Saturday, October 31, 2009
In which Adrian MacNair gets bitch-slapped from one side of the room to the other. Now people who happily horked up contributions to Adrian's legal fund can see how they were suckered.
AFTERSNARK: One wonders if a single one of Adrian's excitable donors is going to read what actually happened, then respond with, "Hey, waitaminnit, I was used!"
It's unlikely. They really are that stupid.
... the inimitable Dr. Dawg is on a roll. Apparently, there's lots of people learning the definition of "defamation" these days.
And then there are truly stupid people like this:
"... if someone ever decides to file a suit against me, I will be happy to opt for a prison term and would not spend even a single red cent on lawyers... Now, if only someone could be enticed into suing me."
If you really want to be the target of a defamation lawsuit, Maria, it's actually pretty easy. Just ask Adrian MacNair -- I'm sure he can suggest a couple possibilities.
I am saddened that a blogger is suing my friend Raphael Alexander. Dr Dawg should have just emailed Raph and settled their differences. Raph lives on the west coast, that's why he didn't [sic] your emails until much later.
How the fuck does someone that stupid manage to put his panties on the right way in the morning?
That was creepily appropriate, wasn't it?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tip of the noggin to esteemed regular Stimpson after he spotted the CBC's Kevin O'Leary recommend the burning of Parliament over the air. Seems O'Leary is one of those global free market zealots and the refusal of government to allow an Egyptian company to buy up Canadian cell phone bandwidth and compete at a cut rate is an outrage. I'm sure we'll hear the marching of the blogging right calling for all manner of penalty for such a treasonous pronouncement. Torches in the streets, burn down Parliament? I mean come on, its the CBC home of such outrages as Heather Mallick calling Palin supporters 'white trash'. That had the Canadian right, our little patriots, in a proper froth.
You can see the car go off the tracks at around the 6:00 minute mark. Co-host Amanda Lang immediately tries to slow the train wreck but in O'Leary's world Canadians don't need ownership and control of our resources (and in the modern world bandwidth is a resource), we need low prices and competition. Given the other issues at play here and on the hill, he should feel perfectly safe when a consortium of former KGB guys buy up his smart phone service provider. Jeeziz what a douche bag. If CSIS, the Cons and Liberals get their way all of our service providers will be forced to install back doors into our data. I wonder how comfortable O'Leary will be with a shell corporation fronting for our new Colombian free trade pals, with money to launder, having access to his data.
Well here's hoping he gets to have a nice little chat with some CSIS or RCMP fellows about his on air advocacy for the torching of our nation's seat of government.
But then, everything changed when a handful of madmen highjacked some planes and ran them into a couple of tall buildings. Terrorism in America was no longer the sole purview of white power militia types of the Timothy McVeigh ilk or doctor murdering "christian pro-life" gangsters. For the first time North America felt truly vulnerable and there was a grand shitting of the collective pants.
Now the received wisdom from those charged to serve & protect has shifted. Oh screaming Jeeziz we're all gonna die if they can't sniff through your Inbox and have a listen to your calls. Warrants, why, seeking warrants would let the TERRAHISTS WIN on account of nashnull scoority 'n such.
In its annual report Wednesday, the Security Intelligence Review Committee says CSIS's "ability to perform certain investigative procedures will be constrained" until the government enacts new laws.
The review committee reports to Parliament each year on the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
The government has tabled legislation that would require telecommunications service providers to include intercept capabilities in their networks, making it easier for CSIS to gain access to emails and phone conversations. It would also allow authorities to obtain information about subscribers and their mobile devices without a warrant.
Hey, what could possibly go wrong with that scenario? Warrants, heh, warrants are so pre-911. It isn't like you're important or like your rights matter and besides all those crybabies like Jennifer Stoddart are probably Liberals anyway.
The committee acknowledges that Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has argued against the so-called "lawful access" legislation, saying it "raises fundamental issues for rights such as privacy and the ability to communicate freely."
Thanks goodness for stalwart public servants like Peter Van Loan and the Conservative Party of Law & Order Special Puddings Unit.
Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan welcomed the spy watchdog's position on the telecommunications monitoring bill working its way through Parliament.
"Our government has introduced legislation to update the tools our law enforcement and national security agencies need to prevent threats to our national security, including terrorism.
Because after all, the Police State is for your own good and besides, to quote Van Loan's doppelganger, "Respeck mah authoritah!" It isn't as though the sweeping new take on personal privacy and individual security could be misused by a grasping and power hungry political party. And let's not forget the hundreds and hundreds of Canadians killed right here at home, every year, by evil doing terror guys. There are evil doing terror guys killing lots of Canadians here at home every year... right? Pervasive, ongoing threats, need sweeping new powers... right?
Well call me crazy but I checked with our old pal Google and stopped by the dubious Wikipedia to check out this terror threat business. Here's what they have listed for terror attacks in Canada over the last 25 years.
1 dead after a guy doused himself in gasoline and blew himself to ratcrap in a Timmy's. While there's no indication that it was a political attack, he did decide to go off in a public toilet so we could maybe call it a suicide bombing. He managed one fatality, his own. Here's what the top cop on scene told the Globe:
"He's not a strap-on al-Qaeda bomber guy," Staff-Sgt. Cole said. "It sounds to me like a guy who either wanted to do a torch job or commit suicide."
1 injured in an explosion at a Langley, BC townhouse. Apparently a bomb was left on the doorstep in a gift bag. According to the CBC the bomb may have been placed by teenagers. Police have discovered no motive, no claims of responsibility and made no arrests. Seemingly a random act though the victim was a Campus for Christ proselytizer. Apparently the victim had just moved into the area and was already moving out. Maybe it was a religious assault or maybe not.
17 arrested for plotting ludicrous terror attacks in an RCMP sting/entrapment investigation. That's the big one kids, that's the one all the trouser soaked authoritarians are going to point to. There have been a few confessions now, these hapless doinks were evidently going to blow up all manner of things and that's why the RCMP mole was busy buying them supplies and encouraging them along. The proceedings against these dumb buggers have been somewhat sketchy with prosecution playing fast and loose with due process to make a high profile case stick. How many did these wannabe barbarians slaughter? Not a one.
1990 - 2005
26 people shot, 14 women dead at Ecole Polytechnique. This was certainly an act of misogynistic hatred and an attempt to terrorize but it was not part of an organized political attack. It was the work of a lone, sick mind.
1986 - 1988
Air India bombing kills 329. This was the largest terror attack in Canadian history and one of the largest ever carried out at the time. There were arrests made, people were imprisoned after a long and controversial legal process. This atrocity took place almost a quarter century age and has not been repeated. Somehow we didn't need blanket wire tapping of the public to prevent further violence by the people behind this, by far the worst brush with domestic terrorism that Canada has faced.
CSIS and the Conservatives are rubbing their little hands together trying to whip up enough fear to get their way. The simple fact is that conventional law enforcement has managed pretty well to date. Canada is not, has not been and doesn't seem likely to become a hotbed of terrorist violence. There just isn't any evidence that warrants (heh) doing away with our rights and freedoms in the name of protecting our rights and freedoms. But its the minority Conservatives and their online enablers, the same cranks that whine and cry about a nanny state when it comes to looking after folks, who are eager to establish a police state. Priorities, I suppose.
Well Canada has a new chief spook, one Richard Fadden and he's doing his damnedest to convince us that we're on the verge of exploding from teh terrahs. Like ohmigawd, run away!
“Almost any attempt to fight terrorism by the government is portrayed as an overreaction or an assault on liberty. It is a peculiar position, given that terrorism is the ultimate attack on liberties,” Fadden told an Ottawa conference of about 300 security and intelligence specialists.
I'd argue that terrorism is a base and heinous political tactic. The use of random violence to sow fear and intimidate is not a noble pursuit and I don't think it is an especially effective way of bringing about social, cultural or political change. On the same tack I'd argue that stripping liberties and privacy, quashing freedom of speech and assembly is not how one protects freedom, it is how one enacts the tyranny of a fascistic police state. Unwarranted wiretapping, unfettered access to email, web traffic and identity information with no judicial oversight or probable cause... my gawd, maybe he's right and we're a bunch of babies. Yoo Ess Ay, Yoo Ess Ay... um, sorry, got carried away there. But let's let Mr Fadden reframe reality for us as he calls for this "more mature and nuanced debate".
In advocating for a more mature, nuanced debate on national security, Fadden directed his harshest comments at news media, a “loose partnership of single-issue NGOs, advocacy journalists and lawyers,” and Canadians who naively believe, “our charm and the Maple Leaf on our backpacks are all that we need to protect us.
Holy shit, he did not just go there... oh yes he did. Wow. All those jihadifaggotpinkoterrorlovers that dare keep a critical eye on the good and kind folk at CSIS when they just want to quietly disappear your rights, they're naive. The fools. Look at the sterling record of fairness and quality service to Canadians, especially the pinker ones, that we've come to expect from our spooks and spies. I get the feeling this is the sort of guy who'd see Martin Luther King Jr. as a rabble rousing traitor. But here's the thing about this disingenuous play for the abrogation of our rights, Fadden is playing the fear card and he's dealing from the bottom of the deck. He's angling to do away with domestic protections of privacy by invoking fear of travel overseas. 'Cos nobody around here gives a crap if I have a maple leaf on my back pack.
We're protected by a lot of laws and by tiered levels of policing and security forces. We have a national police force, a national secret spy agency, various provincial police forces, we have municipal and regional police, we have border police and military, we have coast guards hell we have a lot of police and security agencies looking out for us. We aren't naive, we aren't relying on a flag or a leaf or a prayer to protect us. We expect the people that we pay to be professionals. We expect them to do their jobs within the letter of the law. We shouldn't need to be protected from the security apparatus of our law enforcement. The reason that NGOs, writers and advocacy groups are watching the dealings of people like Fadden is because the agencies that are charged with our security have proven untrustworthy, they've made every effort to evade the limitations imposed on them by civilian government. And now they're asking for permission to exceed those sensible limits placed upon them.
“Why … are those accused of terrorist offences often portrayed in media as quasi-folk heroes, despite the harsh statements of numerous judges? Why are they always photographed with their children, given tender-hearted profiles, and more or less taken at their word when they accuse CSIS or other government agencies of abusing them?
Quasi-folk heroes? Perhaps he means Maher Arar, I'm not sure but I don't recall seeing many laudatory portrayals of accused terrorists. Mind you, accusation is not the same as conviction and what Fadden really wants to know is why we aren't all demonizing these people, stripping them of their humanity so that when our society sanctions their abuse, we can have tea and biscuits and feel okay. Because if they're portrayed as people, right or wrong, flawed and fallible, then our internal moral voices will scream out when we see them brutalized, disappeared or shipped off to third party proxy torturers.
Instead, he said, accused terrorists are routinely portrayed as too unsophisticated, ill-prepared or youthful to actually commit such heinous acts. That theme, “permeates a fair amount of the coverage of those charged in the Toronto plot.
Bullshit. Let's play guess the illegally imprisoned young man! I'm going to guess that Fadden is talking about Omar Khadr. There are serious questions surrounding the events that led to his capture as a child soldier. And we are signatories to the Geneva Conventions and the amendments that outlaw the imprisonment of child soldiers in shit holes like Gitmo. It is the media's job to question and to report every side of a story. When brainwashed children are made pawns in the conflicts of villains and warlords, they are victims too.
It seems that Fadden is trying to weave a multi-car pile up out of a fender bender. Certainly, terrorism is a concern but it is not an issue that justifies the extreme changes that the Cons and their new CSIS Director are asking for. We really are letting the terrorists win if we allow our freedoms and liberties to be stripped in the name of security. Fadden needs to remember what the words freedom and rights mean. This is security theatre taken to a dark place. Fadden is asking for the tools of despotism and we can't allow such weapons to fall into the hands of politicians and their pets.
Taking a badly-needed break from geekness, so let's slap around Adrian MacNair's happy sack a bit more, shall we? First, we have Adrian's attempt at a timeline (emphasis added):
Three days after this incident, I traveled to Ontario for my brother’s wedding. During this time I was out of contact with most blogs and bloggers. Not once did I receive an email from Dr.Baglow asking me to retract, apologize, or delete the comment. Not ever have I received such an email.
Only when I returned from Ontario to find I had been served a notice of libel, did I immediately delete the comment considered offensive by Dr.Baglow.
And when exactly did Adrian return from Ontario? Oh:
September 11, 2009 — Raphael Alexander
Well, I’m headed off to the Bruce Peninsula again tomorrow, which means I’ll be back outside of high-speed internet range. My vacation lasts until Sunday, and then I’ll back in B.C. to write regularly again.
And if Friday is Sept 11 and Adrian's vacation lasts until Sunday, that would put him back in B.C. on Sept 13, maybe Sept 14 or even Sept 15 if we're generous and give him a day or two to unpack, but it would be odd for Adrian to have arrived back in B.C. "to find I had been served a notice of libel" when that very Notice of Libel is clearly reproduced at Adrian's blog and is clearly dated Sept. 18. Ergo, it is highly unlikely that Adrian arrived back in B.C. from Ontario to find the aforementioned Notice of Libel waiting for him.
I could go on, but I think the lesson to Adrian's current financial supporters is obvious: Adrian is lying to you. But, hey, feel free to ask him to resolve these apparent discrepancies. I'm sure the entertainment value would be off the scale.
THE BEAUTY OF THE PASSIVE VOICE: You have to love how Adrian is such a sleazy little turd in refusing to take responsibility for his own words. As I read the Notice of Libel, he's been requested to post an apology, which reads, in part:
... I made certain statements about Dr. John Baglow ... that I regret making ... I apologize to Dr. Baglow and his family for any humiliation and embarrassment my comments may have caused them.
Blunt, direct and to the point, openly admitting authorship of said comments and apologizing for them. But what is this that Adrian actually published? Oh, dear:
On September 1, 2009, a comment appeared on my blog about “Dr.Dawg” a.k.a. Dr. John Baglow, the publication of which I regret.
I have no evidence to support that Dr.Dawg is an admitted supporter of the Taliban, nor do I personally believe he is a supporter of the Islamist militant group in Afghanistan. I retract this comment and have deleted reference to it.
I therefore apologize without reservation to Dr. Baglow and his family for any humiliation and embarrassment this comment may have caused them. To express my sincerity, this notice will remain on my website.
"a comment appeared"? Wow, way to take responsibility, Adrian. If you hadn't been following this before now, you'd have no inkling that Adrian was the actual author of that comment, and not just a passive bystander.
I don't think Adrian's really learned anything here yet. I think the public spanking needs to continue.
LuLu here: Just because this will never, ever, NEVER get old, I thought I'd be oh-so-helpful and point out the lovely screen cap we have of Adrian's original comment.
Isn't it gorgeous?
Apparently, no one in the Stephen Harper Party of Canada understands how to use a spreadsheet.
AND SPEAKING OF DEMOCRACY, one would think that a fundamental hallmark of true democracy would be a working level of transparency and accountability, particularly as it pertains to accurately tracking humongous amounts of public money. One wonders, then, what Captain Canada Stephen "I am all about the democracy" Taylor thinks of this latest fiasco.
Maybe someone should ask him. Hilarity would almost certainly ensue.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
UPDATE: The Dr. weighs in.
I think I have two minutes to refer people here, where Adrian blatantly misrepresents history and some commenters are being just a wee bit suspicious of Adrian's accuracy and are now asking what really happened.
Oh, and there's Adrian's philosophical position that he can't comment on this matter, while simultaneously reproducing the Notice of Libel for his entire readership.
Stay classy, Adrian.
P.S. Feel free to identify Adrian's weaselitude in that post. It's not hard. Really.
AFTERSNARK: While it's not my business to meddle in this libel action, I am amused by Adrian's claim that, "An apology alone is not enough to satisfy the plaintiff, who is demanding a cash settlement."
Given that Adrian has been ridiculously forthcoming with all of the other details of this action, it would be enlightening to know just how much of a settlement is being demanded. Surely, if Adrian is publicly pleading for financial support, his potential financial supporters have the right to know just how much he's being asked to hork up.
I don't think that's an unreasonable question, do you?
THE LIES OF ADRIAN MACNAIR: Over at Adrian's, commenter "KeyKeeper" asks a reasonable question:
Correct me if I’m wrong Raphael, but weren’t you offered the chance to apologize and retract your (alleged) defamatory statement by the plaintiff before he sued? And you refused?
I ask purely for information, not to try and start anything.
Adrian strenuously denies any such thing:
No, I wasn’t.
And yet ... and yet ... from back in September:
Four attempts to publish an earlier comment–all rejected by the Raphael entity.
OK, I have given fair warning, and will commence the action.
Huh. Maybe it's just me, but that certainly looks like Dr. Dawg trying to resolve this before it went any further, and being ruthlessly rebuffed and moderated out of existence. In short, Adrian certainly appears to be a liar.
So ... raising money under false pretenses. How tacky. How sleazy. And, with Adrian, how utterly predictable.
THE LIES OF ADRIAN MACNAIR-- REDUX: Adrian tries to pass himself off as eminently reasonable:
Some readers mistakenly believe that I’m refusing to publish an apology and end the claim against me. An apology alone is not enough to satisfy the plaintiff, who is demanding a cash settlement. I write this in the hopes of making people understand that I am not trying to prolong this unpleasantness.
If I have followed the history of this little tiff accurately (and I believe I have), the above is a lie.
If I recall correctly, Adrian originally had the opportunity to apologize and retract, which would have made everything go away almost immediately at no cost to him. He chose not to do so, and additionally treated Dr. Dawg with total contempt, explicitly deleting a number of comments by Dr. Dawg asking for such an apology.
After sufficient time passed, Dr. Dawg -- having never received said apology or retraction -- launched his libel suit, at which point the possibility of Adrian making this go away with a simple apology was no longer an option.
Rather than admit that this is a situation entirely of his own making, Adrian is now posing as the unfortunate victim who is terrifically willing to apologize now when that course of action is not on the table anymore. But he's happy to paint that picture if it helps to separate his gullible readers from their cash.
The lies are adorable, are they not?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
As Ignatieff and team squabble amongst themselves and leap from hapless bravado to mewling retreat there isn't much hope that they will unseat the waxen idiot Harper and his crew of Mike Harris leftovers. It is little wonder that the Ignatieff coronation has yet to be consummated when he can't rein in his own caucus, few though they are.
Mr. Ignatieff, under fire after conflicts within his party and a steep fall in the polls, is changing his top aide amid criticism from some Liberals that the team that helped him get into politics didn't have the experience to guide the party to an election victory.
Little wonder that the internal dissent has continued to grow. Like it or not, there is a strong perception in the public that Ignatieff came back to Canada with one purpose in mind. That purpose was not to serve the constituents of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, a riding and community that is not in any real way his home. He did not return to Canada out of some sense of civic duty. Ignatieff is here to garner power and prestige for himself, he returned to Canada to become Prime Minister and nothing less. There's nothing unusual about politicians entering the field for their own gain but few have done so as nakedly as Ignatieff and his court.
This is not the first of Mr Ignatieff's poorly handled dealings within the party power structure.
And his advisers took the brunt of the blasts when he overruled his Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre, to allow former justice minister Martin Cauchon to run in the Outremont riding, which had been promised to another candidate. Mr. Coderre quit the post, saying the Leader's Toronto advisers were giving poor advice on Quebec.
Partisan defenders rallied behind Igantieff with a rousing chorus of, 'Yeah, well, we never liked Coderre anyway so nyah'. And hey, it isn't like old Denis was a spectacular intellect or ethical giant but in politics perception and publicity are key. In la Belle Province, one does not profit by yanking strings from the heights of imperial Toronto. One has to question the wisdom of the leader as well as his lieutenants but as has become a pattern not unlike that established by the Conservatives, Iggy let someone else take the heat. Thus Mr Davey + sword + falling on it... except he was pushed, to make sure.
And even there, the Ignatieff team bungles and manages to alienate more of the upper echelons of the party.
Two others close to Mr. Davey, deputy chief of staff Dan Brock, and communications director Jill Fairbrother, who is Mr. Davey's partner, were not fired, but many Liberals believed they might leave.
The staff change came in a messy internal scene, according to Liberal insiders. Mr. Davey and Ms. Fairbrother saw reports on TV, and Ms. Fairbrother denied to reporters that anything was happening – but Mr. Ignatieff confirmed it to them later last night.
That's leadership bitches. If I found out from the TV that the boss was going to cut me and mine loose I'd be a tad miffed. Actually I think my vengeful streak would kick in and I'd be inclined to see him undone.
Liberal sources said that about 10 days ago, it became clear that Mr. Ignatieff was taking advice to reach out for help to party veterans, and started asking not just Chrétien veterans like Mr. Donolo to join his team, but former advisers to Paul Martin like Tim Murphy and Elli Alboim to play a more important advisory role.
So while the Ignatieff leadership has failed to distinguish itself from the the ugly Conservatives in terms of policy, edging rightward and taking on an even grubbier patina of corporatism, they are now fully echoing the Cons administrative style. The equation goes... screw something up, flounder and prevaricate, blame someone down the power slope, congratulations to the leader. This country has little love for the leadership of Stephen Harper and that is proven out by his continued position fronting a minority government but Ignatieff and the Liberals are failing to present an attractive or viable alternative. Welcome, devils we know.
A fall in the polls – the latest Ipsos-Reid survey showed the Liberals with 25 per cent support, compared to 40 per cent for the Conservatives – made the clamour for change louder.
Iggy was supposed to be the brilliant mind, the renowned thinker and strong voice to lead the Liberals back to prominence. It now appears that Ignatieff might well become the Kim Campbell to Dion's Mulroney and really, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Should his bluffing and bluster actually lead to an election, the Liberals are now sitting on a potential popular vote (should Ipsos-Reid be accurate) that is only 9% greater than Ms Campbell achieved in 1993. Given the party's blundering in Quebec and dismal showing in the west, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Liberals will lose a considerable number of seats in the next vote. Prepare for some months of the Liberals being the parliamentary whelps, they'll find a way to either support or abstain from votes and maintain the Conservative minority. From here it would appear the best case scenario, pending an election, is to pray that Harper is held to another minority. After that Iggy can return to academia and the Liberals had best groom a leader that is more attractive and willing to draft policy that appeals to what remains a moderately progressive electorate.
So long great man, you really won't be missed.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Given lots of geek projects at the moment and not enough hours in the day to complete them, blogging from your humble scribe will be sporadic at best. So I'm going to leave it to my loyal co-bloggers here at CC HQ to pick up the slack and insult other people as "douchebags."
I'm sure they won't disappoint.
Blogging Tory "Iceman":
Is it a sign that you have reached a new level as a blogger when your political opponents begin quoting, linking, and attacking your site? I seem to have touched a nerve over in the Liberal Universe because I have received an influx of new traffic from the blogging liberals.
I would need a flowchart to explain how ridiculously stupid, ignorant and whiny that is.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Shorter Canadian Drool-o-sphere: "As complete retards who have been screeching and howling relentlessly about Michael Ignatieff's long absence from Canada which meant that he could not possibly have been paying attention to Canada and that makes him utterly unfit for political office here, we are totally down with the fact that Stephen Harper pays absolutely no attention to Canadian news. Because Michael Ignatieff's alleged indifference is completely appalling. Stephen Harper's? Eh, not so much."
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Shorter Blogging Tory "Secrets of Vancouver": "As someone who is utterly unconcerned about right-wing violence such as the regular murders of abortion providers and gays, let me express my unbridled, indescribable horror at the savagery of someone getting Punk'd."
BONUS TRACK: Shorter Blogging Tory "Iceman": "Where I come from, stultifying ignorance and a massive indifference to the country are virtues. Of course, if Michael Ignatieff had said the same thing, well, that would have been different."
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Blogging Tory "The Iceman" wants to know who from the CBC you'd like to feed through the woodchipper and, by God, he's done his research:
4) Heather Mallick: I have never read her blog, but others tell me she is the worst of the lot....
Apparently, if you're a Blogging Tory, actually knowing shit is, like, hard work.
BONUS DOUCHITUDE: The Iceman giggles himself senseless over the thought of Olympic gold medalist Ross "Regebouiati" [sic] running for the Liberal Party of Canada, then promptly whips out Maxime Bernier's throbbing manhood and coos lovingly to it.
I see "Canadian Blog Awards" written all over that boy.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
PZ excerpts the best part of the exchange between the crazy Hugh Hewitt and the not-crazy Richard Dawkins:
RD: Okay, do you believe Jesus turned water into wine?
RD: You seriously do?
RD: You actually think that Jesus got water, and made all those molecules turn into wine?
RD: My God.
HH: Yes. My God, actually, not yours. But let me…
RD: I've realized the kind of person I'm dealing with now.
That's just precious. Feel free to replace Hugh Hewitt with almost every Blogging Tory and, really, it would work just as well.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I see a pattern here (emphasis tail-waggingly added):
Canada's current top soldier says he's working to get to the bottom of what happened to Colvin's reports. Gen. Walter Natynczyk, chief of defence staff, said Friday he did not yet know where the diplomat's reports landed back in Ottawa, who read them, and what was done with the information...
Harper told reporters in Toronto he didn't see the reports from diplomat Colvin "at the time," ...
Earlier this week, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and his predecessor, Gordon O'Connor, said they'd never heard a word about Colvin's reports.
Either they should all resign because of appalling dishonesty, or appalling incompetence. Really, those are the only two choices.
Oh, and here's the best part:
Colvin's affidavit was released just hours before Peter Tinsley, chairman of the complaints commission, suspended indefinitely his inquiry into the handling of Afghan detainees on grounds the federal government had refused to provide relevant documents to help implicated military personnel mount a defence of their actions.
I'm sorry ... the
Shorter useless dingbat Peter MacKay: "Being concerned about the torture of Afghan detainees while still supporting our troops? But ... but ... that's holding two independent thoughts at once! How is that possible?"
HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, this is precious. After insulting everyone who was looking for information, Defence Minister Peter MacKay is, by God, determined to get some information, no matter who he has to throw under a bus:
MacKay wants answers in Afghan torture warnings case
OTTAWA — Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he intends to find out why reports warning of the possible torture of Afghan prisoners early in the Kandahar mission never made it to his desk.
Yes sir, Inspector Gadget is on the case, and if someone else's career has to go down in flames to protect his, well, that's a price he's willing to pay. If I were one of MacKay's underlings, I'd be cleaning out my desk right about now cuz I'm pretty sure where that buck is going to stop.
Report: Unprecedented Number Of Death Threats Against Obama -- And Secret Service Overwhelmed
The Boston Globe reports that a new internal Congressional Research Service report and government sources say there are an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama -- and that the Secret Service is insufficiently funded and staffed to deal with them.
According to The Globe, a report issued by the Congressional Research Service shows that the Secret Service is investigating more threats against government officials than ever before, and questions whether the 144-year old agency should continue probing financial crimes, as was its original mandate.
In total, the Secret Service regularly protects 32 people and arranges security for high-profile events. But the election of Barack Obama has increased threats against the president's life by 400 percent from his predecessor, according to "In the President's Secret Service," Ronald Kessler's account of presidential security. The Secret Service has looked into a number of race-based threats since Obama took office, and a Facebook poll that asked "Should Obama be killed?" President Obama also had a Secret Service detail 18 months before the election, the earliest of any Presidential candidate...
The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report back in August that found that the number of white supremacist militia groups has spiked by 35% since 2000. The Secret Service has, in turn, increased its employees from 6,700 two years ago to a projected 7,055 in the coming fiscal year, almost entirely devoted to protecting national leaders. But that's a staff increase of just 5.3 percent -- nowhere near the 400 percent increase in threats to the president's life.
To be fair, though, some guy pushed another guy off of a car once so that evens things out. At least from what I've heard.
Monday, October 19, 2009
And while the yappier members of the Idiot-sphere are sniggering over how childish the Obama administration must be over its feud with Fox News, one wonders what those same yappy dingbats must think of this.
I'm sure that's different. It always is.
Via We Move to Canada, we finally see what the screeching wingnuts have been warning us about all this time -- the inevitable travesty of electing a comedian to the august and sober body that is the U.S. Senate because, let's face it, we're talking serious indignity here:
OK, maybe that's a bad example, but you know what I mean.
AFTERSNARK: It occurs to me to suggest that those Canadian wanknuts who have been happily tossing around accusations of "misogyny" should be the first people who should have been howling long and loud about Jones' horrific treatment at the hands of KB&R. And yet, curiously, we have this. And this. And this. And ... well, I think you get the idea.
Clearly, Canada's conservative women aren't bothered by gang rape. Isn't that the logical conclusion I'm allowed to draw?
Shorter Blogging Tory "Moose and Squirrel": "As a member of a blogging aggregator that has constantly, perpetually and relentlessly slagged the CBC and much of Canada's mainstream journalism for being appallingly pro-Liberal, anti-Conservative, anti-Stephen Harper and ridiculously biased, where the fuck does Barack Obama get off blaming the media for his problems? What a whiner."
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Subject: Please don't water down Bill C-27
To: Clement.T@parl.gc.ca, ChongM@parl.gc.ca, RotaA@parl.gc.ca, BouchR@parl.gc.ca, BrownG@parl.gc.ca, Coady.S@parl.gc.ca, Garneau.M@parl.gc.ca, LakeM@parl.gc.ca, MasseB@parl.gc.ca, VankeD@parl.gc.ca, VinceR@parl.gc.ca, WallaM@parl.gc.ca, WarkeC@parl.gc.ca
Dear Honourable Members:
Bill C-27 was originally drafted to include much needed protections for consumers. These included provisions that would prevent companies from surreptitiously installing software on our computers and from retrieving personal information from those devices without our knowledge and consent. The legislation was also written to implement an express opt-in regime for commercial email which would help us to control who has access to our InBoxes and reduce the deluge of unsolicited email.
Recent media reports suggest that amendments to the legislation being proposed in committee at the behest of corporate lobby groups would weaken or even eliminate those protections. I'm writing to urge you to oppose those amendments. It's to be expected these days that corporations will treat individual Canadians as nothing more than profit centres to be managed in such a way as to maximize revenue. We rely on our elected representatives to remember that we're more than that and to protect our rights as citizens and not just as consumers.
Please stand in favour of our rights to privacy, to control what is and isn't installed on our computer systems and to secure the personal information we store on them.
What curious behaviour for a self-absorbed, narcissistic micro-manager:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday that he did not see reports in 2006 that suggested there was evidence detainees had been tortured after they were handed over to Afghan prisons by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
After a while, all of these memory-challenged whackjobs start to blend together:
I was going to slowly and lovingly eviscerate this rubbish, but as I was subjecting myself to the unspeakable horror that was the comments section, I ran across this gem from Taylor himself:
"Canada's New Government" was an official wordmark of the Government of Canada, not of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Excuse me? "Canada's New Government" was an official wordmark? When did that happen? And why would that be true since it doesn't make any sense whatsoever?
Would anyone care to enlighten the rest of us?
Once upon a time, Blogging Tory co-founder Stephen Taylor was terribly, terribly concerned about the improprieties of political fund raising. Curiously, Taylor seems to have little to say about this.
How ... odd.
AFTERSNARK: Amusingly, Taylor -- like so many of Canada's wanks before him -- admits that the very basis of that piece might be incorrect, and he has to walk it back in an update. I'm thinking we should start describing that as "pulling a Janke."
BONUS WANKITUDE: If you have the stomach for it, peruse the comments section at Taylor's piece, where one is treated to the relentless refrains of "It's all right if the Liberals do it" and "Liberals are scum" and "It figures" and ... well, you get the idea. Until Taylor's lame-ass retraction, at which point a number of commenters call him on his irresponsible rumour-mongering, whereupon Taylor comes back with a beaut:
The heading is a question not an accusation.
Join us tomorrow when we ask the question, "Stephen Taylor: Is he really a useless hack and propaganda artist? Discuss."
Saturday, October 17, 2009
How can this be?
OTTAWA–Canada's long string of budget surpluses – a trend that has made Canadian leaders the envy of other industrialized nations during the global recession – came to an end on Friday.
With little fanfare, the Harper government announced that last year it recorded the first annual budget deficit – $5.8 billion – in more than a decade.
The 2008-09 shortfall is minuscule compared with the budget deficit forecast for the current fiscal year, which the government now says will hit $55.9 billion.
But the final numbers for last year are still significant because it's the first time Ottawa has been in the red on its annual budget since then-finance minister Paul Martin put an end to a series of yearly deficits by balancing the books in 1997.
And here's the fun part, where we find Stephen the Corrupt peeing all over Government of Canada websites and marking his territory:
On October 30, 2007, the Harper Government introduced $65 billion in permanent tax reductions, specifically designed to bolster Canada's economy for uncertain times.
These tax reductions took effect just at the moment they were most needed, when the U.S. entered recession in early 2008.
So ... how are those tax cuts working out for you, Steve? Oh:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government inherited a $13.2 billion surplus when it came to power in 2006.
But by last year, a combination of tax cuts and increased spending had left the fiscal cupboard nearly bare...
The Annual Financial Report identified falling corporate tax revenues as a major contributor to Ottawa's financial woes. As a result of corporate tax cuts and the recession's negative impact on business profits, corporate tax revenues last year nose-dived by $11.2 billion – or 27.4 per cent.
Another factor in the deficit was the one-percentage-point reduction in the Goods and Services Tax that came into effect Jan. 1, 2008, which contributed to a 14-per-cent drop in GST receipts last year.
Yeah, that didn't quite work out, did it, Steve? I'm sure it's all the Liberals' fault. It always is.
Stephen Harper: Idiot.
Blogging Tory Maria "Dodo" observes current events, and proposes an interesting consequence:
It occurs to me to suggest that if a justice of the peace from Louisiana refuses to marry an interracial couple, he's not acting like a criminal ... he's acting like a conservative.
That's just the conclusion I'd draw.
Shorter Andrew Coyne: "For Michael Ignatieff to be taken seriously, he must demonstrate courage, leadership, transparency, accountability, openness, vision and integrity. I would hold Stephen Harper to the same lofty standards but, oh, gosh, would you look at the time?"
Shorter Blogging Tory Mike McGuire: "I see no difference between legitimate news media outlets trying to get a story, and an avowed vehicle for Republican propaganda that has actively promoted anti-government 'teabagging' parties while hosting some of the most virulent racists and anti-Obama newscasters in history. So it's a fair comparison, right?"
Friday, October 16, 2009
So when our duly elected pals in government promise that they are going to crack down on spam, the heart gladdens. Why, maybe they aren't all a pack of grafting whores licking gravy out of the crotches of lobbyists between taxpayer funded trips to the bar. Maybe even Jason Kenney casts a lonely glance at his untouched lap and tries to hold back a sob before deleting the ads promising to enlargen his little winkie. Maybe Gary Goodyear gets frustrated at the failure of the internet to yield to the power of prayer to make those devil-doers vanish and cease the temptings of his flesh. Maybe the collected pols ran into a campaign plank that no voter would kick out of the platform, to stop these annoying bastards from bothering us. What could go wrong with that plan? Annoying bastards is what. A wide variety of them lining up with lobby dollars to subvert what good intentions were started with.
And so I find myself pointing at the grubby whores on Parliament Hill and the grubbier whores that lobby them from the entertainment and copyright bordellos. As is usual, internet humans, we all owe Michael Geist a debt of gratitude. As Bill C-27, designed to curb electronic spam, wends its way through committee, the lobbying by grubby marketing whores has been intense and effective. Under constant pressure to ensure a tempting future of big, fat campaign contributio... I mean welcome suggestions for improvement, Industry Canada has come up with a laundry list of reforms for the bill. Essentially the people's representatives want to buckle and make the bill toothless, if you have farted in the last year, you've given an implied consent. If your neighbour sneezed on a Tuesday, that's as good as a referral. There are exceptions to the exceptions that mean you might end up with one less Nigerian sweepstakes notification to delete.
But fear not Canadians! In this bold bipartisan age, the Conservative Party of Canada, whores though they be, are not alone. There are no shortage of Liberal Party of Canada whores ready and eager to get their pursed lips on the swollen nozzle of corporate goodness and in the spirit of multicultural tongue action, Canada's pretend separatists are taking care of the sloppy seconds. And let's not leave our socialist whores on the sidewalk. They're willing to get their treats for turning some tricks too.
While these are big proposed changes, it is clear that the lobby groups would like more, particularly a shift from opt-in to opt-out consent. At yesterday's hearing, it was discouraging to see lobbyists for Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Intellectual Property Council huddling with Liberal MPs before the start of the hearing. It was even more incredible to see lobbyists for the Canadian Real Estate Association draft a series of questions about the bill, hand them to a Bloc MP, and have them posed to the witnesses moments later.
The general tenor of the hearing saw support from the Conservative MPs, general support from the NDP MP (with some fear that the bill may be watered down with the proposed amendments), CREA questions from the Bloc, and a repetition of lobbyist questions from the Liberal MPs, who persistently wondered whether the bill is too broad or even too transparent (raising the possibility of excluding it from Access to Information).
And all of this brings us to the saccharine surprise at the centre of the turd. Turns out that there are some familiar players with some ugly motives trying to turn consumer protection legislation into a weapon to use against the general public.
As I posted earlier today, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act comes to a conclusion in committee on Monday as MPs conduct their "clause by clause" review. While I have previously written about the lobbying pressure to water down the legislation (aided and abetted by the Liberal and Bloc MPs on the committee) and the CMA's recent effort to create a huge loophole, I have not focused on a key source of the pressure. Incredibly, it has been the copyright lobby - particularly the software and music industries - that has been engaged in a full court press to make significant changes to the bill.
The copyright lobby's interest in the bill has been simmering since its introduction, with lobbyists attending the committee hearings and working with Liberal and Bloc MPs to secure changes. The two core concerns arise from fears that the bill could prevent surreptitious use of DRM and block enforcement initiatives that might involve accessing users' personal computers without their permission.
The DRM concern arises from a requirement in the bill to obtain consent before installing software programs on users' computers. This anti-spyware provision applies broadly, setting an appropriate standard of protection for computer users. Yet the copyright lobby fears it could inhibit installation of DRM-type software without full knowledge and consent. Sources say that the Liberals have introduced a motion that would take these practices outside of the bill. In its place, they would define computer program as, among other things, "a program that has as its primary function...inducing a user to install software by intentionally misrepresenting that installing that software is necessary to safeguard security or privacy or to open or play content of a computer program." This sets such a high bar - primary function, intentional mispresentation - that music and software industry can plausibly argue that surreptitious DRM installations fall outside of C-27.
Our old friends in the entertainment whoring and the software whoring business are busy at work trying to keep backdoors open into your electronics for their own use, surveillance and exploitation. They are working overtime to make sure that certain provisions of C-27 get the nix. They desperately want to not be prevented from surreptitiously installing hidden softwares on your machines without your knowledge or consent. They want to make sure they are able to extract information from your machines, without your knowledge or consent. They think they should be able to nuke things from your hard drives, without your knowledge and without your consent and all of that with not a lick of oversight. They are trying to strangle a consumer protection bill as a back alley way to achieve the ends that they have not, to date, been able to achieve through corrupt wrangling on copyright legislation. The anti-spam bill is turning into an incredible power grab on the part of the overreaching copyright lobby. These players and their Parliamentary whores are corrupting consumer protection legislation to suit their own greedy ends.
In essence, should this bill be so amended and pass through both houses to become law, it would leave the door open for private commercial enterprises to access your personal, on-line electronics. I don't know about you but my computer is my diary, my laboratory, my creative workspace and my primary device for personal correspondence. I don't feel at all comfortable with our elected representatives ceding an unprecedented power of public surveillance to private corporations. I don't trust our various layers of law enforcement with unwarranted surveillance. I expect our lawmakers to demand just and probable cause before granting the power to invade privacy for the purposes of surveillance. I am offended and horrified that the vulgar little snots that come to us begging for our votes are hawking our privacy and personal security to the corporate sector.
Damn the Liberal Party of Canada members that would sell our rights to the dirtiest bidders.
Damn the Bloc Quebecois members that would act as patsies for these lobbyists and pimps.
Damn the NDP tarts that totter about, looking the other way while the country gets a boning.
And Damn the Conservative Party of Canada for presiding over this carnival of whores.
The Industry Minister needs to hear what you think of his Ministry even considering allowing utterly unaccountable business interests to spy on you and your machines. You can drop him a line here:
Tony Frickin' Clement
and here's the Industry Committee in all their stinking Glory:
Michael Chong (Con), Chair
Anthony Rota (Lib), Vice-Chair
Robert Bouchard (BQ), Vice-Chair
Gordon Brown (Con)
Siobhan Coady (Lib)
Marc Garneau (Lib)
Mike Lake (Con)
Brian Masse (NDP)
Dave Van Kesteren (Con)
Robert Vincent (BQ)
Mike Wallace (Con)
Chris Warkentin (Con)
Give 'em hell folks. This truly is a non-partisan issue. If our friends and opponents on the right are true to their word and honestly do support a policy of personal independence and responsibility then this sort of invasion of privacy should be especially galling to them. It doesn't matter what colour of sweater you wear or whose party flag you fly, your privacy and personal security are precious and should not be on the block to the highest bidder.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
... just this one:
Because some years ago, Rush Limbaugh offered this opinion regarding Donovan McNab, a black NFL quarterback:
"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
Was he right? Well, it's pretty debatable. And it would be fair to say that a good portion of what Limbaugh says is stupid and, in some respects, profane. He is the ultimate hypocrite, really, crowing about stopping crime and American values, even as he discloses his own drug addiction.
But that's really not the point, is it?
Um, no, Rob, it isn't. This is. So howzabout you piss off and stop being so dishonest?
It's just a suggestion.
As a number of folks have pointed out, the Stephen Harper Party of Canada is now treating the federal treasury as their own personal fiefdom:
HALIFAX (CP) — NDP MP Peter Stoffer says he’s going to ask the federal ethics commissioner to investigate the placing of a prominent Conservative party logo on a large ceremonial cheque for $300,000 in federal infrastructure funding.
“In my view, I think they’ve broken every rule in the book in this regard,” Stoffer told the CBC on Tuesday.
The federal funding for a rink upgrade in Chester, N.S., was made last month by Nova Scotia Tory MP Gerald Keddy.
But here's what I think is the more interesting bit:
Keddy, when asked Tuesday about the cheque, said: “I didn’t order it, it wasn’t me. I’m not sure how that happened.”
However, Keddy said it’s an MP’s job to make announcements of this type “and I would absolutely do it again.”
Now, that first statement would seem to indicate that Keddy realizes this was a lapse of ethics, would it not? Why else would he be trying to pass the buck and disavow any responsibility?
And yet ... and yet ... he then follows this up by stating that, yessir, you damn betcha, he would absolutely do it again. So it seems to me that before anyone launches an ethics investigation, it behooves someone to ask Keddy very clearly whether he believes what he (or someone else) did was entirely proper.
It's a simple enough question, and one Keddy should be prepared to answer. Does he believe he (or anyone else in his party) has the ethical right to slap their party's logo on federal funding cheques?
Is anyone going to ask that question? And do any of us expect an answer?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
America deserves no help in this matter. How fucking dare the American government get sniffy that Canada won't accept prisoners that they won't even let set foot on their own soil, despite apparently being cleared of all charges. The sick fact is that the American administration with a Democratic president and Democratic majorities in both houses wants to close the disgusting gulag flying the stars and stripes by dropping the prisoners in other people's laps. Not one, not a single one of those poor souls will be allowed into the United States yet we should clean up after America or golly gosh they'll be so awfully put out. Sorry. That doesn't wash.
Am in total disagreement with the notion that this is America's mess, screw them and they should be left to clean it up on their own. Of course it's their mess and they bear primary and ultimate responsibility for what they've done in breaking international laws, for torturing.
The key words, "they bear primary and ultimate responsibility" and yet they will accept none of that responsibility, primary, ultimate or otherwise. At the very least they should bloody well help clean up the damn mess. The Obama plan to close the illegal gulag:
Boot prisoners... ? ...Justice!
What is the guy, a fucking underpants gnome?
Yes Guantanamo is a terrible place. Yes, certain other nations have agreed to help wash out America's dirty little shame. But how, when his own government, his own party and his own nation refuse to bear any burden is this a positive step for America? Some magical thinking indicates that if everyone just shuts up and scours the shit and blood from America's floors that they'll suddenly be encouraged to quit stamping in their filth and act like a mature people. That's the kind of thinking that leads to teenagers. And we know how bloody awful those creatures can be. Acquiescing to Obama's plan will take America off the hook for its own actions and that is not a signal that is healthy for that nation or for the world.
If Canada and other nations are to pick up after the sullen adolescent America, there should be a consequence. It isn't about sitting back and pointing a finger at Obama, it is about standing up to a recalcitrant bully and pointing a finger at America. Obama just happens to be the spokesperson of the moment for the brutish, ugly nation to our south.
Guantanamo Bay should be closed, the Obama administration wants to close it and Canada should be right there helping to close it. It's an historic affront to the rule of law. It's so clear an example in recent history.
No question, Gitmo should be closed. But Obama and his administration want it closed with no cost or consequence for America. His administration is still not pursuing the criminal thugs that set the place up, that used it as a venue for torture and walked away scot free. Now Obama intends to brow beat others to do the dirty work so his administration can claim a hollow moral victory and scamper away, also scot free. That my friends is bullshit, the sort of crap that enables their exceptionalism and further rotten behaviour.
But hey, I'm a reasonable guy... shut UP LuLu. Okay, pretend I'm a reasonable guy. Here's the deal. Canada and any other third party nation should accept custody of the illegally detained prisoners and take them off Obama's hands only on the following conditions:
1. Full, unredacted disclosure of every and all record created in the camp. All documentary evidence in every form, every transcript, every recording and every photographic image turned over to the International Criminal Court to which Obama will personally sign over jurisdiction for a full and complete investigation of the goings on at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
2. Again under Presidential seal and signature, an agreement to make available any and every person requested or subpoenaed for questioning and possible charge in the operation of the Guantanamo Bay prison, be they civilian or military personnel, officer of government or high official.
3. Full and complete disclosure of every record pertaining to each and every detainee being delivered into the custody of a host nation. A fund of not less than five million dollars per detainee to be paid to the host nations to defray expenses and security costs incurred in the acceptance of custody and to provide funds for the former detainee to rebuild a life in their new home.
4. A fund of not less than ten billion dollars to be secured from America by officers of the International Criminal Court to draw such compensation for individual detainees as is deemed proper by officers of the court. Moneys drawn from that fund also to help defray the costs of proceedings in matters of the Guantanamo inquiry.
5. Full, unhindered and complete access for former detainees to the American civil justice system should any such persons determine to seek monetary and punitive remedies against individuals, organizations or branches of the American government, either as individuals or in class action suits.
That all strikes me as a pretty reasonable starting point from which to navigate toward that fabled "primary and ultimate responsibility", no?