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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Thank God he lost

John Kerry has been on a tour of Arab nations including Syria, Egypt and France. Not to promote American interests or secure allies for American policy, but to denounce it to fawning foreigners.

"All countries in the region have great interest in ending the violence in Iraq and they actually feel frustrated because they don't see necessary steps taken to achieve security and stability," he said.

Does Kerry really believe that Syria or Iran want the Iraqi violence to be replaced with a secure and stable democracy?

Of course, this isn't the first time that Kerry has gone abroad to meet with and encourage enemies of America.

Posted by Ezra Levant on January 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Shocking news that Canadians hold recent PMs in low regard

An Angus Reid poll finds that the three least liked living Canadians are Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney. Six of the next seven top (bottom?) ten are politicians. (The only one who wasn't is Don Cherry.) It is understandable although you would think killers like Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka might find their way onto the list.

That said, our recent prime ministers -- and I would go back farther than Mulroney to at least Pearson and perhaps St. Laurent -- lacked competency and dignity. As Canadians we probably resent the mediocrities that have occupied 12 Sussex over the past 40 years. But Chretien and Martin, in particular, have been dismal. They lack vision, are middling handlers of the machinery of government and did not live up to their billing -- Martin to correct the democratic deficit and improve relations with the United States, Chretien to bring in a new era of ethics after nine years of Mulroney scandals. To understand why Chretien rated so high, I would suggest buying and reading Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal. (I know, I'm shameless.) Here's a hint: he mismanaged numerous programs, paid off associates, blocked numerous investigations into ministerial and PMO wrong-doing, further centralized power in the PMO and abused his office to settle scores against, among others, Mulroney and Conrad Black.  Here's what Ezra Levant wrote about Jean Chretien (the book):

"But while Chretien’s term as prime minister will likely be regarded by historians as one of Canada’s least important, it is important that it be understood. Not just an accurate historical record is at stake ­ and there, Tuns’ research is exemplary, documenting every scandal and foul-up of note. But it is important, too, because under Chretien Canada’s slide to mediocrity increased in pace.

Here is where Tuns shines ­ drawing together the dozens of little embarrassments, excesses and fiascos into a theme, that the Chretien years were years of slow degeneration, like a bone gradually deprived of calcium. Tuns’ catalogue of problems, from the wasteful firearms registry to the systematic destruction of the independence of individual MPs, tells us just how far Canada has slipped from Laurier’s dream of a Canadian century."

I am certain that Canadians are disgusted by the fact that such small men  -- would Chretien and Martin  accomplish much in any field outside of politics (without the help of Paul Desmarais and Maurice Strong)? -- rose to highest elected job in Canada.  Our recent PMs have allowed this country -- our military, our economy -- to become mediocre; we should hold them in such low esteem.

Posted by Paul Tuns on January 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ingratitude

Read Mona Charen's latest about an appalling place called Indonesia. Forget about ingratitude -- that's irritating, but unimportant. What should be remembered is not the snub, but the effect: Like Sri Lanka rejecting Israeli tsunami relief, Indonesia is putting anti-Christian, anti-American political point-scoring ahead of aid to its citizens.

Posted by Ezra Levant on January 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

When Everyone Is Hitler

In an era where Bush = Hitler, Ashcroft = Hitler (Rumsfeld would equal Rommel, if the left had any clue who Rommel was), I suppose it should come as a relief that there are still some individuals who are denied the right to invoke Nazi Germany, even in ill-considered "fun". The entire media kerfuffle over Prince Harry should seem bizarre in today's atmosphere of rampant "Nazi-ism", if it weren't so completely predictable.

David Frum ;

Doesn't CS Lewis somewhere have an observation that it's a trick of the devil's to persuade an age to go rushing to the gunwhales away from the sin to which they are in no danger of succumbing - tipping the boat into the sin from which they are in danger? (If anybody has the actual quote, please send it along so I can replace the unwieldy sentence above.) Europe in general and the UK in particular are in ZERO danger of succumbing to the menace of German Nazism. Meanwhile, genuine fascists dressed in keffiyehs are engaged in thuggery, subversion, assassination, and terrorism on European soil. Can't we persuade the journalists busy inveighing against poor Harry to take on that cause instead?

Frankly, I personally find it much less disturbing that Harry wore a swastika to a party that his father, the future King Charles III, is reported to enjoy relaxing in Islamic bedouin robes at home.


Poor Harry might have saved himself a lot of trouble by adding a George W. Bush mask to the costume.


(crossposted to SDA)

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 15, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

First Post

Please excuse an experimental and tentative first post!

Let me link two of my interests, politics and Robert W Service. In RWS's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" he says "Now a promise made is a debt unpaid and the trail has it's own stern code". It is too bad the political trail doesn't have a similar stern code. Now a piece of unsolicited advice, and probably unwanted by many politicians: take note Paul Martin and Judy Sgro: "A promise unmade is a promise unbroken".

Bob Wood

Posted by Bob Wood on January 15, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Give Me Liberty

Alaa;

As for the elections, they are doing their best to intimidate and threaten people. What can be more abominable than this; openly intimidating people from participating in the first truly free elections in the history of not only Iraq but also probably the entire region. And what lame excuses they give! The security situation? But it is you gentlemen who are responsible for the havoc. And; what guarantee can there be if the elections are postponed that the situation will not get worse? In fact, we all know that you will do your damn best to aggravate it further in the vane hope that you might achieve your vile objectives. Fair elections cannot be held under occupation! : As if we ever saw any fair elections when there was no "occupation" for almost a whole century when your minority clan was lording over the people. Besides, Palestinian elections were recently held under Israeli occupation, and we did not see anybody objecting. You are not telling us that the Israeli occupation is better than the presence of the MNF who have liberated the country from your tyranny. Oh, and they want a precise timetable for the MNF to leave. That, we assure you does not stem from any patriotic sentiment. You can be certain that within few hours from the departure of the last American soldier, the old Saddam military and security apparatus will reemerge from their holes, reinforced this time with the vampires of the Bin Laden clan and their likes. The pogrom that would ensue then would be a horror unparalleled in the entire history of genocide and mass murder. In fact, it would be merciful, if our American friends "nuke" the whole place before leaving (to use the cute expression I have read somewhere). That would eliminate the scum while giving the rest of the population a quick death, which is better than the horrible torture that could await them; a kind of mercy killing, you might say: Euthanasia.

Well, I am sorry, but these are horrible thoughts for the New Year. Nevertheless, do not go thinking that we have weakened. This time America is right, and the Iraqi people will never allow the clock to be turned back. No matter what sacrifices are required: We Shall Overcome.

Love to all our friends in America and elsewhere: You shall be proud of the Iraqi people, your grateful friends.


Sadly, it's hard to tell whether he's speaking of the terrorists who are targeting the innocent, and slaughtering Iraqi security forces - or to the political left and their co-conspirators in the western media.


Posted by Kate McMillan on January 15, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

In France, supporters of Jacques Chirac want to accord him judicial immunity after he leaves office, in order to keep him out of jail for life.

A polemic has broken out over immigration quotas. Parisians will commemorate the 30the anniversary of abortion rights in France.

In the UK, the young Prince is still in the poop and his Daddy ain’t talking. Charles’ architectural adviser is, and he’s pooped on the government’s housing plans.

Families of tsunami victims are in legal limbo. Patients need patience and the luck of the draw to get medical care.

The Financial Times fronts those damn Yanks on Wall Street want to get up earlier and steal business from the City. The Titan probe has touched down.

In the US, too, Titan is front-page news, as is the latest Israeli-Palestinian dispute. So much for heady optimism.

However, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post lead with the first Abu Ghraib conviction.

The Post fronts a fine survey of the tsunami damage. The Los Angeles Times goes below the fold with the Iraq election.

The editorial board looks at junk food and at government propaganda. The Washington Post’s editorial board is onto reconstruction in the disaster areas.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at the end of the Mideast honeymoon and weighs in on EU aircraft subsidies and baseball drug testing.

David Brooks says more women should have children, and more of them. Nicholas Kristof looks at sex-trafficking in Cambodia.

At home, Ralph Klein says mad cow disease is BS. He and Jean Charest are singing from the same song sheet on health care.

Unlike Charest, Klein's not planning a smoking ban though; hell, half his constituents still think seat belts are a commie plot.

Less than a day after hospital cuts hit the headlines, Ontario ’s Premier is already backing down.

Toronto ’s Mayor, after nixing disaster aid, jetted off to Paris for an international chin-wag on the subject.

Sgro long--says one paper; others have fun with the several variations on all-dressed pizza.

Her replacement is a Martin loyalist who has better hair than Sgro, though still not in the department of the foreign affairs’ minister, Paris’ Pierre Pettigrew, who's coping with the pressure.

Sgro's accuser is no angel either, it turns out--today's top story. And Sgro’s constituents appreciate her.

Nevertheless, Sgro is gone and Paul Martin is going—to Asia. He’s trying to help some journalists come along for the ride and cover the trip. A major energy deal is in the works.

Frank McKenna is going, too—to Washington. He assures us he’s not really a Bushie or a Carlyle fellow-traveller.

Martin has agreed to meet Premier Danny Millions to talk Billions. The new CDS has been promised more money for the military; I hope he got it in writing, and to the fifth decimal point.

In the Ottawa Sun, Greg Weston wades in on poor Judy. In Winnipeg, Tom Brodbeck says Manitoba is worst in Canada for MRI’s.

The Toronto Star, after getting her head served up on a pizza platter yesterday, fronts a defiant Sgro and some damaging poop on her accuser today--today's tops story. And, inside, the Star serves up a sympathetic portrait of Sgro.

For the initiated out there, I believe this is known as media ethics.

Tim Harper says Washington is about to see a four-day “orgy” of Republican euphoria, and that Christian Evangelicals expect George Bush to entrench their fundamentalist beliefs; there go the orgies.

The Star is “pushing the envelope” with its re-designed Sunday edition. Linda Diebel is onto Chief Fantino’s replacement. Bob Hepburn says medicare is under assault and he knows how to fix it.

Stephen Handleman looks at a Canadian involved in saving the UN’s reputation. Kerry Gillespie is with the RCMP in Thailand.

Olivia Ward looks back at Canadian diplomats in Teheran 25 years ago. Andrew Mills is with Canadian aid in Aceh.

Jim Travers looks at Paul Martin, and looks back fondly to Jean Chrétien. (Here’s Bernard Descôteaux’s take in Le Devoir.)

The Star’s editorial board says the PM can learn a lesson from the affair, and urges Martin to get tough with China.

The Globe and Mail fronts the Titan touchdown, Judy Sgro and Judy Sgro on why she had to go.

In the wake of the Williams/Wente war of words, Graeme Smith and Roy MacGregor do the Confederation calculation for Newfoundland.

In commentary, a proud son of that province, Rex Murphy, says he really likes his colleague who says she really likes Newfoundlanders, before unloading on her:

“After all, if you write a column describing Newfoundlanders as "picking the pockets of Chinese dry cleaners and Korean variety-store owners who work 90 hours a week," describe them as "surly" ingrates, "gobbling" cod tongues while they luxuriate in a great "scenic welfare ghetto," and, in general, put down everyone in Newfoundland as part of a set of lazy, self-indulging, whining spongers — rote-chanting "I like Newfoundlanders" doesn't salvage the piece from being one sour, willful, collective putdown.

It's a nasty cast of mind that traffics so generously in stereotypes. The Chinese are drycleaners; Koreans know only convenience stores; Newfoundlanders are shiftless pickpockets. It's a spurious contrast she sets up and she knows it.”

Personally, I think it’s time to move on; any columnist—even fine ones like Wente--can have a bad day, which is what she had when she wrote that column.

Today, for example, Wente shows her stuff on Rick Mercer's “one-tonne challenge" and disembowels the government’s Kyoto commitment; we are after all, further than any other signatory from meeting our target:

“Kyoto was a folly from the beginning, and Mr. Martin surely knew it. Canada signed on to deeper cuts than any other nation, and making them would be economically ruinous. Besides, even if you do believe that cutting greenhouse gases will affect climate change (a highly iffy proposition), Canada's actions won't make the slightest difference to the fate of the planet. We're an itty-bitty nation in a great big world. Sure, we squander energy. But even if we sacrificed our hearts out, the new cars on the road in Beijing next year alone would cancel out all our good deeds and then some.

By the way, although I expect Mr. Martin won't bring this up either, the Kyoto Protocol is dead as a doornail. Officially, it will limp along until 2012, although other nations won't meet their commitments, either. They know Kyoto doesn't matter, because not only the United States but the entire developing world, including India and China , have refused to sign on. Australia , being more sensible than we are, didn't sign on. And many of the European Union nations won't renew in 2012. ( Italy has already said it won't.) That's because Kyoto is unworkable, and everybody knows it except our bureaucrats, who are gamely pressing on in the teeth of all the evidence.”

Jeff Simpson weighs in with some sensible thoughts on the Sgro resignation, though it's hard for any PM to resist nonsense in cabinet-making:

“There should be a new operating rule for federal cabinet-making.

The fisheries minister should not come from any region where fish are caught. The agriculture minister should not represent a farming area. The industry minister should not come from grant-hungry Montreal. And no immigration minister should be from Toronto.”

The editorial board takes the same tack:

“What the country needs is an immigration minister with a strong policy focus, from a riding where he (or she) owes few political favours that might overwhelm that focus, and with the rigour to withstand the many voices crying out for special favours. What it got with Ms. Sgro, and what it now gets with Mr. Volpe, are ministers from Toronto, who have been immersed in the politics of Toronto.

In fact, Mr. Volpe is the government's senior political minister for Ontario, and has political responsibilities for Toronto. He has a mandate from his party to do favours. It is not a résumé to inspire confidence that he can resist the pressure to please individual constituents rather than steer immigration in the favour-free path it needs to follow for all Canada's sake.”

Another editorialist looks at Sri Lanka:

“The Tamil Tigers were furious that Mr. Annan's visit was scrapped, and they are equally disappointed that Prime Minister Paul Martin turned down their invitation to visit Tamil territory when he visits Sri Lanka Monday. Mr. Martin is scheduled to visit the DART team deployed in Amparai on the island's east coast. In Colombo , he will meet with humanitarian agencies, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and members of parliament, including Tamils.

This is an opportunity for Mr. Martin to state that, now that the world's attention is on Sri Lanka, both sides should start substantive peace talks and that Canada 's experience with federalism may offer some ideas. Former Ontario premier Bob Rae, an adviser in the peace process, says the first step is for both sides to recognize the legitimacy of sharing a geographic space. As he points out, the Tigers must move from a guerrilla group to a democratic political party and Sri Lanka 's political establishment must abandon notions of a centralized unitary state and accept a pluralist, federal system of governance.”

The National Post editorial board says the Immigration department needs more than a new minister. The paper fronts Sgro, and her accuser, along with a profile of US conservatives and table hockey.

Inside the Post, Terence Corcoran inveighs against Corporate Social Responsibility. John Ivison weighs in on Judy Sgro:

“The very best that can be said about Sgro is that she has been let down by her staff. Her campaign office appears to have been like a drop-in centre for itinerant immigration applicants. Political staff on leave from the Immigration department, like Sgro's former chief of staff Ihor Wons, were said to have promised to help a number of applicants. Wons, you will remember, is the individual who was so fed up with the sleaze of politics that he held a business meeting in the House of Lancaster strip club in Toronto .

Nobody comes out of this case covered in glory. Sgro said she didn't know the pizza delivery man but he has filed as evidence a certificate signed by her thanking him for his "outstanding contribution to my 2004 re-election campaign." Her office claimed there was nothing untoward in the donation by the Pakistani businessman but later returned the cheque.

As for the Prime Minister, he has proven once again that his time spent learning at the feet of Jean Chretien was not entirely wasted. Despite assurances that his government would introduce Olympian standards of ethical behaviour, Martin clung loyally to his minister, insisting she showed "the greatest transparency," long after many on his own side believed there was enough evidence to cut her loose.”

Andrew Coyne poops on subsidies to the film industry:

“Just how insane is this? Let me count the ways. To the pointless zero-sum game of three provinces throwing vast amounts of money at foreign producers, only to battle each other to a draw -- the same result could have been achieved at much less expense if everyone had simply dropped their tax credits to zero -- add the typically inert federal response. This sort of ruinous interprovincial protectionism is exactly the sort of thing the federal government was called into existence to prevent. Yet for decades it has failed to do so, preferring to leave matters to the provinces to negotiate amongst themselves.

Of course, the zero-sum game isn't only between the provinces. The whole business of subsidizing one industry over another (and it is a subsidy, even if it pleases the industry to accept it in the form of a tax credit) is the same, not least because it seems virtually every industry in this country is in receipt of some sort of subsidy. The taxes paid by corporations in the film business will in part go to subsidize the aerospace industry; the aerospace industry's taxes help to subsidize the auto industry; the auto industry pays to subsidize the film business. Everyone pays higher taxes so that everyone can claim a tax credit; Peter is robbed to pay Paul to pay Peter….

If you dropped a billion dollars in cash at the corner of Yonge and Bloor, it would have the same multiplier effects. Every industry is a spinoff of every other industry. It's just that some have better press agents than others.”

Robert Fulford looks at Rathergate; even he can have an off-day, it seems, since most of the column is regurgitated Peggy Noonan, as diligent readers of this press review will immediately recognize:

“So Dan Rather got away with it again. In a sense, however, he was probably sincere. His professional experience seems to have left him with an unassailable sense of moral worth and, at the same time, an aversion to self-examination. When he was a young man putting his political views in place while he learned the craft of journalism, American opinion was largely in the hands of what are now called liberals. In those days, the 1950s and 1960s, liberals were so smug that they didn't know they were liberals. They assumed they were simply holding the only opinions decent people could hold.

This allowed them to operate by a liberal consensus while honestly believing they were neutral -- rather like producers at the CBC today. American liberals judged all politicians by how well they adhered to liberal principles. So far as the networks and the big newspapers knew, conservatives were scattered and negligible.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Vancouver Sun reports that the US will fix the Pacific tsunami-warning system. In Victoria, a human resources worker was stabbed.

The editorial board is sad to see Sgro go. Their counterparts in Calgary are not.

The Windsor Star fronts a Bishop who’s urging parishioners to fight same-sex marriage.

The Montréal Gazette has Sgro along with Klein and Charest singing from the same song sheet. The editorial board poops on increased funding for Jewish schools.

The Ottawa Citizen fronts nuclear waste, Crosby’s jersey and bilingualism in Eastern Ontario.

Inside the Citizen, Don Martin tosses in his two cents on Sgro’s accuser:

“The nagging questions: Is he credible? Is his story true?

On one hand, the details are so specific and backed by such a pattern of Sgro's alleged misconduct, the Singh story screams plausibility. On the other, Singh's battle with his own mental demons, and Sgro's emphatic denials of every single fact in the affidavit sound a note of caution.

Ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro is expected to have his say next month when he rules on this case and other examples of her office's iffy conduct.”

Posted by Norman Spector on January 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, January 14, 2005

This Friday's shameless super-plug

We're getting better and better all the time. The new issue of the Western Standard (Jan. 31, 2005) is being shipped out now, with the cover story on missile defense by new bright light Andrea Mrozek, and the magazine has a new look. As Ezra Levant remarks in his Publisher's Letter, "More of a good thing":

First, we’ve freshened up our editorial design, keeping the best of the magazine’s unique look from the past year, but adding more colour and making the layout more reader-friendly. It’s our first real tune-up to our look since we launched, and I think it’s great. Of course, the main thing is that our content is just as strong as ever.

Stronger, even.You’ll notice some new writers. For example, Colby Cosh--who has written cover stories for us about the politicization of the Supreme Court, and Preston Manning’s new green conservatism--is now a regular columnist. He’s one of Canada’s best writers, but Western Standard readers will get to see a new side of Colby, as he applies his unique insights to the world of sport.

Here's a little taste of Colby in the latest issue from his column "A new king fo the hill" aboul ski champion Thomas Grandi:

Most of us, I daresay, would rather watch a downhill practice run than a giant slalom race. It doesn’t take a lot of expertise to appreciate the downhill’s gravitational imperative; it more or less comes down to staying in the tuck and not breaking your neck. If you’re like me, you can’t really tell what makes one skier more successful than another on the slalom course. But for the truly learned, the slalom and the giant slalom offer the purest, headiest form of the sport. The technical events play the fine red wine to the downhill’s fizzy proletarian lager.

One of the things that's still there, and what we'd like to highlight for those of you who have never seen the magazine, is the Tim Rotheisler drawing that accompanies each Mark Steyn column. Putting Steyn and Rotheisler on the same page is--in a nod to our new sports writer Colby Cosh--like putting Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri together on the ice (for those of you too young to recall that pairing with the Edmonton Oilers in the '80s, that means "very good").

Here's Tim's latest, Prime Minister Paul Martin doing a little Maple Leaf navel gazing on the beach.Rotheisler050131

As Mr. Steyn writes in his column, available Monday:

To show how much he cares, Jean Chrétien, after 9/11, went to a mosque; after SARS broke out, he went to a Chinese restaurant. After the tsunami, the prime minister no doubt toyed with going to a luxury resort in Phuket for three weeks, but as it turned out three quarters of the cabinet were already on the beach in their thongs and in no hurry to return.

Professing how much you care is not quite the same as caring--see previous columns in this space on native policy, etc. Conservatives learned long ago that no matter how destructive “progressive” policies are in practice, their rhetorical kindliness trumps all. Even so, the tsunamis set new records in the ever-widening chasm between the real world and the left’s pieties.

Yes, folks, you get Mark Steyn, Colby Cosh, Michael Coren, Karen Selick, David Warren, Ted Byfield, Pierre Lemieux, Ric Dolphin, Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams ALL IN ONE MAGAZINE! Whew! Q: Will Canadian media ever be the same? A: Too late to be asking that.

Subscribe here.

Posted by westernstandard on January 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Skimp on the cheese and it's back to Calcutta

Watch next week's issue of the Standard for Kevin Steel's excellent story about the anti-slavery groups that are digging up all kinds of dirt on the Liberals' complicity with international organized criminals. Gangsters have been using the stripper visa exemption to smuggle underage girls into Canada and force them into prostitution and pornography.

Of course, the whole thing wouldn't have come to light had Immigration Minister Judy Sgro not revealed the existence of a fasttrack program for strippers after one of her campaign workers benefited from it.

Now, it turns out that Sgro may have had a similar, if ad hoc, program for pizza cooks, also: The Toronto Star has an affidavit from Harjit Singh who, after turning to Sgro for help with his refugee status, was given the message that if he supplied some pepperoni pies and campaign workers to Sgro's campaign, he might get the help he needed.

"I told her my whole situation and she assured me that if I helped out in her election campaign she would get me immigration in Canada," says the father of three in his affidavit.

Now, Sgro is resigning, and Joe Volpe is stepping into Immigration. Volpe, the HR minister, was actually the main advocate of closing the exotic dancer loophole after he woke up to the fact that it was being worked by traffickers. But, as Bob Fife noted in the Post in December:

"Human Resources Minister Joe Volpe killed the stripper program on Dec. 15, but sources say he had to fight his own officials, who claimed intimidation by organized crime led to its creation."

Oh my. Who knows what sort of menacing characters are behind this pizza-man program and who they've gotten to.

Posted by Kevin Libin on January 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Most Important Thing You Will Do Today

Prove the existence of God!

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on January 14, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Libranos: Coin Operated


Posted by Kate McMillan on January 14, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s comments are still stirring controversy. Two journalists are still missing in Iraq. Nicholas Sarkozy is staking out ground against Jacques Chirac.

In the UK, Maggie’s son copped a plea, while Diana’s is still in deep doo-doo. Dad is reported to have instructed the young man to visit Auschwitz at the other end of his skiing holiday.

The middle class will be paying higher fines for the same offence, but the Blair government is backing down on new bribery rules for business.

The Guardian leads with a new Human Rights Watch report that condemns the US, which seems to be ignoring the whole thing. And US papers continue to move on from the tsunami disaster.

The New York Times off-leads baseball and steroids and, in its lead, chases yesterday’s L. A. Times report on the FBI’s screwed-up computer system that may be scrapped.

The Washington Post leads with a CIA report on Iraq as the new breeding ground of terrorism, and fronts Baghdad café election chatter.

The Los Angeles Times fronts the latest high-profile assassination in Iraq. The editorial board weighs in on Jack Johnson, the latest Ken Burns documentary. Andrew Gumbel looks at Harry’s inappropriate dress code.

At home, the tsunami disaster is still very much in the news. Last night, CBC broadcast, live, three hours of Canada for Asia. And Toronto again rejected a motion to donate city money to the relief effort.

The Prime Minister is heading out to Asia next week to see for himself. He’s hardly uttered a peep about beef. The rancher says he followed all the rules.

There were more than a few peeps at the Gomery Inquiry yesterday. In the Vancouver Sun, yours truly weighs in on this week’s goings-on.

There will be lots of peeps soon in Ontario, which is ordering hospitals to lay off staff. Ottawa is ordering a Hungarian heroine to leave the country.

Ralph Klein is spoiling for a fight with Ottawa. And he’s advising Stephen Harper to start duking it out. Gary Doer was in Vancouver, campaigning for the NDP.

Ottawa, the City, is embroiled in a sign language war. The feds are trying to figure out what to do about Kyoto. Jack Layton has a plan.

Validating the scoop the Globe stole from the Star, Frank McKenna will be appointed ambassador to the US today.

Good luck Frank, and don’t let the bureaucrats order a new carpet for the residence--is my advice.

In today’s scoop which no one will be able to steal, the Star reports that Judy Sgro is history. Or herstory. Whatever.

Back in the US, the New York Times’ editorial board looks at the Supremes’ decision on mandatory sentencing guidelines, the FBI screw-up and Ukraine pulling its troops out of Iraq.

Paul Krugman looks at British experience with privatized pensions. The Washington Post’s editorial board is onto Venezuela and the Supreme Court sentencing decision.

Robert J. Samuelson says the demographic problem is about more than social security. Charles Krauthammer poops on Dan Rather. E. J. Dionne Jr. weighs in with thoughts on a new liberalism.

The Wall Street Journal fronts NHL hockey, of all things. The editorial board looks at the Supreme Court’s paragraphs on sentences.

Brian Anderson says conservatives are infiltrating campuses. Bret Stephens is onto gays claiming Honest Abe as one of their own.

The Toronto Star fronts a victory for Darwinism in the US and drug-testing the cops—along with Judy Sgro’s resignation--today’s top story.

Jim Travers asks why the ditherer didn't turf her sooner. Lynda Hurst looks at Prince Harry’s gaffe. Mitch Potter is onto violence in Gaza.

The editorial board says Toronto needs a bold vision to be great; plus the gas tax, I guess.

Another editorialist says the absence of WMD in Iraq proves the US does not have all the right answers, all the time, while a third says shame on Harry.

Carol Goar presents a senior going on welfare. Chantal Hébert looks at the PM’s post-tsunami performance.

The Globe and Mail fronts mad cow and a dead diver, along with Sri Lanka accusing Canada of cozying up to Tamils, who are recruiting tsunami orphans.

From Vancouver, Mark Hume reports on longhouse deaths. Inside, also from the Wet Coast, Jane Armstrong reports on scuba diving thrills, while Stephanie Nolen reports of factory owners fleeing Lesotho.

From the UN, Shawn McCarthy serves up the Human Rights Watch report that leads in today’s Guardian. From Jerusalem, Matthew Kalman reports that Hamas is not turning swords into ploughshares.

In commentary, Rick Salutin’s economic ignorance is profound. Today, he wades into the Wente-Williams word war, arguing that Newfoundland got poor because Ontarians got rich and that Canadians are getting richer because of program cuts to the poor; the column deteriorates from there, despite the philosophical jargon.

Jeff Simpson is dubious that Ralph Klein is serious about health care reform; after reading the following passage, I’m wondering whether Simpson understands that Klein—as an article in today’s Globe suggests--is talking about something more/other than private delivery of health care:

“The debate about moving to more private delivery is going to happen. Arithmetic will drive governments there, regardless of ideology, provincial size or fiscal capacity. It's the public policy tragedy of the past decade that Canadians missed that debate in the failed Romanow commission, Senate reports and provincial task forces.”

The editorial board, in contrast, understands completely what’s going on:

“If the publicly funded system cannot afford to provide that quality of care for all, it should own up. The system should not pretend to provide equal access to necessary medical care (a cancer diagnosis is on the high end of necessary) while turning a blind eye to queue-jumping.

Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia have private diagnostic clinics charging patients for necessary care, according to Health Canada. Quebec has by the far the most. "If some people don't want to wait and they want to pay, that's their personal choice," says Dominique Breton, a spokeswoman for the Quebec Health Ministry. Unfortunately, it's a choice that not all Quebeckers have the luxury of making.”

The National Post and The Ottawa Citizen front layoffs in Ontario hospitals and the undermanned military that will remain undermanned because of bureaucratic bungling.

The Montréal Gazette fronts Adscam, nurses’ French tests and Jewish school funding. The editorial board praises Ralph Klein’s health care ideas. Their counterparts at Le Devoir pan the school funding.

The Post adds the MRI gap and a hotline for Ontarians upset by the tsunami pictures to the front page mix. The Citizen features the Rockland sign war.

Inside, the editorial board sides with Gomery, and says merchants should decide the language of signs. Susan Riley wades in on BSE:

“agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell and his officials seem more preoccupied with defending beef producers than with eliminating any possibility of a human death from BSE. With startling complacency, they are now treating what they call "a low and declining" level of BSE in Canadian cattle as a fact of life. Last December, we were told the incidence of the disease was "negligible." So what is it -- negligible, present in low numbers, or do they even know?”

Inside the Post, Peter Foster looks at Nortel. Sheila Copps poops on Margaret Wente:

“To characterize the province's premier as a "deadbeat brother-in-law,"as The Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente did, and to reinforce the stereotypes of the lazy Newfie does more to destroy our common bonds as a country than any flag-lowering.

I'm from "away," but I want my friends on the Rock to know that not all Canadians support the stereotyped diatribes filling some of our national newspapers these days. In fact, Wente's comments were akin to racial stereotyping, and she should be held accountable. One would never get away with that vitriol if describing a religious or racial group -- so why should she be allowed to denigrate a whole region of the country?”

The editorial board craps on Jim Karygiannis:

“Mr. Karygiannis, recall, has made headlines for his connections to the Tamil Tigers before. In addition to appearing -- alongside Paul Martin (then the finance minister) and fellow Liberal MPs Maria Minna, Roy Cullen and Bryon Wilfert -- at a 2000 dinner hosted by a Sri Lankan group that was documented as a front for terrorists, Mr. Karygiannis showed up at a Toronto party celebrating the Tamil Tigers' recent campaigns and proudly hoisted the Canadian flag alongside the Tigers' flag. So as he tours northern Sri Lanka meeting with leaders of the Tigers' political wing, Canadians have ample reason to be concerned.

Representing the riding of Scarborough-Agincourt, Mr. Karygiannis likely has more Tamils in his constituency than any other Canadian MP -- and most of them, no doubt, have no connection to any terrorist group. It is only reasonable for him to work diligently to represent their interests -- especially at a time when their friends and family back home are still recovering from a horrific natural disaster. But that does not give Mr. Karygiannis licence to cozy up to one of the world's most brutal terrorist groups.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Calgary Herald fronts the rancher who owned the mad cow. The editorial board says older ones should be culled.

In the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington says the PM has an opportunity in China to show his stuff. Christina Blizzard wishes Ontario had someone like Ralph Klein. Yikes.

In Ottawa, Michael Harris re-writes yesterday’s op-eds on CBS. In Calgary, Link Byfield says he prefers Canada ’s constitution to the American’s.

In Edmonton, Neil Waugh rounds on trade minister Jim Peterson for some unfathomable reason. (Memo to Neil: Max Baucus is an idiot up for re-election. A protectionist. And a Democrat, to boot.)

Posted by Norman Spector on January 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's over for Sgro

[originally posted to Daimnation!]

The Immigration Minister is about to resign:

Federal Immigration Minister Judy Sgro will step down today following allegations she promised a Brampton man asylum in Canada in exchange for assisting in her election campaign.

Sgro's decision to step aside came only hours after the Toronto Star obtained a copy of an affidavit in which pizza shop owner Harjit Singh claims Sgro pressed him to supply food and workers for her campaign last spring.

Singh, a father of three facing deportation from Canada, alleges in the sworn affidavit filed in the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto yesterday that when word of his arrangement with Sgro started to leak out, Sgro suddenly reneged on the deal and last month ordered his arrest and removal from Canada "to save her job."

Last night, federal sources confirmed that Sgro, 60, already at the centre of an ethics investigation over her conduct as immigration minister, would be leaving cabinet until she can clear her name.

[...]

Singh, who is facing deportation next Thursday pending a last-minute hearing, says in his affidavit that he approached Sgro last year to assist him with immigration problems he and his family were having.

"I told her my whole situation and she assured me that if I helped out in her election campaign she would get me immigration in Canada," says the father of three in his affidavit.

Singh, who came to Canada from India in 1988, helped Sgro as she asked, including pizza deliveries to her campaign office, he says in his affidavit.

"I own a pizza store in Brampton and Judy said that she wanted me to deliver pizza, garlic bread etc., to her campaign office in North York. I did this. She also said that she needed 15-16 people to help work in her campaign. I organized this for her as well."

Sgro has spent much of her time lately fending off high-profile allegations that she dispensed political favours.

It was recently revealed Alina Balaican, a 25-year-old stripper from Romania, was granted a ministerial permit to stay in Canada after she volunteered on Sgro's election campaign.

Balaican's husband has told the Star that people with immigration problems flocked to Sgro's campaign office during the election.

Posted by Damian Penny on January 14, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cox And Forkum

Fakesthumb

via Powerline, who have much more.

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 13, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pity he wasn't a famous hockey player

Brig.-Gen. Dollard Menard's war medals, which include the Distinguished Service Order and the French Legion of Honour, will likely end up being sold to a foreigner, says the man heading up the sale.

The Menard family has tried to sell them to the Canadian War Museum but were only offered a tax credit in return.

It's a shame that Menard didn't lose his hockey jersey or had a stick that everyone wanted. Then we'd see that Canadian jingoism, which we only see in Americans, on display. At least Americans are proud of the important things.

Read on.

Posted by Steve Martinovich on January 13, 2005 in Military | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Stop Kyoto at once!

Cutting down on fossil fuel use may cause global warming:

Cutting down on fossil fuel pollution could accelerate global warming and help turn parts of Europe into desert by 2100, according to research to be aired on British television on Thursday. "Global Dimming," a BBC Horizon documentary, will describe research suggesting fossil fuel by-products like sulfur dioxide particles reflect the sun's rays, "dimming" temperatures and almost canceling out the greenhouse effect.

The researchers say cutting down on the burning of coal and oil, one of the main goals of international environmental agreements, will drastically heat rather than cool climate.

Then we must cancel the Kyoto protocol without delay!

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on January 13, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Imagine if Ralph Klein believed what he actually said?

So I'm sure you heard that Ralph Klein on Tuesday was mumbling something about a "third way" of delivering health care in the country, an approach that was somewhere in the middle between public health care and privatized health care. In today's Vancouver Province I discuss what this not so mysterious third way is: a health care system that features both public and private delivery mechanisms. Yes, shocking isn't it? At any rate, if you don't live in Vancouver or don't subscribe to the online edition, you can find the unedited version of the piece here.

Posted by Steve Martinovich on January 13, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Go see

Substance. I like to think I approach it on my weblog occasionally. Liberty Corner lives there year round. A feast for libertarians, and other thinking people.

Posted by Alan Rockwell on January 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aborting gays

There seems to be widespread agreement on the two following propositions:

1) Abortion and gay rights are causes that go hand in hand: social liberals support them both while both are opposed by social conservatives.

2) It is pro-gay to argue that homosexuals are born that way. For example, a survey of the American public by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that "politically, twice as many liberals as conservatives (46% versus 22%) say people are born homosexual." UCLA genetics professor Eric Vilain, speaking of the possible implications of an hypothetical future study that would determine conclusively that homosexuality is genetic, argued that "if it's not a choice, you can't have the typical conservative argument that says you choose this lifestyle so you have to bear the consequences and society has no reason to basically give you any rights because you choose to be an outcast" and that "if you can't do anything about it, therefore you should have all the rights to be integrated into society and have the same rights as heterosexuals in terms of marriage and the rights to inheritance."

However, Steve Sailer challenges these assumptions by pointing out what is likely to happen if a gay gene is indeed discovered:

A gay gene would probably elicit responses similar to the modern responses to the chromosomal abnormality that causes Down Syndrome -- and you'll notice that there are a lot fewer Down Syndrome people around than a few decades ago, due to pregnant women having eugenic abortions.

[...] I'm sure lots of fashionable people would say that they would never abort a fetus with a gay gene, but then you don't hear a lot of people boasting that they would abort a Downs syndrome fetus either, but it sure happens a lot these days. In both cases, parents would have to decide whether they want to go through all the hard work of raising a child without much chance of getting grandchildren in return.

Even more interesting is his analysis of who is likely to abort gay fetuses:

This calculus would especially be likely to be true among blue state liberals who are only planning to have one or two children, and therefore don't feel they can afford to invest in kids who won't pay off fully ... and grandchildren are about the biggest payoff you can get out of childrearing.

A seldom-discussed paradox is that if male homosexuality is proven to originate in a particular "gay gene," then it's likely that the continued existence of gay men in future generations in America will primarily be due to Christians who oppose abortion on religious grounds. Kind of ironic, no? Gays might want to think about that before denouncing Christians.

Some gays seem to have realized this. That's why there is an otherwise implausible association called the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays And Lesbians which published a provocative op-ed in 1997 arguing that gays and lesbians need to "prepare for a time when a woman's 'right to choose' becomes a hunting license to exterminate [gays and lesbians]" and that "if [the gay and lesbian unborns] have a right to life, doesn't every other unborn child have that same right?"

But then I wonder how religious conservatives will feel if they end up being the ones to ensure the perpetuation of homosexuality.

Posted by Laurent Moss on January 13, 2005 in Religion | Permalink | Comments (38) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

With the death toll in Indonesia alone now estimated at 210,000, the papers continue to ease away from the tsunami disaster to focus on domestic concerns.

In the UK, tough times for toffs to report today, I’m afraid. Maggie Thatcher’s son will plead guilty in a Johannesburg courtroom.

State schools have come out ahead of public (i.e., private) schools. Yesterday, Prince Harry was splashed on the front page of the Sun in Nazi regalia.

On the other hand, the Chancellor is in Africa and has some new ideas on saving lives. The Financial Post reports US complicity in oil-for-food—today’s top international story.

At home, CBC reports Canada was close to signing a deal to join the U.S. missile defence program before last June's federal election.

The Inuit will sign a land claims agreement today. DART is showing its stuff in Sri Lanka. Judge Gomery will have a better day today, and so he should.

Pratt and Whitney will gets lots of dough from Ottawa. DND has told the Information Commish to take a hike. It's getting a new CDS.

One day after, it seems that Nortel execs are not exactly facing poverty. Offshore talks with Nova Scotia are going well.

Alberta's mad cow is still making news and excuses, while its Premier is still on the road talking about his way, or the third way, or whatever.

The Prime Minister is about to hit the road again for China —where he’s being told to give them whatfor. He'll also tour the disaster areas, and his officials re-assured Ottawa reporters that he won’t get in the way.

One of those reporters, first day back from vacation, scores today’s top story--about a minister who went on vacation.

Big deal: In the let-them-eat-cake department, a Thai Princess arrives in Whistler today on a vacation scheduled before the tsunami disaster. And new numbers are out on high-living Canadian diplomats.

Runner-up for top story? A Martin backbencher, who seems to be marching to his own drummer in Sri Lanka. What the heck: I suspect Foreign Affairs will be dealing with other matters today.

It was close for runner-up, mind you: another backbencher—a Privy Councillor yet—says the Ukraine election observer mission was tainted by patronage. Quelle horreur.

In France, GP's inked a new deal.  Jean Marie Le Pen says the Nazi occupation of France was not all that bad. Iraq’s president is finally visiting Paris.

In the US, the New York Times and The Washington Post lead with the Supremes on mandatory sentencing guidelines—judges have their discretion back.

The Times fronts new evidence the White House knew about prisoner interrogation methods.

The Post reports the Administration is lowering expectations for Iraq’s elections.

The Los Angeles Times leads with a glitch in FBI software, and fronts more on the Aussie Arar.

The editorial board looks at political conflict in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and rain in California.

Max Boot says it’s premature to fall in love with Abu Mazen. Margaret Carlson says CBS are not as big liars as the Admin.

The New York Times’ editorial board comments on the wind-up of WMD inspections that found zilch. Tom Friedman concludes that the Iraq elections should go ahead.

Frank Rich says CBS is not the only network that deserves criticism. Maureen Dowd says men don’t want to marry smart women, they want mommy or their secretaries.

The Washington Post’s editorial board weighs in on peace in Sudan and internet pharmacies in Canada/Australia.

David Broder looks at homeland security, Jim Hoagland at Iraq after the election. Richard Cohen says CBS capitulated to the Administration.

The Wall Street Journal fronts friction over trade rules for tsunami countries. Peggy Noonan weighs in on CBS and journalism.

Glen Yago and Don McCarthy look at economic growth in the Mideast. The editorial board looks at the oil-for-food audits:

“The audits -- now available www.iic-offp.org -- demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that U.N. headquarters was well aware of serious problems with the program. They also elucidate the motives the Secretariat might have had for sending out a flurry of "hush" letters threatening program contractors with legal action if they cooperated with U.S. investigators. That's because the audits shine a particularly unflattering light on the work of the companies charged with inspecting the oil and goods traded under the program -- Saybolt (oil), and Lloyd's Register and Cotecna (humanitarian imports). …

Which brings us to the fact that the Volcker Commission appears to have drawn some fairly damning conclusions already. In the briefing paper accompanying the release of these audits it marvels at the critical aspects of the program that weren't audited. Although "the potential for abuse was a principal concern of the U.N. team that negotiated the Memorandum of Understanding with Iraq in 1995," the Commission writes, "there were no examinations of the oil and humanitarian contracts" or the processing of letters of credit by BNP Paribas, which handled the program money. Such examinations, the Commission states, might have deterred the surcharge and kickback schemes Saddam used to get around sanctions.

Last April we wrote that Oil for Food had been "so secretively run that it seemed almost designed to facilitate the corruption that fleeced [Iraqis] of billions of dollars in aid." What sunshine we've had from the U.N. since has done nothing to change that conclusion.”

Returning home, the Globe and Mail fronts MRI’s in Nfld., the Crosby jersey, Klein on cattle, and Li pulling out of Canada in a blaze of glory.

From Washington, Paul Koring reports that Indonesia is cracking down on aid workers.

In commentary, Margaret Wente weighs in on mad cow (Memo to Peggy: Check out the failures of Alberta ’s inspection system, and some evidence of shenanigans on this file in Ralph’s world):

“Are we just victims of bad luck? Or has somebody badly bungled this?

The answer is, somebody has badly bungled this. Make that several somebodies, led by your federal government, your watchdogs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the cattle industry itself. They're still in denial, desperately hoping the problem will go away. Meantime, almost everyone who knows something about mad cows says this latest case is no surprise.”

Lawrence Martin says the validity of the Iraq election is riding on the shoulders of Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer; here I thought our observers would be observing from outside Iraq:

“Options are limited. Postponing the election probably would not solve anything. At this stage, a fault-ridden election is likely to be better than none at all.

But the Kingsley group need be wary. If it gives a seal of approval to a corrupt vote, it could bring more hell to Iraq.”

The editorial board defends Judge Gomery:

“A little perspective, please. Judge Gomery's comments to The Globe and Mail and CanWest were remarkable for being more open than the ones judges usually share with the press, but they were not out of line. He is not presiding over a criminal trial; he has no power as a commissioner to lay criminal charges or make findings of civil liability. He is an active participant in the inquiry, seeking to get at the truth of the matter so that he might explain what happened and recommend ways to prevent any abuses from recurring. His comments to the press did not compromise that search. He revealed only that he is human, has a sense of humour and, like the rest of us, follows the news.”

Another editorialist says if we want to be international humanitarians, we must increase military spending:

“Prime Minister Paul Martin wants to raise Canada 's international profile and take a more active role in world crises. Our military has neither the numbers nor the equipment to do the job. If we want to have a presence in international humanitarian disasters, either natural or man-made, we have to be able to get our forces there quickly and in force. At present, they are stretched to the breaking point. To relieve that pressure, Ottawa has been reducing our military presence in hot spots such as Bosnia and Afghanistan . Because of troop shortages, Canada could send only a small force to Haiti when that country plunged into crisis last year.

Finally embarrassed into action, the government promises to increase the size of the forces by 5,000, but when exactly that will happen is still foggy. The tsunami disaster shows how urgently we need to renew and rebuild the neglected military.”

A third looks at liquor privatization:

“The beer consortium has previously proposed merging its beer stores with those of the LCBO. That would be great for the beer companies, but how it would benefit consumers is hard to fathom.

A far better solution would be to break up both monopolies and open the market to all comers. Alberta successfully went through this exercise more than a decade ago. Many other governments also leave the sale of alcohol to private enterprise, with no signs that the societies they govern are going to hell in a handbasket.”

The Toronto Star fronts Li, a Hep-C victim and icy roads.

Andrew Mills is following Canadian aid in Aceh. Peter Calamai reports that tourists will soon be coming to Canada in winter to golf.

Vinay Menon sets up tonight’s benefit concert. (Here’s Paul Wells in Macleans.)

In commentary, Haroon Siddiqui says Canada can help in Darfur by getting the US to do something about the situation. Jim Travers—who broke the story before Christmas—outlines the challenges awaiting Frank McKenna in Washington.

The editorial board welcomes a debate with Ralph Klein on health care, and weighs in on the mad cow. (In the Edmonton Sun, Neil Waugh wonders how Paul Martin will get us out of the doo-doo in Washington.)

The National Post and The Ottawa Citizen front a high-living Canadian ambassador, while the Vancouver Sun fronts one who's being given the cold shoulder by the Saudi Excellency.

The Sun fronts new cancer drugs, the Post features the goose-stepping prince, Russian arms sales to Syria and Lorne Gunter on the Bush Inauguration—the first of a six-part series. Yikes.

The Citizen also features DND bucking FOI, its CDS-to-be and a new exhibit and gala planned by the National Gallery.

Inside the Post, Andrew Nikiforuk wades in on mad cow. Don Martin is wondering why Ralph Klein is touring the country. Good question.

Paul Kedrosky looks at Apple. David Frum says we’ll never run out of oil, though some day we’ll stop using it.

The editorial board praises Romeo Dallaire's remarks on Darfur, yesterday's top story.

Elsewhere in CanWest land, hospitals are clogged in Victoria. The Calgary Herald says the top priority must be to keep the border open to beef.

The Montréal Gazette editorial board weighs in on behalf of Judge Gomery:

“the best part of the day's proceedings came when Gomery switched from defence to offence, so to speak. Refusing to apologize for the interview comment that "judges hate being lied to," Gomery said this: "I don't withdraw that statement at all. If people find that is a threatening statement, well, they don't need to be concerned. All they have to do is tell me the truth."

This response seems to have left Scott gasping and floundering, but to all us non-lawyers it's simple enough. Trying to derail the inquiry on such flimsy grounds is indefensible.”

(Here, for comparison, is Le Devoir’s take, which should also cheer up Mr. Gomery.)

Posted by Norman Spector on January 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Blame America

Here's an interesting story about a Thai official who warned of possible tsunamis after earthquakes in 1993 and 1998 but was excoriated for the move after no tsunami appeared. But that's not the part I wanted to comment on. Speaking of the American warning center in Hawaii he says:

"I'm not angry at them for failing to warn Thailand, because at that time they did not know for sure, they merely said a tsunami was possible after the earthquake," Smith told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday.

But after the giant waves hit southern Thailand, the center had more than an hour to alert India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, "and if they warned those countries, they could have saved thousands of lives," he said.

"It's their failure to do so that makes me mad at them," he said.

It would seem to me that after the waves actually hit somewhere you really don't need any high tech seismic sensors or tidal guages to warn your neighbours that there's a big wave in the ocean headed their way. Why would this responsibility fall to the people in Hawaii rather than, say, the UN, Europe, or even Thailand themselves?  Is warning India and Sri Lanka really something they are incapable of doing without America's help?

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on January 12, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

The never ending scandal

The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that "Calls for Mr Annan's resignation were once restricted to ideologically driven hardline US conservatives. Now diplomats in New York are openly asking whether the secretary-general can remain in office until the end of his term in December 2006." Of course, there is no real pressure for him to leave and it is highly unlikely that Kofi Annan would resign on his own even if he recognized that his continued presence at the helm of the UN undermines its already limited moral authority. The United States and other democracies must begin to agitate for his removal.

The Telegraph article offers a pretty good overview of the oil-for-food scandal and the recent findings of the Volcker committee (which is looking at the fiasco) which recently released documents that it said demonstrated "UN officials were aware of the risk of abuse, and argues that proper scrutiny would have limited the scale of the fraud." Claudia Rosett has yet another excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal about this very issue. She writes today that:

"one of the big obstacles to getting to the bottom of the Oil for Food scandal is the sheer horror of actually having to read the reams of U.N. documents tied to the program--on the occasions when documents do turn up. It's a step forward that on Sunday Paul Volcker's U.N.-approved inquiry finally released the program's 55 secret internal audits, which Congress and others had been requesting for months."

She says that among those audits are 19 that "shed some light" on another aspect of the corruption-ridden Oil for Food program: the role of the U.N. Compensation Commission. Established in 1991 "to channel some of Iraq's money into compensation for the victims of Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the UNCC was folded into Oil for Food when that relief program swung into operation in late 1996." That program allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil to make humanitarian aid purchases (food, medicine) to Iraqi citizens. The UNCC took a cut. Saddam sold $65 billion worth of oil and the UN's agency did very well for itself -- 30% through 2000 and 25% from 2000 until March 2003 (the fall of Saddam). No wonder the UN opposed the liberation of Iraq -- it would hurt their oil revenues. Hmmm. The Left was sort of right -- one side in the debate over the war for Iraq was concerned about oil.

Now, not all of that 30% went to the UN to keep. They dispersed some of that money to Saddam's Kuwaiti victims. The problem is, how much? The UNCC wasn't all that transparent as it "followed the usual Oil for Food practice of keeping confidential many of the details of its decisions, as well as the names of many of those receiving the money." Furthermore, as Rosett notes, these audits hardly reflect the glimpses of the internal audits Annan released to the UN General Assembly. Rosett says that the whole UNCC operation -- how commissioners were picked, how money was dispersed, the lack of accountability, channelling money through states such as Syria and Iran and pretend states such the PLO -- was abysmal and open to fraud.

Rosett concludes: "

The question for investigators should be not simply whether money was wasted by or bilked from the UNCC, but where that money went. These payments were funded out of the same Iraqi oil money, produced and sold under the same U.N. stamp of approval that brought us the Oil for Food scams from which Saddam skimmed billions. Saddam spent that money not just on palaces and scotch, but on arms smuggling, political-influence buying and quite possibly terrorist funding, even beyond payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers."

Rosett suggests that the UNCC be examined closely. Of course it should, but it won't happen. If it was, it would only offer more ammunition with which to criticize Kofi Annan.

(Crossposted at Sobering Thoughts)

Posted by Paul Tuns on January 12, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Changes at Macleans

Anthony Wilson-Smith has resigned as editor of Macleans, after just four years on the job. Rumours are that former National Post and Saturday Night editor Ken Whyte is being considered for the job of editor and publisher which would be a significant improvement.

Posted by Paul Tuns on January 12, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Just An Observation

The poll of the day at The Globe And Mail is asking what type of health-care system Canadians would like to have.

I know that these online polls aren't very scientific but as on this morning 42% of respondents wanted a public/private system.

I just want to mention it since I find it amusing that even though a significant minority of Canadians (a majority depending on how the question is asked) would support major changes to our health-care system the topic is still consided taboo and in bad taste. I'm sure you all remember the 'in-depth' and 'groundbreaking' discussions on the subject during our last few election cycles. Don't you?

I'm not sure if such a state of affairs should be considered amusing or disturbing.

crossposted to canadiancomment

Posted by Dana on January 12, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

At home, mirabile dictu, Québec is pondering banning smoking in public places. Ontario is thinking about looser beer and liquor regulations. No, I haven’t reversed the stories.

In Alberta, Ralph Klein is musing about a third way to keep us healthy. Another mad cow was found.

Nortel came clean, we hope. Romeo Dallaire spoke the truth and got stuffed in the Toronto Star—today’s top story. (The Ottawa Citizen assigned its movie reviewer, and he completely buried the lead.)

Our French cousins, who incredibly enough have already banned Gitanes at Café Flore, are now trying to do in the 35-hour week. How Anglo-Saxon can you get?

I’ll tell you: Chuck Berry, 78 years old, made the front page of Le Monde after performing at the Olympia. And renters are having their apartment buildings sold out from under them.

Down South where they speak American, The Los Angeles Times leads with California ’s devastating weather. Column One is onto the hijab.

Israelis and Palestinians are back on speaking terms. The social security battle has begun.

The West Coast Times fronts, while the New York Times and The Washington Post lead with President Bush’s nominee to lead Homeland Security.

New York also fronts today’s top story—Iyad Allawi warning about no-go zones for Iraqi voters.

The Post editorial board weighs in on the nominee. The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board weighs in on CBS and on the nominee.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board says Washington’s gubernatorial election was stolen. Dorothy Rabinowitz weighs in on CBS.

Claudia Rosett is onto oil for food. The Journal fronts a bad buzz for North American carmakers. The news in Canada, too, is bad for Buzz.

In Post commentary, Anne Applebaum looks at the pros and cons of torture. Patrick Clawson supports US/EU cooperation on Iran .

The New York Times’ editorial board plumps for postponing Iraq’s election. Nicholas Kristof says Cuban health care beats US style medicine.

Bill Safire is retiring this month—he’s optimistic about the US and, if he were starting out, he’d become a Democrat.

The Times fronts a story of interest to any Canadian who breathes, swims or fishes; happily, like the Post, it stuffs another that will interest ranchers along with Nortel executives.

The Post fronts and the Times stuffs news that the hunt for WMD in Iraq has ended, along with the release of prisoners, including Australia ’s Maher Arar, from Guantanamo.

In the UK, too, that story is playing big, which is understandable considering that 4 of the prisoners are citizens.

The London Times fronts a tsunami-devastated town left without women. Our British cousins are being warned not to let their kids use cell-phones.

MI6 is in the news. Gordon Brown has backed down in his feud with the Prime Minister.

Back at home, The Globe and Mail fronts another mad cow, CBC hockey Day—or the lack thereof--Ralph Klein on health, Tamils pressuring Paul Martin and Paul Martin resisting Tamil pressure.

Inside, Colin Freeze reports on DART in Sri Lanka. Matthew Kalman is onto Israeli tsunami relief efforts. Shawn McCarthy looks at the UN role.

In commentary, Jeff Simpson makes a valuable point in arguing that not all public servants should be tarred by the sponsorship brush:

“The way in which everyone has treated this scandal -- from the Prime Minister to the opposition parties to the media to Ms. Fraser to Judge Gomery -- has contributed to what Ms. Fraser described in her last report as "unintended consequences."

[Memo to Jeff: I don’t believe you want the AG offering bureaucrats “fulsome praise.” Moreover, we’ll have to see if the sponsorship program was an anomaly or whether, as I have written, there's something rotten in the state of the system.]

Marcus Gee weighs in with a realistic view of tsunami aid:

“Let's not be cynical. Genuine compassion for the tsunami victims is the main reason why countries around the world have been rushing to help with the relief effort. But let's not be naive, either. National interests and pride have also been driving countries to give, and the way they are giving casts an interesting light on their strengths and ambitions.”

The editorial board also comments on the disaster aid:

“The tsunamis wiped out entire communities in an instant; the tragedy was unexpected and dramatic. Donor governments were pushed to respond immediately by citizens who themselves donated in great numbers. If there were a tsunami every second week, it is likely that the dedication would flag and that resistance or donor fatigue would set in.

This is the challenge for groups whose causes are chronic rather than acute, measured in years of new infections, new suffering, new deaths and new treatments with no end in sight. It is also the challenge for the world, which, having proved that it can muster the resources when calamity strikes suddenly, must do more to raise those resources when the deaths are more predictable and the damage less quantifiable. The long term requires more than a quick response. It requires commitment.”

Another editorialist is onto Nortel:

“More troubling than the fact that Nortel's profit was 41 per cent lower than first reported or that it was forced to erase $3.4-billion in improperly booked revenue prior to 2001 is that many of the questionable accounting methods that got the company into so much trouble in the first place have yet to be fixed.”

A third, astonishingly enough, praises Ralph Klein:

“By fighting less about ideology and giving greater support to practical ideas that can work, Mr. Klein may not sound as much of a medicare heretic as he once did -- but he'll make more of a difference.”

In letters, yours truly garners one fan and one critic for Monday's column on electoral reform; the latter misconstrues the assertion that STV is used “by” (not in) only one of the 53 members of the Commonwealth.

The Toronto Star fronts mad cow, beer and Ralph Klein. Stuffed inside, you’ll find today’s top story.

We also learn that Nortel is cleaning house. U of T is looking for a new President. Canadian teens are, and are not, having sex—but the bottom line on STD’s is North.

Andrew Mills is still following Canadian aid. Tom Walkom is onto Ralph Klein; I think he's jumping the gun, since it may all turn out again to be hot air.

Carol Goar is into feminism. Richard Gwyn is enthusiastic about the Palestinian election, Chantal Hébert about former prime ministers.

The editorial board poops on Chief Fantino, but is hopeful about Nortel. The Star wins today’s award for best correction; never mind regret, they’ll be lucky if they’re not sued:

“Given names for lawyers Edward and Brian Greenspan were switched in a Business photo caption today. Brian Greenspan is far left in the photo and Edward Greenspan is centre. The Star regrets the error.”

The National Post and The Ottawa Citizen front Gomery and Nortel, with the Post adding Alberta mad cow and Ontario beer to the mix.

Inside, Peter Foster is onto foreign aid. Andrew Coyne says Canadians including politicians are hypocrites on Kyoto, and that we should be trading emissions rather than exhorting each other.

In letters, Max Yalden whacks Coyne for his last column, on torture. Don Martin, after leading the Judge step-by-step into the doo-doo, defends John Gomery:

“His ouster would be a huge loss for Canadians hoping someone will plumb the muddy bottom of this dirty mess. An inquiry now moving into its fifth month of testimony would have to restart from scratch, giving some shadowy witnesses another opportunity to change their stories or fudge their facts. Time would tick backwards, likely delaying the inquiry's conclusion until after the next election. And there'd be no finding a commission chair of Gomery's feisty stature -- legally bulletproof, fluently bilingual, keenly driven and at the point of a distinguished career where being a 72-year-old grandfather means there's nothing personal to gain or lose by whacking the Liberal party elite.

What the inquiry's disgruntled legal monitors are doing is obvious -- they are laying down markers for future damage control if, as expected, Judge Gomery fearlessly throws the book at their clients in his final report.

The fact that Chrétien loyalists were gleefully promoting Scott's attack on Gomery before it happened and posting his submission on the Web within minutes of those comments being delivered hints at an organized smear on his character….

And so, Gomery should be allowed to continue his work. He insists his mind is still open to witness testimony yet to be heard, and I believe him -- with one notable exception.

Justice John Gomery has undoubtedly closed his mind to further media interviews. Unfortunately, his first was probably his last.”

Speaking of which, the editorial board applauds Abu Mazen’s first steps but says it’s too early to judge. A second editorial approves of Liberal plans to do away with instant Grits.

Inside the Citizen, the editorial board says school boards should not be competing for students. Susan Riley weighs in on Gomery:

“Does anyone remember what this scandal was about? Wait, yes. It was about Martin distancing himself from the casual corruption that marked the Chretien era, setting a new moral tone and sweeping to power as head of a rehabilitated Liberal party. There was something about phoney invoices, and missing money, but that's pretty secondary at this point.

While everyone (sort of) watches Gomery, countless millions dribble through other cracks: unpaid loans to technology companies, the still-bleeding gun registry, crooked computer deals at DND. We won't have another sponsorship program soon, but never discount the creativity of ambitious politicians with a large bureaucracy at their disposal.

Other obstacles on the road to Martin's virtuous democracy? There is still no whistle-blower protection for honest public servants, although an inadequate bill is making its way through committee. And, more than a year after MPs and ministers adopted an ethics code, senators are still resisting. They have yet to appoint their own ethics nanny (they insisted on having their own), or to approve a code of conduct.”

Riad Salojee, of CAIR, takes issue with George Jonas:

“Far from tying the hands of security forces, we have argued that there is no dichotomy between human rights and security -- that both are symbiotically connected, that the loss of one signals the loss of the other. Such an either-or approach to human rights and security must be rejected through front-line, public activism rather than an ivory-tower soliloquy.

Others, including Amnesty International, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and the Canadian Bar Association, have advocated for similar -- even identical -- protection of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Calgary Herald fronts the mad cow; the editorial board says Ralph Klein is mouthing the same old stuff.

The Vancouver Sun reports that Penticton is in an uproar over a piece of art. In Victoria, seniors were having a tough time in the snow--two days ago, which qualifies as news in the banana belt.

In the Toronto Sun, Salim Mansur serves up medieval Mideast views on the tsunami. In Edmonton, Paul Stanway profiles Ukraine’s Joan of Arc.

Posted by Norman Spector on January 12, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Scenes from the caste struggle

Norman mentions the Ayn Rand Institute's "clarification" of its position on tsunami relief: it's worth reading for its own sake.

In the meantime, I can't be the only one who's been experiencing nausea about reports concerning Dalits, members of India's "untouchable" castes. The parts of India affected by the tsunami were coastal areas where poor fishermen live alongside the Dalits, who still suffer from a social stigma that has lasted for millennia and that is bound up inextricably with the Hindu religion. In some of the fishing towns, the presumption that only the Dalits were fit to bury the dead was so strong that unidentified corpses were simply abandoned next to their homes. Untouchables have been denied supplies or even expelled from many relief camps. India's National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights is gloomily monitoring the situation. There are some things, it seems, that even a tidal wave can't sweep away.

Posted by Colby Cosh on January 11, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

At the Vatican, the Pope denounced same-sex marriage. In New York, in another blow to the credibility of mainstream media, CBS fired four news people.

In the UK, the Blair-Brown feud—today’s top international story--has become a battle of competing newspaper polls.

The Times reports that Tony Blair has not lost the affection of Britons. The Independent says Labour would get a massive boost if Brown were to lead; sound familiar?

What's clear is that MPs are ticked off at both. Meanwhile, Mark Steyn says the Queen’s speech opening Parliament sounded familiar to a Canadian.

Nearly 900 Britons are still unaccounted for in the tsunami disaster. Reforms in the health service are to be delayed. Sound familiar?

In France, all polls indicate the PM is down in the dumps. Le Monde fronts a portrait of Abu Mazen, yesterday’s top international story. Le Figaro fronts a major exposé on counter-terrorism against you know whom.

At home, speaking of you know whom, young Mr. Khadr has sold his life story to Hollywood--today's top story.

Personally, I wonder who will play Jean Chrétien, who will stand in for Bennazir Bhutto and who will portray his dead dad.

Yesterday the PM increased Canadian tsunami aid and the flag flew over Newfoundland. Today, Nortel will announce its 2003 results.

Speaking of shenanigans, Liberals are thinking of doing away with instant  members. The Gomery Inquiry resumes its hearings.

In the US, the New York Times off-leads the latest assassination in Iraq, leads with firings at CBS in the wake of Rathergate and fronts international aid that never showed up after disasters in Honduras and Iran.

The Washington Post off-leads CBS, leads with the Administrations sticking DC for Inauguration security costs and goes below the fold with Iraqi security forces.

The Los Angeles Times leads with bad weather causing fatal mudslides and fronts the CBS story along with new intelligence on the Iraqi resistance.

The New York Times’ editorial board looks at prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Paul Krugman poops on Bush’s social security strategy. David Brooks says it’s too early to give up in Iraq.

The Washington Post’s editorial board praises the Palestinian election and turns its attention to Iraq. David Ignatius raises questions the US should be asking itself about Iraq.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at the Palestinian election. Robert Scheer says al-Qa’ida does not exist. David Makovsky looks at Abu Mazen.

The Wall Street Journal fronts a report on international aid strengthening the Tamil Tigers, which should be of interest to Canadians and their government.

In commentary, Natan Sharansky wades in on Abu Mazen. The editorial board weighs in on the CBS report:

“Like the recent journalism scandals at the New York Times and USA Today, the CBS imbroglio is not just about the failure of one or two reporters -- in this case, news anchor Dan Rather and veteran producer Mary Mapes. It's also about the failure of their supervisors to enforce standards and take criticism seriously. All editors -- including us -- have a duty to defend reporters who take on difficult subjects and stir controversy by telling the truth. It's equally important, however, to respond quickly when serious errors are alleged -- especially about a story that had all kinds of red flags on it. In this instance, CBS producers circled the wagons too soon, and for too long….

As we saw it, the last election included the most one-sided political reporting we've ever witnessed, including the coverage of Richard Nixon circa 1972-74. Most of the established media outlets favored John Kerry -- which is fine by us if they would only admit it. CBS's reporters made the further mistake of letting that bias so color their judgment that they were willing to believe phony documents from a partisan source without proper authentication. Good for CBS for coming clean about the process, but good luck convincing its viewers about the lack of partisan motives.”

The Toronto Star fronts prospects for Mideast peace and Canadians missing and dead in the tsunami disaster.

Miro Cernetig reports on links between a CSIS detainee and the Madrid bombings. Andrew Mills is still following the shipment of Canadian aid.

The editorial board sees a glimmer of hope for Mideast peace, says Canadian charities could learn a lot from their British counterparts and places the offshore ball in Paul Martin’s lap now that the flag is flying.

Tom Walkom says BSE is a public health issue. (Memo to Tom: take a look, too, at how Alberta testing screwed up.)

Jim Travers challenges Paul Martin to put his money where his mouth is on foreign aid.

The Globe and Mail fronts Abu Mazen’s victory, Kyoto in Canada and an angry son selling his dad’s war medals.

We learn that there's lots of Canadian aid in Asia and not lots in Africa and how the Pickton case helped the RCMP perfect its forensic skills.

Inside, Barry McKenna reports on a potential downside of international debt relief. Greg Keenan reports the auto industry is unlikely to grown in Canada.

Mathew Kalman reports on the new Israeli coalition. Colin Freeze reports on DART.

In commentary, Jeff Simpson steps into the flag flap:

“The flag stunt was denounced as an insult almost everywhere outside Newfoundland. If anything, the stunt hardened attitudes against Newfoundland, and those attitudes will do the province no good in the future.

It also opened the door to gross attacks against the province of the kind usually found in British Fleet Street rags such as the Daily Express and The Sun when they rail against continental Europeans.

The stunt's unintended consequence left naked Newfoundland 's mainland defenders. Those who had supported a new offshore deal for the province, and who had tried to explain the province's sense of self to other Canadians, suddenly found themselves accosted by incredulous neighbours for whom the flag represents themselves -- not a prime minister or a level of government or a political party.

The flag stunt, although no doubt popular in Newfoundland, provided a classic example of short-term local political gain traded for a long-term price. No wise politician with long-term vision would ever make that trade.”

Margaret Wente says not all disabled persons can be moved out of institutions:

“It often has worked well, giving opportunities and a better life to those society once forgot. But the powerful disability-rights lobbies -- some of which run group homes -- aren't content with what they've accomplished. They won't be happy until every single person, even those like Douglas, is restored to "community living." The government's press release announcing the closing of these centres quoted one expert who said, "The era of institutions has passed and we need to help those still living in institutions move to neighbourhoods of their choice as soon as possible. We have no problem," Ms. McCook says, "with the idea of community living for the majority of the disabled who are higher functioning. But people like my son . . . they're not capable of expressing a choice."

In letters, Undersecretary of State Peter Harder quite rightly takes issue with yesterday’s report of a Canadian bitching about our diplomats in Thailand:

“The insinuation that Canadian diplomats have not been aggressive enough in their search for the missing is not only untrue, it is unfair. I understand the pain that Canadians with missing loved ones feel; we have done, and will continue to do, everything possible under the circumstances.

Rather than criticizing those who have been working to help, we should express our pride and gratitude for their accomplishments under these extraordinary circumstances.”

A gent from BC takes issue with yours truly on electoral reform in BC; he says the British parliamentary system only works well with two parties. Last time I checked, it seems to be working quite well in the UK.

Moreover, two parties is how many we have in BC—to the consternation of groups on the left and right who’d like to spawn two or three more to enhance their power at the expense of the moderate middle.   

The National Post and Ottawa Citizen front the increase in Canadian aid.

The Ottawa Citizen adds DART getting to work, what SSHRC is doing with your money and an accused killer who dodged deportation. (Here's the Sun version.)

The Post also features missing Canadians. And, in a page one column, John Ivison takes off from yesterday’s top story and predicts we’ll sign on to missile defence. (Memo to John: Martin could be saying different things to different people.):

“If we assume that Russo [the reporter] did not simply imagine the exchange with the American Ambassador, it appears that Cellucci believes a deal is imminent and that Canada will sign on. The alternative interpretation is that Cellucci is trying to put pressure on Martin with a political plan so cunning you could cover it with fur and call it a fox.

The most likely explanation is that it has been intimated to the Ambassador unofficially that Canada is onside but for domestic political reasons, Martin has to affect his peculiarly unconvincing brand of bellicosity.”

Inside, Lewis Mackenzie poops on DART. Don Martin is tired of the tsunami:

“Not to be insensitive about it, but let's face it. We're tsunamied out; sick of newscasts filled with water-whacked ruins, weary of corpses deteriorating into black unrecognizable bloats and fed up with breathlessly overworked adjectives to describe the profound mayhem of it all, delivered mostly by photo-op-posing politicians.

Perhaps the proof we've finally had enough emerged at Canada's national commemoration ceremony in Ottawa last Saturday.”   

Paul Kedrosky warns e-mailers to be careful. The editorial board says Paul Martin should stop whispering about missile defence:

“The case against signing on to the United States ' missile defence plan is virtually non-existent. Participation in this program would allow Canada to contribute to continental security and improve relations with its closest friend and biggest trading partner -- all without spending much money. But because the NDP and others have misrepresented the program as a "Star Wars" initiative that could lead to the weaponization of space, many Canadians are wary. So if Paul Martin and his ministers hope to get the public -- and nervous MPs on all sides of the House of Commons -- onside it is incumbent on them to make a strong case for missile defence before moving forward.”

Yesterday, in letters, Keith Deriger pooped on Terence Corcoran; I’m still waiting for Corcoran to inform readers that even the Ayn Rand Institute has disavowed the position he approvingly quoted.

Inside the Citizen, Charles Gordon looks at media coverage:

“There is a category of news story that might be called Kids Today! and it has been around as long as there has been movable type. Adults have always been easily shocked, and more than a little titillated, by what teenagers are doing, and the shock finds its way onto page one.

Yesterday it was a headline -- "Marijuana easier to get at school than cigarettes, teens say." In 1440, when Gutenberg was making the modern newspaper possible, it might have been "Teens wear short hair, doublets and flock to hot new dance sensation, the ballet."

And so it has gone, through the flapper era and Blackboard Jungle and, more recently, more than you needed to read about things happening in the dark, or sometimes even the light.”

Andrew Cohen mocks Brian Mulroney and sideswipes the reporter he spoon-fed:

“Mr. Mulroney didn't wait for Mr. Martin to refer Mr. McKenna's nomination to him. As soon as he heard about it -- we aren't sure how -- he bestowed his full blessing. What's more, he marched over to the White House to inform an anxious George W. Bush, who hadn't been able to sleep until he heard the good news from a solicitous Mr. Mulroney.

By now we know that Mr. Mulroney is close to the Bush clan. It gives him access to the most powerful political family in the country. Some former prime ministers would be content to wield such influence quietly, but not Mr. Mulroney, who acts as if he is Canada 's ambassador to the United States, the lone Canadian who has access to the U.S. president, and wants Canadians to know it.

So, Mr. Mulroney figures, if it couldn't be me, why not my old friend, Frank McKenna? He may be a Grit who vaporized Richard Hatfield and his Conservatives in New Brunswick in 1987, winning every seat in the provincial legislature. But he's a good Grit. He arrived in office an enemy of the Meech Lake Accord, but by 1990, after I'd worked on him for three years, he'd reversed his position. He grew.

No wonder Mr. Mulroney told the president that Mr. McKenna is a "reliable guy and you can count on him." Later, while making the rounds in Washington, Mr. Mulroney let it be known that he also spoke highly of Mr. McKenna in a private conversation with Condoleezza Rice, the next secretary of state.

We know all this because Senator Marjory LeBreton, a Conservative appointed by Mr. Mulroney, told the Citizen's Robert Fife.”

The editorial board pans high airport rents, and says we need  more action, less talk in international aid. Their Montréal counterparts look at Abu Mazen’s challenges.

Elsewhere in CanWest land, Calgarians are facing tax hikes. A Vancouverite who survived the tsunami didn’t fare very well against local cops.

In Edmonton , the editorial board is concerned about the state of national parks. In the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington asks Paul Martin to remember Tibet when he courts China. In Calgary, Paul Jackson advises Stephen Harper to toughen up.

Posted by Norman Spector on January 11, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 10, 2005

Who is funding the Liberals anyway?

Whatittakestowin is having fun on his blog digging into what types of organizations (Canadian Cancer Society, Zoos, Catholic Day Camps) are contributing funds to the Liberal Party. In one case it looks like PM Chretien gave $43,389.37 to the Liberal Party. Where do you suppose this money came from? Check it out.

Posted by Greg Staples on January 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Government Compassion is Conditional

I would like to start by saying that I'm happy to see so many governments around the world providing much needed assistance to the victims of last month's Tsunami. That being said, I think its shameful that the compassion of the world's nations, Canada included, is conditional on the ease of the task at hand. Not on whether their help is actually needed or not.

For example, take the outpouring of generosity by most governments around the world to help ease the suffering of the victims of the Tsunami in Asia, which was good. Then compare that to what the world's nations did to help the people of Darfur, which was bad. Sure one tragedy was man-made, while the other was a natural occurrence, but the end result was the same. Thousands of people died, many thousands more were left homeless and starving, yet one problem only received lip service, while the other brought the nations of the world together to help.

Why the difference? Simple, the crisis caused by the Tsunami was a far easier task for governments to handle. Donate money, offer assistance, meet with other donor nations and get your picture taken while doing so. All in a days work for today's robotic politicians. On the other hand, Darfur required military intervention, making it risky enough, so that many of these so-called compassionate governments could ignore it without blinking an eye. How's that for morality?

I tend to agree with Paul Martin when he says that caring for, and helping  those who have suffered from unbearable circumstances around the world, is the "Canadian Way". But I'd like him to explain to me why this only applies some of the time. I think the world needs a kind and compassionate Canada more than ever, I just wish we had the means to provide the world with more of what we have to offer.

Most governments came thought with flying colours this time around, but will they the next time the suffering of the world need their assistance? Well, that all depends now, doesn't it?

Crossposted to canadiancomment

Posted by Bob Matheson on January 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Unprofessional

This little gem has already been widely linked, and for good reason.

Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro collegues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:

" See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier..."

After which he and many of my Euro collegues laughed out loud.

and then they looked at me. I wasn't laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.

I'm afraid I was "unprofessional", I let it loose -

"Hmmm, let's see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?

Something with its own inexhuastible power supply?

Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?

Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?

Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?

Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?

Well "Franz", us peasants in America call that kind of ship an "Aircraft Carrier". We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that's right, NONE.


(The rest)

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 10, 2005 in Military | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

CBS Rathergate Report

Via Instapundit;

Four CBS News employees, including three executives, have been ousted for their role in preparing and reporting a disputed story about President Bush's National Guard service.

The action was prompted by the report of an independent panel that concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece. The panel also said CBS News had compounded that failure with "rigid and blind" defense of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report.

Asked to resign were Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard's deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy. The producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was terminated.

[...]

"the Panel cannot conclude that a political agenda at 60 Minutes Wednesday drove either the timing of the airing of the segment or its content." [*cough* - ed]


The full panel report (pdf).

Harking back to something I mentioned in September;"About a week ago, I began to wonder why one person mentioned in the discredited Rathergate memos had not commented on the controversy. My suspicion is that he may have been seeking legal advice - as far as I can tell, it looks as though he'd have one hell of a libel suit against CBS"; this observation from Ratherbiased about the delay in the release of the report;

It's now been 110 days since CBS News President Andrew Heyward promised the report would come "in weeks, not months." Is Walter Staudt, the former commanding officer of George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard unit, indirectly responsible for why we haven't heard anything from the Memogate commission?

That may very well prove to be the case considering that Staudt may have good grounds for a libel suit against CBS for claiming, without even asking him, that he had pressured subordinates to "sugarcoat" the record of Lt. Bush. One thing is almost for sure, if the report is released in a heavily edited form, the odds are pretty high CBS is worried about getting sued.


Stay tuned, as various bloggers are now combing and factchecking the report.

update

Rather informed the Panel that he still believes the content of the documents is true because 'the facts are right on the money,' and that no one had provided persuasive evidence that the documents were not authentic.

Powerline has some damning quotes and analysis.

Smith sent an email to Mapes proposing that they set up a book deal for Burkett so that he could be paid in exchange for turning over the documents:
Today I am going to send the following hypothetical scenario to a reliable, trustable editor friend of mine...

What if there was a person who might have some information that could possibly change the momentum of an election but we needed to get an ASAP book deal to help get us the information? What kinds of turnaround payment schedules are possible, keeping in mind that the book probably could not make it out until after the election.


Mapes replied: "that looks good, hypothetically speaking, of course."

Egads.

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 10, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

In a late-breaking development, there’s been another high profile assassination in Baghdad.

Judging from front pages, US, UK and French papers are moving on from the tsunami disaster.

At home, CTV reports this morning that there's no obvious need for our snail DARTers in Sri Lanka. Finance hasn't figured out where the money is coming from. Meanwhile, Premier Danny Williams is preparing to eat crow.

The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all lead with today’s top story, the Palestinian election, which captures world wide-attention.

In the UK, the Guardian fronts a threat to aid workers in Indonesia. The Times has hopeful news in Thailand.

There’s been a spot of bad weather in Britain —badder than usual. The Blair-Brown feud continues to make news. A British bank has scored a major acquisition.

In France, divided unions are making it easier for the government to revise the 35-hour week. A Libération journalist in Iraq has not been heard from in 5 days.

Back in the US of A, the New York Times teases Rupert Murdoch’s latest deal, and goes below the fold with the UN oil-for-food investigation and a thumb-sucker on how the US might disengage from Iraq.

The Post off-leads Inaugural security and goes below the fold with a report on Albania ’s cache of chemical weapons, and what others might have.

The New York Times’ editorial board says the Administration is sowing ignorance to gain support for its social security proposals, and comments on personnel changes at the UN.

Bill Safire, who did the job on Job, addresses the God/tsunami question.

The Washington Post’s editorial board weighs in on tort reform and Pentagon budget cuts.

Sebastian Mallaby adds his two cents on the first, while Fred Hiatt looks at the upcoming Inauguration.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board looks at dinosaur airlines, tort reform and Condi Rice’s first good move, which many Canadians, too, will approve.

David Horowitz, who used to be  a famous one, says the Left is on trial during a time of war.

The Wall Street Journal fronts hungry Asian energy companies. Brett Stephens is onto the Palestinian election. (Here’s Friday’s editorial on the same subject.)

John Fund reports that bloggers are raising doubts about election results. Heather Macdonald says Democrats are impeding Administration efforts to extract information from detainees.

The Globe and Mail fronts child care, the Palestinian election, Sri Lankans waiting for our snail DARTers, some good news on the relief front and the whereabouts of THE 1972 puck.

Sort of continuing with the old-timers hockey theme, Bobby Russo scores today’s top story off Ambassador Paul Cellucci.

Inside the Globe, Shawn McCarthy reports on oil-for-food, Geoffrey York serves up a Canadian complaining about our diplomats in Thailand.

Matthew Kalman reports on Israelis’ reaction to the Palestinian election and Mark MacKinnon on what Hamas thinks of it all.

In letters to the editor, the Wente/Williams war is waning. VIC STECYK busts the Globe’s religion reporter:

“How could Michael Valpy write an article such as Some See Tsunamis As Sign Of God's Ire (Jan. 8) and omit the commentary from Muslim sheiks and imams, when Muslims in Indonesia and elsewhere have suffered disproportionately?

For instance, Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, delivering a televised sermon in a mosque in Gaza City , said "If people are remiss in implementing God's law, Allah sets his soldiers in action to take revenge. The oppression and corruption caused by America and the Jews have increased. . . . Bangkok is the centre of corruption. They [Zionists and American investments] . . . bring Muslims and others to prostitution."

In commentary, yours truly weighs in on nonsensical electoral reform.

Hugh Winsor says Frank McKenna’s men are already plotting how to bring him back from Washington to 24 Sussex ; here I thought it would be a Francophone’s turn.

Michael Adams takes on Preston Manning and Lorna Dueck, who both recently wrote on the importance of religion in Canada :

“Canadians are about half as religious as Americans, and Canadians' and Americans' divergent views of religion are one symptom of a growing disparity between the two cultures….

As recently as 1999, when Svend Robinson challenged the inclusion of the word God in the Charter, many Canadians were outraged. But even among those adamant about maintaining a reference to the divine in the constitution, there was no consensus about what that reference implied for Canadian public policy. Like so much of our legal tradition, this word in the constitution is open to interpretation.

Whose God? Yours or mine? And where can this God's word and law be found? Your sacred text or mine? These were questions when the Charter was drafted 22 years ago and they are questions today.

To claim that from the mere invocation of God in our constitution we as a society are bound to implement specific public policies is extremely thorny. The devout Roman Catholic Pierre Trudeau had no trouble liberalizing our divorce laws in 1967.”

Lysiane Gagnon relates a French friend’s medical experience, and concludes:

“Waiting times are not a problem in France. It is partly due to a fertile mix of both public and private health care and to the fact that France has more physicians per capita. France was actually recognized a few years ago by the World Health Organization as the country with the most efficient health-care system. Shouldn't it be a lesson for Canada?”

The editorial board weighs in on lowering the voting age:

“The stronger argument for a vote at 16 or 17 would be that teens are mature enough at that age to exercise the right responsibly. Canada may not let them legally drink alcohol, but it lets them drive cars (with graduated licences), lets them marry, invites them to join the army (at 17), requires them to pay income tax on the part-time jobs they are considered responsible enough to take, and reserves the option of trying them in adult court. It is argued that most of them betray little political interest. One answer is that many adults betray little political interest, and that doesn't deny them a vote if they wish it. Another answer is that, if their ability to influence events through the ballot box were more than theoretical at 16, many more of them might well take an interest. If the voting age were lowered for municipal elections -- including votes for school trustees -- candidates might find themselves on an unaccustomed hot seat….

Canada, particularly after the Supreme Court's final word, the issue remains a muted talking-point. But 18 is not a magic number. It was heartening to see the Edmonton students take on the system to challenge it.”

The Toronto Star fronts Danny preparing to raise the flag, chases last week’s New York Times story on reinventing the wheel and follows Canadian aid in Aceh.

Martin Regg-Cohn is with DART in Sri Lanka and also reports on Kofi Annan—a story on which he’s been ahead of the curve.

Mitch Potter is onto the Palestinian election and peace. Kerrie Gillespie reports on hockey night in Thailand.

The editorial board weighs in on beef and BSE. Carol Goar serves up Judy Rebick on feminism. Chantal Hébert looks at Gilles Duceppe.

CanWest papers front Matthew Fisher’s report on the Palestinian election. The Vancouver Sun leads with a vigil for the tsunami victims.

The editorial board is onto drug regulation. Their counterparts in Calgary poop on Phil Fontaine.

The Ottawa Citizen adds federal spending cuts and marijuana to the front page mix.

The National Post also features Fisher's analysis of the election,  young offenders, along with a report that too much exercise is not good for your health.

The Sun and The Citizen also front this story, which no doubt will bring a smile to the face of Cabinet's chief puffer and huffer, health minister Ujjal Dossanjh.

Inside the Citizen, Norma Greenaway presents old data on inter-provincial migration as news—a story the Post picks up.

The editorial board approves of Ontario’s panel on the justice system and the media. The Montréal Gazette’s editorial board says Ottawa should keep its hands off internet drug sales.

In a second editorial, the Citizen rounds on Québec’s language policies—which attract a favourable review in this week’s Economist. In the Calgary Sun, Ezra Levant speaks the same language as the Citizen.

Susan Riley weighs in with some interesting observations about tourism:

“Where my generation visited Chartres, or the Sistine Chapel, young travellers today search out ashrams in India and Buddhist monasteries in Cambodia. Where we picnicked in lemon orchards in the Spanish countryside, they trek through Nepal. Our generation headed to an Israeli kibbutz to experience the culture of the Middle East. Our children are more likely to volunteer on an organic farm in New Zealand.”

Inside the Post, tomorrow is Sir John A. Day. George Jonas says it will be a long time before Palestinians are ready to make peace.

In the Financial Post, Nick Loenen makes the case for electoral reform. In letters, Joan Forsey—the daughter of—busts Michael Bliss:

“Even a historian, it seems, sometimes needs a lesson in history. Michael Bliss says Newfoundland is not crucial to Canada 's territorial integrity. So why did Canada -- from Sir John A. Macdonald on -- always want it? Clearly it wasn't because Canadians loved Newfoundlanders.

It was always the territory. It was bad enough to have a U.S. territory, Alaska, (later a state) on Canada 's west coast. Even the remote possibility of having another U.S. state on the east coast -- at the very mouth of the St. Lawrence River ! -- was too much to contemplate.”

The editorial board praises the Gomery Inquiry, but:

“If Judge Gomery has made any misstep, it was his pre-Christmas decision to grant chatty interviews to many media outlets. His frank descriptions about witnesses and evidence, before he has released his findings, struck some observers as incautious and opened him to charges of pre-judging the outcome.

Still, he has done a sterling job to date. That simply prompts us to ask, once again, why must Canadians hope a government has enough integrity to call a judicial inquiry -- or faces enough political and media pressure? Committees of MPs already have enough power on paper to conduct such investigations. They simply need to be freed from the shackles of rigid party discipline and permitted to use it.”

TOP STORY

PM will back missile plan, Cellucci says

Posted by Norman Spector on January 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Collapse of Objectivity

This lengthy piece by Melanie Phillips has been recieving a lot of buzz.

How has Middle Britain come to applaud the view - hitherto confined to the most extreme left-wing circles -- that the President of the United States is more of a danger than an unbalanced dictator with a terrorist history? How have such solid citizens come to view a democracy - Israel - that has been under attack since its foundation as the greatest threat to world peace? And how has the ancient libel of sinister global Jewish power been allowed to rear its head so openly once again?

Britain is gripped by an unprecedented degree of irrationality, prejudice and hysteria over the issues of Iraq, the terrorist jihad and Israel. All three are intimately linked; all three, however, are thought by public opinion to be linked in precisely the wrong way. This is because all three have been systematically misreported, distorted and misrepresented through a lethal combination of profound ignorance, political malice and ancient prejudices.

This systematic abuse by the media is having a devastating impact in weakening the ability of the west to defend itself against the unprecedented mortal threat that it faces from the Islamic jihad. People cannot and will not fight if they don’t understand the nature or gravity of the threat that they face, so much so that they vilify their own leaders while sanitising those who would harm them.

Yet that is what is happening. Public debate in Britain is now marked by a collapse of objectivity, truth, fairness and balance. Logic and morality have been stood on their heads. Victims are portrayed as oppressors, while mass murderers have to be understood and sympathised with. The outcome is an ugly and dangerous climate in which prejudice and lies have achieved the status of unchallengeable fact; a climate which is now being eagerly manipulated by terrorists who know that if they ratchet up their barbarism and distribute the video the result will merely be an ever greater public clamour for Tony Blair to split away from President Bush and shatter the coalition in defence of the free world.


Rightfully so.

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 9, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Crosbie On Newfs

John Crosbie writes today about why Newfoundlanders are angry about Canada's handling of issues related to natural resources.

Now I must say that I'm not a Newf, though I often get mistaken for one, but I've got to side with the Newfs on this one. Most provinces have had some sort of conflict with Ottawa over resources and one time or another. Except Ontario and Quebec of course.

In the case with Newfoundland Crosbie says:

The 56 years since 1949 have seen the vital interests of Newfoundland and Labrador ignored by Canada, with the resources either poorly administered and depleted -- as in the case of the cod and other fish species -- or with the province's economic and revenue needs ignored, as in the development of the offshore and hydro power resources.

And I know some of you will think it odd that a guy writing at a site called canadiancomment would agree with someone removing Canadian flags from public building but... to hell with you all I'm gonna do it anyways. Danny Williams was right.

And any of you smucks who cry 'Oh my God my Blessed flag' can go and stuff it. The government of Quebec has pissed all over the Canadian flag and no one gives a damn. Yet when the Newfs do the same everyone gets uppity and offended. Please. Consistency folks, consistency.

Anyways as a Maritimer I understand the emotions that would cause Williams to do what he did. The federal government through it's various programs have turned a strong and independent people (I'm speaking of Maritimers in general here) and turned them into slaves. Those may be strong words but as far as I'm concerned they are the truth.

In the case of PEI, whenever federal elections come along, ACOA ramps into high gear throwing money around like it grew on trees. And the sad part of it all is that Maritimers now climb all over each other trying to get their share of the riches. It is enough to bring a person to tears.

Before anyone complains about Williams removing the flags they should consider what they would do if their pride and independence had been ripped out from under them. When the cards are stacked against a person all they have left are symbols.

And symbols are very powerful.

crossposted to canadiancomment

Posted by Dana on January 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Tommy Douglas, Not Dead Enough

Great Moments In Socialism, Jan.8 2005

A hospital administrator in Detroit offers free back surgery to an Ontario woman, as a gesture of appreciation for the 700 Canadian health professionals on his staff.

(Crossposted to SDA)

Posted by Kate McMillan on January 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

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

In the UK, the Blair-Brown feud vies with the tsunami disaster for front-page attention. The PM's holiday transportation arrangements are being attacked.

Relatives are demanding that the government publish a list of missing Britons. The Foreign Office is being accused of screwing up on the identification of those who perished.

Other than the last item, sounds just like home. Speaking of which, much of the snow melted yesterday--in Victoria, that is. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Sun is running a contest to identify the city’s messiest street.

Yesterday, things got a bit icy in Ottawa after the sparsely-attended memorial ceremony for the disaster victims. In Toronto, the cops busted a tsunami scam artist.

As the days pass, DART is getting closer to its target. Yesterday, it finally hit the ground in Sri Lanka but, unfortunately, one of its leased vehicles driven by a hired driver struck a girl, who is said to be doing fine.

In the US, the Los Angeles Times fronts re-building Sri Lanka and the Iraq election.

The Washington Post leads with orphans in Indonesia, off-leads a misguided Iraq attack and, below the fold, publishes an analysis of Mideast elections and the Bush legacy.

The New York Times leads with rail safety after a deadly chemical leak, off-leads re-building in Sri Lanka and goes below the fold with the Palestinian election and the UN oil-for-food audit.

The New York Times’ editorial board pans the Administration’s tort reform, says China must deal with its class conflict and gives Jon Stewart credit for taking out Tucker Carlson. Amen.

Public Editor Daniel Okrent says the Times was right to publish a controversial tsunami photograph. Maureen Dowd says George Bush is defining victory down.

Tom Friedman analyzes the two Mideast elections this month. Larry Diamond sees dangers ahead if Sunnis are excluded in Iraq.

The Washington Post’s editorial board weighs in on social security reform and says US trade policy is hurting the tsunami victims.

Ombudsman Michael Getler reviews the Post’s tsunami coverage. Jim Hoagland says the economy is a global challenge.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board poops on Pakistan ’s Musharraf. Joshua Muravchik looks at Mideast elections, Niall Ferguson at Putin’s Russia.

At home, CanWest papers seem to be taking the day off.

The Toronto Star fronts its reporter who’s following a shipment of Canadian aid to Aceh and a report by its “immigration/diversity” reporter on you can guess. Susan Delacourt reports on the Ottawa ceremony.

Martin Regg-Cohn does triple duty, with a report from Sri Lanka on Kofi Annan’s difficult day, DART’s delayed arrival and long-term reconstruction.

Kerrie Gillespie is shadowing Pierre Pettigrew of Paris on his peregrination through the not-so-bright lights of Thailand.

Martin Knelman wades in on Rick Mercer’s humour. Olivia Ward serves up a feature on Einstein.

Graham Fraser does his annual mea culpa. Haroon Siddiqui is onto the Mideast elections. Mitch Potter sets up the Palestinian vote.

Richard Gwyn is onto hope in the tsunami disaster. Linda McQuaig says it’s revealed truths about human nature that she's always known.

The goodwill is so thick in the Star today that even ex-Reformer Rick Anderson is singing from the same hymn sheet. For purposes of comparison, here’s a conservative who can cut through the pap.

In CanWest land, the Ottawa Citizen fronts the Palestinian election, the "paltry turnout" at the civic centre and DART in Sri Lanka .

The Montréal Gazette puts a more positive headline atop the ceremony, while the editorial board weighs in on global challenges in the wake of the disaster.

The Toronto Sun wins today’s award for best correction:

“Due to an editing error in the Saturday Sun, murder victim John Howard Clarke was incorrectly identified in a photo caption as the building superintendent at a Little Italy apartment. The Sun regrets the error.”

In commentary, Peter Worthington weighs in on global warming. Bob MacDonald beats the US drum.

Eric Margolis pans George Bush for taking three days to get the US act together and they’re still not as generous as we are. Gary Dunford serves up a good send-up of our supreme leader, who took a few days longer.

In Calgary, Paul Jackson says Stockwell Day shines. You read it there first, and only. Ted Byfield likes the separatist streak in Danny Williams.

In Edmonton, Paul Stanway says Williams is screwing up and there’s a better way to get control of provincial resources. John Crosbie does a fine job explaining Newfoundland ’s beefs, which diff from Alberta ’s beef.

Posted by Norman Spector on January 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Learning to love our robed dictators

Mark Steyn wrote recently in The Western Standard that Canadians are not a terribly deferential bunch until it comes to our courts. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin seems to agree. From her interview with the Globe and Mail today:

"I think that people are coming to understand better and better...that it is not a political role; that it is not a partisan role. People understand that while they may not agree with every decision, the institution — and the fact we have an institution to decide these difficult issues — is absolutely necessary to our society and our democracy."

Posted by Paul Tuns on January 9, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack