Our opinions of and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.
Comments and suggestions can be sent to:
Dana - email@example.com
Bob - firstname.lastname@example.org
Syndicate this site:
The Stink Over Undercover Cops - Dana
On Chinese Goods - Dana
Tweaking The Template - Dana
If I Posted... - Dana
On Automobiles - Dana
The Grim Endpoint Of Public Healthcare - Dana
My Idea: Club His Sorry Ass - Dana
Robbed Again - Dana
Nothing To See Here - Dana
Finally Got Backlinks Working - Dana
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
The story of the undercover cops during the recent North American summit has caused quite a stink over at The Western Standard.
First off, I haven't watched the video or followed the story much at all but it seems that some folks are in a stink for the simple reason that undercover cops were embedded within the protesters to begin with.
There are a lot of good reasons to embed police within a protest and none of them have anything to do with spying or other such nonsense.
The two primary reasons officers are usually embedded with a protest are:
- To 'lead' the protest on it's route/march. The crowd will simply follow the people in the lead so by doing this the police can have a group of marchers walk around in circles for hours (and stay out of trouble) and no one is any the wiser.
- Similar to the first item, a crowd will not come into close contact with the police (in most cases anyways) unless those in the lead do so first. If the lead protesters stay back from the police so will the crowd.
As most of you are aware Chinese companies have been having some quality control problems as of late. The fact that some products they are manufacturing have quality issues really isn't terribly surprising on many levels.
What bothers me are the excuses put forward by government officials. China for all intents and purposes is one massive cartel, controlled by a few for the benefit of a few.
Regardless, anyone with common sense knows that a government that doesn't care about it's own people is not going to have a lot of concern to the well-being of foreigners. That being the case, any company that slaps it's name on a product is ultimately responsible for the quality of that product.
And let's be honest with ourselves, it is just as easy to produce crap in Canada as it is in China.
So I'm sitting here tweaking the Blogger template with the thought I might start blogging a little bit after a very long hiatus. Sweet suffering Google has changed Blogger a lot since I last poked around. The pages are now dynamically generated which creates some opportunities to add a few neat features to the blog. Then again, that would take time which I'm not exactly sure I have much of these days.
Regardless, I'll be updating the right sidebar, removing any dead links and making a few minor adjustments to the template. Nothing major.
... would anybody notice?
Mark Steyn is fisking Michael Adams over at Macleans. Here are two quotes that particularly stick out. The first is a quote from an American about the differences between Canada and the US:
The difference between America and Canada is that Americans don't care what the difference between America and Canada is.The second concerns a point that Adams is trying to make:
Adams' method was established in Fire and Ice: he notes at one point that in the U.S. SUVs outsell minivans by two-to-one, whereas in Canada it's vice versa. That's a fact. The fancy is in the meaning he appends to it. "This is a stark difference," he writes, "whose roots can be traced directly to the differing values of our two countries." This assertion seems to have no basis other than a casual assumption that Canadians are more environmentally responsible and thus more concerned with "excessive gasoline consumption, pollution and safety violations."Dhaliwal as a Hamas warlord in a three-ton Cadillac Escalade. Mint.
Isn't there a more obvious correlation? Minivans are cheaper than SUVs, and Canadians have less disposable income than Americans. It's easy to be "socially responsible" if you've got no choice in the matter. On the Continent they're driving around in things the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger's cup holder, so presumably they're more "socially responsible" still. In Canada those who can afford SUVs buy them, it's just that their numbers are smaller. Remember Herb Dhaliwal? Well, no, you probably don't. But a couple of years back M. Chrétien made him minister of natural resources, and he certainly got through a lot of them. He drove around like a Hamas warlord in a three-ton Cadillac Escalade. That's bigger than my SUV and I'm in favour of global warming. The difference is that the high living of a Liberal cabinet minister is confined, north of the border, mainly to Liberal cabinet ministers while down south it's more widely available.
Over in Britian we have a story that chills me to my bones:
A baby at the centre of a landmark case over whether life support can be withdrawn has an "intolerable life", the High Court has heard.You heard that right. A family has to go to court to prevent a doctor from killing their 17-month old son!
Baby MB, who cannot be named, has spinal muscular atrophy - a genetic condition which leads to almost total paralysis - and cannot breathe unaided.
Doctors treating the 17-month-old say it is in his best interests to withdraw ventilation and to let him die.
But his family says he has a reasonable quality of life and should stay alive.
They feel he can recognise and respond to them, and that he gains enjoyment from spending time with his family.
I'm sure it isn't uncommon for a doctor to develope some sort of God complex but this is plain nuts. For a doctor, a fully grown adult I might add, to tell a child's parents that the child wants to die seems to me to be the stuff of some sick horror story.And to think that the parents have to sit in a courtroom and listen to this is plain sickening.
Well it seems Paul McCartney has decided to grace lovely P.E.I. with his wisdom and good looks:
Longtime animal rights activists Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills arrived in Prince Edward Island on Wednesday to lend their star power to the campaign to end Canada's seal hunt.My advice to any Islanders that may come across his path is to wack him over the head with the largest object within reach.The poor guy apparently has nightmares at night about the suffering of poor seals in Canada's east coast. He seems to care less about the livelihoods of the people dependent on the seals for their income.
The former Beatles musician hopes to take his wife, a contingent of international media, and animal-rights activists to a barren stretch of ice in the Gulf on Thursday to catch a glimpse of newborn seal pups.
McCartney wants to "highlight the work of two animal protection groups to stop the Canadian seal hunt," according to the Humane Society of the United States.
That of course isn't of any interest to Paul because lets be honest... there wouldn't be any photo-ops involved.
Regardless Paul here is my proposition to you... if you want to save the seals then it only seems fair that you should replace the lost income to all the families affected.
Why exactly should they suffer for your ego?
It's bad enough when the government manages to burn through our hard-earned tax dollars at an amazing rate but now it's allowing private business to due the same with un-earned dollars:
The CRTC said yesterday that Canadian telephone customers have been overbilled to the tune of $652.7-million over the past few years, but the money will not be going back to them.So here we have a government (old Liberal government to be specific) that has a priority to expand broadband access in rural communities but instead of ponying up the cash to do it the CRTC gets private business to do it's dirty work for it.
The federal regulator ruled instead that telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. should use most of the money -- equivalent to about $50 a customer -- to expand offerings in underserved markets, primarily rural and remote communities.
CRTC chair Charles Dalfen told reporters yesterday that expanding broadband services, also known as high-speed Internet, is an important social and economic goal.
It has been a federal government priority for at least five years, although Ottawa has yet to allocate enough money to provide access in most rural and remote communities. "We think this is in the broader interests of the consumers," Mr. Dalfen said.
Could this be any more unbelievable? When exactly did Canadians give $650-million to the CRTC to piss away?
And on a different but related topic, why exactly is broadband access considered an important social goal? Since when did our government decide that online porn and gambling should become national priorities? Is this other one of those Liberal schemes (i.e. handouts) that are supposed to define us as Canadians?
When the leaders of Muslim countries say things like this you'd expect Europeans to be listening:
In his first public statement after the braking out of the scandal with the cartoons with Prophet Muhammad the Libyan Leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi announced that one day the Islam will disseminate its power over the European countries, the web edition of Libya Today reports.My opinion is that many Muslims have a totally different view of what constitutes discrimination than most Europeans do. To many Muslim (primarily in Europe) the fact that they don't dominate in politics and society is all the proof they need that they are being discriminated against.
In his statement Gaddafi calls those who had published the cartoons “slanderers who disseminate religious hatred”. He went on criticizing European schools that teach the children that the Muslim Prophet was not a messenger of Allah but a liar.
According to Gaddafi the riots in the poor suburbs of Paris last year were “only the beginning of the armed struggle of the Muslims against discrimination in Europe”. “Probably one day Europe will be subordinated to the Islam”, Col. Gaddapi claimed, cited by the publication.
While Europeans consider discrimination to be based on racial, social, or economic matters, many Muslims view discrimination from a totally different perspective as shown by Gaddapi's (the most recent spelling apparently) remarks.
As Gaddapi says, it's only the beginning...
If anyone happened to be trolling around here today they may have noticed a bunch of test posts going up and soon later being taken down. I sincerely apologize but I was testing the backlink feature to make sure it didn't break the canadiancomment template.
As far as I can tell everything looks fine.
So going forward consider yourselves warned... if you write about us, we'll know.
Poor Paul Martin has got his undies in a bunch over the defection of David Emerson:
Former prime minister Paul Martin yesterday spoke out for the first time about David Emerson's defection to the Conservatives, saying the about-face "astonished" him since the ex-Liberal had publicly condemned Stephen Harper only days before switching.People can have legitimate questions over Emerson's defection but when Paul Martin starts to become all richeous I can't do anything except roll my eyes in disbelief.
Mr. Martin issued a 365-word statement from Europe, where he is travelling, that amounted to a public excoriation of the man Liberals once called a "dream" candidate.
"As the person who recruited Mr. Emerson to public life, and given the lack of any articulated principle behind his decision, I certainly share the disappointment of so many Canadians in both Mr. Harper and Mr. Emerson," he said.
The former prime minister said Mr. Emerson's switch was "without precedent," in part because the Vancouver MP crossed the floor so quickly after being elected a Liberal last month.
This is the same guy who convinced Belinda Stronach to switch parties just before a confidence vote. This is also the same guy who personally ensured that select candidates were dropped into ridings to run for the Liberals even against the wishes of the local party members.
Sad Paul... really... really... sad.
Since Indigo/Chapters have decided that they do not value their Christian customers as much as they do people of other faiths, I have decided that I'll be taking my business elsewhere.
Here is the email I sent to the corporation explaining why:
Due to your decision to not display the upcoming issue of the Western Standard containing the cartoons of Muhammad I have decided that in the future my family and I will not be shopping at your stores.If you think it is worthwhile you can email Indigo/Chapters here.
Since Indigo does not have a problem displaying works that offend Christians I can only conclude that your corporation does not value your Christian patrons as much as you do the others.
My family regularly shopped at your Barrhaven and Kanata locations here in the Ottawa area. Due to this decision you can be sure that we won't be returning.
So some of you out there think I should help pay for institutionalized daycare. I don't bloody well think so:
It was a beautiful winter day to spend outdoors for the children at Le Petit Bourg daycare centre. For most of them, it probably felt a lot warmer than the -2 recorded that day in Quebec City, even with the slight breeze that grazed their faces.And how did the daycare respond to the parents concerns:
But the decision to leave 13-month-old Ludovick outdoors to nap for almost four hours has called into question the judgment of the daycare workers who thought it best to let the boy sleep, cuddled in a plastic car seat, rather than awaken him to take him indoors.
He and the baby's mother, Claire Ferland, immediately demanded a meeting with the daycare's administrator. Ms. Ferland told Le Soleil newspaper that she couldn't believe the explanations she was given as justification for letting her son nap outdoors in winter for so long.The only comment I have to make on this story is that in case any of you didn't know... Quebec already has institutionalized daycare.
"We were told things like: 'He has the warmest boots of everyone in the group,' or 'He breathes better outdoors.' They trivialized the incident and wouldn't even offer an apology," she said.
The parents filed a complaint with the province's child-protection authorities when it became obvious that the daycare found nothing abnormal about the incident.
So for all you pro-government-daycare folks, sleep well at night and don't let fear for little Sally's life affect your productivity while at work.
That after all would be bad for the economy... and we can't have that.
Since I'm trying to get myself back into a habit of writing I figure one of the first topics I should touch on is that of an MP switching parties in the manner of Belinda Stronack and David Emerson.
Andrew Coyne touches on the subject. He concludes:
And that's as it should be. Integrity in those we elect is not an issue like the rest, to be weighed against their positions on health care or fiscal policy. It is, or should be, a basic condition of office, a prerequisite. If at any time that comes into doubt, the doubt must be resolved immediately.Now, I'm not going to pick on Andrew since many people have similar opinions. The only reason I quote Andrew here is because his position is quite common and because I just happened to read it five minutes ago and it's fresh in my mind.
So I'm certainly comfortable with a law requiring MPs who cross from opposition to cabinet, or who are elevated to cabinet within x number of months of having crossed, to first obtain the voters' approval (that used to be the requirement, remember, for all cabinet appointees). Whether the same stricture should apply more broadly I leave open.
The problem I have with Andrew's opinion is twofold. First, he is openly admitting that for the most part, an MP is elected due to his party affiliation and not due to personal abilities or beliefs. Second, and most importantly, Andrew is essentially of the opinion that our government and our laws should be used to prevent people from voting their conscience.
In making that last statement I am in no way claiming that people who switch party allegiences are doing so out of some sort of moral conviction.
The problem in Andrew's approach though is that he wants to create a mess of laws dictating when an MP can vote against his party or switch party allegiances, and the consequences of doing so. Andrew... the last thing we need in this country are laws dictating how an MP should vote.
If an MP breaks his trust with his constituents then it is the constituents and them alone who are responsible in determining if the MPs actions were justifiable. How should the MPs constituents do this? Should we allow an MP to be recalled? Perhaps, I'm somewhat neutral on the subject.
In short, just because some people are justifiably upset when an MP switches parties, we have to be careful that we don't go to far in addresses these peoples anger. We have to be careful that the cure isn't worse than the disease and in this case, Andrew's cure is simply a poison pill.
Rarely do I have anything good to say about Jack Layton and his NDP party but today is one of those days. During the past federal election I was baffled when the NDP did not respond more forcefully to Liberal requests that NDP supporters should abandon their party in order to prevent a Conservative victory.
Well it seems today that the NDP have grown themselves a backbone:
The NDP has expelled Buzz Hargrove, the country's most prominent labour leader, for actively promoting strategic voting and Liberal candidates in last month's federal election.The NDP certainly made the right, as well as the principled, decision on this one. Though Hargrove is a huge financial and stategic contributor to the NDP they gave him the boot since he promoted the idea that the NDP should never be a governing party.
The Ontario NDP provincial executive voted yesterday to pull the membership of Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, for violating the party's constitution regarding provisions against endorsing other candidates. It also automatically revokes his membership in the federal party.
Don't get me wrong, I'ld be horrified to see the NDP heading up our government but we must give them credit where credit is due.
Way to go Jack!
crossposted to The Shotgun
... that is the question.
It seems that some of the higher ups in the Liberal party don't trust Canadians to spend their own money. Hey, maybe they're right. Today I was thinking what I'd do if I got a twelve hundred dollar rebate from the government. I might not buy beer and popcorn with it, seeing as I don't like popcorn, but I could see myself going to a strip club and wasting the whole thing parting with strippers. I really love those Polish strippers that the Liberals bring into the country, they're so hot! So maybe I'd be better off with some guidance after all.
On a more serious note, maybe these Liberals are onto something here. Come on think about it, Liberals are the closest things to gods we have on this earth, they're very smart, honest and extremely generous. They would be much better at spending our money than we could ever hope to be. They would not only be in charge of our healthcare and daycare, but every aspect of our lives, from what we buy to eat, right down to our entertainment. Did I mention I love Polish strippers?
Every pay day we'd pass over our whole cheque, not just a third, to our Liberal overlords in Ottawa and they'd look after our every need. Wouldn't life be grand? No worries at all, the government would get the most out of our money, they wouldn't be wasteful like us mere humans. Who ever heard of a government wasting money anyway? Excuse me for a second while I go and puke, this type of crap tends to do that to me.
A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?." The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, biomimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nano-technology, and sexual proclivities.
The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again, the robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?." The man responds, "about a 100." Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favourite fast foods, guns, and women's breasts.
Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out and returns, the robot serves him and asks, "What's your IQ?." The man replies, "Er, 50, I think." And the robot says... real slowly... "So............... ya gonna vote for the Liberals again?"
I know it's a lame joke, but I did make me laugh and that's all that matters. Is it not?
Some men are better than others:
Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr died on April 30th, several months after he wrote the passage quoted above in a letter to his girlfriend.
It would seem hard to do but check out how the NY Times used the passage to slander the memory of a fallen soldier.
Any man who would give his life in the service of others deserves our everlasting gratitude. Any man who would insult the other's memory... what he deserves I'll leave up to you.
[Via Tim Blair]
crossposted to The Shotgun
At around 1:30pm today I saw that Iraqi voters had passed the draft constitution with about 80% voting in favour of it's passage. Naturally I wanted to check out the reports and the following screenshots are what I saw...
The Globe And Mail
Considering that all of these media outlets claim that they provide their viewers with the "big picture" it seems odd that this story isn't given the prominance it deserves. Don't these same media outlets give prominance to nearly every negative event that occurs in Iraq?
Sadly even if Iraq turns out to be a successful democracy, most people will never know how sad and pathetic the coverage of events there have been.
crossposted to The Shotgun