Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Pierre Pettigrew Conspiracy Theory

CTV reports that Pierre Pettigrew's alleged assailant, Frederick Estelle, is described by his father as a strict evangelical Christian.

Evangelical Christians have been accused of attempting to take over the Conservative Party.

Evangelical Christians have also been in the vanguard of the fight against same-sex marriage, within and without the Conservative Party.

Pierre Pettigrew is widely rumoured to be homosexual.

Pierre Pettigrew is also a vocal advocate of same-sex marriage and opponent of religious intervention in political debate.

Connect the dots and you have Monday's lead story in the Globe and Mail: "SOURCES HINT CHRISTIANS FORCED HARPER TO ORDER PETTIGREW ATTACK."

See how easy it is to write for Bell Globemedia?

Gun Grabbers Unload At Uncle Sam

The Toronto Star would disappoint its readership if it didn't whip up anti-American sentiment in the wake of the downtown Boxing Day shootout that left Jane Creba dead, six others wounded, and politicians promising everything short of help.

And true to form, we have a Wendy Cukier editorial disguised as a news article:

Canada needs tough gun control laws, says a Toronto expert, but lawmakers are up against a global arms "epidemic" that has circulated millions of weapons around the world, destabilizing countries and undermining cities.

And, says Wendy Cukier, professor of criminal justice at Ryerson University, the latest Toronto police figures — obtained through a Freedom of Information request — show that 52 per cent of handguns seized as "potential crime weapons" in 2004 came from the United States.

"The majority of those guns come from over the border," she says. "And the ones that are reported as legally registered in Canada may also be manufactured in the U.S."


"I knew that 230 million guns were owned by people in the United States, which is almost one per person," said Cukier, a founder of the Coalition for Gun Control and co-author of The Global Gun Epidemic. "But I also discovered that there are 700 million guns in the entire world, including those held by the military. The U.S. has about one-third of the world's supply."


Once guns enter countries, Cukier says, the effect is "like a cancer. It affects the whole system. And once you have it, there is no simple treatment."

The handgun Toronto police seized in the Castle Frank subway station after the Boxing Day shooting was identified as a 9mm Ruger semi-automatic. It's manufactured by a U.S. company an American shooting magazine describes as having "a profound impact on shaping the tastes of shooters and anchoring the semi-automatic concept in the general firearms market place."

Guns don't find markets without willing buyers. They don't thrust themselves into the hands of peaceful, law-abiding citizens, turning them into bloodthirsty killers. The people who want guns for illegitimate purposes will go to great lengths to get them, no matter how many laws are thrown up in their way.

If you want to cut off the supply of illegal guns, cut off the demand from criminals.

And work with legitimate gun owners and dealers. They know what genuine gun control is: gun owners knowing how to control their guns, because they've been trained to handle them responsibly.

There is no great mystique in firearms, once you actually handle them; they're a tool like any other.

Trustscam: Paul Martin Knew

It's no surprise that PMO knew about the income trust tax decision before the general public did. It would have been negligent, if not outright incompetent, for Finance to have withheld the information from head office.

What's surprising is that Paul Martin isn't denying that the leak to Bay Street might have come from his office:

When asked if the alleged leak could have come from the PMO, the prime minister didn't give a direct answer.

"The fact is we are dealing with opposition allegations. And that's all we are dealing with. Opposition allegations during an election campaign," said Martin. "The RCMP obviously have a responsibility to follow up on matters such as this. That's their job."

Martin said he believes the spike in trading is simply a reflection of how markets operate.

"There are a lot of people who are essentially ... saying out there that what you're dealing with is ... simply the way that ... markets function," said the prime minister.

If the income trust leak is merely an opposition allegation, why is the RCMP involved at all? For that matter, why the rush to pre-emptively exonerate Ralph Goodale, if not to try to head off the RCMP from looking into these mere opposition allegations?

Why not simply deny that anyone in PMO leaked?

Because know that the RCMP is involved, he can't, not without risking being caught lying in the middle of a criminal investigation.

Paul Martin could have retreated behind the usual statement that he could not comment about an ongoing RCMP investigation, and forestalled a lot of media speculation about what PMO knew and what it with the information.

Now he's fuelling it, just as he fuelled election talk and planning by promising to call an election within 30 days of the Gomery report.

Sometimes offering an explanation or excuse in advance makes matters worse.

Source: CBC

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pre-Emptive Strike

Check out the latest Conservative TV ad.

The war room has learned from the 2004 campaign that while people decry negative advertising, they'll lap it up every time.

What better way to work both sides of the equation than with a negative ad that warns of the Liberal negative ad blitz to come?

EU To Doctors: Thou Shalt Kill

Do not believe any promise from any government to protect freedom of conscience on any issue, such as abortion or homosexual civil marriage.

Physicians who oppose abortion in the European Union could soon be stripped of their medical licences, according to this Lifesite News report:

A European Union advisory panel has issued a statement saying that medical professionals are not allowed to refuse to participate in abortions. According to the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights doctors should be forced to perform abortions, even if they have conscientious objections, because the right to abort a child is an “international human right.”

The Network, which consists of one expert per EU member state, assists the European Commission and the European Parliament in developing EU policy on fundamental rights. The Network wrote a 40-page opinion stressing that the right to conscientious objection is not “unlimited.” The opinion was given in connection with a proposed treaty between the Vatican and Slovakia. This treaty includes a guarantee that Catholic hospitals in Slovakia will not be legally obliged to “perform artificial abortions, artificial or assisted fertilizations, experiments with or handling of human organs, human embryos or human sex cells, euthanasia, cloning, sterilizations, [and] acts connected with contraception.”

To quote the report:

The right to religious conscientious objection should be regulated in order to ensure that, in circumstances where abortion is legal, no woman shall be deprived from having effective access to the medical service of abortion. In the view of the Network, this implies that the State concerned must ensure, first, that an effective remedy should be open to challenge any refusal to provide abortion; second, that an obligation will be imposed on the health care practitioner exercising his or her right to religious conscientious objection to refer the woman seeking abortion to another qualified health care practitioner who will agree to perform the abortion; third, that another qualified health care practitioner will be indeed available, including in rural areas or in areas which are geographically remote from the centre.”

One can imagine the end result: physicians stripped of their licences and imprisoned, even quietly suffering "accidental deaths" or "suicides" for refusing to perform abortions.

Don't think that this isn't coming to Canada, either. The same thing will happen with homosexual civil marriage and unrestricted abortion as soon as its enthusiasts feel up to the challenge.

The federal government is quite prepared to throw as many people in jail as necessary, under the hate crimes laws, to achieve its objectives.

Trustscam Leaks Flood Bay Street

M.K. Braaten is one of the Blogging Tories' more financially astute bloggers, so there's no doubt that he'll be all over the income trust insider trading scandal.

Look at the quotes from some top Bay Street insiders and you'll see the first cracks in Ralph Goodale's defence:

Don Drummond, VP/Chief Economist: CTV said that Drummond told them he first heard about the announcement via email, 4 hours in advance of announcement. Also, stated that Liberal strategists in Ottawa were the source of email. CTV quoted Drummond as saying “A lot of people seemed to know there was an announcement coming and a few people seemed to know what it was.”

Jim Leech, Teachers pension fund - CTV said that Leech received emails at about 2 pm stating that the announcement was guaranteed. CTV Quoted Leech “I got a bunch of emails around 2pm saying for sure Goodale was making an announcement after the close.”

Sandy McIntyre, Sentry Select Capital: CTV reported he sent the following email: “There is a strong rumour out of Ottawa that Goodale is going to pronounce after the close today his trust solution…hope my sources are right!” Mcintyre said his sources were quoting ‘well connected Liberals’.

Richard Nesbitt, CEO TSX Group: According to CTV, Nesbitt purchased $759,000 worth of stocks hours before the announcement and made $100,000 in profit the next day. However, he could not be reached for comment, yet his spokesman said that he was only filling up his core holdings before the calendar year end.

McIntyre didn't just sit around either; he took his suspicions to the Ontario Securities Commission once he heard the news:

"It's pretty clear somebody leaked this thing and they should be held responsible," McIntyre says now. "We had a 5 to 7 per cent move in heavily traded securities in the last three to four hours before the close ... (which) indicates there was information available to the buyer that wasn't available to the seller.

"You had large investors enjoying a substantial windfall in profits and once again the small investor got screwed," McIntyre says, adding he wrote a letter of complaint to the Ontario Securities Commission on Nov. 24 about the income trust imbroglio. The securities regulator's response advised him to file a formal complaint, McIntyre says.

The S&P/TSX capped income trust index rose 1.5 per cent on Nov. 23 and the Yellow Pages Income Fund, among Canada's largest income trusts, rose 3.4 per cent — all before Goodale said at a 6 p.m. press conference in Ottawa that the government doesn't plan to tax income trusts, high-yield securities worth $170 billion.

Underscoring the importance of the announcement, the S&P/TSX capped income trust index the following day soared 4.4 per cent, its biggest gain in at least eight years.

The rest of the Toronto Star article in question downplays the idea that anybody was caught insider trading, with quotes from other Bay Street fund managers and economists claiming that speculation about proposals not to tax income trusts would have already been making their way around, and trading decisions made accordingly.

Perhaps. Bay Street and the Department of Finance know each other's moves pretty well, and major announcements usually get proceeded by rumours.

But whether the rumour was known to everyone on Bay Street or not is irrelevant in determining if insider trading took place. Just because everybody else guessed the same way as the insider traders did is no excuse for the leak, or for the insider trading.

Especially for the head of the TSX. People will be calling for his head shortly, if this scandal gets any worse, and even if his income trust trades were made legitimately, just because of the appearance of impropriety.

Pierre Pettigrew Mugged: Where Was Bruno?

They say that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. But don't expect Pierre Pettigrew to cross over and play for the other team any time soon:

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew was attacked in a botched attempt to steal his cellphone, according to the French-language all-news channel LCN.

Pettigrew was attacked Wednesday night as he entered a subway station in the city's west end while talking on his phone.

He was not accompanied by his body guard at the time.

A 19-year-old man intervened to help Pettigrew, who suffered minor injuries to his nose and mouth, LCN said.

Where was Bruno, anyway? Is he no longer providing his special services to the minister? Does Bruno suspect that Pierre will soon no longer be able to provide him as many opportunities for overseas travel?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Communist Ape Man War Machines

Just in case you needed further proof that Josef Stalin was the maddest of the 20th century's tyrant: he wanted to breed a race of apemen soldiers!

THE Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.

Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia's top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.

According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: "I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat."

In 1926 the Politburo in Moscow passed the request to the Academy of Science with the order to build a "living war machine". The order came at a time when the Soviet Union was embarked on a crusade to turn the world upside down, with social engineering seen as a partner to industrialisation: new cities, architecture, and a new egalitarian society were being created.


Mr Ivanov's ideas were music to the ears of Soviet planners and in 1926 he was dispatched to West Africa with $200,000 to conduct his first experiment in impregnating chimpanzees.

Meanwhile, a centre for the experiments was set up in Georgia - Stalin's birthplace - for the apes to be raised.

Mr Ivanov's experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.


Remember that the next time some left-wing moonbat goes on about the virtues of communism: not even the greediest capitalist pig would try to inseminate women with monkey sperm.

Jack Strikes Back

I thought that the Mike Klander blog scandal would disappear as quickly as the rest of the Christmas turkey leftovers. Jack Layton is proving me wrong:

NDP Leader Jack Layton says racist comments by a high-ranking Liberal party official against his wife, NDP candidate Olivia Chow, are "no joke.''

Mike Klander, executive vice-president of the federal Liberal party's Ontario wing, stepped down Boxing Day after photographs of Chow and a chow chow dog were posted on his blog, under the heading Separated at Birth.

Layton said Europeans who controlled portions of China in the past used to hang signs that read "no dogs or Chinese allowed.''

He said no Chinese person familiar with their history will ever forget those signs.

Insult a man's opinions and he'll forgive you. Insult a man's wife and he never will.

Source: CTV

Stand By Your Man

Ralph Goodale may genuinely not have known that people were conducting insider trading in anticipation of his income trust tax policy announcement. He may have been wilfully blind to the shenanigans in his office, or he may have had a hand in leaking the information.

But the Liberals stick together in adversity, even in alleged criminality:

Prime Minister Paul Martin said today Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will not resign because of the RCMP decision Wednesday to launch a criminal investigation into whether advance notice of Ottawa's plans for income trusts leaked from the federal Liberal government.

The Conservatives and New Democrats immediately attacked the Liberal leader's position.

"He is a person of the greatest integrity, and he will not be stepping down," Mr. Martin said during a campaign photo op this morning.

"The RCMP has said there is no evidence of wrongdoing on Mr. Goodale's behalf, his office or his department," Mr. Martin said. "I have full confidence in Ralph Goodale. I believe that an investigation — as does he — will clear the air, including the allegation as to whether or not a leak actually took place."

Leave aside for the moment the nonsense about the RCMP exonerating Goodale before the investigation and evidence gathering begins.

He's just staked everything on the income trust controversy on pledging Ralph Goodale's good name. If there's even a hint of impropriety surrounding Goodale, these words will come back to haunt Martin.

Unfortunately, not likely in time to have any real effect on the election.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I Fear A Man In Uniform

Uberliblogger Jason Cherniak trembles in fear at the prospect of seeing Canadian soldiers in the streets of our major cities if new bases are opened near them. They may go about as unarmed individuals, on their way from the base to home or shopping, but apparently just the sight of a man in uniform frightens him no end:

I have been to Israel. You see people in uniform everywhere. On one hand, you feel safe. On the other hand, you feel like there is a reason to be scared. It heightens your senses. It makes you feel uncomfortable. In short - it changes the way you live your life.

The feeling was no different when I visited Belgrade. On one hand, you feel like the military people are there to maintain order. On the other hand, you feel like the military people might shoot you on site if you do something wrong. The military is trained for combat. It is not trained for public relations.

Fortunately, Halifax-based blogger has knocked down Cherniak's straw man quite nicely:

Seeing as you've lived in a city with a naval base while attending Dalhousie, you've no doubt seen people in uniform on a regular basis. Did you feel threatened in any way by their presence then? Did you feel as though you had a reason to be scared if you rode a bus with a member of the CF on it? Did you alter your way of life as a result of the base here?

True indeed. Halifax is by far Canada's most military city. It was born of Britain's military necessity, its downtown streets laid out by British military engineers, naval dockyards built, ringed by forts and crowned by the Citadel. Halifax has always figured in every war fought in and by Canada since its founding. Soldiers, sailors and airmen in uniform are not uncommon sights in the streets, on the buses, in the malls. Everybody there knows a relative, neighbour or friend in the Forces.

No one has ever expressed the fear that they might turn on the civilian population; the days of press gangs and the V-E Day riots are long gone.

The mere presence of a few hundred soldiers at a base in Toronto will not turn the city into an armed camp.

Cherniak's post manifests the strange animistic belief that so much of the left has about weapons and soldiers, that the mere presence of a firearm or a soldier will turn peaceful, law-abiding folk into bloodthirsty killers.

It really is unbecoming of a man who prides himself on being open-minded and tolerant to be seized of such irrational prejudices.

Paul Martin Outraged: For Real This Time?

Paul Martin has expressed his outrage at the vandalism of an Edmonton synagogue just before Hanukkah:

This is not Canada, what happened in Edmonton," Martin said. "Let us understand that. We will condemn it with every fibre of our being."

The prime minister said anti-Semitism has no place in Canada, and added that the nation stands for the same values as the eight-day Jewish festival.

"What Hanukkah represents is the continual struggle of the Jewish people to practice their religion freely, and what the light of the menorah stands for is the very light of freedom. For people of all faiths, this is what Canada represents."

I wish that I could believe that his outrage were genuine. I can't help but think that he had to run it by David Herle and Scott Reid to make sure that his apology didn't offend the Muslim vote--this candidate in particular.

This isn't a facetious concern, either. As the Muslim population grows in Canada and becomes more radicalized, anti-Semitism is going to pass from the periphery to the centre of Canadian political discourse.

The next time something like this happens, expect political leaders to start qualifying their remarks with expressions of concern for the Palestinian plight and a hundred other supposed sins by Israel against the Muslim world.

Source: CTV

ADDENDUM: This isn't the first time Edmonton synagogues have been attacked. Two of them were firebombed in 2000 by a Palestinian immigrant. But back then, most people weren't thinking about worldwide jihad.

Bring The Force To The Cities

If crippling natural disaster or insurrection were to strike one of our major cities today, and the armed forces had to provide aid to the civil power, too much time would be lost scrambling to find airlift capacity to bring them in from far-flung bases.

Stephen Harper's proposal to create compact rapid deployment force bases near major cities is a step in the right direction:

Mr. Harper said 20 to 25 per cent of the Conservatives' proposed military budget will go toward re-establishing operations in the West, citing years of neglect and the closing of B.C.'s only regular army base in Chilliwack.

He is proposing setting up urban army bases of 100 regular personnel and at least 400 reserve-force personnel in several Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto.

The urban army forces will be better able to respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes and ice storms than current police or ambulance personnel in the cities, Mr. Harper said.

"Canada's military capacity in this region has been allowed to age and deteriorate," he said. "British Columbia, which is in an earthquake zone, is now the only region of the country without a regular army presence."

Mr. Harper said the Liberal government has said in the past that in the event of a B.C. natural disaster, Canada would rely on American forces from Seattle to help out.

How true. The Liberals have thought they could get away with endless hectoring and smug declarations of moral superiority, and the U.S. would have no choice but to take it and let us keep freeloading off their defence.

But in this post 9/11 world, the U.S. is not going to put up with this garbage anymore from its supposedly closest ally.

Let's not wait until an earthquake levels Vancouver or a Paris-style uprising hits Toronto to find out that we're on our own without the manpower or the plan.

Source: Globe and Mail

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Boomer Bust: North Of 60

2006 promises to be a year full of more than the usual baby boomer narcissism and self-congratulation because the first of the absolutely greatest generation that ever was is turning 60:

The iconoclastic generation that by virtue of its numbers changed the world in the '60s, that invented and established youth culture and chanted about not trusting anybody over 30, is now challenging the world to change again, to accommodate the crushing cohort of boomers starting to enter their 60s. The transformation of boomers into seniors may be terrific for the makers of Botox, but it threatens to rattle and perhaps even to wreak havoc with the economy, health care, social services, the labour force and the pension system.

Fifteen years ago, the ratio of Canadians aged 55 to 64 to those aged 15 to 24 was 1 to 6. Ten years ago, the ratio slipped to 1 to 4. Five years from now, there will likely be parity. Too few young workers will be toiling to support too many retired seniors. Stated another way, the median age in Canada in 1966, when the last boomers (who face the big Four Oh in Oh Six) were born, was 25.4. In 2001, it was 37.6.

As they journey from the dawn of the age of Aquarius into the sunset at the end of the day, from rocking the world to rocking chairs, boomers expect to get what they want. Typically, some would say.

Forgive me if I do not break out the champagne and confetti in celebration.

The generation that hoped to die before it got old, is going to bankrupt our health care and public pension systems for the simple reason that they preferred to contracept and abort the children who would have underwritten them, all in the name of the sexual revolution.

But revolutions always turn on their own. The boomers of the Western world will be liquidated by mass euthanasia by the children who survived mass abortion. If the resentful Third World and Islamic immigrants don't get them first.

Source: Toronto Star

Ready, Fire, Aim!

Further to yesterday's gang shootings in downtown Toronto and Paul Martin's proposed handgun ban comes proof that there's no better way to make something more attractive than to declare it forbidden:

The morning after Paul Martin campaigned in Toronto's crime-ridden Jane-Finch corridor and pledged to ban handguns, Frank Hiemstra walked in to work at Shooter's Choice gun store and range and got a surprising phone call.

“The guy says, ‘Get me two 1911s. They don't want me to have one gun, I'm going to buy two,'” Mr. Hiemstra said.

Mr. Hiemstra, whose store is in Waterloo, Ont., said the announced ban has had a noticeable effect on sales: “We're definitely selling more guns than normal.”

Gun shop owners and distributors across the country say handgun sales have increased since the Liberal Leader promised to ban them if his party wins the next election. Buyers are stocking up on coveted models before it's too late and hoping the ban would not be retroactive by including guns already owned.


“People are saying, ‘Piss off a Liberal: buy a handgun,'” said Len Kucey, owner of Phoenix Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Edmonton, who has also seen a boost in sales.

Now that's a campaign slogan for the ages, right up with the late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo's "I'm gonna make Attila the Hun look like a faggot!"

And probably both illegal under federal hate speech laws.

But seriously folks, whenever there's a hike in tobacco taxes, people rush out to buy a carton before the tax hike kicks in. Same with gas prices and any other commodity when shortages or price increases are expected.

Why expect otherwise with handguns?

Source: Globe and Mail

Boxing Day Blowout

The Jamaican gang wars random attacks of licenced handguns are spreading outside their usual theatres, and going right to the heart of downtown Toronto:

A 15-year old girl was killed yesterday in a volley of shots that had Boxing Day bargain-hunters scrambling for safety in one of Toronto's busiest shopping areas.

"I think it's a day that Toronto has finally lost its innocence," Toronto Police spokesman Det. Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said at a news conference Tuesday. "It was a tragic loss and a tragic day."

Bystanders fled the exchange of gunfire that also wounded six, emptying a crowded stretch of Yonge Street just north of the Eaton Centre. Three women and four men were caught in the crossfire.

"A number of those people who were injured were innocent bystanders who were out in the busiest day of the shopping year," Det. Sgt. Kyriacou said, adding that one of the male victims is still in critical condition.

Ten to 15 youths in their late teens and early twenties were involved in a dispute Monday prior to the shootings, he said. The two groups then began to exchange gunfire on the busy street.

Two people were arrested at a nearby subway station Monday, but investigators are still trying to determine if they played any role in the shootings. They have not been charged.

Politicians will respond, as they must, with the usual expressions of regret and resolve to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This being Toronto, they will also avoid blaming the perpetrators should they turn out to be Jamaican gangsters, or one of the other colourful tiles in our beloved multicultural mosaic.

And this will give Paul Martin another opportunity to tout his licenced handgun ban and put the victims' blood on Stephen Harper's hands.

David Miller will promise more community outreach programs while taking pains not to identify which community they will be reaching out to. Police chief Bill Blair will echo his civilian bosses' concerns, being the social worker in a policeman's uniform that he is.

Dalton McGuinty will say something completely irrelevant, and John Tory, as leader of Ontario's loyal opposition, will agree completely with him.

The usual impotent political response will only embolden the gangs to pull off more daytime downtown shootings, and take the fight to the rich white enclaves.

When the guns start going off in Forest Hill, Rosedale and the Annex, maybe the politicians will deal with the gang problem seriously.


Source: Globe and Mail

Monday, December 26, 2005

Klander Slander Update

Embarrassed blogger and Ontario federal Liberal executive veep Mike Klander has resigned his party post following the revelation of his bigoted and juvenile online musings.

While this brief scandal exposed the seamy underside of the Liberals' polished image as the exemplars of multiculturalism and tolerance (or at least of Mike Klander), it will pass largely unnoticed outside the blogworld because of its extremely fortunate timing.

Would that it had happened a week earlier, or a week later, for the damage then might have been irreparable.

Source: Canoe

Just A Second

A lot of Liberals would like to see the 2005 half of the election campaign over with ASAP. Unfortunately for them, it's going to be dragged out a little longer:

2005 will last a little longer than usual -- one second to be precise.

A leap second will be added into the world's clocks just before midnight to match up the clocks with the earth's rotation.

This will be the first leap second in seven years and the 23rd since 1972 when an international timekeeping agreement was signed.

Leap seconds are necessary because modern atomic clocks are extremely accurate while the earth's rotation has been slowing down because of tides.

The clocks establish the official time, which is known as Coordinated Universal Time, for the world.

Just in case they want to make any last second changes, they finally can.

Source: CTV

Klander Slander

The Liberals are extremely lucky that their latest communications gaffe was exposed on Christmas Day, when nobody else was watching, because it makes Scott Reid's "beer and popcorn" quote look like harmless drollery in comparison. Paul Wells has the story:

Which blood vessels would Susan Murray and John Duffy be popping if they'd discovered a Conservative moron comparing an Asian-Canadian candidate to a dog?

Fortunately it wasn't a Conservative at all. And until just now I didn't think the guy in question was a moron. It was Mike Klander, a senior executive in the Liberal Party of Canada; Paul Martin's senior leadership organizer in Ontario; the muscle the Grits sent in to roll over Sheila Copps in Hamilton in '04; and riding-association president to Tony Ianno, who's running against Olivia Chow, whom Klander smears here.

(Klander immediately killed his entire blog, but the cache survives, as does the offending photo mosaic, screen-captured by an alert blogger. And what fun the Klander blog is! Note the top-ranked Liberal's touching concern over which fashion accessories make candidates "look gay" and his paradoxical observations that Stephen Harper "creeps people out" and Jack Layton "is a weasel" and "is an asshole." Oscar Wilde could hardly have done better. Oh, wait: didn't Oscar Wilde "look gay"?)

Stephen Taylor has a more complete analysis of Klander's rapier wit and astute political observations.

If the media awakes from its seasonal slumber and reports the story accurately and widely (big if, to be sure), it`will do serious damage to the Liberal Party's image among soft-left voters who could be tempted either way between the Grits and the NDP. Outright racial slurs against Jack Layton's wife will stir soft-left outrage like nothing else.

All the Liberals have to limit the fallout is timing. Will it be enough to make it blow over?

Sunday, December 25, 2005


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-14, Douay-Rheims

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas In Jail

Alleged Al-Qaeda arms supplier and Scarborough favourite son Abdullah Khadr has been denied bail until he's extradited to the United States.

Pleading to be let out to enjoy Christmas with his family probably wouldn't have helped, either.

Letter From America: The Great Grave Robbery

Rogue undertakers stole Alistair Cooke's bones and sold them for transplant tissue, according to this Daily Telegraph report.

Yes, it is a shocking indignity to the remains and memory of this distinguished broadcaster, but it's still morbidly humorous in a They Saved Hitler's Brain sort of way.

The Real Fiscal Imbalance

Everybody's talking about the fiscal imbalance between the surplus-running federal government and the deficit-ridden, debt-laden provinces. (Except Alberta, of course. Insert expressions of Ontario jealousy here.)

Even Paul Martin's finally talking about it, if only to deny its existence.

But one fiscal imbalance Paul Martin won't talk about is that between the Liberals and the other major parties, as Shelia Copps gleefully reports:

According to Elections Canada, in their last annual filing, the Liberal Party of Canada was $34,818,257.32 in debt, by way of 13 bank loans. The Bloc Quebecois has more than $10 million in outstanding loans, mostly from the Caisse Desjardins. The NDP has several modest loans outstanding, totalling a little more than $3 million. The Conservatives are debt-free.

When I called the Chief Financial Officer of the Liberal Party, Lloyd Posno, he denied the party had a debt anywhere near $34.8 million, saying it was "impossible." He said the reporting mechanism for Elections Canada must be wrong, because he knew absolutely that the party's debt was much less than the amount cited on the website. He would not put a figure on the amount, saying that he was not authorized to speak publicly on money issues.

I then turned to Elections Canada, asking if they might have erred on the year-end financial statements they published for all political parties. They investigated my request and returned with a statement that the figures they published were completely accurate and were actually pursuant to the financial statements filed by each party.

If you review the published fundraising activities of the Liberal Party, they reported $1,702,974.83 in fundraising in the first quarter of 2005, which still left them $33 million in debt.

How typical of the Liberal Party to blatantly deny what anyone can find with ease on the public record.

But equally, how short-sighted of them to have passed campaign finance reforms to cut off most of the corporate and union money.

Perhaps they thought they could rely on the resources of government to make up the difference--like using civil servants for political research and putting their campaign volunteers back on the public payroll over the Christmas holidays--while starving the Tories and NDP.

They didn't count on ordinary party members to step up to the plate like this:

Donations and Contributions, 2004 Fiscal Year
Conservative: $12,907,357
Liberal: $6,085,121
New Democratic: $5,187,142

There is, of course, only one solution to rectify this fiscal imbalance: force the Tories to give the Grits some of those excess contributions from oil-rich Albertans. We need a National Political Party Program to ensure that Earnscliffe doesn't freeze in the dark!

On The Waterfront

The redevelopment of Toronto's waterfront is one of those projects that is periodically reannounced with great fanfare by politicians at all three levels of government, complete with big numbers, grand dreams, artists' renderings of a lakeshore paradise, and of course, yet another promise to tear down or bury the Gardiner Expressway.

Yet invariably, it produces nothing more than a few refurbished buildings while the condos keep going up to block the view of Lake Ontario more completely than the Gardiner ever did.

And of course, like all projects with ill-stated goals, interjurisdictional wrangling and cursory oversight, it produces corruption:

An audit of millions of dollars spent sprucing up Toronto's waterfront has found numerous contracting irregularities and questionable overseas travel.

The federal audit, obtained by The Canadian Press, examines how the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp. has spent almost $30 million since 2001, when it was created to clean up and modernize the city's lakeshore.

The funding is split evenly among Ottawa, the province and the city.

The corporation's agreement with the three levels of government required that any contracts it signed for construction, goods or services worth more than $75,000 had to be put out to competitive bids.

But the investigators found 10 such contracts — about a third of the value of all contracts signed — where there was no competitive bidding at all.

They also found two major contracts that were signed two years after the goods or services first began to be provided, also contrary to the rules.

The audit document, from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, does not identify individual firms or provide details of the problem contracts, such as their value.

In other words, somebody's been playing games with the tendering process, but we don't who, with whom, when, how much, or why.

This audit is little more than a CYA by the feds so they can claim to have reported the trouble if anyone blames them for not catching it sooner.

It is useless for any other purpose, if it doesn't name names.

But at least the cover story for the press and inquiry is ready.

Source: Toronto Star

Friday, December 23, 2005

Tracking Santa

We can't stop American subs from poking around Arctic waters, we can't keep the Danes from trying to seize Hans Island, but we can still give Santa Claus a fighter escort.

Somehow we left this out in today's big Arctic defence announcement.

NORAD will be following jolly old St. Nick, but no word on whether they'll be using the new BMD tracking systems to locate his sleigh.

And some private broadcasters will repeat Harvey Kirck's radio commentary from NORAD: perhaps the most joyous Christmas miracle since the first one, since he's been dead for three years.

Ho ho ho.

Same Words, Different Speaker

Investigation has confirmed that Mississauga-Erindale Liberal candidate Omar Alghabra did not call his nomination a "victory for Islam" and did not declare that "Islamic power is rising in Mississauga."

But Khalid Osman, a Markham town councillor who campaigned for Alghabra's nomination, did.

Unfortunately for Alghabra, all the apologies, retractions and explanations in the world will not lift the taint of these incorrectly attributed remarks from his camapign, as long as he surrounds himself with people like Khalid Osman.

If he wants to put this scandal behind him, he had better kick Osman and anyone else with radical Islamic sympathies off his campaign, now.

These comments are even more threatening coming from Osman, in a way, because he holds elected office and Alghabra does not. A radical Islamic sympathizer can still do a lot of damage in municipal office.

Source: Daniel Pipes

Back On Track

VIA Rail trains will run on time thanks to a tentative agreement with the engineers' and conductors' union.

Jean Pelletier , on the other hand, has been ridden out of the chairman's seat on a rail, and properly this time.

All aboard!

True North, True Defence

Though the Liberals have convinced themselves and much of the public otherwise, the first duty of the federal government is not to dole out goodies but to provide for the national defence so that we will have goodies to dole out.

And if we can't defend ourselves, we can't protect our sovereignty either.

Which is why Stephen Harper's Arctic defence announcement is especially timely, following on the recent unannounced incursions of American submarines in our -Arctic waters and Paul Martin's belligerent anti-American chest thumping:

Stephen Harper unveiled Thursday a Conservative government's recipe for protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic that he says will rely on an enhanced navy, army and air force presence north of the 60th parallel, as well as greater underwater and aerial surveillance of the area.

Harper told a news conference a critical piece of the sweeping plan entails building three Canadian-made, armed heavy ice-breakers, capable of carrying troops, and stationing them in the area of Iqaluit.

A Tory government would build a deep-water docking facility for both civilian and military uses in the same area, he said. He estimated the cost of the ice-breakers and docking facility at about $2 billion over nine years.


Other elements of the Conservative plan include;

Building a new Arctic army training centre in the area of Cambridge Bay on the Northwest Passage, staffed by 100 regular force personnel.
Stationing new fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft in Yellowknife.
Providing eastern and western Arctic air surveillance by stationing new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons at CFB Goose Bay in Labrador and CFB Comox in British Columbia.

Protecting and developing the Arctic has always been a favourite bit of political rhetoric with all major political parties. But standing on guard for the True North strong and free has, in practical terms, been little more than a cheap campaign promise.

Actually stationing troops and icebreakers in the Arctic, beyond the token base in Alert, will demonstrate not only to northerners that we're taking their defence seriously, but will the Americans and Danes on notice not to play games with us in the Arctic.

How sensible is this policy? Even the NDP peaceniks love it, even if it's only to keep out those evil American nuclear subs:

NDP Leader Jack Layton said he was generally in agreement with the Conservative proposal to boost Canada's military presence in the north to protect the nation's sovereignty.

"The fact that there are submarines ... sometimes, apparently, without Canadian knowledge in the Arctic passage is something that should be of concern to every Canadian, and we believe that that should be a focus of our defence strategy based on sovereignty," Layton said, one day after becoming the first national leader to head north of the 60th parallel with a campaign visit to Yellowknife.

When a defence policy wins rave reviews from the defence sector and the NDP, and shows the Grits to be full of hot air, you know it's a winner!

CanWest News Service

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Leave The Wrong Message After The Tone

Boorishness and bad taste may be serious moral faults, but they should not be criminalized, because the social consequences of one's own bad behaviour are far more enduring, painful, and corrective than a mere fine or jail term.

Witness where hate speech laws have taken this man:

A convicted thief had two extra months tacked on to his sentence Thursday for using an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler as the greeting for his cellphone voice mail.

The 20-year-old defendant, whose name was not released in line with privacy laws, was convicted by a court in the alpine province of Tyrol under a law that makes Nazi propaganda an offence in Austria. Police accidentally came across his phone message in 2004 when they called to question him about a burglary.

Prosecutors said the man had downloaded the slogan from the Internet and saved it on his cellphone as a message greeting callers when he was unable to answer. It said: "I swear unswerving loyalty to Adolf Hitler! I swear absolute obedience! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"

The defendant had testified Thursday that the download was a "spontaneous act" and that he did not fully embrace the meaning of the oath.

The man was sentenced to a year in prison for theft and fencing stolen goods, but the court tacked on two extra months for using the Nazi oath.

"What nonsense!" the defendant said as he left the courtroom, the Austria Press Agency reported.

A tasteless joke, to be sure, but not a criminal act.

How does one determine whether he "fully embraced the meaning of the oath", when the object of his supposed obedience is dead and unable to command him?

How deep will one have to probe the mind of a supposed hate speaker to find his mens rea?

Source: Yahoo

NOTICE: I shall be celebrating Christmas at one of my favourite secure undisclosed locations this year. I may blog less frequently, but I shall endeavour to blog at least once a day.


Jean Pelletier is back at work as chairman of VIA Rail, thanks to the Federal Court. But VIA's engineers and conductors might not be on Christmas Eve. You decide which one is the greater inconvenience to the government of the day.

Swing And A Miss

The Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize so-called swingers' clubs on the basis that the test for indecency should not be community standards, but actual harm, sinks Canadian society deeper into the moral morass.

Changing the test from community standards to actual harm suggests that the ordinary Canadian public should have no say in deciding what is indecent, and by extension, their elected representatives as well. Supposedly courts, with their superior wisdom and forensic ability to determine what is actually harmful, claim a clearer insight into man's moral nature and the effects of individual behaviour on society.

But if it is actual harm the Supreme Court wants, I can suggest three such possible harms:

Encouragement of adultery: Decriminalizing this activity removes another barrier to maintaining marriage vows. Society has a legitimate interest in discouraging extra-marital sexual behaviour, because of its social and economic costs. Even in an era of no-fault divorce, sexual infidelity remains a major cause of divorce, with all the cost that it entails in breaking up marriages and families.

Exploitation of minors: The age of consent remains at 14. Consequently, they can be permitted to participate in group sex clubs and no one, not even their parents, can do anything about it. The psychological effects of participating promiscuous sexual behaviour with older adults who make up the membership of these clubs are just too dangerous to permit such activity.

Public health: The spread of sexually transmitted diseases has never been higher. The sex trade's quest for profit, even where it is legalized and regulated, drives it to ignore public health regulations such as mandatory STD testing. Sex clubs will almost certainly be no different. Our public health care system will have to bear the cost of treating those who catch STDs at these clubs and the longer-term effects such as infertility in women.

But of course, our learned Solomons would say that the above are simply potential harms, not actual, and thus irrelevant. Waiting for actual harm to take place, however, is like waiting for a forest fire before banning open fires during a drought.

The elimination of the community standards test will eventually be used to strike down laws allowing municipal and provincial governments to regulate other parts of the sex trade. Sex shops, strip clubs, and massage parlours will be free to operate, not behind frosted glass windows, but with blatant display for all to see.

All because the Supreme Court thinks that it, and not the people, know what's harmful for them and their communities.

Source: CBC

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Duceppe Backs Down

Faced with the prospect of debating a strong and untainted Stephen Harper instead of beating up on a feeble and corrupt Paul Martin in a one-on-one debate, Gilles Duceppe has folded like a cheap tent.

Nonetheless, Stephen Harper comes away a big winner with little risk.

By taking up Duceppe's challenge, he killed three birds with one stone. He killed the perception that he's working with the Bloc to cripple the federal government; he killed Paul Martin's claim to be the great uncompromising champion of federalism in Quebec, and he killed the myth that only the Liberal Party can stand up to the separatists.

All without having had to say more than, "I accept."

You can't do better than an unassisted triple play.

Source: CBC

Harper v. Duceppe: The Rumble In The Jungle

That great and passionate defender of Canadian unity, Paul Martin, can bluster his way through a prepared text at a debate about not letting Gilles Duceppe take away his country, but he hasn't got the brass to take him on, one-on-one, in a real public debate.

Stephen Harper does.

And we'll see it live in Quebec on TV.

Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney would never have shrunk from such a challenge. Not even Jean Chretien.

This is how a prime minister defends national unity during an election campaign, folks.

For Harper, this is a win-win proposition. Even if he doesn't shift many Bloc votes to the Tories, he will show federalist Quebecois that the Conservative Party will stand up to the separatists, and that the Liberals are too afraid and too tainted by scandal to show their faces in the debate.

He has nothing to lose, and Paul Martin nothing to gain, by accepting the debate challenge.

Bring it on!

Paul Martin: Already Yesterday

During the 1988 federal election, some senior Liberals were apparently so frightened of the prospect of finishing third behind the NDP that they were willing to force John Turner out mid-election and put Jean Chretien in his place.

Turner stayed the plotters' hands with a brilliant debate performance that temporarily boosted Liberal poll numbers, but his leadership was already doomed.

Now we're hearing similar talk about replacing Paul Martin, not mid-campaign, but almost immediately thereafter, even if he ekes out another minority government:

"If Martin leads this party into the next election you will have a Conservative majority," says a lifetime Liberal at the centre of one of the fledgling leadership efforts. "Anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy."

Those supporting new leadership worry that the powerful clique around Martin will interpret a second minority as a victory, mistaking holding 24 Sussex Dr., the Prime Minister's official residence, as the prize.

"Martin's people decided they won the last election," says a well-connected Liberal not involved in any leadership campaign. "For Liberals, winning is not a minority."

Read more analysis, including names of potential successors, in this Toronto Star article, which has all but put Frank McKenna in the lead for the undeclared leadership race.

The palace plotters might have an easier time of it, though, because the latest Strategic Counsel poll puts the Bloc so far ahead in Quebec, and in the Montreal region, that Paul Martin himself might be swept out of his seat.

If so, Martin would be well advised to quit on the spot, because no one will be willing to give up his seat to get Paul Martin back in Parliament for his tragic last days as opposition leader.

Abra Alghabra

Kathy Shaidle and Lost Budgie are on the hunt for proof that Mississauga-Erindale Liberal candidate Omar Alghabra's made the infamous "victory for Islam" comments.

So far, no one's been able to put those exact words in his mouth, and no one has seen footage of the Rogers Cable tape supposedly contains them.

However, it appears that Markham town councilloe Khalid Osman did take the stage and brag about Islamic power, and Alghabra did not say anything to contradict him.

The fact that this story stayed under wraps for nearly two weeks should have put our suspicions up, especially because the alleged comments were made at a Coptic Church hall. Few people have more reason to suspect or fear Islamic politicians than Coptic Christians, and such a rumour would travel fast in its community.

But if the story is verified, and Alghabra did make those remarks, it will mark the beginning of a frightening new era in Canadian politics.

And it will also show up a significant weakness in the Canadian media--a lack of knowledgable and unbiased reporting about our growing Islamic community and its radicalization.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Update: Editorial Error

In my post, Hoplophobia Creates Another Victim, misreading the article in a hurry created another victim as well: my accuracy.

Elie Betito is Mr. Betito, not Ms., as I implied.

I'll leave the post up to demonstrate that the rush to publish can embarrass me as much as it does the MSM I criticize every day.

Hoplophobia Claims Another Victim

Elie Betito, the Oakville Liberal EDA who told an RCMP ballistics technician to take her "gun loving ass back to the USA," has taken her gun hating ass out of the EDA executive and MP Bonnie Brown's campaign.

The original e-mail that provoked this vulgar outburst is right here at Small Dead Animals.

So much for the argument that getting more women involved in the political process will increase civility therein.

Alberta Can Afford Not To Wait

Shorter waiting times for health care has become the new "chicken in every pot" promise of politicians across the land.

Alberta has actually done it by contracting out some of the intake to private clinics, and people couldn't be happier out there:

Waiting times for hip and knee replacements have been slashed in Alberta for patients in a pilot project who hit the operating table 11 weeks after the first referral to an orthopedic surgeon rather than enduring the usual 19½ months in the queue.

The average wait for a first orthopedic consultation dropped to six weeks from 35 weeks, according to an interim report on the program released yesterday.

In the project, which sends patients through a central-intake system and has its own doctors and surgical space, the average wait for surgery after the first consultation has plummeted to 4.7 weeks from 47 weeks.

And the average hospital stay has shrunk to 4.3 days from 6.2 days.

This is what we all want, no? People are getting the surgery they need and back on their feet ASAP.

Ah, but you see, it's only possible because Alberta is rolling around in all that oil money:

There's absolutely nothing controversial there," said Bas Masri, an orthopedic surgeon in Vancouver who is also secretary of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.

But, he said, the project does highlight something Alberta has that other provinces do not: money.

And, according to Bob McMurtry, who was Roy Romanow's chief adviser on the Royal Commission on Health, it also demonstrates Alberta's "can-do attitude."

"It's a place where innovation is welcome; where new ideas are good," said Dr. McMurtry, who is now an adviser to the bone and joint institute and who teaches at the University of Western Ontario in London.

And this is why the Canada Health Act's most zealous defenders are frightened, despite this article's generally positive tone. The same people who defend the medicare monopoly are often the same people who despise Alberta as a hotbed of social and economic reactionism. And yet it is Alberta that is in the vanguard of progress here.

Alberta has managed to cut waiting times within the public system significantly by cooperating with the private clinics while not requiring patients to spend their own money.

So instead of following Alberta's example, they'll condemn it as an another example of Alberta not sharing its wealth. Instead of balancing their own chequebooks to pay for the same system in their own provinces, they'll demand an NEP-style wealth redistribution instead.

Source: Globe and Mail

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Mississauga Intifada

The Islamic jihad has now found a theatre all too close to home to fight in: the Liberal EDA in Mississauga-Erindale, where candidate Omar Algharba has declared a "victory for Islam":

On December 2, the Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Erindale, Omar Alghabra, made his victory speech after winning the nomination. In that speech, he reportedly exhorted his audience, "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! Islam Won! ... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics".

Alghabra's victory speech was delivered to an audience of several hundred in the Coptic Christian Centre of the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga.

David Ragheb, a member of the congregation, reported that following Alghabra's victory speech, Markham Councillor Khalid Osman took to the stage and declared, "We have the east, we have the west, and now we have Mississauga!" to cheers and applause from the audience. Ragheb also reported that Rogers Cable was present throughout and may have filmed the event. "A member of parliament is supposed to represent my concerns about taxes and roads in Mississauga, not promote an Islamic agenda," said Ragheb.

Victor Fouad, a Coptic Christian, was disturbed to hear of such Islamist rhetoric from a Liberal who could easily become a Canadian parliamentarian. Mr. Fouad assumed that Paul Martin would likewise disapprove of such incitement by a Liberal candidate, and so wrote to the Prime Minister detailing what had happened. That message was ignored. The event took place over 2 weeks ago, and Paul Martin's silence since that time can only be interpreted as approval of Mr. Alghabra's rhetoric.

Had a Conservative candidate declared his nomination to be a "victory for Christianity", the media would have been howling for weeks about Stephen Harper's hidden fundamentalist theocratic hidden agenda. They do that now if a candidate who's ever been an usher at his local church gets nominated.

Yet for two weeks, they have been strangely silent about this naked declaration of religious conquest by a Liberal candidate, who admitted that his candidacy is in furtherance of Islamic political power in Canada, in a Coptic church whose adherents have endured centuries of oppression under the boot heel of their Islamic rulers.

The Liberals, through their cynical exploitation of the immigrant vote, have clasped a poisonous snake to their bosom--and to that of Canadian democracy in general.

If Paul Martin believes that a person who opposes same-sex marriage is unfit to lead, then how much more unfit is a man who has declared sympathy for a cause calling for the extinction of everyone's liberties?

Source: Centre for Canadian Democracies

Who Speaks For Canada?

Respecting Quebec's proper constitutional jurisdiction is one thing. Letting it take over federal jurisdiction is quite another. And few matters of federal jurisdiction should be as carefully guarded as that of foreign relations:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is promising more funding and autonomy for Quebec, saying his government would allow the province to play a greater international role in culture and language.

"A Conservative government will offer a complete departure from the approaches of both the federal Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois," Harper said Monday on an election campaign visit to Quebec City.

Harper would allow Quebec to increase its presence on the world stage. He said the province would be able to represent itself at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

He pointed out that Quebec already participates in the Francophonie Summit of French-speaking nations.

"I don't think that's proven to be a difficulty. I think it's had quite the opposite effect. I think it's proven that Quebec can express that side of its nature, that distinctiveness without having any necessary recourse to sovereignty."

Participation in UNESCO and La Francophonie meetings might be irrelevant to the day-to-day lives of Quebecois and Canadians. But they matter very much to their member governments, for they are organizations of equal, sovereign states.

Allowing Quebec to participate in a UN body as an independent member, equal to Canada and to any other member nation, is an admission that Quebec should be treated as a sovereign state, and can act entirely without reference to Canadian interests in advancing its own.

If Quebec is allowed this privilege in matters relating to Francophone culture, why shouldn't other provinces be extended the same privilege in matters uniquely suited to them?

For example, Alberta could have its own seat in the International Energy Agency , while Newfoundland and Nova Scotia could have their own membership in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization , while Ontario could use its dominance in the Canadian financial sector to qualify itself for the International Monetary Fund.

Very quickly, other nations would start bypassing the federal government and dealing directly with the provinces on matters within the proper sphere of sovereign states at international law.

Canada would become a shell government very quickly, and the provinces de facto independent states, if not quite de jure .

Before we can speak as one voice on the world stage, we have to leave our internal sqaubbling at home. No sovereign state, even a decentralized federation, can have its constituent provinces or states running off in all directions.

Only one voice can stand up for Canada, or none will.

Source: CBC

Whose True North Strong And Free?

Paul Martin would have us believe that the most effective defence of Canadian sovereignty against American influence consists of bluff, bluster and bullshit.

None of which ever saved a single Canadian dollar, job, or life, and none of which can stop the U.S. Navy from sending its subs through the Arctic seas whenever they like:

A U.S. nuclear submarine cruised through the Arctic Ocean last month -- probably passing through Canadian territorial waters -- but the federal government is refusing to say whether it gave permission for the voyage.

However, experts say it is highly unlikely Canada was even notified of the USS Charlotte's northern tour, which included a Nov. 10 stop at the North Pole, because it has no way of tracking what goes on beneath the Arctic ice.

And that could threaten Canada's claim to hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of the North, including the Northwest Passage route across the Arctic, said Michael Byers, who holds the Canada research chair in global politics and international law at the University of British Columbia.

"This is very important -- it's crucial," he said. "Any unauthorized passage could have a serious effect on our claim."

For too long, we've been expecting a free ride off the United States for our national defence, even while we neglected ours to the point of complete impotence, while hectoring the U.S. self-righteously on everything from Iraq to Kyoto to homosexual marriage.

The Liberal government has made much--too much, rather--of reliance on international law and institutions, and so-called "soft power". Unfortunately, "soft power" is useless without "hard power" to back it up. And we may even lose our claim in international law to our own internal waters as a result.

We don't even have to do much to maintain effective sovereignty over the Arctic--station a few troops, make the odd overflight, plant the flag here and there every so often. We can't even do that little.

The Liberals have abdicated the first responsibility of government to the goodwill of the United States. And that is clearly running out. That alone, aside from any corruption or ordinary administrative incompetence, should be enough reason to vote out the Liberals.

Source: National Post

Green With Envy

The Green Party finds itself in an unusual position for a political party in Canada; it doesn't attract enough support to win seats, yet it has won enough votes to elevate itself above fringe party status.

Much of the credit can go to its leader, Jim Harris. A little too much credit, according to some disgruntled former party members, who are accusing Harris of enriching himself at the party's expense:

Elections Canada is in talks with the federal Green Party over possible violations of federal election law by its leader, Jim Harris, The Canadian Press has learned.

The discussions are based on a letter of complaint filed by Matthew Pollesel, the party's former assistant national organizer.

Pollesel alleges that the former grassroots party has been hijacked to gain access to federal election subsidies provided under the new elections-financing law.

The law was introduced by former prime minister Jean Chretien to reduce the dependence of politicians on donations from corporations and unions, and gives parties a subsidy of $1.75 per year for each vote won in the last election.

The formerly impoverished Green Party is now collecting $1.1 million annually in federal subsidies.

Asked on Thursday about how the money is being used, Harris deferred to his staff: "I am the leader of the party," he said. "I don't manage the party."


Since Harris took over, at least six board members and headquarters staff have either resigned or been fired. Several have gone public with allegations of financial wrongdoing.

Pollesel accused Harris of underestimating his 2003 leadership campaign expenses, reported to Elections Canada as $2,651.12. Canadian election law requires parties to disclose leadership campaign expenses to ensure they comply with federal limits.

Pollesel said he believes Harris's campaign must have cost much more.

Many of the original Green Party supporters were probably quite comfortable with their little club of ideologically pure and committed environmentalists, alone holding fast to the true gospel like 21st century Donatists.

Many of them also were probably devout socialists, unlike Harris and company, whose fiscal conservatism comes right from their PC and Alliance background.

They don't like the relative success that Harris' leadership has brought them because it's destroyed the old atmosphere of the party. But parties can't stand still, whether established or fringe.

They should be grateful to Jim Harris for all that he's done instead of sniping at him at every turn.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Money Non, Ethnic Vote Oui

Jacques Parizeau's famous semi-intoxicated rant about losing the 1995 secession referendum because of "money and the ethnic vote" may not be true the next time out, because immigrants are increasingly thinking of themselves as Quebecois and not Canadians:

...while many of their elders might still reject the sovereigntist movement as one made up of francophone ethnic nationalists, those gathered here are enthusiastically approving of Mr. Boisclair's message that they are as Québécois as he.

It would be hard for many of them to feel like anything else. They are the "children of Bill 101" -- either first- or second-generation immigrants who grew up in Quebec attending French-language public schools, as mandated by provincial law since 1977. Their education and, more important, their socialization among francophone Quebeckers, has led them to define themselves as Québécois as much as, if not more than, Canadian. Many see sovereignty as merely the formalization of what is already a reality for them: Quebec, they will tell you, is their country.


The sponsorship scandal, which resonates particularly with voters who fled countries where government corruption was rampant, could see the Bloc register its best score in this election thanks to new endorsements from immigrants. Recent polls have pegged the party's support among allophones at about 20 per cent; this does not include immigrants or ethnic voters whose first language is French, such as many Haitians or North Africans.

Sill, Mr. Verboczy and his children of Bill 101 cohorts gathered at the Brébeuf rally do not evoke the Gomery report or any other aspects of the sponsorship scandal to explain their support for the PQ and Bloc. Their sovereigntist convictions are deep-seated and not likely to be influenced by flavour-of-the-month politics.

So why, in a world where Canada is admired as a model of diversity and harmony, where even Lisa Simpson of The Simpsons fame prefers to travel with a Canadian flag stitched on her backpack, are more young Quebeckers of ethnic origin endorsing sovereignty?

"To them, Canada is the Post Office and the money. Quebec is a more important marker of identification for them," said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies in Montreal. "The message the federalists have been sending is not emotional. The [sovereigntist] message is more about who you are."

Bill 101 has been around for almost an entire generation, and its effects are finally showing up in the opinion polls. Requiring all immigrants to be educated in francophone schools, dominated by separatist teachers whose opinions have been shaped by a left-leaning separatist teacher training system and teachers' unions, was bound to shape the students' opinions as well.

Add to that a general atmosphere where Quebec itself regards Canada as a foreign country, and it is no wonder that second-generation Quebecois don't think of themselves of Canadians.

Despite France's inability and/or unwillingness to assimilate its Muslim population, it has done a fairly good job of making other immigrants identify with France, starting with the second generation. Nicolas Sarkozy, himself of Hungarian and Greek extraction, is one particulary good example.

Quebec, following a similar model, has succeeded (albeit with the same failure as regards Muslims). A future wave of immigration from France will certainly reinforce this success: French Jews are looking at Montreal, with its established Jewish community, as a safe haven from militant Islam, and no doubt other Frenchmen will follow suit.

Adscam proved that money won't buy Quebec's love and loyalty. The ethnic vote isn't reliable any more either. Better to concede the next referendum in advance and plan for a Canada without Quebec, because Quebec has already planned its future without us.

Source: Globe and Mail

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Revolt of the Foot Soldiers

First it was Allan Cutler. Now it's Jean Lambert. At this rate, Judge John Gomery himself might be suiting up for the Tories:

Former Groupaction vice president Jean Lambert, one of the original whistleblowers in the sponsorship scandal, will be running for the Conservatives in a bid to become member of parliament for the Eastern Townships riding of Shefford.

Lambert, 49, is the second sponsorship scandal whistleblower to become a candidate for the Tories. Allan Cutler, the civil servant who blew the whistle on questionable practices within the civil service concerning the sponsorship program, is also running for the Conservatives in the riding of Ottawa South.


Years ago, when he served as vice-president of Groupaction, Lambert realized that there were serious problems with the way the sponsorship program was being administered. He resigned from the company in January 2001 and began working with RCMP investigators long before the scandal hit the headlines. Later, he testified before the Gomery Commission.

Have we ever seen a federal corruption scandal before in Canada that has led one otherwise apolitical whistleblower into running for the opposition party, let alone two?

Have we ever seen an election in which almost all the Ottawa-area ridings were in play, for that matter? Enough civil servants might have heard about and seen enough unwarranted political interference in their affairs to decide that they have get the Liberals off their backs, whatever they may think of the alternatives personally.

Seats like Ottawa South, Ottawa-Orleans, Hull-Aylmer and Gatineau used to be safe as houses for the Grits. All four might be in Conservative and Bloc hands, if upward trends continue.

When the civil service revolts, no government is safe.

Wife Swapping: Our Next New Charter Right?

The Supreme Court is set to decide whether the traditional definition of adultery should be upheld under the Criminal Code section prohibiting wife-swapping orgies:

The groundbreaking case, which could set new standards for decency in contemporary Canadian society, stems from two Montreal "swingers" clubs charged with keeping a bawdy house.

One defendant, James Kouri, ran the Coeur a Corps bar, where swinging couples could hook up by paying a $6 cover charge.


Kouri was convicted of keeping a common bawdy house and sentenced to pay fines of $500 on the first count and $5,000 on the second.

He won acquittal from Quebec's top court, but the other club owner, Jean-Paul Labaye, lost his appeal.

One wonders whether the Supreme Court will defer the matter of unconstitutionality to Parliament to decide, as it did in the marriage reference case. I'm sure that the Liberals and NDP, as champions of sexual libertinism, will be only too quick to defend the rights of this oppressed and aggrieved sexual minority.

It should make for some interesting Parliamentary debate, anyway.

Or will the Supreme Court confront the matter head-on, and rule that Canadians have the Charter right to hold orgies?

Imagine Paul Martin shouting that Stephen Harper will take away the Charter right of wife swapping by invoking the notwithstanding clause, a right he will defend to the death as the Charter's greatest champion!

The more that one declares that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, the further the state keeps intruding.

Source: Winnipeg Sun

Shocked! Shocked! Khadr Busted For Terrorism!

There must be some mistake, constable. This man is an upstanding member of the community and scion of the family most absolutely unconnected to terrorism in all Canada:

Abdullah Khadr, the eldest son of a reputed Canadian Al Qaeda financier, was arrested by the RCMP yesterday on terrorism-related charges at the request of American authorities.

The 25-year-old Canadian recently returned from Pakistan where he was held for 14 months without charge. He was arrested at a Scarborough McDonald's last evening and both he and his mother, Maha Elsamnah, were taken into custody.

Khadr's lawyer, Dennis Edney, said last night that the RCMP had a provisional arrest warrant from the U.S. where he is being charged with conspiracy to commit a murder against an American citizen. His mother was not charged, Edney said.

If you can't trust the word of a man who's sworn to tell the truth on a stack of Qu'rans to the Toronto Star, who can you trust?

"I just want everybody to know I have nothing to do with anything," the 24-year-old said.

He denies his family is or was ever involved with Al Qaeda. He admits he attended the notorious Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, but it was when he was 13, and it didn't have ties to terrorism.

He dismisses the claim of Western intelligence agencies that he later led the camp in the Khost Mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and instructed terrorist recruits.

"Instructed? Instruction is you have to be very, very, very, very, very inside this stuff and we didn't have that reputation in Afghanistan," he said. "I wasn't interested in that stuff. I was more interested in cars."


Khadr said he has no plans to launch any lawsuits and hopes to slip quietly into a typical Canadian life.

"I have no problem with anybody, why should anybody have a problem with me?" he asked.

Who would fail to be impressed by young Mr. Khadr's magnanimity? In an age of collective irresponsibility, where someone must always be to blame for the slightest inconvenience and litigation the first resort of the aggrieved, he has forborne to seek redress in the courts after over a year in one of the roughest prison systems in the world.

We can be sure, then, that the CBC mistook him for an another Abdullah Khadr when it produced this alleged interview with him. It's a common enough name in those parts, like Smith and Jones over here:

"Dying for Islam is… hopeful for every Muslim," Abdullah says. "Everybody loves to die for his religion," he says. "Every Muslim dreams of being a shaheed for Islam… like you die for your religion. Everybody dreams of this, even a Christian would like to die for their religion."

And surely they too were also misled, if not outright deceived, by some nefarious force (CSIS/CIA/Haliburton/Mossad/Zionists/Karl Rove/Stephen Harper/Dick Cheney/Trilateral Commission/Other[specify]) to spread these defamatory reports on this ordinary Scarborough family.

Rest assured that once the U.S. authorities realize the gravity of their error, Mr. Khadr will be released, with profuse apologies, and will be back home to work on his cars, attend mosque, pay his taxes, make frequent but absolutely innocuous visits to strife-torn regions of Pakistan, and otherwise comport himself as an ordinary Canadian citizen.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ambassador Williams

The op-ed pages and talking heads will be furious tomorrow with righteous indignation at this unwarranted foreign interference with the federal election:

How I ended up in a cab on College Street with Robin Williams, peering out the window at the falling snow and singing along to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I'll never exactly know.


Eventually, Mork, who's in town shooting a movie titled Man of the Year, ended up behind the bar taking orders from tickled patrons. I took the opportunity to do an impromptu Q&A.

"So, Mr. Williams," I asked, "what is your position on the Canadian election?"

"Stay Liberal!" he expounded with the speed of a stand-up.

"But our Conservatives are not the same as your conservatives," I rambled back.

"Yes, your Conservatives don't kill people," Williams shot back.

Or not.

Robin Williams, after all, is a famous comedian, and David Wilkins is merely the American ambassador. Not difficult to see whose words should carry more weight with the chattering classes.

Source: National Post

Patriot Acting: The Quebec Question Goes Unanswered

Conventional wisdom holds that televised leaders' debates have a strong effect on voters' intentions.

The reality is usually far different. Many people will tell pollsters that they intend to watch the debate, and decide who to vote for accordingly, but don't; they tell pollsters that because they don't want to sound like indifferent ignoramuses.
They say so in the same way that they pledge every New Year's to lose weight and spend more time with their families; they know they should, they know they won't, but they think they'd look bad if they said otherwise.

Televised debates generally confirm people in their previous intentions; even a supposed knock-out blow, like the one that Brian Mulroney felled John Turner with in 1984, merely let voters ratify what they'd already decided.

So let us not despair or rejoice too much over poll results that announce the winner.

Let us, instead, look at Paul Martin's last desperate plea to Gilles Duceppe not to take away his country:

Mr. Duceppe, let me say to you that the Supreme Court, the Constitution of Canada and international law all make it very, very clear that you cannot have a unilateral declaration of independence. Let me say also that I am a Quebecer, and you are not going to take my country away from me with some trick, with some ambiguous question. You are not going to do an "astuce'' as Jacques Parizeau said. This is my country and my children were born and raised in Quebec, and you're not going to go to them and say that you're going to find some backdoor way of taking my country or dividing Quebec family against Quebec family. We do have an opportunity, and Quebecers understand this, to build a country which is without parallel, and if you take a look at the way that Canada is measuring up in terms of our economy, in terms of the strength of our social programs, in terms of our independent foreign policy, I believe that we do appeal to the deep attachment, the deep love of this country that Quebecers have and you're not going to win, Mr. Duceppe. Let me tell you that.

The media will no doubt declare Martin the winner based on this passionate declaration of patriotism and almost Churchillian defiance in the face of evil.

It is, however, further evidence of the arrogance beneath his bluster.

Who is he to think that he can order Gilles Duceppe not to take away his country, as though it were his peculiar possession, and as though Duceppe were the premier of Quebec in charge of the next referendum?

Where is this deep love of and attachment to Canada that supposedly exists in Quebec?

For that matter, when will the other three party leaders stop pretending that Quebecois have any real emotional attachment to Canada?

Stephen Harper was especially disappointing in this regard. Granted, he has to play to the Ontario voters who still believe that Quebec really wants to stay in Canada for love, not money. But he too told a couple of pandering whoppers:

The rise and support of the Bloc is not due to real support for sovereignty. It's a reaction to the corruption of the Liberal party and the damage it's done to the face of federalism in Quebec.

Adscam seriously damaged the Liberal reputation in Quebec, but if these voters were looking for a federalist alternative, they'd have gone to the Conservatives and NDP, not to the Bloc en masse. They're going to the Bloc in full knowledge of its separatist agenda, even those who are casting protesting votes.

Let me just say this; the only way Quebec is ever going to separate from Canada is if we create a federal government that is so tarnished in their eyes, so corrupt, so disrespectful of their jurisdictions that we drive them that way.....If federalism has a clean image, an honest image and respects Quebec's powers and jurisdictions we will never have to worry about Quebecers. They will always choose Canada.

Respect for provincial jurisdiction and clean government will not win the affections of a people who want to be maitres chez eux . No one ever loved a country because of its efficiency and integrity alone.

Quebec nationalism is not a malevolent force, but it is one that does not share any attachment to Canada beyond its perceived financial advantages.

Only fear of economic decline has kept Quebecois from voting for secession; promises of sovereignty-association and economic union have been counterproductive, because they provide the illusion of independence while keeping Quebec economically dependent on Canada. The separatist movement's timidity in this regard is not unlike that of federalist politicians in Canada when asked to consider taking a hard line on Quebec's demands.

If Quebecois were asked whether they would secede if they could be guaranteed the same or better standard of living, without an economic union , I suspect that they would say yes.

Source: CTV

Terror Calls Collect

Disclaimer for the humourless: this blog and blogger unreservedly condemn terrorism in all its forms. Especially attacks on our communications security.

But having had many bad dealings with Rogers customer service and dealers in the past, I think it's hilarious that Hezbollah ripped off Ted Rogers' cellphone:

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step — and so it was that law professor Susan Drummond's long, strange trip into the world of wireless security, where she learned that a terrorist organization had appropriated Ted Rogers' cellphone number, was launched by the arrival of a phone bill for $12,237.60.

Ms. Drummond, who had just returned from a month-long trip to Israel, went numb as she looked at the stupefying figure, which was more than 160 times higher than her typical monthly bill of about $75. The Rogers Wireless bill included a five-page list of calls charged to her phone, almost all of them to foreign countries that included Pakistan, Libya, Syria, India and Russia.


Since making that call to Rogers last August, Ms. Drummond and her partner, Harry Gefen, have been researching the cellphone giant, yielding some unexpected discoveries, among them that the phones of senior Rogers executives, including Mr. Rogers himself, were repeatedly “cloned” by terrorist groups that used them to make thousands of overseas calls.

That bit of information came out at a conference Mr. Gefen attended in September, where he spoke with Cindy Hopper, a manager in Rogers security department, who told him that the phones of top Rogers executives had been the target of repeated cloning by a group linked to Hezbollah. (Cloning involves the duplication of a cellphone's identity by capturing its number and encrypted security code.)

Speaking into Mr. Gefen's tape recorder — and unaware that he was an aggrieved customer — Ms. Hopper said terrorist groups had identified senior cellphone company officers as perfect targets, since the company was loath to shut off their phones for reasons that included inconvenience to busy executives and, of course, the public-relations debacle that would take place if word got out.

But seriously folks, this sort of fraud is hurting a lot more people than the wireless companies are letting on. When digital PCS and GSM phones were first rolled out, they kept talking up the security benefits as opposed to analog phones, because they supposedly couldn't be cloned.

But criminals always catch up with technology, because you can't build stronger locks without making keys.

And now they're making the problem worse by hoping that customers will join in the PR coverup with them by paying off questionable bills instead of fighting them in public.

Rogers and other wireless companies would be well advised to be more vigilant when this sort of fraud happens, even if it means getting the bosses upset when their phones get cut off. Some customer is going to drag this all the way to court where they might have to disclose their security procedures, thus giving a how-to guide for aspiring crooks and terrorists.

Source: Globe and Mail (a division of Bell Globemedia chuckling at the misfortune of Bell Mobility's main competitor)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Maude Squad

It just wouldn't be an election without Maude Barlow rushing like Laura Secord with her cow to warn that the Yankee invaders are coming:

"Absolutely, and it's just this notion that you can make it public as ambassador . . . that you have a right to interfere in Canadian politics and bring this brand of conservatism north," Barlow said in a phone interview from Hong Kong, where she is attending the World Trade Organization meeting.

"An ambassador's role in the past has always been in the background, you work quietly in the background to influence policy and improve relations between your countries. You don't use that position to impose your brand of political conservatism or social conservatism on a democratic country."

In a poll given to The Canadian Press, 58 per cent of respondents indicated they are concerned that America's increasing conservatism is a threat to the Canadian way of life.

Few could tell you what this aupposed increasing American conservatism consists of, and what threat it exactly represents, let alone what is unique to the Canadian way of life, except that it has something to do with health care, Iraq, and the 700 Club.

For a Canadian nationalist, Maude has little confidence in Canada's ability to promote and protect its national identity. A confident nation would have just shrugged off Ambassador Wilkins' comments, perhaps with a mild rebuke.

Confident nations don't scream at the slightest criticism, even if it's not always the most timely.

Source: Yahoo