Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks Tim Hudak

...on behalf of Dalton McGuinty and his government, for turning what has the potential to become a populist anti-HST wave into an embarrassing monkey show:

In what was clearly an orchestrated protest by the Tories, the session began with Mr. Murdoch rising in his seat and saying, “Where I come from, [Premier] Dalton McGuinty is a liar.”

[Tory MPP] Bill Murdoch was asked three times to withdraw the remark and refused. When he was asked to leave, his caucus colleagues formed a human wall around him, leaving him well out of reach of the Sargeant At Arms.


After a 15-minute recess, Mr. [Randy] Hillier jumped into the fray and got ejected for the duration of the session for refusing to stop banging the lid on his desk.

Embracing the inner Teabagger. Yeah. That'll win you votes in Ontario. And, according to this, Randy Hillier is still lurking around Queen's Park after having been ordered to leave. Next thing he'll whip out the boots and red suspenders and be dumping dead deer on the grand stairway.

Pro Lifer Loses Federal Court Ruling, Keeps Medal

The move to strip Henry Morgentaler of his Order of Canada failed last week. No surprise there. Probably the most interesting thing about how this story has ended though is: what happened to Frank Chauvin's Order of Canada? Mr. Chauvin, the man who launched the federal court review of Morgentalor's award, claimed last year that he was returning his own snow-flake--received in 1987--as a form of protest. On July 11, 2008, he said:

"Yes, it's [the Order of Canada medal] definitely going," Chauvin said Thursday from his Windsor home. "I don't want to be painted with the same brush as Morgentaler. It's definitely going back."


"It was a wonderful thing to have obtained.... but it's gotta go."

In fact, a story from the 17th asserted that Chauvin had already returned his medal:

This gruff, plain-talking former Windsor police detective has done more for humanity than just about anyone else in this region, certainly more than any of the sneering armchair critics who've assailed him for returning his Order of Canada because he chooses not to share that now dubious honour with abortionist Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

Except that...whoopsie!! reported by Lifesite over the weekend, Chauvin is now singing a slightly different tune:

'I have been quoted in the media as intending to return my award,' said Mr. Chauvin in response to the news of the decision. 'I may yet do so, but I first wanted Canadians to have a chance to take a close look at what can happen when an Advisory Council abandons a consensus model and uses the award to advance a highly divisive view, in this case the effective promotion of the tragedy of abortion in Canada.'

In fact it was reported here back in July that Chauvin had experienced a change of heart. I guess a few bucks in stamps is just too much to pay to stop a purported mass murderer. As Mr. Chauvin noted last year: "I'm not going all the way to Ottawa, that's for sure."

They're Back!

Aryan Guard rescinds breakup! Still planning White Pride March in 2010! The Calgary media is a week behind this story, but ARC outlines the stakes pretty clearly:

In all honesty, there is reason to be concerned. Back biting within the remnants of the Aryan Guard with the new "leadership" taking a decidedly violent and threatening tone, all the while in a conflict with the equally violent W.E.B. gang. Both groups claim they will take their, "activism" to the streets and off the Internet. Both groups have people who have been charged with and/or convicted of numerous crimes, including assault and attempted murder. Both groups have stated they will begin targeting minorities in the city of Calgary.

The police need to step up and deal with these people before someone is seriously injured or killed. McKee was building pipe bombs and amassing a supply of weapons. There's no reason to doubt that others in both gangs have done the same. And while their violence might take the form of targeting one another, we do fear for any innocents caught in the cross fire.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Steyn On Hasan: Largely Bullshit

Carol Waino fact-checks articles by right-wing columnists for a hobby. In Mark Steyn's case, somebody's got to do it; Macleans sure won't. Here is her take on Major Nidal Hasan had an enabler. A shorter version was "removed" from the Macleans comments section.

There are errors in Mark Steyn’s article “Major Nidal Hasan had an enabler” (Nov. 26). Castigating Hasan’s “superior officer” Colonel Terry Lee, for fatal “political correctness”, Steyn writes:

"barely had he got to Texas when he started making idle chit-chat praising the jihadist murderer of two soldiers outside a recruitment centre in Little Rock. 'This is what Muslims should do, stand up to the aggressors,' Major Hasan told his superior officer, Colonel Terry Lee. 'People should strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square.'

In less enlightened times, Colonel Lee would have concluded that, being in favour of the murder of his comrades, Major Hasan was objectively on the side of the enemy. But instead he merely cautioned the major …'You need to lock it up, major,' advised the colonel."

To begin, no reports list Col. Terry Lee as Hasan’s “superior officer” at Fort Hood. Col. Lee is instead clearly identified as “retired” when interviewed by Fox News, and in all other reports (certainly, it would be both foolish, and undoubtedly against military policy, for Hasan’s current or former “superior officer” to phone Fox with self-incriminating comments of the sort Steyn reports). Further, it is not clear that this individual was even a colleague at Fort Hood. Reports state that Hasan was only transferred to Fort Hood in July, a couple of months before the shooting, and Lee is described (in reports more credible than Fox) as having worked with Hasan as a colleague at Walter Reed, not Fort Hood, prior to his retirement.

But even in the Fox interview, Col. Lee makes clear that the quote which Steyn claims Hasan made to his “superior officer” Lee in Fort Hood – that “People should strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square”, is unconfirmed, third party, material from another time and place. Lee says: “that was from a third source, so I can’t confirm that”. Further, he says that the unconfirmed statement was suggested by a third party at a conference at Walter Reed Hospital “6 months ago” – that is, before Hasan was posted to Fort Hood, not while he was there, as Steyn claims, and not directly to Lee (who did not personally receive it, and who, at any rate, was apparently not Hasan’s “superior officer” at Fort Hood).

If Mr. Steyn is going to try to throw more individuals under the over-used bus of “political correctness”, he might try and avoid further errors of the sort earlier directed at the CHRC, and for which MacLean’s recently published a retraction. In that regard I note that no correction has yet been offered for MacLean’s fictional May story which first inflated the population of Finland by about 6 million, before killing them all off several times over at the hands of a leader (Lenin) who never ruled the country. Does MacLean’s employ fact checkers or editors? Or is factual error now “politically correct”?

Carol Wainio

Mark Steyn: The Pieces Are Interchangable

From his Macleans Oct 15 column on Michael Ignatieff:

In Britain, a land with rampant property crime, undercover constables nevertheless find time to dine at curry restaurants on Friday nights to monitor adjoining tables lest someone in private conversation should make a racist remark. An author interviewed on BBC Radio expressed, very mildly and politely, some concerns about gay adoption and was investigated by Scotland Yard’s Community Safety Unit for Homophobic, Racist and Domestic Incidents. A Daily Telegraph columnist was arrested and detained in a jail cell over a joke in a speech. A Dutch legislator was invited to speak at the Palace of Westminster by a member of the House of Lords, but was banned by the government, arrested on arrival at Heathrow and deported.

From a May 8th piece in The Progressive Conservative, on the decline of America under Obama:

In Britain, a land with rampant property crime, undercover constables nevertheless find time to dine at curry restaurants on Friday nights to monitor adjoining tables lest someone in private conversation should make a racist remark. An author interviewed on BBC Radio expressed, very mildly and politely, some concerns about gay adoption and was investigated by Scotland Yard’s Community Safety Unit for Homophobic, Racist and Domestic Incidents. A Daily Telegraph columnist is arrested and detained in a jail cell over a joke in a speech. A Dutch legislator is invited to speak at the Palace of Westminster by a member of the House of Lords, but is banned by the government, arrested on arrival at Heathrow and deported.

Sweet. Paid twice for the same anecdote.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just A Poll You Might Have Missed

The poll found support for the Tories at 36 per cent, down 1.7 points from where they were on election day last October. The Liberals were at 27 per cent, the NDP at 15 and the Greens at 11.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois held a 17-point lead in the poll at 39 per cent, with the Liberals at 22, the Tories at 18 and the Greens and NDP tied at 10 per cent.

FYI. That is all.

Bill C-31 Still Out There

Also this week, MPs debated Bill C-31 which would modernize criminal law procedure and make the justice system more efficient and effective.

Among other things, the bill creates a new offence to help prevent individuals from fleeing a province or territory in order to avoid prosecution. It also proposes to give law enforcement greater access to search and seizure warrants. And it streamlines the identification process in police stations, allowing the fingerprinting and photographing of persons in lawful custody who have not yet been charged or convicted of specific offences.

If you are brought in on an indictable offense, whether or not you are ever charged, the police can take your prints and snap a mugshot. Very little coverage of this, other than a 6 month old piece from the Niagara Falls Review pointing out the obvious:

It would give police a new intimidation factor. A lot of people who are arrested aren't familiar with how the criminal justice system works.


Maybe it's too many reruns of Law and Order or The Shield, but it's easy to conceive of over-zealous cops arresting someone, never intending to charge them, but just taking their mug shot and prints to have them on file.

Looks like the bill has just gone through 1st reading.

Peak Waffle?

They say there's more batter in the pipeline. This guy don't believe them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Harper On The HST: The Buck Stops Elsewhere

Paul Wells says:
He's talking about this, and he elaborates in the comments:

"If the framework legislation is rejected before Christmas, we will not revisit the issue. Not next year. Not after the next election.”

Compare and contrast with party financing -- the per-vote subsidy -- which Harper has already declared he will revisit after the next election. I actually don't have a big problem with that. But we see the difference between a Harper who wants to get something done, and a Harper who wants to shift blame.

Just to be clear, this "framework legislation" is entirely superfluous:

8.3 (1) The Minister, with the approval of the Governor in Council, may on behalf of the Government of Canada enter into an agreement or arrangement with the government of a province respecting sales taxes and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, respecting. the agreement can be made via an Order in Council, which originate in Cabinet and approved by GG (see Governor in Council def.).

PS. If it comes to it, Iggy should support. Can't flip-flop now. In any case, the degree of anger here in Ont. over the HST doesn't seem as intense as in B.C. and will probably have faded by summer.

Hey! Its The Same Fricking Tree!

So I'm surfing around and I notice that this item--"The Old Stump, Lake Superior" by Group of Seven Artist Lawren Harris-- just sold for 3.5 mill. Not bad, I thought, for what was after all just another painting from the group's "Tree" period (albeit--and this is unusual for one of The 7--this time its a dead tree).
Except I surf around a bit more and find this baby, which goes by the name "North Shore, Lake Superior":

Notice anything peculiar? Its...the...same...tree! The gallery sold a previously painted tree! A used tree!! Harris didn't even employ that old Group of 7 trick where he paints the tree red or yellow or some other weird color to disguise it. No! It's just like Monet and endless goddamned water-lilies. The people want water lilies, give 'em more fucking water lilies! Give 'em the same lily, painted at dawn, and noon, and at dusk! Here's the water-lily under a full moon! Now hand over your money, sap! But in this case Harris was thinking: people want pictures of a dead tree, I'll give 'em pictures of a dead tree. The same dead tree, so I won't even have to get out of my chair!


Drudge Hides The Science

In attempt to fan the dying flames of the ClimateGate pseudo-controversy, Matt Drudge himself stepped in last night to provide a few helpful links. Note the fourth one down: Except that the "Climate Science Coalition" is not a government organization, and the site in question is Tim Lambert's Deltoid (one of the best known climate science blogs). Drudge has simply been fooled by the coalition's official sounding name. As Tim puts it:

Update: A special message to visitors from Drudge: you are being lied to. Global warming is happening and we're causing it, but to avoid dealing with the problem folks are shooting the messenger, attacking the scientists who discovered and reported on the problem. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition isn't made up of climate scientists, but is just a group of global warming skeptics who gave themselves a fancy title. And they just got caught combining temperature data from different places to get rid of the inconvenient warming trend in New Zealand. If you want to know what the science really says, please read the Copenhagen Diagnosis.

Drudge has inadvertently linked to a discussion of real science! But that won't do! So a few hours and several 10,000s of spittle flecked T-baggers redirected to Deltoid later:

Bye Bye!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flyers "Damaged" Cotler, Says Speaker

OTTAWA — The Conservatives may have damaged the reputation of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler by sending taxpayer-funded flyers into his Montreal-area riding which suggested the Opposition party was anti-Semitic, Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken ruled Thursday.

The practical consequences to this decision--it

...opens the door for federal politicians to investigate the matter in a parliamentary committee.

PS. Imp says it better.

Vellacott keeps The Game Alive

From a .pdf posted to his website today entitled: Supporting documentation for Vellacott's contention ofabortion's harm to women - November 26, 2009

And finally, regarding Maurice Vellacott's comments related to "abortion as part of a male agenda," an article by Richard Stith, "Her Choice, Her Problem: How Abortion Empowers Men" provides an interesting perspective on abortion. See:

From the article he refers to:

Such a lie may not provide protection for every young woman in her situation, however. If she says she is pro-life so that he thinks abortion is not an option for her, he might decide to keep her from getting pregnant by leaving her for someone more open to abortion, a woman who doesn’t insist on his using a condom. That is, the presence in the sexual marketplace of women willing to have an abortion reduces an individual woman’s bargaining power. As a result, in order not to lose her guy, she may be pressured into doing precisely what she doesn’t want to do: have unprotected sex, then an unwanted pregnancy, then the abortion she had all along been trying to avoid. Even though her abortion in this case is not literally forced, it would be, in an important sense, imposed on her. And, far from alleviating her overall situation, it would merely return her to the same sexual pressures, made worse by a new assurance to her boyfriend that she is willing to take care of a ­pregnancy.

Thanks Mr. Vellacott.

2 Vots FR Eech TBagg

Group Of 7 Painting Of Bunch Of Fucking Trees Sold For Great Wad Of Cash!

Winter Morning, by Tom Thomson, confirms my theory that the Group of 7 were Canada's pre-eminent painters of rocks and trees. Note, in this particular scene, all the trees. Here they have been painted mostly white, which either indicates that they are covered in snow or that Mr. Thomson ate a whack of acid about an hour before he took up his brushes. Unfortunately, the trees are not actually doing anything here, like leaning out over a lake , or blowing in the wind while leaning out over a lake. Therefore I think $970,000 was far too much to pay.

Here is a recently uncovered Group of 7 picture from their "rocks" phase, entitled "What No Trees"?

PS. Meanwhile Barnett Newman continues to suck.

Iggy: To Know Him Is To Dislike Him Marginally Less

...back to election levels.

All just twitches, really, but compared to early Nov. the Libs have twitched up, the other parties down.

Looks like my prediction that the Lib reversal re the gun registry would hurt them hasn't come to pass. Perhaps the idea is to cleanse the party of anything resembling an idea and wait until people simply get tired of Harper and Co. After all, the Conservatives and NDP have done it (NDP by betraying its green wing and over the registry). Why should the pragmatic party, the party that has always already pre-sold out, be the last one required to bear a consistent ideology? Color me confused.

Oops! This looks dangerous! Everyone going there, just get bombed and fornicate and, if you're asked about ideas, say the Libs. will introduce universal daycare...again...eventually.

Whoopsie! I was comparing to a three week old poll. There are several others that have come out between then and now. Still, numbers haven't changed much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CRU Climate Hack: Hackers Took Two Whacks At Data?

I've sent an email to Mr. Paul Hudson about this, but he hasn't responded yet. The reason I emailed him is he says:

The controversy surrounding the global warming scandal today deepened after a BBC correspondent admitted he was sent the leaked emails more than a month before they were made public.

In his BBC blog two days ago, Hudson said: 'I was forwarded the chain of emails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the world's leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article "Whatever Happened To Global Warming".

But here's Gavin Schmidt from Real Climate:

Nonetheless, these emails (a presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence dating back to 1996 and as recently as Nov 12) are being widely circulated, and therefore require some comment. Some of them involve people here (and the archive includes the first RealClimate email we ever sent out to colleagues) and include discussions we’ve had with the CRU folk on topics related to the surface temperature record and some paleo-related issues, mainly to ensure that posting were accurate.

Since the dates are exactly one month apart, I've asked Mr. Hudson if we weren't dealing with a simple typo here. If not, it looks like our hackers were dicking around with CRU data for over a month without being detected, and circulated at least two packages of emails (or more precisely one package of emails and one honking big .zip file.). So why did they wait a month before the big reveal?

PLUS!!!! Exclusive E-Mail from Hugh Miller, the guy behind an elegant chaos, a searchable index of the CRU emails and files. I asked him: are you the guy behind [an elegant chaos]?

Yes, unfortunately for no better reason than I had the space to post it and an hour to generate a simple text search - there's no hidden agenda, and I just downloaded the ZIP from the same place as everyone else.

It was originally really just for me and a couple of others to use as a comparison for any stories that quoted from the messages, there was no way I was going to run through text files every time I seen a quote. But the internet has it's own way of doing things. Unlikely to be on my server beyond tonight, it's just an email account really and it wont cope with the bandwidth.

I've had the usual flurry of emails from people insisting I extend it and do more with it, but that's unlikely at the moment.

Checked your blog, as I'm sure you've guessed I fall into the skeptical camp, but you're obviously more than welcome to use the search to make sure that online quotes are accurate and also not cropped to hide phrasing. One of my biggest groans on any website is the continual point scoring and pickiness of the commenters below (not saying I'm not guilty of that myself).

So if someone says one of these emails says X, Y or Z, you can confirm that right away. Since these things were out in the wild from Thursday it makes sense to me that they should be available in a user-friendly format. As I've said to others, I have no intention of allowing comments below them or to make any comments on them myself.

There are a few others online now too, also containing the 'data' files that came with the zip, since they exist I have no plans to add them to that search, I don't really have the time and I'd imagine that someone, somewhere will create one or adapt one with lots of extra features.

Anyway, I hope this gives you a bit of an overview of the motivation behind it. But feel free to email me with your views (bear in mind I'm in the UK so there may be a delay between replies).


Tim Lambert thinks its a misunderstanding.

BCL: God Of Spreadsheets

I have just solved a particularly nasty problem with conditional statements in Excel. I bestride the Universe like a very Gawd. Worship me.

ARC On The Case

Nazis fold S.13 constitutional challenge.

Aryan Guard just folds. The Calgary newspapers will be along sometime in February to pick up on this one.

Thanks For Pointing That Out

From today's Star:

There has been no...apology from Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott for his unflattering depiction of women seeking abortions, which also applauded Saskatoon doctors for restricting access to abortion services.

"Pro-life feminists have ... come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available," said the controversial MP in an anti-abortion news release sent out Nov. 20.

And another story here from the Calgary Sun. The statements come from a news release posted to Vellacot's website on the 20th, and reported by me on the 21st. Today is the 25th, and it looks like its only being reported because the Oppo parties picked up on it yesterday. C'mon MSM, chop chop! You're supposed to be ahead of the game in these things. I'm not supposed to be doing your job for you! I mean, it's like those girls always used to tell me: BCL this is crazy: I should be paying you.

PS. Anyone looking a nice bit of recent (unremarked) Tory stupidity can look here, wherein Stockwell Day asks who can forget Silken Laumann's Olympic triumph? and proves that he certainly can.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Those No Good Bastards

Imagining Gerald Keddy's reaction to todays rise in EI claims.

Gerald Keddy Can Still Makes Amends

...after calling Nova Scotians "no good bastards" who won't work on his Xmas Tree Farm:

Bernie Smith of the Spring Garden Road Merchants Association says you can't lump every unemployed person into the category of no-good bastards. Smith has helped many of the street's panhandlers find jobs and says no Christmas tree grower has come to him to ask if anyone might be available for work. Smith says he could likely find several who'd take on the job.

You know what to do, Gerald.

Rumor: Father Of Speechy Warrior Has Property Vandalized

I am informed that when vandals hit the Calgary Jewish Community Center and the Congregation House of Jacob Mikveh Israel last week with Swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti, they also got the house of one Marvin Levant, father of Ezra Levant, Canada's premier Free Speech warrior and an opponent of legislation intended to crack down on Neo Nazi's on-line activity.

Can't confirm this 100%, but Levant the Elder does live quite close by.

Here's Marvin himself complaining about Human Rights Commissions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Daily Nazi: Remember, They're Just Cuddly Free Speech Heroes

Aryan Guard Founder Kyle McKee Wanted For Attempted Murder

Kudos to ARC for being 24 hours in front of the MSM on this. Remember: repeal S.13, and these guys are the big winners.

CRU Hack: Who Is Hugh Miller?

He seems to be the guy behind Anelegantchaos, a page that allows you to search those hacked emails from CRU that allegedly reveal the great global warming conspiracy. Here's a bit from the whois on the site:

Domain ID:D108560062-LROR
Created On:15-Nov-2005 17:47:05 UTC

Last Updated On:16-Nov-2009 01:26:16 UTC
Expiration Date:15-Nov-2010 17:47:05 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:1 & 1 Internet AG (R73-LROR)
Registrant Name:Hugh Miller

Its a real guy; at least the email ( matches the email of this web developer with Clyde & Forth Press.

On the other hand, Jeff points out that Hugh Miller is also the name of a Glacier.

How To Drive Those Liberal Numbers Even Lower

Blindly support even the dumbest Tory "tough on crime" bills:

...C-47, the other half of lawful access came up for second reading. This part of the bill is particularly problematic is it raises the prospect of mandatory disclosure of personal information without a warrant and requires ISPs to install new surveillance capabilities on their networks.


The Liberals adopted the "what took you so long" position, with MPs Dan McTeague and Andrew Kania pledging their support and asking why it took so long to bring the bill to the House.

In brief, the bill will allow police to demand that an IP hand over your personal information without a warrant. Furthermore,

...there is not even a requirement for the commission of a crime to justify access to personal information without a warrant.

Apparently the Libs were pushing a generally similar bill a few years back (a fact that will surely be brought up by proponents of the new law), but this one goes even further in that it adopts "an exceptionally broad definition of customer name and address information".

I would urge readers to take in all of the Geist article--contrast especially NDP MP Don Davies measured response to Conservative taunting over this bill (Its for the children! Why do you hate children?) with the Libs knee-jerk "metoo-ism".

Poor Libs. These days they fight when they should make a deal, and they run when they should fight. You'd think that Iggy and Co. would have figured out that appealing to Conservative voters hasn't worked, and that they are now in danger of losing a good portion of their own base. Maybe Ms. Krieber should save a place for me on the other side of the aisle.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Sunday Notes

1) Its November 22 and I'm wearing sandals. Thank you El Nino. Pity about all those droughts in Australia.

2) Longos has the best samples of any major grocery store. When my wife and I shop there on Sunday's we call it going out for lunch. You can usually get two or three helpings before they recognize you and start asking questions. Then you just switch to a fake foreign accent. For example:

Q: Have you ever been to Yale?
A: I have. I yust got out.

Today's special was Spanish Blue Cheese, in which they employ a totally different species of fungus from the lame Gorgonzola shit! Awesome!

3) Wimmun: you can't live with 'em, you can't kill 'em. Although who can really blame her? I do disagree with all the stuff about Dion being more competent. But yes indeed Iggy has sucked the past couple of months. No hiding the fact. But why trumpet it? Given the timing of the post, I wonder if alcohol wasn't involved. Don't get drunk and go Facebooking, crazy lady!

Warman Takes Aim CanWest and Walker Morrow, after a story in a local paper went CanWest wide. You can read the details at Walker's place, but here's the apology Cowichan Valley Citizen eventually published:

On October 9th, 2009 the Cowichan Valley Citizen published a column titled "Questionable conduct of CHRC". In this column, it was alleged that investigations were begun, not only by the RCMP, but by the Privacy Commissioner as well, and a Parliamentary Review of the CHRC's activities was conducted.

In publishing the column it was not made clear that these statements referred to the CHRC and not Mr. Warman. Further, that the criminal investigation had concluded without charges being laid and that the Privacy Commissioner determined that no breach of the Privacy Act occurred and that the privacy complaint was "not well-founded".

The column also referred to a "conflict of interest" and"corruption". It was not the intent of the Cowichan Valley Citizen that these statements be regarded as factual or refer to Richard Warman. The Cowichan Valley Citizen has no evidence that Richard Warman was in a conflict of interest, corrupt or subject to a criminal investigation or an investigation by the Privacy Commission.

The Cowichan Valley Citizen hereby wholly and unreservedly apologizes to Mr. Warman and regrets any embarrassment this column may have caused Mr. Warman.

Given the howlers in the origonal article (which I won't link to), you have to think that the Citizen is publishing just anything that's put in front of them.

Tells you about the state of CanWest papers these days.

Speechies are offering moral support in the comments, but little in the way of cash for legal fees, and at the moment Walker seems intent on going down fighting in the name of Freedom.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

MP Maurice Vellacott: Saskatoon Doctors Should Be Commended For Reducing The Availability of Abortion Services

“The bottom line is that the decline in the availability of abortion services is directly linked to a growing commitment to the medical evidence of what abortion does and how abortion negatively impacts the lives of women. Saskatoon’s doctors should be commended for the leadership they are showing by reducing the availability of abortion in our city...."

From a news release posted to his website last evening. I guess this begs the question: are Saskatoon Doctors inappropriately imposing their moral values on their patients? Both the original Star Phoenix article and Vellacott's congratulatory press release suggest that this is the case.

And another nice quote:

Pro-life feminists have also come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available.

Just three points off a majority, folks.

The First In A Series?

Wildrose Alliance "strategist" Stephen Carter on Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach's Ukranian accent:

"Just saw da premier making a speech. Dat was quite a speech. Dem media better report it right."

...a tweet for which he has since apologized.

Ms. Smith can come off looking and sounding more or less normal, but when you get to the lower echelons, when The Wildrose Alliance start wheeling out nominees, they will, mark my words, have problems with teh crazy. Chandler and the separatists and the wall builders are still out there, waiting for their time to howwwl!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Liberal Propaganda...

...but true enough. Tim Hudak will complain about the HST, but should he win office, will do nothing to reverse it. The NDP own this issue, provincially and federally, as I've argued previously.

RealClimate On CRU Hack

...more particularly, on Phil Jones' "trick":

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

CRU Hacked

...secret lives of climate scientists spilled! And they really are as boring as you thought!

The story so far: Russian hackers have recently broken into the computers at University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) and posted files containing private emails between any number of well-known climate researchers. The usual suspects are claiming that the emails show massive malfeasance! the scientific fraud of the millennium! a Marxist conspiracy! and so on and so forth. I have looked a some of the material (from a honking big 62 meg .zip file) but won't link to it here because it has been obtained illegally and I'm not quite sure what the legality of a link would be. From the random sample I've read (there are literally thousands of emails and hundreds of .doc and other files), you find climate scientists to-ing and fro-ing over various issues, being a bit bitchy, and saying mean things about folks like McIntyre. Very thin gruel for a massive conspiracy theory, just because there's so much good stuff they've missed. For example, there is no .txt file of the daily prayer to Gore the Fat, no emails re the meeting I personally arranged between prominent alarmists and the leaders of the Homo Sexual Agenda (now that was a weird night!), and none of the interminable discussions that have taken place concerning the difficulty these days of finding a virgin to sacrifice to Gaia.

Probably the worst bit, from an optics point of view (certainly its the thing being waved around by the denialist crowd) is a 10 year old email from Phil Jones:

From: Phil Jones
To: ray xbxxxey ,mann@[snipped
], mxxes@[snipped]
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000

Cc: k.bxxxfa@[snipped],t.xxxrn@[snipped]

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers, Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit

The denialists are keying on the term "trick" and the phrase "to hide the decline". It turns out that in the email Jones is discussing methods of "splicing" (if thats the correct term) instrumental data to proxy records. He explains as follows:

"No, that’s completely wrong. In the sense that they’re talking about two different things here. They’re talking about the instrumental data which is unaltered – but they’re talking about proxy data going further back in time, a thousand years, and it’s just about how you add on the last few years, because when you get proxy data you sample things like tree rings and ice cores, and they don’t always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years."

Jones told TGIF he had no idea what me meant by using the words "hide the decline".

"That was an email from ten years ago. Can you remember the exact context of what you wrote ten years ago?"

So there you have it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Your Daily Nazi: Tories And Nazis

Kinsella gives a half-dozen good reasons that the Harper Conservatives should eschew the "anti-Semitism" card. Here's another more recent one: Edmonton MP James Rajotte making all nicey with white nationalist Glenn Bahr.

Guy's Got A Point

Charlie Angus, after calling for a ban on twitter in the HOC, defends himself against the media blowback on Facebook:

Kady O’Malley calls me draconian. The National Post says I’m a luddite. It’s all over my comments that MP twitter posts lie between the banal and the inane. Have no fear national media — your ability to read what Carolyn Bennett eats for breakfast will not be shut down. I only wish I could have gotten this national uproar over the crisis being faced by children in Attawapiskat who are sleeping in tents tonight.

My two cents: I hate twitter but am enjoying the rank chaos it has engendered in the HOC.

Will B'nai Brith ReFeed Teh Crazy?

Well, they say they're going to.

Canadians welcome anti-radical Islam ad, B’nai Brith vows more to come

One hopes this is just butt-covering bluster designed to facilitate a retreat from this travesty of demagoguery and sub-standard graphic design. If BB does decide to run further inflammatory adverts, one can only hope they make them less like the kind of thing a teenage punk-band might produce with glue-sticks, scissors, and a cheap photocopier.

Talk to them about that, Harry Abrams.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ballad Of Dean del Mastro the best band you've never heard of.

Toronto Sun Staff Exit The Propertied Class

...become renters. Will their coverage lurch left?

Looks like the sale of 333 King St. is nearing completion. Going forward, The Sun will lease back a portion of the building from its new owners. Six floors of newspaper will be crammed onto one. Staff will lose free parking, their cafeteria, and their printing presses. They are being advised to keep warm in winter by "running around in circles". They will be sharing the building with other commercial entities, including a laundromat and a paint-ball facility. No word on the purchaser, but the phrase "Sharia finance" comes up in the official sales docs on several occasions. Will traditional head-gear become a union issue when the next contract rolls around?

Your Daily Nazi: Aryan Guard Behind Calgary Vandalism?

ARC has some suggestive (though not conclusive) evidence that they might be. Meanwhile, stills from a video-tape of the incident have been released here.

Tory Stimulus Becomes Weirdly Self-Referential

Kinsella finds Canadian Action Plan signage announcing "installation of interior/exterior signage". So stimulus money is apparently being spent on erecting signs announcing the spending of stimulus money. How strange to be a Canadian, these days.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dykstra UnRepentant the now infamous picture of him on his blackberry during Remembrance Day Ceremonies:

The picture is fine, actually. It shows me on my BlackBerry, looking serious and intent. What they didn't tell you though, is what I was actually typing. As some of you know, I live-blog events and happenings to my website. That's what I was doing here.

The purpose of writing about these events is to give folks who aren't able to attend the chance to get a feeling for what transpired. It also gives people a chance to see what is transpiring through my eyes as the MP.


I'm going to keep using the picture, though. I think it's kind of neat actually, me looking contemplative and serious while writing a tribute to our veterans and the municipal politicians who succeeded in their effort to honour them.

Well, since the picture and post didn't appear until 2:53 PM that day anyhow, I don't see why Mr. Dykstra couldn't have waited until after the ceremony to write it up. Would you live-blog your own wedding, for example, or a funeral (unless it was Michael Jackson's, in which case you might)?

But I do agree he looks quite wonderful in the picture. Dark glasses really work on him. They make him look like a rock star. Maybe middle-period Van Morrison.

Make Sense Of That

From No Apologies, where you get no apologies and not much in the way of logic either.

The APS Petition: Portrait Of The Denier As An Old Man

John Mashey's career in computer science/programming-- especially his work on early operating systems for Bell Labs in the 1980s--is storied enough to warrant several brief wikipedia entries . However, his more recent efforts at tracing the sociological underpinnings of the climate change denialist movement have received far less attention.

Mashey's Science Bypass is a close analysis of the demographics and interlocking social networks of the men (and occasional woman) behind the APS (American Physical Society) petition, a recent attempt by a tiny sub-set of APS Members to have the Society revise its official policy statement on climate change to suggest that the basic science behind AGW is still in question. In examining the machinations behind this one effort, Mashey uncovers several interesting truths re the denialist movement in general.

Here are some of the highlights from his report.

The APS document serves as a fairly typical example of an anti-AGW petition. Usually, these originate in a free-market "think tank" like The Cato Institute (or in this case most likely The Heartland Institute) and serve a political rather than scientific purpose; specifically, serve to

...create impressive lists of names to help maintain an illusion of serious scientific disagreement for the public.

The chart below provides a quick history of the various petitions, events, and miscellaneous actions used to challenge arguments for (and more importantly, prevent action on) climate change. The red diamonds count as well-known, often long running petitions; the red squares are events like the Heartland Conference in NYC:

What becomes obvious from this chart is that these kinds of petitions, and other forms of denialist activity, tend to spike "whenever the US Government might actually do something meaningful" on the issue. So the first petitions (Leipzig Declaration, OISM) appear between the founding of the IPCC and the signing of the Kyoto accord, and within the past year or so there has been a frenzy of activity, designed to score political points in the lead-up to Copenhagen and in advance of action on Waxman-Markey in the U.S. House and Senate.

In contrast, official IPCC reports (shown as blue circles) proceed on a schedule relatively unconnected to events in the political landscape.

The next chart, comparing the demographic profile of signatories to the APS petition vs APS members as a whole, reveals the denialist movment's dirtiest little secret.

Of the APS petition signers, 86% were born before 1950, as compare to mere 40% of the APS membership as a whole. I've touched on this point before--and of course it is always possible that good scientific work can be done late in life--but the fact is that the denialist movement is basically filled with old men who have either retired or are at the very end of their careers, and in almost all cases these careers were in fields well distant from anything related to climate science. To suppose that APS signatories have a relevant contribution to make to the AGW debate is akin to imagining that Wayne Gretzky could have hung up his hockey skates circa 1997 and become a successful NFL linebacker. Not impossible, in other words but highly unlikely.

Finally, Mashey was able to track the political donations of 47 of the petition's American signers. His result

...shows a strong skew towards the Republican Party and Republican Presidential candidates (McCain or Bush).

Unfortunately, it was not possible to replicate this table for the small contingent of Canadians on the APS petition. However, given the connections between the Canada-based Friends Of Science (who have their produced their own petitions/open letters and etc.) and the Conservative Party of Canada via, among others, Conservative activist Barry Cooper, one would suspect a similar tilt towards the right side of the political spectrum among Canadian deniers.

And, oh yes, in November of this year the American Physical Society overwhelmingly rejected the petition's proposal to replace the Society's 2007 Statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Words Fail Me

This is supposed to have been taken in Mumbai,but the gal left is (I am sure) Andrea Martin, so I suspect our Leader hasn't even left Canada, but is at a secret location taping some kind of SCTV reunion special.

Probably The Least Sexxxy Picture Of Harper EVER

I take it back. No Majority for you, dorky boy.

PS. Now, the two guys with him...they are veritable monsters of sexxxiness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Which We Assist Mr. Kramp.

What the radio said:
You stay classy, Daryl Kramp.

Probably The Sexxxiest Picture Of Stephen Harper That There Is

...because he's got that supermodel-on-the-cat-walk "I know you want me, I don't want you" look in his eyes.

If he's going to go around looking like this (though frankly he could still afford to lose a few lbs--is that his gut or is he smuggling fertilizer?) I don't know what the point of voting Lib could possibly be. We got nothing policy-wise. If we lose our edge in sexxxiness we're truly fucked.

Can we get a nude shot of Gerard Kennedy here, or Pablo Rodriguez, or at least Ruby Dhalla? I'm losing faith.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Colby ("The Unshaven") Cosh Gone

I was going to write about Mr. Cosh's desperate need of a shave, but now I would probably feel bad about it. Good luck Mr. Cosh. Sorry for always spelling your name with an "a".

Discover Canada

Wow! The terrorists won't know what hit 'em! And all other new immigrants will suddenly want to vote Conservative! But wait! I've read through the history section twice. What about the Beothuk?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dysktra Affair

Did Dykstra disrespect our soldiers, or was he just live-blogging the event? And if you are live-blog a veteran's day ceremony, isn't that in itself disrespecting our soldiers?

Interesting as to when Dykstra's origonal blog post (which contains the picture he allegedly took with his blackberry) was written. He claims 11:38 AM on Remembrance Day, but Jane Taber writes:

Update The Liberals are disputing Mr. Dykstra’s version of events, pointing to an RSS feed that suggests the item was posted this morning at 11:06 a.m. - after the photo went out - and not on Remembrance Day at 11:38 a.m.

Here's a screen shot of the front page of his blog, retrieved from google cache:

Don't know how easy it is to see, but the time-stamp here reads 2:53 PM. Meanwhile, the most recent version of the page bears a time-stamp of 11:38 AM. Note also that the wording of the post suggests it was written yesterday afternoon. So it looks as though both sides are wrong, although it also looks like Mr. Dyskstra diddled with the timestamps on his RSS feed and blog for some reason or another. I demand his immediate resignation.

Don't know if that helps solve much, but I do love a mystery.

Tories Slide Away From Majority

Their numbers decline for the fourth week in a row:

The Tories remain on top, dropping slightly to 36.6 per cent support from 37.4 per cent a week ago. The Liberals stayed virtually the same at 26.6 per cent (compared with 26.8 per cent) while the NDP was up slightly at 16.8 per cent from 16.3 per cent.

The Green Party gained, up to 11.2 per cent from 10 per cent support, and the Bloc Québécois dipped to 8.8 per cent from 9.4 per cent.

Interesting though that the Libs. are still below their theoretical 30% floor, so it doesn't look like they're getting much benefit from the Tories slow decline. Where is the vote going? I hope its not to the NDP--that would be like Canadians rejecting steak for meat-loaf.

No internals, but I am sure Ms. O'Malley will be along shortly with those.

(PS. Interesting talk at last week's prog-blogs event about what happens to Green Party leader Lizzie May after the next federal election. It sounds like she'll pack it in if she doesn't win a seat, which would essentially kill the party as a credible political force. Hate to say it, but that's the best thing that might happen to the Libs. It seems to me the 2nd choice for most of those voters is LPoC not NDP.)

Text You Very Much

...Tory MP Rick Dykstra, seen here responding to incoming blackberry messages during a Remembrance Day Ceremony. Stay classy Rick!
(And is one or is one not allowed to text/twitter during the minute of silence? What's the appropriate etiquette?)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More On Now Infamous B'nai Brith Ad!

From Dawg's comments forgot to buy tinfoil writes:

This ad annoys me, too, but for different reasons: the typography, the images, the colour scheme. It's hard to discuss anything reasonably when the fires of Hell are burning in the lower right corner. This is not an appeal to reason. If you like demagoguery, you'll love this ad.

Exactly. And I am not sure what the trigger is supposed to be. What (recent?) historical event brought this ad about? Nor am I sure what specific political outcome it sets out to achieve, beyond lowering the discourse. BB has always been a bit too right for me on several issues, but I've always assumed they were a class act.

Its also butt ugly, like somebody puked on the page. I sincerely hope the ad agency of my good friend Harry Abrams wasn't behind it.

Finally, the argument that its about radical Muslim groups and not Muslims is like the argument that its about Zionists/Israel and not Jews. Both are valid in theory, but can be abused in practice. This ad says nothing concrete or useful about a Canadian response to domestic terrorism (or anything else). It looks like its saying that they (Muslim radicals) are everywhere, so be afraid.

See infamous BB ad here.

Stay Classy B'nai Brith

From, believe it or not, the Nov. 9 paper edition of the National Post:

Two things. 1) National Post wants, no needs your money, and will run anything, anything that you want to stick in those vast stretches of unpurchased ad space within its pages. 2) I have no idea what BB is trying to accomplish with this other than to spend alot of money creating some really poorly designed adverts throwing insults at our local Muslim population. Are they still pissed over that thing with the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Centre and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission? I mean seriously: is this supposed to stiffen somebody's spine re the Afgh. mission? I have no idea.
Larger version here.
A special greeting for SDA readers here.

Gun Problems In Milton (And Other Rural Areas)

Still a bit sick and too low on energy to write much myself, so here's a nice bit from Jennifer Smith's post on the long-gun registry: in Milton, we just don't have a lot of gang-bangers or drug dealers or bikers or Mafia-types, or any of the sorts of scary career criminals you see on American TV (well, we do, but most of them are locked up in Maplehurst up the road).

What we do have in this quiet little town are drunks, abusive spouses and bored teenagers. Some of them have access to firearms. Most of them are upright, law-abiding citizens - right up until they're not. So for me as well as for all those other people trying to defend their 'rural lifestyle', the odds of getting shot by a previously law-abiding spouse, or a drunken neighbour, or some kid showing off his dad's .22 to his friends are much, much higher than the chances of getting shot by a gang member with an illegal handgun.

In other words, the people who tend to be the most vocal against the long gun registry are also the ones who potentially benefit the most from it.

Jen's post also takes aim at a number of gun-registry myths. All good ammo (as it were) in the on-going debate.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Duffy Does Sums

"On an annual basis he spends 128.000 and I spend $132,000," said Duffy. "We're within $4,000 of each other and he's attacking me for lavish spending. It's a stunt."

Sharon, from my comments:

Duffy was reported to spend $44,000 in three months... that breaks down to $176,000 per year not $132,000. He appears to be making the mistake of assuming 3 months is a 1/3 of a year instead of 1/4th.... I can't believe this guy made his living in journalism.

Duffy Strikes Back

From the Amherst Daily, on Peter Stoffer:

"On an annual basis he spends 128.000 and I spend $132,000," said Duffy. "We're within $4,000 of each other and he's attacking me for lavish spending. It's a stunt."

On Holland College:

"You look at Holland College in P.E.I., they got $8.5 million this year," said Duffy. "People say why do you travel? It's because you need cards to play and chips to use."


"So I'm going to ask the minister of science Gary Goodyear to look favourably upon Holland College. He has a zillion applications and I say, 'gee Gary, would you take a personal interest. I think it has merit. Will you look at that and see what you can do," said Duffy. "So when Holland College comes up they get $8.5 million. They're going to build some new buildings, take down some substandard housing and rearrange things and do it in a way that will substantially change your impression of Charlottetown.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Prog Blogs T.O. Party

...went off splendidly. People wanted to sit near me, and a beautiful woman gave me beer!

Thanks to Kelly John Rose and Tracey for hosting. One thing I discovered was that Kelly was once employed by the Canadian Space Agency, as attested to by all the photos of NASA astronauts (Garneau included) on the walls. Apparently, he worked "in payload" for Garneau's shuttle flight. Or was the payload in Garneau's shuttle flight. I never quite got clear on that. Tracey is in mathematical linguistics, and towards the end we commiserated drunkenly (me anyway) over the sad state of the field.

On a more somber note, Jeff Jedras is off to, like, Roumania for an international blogging conference. I'm thinking of setting up a tip jar in advance of the inevitable ransom letter and, if the worse does happen, I've claimed the stuff in his apartment. But all I really want is his computer gear. Good luck Jeff! Hope you don't wind up in Hostel III!

Is "Duffster" A Word In Inuit?

Vancouver, BC – The Vancouver Aquarium invites you to help name our baby beluga!

Canadians are invited to submit a name suggestion at from November 9 to 22. The name should reflect the Arctic origin of beluga whales and honour Inuit culture and language.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Off To Prog Blogs Event

...where we will be discussing the current state of the revolution and considering strategy and tactics. The rules are the usual: if I give a secret signal later this evening, my followers should be prepared to rise up and kill. Otherwise, have a nice weekend.

Looking at the most recent polls, however, I suspect our broad-swords will remain sheathed.

People Said I Was CRAZY

...when I suggested that Stephen Harper might have lip-synched his performance of The Beatles "A Little Help From My Friends" at an Ottawa arts gala back in October. But now we find that this picture--passed off as a live action shot taken during the gala--was

...taken by a PMO photographer hours earlier during a private rehearsal.

Not only that, I've performed a photo analysis of this picture ...which purports to show the PM and his cabinet eating seal meat. But if you magnify the relevant portion of the object they're all holding (note white arrow), you get this:

...which to me looks suspiciously like a plate of smarties.

You can't trust these people with anything.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What Somebody Needed To Say About Mike Duffy

...and Don Martin did:

With his wild rant on a CBC national politics show this week, the television icon has accomplished the difficult feat of offending all those in his parliamentary orbit -- his former journalistic occupation, the Conservative party, senators, MPs and even the prime minister who appointed him.

The last claim is interesting. Any evidence that the Duffster actually managed to offend Stephen Harper?

PS. Lib. MP Glen Pearson's defense of Stoffer, refed in the article above, is here.

Giant Novelty Cheques Fail To Stem Job Losses!

Direct from the Stats Canada Website, this image has not been altered in any way, shape, or form:

The Mask Slips (Again)

From Scott Armstrong:

TRURO – Scott Armstrong, Conservative Candidate in the Cumberland – Colchester – Musqoudoboit Valley by-election, is pleased the Conservative Bill (C-391) to end the long-gun registry passed its first vote in the House of Commons last night.

But of course, officially, it isn't a Gov. bill. But of course, unofficially, it is.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Did Harper Self-Whip?

Susan Delacourt finds a news story on one of the first gun registry votes, from 1995:

Reform MP Stephen Harper (Calgary West), touted by some as a future Reform party leader, bucked his caucus and voted with the government, as did the Bloc Quebecois.

She's also got hold of a copy of that report that Peter Van Loan has been suppressing:

It's spending less, attracting more registrants and police are using the registry more -- almost 4,000 times last year.

Also, I am hearing that Mark Holland is talking about gutting the bill in committee, where the opposition has a majority.

So perhaps its not over yet.

The Fox And The Grapes And The Liberals And The NDP

More cries of "well I never really liked the idea to begin with", "it was never a core issue", "I was always (secretly, deep in my heart) opposed" and so forth surrounding the gun registry's repeal from the progressive blogosphere than I've seen in awhile re an issue their representative parties caved over. It would I suppose be cruel to go through people's blog archives and find posts where they were for the gun registry before they were against it, but I am sure they're there. The leader says the world is a square, and supporters run around saying the world is a square; next day the leader looks at a poll and says the world is a rhomboid, and supporters run around saying the world is a rhomboid, and saying that the leader always said it was a rhomboid.

Anyway, I think Aesop got to the truth of this situation a long time ago.

Actually, so did Monty Python:

Gruending On The Gun Registry: Sask. A Bit Like Kansas

I have considerable experience in the trenches on the guns issue. I was a candidate in four federal elections in mixed urban-rural constituencies in Saskatchewan and the gun registry featured in every one of those campaigns. In 1997, I was a candidate in Saskatoon-Humboldt, the area where I was born and raised. One day I was campaigning in a small town that was clearly suffering from the rural economic crisis. The rail line had been removed and the two tall grain elevators at the head of Main Street were being dismantled. The town’s business buildings were shabby and much of the housing stock was run down. I came upon a man who was backing his truck out of a driveway. He recognized me and said that he knew my sister. “I haven’t got much time,” he said. “I just want to know one thing. What is your position on gun control?” I asked him if that issue was more important to him in an election than the fact that his town had lost its rail line and its grain elevator. “You bet it is,” he said. I lost that election by 221 votes to the Reform Party candidate.

Gruending argues that progressives should prevent a "moral alternative to the gun toting crowd". Maybe because its early and I'm coming down with a cold, but I have no idea what this would entail (and I note Mr. Gruending doesn't go into detail). My own opinion is that you pass the legislation that conscience demands and stand behind it until the furor dies down, and the "wedge" loses it point. Worked, more or less, with metrication (although its worth pointing out that the Tories tried to screw that up as well).