Friday, June 30, 2006

Omar Khadr Coming Back?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that the military tribunals set up to try the Guantanamo Bay prisoners are unconstitutional, the legal dilemma of what to do with these men, who are neither common criminals nor soldiers of a recognized state's military, becomes even more difficult to resolve.

Which may be good news for Omar Khadr, if the U.S. decides to wash its hands of him and let Canada deal with him:

The lawyer for a Canadian teen held at Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. military is urging the Canadian government to have him extradited home to be tried now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled American military tribunals are illegal.

Omar Khadr, 19, has been detained at Guantanamo since his arrest in October 2002 for allegedly killing a U.S. soldier and wounding another during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Now that a military tribunal will not be allowed to decide his fate, lawyers for Mr. Khadr are hoping that he will finally be sent home.

"It leaves the U.S. government in a bit of a bind as to what to do with him," Dennis Edney, one of Mr. Khadr's Canadian lawyers, said in an interview from Edmonton. "It turns everything on its head."

The United States Supreme Court yesterday struck down the system of war crimes tribunals established by President George W. Bush to try "enemy combatants," ruling the military commissions violated U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.

Omar Khadr will probably never be tried for anything here, even under the terrorism offences in the Criminal Code which allow for greater flexibility in admitting evidence.

Unlike the Toronto 17, his youth and subsequent detention in Guantanamo Bay have made him a symbol to the progessives--and the courts, many of whose judges are in sympathy with the progressives, will find a way to determine at a preliminary hearing that the Crown has not adduced sufficient evidence for a properly-instructed jury to make a finding of guilt.

Welcome back, Khadr.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why Do They Hate Us?

Because we export them garbage like this:

IRAN has gone absolutely Laa-Laa over the Teletubbies — and bought the kiddies’ TV show from the BBC.

The Mullahs in Tehran are lapping up Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po’s adventures.

BBC Worldwide said yesterday the main TV station — the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting — has bought 65 episodes and experts are dubbing them into Farsi, the national language.

A spokesman said: “It’s taking a long time to translate, as you can imagine.”

The deal comes as Iran faces pressure over its nuclear expansion programme — amid fears it plans to develop a bomb.

The first shows are expected to go out before Ramadan this year.

On the other hand, it could be a sign that the regime has gone completely mad. No sane government would allow its state broadcaster to air these babbling incoherent monsters at any time, for any reason.

But this is Iran we're talking about, folks. The babbling incoherence of the Teletubbies would be a step up from the babbling incoherence of Ahmedinejad and the ayatollahs.

The $2 Million Problem

Whether this decision was made because of bad advice, misunderstanding, or simple greed, the Conservative Party can't afford to have this story continue to fester in the media.

The party warchest is healthy enough to return $2 million, as a gesture of good faith and demonstration that the party believes in its own fight against even the appearance of impropriety in political fundraising.

And make it clear that in future, a ticket to the convention is not a contribution to the party. In big bold letters on the front, if necessary.

Spare Change

Jane Pitfield is a straight-shooting, plain-talking woman, with a reputation as one of the more level-headed members of Toronto City Council. Which is why she hasn't got a hope in hell of unseating Mayor David Miller in November.

Especially when she makes eminently sensible suggestions such as this:

Toronto council yesterday approved mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield's controversial proposal to ask city bureaucrats to look into the feasibility of a ban on panhandling, which advocates for the homeless warned will contribute to a climate of hate.

"I'm furious," said Cathy Crowe, who co-founded the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, an activist group on homelessness. "It sends out a message at the beginning of summer . . . then you get nasty articles [in the media] and hate" against homeless people, she said.

Ms. Pitfield, councillor for Don Valley West, floated the ban idea in April, after Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre) said he had been assaulted by a panhandler in Nathan Phillips Square.

Ms. Pitfield's motion, which passed 25-11 supported by mostly right-leaning and centrist councillors, asks city staff to report on ways to discourage panhandling. It also asks the city solicitor to look into "the possibility of a 'quality of life' bylaw that would include a provision that 'no person can impede any other person's reasonable enjoyment of day-to-day activities through panhandling.' "

The true measure of hatred towards homeless people, Ms. Crowe, is not expressed through proposals to make panhandling illegal. It is expressed by supposedly compassionate policies that let these people slowly self-destruct with the full encouragement of the state.

Letting the mentally ill who can't take care of themselves fall victim to their delusions.

Defending their right to freeze in the streets instead of allowing police to force them into a warm shelter for the night.

Keeping severe alcoholics dependent by offering free wine at shelters.

Offering heroin addicts so-called safe injection sites.

And so on, and so forth.

The people who profess to defend the homeless vagrants the most are the ones who care for them the least. For all their talk about addressing "root problems," they fight any serious proposals to do so.

Because then they couldn't be seen to care about their plight. The homeless are just another prop for them to demonstrate their moral superiority.

The poor we will always have with us. Unfortunately, we will also have their "advocates."

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

United Church: Kauft Nicht Bei Juden

The United Church of Canada may be confused about the finer points of moral theology, natural law and scriptural exegesis, but when it comes to pet political clauses, it suddenly becomes an exemplar of moral clarity and absolutism:

The United Church of Canada's Toronto branch will today unveil a boycott of Israeli products and companies doing business with its military to end what it calls the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

The move comes on the heels of a similar controversial move by the Ontario wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which last month voted to support an international boycott campaign against Israel to protest its treatment of Palestinian refugees.

"We want to commend that position," said Frances Combs, co-chair of the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada's task force on Israel.

The boycott is being undertaken only by the 300-church Toronto conference of the United Church, not the church as a whole.


"This is not a boycott against Israel," Combs said, adding that only occupied-territory products are to be targeted. "We affirm the right of Israel to exist."

The group also wants the church and its members to divest from companies supplying the Israeli military, and will be pushing for the church as a whole to adopt similar measures at its general council meeting in Thunder Bay in August.

A 20-page resolution to be debated in Thunder Bay also calls on the church to invest in Palestinian companies.

There's only one problem with investing in Palestine; no sane businessman will do it. Not when the Palestinian Authority can hardly control its own territory, and is more interested in plundering everything in sight instead of building a functioning state. Only the arms dealers and the shadiest of operators would even try to do business in Palestine.

The United Church brain trust would, however, be naive enough to dump the collection plate money down such a sinkhole. And they probably will, even though they know that much of their aid money probably ended up lining some PA kleptocrat's pockets.

Well, it's their money, not mine. But perhaps the people in the pews might complain.

Source: Toronto Star

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ma Bell Is Watching You

My response to Ma Bell: keep right on watching.

My RCMP and CSIS files are probably already a foot thick just from their monitoring of this blog. And my name is almost certainly on the list of prospective detainees for "hate crimes" and "un-Canadian activities" as a result.

There's nothing the ISPs can do to me that's any worse.

Source: Globe and Mail

Least Favoured Nation

Today's World Cup round of 16 matchup presents a problem: do I cheer for those overfishing, terrorist-appeasing, cowardly dagoes or the arrogant, moralizing, hypocritical frogs ?

You Will Be There

Peter Rempel is back in fighting form, with this public service announcement.

But seriously folks: with the growing government and corporate presence at the high holiday of homosexualism, there comes also the increasing element of coercion: go to the parade, march in it, work on the float, do something with your volun-told services, or you'll be fired. Or not be promoted. Or not get your bonus.

Before you know it, attendance at these parades will be as strictly enforced as attendance at the old May Day parades in the old Soviet Union.

Show up. Or else.

Off Balance

On the surface, the fiscal imbalance is a simple problem: the federal government takes in more from the provinces in taxes than it pays out in transfer payments and services.

On the surface, the fiscal imbalance has a simple solution: have Ottawa give more money to the provinces.

But this is not a simple accounting problem, and Jim Flaherty is telling the provinces to find another solution than demanding more money from the feds:

The federal Conservatives want to do more to help Ontario and other provinces with post-secondary education and urban infrastructure, but are not about to throw open Ottawa's vault to pay for every demand from provincial capitals, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says.

Flaherty's measured stance won praise from Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, but it may have set the stage for tough negotiations with Quebec and other provinces that are calling for billions of dollars a year in extra federal funding to fix the so-called fiscal imbalance.

"Billions and billions of dollars, that's not realistic," Flaherty told reporters as he and his provincial counterparts gathered here yesterday to kick off what is expected to be six months or more of intense negotiations on revamping fiscal federalism.

The outcome of the talks will have a long-term impact on what citizens receive in government health, social and education services in exchange for their tax dollars.

But Flaherty warned the treasurers that it would be a mistake to think that designing new federal-provincial financial arrangements is simply a matter of how much cash Ottawa can hand over. "It's not just about money," he said bluntly.

"This isn't a meeting about how much more money is the government of Canada going to transfer to the provinces. If that's all this was going to be about, I imagine we could do it in a conference call."

On the surface, there appears to be an even simpler solution: end the myth of the federal spending power and leave it to the provinces raise all the money they need to fund their social services and infrastructure projects--thus ending the federal encroachment on provincial jurisdiction that is especially upsetting to constitutional purists, most notably in Quebec and Alberta, though each for different reasons.

But that myth will not go away, even under a Conservative government. No government ever voluntarily gave up the power of the purse on principle alone.

Source: Toronto Star

Monday, June 26, 2006

Skin Deep

Tattoos are a common way for prison gang members to identify friend and foe at a glance, to start a fight or break one up, to show off, to intimidate even.

So naturally, our corrections authorities decided that their greater concern for prisoners' health was not a shiv in the back but an infection from a dirty needle.

But that soon will change:

The Conservative government is considering cancelling the controversial prison tattoo-parlour program, Sun Media has learned.

In one of his first acts after being sworn into cabinet, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day instructed brass at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to examine "options" for the inmate-run pilot project.


The briefing notes stress that the program's objective is to reduce HIV/AIDS and other health risks associated with underground tattooing and said CSC concluded it "can not be eliminated or significantly controlled" because nearly half the prison population engages in body art.

But the documents acknowledge the program wasn't an easy sell to the public.

"While the public safety objective can be very logically explained, we have had to work hard to position this initiative as a public safety one and counter the image that CSC is too accommodating to inmates," the document reads.

Hell, why not supply proper brew kits so they don't end up blinding themselves brewing methanol instead of ethanol instead?

Whose rights and freedom of expression is improperly curtailed by not being allowed to ink up one's skin behind bars?

And considering how having too many prominent tattoos practically screams "ex-con" or "nut job," why would the corrections system favour this?

Source: Ottawa Sun


If the latte-swilling Volvo-driving upper-middle class parlour pinks of the land can't live without CBC, Andrew Coyne has a suggestion for them: pay for it yourselves!

This won't fly, of course. The people who watch it the most are those who would support this concept the least. They genuinely believe that without the CBC, there would be no Canadian television programming, even though they watch dozens of cable channels that demonstrate otherwise.

But CBC is not a broadcaster like any other to its most loyal viewers: it is a symbol of their belief in the power of the all-encompassing state.

It is not so important that we watch CBC so much as we should pay for it, because it is for our own good.

People will fight to the death over symbols.

And they will fight to keep CBC mouldering in the status quo.

From Spuds To Buds

From the bright red mud, they're rollin' up the fat ones, smilin'.

But it's no laughing matter to the Mounties, because P.E.I. has got itself a booming drug trade:

Since 2000, investigations of 88 individual indoor and outdoor grow operations in Prince Edward Island each led to the seizure of marijuana plants. Elmwood, Summerside and Murray Harbour lead the pack with four grow ops each that police uncovered in the past six-plus years.


A recent raid in Charlottetown that netted police drugs, money and other items believed to be the proceeds of crime included a search and seizure on Route 81, the official merchandising store of the Hells Angels.

In a 2002 report on outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada determined that the Hells Angels Halifax chapter had influence over the Charlottetown Harley Club in P.E.I.

Also, the report concluded that a successful operation against the Hells Angels Halifax chapter indicated “the gang’s extensive involvement in drug trafficking.’’

Meanwhile, Conrad said police have serious concern with the increased demand in P.E.I. for drugs that can pack a deadly punch.

Demand is strong in the province for hard-core prescription drugs, cocaine and crack cocaine, he said.

Trust me, coming from the backwoods of Nova Scotia myself, I know this too well; the most bucolic places have the seediest undersides.

Source: Charlottetown Guardian

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Born On The 24th Of June

While Bill Graham spent yesterday celebrating sodomy with his pals, Stephen Harper spent it celebrating St-Jean-Baptiste:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is challenging Quebec sovereigntists' right to claim the Fete nationale holiday as their own political event.

The subtle jab came at the end of a visit to the province where a prime minister best known for lambasting Liberals showed himself perfectly willing to spar with separatists, too.

"This Fete nationale was being celebrated long before the Quiet Revolution (in the 1960s) -- and even before Confederation," he told a rural crowd yesterday. "This St-Jean (Baptiste) day reminds us all of the riches and greatness of the Quebec and francophone Canadian experience."

Mr. Harper eschewed the much larger, and more staunchly nationalist, ceremonies in Montreal and Quebec in favour of a rural festival in the province's Beauce region, home to eight of the Tories' 10 Quebec seats.

Instead of wading through urban throngs of thousands of flag-waving, slogan-chanting revellers, Mr. Harper chatted up locals among the cow pastures and rolling hills.

Indeed. Why let the separatists spoil what should be a day for all Quebecois?

If he'd gone to Montreal or Quebec, he'd have bought himself an unnecessary load of trouble. Go right to the people outside the chattering class centres and show that not everybody in Quebec is a diehard pure laine separatist.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Bill Graham Shows His Pride

And Lawrence Metherel was nowhere to be seen:

Men in white dinner jackets and beaded necklaces stood chatting with others in shorts and tropical shirts last night at a Pride garden party thrown by interim Liberal leader Bill Graham.

"It's all about bringing people together," said Graham, circulating among guests at his annual event in a lush backyard owned by a friend in the heart of Cabbagetown.

"This started out 10 or 12 years ago as a party designed to bring AIDS activists together with community leaders and some politicians to talk about things around Pride," he said.

"Then people said, `I would like to come, I would like to come' — it expanded by word of mouth and now it's too big for my own house."

As guests began to stream in after 7 p.m., the backyard revealed itself in stages. A patio tucked behind a red brick coach house led to a more expansive area with a fountain and replicas of Roman statues."An event is not a party unless they invite me," said Enza "Supermodel" Anderson, in a low-cut dress and busy as social columnist for the newspaper Metro.

Read more about the sort of people the interim leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition likes to party with here. A veritable Roman orgy, to be sure.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Half A Million More

Like most Canadians, you've never heard of Maurizio Bevilacqua. If you follow politics closely, all you know is that he's been running for the Liberal leadership for several years now without anybody noticing.

Now you'll notice him, because he wants to bring half a million immigrants to Canada every year. Half a million! When we can't even employ all the ones we're bringing in now.

But hey, how else is the Liberal Party going to shore up its eroding electoral base?

Canada needs to double the flow of immigrants into the country to build up its population and drive economic growth, Liberal leadership candidate Maurizio Bevilacqua said Friday.

In a bold proposal to throw open the doors to the country, Mr. Bevilacqua proposed that Canada expand its immigration system beyond filling holes in the labour market, bringing in far more foreign relatives of Canadians to expand the population.

His proposal calls for Canada to increase its immigration rate immediately to 1 per cent of the population, or about 325,000 people, rather than the roughly 240,000 a year it brings in now. By 2016, he would increase immigration to 1.5 per cent of the population, which would be about 490,000 people a year based on the current population.

“We can't be timid,” Mr. Bevilacqua said in an interview Friday. “I have very much an expansionist view of Canada.”

Canada needs to recruit workers and deal with labour-market needs, but also must engage in nation-building, Mr. Bevilacqua said.

Canada's relatively low birth rate means that its future population and work-force growth will come from its aboriginal population and immigration, he said.

If you really want to be controversial, why not encourage native-born Canadians to have more children? Raise that suggestion, however, and everyone will scream racism, sexism, even homophobia for good measure.

But it's a better option for Canada in the long run than looting the rest of the world to keep our social welfare Ponzi scheme from collapsing.

Source: Globe and Mail

Majority Plan

It's going to be a long hot summer in Ottawa for Stephen Harper's team. With four of the five priorities taken care of and the health care guarantee still in the works, it's time to plan for the next great goal--majority government:

The men and women around Mr. Harper feel they have good reason to be pleased with their first House of Commons legislative session, which ended Thursday. Four of the five priorities — the GST cut, the $100 monthly child-care allowance, the get-tough-on-crime promises and the accountability act — have all either passed or are about to. Only the health-care guarantee remains to be done.

Mr. Harper can also boast about his visit to Afghanistan, the still-to-be-finalized softwood lumber deal and the fact that his political opposition is in disarray across the Commons floor.

But the real trick will be to repeat the successes of the past five months and expand upon them by appealing to other demographic groups needed to transform the Harper minority government into a majority, experts and some Tories say. That's why political advisers such as Patrick Muttart and policy expert Mark Cameron will be holed up in the Langevin Block this summer trying to find a way to give the government a new shape come the fall.

“I think if they can take some of the rough edges off of the Conservative brand as mean-spirited flinty-eyed little accountants, there are enough leaners out there in enough ridings that it could make a difference,” said Allan Gregg, pollster and chairman of The Strategic Counsel. “I really believe if they can actually do something substantive on something like the environment — something that is non-partisan — it lends itself to a softer side and that's what they have to do.”

Tories say they see three ways in which their party can pick up the 30 seats they need for a majority. The first goes through Quebec, where the party has 10 seats but is optimistic it can add dozens more. The second relies on building more support among the so-called aspirational class — those soccer moms and dads who eagerly supported the GST cut and the daycare allowance. And the third would see the Tories make significant inroads into immigrant Canada, tapping into seats just outside the urban centres.

Sources have told The Globe and Mail that while the strategists have yet to find tangible campaign symbols like the GST cut, the Harper government has sketched out a basic agenda for the fall that will take them toward a spring budget.

The Tories will almost certainly unveil a series of environmental changes designed to capture the segment of voters that Mr. Gregg talks about. Voters can also expect to see more robust international relations, a strengthening of the military and increased trade liberalization.

One senior Tory said the government will look for ways to make the environment a touchable issue for Canadians.

The government has built up a fair amount of goodwill with the public just by being seen to carry out its promises. The trick now is not to promise too much or just to pander to what's popular right now, but to lead public opinion without pushing.

That's the tough part.

Source: Globe and Mail

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dance With The Devil

Hey, Buzz! Here's some poor oppressed workers in need of a union!

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, unfair wages and poor working conditions are just some of the challenges facing local exotic dancers, according to new research to be presented today.

From quotas on black dancers and higher fees for larger women, to dirty dressing rooms and poorly maintained stages, Dancers for Equal Rights (DERA) director Samantha Smyth said quantitative research suggests it's time for change.

"The five key issues are economic issues, health and safety issues, human rights issues, legal and public education for dancers themselves about what their rights are," she said.

Besides identifying the problems, so organizations like DERA can help dancers stick up for their rights, Smyth said the goal of the project is also to help quash public misconceptions about strippers.

Not much sympathy for anyone involved here: the women who do this degrading work, the sleazeballs who run the strip clubs, or the jerks who patronize them.


To many Catholics, bingo is Holy Mother Church's unofficial eighth sacrament. And one that certainly garners more respect than confession, which hardly anybody goes to these days, and even Holy Communion, which people mustn't be going to without confession.

Hence the uproar that will ensue with Bishop Fred Henry's latest missive:

A battle for the moral high ground has erupted in Calgary, where the city's influential Roman Catholic bishop has issued a damning indictment of the local school board's decision to continue to use gambling as a source of fundraising for its cash-strapped schools.

In a letter sent this week to each of the 97 schools in the Calgary Catholic School District, Bishop Fred Henry threatened "blacklisting" of schools that engage in "immoral fundraising, as well as stripping them of their Catholic designation, and announced that he won't preside at the liturgy to open the school year.

"It is morally wrong for a Catholic institution to formally co-operate in an industry that exploits the weak and the vulnerable," he wrote. "The end does not justify the means."

The letter does not spell out what blacklisting entails. However, it is believed that it would include local pastors withdrawing their services from the schools, said Jeremy Simms, chief superintendent of the school district.

The school board wouldn't listen to His Grace if he had condemned them for actively teaching against the faith in other matters. Modern Catholic school boards couldn't care less about the Catholic faith, in the main; they are more the domain for so-called "cultural Catholics."

But being damned for running bingos and casino nights is going to scorch them because it hits them where their members' consciences reside these days: the pocketbook.

Source: Globe and Mail

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Married To Myself

The redefinition of civil marriage to encompass homosexual couplings is already threatening to expand to include polygamous unions. And now some pranksters would like it to include single-person marriages:

Now a group of women in Vancouver are going one better than mere polygamy and are moving into previously unexplored realms of narcissism and marrying themselves. One said, “You can't commit to anyone else unless you're in touch with yourself.”

The seven women, ranging in age from 24 to 50, have announced they will gather on a local beach, dressed in wedding gowns, and undergo a mock marriage ceremony.

Melanie Talkington told the Province newspaper she wants “to embrace her femininity” with the mock ceremony, which she describes as “a big theatrical event.” The women described the event as a kind of costume theme party to be held at a park near Jericho Beach.

A joke? Perhaps. But if the sex of the partners is now irrelevant in law, of what greater relevance is number?

Being able to claim spousal benefits for oneself would be incentive enough to change the law for some persons.

For that matter, with marriage redefined as the union of two persons, one could just as easily marry a corporation, or have corporations marry, because corporations have the rights of natural persons in law.

Corporations, instead of hiring employees, could marry them and bind them to spousal obligations instead of simple contractual ones. Employees would also gain added job security since they could not be fired without going through divorce settlements.

The most practical solution might be to incorporate oneself and marry the corporation, thus taking advantage of corporate and spousal tax benefits at the same time.

It would be no more a mockery than same-sex "marriage", and almost certainly far more beneficial to society through the concomitant reduction of the tax burden on all citizens.

Source: LifeSite News

UPDATE: At least one law professor at UWO thinks corporations can marry legally. And we all know that law professors are only slightly less infallible than Supreme Court judges, thought more infallible than the Pope. Surely somebody could take advantage of the federally-funded court challenges program to test his thesis. Any takers?

Liberal WASP Venom

If you haven't been reading Gates of Vienna, start now. This site offers some of the best commentary about the West's struggle with Islam anywhere.

Today's article on mainline Protestantism's increasing anti-Semitism will give you pause to consider just what lies beneath the increasingly anti-Christian sentiments within the old line Protestant denominations (no less true in Canada than in the USA).


True to form, the Liberals have refused to be accountable and have come done squarely on neither side of the Federal Accountability Act.

They dared not support it and look like weak hypocrites; they dared not oppose it and look like arrogant fools.

What an incredible act of cowardice:

The Conservative government's central piece of legislation -- the federal accountability act -- has passed through the House of Commons without a single record of which MPs support or oppose it.

Liberal Leader Bill Graham refused to say yesterday whether his party supports the bill and abruptly ended a scrum with reporters when he was pressed to state a position.

"We support increased accountability but there are certain elements in this bill which we clearly criticized in committee and we made our opposition to that clear," Mr. Graham said when asked to state the Liberal position.

He then said his MPs might have a position if the Liberal senators amend the bill.

"If it comes back to the House because of amendments, we will have an opportunity to rule on it then," he said.

Because of an agreement among the four parties, the accountability act received its final vote of approval last night "on division," which means MPs are not required to stand up and be counted. The process acknowledges that support for the bill is not unanimous.

The same process was used at second reading of the bill and report stage. That means the only standing votes were on amendments to the bill, rather than the bill itself.

The Conservatives are fortunate that the Liberals have still not mastered the arts of acting as an effective opposition. And it's not just because the party hasn't chosen a leader yet; this lot really doesn't know how to act when out of government.

They've already been snookered into passing the budget unaware, they've blinked at the NDP vote to depose Rona Ambrose, and now this.

If the Liberals keep shying from a fight, we might just get three years out of this minority.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Miracles Of Botany

Apparently it is possible for some life forms to go f*** themselves:

An orchid growing in harsh conditions defies gravity to twist its male sexual organs 360 degrees to fertilize its female organ, Chinese scientists have discovered.

The pink-flowered orchid, Holcoglossum amesianum, grows on tree trunks at altitudes of 1,200 to 2,000 metres in China's Yunnan province.


In Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, LaiQiang Huang of the centre for biotechnology and biomedicine at Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, China, and colleagues report what they say is a new type of self-pollination mechanism.

"Without pollinators for outcrossing, the necessity of ensuring reproductive success must outweigh the potential adverse effects of inbreeding," the study's authors concluded.

Science can be fun, sometimes.

Source: CBC

Our Network, Our Money

$12.50 can buy you a medium pizza with the works. Or a 12-pack of cheap lager. Or the same CBC TV programming without the ads:

A Senate report on the state of Canada's media industry has called on the federal government to increase funding for the CBC so that the public broadcaster can operate without commercials, and to require all news gathering organizations to publicly disclose who their controlling shareholders are on a regular basis.


Ottawa should “refine” the CBC's mandate, giving it enough “realistic and stable funding” to remove advertising from its programs, the report says.

The CBC's budget, which includes a parliamentary appropriation of almost $1-billion and revenue of nearly $400-million, mostly from advertising, is insufficient to support a strong public broadcaster, the parliamentary committee argues.

“This budget is small if compared to some national public broadcasters and seems especially modest when one considers the number of services provided,” the report said.

Ever notice that whenever someone suggests broadcasting CBC without ad revenue, like PBS, they never suggest having viewers make up the difference, also like PBS?

The quarterly pledge drives may be hokey, but they're also reflective of PBS local stations' mandate to provide programming its viewers actually want to watch.

CBC would never give its local stations that sort of autonomy, for fear that they might actually produce better programming and leave its most committed supporters wondering why they should go to bat for the head office folks in Toronto.

But even if it wanted to, CBC's unions would adopt scorched-earth tactics to destroy the CBC before giving up their control over network operations. Last year's lockout would be but a foretaste of the union in full battle for its life.

There will be no meaningful reform at the CBC because both management and labour fear real change more than they loathe each other. Only an act of God will strike down the CBC.

Source: Globe and Mail

Grit Grassroots Dry Up

There's nothing like a leadership race to get the rank and file pumped with enthusiasm and ready to fight, right?


Even with 11 candidates and not entirely unreasonable prospects of forcing a snap election to return to power under (fill in the blank), the grassroots might not even phone it in next time out:

What is increasingly worrisome are early warning signs for some Liberals that the party faces a far more serious problem at the grassroots than fatigue. Volunteers across the country, they suggest, are angry, frustrated and primed to sit on their hands in the next federal election, as they began to do during the campaign for last January's vote.

Liberals — none of whom think the problem is unfixable — point to varying causes. Taken together, they describe a perfect storm of factors blowing in on federal Liberals with potentially devastating results.

"This isn't an unusual problem for the Liberals. They always tune out the grassroots until they are out of power and need them," said Ottawa consultant Jamie Deacey, who co-chaired Paul Martin's leadership campaign in 2002/03. "What makes it so egregious this time is the problem on the other side of the aisle — Stephen Harper."

Deacey perceives the Conservative Prime Minister as a "formidable and ruthless" opponent at a time when he says the Liberal grassroots are alienated and, worse, some Liberal elites "have yet to come to terms with not being in power. It's like any 12-step program. If you are going to get better, you've got to admit you've got a problem first."

Martha Hall Findlay, a Toronto lawyer and candidate for the Liberal leadership, witnessed grassroots alienation first-hand recently when she criss-crossed the country in a campaign bus. From Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley to Blind River in northern Ontario to Alberta's Peace River, "the one thing that was most surprising was how angry Liberals are," she said. "The level of anger is palpable."

When a party is built solely around the purpose of holding power and distributing largesse to its supporters, with no core vision to sustain it, it had better keep winning or it will fall apart after the first loss.

Greed will not suffice; when the trough dries up, the greedy go elsewhere.

For lack of vision, a party perishes.

Not that I mind.

Source: Toronto Star

Beast Of B.C. To Be Set Free?

Not at all likely, even though he has done his 25 years.

But this is the National Parole Board we're talking about, so don't underestimate the willingness of their more soft-hearted and soft-headed appointees to extend a wholly undeserved mercy to Clifford Olson:

The National Parole Board is preparing to hold a parole hearing next month for the most prolific serial killer in Canadian history — Clifford Olson.

In August, Mr. Olson, the self-described Beast of B.C., completes the 25-year parole eligibility requirement of his life sentence for the murder of 11 children. His parole hearing will be held in the Quebec penitentiary where he is incarcerated.

Diane Bélisle, a parole board spokesperson, confirmed yesterday that since Mr. Olson, 66, has not signalled any intention to waive his hearing, it is being scheduled for next month. “When the exact date is set, all the persons who requested to be at the hearing will be notified,” she said.


Mr. Olson pleaded guilty in 1982 to 11 counts of murder as part of a deal with police and the B.C. Attorney-General.

In return for his plea and for helping police find the bodies and personal effects of 10 of his victims, $100,000 was placed in trust for his family.

Life can mean life, if the Parole Board sticks to its guns and denies Olson parole.

Let's hope it does.

At least there's one benefit of not having the death penalty; he can't make himself a cause celebre for the left in quite the same way as Death Row inmates such as Tookie Williams did.

Source: Globe and Mail

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Camp For The Camp

Is it too late to ask James Loney's kidnappers to take him back?

Former Iraq hostage James Loney says his homosexuality is behind a decision by Ontario's Knights of Columbus to close a Catholic youth leadership camp.

Loney and the Christian Peacemakers Team claim in a statement released yesterday that his decision to disclose his relationship with partner Dan Hunt after his release prompted the closure of the camp where he is a staff member.

The Ontario Catholic Youth Leadership Camp, near Orillia, was to operate this year between Aug. 21 and Aug. 26.

Reached at his Peterborough home last night Jack Clancey, a Knights of Columbus official, said the decision to close the camp had nothing to do with the organization's views on homosexuality.

"That statement is totally out of left field," said Clancey. "We closed down that leadership camp because we needed to review the way we were going and the curriculum that we were teaching."

Loney plans a news conference today. But his statement yesterday drew a connection between the decision to close the camp and apparent concerns it was "promoting a homosexual lifestyle."

Loney and Hunt are being given the "Fearless" award at a fundraising gala and awards dinner tonight as part of Toronto's Pride Week festivities in recognition of their perseverance during the hostage ordeal.

Whenever James Loney doesn't get his way, or is in the least bit inconvenienced, it's because he's homosexual. Everyone must accomodate themselves to his whims and predilections. Including the Knights of Columbus, who, bearing in mind the ephebophile sex scandals in the Church, might not have wanted to risk a lawsuit by letting two open homosexuals run around camp for a week with teenage boys.

In any event, so long as Loney remains an open and unrepentant homosexual, he is hardly fit to assume a leadership role within groups such as the Christian Peacemakers or Catholic Worker. Dorothy Day must be spinning in her grave at the thought of seeing Loney besmirch her movement's good name.

Source: Toronto Star

Happy Mornings To You Too, Jackass

Courtesy of Andrew Coyne, an disorderly mob of cheerful albinos!

Playing For The Other Team

When want becomes the sole basis of right, rights ends up being determined solely by who has the greater force to enforce their wants.

In that vein, here is the story of two Manitoba girls bravely struggling against reality to satisfy their want to play on a boy's hockey team:

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission is hearing the complaints of two hockey-playing sisters who were denied the right to try out for the boys team at their high school — solely because the school had a, much weaker, team for girls. Identical twins Jesse and Amy Pasternak, 17, said they were shocked to be told they couldn't compete for the senior boys hockey team at Winnipeg's West Kildonan Collegiate when they entered Grade 10 in the fall of 2004.

The two were shunted to the girls team at the school which they described as "a joke."

Amy testified some girls on the team had their skates on the wrong feet or didn't know how to stop on the ice. The sisters have played hockey since childhood and have played on boys junior hockey teams outside school. Amy plays goal, while Jesse plays defence.

The Manitoba High Schools Athletics Association (MHSAA) stepped in when it learned the girls wanted to play on the boys team and forced the sisters to play on the girls team.

One wonders whether boys who weren't good enough to make the cut, but still want to play, will have the same right to play on the girls team? Not that any of them are that wussy.

And who would want to play with a couple of girls whose parents put them up to suing their way on to the team, anyway?

Source: CBC

Monday, June 19, 2006

Chucked Behind Bars

The man behind the sponsorship scandal will have the next 3 1/2 years behind bars to repent for his sins, if repentance be in the vocabulary of the Adscam ringleader:

Chuck Guité, the former civil servant who ran the federal sponsorship program, was sentenced Monday to 3½ years in prison for his conviction on fraud charges.

Guité, 62, was convicted on June 6 of defrauding Ottawa of $1.5 million in his handling of five government contracts.

"Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the case was Mr. Guité's studied and persistent lack of remorse," wrote Quebec Superior Court Justice Fraser Martin in the decision handed down on Monday.

Martin said the crime deserved a stiff sentence because it was committed by someone in a position of trust.

The maximum sentence would have been 10 years. Crown prosecutors had sought a sentence of three to four years in prison, while the defence lawyer had recommended a two-year sentence.

Guité will likely serve about one-sixth of the sentence and be out by the end of the year, because it was a non-violent crime, he has no previous criminal record and he is considered a low risk to re-offend.

Or maybe not. Truth in sentencing is such a rare commodity these days. They may just let him out in time to attend the Liberal leadership convention. As keynote speaker, no less.

Source: CBC

Italian Pretender Fraud Bust

No, this is not a story about Joe Volpe, , although Bourque very thoughfully follows with one.

Is Bourque unhappy with Italians these days, I wonder?

Indians Hit The Jackpot

Throw quarters down the slots for an hour and you'll know where your money went.

But if you're the guy who empties the slot machine, you won't:

Casino Rama has pumped $1-billion into dozens of Ontario native bands over the last decade, but tracing that cash is like chasing lightning.

Most taxpayers, including First Nations people themselves, don't get to see yearly audits accounting for how Rama cash is spent across the province.

They're kept under wraps by a small board of native directors who say they're accountable only to the government and chiefs.

Public spending watchdogs have demanded more scrutiny to ensure Rama cash meets its original purpose: to help 134 native bands out of sometimes bleak poverty and promote self-sufficiency.


Why the secrecy?

“First of all, it's not the taxpayers' money, it's First Nations' money,” says Steve Williams, spokesman for the Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership.

The oversight agency, created as part of a complex deal with the province, has a board of four directors appointed by major provincial native organizations and one independent. It distributes and tracks Rama payments to Ontario bands.

“Why would we account for money that belongs to us?” Mr. Williams asked.

“We don't tell GM (General Motors): ‘You made this much money. Tell me if you're getting value for your money.'”

A spokeswoman for the Ontario government says there are enough safeguards in a system that relies on a mediator — and ultimately the courts — to settle disputes.

Where do you think the money's going? Into the pockets of the band chiefs and their cronies, as usual.

If the books ever get opened on Casino Rama, there won't be enough space in Caledonia to hide the fugitives who've been skimming the proceeds.

And we'll all be told that requesting basic financial disclosure is a racist act.

Would that we could be as irresponsible with our money, with equally little consequence to ourselves.

Source: Globe and Mail

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Firing Squad Misses

Fall is hunting season, for wild game and votes alike, which is why holding the vote to kill the long gun registry will be especially fitting for the season:

The Conservative government is set to bring in legislation as early as Monday to formally abolish the federal long-gun registry — even though MPs won't be able to vote on it until the fall, and it may not pass even then.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day will likely claim the reason for introducing the bill now is to give MPs and interested groups a chance to study the legislation over the summer.

But sources say there is also a political reason for the timing.

Backbench Tories, especially from rural and western ridings, want to be able to tell constituents who complain about the registry that the legislative wheels are in motion to get rid of it.

"It's purely symbolic," said one Conservative insider.

Another suggested the timing could be a kind of insurance policy, helping to persuade voters the government is doing all it can to eliminate the much-criticized registry even if unforeseen events force an election before the job is finished.

Unfortunately, it looks like opposition will gang up to defeat it. The Liberals no longer have the rural base to influence them, the NDP loves the gun registry, and the Bloc needs to show that it's not in the Tories' pocket on every issue.

And it's hard to see where there are more votes to be gained by using this as a reason to call for a majority government. Urban voters' fear of all firearms will convince them that keeping the registry was a good idea; there are few rural votes to be tapped that the Tories don't already have, either.

In the bid to win more urban votes, the registry might have to be allowed to survive on life support.

A bitter pill to swallow.

Source: Globe and Mail

Saturday, June 17, 2006

No GST Cut For You

What the right hand giveth, the left hand taketh away.

How dare Torontonians expect the city fathers to let them selfishly keep more of their own money, when they know best how to spend it on making Toronto the wonderfully serene, efficient, hygienic, tolerant and diverse multicultural model city that it is!

You should be happy to pay for the privilege of living in the Centre of the Universe!

How To Succeed In Indian Land Claims Without Really Trying

Indians looking to take over "ancestral" lands now have a wonderful new precedent set by Dalton McGuinty:

1. Find a valuable bit of land near the reserve.
2. If such land doesn't exist, any other valuable land will do. You were here first, after all.
3. Round up a bunch of local thugs from the reserve.
4. Set up barricades.
5. Claim that said land was stolen from your ancestors centuries ago from the greedy white man.
6. Let media bias carry your message far and wide.
7. Welcome outside militant Indians on to the land for support.
8. Shout about racism and cultural genocide when the police get sent.
9. Let simmer for a few months.
10. Let the government buy the land for you.
11. Take the money and distribute to the band chief, band council and their cronies.
12. Take what's left, if any, and spend some of it on actually fixing up the lands and reserve.
13. Repeat the process as often as desired.

$45 million is just the beginning, folks.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Isn't it rather strange that all of these unnamed Conservative operatives have been trying to convince lightweight Toronto-area Liberals and ethically challenged ex-cabinet ministers to cross the floor at a time when Joe Volpe's fundraising shenanigans have been headlining the Liberal leadership race?

Give us the names, Judy. Give us the names, Andy. Give us the names, Ruby.

Degree Without Distinction

Today, universities consider denying honorary degrees to accomplished persons who express the slightest opposition to elements of the progressive social engineering plan, such as Margaret Somerville because of her opposition to homosexual "marriage."

Tomorrow, will universities deny ordinary degrees to their own students on the same grounds?

Count on it.

Haq Job

No doubt Sheik Riyadh ul-Haq is an unpleasant character and provocateur, and on those grounds alone, should not be allowed to come to Canada to preach the message of jihad to Canada's Muslims.

But if you look at the reasons one self-styled moderate Muslim leader doesn't want him here, they could, with some stretching, be applied to Pope Benedict XVI:

"He's is a nasty piece of work," said Tarek Fatah, host of the weekly television program The Muslim Chronicle. He warned that such conferences as the ones where Mr. Haq is scheduled to speak are dangerous because they often mix politics and religion.

"All he will do [is] create doubt in the minds of young people [as to] whether Canada, as a society, is a viable place for Muslims to live in. He's going to make insinuations against gender equity, about same-sex marriage," Mr. Fatah predicted.

One suspects that the cultural climate will have shifted so much by 2008 that the Canadian government will refuse Pope Benedict entry to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City--if the Congress itself isn't already banned--for promoting "inequality", "intolerance", "sexism" and "homophobia".

But the likes of Sheik ul-Haq will have the red carpet rolled out for him:

Mr. Haq left Birmingham Central Mosque three years ago after becoming involved in a sex scandal that led to a drive-by murder. He was questioned about the murder but not charged. The Sunday Mercury reported that during court hearings related to the murder, it was revealed Mr. Haq had secretly married a second wife.

The cleric also drew attention after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by accusing the British government of "whipping up suspicion" against Muslims on the "flimsiest excuse." He also said British Prime Minister Tony Blair was "gung-ho" to bomb Afghanistan.

In Friday prayers after the 9/11 attacks, Mr. Haq urged Muslims to be skeptical of Mr. Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush "when they say this is not a war against Islam."

"My conclusion was that I don't believe them," Mr. Haq told the New York Times. "Their actions belie their claim because they are bombing Muslims in Afghanistan, a totally ravaged country.

"They say they are not against Muslims, but Blair has participated in campaigns against Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan, and all three are Muslim countries."

His message and conduct warms the hearts of our country's progressives, so he'll have no trouble and face no protests when he comes.

Source: National Post

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Up In Arms

You know how everybody gets when they can see the end of a long, marathon session of hard work coming to a close; people's nerves fray and tempers flare, because everybody's getting sick of everybody else and they just want to get the job over with.

Thus all the flailing and screaming about Pierre Poilievre and Jacques Gourde giving the Italian salute in the House, much ado about nothing except a little parliamentary indecorum:

It all began during a charged vote Tuesday evening on imports of milk proteins.

The opposition had been heckling Quebec Conservative MP Jacques Gourde, parliamentary secretary to the agriculture minister, for voting against the motion that would have aided Quebec dairy farmers.

Gourde responded with a rude arm gesture toward the opposition.

That set the House into an uproar. The opposition parties began yelling, and the Conservatives - still in the middle of voting - began to tell each other what had just transpired. Even Justice Minister Vic Toews discreetly showed another MP the gesture in question.

But Tory MP Pierre Poilievre showed the gesture to a seatmate in full view, creating yet another outcry among the opposition, who interpreted it as another affront.

Trudeau used to give journalists the finger and say "fuddle duddle" on the floor of the House, but his supporters thought it was dashing, not disgraceful.

The Italian salute is a rude gesture, but not the rudest of gestures, and a simple apology to the House should have ended the matter.

For making such a fuss, I'd like to give the Liberals an Italian salute of my own.

Source: Yahoo!

From Gitmo To T.O.

Canada's multicultural mosaic is about to get a few more wonderfully colourful and diverse tiles added to it, courtesy of the U.S. government:

Some prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp who have been formally cleared of links to terrorism may soon be attempting to emigrate to Canada.

Lawyers have been discussing the possibility that Canada would take in at least one of the prisoners the U.S. military no longer considers a threat, however his name wasn't being released for fear of jeopardizing ongoing diplomatic negotiations.

Repatriating former Guantanamo inmates has proved difficult for the U.S. Although they have been classified as "No Longer Enemy Combatants" or NLECs, many do not want to return to their countries of origin after years in detention. They fear the taint of the infamous prison will lead to imprisonment or other reprisals if they are sent home.

The challenge for the U.S. is to find countries with good human rights records willing to welcome detainees it once suspected of terrorism ties. That leaves the detainees in something of a legal limbo -- no longer considered enemy combatants, but unable to leave prison.

Perhaps these men aren't guilty of being terrorists. But they aren't exactly innocent men, either. People don't go to rogue states and civil war zones, in the company of the combattants, for no reason.

Being cleared of terror charges is not a sufficient indication of their good character; it merely indicates that the evidence is not sufficient to establish legal proof of guilt.

Canada would be unwise to take these men just because the U.S. has trouble finding somewhere to put them. If they were trouble enough to send to Gitmo, they'll be trouble enough to send here.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hadji Girl

Presenting number one with a bullet on the Iraqi hit parade, the song that's got the Muslim lobby declaring jihad, Hadji Girl!

Garth Faces Mecca

The most pressing reason for electing a Conservative majority government is not so that more thoroughgoing reform can be carried out, but that its survival not be dependent upon Garth Turner's vote:

Conservative MP Garth Turner defended comments he made on his blog this week where he wrote that some of the 17 people charged in connection with the alleged Toronto terror plot may be less dangerous than street racers who have taken lives.

Turner wrote the comments in his blog shortly after he had a meeting with 20 people at a mosque in his Ontario riding of Halton. The entry was called "In the Mosque" (PDF)

Five the 17 people facing terrorism-related charges are young offenders under the age of 18.

The MP concluded his posting about that meeting by writing, "left unsaid was a simple request that transcended the meeting. Forgive our sons."

In his comments section, one reader took exception to Turner's "forgive our sons" line, writing "I realize teens can get caught up and go too far, but my tolerance gets stretched much beyond shoplifting. Garth, what are YOUR thoughts on this?"

Writing in italics, Turner replied adding he heard things while at the mosque that he "would never get from the MSM (mainstream media)" and concluded: "I believe the authorities were 100% correct in what they did, but there's also a very good chance many of these young 'terrorists' were less dangerous than the punk street racers who have actually already taken lives."

After question period, Turner clarified his comments to PoliticsWatch.

"The simple point I was trying to make was that they're accused terrorists and they need their day in court," he said.

If the Conservative Party had a majority, Garth Turner could be appointed to some sinecure where he could shoot his mouth off to no avail and no harm, without risking the whole government in the subsequent by-election.

In any event, he can rave all he likes on his blog because his influence on Stephen Harper is less than zero.

May he soon go back to doing his infomercials.

Source: PoliticsWatch

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fiery Thirst

No disrespect intended to the good people of Newfoundland, but somehow I wasn't surprised to hear that this story came from there:

The entire volunteer fire department in a Newfoundland town has resigned, following a new policy that forbids drinking alcohol in the local fire hall.

The Point Leamington fire hall had doubled for years as an unofficial bar for the community of about 700 on the island's northeast coast.

Fire Chief Fraser Stuckless said he complied with a town order this spring to stop selling booze to the public.

However, he said the force of a dozen firefighters should still be allowed to enjoy a drink on special occasions.

"The other fire departments, they do have alcohol …. The alcohol is there for personal use for the firemen and, as far as I'm concerned, we should be allowed to do the same," said Stuckless.

What's the harm in having a beer or two at the fire hall? It doesn't sound like the firemen were getting drunk on the job.

Loitering In The Lobby

Derek Burney would like his friends to be rewarded for all the hard work they put in as members of Stephen Harper's transition team, in the usual manner. And now he's mad as hell that the Federal Accountability Act won't allow it:

Derek Burney, the former ambassador, senior bureaucrat and Conservative man-for-all-seasons who led Harper's transition team, took the extraordinary step of publicly breaking with the prime minister on the issue.

Burney decried the move in a published interview and has asked to speak to the committee about the issue alongside (Elizabeth) Roscoe.

"I put a premium on loyalty and most people in politics do, and this is affecting one of my team members in a manner I find unfair," Burney told the newspaper.

The Conservatives now face the unnerving prospect of having a totemic figure in the party campaigning against the centrepiece of a popular Conservative prime minister's agenda.

The proposed change is contained in the Accountability Act, intended to stop the "revolving door" between government and lobbyists.

The Act also stipulates that public office holders must wait for five years after leaving government before entering the lobbying world.


Elizabeth Roscoe volunteered to help Harper with transition last January and subsequently took a job as vice-president of public affairs for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

Within weeks of his election the prime minister brought in rules that retroactively outlaw members of the transition team from lobbying for five years.

Ain't that a crying shame. Ms. Roscoe knew that the rules were changing; while doing so retroactively is a bit unfair, it's a perfectly valid legal and political decision to make.

Somehow the sight of starving lobbyists with their begging bowls doesn't move the public to sympathize with their plight.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

A Friend At Court

While the Toronto 17 continue to swear their innocence on a stack of Qu'rans, they forget that they are being judged in the public eye by the company they keep:

The alleged members of a Toronto-based terrorist group are receiving support from other Canadians who say their names have been smeared by terrorism allegations, including members of the Khadr family and the uncle of a detained Syrian.

Sitting in the front row at a court appearance for the accused yesterday was 17-year-old Karim Khadr, who was paralyzed when he was shot during a 2003 battle with Pakistani forces that killed his father, reputed Al Qaeda financier Ahmed Said Khadr.

Also watching was Khadr's mother, Maha Elsamnah, who has been living in Toronto since she returned from Pakistan with Karim two years ago. The Khadr family knows at least one of the suspects, Fahim Ahmad, who is accused of being one of the alleged leaders of what police call a homegrown terrorism cell plotting to attack southern Ontario targets.


A few rows back in the packed courtroom sat Ahmed Shehab, who had his Toronto photocopy shop raided by the RCMP a week after the 9/11 attacks, and his nephew Nabil Al Marabh, detained on terrorism allegations in the U.S.

The terrorism accusations against Al Marabh were later dropped, and he was deported on an immigration violation to Syria, where his uncle says he's now detained.

Shehab said yesterday he recognized some of the accused, but came to court to show his support and send the message that the suspects are innocent until the court rules.

The Toronto 17 must be innocent because Allah has performed a miracle by having a man held in a Syrian jail bilocate to stand at their side in court!

Set them free at once, Your Honour. Only the most innocent of persons would consort with persons of such impeccable character as the Khadrs and company.

Source: Toronto Star

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rough Justice For Jihadis

Just as every perp is as innocent as a newborn babe and the victim of police brutality, so too is every terrorism suspect a law-abiding man and subject of unspeakable torture.

Like the Toronto 17, of course:

David Kolinsky, who is representing Zakaria Amara, said his client has been locked in a small concrete cell without windows, where meals are slipped to him under a small slit in the door and the lights are left on 24 hours a day.

"This type of treatment is known to cause depression and suicide. ... This type of treatment is, in fact, cruel and unusual punishment contrary to the Bill of Rights," Mr. Kolinsky said.

Mr. Kolinsky also alleges that his client has faced at least some sort of physical abuse from guards.

"As he was being searched, the guard touched his ribs and he's ticklish. He giggled a bit. And the guard drilled his finger in to his cheek and said, 'Is this funny?'"

He said he has also not been able to meet with his client without guards watching over.

"There was no privacy at all in that respect," he said.

Mr. Galati said the treatment of the detainees amounts to torture.

"Clearly, leaving the light on 24 hours a day and waking them up every half hour for the last 10 days constitutes torture," he said. "No lawyer is willing to prepare for a bail hearing or a picnic with a client unless they're not overheard when they have a conversation with their client."

And of course, why would they lie about such barbaric mistreatment?

The Al-Qaeda training manual was discovered by the police in Manchester, England, during a search of an Al Qaeda member's home and was used as evidence in the trial of the four men convicted in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

An English translation of the manual is widely available on the Internet.

Lesson 18 of the document entitled "Prisons and detention centres" advises captured jihadists that when criminal proceedings begin "brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge."

It also tells terrorists to "complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison" and "know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge."

The manual also offers other helpful hints such as organizing Islamic programs in prison and using the time behind bars to memorize the Qu'ran (thus the prisoners' demands at arraignment to be given Qu'rans).

No doubt this lot is getting a little rougher treatment than most. But leaving the lights on at night and 10 days in lockdown is much more merciful treatment than they would have meted out to their victims.

And quite possibly, they weren't even treated that harshly. But their claims will find willing believers in the progressive community. And soon, the usual suspects will be clamouring for their release, though not to the point of actually putting up bail for them.

Before they ever get to trial, there will be mass marches to Queen's Park and candlelight vigils at the prison walls for these men.

Count on it.

Hang In There

Prison suicides are nothing new, and usually few people care who hangs themselves in prison or why, except the John Howard Society.

But when a few guys at Guantanamo Bay get tired of waiting for their virgins, suddenly it's an atrocity:

Three Guantanamo Bay prisoners hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the U.S. detention centre said Saturday.

They were the first reported deaths among the hundreds of men held at the base for years without charge.

The suicides, which U.S. military officials said were co-ordinated, triggered further condemnation of the isolated detention centre, which holds some 460 men on suspicion of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. There has been growing international pressure on the U.S. to close the prison.

Two men from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen were found dead shortly after midnight Saturday in separate cells, said the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, which has jurisdiction over the prison. Attempts were made to revive them but they failed.

"They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets," U.S. navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris said in a conference call from the U.S. base in southeastern Cuba.

Gen. John Craddock, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, said in the conference call the three left suicide notes but refused to disclose the contents.

One of the detainees was a mid- or high-level al-Qaida operative, Harris said, while another had been captured in Afghanistan and participated in a riot at a prison there. The third belonged to a splinter group. Their names were not released.

Considering the high rate of prison suicide, three hangings out of nearly 800 prisoners over four years is actually remarkably low. Even more remarkably so when one considers that these men are not ordinary prisoners but fanatical warriors in love with death and the vision of paradise.

If this is how a gulag operates, would that more prisons operated like gulags.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Like Attracts Like

Failed former NDP premiers have to stick together through thick and thin:

Ujjal Dosanjh is throwing his support behind Bob Rae, a fellow onetime NDP premier, for the federal Liberal leadership.

The Vancouver MP will announce his decision Monday.

Dosanjh served briefly as premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001, taking the helm of the province's scandal-plagued New Democratic Party after Glen Clark abruptly resigned.

He jumped to the Liberals federally, winning a seat in the Commons in 2004. He was considered one of former prime minister Paul Martin's star recruits and served as health minister in Martin's short-lived government.


Although he is considered one of the frontrunners among the 11 contenders and has put together an impressive team combining some of the top organizers from both the Martin and Jean Chrétien factions of the party, Rae has so far attracted the support of only one other Liberal MP — Moncton's Brian Murphy.

By contrast, rookie Toronto MP and acclaimed scholar Michael Ignatieff has captured the support of almost 30 MPs.

There you have it, folks. The Liberal caucus has taken the measure of Bob Rae and found him lacking. He is not, unlike Ignatieff, someone upon whom can be projected the image of Pierre Trudeau. He is, unlike Ignatieff, someone with an actual political record to defend.

Left dazed and confused by the lack of an heir apparent, the Liberals have quickly recovered and found one.

He may even stay in Canada after losing the next election.

Aren't we all fortunate to have the return of the philosopher king?

Source: Toronto Star

Sunday, June 11, 2006

You Like Me. You Really, Really Like Me.

Thanks to Blue Blogging Soapbox for declaring this site, of all sites, to be the Blogging Tories Site of the Week.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Goin' Down The Road

As a Nova Scotia boy myself who's gone down the road in search of better opportunities in Upper Canada, I know what drives ambitious young folk to pack up and leave home. We don't need a government program--we've had all too many government programs--to convince us to leave town.

Thus Athabasca MP Brian Jean's comments leave me a bit befuddled:

Conservative MP from northern Alberta has been accused of planning to herd Maritimers across the country to help fill the labour shortage in Fort McMurray.

But Athabasca MP Brian Jean calls the accusation is “absolutely offensive.”

He said today he was only trying to encourage Ottawa to provide information and provide transportation to unemployed easterners interested in finding work in other parts of Canada.

“We need not 25,000 people; we need 250,000 people,” Jean told the parliamentary committee on human resources development. “I want them from the rest of Canada. I don’t want them from around the world unless they’re going to be here permanently. .... Quite frankly we need to make some changes — I think some sort of transportation policy to make it available for the people that are unemployed in the rest of Canada should be looked at.”


In an interview, Jean said that the Liberals are ashamed that they cancelled a longstanding program that helped people move around the country for jobs.

“We should put forward a communication strategy so that Canadians are aware of what opportunities there are wherever jobs are, whether they be in Hibernia, in the Northwest Territories or southern B.C. for the Pacific Gateway or northern Alberta for the oil sands,” he said.

Everybody back East at least knows somebody who knows somebody who's gone to Fort Mac to rake in the big bucks working in the oil sands. The best communications strategy is the oldest one: word of mouth.

Source: Edmonton Journal

Friday, June 09, 2006

Go Joe, Go!

The Liberal Party, having belatedly recognized that corruption within its ranks led to its defeat, is now trying to convince Joe Volpe to do the honourable thing. As if Joe Volpe and honour had even a nodding acquaintance:

Joe Volpe is facing increasing pressure from other Liberals to quit the party's leadership race in the wake of the kids' funding uproar.

Many Liberals expressed anger and exasperation that the Eglinton-Lawrence MP's acceptance of $27,000 in donations from the children of drug firm executives has revived the corruption issue that damaged the party in the last election.

His critics are not mollified by Volpe's decision to return the donations and the desire for him to quit the race is likely to be an issue among party members as they gather in Winnipeg on the weekend for the first leadership debate.

"This is not doing anyone in the party any good," said MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood), who is supporting Toronto MP and former academic Michael Ignatieff in the leadership contest that culminates in Montreal the first weekend in December.

"Some people are disappointed, but the race must go on, and there are lots of candidates in this race," said Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Vaughan MP who is vying for his party's top job.

"More than anything, people are saying: `Haven't we learned our lesson from Gomery?'" said a senior Liberal who is backing former Ontario premier Bob Rae. Justice John Gomery's inquiry produced explosive evidence of Liberal wrongdoing under the ill-fated federal sponsorship program.

When the Liberal Party looks at Michael Ignatieff or Gerard Kennedy, they see what they want to be. When the Liberal Party looks at Joe Volpe, they see what they are.

Thus the viciousness with which the party is turning on Volpe.

But he will not go. He has been working towards this moment all his political career. His machine will decide who becomes the next Liberal leader, because it controls so much of the Toronto ethnic vote.

And we will all be treated to many delightfully entertaining stories about Volpe for months to come.

Source: Toronto Star

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cape Breton Muslim Update

I am informed by a reliable source that Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal, the Cape Breton-born convert wife of the Toronto terror cell leader, is the granddaughter of Isobel MacAulay, who designed the official Nova Scotia tartan.

Is it a sin against Allah to make tartan burqas, I wonder?

No Virgins For You

The leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq is now finding out that the promise of 72 virgins in paradise was all a load of nonsense:

Jordanian-born militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted insurgent in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq's prime minister said Thursday.

The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, said to be responsible for numerous car and suicide bombings and beheadings of foreign and Iraqi hostages, was killed with seven aides Wednesday evening in a safehouse 50 kilometres northeast of Baghdad in the province of Diyala, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki said the air strike was the result of intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by residents in the area.

Here are a few highlights from his c.v.:

U.S. officials believe that Zarqawi trained others in the use of poison (ricin?[1]) for possible attacks in Europe, ran a terrorist haven in northern Iraq, and organized the bombing of a Baghdad hotel.

According to suspects arrested in Turkey, Zarqawi sent them to Istanbul to organize an attack on a NATO summit there on June 28 or June 29 of 2004.

United States officials blame Zarqawi for over 700 killings in Iraq during the occupation, mostly from bombings.

According to the United States State Department, Zarqawi is responsible for the Canal Hotel bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003. This attack killed twenty two people, including the United Nations secretary general's special Iraqi envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Zarqawi is believed by the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to have written an intercepted letter to the al-Qaeda leadership in February 2004 on the progress of the "Iraqi jihad." Many observers do not believe that Zarqawi wrote the letter.

On July 11, 2004, a group reportedly led by Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for a July 8 mortar attack in Samarra, Iraq. Five American soldiers and one Iraqi soldier were killed.

Believed to have coordinated the infamous second battle of "Al Fallujah" (Operation Phantom Fury/Operation Al Fajr) in November 2004, fought in the battle himself, then slipped away from coalition forces.

Jordan accuses Zarqawi of plotting to release a chemical cloud in Amman. Men were arrested in Amman who purportedly were planning to release the chemical attack. He was convicted in absentia on March 20, 2005, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison in addition to his two death sentences for earlier crimes in Jordan.

Zarqawi is believed to have masterminded the 2005 bombings in Amman that killed about seventy people in three hotels.

Zarqawi released a video tape on April 25, 2006 via the Internet where he praised the terrorists in Iraq.

The United States Army aired an unedited tape of Zarqawi in May 2006 highlighting the fact that he was unable to fire an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Zarqawi was also shown to be wearing tennis shoes in the video. The aim of the video was to remove the myth surrounding Zarqawi and to question his prowess as a military leader.

The air is a little cleaner to breathe without him polluting it.

Source: CBC

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Did You Hear The One About The Cape Breton Muslim?

I only wish this were merely the setup to a tasteless ethnic joke:

Back in the 1960s, the blue-collar town of New Waterford in Cape Breton produced lots of coal, gritty, hard-drinking miners and, it turns out, the devout Muslim wife of one of Canada's most notorious terrorist suspects.

Long before Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal, 44, was hidden behind a burka, fighting the promotion of homosexuality in Toronto's public schools and married to Qayyum Jamal, she was the daughter of a Cape Breton schoolteacher who once attended a college that teaches Gaelic.

Mrs. Jamal, a mother of four, has kept silent about her husband and herself since the RCMP dismantled an alleged bomb plot in a series of raids last week. However, Internet postings she wrote in recent years obtained by The Globe and Mail reveal her small-town past and the long, winding path that drew her away from the Atlantic Ocean and toward Islam.

Her story starts nearly 200 years ago, she wrote on an Internet forum devoted to Cape Bretoners, when her ancestors sailed from Scotland aboard a ship called the Anne of Sheeles, landed in Pictou County and traversed the rough terrain to Cape Breton. From there, the MacAulays took up roots. No one in the area was able to confirm her original first name last night.

How any Canadian woman can get herself mixed up with a woman-hating culture is beyond my logical understanding. But hundreds of them do, every year.

Jihadists With Guns. In Our Army. In Canada.

Imagine if he'd been called up on active duty and sent to Afghanistan:

The lawyer for Steven Chand, also known as Abdul Shakur, said Tuesday that his client is accused of wanting to storm Parliament, behead the prime minister and attack a number of sites, including the CBC building in Toronto.

A newspaper report on Tuesday said Chand had been a member of the Royal Regiment of Canada, a reservist unit, and that he had been given weapons training.

The Toronto Star said the military confirmed, but downplayed, Chand's military connection.

"He spent a large portion of his time in the Canadian Forces on leave of absence," Cmdr. Denise Laviolette told the newspaper.

"It looks like he did not complete his military trade training," she added.

Chand joined the reserves in June 2000 and served until April 2004.

No wonder the Forces wants to downplay this story, when stories like this get people wondering about the loyalties of Muslims in uniform.

Source: CBC

Mothers Of Invention

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing:

An Ontario judge struck down a birth registry provision yesterday that prevents lesbian couples from being registered as parents of babies conceived through artificial insemination, saying that the regulation causes them unjustified "pain and hardship."

Mr. Justice Paul Rivard of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the province violated the litigants' right to equality by stopping them from adding their names to the Statement of Live Births after their babies are born.

Lesbian mothers live in an atmosphere of homophobia that only is exacerbated when rules and conventions leave an impression that "there is something wrong or unnatural about their families,'' Judge Rivard said.

"Likewise, for children of lesbian mothers -- who are even more vulnerable than their parents to the lack of symbols of their families in popular culture -- exclusion of their parents from birth registration furthers this vulnerability."

If sex is now irrelevant to marriage in the civil law's eyes, and now to parentage, then why isn't the number of parents?

Why not make room for three or more parents?

For that matter, why does the man always have to be the father and the woman the mother? Why not switch it around, according to personal preference?

Get creative here, people! Biology and logic shouldn't be allowed to get in the way of law!

Source: Globe and Mail

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CBC Terror Strike?

Thanks to the good work of law enforcement and intelligence services, Stephen Harper still has his head on his shoulders.

Incredibly, however, had this plot not been broken up in time, the terrorists might have ended up winning the undying emnity of the left.

The very thought of seeing Peter Mansbridge, George Stromboulopoulos, Shelagh Rogers and Promo Girl-- Promo Girl!--murdered at the hands of the very people the left has been trying hardest to appease might have finally convinced the liberal crowd of the futility of appeasing Islamic terrorists.

Or maybe not.

You Can 'Quote' Me On That

While, of course, the allegations against the 17 terrorist suspects arrested over the weekend remain to be proven in court, do we need the Toronto Star to remind us of that fact with "irony quotes"?

There's a difference between a plot and a "plot"; one is real, the other is a bit of editorial sneering.

The Star's liberal reflexes are re-asserting themselves, now that "everyone" has had a chance to "void" themselves at the "news".

Very soon, they'll be calling them "terrorists" instead of terrorists.

The Old School Tie

Kathy Shaidle reports that McMaster University has become a vital connection between radical Islamic professors and their recruits.

Guess the alumni department won't be using this information in their next fundraising drive.

Monday, June 05, 2006

In Case Of Emergency

No man's life, liberty and property is safe while the legislature is in session--Mark Twain

Fortunately for Canadians, even should Parliament be blown to bits, it will still continue to function from an undisclosed location.

And the pogey will still keep flowing, lest the terrorists should be allowed to win:

A former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it would appear impossible for terrorists to keep people from receiving Employment Insurance cheques, for instance.

The Department of Human Resources and Social Development keeps backup copies of recipients' names and stores them in separate locations.

"If (an attack) happened just the day before all the cheques were going to go out you might have a few days' delay," said Reid Morden, who ran CSIS from 1988 until 1992.

"But I don't think it would be much more than that."

You may all breathe more easily.

Hostage To Stupidity

The man suffering from the most protracted case of Stockholm Syndrome in recent memory has resurfaced at a most inauspicious time for himself and his cause:

TORONTO (CP) - A Christian activist who garnered international headlines as a hostage in Iraq is joining a protest march against Canada's system of detaining suspected foreign terrorists indefinitely without charge or trial.

James Loney, who spent four months in captivity in Iraq, planned to catch up with the "freedom caravan" in Belleville, Ont., on Tuesday.

In an interview, Loney told The Canadian Press that he feels both an obligation to, and kinship with, the Muslim men currently detained as threats to national security.

Perhaps Loney and his fellow activists could stand as sureties for these men, if they are so concerned about their detention and certain of their law-abiding nature?

They could also volunteer to do the same for the crew arrested last week in Toronto.

Put your money where your mouth is. Take the risk of bailing them out.

Any takers?

Didn't think so.

Source: Yahoo

Left Nuts Hanging Out

The self-loathing reflex has already been engaged and the conspiracy theorists are out in full force to suggest that this weekend's Islamic terror plot arrests are nothing more than Stephen Harper's Reichstag fire:

B-) W from Southern SK, Canada writes: Something about the way this whole thing has come down smells fishy. I wish I could pinpoint it but I'm at a loss. If the alleged terrorists are proven to be terrorists, then well done and so be it. If however, this is a political and partisan ploy by the Harper, in collusion with CSIS and other law enforcement officials, as some are suggesting, then I hope justice will be served.


I R from Vancouver, BC, Canada writes: Mmm. Our very own Gunpowder Plot. Penny for the Guy?


Jim Terrets from Vancouver, writes: The more information that's revealed about this 'plot', the more suspicious the whole thing seems. One gun for seventeen terrorists? How can two guys in jail take an active part in a terrorist plot? Why didn't the police display some of the seized ammonium nitrate as evidence instead of the 'display only' bag they used? The Peace Tower and Parliament buildings as targets as well as the TSE? How on earth were fifteen amateur terrorists, including five teenagers, going to coordinate that attack? If their survelliance was so great why didn't the police wait until the alleged 'terrorists' had actually made the bombs, then they could have seized the 'terrorists' along with absolute proof of their plot? There are too many questions here, and the answers are very feeble. Terrorism is serious business, its not for government agencies trying to increase their budgets by manufacturing some dastardly terrorist plot. I bet that most of these 'terrorists' end up walking out of court, free of any charges.


J. S. from calgary, Canada writes: 3 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in one purchase? Either these are the world's most stupid and amateurish terrorists, or they are just patsies manipulated into creating a crisis that neoconservatives can exploit for their political advantage. Don't dismiss the latter possibility out of hand, as this is certainly what is happening in the United States. Websites are filled with detailed reporting of the links between the CIA and 'Al-Queda' terrorists. Problem, reaction, solution.

By the end of the week, expect to have at least one major Canadian political figure from the left publicly suggest that the terror arrests were a plot to prop up the Harper government orchestrated by the Fraser Institute, CIA, Conrad Black, Richard Mellon Scaife, under the direction of none other than those damn Jooooos in the Mossad.

Source: Globe and Mail