Sunday, May 30, 2010
Dr. Dawg has the right idea -- a month away from the blog. Of course, he has an actual excuse -- academic research.
Me? I'm just tired.
Now I could yammer on endlessly regarding my justification ... hey, why don't I do just that? In a nutshell, I'm tired not so much of blogging but what it's turned into. Used to be it represented some humour, some snark and -- most importantly -- actual, genuine intellectual discourse.
Well, those times are long gone, aren't they? Look around. If you're a Canadian progressive, who exactly are you going to exchange intellectual banter with? Hunter? Dodo? Kate McMillan? Neo Conservative? Ezra Levant? Kathy Shaidle? Sandy Crux? Dr. Jabba the Roy?
And even if you put in some legitimate civil effort (as a number of progressives have done), you know what's coming? "Harharhar, stupid leftards, it sure is easy to upset them, harharhar!" Followed immediately by the inevitable savage and brutal comment moderation and deletion. No intellectual discourse for those folks.
Quite simply, there's no middle ground to even attempt discourse any more. Canada's conservatives aren't just, well, conservative. No, they are, for the most part, screeching, scientifically illiterate bigots, racists and hypocrites. And after a while, simply mocking them gets tedious and repetitive. I mean, how long can I milk the theme of, "Hey, did you see the awesomely stupid thing that [insert random Blogging Tory name here] wrote today!?!?" You start to feel that you might as well just number code the jokes to save time. After all, I need only write "Molecules!" to inform everyone that Sandy Crux just posted something howlingly idiotic.
But, really, in the end, I just have other, more important things I want to do. It's been fun but, after well over 10,000 posts and over one and a quarter million visitors, there's other stuff I'd rather spend my time on -- books to read, technical tutorials to write, courseware to design, people to bounce some business ideas off of, seminars to give, conferences to attend, development kits on which to install Linux ... well, you get the idea. And when I think about it (and it doesn't take much thought), all of the above appeals to me way more than mocking Stephen Taylor for whatever asinine piece of offal he posted yesterday.
Will this stick? Who knows? Perhaps there's an up-and-coming blogger who wants to join the crew at CC HQ and poke stupid right-wingers with a sharp stick. If you're out there and this sounds like you, drop me a note and we'll see. But when I look around, I'm pretty sure the Canadian Progress-o-sphere is in good hands. And if there are any bloggy get-togethers, sure, I might crash it and socialize with my ideological buds.
But for now, at least, I've got a buttload of cool technical projects and people who want more of my time and, in the grand scheme of things, those cool technical projects have a lot more appeal than whatever douchebagitude Steve "The Premature eJankulator" Janke horked up recently.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some work to do for a high-tech European company and I feel like doing a good job of it. And that means starting today. Now.
Well, OK, after a glass of scotch. Then I'll start. And thanks for all the fish.
P.S. Molecules! You had to know that was coming.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Oh, come on ... when everyone else was celebrating Speaker Peter Milliken's Parliamentary smackdown of the Cons over the Afghan detainees documents, I know I predicted something like this:
Opposition balks at Tory loophole in detainee records deal
Conservative proposal would allow exemptions for some documents
The Harper government has been trying to insert a loophole in a deal that’s supposed to grant opposition MPs full access to secret records on Afghan detainees – a proposal that could derail negotiations if not resolved.
Opposition parties are fighting the attempted exemption that would let Ottawa withhold some documents on the grounds they are “not necessary or appropriate for the purpose of holding Parliament to account."
Feel free to acknowledge my spectacular talent at prognostication any time.
Apparently, we have a new right-wing talking point:
Critics point out that Britain pegged its costs for hosting a one-day G20 meeting in London last year at $30-million – a relative pittance, but an amount some U.K. newspapers still decried as spendthrift.
How to account for the Canada-U.K. discrepancy? Bookkeeping, according to [security czar Ward] Elcock.
“You’re assuming, and I frankly don’t, that the public numbers out there are correct,” he said. “If you could actually compare apples to apples, the costs are going to be fairly comparable.
“We have been much more transparent about total costs. I don’t mean that other countries are hiding costs,” he cautioned, saying that other, unnamed governments’ accounting methods are “just different.”
Ah, so the only reason Canada seems to be spending 30 to 40 times as much is that, apparently, we're simply being more open, more transparent, more accountable about that budget, is that it?
In that case, one might reasonably ask where that transparency and accountability was back in March:
In March, Canada allocated C$179 million for security costs at the two summits. This week it shocked legislators by revealing the overall total would in fact be many hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Sorry, Ward, but you can't have it both ways. You can't brag about transparency and accountability now after you clearly hid the real numbers two months ago. It doesn't work that way.
Unless you live in Stephen Harper's world. Then, sadly, it always works that way.
Blogging Tory Hugh MacIntyre gets all pedantic and everything:
Government versus the Conservative Party
The headline of this story reads 'Tories apologize to India over visa feud.' Shouldn't it read 'government apologize to India over visa feud.' It isn't like the Conservative Party of Canada is making the apology. It is the government.
There is a fine line between the actions of a political party in government and the actions of the government. But when dealing directly with foreign powers it is very clear what side of the line it is on. Minister Kenney was speaking on behave [sic] of the government of Canada not the Conservative Party.
So why the misleading title? Is it to make it sound like this incident is somehow the Conservative's fault?
We now return you to your regular programming, where the Stephen Harper Party of Canada runs the country, and the entire Opposition are simply second-class citizens who can shut the fuck up.
P.S. Follow the link and make your own determination as to who exactly owes the apology. No, really, go ahead. Amuse yourself.
Oh, and pay close attention to this bit:
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney issued a statement Friday saying Canada works closely on security matters with India.
“The Government of Canada therefore deeply regrets the recent incident in which letters drafted by public service officials during routine visa refusals to Indian nationals cast false aspersions on the legitimacy of work carried out by Indian defence and security institutions, which operate under the framework of democratic processes and the rule of law,” Mr. Kenney said in the statement.
“This language, or the inaccurate impression it has created, in no way reflects the policy or position of the Government of Canada.”
At least he got that last part right. It wasn't the policy of position of the "Government of Canada" -- it was simple Conservative racism from beginning to end. With the unfuckable Jason Kenney's fingerprints all over it.
BY THE WAY, HUGH, if you want to get all pedantic like that, you might reserve your irritation for this sort of crap on the Government of Canada website:
PM builds stronger collaboration with Mexico
Really? The PM built a stronger collaboration with Mexico all by himself? That's just awesome. I would have thought the rest of the Government of Canada would have been involved as well. My bad.
BONUS TRACK: I could do this all day.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The unfuckable Jason Kenney launches the Conservative Party of Canada space program, powered by a heady mixture of flat out lies and methane. Should you have a moment or three the good Rev. paperboy called me up late last night and we had a little chat. Tune on in to the Maple Syrup Revolution for tales of fibbers, cons and douchebags named Baird.
You will, I wager, not find a single Blogging Tory calling out Tony Clement on this:
Clement took part in a 2008 promotional video for Lord & Partners Ltd., a company that produces environmentally friendly cleaning products. The company is based in Clement's Ontario riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka.
In the video, Clement identifies himself as the minister of health, as he was at the time, and extends greetings to the people of China "on behalf of myself and the government of Canada."
And here's the fun part:
As industry minister, Clement subsequently appointed the producer of the video, longtime supporter George Young, to the Canadian Tourism Commission. Moreover, Lord & Partners this year received three federal contracts, worth a total of $41,000.
And, as we have already established, IOKIYAC.
AFTERSNARK: In that article, here's part of the apparent defense (all subsequent emphasis finger-pointingly added):
Harper was not in the Commons but his parliamentary secretary, Pierre Poilievre, stood by Clement, one of the prime minister's most seasoned ministers.
Poilievre said Clement was not involved in awarding any federal contracts to Lord & Partners. He said the company owner has never contributed to the Conservative party and that Clement did not gain financially in any way by helping to promote the company.
But that part is most emphatically not relevant, as Impolitical reproduces the appropriate legislation:
For the purposes of this Act, a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.
It certainly seems like it's that last part that would apply here, wouldn't you say?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Maybe I'm just pooching this, but it seems that all those online references that once promised no more than a $200 million security bill for the upcoming summits have all gone bye-bye.
Google for it -- here, let me save you the trouble. I use that phrase since it seemed to be popular, and at least Google claims to have found a few hits.
Now follow those links. Go ahead. I'll wait right here.
Do you see any pages at the other end of those links? And if you do, do they say anything about that specific amount of money? Hmmmmmmm?
Or maybe search for some variation of that phrase. Can you find anything online that still refers to that earlier, much smaller amount? I'm just curious.
Industry minister admits to breaking copyright law to build iPod collection
OTTAWA — Industry Minister Tony Clement has an admission to make: He built his impressive music library on his iPod in part by breaking Canada's copyright law.
Clement, stickhandling the copyright file for the Conservative government along with Heritage Minister James Moore, is poised to introduce new copyright legislation within days. But until the law is updated to permit Canadians to transfer music onto MP3 players from CDs they have purchased, Clement stands on the wrong side of Canada's copyright law.
"Well you see, you know I think I have to admit it probably runs afoul of the current law because the current law does not allow you to shift formats. So the fact of the matter is I have compact discs that I've transferred, I have compact discs from my children or my wife that I've transferred onto my iPod. None of that is allowable under the current regime," Clement, a music buff who also legally purchases songs from iTunes to build a digital database that now stands at 10,452 songs.
In unrelated news, Canada's conservatives are staunch law-and-order types. Just ask them.
The nad crushing power of the JoJo:
James Traver’s column is very strange today. It is lacking a certain je ne sais quois…
Where is the anger and the venom? Where is the over-the-top pugilistic rhetoric?
Are you feeling o.k. James? Or could it possibly be that you want to work your way out of that Bad rating you received in our media survey?
Apparently, there exists a universe in which professional journalist James Travers is terribly, terribly concerned about what screechy wingnut JoJo and her adoring gang of drooling yips thinks. That must be a very odd place.
Well, OK ... besides that?
So ... what price for 72 hours of unabashed, pretentious primping and preening of one's ego on the world stage? Ah, a billion dollars:
Summit costs hit $1.1B
The cost of hosting the G8 and G20 summits next month in Ontario now stands at $1.1 billion and further outlays are likely, federal documents show.
The price tag includes $160 million for hospitality, infrastructure, food safety and extra staffing. That amount is in addition to the $933-million security bill the Tories revealed earlier this week.
"This might be the most expensive 72 hours in Canadian history," Liberal MP Mark Holland said.
And if my calculations are correct, that would put the price of five minutes of everyone standing around, waiting for Stephen the Corpulent to get back from the bathroom for the group photo at around $1,150,000, easily the most expensive dump of all time.
SOMEONE SHOULD PUNCH VIC TOEWS IN THE MOUTH: Seriously:
When asked by the Liberals during Wednesday's question period to explain the costs, [egregious philanderer and hypocrite Vic] Toews said the government believes the experts when they say such a level of security is necessary.
"I understand that the Liberals don't believe in securing Canadians or the visitors here," Toews told the House. "We're different."
Tune in tomorrow when Stephen Harper sonorously proclaims:
"I can understand why the Opposition would prefer that visiting international leaders were violently assaulted or assassinated while on Canadian soil. We're different."
To the mainstream media's everlasting shame, they would simply print that and move on.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
That 2004 Harper coalition proposal, and the more recent one when others proposed something similar? Totally, totally different. Because shut up.
And fuck off. That, too.
OH, DEAR: The comments section there is a must-read. Seriously.
... pretty soon you're talking real money:
Security tab for G8 and G20 summits could top $900 million
OTTAWA – The cost of securing next month’s G8 and G20 summits has soared to at least $833 million – an eye-popping sum that has some wondering whether it’s time to rethink how international summits are organized.
The federal government on Tuesday revealed it had set aside an extra $654 million, on top of the $179 million already earmarked, to provide security for the G8 summit in Huntsville and the G20 summit in Toronto.
In unrelated news, the Stephen Harper Party of Canada wants you to know that times are tight and there's just not enough money to go around so, sadly, some people are just going to have to do without. You know ... like these kids:
If only there was $15 million to spare. Pity. If only they'd been white. And Christian. That's where the real money is, you know.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Apparently, the hard-nosed, kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, "Are you talkin' to me? Are you fucking talkin' to me!?!?" conservative political flunkies who promise to protect us all from the murderous Islamojihadifarians are the same ones who are too pants-pissing terrified to answer the questions of Parliament, 'cuz those committee members are really, really mean people and they can hurt someone's feelings.
Luckily, you can always count on John Baird to show up, scream at someone, punch a lady in the face and bite the head off a live chicken.
BONUS TRACK: What Dave said:
Dimitri Soudas is a coward.
He is a chickenshit, cowering piece of quivering liver. He cries for his mother when things don't go his way.
He is a conservative.
He let's other people fight his battles.
We have put the defence and the security of this country in the hands of the likes of him. Isn't that reassuring?
Look what a piece of cowardly crap your vote got you.
Want a piece of me Dimitri? No problem, you cowardly turd. Single combat. Look it up.
I'm fairly sure Dave means it, too.
Via the Mind of Dan, everything you ever wanted to know about booming school, for fuck's sake.
In unrelated news, Canada's whingers would like to address the inevitable ecological catastrophes that come from our relentless dependency on oil by telling you to fuck right off with your Earth Hour.
The Canadian Fluff-o-sphere is all about the new Stephen Harper Senate talking points:
Of idealism, realism, and appointing senators
Long-time Blogging Tory, Springer on "Sort of Political" has written an excellent post on why Prime Minister Stephen Harper has had to appoint senators, despite the fact that before he got elected, he said he wouldn't appoint an unelected senator.
"Thus, it is no mystery that, to achieve even most symbolic reforms to the senate, PM Harper has had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way against a deeply entrenched indifference and/or ambivalence within the greatest part of the Canadian population centered in Ontario and Quebec that is a fact of our nation."
I would add the simple fact that in politics, circumstances change all the time, yet Harper has always had the long-game in sight and ignoring the naysayers (mostly Liberals and Dippers) who say they believe in reforming the senate but have no guts to do it. I've thus termed this condition as "insenaty".
The logic here is, of course, unimpeachable: As a committed opponent of patronage-laden Senate appointments, the only way Stephen Harper can get everyone else on board and stop making patronage-laden Senate appointments is to continue to make patronage-laden Senate appointments until the Opposition is so outraged that they will join with Stephen Harper in discontinuing the practise of patronage-laden Senate appointments.
In related news, Stephen Harper is said to be increasingly frustrated with the Opposition's reluctance in passing legislation that would increase the prison sentences of people who kill police officers so, starting tomorrow, Harper is going to murder one police officer a week until the Opposition finally sees things his way.
And that 2008 legislation raising the Canadian sexual age of consent from 14 to 16 years? You do not want to know how Harper convinced the rest of Parliament to go along.
Monday, May 24, 2010
So ... how's that discussion about full public disclosure of MP's expenses going? Oh:
Given that the Bloc Québécois says it always supported the Auditor-General’s request, that means three of the four parties in the House of Commons are at least supportive of further talks. The NDP remains officially opposed to the Auditor-General’s request, though that too may change this week as several NDP MPs have called publicly for the party to reconsider.
Why anyone thinks Jack Layton still represents even a whiff of progressive principles these days just plain baffles the fuck out of me. Seriously.
Please, oh please, tell me that while everyone else was celebrating Speaker Peter Milliken's Afghan detainees ruling as a MASSIVE victory for the Opposition and a wicked boot to the nads for Stephen Harper, I blogged my immediate reaction at the time -- "Oh, man, he's just setting you up and you will get fucked over." Please tell me I wrote that down somewhere. Because here you go:
Ottawa bars ministers’ staff from appearing before committees
New Tory policy says ministers, not their staff, should be held accountable
Latest edict goes against Speaker’s ruling on Afghan detainees, ethics committee chair says
The Conservative government is launching another showdown with the opposition over the powers of Parliament, this time issuing an edict that only cabinet ministers – and not their political staff – can appear as witnesses before committees.
The new cabinet position, to be outlined in detail Tuesday morning, comes just days after the opposition and government resolved a heated dispute over Parliament’s power to see documents related to Afghan detainees.
By all means, read the rest -- an amusing new policy sodomizing the concept of "ministerial responsibility" and carefully released to coincide with a holiday long weekend when no one is paying attention.
Please tell me I can say, "I told you so."
ANOTHER GRAND EXPERIMENT: Hmmmm ... here's Blogging Tory Victor Wong, looking around carefully, then writing something lucid, hoping none of his BT colleagues notice. Let's check back in a day or so and see how well his philosophizing went down with his batshit crazy bunkmates at Stephen Taylor's House of Dumbth.
I'm guessing they're not going to be thrilled, but that's just a hunch.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Oh, dear ... not so well:
With some oil impossible to remove, nature may be the last, worst hope
Cleanup could do more harm than good in marshes, so officials may have to let the disaster run its course
... More than 80 kilometres of Louisiana's delicate shoreline have been soiled by the massive slick unleashed after the Deepwater Horizon burned and sank last month. Officials fear oil eventually could invade wetlands and beaches from Texas to Florida. Louisiana is expected to be hit hardest.
Officials on Louisiana's coast discovered a major pelican rookery awash in oil on Saturday. Hundreds of birds nest on the island, and an Associated Press photographer saw that at least some birds and their eggs were stained with the ooze. Nests were perched in mangroves directly above patches of crude.
In unrelated news, today's conservatives wish government would get off the backs of big business because government just gets in the way of profit. Or something like that.
In proposing a list of the good, the bad and the ugly in Canadian media, Blogging Tory JoJo finally loses her tenuous grip on reality:
We are unable to publish this list because as Ezra Levant found out, hurt feelings are not allowed in Canada.
You know, it's embarrassing enough when your life is one of perpetually whiny victimhood, but it's particularly pathetic when you have to make shit up to complain about.
Canada's hard-core, Biblical, God-fearing conservatives would like to take a brief break from explaining why gays are second-class citizens, abominations and don't deserve the same rights as regular people, to express shock and dismay over the apparent hate beating of a gay man, and to wonder where people got the idea that that kind of violence and savagery targeting homosexuals was acceptable behaviour.
You only wish I was making that up, don't you?
Apparently, the latest brainstorm emanating from Canada's Wingnut-o-sphere is that Saskatchewan's marriage commissioners who are terribly, terribly upset about being told to do their (public, taxpayer-funded) jobs -- that is, to officially marry whoever comes before them that is legally entitled to be married under federal law, including gays -- should be allowed to hang on to their well-established bigotry and be given a pass from said federal law because (if I read this correctly) they were bigots long before the law was changed.
Yes, if I am not mistaken, the suggestion to "grandfather" these homophobes is based on the logic that they have been bigots for so long, and that their bigotry is so well and firmly entrenched, that it would be emotionally and psychologically cruel and traumatic to tell them to grow the fuck up and join the rest of us in the 21st century. But what an interesting compromise that is, since it opens up all sorts of entertaining and/or disturbing possibilities.
For example, just a couple years ago, the sexual age of consent in Canada was raised from 14 to 16 years. And since this was a law that was passed by Parliament, you'd think it applied to everyone, right? And, certainly, if you're an adult who's never fucked a 14-year-old before, it goes without saying that you sure aren't going to start now.
But what if you've been doing it for a while? Maybe you're in your mid-thirties and have been fucking 14-year-olds for a number of years, to the extent that you're quite comfortable with it and having to stop would be, like, really upsetting and everything. Why should you have to cease and desist?
Sure, it's the law now but you never saw this coming and why should you have to suddenly change your behaviour? The obvious solution is, of course, the grandfathering of 14-year-old fuckers and letting them continue what they enjoy, but drawing the line there and not letting anyone else get started. That sounds like a reasonable compromise to me.
Cue shrieky, ignorant wankers howling how that's totally different in three ... two ... one ...
P.S. We're not done here.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Well, this is depressing:
Texas OKs school textbook changes
Critics claim conservatives trying to revise history
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of the civil rights movement, religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items...
In one of the most significant changes leading up to the vote, the board attempted to water down the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, pointing out that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring that students compare and contrast the judicial language with the wording in the First Amendment.
They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.
Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board's most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.
Yeah, fucking liberals with their facts and evidence and methodology and science and everything. It's about time someone who believes in an invisible sky monster got the chance to shape impressionable young minds.
P.S. Would it be unreasonable to suggest that responsible American institutions of higher education simply refuse to accept Texas high school diplomas from now on?
LIMITING THE DAMAGE: At least according to CNN, the damage that Texas can inflict on the rest of the U.S. might be getting more limited these days:
What is taught in Texas often is taught in other states because publishers typically tailor textbooks for Texas, one of the largest buyers of textbooks in the country.
However, digital publishing has diminished the state's influence on textbooks nationally and that curriculum is always going to be decided at the local level, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.
"Whatever Texas decides, I do not think there will be large ripple effects around the country," he said before Friday's votes. "Textbook companies today have a real ability to customize textbooks and whatever the Texas board decides, I don't think that's going to impact education in other parts of the country."
I think this is trivially obvious -- given the flexibility available with current digital publishing technology, changing a book for a different market should not be a big deal anymore.
One need only pop over to, say, Textbook Revolution, to see how frustrated students are dealing with stupidly expensive and crappy textbooks these days.
Blogging Tory Victor Wong does bad things to people with a mouthful of morning coffee:
So the Prime Minister likes to hang out with Bryan Adams, Taylor Swift, Yo-Yo Ma, Nickelback, and so on. He plays piano and privately jams with his son, a decent exercise in family bonding. What’s more, he doesn’t seem to make a big deal out of it ...
Quite so, Victor, quite so.
Punchline entirely superfluous.
Blogging Tory Adrael MacRaphelander has one of his occasional moments of partial lucidity, then brings the unintentional hilarity:
By the way, [National Post] Full Comment has a whole new look with nice big glossy pictures. I think they’re trying to compete with the Globe and Mail’s blog section.
Damn. And I just used this cartoon:
P.S. The comments section there is a real hoot as countless people twist themselves into ugly shapes to deliberately miss Adrian's point.
Friday, May 21, 2010
The Rev is back with another Maple Syrup Revolution audio event. This episode featuring the eminent Senor Boris from down Galloping Beaver way. Listen up! This message brought to you by the Stockwell Day Love Machine Company and Puddingworks.
Not available in blonde. Wetsuits and Jet-Ski sold separately.
Not available in blonde. Wetsuits and Jet-Ski sold separately.
Harper to 'recommend' defeat of Tory MP’s abortion bill
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper will vote against a private member's bill promoted by one of his own MPs that would add new Criminal Code penalties for those who coerce women to have an abortion.
A senior government official also says that while the prime minister will not "whip" or demand Conservative MPs vote as he votes, it will be "very strongly recommended" that Conservatives vote to defeat the bill.
See, that's what happens when you count on the batshit fucking crazy demographic to keep you in office -- eventually, they start having their own ideas, and we all know nothing good ever comes of that.
Blogging Tory Alberta Ardvark is outraged -- outraged, I say -- about government censorship on the other side of the planet:
First they came for Facebook and now the Pakistani Government has banned You Tube and 450 other sites including Wikipedia for being "sacrilegious" to the nation's Muslim majority.
When you give the government the power to censor, they will use it.
You may agree with the government on a particular ban, but one day you won't, and by then it will be too late. Think Human Rights Commissions for something a little closer to home.
Say, anybody remember this amusing incident?
Minister stops book talk by Environment Canada scientist
Last Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2006 | 5:53 PM ET
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has stopped an Environment Canada scientist from speaking publicly about his own novel...
[Author Mark] Tushingham was scheduled to speak in Ottawa about his book and the science underpinning it. But an order from Ambrose's office stopped him.
"He got a directive from the department, cautioning him not to come to this meeting today," said his publisher Elizabeth Margaris of DreamCatcher Publishers in New Brunswick. Margaris had driven from New Brunswick to attend the speech.
"So I guess we're being stifled. This is incredible, I've never heard of such a thing," she told CBC Radio.
First they came for the scientists, eh, Ardsy? And you didn't stand up ...
Thursday, May 20, 2010
For the last few days I've been getting strange phone calls. The number is 300-130-1724 and in the caller id where the name would be is the number 519-639-4079. Curious, I called back and then I did a search to confirm. Sure enough, when I looked the number up, guess who's spamming my phone, why none other than the Conservative Party of Canada! How about fuck off spammers! Canada's New Government, bugging you at home with robo-calls.
Harper — who once said he would never appoint senators but instead wanted them elected — has now appointed 33 Conservatives to the 105-seat upper House in the past 18 months.
Pretty much sums up the sleaziness of the man, doesn't it?
AFTERSNARK: Say what?
Harper has typically waited for a number of Senate vacancies to open up before making a group appointment, but officials in the government say there is too much important legislation to be passed before the summer recess and every Tory vote is needed.
In unrelated news, blowing six weeks on prorogation recently was a perfectly good idea. Wasn't that what you heard?
Frankly, I don't know why Harper doesn't simply take all of those Liberal senators outside and have them executed. I doubt it would surprise anyone by now.
Oh, dear ... not so well. In unrelated news, Canada's conservatives who profess to be terribly, terribly concerned about this environmental disaster would like to remind you to Shut The Fuck Up about your stupid Earth Hour.
I would have used quotes but it's just a paraphrase.
Ezra "Bubbles" Levant, the man who pimped the appalling literary dishonesty that is Ann Coulter, is outraged by alleged errors in someone else's book.
If you have the time and are so inclined, why not pop by the Post and leave a comment to that effect? Be civil. Be polite. Try to avoid use of the phrase "vacuous, yammering douchebag."
And here's where I get to be awesomely lazy and let you do all the work by recommending bloggy-type things out there that would appeal to the regular readership here at CC HQ. (And by appealing, I mean having the nads to refer to screechy, vacuous douchebags as, you know, "screechy, vacuous douchebags". Or, for the sake of brevity, "Ezras.")
Leave recommendations in the comments section. Use hyperlinks. If you don't know how to use hyperlinks, figure it out. Or join the Blogging Tories. Whatever.
I'll start things off here. And ... go.
Via Audrey II, we have a reasonably cogent argument against "equal time":
I would put it another way:
"So, when you refer to 'equal time' and 'academic fairness,' you'd like us to balance the presentation of experimentally-supported and objective science with unadulterated, ignorant, scientifically illiterate, Christian wingnut bullshit?"
Yeah, that's tighter.
Here's the intellectually-crippled "Hunter," yammering on patriotically:
Being a non-hyphenated Canadian, I get ticked off at immigrants who expect us to bend our rules to accommodate their culture. This can be worked out if everyone comes to the table with a love of Canada.
An excellent point, Hunter. But what do we do with those people who despise Canada? You know ... like this hateful cretin:
... I was asked to speak about Canadian politics. It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians...
... Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.
In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance.
I'm with Hunter -- I'd send useless, unappreciative yobs like that packing. I'm sure Hunter would agree.
P.S. It's really easy to see why Hunter's MP asked her to stop blogging, isn't it?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The spectacular and public self-immolation of Blogging Tory Sara Landriault continues at breakneck speed:
A reporter scamming her way to selling newspapers, she if [sic] full of it!
Too Munsch information, Robert!
The result of Munsch's admission of his problems has been to stigmatize them even more, as in Landriault's response, which can be summed up as: "He's mentally ill and he took cocaine and drank! Evil man! Get him and his books away from my children!
By Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald
This statement was never made by me nor was it even hinted at. Naomi is such a low life writer she decided to take my original post while ignoring my other posts showing all of my emotions just to sell more skanky newspapers.
This article is a lie, I do not believe Munsch is evil nor will I do any of the things she says I will in the article.
My blog was written to show my emotions of how the unveiling of Robert Munsch's addiction affected me, it was certainly not to portray him as evil. That would be Naomi's doing!
Apparently, Sara is some kind of pissed, as you can read in her comment at Lakritz's online piece:
I did not and do not feel munsch is evil, that only came from Naomi's narrow minded brain.
Read my blog for the truth http://choiceforchildcare.blogspot.com
as for Naomi I will see you and the Herald in court.
3 pieces of personal information were used without my permission from your paper and the National Post.
If you really want to be a tabloid writer try the US or UK they would love woman like you who twist the truth just to sell newspapers....
Overlooking the hilarity of a Blogging Tory complaining about journalistic irresponsibility, I suspect Sara is not going to have much of a case here since, as I read it, Lakritz never suggested that Sara used the word "evil." She simply suggested that Sara's position could be "summed up" that way; in short, Lakritz made it abundantly clear that she was paraphrasing, which would make this threatened legal action amusing indeed.
If I really want this to happen for the sheer, naked entertainment value, does that make me a bad person?
P.S. You need to read the comments at Sara's latest piece. Honestly, these people are about as smart as a sack of soup. I particularly like Ardvark's take on this:
..as in Landriault's response, which can be summed up as: "He's mentally ill and he took cocaine and drank! Evil man! Get him and his books away from my children!"
What kind of writer uses quotation marks for something that clearly was not said?
The kind that prefaces those quotes with "which can be summed up as" to make it clear they're paraphrasing? Christ, I'm getting tired of having to explain stuff to these yobs.
OH, YOU KIDS: You can be so adorable when you're even more obsessive than I am. An e-mailer brings my attention to this 2007 gem from lovely Sara:
Liberal supporter tells Cancer patient to "fuck off"
Jumping ahead to the comments section on that piece, we have commenter "Jay" being fairly reasonable:
I don't think this has anything to do with Liberals and more to do with an asshole who supports them.
And then Sara comes clean:
I agree he is a nutwing and has nothing to do with the party. I put Liberal supporter in hopes the Libs would shut him down.
It occurs to me that someone who deliberately lies for political advantage really doesn't have the moral high ground to complain about someone else's journalistic accuracy. If you catch my drift.
... what a shame it's about to turn to shit.
Blogging Tory co-founder Stephen Taylor: Giving Canada's vengeful, creepy stalkers their own social club.
AFTERSNARK: It's probably worth pointing out that Blogging Tory BC Blue's place is becoming Creepy Stalker Central in the Canadian Wingnut-o-sphere. I'm sure that wasn't his plan; it just worked out that way.
Apparently, some truly stupid people have been blogging lately about same-sex marriage in Saskatchewan, whining about how marriage commissioners who refuse to perform same-sex marriages were totally blindsided by the relatively recent change in Canada's marriage laws that legalized such marriages and therefore they shouldn't have to perform them. For those truly stupid people, I humbly submit reality (all subsequent emphasis tail-waggingly added):
The Marriage Act, 1995 sets out the procedures that must be followed for a legally binding marriage in Saskatchewan. The Marriage Unit provides support to retailers authorized to sell marriage licences and those appointed to perform marriages. The Provincial Government (Marriage Unit) has exclusive jurisdiction to pass laws pertaining to "The Solemnization of Marriage in the Province." The Federal Government has the sole power to determine issues of capacity to marry, such as who can marry whom and age of consent.
In other words, those marriage commissioners have known since at least 1995 that it was the federal government that made up the rules and defined who could and couldn't get married, and that those rules could change at any time. I'd ask whether we were finally done here but, sadly, when truly stupid people are involved, we're never done.
P.S. And for those truly stupid people who keep whining that Saskatchewan's homophobic bigots simply want their day in court, I give you:
A tribunal set up by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission ruled that [Orville] Nichols did not have the right to refuse service based on his personal beliefs, and ordered him to pay M.J. $2,500 in compensation.
Nichols appealed that ruling, arguing that his religious beliefs should be protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But in a 39-page decision dated July 17, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Janet McMurty dismissed Nichols' argument, concluding that the human rights tribunal was "correct in its finding that the commission had established discrimination and that accommodation of Mr. Nichols' religious beliefs was not required."
In short, Nichols went to the HRC, and lost. He then appealed, and lost again. He is now on his third attempt. One can say a number of things about the whiny and pathetically homophobic Orville Nichols, but one can't say that he hasn't had more than enough opportunity to make his case.
In closing, then, shut the fuck up.
P.S. Apparently, Canada's gay-bashing wankers suddenly care very deeply about Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When the hell did that happen?
Question: "... are we really being led by a man too chicken to answer the genuine, spontaneous queries of a few wonky kids?"
This has been another installment of "Simple answers to simple questions."
P.S. And the bitch-slapping continues for Mr. Bubble ...
BY THE WAY, you can always spot the Conservatives in the comments section:
They're the ones who think education is a laugh riot.
AND HERE'S WHERE WE JUXTAPOSE: It just occurred to me that the earlier post had Blogging Tory Sara Landriault bawling about how being a stay-at-home mom left her with no marketable skills and exactly zero job prospects, and yet when the Globe article refers to a student at Winnipeg's Red River Community College being 30 years old, the right-wing fuckwits double over in laughter at the the idea of someone that old trying to better themselves at an institution of higher learning.
Oh, that these useless yobs could keep their bitching and insults consistent. Where the fuck are those internment camps when you really need them?
JESUS CHRIST: As commenter "mystereeoso" points out, the Canadian Dumbfuck-o-sphere has been given its marching orders:
30-year-old student runs to media with Harper question complaint
... Besides my first thought of “a 30-year-old student was at this thing”, I wondered just who would be asking a non-economic question in a group of students whose focus is on economics? ...
Ubiquitous wingnut commenter MaryT understands immediately how to deal with troublemakers like that:
Bet she show up, along with Pat Martin’s employee, at some protest at the G20-G8. We need her picture circulated so we can watch for her.
Yeah, that's my image of constructive, political discourse.
It's not like I'm trying to beat up on poor Blogging Tory Sara Landriault, who self-destructed so spectacularly in the course of a single blog post. But, oh my, how did all that eye-rolling wingnuttery stay so carefully hidden all this time? Here's Sara, bitching and whining about ... well, you'll just have to read it yourself:
How hard it is for a woman to return to the workforce after being home for 9 years
Women are stepping back from the career track to do the mom-and-family thing - not because they must, but because they can
Margaret Wente speaks the truth about women and work. Unfortunately governments and advocates don’t see it that way.
My story is a bit different from the “so called professional women” in society today. I’m referred to as the uneducated baby machine who relies on her husband to keep her pedicures and manicures coming. Though I’ve never had a pedicure or a manicure in my life, most people find what I do just above the welfare line.
Since I was little I wanted to be a mother, not a doctor or a bus driver just a mother. I worked odd jobs over the years and attempted at a financial career going after a trader position but when it came down to the crunch I could not do both, so I went back to just being a mother.
Now my children are all in school. This is the dilemma, no education, no real experience and no hopes for a pension plan beside Old Age Security & CPP.
All because I wanted to be just a MOTHER.
stay at home mom
*President*, National Family Childcare Association
So, if I read this correctly, Sara -- being one of Canada's conservatives who's constantly yapping and yammering about how mothers should stay home with their kids and how day care is some kind of liberal, socialist evil -- is whining that all that mom experience has left her with sweet fuck all in the way of marketable skills to let her go out and hit the work force running.
Do I have that about right? Because if I do, that's one of the howlingly funniest bits of hypocritical bitching and moaning I've read this decade. Someone should hand Sara a dictionary and point out the entry for "accountability." Oh, and the one for "choice."
BONUS TRACK: You'll notice that Sara claims that she received only one reply to that snivelling, tearful email ... from the NDP's Irene Mathyssen, who graciously takes pity on Sara's wretched whining. Writes Mathyssen:
I also firmly believe that women who are fortunate enough to be able to stay home and raise their children should not be left with little hope of work or pension later in life. Government supported programs to retrain women after taking time off paid work to raise children or look after elderly, ill or disabled family members should be made a priority.
So Mathyssen proposes what should be anathema to a diehard conservative -- a taxpayer-funded, government retraining program to bail out people who apparently made a hideously bad choice and now find themselves in dire straits financially and want someone else to save their sorry ass. I look in vain for where Sara tells Mathyssen to fuck off with her socialism. Perhaps that was in another post.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The next time Ezra Levant opens his festering piehole to pick nits with someone else's prose, why the fuck don't you ask him why he then promotes the hideous literary dishonesty that is Ann Coulter?
Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a fair question.
I LOVE ME SOME GOOGLE:
If there's anything you want to know about Ezra, just ask. That's what I'm here for.
Shorter Blogging Tory Gay and Right Fred: "When I say I support freedom of expression, I don't mean for other people!!"
Blogging Tory and "Choice for Childcare" blogger Sara Landriault has a message for you:
Sara will now return to lecturing people about civility and decorum, and blogging about proper child care and how best to raise those fucking kids of yours.
P.S. We're not done with Sara yet. Oh, no.
It's a day that ends in "y" so, somewhere, a Blogging Tory has posted something abysmally idiotic. Oh, look:
Why Kagan Should Be Withdrawn
President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan made war against the US military's recruitment efforts at Harvard because of Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ...
And then, there's reality:
The truth is that Kagan went above and beyond the law’s requirements as they were interpreted by the federal courts. In 2004, a U.S. Court of Appeals declared the Solomon Amendment, which requires universities to either grant access to military recruiters or to forgo certain kinds of federal funding, unconstitutional. Nevertheless, Kagan continued to allow the military to recruit on HLS’ campus — either through the career services office or through the HLS Veterans Association. Despite the Court of Appeals decision (which was eventually stayed by the Supreme Court), the Pentagon informed HLS that it would nonetheless cut off funding unless the law school allowed military recruiters to be processed by the same office as other employers. Kagan complied with the Pentagon’s request and allowed military recruiters to be processed through the career services office during the very next hiring cycle.
In March 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ decision, adopting the Pentagon’s reading of the Solomon Amendment in the process. By this point, however, military recruiters were already availing themselves of HLS’ career services office. In other words, HLS was already in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, and HLS still complies with this decision to this day.
And Jonathan -- he should stop being such a lying asshole, too.
BONUS DUMBASSITUDE: Ah, this should be entertaining. Here's more of Jonathan's tinfoil hat whackjobbery from that same post:
... that didn't stop [Kagan] from accepting huge gifts from Saudi donors who approve of executing homosexuals. How odd.
And that's when Jonathan's fellow batshit crazy loon "Hunter" shows up, desperate to get the goods on Kagan as well:
Do you have a link to an article about the donations from Saudis, or do you mean that the university accepts huge donations from them?
Give Hunter credit -- she at least appears to understand the difference between Kagan taking Saudi money personally, and accepting Saudi donations to the university. But if Kagan accepted donations from the Saudis on behalf of Harvard, I'm not sure I see the problem there. I mean, getting chummy with the Saudis? I'm pretty sure that's been done before.
Yeah, I don't think there's a story here. But won't it be amusing to keep an eye on Hunter and see how spectacularly she lies about this? After all, it's what she does.
(CC NEWS) -- In a surprising legal decision handed down this morning, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that current marriage commissioners in that province have the right to refuse to officiate at same-sex marriages, but only if those commissioners agree to have gay sex first.
"We think it's a particularly elegant solution," said one member of the Court, who preferred to remain unnamed. "It's based on this recent law out of Oklahoma that said that women who wanted to have abortions first had to view a sonogram of the fetus, and have all the details explained to them before making that decision."
"Bloody brilliant, we thought," continued the justice, "so we extended that idea to rule that, if marriage commissioners want to condemn same-sex marriage, they should first be required to participate in some butt sex. Rollicking good butt sex. I mean, naked, sweaty, steamy, tearing up the sheets ... uh ... sorry, where was I?"
Unsurprisingly, every one of Saskatchewan's marriage commissioners was outraged by the ruling, and vowed to fight it every massive, throbbing inch of the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, with the exception of commissioner Orville Nichols who, as the original defendant that inspired the current case, sat thoughtfully in the corner of the media room and was heard to mutter quietly to himself, "Well, let's not rule anything out."
During which Stephen the Corpulent lubes up, Mike Duffy bends over and the Canadian public gets fucked.
HOW ... ODD: If one follows the link from Steve V's to here, that CTV article appears to have been massively rewritten already. The title is no longer "PMO says it didn't rewrite youth forum questions," it's "Harper wants economy, not 'sideshows,' focus of G20."
The fact that something's changed can be seen here, where the title is, once again, given as "PMO says it didn't rewrite youth forum questions - CTV News," but that link clearly takes you to the newer version.
One apparently needs to go to other media outlets like this to see the original piece. How curious.
DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE!
It was fun while it lasted.
WTF? Following that earlier link to the Chronicle Herald piece, we find what appears to be the same article, but with a whole new headline: "Youths unimpressed with 'open' dialogue with PM." Oh, and what the hell is up with this?
Two other youths had earlier explained that the questions were selected by Vision Internationale, a non-profit Christian group, and then edited by Harper’s office.
So Christian groups are now in charge of carefully excising what might offend Prime Minister Il Douche's delicate sensibilities? When exactly did that happen?
Rapidly making a name for himself as one of the Dumbass-o-sphere's most deranged lunatics, Blogging Tory "BC Blue" can't even defend his own rantings:
Liberal president Alfred Apps is getting a taste of his own party’s medicine when he and his law firm were connected to one of the central figures in the Jaffer/Guergis saga by private dick Derrick Snowdy during his testimony in front of the government operations committee.
"Connected?" "Connected," you say? Oh, dear, that must be horrifically embarrassing -- to be caught intimately entwined with a shyster like Gillani. So, Blue, what exactly do we mean by "connected?" Oh:
Nazim Gillani had given Apps a retainer back in 2006 but after the law firm did a little checking into him, returned it.
You know, Blue, that idiotic blog post would have had more impact if you hadn't actually admitted it was total shit in your second paragraph. I'm just saying.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Via ETP, we are once again reminded of the overall ugliness of one Maria S Nunes:
... how come Conservative women are so beautiful and articulate whereas the other side have people like Rachel MadCow and Ariana Whatever.
Commenter CK stops by Audrey's to point out the hideously obvious:
Just dropped a line off over there, although, since she moderates her comments, not sure if it'll get published; basically suggested she take a look at Wendy Sullivan, Kathy Shaidle and Denyse OLeary and Sandy Crux.
In unrelated news, I give you the newest Miss USA: Lebanese immigrant Rima Fakih:
And then there's Kathy Shaidle:
Don't make me post a picture of Ezra Levant. We'll all regret it.
While we're all waiting for the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to give these idiots the ass kicking they deserve, it's worth revisiting the surprising National Post editorial on that topic which was, against all odds, logical and coherent, and worth reading carefully for three reasons.
First, it's the National Post. That's right, Canada's normally reliable right-wing steno pool, telling all those whiny, Christian marriage commissioners to shut the hell up and do their job or fuck off and find other employment. That's fascinating since, on the occasions when every other media outlet in Canada is acting sane, the NP can normally be counted on to promote the hard-right, inane, idiotic, bereft-of-logic party line. But when even the Post abandons the drooling, lunatic Christ-o-sphere, well, that's just plain awkward.
Second, it's enlightening to realize that the Post not only came to the correct conclusion, they did it for the right reasons. This is actually noteworthy since experience teaches us that, even when the residents of Lower Wankerville have the right opinion, they frequently hold that opinion for the most eye-rolling, illogical reasons. One almost expected the Post to tell marriage commissioners to resign in protest, not because it's the right thing to do, but because mass resignation would throw marriage plans into an uproar and that would teach those Godless humanists, or something equally stupid. But no! Astonishingly, the Post used actual critical thought and logic to arrive at that conclusion. Will wonders never cease? But that's not the best part.
No, the best part is that the Post editorial did not just reject the Christopaths' argument on this topic. They stomped on it. They crushed it. They ground it into powder. Witness, if you will, the utter lack of ambiguity or weaselitude on the part of the Post, as it lays the freedom of conscience argument's nads gently on an anvil, and pounds them flat (all emphasis nad-flatteningly added):
Marriage commissioners have no right to say no
... [marriage commissioners] must follow the government’s rules when they execute their duties...
They may either adapt to the new same-sex-inclusive rules or quit performing civil marriages altogether. There can be no picking and choosing whose ceremonies they will officiate...
Once the government has decided that gays have as much right to marry as heterosexuals, it clearly is a violation of their human rights for a civil commissioner to turn them down...
Gay couples must have the same protection once the federal Parliament has granted them equal rights.
Note well the utter lack of waffling or weaseling or any of the lame attempts at compromise or accommodation proposed by Canada's culture of professional victimhood. That Post editorial does not provide even the smallest hint of a shred of a whisper of hope for anyone looking for a hook on which to hang their homophobic arguments. It's direct, brutal and savage, and makes no apologies for taking that Bible-fueled discrimination out to the woodshed, and beating the living crap out of it.
All that's left is to see whether the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal can demonstrate that kind of clear thinking and integrity, or whether it will cave trying to find some useless middle ground that still fucks over gays while soothing the furrowed brows of bigoted marriage commissioners and allows them to keep feeling good about themselves.
And so, we wait.
Useless, unreadable wank David Frum rouses himself just long enough to bash out the following bit of inanity:
It especially enrages [Marci] Mc-Donald that "opponents of [the Harper government's] pro-Israel policy are routinely branded as anti-Semites" (page 358-359). But if this branding occurs (and McDonald offers no instances or examples), ...
Oooooh, oooooh, pick me, Mr. Kotter! Here's Stephen the Corpulent himself (emphasis nad-whompingly added):
Stephen Harper equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
"Unfortunately, Israel at 60 remains a country under threat – threatened by those groups and regimes who deny to this day its right to exist," he told a Toronto celebration marking the anniversary.
"And why? Look beyond the thinly veiled rationalizations: Because they hate Israel, just as they hate the Jewish people." ...
The Prime Minister also told radio station CFRB: "My fear is what I see happening in some circles is anti-Israeli sentiment, really just as a thinly disguised veil for good old-fashioned anti-Semitism."
And ... KAIROS, anyone? Can David Frum just crawl back into whatever bottle he crawled out of?