Thursday, August 31, 2006
Question for the good people of Watertown: does nobody there get pregnant? And if not, have you considered the potential profits from this discovery?
In common with most of this woman(?)'s anti-western, anti-Jewish and anti-Canadian ranting, she starts with a mistake:
"What does a Canadian have to do to prove he's not a security risk to a Conservative government that was ordered by a Federal court to give him a passport?"Ummmm... no. The government was ordered to allow Mr. Khadr to apply for a passport, which they did. The court explicitly stopped short of a determination as to whether a passport should be granted.
"Thet [sic] begs the question then: why is this Canadian Conservative government continuing to treat Khadr as if he's a criminal?"Because he is a self-confessed member of an 'Al Quaeda related' organization? Maybe?
"Is the Conservative government simply using guilt by association by pointing to the activities of his family members, past and present, to strip him of his rights?"Ummm... no. Again, Mr. Khadr has made no secret of his terrorist training in Afghanistan or his involvement with Al Quaeda. It's nice of Ms. Catty to make up a story for him, but I'd rather believe the man himself than her.
"The Khadr family has a long and controversial history. That, however, should not be used against members of that family by the Canadian government"Why not?? God forbid anyone's past actions have any consequences for them, especially when those actions include terrorist associations. Where would Catnip draw the line? How many Canadians would someone have to murder in a terror plot before she would think denying them a passport might make sense? Just how expendable are her fellow Canadians?
"Is this the kind of Canada you want to live in?"Absolutely. Anything less would be dangerous, delusional and just plain stupid...
Let's hope Ms. Feline and her ilk stay a long way from power for a very long time, or we're all doomed.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm struggling here, so perhaps someone can explain. Let's take a typical couple about to have their first child. Let's suppose both parents are in work, and making $50,000 each. The baby is on the horizon and it's time to decide what to do.
If they both choose to keep working, they might have (say) $12,000 in daycare expenses. These are tax deductible, so the actual cost is closer to $8,000. Net result, a joint income of around $92,000 and a marginal tax rate of around 30-something percent.
If they choose for one of them to stay home, they lose $50,000 in income. Additionally (using my own experience) they have to spend more on heating, cooling and lighting at home, because there is someone at home at all times. Net result, an income of around $49,000 having taken off the extra expenses.
Please help me out, because unlike Monica, I really don't see how $92,000 is worse off than $49,000. But if she really feels that strongly about it, I'm willing to swap salaries.
This might have been true 30 years ago. But it simply is not true today. Show me an employer that pays a woman less than a man for the same job. It doesn't exist. If the argument is based on comparing different jobs, where men are in the majority in one and women in the other, then the equivalence of status and value of the work performed is at best subjective. In the end, in a free market, the pay given to employees reflects their value to the organization. If one position pays less than another, the chances are pretty high that it's actually worth less.
Saying something over and over doesn't make it true, but it does fool the gullible Canadian media and with them a large percentage of the public. It's time we heard these statements challenged and time to show us the evidence if it really can be found.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I have another question; who cares? What the heck is the problem with a few beer bottles in a photo anyway?? I'd be more likely to vote for a leader who drank a decent beer (although I'd prefer to see pint glasses over bottles) than I would to vote for Gerard's old boss, who looks like if he did drink anything it would be Bacardi Breezers.
The Liberal Party: An indulgent parent, always ready to buy the latest toys, and light on discipline. Raises highly dependent children with an attitude of entitlement and poor manners. Children are quite likely to be bullies and to take things from other children.
The Conservative Party: A kindly but firm parent; children learn right from wrong early in life and discipline is enforced. Children are treated fairly but not spoiled with material possessions, and encouraged to earn their own rewards.
The NDP: A distant aunt or uncle who drops in from time to time, leaves a pile of imported candy and departs again before the chaos and destruction ensue.
The Green Party: A well-meaning grandparent who brings hemp clothing and granola bars for Christmas, when what you really wanted was a train set.
Monday, August 28, 2006
We've been considering many of the women we know, and looking at how this agency has served them over the last 33 years. What has it actually done for the status of the women in our lives, we ask ourselves.
The radical feminist perspective of the groups funded by SoW Canada seems to centre on the idea that all women are in some way victims, whether of violence, oppression, depression, aggression, or some other -ession. Now, there are victims of all of these things in our society; some of them are women - perhaps the majority of them are women. But there is a world of difference between the statement that women are sometimes victims and the one that all women are victims all the time.
In the farmhouse at the end of our road lives a 93 year old woman. If you talk to her, she'll tell you stories of real hardship, of hours of grindingly hard work. She'll tell you of going out to milk the cows while she was in labour, because there was noone else to do it. And if you suggest to her for one second that she's a victim, she'd probably give you a clip around the ear and send you home PDQ.
In my career I've worked with many intelligent, talented, motivated and all around impressive women. They've worked hard to earn success in their careers; I've asked many of them about their experiences of working in the male-dominated engineering world. Not one of them has ever had a story of discrimination to tell; I've watched them get the promotions they deserved and I've watched their teams of male engineers look up to them with respect and admiration. Victims? Not so much.
My daughter will grow up in the knowledge that she can do anything and be anything she chooses; she has all the opportunity in the world open to her. If anything holds her back or restricts what she can do, it won' t be her gender; it's far more likely that growing up in a rural setting as opposed to an urban one will severely limit her access to schools and activities from which she might have benefited. Somehow, SoW Canada isn't seeming relevant here.
Let's suppose for one moment that the intentions of the feminists funding feminists are sincere; what do they hope to achieve? I don't think the average retail worker on minimum wage would really see the benefit of endless policy papers produced by women earning five times as much. The battered wife might think it's nice that a sociology professor included her in some statistics, but that isn't going to heal her bruises or get her to safety.
At the end of the day, whether you're a man or a woman, life, its pitfalls and rewards aren't just handed to you. You make your own destiny, you get off your own ass and you make your life happen. Some people get lucky, some don't. It's not about policy papers, it's about taking what you have and making the best you can with it. Equality for women should mean equality of opportunity; equality of attainment is then a matter for individuals to gain for themselves.
The feminists at SoW aren't just not helping many women; they're preserving them in the state of victimhood. Only by keeping other women down can these academics and think-tankers keep their own status up. Truth be told, they don't really want too many other women arriving at the top where they are, with their nice offices, BMW convertibles and nicely acceptable social circles. They want and need the retail worker to keep her minimum wage job - because only then does the feminist keep hers. And wouldn't it be interesting to see just how the SoW queen bees treat that shop worker the next time they're shopping for a pair of shoes. After all, we should all be equal, but someone's got to make my latte in the morning, haven't they?
In a volunteer position I've held in a major Canadian city for the last ten years, I've been privileged to be able to help a number of women who were victims of violence, and some who'd been raped. So it makes me incredibly angry to hear the feminists talk about these issues while the Rape Crisis phone line here goes to voicemail for at least half the day. There are victims, real victims, crying for help, and if these women truly gave a damn, that phone line would get answered 24/7.
$23 million dollars would buy a lot of shelter space and get a lot of Rape Crisis lines answered. It's not about policy; it's about getting off your ass and making it happen for yourself and for those around you that need your help.
SoW Canada serves only the status of its own women. It's time for it to go.
This is the exact same technique as Christina Lawand used on the infamous Harper press conference edit. Do they teach all new CBC journalists this technique??
A CBC Ottawa radio news item this morning, ostensibly about the training and preparation given to reservists joining Canada's mission in Afghanistan, included an interview with a tearful spouse of a soldier serving with the same unit as Corporal Anthony Boneca. The reporter then cleverly cut from this personal and emotional scene to a tape of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, who was obviously speaking before an audience, most likely of reservists. He cracks a joke; "as an old sergeant of mine once said, you only volunteer once." There was no context given; the impression left with listeners was that this was Mr. O'Connor speaking about Corporal Boneca, or responding with a joke in very poor taste to the tearful concerns of the previously interviewed spouse.
The intent here was clearly to depict Mr. O'Connor as arrogant, heartless and joking about the very serious subject matter of the report. It's a low journalistic trick and one for which the reporter and CBC should apologise.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Once again, the target of this post is Heather Mallick, although, for a change, we don't disagree on matters of politics. Her latest is titled 'Dogville' and, once you've worked through her writing style, it's essentially a complaint that as a society we place too much value on dogs, and not enough on children.
Along the way, she takes a shot at dog owners who have 'furkids' - in her words, "That means dogs that are fed, dressed, housed and spoken to like children." She complains that when her local paper asked residents about whether they would like to see pets allowed on patios at restaurants, many readers responded that they would sooner sit next to some people's pets than many people's children.
Mallick sees this as a symptom of some deep malaise within Canadian society. I see it as a sign that we've treated our children as gods for so long that the average family dog is now often a more pleasant social companion than the average child. Mallick castigates the newspaper readers for their response without considering at all the possibility that it might be true.
Far from indicating (as Mallick seems to think) that we care too much for dogs and not enough for other people's children, I think this trend indicates that parents don't care enough for their own children to make them pleasant members of society. An ill-mannered child is unpleasant; an ill-mannered dog can be dangerous. But it would seem that in Mallick's neighborhood at least, the dogs are better behaved than the children.
I refer readers to this earlier post, and maintain that Mallick's observations are a symptom of the same problem - kids are gods and nobody is taking responsibility for bringing them up properly.
As for furkids? My corgis are known as furkids, and we do treat them every bit as well as we treat my daughter; they get great food, better healthcare - cos it's private ;) - and lots of love. They also get discipline, training, correction and rules. They are not treated as children, they are treated as dogs, but they are treated as well as any other member of the family.
Mallick makes the common mistake of all socialists, all the time - she cannot understand the concept of equal but different. If only the left could ever grasp the concept of difference.......
Saturday, August 26, 2006
While this has subsided of late, it will be back just as soon as any issue to which it is relevant arises, or whenever an election campaign begins.
I am extremely frustrated when this happens, because it's the most fundamental untruth about conservatives and yet it goes unchallenged most of the time. The question I would like to see interviewers, journalists and pundits address here is 'Why?' Why would anyone want to take healthcare away from anyone who needed it? Why would someone want to make an education system worse, not better? Why would anyone want to see people suffer unnecessarily?
The truth is that conservatives don't want any of these things. We want to see better healthcare for all, just as those on the left do. We want to see better education, and we want to build a happier, healthier society, just as those on the left do. We don't want to see anyone suffer.
We just have different views on how to make things better. But we don't want to make them worse for anyone, and the accusation that we do must always be fought.
Conservatives (with a small 'c') are often the most generous people you can meet; they are often the volunteer backbones of their communities; they are generous to charities; they help their neighbours. We're not 'activists'; we're too busy living life and making a real difference where we can. We believe in working hard, contributing as much as we're able and having the freedom to do so.
By contrast, left-wing 'activists' are more likely to be paid for their good works in salaried positions; more likely to engage in talking, politicising and criticising than in actually doing anything useful, even for the people they claim to be helping. The left-wing actually does want to see successful people's lives made harder and to see those people worse-off; that is the basis of their approach.
The accusation that conservatism is in some way evil, or in some way dedicated to making anyone's life worse is baseless and we need to be digging hard to get it out of the entrenched position it has in the world view of Canadians. We really do all want to make things better and it would be refreshing if left-wingers would admit as much sometime.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Does the CBC spend a lot of time in the blogosphere seeing what we write about them? Anyone else observed visits like this?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Ontario Today used to be a reasonably intelligent and worthwhile show under former host Dave Stevens - perhaps the last of the smart hosts at CBC radio in Ottawa (correction: not quite the last, there's still Rob Clipperton). Now it's a disjointed, rambling mish-mash of bizarrely unrelated half hour phone-in segments cut with navel-gazing arts pieces and irrelevant and obscure 'news' items.
Celli, a chatty hackette who plays dumb schoolgirl rather too convincingly, hosted the morning show for a while, where her giggly style and sycophantic interview technique grated horrendously on caffeine deprived nerves. I suppose we should at least be grateful she won't be on in the mornings again. Her smiley and inane style combined with the new format might well be the final blow to the feebly struggling corpse of Ontario Today.
This appointment continues the slide of CBC radio from an intelligent (although pathologically biased) talk and news network to a patronising, desperate to be relevant, non-entity.
We lost Ken Rockburn, Michael Enright, Peter Gzowski, Mary-Lou Finlay, Dave Stevens and John Lacharité.
We got Alan Neal, Rita Celli, Lucy vanOldenbarneveld and endless stand-ins. 'Nuff said.
Mr. Taylor decided to take a short cut from a bus stop on Terry Fox Drive, in Ottawa's far west end, to Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators. The short cut took him across undeveloped land between a Home Depot and the hockey arena's parking lot. Halfway there, Mr. Taylor encountered the Carp River, and in particular, the mud of its banks, whereupon his stroll came to an abrupt and sinking end.
The Ottawa Citizen seems to feel that there should have been a fence or a sign to warn Mr. Taylor of the impending arrival of a muddy bog in his path. Indeed, the editorial describes the absence of such indications as an 'embarrassment' to Ottawa.
The Citizen describes the area as weedy. As a service to readers, here is a picture of the weed in question:
Photo (c) www.javajane.co.uk
It's a bullrush... in fact the area in question is covered in bullrushes. Absolutely covered. So here we have someone who walks headlong into a field of bullrushes and is apparently surprised to discover a little moisture in the terrain.
For my money, there's not much clearer sign of a bog, pond, swamp, stream, river, or other watery obstacle than a field full of bullrushes. I am not convinced that any amount of signage would help Mr. Taylor. It's hard to see how it's the city that should be embarrassed.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
If we were to adopt this tradition, how might we name some taverns from, say, 13 years of our recent history? Some ideas:
The Billion & Boondoggle
The Poll & Dither (& Poll & Dither & Poll & Dither)
The Pepper & Plate
The Envelope & Kickback
The Soldier on our Street
The Stench & Corruption
The Beer & Popcorn
Updates: from the comments
The Pig & Whistleblower
The Taxpayer's Gum
The Entitled & Entitlement
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Diana Swain issued a statement on last night's National, managing to express 'regret' while looking anything but regretful. However, it's nice to see that somebody does listen to the public sometimes, even in the Orwellian corporation that is the CBC.
In this case, the most dramatic element of the item was just unfair and, as I said above, violated the direct prohibition on using an answer from one question as if it were an answer to another. The producer argues that Mr. Harper’s views were fairly stated, but the context and structure were such as to mislead the viewer.
It will be interesting to see how and when the pathological lefties at the CBC take their revenge.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Victims first present with a severe attack of self-righteousness, which in some cases may be accompanied by hypocrisy. As the illness takes it's course, victims become unable to associate cause and effect; for example, they may believe that someone who contracts a sexually transmitted disease through promiscuous unprotected sex is somehow not responsible for their actions.
Left untreated, victims may become delusional and believe they are in some way holier than the rest of us, or indeed, sainted. In extreme cases, victims become hysterical, foam at the mouth and emit a foul discharge.
While study of the new condition is in its infancy, it has been noted that it seems to affect celebrities and their hanging-on wannabes to a disproportionate extent. Rational people who recognize the realities of the world seem to be less affected. There is currently no cure, but one expert consulted by the Doggerel Party suggested prayer to Saint Diana of Wales may be effective in temporarily reducing symptoms.
Update : An Liberal does indeed have his cake and eat it too:
August 21, 2006
Statement from Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj
"What I did say, however, is that the legislation surrounding our banned list of terrorist organizations must be evaluated to ensure our role as mediator is not compromised. Currently, the legislation forbids Canada from having any discussions with those on the list, and I believe this is not the way to achieve peace."
“Canada must be a partner in any efforts by the international community to bring peace and stability to the region, and we can not play that role if we are shackled by this legislation which forbids us from even speaking to those groups on our list. Discussion, negotiation and diplomacy are paramount to a lasting peace.”
[No matter who's on the other side of the table, or what they believe]
It has come to our attention that other Liberal and NDP Members of Parliament also support Hezbollah. We apologise unreservedly for the implication in earlier posts that Borys Wrzesnewskyj and Peggy Nash were not supporters of Hezbollah, and we regret any embarrassment the omission may have caused them.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Having reflected for a couple of days since this announcement, though, the question that I feel is of much more importance is, how the heck did we end up here in the first place? What kind of society have we built, when we even need to consider charging ten year olds with crimes such as vandalism, auto theft, even occasionally crimes of violence?
Over the last fifty years, all western societies have seen a progressive slide in the standards of behaviour expected of their citizens, and most especially of their children.
Standards in education have slipped inexorably over the same period, so that children today are less literate and less numerate than they were in Victorian England. I have some teaching materials from 1923 for elementary schools in Canada, that I picked up in an antique store - and most high-school graduates of today would be hard pressed to complete the exercises expected of those 1923 10 year old students.
Why have we seen this decline in discipline, decency and education? Our people are just as smart as they always were; our technology is far superior. Oughtn't our society to be improving, not crumbling?
Over the same period, we have seen the boundaries of socialism moving forward little by little, even in countries with what some might call 'conservative' government. Here in Canada, for example, socialism has established a baseline position that no government can truly roll back. Our health system, education system and most other institutions are socialist in principle; they have socialism built into their design, they are run by socialists and the people who work in them belong to socialist unions pursuing socialist political goals.
With the ever increasing encroachment of socialism come the three great lies on which it is founded:
- All People Are Equal
Well, no, they really aren't. Some are smart, some are not. Some are practical, some are not. Some are mechanically inclined, some are not. Some work hard, some do not. Some are kind and good, others are not. Socialism, however has as its fundamental goal the elimination of difference. Socialist institutions take no account of the differences in people's abilities, intelligence, or willingness to contribute. Everybody must benefit, regardless of their contribution. Conversely, achievement, aspiration, dreams and the spiritual must be squashed, because they tend to reinforce difference, not to eliminate it.
When I was in university, the Cold War was still going on. One of my lecturers was a Soviet defector. He'd been a Colonel in the GRU, the Soviet foreign intelligence service, who defected to the UK. We knew him only as Andrew Bain. We were eager to learn a lot from him - he taught us a lot about Soviet weaponry and tactics, which I won't repeat, but I vividly remember him talking about everyday life. One of us asked him to describe the differences between the life of, say, a plumber, in Moscow versus New York. He said, "Essentially, there is no difference in day-to-day life, but in New York the plumber can have a dream."
- The State Will Take Care Of You
Socialism (and Liberalism in Canada) preaches the replacement of individual responsibility with collective responsibility. The state will take care of your health needs; the state will take care of raising your children; the state will take care of you if you don't have enough money or material possessions. Sounds good, doesn't it? But it's a lie. The state can never realise this aim. There isn't enough money in the world and there are simply some things (like raising children) where the state cannot do what individuals can do for themselves.
- You Can Level Up
This lie follows on from lie number 2. Socialists would have us believe that when you force equality on a population in any given context, you can raise everyone's experience to the same level. Despite this mantra being contrary to common sense, mathematics, economics, science and experience, socialist politicians continue to peddle it. Experience alone shows that whenever anything is 'equalized', this leads to the lowest common denominator of achievement - particularly where this lie meets lie number 1.
It is lie number 2 that has led to the gradual erosion of the quality of child rearing in this country and the consequential fall in educational standards and rise in youth crime. Parents used to raise their own children and used to teach them right from wrong. Society was made up of concerned individuals, who cared enough to work hard in the pursuit of these goals. Now, many believe that the schools, the social services, the day care centre, some faceless government entity should do this for us. Parents have given up in many cases, particularly among the less well-off and less well educated. Ironically, socialism is making life harder for the very people it is supposed to help.
However, the schools (and the Liberal toddler institutions that, thankfully, we avoided) can't raise our children. Teaching right from wrong is a tough process that starts when a child is born and takes constant effort, every hour of every day. It's not done by singing happy socialist anthems round the piano in the daycare; it's done by one-on-one loving care of a child, with positive encouragement for good behaviour and consequences for bad. Especially with young children, it needs to be in the moment and immediate. And it needs to be accompanied with love, security and trust. An institution simply cannot provide this; it fails. And as it fails, children grow up with less trust, less security and less concept of right and wrong. From being institutionalised, children learn that consequences for bad behaviour can be avoided by stealth, or if they do exist, they are dilute and weak and powerless.
Socialism has promised to raise our children for us, but it can't deliver. The abandonment of parental responsibility that the socialists have encouraged over the last 50 years has put us where we are.
We can debate endlessly how to fix it - the debate sparked by Vic Toews is but one example. However, the insidious creep of socialism is reflected in the fact that the current discussion concerns only different variations on the same, institutional, government based solutions. Government institution, or government social worker. Those are the choices we're being offered. The socialists have won this one, and our children are the losers.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Reuters NewMedia, Inc. - 5 July 1996 / 17 August 2006
VANCOUVER / TORONTO - Canadian AIDS activists said on Friday they regretted Prime Minister Jean Chretien's / Stephen Harper's decision to shun an international AIDS conference in Vancouver / Toronto and urged him not to give up the fight against AIDS.
The 11th / 16th International Conference on AIDS opens on Sunday in Vancouver / Toronto, but Chretien / Harper has said he is too busy to attend.
This will be the first / second time in the history of the conference that the head of government of the host country will not open the event.
"We're extremely disappointed," said Brian Huskins / Dr. Julio Montaner, ...
But activists said that Chretien / Harper was afraid to show up because his government had not renewed the National AIDS Strategy beyond 1998 / he's a fascist pig who doesn't like homosexuals, not that AIDS is a gay disease, of course it's not but anyway we were going to boo the hell out of him so where is he?
Just select the right combination of names, dates and reasons and make your own news story.
Déja view, again.
To step back and look at this in a non-partisan way for one moment, you have to admit that this is indeed the case. In particular, George W. and his administration have been extracting the maximum of political capital from the situation since the announcement of the foiled plot. No doubt the same is happening in the U.K. itself, most likely to an even greater extent.
However, maintaining objectivity for a while longer (oh, the strain!) we must also accept that in our representative democracies, and in a world where the soundbite matters more than the substance, it is inevitable that this would be the case. No matter what the event, it is the politician's job to spin it, torque it and use it to their maximum advantage. We should not and cannot expect anything else.
It is distasteful, to be sure, and especially when this happens as a result of tragic events. But it applies to all politicians of all stripes; remember when Jack Layton suddenly came over all tough on crime after the Jane Creba shooting? Or Ontario's Attorney General running like a greyhound to chase the ambulance any time there was a dog attack, to justify the pit-bull ban?
This is the system we built for ourselves. To expect politicians not to make capital from negative events is too much to hope for; unless they all stop, none of them can stop.
To his credit, however, at least Stephen Harper has been relatively silent on the terror arrests, as compared to Bush and Blair. It's a good effort in an imperfect world.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The truck belonged to the Hunte Corporation, one of the U.S.'s largest puppy brokers. Hunte buys puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills and sells them on to pet shops. They have a very glossy website, which hides the true nature of the puppy broker business quite successfully.
The company released a statement stating that they were 'puppy lovers too' and that they 'could not have imagined such a loss'. I'm sure they don't mean the dollars lost; that would just be too cynical... wouldn't it?
The Doggerel Party reminds readers that when you buy a puppy from a pet store you are buying a dog that was quite likely born, raised, transported and first socialised in a small crate among a hundred or so others. You are buying a puppy of dubious ancestry, with no genetic background and usually no registration paperwork. And you are supporting an industry that farms dogs, just as sheep, cattle and pigs are farmed, supporting people who are motivated solely by the money they can make from breeding dogs.
Couldn't imagine such a loss? Don't want to imagine such a loss? Then don't treat dogs like a bulk commodity and throw a hundred of them into a semi-trailer in the first place.
Want a dog? Go to a responsible local breeder who is dedicated to the welfare of their animals and whose motivation is the love and improvement of their breed. A good place to start is the Canadian Kennel Club or the American Kennel Club. Or go to your local shelter and adopt a rescue. But don't support the puppy mill industry. Please.
Monday, August 14, 2006
After Page had written letters to several third parties describing his concerns, the council launched their defamation suit. The story so far is really well covered in this Macleans magazine piece. Some Blogging Tories also covered this chilling attempt to stifle free speech and democracy in Canada at the time.
The Doggerel Party's rural affairs correspondent now reports on the subsequent events. The lawsuit was dismissed. After some machinations, and a particularly tense council meeting, the township council decided to let the matter drop. Montague township is on the hook for most of Donald Page's costs, and their own - a total in the region of $50,000. Not much, perhaps, but in a township of only 1,000 homes, a significant amount of money.
By a staggering coincidence, approximately $50 is the increase in property tax bills seen by Montague residents this year. This is how the residents get to pay for their Council's misadventure in ego.
That the lawsuit would be thrown out based on the Constitution should have been obvious. In addition, there is in public circulation a photograph taken at the scene that shows the Montague fire truck in front of the property. There is snow on the roof of the house and only a thin plume of smoke. Firefighters maintain that the house was 'engulfed in flame' when they arrived. The lawsuit-happy councillors have not yet explained how a house can be both engulfed in flame and have snow on the roof.
Reeve Gary Doyle has been on Montague council for 18 years, and reeve for 10. Montague is a small township with no really significant settlements within its boundaries. Apathy, and the 'who you know' dynamic ensures that it takes a lot to rock the political status quo in a place like this. However, after a case that shook Canada's democratic foundations, it will be interesting to see if the upcoming municipal election might deliver a further lesson to Montague councillors, who are clearly in need of such an education.
It has been brought to our attention that in fact, the OPP is a paramilitary weapon of the corporation you call CANADA, which is engaged in a genocidal crusade on behalf of the Catholic Church. Read and weep.
We thank Doreen Silversmith, official Six Nations representative to the United Nations in Geneva, no less, for the clarification.
If only I'd known before I took my oath of Canadian citizenship... With a tip o' the headgear to Neo Conservative.
I don't think anyone doubts that there are cases where genuine wrongs were done; but the philosophical question of how many future generations must continue to bear responsibility for wrongs committed in the past is what is really at issue here.
There seems to be a widespread acceptance, for example, that former occupied territories of the Roman empire don't really have a case to go to the Vatican today and ask for compensation.
Similarly, anyone who was to suggest the English should go after France or Normandie for the invasion of 1066 is liable to be laughed out of many rooms before they even got near a court.
A fraudulent insurance salesman might bilk millions out of unsuspecting clients; if he dies before he has been convicted, his children don't then go on trial for the crime.
So where, then, do we draw the line? At what point do we say that, no matter what happened in the past, we have to focus on the future and move forward from the point where we actually are, not the point where we might wish we were?
In the case of the Six Nations dispute, the legitimacy of the land claim is in question. Those (like our government) who have caved into the violence and vandalism of the 'protestors' are pre-judging the land claim issue and are inherently granting it credibility it does not necessarily merit.
It is interesting that the Six Nations protest only occurred when the land in question was on the point of being developed. It is interesting that it only occurred after Ken Hill and other business leaders of the Six Nations were thwarted in their attempt to seize land in the US to build a casino. It's interesting that the Six Nations of today only want the portions of the land that will make money - and now they want the wind as well. But only the wind that makes money.
The claim may be legitimate, or it may be a shameless money grab. That issue is far from decided. How much white man's guilt should we carry how many hundred years into the future? That also is very much undecided.
However, those of us who talk about the rule of law in this situation are concerned with the Criminal Code. Whatever the situation, the burning of a $1.5m railroad bridge, the toppling of hydro towers, the assault of TV reporters, the throwing of rocks through the windows of a senior citizen's home, the theft of vehicles, these are all crimes. That they occur in the context of a land dispute is irrelevant. That our government has chosen to ignore them, and instructed the OPP to ignore them remains a disgrace.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
- Some of you clearly really are such apologists, despite the denials and obfuscation; that your hidden agenda is being revealed is not anyone's problem but yours. Get over it.
- Some of you may not overtly sympathise with terror groups, but in your naivety, you're also lending support. Get over it.
- Those who honestly do not support the above groups and are genuinely mischaracterised; you have my sympathy. Welcome to how it felt to be a Conservative for the last 10 years, and especially during the 2004 election campaign. Just substitute abortion for Hezbollah; homophobia for Hamas; racism for Al-Quaeda.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I am all in favour of green cars, and anything that reduces fuel consumption is fine by me, especially as I drive well over 60,000 km a year. However, I am still immensely frustrated by both Canadian and US government policies on emissions regulation and alternative fuels.
The hybrid car is still a relatively new technology. It's expensive to build and to buy (even though they are often loss-leaders for the manufacturers). Real-world hybrid fuel consumption often exceeds the published figures by a long way and in some cases is only marginally better than the regular gas model of the same car.
By contrast, in Europe, the self-same manufacturers are already selling fleets of cars that offer 30% less carbon emissions with little or no sacrifice in performance. The modern diesel engines used in today's Chrysler, Mercedes, Volvo, BMW, GM and Ford cars are in most cases superior to their gasoline counterparts in all metrics. Diesel cars can pull heavy trailers - try doing that with a Civic hybrid. They are now as quiet, as refined and as fast if not faster than gasoline equivalents.
Given our taste on this side of the Atlantic for larger luxury cars, SUVs and trucks, the potential CO2 emissions reductions are even bigger here than in Europe.
Chrysler and Jeep manufacture diesel models in the USA, and send them over to Europe. But we can't buy them here.
The reason is that North American emissions regulations pre-date awareness of global warming. They are all about smog reduction. The emphasis is on nitrogen, sulphur, etc. rather than CO2 emissions. Now, nobody wants to see more, or worse smog. But I can't help feeling that turning our backs on a readily available, accessible, affordable and above all quick way of reducing automotive emissions of greenhouse gas by 30% is a little shortsighted.
Diesel isn't perfect, and it needs work to resolve those pollution and smog issues - which is ongoing. But it's a heck of a lot cheaper to implement than the hybrid, and it's here right now and could be in the dealerships tomorrow across most of the model ranges of cars sold in this country. Wouldn't it make sense to let that 30% cut in CO2 emissions start to happen now and give the manufacturers 5 or 10 years to solve the other emissions problems with diesel?
Today, facing mounting political pressure over the Iraq war and domestic economic problems, President Bush arranged a moderate earthquake in Mexico City as a distraction.
Meanwhile, as Tony Blair faces revolt within his own Labour party over UK foreign policy in the middle East, he orders a major typhoon to strike China, and sends the state-owned BBC off to cover that instead. President Bush later calls Blair to check that he was not affected by the Mexico earthquake, as Blair is on holiday in the Caribbean.
And finally, in a move designed to make him appear warm and fuzzy, Canadian PM Stephen Harper arranges for bald eagles at the Winnipeg zoo to succesfully hatch a chick.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
- Liberal MPs march openly under the Hezbollah banner in Montreal. Hezbollah is an illegal terrorist group in Canada, and yet the second largest federal political party is home to their supporters. No Liberal has yet publicly distanced themselves from this support of Hezbollah.
- The Liberal Party puts its own narrow interests ahead of the wider issues of the Middle East, Canada's national interest and the pursuit of peace. God / Allah forbid that they allow an MP with an appropriate cultural background and expertise to contribute to forming Canadian policy in this complex and turbulent area.
- The Ontario Liberal government appeals against a judge ordering it to enforce its own laws, siding with Six Nations protestors against the people of Caledonia. Yes, Ontario, your government are siding with the burning of bridges, the assault of bystanders, the destruction of hydro towers, the illegal occupation of private property and the escape from justice of criminals. A judge says they should stop the criminals and punish them and the government is appealing that decision.
You really couldn't make this stuff up....
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
"Each of these little dollars has the potential to grow into tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands," he said. "To cut them off in their prime as part of this hunt is just unacceptable."
Other figures in the money-rights movement echoed McCartney, including accountants, bankers and record company executives. One source told the Doggerel Party, "If you take the money now, before it's had a chance to grow to maturity, you could seriously damage the economy, er, I mean the ecosystem. Left to fully mature, these dollars could turn into houses, Bentleys, furs, jewels, designer dresses... you must leave them safely in our hands to develop their full potential."
Paul McCartney is 64, she doesn't and she won't....
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
From Caledonia Wakeup Call, via Small Dead Animals.
From CTV.ca, reporting on the exchanges between residents and protestors last night:
But [local mayor] Trainer said residents were already angry as aboriginals had thrown rocks earlier at the home of an 89-year-old man whose house borders the occupied land.
Oh, those brave Mohawk warriors, eh?
Native response was swift, with a spokesman promising the barricades would go back up immediately. Non-natives (sic) are of course happy with the ruling. It seems sensible to expect trouble to flare up again in Caledonia now.
Whatever happens now, perhaps Dalton McGuinty and his lap-dog police commissioner might be forced to do something??
Monday, August 07, 2006
This on top of Christina Lawand's blatant manipulation of press conference footage of PMSH.
How can we trust anything this bunch of jokers is telling us?
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Private Eye, a satirical magazine in Britain carried a parody of the ads, with the caption "We couldn't think of any words to sell our ice-cream, so here is a picture of a bird with no clothes on."
I mention this, because the Ottawa Citizen has run three stories in the last two weeks that have been accompanied by color pictures of semi-naked pre-pubescent girls. Most recently, the picture ran full size on the front page of the Weekly section in today's paper, with no caption or context.
Earlier in the week, a story on climate change was accompanied by a similar photograph. Climate change to girls in swimsuits is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? All this, just as police were searching for Peter Whitmore and the missing Saskatchewan 10-year old boy.
I have no objection to pictures of pretty women in swimsuits - far from it. But I don't think we need to see children portrayed this way, and I certainly don't think that stories on completely unrelated issues should be illustrated like this. Quite what the photo editor is thinking, I don't know, but perhaps it bears investigation.
For those who are on slow dial up connections (trust me, I sympathise) the main points are:
Harper is asked how he feels about the surge in Conservative support from the Jewish community, and on the flip side, about the loss in support from other communities for his mid-east policy. He gives a long and detailed answer in the unedited footage, explaining that he appreciates the support and intends to listen to the voices of all communities, but that when dealing with international issues of great strategic importance, no government can be driven by polls alone.
Lawand picked out one 10 second segment from this two minute answer, and instead of using the original question, she poses her own, cutting from footage of protestors outside to the clip of PMSH. The message is (as Stephen Taylor puts it) Harper is a cold-hearted jerk who doesn't care about the protestors.
Later, another answer is manipulated, as Stephen Harper explains that his government does intend to listen to all voices and that is why Peter McKay met with some of the protestors. Lawand cuts this answer and uses clips out of context to cement the Harper-as-cold-hearted-jerk image.
This particular incident is blatant and obvious, but how much more of this kind of thing goes on daily and unnoticed? It's time Canada's state broadcaster was held to account for their abysmal, dishonest, biased and shoddy journalism.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Flash back a year. Weren't we looking at numbers that suggested that support for the Conservative Party was reasonably strong but that 'scary' Stephen Harper only had the support of around a fifth of the electorate as a suitable Prime Minister?
Perhaps there are those who are concerned by the slipping numbers, but I am not among them. People in large part vote for Prime Ministers, and 60% is a very very very strong number for a man who only a few short months ago was considered too scary to ever govern. People don't vote for foreign policy, except when polled between elections.
Fiscal imbalance and health care guarantees await, and who knows where that 60% could go when those are fixed.
One thing is certain in all of this; the Liberals will need a different ad agency with some different ideas next time around, because 'scary' has been consigned to the cesspool of history.
While I hesitate to make light of what could have been a tragedy, I can't help but think that it is reassuring to know that, despite all the capital's social ills, we at least don't have to contend with renegade senior citizens deliberately driving into coffee shop patios. Lost control of her car? D'ya think?
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Check the story here, and eat more chocolate.
Or you can take a short cut to Angie here and Lucy here.
For a deeper insight into the great mind of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, a southern Ontario Cardigan has his own extremely entertaining web site at www.harrythedog.ca.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The poll of the title is fictitious. This post was brought on by one of those chatty style things they do at CBC Ottawa, where the show host 'interviews' a reporter who has supposedly done an indepth piece on a particular topic - in this case PMSH's stance on the mid-east situation.
It seems to me that no matter what the subject matter, these exchanges go like this:
Hallie Cotnam: So, person X wasn't very happy with Mr. Harper. I've heard that community Y has also been saying bad thing Z about Mr. Harper?
Evan Dire: Well, Hallie, funny you should say that. They don't like Mr. Harper over at organization A. And Organization B said this nasty thing about Mr. Harper.
Hallie Cotnam: How interesting, I'd heard some other people say that about Mr. Harper. Did you find he was also unpopular with Group D?
Evan Dire: Oh yes, Mr. Harper hasn't been doing a very good job, according to Mr .E, the president of Group D. In fact, if he doesn't earn the support of constiuency F and special interest group G, he may well fail to achieve a majority government.
Hallie Cotnam: Well, Evan, didn't I hear that activist H is committed to stopping the evil, bigoted, scary, demonic Prime Minister from getting a majority?
Evan Dire: Actually, Hallie, activist H told me that the sky will fall if any listeners vote for Mr. Harper.
etc. ad nauseam
It appears that PM Stephen Harper is not alone in staying away from the Outgames; with attendance at some events as low as 7, it would appear that approximately 30 million other Canadians have been staying away as well. Wow... we really must all be intolerant, ignorant bigots.
Kudos, then, to the sister of murdered Vancouver carpenter Mike Frastacky, who shows tremendous courage and integrity in the loss of her brother as he was serving a cause he loved. Article from the Chronicle Herald here. If only there were more Canadians like her...