Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quit, Mercer, Quit!

Perhaps it's time for Rick Mercer to consider a career change. Today's mean-spirited diatribe against the Harper government (Run, Fortier, Run) is just more evidence of a once-talented comedian sinking into a self-serving morass of bitterness.

I challenge anyone to find an amusing line in today's column in the Post. Even his most fantatical left-wing moonbat supporters may discover that the task is daunting.

But here is something that struck me as just plain tasteless. Read through these paragraphs:

It makes sense that you should be allowed to call up your buddy in Quebec and give him a Cabinet position. This is, of course, an old boys' club, and so this is exactly what the Prime Minister did. Instead of giving the job to an elected Member of Parliament like Diane Ablonczy he called up Michael Fortier, private citizen, and gave him the big gig.

By the way, I'm not suggesting that giving his pal the gig was an easy move for Harper. It can't be easy having to look your MPs in the eye and basically tell them they're imbeciles. Even for Harper that's got to hurt a little bit.

And pity the poor caucus. Imagine getting elected, your party forms the government, and then your leader basically tells you that you have a better chance of ending up with a disability cheque based on your mental incompetence than you ever do of seeing a minister's salary. That's a tough day at the office.

Did he just call Diane Albonczy an imbecile? And what about all the women in the caucus. Is he calling them mentally incompetent?

Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise on a Point of Order!!!

The 'Enforcer' caves to wimpy government

Speaking of talking points, it appears that Julian Fantino already got his from Premier McGuinty:

1. Say one thing
2. Do another
3. Pass the buck

He said his officers will deal with everyone who breaks the law: "It is a shared responsibility. We count on everyone to be respectful, observe the laws of the land and be of good behaviour. And I can tell you honestly those that don't will have to be dealt with. And we will."

Sounds good until...

"The police are not in the business of occupying land or holding land -- we are in the business of preserving the peace," he said. "This will not be resolved by police, but multi-levels of government."

(And we know what "preserve the peace" means.)

The newly appointed OPP commissioner said his job in Caledonia is to keep the peace and it's up to "multi levels of government" to resolve the complex issue.

(i.e. Not my job.)

*Sigh* The two-tier justice system in Ontario continues.

* * * *

And speaking of Passing the Buck...

And remember good old David Ramsay who said "It'll cost what it costs"? Get ready Canada, this one's on YOU!!!

Kitchener Conservative weighs in with McGuinty and Caledonia: Show me the money.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Relapsed Catholic takes CP to task

Kathy Shaidle has a most interesting article posted (CP guy suggests I'm a government stooge), describing an email exchange over CP/CTV allegations that Blogging Tories seem to get their talking points from the CPC.

CP's mission statement must be to never let facts get in the way of a good Conservative slur.

Update: Kate delivers the knock-out punch!!!

Most Canadians support gay marriage legislation review - COMPAS

Anyone who reads both the National Post and this blog knows that I wouldn't be able to resist discussing this morning's front page story "Don't force clergy to marry gays, majority say".

According to a recent COMPAS poll, a "majority of Canadians believe marriage commissioners should be allowed to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage if it is against their religious beliefs", provided there are enough marriage commissioners available for same-sex unions.

72% of those contacted for the survey saying that clergy should have the right not to marry a same-sex couple if it runs counter to their beliefs.

First of all, the title of the story is confusing and misleading, because a religious official's right to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage is supposedly already covered by the June 2005 gay marriage bill, although it is my understanding that since this is a provincial jurisdiction, it needs to be ratified by each individual province as was already done by Ontario. Alberta was attempting to do so when the bill was bogged down in the legislature due to disagreements with the opposition.

Marriage 'commissioners' are not necessarily members of the clergy.

However, I found this part surprising:

The poll posed a number of hypothetical situations to the 502 people surveyed, asking them if a teacher should be allowed to write a letter to the editor opposing the same-sex law or if a printer should have the right to refuse to print a brochure for a gay group.

In both cases, the respondents to the poll supported those rights, 68% saying the teacher should be allowed to write such a letter and 61% supporting the printer.

The poll also found a majority of Canadians favour a review of Ottawa's same-sex marriage law to ensure it does not infringe on freedom of religion, with 64% of those surveyed supporting a full or partial review of the existing same-sex marriage legislation "to make sure that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are fully protected."

So clearly there is some support for a DORA type of legislation.

The reference to marriage commissioners is a constant source of disagreement on both sides of this issue. The main problem seems to be the 'dog's breakfast' manner in which various provinces solemnize marriage, so it is difficult to pass federal legislation that pertains to any area so clearly not under its purview. Some provinces have civil marriages only performed by government employees and others such as Manitoba grant marriage commissioner licences to anyone over the age of 18; even for a weekend. This is then kind of a part-time position for them, and they are not civil servants.

Such is the case of Kevin Kisilowsky, the Manitoba marriage commissioner who got his licence revoked because he refused to perform same-sex marriages due to religious beliefs.

Kisilowsky is appealing a Manitoba Human Rights Commission decision which dismissed his case where he argued that he was being discriminated against because the province refused to accommodate his religious beliefs. The only marriages he could not opt out of were gay marriages.

There is such a confusing hodge-podge of legislation across the country, that I'm not sure how this can all be resolved fairly. Personally, I think that any civil employee who was a marriage commissioner prior to the gay marriage law should be excused from being forced to perform such ceremonies. New employees however, should be made aware of the new law before signing on. (IMHO)

However when it comes to situations such as that with Mr. Kisilowsky, the issue of balancing various rights becomes much more difficult. I really do feel though, that a marriage commissioner who is not a civil employee should be able to opt out, provided that there are enough willing to accomodate a gay couple.

Clearly, this debate is far from over.

* * * *

Update: More information on the COMPAS poll available here (PDF) and at Institute for Canadian Values.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thank you Lorrie Goldstein

... for giving Rick Mercer a well-deserved thrashing.

Word of advice, Rick. When you're a political satirist, it's probably not a good idea to take a paycheque from the government you're satirizing.

And Bob Rae got a little whack on his skinny-dipping rear too.

* * * *

Monday Update: Goldstein's column gets picked up by National Newswatch.
Alright, Lorrie!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Multiculturalism - The Fatal Flaw

Ferret at Conservative Life has posted an interesting piece about British Iman Arshad Misbahi making a recent 'death slur' against gays.

Now before anyone starts ranting here, I want to make it very clear that such a statement is clearly outrageous and intolerable. However, it would seem that the Iman was trying to explain his interpretation of the 'official Muslim POV' when he was interviewed by local psychotherapist Dr. John Casson:

"I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community."

"I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. 'No,' he said, 'It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.'"

Gay Rights groups are justifiably upset by these remarks, and speaking out against them. Some are saying that gays and Muslims should be working together; not against each other.

Ferret complains that MSM seem to be ignoring this story, but I did happen to find a BBC report:

Massoud Shadjareh, from the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said this was not an issue for Muslims.

He said homosexuality was "not compatible" with Islam, just as it was not compatible with other orthodox religions, such as Catholicism.

He added: "Just one man talking to another becomes an issue, Muslims are being put under a magnifying glass.

"I think that this is part of demonising Muslims," he said.

Well, while the official Catholic stance do not agree with homosexuality, I have never heard the Pope advocate executing gay folks.

However, I find this interesting because unlike the U.S. which has a 'melting pot' immigration philosophy, in a multicultural society we are all supposed to somehow retain our cultural traditions and respect each other's lifestyles, religions, etc. However, these two particular minority rights groups seem to be set on a collision course.

Will this type of attitude spill over to Canada at some point? Or are we so 'evolved' that this shouldn't be a problem, no matter which direction our immigration demographics happen to shift?

Update: Canada on the hit list.

Hallowe'en Update: From Dhimmi Watch - "Uncovered Meat" Shiek apologizes..", (but ever the victim).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to Canada - Haven for Pedophiles!

So American sex offender Malcolm Watson has been released from custody after an immigration board hearing this morning in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He now gets to live with his wife and kids in St. Catherines.

He should fit in nicely in Canada, since:

Watson's lawyer, Oscar Smukler, has accused Canadian politicians of blowing the case out of proportion for political reasons, and said the media has made him out to be a high-risk offender, when he is nothing of the sort.

"He was convicted of having kissed a young lady and touched her breast outside her clothing," Smukler said.

In Canada the age of consent is currently 14 -- although the Conservative government has moved to raise it to 16. Watson's relationship with the student would only be considered illegal in Canada if sex occurred.

Welcome to Canada, Mr. Watson! I'm sure you will find many ways to enjoy your stay.

Update: The Star reports that U.S. District Attorney Frank Clark will petition Erie County court to have his sentence served in New York. Apparently he had no idea this would cause such an uproar in Canada.

Buffalo News : Ex-teacher in sex abuse held in Ontario

Saturday Update - Joe Warmington: Yank Walks out Back

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Neither wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow...

Well, it seems there are exceptions to how far mail carriers will go to fulfull their duties. Management will now deliver the offending brochures.

Are you o.k. with Canada Post employees reading your mail and deciding whether or not it is worthy of delivery?

Did St. Ralph deliberately mislead the House?

...And has the Speaker's authority been challenged?

These are two intriguing questions raised by reader Gabby in the previous thread:

During the Oct. 25 (Wed) Question Period, Ralph Goodale, the self-appointed defender of Ms Stronach's honour, again demanded that Minister MacKay apologize to the House because the Minister had allegedly made an insulting remark. According to Mr. Goodale "that the offending remark was made is undeniable"... "it cannot be claimed that just because Hansard didn't catch it, it never happened"... "the news media have repeatedly confirmed it," and "every SIGNIFICANT women's organization in this country have (sic) condemned it."

However, Mr. Goodale neglected to mention that the so-called "audio tapes " of Minister MacKay's alleged insult needed to be close-captioned because it was "inaudible," as first reported by CTV's Craig Oliver. The Speaker of the House and his staff listened to the tape and could not hear the alleged remark being made, and he so ruled.

Mr. Goodale also referred the Minister to an Oct. 25 Montreal Gazette editorial, so that the Minister might "assess the damage that he is doing." However, Mr. Goodale misled the House, because The Montreal Gazette's editorials he pointed to have the following titles:
"Keeping our bridges from falling down" (state of Quebec's bridges & viaducts)
"Exposing the myths about abuse" (domestic violence)
"Eschewing the fat" (childhood obesity)

What Mr. Goodale called "a Montreal Gazette" editorial is in fact an op-ed piece by feminist writer Janet Bagnall entitled "Don't expect apologies from the men who denigrate women."

Now, either Mr. Goodale cannot differentiate between an editorial and an op-ed piece, or he wilfully decided to mislead the House. An editorial usually carries a little more weight than an op-ed piece with most readers.

By continuing to bring this question up before the House, the Liberals have also impugned the credibility of the Speaker, suggesting that his ruling should not stand.

Well done, Gabby!

The reference to an "editorial" implies that the newspaper's editorial staff has concurred on this POV. If you check the Gazette site, you'll see that they list Editorials and Op-eds in the same section, but op-eds are not necessarily the official position of the newspaper. If Ralph Goodale was referring to Bagnall's article, it would hardly be a reliable source upon which to base such a statement.

Here's the exact quote from Hansard:

Mr. Speaker, that the offending remark was made is undeniable, and it cannot be claimed that just because Hansard did not catch it, it never happened.

Members of the House witnessed it. Audio tapes recorded it. The news media have repeatedly confirmed it. Every significant women's organization in the country has condemned it.

The minister might want to look at an editorial in today's Montreal Gazette to assess the damage that he is doing. Would it not be wise to stop the denials, acknowledge this mistake, apologize and avoid doing more harm to himself and his government?

I think the self-righteous Ralph Goodale should be called up on this one.

Furthermore, I did a little digging on Janet Bagnall and discovered that she has been in previous trouble with plagiarism issues, so therefore perhaps not the most reliable source for information.

Rob Nicholson countered with:

With respect to the issue the member has raised, you looked into this matter last week, Mr. Speaker. You ruled on it. All members of the House should respect your ruling. Now the minister himself has addressed the matter, and that should end it.

As Gabby points out, by continuing to question the Speaker's ruling, the opposition is undermining his authority. It is disrespectful. They are only doing it to score political points at the expense of other important business.

Has anyone in Ottawa heard of Afghanistan or North Korea?


* * * *

Update: An actual EDITORIAL from the Toronto Sun. Grow up!

Now this is not an editorial, but it is awesome!! Way to go Canadianna!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

As the stomach turns

The Liberals just won't let go of this bone. Commons speaker Peter Milliken has agreed to re-examine Doggygate. (Star - "Speaker Agrees to Revisit Stronach Slur") (Globe)

How about examining Belinda's slam at knitters while we're at it, Mr. Speaker?

* * * *

Ottawa waiting for formal request

Breaking news from the Hamilton Spectator (Ottawa won't cover Caledonia Policing) - Ottawa does not seem to be responding to Dalton's demand that the feds ante up for Caledonia costs.

The policing costs are under provincial jurisdiction, so that demand is totally off the table. However, a spokesperson for Indian Affairs says they are still waiting for a "formal request" from the Ontario government.

Dalton, they want you to admit you messed up. Just do it. Start grovelling.

Swallow your pride Premier McGuinty and ask for help.

Go Garth!

So Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is finally agreeing to ponder the pros and cons of Income-tax splitting for seniors! (Toronto Sun)

How ironic that it took a boot from the Conservative caucus for this to occur. I have a lot of conflicted feelings about Garth's blog and the way he loves the media limelight, but I sure do support this particular initiative.

Garth explains how this is a "basic tenet of tax fairness":

Now he (Flaherty) has a benchmark to meet, having said it is a “worthy” thing and that his finance minions will be crunching numbers. Expectations have been risen, and the odds that overtaxed seniors will eventually get a break are mounting. It is simply wrong that good people who lived by the rules of their time should be penalized. With all of a couple’s income flowing through the hands of one person, they are taxed disproportionately to a two-income household making exactly the same amount. Everybody knows this is wrong, and yet it has been relentlessly ignored.

The government would also be wise to consider this from a demographic point of view. Baby Boomers are now starting to enter the retirement phase of their lives. They still have a lot of political clout in terms of numbers and propensity to show up at the polls.

You go, Garth! This could be your greatest moment yet.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weinreb Exposes CTV Bias

Arthur Weinreb at Canada Free Press has a great column today titled CTV's Obsession with Puppygate. Blogging Tories in particular are going to enjoy this one.

Weinreb points out CTV's apparent inability to let sleeping dogs lie, with continual rehashes about Belinda and Peter served up in various forums including Mike Duffy Live, and the CTV website.

He also makes reference to the ridiculous CTV article about Blogging Tories having the same talking points as the CPC.

But here's the ultimate example of hypocrisy as uncovered by Weinreb:

In their zest to aid their friends the Liberals, CTV posted a couple of questionable items on their website. One was the Liberal Party's tape of Question Period when the exchange between Mackay and McGuinty supposedly took place. For those of us (probably all of us) who can't quite make out what is being said in the background as Rona Ambrose is answering a question, the Liberals very kindly flashed the words on the screen at the time that they say the comments were made. It's hard to remember another time when a political party's propaganda was so proudly displayed as news by the media.

Great catch, Arthur!

He even threw in a little dig at Dalton for me. I'm feeling better already.

* * * *

Update: More at True North - Liberal Bias Examined.

Breast Cancer Cover-up?

As Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close, I would like to point out a few interesting links.

On one hand, we have Stop the Cover-up (AbortionBreastCancer.ca) stating that breast cancer has been shown to be linked to abortion.

However, there is a lot of opposition to that claim, notably from The Canadian Cancer Society among others. If you google these words you get a whole host of conflicting information.

Is this just more scaremongering or is there a deliberate agenda to squelch this information?

Well, I'll just throw it out there and get back to nursing my miserable cold.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Does a Tolerant Society include Tolerating Polygamy?

The National Post ran a front-page story today, exposing polygamy in Canada as a Human Rights issue (Canada criticized over polygamy). So far this is not under a subscriber's firewall, and well worth the read.

It refers to Rebecca Cook's recently released report for the Justice Department, "Polygyny and Canada's Obligations under International Human Rights Law".

There are a few noteworthy items in the Post article. The first is this little nugget:

Section 293 of the Criminal Code bans "any form of polygamy" or "any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage."

I still have to wonder about Swingers' clubs then. If you and a bunch of other folks are having an orgy, that's o.k., but if you're trying to be a family, well then you can forget about it.

The other thing that caught my eye was this reference to Status of Women:

One controversial report commissioned by the Status of Women, which was published last year, called for repealing the ban on polygamy in favour of other laws to help women and children.
So this answers my question from a previous post: "What if anything was Status of Women doing about it all this time?"

Chief author Martha Bailey says criminalizing polygamy, typically a marriage involving one man and several wives, serves no good purpose and prosecutions could do damage to the women and children in such relationships.

"Why criminalize the behaviour?" she said in an interview. "We don't criminalize adultery.

Thank you Status of Women for your enlightened help in this one.

Polygamy does not just discriminate against women. Global Television ran a documentary this past Saturday called "The Lost Boys", showing the harmful effects of polygamy on young men growing up in this environment. In a society where the older men get three wives or more, most younger men are not even allowed to date or socialize with girls their age. A few lucky ones do get wives, but they are assigned to them.

If these young men try to leave, they struggle with the effects of little education and a lack of decision-making skills that seriously impair their integration into mainstream society.

The powers that be in B.C. seem to be reluctant to press criminal charges due to freedom of religion guarantees, yet this is a Human Rights issue. How can we judge other countries when we turn a blind eye to what is going on right at home?

Ms. Cook does offer a solution (Post):

Ms. Cook's study concludes there is a difference between religious beliefs and practices.

"While Canada is not entitled under international law to restrict religious belief, it is entitled and in fact obliged in some circumstances to restrict religious practices that undermine the rights and freedoms of others," she wrote.

Indeed. Ontario saw fit to ban Sharia law. Much as I hate to admit it, this is one situation where B.C. could learn something from Dalton McGuinty.

I can't believe I just said that.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Breaking News from the Spectator

Well, not exactly breaking news, but posted this morning.

The Hamilton Spectator has an article titled "Six Nations Evidence Due". I'm giving you the title so you can search it out if the links don't work here. Torstar links hate me.

Anyway, Ottawa apparently has told Six Nations that they don't have legal title to the land at DCE, but a federal negotiator said "Ottawa could be wrong". (Uh-huh...)

...Ron Doering, a lawyer hired by the Conservative government to help deal with the land claim, says two recent court rulings uphold special constitutional rights for natives so Ottawa has to try to negotiate a deal that reconciles native and non-native rights...

Did you get that? Special constitutional rights. What does that mean? Does that explain the two-tier justice?

The article continues:

"...Six Nations officials are to return to a Nov. 3 meeting with evidence to prove the Argyle Street South site was not surrendered in the 1840s. Doering said Ottawa has documents from 1844 indicating the Douglas Creek Estates land was surrendered and sold...."

Meanwhile, Jim Prentice was apparently unaware of Dalton's ultimatum to Ottawa (again a Torstar link - Star, "Ottawa to Get Tab for Standoff":

The premier's remarks appeared to catch the office of Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice off guard, with spokesman Bill Rodgers saying officials were unaware of the concerns until they heard them in the news. "We certainly weren't given a heads-up on it," said Rodgers. Prentice was travelling in rural Alberta and couldn't be reached.

I don't see this getting resolved anytime soon.

Winter may be just around the corner, but I suspect things will remain hot in Caledonia.

* * * *

Sunday Update: Check out Christina Bizzard in the Toronto Sun - Feds MIA in Caledonia.

Dalton's Epiphany

It would seem that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has experienced some kind of wake-up call to the vast amount of taxpayers' money that he is throwing at the Caledonia standoff, hoping it will go away.

I can just see him sitting there mulling this one over in his ivory tower...

Yikes! There isn't enough money left in the treasury to buy up all the land six kilometers on either side of the Grand!

Raising taxes isn't an option just before an election. And the natives on both sides are getting restless.

Mmmm... What to do, what to do???

Ah hah! Let's blame Stephen Harper! Yes, we were of one mind with the him before on this issue, but all's fair in love, war and re-elections!

Yes, Let's bring in the Feds! I'm going to act all tough and even start advocating for the poor Caledonia citizens!

I'm going to say stuff like, "We've been caught up on this thing for a long time and more importantly, the people of Caledonia have been caught up in this thing for a long time. Now it's costing Ontario taxpayers all kinds of money".

The Ontario taxpayers will love me for sticking it to them, er, sticking up for them!! I'm going to show them what a decisive leader I am!!!

Right, George?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blogging Tories Beware

MSM is watching you!!!

Updates - More bathrobed indignation at the following:

Kerplonka: BT in the news, and it's not pretty. (No, it's not. I haven't brushed my hair yet).
ChuckerCanuk: Belinda and the Blogging Tories
Canadianna's Place: He used WHAT word? (Check out the comments. BT's are labelled "moron bloogers".)
Canadian Christian Conservative: CTV assumes incorrectly...again!

Now here's from another POV:
Steve Janke: Peter MacKay owes his boss an apology
A Step to the Right: Give 'em enough rope to hang 'em.

O.K. CTV! I want an update to that story!! I want you to report that there are Blogging Tories with other points of view. Prove that you don't have an agenda!!!

Further Update: Check out Choice for Childcare - Can you call Peter MacKay a pussy in the news? (Good question, Sara. I think MSM has just hit a new low.)

And here's a beaut from Relapsed Catholic - How can a blog be "official" and unofficial at the same time?

I like this part:

"Personally, I don't get "talking points" from the government. This reporter probably thinks Catholics get a faxed memo every day from the Vatican, too."

Good stuff, Kathy. Just one question - Who's on that C-list you're talking about? Just askin'...


Dr. Roy weighs in with Calling Belinda a Dog - Insult to man's best friend.

The one good thing about all of this is that it's taking away Garth Turner's spotlight - for the moment anyway. And hey, who needs soaps?

Reply from Tom Brodbeck

A few threads ago, we had an interesting little discussion about Tom Brodbecks' piece in the Winnipeg Sun concerning Kevin Kisilowsky, a Manitoba marriage commissioner who had his licence pulled for refusing to perform same-sex weddings for religious reasons. Kevin is now taking his fight to Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench, to argue for the same religious rights currently granted only to clergy who are allowed to abstain from performing same-sex marriages.

During the course of the discussion, the question came up as to whether it is indeed true that Manitoba marriage commissioners have no obligation to perform any weddings except for gay marriages.

So I went back to the source, and checked with Mr. Brodbeck:

I have a little discussion going on in my blog about your article in yesterday's paper about the challenge to the same-sex marriage legislation over religious rights:


Would you happen to know if a Manitoba marriage commissioner can refuse to perform an interfaith wedding for example?


His reply was as follows (with his kind permission):

There is nothing in law or in Vital Statistics policy that prevents marriage commissioners from refusing to perform any wedding for any reason, except when it comes to same-sex marriages. It is provincial government policy that if a marriage commissioner refuses to perform same-sex marriage, they will have their licence terminated. There is no policy that would apply those same rules to interfaith weddings or any other types of weddings.


Now, I don't know what will happen with the legal challenge. It does make for great debate though. This is obviously going to be an interesting test case if it gets very far in the process.

Red Tory and others can call me "obtuse" and anything else they like, but this is happening.

Perhaps Manitoba should consider making it mandatory for marriage commissioners to perform every wedding they are asked to do without exception. What do you think?

Anyway, thanks Tom!

Rachel and Ben on adoption fads

The current celebrity adopt-a-kid craze had Rachel Marsden ranting in this morning's Toronto Sun:

...This week, Madonna adopted a baby boy named David from Malawi, Africa. Reportedly, she's also eyeing a little black girl from the same village, and remarked, "She looks just like me." This could only mean that the kid was wearing a cone bra, leg warmers, and a Kabbalah bracelet...

Canada's UNICEF ambassador, Ben Mulroney, also has some concerns:

"It's a bandwagon thing,'' he says. "From the public point of view, there's almost a perversion of the family when people reading this in a magazine and seeing it on TV equate adopting a baby in Africa with owning a chihuahua or a trucker hat or a Birkin bag ... It's unfortunate that these good deeds and this altruism and this willingness to raise a family is coming off as a trend.''

It seems that all these stars are trying to one-up each other with the number of third-world kids they have hanging from every appendage.

It's not just adoption either. I'm sick and tired of standing in long grocery store lineups and having to stare at magazine covers of glamourous stars showing off their ever growing naked "baby-bumps" sticking out from between layers of tight clothing.

Pregnancy and new life is something to celebrate, but I don't need to see the bare evidence at every trimester. Some things should be kept private; not used as publicity stunts.

This is one more example of a culture that regards children as possessions - meant for the use and advantage of adults, rather than as a precious gift to nurture and love.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Billboard Bungling

As I suspected, not much going on with McGuinty's threats about the cigarette advertising on the billboards.

But that's o.k. because according to Hazel Hill "We are not Canadians and we are not subjected to Canadian laws".

Good to know. So McGuinty won't have their votes, right?

FRIDAY UPDATE: McGuinty wants to literally pass the buck to Harper re: Caledonia. Now how do you suppose he'll react?

Enough is Enough

At the risk of flogging this poor horse to death one more time, I would like to point out an interesting article in Wednesday's Winnipeg Sun.

Tom Brodbeck covers the story of "Kevin Kisilowsky, a 36-year-old Stonewall (Manitoba) man who had his marriage commissioner licence pulled by the province last year because he refused to perform gay marriage ceremonies".

Mr. Kisilowsky feels that his religious rights have been violated and is taking legal action. Therefore, this ambiguity about commissioners vs. clergy could come to a head as soon as next year.

Arthur Weinreb, in his editorial Dora Meets the Met (Canada Free Press) makes some excellent points for forcing marriage commissioners to perform gay marriages:

"...a civil servant may hold a genuine belief that mixed marriages are wrong. If those who perform civil ceremonies are allowed to opt out of performing same sex marriages then they should equally be allowed to not have to officiate at a heterosexual marriage ceremony between one of their co-religionists and a member of a different religion. The principle is the same..."

O.K. I can buy that. Now, this is where things get interesting. Brodbeck states:

Marriage commissioners are not civil servants. In fact, anybody over the age of 18 can get a marriage commissioner licence, even a temporary one for the weekend.

The licence simply allows the person to solemnize a marriage.

They're not forced to do any marriages -- except same-sex ones, according to the province.

So to sum up, marriage commissioners are not civil servants, and they are allowed to perform marriages only when they wish to do so - except for same-sex marriages.

Now please explain to me how religious rights are not being trumped here?

It Could Be So Easy Being Green

National Newswatch has confirmed rumours that Garth Turner is indeed giving serious consideration to joining Elizabeth May's Green Party. Another press conference is set for this morning. Stephen Taylor saw this coming.

It fits Garth's profile to a tee. He would go down in the history books as the first Green MP in Canadian Parliament. It would be a marvelous platform for his penchant for grandstanding and criticizing. He admires May, and has strong feelings about environmental policy. It would give May access to many privileges she does not have at the present time without a representative in the House.

On another note, was this whole expulsion a sting operation set up to goad Garth into breaking confidentiality in order to get rid of him? Hunter has advanced a very interesting conspiracy theory on Sara's blog in the comments.

Here are the pieces of the puzzle: Garth, blog, DORA, Conservative Green Plan, Emerson, Flaherty and Doug Finley. (H/T to the Invisible Hand).

Or was it Garth that constructed the whole diabolical plot himself?

You put the puzzle together.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Garth suspended!

Just heard on CTV that Garth Turner has been suspended from the National caucus!

More to follow.

Update: Rahim Jaffer just announced that the suspension is due to breach of confidentiality; especially in his blog.

Robert Fife just said the PM had nothing to do with this. It was the Ontario caucus that brought up the issue.

Link now available - CTV.

BIG UPDATE: Stephen Taylor takes the Garth Turner challenge!!! Also lots of other buzz at Blogging Tories.

THURSDAY UPDATE: CTV has done us a big favour here, by citing certain quotes from Garth's blog that may have been the catalyst for the big push.

Wake Up Ontario!!!

It seems that Ontario just can't get enough of Dalton McGuinty's Liberals.

According to a Toronto Star-EKOS Research Associates survey, the Liberals "are at 42.4 per cent to the Conservatives' 36.2 per cent with Howard Hampton's New Democrats surging to 19.6 per cent." Source: Star (What else?)

Despite the Liberals' by-election loss to the NDP in Parkdale-High Park a month ago, a continuing standoff involving native protestors in Caledonia, problems in hospital emergency rooms, and ongoing funding problems with some school boards, McGuinty's party leads in most of Ontario.

Does anyone want to join me in founding a new break-away province?

Or would you rather have more of this and this?

Every man and woman in the McGuinty caucus should be ashamed to cash their pay cheques.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stop it Dalton - you're killing me!

The Premier of Ontario is not happy with billboards displaying cigarette ads on highways around the Six Nations reserve near Caledonia.

On the CTV website Dalton MCGuinty demonstrates that he has had enough! (*cue ominous background music*):

Premier Dalton McGuinty says Ontario's Ministry of Transportation is taking a look to see if the signs violate a provincial ban on tobacco advertising.

And he says if the billboards break the law, then the ministry "will be taking action.''

Oh, pull-eeze, Dalton! Ho-ho!! Ha-ha!! Tee-hee!!

Oh, but wait! There's more!! Dalton supports Character development, and values, like honesty!! (H/T Sara).

I can't take anymore.

* * * *

Update: Eric at Diogenes Borealis has a great take on McGuinty's character initative - "Ontario provides character for the masses". Very thought-provoking.

Wednesday Update: Steve Janke weighs in on the smoke signs with "Cigarette advertising and Dalton McGuinty's priorities.

CCP - Go Gentle into that Good Night

Memo to the Court Challenges Program - You are terminal. Let yourself go gracefully.

When you were first created, you may have had a legitimate function and an altruistic vision, but after years of Liberal-leftist domination and self-serving degeneration of principles, you now need to admit that your useful years are over. Time to give it up.

All that remains is your bloodsucking carcass representing a time when Canadians were blissfully unaware that their democratic rights were being slowly and stealthily eroded. But now we common folk are waking up to the consequences of our inattention and spinelessness.

Funding only one side of a social re-engineering project is not only unfair, but downright dangerous for a healthy society.

So CCP, do not rage against the dying of the light.
Just go - You know it's right.

(with apologies to Dylan Thomas)

* * * *

More at Relapsed Catholic - Court Challenges is dead: Help keep it that way.
Big Blue Wave - The CPP is Dead: Do not resuscitate.
Family Matters - Ding Dong the witch is dead.
Family Matters - CCP - (earlier post)
Girl on the Right - DNR (Contains best line to date IMHO)
Socon or Bust - A closer look at the CCP
Climbing out of the Dark - Court of SHHHH!
Eternalee - Cut the Noose
Muttering in Manitoba - CCP: An Affront to Democracy
SDA - CCP: Not Dead Enough
Halls of Macadamia - Robbing Peter and Robbing Paul
Church and State - Premier's Propaganda in favour of CCP ( Good background info here)
A step to the Right - CCP: Haunting us STILL (exposing abuse of CCP)
OMMAG - Bar Assn. wants CPP back! Why?
The Great Pumpkin - The CCP Uproar
Kirk's Blog - Keith Boag Gets it Right (yes, THAT Keith Boag) (Wow! We're talking CBC here, folks!!!)
The High Places - Unemployed Lawyers? Heaven Forfend!
Deborah Gyapong - Don't Bring the Court Challenges Program Back to Life (With links to more bacground and info)
Back off Government - Doesn't CUPE have better things to do?
Steve Janke - Stephen Harper rejects using the CCP for his own partisan goals (This is possibly the best post to date, IMO. Very original POV).
Blue Blogging Soapbox - Linda McQuaig and the CCP. (Linda's bias and spin exposed by facts.)
Tory Canukistan - Dawn of a dead sow: A Hellish nightmare.
Wifeforlife - So the CCP has had its funding cut...
The Prairie Wranglers - We need the CCP? Prove it! (Olaf convinced Jason Bo Green with this one!)
Dr. Roy's Thoughts - Ding Dong the CCP is Dead.
Patrick O'Neil's Pointed Pen: Hat's off.

Please alert me if you have joined the blogburst and your post is not on the list. Thanks!

Whoever you are, please contact your M.P. and let your thoughts be known!!!

Congrats Fred Kuntz!

The Record and the Star have just announced this morning that Record publisher J. Fred Kuntz has been named editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star, and that former Hamilton Spectator publisher Jagoda Pike will be the Star's first female publisher. Congrats to both!

This is particularly noteworthy for me since I am related to his "true love". So no more Star-bashing. I thought that I should disclose that particular conflict of interest and editorial bias.

This is going to be exceedingly difficult for me, especially after reading the Atkinson Principles summary.

But I do wish Fred and Liz all the best. The Record's level of credibility and objectivity has improved greatly under Fred's watch.

I know that Star will experience the same positive results.

* * * *

Having a bit of trouble with links. For the Record article, go to "Front" for "Kuntz Named Editor of Star".

For Star article, go to "From Immigrant Roots to Star Publisher" on main page.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Caledonia Aftermath

First of all, kudos to all for the relatively peaceful march held in Caledonia yesterday.

Whether you regard Gary McHale as a non-native rights activist or simply a wacko, he has certainly done a lot to focus attention on what many perceive to be a system of two-tier justice and law enforcement in Ontario.

OPP Sergeant Dave Rektor obviously doesn't think too highly of McHale: "It's just sad when someone has a personal agenda with no regard for anyone else." (From Post link below).

The media bias is clear in many cases. Last night on a local station I heard a reporter refer to the occupied Douglas Creek Estates as "native land". I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and call it a mistake.

However, many reports seem to be playing up the fact that McHale apparently was originally estimating around 20,000 for this rally and march. The actual numbers in many reports are around the 500 mark.

Now why do you suppose that only "500" showed up? Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that McGuinty, Marie Trainer, the OPP, and even John Tory were begging and warning people not to join in?

If they are trying to paint this as lack of support for McHale, it is blatant bias. A local radio personality was all set to go to Caledonia and join the march, but after receiving several threatening emails he reconsidered. He said he didn't want to encourage listeners to attend the rally and then possibly be injured in the process - that he would feel responsible.

How many others were put off by intimidation and fear of violence?

Of course McGuinty wouldn't want a huge demonstration - it would focus even more embarrassing attention on his enfeebled manner of handling this ongoing crisis.

Lots of MSM reports:
Post - March to condemn government role in aboriginal occupation descends into standoff
Sun - Caledonia deadlock
LFP - OPP stare down marchers
CTV - Tense rally in Caledonia ends peacefully

Also listen to Jeff Allan this morning on 570 News at 10.

BTW, thanks to Swift for the first-hand account of the day's events in the previous thread!

* * * *

Update - I was just rereading the London Free Press link, and something struck me:

"Two hundred years of injustice have been done to native people and it is about time these things got settled," said Rolf Bertenberger, president of Local 1005 of the United Steel Workers, who was at the site with other union members from Hamilton.

This is not the first time I've seen the native side supported by organized labour. Does anyone have any idea what the connection might be? Just curious.

Also - for anyone reading this and wondering why I seem to be "obsessed" with this topic (LFP):

Local Conservative MPP Toby Barrett said outsiders have no idea of the fear and intimidation Caledonia residents have had to live with since the natives took over the subdivision eight months ago.

Barrett said he has seen business owners and residents break down and cry because of the stress.

"The rest of Ontario and Canada have to realize it could happen to them," said Barrett.

Afternoon Update: Spectator - "Heard and Scene at Caledonia"
Lots of pics at the Sun - Check the top headline and click "photos".

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Only the Facts Please!

So, was it one, two, three or how many arrests at Caledonia today?

Any first-hand accounts?

In defence of defence of religions act

This post is for my readers who were questioning the need for strengthening the existing legislation regarding defending freedom of religion and free speech rights in Canada.

Mike at The Good Fight has linked to an excellent article by Ted Byfield at the Calgary Sun, which lists all sorts of court challenges over the last few years.

Notably, but not limited to (and I have paraphrased Ted's words here):

-Bill Whatcott, an evangelical Christian and a licensed practical nurse who was fined $15,000 by his professional association for protesting against abortion on his own time and $20,000 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for speaking out against homosexuality.

-the Catholic school in Whitby, Ontario, which was forced by the Ont. Supreme Court to allow a homosexual student (Marc Hall) to take his boy friend to a school dance.

-seven marriage commissioners in Saskatchewan who have been forced to resign because they refuse to perform homosexual marriages.

-Mennonite camp north of Winnipeg which refused to rent its premises to a homosexual choir, and was dragged before the Human Rights Commission whose decision is pending.

-Hugh Owen, evangelical Christian who placed an ad in the Saskatchewan newspaper naming four Scriptural verses against homosexuals, and not even quoting them. He was forced to pay $4,500 in human rights fines.

-printer Scott Brockie refused to print material for a gay organization and was fined $5,000 and ordered to print it anyway. When he still refused, his case went to the Ontario Supreme Court and his legal bills added up to $170,000.

-Scott Boisson, the Calgary evangelical pastor who wrote a letter to a newspaper questioning the promotion of homosexuality in the public schools. When he was charged, he held a fund-raising dinner for help with court costs. Something calling itself the Gay Militia, wearing masks, burst in on the dinner and tried to break it up.

-Kamloops teacher, Chris Kempling, who was suspended for daring to question homosexual marriage in a letter to the editor, and was suspended for four months without pay, though there was no evidence whatever he had mentioned this view in a classroom. And when he was asked to appear before a Commons committee, he was put under investigation again by his superiors.

And so on. But many people have willful blinders on, and even this evidence will be lost on them.

Update: This is quite an impressive post argued from the other POV. Why Gay Marriage is Good Conservative Policy. You know, I can't argue with that. It would certainly be easier to go with the flow. I guess it depends what's important.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A friendly debate

Fred and I are having a little discussion over at Gay and Right.

He made the point that he wishes Harper would follow Gordon Brown's example and acknowledge society's failings regarding young boys.

Now, Fred seems to be a nice guy. Since he is also a Blogging Tory, I am trying to be as polite and objective as I can. But something bothered me when I read the article from the Daily Mail.

If it is true that society is responsible for the rising incidence of single parent families, with most custodial rights belonging to the mothers, and if this is having a negative effect on male children from those families, then why do we allow single people to adopt, and put them deliberately in that situation? And why do we allow gays and lesbians to adopt for the same reason, i.e. that we deny the child the benefit of an opposite-sexed parent right off the bat.

O.K. I've heard all the arguments; especially the ones about lesbians apparently being better parents than heterosexuals. I'm guessing the rationale there is that men are inherently more violent? Anyway, the point is that there is a certain benefit in the ying and the yang.

Girls need a male in their lives to validate their femininity. This encourages them to feel strong in their role as a woman, and not immediately seek out a casual fling to fulfill that need.

Boys need their fathers as role models. Fathers also sometimes provide that little push to do things that Mom would not have the courage to do. Sometimes Mom coddles when what the child really needs is Dad behind him to help deal with the real world out there.

Fred immediately began defending his right to same-sex marriage, which while it is part of the issue, is not the issue itself. Gay parents will always have children from previously failed marriages or whatever.

But what about adoption? Whose right is most important here?

I invite your comments, but please let's try to be especially calm and objective here. I will not tolerate any labelling or name-calling in this post. Thanks.

Caledonia - Message from the Chief

Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations has written a letter in today's Post, in response to Lorne Gunter's op-ed "Where's the rule of law when you need it?"

(Sorry that the whole letter is behind a subscribers' wall. Buy the paper.)

Chief Fontaine assures us that talks are progressing well, but he states that the Assembly of First Nations is "deeply disappointed" by comments such as those from Mr. Gunter et al over the way things are being handled by the province and the OPP.

There is no "two-tiered application of the law" for native and non-natives, as Mr. Gunter states. There has always been a nation-to-nation relationship between First Nations and the government of Canada. This relationship is enshrined in the constitution and preserved in binding treaties that First Nations signed with the Crown.

As for the protest march planned for tomorrow, we hope the media, the public and the government pay as little attention as possible. Instead, we commend the people of Six Nations for organizing a Potluck for Peace Picnic on the same day.

O.K. Let's dissect this bit. Regarding the latter, if it really were a "Potluck for Peace Picnic", why not invite everyone in the town of Caledonia to join in? That way, everyone could just relax, and discuss things over a pot of stew.

Instead according to the Star, they're planning to "secure the boundaries", which doesn't sound too friendly to me.

Now the first part of that quote tells me that Canada is regarded as one nation, and the natives belong to another. So do natives still regard themselves as Canadians?

Yet, the natives are apparently very miffed at not having been consulted regarding the appointment of tough guy Julian Fantino as the new OPP commissioner. They had been asking to have some input, or play an "advisory" role.

Does anyone else see the irony here?

Sunday Update: Today of course is the scheduled date for the March in Caledonia. I will try to add any links throughout the day.

Star: Fantino's record with natives under fire.
Sun: OPP brace for rally.

So far so good in Caledonia.

Could it get any worse?

Stories like this just make me want to cry. There is no punishment too severe for this kind of animal.

Update: Another sad story - Woman Carried Dead Fetus for a Week!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Last Minute Details

Caledonia Wake-up Call has posted various scenarios that may take place on Sunday, depending on the cooperation of the OPP. Some seem quite tame, and I'm surprised they've been nixed; especially the bus tour option.

Meanwhile, the Spectator is quoting Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay as saying that people who participate in the march in Caledonia Sunday are "putting their lives at risk."

I can't help wondering why a supposedly peaceful march could be dangerous. First of all, why would the natives at the site be against the march as long as nobody actually went on the province's land other than the ones occupying the site? In some ways it could help draw attention to the painfully slow action of the government with respect to this land claim and others.

Howard Hampton admits to two-tiered justice: "This is a different kind of law enforcement, this is a different kind of administration of justice," he said.

Well, that's it then. Let's just close up shop and go home. Somewhere...
And why would anyone from the March start an aggressive action, knowing that the OPP would be jumping on them at the first sign of a threat?

Why indeed?

Our local radio personality was all for joining the rally up until today. Suddenly he's had a change of heart. He says he has received several threatening messages, and the most ominous one warned that "We will be amongst you".

If that doesn't send chills up and down your spine, I don't know what will. It reminds me of a certain group has a policy of hiding amongst civilians for protection, sabotage and obfuscation.

We have one hope left in Ontario and that hope rests with newly-appointed OPP commissioner Julian Fantino, who says this about Caledonia:

"I will learn a lot about what's happening and we will make wise decisions that are in the greater good," he said in a conference call. "We certainly are very respectful of rights and entitlements of people but we also, I think, have to be very mindful and respectful that there is a rule of law, that anarchy can't prevail and that we will do our utmost best to ensure that peace and tranquility prevail and whatever it takes to do that we'll have to consider all options."

We can only hope and pray.

Update: Things aren't going so well for Gary. However, the natives are planning a big BBQ!!!

Peace at any cost.

Daimnation! - Star upset with Fantino choice!

And from a Spectator reader - Caledonia March is a Protest against Injustice.
Lorne Gunter - Where is the Rule of Law When You Need It?

Actions speak louder

So it seems that Liberals are screaming foul over PMSH's comments that most of the Liberal leadership candidates are anti-Israel, based largely on attitudes demonstrated during the summer's Middle East crisis.

The exact quote (courtesy of CTV) in the context of reaction to a remark by Michael Ignatieff:

When asked about the term "war crime" to describe Israel's action against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Harper told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that he found the usage inappropriate, saying "I don't support that view."

"This is consistent with the anti-Israeli position that has been taken with virtually all of the candidates of the Liberal leadership, and I don't think it's helpful or useful."

Of course the outrage spewed from all Gritty corners. (Well at least there's one thing they can all agree on!)

This whole situation reminds me of Catholic MP's whose voting records often seem to be in conflict with Church teachings and dogma.

Start walking the talk, guys. Then maybe your protests will be more credible.

* * * *

Bob Rae seems especially apoplectic about the Prime Minister's observations.

Is it just because his wife and children are Jewish, or could it perhaps be another desperate attempt to garner sympathy and erase horrible memories of his disgraceful stint as premier from the minds of Ontario voters?

More at D&D - Liberals: Some of our best friends are Jews.

Steve Janke - Cotler's wife dumps the Liberal Party right in the National Post!!!

Saturday Update: Bob Rae - More Jewish than the Jews. Very thought-provoking post at C.L.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bringing in the Big Gun

More interesting developments on the Caledonia front.

First of all, we have the breaking news that Former Toronto police chief Julian Fantino will be named commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. Thanks to one of my readers, Liberal Supporter for that heads-up last night. He also has an interesting suggestion for Fantino in the previous thread regarding Caledonia.

I love this line, which is astonishing coming from the "Red" Star:

The native standoff in Caledonia has sapped the morale of the OPP and left the premier somewhat enfeebled, having spent millions of dollars unsuccessfully trying to resolve the dispute.

"Enfeebled". I love it!

And on that note, the Star also reports that Mayor Marie Trainer says she's prepared to declare a state of emergency this weekend. So does that give Fantino carte blanche to shut everything down and send the protestors home?

The drama continues. Life is never dull here in McFeebleland.

* * * *

Update: Sun - Fantino New OPP Boss

It's official! But Fantino doesn't start til Oct. 30.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Living in fear - in Ontario. I am not making this up.

The Oct. 15 Caledonia March for Freedom and Equality is being met with increased resistance from various levels of government and police authorities.

Premier Dalton McGuinty declared that (from Spectator):

No one, including residents of the town who are frustrated by the drawn-out occupation, thinks the rally will help the situation, he said.

"The people of Caledonia don't think it's a good idea," he told reporters before a government caucus meeting yesterday.

However, it seems that some of the residents may in fact feel otherwise, but are afraid to voice their opinion, due to fears of retaliation.

Caledonia Wake-Up Call
has an audio file on its site from a Global interview. Some residents didn't want to appear on camera due to fears of repercussions, but still support the march. They talk of trauma, grief and stress-related disorders.

MPP Toby Barrett also disagrees with the Premier:

"I've knocked on more than 3,000 doors this summer. When people start crying at the door, it tells me they want some sort of resolution," he said.

Whatever the outcome of this weekend's rally, it is obvious that this situation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely.

What will it take for resolution? Hopefully by this time next year we will have a new provincial government and peace in Caledonia.

Update: The mayor of Caledonia is contemplating a State of Emergency declaration! Read all about it in the Globe before it disappears behind a firewall!!!

Further update from Hazel Hill (Native POV):

The $15 million that the Crown has given to Henco to buy them out of the situation was an acknowledgement in itself that gee, maybe they made a mistake and didn’t have the right to sell that piece of land after all. Common sense tells you if they had clear title, this would have been over a long time ago.

I'm thinking McGuinty should just hand over the land and call it a day. The natives will win in the end, so why doesn't he just save everyone a lot of time, money and grief? What is he waiting for?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Catching up with the papers

This has been a very busy weekend, and I am still under the sedative influences of too much turkey and other yummy stuff.

However, I just came across a very interesting article in Saturday's Post- Statism isn't Liberalism. George Jonas talks about his belief that he is an actual "classical liberal", whereas he feels that "big L" Liberals are actually statists, or perhaps merely "socialists in slow motion", compared to the NDP.

What exactly is a statist? A person who doesn't think that walking on the grass should ever be simply permitted. Walking on the grass should either be forbidden or compulsory. Oh boy. Can someone be a charming statist, you ask? Yes, provided one is like the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

And on human rights:

Liberals tried to cook a dish by keeping the ingredients raw and separate: multiculturalism. They tried to balance one injustice with another: affirmative action. They abandoned the individual as the focal point of humanity's quest for liberty and justice, and focused instead on the group. Rather than equality for each person, they sought parity for every racial, sexual or ethnic aggregate.

Liberals lost sight of the fact that, while equality is a liberal idea, capable of fulfilment in a free society, parity is an illiberal notion that requires coercion to achieve. Guaranteeing opportunity is liberal; guaranteeing outcome is illiberal. It's as simple as that, but they didn't see it.

The article is a great analysis of the kind of renewal that is necessary for leaders and members of Liberal party to rediscover their roots.

Penny has a very thought-provoking post that is related to this subject (What's Right and What's Left?).

Perhaps trying to fit everyone into neat little catagories is the problem. It is a very human characteristic, but often leads to anger and discrimination. Maybe we should just try looking at each other as people.

And that's about as much as I can coax out of this sleepy head. Good night.

Update: Now is this Right or Left or just plain Left Behind? (H/T to Steve Janke).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Everyone can find something to be thankful for today. We are blessed with so much here in Canada, and the efforts of our brave troops in Afghanistan only serve to underscore that point. Even though many have fallen, and more undoubtedly will, we are thankful for their unselfish commitment to freedom.

However, one year ago things were not looking so great in this country. We had a bloated, complacent, self-serving government that was embroiled in all manner of scandals and a prime minister who thought solving a problem involved simply throwing money at it without any thought of accountability. The operative word was "entitlement" and David Dingwall made that attitude crystal-clear to us all.

Canadian-U.S. relations weakened as Paul Martin delighted in throwing insults at our closest ally just to score political points at home.

Today we have a very competent Prime Minister who is actually trying to make a difference. He recognizes that Canadian politics don't occur in isolation - that everything we do has a global impact. He operates with a results-oriented agenda designed to make effective use of taxpayers' money rather than simply use it to buy friends and create more government boondoggles.

The Sun's Licia Corbella, in an exclusive interview with our new Prime Minister, says Harper's the real deal.

If you are a Harper fan, enjoy the read.

Happy Thanksgiving, and GOD BLESS STEPHEN HARPER!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Don Martin Slammed

First thing I turned to this morning in the Post was the Letters to the editor, hoping to see some kind of rebuttal to Don Martin's outrageous piece of tripe in yesterday's paper.

I was not disappointed.

Warren Hindle of Calgary writes:

The juxtaposition of Don Martin's "extreme theoretical" of a gay couple wanting to rent a church-run hall to celebrate their union alongside Chris Wattie's story citing that exact situation, which has occurred in British Columbia, proves that it is neither theoretical nor beyond what at least one same-sex "married" couple might desire.

It's also a fact that individuals already have been forced to give up their right to function as marriage commissioners because of their refusal to "marry" same-sex couples...

The contradiction was so immediate and evident that it has left me wondering -- to whose and to what agenda are we now being exposed? Should the Harper government take a position -- and ignore Don Martin's advice -- the issue is likely to be upfront, candid and clear.

PhD candidate Murray S. Y. Bessette from the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University in California writes:

One can certainly argue the merits or demerits of the Defence of Religions Act (DORA) and whether or not it is prudent of the Conservative government to introduce it. Mr. Martin, however, claims that the need of anti-same-sex marriage churches for protection from "gay newlyweds banned from celebrating their happy union in a hall owned by [such a] church," is a "sort of extreme theoretical." Extreme theoretical? I will simply cite the case of Smith and Chymyshyn vs. Knights of Columbus, which was decided by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Mr. Martin continues his outlandishness by suggesting, "A more realistic hypothetical might be having a radical imam using Harper's bill to encourage the bombing of the Peace Tower." Despite the fact that his "extreme theoretical" has happened, he claims that his outlandish hypothetical is "more realistic." How can that possibly be? To quote Mr. Martin one last time: " Now that's offensive." Indeed it is.

I think Don Martin has lost a lot of credibility. I'm also disappointed with the National Post for running it. Let's have truth in op-eds, or else a disclaimer stating that the opinions are not only those of the writer, but are also not necessarily factual or worth the time to read.

* * * *

Update: Life with a homosexual parent: First hand account.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is there a lawyer in the house?

It's been kind of a crazy day, and I'm just catching up with my morning newspapers now.

Don Martin has an editorial in the Post, Tory Strides Hurt by a Misstep. Martin's argument seems to be that this whole rumour about the government allegedly considering legislation to beef up religious rights is a waste of time, since the rights are supposedly already there.

"...the federal bill was amended by the Liberals to make crystal clear it wasn't just ministers, priests or imams who were inoculated against human rights consequences for passing on a gay or lesbian marriage ceremony.

"No benefit will be denied or sanction imposed under any federal law solely because a person or organization (emphasis mine) exercises freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Charter in respect of same-sex marriage, or expresses their belief in respect of heterosexual marriage based on that freedom," the approved amendment stated.

There endeth the wiggle room on punishing anyone acting or speaking out against same-sex marriages based on religion...."

O.K. I've heard this argument many times already, but on the other side of the fence, I've heard that it is actually up to each province to concur on this framework or else it won't stand up in court. (And even then it is questionable.)

So that is an area where we need some expert input.

Martin goes on:

"But what about gay newlyweds banned from celebrating their happy union in a hall owned by an anti-same-sex church, one official wondered. Good grief. Has it really come to this sort of extreme theoretical? Besides, what happy homosexual pair would want to hold their reception in a deeply religious congregation's hall where, aside from being a sinful coupling in the landlord's eyes, there probably isn't any booze allowed either?"

He's really out to lunch on this one, because it already happened in B.C. when a lesbian couple took the Knights of Columbus to court over their refusal to rent the hall to them for a wedding reception.

Frankly, I'm shocked that this got to press, without someone correctly this outrageous error.

* * * *

Update: Now to prove that the Conservative tent has lots of room, here's a Blogging Tory with a different point of view.

Another excellent post at Phantom Observer. Warning! - We may need a legal expert again.

And thanks to Molarmauler for this tip - Predictable Smears by Paul Stanway.

Also please check out The Good Fight: Don Martin needs to do his homework. That's for sure!!!