Saturday, October 31, 2009

Much Like Life Iteself

Macleans Retracts, Will Steyn Apologize?

Something Dawg and others have already picked up, and
...something Maclean's would have realized months ago if they had only been paying attention. Of course, the first article Mark Steyn wrote on the topic, in which he accused CHRC Investigator Dean Steacy of criminal wrong-doing, is still up. So I will be sending Mr. Steyn yet another email suggesting that he apologize to Mr. Steacy and have Macleans put the article down. We shall see what kind of man he is.

Would You Please Stop Doing That

The latest.
But previous:

And the two-handed version: I don't know what this gesture is supposed to communicate, other than that Iggy has some kind of "grasping" fetish. Please make him stop.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Court Condemns Canadians To Ongoing Stream Of Far Right Drivel!

An Ontario judge has approved a proposal by CanWest Global Communications Corp. (CGS-T0.24----%) to shift its flagship National Post newspaper to a subsidiary that contains the company's other newsprint assets, such as the Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen.

Had this not gone through, the paper that budgies won't crap on, that dead fish refuse to be wrapped in, would have folded at the end of today.

Although I'm glad for David Akin.

Should Dawg Sue Adrian?

Well, Adrian has finally done it: apologized to Dr. John Baglow (aka Dr. Dawg) for referring to him as an "admitted supporter of the Taliban", an accusation which prompted legal action on Dawg's part. Now that an apology has been issued, the question surely arises. Should Dawg be merciful? In our first "free blog poll" here at BCLSB, we put this question to our loyal readers:

PS. is the "Dr." in "Dr. John" a real designation, or something more like "Dr. Funktabulous"?

Bad Signs Re Upcoming Gun Registry Vote

Bad sign number 1:

Jill Fairbrother, spokesperson for Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, said private member's bills are traditionally free votes and she does not expect this one will be any different.

Bad sign number 2:

Why is the chair of the Liberal National Caucus supporting the Harper government's Reform Party wet dream of repealing the long gun registry?

North Bay MP Anthony Rota told La Presse Canadienne today that he said he would back Tory efforts to strip law enforcement of a useful public safety tool.

You know, most of the Lib. flip-flops, the sellouts and the prevarications, haven't been terribly harmful just because the Tory's minority position has kept the stakes so small. But a successful repeal of the gun-registry, even if executed through the back door of a private member's bill, would accomplish two things: 1) the Tory base would forgive every previous transgression--the wild spending, the Que. nation stuff, and 2) the Liberal base would ask WTF? Do these people stand for anything anymore? At what point does pragmatism become intellectual and moral vacuity?

The first vote on C-391 is on November 4th.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You Must Be Kidding Me?

Stephen Taylor writes:

Hedy Fry believes that there should be a special clinic on Parliament Hill to vaccinate Members of Parliament and staff. Meanwhile, most people in Ottawa will have wait as the first two weeks of vaccinations are rationed for those of us that need it now such as those with respiratory conditions, young children and pregnant women, among others with special needs.

This isn't worth commenting on, really, except that Bourque has picked it up seems to be humping it as a scandal setting elitist Libs. against der volk that drink their coffee at Tim Horton's. But let's try Reason, shall we?

In the midst of a pandemic of as yet unknown severity, one thing that you would think you would want to work smoothly would be your national government, wouldn't it? And since that in our case is a parliamentary democracy, said government would encompass MPs and their staff, wouldn't it? Since health care professionals are calling for a spike in workplace absenteeism as the 2nd wave of H1N1 kicks in, wouldn't you want to take precautions to avoid a situation where...oh I don't know...the government falls by accident because too many legislators are at home puking, or legislation deleterious to the well being of the nation gets passed?

I would hope so. I mean, the phrase "making government work" keeps echoing through my head. Dunno who said that first.

PS. Taylor: Discus sucks. It sucks especially as I keep getting junk mail representing comments from the goobers that normally comment at your blog even though it appears you have deep 6ed my own comment. Can you please make this stop?

Bye Bye!

The National Post newspaper will cease operations unless a Toronto court approves a new ownership structure for the paper by Friday, the paper's owners say.

Hopefully David Akin lands on his feet.

Back In The Day

Kady writes:

So, did we all savour that sweet, if likely fleeting moment of unanimity brought on by yesterday's NDP-penned opposition day motion on French language education for immigrants to Quebec, which sailed through the Commons without even having to go through the bother of a recorded vote?

Here's the motion she's talking about:

Mr. Mulcair (Outremont), seconded by Mr. Godin (Acadie—Bathurst), moved, — That, in the opinion of the House, recognition that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada means, in particular, that Quebec has the right to ensure that immigrants to Quebec must learn French first and foremost.

And here is the a brief account of the Supreme Court Decision that prompted it:

A group of Quebec immigrants has succeeded in striking down a controversial law that barred their children from entering English-language elementary schools.

This is the worst sort of pandering to Que. tribalism, and in essence serves to trap the children of immigrants(*) to Quebec in a French-speaking homeland surrounded by the great wild world. There was a time when none of the three major parties would have acceded to this rubbish. Now they're all doing it. For shame.

(*)Interesting: this piece claims a number of the students in question are are "native born French speakers who simply wanted to become bilingual."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Briffa, Mark II: McIntyre Used Biased Sample

I think Steve has backed away from most of his accusations re the Yamal tree-ring chronology here, or had them convincingly refuted. Nevertheless, Briffa and several co-authors have decided to make a more thorough response to his various blog posts on the matter. From their abstract:

McIntyre's use of the data from a single, more spatially restricted site, to represent recent tree growth over the wider region, and his exclusion of the data from the other available sites, likely represents a biased reconstruction of tree growth. McIntyre's sensitivity analysis has little implication, either for the interpretation of the Yamal chronology or for other proxy studies that make use of it.

From their conclusion:

So what can we conclude on the basis of this and McIntyre's sensitivity tests? Does either version of the Yamal chronology as presented in Briffa (2000) and Briffa et al. (2008) present a misleading indication of the likely history of tree-growth changes near the tree line in the Yamal region over the last two millennia, or can McIntyre's 'sensitivity analysis' be taken as evidence that tree growth has not increased in this region in the second half of the 20th century as is clearly implied by the 'extreme' version of the Yamal chronology he produced? On the basis of the evidence we report here, the answer is very likely 'NO' on both counts."

McIntyre states "If the non-robustness observed here prove out .. this will have an important impact on many multiproxy studies ...". We have shown here that the "KHAD only" example constructed by McIntyre itself represents a biased chronology, contradicted by the evidence of other chronologies constructed using additional and more representative site data. The evidence does not support a conclusion that our previous work was in any way seriously flawed. The last 8 years of our chronology ARE based on data from a decreasing number of sites and trees and this smaller available sample does emphasise the faster growing trees, so this section of the chronology should be used cautiously. The reworked chronology, based on all of the currently available data is similar to our previously published versions of the Yamal chronology demonstrating that our earlier work presents a defensible and reasonable indication of tree growth changes during the 20th century, and in the context of long-term changes reconstructed over the last two millennia in the vicinity of the larch treeline in southern Yamal.

All that is really left now is for McIntyre, and Pielke Jr., to apologize.

Things That Won't Happen But Which, Perhaps Perversely, I Would Like To See Happen

Marc Lemire has asked to be invited to appear before the Committee. His story should jolt them out of the fog Lynch laid down.

That's this Mark Lemire, and the Committee is The Standing Committee On Justice and Human Rights which is examining the hate speech clauses in Canada's Human Rights Act.

I would particularly like to see a picture of Tory MP and Committee member Brent Rathgeber shaking Lemire's hand.

Gruending On God And AGW

...many people seem drawn to talking endlessly about the unknowable. Yet no church that I have ever attended has placed an emphasis upon the urgent need for environmental stewardship. We appear largely uninterested in discovering how our various religious traditions might speak to practical, but profoundly moral questions that could save millions of people from an existence that may well become ever more nasty, brutish and short.

Actually, I have written several times about the "Green Evangelical movement", and in particular the Evangelical Climate Initiative, or ECI, which has called for sweeping reform to combat global warming in what it terms a "Bible-based" response to the issue. Unfortunately, I haven't heard much about these guys in the past two years, and don't know whether they are still active.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

See Protester Bleed

...right here.

Follow the video links here and you see Jeh Custer in the HOC with an honest to gawd wound on the bridge of his nose.

See him here, after his release, and the bleeding has stopped!

And now in his interview with Evan Solomon, and its BACK!

A wound that was definitely reopened. By whom? And what's CBC's responsibility here? It looks like a stunt on their part. Did they just tell the guy it'll be sexxxier if we film you while you're sitting there bleeding?

Did Protester Add Fake Blood Or Self Mutilate For Effect?

Update: The Answer appears to be that he was bleeding originally. But then there is an absence of blood between his release and CBC interview, when the blood returns.

And yes I did edit some of this post without adding strike throughs, because I don't like strike throughs.

CBC notes that protester Jeh Carter acquired a bloody nose sometime after leaving Parliament Hill and before being interviewed by CBC.

PS. he's definitely not bleeding here.

Akins tells it differently here. But this (note: Jeh Custer=Jeh Carter):

One of those arrested, Jeh Custer of Edmonton, was seen bleeding from the mouth after his head struck the concrete walls inside the House of Commons. Custer was observed with his hands handcuffed behind his back, being escorted by two uniformed RCMP officers into the basement in Parliament Hill's Centre Block.

Doesn't seem likely likely unless Jeh cleaned up his mouth and added blood later.

Update: David Akin says our guy was indeed bleeding inside the HOC. But then there is still a period in which Carter/Custer is bloodless, and then shows up bloody again at the CBC interview.

Update Again: All of which doesn't explain where his injuries came from in the first place.

Even More Update: CBC's Janyce McGregor mucked up her times in original article. First shot (bloodless) is from about 4:38pm (not 2:38), CTV's bloodied shot from 5:17. Pretty clear the blood is coming from over the nose in 2nd shot.

Gerry Nicholls Addresses Conservative Revolutionaries

...commands them (Ontario Land Owners) to "get it up", or maybe "to rise up", or something. In any case, it doesn't like these guys are moving anywhere at high speed in the near future. More walkers and dentures in this crowd than back-stage at a Rolling Stones concert.
Interesting that the movie "300" plays such a large part in Gerry's speech. Mistakenly criticized for its alleged fascist ideology, the movie is really about a bunch of muscly white guys who run around in their underwear and engage in slappy fights with some equally muscly black guys covered in "bling".
Probably brings back old memories for this gang.

Not A Good Way To Start Your Week

The result you get by googling "Peter Van Loan" + "The Mob".
Meanwhile, Bourque, who bats about .250 on such things, thinks Housakos
...may be turfed from the Conservative caucus because of lingering ethics issues that have elicited a barrage of questions in the House of Commons to the extent that the Quebec politico himself has called in the Senate ethics officer to probe potential derring-do and unknown nefarious deeds. Senior Tory sources who've read the tea leaves and who spoke to Bourque on condition of anonymity assert "the situation is untenable". Such is the breach of trust within the highest echelons of Team Harper, otherwise preoccupied with ravishing glances at their current poll numbers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Interesting Concatenation Of Names

Leo Housakos + Stephen Harper + Tony Accurso

Hossain Won't Be Charged

...but hate crime complaints will be expedited in Ontario.

Somehow I missed this one (from early in the month), but Ontario AG Chris Bentley has reconsidered and confirmed that he will not press charges against Salman Hossain, a Bangladeshi-Canadian who claimed to enjoy watching "blood flow from the western troops" and suggested that Jews be deported.

On the other hand, he has proposed several changes in protocol that would hasten the processing of hate crime complaints within Ontario. For one thing, any requests for charges under the hate propaganda sections of the Criminal Code will quickly be brought to the attention of the Attorney General [rather than being pre-screened by the local crown attorney], and that decisions on formal requests for charges will be made within 60 days. Indeed, Mr. Hossain's case languished for months before it reached the AG's desk, and this might have had something to do with its eventual dismissal.

For another thing, the Minister has appointed:

Leibovitch, Deputy Director of the Crown Law Office – Criminal, as a liaison for police, the public or other interested parties in hate crimes cases.

Interesting developments. Human Rights activists like Warman and (I believe) Abrams have long complained about the difficulty in getting charges laid under the criminal code, and argued that the HRC/HRT apparatus plays an important role of catching stuff that probably meets the cc requirement but which, for whatever reason, the police/AG combination have chosen not to pursue. These procedural changes may make the criminal code a more useful instrument under such circumstances.

Also, The Standing Committee On Justice and Human Rights will be meeting this afternoon, with University of Law Professor Richard Moon (author of the semi-famous Moon Report) being among the witnesses. Moon, though an opponent of Section 13, gave a stem winder of a lecture recently, reproduced here in the NP, in which he accused CHRC opponents (Ezra Levant primarily) of dishonesty. Hopefully he will tell the subcommittee the same thing.

Its Not Your Money Its Theirs Part 1 Gazillion

Tories invite failed Tory candidates to come hand out cheques rather than sitting MP.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BCL EXCLUSIVE! More Tory Turmoil In London: Rancourt Strikes Back!

Once candidate for the CPoC federal nomination in London-Fanshawe Gilles Rancourt tells of a betrayal of the party grassroots:

Re: Embattled Rancourt Quits Tories by Chip Martin

In response to Chip Martin's recent article on my quitting the Torie Party allow me to correct three (3) facts that should have been verified in advance of publication. Let me also "unspin" the fiction of Mr. John Brotzel.

First of all, there were not two failed attempts to represent the Conservatives - just the one. This one attempt failed, I was told by Party Brass in Ottawa, because of the "cloud hanging over my head" as result of an "an informal investigation" that was prompted by 15 false allegations. These allegations were fabricated by those displaced former directors who were not happy to have lost their former seats on the Board to new ethnic members who had been democratically elected at the May 15th Annual General Meeting.

This was no "coup" as Mr. Brotzel would like you to believe for how can a democratically held election be considered "a coup"? In fact, had not Mr. Brotzel's name been placed on our Slate of Directors, he would not be a director today much less the President.

Secondly, the membership applications were taken on the basis that new party members would participate in a Nomination Meeting where they could vote for the candidate of their choice, but alas, and true to form, the Conservative Party once again usurped member's rights by eroding democracy through the appointment of the candidate. Why take risks with democracy when an appointment provides a great degree of control? The Candidate’s greater allegiance then is to the Party who appointed him and NOT the members!

Need we wonder why 45% of eligible voters believe that their vote no longer matters?
As a result of not having a Nomination Meeting, we were faced with a decision: should we send these applications in for membership or should we first ask each new member what they would have us do with their application? In order to maintain integrity, our group decided to contact all the applicants.

Two months later, after we had completed our phone calls, we submitted the balance of applications to the Regional Controller, Marion Meinen but she promptly rejected them! We then bypassed this most difficult local board by sending them directly to the Membership Department in Ottawa, where they were immediately accepted into membership.

Thirdly, and for the record our resignation letter read as follows:

…We…(resign) “in protest” of the racial discomfort shown locally by London-Fanshawe EDA. We also object to the Conservative Party of Canada’s disregard of grass roots membership—with the sole exception of using the membership for constant solicitation of donations. We are tired of “top-down democracy.” We further object to the CPC’s undemocratic and unjust practices.

I have always admired Mr. Chip Martin's long term involvement in local party politics. I am now left in awe at his ability to write fiction.

Tory Turmoil In London

A fight among Conservatives in the federal riding of London-Fanshawe has prompted a wannabe candidate and some supporters to jump ship to the Christian Heritage Party.

What's happened in London has played out within a number of Tory riding associations in the last couple of years, notably Halton after Ms. Raitt was parachuted into the candidacy: the local Tories have a process, sometimes even a candidate, in place, and CPoC central pulls the plug on them, (in the case of London's Gilles Rancourt, because the Tories wanted to avoid nominating an unelectable SoCon, I imagine).

McLelland thinks this indicates the Tories are "crumbling from within". Well, I'd like to think so, but shared power is the social equivalent of crazy glue. Nevertheless, McClelland is right to note that:

The growing sentiment from the grassroots that they no longer matter to the party should be of great concern however, to a party built and funded almost entirely by grassroots support.

It will be a matter of great concern once the party is back in opposition again or, perhaps, after Harper decides to throw in the towel.


George Orwell Free Speech Award Dinner Attendee Killed By R.C.M.P

Jeff Hughes, better known on Stormfront as "nish in exile" is reported to have been shot and killed by R.C.M.P. officers in Nanaimo, B.C....

As ARC reports, one of Mr. Hughes' last acts was to attend the 2009 George Orwell Free Speech Awards on October 10th. He would have been in the audience when Free Dominion's Mark and Connie Fournier received their award from Doug Christie.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Large Sweaty Men Yes, Gays No

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry,the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Southern Alberta, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $300 000 to support the 2009 Grey Cup Championship Game and Festival as part of the Marquee Tourism Events Program.

We all know the problems associated with the MTE Program. And, hey! Guess where Grey Cup 2009 is being held? Hint: its in a Tory-held riding.

They're not even pretending anymore.

Good Question

In the [Barrie] Examiner article 'MPs being kept in 'cheque'', [CPoC MP] Patrick Brown states that he does not use the Conservative party logo on those over-sized novelty cheques he poses with.

Perhaps Mr. Brown ought to look at some of the materials he sends out at the taxpayers' expense before he declares himself innocent of using the taxpayers' funds to promote his party.

How about the ads he has run on the front page of the Examiner which have included the party logo? Were they paid for by the Conservative Party, or we're they paid out of Mr. Brown's taxpayer- funded MP office budget?

Oiled Up!

We also discussed Ezra's new book , which will be about the Alberta Oilsands.

Apparently, the new book reveals, those ducks drowned themselves and died where they knew Greenpeace would find them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Finally, The Payoff

Send cheques to all your Tory friends here.

A Grit Savior Appears

Canadian snowboarder and Olympic medal winner Ross Rebagliati plans to beat a new opponent: Stockwell Day. Rebagliati will seek the Liberal nomination on Monday in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding in central B.C.

And why not? He's at least as sexxxy as Gerard Kennedy. And Canadians are a forgiving people.

(By the way, since no one else is running for the nomination currently, I imagine he has a good chance)

Senator Elaine McCoy On Carbon Sequestration

So let's take a quick look at just one aspect of the likely market for CCS technology. You see all those red circles on the above map? They represent GHG emissions from coal-fired electricity generators in the US (comparable Canadian emissions are represented by yellow circles; emissions from the oilsands are captured by the blue circle). That gives you a fair idea of how much CCS technology is going to be in demand when the US finally gets around to putting a binding cap on emissions. So why shouldn't Canadians be right there with a workable technological solution? The price of which will surely fall once it goes into mass production.

One problem with the concept of CCS is that not all proponents actually believe in it. For example, British Coal Lobbyist Richard Courtney has argued that:

Firstly, the value of carbon sequestration is political: n.b. it is not technological or economic.

There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is needed until the AGW scare is ended. And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although everybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used.

A criticism that obviously does not apply to Ms. McCoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bring Me The Head Of Tony Clement

Industry Minister Tony Clement contradicts the PM's claim that he doesn't watch Canadian News Shows:

"I'm sure he does" watch Canadian news, Clement said outside the House of Commons.

Told of Harper's assertion, Clement was frankly skeptical.

"We're news junkies, all of us are. Come on. You know what we're all about."

Junior Minister Peter Kent, despite his incredulity at the PM's statement, was smart enough to stand down when pressed:

"Well, I've never sat with him but I assume that he ..."

Kent then ran away screaming and making the sign of the cross.

Later, the PM was seen drinking the minister Clement's blood from a Tim's coffee cup.

The Inevitable Next Step

But, as Imp points out (and they're the source of the graphic), if you live in a Tory-held riding you will also get a regular flu shot, two tetanus shots, a box of prophylactics, a CPoC coffee mug, and a bowl of soup. If you are from Toronto, on the other hand, you will be expected to write a 3,000 word essay on why exactly it is you deserve your flu shot.

Send More Fake Cheques!

EKOS president Frank Graves said the news of last week was dominated more by the use of Conservative logos on "prop" cheques by MPs at funding announcements than on Liberal attempts to trigger a federal election.

As much as media advice to the Libs--find a narrative (of Tory perfidy) and stick to it--sounds nice, and is to a certain degree useful, it isn't always so easy: sometimes you just have to toss whatever is at hand.

Also, you are subject to the whims of media attention spans: why did the MSM suddenly cue to Tory patronage stories now, for example, when the original story dates to a Susan Delacourt column from July? Were they waiting for somebody to wrap it up for them in a nice flickr presentation? Or did they just get bored with bashing Iggy and move on the next smelly object that attracted their attention, like seagulls picking through garbage in a mall parking lot?

In any case, now that Tory patronage scandals have got their attention, I suggest feasting upon the latest in the L'affair Housakos, in which senator and receiver of Tory largess Leo Housakos makes like Tony Soprano and blames a fellow Conservative for finking him out to the press:

Mr. Housakos blamed his troubles on “somebody in my own caucus,” and said, “I'm going to take care of him soon,” La Presse reported Wednesday.

Quick! Someone drag the Ottawa River!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Iggy Makes It Official

While we recognize that s. 13, as it is, may not strike the perfect balance, we do not believe that scrapping it entirely is the way to make a positive change. We do believe that we must continue to look into the right way to strike that balance and will continue to study this act.

Once again, thank you for your email and we look forward to hearing from you again in the future.


The Office of Michael Ignatieff, MP
Leader of the Official Opposition

Renowned Water Witch Tells Maldives' President: Don't Worry About Global Warming

You might have seen the clip above on the news over the past couple of days. It shows the President of the Maldives and his cabinet holding a special session 20 feet under the Indian Ocean. They are attempting to highlight the threat of global warming, and the resultant increase in sea levels, to this low-lying island nation:

PRESIDENT MOHAMED NASHEED: If world temperatures rise over 1.5 degrees, we won’t be around.

Well, in response, the Financial Post has wheeled out no less a personage than Nils-Axel Mörner to assuage President Nasheed's worries:

Let us, for Heaven’s sake, lift the terrible psychological burden that you and your predecessor have placed upon the shoulders of all people in the Maldives, who are now living with the imagined threat that flooding will soon drive them from their homes, a wholly false notion that is nothing but an armchair fiction artificially constructed by mere computer modeling constantly proven wrong by meticulous real-world observations.

The thing with Mr. Mörner is--he's a kook. According to professional magician and paranormal debunker James "the amazing" Randi, Mörner, in addition to being a [retired] geophysicist, is a "dowsing expert"" or a "water witch". And what is "dowsing" or "water witching"? These terms refer to:

...practices said to enable one to detect hidden water, metals, gemstones or other objects, usually obstructed by land or sometimes located on a map. Most commonly, detection is made through the movement or vibrations of an apparatus, such as a Y-shaped twig, an L-shaped rod, or a pendulum. Some practitioners claim to need no apparatus at all.

To top it off, Mörner has in the past teamed up amateur archaeoastronomist Bob Lind to prove that

"Greek boats came here [Ravlunda, Sweden] to get amber. This was sort of the Hong Kong of the Greeks."

Needless to say, nobody takes these claims seriously. Unfortunately, Mörner and Lind's excavations at this iron age cemetary caused a good deal of damage, and back in 2007 they were reprimanded by local archaelogists for, basically, trashing the place.

FP sure knows how to pick 'em.

Whose Where On Section 13?

From Xtra; while the positions of most of the players has been clear (in fact hasn't changed much in two years), it is nevertheless good news IMHO to hear a fairly clear statement out of the Libs:

“We certainly wouldn’t be in favour of abolishing it,” says Liberal justice critic Dominic LeBlanc. “We think that Section 13 and the Human Rights commissions have played a useful role. We’re always open to discussions of how Section 13 might be strengthened or clarified.”

LeBlanc adds that he has spoken with the chair of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and is in the process of reading their recent report on the issue.

“We think there should be a measure between the Criminal Code provisions with respect to hate propaganda, and a lower threshold which would properly be in the domain of a Human Rights Commission — particularly around new technologies and information technologies,” LeBlanc says.

Also nice to note that at least a few Conservatives are pro-retention, for reasons I had not thought of previously:

But not all Conservatives feel the need to abolish Section 13. Lesbian Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth feels that it should be retained.

“The Canadian Human Rights Act does include women, but the Criminal Code does not,” says Ruth. “So if we lose Section 13, there’s no protection for hatred against women anywhere.”

Meanwhile, events tick by. I have no idea under what schedule the appeal of the Warman V. Lemire judgement shall proceed, but I imagine the time-frame here will be measured in months or years. Interesting in that (but I can't find the link), now that Lemire is off the hook, he seems to have lost interest in the case. The Fairness Fairy, threatened with exposure, has disappeared his blog. And, finally, the Fournier's are begging for money to fund their appeal in the Warman defamation case. As per usual these days, the donations are coming in rather slow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Future Of Conservatism In Canada Panel Discussion...

...cancelled due to nobodys' giving a shit.

But who would give up a chance to see Gerry Nicholls? Unless of course one were scheduled to bathe one's hamster that day.

Blast From Past?

OTTAWA – A national child-care program is among the top priorities for the Liberals in the next election platform and any future government, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff vowed this morning.


Ignatieff acknowledged, however, that delivering on a national child-care program will be difficult if Canada remains mired in deficit — a condition that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has already forecast to last another five years.

"How you phase it in depends on what these guys leave in the till — and they've spent the cupboard bare," Ignatieff said. "It's a very clear commitment... It's a legacy issue for the Liberal party."

Not that this is a bad idea. Far from it. But it takes me back to the old days, when Kurt Cobain was still alive and I could go to a rock show and not feel like I was a leering old perv, or that the youth of today ought to be smacked in the head for their nose-rings and tattoos and stupid green hair.

In short, the Liberal party has been promising a national health-care program for the majority of my adult life (even down to the "we'll only do it if finances permit" escape clause). Again, not that that's necessarily bad--Conservatives haven't changed their message since Og clubbed Thag with a stone axe--but if anyone sneakily suspects that nothing will come of it just like all the other times the same promise has been made, well, their cynicism is understandable.

Canada's Federal Gov.: Keeping Canada Well Doored-Up

The projects include installation of a boiler room door in one building, an air-exchange system in another and elevator upgrades in a third.

Impolitical has more video of Tory stimulus at work.

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

A picture of Peter MacKay (left) from the Dalhousie yearbook, sent in anonymously.

Our guys are hotter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More On Senator Leo Housakos And BPR Engineering

From today's Toronto Star:

OTTAWA –A Montreal engineering firm landed a federal stimulus contract while a top Tory organizer and senator in Quebec was on its payroll, The Canadian Press has learned.

Senator Leo Housakos was hired to BPR's executive team a week before he was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Senate last December. The company won a $1.4 million contract as part of a consortium to study the future of Montreal's aging Champlain Bridge less than a year later.

Housakos and BPR said the senator only worked for a subsidiary of BPR, and had no involvement in the contract.

The bolding in the above above is mine because, as the Star piece notes:

But Housakos' declarations to the Senate ethics commissioner this year listed his position at both the parent firm and subsidiary. His bio on his Senate website said he was BPR's vice-president of business development, until it was removed last week after The Canadian Press began making inquiries.

Here is Mr. Housakos updated bio, and below is a screen-shot of the page as it appeared on October 14th, before the information re BPR Engineering had been scrubbed from it:

I am reminded of the lines from a play:

Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then't is time to do't.—Hell is murky.—Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt?

Yeah, that's how they spell stuff in the play. The author was a notorious semi-literate.

Its Not Your Government, Its His

Here's some more 'Harper Government' propaganda for you. In the stream of daily government announcements, there's a subliminal propaganda drum beat occurring. The phrase the 'Harper Government' is regularly used in place of the 'Government of Canada' in government announcements. That is not permitted under federal rules.

With plenty of examples at Imp's place.

Some Perspective

$108,000: 1 hour Tory propaganda fest.

$27,000: Keeping Trade Minister Stockwell Day safe on his nine day mission to the Czech Republic and India.

If they'd managed to trim even that $8,000 off their economic update they probably could sent Ole Stock on a quick side-trip to Bhutan.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Steve V Rocks The Gov.

As Imp points out, links from the Canada's Action Plan website to various social media sites, including the infamous youtube clip of Harper shredding the Beatles, now dead-end at an "under construction message". All of which can be traced to this post at Steve V's Far and Wide, in which Steve revealed that the Government of Canada had used an official website to highlight PM Harper's piano playing stunts. Thanks Steve, a weary nation turns its bleeding ears to you.

But: next time a Tory spokesman tells you this is all trivial, point out that they felt it was harmful enough to their brand and image that they used the taxpayer's dollars to pay someone to come in on the weekend and scrub their website.

Look! A Narrative!

Adam Radwanski on the search for a narrative:

"...the Liberals have recently had some success highlighting the Conservatives' propensity to disproprtionately reward their own ridings, and more recently to reward fellow Tories with patronage appointments. The question now is whether that's a narrative they're going to invest some real time in."

The opening paragraph of the next chapter?

OTTAWA - A Montreal firm landed a federal stimulus contract while a top Tory organizer and senator was on the payroll, The Canadian Press has learned.

Senator Leo Housakos's employer, BPR Inc., was part of a consortium that won a $1.4-million engineering contract to study the future of Montreal's aging Champlain Bridge.


Public Works Minister Christian Paradis announced $212 million in funding for the bridge - and a competition for the engineering contract - on May 20, the same day Housakos was stage-managing a major Conservative fundraiser in Montreal.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the guest list for one of the special VIP receptions that was held just before the main fundraising event.

The 48-person list included four senior executives from BPR and the winning consortium, BCDE.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Be The Judge

Barrie MP Patrick Brown, one of the Tory MPs named in the Libs ethics complaint re signing fake cheques used at photo opportunities, on how he deals with novelty cheques:

"As for cheque signings, I have [th]e practice used by MPs and MPPs before me, which was to use the government logo and attach the government representative signature of the elected official at that level," Brown said. "The Liberals, as usual, don't seem to get their facts right." Well, there's no government logo on this one--the official government of Canada wordstamp contains the phrase "Government of Canada" next to the maple leaf--although you can see a tiny little maple leaf being loomed over by Mr. Brown's name. And on this one, from here, though its a little hard to see... can see that Mr. Brown has slapped "Patrick Brown MP" next to the Canadian flag, right where the phrase "Government of Canada" would go on the official word-mark, as though he were trying to palm off the money as being from the "Government of Patrick Brown".

Canadian Cynic On Coyne

Its like haiku, but more cynical.

A Quick Note On "Thought Crime"

From Crooked Timber:

"Practically all crime is ‘thought crime’ in the good ol’ common law sense of the Latin phrase actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea – ‘the act does not make guilt unless the mind be guilty.’ If we were to take a strict liability approach to all violent crime we would be obliged to place wrongful death on a par with premeditated murder. (After all, it’s not as though the lives of those killed accidentally are worth less.)"

The occasion of these musings being the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Andrew Coyne: Iggy Should Pull On His Necktie Until It Hurts

The latest from Canada's most prominent concern troll: the leader of the opposition ought to lick the third rail of politics, act more responsibly than the actual government! And if he does do this licking, Andrew Coyne promises to wave a vague titty of support in his direction for half a blog post or so.

Whenever The Tories Close In On Their Majority can always count on Team Harper's On-Line Squad to fuck up royally.

You May Proceed

for now.

Ban The Oversized Novelty Cheque

...says Colby Cosh.

He is offering this advice to Harper and Co., but why not make it the Lib. party position? Keep the Tories back on their heels a bit.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

They're All Here!

Get your Tory Novelty Cheques (all 10 pages worth!) here.

Tell us which one you think is most tacky.

Here's A Twist...

Tory MP James Bezan signs novelty cheque and uses it to flog personal website.

Gruending Notes

There are other potential stories that I have not had the time or resources to follow. For example, the government is rolling out grants under its infrastructure program and a number of them are going to religious institutions. These include grants to the above-mentioned Laurentian Leadership Centre, and larger one to its parent Trinity Western University. Other grants have gone to Atlantic Baptist University in New Brunswick, Redeemer University College in Ontario and the Briercrest Bible School in Saskatchewan. There is a long tradition in Canada of religious schools and hospitals receiving public support, but it would be interesting to see the full list of religious institutions receiving money under the economic stimulus package and a description of the projects involved.

Something to follow up upon.

BigFatFakeChequegate Envelops Three More Tories!!!!!!!

Mike Allen gives the Perth-Andover Winter Carnival some of his money.Bruce Stanton sticks his own face on the cheque so people knows whose money it is. In fact, I think he pastes it over the Canadian flag! Shame, Bruce, shame!
Colin Mayes sticks his own face and the Tory logo on his novelty cheque...

...for double the shame.

h/t my favorite unrepentant commie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Its Not Canada's Money, Its Pierre Lemieux's

Note the signature.

More Ceremonial Cheque Jiggery Pokery!

Here, which also refers to several other MPs who have done the same thing, and here.

Courtesy Ted Betts, who really should start blogging again.

Its Not Canada's Money, Its His

A second instance of Tories playing games with ceremonial cheques.
Original story, from July, here.
Today's story:
PS. It will be pretty hard to argue that Mr. Reid didn't notice his name on the bottom of this sucker.

Everyone Hates Ed

Meanwhile, back in Aberta, while the WAPs 2nd place standing is confirmed, things are actually starting to look up a bit for David Swann's Liberals.

Michael Morphs Into IgGuinty

"At the heart of our next platform will be the most significant national investment in clean-energy jobs this country has ever seen," leader Michael Ignatieff declared yesterday, a year less a day after his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, was whupped in a federal election, in part because of his proposed "green shift" carbon tax.

Not much to say here, other than that Dalton McGuinty has very quietly become Canada's most effective "green" premier and Iggy is to be commended for taking a similar approach--ie promise goodies in the way of investments rather than pain in the way of tax increases. As for this part:

Mr. Ignatieff promised that, under the Liberals, Canada would create incentives to promote the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power; finance carbon sequestration technology to clean up its fossil-fuel production; spend on greener infrastructure, including "smart" electrical grids. And the federal government would buy greener cars and make its buildings more energy efficient under the Liberal plan.

...well, committing to CS and clean coal and such like is an admission that the transition away from fossil fuels will not be easy nor quick, and though I can't find the links, I would say that most responsible environmentalist organizations are at least willing to consider all of these options. I am surprised, in fact, that Iggy didn't bring up nuclear.

As for CS etc. here are a couple of links that might prove useful. Put briefly, Carbon Sequestration is neither the scam some (including a few of its supporters) think it is, nor a slam dunk as viable technology.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From 10 To 4

The claim that 10 Alberta Conservative MLAs might defect to a WAP led by Danielle Smith appear to be overblown:

Danielle Smith now says that there are four current MLA's who have asked to meet with her if she is elected leader of the Wild Rose Alliance. Apparently the much ballyhooed ten conservative MLA's waiting to cross was a bit of an exaggeration.

Interestingly enough, Smith doesn't even say the "four" are even Conservative MLA's. Maybe Bridget Pastoor sees the writing on the wall regarding the Liberals losing even more ground in Alberta.


Free Dominon Hosts Win George Orwell Free Speech Award!

Congratulations Mark and Connie!

Hosted by Doug Christie, some of the other Free Speech heroes in attendance included Marc Lemire, Paul Fromm, Bruce Montague, and Arthur Topham. Barbara Kulaszka was there via conference call. Terry Tremaine was close to everyone's heart. Prospect Lake Community Hall, at 5358 Sparton Road, off West Saanich Road, hosted the ceremony if anyone wants to send them an email congratulating them on providing space for such august personages.

Monster of Base Naden Re-Lives!

The original Cadborosaurus carcass, taken from a whale's belly off Victoria and brought to Base Naden (in Equimalt). Probably the most impressive image of a sea-going cryptid in existence.

Lee Murphy's reconstruction (view of head).

Will Jack Layton Help Tories Kill Long Gun Registry?

From Tory MP and minister of veterans affairs Greg Thompson:

Perhaps nothing illustrates the differences in approach and motivation of the political parties better than the debate on the gun registry. Parliament now has before it Private Members' Bill C-391, which would do away with the long-gun registry but leave in place other parts of licensing requirements and safety regulations with respect to all guns.

...and yada yada yada. We've seen this kind of thing before , with C-301 for example, or the Tories wacky anti-abortion private member's bills. They never go anywhere. Except that this one is coming up for a vote in early November, and it just might. Our dear Brad Trost, Tory MP for Saskatoon-Humboldt, writes

...if most opposition MPs who have pledged to support the legislation keep their word, (and that’s a big if) then the House of Commons should vote to repeal the long-gun registry sometime around November.

The problem, to put it bluntly, lies with the NDP, who intend to let their backbench nobodies "vote their conscience" on the issue. MP Nathan Cullen thinks, given this fact, Bill C-391 will pass and go to committee. Of course, what comes out of committee cannot be known in advance, but it is nevertheless certain that the NDP is giving opponents their best chance in years to kill the registry.

Shame on them.

PS. This alert from the Coalition for Gun Control suggests there is a Liberal recidivist in the mix. I have been assuming that the Libs will whip this vote.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's Going On With The Retreat Of Arctic Sea Ice?

That, according William Connolley. In the midst of a long term decline, but (he's betting, and usually winning his bets) not gone in the summer by 2020.

By the way, Connolley is as close to a climate change skeptic in the true sense that you are going to find. He is also quite entertaining...for a scientist.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just Do It

Dawg On Iggy: can the endless self-referentiality.

PS. I have just finished capturing and hand clubbing tonight's bird. After a quick break, I will begin ripping its feathers out with my teeth. Have yourself a good one!

Anti-HST Drive Fizzling In B.C.

The protests were ill-attended:

The September anti-HST rallies fizzled in most locations, other than Vancouver where the crowd was variously estimated at 5,000 (Vander Zalm) to 1,000 (media skeptics.)

For the most part, the movement lacked the kind of organizational acumen that can turn the virtual reality of online petitions and Facebook entries into an actual physical presence at protest rallies -- and muster the workforce necessary to gather actual, physical signatures for recall and initiative.

Meanwhile, Layton and candidate Fin Donnelly will be banging the drum loudly over this issue in New Westminster-Coquitlam, and it wouldn't surprise me if that is enough to keep the seat NDP. But beyond that, don't seethe issue gaining much traction at the federal level.

PS. Probably all you'll get out of me today, as the wife and I will be off hiking before we go eat turkey. If anyone else with blogger is having trouble with labels, you are not alone. The blogger "team" is working on it. For the time being, the best bet seems to be posting without.

h/t AD, who sees hope where there is none.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Iggy Rethinks

Solomon said that in an interview for CBC Radio's The House to be run on Saturday, Ignatieff told him that (paraphrasing) he has backed away from a wholesale rejection of the Conservative government to opposing them on an 'issue by issue' basis.

My view on supporting HST harmonization legislation here (short version: Go For It).

CARP Asks Dhalla Withdraw Bill C-428 To Prevent Anti-Immigrant Backlash

Their news release is here. The full letter requesting her bill be withdrawn is here. The government's earlier, back-lash fanning response is here.

Global Prozac

On why Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Price isn't as silly as it sounds.

Its a gift from the world to Amercia, for electing a non-asshole.

But will it help or hinder him domestically? Being loved by the rest of the world is not necessarily a quality Americans admire in their leaders.

Tory MP Twitter Account Highjacked

Tory MP Royal Galipeau, from sometime last night:
Or was it? A few hours later:
Wasn't me. How would you do something like that? Guess at his password? I'd advise Mr. Galipeau to change a few of his settings, at least.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Mask Slips

This from the leader of the Blogging Tories, in other words the Conservative Party of Canada's official on-line representative.

So we can be hopeful for the repeal of the long-gun registry, of section 13, making it easier for Neo-Nazis to ply their trade...and for all those crazy private members bills re abortion becoming the official gov. bills...and who knows, maybe the repeal of the metric system.

I dated a Tory girl once, and she gave me a glimpse of The Hidden Agenda; the repeal of the metric system stuff was in chapter 32, just after the secret recipes.

PS. Thanks for blowing that majority, Taylor.

Poll Busting News! Harper was Faking It!

[Former Rheostatics singer Dave] Bidini also questions Harper’s piano playing that night. “You never see his hands. If they were really going to do this, and if he really is an accomplished piano player, don’t you kind of sell that a little bit? ...There’s something about it that just doesn’t ring true.”

Booyah! This is worse than wafergate! Watch the momentum leak away!

A Staggering Display Of Incompetence

Shorter Deltoid: McIntyre was asking the wrong guy for data he already had.

Yes, we are descending into scientific minutia here, but realize that Steve McIntyre has been hailed as a scientific hero for a process of reasoning that would embarrass a retarded chipmunk.

Iggy The Non-Loquacious

Less an adult conversation, and more like a note scrawled on a sticky, quickly torn up.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

FYI: Blue Network Reappears

The Blue Network is apparently a secret gang of disgruntled Conservatives attempting to take back the Conservative party through democracy and allow for internal party resolution of policy. They emerge every couple of weeks and try to get people to provide personal info through their website. They appear to be connected to young Tory activist Matt Altheim.

Well, they're back again.

That is all.

Briffa Ascendant

Recently, Steve McIntyre achieved another 15 minutes of fame by challenging the results of several of dendochronologist Keith Briffa's papers. Briffa rseponded here, and among the points he made was that the origonal data came from

...sub-fossil and living-tree ring-width measurements provided to me by Rashit Hantemirov and Stepan Shiyatov.

Now, Rashit Hatenirov himself has provided an update on his more recent work, 1) justifying original Briffa's selection criteria and 2) arguing that an update to his data using many more trees has essentially corroborated Briffa:

As to reliability of recent increase in tree growth - we have updated our data using many additional subfossil and living trees and using RCS-method. I.e. we used not only long series. Therefore many (120) living trees have been used. Finally, we have got almost the Briffa’s result. These results not published yet. I’m going to prepare paper at the end of this / beginning next year.

A preliminary report can be found (in Russian) here.

We are still waiting for McIntyre's apology.

A more in depth account here.

Cause And Effect, Or: The Revenge Of Susan Delacourt


Q. Is it possible that the Conservative source made up this story to make "mischief," as Liberals allege?

A: Yes it is. But our usual practice is to "out" the source if we find out it was a deliberate lie, so stay tuned. Seasoned political people know that you only get to lie once to a reporter


OTTAWA–The Prime Minister's Office sought Tuesday to distance itself from reports coming from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office about possible defections of Liberal MPs to the Conservatives.

Dimitri Soudas, a PMO spokesperson, said there was no truth to claims made to the Star by Kenney's communications director, Alykhan Velshi, about three Liberal MPs interested in crossing the floor to the Conservatives.

It always looks better if you out yourself. I look forward to Ms. Delacourt's postings for today.

PS. If you are wondering who Alykhan Velshi is, he's like the Conservatives chubby, ethnic version of Kinsella. Feel free to blame any Harper Gov. dirty tricks on him. (I, however, am starting to rather like him. You can see devilry in those eyes.).

Walls Starting To Fall In Alta.?

Just two weeks after writing that:

The PC party will only be in real trouble, and MLAs could leave more readily, if riding workers themselves start sliding over to the Wildrose Alliance.

...Peter Braid finds a couple of riding workers sliding over to the Wildrose Alliance: the mayor of Bonnyville, Ernie Isley, has joined the Wildrose Alliance, along with an outspoken town councillor named Gene Sobolewski. For good measure, so has a former Tory MLA named Doug Cherry, who used to represent Lloydminster and now lives in Calgary.

"Too many things have happened with the leader," says Cherry, MLA from 1986 to 1993. "I just can't support him any longer.

My opinion: Alberta politics is sick and needs some kind of shaking up. Whether a party further to the right of the Alta. Tories is the answer, I don't know. I note that, back in her Global T.V. days, Danielle M. Smith, the WAP's likely new leader, was one of Steve McIntyre's biggest media pimps.

So that's obviously not good.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Shawna Richer is Back

...writing for her old paper The Globe and Mail.

Shawna is the once editor of the Telegraph-Journal who lost her job during the wafergate scandal, possibly due to the inappropriate laying on of muscle by the federal Tories.

They Gave Marc Garneau

a pin, though they didn't mention he would even be there in the presser.

Somewhat less classless than I figured.

Jonathon Kay Soon To Be Flipping Burgers

TSX Delisting Review - CanWest Global Communications Corp. (CGS, CGS.A)

I intend to drive past the National Post building on 1450 Don Mills at lunch, throw dimes at the window, and yell "I wanted fries with that!" until Jonathon Kay runs out of the building carrying me an order of fries.

An Important Point

Mr. Harper may know that, were the public to believe he was trying to engineer his government's defeat, his popularity could evaporate.

In other words, the Prime Minister enjoys majority-government levels of support, provided he does nothing with it.

Otherwise, yeah, the poll sucks (a string of them have been sucking, actually).

But surely the response to a few bad polls is not to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. To publicly smack down an MP for a private member's bill that will never see the light of day anyway--that was, in an earlier incarnation, a Conservative bill--because of a talk radio AstroTurf campaign, reeks of desperation. And this:

A spokesperson for Ignatieff said that Sgro issued her release to make it clear that the legislation was not party policy, but that MPs are not forced to vote in any particular way on a private member’s bill.

...sending an underling out to wield the axe in the leader's place, is entirely lacking in chivalry and courage.

Gruending On What's Really Going On With Evangelical Voters

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a study entitled "Canadian Evangelical Voting Trends by Region, 1996-2008", done by several authors from the Centre for Research on Canadian Evangelism. This study purported to show a slow drift away from the Liberal Party of Canada due, the authors claimed, to attempts by the LPoC to ridicule and marginalize Evangelical voters for short-term political gain.

Now, Dennis Gruending has written a nice response to these arguments. Here is a sample:

Among those examples is the Liberals’ handling of legislation regarding same sex marriage. By 2002, the courts had begun to rule that the existing definition of marriage was unconstitutional, or, described in another way, that the laws must be changed to allow for same sex marriage. The authors say: “The government chose not to appeal the [court] decision and announced it would introduce legislation to redefine marriage. . . and the government became an advocate for the redefinition of marriage, contending same-sex marriage was a human rights issue and required by the Charter.”

Same sex marriage was (and remains) a contentious public policy issue but I fail to see why the Liberal government’s acting in accordance with the court rulings should be understood as an insult to evangelicals. To use a parallel example, many Christians are opposed to Canada’s war in Afghanistan, but should they consider themselves to be personally insulted because the Conservative government has not stopped waging the war?

Mr. Gruending has suggested that this will be the first of a series of posts on this topic. I will link to them as they become available.