Sunday, March 30, 2008

The pandas of soft fascism

I once pitched a very small potatoes proposal to a local councillor over lunch regarding raising awareness for the need for low income housing. It involved a small voluntary gesture of public engagement.

"It'll never work," he said, not unkindly. "People will reject it on the grounds that somewhere somebody they don't know might benefit from it."
I laughed.

I laughed again when I read "Earth Hour's soft fascism" by Peter Foster in Wednesday's Fanatical Post.
"Take back the night!" he exhorts, and he's serious about it! but it's in Friday's "Don't lie down with pandas" that he gets down to it. There is, he warns, the likelihood that Earth Hour will give its sponsor WWF not only power but "the potential for earning big bucks" so "keep those lights burning brightly between 8 and 9 on Saturday night".

What a complete ass.

Canadian Cynic links to Foster's amusing blogging counterparts in the rightardosphere who apparently celebrated their own voluntary gesture of public engagement on Saturday night by running their dishwashers with no dishes in them and seeing how high they could crank the thermostat before they passed out in a pile of cheetohs from heat prostration.

From CC's comments :
"i suppose that means that when i launch 'world hygiene hour' we can expect matthew and kate's kult kids to shit their own pants in defiance. hmm, i guess i should get cracking on organizing 'no drowning in the toilet' hour too."
by pretty shaved ape


"Anyways, don't forget folks, Monday, April 7 is our first annual Lib-Left-sponsored "Don't Slash Your Wrists Day." And of course Friday June 6 is Latte-Sipping-Torontonians-sponsored "Don't Drink 750 ml of Vodka and Swallow Two (2) Fistfuls of Sleeping Pills Day."
Fall schedule should be available any time now."
by ¢rÄßG®äŠŠ

Heh. Earth Hour has turned out to be more humorous than I expected.
H/T Vanity Pressfor the Foster link

Update : 30 million people worldwide turned out the lights at 8pm but they were still burning at Harper's house and his third floor office in the parliament buildings.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Liberals have left the building...

there are no more sharks left to jump, and the fat lady isn't gonna sing for the likes of you.
The above graphic is from Thursday's Ottawa Citizen.
I added the percentages on the right from the accompanying article which also includes the average number of votes in the House from each party :
Con MPs voted an average of 73 times out of a possible total of 76
The Bloc - 71......NDP - 68......Libs - 49
It's a vicious circle : Canadians and particularly liberals are demoralized by this wretched performance on the part of the Libs so naturally the Libs don't rise in the polls. This causes the Libs to decide they don't have sufficient public support to risk triggering an election they may not win and so they abstain and/or vote with the Cons some more.
PS : Dear Libbies : I don't ever want to hear about the NDP propping up the Cons ever again. Ever.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Manley : "Winning the hearts and minds"

Former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley in Tuesday's G&M : "...the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan was a roaring success. Embraced by the government, it provided the Official Opposition enough room to be able to reach a consensus with the government."

Thanks for spelling that out, John.Yes, we did realize the main purpose of your panel of hawks and deep integrationists was to give the Libs the necessary cover to be able to vote with the Cons to continue Operation Enduring Freedom. As Thomas Walkom put it back in October :

"It is not about Afghanistan. It is about the US.

In 2004, Paul Martin's Liberal government decided that the best way to keep Washington happy was to commit combat soldiers to Afghanistan.
In effect, he decided to risk Canadian lives in Kandahar to keep trucks rolling across the Detroit River. As did Harper."

But, as Manley explains, we could be doing so much more in "winning the hearts and minds"!*

"To get the needed results, we recommended that the Prime Minister personally lead a diplomatic initiative, making Canada's voice heard to a degree commensurate with our sacrifice. The objective would be not simply additional troops in Kandahar, but a comprehensive political-military plan for NATO, the UN and participating countries."

World stage! World stage! Putting Canada on the world stage!

Plus that definite termination date is apparently totally negotiable :

"Afghanistan's development and governance challenges will not be fully met by 2011. Let's hope it's not necessary to create another panel in 2010 to advise on Canada's role after 2011."

*Yes, he really did say "winning the hearts and minds"

Flash Gordo and Pacific Spirit Park

Ross at The Gazetteer is calling out all blogging muskateers and associates to help save Pacific Spirit Park from residential development. In yet another bait and switch real estate blackmail ploy from the premier's office, a long overdue settlement with the Musqueam First Nation is being twinned with building condos in the park. So do you want to see the Musqueam fairly recompensed for their land or don't you? It's classic Gordo.

Ross suggests there is a third way but today he's concentrating on getting a message to the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors who are meeting today - yikes! - behind closed doors, and he provides you with links to your reps. Go.

Friday Update : Well, that meeting didn't go too well.

B.C. sets expropriation without compensation precedent

"A provincial law that gives Victoria the power to expropriate chunks of Pacific Spirit regional park without any financial compensation to Metro Vancouver is unprecedented in B.C., a lawyer for the regional government says."

Plus the legislation includes this handy clause : " 'no legal proceedings for damages or compensation ' can be filed against the B.C. government."

The irony of Metro Van now being in more or less the same position endured by the Musqueam First Nation up till now will not be lost on anyone but that doesn't make it right. In fact the particular piece of expropriated parkland was not even in play until a campaign fundraiser for Premier Campbell kicked up unholy hell about losing the golf course : Give Musqueam piece of Pacific Spirit Park instead of golf course

More at The Gazetteer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Steve and Sandra send in the drones

Dear Con aficionados of talk radio and Steno mini-Steves:
It's bad enough that the Cons think you are too stupid to articulate in your own words why you are a Con; it's rather worse that you apparently go along with this assessment.
and ditto letters to the editor.

Monday, March 24, 2008

SPP and the Canada-Israel "border" update

Remember this?
Israel and U.S. Sign Homeland Security Pact
Rebecca Anna Stoil, Jerusalem Post, Feb 8, 2007
"Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and his US counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, signed a joint memorandum in Washington DC on Wednesday evening, setting a series of goals and terms for security collaboration between the two nations.

The joint understanding included partnership on flight security, including passenger and cargo inspection and information sharing on the topic of emergency planning, response, recovery and damage control.

Dichter, who is on a four-day diplomatic visit to North America, was recently officially appointed as Israel's diplomatic counterpart to Chertoff. The former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head is widely recognized in Washington as an expert in counter-terrorism, particularly following a nine-month stint as a fellow at the D.C. Brookings Institute think tank.

"Iran is the largest terrorist state in the world," Dichter said late Tuesday night to members of the public security committee of the Canadian parliament. Moving from discussing geopolitics to talking shop with the Canadian lawmakers, Dichter laid out what he believes to be the guidelines for Canadian-Israeli security cooperation in the future, possibly similar to the agreement that the minister signed a day later in Washington DC."

Minister Dicter and Canadian counterpart present joint statement
State of Israel Ministry of Public Security, Oct 30, 2007
"A meeting was held on the 29th of October, 2007 between the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Mr. Stockwell Day, and Minister Dicter.
...for preventing and fighting home land securities issues.... maximize the exchange of information, technology and operational activity...
...cooperation in home land security and counter terrorism issues.
• Counterterrorism and Crime
• Emergency preparedness
• Border crossing security, focusing on biometric identification"

Canada and Israel Sign Declaration to Cooperate on Public Safety
Public Safety Canada, Mar 23, 2008
"1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:
Border management and security, including biometric applications

2. To achieve the following objectives:
Build on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats."

Just an agreement by a couple of US client states, both of whom make war on their indigenous populations, signed in the wake of Dick Cheney.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I can has cheezburger removr?

The Consumerist takes on Complaint Remover, a company that advertises it will rid the internet of "defamatory" and "negative links" about you.

How? Apparently "by positioning links on the Search Engines and by appeals to law to remove negative information. We send cease and desist letters and if necessary, file legal actions against the perpetrators and Internet service providers contributing to the unjust defamation of our members".

Holy googlebomb! Does the worst president ever know about this?

The Consumerist hits the Complaint Remover chatroom. :

"Hello My name is Kelly. Is there something I can help you with today?

Consumerist : Does your company work on all of the internets?

Kelly: Yes we remove negative links from all erch engines google or aol, or yahoo

Consumerist : How does that work? How are you able to get another company to get rid of something that's part of their business?

Kelly: We push the negative links back in serch engines so nobody will see that ones

Consumerist : So you like make new internets and push the bad internets down?

Kelly: Yes

Consumerist : My keywords are lolcats. I have a cat breeding business and people keep making pictures of cats with derogatory phrases on them. It's hampering my ability to attract new clients

Kelly: just a seccond please. ok wich one of those you want to be pushed back ?"

Oh noes. But what about the unfettered democracy and free speech of the intertubes? And spelling?

Commenters at Boing Boing and The Consumerist go to work pranking CR and uncovering IPs and holy shit! this version of CR is a giant ethical leap forward from an alleged previous incarnation which included sending nasty death threats on behalf of its "members".

Go read the rest. Why? Well, because it's very funny, especially the commenters' forays into the CR chatroom, but also because if The Consumerist story gets enough hits, anyone googling up Complaints Remover will continue to get The Consumerist instead.

I luvs teh intertubes. Srsly.

Chocolate Theology 101

For Blue Gal, who is running a Blog Against Theocracy this weekend. Go have a look.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

IOC goes for the gold in the Darfur and Tibet events

The Star : "European Union sports ministers and Olympic committees said yesterday that they would not support calls for a boycott because they're not effective and that sports and politics should not be linked, a position echoed by the Canadian Olympic Committee's top official.
"I think particularly to use the athletes who have made so many sacrifices, to use them as pawns in a game that is politically, idealistically and socially very complicated would be unfortunate," said Chris Rudge, CEO of the COC. "I don't think we can ask one constituency, which are a force for good, to stand up and act on everyone's behalf."
Yes, it would be terrible if athletes were used as pawns, wouldn't it, Chris?
Because as we all know, the Olympics is all about running and skipping and jumping, and not at all about Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Adidas, and General Electric putting up millions to increase their market share in China.
Well, you know what they say : You can catch more flies with money than with vinegar.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SPP and the Environmental Pro-business Agency

Environmental Protection Agency Press Release

"(3/17/08) On Tuesday, March 18, EPA Administrator *Stephen L. Johnson will give the keynote address at the Global Chemical Regulation Conference, attended by more than 300 chemical industry regulatory, environmental and health officials, in Baltimore, Md. The administrator will outline the agency's commitment to the North American chemical cooperation goals included in the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Meeting last August in Montebello, Canada, between President Bush and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. [snip]

Jim Gulliford, EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Pesticides, Prevention, and Toxic Substances, will also give presentations on the specifics of the SPP chemical assessment and management goals.

Facilities will be set up to accommodate members of the press."

Specifics? Facilities for the press?
Well then that's great because if some reporter from Baltimore happens to write about it for their paper, then there's a chance that Canadians will also get to hear what "the North American chemical cooperation goals" and "the specifics of the SPP chemical assessment and management goals" are all about!

*Why, yes, Stephen L. Johnson is the Bush-appointed idiot head of EPA who just "justified blocking California from cracking down on auto emissions by saying global warming isn't unique to the state", yes, indeed he is.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bear Naked Stearns

Bear Stearns is the second largest underwriter of mortgage-backed securities after Lehman Bros.

James E Cayne, CEO of Bear Stearns, made $38.31M last year.
He retired in January.
His retirement package was estimated in late February to be worth $560M...
although it's probably worth somewhat less now since Bear Stearns was bought out by the Federal Reserve Bank and JP Morgan this weekend to prevent it from going into bankruptcy.

I ran this in January but here it is, now even more hideously relevant, again :
How the markets really work
"An unemployed black man sitting on a crumbling porch somewhere in Alabama in his string vest" is one of over 2 million people in the US who had their mortgages foreclosed last year.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Polls vs pols, deep integration edition

An update on yesterday's Globe&Mail poll :
80% of 11,590 G&M respondants - at one vote only per IP - are not too keen on the whole deep integration "mutually beneficial public policy agenda" thing. Yeah, us! The poll was still open for voting , last time I looked.

And in a fortuitous coincidence, right across from the poll and linked on the same G&M page is an opinion piece from ubiquitous deep integration media darling Michael Hart and William Dymond, who proudly inform us they are "former officials involved in the negotiation first of the Canada-U.S. free-trade Agreement (FTA) and then of NAFTA".
You'll recall Michael Hart of Carleton U., a former official at Foreign Affairs and Int. Trade and sometime deep integration teacher at the North American University, from his February piece in the Natty Post : Canada blew it! :
"The crisis of Sept. 11, 2001, provided a perfect opportunity to seize the moment to re-imagine the border, but Canada blew it."
in which he bewailed the loss of this unique opportunity to implement "the structural and institutional changes of deep integration" because of "nationalist phobias". Silly us.

Perhaps you also recall his statement to the Int. Trade Committee on SPP in May last year :
"We have made a political choice that we wanted a more deeply integrated North American economy," Hart said. "That means a willingness on our part to, for example, strengthen the perimeter around North America in order to deal with security issues that are uppermost in American minds."
In their new G&M piece, "The sabre-rattling on NAFTA is worrying, but take it as an opportunity", Hart and Dymond warn that "If our neighbours elect a Democratic president, Senate and House on Nov. 4, things could get ugly", but then take some comfort that unlike Paul Martin, whose relationship with the US was marked by "petulance and prickly self-righteousness", at least "the Harper government brought maturity and perspective".

Well ok then.

They then pose a number of questions to us, most notable for the facility with which they replace the word "Canada" with their preferred term, "North America" :

"What can we do together to promote our common interests in the security of the Arctic, the sustainable exploitation of Arctic energy supplies, and environmentally responsible navigation through Arctic waters?"
"What kind of legislative and other programs can we pursue in order to ensure long-term North American energy security?"
"What kind of institutional capacity do we need to have in place to facilitate and promote the governance of North American economic and security concerns and to ensure appropriate co-operation at the state/provincial and legislative levels?"

Gosh, Mike, Bill, I'm guessing your answer to the questions is whatever you quislings decide to call the next incarnation of the SPP, but our answer is right up there at the top in those G&M poll results.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A protest of olympian proportions

Thousands of Canadians filled the streets across the country today to mark the upcoming five-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and to protest Canada's continuing involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and....

hello, those five rings look very familiar...

From the desk of the Chief

Globe and Mail deep integration poll 1

Right here, right now.
Apparently you have to give them a cookie or something, but I'm sure its worth it.
Are you listening Tom d'Aquino? The Canadian Council of Chief Executives? The North American Competitiveness Council? Harper? Anyone?
Update : 6pm PST and just shy of a total of 11,000 votes so far :
19% YES & 81% NO

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Operation Enduring Freedom"

aka the occupation of Afghanistan, aka "The Mission", will be extended for another two years to 2011.
As expected it was the ConservaLiberals vs the NDP and the Bloc by a vote of 198 to 77. Only one lone Liberal, Newfoundland MP Bill Matthews, and Blair Wilson, the Sea-to-Sky Lib MP currently sitting as an Independent, showed up to vote against it.
20 Libs were absent.
An NDP amendment seeking a diplomatic solution for immediate withdrawal was defeated 244 to 30 just prior to the vote.

Well at least attendence was up this time round and more MPs came to the debate.

Flashback to the Great Parliamentary Afghanistan Debate of 2006. : In April 2006, out of a possible attendance of 308, there were 58 Conservative MPs dropping to 14 after O'Connor finished speaking; 21 Liberals dropping to 10; 2 Bloc Quebecois; and 8 NDP rising to 20.

Yesterday Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the vote "demonstrates that our democracy works", while Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have a stronger mandate to push allied countries at a NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania, early next month.

Well done, CAE Inc., General Dynamics Canada, SNC-Lavalin, Bell Helicopter Textron, Bombardier, and of course, ConservaLiberals. See you for another warbiz renewal vote in 2010!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Harper's one-man band

Gomery says Canada is on the road to 'one-man government'.
Ya think?!
From Buckdog : Parliament isn't working due to Liberals sitting on their hands
From Hill Times : Legislation isn't passing due to Cons filibustering committees.
Con candidates and MPs are muzzled, government-employed scientists must get statements about their work vetted by party operatives first, opposition MPs aren't invited along to international climate change conferences, senators can't get clearance to visit Afghanistan, press access to MPs after HoC meetings is denied, the wheat and barley boards' elections are tampered with, dissenting senior public servants are bullied and fired, decades of research on government websites is no longer accessable, the SPP has gone underground, and when confronted with their morally repugnant behavior, they respond by standing up in the HoC and telling a new and different lie every day.
Remember back when we were capable of being scandalized that Harper cancelled a book launch for a sci-fi novel because the author also worked for Environment Canada?
It isn't that Harper runs this government as if he has a majority; it's that he runs it as if he has a dictatorship.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

SPP : Selling sovereignty for profit

From the Conservative Party website Dec 14, 2007 :
Standing on Guard. Defending Canada.
"Today, the Conservative Government strengthened its ability to protect our North by launching a new high-tech satellite which will provide essential 24-hour surveillance over Canada’s Arctic.
From a height of 800 km, the Radarsat-2 uses cutting-edge cloud penetrating radar to monitor foreign ships which approach Canadian waters. Its presence ensures that our control over our Northern islands and waterways is beyond dispute.
The satellite also sends a clear message to the other nations of the world that, after thirteen years of Liberal neglect, Canada is once again serious about protecting our Arctic sovereignty.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to protect Canada’s sovereignty in the North. Investing in this innovative and powerful space technology is another way the Conservative Government is strengthening Canada’s place as a leader on the world stage.
Firm priorities. Strong decisions. Real action. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a leader who takes decisive action to protect Canadians and keep the true North strong and free."
Well, that was a whole two and a half months ago.
Now we're selling off that seemingly 'essential' satellite which 'protects our North' and 'sends a clear message to other nations' and 'strengthens our place as a leader on the world stage' for $1.3B to America's biggest manufacturer of ammunition, including land mines, depleted uranium shells, and cluster bombs.
From David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen :
"Sometime in the next few weeks, Canada's leading space technology firm will pass into American hands and, potentially, the 'top secret' files of the Pentagon. Critics fear millions of dollars of taxpayer investment, a significant number of high-tech jobs, our Arctic sovereignty and our international reputation in space research will also vanish."
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), Canada's largest space company, is selling off its space assets including Canadarm and the $524-million taxpayer-funded Radarsat-2 satellite to Alliant Technosystems Inc (ATK), because - get this! - the new CEO at MDA has determined that there is more money to be made for its shareholders providing data packages to real estate agents!
Canadians invented it and the Canadian public paid for it but we don't own it and critics within MDA say that following this sale we won't even be allowed to borrow it.
Barring the very unlikely possibility that Industry Canada steps in and puts a stop to the sale, US security concerns will likely bar Canada from any further access to Radarsat-2 climate change data in the far north, and transferred Canadian employees will not have clearance to work on what will become classified US military space programs.

Will Canadian taxpayers be reimbursed for the Canada Space Agency's decision in the late 90's to transfer the satellite technology and all data to MDA to sell off as it likes? Does the pope shit in the woods?
I don't know how much it matters anymore under SPP and its goal of "one security perimeter" that this technology stays under Canadian control, especially given that the Pentagon allegedly already downloads Radarsat-2 data to its field units in Iraq, but I'm sure as hell pissed that Canadian tax dollars are being used to promote US space warfare.

They already know in Ottawa that this is a crap deal with even crappier optics for Mr Defending Artic Sovereignty. Since Canadian scientists and engineers have gone public with their concerns and at least two have quit their jobs on ethical grounds, a planned photo op showing Harper scrutinizing R-2 data *snerk* has been cancelled.
Steven Staples provides a letter you can send to the relevant parties urging Harper not to approve this deal.
Or you could write your own. See if you can't fit something about being "serious about protecting our Arctic sovereignty" and "taking decisive action to protect Canadians" in there somewhere.
Two good articles from David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen :

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Happy International Women's Day

Steve and Sandra and the $1M question

"Almost one-third of respondents said they favoured a public investigation led by a third party, such as the Commons Speaker or ethics commissioner, while 31 per cent said an investigation by the RCMP would be the most appropriate course of action."

Friday, March 07, 2008

SPP : TOPOFF 5 and the 2010 Olympics

24 Hours : "Canada, U.S. and Mexico are planning a massive joint military exercise in April 2009 "to focus on terrorist events that could affect [the] 2010 Olympics," according to Public Safety Canada documents released to 2010 Watch via access to information.

The rehearsal, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is code-named TOPOFF 5. Canadian troops were among the 15,000 participants involved in last October's TOPOFF 4 in Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Ariz. and Guam.

"Exercises provide unique training opportunities to strengthen our ability to deal with potential emergencies," said Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in an e-mail statement responding to 24 hours' interview request. "They are important tools to strengthen Canada's ability to deal with real incidents."

An undated Public Safety Canada report said up to $22.8 million was needed to fund emergency management, counter-terrorism, cyber security and critical infrastructure protection exercises, "leading to a trilateral full-scale exercise prior to the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, as outlined under the Security and Prosperity Partnership."

Now because I'm just not used to finding groundbreaking information about 'deep integration' military wargames in a free newspaper blowing around a bus shelter, I looked on the Public Safety Canada website. Unsurprisingly they don't mention it but the always frighteningly helpful US Dept of Homeland Security website does. Their National Exercise Program (NEP) page has a five year calendar and the June and July 2009 boxes read:
"National Level Exercise 09 Terrorism
TOPOFF 5 (Olympics Prep)."
The lavender colour coding indicates it is "Tier 1: White House directed, U.S. Government-wide Strategy and Policy Focus, Full Participation".

These TOPOFF exercises occur every two years and if this next one is going to take place in Canada around the Olympics, it might explain this news item from a couple of weeks ago :

Canada, US agree to share troops in civil emergencies
"Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency".

I wonder what qualifies as a "civil emergency".

Thursday, March 06, 2008

SoCon or Busted

Cathie from Canada catches blogger SoCon or Bust doing a little premature gloating and dogwhistling about the all too obvious endgame of Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, aka the Stealth Act to Recriminalize Abortion :

"... the momentum is clearly moving in our direction.
If not this time, it will happen in the future. It’s inevitable now.
Just give us a little crack and we’ll drive this
Little baby steps….easy does it."

Oh come on, SoCons, that's not your usual truck.
This is your usual truck :

that creepy fetusmobile you have on loan from the US Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Anyone could drive that thing through C-484.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Go to a party or defend women's rights....hmmmm

Liberal leader Dion attended a reception to celebrate International Women's Day tonight. Oh, the irony.
Live it up, flyboy. Good of you to show up.
Where the fuck were you this afternoon when Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, aka the Stealth Act to Recriminalize Abortion, passed its second reading in the House today?

The vote was 147 to 132 in support of allowing the bill to proceed to committee stage, meaning that just a few more Libs showing up for work today and voting Nay would have ended this bullshit.

As Kuri at Thought Interrupted put it : "The Liberals failed to stand up against the Conservative agenda they warned us against."

And a big fuck you to NDP Peter Stoffer who voted for it as well, courtesy of Mattt at bastard.logic

So off it goes to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where six of the twelve members including Chair Art Hanger distinguished themselves by voting Yea.
That's six for and six against.

And now a debate on granting fetal rights under the law can begin - which was what this was always about from day one.
Don't believe me? Horse's mouth right here.

Bill C-484 is the ninth private member's bill attempting to regulate abortion tabled by theReform/Alliance/Con party. Their last attempt to make the "murder of an unborn child when a third party murders a pregnant woman" a new criminal code offence, M-560, was introduced on March 11, 2004.
Today marks the first time such a private member's bill has reached second reading.
It was under your watch, M. Dion, and you didn't even show up for the vote.

Thursday update : Red Tory lists the 27 Liberals who voted for this piece of shit plus the 10 who were "conveniently absent".
H/t to Godammitkitty at Hope and Onions

Malalai Joya...

"After 9/11, unfortunately the United States and its allies like Canada pushed us from the frying pan into the fire, by putting in power the Northern Alliance criminals and warlords. As long as they follow this wrong policy, the situation in Afghanistan will become more disastrous.
Canada should not continue its current policy until 2011. Canada should act independently of the United States and find an alternative policy if they really want to be an honest friend of the Afghan people and improve this catastrophic situation.
Today, in the name of bringing human rights, women's rights and democracy, our country has been occupied.
You cannot bring values like democracy and human rights by supporting the sworn enemies of these values."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Non-proportional representation, Alberta -style

52.69% of the total vote gave the Cons 73 seats,
while 26.31% of everyone who voted garnered the Libs only 8 seats, and the NDP pulled 2 seats with 8.53%.

So half the vote equals 88% of the seats!

Then after factoring in Liberal Catnip's report on voter turnout -
Urban ~ 43% and Rural ~ 39%, it's really more like
21% of all eligible voters elected 88% of the seats.

And it looks like this :

I imagine Idealistic Pragmatist will have something to say about this.

Tuesday Update : Kuri at Thought Interrupted made us all pie!
Ok, Kuri actually made us pie charts, but they're really really good pie charts which include the vast all-powerful Alberta non-voting bloc.
Go see.

A wide variety of "No comments"

from the scandal we wish everyone would quit calling "Cadscam" :

On Wednesday Harper's office released a statement : "The then-leader of the Opposition [Harper] looked into the matter with party officials and could find no confirmation."

You will recall that former Con MP John Reynolds, who was also Harper's campaign manager, facilitated the meeting at which Finlay and Flanagan are alleged to have offered the $1M bribe to the late Chuck Cadman.
Asked about the incident, former Conservative MP John Reynolds told Canwest News Service he did not wish to comment.
"I'm not involved in politics anymore,"said Mr. Reynolds. "I have no comment at all."

Later Reynolds remarked to CBC : "the story seems fishy." and "Sounds to me like some kind of fiction story."

OK then, anyone else?

"Ryan Sparrow, a Conservative party spokesman, refused to comment on the allegations."

"Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he's never heard anything about any buyout. "I've never even spoken with Chuck Cadman," he said."

"Jay Hill, now the Conservative government whip and Opposition whip at the time of the vote in question, told NaPo he had never heard of the events," which he also characterized later as a case of "unfortunate miscommunication" and "a so-called make-believe fairy-tale scandal."

Con MP and Treasury Board chairman Vic Toews : "He [Cadman] cared about legislation not money. We've heard this story for years. It's bullshit."

Defence Minister Peter MacKay was deputy Con leader at the time of the alleged offer : "I don't know anything about how this has come about. Certainly it was something that I was not involved with,'' said MacKay, "I think it's sad, quite frankly, that this seems to have come up. It's very unfortunate.''

Ok, so it didn't happen but if it did, it isn't true. Got it.

Update : Chet reminds me in comments that the $1M meeting and the Flanagan/Finlay meeting are not one and the same meeting. Allegedly two days apart in fact. Quite right, my bad. I think I keep forgetting that little detail because it has that - oh no, it was two completely other guys who did that - whiff about it. Thanks, Chet.

Upperdate : Ok, now we're back to just one meeting again. Allegedly.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Canadian Gothic : McVety and Day

Impolitical reports that blowface evangelical crusader Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, is claiming credit for Bill C-10, an omnibus bill now before the Senate that would allow the federal government to deny tax credits for films that are "offensive or not in the public interest".
Or as McVety puts it : "films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence"
So I guess a Canadian remake of that conservative values homo-erotic snuff film classic, "The Passion of the Christ" would be completely out then, would it?
Way to go, Chuck. Get that message out there before it clears the Senate!
McVety said "his lobbying efforts included discussions with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and "numerous" meetings with officials in the Prime Minister's Office", and "a number of Conservative backbench members that do a lot of this work behind the scenes."
Seems the amendment was tucked into a finance bill and no one who works 'front of House' had read it.
But now, thanks to the grotesque vanity and eternal grandstanding of Charles "The bible interprets itself" McVety, we will have time to contact our MPs and ask whether they are part of McVety's little support group, and if not, just what the hell they are prepared to do about it.
"Films promoting homosexuality" indeed.
Bloggers and friends, start your letters.
Update : Nice to see that letter writing still works.
From Dead Things ON Sticks an as yet unconfirmed report that C-10 may already be limping its way back to committee.
Couldn't have done it without your blowtard help, McVety!

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