Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Definition Of Chutzpah

Lawrence Cannon lecturing anyone on the proper way to conduct a trial, while leaving Omar Khadr to rot. If any Russian officials are reading this, I am sure Mr. Cannon won't mind if you bring Khadr's case up in public.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Poor Norman Spector

He broke the omerta and has now disappeared.

Instant Update: Of course, he shouldn't print gossip, either.
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Oh, And Happy Festivus

Yesterday was Festivus. A belated Happy Festivus, for those who celebrated. I myself revel in the "Airing of Grievances".

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Christmas Time Is Here Again



Despite all the bullshit in Ottawa, I had a pretty good year. Merry Christmas to all the other political junkies, loons and fellow travelers.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Ontario

Here is your kick in the balls, courtesy of Prime Minister Oil Sands. Time to form an Ontario First Party, I think. After all, Alberta has its own party, and Quebec has its own party, why not Ontario? Bah humbug.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lemon Socialism For Your Retirement

Ask yourself two questions, who will profit if the feds privatize more of the retirement system? Who will be on the hook when these turkeys fall from the sky? We all know the answers to these questions. All you have to do is look south. Jesus, it's like the world financial meltdown never happened. Are conservatives that retarded?
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Question Of The Day

Now that is acceptable to strip people of their benefits, who is next to be deemed "unworthy"?
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I Wonder

Do you suppose the Conservative Party of Canada is lending Rob Ford its direct mail expertise, in this endeavor? The text reads like warmed over Doug Finley.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Path To Prorogation

Let's just say I would not be surprised if the Harperites announced the new "security perimeter" over Christmas and then prorogued (or, more likely, the other way round) until the budget in the spring.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Note To Stephen Harper

Re: the sellout of Canadian sovereignty. Americans (and by that I mean your friends in the Republican Party) will never "feel safe" until you are the Honorable Senator from Alberta.
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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Welcome To Toronto

Leave your brain at the door. Here, in his own words, is Don Cherry, Toronto's new goodwill ambassador:
"Actually I'm wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I'd get it in. What'd ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I've been bein' ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It's unbelievable. One guy called me a pink...a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I'd wear that for him too, today.

You know, it's funny. In those articles I was made fun of 'cause I go to church. I'm easy to do it that way. And I was called maudlin for the troops, because I honor the troops. This is the kinda, uh... You're gonna be facin', Rob, with these left-wing pinkos. They scrape the bottom of the barrel, but AGAIN, I was asked, why I was asked, and I asked Doug, "why?" And he said: "We need a famous, good-looking guy." And I said, I'm your man, right? Right off the bat.

You know, I was asked: why, why, why [the] landslide. And I was in their corner right from the start. They phoned me. Doug phoned me, the morning. They'll get a landslide! And why? Because Rob's honest. He's truthful. He's like Julian Fantino. What you see is what you get. He's no phony. And I could go on right now, all the millions and millions and thousands of dollars he's gonna save and everything, but I'd just like to tell a little story that was in the Sun, I think it was in the back pages. It was just a little, little thing. And Fiona Crean, for eighteen months, has been trying to get something done with City Hall. And then the story—I think some of you know the story—that there was a little old lady and all of a sudden she got banged on the door and two guys were there and said: "We're cutting your tree down." You know that's just a little thing, but to me that's a big thing. "We're cutting your tree down!"

And she's, well: "I don't want it. That's my favourite tree. A hundred year-old..."

"No! It's down. Cut it down." And then they give her, send her a bill for five-thousand dollars, for cutting it down. And for eighteen months her son and Fiona were: "City Hall. City Hall. Please help us." Thirty, forty calls. Unbelievable. Nothing. Laughed at. Rob's the mayor one day, apology comes, and a five-thousand-dollar cheque.

And that's why I say he's gonna be the greatest mayor this city has ever, ever seen, as far as I'm concerned! And put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks.

Thank you very much."
Toronto has never been in such capable hands.
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Dear Scott Vaughan

It's been nice knowing you. Expect the character assassination and smear to begin in 3...2...1....
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Monday, December 06, 2010

Harper Defiles The Montreal Massacre Anniversary

Prime Minister Asshat today: “That these women were gunned down for no other reason than their gender is as incomprehensible now as it was in 1989. While we cannot, and probably never will, be able to make sense of the events of that day, we can work to ensure that it never happens again,” Harper said. “Let us pay tribute to their memory in the best way that we can: by working to eliminate violence against women while making our communities safer for all Canadians,” Harper said.

Yup, let's work hard to kill the long gun registry gun control. That will make women safer. As the Mexicans say Gracias por nada.
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Signs The American MSM Is Crazy

Number 1: Frank Rich suggests that the reason Obama is acting like the a conservative Democrat is due to the Stockholm Syndrome. If this is so, Mr. Obama has been suffering from it for a long time. At least since his days at the Harvard Law Review. Obama is what he has always been. "Progressives" got suckered before his election -- as usual. And it is driving them nuts.
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Friday, December 03, 2010

They Call It Democracy

Many of my friends are upset over the near death of C-12 -- and rightly so. It is a disgrace that this country does not have representation by population. It is long since passed the time for reform, but reform will never come as long as the existing parties are beholden to rural Canada for power. But, rural Canada is so over-represented in the present configuration of the Commons, that the parties will always be beholden. It is a classic catch 22 and urban Canada is being screwed by it.

It is time to start a new party, one not based on the farm, but in the city. It is time for an urban party that looks out for urban interests first. It is time to jettison the dead weight of the old, rural dominated parties and declare, ENOUGH!
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Am All For Subways

But I thought the reason why Toronto went the LRT route was because no one wanted to fork over the money for Subways (which are many, many times more expensive). If Rob Ford can squeeze blood from the senior government, he will be celebrated in song (but only if he can convince the province to eat all of the penalty costs for canceling the LRT). Color me doubtful. Dalton has a way of weeping for you, while he is slipping you the shiv. Besides, is it even reasonable for the city of Toronto to tell the province to cough up more money for transit and pay for the penalties, because Rob Ford hates LRT's?
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Shorter American Diplomats

Oops, they are on to us. After reading this, all I can think is, these diplomats really don't know us very well at all. If they get the vapors every time someone bitches about the U.S. on the CBC, it's a wonder more of them don't drown themselves in the Ottawa river. Note to U.S. diplomats, we like Americans fine, but your government is hard to take sometimes, and does things we think are stupid (and maybe harmful to our interests). Does this shock you?
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How Stupid Is Kelly McParland?

Read this paragraph from his latest offering and decide for yourself:
Boo-hoo. Mr. Vaughan is probably right about downtown Toronto continuing to make its voice heard, but with luck it will mostly be at Starbucks on Yonge Street when councillors with time on their hands get together to complain about how nobody wants to talk about bicycle lanes and windmill-powered public toilets any more.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If You Can't Take Winnipeg North

You may as well fold your tent. I bet the next gun control vote will be whipped. Layton, I am sure, will want to thank the NDP provincial government, for closing community police stations in a crime-infested riding. The people of WInnipeg North sent a message and that message is "Smarten up and start acting like a social democratic party again. We can vote for real Liberals if that is all that is on offer."
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Moments In Economic Stupidity

How to you solve an unemployment crisis? Why, by freezing the wages of government workers, of course. That will get them spending and creating jobs. Oh, it won't? Never mind.
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The Death Of Outrage

Don't expect too many people to get upset by this, for too long. Since Canadians don't give a shit about handing our own children over for torture, I doubt they will much care if our government is handing over foreign children. They are all the wrong color and belong to the wrong religion, for Canadian tastes, I'm afraid.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Harper's Method Of Misrule

Step one: Make a decision in secret that will negatively affect Canadians.

Step two: If caught out by the opposition, change the policy, but only if it is easily demonstrable that it affects a key demographic of the Conservative base (see the long form census for a counterexample).

Step three: Blame the bureaucracy and act like you had nothing to do with the policy change in the first place.

Step four: Stand back and watch the MSM print headlines like "Ottawa gives low-income seniors a break", rather than "Conservatives caught trying to screw seniors".

Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Plus Ça Change...

'At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, 'it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

'Are there no prisons?' asked Scrooge.

'Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

'And the Union workhouses.' demanded Scrooge. 'Are they still in operation?'

'They are. Still,' returned the gentleman,' I wish I could say they were not.'

'The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?' said Scrooge.

'Both very busy, sir.'

'Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. 'I'm very glad to hear it.'

'Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,' returned the gentleman, 'a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?'

'Nothing!' Scrooge replied.

'You wish to be anonymous?'

'I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. 'Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned-they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'

'Many can't go there; and many would rather die.'

'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides-excuse me-I don't know that.'

'But you might know it,' observed the gentleman.

'It's not my business,' Scrooge returned. 'It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!'
Plus c'est la même chose:
In the Commons, Liberal seniors critic Judy Sgro portrayed the prime minister as the Grinch who stole Christmas.

"This bill was the last hope for these sick, disabled, and dying Canadians. Why is the prime minister so intent on hurting these vulnerable Canadians? How can he be so heartless? " she demanded.

Clement expressed sympathy for the plight of disabled Nortel workers but he pointed out that cutting off disability benefits was part of a court-approved settlement agreed to by all parties. He said trying to retroactively change that settlement by approving Eggleton's bill would result in "endless litigation, to the detriment of all" Nortel employees.

Clement castigated Liberals for trying to give Nortel workers "false hope" and said the government is "working on real solutions" to their plight.

Kennedy was skeptical.

"It's pretty clear to me that Harper and the Conservatives are not supporting this bill," she said. "That wouldn't be so bad if we thought they had another plan, another way to help us, but they've given absolutely no indication of that."
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If Only Caning Was An Available Remedy

Cane all bankers. Cane them, I say:
Before the bank bust, Ireland had little public debt. But with taxpayers suddenly on the hook for gigantic bank losses, even as revenues plunged, the nation’s creditworthiness was put in doubt. So Ireland tried to reassure the markets with a harsh program of spending cuts.

Step back for a minute and think about that. These debts were incurred, not to pay for public programs, but by private wheeler-dealers seeking nothing but their own profit. Yet ordinary Irish citizens are now bearing the burden of those debts.

Or to be more accurate, they’re bearing a burden much larger than the debt — because those spending cuts have caused a severe recession so that in addition to taking on the banks’ debts, the Irish are suffering from plunging incomes and high unemployment.
Then castrate them and send them to prison. They are a plague upon the nations.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shorter SIU

Yes, you were beaten by the police at the G20. But, all of the cops were acting like thugs, so we can't identify any single cop to charge. Case dismissed.

Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentleman. It makes me proud to be Canadian.
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Likud Party

Canadian branch. Harper, once again, cruising for votes in the Florida Republican primary.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Least Surprising Headline Of The Day

Don Cherry wades into partisan politics. And, did you know, Cherry is a Conservative? I think Cherry is a blowhard, but if he wants to campaign for Julian "You can't see me" Fantino, that is his business (as long as he keeps it away from HNIC).
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Great Ideas Watch

Irish edition. What is the solution to the problem of an economy gang-raped by the world's banking community? According to the Irish government, cutting the minimum wage is the way to go. Fucking genius.
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Note To Jeff Simpson

Dear Jeff,

I am happy for your Australian friend. I am glad she was able to afford private health insurance and jump the queue. However, as you yourself point out, Australians complain about wait times in their public system, so your argument about private health care helping to take the pressure off the public system seems, a tad off. The thing is, the resources and staff used in the private system are drained from the public one (unless Australia has perfected cloning technology and are breeding doctors, nurses and technicians in a lab). As usual, any benefit to such a system is reserved for those who have the means to pay more for care. The rest of the population gets the leftovers. So, until you can solve the zero sum problem of public/private medicine, I think I will stick with public only care. Thanks for writing. Greg.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Conservative Distortion Field

Why are the Conservatives bullet proof on the construction scandal? So far the base is shrugging its collective shoulders. Could it be that the Conservatives have successfully convinced its base that anything that happens in Quebec has nothing to do with them. Quebec is full of "The French" and so "Our tribe" is not responsible. If so (and it seems to be so), it is a fascinating study in political compartmentalization (not to mention tribalism).
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ottawa's Kegger Crowd

Travers today:
In politics it's possible to score points being right and wrong at the same time. Peter MacKay is testing that quirk — and Stephen Harper's patience — with frat-boy antics.
Harper's sole reason for caring about the incident was its target -- him. Otherwise, Ottawa is chock-a-block with "frat-boy-antics", oringinating in the Langevin Building. Harper, in other circumstances, would be as proud of MacKay's "antics", as any fraternity president. That is what Harper is, after all.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

There Is An Old Saying

I just made up: If you have no plans to govern, you might as well just fuck around. That is Harper's moto. This latest move has nothing to do with actual Senate reform (to say nothing of climate change). This is all about sticking it to the opposition, so the braying morons at the Blogging Tories can throw feces around, for a while. The geniuses at the PMO are up to their usual frat-boy stunts. *

*With apologies to frat-boys, who are mature in comparison to the motherfuckers at the PMO.
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Two Things

First, take a look at the picture attached to this article. It portrays Bob Rae as he is, a constipated member of the ruling class. I have never seen such an accurate portrait. Way to go Bob, you have finally made it.

Second, "bi-partisanship" in Canada, just as it does in the U.S., means "giving in to the military industrial complex". This kind of cooperation is approved of and encouraged by the corporate press. "Coalitions", on the other hand, are interpreted as somehow against elite consensus (or at least out of their control) and are therefore discouraged and vilified by the corporate press. So note the use of bi-partisanship in the case of the blue Liberal establishment's backroom deal with the Harperites on Afghanistan. Our owners are pleased with this outcome, praise God.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look A Shiny Thing

Well, at least this got Jack Layton to shut up about Afghanistan, for a few minutes. I am sure it is just a coincidence.
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Just Wait Until Next Time

Headline: Leaving Afghanistan in 2014 ‘a goal,’ not a deadline: NATO official. I expect that in 2012, Bob Rae will propose a brilliant new plan to extend our military deployment for another four years, so that our military can have the time to hand out puppies to each and every Afghan child. Prime Minister Harper will thank him and make it so.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harper's Friend In Times Of Need

Harper's deal with Satan holds firm. Harper could announce nuclear war with Iceland today and this would still be the lead story. Just where are the crossroads in Ottawa?
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Trial Balloon Alert

The Harperites are throwing smoke bombs everywhere, in an attempt to give cover to their embattled position on our non-leaving of Afghanistan. Their latest smokescreen is a vague promise to "protect the rights of women" in Afghanistan, as part of our new mission. I assume we will protect Afghan women from the right to safe abortions.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Support The Troops? What A Joke

Talk is cheap, but the fact is, we don't support the troops. Sure, we line the "Highway of Heroes", but that doesn't cost anything but our time. When there is a real cost in tax dollars, our attitude is "Fuck you whiners", we want tax cuts for corporations and fifth generation stealth fighters to ward off an enemy that hasn't existed for twenty years". You think that is harsh? Why do you think the governments in Ottawa and Toronto can get away with cuts to mental health services? Because they can, that's why. As long as Canadians in general and the Tory base in particular is willing to put up with this kind of nonsense and continue to support a government that talks about the troops, but ends up screwing them, then the screwing will continue. But on the bright side, the corporations will be happy as they continue to ship jobs overseas and Peter MacKay sure will look great in a flight suit.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Rudyard Kipling 19th Century Imperialist

"You can't look for quick fixes. You have to realize that these things require extraordinary time and effort. That is just the reality. You can't lose patience and you can't lose hope," Rae said.

"The world cannot afford to have little hidden corners that are festering with violence and conflict that go unmonitored or unassessed."

Bob Rae 21st Century Imperialist
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What Caplan Says

God, I wish I could write as well as he can.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

The Establishment At Prayer

So sayeth the Globe and Mail:
The Canadian government has made the decision to extend this country’s mission in Afghanistan. It will end its combat role and continue, in a more intensive way, to train the Afghan army and police. It is the right decision. Should it be put to Parliament to debate and vote on, as MP Paul Dewar, the New Democratic Party’s foreign affairs critic, says? No. Such a vote is not necessary or helpful.
Ahhhhhmennnnnn! Right then. Nothing to see here. Peasants should just tug their forelocks and move along.
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It's A Stephen Harper/Iggy World

And the rest of us just live in it. No need to bring this to parliament. All Harper needs to extend our stay in Afghanistan, apparently, is buy in from Iggy and Bob Rae and everyone else is expected to jump. Does the rank and file of the Liberal Party agree with the extension? Who cares? Not the leadership of the Liberal Party.
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Blast From The Past

The PM was Mr. Contrite yesterday, when he admitted we are going to keep our children in a meat-grinder for another four years, but I wonder how long that will last? I wonder how long he will keep up the "Gosh, I wish it was different" BS and embrace his inner war lord, once more? When will Taliban Jack be resurrected? I suspect all it will take is one question from Layton, doubting the wisdom of the Dear Leader.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Quibble, Mr. Travers

I agree, on the whole, with your Remembrance Day column, but I take issue with this passage:
Decades after Vimy, the ‘50s Suez peacekeeping solution and five years into a sharp ideological shift, this country had no convincing story to tell. Instead of taking its assumed place in the vanguard of countries finding solutions, Canada is now dismissed as a backslider and obstacle to progress.
There has been no ideological shift in this country. The only shift that has occurred is a shift in votes away from the Liberal Party to the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens. Combine that shift with the "magic" of our retrograde electoral system and voila, Conservative government. So, don't despair, the old Canada is still there. All we need to bring it back is electoral reform, which I hope your newspaper will now support.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When Power And Politics Jumped The Shark

Today at about 5:15, when Evan Solomon turned our public broadcaster's flagship show about politics, into a literal gong show.*


*I also would have accepted "Day one" as the correct answer.
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Let Them Eat Bedpans

Tell me again, what is the difference between Liberals and Conservatives?
“Our interest is to ensure the taxpayers aren’t paying any more and they won’t,” he [McGuinty] said in Hamilton.

“We’ve made that commitment already.”

Asked if that means the hospitals might have to close beds or cut other services to make up for the wage settlement, McGuinty said that’s up to them and their workers to figure out.
Nurses are supposed to work for free (and if not, patients must suffer), but bankers can continue to count on Mr. McGuinty and the Liberal/Conservative Party to support their high class lifestyle.
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Elites At Work

Funny, but I doubt you will ever see this raised as an example of our elites at work, by our political class. That's the thing about our elites, they are masters of misdirection. While we are all howling for the blood of teachers and garbage collectors, they are quietly committing the nation to four more years of wasted resources and squandered lives.

Update: Steve V. postulates that people don't "give a shit' about politics. This is a good example of why that attitude has taken hold. The feeling in the land is that all of the decisions have been made by elite consensus, behind closed doors and our role in our "democracy" has been reduced to that of cheerleaders for various elite "teams". Since there are much better mass entertainments available these days, who can blame Canadians from tuning out? Our participation is not wanted. Our leaders don't give a shit what we think.
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Monday, November 08, 2010

Harper's Foreign Policy

My Israel, Wrong or Wrong.
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Help For The Confused

From today's Globe on statements made by outgoing veteran's ombudsman, Pat Stogran:
Regardless of his future, Mr. Stogran said the government will have to explain what the war was all about to not only families of the dead, but also the wounded who will show up at future Remembrance Day services.
As a public service, here is what the war was about. It was a sop, from Jean Chretien to George W. Bush, because Chretien did not want to send troops into an illegal war in Iraq. Chretien thought by getting the troops posted to Kabul, Canada could point out to the Bushies that Canada was pulling its weight, and thereby keep the U.S border open to trade. This was a fine (but completely cynical) strategy, until the Martin regime overthrew Chretien. Paul Martin, in his usual fashion, dithered his way into moving our troops from the relatively safe Kabul to the meat grinder of Kandahar.

Martin, of course, threw himself under a bus and was replaced by Stephen Harper. Harper, who would have much preferred to have committed our troops to Iraq in the first place, has happily kept our troops in a no win situation (with a great big assist from the Liberals), in Kandahar, for four years.

In summary, the war in Afghanistan was a cynical sop to an ally that was feeling vulnerable and angry (and was quite frankly, driven a bit crazy)after a terrorist attack, in a bid to keep the economy going. You are welcome.
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Pollsters Standing By

Trial balloon alert. Not that they care what I think. What says the over 65, white, exurban/rural, male? That's all that matters.
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Greg's Real Elite Quiz

Answer the following questions as best you can and score accordingly.

1. Did you attend public schools? (-30)

2. Did you attend private schools? (+30)

3. Do you have an MBA or a law degree? (+50)

4. Do you have a degree in the Arts? (-50)

6. Does your job title contain either "finance" or "international"? (+100) A bonus of +50 for those who have both.

7. Does your job bring you into direct contact with the public at large (excluding politicians)? (-100)

8. Do you work in the PMO? (+300)

9. Do you belong to a union? (-200)

10. Have you ever skied in Aspen? (+50 for each occasion)

11. Cottages. Rent (-50). Own (+50). Cottage? I can't afford to own a car (-100). Bonus of +100 if you own a cottage on Lake Rosseau or Lake Joseph

Add up you score. If you scored 200 or better, congratulations, you are a member of the ruling class.
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Magaret Wente, Oy

Her "Do you belong to the Elites" quiz says more about her than any "elite". Her elite runs the CBC, or teaches at U of T. In reality, the people who run the country work in corner offices, on the top floors, of bank towers on Bay Street; or in an office block across the street from Parliament. These are the people calling the shots in this country. Funny how Ms. Wente et. al. love to point away from the true elites, isn't it? I wonder why that is?
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Baby Please

Democrats to Americans: Sure we screwed you against your will, but we wore a condom and said thank you at the end. The other guys won't be as nice.

Americans to Democrats: We'll take our chances, assholes.
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Great Moments In Obsfucation

"I'm not a hooker, I'm a private pleasure facilitator."

"I'm not a thief, I'm a property redistribution coordinator".

"I'm not a lobbyist, I'm a strategic communications adviser."
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This Is Supposed To Make Me Feel Better?

Lawrence Cannon's defense, with all of the nonsense stripped away is this: Canada had nothing to do with the negotiations for Omar Khadr's repatriation. However, since the U.S. government and Omar Khadr's lawyers have come to an agreement, the government of Canada is duty bound to accept it. In other words, Canada has voluntarily given up its sovereignty to a foreign power, without any discussion or negotiation. And this is the defense that is supposed to shield the Harperites from criticism? They think it is better to be seen as selling out the country than to negotiate over Khadr's repatriation? Jesus, what are they smoking in the Langevin Block?
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Monday, November 01, 2010

Stephen Taylor Is So Cute

When he pretends that Omar Khadr had a real trial and that the opposition parties are now, somehow, in a tough spot. The reality is Stephen, that Khadr was railroaded, and the whole world (excluding Fox News watchers and the Conservative Party supporters) knows it.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mr Ford's Movie List

I am with Peter Howell. If Rob Ford meant this when he talked about the "Gravy Train", I would be right beside him. Sadly, when Mr. Ford says "gravy train" he means people who make union wages. Like all dangerous class warriors, Ford disguises himself as a friend of the "working man", while safeguarding the real elites in a fog of faux populism.
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Crazy Options

Reading the NY Times roundup of reviews of Obama's appearance on Jon Stewart's show the other night, I came upon this paragraph by Robert Stein. It deftly illustrates where apologists for Obama are coming from:
“This encounter was a sour reminder of how far those who were high on Obama’s coming have crashed and burned,” added Robert Stein at Connecting the Dots. “Days before election, to persuade supporters to get out and vote against the likes of Rand Paul, Christine McConnell and Linda McMahon, he has to explain why he turned to Larry Summers for economic advice. Would they have preferred John McCain and Joe the Plumber?”
I have to give Stein some credit, while he does mention Joe the Plumber, he doesn't mention even crazier alternatives Obama could have turned to -- crazy nutters like Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, for example.
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Weird Or What?

Is it just me, or is Brad Wall's sudden conversion to economic nationalism totally bizarre? After all, it was Wall's political godfather, Grant Devine, who sold off the province's birthright in the first place. To suddenly claim that the resource once again belongs to the people of Saskatchewan, is kind of like rediscovering your virginity after years of whoring. It sounds good inside your own head and may even allow you to sleep at night, but it makes everyone around you snicker about you behind your back.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comments Encouraged

I always wondered where Conservative trolls got their money:
MacDougall added that this year's budget has committed the government to freezing expenses in ministers' offices.

He explained that the rise in PMO expenses is the result of two things: A larger communications staff to help the prime minister and his ministers communicate with Canadians; and, to a lesser extent, increased travel by Harper throughout Canada as he informed the public of the government's actions to fight the recession.

"Communicating is always important. But it's even more so when Canadians are worried about their economy and what their government is doing to address it. So it's important to return every phone call and have the prime minister out there communicating."

MacDougall said a larger communication staff is needed because "news is happening all the time now, there's more media formats and more outlets." (Emphasis mine).
It takes a lot of manpower to fill up the comment sections of our major newspapers' web sites with pro-government posts.
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The Stab In The Back

Well, you just knew this was coming. The Harperites are denying they made any deal with Omar Khadr to repatriate him. The shit will hit the fan, now (though I doubt we will hear much from the opposition, as I expect them to run for cover). More to come. Count on it.
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Elities

The term "elites" is being thrown around a lot by conservatives these days, but they never define what they mean. This is of course, on purpose, because it invites angry people to fill in the blank. The clerk at the bank who wouldn't break a twenty for me, because I didn't have my bank card on me. She is a member of the goddamn elite. The park ranger who told me I couldn't start a fire in a national park, even though I had the wood and everything. He was an elitist too. See, it's perfect. Anyone who doesn't do what I want them to and is a low level functionary for a big institution, is a member of the elite. That is who we should hate, according to conservatives. PM's and CEO's of banks are just too far removed from our daily experience to truly hate. It is like hating the moon. None of us will ever get there, just as none of us will ever meet a PM or a bank CEO. It is better for us to take out our frustration about the decisions these great people make, on the backs of clerks and park rangers. It gives our hatred something solid and within our reach. It is also completely bogus and therefore impotent, but never mind. Conservatives love impotent rage.

As a public service to the confused out there, I want to give you a simple definition of elite. A true member of the elite is a phone call away from getting face time with the king (or in our case, the PM) and/or he or she will always have his or her phone call returned by the king/PM personally. You're welcome and please leave the bank clerks and forest rangers alone. They are just folks like you, trying to make a living in a tough world.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Makes Me Want To Puke

First, two U.S. presidents and Canadian prime ministers ignored their international legal obligations under the UN Conventions On The Rights Of The Child and locked up a kid, without trial for eight years. Then, they forced the kid to choose between life in prison in the U.S. or self-denunciation with repatriation (eventually, maybe). Having taken the only logical course, the U.S. government then entered all kinds of suspect testimony into the record, duly and uncritically reported by the corporate press (and the state owned CBC). Next, the kid, who should have been home 8 years ago had to sit in court and listen to a government psychiatrist testify that the kid is dangerous because he spent eight years in Gitmo (as if he had a choice). Finally, even as Khadr was being railroaded, the current sick fuck to occupy the White House, was signing exemptions so that his allies can press more kids into the meat grinder (h/t to pogge), again contrary to both U.S. and international law. All in all, a disgusting display of hypocrisy and an arrogant display of victor's justice. Now excuse me while I go have a shower.

Correction: I don't want to forget Jean Chretien's contribution to this mess, so that makes three PM's who failed to live up to international treaty obligations.

Update: Andrew Sullivan (an American no less) is the only journalist with the balls to call bullshit. Why are Canadian pundits hiding under their desks?

Updater: Behold an example of a Canadian pundit who also calls bullshit.

Updaterer: And Jesus, George Jonas too.  I am beginning to see a pattern here. 

Updatererer: Bejing York points to this really interesting interview with David Lindorff.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Understatement Of The Day

Marcus Gee on Rob Ford's shelf life:
Marcus Gee:
I think the O'Brien story is instructive. Mr. Ford has promised to make sweeping spending cuts and tax cuts AND no cuts in services. When he falls short, people will be disappointed.
When you promise to give everyone money for nothing and services for free and then don't deliver, you might have a short career in the big chair.
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Meanwhile

I live in the world's most intelligent city (2007) and it's citizen just voted to stop putting fluoride in the water. We don't need no education. We just need the name of a cheap dentist.
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The Garbage Man Can


A lot of the euphoria on the right this morning, reminds a lot of the post-election euphoria in the Simpson's episode, entitled "Trash of the Titans". Homer ran for Trash Commissioner on the promise of more service for less money. Hilarity ensued. Sadly, the outcome in Toronto will be a lot less funny.
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Sure Chris

Chris Selley is chuffed about Ford's election in Toronto and breezily dismisses concerns about working conditions for employees of the city:
Opening up garbage collection to competitive bidding will be another interesting debate. This is not an “anti-union” measure. The replacement workers — if they were indeed replacements; CUPE could easily win the contract — would themselves almost certainly be unionized. But it would be a quick declaration that things are not as they were, that we’ve simply passed the point in history where something like trash pickup needs to be the exclusive domain of the public employee.
Quite true, CUPE could win the contract, as long as it was willing to take non-union wages and benefits. Chris isn't worried by the race to the bottom, and I suspect most of Ford's supporters don't, but in the end, by adopting this attitude, they are simply cutting their own throats. Screwing public sector workers, is the new opiate of the masses.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Push Grandma Under The Bus

The Liberals and Conservatives are after Medicare again. Jesus, their response to any challenge in health care is always "privatization". Ever think about taxation to support a basic right of Canadian citizenship? Hell no, that would require a spine and a political options kit that contains more than "Help the rich get richer".
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The Lede Says It All

From the Los Angeles Times:
The Obama administration will be spared putting Canadian terrorism suspect Omar Ahmed Khadr, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, on trial in relation to a firefight in Afghanistan when he was 15 and apprenticed to militant fighters.
That is what has always been about, sparing Obama from the embarrassment of prosecuting a child soldier, counter to international law. How nice for Obama and his merry band of torturers that that is no longer necessary. How nice for the Harperites who can now spread their usual brand of bullshit for the consumption of their eager, hungry base. How sad for Canadians, Americans and anyone interested in justice that we are lumbered with such sorry "leaders".
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Obama's Railroad

Some call it justice. We call them assholes. Rip up the United Nations Conventions On The Rights Of The Child. Maybe they need toilet paper on Air Force One.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Election Coming

Before the end of next year. How do I know? I know because of this paragraph, written in the Post, about the deal the Harperites are negotiating over Omar Khadr:C
Canadian agreement is necessary if the plea deal is to deliver on a proposal that, sources have told Postmedia News, would see Khadr transferred to Canada after spending the first year of an eight-year sentence in U.S. custody. (Emphasis mine)
The Harperites want Khadr out of the country during the next election. They have a year to make it happen.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Pant On Fire Alert

Stephen Harper on talks with the Taliban:
Canada and its allies “have always supported attempts at reconciliation,” Mr. Harper told reporters during a press conference here with Swiss President Doris Leuthard.
Always eh? I am sure "Taliban Jack" Layton would beg to disagree.
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Lessons To Be Learned

Chantal Hebert makes some interesting points in her column today about the lessons of the Calgary municipal election for the federal parties. By and large I agree with her, but she leaves unspoken the reality our parties have yet to face. We are multicultural, multi-religious country, led by old, white, Christians. We live in an urban country, but our politics are seized by rural issues (Long guns? Seriously?) , unless it means putting the relatives of our newest urban citizens in detention. In short, our politics caters to a Canada that is an anachronism and urban voters do not see themselves reflected in the priorities of our politicians (or indeed in the politicians themselves). Until and unless the parties begin to understand that Canada is not hockey, long guns and maple syrup festivals, but a complex urban society with real potential and problems, voter apathy will continue.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Road We Are Travelling

Dahlia Lithwick is writing about he contretemps between Ginni Thomas (wife of Justice Clarence Thomas) and Anita Hill. Close to the end of the article (which is worth a read) Ms. Lithwick writes:
But the depressive in me suspects that Ginni Thomas simply doesn't care what any of us think of her attempt to reach out and touch someone she hates. Why would she? She and her husband long ago passed a point at which they worry about how they will be portrayed in the mainstream press. They stopped reading it years ago. They both live in a world in which the facts of Hill v. Thomas don't matter. There are no facts. There are just "our" beliefs and "their" beliefs, just as there is "our" media and "theirs" and "our" Civil War history and "theirs." To criticize either Thomas has always been to join in the imagined conspiracy against them.
The American conservative movement have taken a very dark road. This is the road Canadian conservatives have decided to take too. They have taken postmodernism and have made it their own. There are no objective truths, there are only beliefs. Anything that contradicts the beliefs propagated by the Conservative Party, are obviously the work of either the devil or the Liberal Party. Facts be damned (or in our case statistical analysis be damned). The road we are on is leading us back to a time when faith was paramount and everyone accepted the word of the priest as the word of God. Welcome everyone, to the new Middle Ages.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anyone Give A Shit

About Afghan detainees anymore? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Wednesday morning update: Pogge points to a depressing article that came out late yesterday afternoon. The Liberals and the Bloc are looking less like dupes and more like co-conspirators, every day.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wanker Of The Day

Kelly McParland. Shorter Kelly McParland: Who cares if Khadr was tortured and held illegally for a third of his life. If he confesses in the hope that he might be repatriated, he must be guilty.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Revolution Wanted

Seriously, if I was an American, I wouldn't rest until every one of these motherfuckers was in jail for life. A real revolution is needed down there and not that clown show known as the Tea Party. It may come as early as January, when the poor folks putting their faith in that movement discover they have been sold another worthless piece of junk.
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Today In WTF Moments

The Globe and Mail editorial board calls for the end of the secret ballot. What's next, universal suffrage, an idea whose time has come and gone?
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rehearsing His Election Night Speech?

Mr. Harper talking to reporters today about the lost U.N. Security Council election:
"As I've said before, our engagement internationally is based on the principles that this country holds dear," Harper said. "It is not based on popularity."

He added the government's decisions are based on shared Canadian values — freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, justice, development, and humanitarian assistance for those who need it.

"Those are the things we're pursuing, and that does not change regardless of what the outcome of a secret votes is," he said.
I suspect, if the Harperites lose the next general election, you will hear a variant of this speech by the dear leader. Stupid secret ballots.
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Thursday Morning Bitching

Note to the Harper government and the little bitches at the National Post. Suck it up, buttercup. This is the world we live in. Yes, there are people in the world who are trying to further the interests of their nations, through the United Nations. And yes, you may not like them nor share their interests. But, so what? They may not be all that thrilled with us or ours, either. That is what we call international politics. You put your feelings aside in order to advance your country's interests. If it is too much for you, to handle. If you can't do what is necessary to advance the interests of this country and "horse trade" (for God's sake, that is the essence of politics), then you should take up gardening. You have no business running Canada.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

They Didn't Get In

So the "corruption smear" resurrects. Hey, it's how this government rolls.
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Stephen Harper, Negotiator

Stephen Harper brought the negotiating skills he has honed developing such well thought out policies like changing the national anthem and scrapping the long form census, to the world of international relations. Hilarity ensued. How could the United Nations delegates fail to be impressed by such a genius of foreign policy?
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Deconstructing Talking Points

The two main talking points yesterday were:
"We will not back down from our principles that form the basis of our great country, and we will continue to pursue them on the international stage," Cannon said. "Some would even say that, because of our attachment to those values, we lost a seat on the council. If that's the case, then so be it."
and
"In my view, (Ignatieff's statements) were used as an issue to prevent Canada from succeeding to the Security Council."
So, to recap, Canada lost because Germany and Portugal prostituted their ideals to get seats and because Michael Ignatieff has more credibility on the international stage than the government of Canada.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Canada's Back!

Oh, wait. Let the hunt for a scapegoat begin! Oh, wait.

Update: Is it just me, or is the Conservative mood surrounding this withdrawal eerily similar to the bizarre Alberta bus convoy of 2004?
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But, The Question Is...

Why are the Conservatives perceived as economically conservative and socially liberal, when in reality they spend like drunken frat boys and check in with Charles McVety on all social issues? Could it be because the MSM constantly repeats the myth?
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John Doyle Is A Brave Man

I agree with him completely. I haven't watched much hockey in years. In the old days, it was all about the game. Now it is about some Conservative Party vision of nationalism, where white men rule and everyone of importance comes from rural Canada and wears a uniform. Anyone who does not belong to these groups can either cheer them on, or just shut the fuck up. It's Canada after all. We have a choice.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

How Contracts Are Awarded In Harperland

According to the PMO. First, contractors give money to the Conservative Party. Next, they get government contracts, not because they gave money to the party and not because anyone from the government knew they were donors, but by a magical process involving Gnomes who live under the Langevin Block.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Question Time

It is time for the Conservatives and their supporters to answer three questions definitively, about coalitions and the Bloc Quebecois. 1. Are coalitions legitimate in a Westminster democracy, yes or no? 2. Do Quebecers have the right to choose whomever they want in an election? Yes or No? 3. If yes, do those representatives have the same rights as any other MP to vote, and form alliances with other parties? If no, then how does the Conservative Party intend to block Quebec voters from choosing members the Party considers illegitimate? These are simple questions and Canadians and Quebecers have a right to know the answers to them before the next election.
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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I Wonder Who Made That One Complaint?



"Tony Clement said he would not speak for the former minister, but added the public policy is justified if there is just one complaint."

Thursday Update: Rosie Barton has posted the actual exchange here. Read it yourself and see if Stephen Harper's face doesn't pop into your head. :
Clement: "I can't quantify. Even if there's one complaint, if it's a legitimate complaint, even if there's one complaint from a Canadian about the coercive tactics used by a government agency we have to consider that complaint a valid question about public policy."

Barton: "Sure, but we don't change public policy for one person do we?"

Clement: "Why not? If they're right."

Barton: "We change public policy for one person?"

Clement: "If they're right."
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Woe Is Us


All you have to do is watch Evan and Reshmi going through their "Watchdogs" shtick to know that Paddy Chayefsky was a Goddamned prophet.
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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Today In WTF Moments

Petey the Potato banned a prominent Muslim from a government sponsored event, at the command of Charles McVety. So, let's recap. In the last few months, this government has scrapped evidence-based decision making, perverted the idea of ministerial responsibility,attempted to gut gun control and instituted trial by letters from loonies. Is there any doubt remaining that Stephen Harper has remade the Conservative brand in the Republican image?
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Friday, October 01, 2010

Conservative Class Warfare

Responsibility, according to Dimitri Soudas, means Ministers answer questions from Parliament (when they feel like it) while their employees pay with their jobs. I like to call that "Wall Street" responsibility.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Definition Of Fair

A comment on a Globe piece on electoral reform:
The results under a proportional representation system would be no less biased. They would simply be differently biased. At the national level, for example, a proportional representation system would give places with large populations (i.e., southern Ontario) a lock on the federal government. Why should someone in Toronto have the whip hand in determining federal policies that will primarily affect northern Canada or the west or east coast (or northern Ontario for that matter)?

The fairest system would balance popular support (through a rep by pop House of Commons) with regional interests (as reflected in an elected senate)
So, in this case bias means the following will of the majority of the nation and fair means a veto for Prince Edward Island? Thanks for clearing that up. Now I know why Canadian politics is as fucked up as it is.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

John Baird's Intellectual Godfather?

Republican Congressman, Steve King reacting to Stephen Colbert's appearance before a House committee said:
"Maybe we should be spending less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there, ones that require real hard labor," King said bitterly. He invoked the "Joe the Plumbers of the world who, many days, would prefer the aroma of fresh dirt to that of the sewage from American elitists who disparage them even as they flush."
Of course you know, Colbert couldn't let that one go:
"This is America! I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
We live in farcical times, my friends, when clowns are both running governments and mocking them at the same time.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Privatization

Of Ontario Hydro. Another brilliant idea (you will note Tim Hudak's shilling for the utilities), courtesy of the modern conservative movement. Thanks guys.
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Vic Toews, Voice Of The Patriarchy

Vic Toews to Niki Ashton, yesterday:
The hard-working, law-abiding gun owners of Manitoba and Canada know that the long gun registry does not work. I would call upon the member for Churchill to stand in this House and, instead of voting with her downtown Toronto leader, represent her constituents in rural Manitoba, as her father does in the Manitoba legislature, where he has consistently spoken out against the long gun registry, together with the NDP in that province who do not support the long gun registry.
Do as your father does, young lady. That's what I love about Canada's Conservative Party. Every day is 1953, when men were men and women shut the fuck up and did what they were told.
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Harper's Willing Accomplices

Here are the Ontario urban/suburban Conservatives who voted to gut gun control. If I missed any, let me know.

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre
Terence Young Oakville
Mike Wallace Burlington
Lisa Raitt Halton
Peter Kent Thornhill
Ed Holder London West
Gary Goodyear Cambridge
Royal Galipeau Ottawa Orleans
Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa
Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo
Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora
Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham
Colin Carrie Oshawa
Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale
John Baird Ottawa West
Pierre Poilievre Nepean--Carleton
Harold Albrecht Kitchener--Conestoga

Voters in these ridings need to remember these names and hold them to account for their sheep-like support of the Prime Minister's insane policy of lawlessness.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yay

The gun registry is safe for now. Opposition leaders, by all means bring forward suggestions for reform, but the PM is not interested in reforms, so good luck with that. If you are smart they will set a big chunk of money for the next election to target urban Conservatives for defeat on this issue. You know the Conservatives will throw everything at those NDP and Liberal MPS who did the right thing here. You might as well go after those urban Conservative sheep who think gutting gun control is a good idea.

PS. My donation has been made to the NDP via the website. Congratulations.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fare Thee Well To Nova Scotia

Attention Nova Scotia voters. This is what the Conservative base thinks of you, your province and your elected representatives:
What did you expect? A deadbeat socialist MP from a deadbeat socialist riding from a deadbeat province with hands out all the time? Put a dead bottom feeding lobster in that riding paint it deadbeat socialist orange and the socialist deadbeat hillbillies will vote for it.
At least he or she didn't mention a "culture of defeat."
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Conservative Physics

Cause and effect. Mr Wizard and friends know, if they lose the legions they lose the election (That isn't coming, because Canadians don't want one, because of the economy tm).
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Stephen Harper, Cartoon Villain

Shorter Harper: And I would have killed that registry if it wasn't for those meddling kids!
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What Took Them So Long?



The opposition should have been posting these in every urban, Conservative-held riding in the country, for the last month. Hat tip to Kady on Twitter.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NDP MPs Hear The Voices Of The Conservative Base

In the message boards of the nation:
same ol', same ol' hey? The people don't want it.. we don't want to do it pay for it.. billions..then they cut it down to millions (yeah..right).. and, it leaves an open door to entry without cause or search warrent.. all a cop has to say is..oh..i thought there was a weapon on the premisis.

If i were a politician in ottawa today.. i'm telling ya' i wouldn't want any citizens to have guns either.
And that's probably why they are switching their vote to save the registry. The Conservative Party has officially become the Black Helicopter Party.
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Liars, Rogues And Thugs

Don Martin wrote:
Watching the Conservatives wrap themselves in a freedom-of-expression argument, insisting their 144 MPs were all voting their constituent’s orders, was a hilarious misrepresentation of reality.

Nobody believes the Greater Toronto Area ridings held by Conservatives are uniformly against the registry just as we know not all Liberal or New Democrat ridings support its preservation.

The government whipped MPs into unanimity of opinion by letting it be known there was an obituary waiting to be written for any who dared vote to back the registry.
Mr. Martin is publicly calling this "private member's bill" a fraud ( and Mr. Martin, it isn't "hilarious"). Are we, as a nation, going to allow our government to pervert our democracy so cavalierly? Are we so inured to this gang of thugs that they can literally lie in our faces and we will just sit back and take it? My answer is no! All of us together, must say in a loud voice, NO!
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Frankly...

I don't care why they changed their minds and I really don't give two shits whether or not that rat bastard Harper thinks he has won his majority ( he hasn't and his own caucus knows the man is a loser). All that matters is the registry looks to be safe (with the important caveat that everyone shows up. Liberals I am looking at you). P.S. NDP you will be getting a nice donation if this is pulled off.
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Be Careful What You ask For

Item:
As the Nanos poll found, there’s no mystery in a partial fix. Canadians want MPs freed to vote more often as they believe, not as leaders and unelected advisers dictate.
You may just get it. Massive ad campaigns aimed at "resistant" MP's, based on massive fund-raising, fueled by lobby groups and propaganda? No thanks. I have seen this movie and it stinks.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Who Spends This Amount Of Money

On a private member's bill? No one, that's who:
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives launched an aggressive campaign, including radio ads and billboards, Monday to pressure the 20 opposition MPs who voted with the government to scrap the registry not to reverse their votes.

This is a last-ditch effort by the Tories to ensure the registry dies. It comes on the eve of a crucial vote on the controversial program’s future scheduled for next Wednesday in the House of Commons.
This bill is a fraud and NDP members and its leader should not feel bound to follow the "tradition" of non-whipped voting.

Update: Common sense seems to be prevailing. There is no reason on God's earth that the NDP can't both support the registry and call for reform. It makes a Hell of a lot more sense than voting to scrap it and then calling for reform. That position is, quite frankly, stupid.
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When Half The Conservative Caucus Believes The Earth Is 6000 Years Old

It makes perfect sense to muzzle scientists who want to talk about floods that happened 13,000 years ago. Stupid eggheads and their facts, always contradicting God.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reason Has No Place In Harper's Government

While I can appreciate the idea presented in the letter by David Dodge et al  to the PM about his stupid change to the census :
A letter to the Prime Minister, also signed by former chief statistician Ivan Fellegi, warns the Conservatives their top-down decision to scrap the compulsory long-form census is eroding faith in the nation's statistical agency.
The approach is, I think, wrongheaded. These men are making appeals to reason and as we are all aware, reason ranks with socialism and separatism as something to be destroyed, by this regime.

Instead, the retired civil servants should have appealed to religion or some emotional hot button issue close to the Conservative base's heart. For example, ending the long form census will cause boatloads of Tamil refugees to crash on our shores because now we won't be able to track them. Or, how about ending the long form census will allow governments to raise taxes without fear of anyone being able to say it is unnecessary, since no one will be able to prove otherwise? Neither of the above arguments is based on fact or reason, or even reality, but those are the kinds of things this government cares about. Reason is the enemy gentlemen and now that you have revealed yourselves allied on the side of the enemy, you will be dismissed at best and have your reputations smeared at worst.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

A Winning Strategy

Give billions to billionaires to build stadiums, while simultaneously cutting benefits to the unemployed and raising payroll taxes. The Vulcan chess master has either outdone himself with brilliance, or this is a trial balloon made out of lead.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dear Dr. Malloy

You seem confused by the Harper government. Let me help you with that. If you want to know what possesses the Harperites, look south. The Harperites have infused the modern Conservative Party with the credit card conservatism of the U.S. Republican Party. Conservatives believe that if you blow vast amounts of cash on prisons and the military, while at the same time running up the debt by not cutting in other areas (except taxes which exacerbates the above trends), eventually the country will hit a wall, and the government as a player in the lives of citizens will have no choice but wither and die, for lack of funds. It is clearly the course of action preferred by this government and will continue whether or not there is a majority elected. I hope this helps to clear up your confusion.
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Monday, September 06, 2010

Brian Topp, Liberal

At least he drags out the tired, old Liberal scare tactics in his latest apologia of NDP tactics during the gun registry debate:
Most activists in the NDP universe take a decisively pro-registry position. But the more thoughtful among them know that if their party misplays its cards, they could hand enough rural seats to Mr. Harper to give him his majority – ensuring the outcome they want to prevent.
Vote for us, no matter what kind of shit we are shoving down your throats, or else Harper gets his majority. Well Brian, I rejected that kind of crap when it was on offer from the Liberals and I am going to reject it from you, too. I have no quarrel with reforming the registry, but that is not what is on offer here. If you vote with the Conservatives, they will kill the registry and salt the earth so it will cost another billion to restart the thing (and you know that will not happen).

Your party is faced with a choice. I know it isn't fair, but then what is? You either stand with the registry and reform it later, or you kill it, dead and for all time. You might lose some rural seats in the bargain, but you may also pick up some urban ones in the west, in the process. I can tell you one thing though, I wouldn't want to be running in Vancouver or Toronto as an NDP candidate, in the next election, if the party helps to kill the registry. It will be a slaughter.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

Kory Is Upset

And is shaking his little fist in rage at Margaret Atwood. Perhaps he can explain why the Sun chain employs people who use the phrase "lock and load" in the context of refugees? Somehow I doubt he will try though. His stock in trade is smear, not exposition. I can't wait for Ms. Atwood to tear him a new one. No one has a sharper pen than Peggy.
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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mr Harper Sort Of Right

It is kind of bizarre to have a potential coalition member that believes that national parks are a federalist plot. But, it isn't as bizarre as a government that believes its own census is a communist plot.
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Observation Of The Day

For a guy who says he doesn't want an election, our Prime Minster sure does mention it a lot, as he travels the country, handing out checks.
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dear David Akin

So sorry you are offended that people equate Sun Media with "hate speech". Would you care to give us an alternate meaning to the phrase "lock and load"?
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Like Scorpions In A Bottle

If you want to know what is wrong with Canadian politics, all you need to do is read the following, from an interview between Liberal pollster, Michael Marzolini and Susan Delacourt:
"By the time they [he means anyone] get elected, who knows what the lay of the land looks like. We know that it’s more difficult for the Conservatives to form a majority than it is for the Liberals to form a majority. Because of the Tory weakness in Quebec, you need additional support elsewhere in the country for the Tories. That really means you need about 14 points to form a majority, the Liberals need about 12... There’s no magic number, just a magic plurality." (emphasis mine)
The big parties are obsessed with finding the "magic plurality" (ie getting 40% of the vote so they can then act like dictators for four years) and could really give a goddamn about the majority of voters in this country. Meanwhile, the NDP is doing its level best to become a searcher in this self-destructive snipe hunt.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Insurance Reform Blue Liberal Style

Premier Daddy Dalton is all about giving us kids choice in car insurance. What a wonderful daddy he is. Starting tomorrow, we can "choose" to pay the same money for less coverage or we can "choose" to pay more money for the same coverage we enjoy today. Isn't "choice" swell? Thanks Daddy Dalton! And a special hug to uncle Bob Rae for making this all possible.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Irony Of The Day

With the vote on the long gun registry, a prime minister who has dedicated his political life to the dismantling of the Liberal Party, may instead become the midwife of an agrarian NDP rump, dividing the rural vote and leaving the cities to the Liberals.
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I'm Not Worried Either Jack

But there will be consequences if the long gun registry goes down with your party's help and denunciations -- lots of denunciations.
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I Am Just A Simple Blogger, But

More faux populist bullshit from the Conservative press. You know the stuff I mean. It always begins "I am just a simple "insert favorite prosaic profession here"", and then proceeds to rail against "the elites" and (in this case) against "coercion" as a method for cooperating on the census. It is funny how these working class heroes never rail against the owners of the country, nor for the abolition of coercive laws against drug possession or trespassing, isn't it? Perhaps the state should pay me not to take drugs and to not make myself comfortable in my neighbor's living room, too. Really, this is just more crap from the endless manure conveyor belt that is the modern conservative movement. Sadly, there seems to be a willingly stupid 30% of the population that eats this shit with a spoon.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Not A Risk...

It's a promise:
The first four days of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Arctic tour were all about claiming Canada's right to the great white north.

But the last night of his Arctic odyssey was about painting Canada in Tory blue.

Harper addressed a crowd of party faithful jammed into the Whitehorse Inn.

He trumpeted the Conservative's achievements in the economy but warned that his party needed a stable mandate when the next election comes.

The alternative, Harper said, is a coalition of the Liberals, Bloc and NDP and the risk that the work of the last four years would be undone.
We can only hope that a coalition would undo the damage that Harper and his psychopathic band of lunatics has done to this country. I can't wait, myself. The only thing standing in the way of this glorious possibility, is the leader of the Liberal Party.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Census Fallout -- With 100% More American Content

Item:
Canada will pay a huge price for the Harper government's "short-sighted" decision to scrap the mandatory census, say leading U.S. statisticians.

"This decision will lower the quality and raise the cost of information on nearly every issue before Canada's government," Stephen Fienberg at Carnegie Mellon University and Kenneth Prewitt at Columbia University say Thursday in the journal Nature.

Fienberg elaborated in a telephone interview from Pittsburgh, saying the decision makes little sense and the added costs will be enormous.

"It's just mindless," he says, predicting that government will end up spending "billions" replacing the mandatory long-form census that was sent to 20 per cent of the population with the voluntary survey to be sent to 33 per cent.
The problem with these fine statisticians is they do not understand the Canadian conservative mind. Conservatives are insane yes, but not mindless. To Stephen Harper, wasting "billions" is a feature not a bug. In fact, the more money he can waste, the less his government has for useful things like health care and day care. Also, he knows that wasting billions of dollars will give his loonie followers something to obsess over, as they sit in their bomb shelters, awaiting the knock on the door, from the men in black they "know" is coming.
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Of Health Care And Long Guns

Headline: Health care system’s value can’t be measured, Auditor-General says . Don't tell Shelly Glover, she will say that that means it is worthless.
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Shorter Shelly Glover

Because police officers checked the long gun registry and weren't killed, that shows it doesn't work. Of course the fact that 14 of 16 of the last officers killed in the line of duty were murdered using long guns shows it doesn't work too. I expect perfection. After all, look at our PM.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Have Seen The Future

And it doesn't work. Sorry about the lack of postings today. I am still recovering from seeing Evan "Look Out Bambi" Solomon fuck up Canadian political journalism, yesterday. Mr. Solomon, who I am sure is a fine fellow and a wonderful arts reporter, has no business hosting a show about politics on the CBC. The man is a lox. Case in point, the long gun registry and the chiefs of police.

I sat in disbelief as Mr. Solomon referred to a "straw poll" (read a posting on a police web site) as a "survey". Over and over again, he pretended that this abortion, was somehow a legitimate sample of opinion among rank and file police and should be given equal weight with the vote by the Chiefs of Police. Just as I was about to stroke out, Scott Reid called bullshit on him (not that Solomon admitted his error). If Evan Solomon can't tell the difference between a statistically valid survey and the internet equivalent to a radio phone in show, he should be fired.

As a final note, Tom Flanagan should be ashamed for his attempt to make Scott Reid's intervention on behalf of valid statistics look like a partisan shot. Luckily, Mr. Reid countered Dr. Flanagan quite well and at least Tom had the good grace to look shame faced. If this is where political reporting is going, we are well and truly fucked as a country.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being A Conservative

If you are a conservative, all you need to do to swat away any rational opposition is to use the following sentence: "While the facts may support X (climate change, gun control, the census) that does not change my belief in Y ( that climate change is a hoax, the gun registry is useless, the a voluntary census is just as good as a mandatory one)". It is simple and it does not need any evidence to support it.
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Then And Now

Then:
"The same-sex legislation is a question of human rights, that's why it's a fundamental question of principle in our party and we won't be able to accept members voting against the party position," Layton said. (Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: Jan 28, 2005. pg. A.06)
Now:
But unlike the Liberals, Layton isn't whipping his members to vote against the government, allowing them instead to "represent their constituents.”

"Our members are in constant touch with their constituents," Layton said Friday. "Our members represent their constituents, and always have, and have brought their views forward."
What are we to conclude? That in the last five years, the NDP has abandoned fundamental principles in favor of the old Reform motto of "Constituents uber alles"? Or, is this a recognition that Layton is unable to hold his caucus in line and is now trying to make a silk purse out of a pile of shit?
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Shorter Bill Elliott

The facts say that the gun registry is useful, but if my political masters want to indulge in magical thinking, then put me down for two unicorns and a griffin.
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Polling The Urban Tories

Here are the addresses, etc. of some urban Tory MP's. Please write, phone, fax, or email them and let them know that your vote is contingent on their support for the long gun registry.

Peter Braid
Kitchener-Waterloo
22 King St. South
Waterloo, ON
N2J 1N8
Phone:
519.746.1573
Fax:
519.746.6436
eMail:
Braid.P@parl.gc.ca

Stephen Woodworth
Kitchener Centre
Address:
#12-300 Victoria St. N.
Kitchener
N2H 6R9
Phone:
519.741.2001
Fax:
eMail:
woodws@parl.gc.ca

Ed Holder
London West
Address:
200-390 Commissioners Road West
London, ON
N6J 1Y3
Phone:
519.473.5955
Fax:
519.473.7333
eMail:
Holder.E@parl.gc.ca

Terrence Young
Oakville
Address:
337 Kerr Street (Main Office)
Oakville, ON
L6K 3B7
Phone:
905.338.2008
Fax:
eMail:
Young.T@parl.gc.ca

John Baird
Ottawa West Nepean
Address:
418-2249 Carling Ave. (Main Office)
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7E9
Phone:
613.990.7720
Fax:
613.993.6501
eMail:
Baird.J@parl.gc.ca

Peter Kent
Thornhill
Address:
7600 Yonge Street
Thornhill, ON
L4J 1V9
Phone:
Fax:
eMail:
Kent.P@parl.gc.ca

Alice Wong
Richmond
Address:
360-5951 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC
V6X 2E3
Phone:
604.775.5790
Fax:
604.775.6291
eMail:
Wong.A@parl.gc.ca
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Let Me Turn That Around Mr. Flanagan

Should we all just shut up and do what Stephen Harper tells us to do, even though he and his party represent, at best, one in three voters and is only prime minister because of our grossly antiquated electoral system?
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Next, You're A Poopy Head?

The Conservative's have reached the point in their mandate when the refrain "Yes, but the Sponsorship Scandal" is losing its utility. Besides, I have never understood how saying that their party is as corrupt as the Liberals, so nah, nah, nah, helped the Conservative cause.
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Well, At Least He Isn't A Tamil

Another otherwise law-abiding, rural, salt-of-the earth, Albertan who was exercising his right of long gun ownership,is unfairly having to answer to the man. When will the police realize that real men -- conservative men, solve their problems in their own way (with guns, trucks and copious amounts of alcohol)? Butt out. The state is not wanted in them there parts.
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A Gathering Of The Tribes

And James Bow did send forth the word and the word was "Drink". And there was much rejoicing.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Steve

I really think you have gone and done it this time. You have made Don Martin cynical. You bastard.
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Greg's Two Step Solution To Gun Registry Frustration

For Joe Comartin:

Step 1: Pick up the phone and dial Jack Layton's number.

Step 2: Tell Jack to stop being pigheaded and whip the vote on the long gun registry.

You're welcome.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twofer

Our PM held an event to whip up anti-refugee sentiment and coincidentally, divert attention from his government's bungling of the Veterans' Affairs file. That Steve, what a class act.
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Wrong Approach

Another appeal to reason over the census, is in the Star Phoenix today. It is a wonderful editorial and should be widely read. Unfortunately, an appeal to reason is the wrong approach with this government. They are immune to reason. What is needed instead is a wild charge, based on irrational fear and tribal hatred -- something designed to appeal to the average Conservative voter.

For instance, opponents of the government's decision to scrap the long form census should say that scrapping it will help Al Qaeda. If we don't know how many Muslims there are in Canada, the terrorists will use that to smuggle more suicide bombers into the country and may increase the chance that our daughters will marry one. It is complete nonsense of course, but it will scare the shit out of the Conservative base, something this government will not let stand.
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