Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stephen Harper: He Didn't Drink That For You

Harper chooses what is clearly a foreign brand for his beer drinking photo op.


Trolls R Us, Part III

The Torontoist caught up with them. An excerpt:

First time orhganizing something this big. I have helped with previous volunteer posting on a municipal level. We are upping the anti now to ensure consistant reponses to some of the garbage that passes for balanced news coverage. It’s not that hard to organize once we have the right writers lined up. Most are assigned a specific media outlet: Toronto Star, G&M, CBC, ect. They create one or more accounts and just ride each news item until its dead.. The dif this time is we have a little ediorial overview. Volunteer posters sometimes they get side tracked or flame out and get banned from posting.

Sounds plausible enough.  As someone notes in the comments, sounds like Mr. Kouvalis.

Why I Don't Use Social Media (Much)

Creepy is a software application that, when you type in someone's twitter username, downloads and gathers every tweet they've ever posted, every photo they've ever uploaded,  extracts the location data from them (apparently this is recorded  when you take a shot on a cell-phone), and displays the results in map form as above.   So if they post alot from their house, or place of employment, you can find out where they live or work.

I've actually downloaded the software and lets just say its a bit buggy, not recognizing obvious usernames and encountering all sorts of errors when trying to down-load pictures.  All the X girlfriends who dumped me have nothing to worry about. Nevertheless one twitter user, chosen at random from politwitter (and I'll leave their name out of it), gave the result above.  A rather useful tool, under some circumstances.  Also rather sinister.

Fox News North Rejected!

How do I know that Bell Canada [Enterprises] won’t be carrying SunTV? Because their sales representatives told me so when I called them.

I emailed Rogers last week.  You would think they would be carrying the channel, as the current version of the station is already on their dial.  Still, I haven't heard back from them yet.

Go Helena!

...recycled CPoC signage and all!

It's like they sold you the rope you're gonna hang 'em with.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Most Appalling Column In The History Of Canadian Journalism

Is this the face of Fox News North? One can only hope that Mr. MCrae was stoned when he wrote this crap.  In any case, the column should be pulled, and Mr. MCrae should probably memorize the phrase "Will you have fries with that sir?".  And where were the editors on this garbage?

Michael Ignatieff — King Of Steamy Sex?

HOTPANTS Ignatieff?

Gimme a break.

Ignatieff’s resonance with Canadians is as a dull, boring, effete, elitist, fuzzy, professorial academic dweeb who, if he ever heard the word “sex” would think it was a mispronunciation of “six.”

Or to use the words of former Ontario Liberal premier David Peterson about Ignatieff: “Bill Clinton would want to drag you into the bedroom, he’ll drag you into the classroom.” There it is in a nutshell, Michael. Your public image. And what are you doing about it? Nothing. Michael, hear me out.

Do you not realize the goldmine you’re sitting on? Have you forgotten your 1991 novel Asya? Yes, the British mag Private Eye said it was “written by a classic Canadian bore,” but what do the Brits know, more precisely, what do the Brits know about sex?

SEX, Michael.

The Sex (wait for it Canadians) all through your novel. The sex written by YOU. Michael. Listen. SEX SELLS.

You want Canadians to buy you? You want Canadians to know the real you, not the dull, boring, effete, elitist, fuzzy, professorial, academic, dweeb?

Then you hit the hustings with your book. At every stop you read passages from your book. You have yourself introduced as Hotpants Ignatieff, and you read what you wrote. Such as:

“They stumbled out into the night together and shared a taxi home, resting in each other’s arms, Gaby’s nipples hard in Asya’s hands, her tongue licking her ears, her lips, her shoulders. They both came to the edge, and then they both pulled back.”

‘Your breasts are perfect,’ he said drily. When she looked down at them, at the little elipses with their raspberry nipples awaiting the touch of his hands, she began to laugh. He kissed them, making a ceremony of it, first one, then the other, and she wached him, feeling the echoes of a silent laughter rippling through her...”

“He watched, amused, as she explored him. She ran her hands through the crisp golden hair on his chest, put her tongue to his nipples, to the drum of his stomach, to his sex.”

“...she sat on the edge of the examination table, demurely covering herself, like the Meissen figurine of the shepherdess on his mother’s mantlepiece in Neuilly, small, delicate, white as porcelain, her nipples tiny and erect, the rectangular lozenges of her kneecaps stretching the skin, her tiny feet, with their high arches, just touching.”

“Her nipples were puckered and her skin was scoured pink from the beating of the sea. Curls of her wet black hair adhered to the nape of her neck and runnels of water slithered between her shoulder blades. Razumkin was seized by the keenest desire to lick her all over.”

“They had rolled onto the floor, their bodies smeared with dust, and had made love among the scattered volumes of a complete edition of Turgenev.”

“She undid his studs and slipped off his suit, and he peeled off her sheer black dress and carried her into the bathroom. He turned on the taps, and when the bath was full he laid her in the water and climbed in opposite. They sat facing each other in the tub, legs entwined. Her temples were pounding, the champagne surging through her like an electric current.”

“He pitched her onto the bed and they writhed and grappled, biting and laughing on the wet sheets.”

“She lay back on the bed and let him move the folds of her nightgown apart. She let him touch and kiss her. She pulled his head down upon her breasts, and, like a man at last granted his most cherished wish, he buried himself in her body...”

“...he drew her down to the grass and made love to her...Her dress lay around her hips. She put her hand between her legs and smeared his lips till they were wet. Then she began to cry.”

“She hungered for him. Her fingers dug into his back. ‘More,’ she whispered. More and more, until he was afraid.”

Oh, Michael, you sex maniac stud, you.

Go for it, Hotpants.

As yellow as yellow journalism gets.

PS.  The newest iteration of blogger continues to suck, and has dicked with the links above.  Here's the story here.  Quebecor, "tabbing it up".

Harry Tsai, Conservative Candidate In Scarborough-Agincourt a comment spammer. Buckets has the details.

Not Bad

Considering that the first couple of days (until about Sunday) went pretty poorly for Iggy and Co., this seems a decent result.  No Tory majority in the offing; regionals show Libs regain lead in Maritimes.  Numbers starting to move...oh so their direction.  No reason to panic yet or switch from making rational arguments to sticking pins in my Harper voodoo doll.


Tim Ball Sued Again

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A Pennsylvania State University professor claims climate-change denier Timothy Ball defamed him in an interview published by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank.

Michael Mann, a professor in Penn State's meteorology department and director of the university's Earth Systems Science Center, claims that Ball defamed him when he said that Mann "should be in the State Pen, not Penn State," for his alleged role in the so-called climate gate email tussle.

H/T Eli.  It is pointed out in the comments over at his place that Competitive Enterprise Institute lawyer Chris Horner has offered to provide Mr. Ball legal advice on Canadian defamation law.  Perhaps Mr. Horner doesn't realize its a different country, and all. 

Mann's lawyer is Roger McConchie, who has also been representing climate scientist Andrew Weaver in his various defamation cases.

Question Of The Day

If Sébastien Togneri can't work for the CPoC campaign by virtue of being under police investigation, why can Senator Doug Finley?

Source of image.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Elizabeth May Should Be At The Debates

She should. Even though she didn't perform that great last time around, she still did better than Dion at the English language edition. And even if their raw poll numbers fluctuate up and down, the federal Greens are a party that has drawn roughly even with the NDP and ahead of the Bloc nationally in the not too distant past. Furthermore, a Green Party rep in the HOC would be the most exciting thing that's happened to the place in 10 years. So she should be there and if it takes a public outcry than all progressives should join in, even if this is not in their most immediate and raw self-interest. That is all.

Sébastien Togneri Is and out.

PS. I know they're different scandals.

NCCT Demands Conservatives Remove Xenophobic Ad

TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - The National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) is calling on the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, to remove an election advertisement which insinuates that Tamil refugees who are forced to arrive through unconventional means are "criminals", and apologize to Tamil Canadians.

The Conservative Party ad features a photo of the MV Sun Sea which arrived off the shores of British Colombia in August last year with 491 Tamil refugees fleeing war and persecution from Sri Lanka-a country marred by allegations of human rights violations, the denial of fundamental civil liberties, and extrajudicial killings. It calls the Tamils aboard "criminals" who trying to abuse Canadian generosity.

"This election ad is xenophobic and borders on racism," said Krisna Saravanamuttu, NCCT spokesman. "It is reminiscent of the political rhetoric used to turn back Sikhs and Hindus on board the Kamagata Maru in 1914, and Jewish refugees on board the MS St. Louis fleeing persecution in 1939. In these cases, refugees fleeing persecution were labeled "criminals" and vilified by politicians appealing to the worst instincts of Canadians to score political points and votes."

"We are confident that Prime Minister Harper would not have approved this ad, if he had seen it," said Saravanamuttu. "We urge the Prime Minister to review the ad and do the right thing by removing it from his party's campaign website as well as the party's You Tube account and apologize for labeling refugees and immigrants as criminals."

The NCCT also calls on the leaders of Canada's major political parties, Conservative candidates, and human rights groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bnai Brith, and Amnesty International to review the CPC ad and join with us in calling for its retraction. "This election should be about uniting Canadians, no matter our ethnicity and how we arrived in Canada," noted Saravanamuttu.

You can see the ad via a link through the links above. Sorry. Blogger is screwing up Youtube embeds as well these days.

Trolls R Us, Part II

Note that this time they're not telling you its OK to "make up" facts, just "construct" them. Doesn't say though if you're allowed to construct them "out of the whole cloth".

I guess this argues in favour of the ad's being real. Whoever is behind it has still got some issues with spelling, ("repating talking points"), although in the world of social media running your stuff through a checker seems optional.

Interesting that whoever is offering the position seems to operate out of the four regional centers in the ROC: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax. I don't suppose that tells us much about who they might be (presumably not the CPoC itself, at least not directly). H/T to Kady, the o'Malleyest of them all.

Tory Tumoil In Over Long-Gun Registry In Que.!

This is CPoC star candidate, Jean-Guy Dagenais, current President of the Quebec provincial police union, on the gun registry (in a crappy machine-translation):

"For us, the Registry is a must. But I am afraid we can not reach agreement with the West. Each province should be able to adjust the registry to its needs and make it less complicated. It would be easier and easier for Quebecers gun owners if they repatriated the administration of the registry, "he argued in an interview Monday."

A federally financed, but provincially administered gun registry seems to be what he's talking about. I wonder if this might be a way forward? The provinces with some pride and a social conscience maintain the registry with federal funds. Out West they slaughter one another with wild abandon.


PS. Has anyone else noticed that blogger's text formatting is all screwed up? I'm having to add paragraph breaks manually. And the spacing sucks.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stephen Harper: I Did Not Have Electoral Intercourse With That French Man

...or that tiny Socialist, in that hotel room so long ago. (Or was it a motel room? But that would be so tawdry.)

Writers Needed

From Craigslist:

We are a social media company working for a political organization, hired to help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets by supplying a team of writers who will post to newspaper comments, media forums, FB pages, etc. We are NOT officially afiliated with Harper campaign.

You writing must be strong, right-wing and use supplied talking points without bogging down in too much detail. You are creating an online persona with a consistent tone. Ideally you can find or make up facts and statistics to stir controversy. Where suited humour, sarcasm and personal insults are welcome.

Wonder if this is real or a put-on. "Affiliated" is spelled wrong, but then, they are supposed to be a right-wing front. Anyway, you can send a writing sample to

Be sure to make up some facts.

A Good Guy

...who I've had the pleasure of meeting at a few Prog-Blog BBQs. Very smart, very friendly. Good luck to LPoC candidate for Oshawa

If you haven't read his blog, its here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strike 2 In Delta-Richmond East?

Nominate in haste, repent at leisure. Former Delta-Richmond East nominee Dale Saip was forced to step aside after it was revealed that he declared bankruptcy in 1993. This left creditors on the hook for $340,000. The replacement candidate, lawyer Kerry-Lynne Findlay, also declared bankruptcy. Kerry-Lynne Findlay "blames a long legal fight over real estate with the Musqueam band" for her troubles. At the time, however, lawyers for the band argued that the issue was leaseholders like Findlay refusing to pay rent on their upscale properties: Band lawyer Harvey said the tenants have refused to pay any rent at all for a year and that's causing hardship for the band. We'll see where this one goes. Kind of marginal, IMHO, but on the other hand the precedent has been set. h/t

Make Of It What You Will

Jack Layton Health Alert, March 27!

I have been informed by someone I consider reliable in such matters that the contents of this post were in poor taste and not particularly funny. Therefore I have pulled it.

The Hit List

Dennis Gruending has compiled a list of organizations that the Harper government has, in one way or another, put the boots to:

Organizations/ watchdogs whose staff have been fired, forced out, publicly maligned, or who have resigned in protest:

· Canada Firearms Program (Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, Director General)

· Canadian Wheat Board (Adran Measner, President and CEO)

· Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Linda Keen, chair)

· Foreign Affairs (Richard Colvin, diplomat)

· Military Police Complaints Commission (head, Peter Tinsley)

· Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (Yves Coté)

· Parliamentary Budget Officer (Kevin Page) (funding cut)

· RCMP Police Complaints Commission (Paul Kennedy, chair)

· Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development – Rémy Beauregard, President)

· Statistics Canada (Munir Sheikh, Deputy Minister)

· Veterans Ombudsman (Col. Pat Stogran)

· Victims of Crime, Ombudsman (Steve Sullivan)

Community organizations, NGOs and research bodies reported to have
been cut or defunded [see note 1 below]

· Action travail des femmes

· Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto

· Alberta Network of Immigrant Women

· Alternatives (Quebec)

· Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS)

· Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre[2]

· Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario) [3]

· Canadian Arab Federation

· Canadian Child Care Federation

· Canadian Council for International Cooperation

· Canadian Council on Learning

· Canadian Council on Social Development

· Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada

· Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance[4]

· Canadian Labour Business Centre

· Canada Policy Research Networks

· Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women

· Canada School of Public Service

· Canadian Teachers’ Federation International program
· Canadian Volunteerism Initiative

· Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition feminine

· Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

· Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto

· Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

· Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Specialink

· Climate Action Network

· Community Access Program, internet access for communities at libraries, post offices, community centres

· Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)

· Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)

· Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)

· Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

· Democracy Council[5]

· Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit[6]

· Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

· Environment: Youth International Internship Program

· Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010)

· Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia

· First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

· First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program

· Forum of Federations

· Global Environmental Monitoring System

· HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs

· HRD Youth Employment Programs

· Hamilton’s Settlement and Integration Services Organization (Ontario) [7]

· Immigrant settlement programs

· Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)[8]

· International Planned Parenthood Federation

· Kairos[9]

· Law Reform Commission of Canada

· Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre

· Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency – has received only a promise of “conditional funding IF it avoids any and all connection with abortion.

· MATCH International

· National association of Women and the Law (NAWL)

· Native Women’s Association of Canada

· New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity

· Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

· Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)

· Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)

· Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

· Pride Toronto

· Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec

· Riverdale Women’s Centre in Toronto

· Sierra Club of BC

· Sisters in Spirit

· Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

· South Asian Women’s Centre[10]

· Status of Women (mandate also changed to exclude “gender equality and political justice” and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying

. Tropicana Community Services

· Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)

· Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative – Nova Scotia

· Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program

· York-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto

And the funny thing is, the exercise hasn't saved them a penny.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jack Layton Health Alert

Word from the NDP campaign is that one of his prosthetics blew out at a campaign event while he glad-handed the crowd. But he's OK! A few skin grafts and he's back on the plane. And then there's the smoke damage to his stache, and the fact that one end of it is suddenly a little shorter than the other. But that will grow back.

Iggy Rules Out Coalition

He's taken my advice:

"Whoever leads the party that wins the most seats on election day should be called on to form the government," Ignatieff said in a statement.

"If that is the Liberal party, then I will be required to rapidly seek the confidence of the newly elected Parliament.

"If our government cannot win the support of the House, then Mr. Harper will be called on to form a government and face the same challenge. That is our Constitution. It is the law of the land."

Although I'd like to think I put it a bit more elegantly. And I don't mind helping Iggy out, but if he wins the cost is going to be two (2) Senate seats. One for me, and one for my wife. And I want them close to the aisle, for bathroom breaks, and a pass to the Senate cafeteria. I don't need a big office, as I'll sleep when the upper chamber is in session, like everyone else.

Anyway, he can email me for a full list of my demands.

And, by the way...was that so hard? Two years to prepare for this day and this question--Coalition or no, Iggy?--and it gets fluffed.

Mordor Falls AGAIN!

Buckets notes an interesting historical parallel.

Uppal Faces Indy Challenge

EDMONTON — James Ford confirmed Friday he plans to run as an independent in Edmonton-Sherwood Park, setting up another divisive conservative scrap in the riding.

Ford came within 1,668 votes of toppling Conservative Tim Uppal in 2008, a staggering result in a riding that has been solid Tory blue since its inception.

If you remember, Uppal was parachuted into the riding in '08 over the wishes of the local EDA. Ken Epp, the guy he was replacing, refused to endorse him. Still not much of a chance of a Lib or Dipper coming up the middle though, based on 2008's result.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

1st Tory Candidate To Resign

Dale Saip resigns over bankruptcy revelations.

I had nothing to do with it, but if anyone wants to know what I am getting up to this cycle, "dark ops" wise, well, I'm trying to implicate a Tory cabinet minister in a sex scandal. But it isn't going well. In the end I may have to sleep with the guy myself.

What I do for Canada...

Nominate In Haste

...repent at leisure. The case of Dale Saip is most interesting, as party spokesfolks are officially "disturbed" by Saip's apparent lack of disclosure.

In any case, it will be hard for this guy to make the "sound fiscal managers" argument on behalf of the CPoC.

Will Their Base Allow Themselves To Be Played For Suckers Yet Again?

"The government is probably just as happy if its senate reform bills and the crime bills don't get through," he said. "It gives them the opportunity to use the elections to try out their platform for the support of their base."

After all, Harper's been playing the same game for five years now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

LPoC Election Stance Justified

A new poll by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima suggests the federal parties are at roughly the same position they were on election day 2008.

It puts support for the Conservatives at 34 per cent — down three point from 2008 — compared to 28 per cent for the Liberals, up two points from election day.

Tories are down from two points since the last HD poll as well, as Canadians ponder a Harper Majority, and recoil.

My opinion of the recent LPoC hard-line is that its meant to lay some discipline on the NDP. Jack Layton can either cave for peanuts, or hobble through the next campaign with a gimpy leg and a throbbing prostrate. Oh NDP readers! It's time for YOU to justify the surrendering of your ideals and wear that shit-eating grin. Enjoy. As a Liberal I can tell you: pain builds character.

Tory Turmoil Lingers In Simcoe Grey: Guergis's Sister Quits EDA

News from Helena's Guergis old riding:

Meanwhile, in the background, the local Conservative riding association is going through a bit of upheaval; on Thursday, riding association president Andy Beaudoin officially resigned, and his resignation comes on the heels of the resignations of two other EDA board members (granted, one of those individuals is Christine Brayford, the sister of Independent Conservative MP, Helena Guergis).

I traded emails with Beaudoin on the weekend; he had some pretty harsh words for the party’s treatment of Guergis (story to be published on the E-B website today – fingers crossed!). Guergis is getting quite a bit of press, both locally and nationally, so it’s clear she’s making sure she gets the message out just before we head into an election… and doing a good job of painting the Conservatives (and Harper, especially) in a terrible light…

Interestingly, the same blog recently reported that the CPoC was attempting to buy Guergis off. Guess she didn't bite.

BEST On Global Warming

The BEST Project out of Berkeley,which was put together to reanalyze land temperature records in the wake of the CRU Hack to make sure that global warming really wasn't a communist hoax, did not get off to a good start. Funded by the Koch brothers, fronted by an elderly physicist named Richard Muller with an unfortunate tendency to spout off on fields in which he possesses no expertise, the whole thing looked like a denialist set-up. But, as Joe Romm points out, you can't the instrumental record into something it isn't. He quotes climatologist Ken Caldeira:

I have seen a copy of the Berkeley group’s draft paper, which of course would be expected to be revised before submission.

Their preliminary results sit right within the results of NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU, confirming that prior analyses were correct in every way that matters. Their results confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.

Their analysis supports the view that there is no fire behind the smokescreen put up by climate science deniers.

So there you have it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fox News North: Network El Cheapo, Part 1,001

The story itself is piffle, about Theo Caldwell's new show on the Sun News Network. Here's the interesting bit:

The Caldwell Account will air weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sun News Network and the first hour will repeat from 9 to 10 p.m. weeknights.

...which is to say (and which has been said already), no breaking news on Fox News North after 9 pm---a news channel, then, or a non-stop gabfest? And the same one hour piece of a weekly business show every weeknight? What if the market crashes on Wednesday?

Will Shaw Carry Fox News North?

We do not have an answer to that question at this time as it has not yet been determined if we will be carrying this new channel.

Interesting that they haven't decided at this late date. The rumour is they thought about it but decided to carry the chicken channel instead. After all, would you rather watch a juicy chicken roasting over a spit or this?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stomp 'Em Good

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly...

A Canadian First!

Harper Government Scandal makes news site for sex toys! How did that happen? Remember, the name of the company involved is H20 Pros. What does that make you think of. Personally, it makes me think of water filtration devices.

PS. Speaking of H20 pros, here's the management team page for H20 Global Group, the group they spun off for lobbying purposes. Here's the bio for Christine McPherson, who is thought to be the mother of Michelle:

Ms. McPherson has devoted her career to Human Resources, Human Rights and People. She developed partnerships with Makivik, Qiqiqtaaluk and Unaaq to establish the Northern Shrimp Industry. In collaboration with them she developed training programs to train Inuit on board Northern Shrimp Trawlers. She has developed and delivered programs to create the Federated Architecture/ Government On-line and to facilitate process mapping with organizations such as the RCMP – DNA Databank and DND CFSSU Programs. She has just returned from 4 years in Doha, Qatar, where she worked on behalf of Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor Al Thani developing policies, procedures, process and labor guidelines.

She is passionate about people, the environment and the simpler ways.

I haven't had time to track down anything on the elder McPherson, but it would be interesting to find out what work she's done with the RCMP and federal government.

PPS. Although here's her linked in. Looks like she does HR.

PPPS. And has spoken out for gay rights and human rights (see towards bottom of page) in Qatar. Actually seems a fairly decent person.

CRTC Appears To Do Something Right

Canada's telecommunications regulator has made it easier for consumers to switch between TV, phone, Internet and cellular providers.

New guidelines released Friday require satellite, cable and Internet providers to switch customer accounts within two days when a customer opts to leave for a competitor's services. The two day limit, which previously applied only to phone companies, is aimed at cutting through the red tape that could see consumers spend weeks trying to switch from one provider to another.

I suppose there might be something in the fine-print that makes these new guidelines less attractive than they first appear. But, honestly, getting out of my Rogers contract was the closest thing to visiting Bureaucratic Hell that I've ever experienced, finally involving a trip to one of their stores to retrieve an old password. The only thing that even came close was trying to cancel a subscription to a fitness club. So if everything here is on the up-and-up, kudos (for once) to the CRTC.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bruce Carson, One Of Stephen Harper's Closest Advisers

He had recently been fired by the prestigious law firm of Soloway Wright after a client complained his signature had been forged on a document transferring a cheque to Carson.

The Law Society of Upper Canada investigated, and a year later disbarred him for forging signatures of clients and misappropriating almost $24,000.

Almost a year after that, Carson was charged by Ottawa police with the misappropriation of funds. At that time, he was living on Colonel By Drive. The charges included two counts of theft, two counts of forgery and one count of uttering a forged cheque. In December, he pleaded guilty to the charges, and in February 1983, Carson was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

PS. Sorry if today's stuff is more cutty-pasty, linky vs thinky, than usual. I've been busy. Clearly what's interesting about all this is how close Carson has been to so many Tory bigwigs over such a long period of time.

A Defense Of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal

...and a critique of Brad Wall's Bill C-160. My favorite bit is the defense of the HRT's looser rules of evidence:

A tribunal is also a much more relaxed and less expensive setting than the formality and complexity of a courtroom. Rules of evidence are not as stringent. Claimants are not faced with the intimidation that comes with such trappings as lawyers and judges wearing robes. Given that human rights complainants very often come from marginalized, low-income communities, this informality goes far in boosting both comfort and confidence.

But it's all good.


This poll is for Ontario, incidentally.
Lots of time to turn it around, and a series of decent economic reports like this should help with those trust numbers on the economy. Still a bit worrying, however.

Speaking To A Less-Than-Half-Capacity Crowd

...Ezra admitted...

Actually, an interesting bit in the comments:

Levant spent the majority of his lecture covering the four criteria, calling the word “tarsands” a politically-engineered phrase that acts like a tell in poker: “When you hear it, you know someone with an agenda is about to speak,” he said.

When I was in high school, more than 40 years ago, the deposits were known as tar sands. There was, IIRC, a mastodon preserved in the tar sands and the same geology in other parts of the world was referred to as tar sands or tar pits.

So - no engineering, political or otherwise, nor an agenda for those that use the term tar sands.

I'm not quite that old, but that's how I remember it as well. For example, the La Brea Tar Pits, which I believe is what the guy above is thinking of.

PS. Confirmed here by wikipedia.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Busty Hookers Redux?

Update: Bourque brings the porn! All hail Bourque!

On Bruce Carson

In the early 1980s, Carson was disbarred and served time in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of defrauding law clients.

The APTN did a great job with this story. Expect them to be defunded.

Tim Hudak Addreses Adoring Mob

I hope he doesn't get that kid on the left, who should probably be at school, in trouble. Meanwhile, Radwanski thinks the PCPO general meeting in April will be similarly well-attended.


Reflections At Tax Time

When I came to Toronto as a poor student, I wound up living in the basement of one Roy Medough, a retiree who owned a big old house near Sheppard and Victoria Park. Occasionally ,he would receive letters from an English gentleman named James Jerrold, who some years previously had been institutionalized for behavior that Roy never did want to discuss.

In any case, when one of his letters arrived it brought out the strangest reactions in people. Our maid, who came around three times a week to vacuum and do laundry, refused to handle the envelope. Even the postie seemed a bit unnerved, holding it by one corner. And he'd give you a pitying look that said "Oh its so sad you're getting mail from a lunatic".

Because Mr. Jerrold would cover the whole outside of the envelope with handwriting, first horizontally across the page, and then when he had run out of room that way, vertically so the lines criss-crossed. And he did all this in a wonderfully florid style, using what I always imagined must be some kind of old-fashioned fountain pen.

I pointed out that the great naturalist James Audubon used to write in a similar fashion, when he was out in the bush exploring nature, so as to save paper, but Roy told me that the asylum where Mr. Jerrold had been stored was "private, and pretty ritzy", so that Mr. Jerrold should not lack for paper.

Indeed, the actual letters inside inevitably ran to a good 15 pages of pink foolscap, all covered on both sides in the same fashion, with tiny stars and planets and wildflowers drawn in the margins. I couldn't make heads or tails of the content, and even Roy could only decipher a line or two, but I always thought James Jerrold's letters were incredibly beautiful objects, even if they failed as attempts to communicate. Most other people just seemed frightened of them

And one year a different letter arrived, from the federal government. By this time I was out of University, making money, and thoroughly tired of filling out all the damned forms involved in paying my income taxes. It wasn't so much that I disliked the idea of giving up money. If the feds had sent around some guy to ask me to dump out the contents of my wallet, I would have been happy to do it. But I can't stand paperwork; every time I fill out a form it is as though my soul is being sucked out through the tip of the pen.

Suddenly, I found myself inspired by James Jerrold's example. I took the return envelope Revenue Canada had provided me and began writing on it--bits of old essays I'd done, the type on the backs of cereal boxes, whatever. I didn't want to swipe Jerrold's shtick, so I didn't cross-hatch the lines the way he did. But I did switch pen and ink colors every couple of sentences, and used a dozen of those brightly hued ballpoints they sell to school-kids.

Later, I transcribed the numbers I had written on my work sheets to the tax form itself using roman numerals. Or at least my approximation of Roman numerals. I wasn't really shooting for 100% verisimilitude. To justify my calculations, I included an elaborate series of footnotes written in multi-colored ink and employing an alternative mathematical notation that I invented as I went along. I doubt it was logically sound, but it was quite pretty.

At the bottom of the form I wrote the figure $1,000 in big black letters, and the words "YOU OWE ME!" with an arrow pointing to the figure. I signed my name, stuck a stamp on the whole thing, and dropped it off in a post-box one evening in April.

About two months later Revenue Canada sent me a check for $45, and a supplementary letter informing me that the various tax forms existed in 45 different languages, and if English was not my primary tongue, I was free to order these forms in any of their alternative versions.

The next year I tried the same kind of thing and, as Mr. Jerrold had died in the meantime, cross-hatched all the writing on the envelope. I got back a letter saying I owed the government $212 plus a small late fee, and another letter reminding me about the various languages that Revenue Canada material existed in.

A few years after that my wife moved in with me and made me stop. She does my returns these days. Typically I get back around $1,000 to $1,500, so really things work out better this way.

But the point is, no matter how crazy I tried to act, the Revenue Canada Bureaucrats were twice as anal-retentive as that. I was, I suppose, trying to make them forget me, pitch aside my file or dump it in a pile marked Incorrigible, but they refused to surrender

They didn't care if I was crazy; they knew my money was good.

NOTE: Yes its a shameless rehash of some old material.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Standing Up To Enbridge

Not the Calgary Herald, who pulled their own story on the "Myhaircares" hoax within hours of posting it. Nevertheless, there's still a good account here. Contrast that with this:
And to cheer you up after this display of gutlessness from the truth-tellers in the MSM, here's the hoax video. The Yes Men do this kind of thing really, really well.

PS. My bad. Holly points out in the comments that the story can still be found here.

It Was The Yes Men

A hoax news release that claimed Calgary-based pipeline company Enbridge Inc. would use human hair to soak up future B.C. oil spills left the company fuming Tuesday.

Got an email from The Yes Lab a few minutes ago. Here's just the first bit:

March 15, 2011

Group responsible offers free haircuts at Enbridge HQ at noon

Earlier today, the world learned of oil transport giant Enbridge’s strategy for handling inevitable oil spills along its proposed pipeline through pristine British Columbian wilderness: mop it up with human hair.

And contact info:

Shannon McPhail (Smithers, BC), Canadian PERM spokesperson, 250-842-2494,
Rick Smith (Michigan), US PERM spokesperson: 269-425-1822,
Sean Devlin (Vancouver) , The Yes Lab: 778.321.7306,

Go get 'em, fellas.

A Little Cheese With His Whine

Tim Hudak says he'll go to court over this ad by the Working Families Coalition. What he won't do is attempt to refute the claims made in the ad by, for example, telling Ontarians what he would actually do if he became Premier. All that stuff's in his platform, and his platform will be released later. Way later.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Raymond Hall: The Poop

Conservative insiders say party brass felt with Hall at the helm, the party's chances of capturing the riding were close to zero.


"He had pedigree but didn't want to do the retail politics necessary, made promises he didn't deliver and suffered from not listening to those that wanted to help him," said one party official, referring to Hall.

Stay tuned for the inevitable Tory Turmoil.

Provincial Tory Candidate Goes To Ground

A provincial Tory candidate for Markham-Unionville appears to have gone underground after allegations he is linked to the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), which a Toronto newspaper this week called a new Tamil separatist group with remnants of the banned Tamil Tigers.


Mr. Thayaparan said he was happy to give an interview on the situation and offered to do so in person the next day after first checking with his lawyer.

However, Mr. Thayaparan has not made himself available since...

My take on this is that Mr. Thayaparen is probably a more or less innocent victim of the kind of anti-Tamil paranoia that the federal Torys have kicked up over the past couple of years for base political purposes. Sri Lanka is a small island country with 20,000,000 aboard, and it simply isn't fair to tag everyone who knew someone who knew a Tamil Tiger with the "terrorist" epithet.

Nevertheless, there is that picture, which makes Mr. Thayaparen's involvement look a little bit deeper. He needs to provide an explanation for it. Hiding will serve him poorly at this juncture.

As Fox News North Prepares To Launch

Kevin Drum speculates as to why:

This is interesting. The audience for actual cable news dropped a fair amount, but the audience for prime time blowhardery dropped even more. So the problem isn't that 24/7 news is too boring and needs further injections of attitude, because it turns out that attitude isn't selling as well as it used to.

Meanwhile, as SunTV pours money into its theme music, the parent co. gives parliamentary reporter Kathleen Harris her walking papers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jason Kenny: Minister Of Way Passed Cheap Assed

Let me get this straight. A guy whose department has seen expenses rise 35 per cent on his watch won't cough up $1,000 to cover his own security tab, and so cancels his March 10 speech at York U and implies its the fault of anti-Semites? Sounds like the guy didn't want to go to York (who does?) and speak in front of losers (= 99% of the York Student body--if you're a Dork or can hold a fork you can go to York--I can say that because I'm an alumni). But he wanted to frame his cancellation in terms a little more heroic than "I need to stay home and bathe my hamster".

Hudak Reaffirms His Plan For More Nukes

...right here. But where will they go, Tim? Into which ridings?

Michael Coren Turns Down Fox News North

I was offered a show but have chosen to stay at CTS, where I am producer as well as host. I have agreed to appear at least 3 times a week on Sun tv as a commentator and write two columns a week. Best of all worlds really.

Too bad for FNN; Michael's a jolly host. So far, though, I find the people who Kory and Co. have recruited/attempted to recruit quite lacking in surprises.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Doom Baby! Doom!!

Not much of a trend that I can see. Although, there does seem to be a mild up-tick in biggies since fall '08, when the CERN large hadron collider went into operation. As you may remember:

...critics have argued, however, that Cern has ignored or downplayed the risk that the collider could produce a black hole that would swallow the Earth...

And of course an early sign of an Earth swallowing black hole would be massive earthquakes. Not that I believe it, but if the idea goes viral I want credit.


Bye Bye Stock

We're all going to miss you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tim Hudak's Energy Plans For Ontario nukes. Not wind, not solar. Lotsa lotsa new nuclear. That's the only concrete promise to come out of the PCPO campaign to date. Because nuclear is clean and green and doesn't explode.
Oops! Two out of three, I suppose.

Seriously, would you rather have a majestic wind turbine or a nuclear reactor going up on the property next door? Kind of puts the noise issue into perspective, doesn't it?

And, as I've said, while Tim has promised new nukes, he hasn't said where he'll put them. He should come clean on that.

Off To Get An MRI

When you read this, I will be getting my brain scanned at North York General.

The problem is that, over the course of the past 12 months, I've spent about four or five of those months feeling like I'm walking down a pier. Mild vertigo, in other words, accompanied at times by mild tinnitus. Very persistent. Day and Night. Tiring, sometimes, although the Novo-Betahistine pills take the edge off. And then it goes away for weeks or months. And then it comes back.

I've had all the normal tests--X-rays of the skull and etc. and nothing has come up. The neurologist I was sent to (Levitan--quite good) doesn't think its too serious. He (and my regular dr. as well) suspect high blood pressure. In fact, Levitan gave me his standard lecture on cutting down the sodium in my diet. And its all totally rehearsed: he whips a can of Campbell's soup out from underneath his desk, and a box of crackers: "Look at this! Just ten crackers...390 milligrams! And this can of chicken soup...canned soup is the worst..another 320!! And at first glance it looks like a pretty healthy meal!!"

So while I've been waiting for my MRI the past month or so, I've been trying to cut back. For example, I've replaced my potato chip breakfast with fruit. And, while I've always publicly advocated eating more fruit, its only now that I've had to do it myself that I realized how much fruit tastes like bland bullshit. So its been difficult.

And I may be thwarted in one of my most important life goals, which is to eat 2,000,000 fried chicken wings at a 1,000 different sports bars. If I stop right away, I will come up about 112 wings short.

So if anyone wants to suggest a few low sodium recipes in the comments that taste a bit more flavourful than plain tofu, I would appreciate. But be warned that anything that actually involves tofu will be rejected. Tofu is a culinary dead end. I've had tofu sandwiches flavoured to taste like egg or pork or whatever, and it doesn't work, so don't go here.

Plus you have to keep your tofu at a certain temperature and under certain conditions for it to grow until the point that you want to kill and eat it, so in the end its like you're murdering a pet. No. The Asians are right about Dim Sum, right about Sushi, and definitely right about nunchakas, but with tofu they fucked up. It happens to everyone occasionally. Look at the Scots and the bagpipe. This is the same, but culinary.

Anyway, see you on the other side.

Update: Am back. MRI's are loud and make all sounds of buzzing and bloopy noises. A bit like listening to the late Kraftwerk. The only discomfort I felt was afterwards when I had to pay for parking. Hearing tests are set for May.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stay Strong, Japan

The International Skating Union says it has no plans to cancel the world figure skating championships in Tokyo later this month after a massive earthquake hit Friday...

My wife, who teaches kids skating, salutes your intestinal fortitude.

The West Splits


Although I am all for recognizing the Libyan rebels. In lieu of a more substantive response, the knowledge that The West approves of their cause will at least give meaning to their last hours on the planet.

And although I expect someone like Terry Glavin will appear and lay it all down to Bono and Jane Fonda, I don't think the blame for any of this divides along Left/Right coordinates. Governments of all stripes have tolerated Gadhafi over the decades, and are chickening out in the face of his aggression even as you read this.

Nor is there necessarily much blame to be had. Even a no-fly zone effectively means that some combination of Europe and the Anglosphere gets entangled in another Arab War, which would make 3 in total (with, who knows, maybe Iran on the horizon). I for one don't like the sound of that.

One perhaps useful take-away lesson from the Libyan revolution has to do with the limited ability of social media to effect social change. Its fine for organizing rallies and such-like, but until Facebook and Twitter and etc. allow you to email tanks and anti-aircraft weapons, its not good for much more than that.

Oh? And did you hear about that thing in Japan?

Plus its raining.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meet Mark Spiro

...Tim Hudak's Campaign Manager. A few bon mots:

On when Tim Hudak and the PCPO will tell Ontarions what platform they will govern under, should they be elected this fall:

“When are we going to document our platform in a piece that documents all our policies, soup to nuts? The answer to that is, when we feel like it.”

Hudak commented on this bit that Spiro was saying Ontarians already know what to expect from a Hudak government. Soup and nuts, apparently. Oh yeah, and more nuclear generators. Lotsa and lotsa new nuclear generators. Location to be determined sometime in the future, but maybe coming to a town near you.

Anyway, here's Mark on journalists:

He said journalists need details of party policy documented because they are otherwise too lazy to discover them.

“The only people who are demanding our policy at the moment in a booklet form, where it’s simple and easy and they don’t have to do any work, (are journalists), because they want to take the opportunity to shoot at it. Journalists do not want to discover what Tim Hudak’s policy is. Journalists want to discover if there is a typo or semicolon in the wrong place,” Spiro told the audience.

OK, he's maybe got a point, but isn't it a bit early for the Hudak Tories to declare war on The Press? You do that after you get into power, and things start going to crap on you.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Spiro has a conspiracy pet theory:

“Many of you may have heard of the Campaign for Working Families (sic). This is an external, we believe illegal, Liberal front group,” Spiro said, who later corrected himself and said he was referring to the Working Families Coalition (WFC).

“It has one purpose only, and that is to stop Tim Hudak from being premier of Ontario. These people don’t operate under the normal license of good behaviour. They’ll say things about Tim that you all know are completely untrue, you will know to be lies and they won’t care

This, of course, isn't true, but Hudak's down with it, and in the past Randy Hillier has used the WFC example as the inspiration for a few minor attempts at union busting.

Hmm. Maybe Mr. Spiro is revealing a little more of the Hudak platform than he intended...

Its So Hard To Find Real Constituents

Glen McGregor asks us to find the stock photos Pierre Poliviere used to represent constituents on his website. He notes too that a couple of the ethnic folks in the picture have been "whitened up". Anyway, this one is from shutter stock.

And give Poliviere credit; if he couldn't find a few actual diverse Canadians, he did at least employ a number of very different stock photo sites.

Ezra Levant: King Of Tut Tut

And, of course, QMI's mighty chair-hunter, Brian Lilley, reports it. Pretty low, even for these two.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

In Politics, The Tube Rules

My favorite bit from Kenney's now infamous memo, in which the CPoC considers an ad buy in the ethnic media:In other words, if you're reading this, you are participating in a side-show.

Bownessie, U.K. Lake Monster

The dream:
The reality.
Like so many things in life...


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What Goes Around, Comes Around, And Then Goes Around Again, And Then Comes Back Up

Somewhere on a beach in Florida, the Dark Prince is laughing.

PS. I note that a pic exists from the actual awards ceremony!

Does Jason Kenney ever shave before 6PM?

Stockwell Slams Pakistan Pakistan, as in many other countries, Islam is the only permissible religion. It is actually a matter of law. The legislated sanction can be death.

Hard to believe. Many of these nations are modern, well educated, high tech and global traders. Yet, they actually make it a capital crime to be Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, or any faith other than Islam.

How can they be so barbaric? And utterly ignorant about history.

Actually in the case of Pakistan, Stock dorks up his facts a bit. It is not illegal to be Christian in Pakistan. Yes. The Constitution discriminates against you. But merely being Christian does not appear to be a capital crime.

Even More On Jack MacLaren's Email

...and the integrity complaint against Randy Hillier:

An assistant in Hillier's office forwarded The Guide a copy of a letter sent by the web provider, William Ross Solutions, to Hillier to apologize for the error.

The letter states that an email intended for MacLaren's audience was accidently routed to Hillier's website.

"William Ross Solutions has several commercial and non-commercial accounts, that although securely separate within an encrypted platform, do share some common components," President William Ross wrote.

"It was an inadvertent selection of a single check box that resulted in the delivery of said email to all William Ross Solutions' past and present accounts. As well the applications settings for tracking the emails was incorrectly set and resulted in links being routed through your hosting package."

I'll update this after I think about it a bit.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Fox News North Spills On Their Delayed Launch!

The 24-hour news channel was set to launch in January but faced several startup challenges — including the recent resignations of several members of its Ottawa bureau.

Sources say the network also ran into renovation snags and the realization that it required more money than initially budgeted for a television operation.


Its international content will be purchased under contract with CNN, not Fox

By the way, I'm going to claim credit for this story, having being the first to note the delay here. Apparently, I'm the only one in Canada that bothered to wonder: Hey! What the fuck ever happened to Fox News North? Which bodes ill for them. And its the third pushback of their launch date, if you must know, from Jan. 2011 to 1st quarter 2011 to, for the time being, April 2011. But really who knows? Ezra says he's moved East and bought a house. I think he should have rented.

Fox News North Delayed AGAIN?

Now Ezra is saying April. According to this guy, Ezra's previous date was mid-March.

Hmm. Troubles?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Predict Another Rough Week For NASA

They lost their satellite, and now one of their scientists, Dr. Richard B. Hoover, who seems to have a fairly impressive CV, is claiming that he's found evidence of ET in the remnants of comets that have fallen to Earth in Antarctica. It's not a crazy thought. Panspermia is in fact an old idea. The problem is that he's publishing his findings in The Journal of Cosmology, not Nature or Science or anything well-known like that. That's a screencap of their homepage below:

Yeah. Looks nutz, doesn't it? Note the paper about "Sex On Mars".

It also turns out that Hoover's paper will be the JoC's swan song; they're going out of business. A press release announcing that fact can be found here. Its a stem-winder, and doesn't do much to dispel the scent of madness around the journal.

Mr. Hoover also gave broke the news of his research through FOX, so that too bodes ill.

Much as I'd like this one to be true, I think it will all end in tears and NASA will wind up with a black-eye over it. Crazy NASA scientist. Let's cut their budget. That kind of thing.

Dr. Hoover's paper can be found here.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Balan Ratnarajah On His Deal With Jason Kenney

A follow-up to the last post. This is from Balan's interview on Tamil Radio that was mentioned in the previous post. Note that he explicitly refers to "our government in exile" as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), though this may be an interpolation on the part of whoever wrote up the transcript:

“There is a wrong opinion in the community about the support letter we have released on Bill C-49. We never supported the entire bill except of a portion that deals with human smuggling. We have certain other concerns on the bill and it has been addressed the Minister. “

“Around 8,000 to 10,000 Tamils fled from Sri Lanka and living temporarily in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. We all have to think about their situation and act favorably. Due to our efforts the Canadian Government assured us that they will take necessary actions to protect these people and with the help of UNHCR to resettle them in a safer place. The Canadian Government informed us that they will carry out this operation with the help of Australian and Thailand governments. Even the Canadian Government has advised the Sri Lankan Government to resolve this problem. “

“You all should understand that in order to gain a big benefit from the government we have to give up certain petty things and be little flexible to the government of Canada. Our aim is the bigger benefit and we don’t think about the petty issues.”

“A member of our government in exile [LTTE] visited to Malaysia recently and reported to us that the situation on refugees in Malaysia is worst. Although UNHCR granted refugee status to those 4,000 to 5,000 Tamil people the Malaysian government has not provided anything to them yet. So we addressed this issue to the Canadian Government and we have been assured that it will be taken care of. “

“This supportive letter created a controversial atmosphere in the community that we are working closely with the government of Canada. We are not working closely with them and we are only focusing on those 8,000 people who fled and temporarily reside in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

“Due to our efforts the Minister had taken necessary measures and addressed in the Parliament saying that Canada will take-up this matter and work along with Australia, Thailand and Indonesia. Thank. Thorough our cordial relationship we have brought the government of Canada to pay more attention on this issue. “

“We have no intention of blocking future arrivals of those refugees to Canada and in fact we want to extend our helping hands to them. There is a kind of fear that hearing of these refugees, who arrive after March 2010, will be dealt differently by the government. We have discussed this issue with the government and it was a fruitful discussions but I don’t want to reveal the outcome to the public now.”

On Tories And Tamil Tigers

In light of this story in today's Globe, I would just point out a post I did back in November on some of the odd endorsements the Tory's were getting for their human smuggling bill (C-49). One was from Balan Ratnarajah of the Peel Tamil Community Centre (which may be non-existent: see below), who was elected to Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE), which some have called a front group for the Tamil Tigers. Turns out he got face-time with the minister:

Later it turned out that Peel Tamil Community Centre is not in operation and Balan Ratnarajah is not in favor of the proposed bill C-49. In an interview Balan Ratnarajah revealed what Minister Jason Kenney promised to them to obtain that support letter to the bill. Indeed Balan Ratnarajah and few others had a private meeting with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration so it is very interesting for all of us to see what Minister Jason Kenney promised to the LTTEiers. Canadian Tamil Radio gave a good 6 minutes to Mr. Balan Ratnarajah to say what has happened in the meeting and the real story behind the support letter issued by him. Below are from his interview to the Canadian Tamil Radio (LankaWeb : 31 January 2011).

And I wonder if the Globe post was not inspired by this piece from nearly a month ago--Tamil Tigers infiltrate Federal and Provincial Conservative parties--in which both Ratnarajah and Nehru Gunaratnam (mentioned in the Globe piece) are accused of being in cahoots with the Tigers. It ends on an ominous note:

There are also strong rumors of LTTE fronts preparing to seek federal conservative nomination in a Scarborough riding for the next federal elections.

Friday, March 04, 2011

On The Credibility Of Polls

This one has the McGuinty Libs and Hudak Tories virtually tied in Toronto.

And if you question the credibility, its by Forum Research who, according to their own website, conduct more than 600,000 surveys each year, or over 1,600 every day. So you know they can be trusted.

And, oh hey! This is the same company that puts Rob Ford's approval rating at 60%. But they do 1,600 of these suckers every 24 hours. They did 300 before you even ate breakfast. So who are you to doubt their authority?

h/t. PS. No, we're not married. Sometimes our interests converge. That's all.

CTF Turns On Kenny

CTF Alberta Director Scott Hennig is responding after it was learned a Tory fundraising letter from Kenney was sent on the Federal Immigration Minister's MP letterhead. A copy of the letter, intended for Conservative MP John Duncan went instead to NDP MP Linda Duncan. Hennig says the federal ethics commissioner should investigate.

A darn good idea.

Satellite Meant To Study Climate Change Now Contributing To Ocean Acidification

Looks like the thing is plunging towards the Pacific even as NASA works on a press release announcing the fact. Bad news, this.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Jason Kenny Does The "Right" Thing

...He fires a staffer.

From a scandal every week, to one every 27 minutes.

Maybe All Politicians Do It, But These Politicians Do It All

Fundraising letters on Parliamentary letterhead?

It is, literally, a scandal a week.

Jack McLaren's Email

A follow-up to a previous post which you should read for background. In short: the provincial Libs think PCPO MPP Randy Hillier allowed his website to be used inappropriately. Their evidence is an email "blast" Jack MacLaren--a candidate for the PCPO nomination in Carleton - Mississippi Mills and an old Hillier favorite--sent out in an attempt to drum up support so as to wrest the riding from Norm Sterling, the PCPO MPP that currently holds it. Here's a screen-shot of the problematic bit from Jack's email:
When you hold your cursor over one of the links-- "Like", for example, or "Share"-- you can see at the bottom that the link will take you to Originally, you would then get redirected to Jack MacLaren's facebook pages, twitter accounts, and etc.

(Note: I thought these all went directly to Hillier's pages, and said as much in the comments of my previous post, but I was wrong about that).

Anyway, that's what is meant in the original complaint about links being "routed through" Randy Hillier's website.

More recently, though, if you click on the appropriate links you get:

The url reads "williamrosssolutions", so its pretty clear that Mr. Hillier's web people were involved in handling the click-throughs from MacLaren's e-mailout. What is at issue, though, is how likely Hillier's explanation for all this is:

Hillier's spokesman later said it was a technical mistake by Hillier's web provider, William Ross Solutions, which accidentally routed the links in MacLaren's email through Hillier's account.

Well, its not very likely, I'm afraid. Note firstly that William Ross Solutions does not appear to be Jack MacLaren's web designer (they are Hilliers). At least, the registrant of (and .net) is one Dino Iannuzzi, who, much like William Ross, does Social Media Marketing. (Note: I emailed William Ross asking if they've ever done work for MacLaren, but had recieved no reponse as of this morning.). Nevertheless, Hillier's response implies that William Ross was doing something--some form of work--for the MacLaren team in regards to this email solicitation. Since MacLaren does not appear to have been a client of WRS, who paid for the work? If it was billed to Hillier's constituency website, then he may be in trouble.

In any case, according to Hillier, this work was not supposed to wind up involving his website at all. That it did was a mistake on the part of William Ross. We are therefore invited to imagine that the people from William Ross were providing urls to MacLaren that contained the phrase "" in them without realizing that they would, in fact, route the reader of the emails through That's pretty hard to imagine.

And what would be the point of redirecting the email respondents in this way? Dunno, but it might allow information to be collected on click-through rates, and how many readers of the MacLaren emails were doing what. Such tracking is usually something that costs money. So, again, if this was the reason for the re-routing, who paid for the bills? If it was charged to Hillier's constituency website, then the Lib complaint could stick.