending has increased 50.9 per cent since 1997, well beyond the rate of economic growth, increases in population, or inflation. In addition, Canadians should be particularly concerned with the huge increase in spending undertaken this current fiscal year: $16.7 billion, a 12 percent increase. " There is more to being fiscal responsible than merely balancing the budget. The cost of not cutting spending is serious tax cuts: "The government's proclivity for spending continues unabated at the expense of meaningful tax relief that would address some of Canada's more pressing economic problems, such as stagnating incomes and slower productivity growth."

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 24, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Prairie Centre Policy Institute

    I was invited today to a luncheon debate hosted by the Prairie Centre Policy Institute (which could probably be described as a Saskatchewan based conservative "think tank"), as a guest of a friend who knows of my interest in politics and reads the blog.

    The debate, which was on the role of federalism in the Canadian economy, featured well known Saskatchewan entrepreneur Herb Pinder Jr. and left-leaning U of Sask professor Red Williams. Pinder's premise - that Canada has become a "country of mediocrity", due to our culture of entitlement, high taxation, equalization and politically motivated federal infiltration into provincial responsibilities - recieved no rebuttal at all from Williams, which I thought was odd. Instead, he devoted his portion of the debate to defending government involvement in the economy and weakly excusing the excesses by reminding everyone of just how darned hard a job it is to run everybody's lives.

    There were a number of business leaders and provincial MLA's in attendance at the small gathering, including former SaskParty leader Elwin Hermanson, Ken Cheveldayoff, Ben Heppner and June Draud, who was seated beside me at our table. Prior to the serving of lunch, she described her frustration at how difficult it is to get a clear message from the SaskParty out through the media - unless the ideas are picked up by the governing NDP, who then get the press and the credit.

    She also shared that small local newspapers have recieved threatening calls and subsequent withdrawel of government advertising for giving "too much space" to SaskParty media releases. My ears perked up. What bloggers couldn't do with a story like that.

    In the short time available, I tried to explain to her the concept of the blogosphere and how it has become so powerful a force in the US. She seemed to be interested enough and asked if I had a card. I didn't. (An interesting notion, though - who has business cards for their blog?) Shortly afterwards, the speakers began so there wasn't enough time to go into things in more detail.

    At the wrap-up, Pinder suggested that we take the ideas presented "back to the workplace, talk to your friends"...

    Urgh. How.... 1980's.

    When, oh when, are Canadian conservative parties going to wake up and realize that one of the most powerful tools for uniting conservative voices and bypassing the mainstream left-leaning press is already here, is proven to be both powerful and successful, is ridiculously inexpensive and right under their noses?

    I dug up the address to the PCPI website from the back of a booklet they provided, entitled "Creating Wealth In Saskatchewan", with plans of linking to the info on the Pinder-Williams debate and adding the site to the permanent sidebar.

    There was nothing there. The page hasn't been updated since Christmas.

    I can't say that I was surprised.

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 24, 2005 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


    On Monday, new U.S. ambassador Frank McKenna said we were in. Then, Foreign Affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew apparently told the Americans on Tuesday we were out. On Wednesday, the PM said he hadn't  even decided yet. Today, the government made an official announcement: Canada is not joining the ballistic missile defense program.

    All we can do now is hope the story changes again tomorrow.

    Posted by Kevin Libin on February 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack

    February 23, Conservatism RIP

    Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck says that yesterday's budget and Stephen Harper's description of it as addressing Conservative priorities is proof that conservatism is dead in Canada. No mainstream Canadian party now stands for lower taxes and less spending. As Brodbeck says, where's the Reform Party and Preston Manning when you need them?

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 24, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    Where's the budget analysis

    Several Shotgunners have analysis at their own sites: Occam's Carbuncle, Political Staples, Canadian Comment, Sobering Thoughts and Jay Currie. Best comment comes from Currie and is less about the budget than Stephen Harper's reaction: "Harper's position lets the Liberals off the hook.Which is dumb."

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 24, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack


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


    Martin's move irritates U.S.


    Martin buys some love/PM buys time








    Canada Says It Won't Join Missile Shield With the U.S (NYT)

    U.S.-Russia Pact Aimed At Nuclear Terrorism

    US Health care Costs could be 19% of economy by 2014

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    What We Have Here

    ... is a failure to communicate.


    Out of curiosity, I ran a Google News search.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,960 for Terri Schiavo right-to-die.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 357 for Terri Schiavo right-to-life

    The latter look to be mostly op-eds, or include references to "right-to-life" groups or lawyers. The hard news stories are nearly uniform in the "right to die".

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 23, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Life In The Rall World

    As gifted a writer...

    "Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say. They're sitting in their rec rooms, regurgitating and spinning what real journalists have dug up through hard work. They don't have sources, they don't report, and no one holds them accountable when they make mistakes or flat out lie. Yeah, there's a new sheriff in town. Unfortunately he's drunk, he's mean, and he works for the bad guy."

    as he is a cartoonist.


    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    Adrienne Clarkson Presents .. a dumb idea

    The Governor-General should stick to ballet or whatever else is on her elitist mind because having two women's teams compete for the Stanley Cup is perhaps the stupidest idea to come to hockey since Gary Bettman awarded a franchise to Disney. At risk of sounding chauvanistic, I find women's hockey to be incredibly slow-moving and dull, and had there not been a chance of seeing a woman rip off her jersey and skate around in a sports bra, I probably wouldn've have even watched the gold medal final from Salt Lake. Sure, the girls get their emotions up during the Olympics and World Championships but high spirits do not an exciting game make. If Clarkson was any sort of a hockey fan, she's understand this and keep her trap shut.

    Even Cassie Campbell, the great woman player, agrees:

    "For us, it's about fighting to have our own championship and one that's eventually going to be just as prestigious as the Stanley Cup is now," Campbell said. "Hopefully we have an NHL-type season and we have more teams across the country and across North America, and that's where my connection is.

    "It's not really about playing for the Stanley Cup. That already exists. It's about creating one for women's hockey."

    There is an idea making the rounds, however, which I do find very interesting. As we all know, the Stanley Cup was originally awarded to the top amateur team in the Dominion. As there are now several trophies awarded to the various amateur levels of play -- the Allan Cup for seniors, the Memorial Cup for major junior -- perhaps a one-time tournament could be held to decided this year's winners. The most likely teams would be the national Junior 'A' champs, the CIS men's champs, and the winners of the Memorial and Allan Cups. Hold the challenge at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in a round-robin format, with the top two teams competing in a best-of-three final. Man, the TV ratings would be through the roof.

    This would be a once-in-a-lifetime event, talked about for years to come. Just like the Heritage Classic (remember that game played in a football stadium a few year's back? I think it involved Wayne Gretzky playing Jarome Iginla, or something to that effect). If nothing else, this would satisfy Lord Stanley's intent when he first presented the trophy to a young Scotty Bowman all those years ago.

    This speaks much of the mindset of the GG. In attempting to do the best for "our game" and involving everyone in the sport, she had to pick the politically correct side of the argument. Had she had the opportunity, I'll bet she would also suggest having the top disabled teams challenge for hockey's ultimate prize, or the top native teams, or the top native women's disabled teams. From Quebec. Anyone except the best team currently in the realm, apparently.

    Isn't her term done yet?

    crossposted to BumfOnline

    Posted by Rob Huck on February 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack


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


    Quebec dodges Health Canada

    The Montréal Gazette’s AARON DERFEL reports:


    Martin shouldn't have tinkered with equalization, Manley

    No whites need apply

    Gomery inquiry audit possible

    Court parses identity mix-up: Another Charkaoui






    Shiite Alliance in Iraq Wants Islamist as the Prime Minister

    Japan and Korea ‘have no plan’ to sell dollars

    Bush and Chirac reopen wounds

    Bush Tries To Allay E.U. Worry Over Iran

    Bush Says Europe Should Not Lift Its China Arms Embargo

    Company’s Work in Iraq Profited Bush’s Uncle

    Menace syndicale sur les Jeux olympiques à Paris

    Queen 'snubs' Charles wedding

    Dramatic fall in number of asylum-seekers since 2002 (UK)

    The rush to war (UK AG’s pre-Iraq legal opinion)

    Leica au bout du rouleau

    Un espoir à Beyrouth (Le Monde editorial)

    Boys, Girls Are Faring Equally, Study Finds

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Blogging CPAC

    In January, I listed the bloggers who were accredited to cover CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference ). James Joyner has several posts on events as they unfolded, including an incident where Al Franken was "apoplectic" over discovering he was to guest on Michael Medvid's show with Swift Boat leader John O'Neill. Lots of links to video, etc.

    Posted by Kate McMillan on February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Domino Theory

    The Domino Theory was what foreign policy analysts called the expansion of the Soviet Empire -- every country that fell to the Communists increased momentum and pressure for more to fall. It was all about bad news.

    Today the Domino Theory could describe the seeds of freedom in Arabia. Afghanistan is downright placid; Iraq still buzzes from its election success; Lebanon, one of the most Westernized of Arab lands, has decided to pit "people power" against Syrian tanks.

    Here are some pix of anti-Syria protests in Lebanon.

    Leb1_1 Leb2_1 Leb3_1


    And even Egypt, the largest Arab dictatorship, is showing signs of cracking.

    Let freedom ring!


    Posted by Ezra Levant on February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack


    Can we raise money to buy stuff for our troops like they do in the US?

    The Meatriarchy

    Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Death Of An Idea?

    Anyone who visits here regularly, knows that I love anything that Mark Steyn puts to paper. Sure his material is usually on the depressing side (i.e. you get more disgusted with the world each time you nod your head in agreement) but his ability to insert some humour into a debate is amazing.

    Well I suspect that Mark isn't in the jolliest of modes these days. His latest piece isn't the least bit funny:

    America and Europe both face security threats. But the difference is America's are external, and require hard choices in tough neighbourhoods around the world, while the EU's are internal and, as they see it, unlikely to be lessened by the sight of European soldiers joining the Great Satan in liberating, say, Syria. That's not exactly going to help keep the lid on the noisier Continental mosques.

    So what would you do in Bush's shoes? Slap 'em around a bit? What for? Where would it get you? Or would you do exactly what he's doing? Climb into the old soup-and-fish, make small talk with Mme Chirac and raise a glass of champagne to the enduring friendship of our peoples: what else is left? This week we're toasting the end of an idea: the death of "the West".

    If anyone else had written that last sentence I wouldn't have dwelled on it so much. Regardless, it kind of struck me... well I just kept repeating it over and over.

    The death of 'the West'. What exactly does that mean? The death of us? Or is it simply the death of an idea, easily replaced with another?

    Did those present during the fall of the Greek states lament the death of 'the West'? Did the citizens of Rome feel the barbarian invasions meant the death of 'the West'? Did the Spaniards fleeing from the Moors predict the death of 'the West'?

    I'm certainly not qualified to answer any of these questions but if I had to hazard a guess I would suspect in all cases that they didn't. History is local. It always has been. The idea of 'the West' is simply too much for people to grasp. Sure you have historians who can string the narrative together but the narrative only fits if history allows it to.

    Would we still consider Europe and America as part of the same 'West' if the Nazi's had won World War II? Would we have considered Europe and America part of the same 'West' if Communism had overtaken Europe after World War II? I suspect in both cases that we wouldn't and I suspect that most people reading this would agree with me.

    So what does this all mean? Honesty I have no idea. Heck I don't even know where I'm going with this. I could read a thousand books about 'the West' and yet I doubt that even then I would feel like I understood it.

    The situation in Europe does depress me because I honestly do feel that we are seeing the end of an era of history. I'm still not ready to proclaim the death of 'the West' like Mark is but I do feel that the world is rapidly changing underneath me.

    I guess that the only positive way I can look at all this is to consider that history unwinds in the most unexpected ways. The concept of a 'free man' with rights originated over 2000 years ago in Greece. And today? All over the world we find that the most brutal of dictators must speak the language of freedom and democracy. The idea of a 'free man', isolated to Europe 500 years ago, now infects the entire globe. Could this have all been an accident?

    Could an idea that spans 2000 years now be at it's end? Or alternatively... does the idea need Europe?

    crossposted to canadiancomment

    Posted by Dana on February 22, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack


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





    Government has high hopes for massive service overhaul

    Martin puts Confederation at risk

    PMO sent jet to get ailing MP for crucial vote

    Charest stuck in a rut








    Bush Says Russia Must Make Good on Democracy

    Three Little Words Matter to N. Korea

    Hunter S. Thompson RIP

    EU chief dampens mood of entente with Bush

    Tories gain ground on Labour

    Mbeki attacks US over Zimbabwe stance

    Bush et Chirac: vive le Liban libre

    Bush-Chirac: les limites d'une réconciliation

    Bush, Chirac sourire de rigueur

    Our Mission Remains Vital (Kofi Annan)

    Atlanticist small talk is all that's left (Mark Steyn)

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    That's showbiz

    Well, that's one less trailer you'll have to watch before the main attraction.

    On Sunday, Famous Players theatres announced that it was pulling controversial pre-movie advertisements urging moviegoers to support same-sex marriage. The ads, by the lobby group EGALE, were paid for by Famous Players Media president Salah Bachir, a flamboyant entrepreneur and philanthropist, with a soft spot for gay charities. (Famous Players Media is the company that sells commercials for the Famous Players movie chain and publishes its in-house magazine.)

    The movie chain is insisting that they had to stop airing the ads because they were getting too many abusive e-mails and phone calls. Ok. But then they also said that they were hereby staying out of "issue-driven" advertising, because, they have concluded, people go to movies to get away from politics. From now on, spokeswoman Nuria Bronfman says, advertising shown before screenings "will focus on consumer products and services and stay out of issue-driven advertising altogether." (This, by the way, was after the movie chain told critics of the ads that if they didn't like them, they could buy their own ads to counter them. Whoops. Time's up.)

    What Famous Players didn't say is that they were also facing a boycott and all kinds of bad press. And given the news today, that the theatre chain is putting itself on the market, well, it would seem funny if that weren't part of the decision not to renew the ads too.

    Make no mistake: the privately-owned movie chain is free to run whatever ads it likes—and face the fallout among consumers. But, wherever you stand on the gay marriage issue, it's obvious that painting gay marriage opponents as intolerant and violent achieves much the same end as the ads in the first place. Headlines like "Threats force chain to pull same-sex ads" defame advocates of traditional marriage and have the effect of making opposition to C-38 seem irrational and visceral, ensuring Canadians feel increasingly uncomfortable about supporting the "no" side. If Famous Players' staffers received genuine threats, well, that's shameful. But clearly there were other factors at work in the calculation to defuse the controversy. Neglecting to mention that is, at best, disingenuous.

    Posted by Kevin Libin on February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Paul Martin, foreign policy dunce

    Writing in the Calgary Sun, Ezra Levant concludes his column on Prime Minister Paul Martin's approach to foreign policy thusly:

    "Syria, a rogue, terror-sponsoring state, has announced an alliance with Iran, another rogue, terror-sponsoring state building nuclear weapons. Syria killed Hariri. Syria's illegal occupation of Lebanon continue. And Martin think's it's all OK, in the name of 'peace.'

    Remember, this is the same PM who, while in China, claimed he sat next to 'opposition politicians' at a state dinner. He actually thought the hand-picked stooges the Communist Party introduced him to were real dissidents, allowed to sit in that country's legislature."

    Natan Sharansky says in his book The Case for Democracy that he and his fellow Soviet dissidents never thought that the world was divided between communists and capitalists but rather between those who were willing to confront evil and those who weren't. Paul Martin plants himself firmly in the latter category.

    (Cross-posted at Sobering Thoughts)

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 21, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    ...And the hunter home from the hill

    A weblog called "The Shotgun" cannot fail to take somber note of the suicide of Hunter S. Thompson, a journalist universally admired for his astonishing palette and stylistic bravery by brethren of all political species.  I have some further thoughts, as do eminences of the weblog world ranging from Tim Blair to James Lileks to Ken Layne to Steve Sailer.

    Posted by Colby Cosh on February 21, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Out Elitist Infrastructure Needs Upgrades

    I was watching a commercial for a local television station (sorry I can't remember which one) and they were talking about plans to upgrade the Ottawa International Airport. You wouldn't be amiss to wonder why a newly built airport would require upgrades.

    So what is the problem with the new airport? Well it seems that our ruling elite are sick of standing next to the great unwashed masses.

    Plans are to build a new terminal to service government officials coming and going in those swanky new Challenger jets the government so badly needed. The terminal would include a first class lounge and all the amenities our elite require when they travel.

    Has our government become so detached from the people it governs that it doesn't want to wait for a flight with them? And lets be serious, waiting in the first class lounge isn't exactly 'mixing it up with the people'. I've flown out of the Ottawa airport plenty of times and every time a government minister was on the plane they were always flying first class. And to be even more to the point, I'm sure the money for the first class ticket upgrade didn't come out of the ministers chequing account either.

    But I guess every country needs it's elite. How else would things get done without them? All of us people flying ecomony class couldn't possibly understand the pressures our elite suffer from and the long working hours they put into their jobs.

    Of course we couldn't. We are the great unwashed after all.

    crossposted to canadiancomment

    Posted by Dana on February 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack


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


    Bush not on PM's list


    Budget finger-pointing begins

    Thomson Awaits response on $1.5B bid for Bell Globemedia


    Strong Europe essential for world peace, declares Bush

    Talking with the Enemy

    Cabinet in Israel Ratifies Pullout From Gaza Strip

    Bush passe l'Atlantique à des fins pacifiques

    Critics pour water on fiery US foreign policy

    Three reasons why the US and Europe won't make up

    Les Américains maintiennent la France sous surveillance

    EU plan clears Spanish hurdle

    Who Needs the N.H.L. When the Moose Is on the Loose? (NYT)

    Adams and McGuinness named as IRA leaders

    UN chief quits over sex abuse allegations

    Army Having Difficulty Meeting Goals In Recruiting

    Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Bettman must go

    The last minute involvement of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux highlighted a glaring problem the NHL has had since Gary Bettman became its commissioner  in 1993. Bettman is an administrator and not a very effective one. What the commissioner should be, though, is an ambassador for the game, which Bettman is not. Gretzky and Lemieux are. Unfortunately for hockey fans, of which I long ago ceased considering myself, their efforts came too late. There is much blame to go around: the owners desire a salary cap because they lack the discipline to stop spending their own money; the NHL Players Association thinks that they should c0-control the sport; Bettman and NHLPA head honcho Bob Goodenow dislike each other so much it is unlikely that they can negotiate in good faith with one another. But the NHL's problem is that its commissioner doesn't think about what fans want -- whether it is a lockout or the quality of play on the ice. Any deal that does not include Bettman's removal will not solve the sport's long-term problems and to that end there is this website: removebettman.com.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 20, 2005 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack


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


    Overtime talks fail: No 2004-05 NHL season


    Paul Martin leaves Ottawa this morning for Belgium

    (In fact, though he and George Bush are attending the same NATO meeting on Tuesday, I can't find a single report of the PM's trip in today's Canadian newspapers.)


    Bush Seeks to Begin a Thaw in a Europe Still Cool to Him

    L'Union européenne cherche à s'imposer face à George Bush

    What's US policy on Europe? No giggling (Mark Steyn)

    Audit Faults U.S. for Its Spending on Port Defense

    Bombers Again Strike Iraqi Shiite Worshipers

    Deep Roots Hold Syrian Influence in Lebanon

    'Cynical' UK media may lose Olympics for London

    Flirting with Armageddon: welcome to a new arms race

    Churchgoers ordered to pray for Camilla

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 20, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Saturday, February 19, 2005

    Lebanon Stands Up!

    Le Devoir reports from Beirut:

    L'opposition libanaise, réunie en séance plénière, a annoncé hier soir un «soulèvement pour l'indépendance» et réclamé un «gouvernement de transition» qui assure le retrait syrien et supervise le scrutin législatif prévu au printemps.


    Les membres de l'opposition ont souligné leur «refus de considérer [l'assassinat de Hariri comme] un crime comme un autre et de reprendre une vie politique normale» et décidé la «suspension de tout débat politique ou juridique avant que la vérité ne se fasse».

    Translation: the Lebanese opposition is attempting to peacefully take power and switch to a transitional government to drive out the Syrians and hold an election in the spring. "We refuse to recognize [the murder of Rafic Hariri] as a crime like any other and continue political life like everything is normal!" Emphasis and (poor) translation mine.

    God Bless Them.

    Canada, as a similarly French and English speaking nation (not to mention our sizable Lebanese community) has a duty to add a voice to the chorus of nations demanding, and ready to fight, for Syrian withdrawal [in accordance with UN resolution 1559]!

    Cross posted at prattling-poet-pundit.

    Posted by Dylan Sherlock on February 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    All the news that fits the agenda Part II

    I will happily use your title Mr. Tuns.  You had to know that the Toronto Star was not blameless in this whole thing as well.

    Rempelia Prime links to an article in the Toronto Star regarding MP Stephen Harper's opening speech in the Same-Sex Marriage debate in the House of Commons and his "playing politics with the past". To counter MP Harper, Tonda MacCharles interviews several human rights experts.

    What is not mentioned is that they are activist members of the left. Audrey Kobayashi is a feminist Geography Professor at Queens. Patrick Case is an LGBT activist at the University of Guelph. He and other interviewees Judy Hamazawa and Yves Savoie signed a petition decrying the Conservative newspaper ads regarding the issue and called on him to recognize SSM. Finally Yves Savoie is openly gay.

    Let me be clear, I have no problem with any of the people quoted in the article playing an activist role in this issue. Bill C-38 has important implications for the future of Canada and it deserves a vigorous debate. This debate is well served by the opinions of those quoted on the issue of SSM itself. However the way in which they were quoted was disingenuous. They were asked to comment on MP Harper's comments on human rights with respect to the turning away of Jewish people and the internment of the Japanese during WWII. Kobayashi, Case, Hanazawa et al are not disinterested observers in this debate and in fact they have every reason to counter MP Harper's arguments. This activism and bias is never declared in the Toronto Star article.

    This "hidden agenda" is a dishonest way of presenting an argument. In the age of Google, the Toronto Star should know better. This issue is too important to not have all the facts on the table. More details on the people quoted in the Star article can be found here

    Posted by Greg Staples on February 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    All the news that fits the agenda

    The Globe and Mail reports that Famous Players has stopped showing ads advocating same-sex marriage which were produced by Canadian for Equal Marriage and run (sort of) gratis. (Salah Bachir, president of Famous Players Media, the advertising arm of the theatre chain, paid for the advertising himself.) The story quotes various Famous Players and Famous Player Media executives saying that they ended the campaign because of abusive calls including death threats. Earlier this month, the Canadian Family Action Coalition, the Catholic Civil Rights League, REAL Women, Campaign Life Coalition and the EPC Centre called for a boycott of Famous Players until they 1) stoppped running the ads and 2) gave equal free time to the pro-traditional marriage side. During the course of discussions with Famous Players it was discovered that the cineplex chain was scheduled to end the ad campaign on February 18. LifeSiteNews.com reported this on Tuesday. Nowhere in today's Globe and Mail story does it mention that fact. It seems that Famous Players and the Globe saw an opportunity to use the boycott as a way to delegitimize those who oppose same-sex marriage. This is not to say that some individuals did not cross the line in their letters and calls to Famous Players. But it is clear that aggressive and foolish correspondence was not the cause of the end of the pro-gay marriage ads. Shame on Famous Players and the Globe for implying such was the case.

    Clarification: While it is true that Nuria Bronfman, vice president of corporate affairs for Famous Players, told the Globe and Mail (in the paper's words) that it "would be erroneous to say the slides are being pulled because of the boycott or of opposition," it is clear that the impression that the Globe wanted to give was that they were pulled because of the threats. The question remains: why not tell the whole story that these ads were to be discontinued after February 18?

    Posted by Paul Tuns on February 19, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


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


    Patients flock to private Gatineau MD


    PM's claim that Syrians 'keep peace' is 'valid': Islamic group

    Aerospace giant received $1.5B in…handouts since 82

    Cancelled NHL may be on again today

    foods tainted by cancer-linked additive exported to Canada







    Suicide Bombers Kill at Least 35 in Baghdad Area

    FDA Panel Opens Door For Return Of Vioxx

    N.Y. Man Arrested Over Instant-Message Spam

    The final proof: global warming is a man-made disaster

    Bush rejects moves to boost EU military might

    Sinn Féin crisis over police raids

    US and Japan to renew joint security pact

    Supermarket alert on cancer food dye

    Bush à l'Europe : «Travaillons ensemble»

    FAA Issues Directive… (Washington Post on Bombardier)

    A Last-Second Save for Hockey? (NY Times)

    Posted by Norman Spector on February 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    A right turn for the Charest government?

    Quebec Premier Jean Charest has just made a major cabinet shuffle. The most important change took place in the Finance portfolio: Michel Audet will replace Yves Séguin as Minister of Finance.

    When Yves Séguin made his first budget speech in June 2003, he said in true libertarian fashion that "rather than asking what the state can do for us, we should ask ourselves what we can do without it." At this time, most people thought that dirigisme was over and that major cuts in taxes, regulations and government spending were on the way.

    But this is not what happened. The budget presented by Séguin in March 2004 was, as he described it in his own words, "a social democratic budget." After Séguin resigned today, he said he saw himself as "a social conscience" in the Charest government.

    The new Minister of Finance, Michel Audet, is said by most analysts to be more right-wing than Séguin. The next budget will soon be tabled and we will see if it will be the budget Séguin should have delivered a year ago.

    Posted by Laurent Moss on February 18, 2005 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Death Of Liberalism

    Martin Peretz tells us that liberalism is nearing its end:

    Peter Beinart has argued, also in these pages ("A Fighting Faith," December 13, 2004), the case for a vast national and international mobilization against Islamic fanaticism and Arab terrorism. It is typologically the same people who wanted the United States to let communism triumph--in postwar Italy and Greece, in mid-cold war France and late-cold war Portugal--who object to U.S. efforts right now in the Middle East. You hear the schadenfreude in their voices--you read it in their words--at our troubles in Iraq. For months, liberals have been peddling one disaster scenario after another, one contradictory fact somehow reinforcing another, hoping now against hope that their gloomy visions will come true.

    I happen to believe that they won't. This will not curb the liberal complaint. That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.

    The New Republic is in my opinion one of the last bastions of traditional liberal thought. Sure their content drifts around a bit but for the most part their opinions are well thought out and logical.

    Between Peretz and Beinart it seems that even liberals are starting to see that their philosophy has run its course. A philosophy doesn't lose it's relevance overnight. It takes years for a way of thinking to wear itself out. One could also claim that the original liberal objectives have for the most part been accomplished and that liberalism has gradually lost its relevance.

    Regardless, the demise of liberalism has coinsided with the presidency of G.W. Bush which in many ways explains the appearance of a sudden liberal collapse. The acceptance of conservative positions, at least in the United States, in many ways follows Arthur Scholpenhauer's 'three phases of the truth'.

    Before September 11, liberals ridiculed G.W. Bush (and by association his policies), implying that he was inept and dim-witted (the ridicule stage). After September 11, the extreme liberal left in the United States became unhinged in its condemnation of American actions and motives (violent opposition stage). And finally, we have Peretz and Beinart accepting the fact that conservatism is the accepted truth in American politics (self-evident stage).

    So what does this mean for Canadian politics? Personally I have no idea. I do believe that liberal thought in Canada is just as hollow and empty as in the United States, but I'm not sure if that will lead to conservative positions being dominant here. The first reason I have my doubts is that many Canadians have an instinctive reflex to position themselves against American opinion. The second reason is that perhaps Canada has gone too far down the path to socialism. Canada might simply have too many people whose livelihoods depend on the good graces of government.

    If only I had a crystal ball...

    crossposted to canadiancomment

    Posted by Dana on February 18, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Fighting Obesity

    Now that all the great and the good are convinced of the virtues of the fight against obesity, I'm sure they'll be supportive of a private initiative that actually takes the condition seriously. After all, obesity is the hottest, politically correct public health concern of the day, so how could any right-thinking progressive object to any private measures that combat it?

    On that note, I'm sure they all hope this is just the beginning of a trend in workplace public health measures:

    On Monday, the flashy Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, known for its cleavage-baring booze servers, will start weighing all its "Borgata Babes" — and those who gain more than 7 percent will lose their jobs unless they lose the weight.

    The new policy has infuriated women's groups and the waitress' union — but the hotel said it was merely advocating for its guests.

    Of course the hotel really should dress up their justification in more self-righteous rhetoric for PR purposes.

    Posted by Kevin Jaeger on February 18, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack