Thursday, January 31, 2008

Liberal MP Launches Motion To End Human Rights Commission Reign Of Terror

Life Site News Reports:

A British Columbia Parliamentarian, Keith Martin, has called for the abolition of the clause in the Canadian Human Rights Act that makes it possible for special interest groups to file petty grievance complaints through the Human Rights Commissions.

Martin today presented the motion to Parliament in the face of the ongoing scandals of Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals being used to silence journalists, Christian pastors and political writers on a variety of controversial topics.

The motion states, "That, in the opinion of the House, subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act should be deleted from the Act." Subsection 13(1) makes it a "discriminatory practice" for individuals or groups to communicate messages that are "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt". Critics of this section of the Act have long said that the clause creates the precise equivalent of a "thought crime".


Confirmation was not available from Martin's office as to whether or not the motion is in response to the current wave of complaints against Canadian journalists, politicians and religious leaders based on subsection 13(1). But a spokesman from Martin's office told that the publicity surrounding the complaints against Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant by Islamic extremist imams has raised the profile of the issue throughout the country and around the world.

Martin's motion comes as three complaints are ongoing against Ron Gray, head of Canada's Christian Heritage party. These complaints by homosexual activists allege "hatred" and "contempt" against homosexuals because of the party's support for traditional Christian moral teaching on sexuality and marriage. In December, a Christian pastor and youth counsellor, Stephen Boissoin was found guilty by an Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for publicly expressing the Christian teaching on homosexuality.

Emphasis mine.

I don't know too much about Mr. Martin besides that he left the Reform Party in 2004 after disagreement over the growing pull of social conservatives within the party but, by the looks of it, the Conservatives lost a good man. Damn shame.

Ezra Levant has already responded to Martin's motion.

Ezra Levant himself has thanked Martin for the initiative saying, "If a progressive, young, hip Liberal MP from an urban seat feels comfortable proposing this bill, it is a sign that reforming these commissions is politically safe, even for a Conservative government still worried about being tagged as 'anti-human rights'."

A good start anyway.

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Human Rights Chief Louise Arbour Backs Plan To Eliminate Israeli State

Darcey's got the story over at Dust My Broom.

You remember Louise Arbour, don't you? She's the United Nations high commissioner for human rights and a former Supreme Court of Canada judge. Arbour has recently thrown her support behind "a major pan-Arab human rights charter" that calls for the destruction of the Israeli state.

The Ottawa Citizen reports:

While the document demands respect for a host of internationally recognized human rights, its references to Zionism concern leading human rights activist groups, including Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists and UN Watch.

The charter's preamble speaks of "rejecting all forms of racism and Zionism," alleging they violate human rights and threaten international peace and security.

Article 2 of the 53-article document says "all forms of racism, Zionism and foreign occupation and domination" should be "condemned and efforts must be deployed for their elimination."

"These provisions cannot be dismissed as harmless rhetoric," says a letter UN Watch sent Monday to Ms. Arbour asking her for a "clarification" of her support for the charter.

Got to love those Liberal-appointed Supreme Court justices.

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Bill Clinton Gives 9/11 Twoofers A Good Talkin' To

"9/11 was an inside job! 9/11 was an inside job!"

Even Bill Clinton knows these people are nuts. For some reason, they seem to seek him out. Luckily, he ain't afraid to put them in their place.

ABC reports:

“Are you one of those it was an inside job guys?" the former president asked. Continuing, "Hillary agrees we should end the war, but we have heard from you now, now you hear from me. I let you be rude and interrupt me screaming at the top of your lungs. Nine-eleven was NOT an inside job, it was an Osama Bin Laden job with 19 people from Saudi Arabia, they murdered 3000 Americans and others foreigners including Muslims and we look like idiots, that the people who murdered our fellow citizens did it, when they are continuing to murder other people around the world. So we heard from you, you go away," Clinton said to the cheering crowd.

Video here.

H/t Ace

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It's Science: Blue-Eyed People Are The Result Of Incest


According to Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen, all blue-eyed people can be traced back to a common ancestor in the Black Sea region about 10,000 years ago. Apparently, blue eye colour is the result of a genetic mutation and the mutation is identical in 99.5% of known cases making us all distantly related.

Brown is the "default" colour for human eyes which results from a build-up of the dark skin pigment, melanin.
However, in northern Europe a mutation arose in a gene known as OCA2 that disrupted melanin production in the iris and caused the eye colour to become blue.

Well, the more you know. Knowledge is power and all that.

Genetic mutation or not, us blue-eyed folk seem to do alright for ourselves.

I love science.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fraser Institute: Time For A Flat Tax In Canada

I just read a great Press Release from the Fraser Institute arguing for a flat tax in Canada. Very persuasive.

Sign me up.

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God, I Hope Our Next Prime Minister Is Named "Obsidian-Angel"

A fun article about baby names in Alberta last year. Apparently, Eva and Ethan were the most popular Albertan baby names of 2007.

Full article at the link:

EDMONTON - After King Ralph and Honest Ed, could there be a Premier Ethan in Alberta's future?

For the seventh year in a row, Ethan was the most popular name for baby boys born in the province in 2007, and was chosen by 373 families. Ava was the pick for girls for the second year running, but officials with Vital Statistics say a change is on its way.

After several years of relative stability in the Top 10, Nathan, Carter and William dropped out of the boys list, replaced by Alexander, Owen and Samuel.

Similarly, Hailey and Sophia made the 2007 top girls list, replacing Grace and Ella.


There were girls named Whisper, Sparrow, Treasure, Butterfly and Raynebow-Roze and boys named Echo, Ocean, Freedom, Midnite and Obsidian-Angel.

Geographic names continue to be popular - witness the boys named Cyprus, Milwaukee, Canaan and Brooklyn and the girls named Nevada, Tuscany, Venice and Kalifornia.

Patriotic parents named one little girl Alberta.

The statistics also show Alberta is in the midst of a baby boom, likely related to the province's rising prosperity.

More than 48,589 children - 24,748 boys and 23,841 girls - were born in the province in 2007, breaking the previous record of 45,465 births set in 1983.

The 2007 figure is nearly 20 per cent more than the 40,700 births recorded just four years ago and nearly 3,500 more than the 45,004 births registered last year.

H/t Hot Air

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British Government Solves The Problem Of Islamic Terrorism, Renames It "Anti-Islamic Activity"

<-- Anti-Islamic Activity

With the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, recent turbulence in Pakistan, continued troubles in the Holy Land between Palestine and Israel, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unwillingness to abandon his quest for nuclear technology, many thought that Islamic jihad had never been a more relevant topic for political discussion. Apparently, they were way off base. The other day, British home secretary Jacqui Smith bravely declared in her first major speech on the topic that "there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief. Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.” What a relief this must have been to the families of the victims of Islamic terrorist attacks.

As it turns out, there aren't really any problems with Islam today. The problem is actually with troublesome anti-Islamists who insist on dying in the name of Allah and taking some infidels with them as they go. When the Danish Cartoons were first published and violent (not to mention fatal) riots broke out in numerous Islamic states to protest the perceived insult to Islam, these riots were, in fact, not related to Islam in any way. And when Islamic terrorists flew two planes into the twin towers, their activities were patently anti-Islamic.

Of course, Mark Steyn addresses the revelatory re-designation of Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic activity." The full article is at the link:

Her Majesty’s government is not alone in feeling it’s not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed “respect” is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity”


Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.” But I don’t recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year-old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.

Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen’s annual Ramadan banquet.”

A few days ago, a pre-trial hearing in an Atlanta courtroom made public for the first time a video made by two Georgia Tech students. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee went to Washington and took footage of key buildings, and that “casing video” then wound up in the hands of Younis Tsouli, an al-Qaeda recruiter in London. As the film shot by the Georgia students was played in court, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee’s voice could be heard on the soundtrack: “This is where our brothers attacked the Pentagon.”

“Allahu Akbar,” responds young Ahmed. God is great.

How “anti-Islamic” an activity is that? Certainly, not all Muslims want to fly planes into the Pentagon. But those that do do it in the name of their faith. And anyone minded to engage in an “anti-Islamic activity” will find quite a lot of support from leading Islamic scholars. Take, for example, the “moderate” imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once observed that “we will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through the sword, but through dawa” – i.e., the non-incendiary form of Islamic outreach.


The British home secretary would respond that not all moderate imams are as gung-ho to detonate moppets. Which is true. But, by insisting on re-labeling terrorism committed by Muslims in the name of Islam as “anti-Islamic activity,” Her Majesty’s government is engaging not merely in Orwellian Newspeak but in self-defeating Orwellian Newspeak. The broader message it sends is that ours is a weak culture so unconfident and insecure that if you bomb us and kill us our first urge is to find a way to flatter and apologize to you.


This is now a recurring theme in British life. A while back, it was a local government council telling workers not to have knick-knacks on their desks representing Winnie-the-Pooh’s porcine sidekick, Piglet. As Martin Niemöller famously said, first they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character and, if I was, I’m more of an Eeyore. So then they came for the Three Little Pigs, and Babe, and by the time I realized my country had turned into a 24/7 Looney Tunes it was too late, because there was no Porky Pig to stammer “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!” and bring the nightmare to an end.

Steyn even mentions Elizabeth May's "crusader" comment and connects it to the issue at hand:

A couple of days later, Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green party (the fourth-largest political party), spoke out against her country’s continued military contribution to the international force in Afghanistan. “More ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage,” she said, “will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad.” As it happens, Canada did not send troops to the Crusades, mainly because the fun was over several centuries before Canada came in existence. Six years ago, it was mostly the enemy who took that line, Osama bin Laden raging at the Great Satan for the fall of Andalusia in 1492, which, with the best will in the world, it’s hard to blame on Halliburton. But since then, the pathologies of Islamism have proved surprisingly contagious among western elites.

You remember the Three Little Pigs? One builds a house of straw, and another of sticks, and both get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Western civilization is a mighty house of bricks, but who needs a Big Bad Wolf when the pig’s so eager to demolish it himself?

As Irshad Manji points out, the Prophet Mohammed defines religion as "the way in which we act in relation to others." Ergo, how adherents of Islam act towards others defines Islam. Most muslims I know are courteous and friendly but, regrettably, relatively quiet when it comes to condemning radicals. They claim they don't have to justify the actions of extremists. They may disagree with their deeds and words, but they shouldn't be called upon to explain the actions of others. Fair enough. But next time somebody claims Osama bin Laden speaks for Islam, remember that he does if there's nobody willing to speak louder than him.

Thousands of radicals - some civilians and some influential leaders - call for jihad against Israel and the West. These terrorist groups are not acting independently of their religion; they are acting in its name and with the sanction of more than a few leaders. Jihad is an Islamic problem, and re-designating Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic activity" is simply a willful denial of reality. Moderate muslims must assert themselves and soon. This will not be accomplished by breezing past the problem with craven politically correct euphemisms.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Stephen Harper: Master Of The Double Entendres

A slip of the tongue on the part of Jack Layton followed by the Prime Minister's "cheeky" reply:

And they call him an automaton.

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The Economist: Support For Harper Remains Strong After Two Years Of Minority Government

The Economist notes that Canada is showing no sign of tiring of Prime MInister Stephen Harper after two years under his administration. Despite dubbing him an 'automaton', they point out that his competence as a political leader is difficult to impugn.

Full article at the link:

MINORITY governments seldom last long in Canada. So when Stephen Harper led his Conservative party to office, but without a parliamentary majority, in a federal election in January 2006, pundits confidently predicted he would soon seek a bigger mandate from the voters. Five fairly straightforward campaign promises were ticked off quickly. But the expected election call never came. Instead Mr Harper pushed through a law fixing parliamentary terms. Unless the opposition gangs up to bring him down, or unless he engineers that outcome himself, his government will soldier on until October 2009—a span exceeded only once before by a minority administration.

That is partly testament to the disarray of a divided opposition. The Liberals, its main element, were leaderless for much of 2006 before picking Stéphane Dion, a mild-mannered policy wonk, who has made a slow start. But Mr Harper has been unable to do much more than survive. Respected for his competence, he has all the charisma of an automaton. “I thought that people needed time to get used to Mr Harper,” says Roger Gibbins of the Canada West Foundation, an Alberta-based think-tank. “But it's turned out that to know Harper is not to love him.” That is especially true for women. Opinion polls show little change in allegiance since the last election—except for a brief moment of Conservative advance last autumn (see chart).


Trickier still is Afghanistan, where 77 Canadian troops and a diplomat have died since 2002. Canada's military mission there—it has some 2,500 troops in Kandahar in the south, where insurgents are active—is unpopular, but has been strongly supported by Mr Harper. To defuse criticism, he appointed a non-partisan committee under John Manley, a Liberal former foreign minister, to consider the mission's future. On January 22nd the committee recommended that it continue—but only if reinforced by 1,000 extra troops from another NATO country as well as by more aircraft. Unless Mr Harper secures such support at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April, he could face defeat on the issue in the House of Commons.


This year is shaping up to be Mr Harper's most difficult so far. But there is not yet any sign that the opposition will feel sufficiently emboldened to bring him down and trigger an election. Its leaders will be studying the opinion polls as closely as the prime minister. These show that “Canadians are pretty satisfied with the way the world is going,” says Darrell Bricker of Ipsos-Reid, a polling company. Too satisfied, it seems, to want to kick the government out.

Tip o' the hat to Dust My Broom.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Romney: "The American People Don't Want Bill Clinton Running Around The White House With Nothing To Do"

A bit of a snoozer, according to Bryan at Hot Air. All in all, I think the night goes to Mitt Romney. He had a couple particularly strong moments, the most memorable of which came in response to a question about the war in Iraq.

Here's the clip:

And another good moment for Romney:

You have to like the man's chances going into the next few states. Now that many if not most Fred Heads have made the less-than-smooth transition to the Mitt camp, Romney heads into Florida polling strongly and with momentum on his side. Unless Giuliani has something spectacular up his sleeve - and I mean spectacular - then I just can't see him rallying in time to make a real run at winning the state. The so-called "late state" strategy turned out to be a stinker.

Maybe be next time, Rudy.

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Mourning Teh Fred

A Red State Update:

I miss him too, Jackie. I miss him too.

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Rambo Endorses John McCain

H/t Ace

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Ezra Levant & The AHRCC: Official Hearing Report Leaked

In the wake of Ezra Levant's passionate performance at the Alberta Human Rights Commission's investigative hearing, the issue of freedom of speech in Canada has been making a lot of headlines. Feeding the growing frenzy, Iowahawk somehow got ahold of the presiding human rights officer Shirley McGovern's official hearing report and personal notes on Levant's comments and the case in general. The report provides a fascinating window into Shirley McGovern's mind and is profoundly revealing of the entire HRC process. Definitely a recommended read.

Follow the link to read the report.

H/t Ace

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Conservative MP Lambasts Elizabeth May Over "Christian Crusaders" Comment

I'm not expecting too much in response, possibly a "clarification" but I would be shocked if anything resembling an apology is forthcoming.

Article at the link:

Today, Conservative Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre demanded that Stéphane Dion’s candidate in Central Nova, Elizabeth May to apologize for characterizing NATO and Canadian forces as “Christian Crusaders” (Green Party, Press Release, January 22, 2008) and called on Stéphane Dion to terminate his electoral cooperation agreement with a leader so out of the mainstream to smear the reputation of our soldiers, diplomats and aid workers.

“These comments by Stéphane Dion’s candidate in Central Nova not only demonstrate a lack of knowledge about foreign affairs but are grossly insulting to Canadian forces,” said Poilievre. “Our Canadian forces along with our NATO allies are working together with the support of the democratically elected Afghan government to bring peace and human rights to the people of Afghanistan and these comments continue to demonstrate that Liberal/Green collation is not worth the risk.”

“Ms. May is trying to imply that our troops, diplomats and aid workers are forcibly occupying Afghanistan when in fact they are there at the invitation of the Afghan Government,” said Poilievre.

This is not the first time that Stéphane Dion’s candidate has made radical remarks. The London Free Press reported that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May returned to London to preach her views on climate change where she accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of taking a stance that "represents a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis." (London Free Press, April 30, 2007)

“It is time for Stéphane Dion to make a decision, will he continue to have Ms. May and her radical views as his candidate in riding of Central Nova,” said Poilievre. “This is just evidence of the extremism that exists within the Liberal – Green Party coalition between Stéphane Dion and Elizabeth May.”

H/t Dust My Broom

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger: Dead At 28

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead today in his SoHo apartment. Preliminary reports point to suicide. Ledger was found by a masseuse and his housekeeper naked in his room surrounded by pills. No foulplay is suspected.

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Fred Thompson: "Today I Have Withdrawn My Candidacy For President Of The United States"

It's official: Fred Thompson has withdrawn his candidacy.

Here's the official statement:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the US. I hope my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

-- Fred Dalton Thompson, statement issued to media

South Carolina was the coup de grace, as a lot of pundits predicted. This isn't the last we'll be hearing from Thompson though since rumours are beginning to circulate that he had his eye on the Vice Presidency since day one. My gut impulse is a McCain-Thompson ballot. Fred's Reagan conservatism would go a long way towards mitigating some of the worries that many Republicans have about McCain, particularly on taxation and immigration. On the other hand, a Romney-Thompson ballot would be perfectly acceptable as well.

H/t Ace

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Ezra Levant: "What A Strange Place Canada Is"

Ezra Levant wrote a great article for today's Globe & Mail about his experiences with the Alberta Human Rights Commission and his thoughts on hate speech and human rights in Canada.

Full article at the link:

It was so banal, so routine. When she walked in, she seemed happy. With a smile, she reached out her hand to shake mine. I refused — to me, nothing could have been more incongruous. Would I warmly greet a police officer who arrested me as a suspect in a crime? Then why should I do so for a thought crime? This was not normal; I would not normalize it with the pleasantries of polite society.

This was not a high-school debating tournament where Human Rights Officer McGovern and I were equals, enjoying a shared interest in politics and publishing. I was there because I was compelled to be there by the government, and if I answered Officer McGovern's political questions unsatisfactorily, the government could fine me thousands of dollars and order me to publicly apologize for holding the wrong views.

I told her that the complaint process itself was a punishment. Even if I was eventually acquitted, I would still lose — hundreds of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills. That's not an accident, that's one of the tools of these commissions. Every journalist in the country has been taught a lesson: Censor yourself now, or be put through a costly wringer. I said all this and then Officer McGovern replied, "You're entitled to your opinions, that's for sure."

But that's not for sure, is it? We're only entitled to our opinions now if they don't offend some very easily offended people.


What a strange place Canada is in 2008, where the police care more about human rights than the human rights commissions do, where fundamentalist Muslims use hate-speech laws drafted by secular Jews, and where a government bureaucrat can interrogate a publisher for 90 minutes, and be shocked when he won't shake her hand in greeting.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Human Rights Commission Investigator Posts On White Supremacist Website Stormfront

You'll remember Stormfront as the anti-Semitic white supremicist website that donated money to Republican presidential nominee Ron Paul, a donation that he has still failed to repudiate.

Story at the link:

Okay, step forward, senior CHRC "human rights investigator" Dean Steacy, last heard from in these quarters explaining that "freedom of speech is an "American concept". Mr Steacy likes to hang out at the "white nationalist" website Stormfront and post under the name "Jadwarr", as the CHRC quietly conceded just before Christmas:

1. Do any investigators post on

I am not aware of any investigator other than me, who has posted on Stormfront.

2. Getting back to Jadewarr, do Commission employees sign up accounts on Stormfront, under pseudonyms such as "Jadewarr"?

I used the Jadewarr email address to create an account on Stormfront. I am not aware whether or not other investigators have created other accounts on Stormfront.

3. Do you know who Jadewarr is?

Jadewarr is not a person, it is an email address and a user account on I created the Jadewarr email address on and the Jadewarr account on Stormfront. I have used the Jadewarr email address and the Jadewarr account on Stormfront on occasion, in the course of investigating complaints. I am not aware of anyone else having used the Jadewarr email address or account.

4. To your knowledge, is Jadewarr a Commission employee?

See above.

5. As part of your duties, have you ever signed up with a message board and made postings?

Yes, I have done so using the Jadewarr account in investigating section 13 complaints.

So let's see if I understand this. Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions have managed to get anonymous website comments designated a crime and its investigators now go around leaving such comments themselves? Is that right? Traditionally, an "agent provocateur" in the men's room has to entrap the guy in the adjoining stall into propositioning sex. In other words, the target still has to commit the actual crime. But in the case of the HRCs the agent provocateur can, in effect, commit the crime himself and then charge the target with it.

Nice work if you can get it. Agent Steacy and other current or former CHRC employees who do likewise would undoubtedly insist that they're nice liberal progressives posing as anti-Semitic white supremacists. But who's to say it's not the other way round? Maybe someone should take them to the CHRC.

The HRC scandal is not primarily to do with me, Ezra, Muslims, Christians, gays, white supremacists or anybody else. It is about the corruption of justice. The genius of the English legal system is the balance it strikes between the components of any trial - judge, jury, prosecutor, etc. The CHRC system muddies all the distinctions to the point where an ex-investigator is the serial plaintiff and a current investigator is posing as a perpetrator to create "crimes" in which there is no presumption of innocence.

H/t Hot Air

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Mayor of Toronto Capitalizes On Tragedy To Push Leftist Agenda

Never one to balk at exploiting tragedy, Toronto Mayor David Miller has used the death of an uninvolved bystander in a recent shooting to call for an absolute ban on handguns in Canada.

"We can choose to act," Miller said at a press conference on Friday. "We can choose to say handguns are so dangerous and kill uninvolved people that we're going to close the loopholes in our law and end the ownership of handguns in this country."

The charge comes after Hou Chang Mao, a 47-year-old father of two, was shot while stacking oranges at the grocery store where he was working Thursday night.


On Friday, Miller called the two killings "absolute tragedies" and renewed his long-established call for the federal government to ban handguns.

"There are loopholes today that allow so-called collectors and hobbyists to possess handguns, and to carry them around our city," he told CTV Newsnet.

Miller said a significant portion of guns used in crimes are stolen from gun owners, and another significant portion came from the U.S.

He called for the federal government to close the loophole and install a national handgun ban, and invest more attention into securing our borders.


"This is a real, everyday safety threat to our major cities, and it's time we paid the same attention to it," he told reporters. "I think it's time Canadians came together. These challenges aren't just in Toronto, they exist across this country."

Argumentum ad misericordiam at its best. Mr. Mao's murder should indeed spark outrage. Outrage at the criminals who are waging war in our cities. A revamped police force in Toronto is a crucial step towards the prevention of tragedies like this in the future. We really couldn't get those 2,500 new police officers Harper promised us fast enough. But until we do, how about we take a step back. Miller claims there is an influx of US guns flowing across the border feeding the fire of gang warfare in Toronto. So a handgun ban would make sure no Canadian citizens could get their hands on a gun while criminals with a mind to would have no problem securing an illegal US firearm. And, more importantly, a question must be asked that Canadians have forgotten they have a duty to ask of their government: "By what right do you forbid me from carrying a handgun?"

In related news, Miller's also promoting a fresh new slogan for Toronto in the hopes of attracting tourism. It's catchy enough. Let's hope it sticks:

Toronto: you're safe now because only the criminals have guns

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fred Thompson Takes On All Comers

I've been pretty heavy-handed with the Fred! material of late so I'm going to back off after this. Probably. Maybe. We'll see.

Following up on my last post, I'm pleased to report Thompson seems to have switched to full on attack mode:

Republican candidate Fred Thompson went down the line of his South Carolina GOP competitors Wednesday and described his differences with them.

"We have some Johnny-come-lately's now that don't want to talk about their record and they're hoping there’s not enough time for anybody to even examine them,” Thompson told a crowd at a campaign stop in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Thompson may have been referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who focused his campaign on Michigan before yesterday's primary, and who has refocused his efforts in the Palmetto State and Nevada in the lead up to Saturday's votes.


Thompson described fellow Southerner Huckabee as "very articulate, very witty, but does not like to answer questions about his record." He called the former Governor “weak” on the issue of illegal immigration and again railed against his endorsement from the New Hampshire National Education Association, a teachers' union.

“Is he proud of that endorsement?” Thompson asked rhetorically.

Of his "personal friend," and former Senate colleague, John McCain, Thompson said he would “never forget” McCain’s service to the country. However, he said he disagreed with McCain on tax cuts and immigration, particularly his support for last year’s failed immigration reform.

“When I saw him join forces with Senator [Ted] Kennedy on that, I knew that he was wrong track and he was, and the American people said so,” Thompson said.

While he was not asked about rival Mitt Romney, in his response, Thompson also threw some more barbs at the former Governor of Massachusetts for “tailoring” his message to Michigan residents.

"He basically promised the federal government would come in and bail out Michigan when he got elected President – very conservative notion, don't you think?” Thompson asked facetiously.

Full article at the link.

H/t Hot Air.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fred Thompson Calls Out McCain On Taxes & Immigration

Allah at Hot Air seems to think this is a declaration of war against the Maverick, calling it at first a "good straight jab" and later an "uppercut." I'm not convinced it was any more than a love tap. This seems particularly evident in the Glenn Beck interview where Thompson effectively points to the main policy differences between his platform and McCain's - namely immigration and his track record on the Bush tax cuts - but he does so under the cover of a general criticism of the other nominees and he tempers his attacks with statements like "he has his strong suits and his weak suits." I'd like to see him make the point a little more aggressively and I think he will have to within the next four days if he's serious about winning South Carolina. His win will depend on the extent to which he convinces voters to abandon Huckabee and McCain. Just attacking Huckabee isn't enough. I'm hoping that Mav will respond to Thompson's comments and that this will escalate into a real fire fight. At any rate, the good news here is this is the first real indication that Thompson is willing to engage McCain with some degree of aggression. But the big question remains: does he want the nomination enough to take McCain head on?

Here he is on Fox:

And again with Glenn Beck:

How do you explain with conservatives going out to vote, how are they supporting John McCain? What is this — where is this coming from?

SENATOR THOMPSON: I think the basis of it is national security, national defense. John was right, I think, with regard to Iraq and he stood tough during tough times and I think he turned out to be right. And I was the same place the whole time and have been. We agree on that. But John is wrong on some other important things and he was wrong when he voted against the Bush tax cuts.


SENATOR THOMPSON: He says he’s changed his mind about that now and, you know, sobeit. But, you know, I was there during part of that time and I voted the other way. I believed the other way then, I believe the other way now. He’s certainly wrong with regard to the immigration bill that they tried to get the American people sign off on last year and they gave a resounding no and now everybody’s getting tough on the border. But on taxes and immigration, especially, you know, I think he’s wrong. But so is Huckabee as far as that’s concerned.

GLENN: But he’s also wrong with McCain/Lieberman where he wants to sign treaties for global warming. He wants to give away sovereignty on global warming. This guy is not a conservative.

SENATOR THOMPSON: No, I think he’s in the wrong direction on that, too. I think that that’s absolutely true. But, you know, he’s like everybody else. You know, he has his strong suits and his weak suits. But I think that the direction that he and Huckabee and others really, I think Giuliani and where Romney has been in the past all are going in a so-called moderate direction, which is going to lead to, you know, so-called big government conservativism or bigger government conservativism anyway.

Emphasis mine.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Huckabee: "Over 1,000 Criminals Set Free With The Stroke Of A Pen"

McCartney couldn't have said it better himself:

H/t Hot Air

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Fred Thompson Surges In South Carolina

Good news for the 'Heads:

The last of the candidates to enter the race, Mr. Thompson, 65, a former Tennessee senator, has so far seemed to distinguish himself mainly by a laconic style that has made him almost invisible beside the others on the stage in past debates, the Berenberks said.

“But then last night — we hadn’t even been thinking about him — all of a sudden it was clear he was the one,” said Mr. Berenberk, a retired teacher. “The bluntness, the forcefulness. He was really impressive.”

Whether this was a new Fred Thompson, or just a sign of mirage-inducing campaign fatigue among voters, many people attending Mr. Thompson’s campaign rallies here on the day after the debate reported having similar revelations.

Mr. Thompson, who remarked Friday that he had “always been laid back — laid back when I became a U.S. prosecutor at 28, laid back when I became staff counsel to the Watergate committee at 30, laid back when I ran and won election twice to the United States Senate” — was clearly more combative on Thursday night than he had been in past debates.

He attacked former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, accusing him of stealing his tax plan, tagged Senator John McCain of Arizona as soft on illegal immigration and jabbed repeatedly at former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas for taking what he called “liberal” positions. Mr. Thompson scored one of the more crowd-pleasing remarks of the evening when he said about a recent encounter between a Navy ship and several Iranian speedboats: “I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins they’re looking forward to seeing.”

In an official statement, a campaign spokesman, Todd Harris, said Mr. Thompson’s performance showed that he was the only candidate that voters in the Jan. 19 primary here should trust “to be a strong, consistent conservative.”

Mr. Thompson has made all the same points during campaign events throughout the state, aides said. But many voters who flocked to his rallies on Friday had never heard him make them until they heard him in the latest debate on the Fox News Channel.

Jim Sickles, a retired corrections officer; Natalie Bankowski, an office manager; and Maryanne Gasper, who said she was “a waitress, with two other jobs,” were among a dozen people randomly interviewed who said they had been undecided or leaning toward other Republican candidates — mainly Mr. Huckabee — until Thursday night.


Chip Felkel, a longtime South Carolina political consultant who is not working for any of the candidates, said Mr. Thompson initially seemed to be a candidate who might appeal to all the major voting groups in the state. “Social conservatives from Huckabee, military votes from McCain, economic conservatives from Romney,” Mr. Felkel said, referring to former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

“But so far he hasn’t done that,” said Mr. Felkel, who added that he had watched Mr. Thompson’s debate performance on Thursday and was skeptical that it had helped him much.

Sirita Long, a construction forewoman from Moncks Corner, disagreed. “He’s a straight-up shoot-from-the-hip guy,” said Ms. Long, who said she had been leaning toward Mr. McCain until the debate. “I could see him staring down our enemies.”

It seems like Thompson's strategy is paying off. We're beginning to see massive interest at his rallies and he has raised approximately $900,000 since the Fox News debate. This could very well be the tipping point he - and most Republicans really - have been waiting for.

H/t Ace of Spades

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ezra Levant, The Western Standard & The Alberta Human Rights Commission

I posted a few weeks ago about the Canadian Islamic Congress dragging Mark Steyn before a Human Rights Commission on charges of Islamophobia and inciting hatred. I wrote it with the intention of highlighting the very real threat these commissions pose to the inalienable human liberties of free speech and freedom of the press. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the battle Mark Steyn is currently fighting did not occur in a vacuum; it began with the case of Ezra Levant and The Western Standard.

As most of us will remember vividly, two years ago the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting the prophet of the Islamic faith Muhammad. In response, many muslim groups deemed these depictions of their prophet offensive and blasphemous so they torched a few embassies, desecrated some flags, held violent riots leading to 100 deaths, you know, the usual. As the controversy was snowballing, I remember being captivated not by the grossly unreasonable reactions these muslim groups displayed in response to the cartoons, but by the cowardice of the mainstream media in the United States, Britain, and Canada. In an ideal world, the media response would have been a non-partisan showing of unity for the fundamental right of free speech through a mass reprinting of the offending cartoons. Instead, most newspapers printed stories about the case without reprinting the pictures. Alone stood publisher Ezra Levant of The Western Standard.

Fast-forward a year and a half and Ezra Lavant is sitting before the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The first "interrogation," as Levant calls them, was Friday, January 11.

It is crucial that we make note of the trials Ezra Levant is being subjected to by his own government; The Western Standard has gone defunct in the wake of the accusations, his reputation has been sullied, he must finance his own defense while Alberta taxpayers pay for the prosecution, and he has been forced to live and breathe these accusation for nearly two years. Levant is a great man fighting for a right that must be protected at all costs. In the interrogation, which was videotaped and released against the wishes of the Human Rights Commission, he eloquently outlines his convictions and indignation at these charges. As Canadian citizens, we must stand witness to this travesty of justice and speak out against it.

Mr. Levant's Exceptional Opening Statement (For A Transcript Follow The Link):

Perhaps His Best Moment. Levant Rips Into The Government Representative Over The Question Of Intent:

Levant Explains The Root Of Violence & Islamophobia:

An Incisive Explanation of Freedom of Expression In Canada:

And Other Choice Moments:

The case has been mentioned at Little Green Footballs, Hot Air, and Ace of Spades.

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Weekend Funny: A Bit Of Fry & Laurie

Fun with language:

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Iran: In A Balanced Criminal Justice System, The Appropriate Punishment For Rape Is ...

... Getting thrown off a cliff.

Tehran, 10 Jan. (AKI) - Iran's supreme court has confirmed that two youths, found guilty of rape will receive 100 lashes each before being cast off a cliff - an ancient Islamic punishment - local media reported. The reports named the youths as Tayeb and Yazdan.

"This is a chilling sentence," said Iranian human rights activist and lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah.

"Iranian jurisprudence allows alternative punishments to those prescribed by Islamic law, but many judges ignore them, " Dadhkhah said.

Iranian magistrates in recent weeks sentenced several people to punishments that had been in abeyance, he said. As recently as last week in Iranian Balochistan, five minority Sunnis had their hands and feet amputated, he noted.

All five Sunnis were found guilty of the crime of 'moharebeh' or enmity towards Allah. The highly vague definition of 'enemy of God' ranges from homosexuals and drug traffickers to supporters or members of armed groups opposed to the regime.

Iran in the past two days hanged seven people for drug trafficking. In 2007, it executed at least 297 people, according to campaign group Amnesty International.

Emphasis mine.

Mr. Ahmadinejad claims that there are no homosexuals in Iran. There wouldn't be any in North America either if we threw them off cliffs for offending God. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about the Islamic Republic of Iran under Ahmadinejad.

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Fred Thompson: "That's Not The Model Of The Reagan Coalition, That's The Model Of The Democratic Party"

Stuck in a lazy narrative, they said. Doesn't have the fire in his belly, they said. This is the Fred Thompson we've all been waiting for. Is it too late to get him the nomination? Probably. But the race is still in chaos right now with no single candidate running away with it. Conservatives all over the United States have been waiting for The Fred to come alive. He's told us over and over that he's the only "true blue" conservative on the ballot and, finally, last night he decided we should see what that looks like in action. He absolutely tore into Huckabee - and we'll have to wait and see if that won him any converts - and he outlined once and for all exactly why he deserves to be the Republican party candidate.

And so, as a gift to all the Fred Heads out there, I've compiled some of his best moments from the debate last night below. I'll begin with the best clip of the night.

Teh Fred vs. Huckabee:

Mmm. That's good fire in the belly.

Teh Fred On Illegal Immigration:

I was a little disappointed he passed on his opportunity to go on the offensive against McCain, probably as a result of their close friendship. If he's going to win this race - and that's a big if - he's going to need support from all quarters, and that certainly includes McCain supporters who are uncomfortable with the Maverick's pro-amnesty stance and his opposition to the Bush tax cuts.

And, of course, Thompson's "virgins" line in response to the Iranian naval standoff in the Straits of Hormuz this week:

Last night was far and away Fred Thompson's best performance of the campaign thus far. Right now Fred needs to build some momentum if he wants a chance at winning South Carolina on January 19. If he can do that, he may still have a shot - albeit a long one - at winning this nomination.

H/t to Hot Air

UPDATE: And the focus group agrees:

UPDATE II: Just a little zinger Romney lands on that nutter Ron Paul:

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Harper's Conservatives Jump 7 Points Since December

I've begun to feel guilty about covering the US primaries so extensively of late at the expense of Canadian updates. My lapse in Canadian material was partially the result of a slow period in Canadian politics and partially the result of an exciting and infuriating period in US politics. But with Canadian parliament resuming January 28, it's as good a time as any to take stock of the political landscape in Canada. Especially since Stephane Dion was talking so very tough before Christmas:

It was only a little more than a month ago, in Montreal, when Dion told Liberal riding presidents to be ready for the plug to be pulled on Harper's government as soon as possible.

Ah, but now our Mr. Dion has dropped his truculent charade and resumed the whiny, sulking persona we're all so familiar with. This transformation was helped, I'm sure, by a recent Canadian poll which gave Mr. Dion good reason to pause before toppling the popular Harper government.

A poll released yesterday may offer a clue: it suggests the Conservatives leaped to a sizeable lead in public opinion over the holidays.

The Harris-Decima poll indicates the Tories jumped seven percentage points since late December, putting them at 37 per cent support compared to the Liberals' 30 per cent. The NDP is at 13 per cent.

The survey of 1,000 Canadians was done Jan. 3 to 6 and is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

Dion's new strategy, it would seem, is to wait it out until the budget in March. With the Conservative government's steady support, the Liberals can only hope Harper grows bold enough with his next budget to alienate a chunk of his moderate supporters.

This February will mark Harper's second year in office.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"We Are The Makers Of History, Not Its Victims" & The Comeback Kid Redux

Ladies and gentleman, the winner of the Republican New Hampshire Primary, John McCain:

I can't argue with his words. These are just excepts from his acceptance speech, of course, but the entire address has been getting a lot of attention, and with good reason. In particular, this line turned some heads:

"The history of the world will not be determined by this unpardonable foe [the jihadists], but by the courage of free peoples. In this historic task, we will never surrender. They will."

Jim Geraghty goes so far as to call this line "Churchillian," which I think is extraordinarily generous. He said all the right things but his monotony still grates on me. If Obama had delivered those lines I may have broke into tears. McCain's comfortable margin of victory - by 6,000 votes or so - was surprising given the expected turnout on the Republican side, as The Confederate Yankee points out. With most independents voting in the Democratic primary, many were calling for a Romney upset since McCain was counting on those independent votes to boost his numbers. Clearly, he didn't need them.

As for the Democrats, the race was close for awhile but Hillary pulled it off. Could this mark the end of Obamania? The hype around this man since Iowa was unbelievable and I couldn't help but be drawn into the messianic narrative myself. Let this be a reality check for us all. The Clinton Election Machine is a frighteningly powerful engine.

Her acceptance speech was, well, it was Hillary Clinton. "Over the last week I listened to you and, in the process, I found my own voice." She certainly knows how to play to the female demographic. Her speech reads like a Virginia Woolf novel. Listen to the cheers that line got her though:

Next stop, Michigan.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hillary To New Hampshire: "That Hurts My Feelings..."

Although I'm no fan of his politics, it's difficult to argue that Barack Obama is anything but a clever politician and an inspiring speaker. He was really great tonight at the debate in New Hampshire. Look how easily he undercuts Hillary's only sympathy-inspiring moment of the night:

Mark my words: this man is a very serious threat to the Republican party. As Hillary's free fall continues, it is becoming increasingly obvious (as noted over at Small Dead Animals) that the North American media has anointed the Obamessiah as the Chosen One to lead the American people from the darkness of reason and small government with his glorious and nebulous message of change.

Although he's my 4th favourite Republican candidate in terms of policy, I'm going to be paying much more attention to John McCain over the next few weeks because the polls and common sense indicate that he's the only Republican who could handle Obama in the general election. Republicans will have to look past his pro-Amnesty policy though, which may not be possible given it's consistently polling as the number one issue among conservative voters. We could do worse than a McCain presidency. You better believe the troops wouldn't be going anywhere in Iraq.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Team Canada Takes Gold For 4th Consecutive Year

Congratulations, Canada. This afternoon we took home the gold for the fourth consecutive year at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Take that Sweden! We have conquered you on the ice and our welfare state is appreciably less moribund than yours!

Mmm. Political burn.

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Pakistan: Just How Safe Are The Nukes?

I was recently linked a Newsweek article by Graham Allison that raises questions about the safety of Pakistan's nukes. The article suggests that the barriers between terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and Pakistan's nuclear technology have been weakening steadily in recent years - and particularly in the wake of former Prime Minister Bhutto's assassination - and that the nightmare scenario of 'The World's Biggest Suicide Bomber' is becoming increasingly possible. This is an issue I've been pushing for some time and Allison does a good job of summarizing the principal concerns.

"As recently as November, Musharraf told reporters that Pakistan's custodial arrangements for nuclear weapons and material are 'the best in the world' and that so long as he is in power 'Pakistan's nuclear weapons will be safe.'"

As I posted earlier, Musharraf is holding on to power by a thread and US politicians like Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson and endeavouring to undermine what little control he has left.

Allison points to the real threat of corruption in the Pakistani government as a source of concern:

"The design of Pakistan's nuclear control system creates risks of insider theft. This system addresses first and foremost Pakistan's fear that if India, its archenemy, knew the location of the country's weapons it could launch a pre-emptive attack that eliminated them. The notion that there are sophisticated electronic locks on all Pakistani weapons and that only Musharraf has the codes just isn't credible. Were that the case, an attack that killed Musharraf could eliminate Pakistan's ability to retaliate. Instead, Pakistan has dispersed its weapons and distributed oversight to multiple strategic and security authorities. But these arrangements by necessity increase the likelihood that corrupt officials could successfully divert weapons or materials."

It is no secret that the Pakistani government is riddled with corruption and, even worse, Islamic radical sympathizers. The risk is nothing to scoff at as it stands today. Now remove Musharraf from the situation and you understand just how vulnerable the country is right now. There is exactly one - that's right, one - man standing between al-Qaeda and Pakistani nukes and that is General Musharraf. Hillary's characteristically parochial approach to foreign policy would be absolutely disastrous to the health of Musharraf's regime and, as a result of the instability his failure to retain power or legitimacy in Pakistan would cause, could more than feasibly lead to terrorists packing dirty bombs.

Of greatest concern, of course, is the threat that Pakistan poses to North America. Musharraf's decidedly pro-Western policies have been a crucial element in the US government's avoidance of major conflict with the Islamic state. Without the General at the helm of the country, Pakistan would quickly descend into anarchy and warlordism and it would then become impossible for the West to ignore the threat such a state would pose. Calls for revamped democracy from the leftists in North America are supremely unhelpful, with all this is mind, since democracy in Pakistan would be a death-blow to Musharraf's rule by providing power and legitimacy to socialist and jihadist political parties. The biggest advantage of Musharraf's rule is that his policies do not reflect in any real way the spirit of the people of his country.

As the article explains:

"The larger society [of Pakistan] has a decidedly negative view of the United States. In a 2007 Pew poll, two out of three Pakistanis named the United States as the greatest threat to their country."

Anti-Americanism (and don't think that gets us off the hook, Canada!) has never been stronger in Pakistan and with Bhutto's assassination, anti-Musharraf sentiment is becoming dangerously popular as well. A worrisome combination by any measure.

Those are just the highlights of the article. Read it in its entirety if the subject interests you.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Huckabee? Seriously? Ugh!

I've been soul searching all afternoon, desperately trying to explain why Iowa would vote for Huckabee above Fred Thompson. Or Mitt Romney. Or even John McCain. Huckabee's an economic populist, he's soft on foreign policy, and he pardoned an unfathomable number of convicts during his stint as governor of Arkansas. And yet the race wasn't even close last night.

And then the answer hit me:

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Iowa Caucuses: Don't Blame Me, I'm Canadian

I know, I know. I've hear it a thousand times. Iowa means next to nothing. But it's still a lot of fun, isn't it?

Clearly, the story of the night was Barack Obama who trounced "Billary" Clinton and John "Silky" Edwards in the quirky Democratic caucus. Clinton's definitely hurting right now and it looks pretty damn good on her. At the end of the day, though, I'd still rather she won the nomination since it seems impossible to me that she could win the presidency.

On the Republican side, Huckabee's win was painful to watch but not all that surprising. According to CNN, 60% of Iowa voters at the caucus were Evangelical and, evidently, they voted like Evangelicals. The big stories on the GOP side were Romney and Thompson. Mitt Romney pumped millions of dollars into Iowa and fell way short. I think he's got some good policies and he campaigned harder than any other Republican in the state so I was a little surprised at just how short he fell of Huckabee. He's still far from out of the race but it's all going to come down to New Hampshire for him. And that contest won't be made any easier by McCain's strong showing tonight. Fred Thompson was the real variable in this race and, as some of you may know, he's my favourite of the candidates so I'm pleased that he's contending like he is. For now, it seems like he's going to finish 3rd although it's still really tight with McCain as the last votes roll in. Regardless, his performance can only be considered a victory for Fred. This should help him gain some momentum going into New Hampshire and, if all goes well, he'll make it to South Carolina where a win would mean a real chance at the Republican nomination.

I think, though, that the most interesting aspect of the Iowa caucuses was the turnout; 212,000. That's up from 125,000 last time around.

All in all, a good start to what promises to be a great race.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Huck vs. Chuck

This is the latest attack ad out of the Romney camp. It's clever enough. It should be reasonably effective.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Musharraf: He Isn't Perfect, But He's All We've Got

Firstly, I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Unfortunately, I only had time for perfunctory one-off greeting messages over the Christmas holidays this year but things are calming down now. Launching right into it, I'd like to discuss the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

A lot has been made of the evident stupidity of Bhutto's return to Pakistan. She had a lot of enemies and no number of government-appointed body guards is enough to guarantee your health with suicide bombers and assassins around every corner. Benazir Bhutto, for all her faults, was indeed one of the few major obstacles between the Islamic extremists and the 60 to 90 nuclear warheads in Pakistan and so, of course, she will be missed. With her death, the pressure, both international and domestic, to maintain the ostensible democratic framework of the country has refocused and all eyes have turned to General Musharraf. Leading the charge, Hillary Clinton stumbled all over herself to beat her co-nominees to the punch and respond to the assassination with zeal and - well, just zeal actually. Unfortunately for Hillary, she didn't even bother to read the "Pakistan" page on Wikipedia before she started making grand statements about how the country should be run. Her response to the event was to pile pressure on Musharraf to reinvest in the democratic process and hold elections as soon as possible. Unfortunately, she didn't seem to have any idea who Musharraf was, what position he held within the Pakistani government, or what was at stake in the January election in Pakistan.

Hillary expounds on her views in the following interview:

What an embarrassing display of ignorance. If you want to be the president of a country - or just an adult, really - try gathering your facts before making public statements.

Here's why she's an idiot:

(1) Firstly, the elections that were scheduled for January 8th were for the post of Prime Minister and Pervez Musharraf is the President. He was elected last year and has several years left on his mandate. He was not "on the ballot" for the January election at any point.

(2) Also, Bhutto's party, the Pakistani People's Party, does not have to choose a new leader; leadership is hereditary. The reigns have been passed to Benazir's 19 year-old son.

(3) Finally, Nawaz Sharif couldn't compete in the next election if he wanted to; he's an unpardoned convicted felon and, as such, is barred from running for public office in Pakistan.

Clinton's line here is a quintessential example of the shortsighted policy-making that the '08 Democrats have become so famous for. With Bhutto's passing, Musharraf has become the final line of defense against the jihadists in Pakistan. We need to reconsider this kind of knee-jerk reactionary policy-making if we wish to avoid pulling the rug right out from under Musharraf and plunging his country into a devastating civil war - one that would almost inevitably result in a radical Islamist government replacing him when the dust settled. Is anyone hearing echoes of 1979 Iran here? Is Hillary Clinton our next Jimmy Carter?

Even more shortsighted was Democratic Governor Bill Richardson: “President Bush should press Musharraf to step aside, and a broad-based coalition government, consisting of all the democratic parties, should be formed immediately ... It is in the interests of the U.S. that there be a democratic Pakistan that relentlessly hunts down terrorists.”

Simply put, at this particular moment in time, a truly democratic Pakistan would not hunt down terrorists; it would be run by them. For a person seeking the Democratic nomination to be so grossly ignorant of the demographic realities of Pakistan would be amusing if it weren't so terrifying. Consider the shape Richardson's coalition of "democratic" parties would take, taking consideration of the current political landscape; radical Islamists, socialists, and corrupt militarists, to name just a few. And this government would "relentlessly hunts down terrorists"? Such a "broad-based coalition government" wouldn't be capable of pouring horse piss from a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel. If nothing else, this tragic event has done us all the favour of highlighting major weaknesses of character in US Democrats on foreign policy, particularly those involved in the current nomination process.

Presently, Musharraf's hold over his own army, and consequently the country, is tenuous at best. Jihad sympathizers have infiltrated the country's framework like termites and even the army, perhaps the only quasi-respectable institution left in Pakistan (with the possible exception of the ISI), is becoming increasingly solicitous of the interests of Islamic extremism. Despite Pakistan's slow transformation into Greater Waziristan, General Musharraf has somehow found the time to support the United States in the War on Terror and fiercely denounce the Taliban. All of this while much of his country chants "Death To The Great Satan" in the streets. Awfully sweet of him, no?

Bill Richardson wants to talk about U.S. interests in Pakistan? First and foremost, the U.S. has an interest in keeping nuclear technology out of the hands of terrorists, for the safety of the American people and for the safety of every other free state in the world. Secondly, it is in our interests to preserve the fragile equilibrium which has kept the country from imploding since 1999. As it stands, the realization of these interests depend entirely on Musharraf's survival as leader into the near future.

We must endeavour to remember that democracy is not a virtue in itself. Democracy serves a moral purpose only when it is united with a liberal adherence to fundamental human liberties and a commitment and capability on the part of the government to protect these basic rights. Forcing a democratic election on a Pakistan that is not ready for it is inimical to the long-term goal of democracy. The West's interests in Pakistan oblige Musharraf's retention of power. For now. The sooner politicians in North America recognize this, the sooner we can begin the difficult process of bringing stability to the cesspool of terrorist activity and Wahhabist expansion that is Pakistan. If we fail in this regard, Pakistan will collapse in upon itself and we will find ourselves with another Iran. But this time they'll have nukes.

UPDATE: Excuse me, Mr. Richardson. You would negotiate with ... the Soviet Union? Didn't they collapse or something? I thought I heard that somewhere...

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