Friday, December 21, 2007

There's Ignorant, Then There's Google Ignorant

Some years ago, quality analyst Paul Lane was hired by ADGA Consultants, a well known Ottawa firm with a strong grip on the lucrative business of supplying smart heads to the federal government at a 30% premium over their actual value.

Three days later, Paul Lane informed ADGA that he suffered from bipolar disorder, often known as manic depression. He was immediately fired.

An Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (yes, them, of all people) ruled in October of this year that Mr. Lane was improperly dismissed and awarded him $80,000 in damages. ADGA is appealing this decision in court and today on the CBC their lawyer, one Stephen Bird, explained why.

Apparently, when Mr. Lane informed ADGA of his condition, they immediately researched it. You might think, for a powerful government consulting corporation, that this meant they hired a doctor, or even spoke to Mr. Lane's own doctor. But no, according to Mr. Bird, ADGA researched bipolar disorder 'on the internet'. Well geez, that's the way to get reliable information on something as misunderstood as mental illness. After a quick Google, then, ADGA fires Mr. Lane.

Interestingly, a number of expert witnesses testified before the OHRT on Mr. Lane's behalf. Mr. Stephen Bird discounts their testimony because they didn't know Mr. Lane. Of course, Google knew Mr. Lane and the details of his condition, when ADGA based their decision to fire him on that 'research'. ADGA knew enough about Mr. Lane to hire him - the fact that he got there should count for something. And guess what? He's now doing that quality analyst's job somewhere else, apparently without difficulty.

Here's a thought. Suppose everyone at ADGA who has or has ever had a diagnosed mental illness stopped work after the holidays. Suppose everyone in Canada who was in that situation stopped working. Just where do you think that might leave the country, the economy and your daily life, Mr. Stephen Bird? Because guess what? You don't know who we're talking about. You don't know that the barista preparing your latte is bipolar. You don't know that the nurse giving you your flu shot is depressed. You don't know that the CEO of that major corporation you just bought stock in was in hospital for stress related reasons a while back.

What we do know, however, is that there is a high correlation between disorders such as bipolar disorder and individuals of high intelligence, creativity, talent and achievement. We do know that Mr. Stephen Bird and his ADGA cronies would have fired most of the world's great artists and composers, many of the great inventors and innovators.

What ADGA did will deter anyone from ever being honest about their illness. What ADGA has done sets back the cause of the mentally ill in this country by years. What ADGA has done is ignorant, stupid, pathetic and harmful. And Mr. Stephen Bird's ignorance and stupidity will only encourage other ignorant and stupid people.

Recently we've seen a whole lot of abuse of the Human Rights Tribunals of this country. But here is a case that is precisely the kind of case they were created to address and here is a case where we are all better off because they were there. Mr. Stephen Bird should stop Googling and start learning, and the Human Rights Tribunals should stop rolling over so Richard Warman can rub their bellies and get back to fighting the injustice and ignorance that really does need correcting.

Friday, December 14, 2007

CAJ Protests

The Association of CBC Journalists is protesting the investigation that has been launched into whether CBC reporters fed questions to Liberal members of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee.

The Association is 'outraged' that disciplinary action might be taken against the reporter(s) and is urging the CBC to drop the investigation.

“This charge is baffling and we want it dropped. It appears as though the reporter was merely doing his or her job - what CBC journalists do every day in this country, bearing witness to the evil that is the fascist Stephen Harper regime, as it happens, or indeed As It Happens,” said a CAJ official.

The CBC says the reporter did not write any undercover questions or cross journalistic lines as he invented the Liberal questions. He agreed to a request to step further away from the incident - by not actually typing the questions - but refused to stop feeding the Liberals, according to the CBC.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Front Page

Reporters Outraged Over Outrage

Canadian reporters are demanding a full public enquiry after a protective dyke surrounding the bounds of reasonable journalism was this week breached by an unprecedented deluge of hysterical stories. Said one veteran CBC reporter, "I can't believe this. I've never seen airwaves so swamped. I'm off to the smoking room."

In other news:
  • RCMP Killer Death Squad: Did Harper Give The Order?
  • Getting to Know The Real Taser Victim: What Toothpaste Did He Use?
  • Taser Victim Once Sat On My Couch: Anonymous
  • Why Taser Throwing RCMP Death Squad Killers Must Be Shut Down
  • Why Grenade Throwing Bomb Making Teenage Terrorists Must Be Set Free
  • In Brief: 10,000 dead in Bangladesh
(c) 2007 All Canadian media outlets.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Sharp eyed journalists at the Globe and Mail recently noticed the striking resemblance between Liberal leader Stephane Dion and Dr. Charles Smith. To help avoid confusion, we remind readers that one of these men has spent some time poring over the long deceased and leaping to conclusions about criminal or scandalous acts having been committed, and the other is Dr. Charles Smith.

I Had To Get Back To The Blog

So, things have been quiet here for a while. I have a new job, which has taken some adjustment. It's a big step up but an order of magnitude more complex, so most of my spare time and energy has been expended there.

However, today I realized I've been gone too long, when my 3 1/2 year old daughter was pretending to be a rocket ship. She was orbiting my wife (a planet) and my wife asked her if Daddy was a moon. The response was "No, Daddy's the Big Dipper."

Big Dipper?? If my own daughter thinks I'm any kind of Dipper, I've been gone way too long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Iggy-Gate Swirls On

Controversy continues to swirl over the dispute between a dog rescue agency and celebrity animal lover Stéphane 'Degenerate' Dion.

Some time ago, Dion had adopted 'Iggy' as his deputy. However, despite training and an attempted neutering, Iggy did not get along with Degenerate's other pet, Kyoto. "He kept chasing Kyoto around the house, shouting 'We didn't get it done,'" said a source close to Dion.

Dion had then re-homed Iggy in a quieter home away from the limelight and TV cameras. However when the rescue agency, run by a Mr. Coderre and a Mr. Rodriguez, heard that Iggy had been re-homed without their consent, they immediately swung into action. Iggy was grabbed from the background and placed in another location closer to the TV cameras.

"You can see how much happier Iggy is; he's smirking again," said a friend of the Hez and Bollah animal rescue operation.

Dion continues to issue tearful pleas for the return of Iggy to the background home he had chosen for Iggy, however most observers say that this is likely a lost cause, and are urging Dion to move on as quickly and as far away from the Liberal leadership as possible.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dalton's Drive

Well, further to my earlier musings about replacing the trusty Golf TDI with something a little more mid-life crisis, I'm wondering what Dalton McGuinty's driving these days, because it seems he can pull a left-handed U-turn way faster than any car I've ever driven.

Still, at least we still have that warm, fuzzy Dalton McGuinty who's all about the family. Isn't it good to know he places such an emphasis on the family? Dalton loves your family.

Unless you have an autistic child.
Or you are tearing the social fabric of Ontario by bringing your child up in your own faith.
Or you're a family without a family doctor.
Or you're a low-income family whose finances are breaking under the strain of the Dalton Health Tax.
Or your family is supported by one of those manufacturing jobs that's about to walk out of the province.
Or your disabled family member is being evicted from Rideau Regional Centre.

... Thank God he's all about the family. Because can you imagine Ontario if he wasn't?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ontario Election : Undecided? Think Twice

Things to remember today:
  • Dalton McGuinty knew ahead of the last election that there was a $4.5bn deficit and he signed the pledge not to raise taxes in that full knowledge. He lied to you. Do you want to reward that?
  • Dalton McGuinty has been missing in action on native occupations and blockades in Caledonia, Deseronto and other places. Dalton McGuinty believes in a two-tier justice system. Do you really want to support that?
  • Dalton McGuinty promised to fix our healthcare system, and yet thousands of us still can't get a family doctor. Some of us are counted as having one, even though it's nearly a 100km drive to the doctor. Do you have a family doctor? Do you think it's OK to have to take your young children 100km each way to see the doctor? Dalton does.
  • Dalton McGuinty turned down an offer from an organization that would have cut waiting times for several medical procedures at no extra cost to the province and entirely under OHIP. Dalton McGuinty puts his personal dislike of private enterprise ahead of the health needs of Ontarians. Do you? Or do you just want someone who's sick to get the treatment they need?
  • Dalton McGuinty turned his back and walked away from a dying man who's not getting the help he needs, thanks to Dalton. Do you want to reward cowardice and deceit?
  • Dalton McGuinty has capped class sizes in the lower grades at 20. He's not telling you that he did that by increasing class sizes in other grades up to levels around 35 or 40. There are more split grades and more portable classrooms than ever before.
  • Dalton McGuinty bought labour peace with teachers: he paid their salary demands without question; he lowered their working hours; he removed re-testing and certification requirements and he cancelled any teacher evaluation process. Do you want an education system that's run by giving a union a blank cheque under the pretence it's about students? Or do you believe teachers should be subject to the same evaluation as you are in your job?
  • Dalton McGuinty raised a whole lot of fake outrage about funding faith based schools, when at one time he was in favour of it himself. Do you want to support someone who campaigned on fear, bigotry and racism?
  • Dalton McGuinty is gradually working to take away small freedoms in Ontario, through ever increasing regulation and petty lawmaking such as pesticide bans. Bit by bit he is extending government control over your life. Do you value your freedom, or do you want Dalton telling you how to live your life in ever more areas?
  • Dalton McGuinty treats your money as his own, Ontario as his own, you as his own. Do you want to reward lying, deceit, cowardice, fearmongering?

Think long and hard before you vote and ask yourself if your vote has really been earned by this sorry record.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Propos...

... of my last post, I came across this quote from Mahatma Gandhi, which to my mind fits the current mob of Canadian 'leaders' (with honourable exceptions such as Stephen Harper and John Tory):

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."

For God's sake, or for any sake you believe in, let's try and vote for someone honest and true to themselves this election, rather than someone impotent.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What's The Difference?

As we cruise to the finish line in the Ontario provincial election, and McGuinty seems poised for an easy majority win, I find myself thinking less and less about the minutiae of this policy or that policy, and more and more about something deeper and more fundamental.

In the time that I've been blogging and in turn reading many other people's excellent blogs, something has been nagging at me. In a nutshell, it's this: I would consider myself to be a fairly liberal and tolerant individual, and far from being a 'social conservative' in the North American sense of that phrase. However, on issue after issue, I have found myself more in agreement with the so-cons than with the liberals, and in particular I have been deeply uncomfortable with the tone of virtually all debates involving matters of morals, ethics, religion and personal freedom in which I have been involved.

These thoughts have been crystallized of late by the faith-based school funding debate. I am on record as being opposed to Mr. Tory's plan, and yet, time and again I have been drawn to its defence, or at least to the defence of those who have been mercilessly attacked by the McGuinty campaign machine around this issue.

What I think has been revealed in this election campaign is something very deep within our society and that is the level of discomfort that still exists in Ontario for anything 'different'. Supposedly, we are a multicultural society, in which all members are treated equally and fairly without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, colour, ethnicity, birthplace, sexuality, etc., etc. Such a society is, of course, utopian. Human nature being what it is, there will always be conflict between different groups, different faiths, people of different cultures, and people from nations with historic emnities. In practice, therefore, there are essentially two ways in which one can build a peaceful, multicultural society: either people are assimilated into a common group, with common values and beliefs, thus removing the sources of conflict, or people are allowed to remain true to their own identities while learning true respect for those of different backgrounds.

And here we come to the problem. I incline to the latter view. I would like to think that I can exist peacefully alongside anyone of any background and any belief system, respecting them and avoiding conflict as far as possible. And if I can, then so can most other people. This doesn't mean I compromise my values or my beliefs; on the contrary, strong values are the great strength of a society built on this model. But I am a true liberal in the sense that I respect other people's right to hold different values, practice different faiths, to be different. Rather than hide differences, we hold them out in the open where they can be discussed, debated, and dealt with.

This is the model of multiculturalism that I always thought was supposed to be the Canadian model. However, what this latest election campaign has shown me is that in fact, it's not. The multicultural model which has taken hold in this country is actually not multiculturalism at all, but simple socialism. In this model, difference is not something to be celebrated, but to be feared. We must minimize our differences, and sweep them under the rug. We must appear to be tolerant, liberal, progressive and open-minded, but all the time we must marginalize those who differ too much from our comfortable middle ground.

In this Ontario, it's OK to be different, but not too different. You can be Catholic, but not too Catholic, like actually letting your faith guide your daily decision making. You can be a rural leader, standing up for the rights of a whole class of Ontarians neglected by their government, but you can't be too obviously rural. Step over that line, defined by the ruling class, and you're mocked, spat upon, and effectively run out of town. The examples are endless.

There are two major problems with this approach. One is that the very fabric of government and society is built upon lies. Day after day, socialist politicians, of which McGuinty is but a archetypal example, stage events to show how tolerant they are; they appear with different folks of different colours, of different faiths... McGuinty hands over $1m to a cricket club, for example, as if he actually knows square leg from silly mid off. But it's all a flimsy, thin veneer. The Leader doesn't actually know anything about the people, and respects them still less. It's a carefully controlled display of difference - but not too much difference.

The real differences are minimized and buried under the surface, where they fester. Instead of being out in the open to be addressed, they are suppressed and caged, to emerge in gangland violence, terrorism, school bullying, discrimination on the job, and a million other ways every single day. Socialism cannot in the end allow differences to exist; they must be controlled in this way in order for politicians of Mr. McGuinty's ilk to build the socialist society and economy they wish to see.

I believe there are very many Ontarians, however, who are like me. Who really would like to see our differences being celebrated and not hidden. Who really are capable of treating everyone with respect and listening to alternative points of view. Who see openness and discussion not as racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other -isms or -phobias, but as the means by which those things can be reduced and even eliminated. I believe John Tory is one of the rarest of those people in that he is both a true man of such integrity and a politician.

For me, this is the saddest thing I have learned in the last two months. That the country I have chosen to make my home is not really what I thought it was. That those who should be leading the fight for equality, freedom, justice, peace and respect for all Canadians are in fact doing the opposite.

This is why I have instinctively sided with so-cons on so many issues - not because I necessarily agree with them but because they, along with everyone else, deserve to be heard and deserve equal respect. I cannot stomach a ruling elite that uses mockery, fearmongering, spin and carefully controlled TV appearances to run away from the hard debates.

With four more years of Ontario Liberal rule, we will see more and more of the socialist stripes of McGuinty. There will be less and less tolerance for difference. There will be more and more control over our daily lives and the tiny details of our existence. The socialist grip will tighten and freedom will be eroded. I only hope that one day enough eyes will be opened to what is happening that enough people, from enough different backgrounds will say 'enough is enough.' and the socialists can finally be stopped.

For now, however, I expect that Wednesday will simply be a very very sad day for Ontario and for Canada.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Viewer Discretion Advised

Most people have the decency to masturbate in private. Not so Cherniak.

McGuinty's Education Paradise

I mean, why would anyone want to send their kids to a faith-based school anyway, when they can have all this?

In a further shock to a Toronto school system still grappling with two homicides during the past five months, eight boys aged 12 and 13 face sexual assault charges after four girls told of being molested on the grounds of an Etobicoke middle school.

The assaults allegedly occurred after a basketball game at Smithfield Middle School in the city's northwest corner last Tuesday afternoon. [Globe and Mail]

Murder, sexual assault, lousy academics, split grades, portables, and the teaching unions holding you and your kids by a sensitive part of the anatomy. Come on, Ontario. Get with the Liberal program here. McGuinty will not be happy until everyone is dragged down to the lowest common denominator. How dare you want better?

A round up of education related reading; pass it on to anyone you know who might be voting primarily on the education issue and ask them to think hard about facts, put spin aside, and make a sensible choice for real educational improvements, not platitudes and union appeasement.

Sandy at The Crux Of The Matter: McGuinty Vision For Schools An Illusion
Dan Gardner / Ottawa Citizen: The Negroes At The Back Of The Bus
Joanne's Journey: Value For Education Tax Dollars?
National Post: Editorial: John Tory for Ontario Premier
Ontario Teachers: Owners of $106bn, or Most of The Known Universe (See also Rick Mercer on the altruism of our teachers)
TorStar: Those Improving Standards In Full

Add your own in the comments.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Whoville News: Liberal Infighting Continues

Former PM Jean Chretien is recovering well from a quadruple bypass operation at the Montreal Heart Institute.

Another former PM, Paul Martin, was surprised to discover that Jean Chretien had a heart. However a spokesman for Mr. Martin said that information leaked from the hospital confirmed that the heart was at least two sizes too small.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Students in Faith-Based Ontario Schools

... the negroes at the back of the bus. A must read from the Ottawa Citizen.

And, harking back to what I wrote here, some real data on how spending money has little to do with educational attainment. H/t to Joanne.

Monday, October 01, 2007


The illusion that Ontario is an inclusive, open and just society has died. It was roughly forty years old.

The illusion was carefully constructed in the 1960s, when so many of its peers also came into the world. It is predeceased by many, though perhaps not enough of the liberal politicians who created it. It leaves behind a large vacuum and some serious questions.

Although created by liberals, the illusion had in recent years become increasingly estranged from them. Despite the best efforts of media and spin doctors, the illusion suffered increasingly from the divergence of words and actions. In particular, its religious tolerance had become exposed as being merely approval of one religious viewpoint - secular humanism - over all others.

Liberals like Christians, Jews and Muslims as long as they know their place and stay in their own neighborhoods and schools, and the masses don't have to pay for them or see them.

The illusion of a tolerant society is grieved by all right-thinking, honest and decent people, but will not be missed by Liberals or liberals for whom it was becoming difficult to bear.

The Unknown Corgi

With a h/t to Neo:

We're not the only right-wing, corgi-crazy blogger out there.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Corgis' Next Car

Reader participation is invited. The corgis will need a new car (not urgently, but probably within the next 12 months). So far, they have requested one of four models; Mini Cooper S, Volkswagen GTI, Audi A3 or Volvo C30.

Suggestions / recommendations welcome.

Let's Hope It Wasn't A Bribe

Pauline Marois is denying that she and her squillionaire husband bribed a man to sign an affidavit that ultimately enabled them to circumvent zoning regulations and build their mansion.

Given that the mansion is worth many millions of dollars and the 'gift' in question was only $500 let's hope it really wasn't a bribe, because $500 would just be mean. I wonder if they tip well in restaurants?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dalton McGuinty's Best Friends

Dalton has ruled out letting corner stores in Ontario sell beer as they do in Quebec, on the grounds that someone running their own private small business is less likely to be honest when it comes to selling alcohol to minors than a unionized LCBO employee.

Interestingly, he still doesn't go far enough for the union barons of OPSEU, who issued this press release a while ago calling for the abolition of the LCBO Agency Stores program, set up to provide access to alcoholic beverages in small and rural communities that previously had no such access.

Reading the press release with its anachronistic tone reminded me of the trade union excesses of 1980s Britain:

And the more I watch provincial politics and provincial public services, the more clear it becomes that the real problem facing all of them, health, education or anything else, is that the unions are running them and McGuinty is their best friend. There can be no real improvement in public services when the unions are in the position of deciding what can change and what can't. McGuinty prizes peace and mythical 'consensus' above all else; he lets native thugs run Caledonia and he lets his friends at run Ontario in return for their generous support of the Liberal Party. As McGuinty runs Ontario's public institutions, they are no longer there to serve the people who need them, but to serve the people who work in them.

To overcome this will take far more than a provincial election; it's a massive shift in mindset that will need to take root in the population at large, and it likely won't happen until the unions overreach themselves. But McGuinty might want to take a look at the former 'old' Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, to see what happens when those cosy union buddies start squeezing more out of government than the economy can bear. With another four years of McGuinty tax and spend we might well get to that point.

In the meantime, to those thinking of voting other than PC over the faith based schools issue, I say this: I understand that issue being a big concern for people. But is it really, truly worth another four years of McGuinty? Is it?

I Know Nothing About The Game You Call Football, But

.. I remember going to the last but one Ottawa Rough Riders game shortly after landing in Canada. Doggerelle and I watched in bemusement but did join in with lusty shouts of 'South Side Sucks'. Little did we know, it really does.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Michael Jackson: 1942-2007 (The Beerhunter)

I have only recently learned of the death on August 30 of the writer Michael Jackson, whose lifelong devotion to the study of beer and whisk(e)y was an inspiration to millions, including myself.

Particularly in North America, Michael Jackson deserves much of the credit for the renaissance of beer and brewing that took place in the 80s and 90s, for the growth of craft and microbreweries and the establishments in which to sample their products. So if you're drinking a decent beer now, you owe him.

On September 30, there will be a National Toast for Michael Jackson across North America, with proceeds going to the National Parkinsons Foundation. So if you have a friendly local pub, why not grab a poster (link to follow) and get them to collect some donations that night.

You can learn more at, and find the poster for the National Toast there too. If you've never read any of Michael's work, his last column is posted at as an example of why you should.

Ontario Education: The 3rd Post

I've been meaning to get around to this for a while, but have been sidetracked with the faith-based funding debate and the Liberal's dirty tricks in that area.

So, this Ontario election campaign is shaping up to be about 'education', is it? Not so fast. Because, while there's lots of hot air around the faith-based funding issue, and still more around the 'broken funding formula', while there is talk of class size, special needs students, etc., etc., nobody is actually talking about education.

Education (at least the school component of it) mostly comprises what happens in the classroom between a teacher and his or her students. It is the process of teaching and the process of learning. Education is the imparting of knowledge and skills to the student by the teacher. It is, essentially, where a teacher does his or her job and it is the work of the system about which so many words are being spoken in this election campaign.

With this being clearly the raison d'etre of the system, and in the end, the only thing that really matters, you might expect an 'education' campaign to be about what happens in the classrooms of Ontario. But none of the politicians actually want to talk about that. They're all happy to talk about money, and who gets how much. They love to talk about the latest educational theories coming from university academics, and they (some more than others) love their warm and fuzzy photo ops with schoolchildren as props. But you won't hear them talk about what actually happens in the classroom.

The outcome of those years in the classroom appears differently to the political classes and the rest of us, as well. If you're Dalton McGuinty, for example, you're thrilled because test scores are up. If you're someone who has to hire highschool graduates from time to time, you've probably had occasion to differ with that rosy assessment. Take Doggerelle's experience, for example, when one of her employees presented her with a sales breakdown that added up to 113% and was stunned when Doggerelle told her it must be incorrect. "How do you know?" asked the young lady, who was by then a business student at Algonquin College. That's just one memorable example, but it's entirely representative of the output of the Ontario education system.

All test scores are normalized; that scores are 'up' is meaningless. We're never shown data on how the level of the tests themselves has changed over the years, and we're never shown the normalization applied to the results. Whether students can read fluently, write clearly, use a spell-checker and do basic arithmetic, on the other hand, can't be faked.

I have a textbook from 1920 at home, picked up in an antique store. It's from Canada, and it's aimed at Grade 8. There isn't a highschool in Ontario today that teaches math at the level in this book, even in Grade 12. It's at this point that McGuinty would trot out the international comparison; we're doing well compared to the US, etc. Well who isn't? All western education systems have embraced the same freewheeling experimental meddling of theorists, all are dumbed-down, all are universally awful. That we are less awful than some other unrelated system is not cause for celebration.

So why don't we talk about this? Why isn't this part of the campaign? There are two main reasons. One is that the people doing the debating are themselves the product of the steadily declining spiral of educational attainment. They don't expect any better, because the system is what made them. The main reason, however, is that to do so would be to tackle the real power-broker in public education: the teaching unions. The unions are all-powerful. It is they who have created a system that bleeds dollars away from education itself to ever increasing wage demands. They created and maintain a system that is self-evaluating and free of the lens of accountability. They have successfully beaten off any attempt to force outside inspection or evaluation, teacher testing or recertification. They run the show, and nobody has the political guts to do anything about it.

One notable exception in this area is Britain's Tony Blair. Early after he came to power, he did tackle education. He had a landslide election victory and with it the political capital to do so. His own Labour education minister was booed at teaching conferences, by the unions that were Labour's friends. But Blair stuck to his guns and schools have, by all accounts, improved dramatically as a result. He kept the Thatcher era reforms (grant-maintained schools, etc.) in place and used them to help fix the classroom.

So we can huff and puff about funding formula, about one school board or two. But unless anyone has the guts to shine a light on the actual classroom work and begin to demand better, I'm not sure how much it really matters.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Things He'll Wish He Never Said

Stéphane Dion, in an interview with Radio-Canada's Céline Galipeau:

''I'm not what I seem to be."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Tip of A Hidden Agenda?

Leading Liberal education advisor and author of the 'no teacher can handle 21 kids' policy, Michael Fullan says that an end to funding Catholic schools will 'have to be addressed'.
Premier Dalton McGuinty today distanced himself from one his key education advisers who suggested Catholic school funding could eventually be eliminated. Education guru Michael Fullan said on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning that the issue of publicly bankrolling any faith-based schools would have to be addressed.“I think eventually that's an issue that should be confronted,” Fullan, who once advised former British prime minister Tony Blair on public education, told CBC’s Andy Barrie.
Given the racism, bigotry and religious discrimination that has seized the Ontario Liberals, what's the betting the party is on the way to a single, secular education system? McGuinty is denying thus far, but his party has shown their true colours on this issue already. He may not have the moral or practical authority to contain the secularist genie he has himself uncorked.

In an interview on CFRA last week, Minister-of-Invented-Portfolios Jim Watson also clearly differentiated between funding what was 'constitutionally required' and discretionary funding of faith-based education. Funding of Catholic schools beyond Grade 8 is discretionary and in the same category as other faith-based schools, according to Watson. Listening to the end of the interview leaves little doubt that Catholics should be aware that their education system is now under threat from a McGuinty government.

There Will Now Be A Short Break

... to allow me to recover from uncontrollable laughter as a result of this in the Globe and Mail.
CROSBY, Ont. — Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion says his party lost the by-election in Outremont to the New Democrats on Monday because voters were sending a message to the Conservative government to pull out of Afghanistan.
You can't make this stuff up...

Polls Apart

In the Ottawa Citizen a couple of days ago, I read that the electorate was almost evenly split on the question of faith-based school funding. Today another poll claims 70% opposition to the idea.

Methinks the polling companies have been getting the results they went looking for, as in this famous excerpt from Yes Minister.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dalton's Toxic Worst

Warren Kinsella quotes the Toronto Star's Roger Hyman, whose words uncannily describe Liberal election strategy when dealing with the religious schools debate:
...and the toxic worst is always a possibility - that those who are different and unseen will be perceived as different and dangerous.
Yep. Different and dangerous is exactly how Warren and the gang are painting anyone of faith right now. Toxic indeed.

That McGuinty Public Education TV Script In Full

It's always difficult to squeeze your political message into a 30 second TV spot. TDPC presents the original, uncut version of Dalton McGuinty's Public Schools TV spot:

You know what I love about Ontario's Public Schools? They're public. And expensive. Very, very expensive. Whatever the race or creed of our kids, they attend the same schools. Unless they're Catholic, in which case they don't. Together. They learn, play, laugh and sing, together. Sometimes they get shot, together. They do drugs. Together. They graduate highschool unable to spell or do basic math. Together. Unless they're Catholic.

I believe that taking half a billion much needed dollars from the teaching unions to give to evil religious schools is a mistake. Unless it's to Catholic schools. Our public schools are what makes Ontario, Ontario. And our Catholic schools are what make Ontario, Ontario too. I'm asking you to join me in standing up for a completely inconsistent position on public schools. Because we're all in shit this together.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Which Winter Was That, Dalton?

What a difference a year makes, eh? What with anniversaries a-flying recently (the tax pledge that wasn't, etc.) some may have missed the anniversary of Dalton McShifty's statement that it was 'not acceptable' for natives to occupy Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia through the winter.

Yes, he meant winter 2006/07.

Meanwhile Warren Kinsella thinks that a developer who's been victimised by the native thugs shouldn't complain to Warren's precious baby Premier, because the victim happens to be a Tory. Yep, if you're a Liberal, maybe you could come looking for help from your Premier with things like, for example, the rule of law - or at least not being beaten senseless with a 2 by 4. But no, if you didn't vote for Dalton you've no business complaining. Natives trashing your development site? If you're a Tory, suck it up and keep quiet. Love Warren.

How about we don't keep quiet? The MSM is still making strenuous efforts to ignore Caledonia, or at least avoid treating it as a political story. We need to make sure this gets into the campaign at every opportunity, because it really shows the Liberals' true colours.

Ottawa Area Readers : Why You Should Buy Your Next Car in Hull

This is why.

In Wildlife News

Liberal blogger Maggie (so tempting to call her 'Lisa') over at In The House And Senate has a post picturing some snapping turtle hatchlings on her (presumably) country property, and commenting that they are cuter than a gopher with a bullet hole. Readers of SDA will remember Maggie/Lisa as the "Reading? Reading is for wimps... I don't read something before I criticise it" blogger who picked a misguided and lopsided fight with Kate some time back. Sadly Maggie/Lisa has deleted that material. But we digress...

Hmmm... let's look at the wildlife symbolism.

Conservative: Small dead vermin.
Liberal: Small live snapping turtles.

So the Conservative symbolism here is about getting tough on parasites and vermin - perhaps a tough on law-and-order agenda, or keeping government out of places it doesn't belong.

But unlike those mean Tories, the Liberals are all about cuteness. All until you get too close, like, for example, electing them. Get too close to those snappers and you'll lose an arm or a leg, even if you're trying to help them out. Suddenly the symbolism does make sense after all.

Dalton McGuinty's Ontario...

Where the street are free of vicious pit-bulls, our children can go to all-inclusive, public schools, where academic excellence is the norm and everyone is perfectly safe, and where peace and love prevail...

... all maintained by always giving everyone exactly what they want:

Now that's leadership. Line up in front of Mr. McGuinty, please, ordinary hard-working Ontarians, and prepare to get shafted.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grenville Christian College

Blogger Bene Diction is covering the rapidly expanding Grenville scandal, in a measured and respectful way, with lots of comments coming from former students. Well worth the read.

Given the pain and suffering endured by the former students and members of the cult-like Community of Jesus, I do hope that provincial politicians of all stripes are able to keep their ambulance-chasing, pit-bull banning, no-gunning noses out of this situation and not drag it into the faith-based schools political debate.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Education Ontario 2 : The Politics

Faith-based school funding has been set up by the Liberals as a defining election issue. Liberals, humanists, secularists, leftists, feminists, progressives, etc. are steaming. The media is giving McGuinty a completely free ride on every other issue as he smiles his slimy way from school to school.

This should not come as a surprise. As I just wrote, I'm not in favour of the proposal to fund these schools myself, but that doesn't mean that the disgraceful and ugly politics the left is playing with it shouldn't be challenged.

Let's look at the McGuinty playbook, and consider the spin and substance:

No diversion of public education funds to special interest groups:

'Diversion'?? Excuse me, but the parents of the 53,000 students we're talking about are already paying for the public education they're not using. Don't insult them by suggesting that they're not entitled to that public education, that by sending their kids to a publicly funded school they would be somehow infringing on anyone else's education or getting something they're not entitled to. They've paid the money already, so how can it be 'diversion'?

The "They'll all teach Intolerance" defence:

The challenge when someone comes out with this crock should be to point to examples where well-run, respected faith-based schools have actually created social problems. If McGuinty doesn't think a faith-based school can teach tolerance and produce a decent citizen, what the hell is he doing as Premier after going through a Catholic education? What evidence is there that the 53,000 students currently in other faith-based schools are out there wreaking bigoted, racist havoc? None whatsoever. On the contrary, it would seem that McGuinty's beloved Toronto public school system has more to answer for.

This is a classic example of the left indulging in Freudian Projection. The left hates and fears Jews and Christians (and to a much lesser extent Muslims), but of course they like to feel themselves all warm, fuzzy and tolerant. So they take their nasty, prejudiced, bigoted views about people of faith and they project them onto the other side.

"If we let them have faith-based schools, they'll be intolerant," say the chattering classes and the media, without for a second appreciating how intolerant that is.

Let's All Laugh at a Christian today:

The media coverage on this story (admittedly aided by the creationism faux pas) has almost all been about Christianity. Gazillions of column inches about how terrible it might be to have creationism show its face in religion classes, but no complaints from the liberal media about the potential teaching of jihad or Sharia law in the schools in question. As we saw with Stockwell Day, and as the media tried to do with Stephen Harper, it's an almost instantaneous leap from talking about a real issue to just mocking, laughing and ridiculing Christians. And that mocking and ridicule is the fuel of the Liberal election campaign, make no mistake about it. That's what Kinsella and his troops are doing, that's what they're fostering and that's what will win them the election, if anything does.

It's Nothing to do with Education:

Following from the last point, the debate has largely left the actualities of education in the dust and is now just about sowing division, fear and prejudice. McGuinty might use the E-word but the spin of his campaign is about religion and race. Education gave the Liberals the hook but they're no longer really talking about education; they're too busy pitting people of different faiths and backgrounds against one another. It's subtle, clever, deliberate, cynical and utterly shameful. But it works.

Education Ontario

I've been holding back from entering the fray over the whole faith-based school funding initiative. However, watching the Liberal spin machine and their tame media over the last couple of days, it's obviously going to be a big issue, so I'm going to make a serious attempt to tackle it.

I have a lot of thoughts on this whole subject, not least because we're on the verge of choosing schooling options for my daughter and thus becoming part of Ontario's education system for the first time. There's too much to say for one post, so I will be dealing with education in three separate posts:

1. The faith-based school funding idea itself.
2. The political fallout, spin and nastiness arising.
3. The discussion we should really be having about education.

I am not in favour of the proposal itself, not because of any trumped-up objections about multi-culturalism, etc. but because on a practical level it is an unmanageable can of worms. The question of what constitutes a faith-based school, or indeed a faith, is going to be impossible to define.

One of the reasons that the current system has been able to function for so long is that 'Catholic' is relatively easy to define. Had 'Catholic' meant any one of 10,000 faiths, churches, cults, sects, groups, associations, etc. the two-board system would have crumbled acrimoniously apart by now. This has not happened, but there is clearly a strong, perhaps ultimately irresistible movement to end the anomaly of publicly funded Catholic education.

With the current two-board system therefore resembling a building on a somewhat shaky foundation, it seems to me the worst thing that could be done at this time is to add some extra storeys.

If the John Tory plan were implemented, where would secular private schools be? You'd have one set of parents suddenly relieved of school fees based on their belief system, while another set of parents would continue to pay. Many parents (myself included) might choose their local private Christian school not for religious reasons, but simply to get a decent education not available in the public system. Why should they get help because their chosen school has a religious foundation, while another set of parents has to continue to pay? Is a non-religious private school arguably a humanist-secular faith-based school?

I think that there are two questions to be dealt with independently. One is what to do about publicly funded Catholic education - and nobody wants to touch that one.

The second question should not be about faith-based schools per se but about what can be done to help parents who for any reason choose any alternative to publicly funded education.

To that end, I believe the tax-credit approach proposed by the last Ontario government would have been a much better one. Parents choosing private schooling or home-schooling are paying twice for their children's education. The tax credit recognized this and offered them relief on a portion of their second cost. I think this respected parents, while minimizing the financial and practical impact on the public education system. It also did not discriminate on faith or any other basis.

A tax-credit, voucher or other assistance scheme proposal would focus debate where it should be: on the quality of education available, on what works and doesn't work within the public system, on why parents might choose something different, on education and not religion and race. Team McGuinty would have had a much harder time with that one. However, more on the politics of it all later.

Now If It Just Cleaned Up After Itself...

The Russians test a new bomb, and make a surprising claim.
Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb doesn't hurt the environment...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh. My. God.

Update: Janice Kennedy Can't Take The Heat

Following on from her bizarre rant about not supporting the Support Our Troops movement last week, it seems the Citizen's Janice Kennedy had some negative feedback. This Sunday she took a whole column to whine that some people were rude to her. She even claimed that the people writing to her didn't seem to realise she was a human being.

Well, Janice, although I was not among those who wrote - why argue with a brick wall - it's not that those folks don't know you're a human being. It's that they know exactly what kind of human being you are.

Ms. Kennedy laments the ease with which email, blogs and discussion forums allow people to spill anger - she should know, because years ago, long before blogs, when I wrote to her about a column of hers she shot straight back with a racist slur. You're reaping what you sowed for so many years Janice. Get over it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What's In A Name?

David McGuinty, slimy brother to the execrably slimy Premier of Ontario, thinks that the RCMP Commissioner Bill Elliott has an unhealthily close relationship with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.

His brilliantly argued reasoning? Stockwell Day calls Mr. Elliott "Bill".

This got the corgis thinking. Surely it can't be healthy for a federal MP and a provincial premier to share a surname. That's unhealthily close, isn't it? If you agree, why not hop on over to and add your name to a call for the lesser McGuinty (ain't that saying something) to change his last name to 'Moron'.

Lifting The Veil On Elections Canada

The bizarre decision of Elections Canada to allow veiled women to vote without showing their faces has met with universal condemnation today, but what really interested me was listening to spokesman John Enright's quotes to CBC Radio tonight.

Enright defended the decision and said that it was required by Bill C-31, the rework of election regulations passed not so long ago in Parliament. In essence a standard "I don't make the rules" defence. However, he then went on to say that anyone showing up to vote wearing a mask would "clearly be making light of the situation" and therefore would be turned away and denied a vote.

Now, I thought that in a democracy such as ours, we extended the right to vote to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or motivations. That someone takes an election 'lightly' - for example, supporters of the Monster Raving Loony Party in Britain, or it's poor relation the Rhino Party, is not a valid reason to take away their democratic rights. But John Enright says otherwise. He has set himself up as the arbiter of 'taking it lightly'.

So in one breath Mr. Enright says that Elections Canada doesn't make the rules, and in the next he sets himself up to judge who may vote based on his perceptions of whether they are taking the situation lightly.

If you feel that Mr. Enright might want to drop the God complex for a while and let every Canadian be treated equally, give him a call at 1-800-463-6868, and let him know how you feel.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Disgrace Exposed : Grenville Christian College

Coinciding with the closure of the elite Grenville Christian College near Brockville, Ontario, comes a series of articles in the Globe and Mail. Describing the school and the cult that ran it, the Globe has exposed a history of abuse that has previously escaped public attention.

I was aware of some of these stories via another route, about which I will say nothing, but I do urge readers to familiarize themselves with the Globe stories:

Dark past behind school's demise

Apology for 'hurt and pain' at private school

Born into abusive grip of a cult

Anglican bishop rejects ex-student's plea to investigate abuse claims

That something like this could be going on right here in Eastern Ontario, in recent years, completely escaping media scrutiny and the attention of law enforcement or child protection services is almost unbelievable. This is not the dark ages when some of the powers-that-be thought it was a good idea to drag native children from their parents and incarcerate them; this is only a few years ago, when the lessons of residential schools had already been well learned.

It's time for the staff and members of the cult Community of Jesus to face their own 'light session' now - let the spotlight of national media fall on them and illuminate them, hopefully long enough for law enforcement, or at least lawyers, to find them before they scuttle, cockroach-like, for shelter.

The shining of this light will doubtless be aided by the revelation today that Ottawa mayor Larry O Brien served on the board of GCC. (h/t Bourque) If nothing else motivates the press, that ought to do it.

Taking Communion To Heart... or Somewhere Close

From the blog of Damian Thompson, religion correspondent at the Daily Telegraph and editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald, comes a link to this:

Strange Bedfellows

It's said that war makes strange bedfellows. As we're reminded that Pierre Trudeau fought hard to stop Canadians going to war against Nazi Germany, we again see liberals and Liberals siding with the fascists of today's world.

Liberals and fascists. Strange indeed.

A Reminder: You Can Only Vote Once

Unless you're a Muslim woman. Then, hey, vote as many times as you want, because we won't have a clue if you're who you say you are.

Why only Muslims? Why can't anyone now vote with their face covered?

Ain't multi-culturalism and the elimination of discrimination grand?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Don't Do As The Research Does, Do As I Say

A researcher attempts to twist out of her own findings, with CanWest's liberal help.

The less time a new mother stays off the job, the more likely her child's motor and social development will be impaired, University of British Columbia researchers concluded.

The analysis of federal survey data underlines the importance of government-funded maternity leaves, but does not mean mothers should avoid work outside the home, says Dr. Rebecca Sherlock, the neonatology specialist at the BC Children's and Women's Health Centre who spearheaded the research.
In other news, Dr. Sherlock is expected to release further studies soon:

"Driving while drunk may increase the risk of killing people, but this does not mean that people should not drive while drunk."

"Eating poisonous plants may lead to premature death, but this does not mean that people should not eat poisonous plants."

Janice Kennedy Doesn't Wear Red

I was going to write something about Janice Kennedy's last column in the Ottawa Citizen, in which she announces she no longer supports the troops, but I ran out of motivation before I got to it. If you didn't read it, just click on the robot on the sidebar and you'll get the gist of it anyway.

How nice to be able to make a living as a columnist when you can only write three things:
  1. Stephen Harper is evil.
  2. Canadian Wimmin are downtrodden and oppressed (see 1.)
  3. Screw the Afghans, let them rot under the Taliban (see 1. and 2.)

Seriously, just pick any two themes, repeat for about 25 column inches and you've got a Janice Kennedy column. And if you can get in something about how great the 60s were and how you wet your panties for Pierre Trudeau, so much the better.

A Bloggers Outing

So, while I've been gone, Red Tory outed himself and is no longer the most mis-named pseudonymous resident of the blogosphere. Apparently, the world did not end. I hope it doesn't change RT's style - much as I disagree with him, and much as he is, in fact, nothing like a Red Tory, he does write some of the best stuff on 'their' side of the fence.

Meanwhile Canadian 'the only good soldier is a dead one whose relatives I can fuck' Cynic has gone running to the police (now, that surely has to be a first - someone of CC's ilk actually liking a police officer!) because some other blogger might 'out' his real identity too.

TDPC researchers have worked tirelessly for 12 seconds and can now post this photograph of the real Cynic:

Back to School

Labour Day has come and gone, marking the end of the Canadian ritual of summer. The rhythm of the year in this country is one of the best things about Canada, although it took some getting used to as a new immigrant. The slowing down of everything for the summer is actually a great idea, but it's a uniquely North America phenomenon.

Whether it's because of the different educational calendar in Britain, or the fact that the weather there is pretty much the same year round, there really isn't that same change in the pace of life. Clubs, associations, churches, workplaces, all keep going at the same pace year round. Only schools shut down for the briefer 6 to 8 week vacation.

So, Labour Day has come and gone, and time to pick up the pace again. Back to school, back to a new season of committee meetings, church activities, even work. More importantly, back to blogging. There's been a lot going on in the blogosphere of late, it seems. I'm looking forward to catching up.

The Loves Of My Life Get Married

Apple and Starbucks team up to deliver 'Starbucks songs' instantly to the new WiFi equipped iPod Touch. In a Starbucks, hear a song you like, touch a button, buy the song.

UPDATE: Apple's website now has the updated product line.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

SQ Protest Infiltrators: We're Horrified

So, the SQ comes clean and admits undercover officers infiltrated the protests at the SPP summit in Montebello.

We at TDPC are horrifed and dismayed by these events. Not horrified that the SQ had officers in the crowd; it seems to only make sense that when a large crowd is expected to gather at an event and it can reasonably be expected that some of that crowd will start throwing missiles at police, having undercover officers in the crowd only makes sense. No, we're horrified at the complete ineptitude displayed on the now infamous YouTube video.

Watching that clip, could it be any more obvious? Even without the boots, the body language and the way the cops float uneasily around the crowd makes it clear who they are.

So, a word of friendly advice: if you're a would-be 'john' in Montreal, watch out for a burly streetwalker, about 6'1", 230 lbs, wearing police issue steel toed boots under her miniskirt. Chances are it's an SQ undercover officer.

Cool Britannia: My Home Town

A scan of the headlines from my old stomping grounds today (an unremarkable English county as close to 'typical' as you can get):

Woman and toddler robbed in alley
Today, August 24, 2007, 3 hours ago
A robber escapes with a pushchair, watch and mobile phone after threatening a woman and child.

Man in court for 1996 girl rape
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 7:41:10 AM
A man from Northampton appears in court charged with the 1996 rape of a 17-year-old girl in Leeds.

Woman threatened in armed robbery
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 6:07:18 AM
A man armed with a knife threatens a shop worker in a robbery at a Northamptonshire store.

Robbery police seek phone user
Yesterday, August 23, 2007, 4:46:52 AM
Police appeal to the man who answered a seriously injured robbery victim's mobile phone to come forward.

TDPC Confesses To Infiltrating Protest Crowd

SMITHS FALLS, ONT, 24 August 2007

For Immediate Release


The Doggerel Party of Canada is today confirming that two of its operatives infiltrated a protest meeting at the Hershey plant in Smiths Falls.

Photographs of the two operatives have been published on the Internet that appear to show that they are not members of the crowd, but are in fact corgis.

However, TDPC emphatically denies that its operatives were at the protest to cause violence. Rather, they were there to keep an eye on the crowd and look for any signs of dropped food or petting.

All Aboard The GLBTQueerO - Train!

Yesterday evening the Ottawa CBC Radio drive-time show All In A Day featured an interview with a leader from Ottawa's gay community discussing the town-hall meeting that was to take place that evening with Mayor Larry O'Brien.

The young man seemed anxious that Mayor O'Brien be 'educated' about the issues of the GLBTQueer community. When asked to identify specific issues, he struggled a little, but eventually came up with the idea of turning Bank Street into a gay village (like it's not already). At this point he also said something else that struck me as truly bizarre.

I'm paraphrasing, but his point was that when planning something such as the new LRT system in Ottawa, council and the Mayor need to consult with all groups, and especially groups such as his, to make sure their needs are addressed.

Can anyone explain to me exactly how the GLBTQueer community rides transit in a way that is different from the rest of us? What 'needs'? Perhaps we should have one rainbow car on each O-Train. Why stop there? Why not a Conservative car, a Liberal car, and a Green car (we could equip that one with pedals.)

The religion of group rights in Canada is a cancer at the heart of our society that will eventually kill individual freedom. If you don't belong to some special-interest community you'd better start looking for one, because if you don't, pretty soon there'll be nothing left for you in this country.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Google: A Candidate's Best Friend?

In these days of interwebnet connectedness, it's probably a good idea for anyone standing in an election to check out their Google profile.

This weekend I was at a local event where the Ontario Liberal candidate for Leeds-Grenville, Lori Bryden was also present. I didn't get to speak to Ms. Bryden, so she escaped questions about the health-tax that has yielded no improvement in rural healthcare, the slush fund for liberal friendly groups or the sudden and miraculous appearance of a $2 billion surplus just prior to the election (isn't that what the health-tax raises??)

Anyway, realising I didn't know anything about Ms. Bryden, I naturally turned to Google. You'd expect a candidate's official website, or the party site, to come out top - certainly I'm sure that's what Ms. Bryden would want to happen. Sadly, however, the top link concerns a dispute between Ms. Bryden and her husband Rick and Tarion, Ontario's provider of new home warranties.

Reading the decision at the link in question, it seems that the Brydens are in some dispute with the builder of their new Westport home; obviously the ins and outs are their business, but the decision does reveal that the Brydens had paid the builder only $75,000 for $100,000 of work and yet were still claiming some form of loss. This is an example of Liberal math at its finest, and is a definite sign that Ms. Bryden should have a place in cabinet if McShifty and his crew do retain power come October.

Even so, someone at Lib HQ might want to fix the Google situation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why Stop Here

While we at TDPC always sympathize with any parent whose child is injured or killed, I was struck (no pun intended) by a news item at (where else?) today about the Alberta boy injured while trying to hop a freight train recently.

The mother has suggested moving the railroad tracks out of the neighborhood:

Piche said access to the tracks should be permanently blocked or, better yet, the tracks should be moved out of the residential neighbourhood.

Elsewhere in the article, however, we find some further insight into what may be responsible for this accident:

People in the neighbourhood said children are constantly trying to hop trains, and both adults and children use a hole in a fence to cross the CN Rail tracks.

While the fence was repaired Thursday, city worker Ted Gillman said he expected that by Friday morning, someone will have cut the wires.


CN Rail says there is a proper crossing 500 metres away and anyone caught trespassing could be fined.

However, notwithstanding what may seem to be the irresponsible practice of locals cutting their way through fences onto train tracks, let's look at the suggestion of moving the tracks away from a residential neighborhood. No doubt this would make things a lot safer. But why stop there?

Wouldn't the 401 be a lot safer, with far fewer accidents, if we moved it to the Yukon? There'd be much less likelihood of a mid-air or near miss, if we moved Heathrow airport to Iceland. And for goodness sakes, why did they build Windsor Castle so close to the airport in the first place?

Submit your own suggestions for safety relocations in the comments.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Will Benny Hinn Succeed...

... in emptying Torontonians pockets, where David Miller failed? I'm cynical enough to believe that while God moves in a mysterious way, He probably does not do so by limousine or private jet and He probably doesn't wear gold decorated suits.

So while Benny is slaying demons this weekend, why not stay home and play Benny Hinn: The Video Game?

So It Begins...

The Canadian left's favorite poster boy introduces good ol' banana republic democracy.

Will those who complain so vocally that Stephen Harper is 'authoritarian' be similarly bleating caterwauling about Chavez becoming president for life? Or is it different for communists?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We Don't Need An Excuse For This

... in our house right now, since daughter has reached the 'I want those songs on the CD player' 24/7 stage, but cue Raffi.

How's That Working For Ya?

If only we gave First Nations more money and greater independence; if only they had more self-government, none of this would have happened:

Discouraging Demographics

A 2006 community profile prepared for the department of Indian and Northern Affairs by the community's tribal council, South East Resource Development Corp., lists the demographics of life in Pauingassi:
  • 98 per cent of adults are alcoholics. That includes 99 per cent of the community's residential school survivors.
  • 80 per cent of youth up to age 18 are solvent abuse addicts. There are youth suicides.
    Half of the kids under age 18 are child welfare wards, the result of parental neglect and abuse related to alcoholism. Dozens live off reserve in group homes in Winnipeg.
  • 20 per cent of all youth under age 20 are suspected of suffering from varying degrees of fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Kids as young as 13 and under have sexually transmitted diseases and there are high rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, promiscuity, family break-ups and sexual practices euphemistically described as "deviant" by residents.
  • $100 will buy a bottle of bootleg whisky on this dry reserve.
    Deaths from violence and drinking, despair, poverty and isolation go back 30 years. One woman disappeared 15 years ago; her body was never found.
  • This year, two girls aged 13 and 15 were charged in May with the beating death of a 22-year-old woman.
  • One 15-year-old youth and two adults were charged in the death of Jeremy Crow, who died last year after being hit in the head with an axe.
  • In 1999, the band went into receivership. One former chief was convicted of fraud.

[Ottawa Citizen]

Cool Britannia

A new, occasional series taking a look at life in modern Britain - and reminding us why we would never go back.
Agence France-Presse
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2007
LONDON - A British company is offering to provide stab-proof school uniforms, lined with the same material used by soldiers, to parents worried about knife crime among youngsters.
h/t: Doggerelle.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sharp eyed readers will have noticed the resemblance between new Defence minister Peter MacKay, as pictured on the front page of today's Ottawa Citizen, and Agent Smith, of Matrix fame.

Sharper still readers will note that while Agent Smith was duplicated, MacKay has on occasion been accused of being duplicitous, after not honouring an agreement with David Orchard on merging the former Progressive Conservative Party with the Canadian Alliance.

Sharpest readers will not need photographic evidence to realise the resemblance of David Orchard and his followers to a gang of blithering idiots.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Makeover

Courtesy of Neo, who very kindly contributed the new header image above. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Move Along....

... nothing to see here. Muslim men carry pipe bombs in their cars near US Naval Bases all the time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Angie The Corgi

... contemplating the extra kibble prospects arising from Toronto's Global Warming induced cat problem and the consequential success of her cat sequestration business.

h/t Neo.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Corgis Sniff Out Top Secret Court Papers

Doggerel Party of Canada Exclusive! Divorce proceedings obtained by corgis, published here for the first time, ably assisted by Neo.

Ontario Family Court
Divorce Complaint

Plaintiff : Reality

Defendant: University of Toronto


1. Plaintiff states: My name is Reality. I have lived in most of the known world for the majority of history. In common with most academic institutions I had entered into a marital relationship with the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Canada. We separated some time ago with the introduction of such programs as the Sexual Diversity Program.

2. Reality alleges that the relationship has now suffered irreparable breakdown. The University has begun to behave erratically in recent months with bizarre and capricious episodes of nonsensical policy making becoming more and more frequent.

3. University has now come to believe that removing a legitimate sporting club from its campus, that has operated for nearly a century without injury to anyone will in some way contribute to a lessening of gun violence in the City of Toronto.

4. Reality therefore believes that the University has entered into an extra marital relationship with person(s) unknown, but definitely not related to Reality.

5. Reality requests the Court to grant a full decree of Divorce as soon as possible in order that both Reality and the University may leave their relationship behind and move forward with their own lives.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Evils of Blogger?

I ran TDPC through the Gematriculator which uses numerology to determine the good and evil contained in a website or passage of text. Interestingly, when just the URL is entered, I scored 39% evil, 61% good. However when I stripped out the text of my posts only, to prevent the Gematriculator enumerating HTML and script code, my rating improved to 24% evil, 76% good.

It can therefore be concluded that of the total evil in my blog, Blogger itself is responsible for 15 / 39 or nearly 38%. You have been warned.

H/t Red Tory.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

In Other News, Hell Gets Chilly

... and I find myself in some agreement with Red Tory.

In his post here, RT discusses the nature of free speech in the blogosphere and in particular the concept of pseudonymity (as distinct from anonymity). This is actually a thoughtfull and well written take on the issues and (partisan tidbits aside) I'm inclined to agree with most of it.

I chose to begin blogging under my real first name, but with the intent of remaining unidentified as far as possible; like RT there are good personal and professional reasons. However, as things unfurled, particularly on the local Montague township front, many people identified me anyway (how many households in Eastern Ontario have three corgis?) and the world didn't end.

So now, I still use the same name, but my true identity is only as hard to find as a DNS lookup. I trust in the general civility of society and the law and its enforcers to ensure there are no negative consequences; I try to keep things civil here and I avoid anything to do with my professional life - similar to RT, really.

Canadian Cynic on the other hand prefers to remain pseudonymous, by his own confession, not out of any of the considerations that RT mentions, but out of a wish to avoid 'harassment' for his more extreme writings. This is arguably just cowardice. However, I wouldn't want to see CC prevented from spewing his odious crap; we're all free to put him in his place and that's really the nature of the whole free speech thing. As to whether he'd be ashamed of what he wrote if friends, family, fellow students or co-workers knew it was him, that's a matter for his own conscience, whatever form that might take.

Compare And Contrast

Those evil imperialist American invaders with the saintly U.N. peacekeepers so beloved of the left.

I Am Spartacus

Kathy Shaidle suggests that we all post the supposedly offending content that has gotten Free Dominion into hot water with the unelected, unaccountable and faceless bureaucrats at the CHRC.

Happy to oblige:

04/24/06 "I can't figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals."

03/09/06 "I defy Islamic censorship and speak about what I believe is the truth about violent Islamism and its threat to religious liberty in Canada."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just Fancy That

Sarcasm really is a service he provides:

Canadian Cynic, 2007/07/17:

"With all due respect, Wanda, fuck you and your grief."

Canadian Cynic, 2007/07/21:

"...I was a bit over-the-top and there was no real need to come on that hard-assed but one of my cats was hit by a car and killed last weekend so it's been a shitty week all around and I felt like venting and, unfortunately, your cousin happened to wander in front of the sights at just the wrong time and ... well, you get the idea." [emphasis added]

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Progressive Alternate Service Book

A Service Of Remembrance For a Fallen Soldier

The Celebrant (Cynic) and Acolytes (Ti-Guy, Red Tory) enter in procession.

OPENING HYMN: F--k you, Christian Soldiers

Celebrant: The flame war be with you.
All: No, the flame war be with you.

Celebrant: Lift up my hit counter.
All: We lift it up on Sitemeter.

Celebrant: Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to denigrate, insult, mock and degrade the memory of this fallen soldier. He gave his life in the service of the neo-con fascist Stephen Harper (or it may be Paul Martin, or Jean Chretien).
All: It served him right, the militaristic bastard.

Celebrant: But of course we don't want any more to die, do we?
All: Well, we suppose not. Although it does win NDP votes.

Celebrant: Lord, it is very right, meet and proper that all fascist, neo-con pigs meet their maker in as painful a manner as possible, and we beseech thee to make the grief of their relatives also as hurtful as possible.
All: With our help. Amen.

The Celebrant will then solemnly administer the 'F--k you' to the relatives of the deceased.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Our Osama, who maybe art in Afghanistan,
Famous be thy name.
Thy attacks come, thy bombs explode in Canada, as it is in New York.
Give us today our daily food for blogging.
Do not forgive us our sins, for we have none,
And lead us not into democracy, but deliver us from Harper.

Celebrant: For Osama may blow up a few buildings and kill some people.
All: Big deal. Harper is the real terrorist.

Celebrant: Go in peace to love and serve everyone.
All: Except those who disagree with us. F--k them. Amen.

CLOSING HYMN: We Shall, We Shall Cut And Run


A sharp eyed reader noticed the striking resemblance between Canadian Cynic and the man who caused some outrage on Canada Day last year when he urinated on the National War Memorial. Could they by chance be related?

Although it should be pointed out that the gentleman who urinated on the war memorial at least had the grace to go public and apologise.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Liberals, Speaking Relatively

Liberal Catnip comments on my earlier post (welcome, LC!). Hidden away in a fairly lengthy comment is the following gem:
You fail to appreciate the fact that poverty is relative to the country in whichit appears.
So, to those on the left, not only are morals now relativistic, but so is poverty. Odd, because I'd always thought that fundamentally the needs of each and every human being were similar; that someone living in even a poor social housing neighbourhood in Toronto was less poor than someone living in a refugee camp in Africa and subsisting on UN food aid. I'd always pictured that Torontonian having more of their needs met than the African and therefore being less poor. But no. Relatively speaking, the Canadian is poorer, because (God forbid) Canada has rich people too, while the African refugee camp doesn't.

Follow this to its logical conclusion and we should abandon all international aid, because, as long as everyone in a country is poor, then, relatively speaking nobody is. What patent nonsense.

Relativism is a necessary tool for any left-winger, because it's the only way to avoid what psychologists call 'dissonance' - the holding of simultaneously contradictory ideas and viewpoints.

For example, without using relativism, how could someone (rightly) believe that the Catholic Church and Catholics in general should be held accountable for the actions of pedophile priests, while simultaneously condemning the suggestion that Islam and Moslems be held accountable for their followers flying planes into buildings.

Uncomfortable as it is for liberals, the fact is that there are absolutes in life. There is right and there is wrong; moral and immoral, rich and poor. Morals don't change, mores do.

Don't misunderstand me - I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be striving to address the conditions in which our own poorest people live - and that First Nations should be at the top of that list. We must find solutions to these problems, although after 30 years of throwing liberal dollars at the issue I humbly suggest that it might be time to recognise that it might take more than money. But that would mean doing something practical, and the left would rather sit in ivory towers of academia or DSL-connected apartments and preach.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Needle's Eye

To follow on the train of thought from the previous post and to provide some food for thought on what it means to be truly poor: The following is (c) Copyright The Estate of the Late T.G.F.P. and is not to be republished without permission.

The R.I1 mistress comes to the staffroom late
For a cigarette, and overflows a chair.
When she subsides her breasts still oscillate.
Women so fat are prized in Africa.

From her distended handbag loll the pictures,
Ready supplies of pamphlets on starvation,
The burnished globes of bellies and the sticks
Of limbs that tell of over-population.
An airline ticket to the U.S.A.
Is there beside them. I have seen that country,
My spiritual mistress, but I best remember
The living corpses on Mombasa quay.

The nylons, flesh-inflated and expensive,
Are comfortably wide apart. Her wrist
Tilting the cigarette above the chatter
Writes easy benediction; I hear her say:
"I've just been fixing up the film projector,
It brings it home, you know - I mean the real
Conditions in which people must exist.
Our girls - how can they truly think or feel
For others as they should? They all have plenty,
As I was saying this morning to the Rector.

My spiritual mistress, two-and-twenty,
Your knickers and my thoughts are showing stress.
I'm once more with a dirty crowd that's waiting
The nightly swill-bins from a white hotel
In new Calcutta. Porters fling their bread
Into the gutter and they fight for it.
Who'd follow bleeding feet? Who was it said
The over-privileged are close to hell?

Yes; but your classroom-Christ and Kodachrome
Should both ensure your lesson will go well.

1R.I. - Religious Instruction, something that used to be taught in English schools

Tuesday Night Roundup

You already read Canadian Cynic's latest, most likely. No comment from me; it speaks more about him than I ever could.

There's an interesting discussion over at the CBC on the generation gap between the boomers and the rest of us. It's interesting because it takes apart many of the issues of the day but with a generational divide rather than the usual left-right split. There are lefties blaming the boomer generation for global warming, poverty, et al, and righties blaming them for the breakdown of families, massive debt levels and so forth. Me, I'm just jealous that sex and drugs had turned dangerous by the time I came along.

Liberal Catnip thinks that PMSH's speech in Chile, in which he holds up Canada as an example of the 'third way' between Soviet-style Venezuela and the hard capitalism of the US, is inaccurate. She thinks the Canadian government is authoritarian, while Chavez is all sweetness and light. She doesn't quite explain how, if that were the case, she's managing to stay out of jail. If she lived in Venezuela and wrote about Chavez the way she writes about Canadian politics, she'd be missing in action PDQ. That's authoritarian. LC wouldn't know it if it bit her - which it won't, because she's Canadian. And nor should it. That someone is willfully ignorant should not prevent them from enjoying their freedom of speech.

Similarly with poverty - LC thinks that Canada is drowning in poverty - 'visited a shelter or a reserve lately?' she asks. Have you ever seen a South American favela, LC? I have. There isn't a place, a reserve, a shelter, a street corner, anywhere in Canada that compares. That's poverty. To try to line yourself up in that same company is classic liberal-elite arrogance and is just insulting to the truly poor of this world. I'm sure it salves what passes for a conscience in left-wing circles, but it's crocodile tears. Truth is, every Canadian is damn lucky to be Canadian.

Finally, to Wanda Watkins, to all the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones in the service of Canada, to those who have fallen, to those who serve: we salute you, we appreciate you and we are grateful for the chance to live in the great nation you have helped to build and protect for us. That there are those who are ignorant enough to let their politics get ahead of their morals should not discourage you.

Motorcycle Advice

Continuing the automotive theme, TDPC is considering the purchase of a mid-life crisis motorcycle. I used to ride one as a youth back in the old country and I'm looking to get back in the saddle. With a 70km each way commute along twisty county roads, I'm looking for a commuter bike with sporty handling and touring comfort, as well as something that won't fall over when I get home to my own dirt road.

So far, the only bike I can find that really seems to fit the bill is the Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom, which seems to be a successful sports-tourer hybrid, not too large for someone who is, if not a new rider, coming back to bikes after more than 20 years.

Any readers who have other suggestions, or experience or comments on the V-Strom, advice would be welcome.