Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tories Find A Fall-Guy

Who the hell is Owen Lippert and why are the Tories throwing him under the bus?

Statement by Owen Lippert:

'Since the beginning of the election campaign, I have been employed by the Conservative Party of Canada at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.

'In 2003, I worked in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. I was tasked with -- and wrote -- a speech for the then Leader of the Opposition. Pressed for time, I was overzealous in copying segments of another world leader’s speech. Neither my superiors in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition nor the Leader of the Opposition was aware that I had done so.

'I apologize to all involved and have resigned my position from the Conservative campaign.

Typical Tory MO. Find some obscurity to take the blame.

This is Owen Lippert.

Guilty As Charged

Re today's charges of plagiarism against Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party:

"We’ve been led to believe in the past that Stephen Harper writes his own speeches, can we assume that this was Mr. Harper’s own work?"


Once Stephen Harper's speech-writing abilities were only one aspect of his overwhelming genius. Now he palms off the job to his hacks.

What the Tory line seems to be evolving into is that a lowly staffer coughed up the speech for Harper, and therefore whatever plagiarism occurred was really their fault. Furthermore, because of the high-turnover rate among political speechwriters, their identity remains conveniently unknowable.

Canada Will Now Discriminate Against Muslim Voters

After standing tall for so many months, it looks like Marc Mayrand has felt the need to make a conciliatory gesture towards Canadian mouth-breathers. Note that the new directive, like the "veiled voters legislation" that died when this election was called, will have no effect on voting fraud--if you are willing to don a veil in order to cheat, surely you will be willing to recite an oath to further the deception. It also does nothing to cover voting by mail--you can don your veil when you drop a ballot in the mailbox, and you don't have to utter any silly oaths either!

Very disappointing from a man who I was beginning to regard as a bit of a hero.

Pro-Life Or Not Pro-Life: The Campaign Life Coaltion List

...is here.

Looks like the preliminary info I provided yesterday evening, which gave NDP MP Wayne Marston and Green Party candidate Amy Collard as Pro-Life, was incorrect.

Update: RB notes in the comments that Marston's responses to the CLC questionnaire are prototypically pro-life, but he is described as pro-choice in their notes. Color me confused.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Few Candidates The Campaign Life Coalition Likes

Hmm! An NDPer on the list! And a Green!


Aydin Cocelli - York South-Weston
Elie Salibi - Ottawa South
George Khouri - Pickering-Scarborough East
Stella Ambler - Bramalea-Gore-Malton
Stephen Woodworth - Kitchener Centre

Albina Guarnieri - Mississauga East-Cooksville
Paul Szabo - Mississauga South

Wayne Marston - Hamilton East-Stoney Creek (despite party policy banning such candidates)


Amy Collard - Halton

Our Justice System Is Broken

The coffee at 361 University is crap, the bagels sub-standard, and none of it is free. Not even phones and wifi access. My Canada is surely dead.

Jury duty sucks. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Dennis Gruending Asks Questions

Raised by Monks, once an MP for the New Democratic Party, Dennis Gruending writes Pulpit and Politics, a one of my favorite Canadian Political blogs. In his latest, he proposes ten questions to ask the candidates at this week's Leader debate. They're all good, but here's my favorite:

Question 7: The war in Afghanistan has now taken 100 Canadian lives with many more Afghan civilians being killed and maimed. A Liberal government sent our troops to that country and a Conservative-led government voted to keep them there. The prime minister now says our troops will come home in the year 2011 no matter what happens. The question to the prime minister is this: You used to tell Canadians that the Taliban were a direct threat to our security but now you appear to be saying that is not the case. Have 100 Canadians die for nothing?

PS. I am serving in a jury pool for at least part of this week. I don't know if they have wifi, so I don't know how much writing I will be able to do.



Halton Tories Out To Sabotage Tory Candidate!

I've written extensively about Lisa Raitt's difficulties re earning the loyalty of Conservative Party insiders in Halton, where the CPoC hierarchy parachuted her in as a "star" candidate.

Well, some of these CPoC rebs have started their own blog urging local voters to vote neither for Lisa nor incumbent Garth Turner. Their latest message to the people of Halton:

The Truth: We still have pipelines into the party, and the local numbers indicate that Halton is truly in play.

If it wasn't a close race, why would we care? Lisa Raitt would lose and the back room boys in Ottawa would learn a lesson. But Lisa Raitt is definitely in contention, and we're concerned that the people in Ottawa will start to think that they know better than local riding associations. For the long term health of our party, we need the back room brokers to trust us on the ground.

Don't vote for Garth Turner, the man who sold his riding out.

Don't vote for Lisa Raitt, the woman who was handed this riding by people who think they own it.

Now, Steve Janke has written a lot of nonsense about the blog authors being NDP supporters involved in an elaborate conspiracy, but my own sources among disgruntled Halton Tories believe that this is a sincere attempt to thwart the party machine. We'll see if it works.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peter Kent Was Once Pro Abortion

He said as much here.

What is he now?

His constituents should be told.

Peter Kent And The Anti-Abortion Movement

Dr. Dawg gets credit for pointing out that Peter Kent, Tory Candidate for Thornhill, has ties to the CCD (Canadian Coalition for Democracies), best known for their anti-Islamic bias (evidenced by their support of the Tories "veiled voter legislation") and their attempts to smear Liberal Liberal MP Omar Alghabra.

And Bucket's gets credit for pointing out that the CCD is one of the organizations supporting the Canada Family Action Coalition complaint to the Judicial Council (pdf here). This complaint demanded that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley Maclaughlin, be impeached for having chaired the committee that awarded the Order of Canada to Morgentaler.

Given Mr. Kent's relatively moderate stance (for a Tory) on Gay rights, it is difficult to understand why he should allow the CCD to be involved in rather shoddy attempt by the Canadian pro-Life movement to smear both Beverley Maclaughlin and Henry Morgentaler.

Oh wait, lets read that Lifesite headline again!

Star Tory Candidate" Peter Kent Totally For
Gay Political Agenda For Years

Some pro-life activists suggest strategic voting for Liberal to Stop His Bad
Influence on Tories

Quid Pro Quo? The CCD backs the Campaign Life complaint; Campaign Life doesn't make trouble for Kent.

If Mr. Kent wishes to salvage his "moderate" credentials, he needs to come clean on this.

BCL In Western Standard

Peter Jaworski of The Western Standard sent around an e-mail yesterday to a number of folks who have been especially prominent in the 2008 Canadian Federal election campaign's "blogging follies"--the outing of candidates for writings on their blog. He asked us:

"I'm beginning to get the sense that candidates being forced to resign thanks to the efforts of bloggers like yourselves is the major issue in this election. It isn't the Green Shift, it isn't any substantive policy issue; it's candidates getting busted for saying things that maybe they shouldn't have said, or putting six too many joints in their mouth on YouTube, or wondering out loud about what "really" caused 9/11 etc.
Do you agree?

And: What is the significance of all the candidates that have been forced to resign thanks to past blogging/online activities?"

Our responses can be found here.

Just to add to the material at WS, I would say that I fully agree with R. Jago's remark:

The parties should have prepared these people better. But they haven't & together with the sub-standard vetting, and the ignorance of new media, we in the blogosphere are reaping the rewards.

It won't happen next time.

In fact I am not sure we will see too many more gaffe induced resignations during the remainder of the 2008 campaign. You can already see the Party Leaders becoming more thick skinned about the on-line screw-ups of their candidates (witness Jack Layton's refusal to dump Andrew McKeever), and in any case there are only so many people left to investigate.

Also, I should point out that what you are seeing in the political sphere with all of this on-line sleuthing is only one aspect of a wider social phenomenon. If you go for a job interview, or attempt to sell something to another company, don't be surprised if the folks you are dealing with troll Youtube looking for videos of you getting drunk and whipping your top off, or search the various on-line forums for people trash-talking your product. I know because its an aspect of what I do in real life.

A mis-handled blog can be a drag on more than just your political career.

PS. If anyone knows of Tory/NDP blogging candidates that have so far evaded the blogosphere's free vetting service, please send me a few links.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crackheads? Fascists? Nazis?

I'm surprised that Andrew McKeever, NDP candidate for Durham, didn't leave comments on MY blog. He'd fit right in.

Apparently, She Is No Longer A C**T

Others have written about Durham NDP candidate Andrew McKeever and his Facebook flareup in which he, among other things, called NDP (presumably) blogger Krystalline Kraus some rather nasty names and threatened another with physical violence.

Well, guess what! Krystalline (whose parents must have been hippies) and Andrew have kissed and made-up. In fact, they've done more than that; they've issued a joint statement in which McKeever renounces all the views he held so passionately just two months ago and gets in line with the NDP re U.S. army deserters and the war in Afghanistan.

One must ask: was Mr. McKeever on drugs when he denounced Ms. Kraus? And did the two share a big fatty before they wrote their "joint" statement?

Get it? "Joint" statement? Get it? I kill me sometimes.

And somewhere Jack Layton is reading about this and thinking "I could sure the fuck use a toke about now! Where the fuck did I stash my rollies?"

Does Green Shift Even HAVE Any Clients?

For anyone who hasn't been following this story, Jennifer Lynch's Green Shift™ is the Toronto-based enviromental services company who took the Liberals to court for trademark infringement back in July, and settled with the party just around the time of the election call. One of the more curious aspects of the case is that, despite the company's insistence that its clients were being scared off by the LPoC actions, they were never able to provide an up-to-date list of these clients. At one point they claimed to be hiding it from hostile media outlets, but of course this explanation can't apply anymore.

So now the company has changed its reasoning again. By my count we are up to five different excuse since Mid-July:

The List

We are planning to repost the list of all of the companies and institutions who are a part of the Green Shift™ program but due to the legal battle that we have just resolved, we need a few days to re-evaluate.

We'll see how long it takes them to get into double digits.

Meet Albertonykus Borealis

ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2008) — An unusual breed of dinosaur that was the size of a chicken, ran on two legs and scoured the ancient forest floor for termites is the smallest dinosaur species found in North America, according to a University of Calgary researcher who analyzed bones found during the excavation of an ancient bone bed near Red Deer, Alberta.

Just quick post until I discover something interesting to write about. I admit I slept through the debate last night.

Just a quick note to long-time readers: people have been asking me, with the Libs in this much trouble, shouldn't you weigh in with the extraordinary chicken? Well, yes, I have thought of deploying the extraordinary chicken, but the extraordinary chicken is like the H-Bomb, and you can't just use it casually. I have it ready, however, and you will know that the Liberal campaign has fallen back to the very last ditch when the chicken sallies forth.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fun With NDP Orange Room

Jared, one of my favorite new bloggers, has been talking up the NDP website something heavy, so I thought I might surf on over and take a look. Hmm. The Orange Room. Hmmm.

Well, nothing as utterly stupid as NotALeader, but clearly it contains some material that is sophomoric, and a few features that might be fiddled with to render material that is off-message, like their Stephen Harper Caption Challenge.
(Of course they would never use my captioned image on their site)
I don't know why the Liberal website doesn't have a feature like this, though, although I suppose I can see how it might go wrong awfully quickly.

More Tory Heavyweights Blitz TO

This time its Jason Kenney, miles away from his ultra-safe Calgary Southeast riding to eat corned beef with David Azrieli.

The Tories are playing offense, as it were.

Interesting how little media play this, or Stock's visit to Don Valley West, is getting.

American Erection News

Sarah Palin's next career move?

Maybe, but she should keep the glasses on, Hef.

A Quick Campaign Note

Given Stories like this, it is interesting how much political muscle is passing by to visit Tory candidate for Don Valley West John Carmichael's campaign office. Stockwell Day visited on Thursday, and the Prime Ministerial Missus herself is due in Saturday. All to boost a riding they lost by 20 points last time out?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Justin Trudeau Is Depending On You

FreeD got hold of this poll, so things are looking grim

Would you vote for Justin Trudeau, if you could?

I of course don't mess with non-scientific polls, but my buddy Galactus does and his thumbs are getting sore.

A Conservative Advises The New Tory Majority

Sell the CBC. Junk most of the cultural subsides. Get rid of the human rights Gestapo. These, in the end, are “stroke of the pen, law of the land” sort of things. If a Prime Minister with a majority government wishes them, they could be so.
Burn them down and salt the Earth. A future Liberal government won’t have the guts, the time, the wherewithal, or the money to recreate them all at once. Sell the land and the buildings. Shred the records. Disperse the staff. It’s easier to destroy than it is to create. A Tory government on a rampage could destroy in a couple of months what it took four decades to create – and what it would take another forty to recreate.
A large-scale buildup of the Armed Forces will do more than prepare Canada to fight in an increasingly-dangerous world, but it will also create a powerful military-industrial complex that a future Liberal government would be loathe to confront.
Build a pair of Aircraft Carriers – giant, expensive, deadly, and useful symbols of Canadian pride that children can hang on their walls. Name them after Wolfe and Montcalm or something like that.
What Harper needs is someone creatively evil to serve as the Justice Minister...to spend the next five years thinking up new ways of brutalize and humiliate criminals and which will send the left marching to the barricades time and time again to defend people who normal Canadians hate.

So there's your hidden agenda. And here's a link to that strategic voting site again.

Good Resource For Strategic Voters

Some enterprising enviro types (including DeSmogBlogs Kevin Grandia) have put a ton of effort into the Vote For Environment website. As well as providing information on the environmental plans of each party, it analyzes of every close riding in the nation and, where possible, provides a recommendation as to how to cast a vote to keep the Tories out.

Tory Candidate Pens XXX Political Masturpeace!

Ryan Warawa's blog is Rawwkin!!! Buckets has all the naughty bits!!

Man this shit is HOT!!!! I'm gonna need 2 cold showers after I'm done with it...in about 3 minutes!!!

Bill Clinton stars with his wanderin' Willy, and he's "lobbying" some of Canada's most pultridudeinous!

Cum read the Conservative filth!!! Klik on teh LynxZZZ!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wooing The Voters By Insulting The Voters

From (you guessed it!) a blog, this time the campaign diary for Ottawa Centre's Tory offering, Brian McGarry:

Brian and the canvass team were working in a very exclusive high-rise condominium complex – one of those places where the condos are very expensive, but the poll goes to the NDP. 'La gauche caviar,' we used to call them when I lived in France; 'silver spoon socialists' they call them here.

This is dated September 17th. If you live in a Ottawa condo visited by Mr. McGarry in days immediately previous, congratulations, there is a good chance he thinks you're a commie.

Kady's post is quite apropos.

H/t Amy.

(Note: in fairness, these are the words of a campaign staffer. But presumably Mr. McGarry knows how to read.)

Why The Blog/Youtube/Online Etc. Stories Matter

The MSM has been treating them all as a series of random "gotchas", but I think they can be interpreted to yield compelling political arguments.

In the case of the Conservatives these stories can be used to remind the public that the Party still has plenty of nuts in the cluster and, beyond Harper himself, makes for an extremely weak team. For the most part, Harper has been keeping the crew from the old Reform Party Crazy Train (Levant, Chandler) in the backrooms, sweeping floors and handing out donuts and such. Bloggers like Reid and Warawa serve to shine a bit of light on the political heart and soul of Canada's Conservative movement and the party that exists to serve it.

Several stories involve bloggers who were first asked by CPoC to "hide" their blogs, and then got into trouble when the contents of these blogs became more widely known. Again, such stories can be used to remind folks that the Tories may still harbour a secret agenda, at least at the candidate level. Literally: views that they don't want the Public to know about.

Furthermore, the meltdown of the Tories on-line campaign can also be used to frame a more general narrative of Tory incompetence. Whatever else has gone right for them, and something has or they wouldn't be up by 10 - 15 points, their Web strategy has been an unmitigated disaster, what you get when tiny brains encounter too much money. You have to wonder whether the Tory war-room and Net antics are not their next government writ small, should they achieve Majority status. Do you really want to put the nation into such hands?

Similar arguments can be made in the case of the Disappearing Dippers. I mean, I support marijuana decriminalization, but do we really want some guy that went on Youtube and tried to jam 30 joints in his mouth at once negotiating trade agreements? The seriousness of the Party depends upon the seriousness of the candidates it is capable of putting into the field. These incidents speak ill of the party.

Fortunately, the Liberals have suffered very few of these kinds of gaffe. An argument for their Centrist credentials, perhaps? The party simply attracts fewer flakes and crazies.


A Tory candidate in trouble for something other than writing on a blog!

Dear Chris,

You wanted some response to your views on gun control and etc. Here's a quick one. You wrote:

Gun control: It doesn't work. There is no research that proves it does. The facts are clear, it increases crime. Simon Fraser University professor Gary Mauser finds that a year after the British obediently surrendered 160,000 legal handguns, London muggings were up 53 percent, gun murders up 90 percent and robbery up more than 100 percent. By the year following, annual gun crimes overall had risen 39 percent.

I am more familiar with American studies than the material you note above. In most cases, people advocating (like yourself) for "conceal carry" legislation tend to rely on the work of John Lott and Brandon S. Centerwall. Their work has been in turn been extensively criticized by writers such as Duggan and Dan A. Black, who was kind enough to send me .pdfs of a number of his papers. I confess to be ill equipped to decide between their varying statistical arguments for and against the more "guns = more/less crime argument", although Duggan seems to have established fairly conclusively that higher rates of gun ownership and availability leads to higher suicide rates, especially among men.

But lets get serious, shall we? The Tories didn't blast your ass out the door for merely holding somewhat eccentric (in the Canadian context) views on gun control. They turfed you because you accused women and gays who do not hold the same views as your own of, essentially, getting what they deserve when hate crimes were committed against them:

If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they'd be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they'd rather be helpless and rely on government.

You also accused, basically, the whole nation of being "effeminate" for not supporting "conceal carry" laws.

Ignore for a moment the idea that a gay male should use a common anti-gay slur ("effeminate") to characterize the Canadian character--which seems pathological--but why would you want to serve such an unworthy folk in the first instance? Did you (and does the Conservative Party of Canada) intend, if elected, to give us all a good slap to get us thinking straight?

Finally, the part of your recent post that I find most interesting is this passage:

One second you're shaking hands with the Prime Minister and on the blackberries of the campaign staff, the next day you can't get called back.

I am assuming that this confirms what the Western Standard has already reported--that the Conservative party knew of your blog, ordered you to pull it down, and then dumped you when its contents were revealed. This is the same process we seem to see unfolding in the Warawa case. Since the CPoC have already screwed you over and, as you say, betrayed their Conservative principles, why not answer a couple of questions.

1) How many Tory candidates have been ordered to scrub or otherwise disappear their blogs for the course of the election?

2) Who exactly within the Tory War Room gave these orders? And who was the guy on the other end of the phone that told you your time was up?

C'mon, Mr. Reid. You still haven't given us the real story. Spill it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on Ryan Warawa's Troubled Candidacy

One of the neat quotes J-Rad plucked from Conservative Candidate Ryan Warawa's most disturbing blog today was:

I wonder how many Liberal memberships [disgraced provincial Liberal staffer David] Basi offered to buy [Keith] Martin with the Basi Boys’ drug money.

This passage from Canadian Press explains that one:

Ryan Warawa, who's running in Vancouver East, suggests in a 2004 blog post that Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca Liberal Keith Martin had ties to a former B.C. Liberal cabinet aide now on trial for corruption.

Keith Martin's response to this:

Martin had not previously heard of Warawa's blog - nor of him - but said now he considers the comments slanderous and libellous.

...which was my impression too. So: does Stephen Harper allow his candidates to libel the other side? If not, why is Mr. Warawa still a candidate?

Chris Reid Is Back!

...and blogging. Several challenges issued to me in his latest post, which I will not have time to respond to today. However, I will try and get back to Mr. Reid by tomorrow at the latest. Count on it, in fact.

Meanwhile, to get a taste of our ex-candidates arguements:

As for natives, it's government that created the misery that natives are in, they live under complete socialism on reserves. There is the real life example of left-wing, anti-freedom liberalism/socialism at work- government dependence and 3rd world living conditions. Luckily some native leaders are getting out of the game and embracing capitalism and it's having an amazing result.

Until tomorrow.

Update: Another Tory Candidate and his blog.

Tory Candidate Roxanne James: Veteran Of The Topless Wars?

Roxanne James is the Tory candidate for Scarborough Center. I've already noted her connections to the Canada Family Action Coalition and "Defend Marriage Canada". Well, it appears that she also played a prominent role in the "Breast Wars" of the late 1990s:

It seems that a 'constitutional right to go topless' battle has begun in Canada. It started last year with the Ontario’s Court of Appeal decision that it was within the bounds of community standards for women to go barebreasted in public places. Families in Ontario have become increasingly frustrated with this ruling as during the summer one can find topless women wherever one goes. On Canada Day, Linda Meyer of Maple Ridge went topless in a public pool. She declared it her constitutional right. The police detained her and she stated that she will sue any and all levels of government if charges are laid against her. On August 13, the police received complaints about a woman cycling topless. Linda Meyer was found cycling topless east on Lougheed Highway. Her actions allegedly made heads turn and the result was a four vehicle smash up. Roxanne James of Ontario’s Keep Tops On (KTO) says 'If we don’t take a stand right now, you’re not going to believe the things you will see in five years from now on our streets'. Special interest groups and activists have taken our constitutional rights to a level where we have made a mockery of our constitution. They all scream for their rights, but nobody is willing to discuss responsibility. A society can only enjoy true freedom when rights are with balancing responsibilities.

For example, in this TO Star Story, "Scarborough businesswoman" Roxanne James complains

"Where are the laws protecting your family? In all this chaos, what's happening to my constitutional rights? I won't take my family to a public park until something is done. I want my children protected.''

And in this story she is being described as an "organizer" of a rally led by MP John Nunziata and KTO (Keep Tops On). At the time, John was planning to


In the article, Roxanne says:

"With this, we may as well bring the adult magazines down from the top shelves and mix them in with the comic books."

I will be confirming all of this information with Ms. James campaign office, but she is from Scarborough and is a mother of three. And although the "Breast Wars" were more of an historical oddity than a serious political episode, if you want to know how Roxanne Jame's progonistications of doom turned out, at least in The Big City:
Nuthin'. Absolutely nuthin.

Chris Reid Coda

I won't pick on Mr. Reid anymore, other than to note that this post to the Shotgun Blog, whose Tory insider creds are impeccable, seems to confirm what was apparent in the first place:

I can say with 100% confidence that the party knew of his blog before he even started to run. They were the ones that told him to take his blog down before he became the candidate. ...

On his initial resume given to the party, it had a URL for the blog on it. How much anyone read of his blog really can't be known obviously, however, there weren't so many posts on it that 10-15 minutes wouldn't have been enough to skim all of them...

So the party told Mr. Reid "You're okay if you hide your beliefs.", then disowned him when these beliefs became public. Nice.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Old Farmer's Almanac Responds

And now for something completely different...

Turns out I was wrong about Joe D'Aleo's article in the 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac (Is Global Warming on the Wane?) not representing the publication's official editorial stance. It does, as Editer Janice Stillman explains below:


Thank you for your interest in The Old Farmer's Almanac.

The weather forecasts published in The Old Farmer's Almanac have been made using solar science and the study of sunspots, as well as climatology and meteorology, since the publication's founding in 1792. (Obviously, technology has changed in that time; over the centuries, we have utilized state-of-the-art technology and the latest data available in making our weather predictions. For more on how we make our forecasts, see almanac.com/weathercenter/howwepredict.php. For the current forecasts, go to Almanac.com/weathercenter.)

Weather cycles and the influence of the Sun and sunspots on Earth's climate have been the subject of numerous editorial features in The Old Farmer's Almanac. Notably pertinent to the global cooling story in the 2009 edition (and at Almanac.com/timeline) is the weather feature that ran in 1998. That year, we published an excerpt from the book titled The Sun, Changing Climate, and the Coming Ice by the late Clifford Nielson; the article is titled "Predicting the Weather for the 21st Century" and in it, Nielson forecast "a spell of cold, wet weather," based on "optimum" (lessor) and "minimum" (greater) periods of solar activity from 1040 to 2020. Interestingly, Mr. Nielson closed the article with this comment: "Given the record, it might almost be hoped that greenhouse warming would occur to help mitigate any coming cool period. A repeat of the 50 or so years of the Wolf Sunspot Minimum may bring about a recurrence, in the coming century, of some of the coldest weather of the p! ast millennium . . ."

The article by Joseph D'Aleo in the 2009 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac and available to read at Almanac.com/timeline reflects the opinion of the Almanac editorial team, as well as its publisher and owners. We stand by the article and Mr. D'Aleo as its author (see almanac.com/timeline/author.php for more information on Mr. D'Aleo).

For the record, we also stand by our meteorologist, Michael Steinberg,and the following statement in his General Forecast in the 2009 edition and at Almanac.com/timeline/genweather_08_09.php: "Our study of solar activity suggests that as we enter solar cycle 24 we are at the beginning of a significant change. Over the coming years, a gradual cooling of the atmosphere will occur, offset by any warming cause by increased greenhouse gases."

You are welcome to print these comments on bigcitylib, but only in context, in their entirety.

Janice Stillman
The Old Farmer's Almanac

So this Xmas I'm switching to handing out copies of The Farmer's Almanac. Not the Old Farmer's Almanac. Similar looking. Slightly different title. Apparently newer.

Because Your Web Campaign Iz Dumba

OTTAWA — The Prime Minister's Office has asked Canada's secretive electronic counter-espionage police to investigate how someone might have gained access to a government Internet service to send out spoof emails in Stephen Harper's name.

Kady has some of the details on this, which I am not currently caffeinated enough to understand. The bottom line is: another piece of the Tory web-strategy (the Willyoubetricked re-mailer) has come offline.

I should say, I am all for these kinds of prank as long as they stay on the right side of the law. No point having the RCMP kick in your door over a mere election.

Meanwhile, the Tories are still up, but not by quite as much. How is that possible? We're slaying 'em in cyberspace?

And So What Did We Learn?

1) For a Leader of his immense gloriousness, Stephen Harper makes some very poor hiring decisions.
2) The CTV newsroom looks like NASA's Space Center.
3) I say "uhm" too much, and either the camera adds more than ten pounds or the gals in the CTV makeup department threw in a double-chin for laughs.
4) Some of the youth of today don't know that "cash" and "cache" are different words. Otherwise they are very sweet.
5) The only thing I would pass off as (possibly) wisdom in the whole episode:

Murphy said the swift reaction has shown the power of blogs in elections, but he said it also revealed something about the vetting process for candidates.

"This guy was never gonna win," he said. "And so one of the things that I've been doing is looking at the no-hopers on the premise that they're not vetted that deeply. But if they're not vetted deeply, and something comes up, it's going to embarrass the campaign on a national level."

As such, he compared it to the controversy involving pot-smoking and the NDP. On Wednesday, NDP candidate Dana Larsen dropped out of the election after he was shown in old video lighting joints, taking LSD and driving while "flying," as he said in a video.

Now to work! There's governments to topple!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chris Reid Steps Down?

National News Watch says:

Reports that Bob Rae's Tory opponent, Chris Reid has stepped down.

Some speculation that it has something to do with posts made on his blog, which has been taken down, however, a cached page remains
available Here.

I don't suppose this counts as 100% confirmed, but...

Chris Reid Strikes Back!

Mr. Reid, Tory candidate for Toronto Centre, has responded to an earlier post of mine re his position on Canadian gun laws and other issues:

It's a shame BigCityLib, since my campaign info is easily available, you could actually contact me asking me to explain how I developed my conclusions on issues. I would have happily responded, as I love a good, civilized political conversation.I was hoping to raise the level up political discourse in this election.

Well fine, lets have a civilized conversation right here.

Chris, while many of the views expressed in your recently disappeared blog I would classify as "merely Conservative", or "wrong but not far gone", this statement I find highly problematic:

Allow law abiding citizens who are qualified and trained to carry concealed handguns for personal protection. It's the only proven way to reduce violent crime and murder. If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they'd be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they'd rather be helpless and rely on government.

You seem to conclude that gays and women 1) are and want to be victims of hate-crimes, 2) are and want to be "helpless" 3) are and want to be wards of the State ("rely on government", to use your phrase)?

More generally, you seem to be of the opinion that many of the people with whose actions you disagree (native protesters, for example) want

...to stay victims so they can tell other people to fix their problems.

Indians, gays, and women embrace victim-hood, in other words. Is that right?

Is this really your opinion, and how do you think that opinion jibes with the official position of the Conservative Party of Canada?

Also, I'm afraid I have to disagree with your statement that your "campaign info is easily available". Others have noted your campaign's lack of on-line presence, and of course you have restricted access to your blog.

Finally, in a October 2007 post on "Political Thoughts..." you note that you are "getting back into blogging". Do you mind sharing the name/url of your previous blog?

PS. If you do want to respond to any of this, you can do it in the comments and/or I will run it as a guest post with no editorializing on my part.


Battling Green Plans

When you read these two pieces by Don Butler and (The Eco-Libertarian) David Reevely, you will understand why the Libs are having difficulty selling their Green Shift to Canadians: its too complex.

You will also understand why this headline

Tories should present alternative to Green Shift

...expresses a forlorn hope. The Tories intend to keep the final regs of their Turning The Corner plan under wraps until after October 14th: it's too complex too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Separated At Birth: Avengers Edition

Run for something, Julie, and I will vote for you. I don't care if you advocate kicking dogs. I'll vote for you anyway.

The Tories Run Gay Nutter In TO!

Chris Reid was a former candidate for Toronto City Council in 2006. He is now running for the Tories in Toronto Center. Chris runs a blog, Political Thoughts From A Gay Conservative which recently was made "members only". Fortunately, google-cache lets us in on some of Chris' earlier posts.

For example, here's Chris on that terrible prairie bus stabbing:

A man with a knife was able to go on a murderous rampage decapitating a fellow human being. The rest of the bus was unarmed and helpless. What was the generous Canadian thing to do? Help a fellow human being? No. Flee in terror. Passengers and the bus driver stood by and watched another person being butchered, and couldn't muster up any courage or self sacrifice to intervene. This is where socialism as gotten us folks, a castrated effeminate population.

This is a perfect example of why we need concealed-carry handgun legislation in this country, so we can defend one another and deter horrible events such as this. But what are our politicians talking about? More government regulation and security.

Chris wants laws that allow us to tote around concealed hand-guns.

And here's Chris considers trashing the Canadian Health Act:

I do know the one main issue that stands in the way of a consumer driven health care system is the Canada Health Act. However, courts in Quebec have concluded that people cannot be barred from purchasing their own health care. I wonder if a similar challenge in Ontario would yield a similar result?

And here's Chris on the plight of native protester Bob Lovelace:

What bothers me about these perpetually aggrieved people is their obsession with wanting to stay victims so they can tell other people to fix their problems.

Here's some of Chris' "Conservative Solutions" for a better Canada:

A flax income tax, or better yet, eliminate personal and business income taxes all together, and just have a consumption tax to promote investing which would raise people's living standards.


Ending abortion.


Allow law abiding citizens who are qualified and trained to carry concealed handguns for personal protection. It's the only proven way to reduce violent crime and murder. If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they'd be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they'd rather be helpless and rely on government.

I especially like this last bit. Women and Gays who don't support legislation that lets you pack around a .45 magnum want to stay victims. Are we apologizing yet, Chris? I sense one coming.

Chris on author Linda McQuaig:

The reality is that McQuaig wants Canada to do badly, because the worse Canada does, the more books she will sell. Despite her emotional rhetorical skills, she is getting rich by exploiting the deaths of our soldiers.

Chris on his fellow gays:

What I found them to tolerate is promoting promiscuity, drug usage, and prostitution.

Trust the Tories to find the one gay crazy in TO. No wonder he didn't want too many people reading his blog.

Deniers Infiltrate The Old Farmer's Almanac

DUBLIN, N.H. — The Old Farmer's Almanac is going further out on a limb than usual this year, not only forecasting a cooler winter, but looking ahead decades to suggest we are in for global cooling, not warming.


"We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes," writes meteorologist and climatologist Joseph D'Aleo. "Studying these and other factor suggests that cold, not warm, climate may be our future."

Joseph D'Aleo is a retired weatherman and prominent climate change denier. He has provided a short piece for the 2009 Almanac entitled Is Global Warming on the Wane?, of which the title pretty much says it all.

In the above piece (from U.S.A. Today), the phrase "We at the Almanac..." is quite misleading, as it suggests that D'Aleo is part of the Almanac's editorial team, and his prediction of future cooling the Almanac's "official" position on the matter. The Almanac itself seems to indicate that D'Aleo has merely authored the equivalent of a "guest piece". Nevertheless, to plant material like this in a publication read by 18.5 million readers is quite a coup.

H/T to DeSmog Blog, who mis-identify The Old Farmer's Almanac with The Farmer's Almanac. There's two of the damn things, and they look almost identical.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And Here's The Context

...for this:

"He was asked by a reporter why he was avoiding using the phrase “Green Shift” since it was a central plank in the Liberal platform.

“You have said it was — never me,” he said. “I always said it was an important policy for Canada. I would strongly believe it will be good for our country.”

Dion said the key to keeping Canada competitive in the 21st century is to produce more but use less in sectors, including agriculture.

“Green Shift is part of the solution, but the solution is the overall plan of the Liberal government,” he said"

I suppose we can quibble over the meaning of "central", but what this clearly shows is that Dion was merely situating The Green Shift within the context of the overall Liberal plan, not abandoning it. What it also shows is that the Winnipeg Sun reportedly story more accurately than the TO Star. Who could have imagined the day?

Not Helpful

There are other things in the Lib platform besides The Green Shift, and strategically it makes a fair bit of sense to start emphasizing them. But having

Green Shift not major platform plank, Dion says

...on the top of The TO Star is really, really not helpful. I would like to know what

"You have said it was but never me," Dion told reporters.

...was in response to, because I suspect The Star is probably mis-representing the context of Dion's answer. If not, then someone should give our boy a punch in the mouth. I mean, as far as I can recall, the "green farming" measures Dion introduced today are a part of The Green Shift package. Announce them while at the same time dumping on the plan as a whole?

That doesn't really make any sense, and so I am assuming that isn't what happened. And I would note that other media outlets spun the story in an entirely different manner.

Embarassatory Friday: Stockwell Day Slags Haiti

From his Penticton Western column, March 2007:

Dollars from Canada are carefully directed. Shutting down a drug cartel in Haiti means less cocaine or crystal meth imported onto our own streets....

Since then the only piece I've ever seen linking Crystal Meth production to the Republic of Haiti is Stock's . Canada's crystal meth supply, apparently, comes entirely from within our own borders.

Speaking of Scary

Jack Layton Prepares to eat kid's brain.

Bringing Scary Back...Again!

From the new Ipsos Poll:

...fully one half (50%) ‘disagrees’ (26% strongly/24% somewhat) with this notion, suggesting that they believe the Prime Minister still might not be sharing his full plans with the public, particularly if he wins a majority government. Fifteen percent (15%) of Canadian’s don’t know what to think about this.

Furthermore, one half (50%) ‘agrees’ (30% strongly/20% somewhat) that ‘electing Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to a majority government would be like electing US President George Bush as our Prime Minister’. Four in ten (38%) ‘disagree’ (23% strongly/15% somewhat) with this statement, and 12% are unsure."

Personally, I go around telling people that I've seen the Hidden Agenda, and that if Harper gets a majority...bye bye metric system! That item is in the chapter 10, just after the secret recipes.

And of course, here's an example where the Tories really did have a secret agenda, and people died because of it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Leadership Is How Well You Respond To Your Campaign's Endless Fuckups

Another day, another apology. This time from Lawrence's Cannon's Staff.

Potheads And Power

Interesting, and possibly scandalous, article by "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery on Dana Larsen and his ill-fated campaign for the NDP. I fundamentally agree with its conclusion, which is that Canadian politicians are terribly hypocritcal with respect to drug use issues, especially since their ranks are filled with various varieties of abuser.

The possibly scandalous part is that Emery names a few names. A few I hadn't hear about, anyway.

Billions Upon Billions

I am not normally a fan of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, but this piece contains s a nice, compact analysis by Adam Taylor of spending promises made by the various parties before and during the election campaign:

Even before the start of the official campaign, the Conservatives had pledged to spend more than $19 billion, according to the CTF, which tracked the party's spending announcements from June 2 through Sept. 6.

Some of that spending is broken down here, and includes $2,000 for the Shag UFO Festival. That in particular doesn't bother me as much as it should I suppose (I am strongly pro-UFO), but keep it in mind when Harper unleashes some fake outrage about other parties' irresponsible campaign promises.

The Liberal Green Shift plan, which has been sold as "revenue neutral," would raise an estimated $15 billion in taxes and yet only return about $9.5 billion in corporate and personal income tax reductions, says Taylor.

I support Green Shift Plan in principle, and a carbon tax as the most efficient means of achieving its goals in practice, but this kind of thing gives credence to the notion that it is all just a tax grab. I really wish the Libs had made it truly 1$ in = 1$ out.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth May's Greens seem to make promises without attaching a price tag, says Taylor.

Something I was unaware of. Now that E. May is in the debates, The Green's don't want to fritter away their new-found credibility, and rolling out completely uncosted promises is a good way to do it. Although: increasing the GST? The NDP obviously aren't the only ones smoking something.

They've Done It! They've Eliminated The Medieval Warm Period

A point raised by global warming skeptics again and again is AGW Theory's apparent inability to explain the Medieval Climate Optimum, a time of unusually warm climate in the North Atlantic region, lasting from about the tenth century to about the fourteenth century. One of the graphics that frequently turns up in the denialist "Litterature" is from Climate Change Record in Subsurface Temperatures: A Global Perspective (Science 9 October 1998: 279-281) by Henry N. Pollack, Shaopeng Huang, Po-Yu Shen.

Look back about 800-1,000 before present. Pretty warm, right? Way warmer than today. Except that Pollack, Huang, and Shen apparently got a little bit sloppy in labelling their figure. The "0" or present above actually represents about 1900. In their new paper they provide an updated figure:

Here "0.0" stands for (roughly) the present, and temperatures, represented by the line at right, are clearly higher than during the MWP. In fact, the graph resembles Mann's Hockey Stick.

But, as a special bonus, it isn't. It is derived from a seperate line of evidence--specifically, from the drilling of bore-holes.

H/T Stoat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whoopsie! B.C. NDP Loses Candidate

Vancouver — Dana Larsen has resigned as the New Democratic candidate in the British Columbia riding of West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast following questions raised about his role in a company that sold coca seedlings.

I have a soft spot for West Coast Hippy types, so this is all you'll get from me.

Because Its The Most Pressing Issue Facing Canadians Today...

The Conservatives have proposed new regulations that would set a minimum package size for cigarillos [miniature cigars] to make them less affordable for children.

Not that I even disagree with this kind of stuff, but its beyond even "small bore" in its scope. I hope they didn't fly anywhere to announce this, because that would be a waste of fuel.

Wells says Harper was in Welland, which I assume is someplace that's not Toronto.

Update: Apparently, this announcement also touched on banning hookah pipe tobacco. Stephen Harper...leading us into the 21st century!

Because When The Ship Is Sinking

You Need A Steady Hand On The Tiller.

I'm pretty sure CITY TV mentioned job cuts, though the Bloomberg Story doesn't.

Tory Support Fluctuates Randomly, New Poll Suggests!

I can't make heads nor tails of the methodology behind The Globe and Mail/CTV Strategic Counsel nightly polls of battleground ridings, but I'm sure they involve Peter Donolo examining the entrails of a chicken and writing headlines based on the condition of its liver.

The guy from Impolitical can explain why this poll is meaningless better than I. Let me just say that of all the meaningless polls released during this election cycle, Strategic Counsel's is by far the most meaningless.

Whatever She Can Do, He Can Do Better

Chicago, IL - Urbanite and Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke before a group of hunters and outdoorsmen today in Boise, Idaho in an attempt to solidy support from over 225 million Americans that own firearms and of those that hunt.

Obama chose Boise because in the words of his aide, "Mr. Obama wanted to return to the area where he hunted and killed Bigfoot on his last hunting expedition."

I would note that neither Barack nor Sarah Palin were able to subdue Bigfoot with their bare hands. I did that once. But I let him go.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is There Nothing She Can't Do?

Blogger Fears Getting Kicked Out Of The Sandbox Of Eden

Hogwash. That is my one word response response to the panicked and childish reactions by Stageleft and other bloggers to Joseph Brean's piece on Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The passage that seems to have set everyone off is:

Anyone who runs an online message board, from the lowliest vanity blogger to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, can be charged under federal human rights law if visitors to their site post hateful comments, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Cue the outrage! Bloggers might actually have to pay attention to their comments section! Well, presumably they are already doing that, aren't they? To make sure any honest to god defamation doesn't occur? No? For them the act of maintaining a blog is, then, the intellectual equivalent of masturbating in public, where one just spews pointlessly and flees?

But lets just see how difficult it would be to spot the kind of material Section 13 is designed to regulate:

...the material for which Mr. Lemire is accused, including 50 to 100 separate messages on his freedomsite.org and another site with which he is associated, is "voluminous," "vile" and "more than offensive."

Boy, that kind of stuff would be sooo difficult to distinguish from the insults and casual racism that can pervade a typical blog's comment section. And, if pointed out to the blog owner, would be sooooo difficult to remove.

I'll tell you what, Stageleft (and Kate, and others) most of the material that appears on your blog is frankly too lame to approach actual hate speech. I, on the other hand, know all eight words for "fuck-head" in !Kung. If I'm not worried about running afoul with the CHRC, why should a bunch of bed-wetters, leaf-eaters, and thumb-suckers be afraid?

...well, I suppose to some extent we all fear taking responsibility, don't we?

In Praise Of A Harper Majority

Recently, a number of stories and polls have appeared suggesting that Canada's gay community is united against Stephen Harper's Conservative Party and, furthermore, fear the outcome should it achieve majority status after the next election. Many of the Principled Conservatives at Free Dominion concur (and even throw in a little bit of "folk art" to mark their point with a flourish):
They better be scared. If they weren't scared we'd be doing something wrong.

About time reason and sanity return to our society and cultural bearings.

What's wrong with pointing out the obvious? Their lifestyle is unhealthy and unwelcome in many parts and communities of the country.

Oh my! This guy isn't going to be too happy.

RB from the comments:

It's noteworthy that no one on FD, not even their pet "moderate" Vundo Draxon, had a word to say about the violence-advocating cartoon. You'd think they could dredge up SOMEONE to at least PRETEND to be offended while, of course, fully supporting the person's "right" to freely advocate violence against gays.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Effect Of The Money Is Wearing Off

The Conservatives' substantial lead over the Liberals appears to be narrowing, according to an opinion poll released on Monday ahead of the Oct. 14 federal election.

The next parliament will be a photocopy of the last one, I betcha.

Update: Nik's numbers show the Tories fading as well.

Tory Turmoil In Edmonton! Retiring Tory MP Refuses To Endorse Hand Picked Successor

I've written a number of times about issues the CPoC has been having with its grassroots. In Edmonton, the pattern has once again repeated itself: the party ignores its own riding association to parachute in a candidate from elsewhere, this time Tim Uppal, and once again, riding association board members quit en masse, this time to support Independent candidate James Ford.

Not only that, retiring Tory MP Ken Epp has apparently decided to sit out this intramural feud, and will not endorse either Uppal of Ford

I've fired off emails to some of the Edmonton—Sherwood Park riding association members and hopefully will be able to update this later in the day.

Impress Me, Liberal War Room

Get out a blast on this before the Tories or NDP and make it a good one. Its the most important single event that is likely to occur during the election campaign.

Hint: Don't mention The Green Shift.

NDP Has Union Problems?

From the Now I've Seen Everything department:

Apparently, the federal NDP is about to be hauled before a labour relations board after pulling the plug on one of its Quebec offices, which, according to federal secretary Eric Hebert, didn’t “meet the objectives of the federal office in the present context and … marginalizes the important work of the Section.”
As a result, three Montreal-based staffers were informed that, as of July 26th, they’d be laid off, although with “all of their rights and entitlements under the collective agreement”, including overtime and vacation pay. After the staffers launched a grievance, the original layoff notice was retracted, and replaced with a second notice: they were still being laid off, but as of August 5th, not July 26th - and that those benefits that were supposed to be honoured, like overtime, could no longer be guaranteed because the federal party had failed to send along the $36,000 that was to cover the Quebec office operating costs for the second quarter.

In brief: the NDP sacked a couple of employees and then tried to stiff them for their payout. Canada's party of the Dippy Hippies has finally grown up!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CPoC Should Make Its Campaign Carbon Neutral

Blogging Tory Erwin Gerrits asks: How does buying [carbon] ‘offsets’ save the environment?

He then cycles through the standard list of denialist talking points: CO2 isn't a pollutant, Kyoto a Socialist plot, carbon offsets don't work, Gaia worshipper Maurice Strong wants to give our money to the Chinese.

And he concludes that, because Global Warming is all baloney, the Conservative Party shouldn't really worry about buying carbon offsets in an effort make their own campaign carbon neutral.

Naturally, asking the wrong question leads you to the wrong conclusion. The question he should be asking is: Will the Conservatives live up to the principles of their own environmental plan?

Because the Tories have insisted that Global Warming is not all baloney. And because buying carbon offsets is central to the Tory's own Turning The Corner initiative. In fact, what they have proposed--their environmental plan--is a standard issue national "cap and trade" system, albeit one with loose time-lines and inadequate (because intensity based) emissions caps. It even allows Canadian companies to participate in the CDM, the international carbon trading system developed under the Kyoto accord. Conceptually, it is not a lot different from the NDP's proposals, and not a whole lot different from Stephane's Dion's Green Shift. For example, even under the Tory cap and trade system, money will flow East from Alberta.

But that aside: the Tories believe in it. Therefore they have given the stamp of approval to a means of reducing the carbon footprint of their campaign to zero but are not using it. Why not? Are they suddenly running out of money? If so, why not take all the money they've saved from shutting down their $1,000,000 website and its pooping puffins and redirect some of that cash saving the planet from their own hot air?

A Minority Is Still A Minority, A Majority Still A Majority

There is already speculation as to whether it will be possible to hold the Conservatives to a minority on Oct. 14, or whether they might win a majority. This discussion is largely irrelevant because there's little difference. Canadians must understand that to elect a Conservative minority is, in effect, to elect a Conservative majority.

This bit of mythology has had too wide a circulation for too long a time. In fact, though, the Tories minority status has imposed significant constraints on their ability to pass legislation over the past several years. Here's just a quick list of really awful Tory bills that, for various reasons, died:

Legislation to kill the CWB (I forget the formal title)
Bill C-484 (Abortion Legislation)
C-10 (Film Censorship Legislation)
C-61 (Copyright Legislation)
Senate Reform (can't remember the name of that one either)
C-6 (Veiled Voter Legislation)

Now, the particular histories behind these bills are different in each case, but for the most part (and in a number of instances I am not probably not recalling at the moment), they were basically killed "by the process" after passing their first or second reading in the House. And the reason that they died in this way, and other ways equally inauspicious, is because, in a minority government, the government does not control the committees designed to examine and amend proposed legislation. The backroom maneuvers that killed them never achieved the same public profile as, for example, the Liberal abstentions in the House that sent them to committee in the first place, but nevertheless they worked.

Give Stephen Harper a Majority, and all of that changes. His party runs the committees. His party rams through what it wants to ram through. The quality of legislation that comes out of the HOC depends entirely on his whims.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Bunny Is Stephen Harper

...and the Heron, obviously, me.

The first week of campaigning comes to a close and I am feeling pretty empowered. K. Grandian from Tyee magazine interviewed me yesterday on the subject of Politics 2.0, and that should be appearing not too long from now.
Meanwhile, I haven't managed to force the resignation of a Tory Cabinet Minister yet, but it is a long campaign and I shall redouble my efforts.
(This is probably it for today. Later on, I am off to drink beer and plot rebellion with the ProgBloggers)
H/T Naish.

The Doctors Of Ontario Should Blow It Out Their Ass

The Ontario Medical Association wants the provincial licensing body to kill a proposal that would force physicians to put aside their religious beliefs when making decisions in their medical practice.
Among other things, the draft policy from the College said doctors will have to set aside personal beliefs "to ensure that patients or potential patients are provided with the medical services they require."
For example, doctors not only can refuse to prescribe birth control pills, but they also do not have to make a referral to someone who would or even discuss it as a viable option. The same thing might go for referring a patient for an abortion or helping a same-sex couple get fertility treatment.

Read that twice and think about it. In a tax-payer funded system, The OMA wants its Members to be able to refuse services to taxpayers because whatever fictitious deity they feel the need to grovel in front of tells them that some of those tax-payers are going to a fictitious underworld when they die to burn in a lake of flame for all eternity.

The new College of Physicians document doesn't say doctors have to perform abortions, mind you, it says it is their duty to tell women where they can get an abortion rather than drop to their knees and fire off a prayer to the swami on the mountain, or wave a bunch of fucking beads.

Friday, September 12, 2008

File Under: You're Not Helping

Mohamed Elmasry endorses the NDP.

Mo's got clout. It was his endorsement that put Robert Mugabe over the top.

Sarah Palin: From Here You Can Actually See Them Being Commies

From her ABC Interview:

Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin told Gibson, "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

The actual good news in her interview is that since joining the McCain ticket Ms. Palin has recanted her AGW Skeptic ways:

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's assertion that she believes humans play a role in climate change — made in her first major interview since joining the Republican ticket — is at odds with her previous statements.

...which means that she has been told by the campaign to recant, which means 1) the sheen on her will come off a little bit for U.S. SoCons who put a lot of stock in a denialist stance on this issue, and 2) John McCain is signalling to the mainstream that he takes AGW seriously enough that he wants his VP candidate to stay on the same page as he is (rather than freelance to attract Conservatives).

A welcome development, since most recent polls have turned in McCain's favour.

Meanwhile, one Vancouver blogger is heading South to Canvas for Obama in the American West.

Good luck, dude, you'll need it.

In Case You Missed It

Amidst the large scale meltdowns in the Tory campaign yesterday came a few smaller ones. For example, after some good investigative reporting on the part of Kady O'Malley, it was discovered that footage on the notaleader website did not appear with permission of the rights holders. From TVO's The Agenda blog

Some of the clips might look familiar. They have been taken from an Agenda interview with Stephane Dion, snapped off the context and put them to work. And that is where an ad like this can cause trouble. Now the Conservatives are going to have to deal with the embarrassment of being told to take the clips down (sort of like when Heart told Sarah Palin to stop playing Barracuda at her rallies).

Meanwhile, there are rumours that NotaLeader might be disappearing soon (see video through link). Thus far its still there, although some of the functionality of the site has been disabled. If the "excuse generator" goes down for good, I am claiming credit.

(PS. someone tells me my post on gaming the excuse generator was mentioned on CBC last night. Does anyone else remember that, and can they point me towards an online recording of the show?)

Among The Boyz In The Bunker

Yesterday, defending himself against accusations by Stephen Harper that the Green Shift would imperil national unity, Stephane Dion got off one of the best lines to date in the campaign:

And, just coincidentally, yesterday details came to light re some of the staff operating the Tory war room:

So the rumours are true: Ezra Levant is officially on staff at Tory HQ. As Kinsella pointed out yesterday, the idea that Harper should be accusing others of being a threat to the unity of the nation while hauling around a guy that's against bilingualism and pro-Quebec separatism is especially rich. But lets examine a few more of Ezra's eccentric views.

1) He's anti-Charter of Rights.

2) He's anti-human rights legislation. This has most recently been manifested in his jihad against section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, wherein he has relied on Canadian and American Neo-Nazi Sources to support many of his allegations. For example, the "hacked wifi conspiracy theory", which Ezra embraced with a vengeance, and which has now been thoroughly discredited, depends in some of the details of its elaboration on information supplied by Don Black, who runs the White Supremacist website Stormfront, and who learned his computer skills in U.S. federal prison while serving time for his attempt, with a number of Toronto-based Neo-Nazis, at overthrowing the government of Dominica.

But there's more! Ezra hasn't stopped with section 13. From the foamy outrage expressed on his website, you can't help but conclude that he just doesn't like Human Rights Legislation, period. For example, in this post he ridicules a blind man's attempt, through the BCHRT, to keep his guide dog.

So, someone should ask Mr. Harper: which of the Ezra's views do you concur with? And if the answer is "none", what are you doing employing this blast from the Reform Party past in your campaign?