Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Four Reasons Why I Love David Miller

Reason The First:

Because he betrays the illogic of banning fire arms so eloquently.

"I don't think there is any defence for sport shooters anymore, it's a hobby that creates danger to others. Guns are stolen routinely from so-called legal gun owners and it's time we got those guns out of Toronto." -- David Miller

That's right. "So-called" legal gun-owners are the problem with Toronto. I assume he is drawing on heretofore classified evidence showing that most gun crimes in Toronto are perpetrated by legal gun owners and criminals who have stolen registered guns and not by criminals with unregistered fire arms mostly smuggled from the United States as common sense and all previous data has indicated. I'm sure Miller will be happy to show us this new evidence any day now.

I'll allow commenter Edward Kennedy at Free Dominion to demonstrate just how absurd this logic is:

Right on miller, but following this display of intelligence and logic, let us carry this a bit further, since legitimate owners of cars have them stolen, and since the stolen vehicles often cause accidents, there is no room for driving as legitimate automobile owners are responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by the criminals who steal them. Thus, all automobiles must be banned. After all, cars kill people and there is no defence for auto enthusiasts anymore, the activity creates danger to others.

Reason The Second:

Because he undermines every leftist social movement that he embraces by arguing unbelievably illogically for them.

Aside from the previously mentioned movement to ban fire arms in Canada which he has disgraced so thoroughly and consistently, he has also been extremely helpful in undermining the popular global warming movement which seeks to solve "the greatest crisis facing our generation" by replacing our liberal democracy with a green brand of fascism. Particularly, I'm thinking of his frequent chatter about increasing taxes for downtown parking, as well as other such abuses of his extensive taxation powers, in order to strong-arm Torontonians into abandoning modernity to reduce our carbon footprint.

Reason The Third:

Because he has ensured a Conservative come-back in Toronto in the near future.

Toronto is home to a very special political culture. My personal relationships and experience has taught me that most Torontonians vote the way they do based almost entirely on what is fashionable at the time. The vast middle class has consistently voted Liberal in Toronto because it meant they could drive home in their Hybrid cars and smugly chat with their middle class hybrid-driving friends about how morally superior they are for voting for Trudeau's party and for solving the climate crisis in the process.

Miller's reign of terror has made Torontonians reminisce about the good ol' days under Mel Lastman and, even in the most hopelessly fad-voting circles, it is no longer "cool" to vote Liberal. Since Harper has clawed his way towards the center of the political spectrum as quickly as Dion could abandon it, many Torontonians are sure to, although uncomfortably at first, begin posting blue signs on their lawns.

Reason The Fourth:

Because he's a caricature of himself and makes all leftists look silly by association.

Democratic politics has proven to be largely the result of our visceral reactions to the politicians between which we are supposed to choose. Since most Canadians don't have the time or the interest to truly engage with the issues of an election at a normative level, they make decisions based upon which candidate they intuitively prefer.

In 2006, for example, Paul Martin came off as a snake-oil salesman and a rich power-luster and so stolid Liberals couldn't get over his repugnancy enough to cast ballots for him in numbers necessary to win. Martin bled Liberal support like it was his job because he wasn't likeable. Conversely, Harper, although profoundly unexciting, came off as reasonable and dependable and, consequently, he has and will continue to slowly win converts from the centrist and right-leaning Liberal camp.

David Miller is no longer taken seriously by ANYONE. Accordingly, he has made it gloriously uncomfortable to be associated with the left in Toronto.

For all these reasons, I can now say without any trace of sarcasm that I love David Miller.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. You've done all Tories inside and outside of Toronto a big favour.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Bernier Bows Out (And It's The Last We'll Ever Hear Of Him)

"Let me be clear: this is not to do with the minister's private life. What matters here is that rules respecting government classified documents were broken. Obviously it was not done on purpose - but it was clearly done and it has to be treated appropriately."
-- Stephen Harper

Maxime Bernier has announced his resignation from Harper's cabinet. His faux pas? It's being described as a "security breach" in which he "left documents in an unsecure location."

I do not take government security or accountability lightly. It's vitally important to the integrity and efficiency of our system. And yet I must confess that my gut reaction upon hearing of the resignation was skepticism. It all seemed a little too convenient given the deluge of negative attention Bernier's been drawing lately. But, as vague as initial reports of the security breach were, it has become absolutely clear that he left sensitive government documents at his ex-girlfriend Julie Couillard's place (who, incidentally, has ties to the Hell's Angels) which is simply careless and unacceptable, not to mention a political mess for the Tories.

Thanks to Stephen Taylor for posting Bernier's letter of resignation:

Prime Minister,

This is to inform you that I am resigning my post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective immediately.

I informed you late this afternoon that last night I became aware that I had left behind classified government documents at a private residence.

Prime Minister, the security breach that occurred was my fault and my fault alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.

I have asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to conduct a thorough review of the situation.

Thank you for the trust you have shown in me. I will do everything I can to serve the government well in my capacity as Member of Parliament.

Yours truly,

Maxime Bernier

Bernier has been a lightning rod for criticism since April when he publicly suggested that the government of Kandahar should be removed. Harper maintains the resignation has nothing to do with Bernier's personal relationship with Julie Couillard but, inasmuch as I'm sure that's true, he must be a little relieved to bury Bernier and his scandals in the backbenches.

This will be the death knell for Bernier's political career. He was once identified as a rising star in the party but his uncomfortable time spent in the media spotlight has been highly damaging to his public character. After the obligatory howling from Jack Layton and company peters out, Bernier will quietly fade into obscurity. Which I count as a shame, although necessary under the circumstances.

Who will replace Bernier at the Foreign Affairs post? Jason Kenney? Eh, why not?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Failure of Socialized Medicine In Canada

That's right, folks. As it turns out, our universal single-payer crypto-socialist health care scheme may, in fact, have its weaknesses.

As innocuous as our "nationalized health insurance" has been made out to be, the state of Canadian health care today should be enough to worry even its most stalwart defenders. Our moribund medicine program does not and cannot address our serious wait-time problem and it has revealed itself to be troublingly slow to adopt new technologies and medicines. The monopsonistic approach to health care has been a blast but it's passed time that we stop pillaging the middle class to prop up an ineffective and immoral system. And the sooner the better, I say.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Just Don't Think They Used Enough Sparkles

Well, Christ, Barack. That's an awfully beautiful pony you've got there.

You cannot make this kind of stuff up.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Does Not Support Free Speech

Or, rather, he's decided to adopt the left's view of free speech. A view in which speech is not actually free in any substantive sense of the term.

What am I talking about? The Conservative Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson has come out in support of section 13(1) of the Canada Human Rights Act. A 50-page response to Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge to 13(1) was released by the Justice department.

Here are some of the choicest selections from the incoherent report:

[H]istory teems with examples of times when lies, distortions and propaganda empowered groups like the Nazis to repress speech. (Par. 58)


Propaganda against different religions and cultural groups encroaches on the freedom of Canada's diverse peoples to entertain their own beliefs, declare them openly without fear of "hindrance or reprisal" and to manifest them in practice. (Par. 109)


"[O]n a macro level, the general tone of society can affect the mind", and can lead to incivility and the "breakdown of community protection." (Par. 116)

Each statement is rife with historical revisionism and that last one might not even be written in English. I'm not going to bother commenting on this garrulous and, frankly, boring report. Ezra Levant has already thoroughly deconstructed and responded to its claims in detail.

UPDATE: Steyn's two cents? "Sentimental and ahistorical twaddle."

No Canadian who had a proper respect for the history of his country could write that sentence. Which is why it alone is a good example of why we need free speech. Nobody who gave it ten minutes' study would think that the Dominion of Canada, one of the oldest, peacefully evolved, constitutional democracies on the planet, is as "fragile" as the Weimar Republic or the Kingdom of Italy. So the most obvious "audaciously false propaganda" on display there is from the audaciously false propagandists on the Justice Department payroll. As to the general accuracy of the thesis, see my Maclean's piece on the proto-Trudeaupian "hate" laws of pre-Hitler Germany.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Freedom of Speech In Canada Gains Another Defender

MP Lee Richardson (Conservative, Calgary Center) has declared his support for Keith Martin and his motion to remove section 13(1) from the Canada Human Rights Act.

Ezra Levant provides an excerpt from Richardson's short letter:

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right ... I support removing section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act and will vote in favour of [Keith Martin's] motion when the opportunity arises.

According to Free Dominion, Lee Richardson joins the company of Keith Martin (Liberal, Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca), Dan McTeague (Liberal, Pickering-Scarborough East), and James Rajotte (Conservative, Edmonton-Leduc) as the only Canadian Members of Parliament to condemn section 13(1) of the Canada Human Rights Act and promise to support the motion to remove it.

A contributor at Free Dominion puts it well:

These three [now four with Richardson added to the list] are worthy of re-election, regardless of their party affiliations, because they have chosen freedom over tyranny, principle over power, and courage over cowardice.

There's a beautiful park near my house. It makes for truly pleasant post-dinner walks. On a recent stroll, a squirrel caught my attention. I suppose the little bugger had spotted a nut or perhaps he had strayed for food and was now returning to his nest. Whatever his reasons, he was interested in crossing the path on which I was walking. As squirrels are wont to do, he timorously inched from the safety of the flora but, before long, he scurried back into the brush, frightened by some shadow and jumpy from a tremendous fear of being exposed.

Unsurprisingly, this anecdote was intended to function allegorically. You see, I have found many politicians to exhibit a similar pattern of behaviour. Most are only willing to stand on principle if somebody else has stuck their neck out first. In democratic politics, it's much easier - and safer, I should add - to pragmatically bide one's time until somebody has forged a path for you than to take the initiative yourself.

Luckily, the trail-blazers have already acted to oppose section 13(1) of the Human Rights Act and stand up for freedom of expression. Four MPs have now declared themselves in support of the motion to remove 13(1) from the CHRA and a ground-swell of support has erupted for Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn who are popular victims of the section. All in all, it's becoming significantly less risky for our squirrelly politicians to support Martin's motion.

Thank you, Lee Richardson, for defending free speech in Canada. Let's hope there's more where that came from.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

And Another Islamic Group Files A Hate Speech Complaint...

... Because, you know, it just never gets old.

This time it's Halifax's Center For Islamic Development at the impetus of director Zia Khan. The complaint was filed on April 21st in response to a Bruce McKinnon cartoon depicting a Nova Scotian convert to Islam named Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal, whose husband was arrested during an anti-terrorism raid as one of the Toronto 18. In the cartoon, Jamal is portrayed holding a sign that reads "I Want Millions" and a speech bubble that says "I can put it towards my husband's next training camp."

The cartoon references an interview with Jamal in which she expressed her intent to sue the Federal Government for compensation for her and her family's suffering. Her exact words in the interview were: "I want millions." And so, since depicting her words verbatim is evidently an affront to her human right not to be revealed for what she truly is, her local police department has been notified and a formal human rights complaint has been filed.


Zia Khan, director of the Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax, said the cartoon goes beyond what can be considered free speech.

MmmHmm. And the other side of the story?

"The whole purpose of that cartoon was to comment on the outrageous demands of this individual for compensation long before any hearing into her case had ever been held," he said.

In an interview with the Herald before the cartoon ran, Jamal said she wanted to sue the federal government for what her family has gone through and told the reporter, "I want millions," Leger noted.

"[MacKinnon] depicted her exactly the way she looks and used her own words, and that's the genius of cartooning that you're able to do that," he said.

In sum, a cartoonist portrayed the wife of a suspected terrorist precisely as she looks, holding a sign with words she actually spoke, and with humorous commentary regarding her motives and ideology included. Yeah, I can see how that "intimidates, harms or terrifies an entire group of people" and so constitutes a hate crime. You go, girl!

I don't understand how these groups have the energy for all this indignation and litigation. It must be exhausting. How about next week we take a breather, guys? No stifling of free speech. Just for a week. Please?

ALSO: Darcey gives Khan and Jamal hell over at Dust My Broom and Blazing Cat Fur shares her thoughts as well.

UPDATE: Some of Ms. Jamal's online postings:

“How can your brothers and sisters live in peace and safety while being raped, pillaged and plundered by nations and corporations vying for the wealth contained in their lands, sucking the blood of the people to get at it? Are you going to give them a Quran, spread flower petals, spray some nice scents and pray for their enlightenment?” she said in one Muslim forum.

“It is your duty to defend your (community), jihad is the order of your creator to bring about peace, by the sword, not by using misplaced (verses found in the Quran) like "There is no compulsion in religion." There is compulsion in stopping oppression. Allah has given you numerous examples and signs and commands to use violence to protect the oppressed.”

And more postings from Ms. Jamal and some of her bestest friends:

“Know what you will face one day. Let them call you a terrorist, let them make you look like a savage, but know that THIS [the American military] is the filth of the earth, the uncivilised destroyer of humanity.”

“[And] if [my husband] ever refuses a clear opportunity to leave for jihad, then i want the choice of divorce.”

“All muslim politicians are corrupt. There's no one out there willing to rule the country by the laws of Allah, rather they fight to rule the country by the laws of democracy.”

“Are you accepting a system that separates religion and state? Are you gonna give your pledge of allegiance to a party that puts secular laws above the laws of Allah? Are you gonna worship that which they worship? Are you going to throw away the most important thing that makes you a muslim?”

“May Allah crush these jews, bring them down to their kneees, humuliate them. Ya Allah make their women widows and their children orphans.”

“May Allah curse the jews.. Ameen”

: A thorough exposition of Jamal's views. Go. Read.

UPDATE III: Welcome, The Jawa Report readers!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lord Black To Sell Florida Property

In today's unstable real estate market, it isn't always easy to know when to buy or sell. Conrad has learned the hard way, however, that any time you're convicted of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice is a good time to sell.

Check out his beautiful Florida estate:

Elegant ocean to lake estate was completely rebuilt for the present owners in Jan 2002. 5 bedroom suites, totally private with views, master suite consisting of 22x17 bedroom, lakefront library, his & her baths & dressing room plus a tower computer room. 7 baths plus fitness center with steam room, sauna and full bath. Formal living room with curved walls, fireplace, ocean to lake views, dining room lakefront with French doors opening to balcony, kitchen with commercial equipment and butler's pantry, two loggias both lake front, one opens to pool deck and pool, other to 2nd floor balcony, 20x18 theater with kitchen.

H/t The Real Estalker and for the photo as well

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Checking In On Kyoto: Yep, Still A Socialist Scheme

Be afraid. Be very afraid:

A Kyoto Protocol regulatory body will investigate Canada for issues relating to its database of greenhouse gas emissions.


Among the obligations of Kyoto signatory nations is a national system of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions to show compliance with its Kyoto target and to account for any emissions credits.

The compliance committee will consider Canada's case in either late May or mid-June.


If the committee finds Canada is not in compliance, the committee can take the following steps:

* Make a public declaration of non-compliance
* Require it to submit an action plan within three months for getting back into compliance
* Suspend it from participating in any of Kyoto's emissions credits or carbon trading mechanisms

Hmm, what's that sound? Listen very carefully. Do you hear it? That's Stephen Harper positively quaking in his boots. I mean, you would be too if you were facing any of the possible sanctions that he's staring down. I mean, an "action plan"? It's enough to send chills down my spine. Or worse, Canada might not be allowed to play in any of their fun little emissions credit-swapping programs. You know, the ones that Canada isn't currently participating in anyway? That would be absolutely devastating.

So here's how this is going to go down, Kyoto fascists. We aren't going to strangle our economy with your medieval and anti-industrial emission-cutting goals and we aren't going to pander to your anti-capitalist agenda.

How's that for an action plan?

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cobra Commander: "Yes, We Shall!"

I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist.

A little Cobra Commander intel for you.

Via Hot Air

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Reflections On Steyn's Appearance On The Agenda

Steyn's showdown with the sockpuppets on The Agenda last night was entertaining enough but, after all the hype, it fell a little flat. On the one hand, it appeared to register with Steyn that the three complainants were, in fact, just kids toeing the ideological line and so, although his patented righteous indignation was out in full force, his quippy discourse was limited by circumstances. On the other hand, the kids were a mess. Completely incoherent. They didn't seem to understand the most fundamental implications of the case, they overtly attempted to manipulate the conversation away from any substantive discussion of the ideological issues at hand (much to the host Steve Paikin's irritation), and they repeatedly allowed laughable lines like "Mark Steyn wants to be a martyr" to slip into their bromide-laden rants. Steyn came out looking much better than they did.

I was, however, surprised at the conciliatory tone of Steyn's post-show musings:

We didn't go for dinner, but we did have a relatively pleasant conversation after the broadcast that I thought was much more productive than the show. Khurrum was a bit chippy but the two ladies, Muneeza Sheikh and Naseem Mithoowani, are rather cute, even when they're damning me as a racist and hater. (Years ago, the BBC used to keep putting me up against humourless Marxist feminists only to find that on air I'd go all sweet on them and just make goo-goo eyes.) One confessed to finding me "mildly funny", which I took as a tremendous compliment until she remarked that she found "Little Mosque On The Prairie" funnier. Evidently by "mildly funny", she sets the bar down at world-champion limbo level. Heigh-ho. Still, even with dear old Khurrum, if I'd met him in an airport lounge on the other side of the world and we were stuck waiting for a flight, I think the conversation would go okayish. The post-show chit-chat was a useful reminder that everybody's media image is a reductio.

Fair enough, I suppose.

The show itself was poorly organized and moderated. It became nearly unwatchable at several points when the debate descended into a shouting match, each trying to make their point louder than the next. This can hardly be blamed on the host, though. Paikin was forced to find an ad hoc solution to Steyn's demand for a debate. Thinking like a moderator, Paikin commented that there weren't enough chairs which lead to Steyn's uproarious retort that "this isn't a chair issue."

Getting back to the point, however, I suspect Steyn's confrontation with the sockpuppets drove home the fact that these really are just kids. Their performances were eloquent demonstrations of their muddied understanding of the issues in the case. For his part, Steyn wasn't quite as sharp as usual. In light of the confused format and time limitations, it was understandably difficult to hit upon all of the major talking points but, that said, I wish he had been a little more aggressive in demanding straight answers from the sockpuppets. The three kids danced around the issues with all the subtlety of a punch to the teeth but Steyn didn't really manage to press them on anything in particular. Specifically, the sockpuppets whined for several minutes about their "right of reply" but Steyn didn't have the chance to patiently explain that such a right cannot be used as an instrument of blunt force to undermine a publisher's right to control the contents of his or her property. At least, not in Canada.

As Steyn himself was the first to admit, it wasn't exactly "Must-See TV" but it was enough to clearly illustrate the characters on both sides of the case. In this corner, wearing the sanctimonious and confused trunks, are three kids with no clue what they're saying. And in this corner, wearing the belligerent and borderline pompous trunks, is the titan with an ax to grind. The kids never had a chance. It wasn't a fair fight. But, then again, they don't deserve a fair fight after the trouble they've caused him.

ALSO: If anyone knows where to find the video for last night's show, please post the link in the comments.

UPDATE: Tip of the hat to Frank Cybulski for pointing me towards the video of last night's show. To watch it, follow the link and click on "What Is Wrong With Mark Steyn's View of the World."

UPDATE II: The show is also available on YouTube with a little right-wing commentary to boot. Follow the link. H/t jckirlan.

UPDATE III: Welcome, Mark Steyn readers!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Losing Our Spines To Save Our Necks"

Sam Harris:

Wilders, like Westergaard and the other Danish cartoonists, has been widely vilified for "seeking to inflame" the Muslim community. Even if this had been his intention, this criticism represents an almost supernatural coincidence of moral blindness and political imprudence. The point is not (and will never be) that some free person spoke, or wrote, or illustrated in such a manner as to inflame the Muslim community. The point is that only the Muslim community is combustible in this way. The controversy over Fitna, like all such controversies, renders one fact about our world especially salient: Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence.

There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do. When they burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for "racism" and "Islamophobia."

Read the whole thing. That's an order. Harris presents the issues at hand with staggering clarity. It's the article that every free speecher wishes they had wrote.

H/t Ace

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"But It's So Much Easier To Demand A Debate Than To Actually Have One!"

Via Ezra Levant

In December of 2007, four law student sockpuppets for the Canadian Islamic Congress filed a Human Rights complaint against Mark Steyn and Maclean's Magazine. To justify their complaint they whined:

True to Canada's tradition of free speech, we decided to engage Steyn in a debate about his views... we asked Maclean's for an opportunity to debate Steyn... It's about ensuring that our media outlets provide a forum for open debate and argument.

And so Mark Steyn has agreed to a debate.

...we've put in a request to let me go mano a mano with the Sock Puppets. Don't care how many there are: One, two, or all three. If Daniel Simard wants to come out of his hiding place, he's welcome to join in for a grand reunion of the original Sock Puppet Four. I'd much rather go mano a mano with the real complainant, Mohamed Elmasry, but his mano is stuck up the Sock Puppets so I guess it's unavailable.

And how did the sockpuppets respond? They refused, of course.

Their main reason is that this is not what they have initially agreed to and that they would not have the time to prepare for such a debate. The other reason they offered is that their complaint is with Macleans' magazine and not Mark Steyn personally.

So the problem is that they wouldn't have enough time to prepare. Perhaps they shouldn't have been calling for a debate since December of 2007 then. And how about that line that their complaint is with Macleans and not with Steyn himself. My only response is to refer you to Ezra's list of quotations in which the sockpuppets explicitly demand a debate with Mark Steyn personally.

Hmm. It's almost as if they have no interest in exchanging views in the "marketplace of ideas." It's almost as if their intention was to strong-arm a magazine and a best-selling author into obeisance to their radical views and not to engage in any manner of liberal dialogue on the subject of Steyn's writings.

Pay attention, would-be abusers of section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This is what happens when you bite off more than you can chew. Macleans didn't capitulate, Steyn is as truculent as ever, and the sockpuppets are left looking craven and petty. I couldn't be less suprised that they declined the offer to debate. If they aren't completely humiliated already by the public reaction to their complaint, an hour or two spent discussing the issues with Steyn would certainly be enough to send them scurrying with their tail between their legs.

It's only right that Mr. Levant be given the last word on the matter:

These aren't liberals, interested in an exchange of ideas. These are bullies, interested in not only one-way multiculturalism, but a one-way "debate": they talk, and Canada obeys.

What a bunch of cowards.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

In Case You Still Need Convincing That Rosie's Insane...

"Frankly, [what Reverend Wright said] made sense to me."
-- Rosie O'Donnell

A detailed explication of Rosie's many facual inaccuracies and a general sketch of her intellectual deficiency courtesy of AllahPundit .

She’s still deploying the “context” defense that Obama (finally) abandoned last week; she’s still excusing the “America created AIDS” libel on grounds that the government did, after all, infect black men with syphilis — which it technically didn’t, but which, unlike her other theories, is at least near to being true. I can’t think of a more transparent case of someone embracing conspiracies to affect intelligence, a fact betrayed here by her mention of blacks having once been considered three-fourths of a person. Close enough, Ro, close enough.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

How To Solve Ontario's Economic Crisis


Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams says the federal government should do more to help Ontario and Quebec's struggling manufacturing sectors.

"The broad shoulders of Ontario have carried this country for a long, long time," Williams told CTV's Question Period on Sunday.

Well, gee. That's a really sweet sentiment, Mr. Williams. But how do you want the federal government to help? Perhaps you note the great injustice of the present equalization scheme which sees Ontario tax-payers sending $20 billion more to Ottawa than they receive back in transfers or services. So is the answer a greater chunk of the equalization pie?

Absolutely not. The difference would just be made up again through cuts to transfer payments. The only real option is the simplest one: decontrol. The suggestion has been put forward by John Tory but has predictably fallen on deaf ears. The moratorium on the minds of businessmen and women in Ontario is - as it has been for years - strangling the province's economy. What sets the present situation apart from the past is that, given our current economic circumstances, business is no longer fully capable of shouldering the weight of governmental interference.

The government's proper role is the protection of its citizens. If the provincial Liberal government is truly interested in protecting the people of Ontario they will cut taxes and, in Tory's own words, immediately ease the regulatory burden on business.

UPDATE: An article by Lorrie Goldstein in today's Ottawa Sun regarding the Ontario recession. Goldstein emphasizes restraint and responsibility in the McGuinty government's actions moving forward. Absent from the article are any tangible policy solutions whatsoever but it still provides a decent contextualization of the present situation.

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Mark Steyn On Mike Duffy Live

Steyn sketches his ordeal with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and explains what his case means for Canadians. Topics range from World Press Freedom Day to Richard Warman. If you're looking for a quick summary of the case against Steyn and an update on the status of free speech in Canada today, the interview is definitely worth a watch.

H/t Kate

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The Empire Strikes Barack!

Luke Skywalker played by Barack Obama? Fine.

Darth Vader played by Hillary Clinton. Kind of a gimme but I can deal with it.

The Emperor played by Billy Jeff. Fantastic.

But Han Solo played by Bill Richardson? That's just completely unacceptable.

H/t Ace

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Like It Or Not, There Is A Canadian Identity

Gerry Nicholls on Canada's national identity:

What caught my eye was Kenney's title: Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity.


Are we having some sort of national identity crisis? Do Canadians wake up in the morning thinking they are Dutch, or Koreans or Egyptians?

If so, what does Kenney do to counter-act this? Are there "re-education camps" in the woods somewhere to re-install a "Canadian identity" into people?

It's funny, I never knew there was such a thing as a "Canadian identity".

I always thought people were individuals with their own unique identities.

Is that an unCanadian idea?

That's a pretty narrow understanding of "identity," wouldn't you say? When politicians and the media throw around that nebulous term "the Canadian identity," they're referring to the historical, political, and cultural tradition that generated the unique perspective from which Canadians have come to understand themselves and their nation. They're referring to the values we hold dearest.

There is certainly a Canadian identity and it would be absurd to claim it somehow abrogates our capacity to develop as individuals. The "Canadian identity" - work in progress that it is - involves a commitment to "peace, order, and good government," to the rule of law, federalism, liberalism, and democracy. Our values and the progression thereof can be traced from as early as the Royal Proclamation of 1763 to the British North America Act at the time of Confederation to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Each of these institutions outlines a distinctly Canadian approach to politics and contributes to how we regard ourselves and our place in the world. The meanings of our values are, of course, contested and subject to change but these values are nonetheless the cornerstones of our polity and they unite us in the same way that the Declaration of Independence unites the Yanks.

We are free to take issue with this conception of the Canadian identity and with just what our unique historical and political tradition mean for us individually, but it would be a mistake to suggest that we don't have one or that such a national identity is somehow limiting to our individual development.

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Stupid & Busy: The Last Fighting Liberal Bites The Dust

I don't blame him but I wish it weren't so:

Dr. Keith Martin got into politics 15 years ago because he thought he could accomplish more as an MP than as a doctor. He had a fulfilling career as an emergency room physician and GP but figured he could make a bigger difference helping shape policy in the House of Commons.

However, the 48-year-old British Columbian MP, who has been re-elected five times under various parties, has decided the next election will be his last. He is fed up with the parliamentary system and is disillusioned by how hard it is to get anything done in Ottawa.

"One of the great myths with respect to this job is how much ability an individual MP has to influence what goes on," he said in an interview at his office. He likened most MPs to "mice on the treadmill running as fast as they can, going absolutely nowhere."

He said the parliamentary system is designed to keep MPs "stupid and busy" and added he is frustrated by how much taxpayer money is wasted on MPs working long days accomplishing very little on behalf of their constituents.

There are two kinds of MPs in Canada (and the observation likely extends to all liberal democracies). On the one hand, there are those who entered politics with a vision of doing good. This type is quite easy to recognize since they're invariably miserable. On the other hand, there are those who entered politics for power and, sadly, these are the ones that flourish. Democratic politics is an absolutely thankless profession and the only ones who aren't burnt up by it are "pragmatists" who hold power as their highest value.

Dr. Keith Martin was a passionate defender of free speech and the best the Liberal Party of Canada had to offer. He'll be sorely missed but, tragically, probably more by right-wingers than by Liberals.

H/t Joanne

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Friday, May 2, 2008

If You're Really Interested In Rolling Back The Tide of Extremism, Have Yourself Committed

Oh, how brave and noble are today's "progessive" bloggers. I've only waded into the morass of the leftosphere on a handful of occassions and, despite the superfluity of knee-jerk reactionary dreck (which, in all fairness, can be found in spades on our side as well), I must confess that I've found a few sparks of intelligence and wit over there.

Hoping to stumble upon a trenchant little piece from the leftist perspective today, I paid a visit to the Liblogs aggregating website whereupon I chanced to read a post of such staggering insight that my knuckle-draggingly rightist cranium exploded upon reading its words.

The insight was found, in the form of a thoughtful "memo" to Prime Minister Harper regarding some ambiguous and unsourced stiffling of the Canadian military's freedom of speech, on the blog "Rolling Back The Tide of Extremism." The blog's title, incidentally, had me rolling in the ironic aisles for a pleasant 5 or 6 minutes before I could gather myself.

And so I thought I'd share the aforementioned insight with my gentle readership:

Memo to Lardo:

We've checked and, sure enough, you don't pay the public and armed services of Canada, we do. Their job description requires them to work for the best interests of the country, not for the furtherance of your political fortunes.

Look here, you abysmal control freak, take the gags off the public service and the armed forces. If they've got something to say, let us hear it. When we want to hear from you, we'll let you know.

Let's have their opinions, their insights, their considerable experience and invaluable knowledge, not your censored, perverted version of what you would have us believe. You don't have to agree with them and you certainly have every opportunity and the full means of Parliament at your disposal to explain your position when you disagree and choose another path. If you've got a case, make it and, this being a democracy, we'll decide.

You see, Stevie, when you gag the public and armed services, you impose a form of partisan, political censorship on them and on us. That's undemocratic and what's undemocratic in Canada is unpatriotic. You're being unpatriotic and those who shill for you are just as unpatriotic and even those who merely sit on their hands and support you are not one bit better.

Yes! Yes! I've always suspected Stephen Harper didn't personally pay the armed services. Validation at last. And how about that gorgeous line "when we want to hear from you, we'll let you know." I wasn't aware that Prime Ministers were confined to a "dont speak unless spoken to" relationship with the citizenry.

I'm so amused by the left's constant moaning that Harper is somehow undemocratic. When someone takes this position, they're giving you a valuable clue towards an understanding of the Liberal perspective. You see, democracy is "rule by the people" and I, as a leftist and supporter of Canada's Natural Ruling Party, must certainly speak for the people. Consequently, anything Harper says or does is perforce undemocratic. More importantly, don't you see how not voting for the Liberals is unpatriotic now? If "democracy" is "rule by the people," and the Liberals speak for the people of Canada, then voting for the Tories violates the Will of the Canadian People and is tantamount to treason.

Oh, and did you catch that in the last paragraph? He called the Prime Minister of our country "Stevie." The brilliance here is that "Stevie" is an informal epithet and, by applying it to a person for whom appelations are conventionally formal, the nickname belittles without the troublesome responsibility of providing evidence for any criticisms that one might have.

But maybe RBTT does provide evidence. Let's read on, shall we?

Look here chum, we have plenty of reason to be suspicious of you and yours. If you'll do something this egregious when you have only a bare minority government, how underhanded will you be if we ever give you a majority?

Ah! There's that belittling through inappropriately informal appellations again. I just can't get enough of it.

Every now and then, Steve, you can't help but reveal just how deeply you hold the country and the Canadian people in contempt. It's time you showed a little respect, Steve, for Canada, for Parliament and for us lowly Canadians. We're not cattle and we're sure as hell not your serfs either.

Shorter RBTTOE: "Brothers and sisters, please! We need to have more respect for each other. Especially you, Lardo, you fat, knuckle-dragging moron."

At any rate, thanks for the laugh, friend. And, you know, for rolling back that tide of extremism like you do.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Finally, The Truth About The Holocaust

Courtesy of Hamas TV.

Thank Allah that someone had the courage and insight to see through the smoke and mirrors of the Holocaust and finally expose it for what it truly was: a zany trick dreamed up by teh Joooooos!


Given the magnitude of jihadists’ many sins — murder, misogyny, incitement to genocide — historical revisionism is comparatively small, but still useful as an insight into that special blend of willful ignorance and spectacular ruthlessness we know and hate them for. Propaganda in this vein helps them among Arabs, I guess, as a way of delegitimizing Israel, but it’s poisonous to their credibility in (most of) the west. So why do it? Just to rub some salt in the wound. If you’re willing to kill civilians, why wouldn’t you be willing to torment them by pissing on their parents’ graves?

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