Black Sheep Press

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Crackdown on alleged pirates

Authorities made multiple arrests of alleged internet pirates today continuing their hardline strategy in dealing with a problem that they will never succeed in controlling.

There's always been piracy, but with the internet it has become far easier and less criminal seeming to do so, and the simple reality is that a certain percentage of people are going to persist in cracking software and making it available no matter what they might do to try and stop it, and I am unconvinced that the tactics used thus far will be successful.

Also, earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court decided against Grokster meaning that creaters of file-sharing programs could be held liable for being used for illegal file-sharing, the precise wording in the decision being, "One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright ... is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device's lawful uses."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Same-sex marriage bill passes

As I had expected it would, the same-sex marriage bill passed today, thus making Canada the third country in the world to officially sanction same-sex marriage.

The Liberals delayed and delayed with moving forward with this legislation until they were forced to do something about it and then they rammed it through instead of making sure that there was as much protection available to those who might descent with the law as possible.

I predict that shortly there will be a same-sex couple who will approach a church for marriage knowing that they will be refused and then take it to court as a human rights violation and win.

Monte Solberg, At least we've got our priorities wrong

Both the Libs and dippers claim that gay marriage is a fundamental human right, on par apparently with the right to life and freedom of speech, but insisted that their wacky spending bill, Bill C 48, should pass through the House before the Gay Marriage Bill. In other words, the "fundamental human right" is secondary to "the deal Paul needed to save his corrupt party".

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It was not America that opened the gates of hell

Congratulations to the killers; they have succeeded in turning a chance for democracy - a mere promise of attaining it from Iraq to Lebanon and for the entire Arab world - into a swamp of blood

Yesterday the warning was about “Lebanizing” Iraq; today the warning has been about “Iraqizing” Lebanon. The “gates of hell” have opened, as Amr Moussa [the secretary general of the Arab League] promised us on the eve of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime. But who are those who have opened the "gates of hell" on the Middle East, with their explosions and their assassinations? Are they the Americans who overthrew one of the bloodiest regimes in modern times and provided the opportunity to hold the first Iraqi elections in 50 years? Are they the Americans who, along with the French, who issued U.N. Resolution 1559, which seeks to return sovereignty and independence to Lebanon? Or is it those who are working to forbid Lebanese and the Iraqis from attaining their right to freedom and independence by killing the symbols of freedom and independence in both countries?

Who is responsible for delaying and obstructing Lebanese and Iraqi independence, and for prolonging Syrian patronage and the American occupation? Is it the Americans, who are desperately trying to find an exit strategy from Iraq - or is it the remnants of the Baath Party, their terrorist allies and the regimes that fund and arm them, foiling any hope of building democracy in Arab lands from the Levant to Baghdad?

After killing off Rafiq Hariri, who was it that set off the explosives that killed George Hawi [Former Lebanese Communist Party leader] and before him Samir Kassir [a Lebanese columnist]? Is it a coincidence that all the victims were amongst those fighting for the liberation of their country and seeking to achieve independence from guardianship and submission? Who is killing the symbols of sovereignty in Iraq - from police to National Guard, to MPs and elected officials?

No doubt the message has been received …

The message that has been received in Iraq and Lebanon is that it is not permissible for people in Arabs lands to dare ask for freedom and true independence; even if the whole world stood in support of such people.

A spacering to protect us from global warming

This is a serious suggestion?

Monday, June 27, 2005

So we're famous, let's free a terrorist or something

Canadian celebrities are banding together to free Hassan Almrei after attending a cool party.

Another reason why I take celebrities opinions so seriously.

The biggest hinderance to the universal acceptance of the gay community...

...is television, movies and the gay pride parade. Why, you ask? Simple, they perpetuate the negative stereotypes of homosexuals. Either they portray them as hip, obnoxious, fashion consultants of some description (with that oh so irratating "official gay voice"), or promiscious freaks in a leather thong and a spiked collar.

This isn't really flattering, nor all that accurate, and yet Hollywood attempts to claim that they are "supportive" of the gay community...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mulroney State Funeral planned?

At Neale News

Adopt a chinese blog!

Help combat political censorship of blogs in China by adopting a blog

Ever since blog became popular in China, there have been a number of occasions where some blogs were shut down by telecommunications company or internet service providers due to their political speech. These incidents not only brought risks to bloggers themselves but also to blog service providers in China. Many blog service providers had to increase their effort in content filtering. All these brought pressure and helplessness to people who dare to make truthful expressions.

Especially since April 2005, when the law on non-profit website registration became effective, website owners are required to submit their real personal information when they register their websites. The annual registration process as well as hefty penalty for failure in compliance have angered many website owners that use an independent virtual server and domain names.

Therefore, many bloggers in mainland China began to consider moving their blogs outside of China. But because of language barrier, financial, payment and other issues, the cost of moving is rather high and the situation is not optimistic.


Speaking of censorship, report released today on Censorship of Blogs in Iran

via Instapundit

Legal Downloading soon to surpass piracy

So maybe all those people who said that if there was a legal way to download just what they want for a reaonable price were actually telling the truth?

Though I suspect a lot of it is simply who is downloading music, previously it was the domain of college kids and teenagers downloading songs by the thousands rather then buying overpriced CDs that they couldn't afford, now as more and more adults get into the whole MP3 thing they are both more conscious of the ethical implications of piracy and have more money in which to spend on legal MP3s, and perhaps less technical savvy then many youth and thus the concerns of viruses etc. is higher.

Sask Party MLA loses nomination

Alan Kerpan loses nomination for Saskatoon Eastview to Terry Alm after deciding a few months ago to run for the nomination in that riding instead of his current one of Carrot River Valley, as Carrot River Valley has already selected Fred Bradshaw as their candidate leaving Mr. Kerpan without a riding.

I'm sure there was a logical explanation as to why he switched ridings in the first place but I don't know what it was, and as logical as it might of seemed to him at the time, it seems to have backfired on him.

The only thing I can think of is that he thought that the Sask Party would have a better chance of taking Saskatoon Eastview with im as the candidate while his current riding would likely remain a safe seat for the Sask Party.

Ouch!

I couldn't think of a creative title so I stole Monte's

The Conservative Party gets official standing in a Montana court in an effort to overturn an injunction that prohibits Canadian live cattle from going into the US. Rick Casson and Diane Finley just went after the Libs on this House because the Libs incredibly didn't file a government intervention. How pathetic is that?

Andy Mitchell blustered in his little way about all that he's done. Hmmm. Okay fine, Andy you're really trying hard, but why didn't they even TRY to overturn the Montana judgment? I knew the Libs don't respect rural Canada, but why not at least go through the motions and humour us? Yeesh.


Andy Mitchell, "Blah, blah, two billion dollars, blah blah, working hard doing something, not entirely sure what, but I'm sure it'll do some good, blah blah, border still closed but don't blame us, blah blah."

Liberals bought votes with TRPs

Angry notes page 19 of a report entitles "Many Shades of Grey"

In the final analysis, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, through their Department of Justice counsel, provided my Office with a list of persons who were granted ministerial Temporary Residence Permits (TRPs) during the period from May 25 to June 28, 2004. From this list, 128 individuals were granted TRPs by the Minister during the 2004 federal election campaign. When this list was compared with lists obtained from the Minister's office under subpoena and as referred to in allegation "G", we were able to identify 94 specific files. Of these, 43 were authorized by the Minister during the last week of the federal election campaign. In 76 cases, a specific MP is listed as supporting the application. Of these, two were supported by a Conservative MP, while the remaining 74 were identified with Liberal MPs. Of these 74 cases, 24 were identified directly with Minister Sgro, 19 of which were approved between June 23, 2004 and June 25, 2004.


The breakdown

* 128 permits issued during the 5 weeks of the 2004 federal campaign

* 43, or 33%, were issued in the final week of the campaign

* 76, or 59%, of the TRPs were supported by an MP
o of these 76 TRPs , 24, or 31%, were supported by Judy Sgro herself

o 19, or 80%, of Judy Sgro's TRPs were issued in the last 24 hours of the campaign

o another 50, or 66%, of the MP-supported TRPs issued during the election went to Liberal MPs

o only 2, or 3%, of the MP-supported TRPs issued during the election went to Conservative MPs


Coincidence I'm sure. The Liberals would never do something like buy votes, I mean next you'll be trying to tell me that they would offer Ministerial appointments and Senate seats in exchange for support on a confidence motion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Harper not interested in image change

"I don't intend to change myself," Harper told Vancouver radio station CKNW during a nationally syndicated call-in show Monday. "I'm not a believer in these so-called image makeovers. I've watched politicians who tried to be something they're not and tried to have all these different incarnations. I think it just comes across as phoney.

"I am who I am."

Said Stephen Harper during appearance on a syndicated talk show.

Which doesn't really sound like what the party had been saying, that said, he is completely right in regards to it coming across as phony and recognizing that it wouldn't work anyways, A. Because Mr. Warm and Sunny is not Stephen Harper and and B. The media hates him anyways.

But Harper, 46, said changing his image is more about getting face-time outside Ottawa than rearranging his personality.

His staff is simply trying to draw more attention to his activities away from Parliament, he said.

A pair of callers took Harper to task for his "constant negativity," saying he needs a more positive message.

Harper responded that as Opposition leader, Canadians see him primarily in those "five-or 10-second clips where you're attacking the government."

As a result, people get a one-dimensional image, he said.

It wasn't Harper's only dig at his media tormenters Monday.

The Tory leader also questioned the focus on his anger when "the Liberals used relentless negative advertising quite effectively" in last June's election campaign.

Demagogic Liberal TV ads, featuring a handgun firing directly at the viewer and a young woman weeping in hospital waiting room, have not been forgotten by Conservatives.


The thing about negative campaigning is that it works, but only if you control the debate, and the Liberals are masters of controlling the debate. Last June, a campaign of ideas not working? Corruption rearig it's ugly head and the Conservatives and Bloc managing to wrench the direction of debate away from safe topics for the Libs? Well, let's twist things around and remind people how "scary" the Conservatives and Stephen Harper are and how they will eat your babies (but not let you abort them), let your Granny die because she can't afford medical care (but not let her kill herself if the pain is too great), allow people to run rampant in the streets with guns, i.e. own a gun without being treated like a criminal (instead of letting the criminals run rampant in the streets with guns while treated law-abiding gun owners like criminals.

Then as the confidence motion came up, what did they do? Twist the debate from being on the Liberals broad record of corruption and incompetence and instead focus attention on how the Conservatives are lowering the level of decorum in the House and calling for civility. The fact that the Liberals are cronic practitioners of mudslinging, innuendo and character assassination is completely ignored, both by the Liberals and by the media.

Small Dead Animals

Which reminds me of this bit of cultural derision;

Ironically, no federal conservative leader has had more style surgery than Preston Manning, the man who founded the Reform Party specifically to bring substance to Canadian politics.

From the look and sound of a screechy preacher in cowboy boots, Manning gradually morphed into the kind of made-for- TV capital conformist he used to deride as the "Otta- washed."

First it was the eyeglasses that went from aviator to designer and finally into the trash after laser eye treatment. Then came the wardrobe, a slow transition from barnyard chic to Hugo Boss.


"Barnyard chic". Nice.

Not often we get a slam at both Christianity and Western rural culture in a single sentence.

No wonder Westerners don't trust the bigoted Eastern Media. Though Weston's points are valid, it's disappointing to see them wrapped in petty ad hominem. Perhaps a "style" makeover is in order for this cynical and negative Ottawa columnist.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin slanders his own country

Mark Steyn

But give Durbin credit. Every third-rate hack on every European newspaper can do the Americans-are-Nazis schtick. Amnesty International has already declared Guantanamo the "gulag of our times." But I do believe the senator is the first to compare the U.S. armed forces with the blood-drenched thugs of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Way to go, senator! If you had a dime for every crackpot Web site that takes up your thoughtful historical comparison, you'd be able to retire to the Caribbean and spend the rest of your days torturing yourself with hot weather and loud music, as well as inappropriately provocative women and insufficient choice of hors d'oeuvres and all the other shameful atrocities committed at Guantanamo.

Just for the record, some 15 million to 30 million Soviets died in the gulag; some 6 million Jews died in the Nazi camps; some 2 million Cambodians -- one third of the population -- died in the killing fields. Nobody's died in Gitmo, not even from having Christina Aguilera played to them excessively loudly. The comparison is deranged, and deeply insulting not just to the U.S. military but to the millions of relatives of those dead Russians, Jews and Cambodians, who, unlike Durbin, know what real atrocities are. Had Durbin said, "Why, these atrocities are so terrible you would almost believe it was an account of the activities of my distinguished colleague Robert C. Byrd's fellow Klansmen," that would have been a little closer to the ballpark but still way out.

Monte Solberg on the Globe's letters to the editor regarding same-sex marriage

You call that an argument?

Our second gem is from P of Toronto. P doesn't actually make an argument. Instead P emotes that the Conservatives are bad people because we won't let gays and lesbians get married. In the absence of an argument all I can do is emote back so here goes.

P I think you are a bad person for trying to destroy the ancient tradition of marriage. (Gee this emoting is way easier than forming an argument!)

The imminent Chinese threat?

Chinese threatening to impose economic sanctions on Canada if Bill passes

I would be stunned if it did pass though as the Liberals are unlikely to have the balls to vote for it en masse and the NDP and Bloc even less likely to.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Stephen Harper is going to smile more

Yes, because I sure know that I vote according to what leader smiles the most.

Didn't Stockwell Day have a real nice smile and get mocked for it? The media should make up their minds.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Classic Doom

So, I've been rediscovering the joy of Classic Doom the last couple of days, making up for the disappointing Doom 3, which has spectacular graphics that fail to make up for the slow gameplay. The original Doom is fun in a stupid, don't have to think, running around a maze shooting demons for no explicable reason kinda way, Doom 3 spends too much time trying to explain why you are there and how the demons got there.

Tory MP introduces party hopping bill

In light of Stronach's defection Helena Guergis introduces bill that would force a bi-election within thirty-five days of switching parties

First of all, that wouldn't have affected Stronach really as she still would have had time to vote for the budget, the only affect that it would have had is that it would have weakened her "voters don't want an election now" excuse as her riding they would have had one then.

However, party-swapping has long been part of Canada's system and I don't think that it need be stopped. There are many possible reasons as to why a person might switch parties and it happens farily regularly, the difference with Stronach was simply A. the timing, and B. that she was a big-name member of the Conservatives.

If it had gone the other way and a Liberal MP switched to the Tories last minute would there still be a big fuss about how undemocratic such a thing is?

Most dishonest reporting awards

And the winner is!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ACLU to challenge Utah Porn-Blocking Law

The ACLU logic doesn't make sense, as long as they aren't requiring that the companies block the sites, but only that they provide the ability for the sites to be blocked, I don't really see what the deal is.

On the other hand, they could be out making China a safer place from the dangerous spread of democracy

Monte blogging from committee

"This is so wrong"

Oh, and this is a completely different subject but I thought it was funny but not worth its own post.

Oh and since I'm doing a Monte round-up, this one is also well worth reading.

I have done an indepth analysis of the latest polls and have decided that they are stupid. Come on, people still want to vote for the Libs with all that SPONSORSHIP SCANDAL stuff and the NDP BUDGET DEAL and the VOTE BUYING SCANDAL and the fact that they have Cabinet Minister's like JOE VOLPE and REG ALCOCK who bury the needle on the arrogance meter? You know you live in a very special country when a cabinet minister can speculate about using his powers to deport an opposition Member of Parliament, and it all just gets shrugged off.

Therefore, reason decrees that the the polls are junk. Or at the very least people are parking their votes with the Libs while they dream about going to the lake.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Harper, should he stay or should he go?

Time to contemplate his future?

As I've said a couple times before, I don't think that there is time to replace him, so we are stuck with him until the next election, after which it really might not matter who leads the Tories because Canada may just crumble completely should the Liberals manage to inexpicably win once more.

Forget Osama, fear George

Canadians see Bush as nearly as big a threat to national security as Osama bin Laden

Yet another example of bizarre and illogical anti-Americanism. I don't agree with everything that Bush has done, but I also don't think that he is exactly a big threat to national security. That said, I don't think that bin Laden really is either.

What a shock, Jackson aquitted

Who didn't see that coming? When's the last time a celeb was actually found guilty?

The shock at the verdict is widespread

Wait just a moment before convicting Michael Jackson in your mind. Before deciding he's guilty, look at the character of the District Attorney leading the mob. Look at the child who made the allegations -- and that child's family.

And remember that 10 years ago Jackson was the target of another noisy, showy investigation involving this same DA and an eerily similar "victim" with equally avaricious parents and lawyers goading him on -- a case that fizzled, but smeared Jackson's reputation and shook him down for a reported eight-figure sum.

-Ezra Levant

Public Health-care: A vision worth dying for!

At least that is what the leftists seem to think

Friday, June 10, 2005

Harper Liberals biggest asset

Liberals praying Harper doesn't quit over summer

A senior Liberal strategist confided over a beer earlier this week that Harper has become one of Paul Martin's biggest assets.

"Our biggest fear is that if the polls tank for them (the Conservatives) over the summer, Harper might just decide to pack it in," he said.

The first part of the equation is already happening, even before the summer begins.

A national opinion poll released yesterday shows the Conservatives are tanking, all right, and at a rate that should terrify Harper and his party.

The Decima survey taken between last Thursday and Sunday shows the Liberals with 37% support, jumping into a staggering 14-point lead over the Conservatives at 23%, barely ahead of the New Democrats at 21%.

More accurately, voter support for Harper and his party has all but disintegrated.

The Conservatives today are at least eight points lower in popular support than in April, even before the Liberals got slammed with the most damaging revelations of the Gomery inquiry.

But the worst news for the Conservatives is in the pivotal electoral battleground of Ontario, home to more than a third of all the seats in parliament, and Harper's key to 24 Sussex Dr.

The Decima poll suggests that if an election had been held in the past week, Harper and his troops would have been slaughtered from one end of Ontario to the other, trailing the Liberals by 26 points, and behind even the NDP. Yikes.

The bottom line is that voters in Quebec, apparently still mad as hell at the Grits, are now all that stand between the Liberals and a majority government.

While there are no signs Harper is even considering an early exit, he cannot escape considerable blame for his party's crumbling fortunes.

In a year when the Conservatives have successfully moderated their policies to create a kinder, gentler party, Harper has not be able to shake his image as the Iceman with anger management issues.

Analysts also say Harper is at least partly the cause of his party's yawning gender problem as polls show the Conservatives turning off women voters in droves.

While Harper is not the first leader with an image problem, he seems to be doing most of the wrong things to fix it.

Insiders say Harper has made the fatal error of trying to be his own communications guru, meddling in complicated public relations problems best left to staff professionals who are both more qualified and infinitely more objective.

Even when Harper does take advice, he is apparently not getting it from the right people --namely, some of the best and brightest in the business on his staff and elsewhere in the party.

Instead, he has made the mistake of surrounding himself with a tight circle of longtime pals of like mind (read: Defensive and angry) whose personal loyalty to him evidently trumps their professional ability to cure what ails the party.

In recent months, a parade of Conservative MPs, senators and party strategists have tried -- ever so politely -- to cajole Harper into ditching The Circle.

Instead, The Circle has tightened and the real pros have started to leave. Two of the top talents in the Conservative communications shop -- Jim Armour and Mike Storshaw -- are leaving within the next week, and more are expected to follow.

The result of all this is apparent everywhere.

Whether it was Harper's inappropriately angry response to Martin's televised grovel to the nation, or his bizarre and continuing devotion to Gurmant Grewal, voters are getting the message about the Conservatives and it is not at all flattering.


I'll repeat this, I don't think that there is a thing that Harper ever could have done that would have improved his image or ever will. The key for his replacement should he quit is that he has to come out and define himself rather then letting the media and the Liberals define him for him. Either that or follow the Mike Harris strategy and make no attempts at softening his image, but manage to almost turn it into an advantage, something that George Bush did in the last election as well when the media bias became so apparent and over-the-top that many Americans took to essentially tuning the pundits out.

However, personally, I almost feel that Harper continuing as leader and blowing the next election could be a positive. Why? Because the Liberals winning the next election will spell the end of Canada, and I'm no longer sure that I want to be in a country that is more concerned about Stephen Harper being angry that the government misused and stole 350 million dollars then they are about the the government actually stealing the money.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Angry on Stephen Harper

While he doesn't go as far as Brock, Angry raises several valid concerns on Harper's leadership and the future of the CPC in Canada.

Ethics commissioner doesn't know how to do his own job

Shapiro like an absent minded professor according to Russ Hiebert, while Ed Broadbent goes farther and suggests that Shapiro should resign over his handling of the Sgro case.

"I don't want to be difficult," said NDP committee member Ed Broadbent, "but I do want to find out how you see your mandate."

MPs grilled Shapiro for nearly two hours on a number of issues: why he gave former immigration minister Judy Sgro and her staff a chance to review details of his still-unfinished seven-month long investigation into why she granted a minister's permit to a campaign volunteer; why he hired outside lawyers to review his decision; and about his understanding of what Parliament's ethics watchdog is supposed to do.

"I'm learning as I go along," said Shapiro. "What makes sense, what doesn't make sense, what's helpful and what's not helpful. The list of those things I'd do differently gets quite long."

Shapiro seemed unprepared for this appearance. He didn't bring copies of the lawyers' advice on the Sgro case with him. He couldn't recall how many people were being given a chance to comment on his investigation, and he couldn't tell Broadbent the job title, or role of the staff member in Sgro's office, a person Shapiro says acted inappropriately.

Last week Broadbent suggested Shapiro resign for his handling of the Sgro investigation. He says it's clear from Thursday's performance that the ethics commissioner still doesn't understand his own mandate.

"I think he has a difficult time making good political judgment," said Broadbent.


Well, after messing up and appointing Sheila Fraser the Liberals had to find a nice safe, slightly incompetent chap to be the ethics commissioner, after all, they wouldn't want another person actually prying into their sordid affairs.

Cotler admits he can't protect civil servants who oppose same-sex marriage

"Cotlers word and a loonie will buy you a coke at a vending machine

I would like to point out here that with the introduction of the toonie most vending machines charge at least $1.25 for a Coke.

The end of Medicare? Dare I hope?

The Supreme Court strikes down Quebec private health care ban.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that the Quebec government cannot prevent people from paying for private insurance for health-care procedures covered under medicare.

In a 4-3 decision, the panel of seven justices said banning private insurance for a list of services ranging from MRI tests to cataract surgery was unconstitutional under the Quebec Charter of Rights, given that the public system has failed to guarantee patients access to those services in a timely way.

As a result of delays in receiving tests and surgeries, patients have suffered and even died in some cases, justices Beverley McLachlin, Jack Major, Michel Bastarache and Marie Deschamps found for the majority.


Now, I'm frequently unenthused by the rulings of the Supreme Court, but this one they got right. Though I find the headline at CBC interesting, "Strike down private health care ban", it wasn't a private health-care ban, just a private insurance ban, after all, the fat cats like Paul Martin need to keep their access to private clinics, but you wouldn't want the ordinary Canadian to be able to afford access to these clinics, because that would be unCanadian.

Martin vows that Canada won't have a two-tier health-care system

Prime Minister Paul Martin vowed Thursday that Canada's public health-care system would remain intact, despite a Supreme Court of Canada ruling opening the door for private care in Quebec.

"We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country," he told reporters following Thursday's ruling.

"Nobody wants that."

In its decision, the country's top court found that a prohibition on Quebec residents getting private insurance for services covered by medicare ran afoul of that province's own Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The case was launched by a Quebec man who spent a year on a waiting list for a hip replacement because he was prevented from paying for faster service


That highlighted sentence is what disgusts me about the government healthcare nuts, they seem to prefer that people suffer with their maladies rather then actually allow people to actually get the care that they need, however it is that they choose to receive it.

Most people would continue to use the public system if private was available, just as most people continue to enroll their children in public schools rather then putting them in private schools or home-schooling them though the other options are available if one is willing. As long as we have a government full of people babbling stupidly about the greatness of Medicare and refusing to consider any changes to how it is delivered, it will be increasingly undermined until it collapses and we are left with exactly what its defenders are so terrified of, a completely private system.

The Conservatives audio expert claims tapes unaltered

OTTAWA – Conservative Deputy House Leader Jason Kenney today released a letter to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper from Randy Dash, Senior Editor and Manager of Operations of dMAX Media in Ottawa. The letter summarizes Mr. Dash’s analysis of copies of original recordings supplied by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal.

Dear Mr. Harper,
In the past several days, I have had the opportunity to review the audio clips supplied to your office by Mr. Gurmant Grewal. I have reviewed these clips numerous times and offer this evaluation to you.

As a professional audio engineer, specializing in post-production work, it is my opinion that the clip entitled "Various Calls to Gurmant Grewal from Sudesh Kalia" appears unaltered and is a clean recording.

The clip entitled, "Meeting between Gurmant Grewal and Ujjal Dosanjh, joined by Tim Murphy (1:00 PM Ujjal Dossanjh’s Office, Confederation Building) May 17, 2005" appears unaltered and is a clean recording.

The clip entitled, "Various Calls to Gurmant Grewal from Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy" is a very poor recording throughout. There is a great deal of loud ambient noise and distortion. While there are several places that have unusual sounds, I cannot conclude that these are the result of any audio editing.

The clip entitled, "Meeting between Gurmant Grewal and Tim Murphy, (10:00AM), Mr. Grewal’s Office" seems to be unaltered and is a clean recording.

Please accept this as a summary of my findings. Should you have any questions, I am available at your earliest convenience.

Yours truly,


Randy Dash
Senior Editor & Manager of Operations
dMAX Media, Ottawa


What a shock, the Tories hire an audio expert and he says that the tapes are unaltered! Of course the Libs hire one and he says that they are altered, thus weakening the claims of them both, though I suspect that the Tory expert is going to be largely ignored, or if not, denounced as simply the Tories hiring someone to say what they want.

Were the tapes altered? I don't know, but the whole fiasco is ridiculous and getting more so by the day.

Canada loses North Pole

North Pole exits Canada and continues rush towards Siberia

I'm not sure if I should be sad to learn this or not, perhaps a moment of silence and solace in the knowledge that while the Russians will soon have the magnetic North Pole we are still the best hockey country in the world.

Myths of Global Warming

This link was left in my comments and I found it interesting so I thought I'd the myths of Global Warming here.

Myth 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate.

Fact: Temperatures have increased around urban areas (“heat islands”) which distorts the overall picture; whereas accurate satellite, balloon and long-term mountain top measurements have observed no increase at all.



Myth 2: The “hockey stick” graph proves that the earth has experienced a steady, very gradual temperature increase for 1000 years, then recently began a sudden increase.

Fact: Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time. For instance, the Medieval Warm Period, from around 1000 to1200 AD (when the Vikings farmed on Greenland) was followed by a period known as the Little Ice Age. Since the end of the 17th Century the "average" global temperature has been rising at a rate of 0.6 to 0.8 degrees Celsius per 100 years; although from 1940 – 1970 temperatures actually dropped, leading to a Global Cooling scare. The hockey stick not only ignores historical fact, but is also scientifically flawed.



Myth 3: Human produced carbon dioxide has increased over the last 100 years, adding to the Greenhouse effect, thus warming the earth.

Fact: Carbon dioxide levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout geologic time. The CO2 increase was only 0.4% over the last 50 years, rather than the 5% per 100 years quoted by Kyoto. However, as measured in ice cores dated over many thousands of years, CO2 levels move up and down AFTER the temperature has done so, and thus are the result of, not the cause of warming. Geological field work in recent sediments confirms this. There is solid evidence that as temperatures rise naturally and cyclically, the earth naturally produces more CO2 as a result.



Myth 4: CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas.

Fact: Water vapour or clouds, which makes up on average about 3 % of the atmosphere, is the major greenhouse gas. CO2 makes up only about 3% of the greenhouse gases, or about 0.03% of the atmosphere. Moreover, because of its molecular weight and absorptive capacity, water vapour is 3000 times more effective than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Those attributing climate change to CO2 rarely mention this important fact.



Myth 5: Computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming.

Fact: Unfortunately, computer models predicting global warming are incapable of including the effects of the sun and the clouds. Further, the main cause of temperature variation is the sun. Its radiation changes all the time, partly in cyclical fashion. The number of sunspots can be correlated very closely with average temperatures on earth, e.g. the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. Varying intensity of solar heat radiation affects the surface temperature of the oceans and the currents. Warmer ocean water expels gases, some of which is CO2.


Myth 6: The UN proved that man–made CO2 causes global warming.

Fact: In a 1996 report by the UN on global warming, two statements were deleted from the final draft. Here they are:
1) “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.”
2) “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to ………..man–made causes”


Myth 7: CO2 is a pollutant.

Fact: This is absolutely not true. In fact, CO2 is essential to life on earth. It is necessary for plant growth and its intake causes many trees and other plants to grow more vigorously.



Myth 8: Global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes.

Fact: There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that supports such claimsGrowing insurance and infrastructure repair costs, particularly in coastal areas, are sometimes claimed to be the result of increasing frequency and severity of storms, whereas in reality they are a function of increasing population density and escalating development value.


Myth 9: Receding glaciers and the calving of ice shelves are proof of global warming.

Fact: Glaciers have been receding for hundreds of years; that’s because we are still coming out of the very cool period of the Little Ice Age. Ice shelves have been breaking off for centuries. Scientists know of at least 33 periods of glaciers growing and then retreating.
It’s normal.

Myth 10: The earth’s poles are warming; polar ice caps are breaking up and melting and the sea level rising.

Fact: The earth is variable. The western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer, but the eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder. The small Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica is getting warmer, while the main Antarctic continent is actually cooling.


But really, who wants facts when the myths are so lovely and scary?

Amnesty International wants foreign countries to kidnap Bush for crimes against humanity

Amnesty International apparently called for other nations to kidnap George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and other American officials and haul them off to the ICC for prosecution on charges of crimes against humanity
A different omission marred the reporting of Amnesty International's report charging torture in U.S. detainment camps. The group didn't just call Guantanamo a "gulag," an over-the-top remark that was universally reported. In a press release that most reporters ignored, the group also invited foreign governments to snatch certain visiting American officials off the streets and bring them to trial for crimes against humanity. The suggested snatchees, should they travel abroad, were President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA Director George Tenet, and other unnamed civilian and military officials. Amnesty International said that "all states have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute people responsible for these crimes," just as the British pounced on Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998. The snatching recommendation wasn't new, but the Amnesty press release is a useful reminder of the dangers of signing on to the International Criminal Court.
-John Leo

The original press release:

If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them. The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998. ...

Amnesty International’s list of those who may be considered high-level torture architects includes Donald Rumsfeld, who approved a December 2002 memorandum that permitted such unlawful interrogation techniques as stress positions, prolonged isolation, stripping, and the use of dogs at Guantanamo Bay; William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel who wrote that memo, and Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, who is cited in the memo as concurring with its recommendations.

Our list includes Major General Geoffrey Miller, Commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, whose subordinates used some of the approved torture techniques and who was sent to Iraq where he recommended that prison guards “soften up” detainees for interrogations; former CIA Director George Tenet, whose agency kept so-called “ghost detainees” off registration logs and hidden during visits by the Red Cross and whose operatives reportedly used such techniques as water-boarding, feigning suffocation, stress positions, and incommunicado detention.

And it includes Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who called the Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete” in a January 2002 memo and who requested the memos that fueled the atrocities at Abu Ghraib; Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of US Forces in Iraq, and Sanchez’ deputy, Major General Walter Wojdakowsi, who failed to ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib, according to the military’s Fay-Jones report, and Captain Carolyn Wood, who oversaw interrogation operations at Bagram Air Base and who permitted the use of dogs, stress positions and sensory deprivation.


Once again the radical left is viciously attacking the U.S. while ignoring countries and leaders who are actually engaged in real crimes against humanity. The left seems to hate democracy as they spend much of their time defending those who oppose it and attacking those who defend it.

Who needs scientists...

...when the newsmedia know better? Because of course, everyone knows that climate change is a scientifically proven reality and we are just waiting for the big disaster like in the movie the Day After Tomorrow, and no scientist is going to be so uppity as to dare to tell them smaht newsguys otherwise.

CPC branding problems

Sex and beer

We live in an age where the average Canadian voter is going to spend as much time examining the policy positions of the various political parties as Dan Rather spent fact checking some rather dubious reports about Dubya’s service records.

Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

Instead, Canadians completely ignore all the finely-tuned policy documents and let the media define what each political party stands for through two second sound bites. The Bloc has stepped up to the plate and defined themselves. Quebec first. None of the other political parties has been nearly so savvy, carelessly letting Canada’s media pundits do this for them. Here is how each party seems to have been tagged so far…

Liberal Party of Canada: “Get free stuff.”
New Democratic Party: “Help the poor.”
Green Party: “Save the whales.”


...

There is one exception to the three syllable platform, and you have to tip your hat to the Conservatives for driving into this pothole with the same unerring accuracy that they’ve managed to hit every other pothole on Canada’s political highway.

Your insta-platform can’t be negative.

Negative platforms don’t work. And since Harper and crew seem to have some sort of quota system that prevents them from issuing useful sound bites to the media, the media – and the CBC in particular – have been happy to step in and define the CPC’s insta-platform instead. Depending on what news source you’re reading, here’s how you’ll see the Conservatives defined:

* Grits are thieves
* Old white men
* Rich white men
* We hate fags
* We don’t steal


It would certainly be hard for the Liberals to argue against sex and beer.

Password protection advice bad?

Write down your passwords

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Harper step aside?

Brock: Harper should step aside

And be replaced by whom exactly? Is there a candidate who would be able to pull the party together, and gain the trust of both the east and the west? I haven't seen him or her if they exist.

It's his handlers

Updates here and here

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Volpe to lose Cabinet Position?

Volpe may lose cabinet position after confirming some of the Grewal tapes

Volpe confirmed Wednesday that Tim Murphy, Martin's top aide, "alerted" him to a conversation Murphy had with Tory MP Gurmant Grewal.


So one can make racist statements against your opponents and keep your job but if you don't corroborate the Liberal lies you are outta there?

Revenue Canada to silence Christians?

Using Revenue Canada as arm of Liberal Party

From: Holland, Mark - M.P.
Sent: June 1, 2005 2:38 PM
To: Holland, Mark - M.P.
Subject: MP Websites registered by Canada Christian College

Dear Colleagues,

A couple months ago I wrote to you about the fact that Charles McVety, President of Canada Christian College, has been registering domain names of MPs, a practice called "cybersquatting."

Previously only two of these were active -- www.josephvolpe.com and www.annemclellan.tv McVety is a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, and also believes in removing the boundaries between church and state.

It has come to our attention that many domains that were previously "parked" are now being made active. The following are now active: [apparently snipped -ed]

We have reason to believe that additional sites will be active very soon. I've attached a partial list of other MP names that Canada Christian College has registered.

Although Charles McVety is an active member of the Conservative Party, and was a delegate at the Conservative Convention in Montreal, you will note that some of the MPs who have been targetted are Conservatives. Gerald Keddy, who supports C-38, has been a particular target for harassment by associates of McVety, who have also been trying to nominate their people as Conservative candidates.

The name listed on the websites is DefendMarriage, but the actual registration is by Charles McVety using contact information of the Canada Christian College. You can verify this by doing a WHOIS search on the domain name.

Canada Christian College is a registered charity, which claims on its 2003 return filed with Canada Revenue Agency that it doesn't engage in political activities. You can find its information on this website.

Mark Holland raised this matter in caucus today. We have previously discussed this with House of Commons legal counsel, but as of yet no legal action has been taken.

We do think that some kind of a public statement is necessary, and we would be happy to discuss issuing a joint statement with MPs of any party who feel this is improper behaviour for a charitable organization. Please contact me if you have further questions or concerns, or if you would like to participate in a joint statement. Thanks.

Regards,

Richard McGuire, Executive Assistant
to Mark Holland, M.P., Ajax-Pickering
(613) 995-8614
Fax: (613) 996-1289
holland.m@parl.gc.ca

Terrorists or Freedom fighters?

Canada has added the People's Mujahedeen of Iran to its terror list despite historically being supportive of them and their cause and the fact that unlike most terror organizations they are fighting for deomcracy in Iran.

That said they do use force in their attempts to achieve their goal, and a Canadian official on the CBC radio program the House explained the using force to achieve your ends, no matter what those goals may be, would qualify you as a terrorist. So, by that definition, George Washington was a terrorist leader...

The issue is really this, why did Canada shift its position on the organization from moderate support to putting them on their terror list, particularly when the regime that they are fighting is the Iranian one with which Canada has been waging a diplomatic war with for the last two years (and failing miserably seeing has how Iran isn't particularly interested in diplomacy)? Well, maybe it was political, maybe it was a pathetic and contemptible attempt to pacify the Iranians in an idiotic hope that it will protect Canada and Canadians in the future. Is the Canadian government that much of a wuss that it would do this for that reason? Or did it have good reason to put the PMOI on its terror list?

What makes one a terrorist anyway?

Au Revoi Bernard Landry

The Race to replace him is on

Apparantly according to the pundits Landry quitting is good for the Liberals, yeah, I don't really see why it is either, but they are the experts I'm sure they have reasons that they might even explain at some point. Now obviously, should Duceppe leave for provincial politics the Bloc would have to find a replacement who would be be inexperienced while Duceppe has become increasingly more impressive as a leader since his poor performance in his first campaign to now.

What I really don't see is how it would connect the seperatists to the Conservatives party "even more" to use the bizarre term used on TV. The PQ and the Bloc have always been closely connected, Bouchard left the Bloc to become PQ leader, it has nothing to do with the Conservatives at all.

The new spin in the Grewal affair

I first heard rumblings of this on the CBC yesterday I think and again on CTV's Question Period today about how woman's groups should be up in arms about how three men were sitting around discussing Nina Grewal's future as though she were property. Now, this might be true, or at least arguable, particularly as she has so far refused to comment on the whole mess, but again, like whether or not Grewal approached them or they approached him, or if some parts of the tape were edited out, don't change the central point of the story and the media shouldn't allow themselves to be snookered by the Liberal spin.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Wes Stevenson case

Some of the story here

I don't really intend on saying anything lengthy on the subject, just that the FSIN has a history of financial irregularities and embezzlement themselves, and I really don't get why the need for the First Nations University is needed at all.

Liberal leadership race?

Volpe raising the big bucks

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe held a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raising cocktail party at an upscale Toronto restaurant last week, increasing speculation among Liberals that he is gearing up for a leadership bid.

It’s estimated that Mr. Volpe, who is also the political minister for the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario, raised more than $150,000 in one night at the event at the Far Niente Grill on Bay Street, in the heart of Toronto’s financial district.


Joe Volpe the next Liberal leader? Is that the best that the Libs have to offer if Martin is crucified?

Harper puts ethics over strategy or just stupid?

Ethics of crossing the floor

Allow me to modify Greg's conclusion: if this is true, then Opposition Leader Harper is, not to put too fine a point on it, perhaps lacking the strategic cunning required to topple the Liberals. I'd been wondering whether... well, actually, I'd been hoping that the CPC were wooing disaffected Liberals. If they haven't been actively engaged in this, then they're fools. There must be a couple of Liberals who have had enough of the corruption and the incompetence (call me an optimist...).

I can't see anything unethical in trying to cajole someone to cross the floor. Things get uglier when you're talking about offering Cabinet posts or office appointments, because (in addition to potential Criminal Code violations) it's hard to draw a distinction between that and just holding out a bag of cash (Cabinet members get quite a bump in pay, don't forget). But just saying, "hey, if you're looking to make a move, we'd be happy to have you", I'm not sure I see the trouble there.

...

If this is what the CPC is doing, then they're foregoing the good in pursuit of the perfect. And they're letting down everyone who is desperate to see the Liberals turfed. This isn't a question of "lowering" ourselves to discreditable conduct: if there's some rule that won't allow the party leader to protect nominees in ridings, then change the rule. There may be some democratic principle that is offended by the presence of such power in the party leadership, but we compromise on all kinds of democratic principles in favour of creating of functional system. From the point of view of the CPC, this is important for the continued viability of the party.


I agree that the act of crossing the floor isn't unethical in and of itself and the Conservatives should definitely be open and supportive of Liberals who may wish to cross the floor at least to a degree, however, I will point out that the Conservatives don't protect their own MPs nominations (see Chuck Cadman) so why should they protect someone who defects from the Liberals? Why should he get any special treatment?

Stephen Harper the Quebecer

Why?

The next Prime Minister of Canada should come from Quebec and he should be Stephen Harper. This statement may not seem to make much sense at first but I believe that it would represent a brilliant strategic move by the Conservatives to form the next government.

After a week of secret tapes and bribes, let's have some fun and consider an unlikely yet interesting scenario: Stephen Harper the Quebecer. Allow me to propose some 'outside the box' type of thinking...

Stephen Harper should immediately move to the province of Quebec and reside in the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent from which he should run for its seat in the next federal election. The riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent is the most 'winnable' riding in Quebec for the Conservative Party of Canada. While Stephen Harper is not in Ottawa, he should be in Quebec, he should enroll his children in a school there and he should join its PTA.

"What on Earth could this hope to accomplish", you might ask? The Conservative Party of Canada needs to make a splash in Quebec, and it needs to do so in a big way. It needs to do so not necessarily for electoral success in that province, but for electoral success in Ontario. There could be no greater expressions of outreach, backed up by the perceived risk of incredible personal failure, than by packing the moving van and moving the family to la belle province and by running for election there.


Either that or he'd be viewed as an interloper and Quebec voters punish him for daring to think that he could come in from Alberta and try and act like he is one of them and understands their issues.

To win an election, one must define it. The Conservative Party should commission a poll in Quebec that simply asks if the Liberal party has done more to help or to hurt national unity. The answer will likely surprise people from Ontario. Stephen Harper should then run the Tory campaign, and indeed define the election, on national unity (everyone will understand Adcam as the subtext). This may win enough seats in Ontario to win at least a minority Conservative government. Its time to pull out all the stops and this idea might be radical enough to make the difference.

Now here I think he is 100% on as this is the strategy that I already proposed here though I thought I had brought up the point another time here but perhaps I am just thinking of conversations that I've had over the last month or so, though I don't think that a minority Conservative government would be enough to save Canada as the Liberals and NDP would then have enough power to push the Tories to the left (as certain members of high stature {*cough*McKay*cough} think they should already) and would then leave Alberta alienated and next thing we know, a new Reform Party is born, it's a vicious cycle.

Shivers fined

Roy Shivers fined for comments regarding Henry Burris

Shivers told a Regina radio station on Tuesday that Burris, now a member of the Calgary Stampeders, won't get any special welcome when he returns to Saskatchewan this season.

"We'll treat him like any other quarterback and try to break his neck," Shivers said.

Shivers later said he was only joking.


Fining him is ridiculous in this case, let people say what they say, it's part of the game, all that matters in the long-run is the game itself, not what someone said before it and I think anyone with half a brain would recognize that Shivers was joking.

Aboriginals "overrepresented in Saskatchewan jails

Globe and Mail article

A professor of native studies at the University of Saskatchewan does not find these statistics shocking.

“It's not new, not new at all,” Patricia Monture said.

She said that the Canadian correctional services system has had an overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples since 1967.

“Saskatchewan has the distinct honour of having a record number of aboriginals in the correctional system.”

But the fact that the rate among young adults is so high means that all the “changes and improvements” being made to the correctional system are not making a difference, she said.

“There have been a lot of changes since 1967, all kinds of changes. But the figures of overrepresentation have continued to increase, and it is most dramatic among aboriginal women and aboriginal youth.

“The pattern has already been described as horrific. And it's going to get worse.”

According to the Statscan study, aboriginal people under the supervision of Saskatchewan's correctional service system were younger, had a lower level of education and poorer employment records than non-aboriginal people.

They were also more likely to be identified as having substance-abuse, attitude, family and marital, social-interaction and employment problems.

“The big question is ‘Why?' Why, if we're changing things, is it not getting better? Because we continue to look at the system individually. We're not looking at alcoholism, residential schools, foster care, substance abuse, violence against women, racialized profiling by police as linked to aboriginal overrepresentation.”


Why are they overrepresented? They commit a disproportionate number of the crimes here, certainly these statistics are nothing new or surprising, the solution is much more difficult and certainly isn't to be found is crap like healing lodges, the problem is the system of hand-outs to Natives and the mess that is the Reserves

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Grewal drama continues

CBC

NDP Leader Jack Layton has called on federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and the prime minister's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, whose voices are on the tapes, to step down during the investigation by Shapiro.

Grewal alleges Murphy and Dosanjh offered him and his wife, Tory MP Nina Grewal, plum positions if they crossed the floor to the Liberals ahead of a crucial budget vote.

The British Columbia MP released copies of the tapes to the public on Tuesday and the Conservatives handed them over to the RCMP.

The Conservatives say the alleged Liberal bribes may have violated anticorruption laws under the Criminal Code, an offence which carries a 14-year prison sentence.

Dosanjh suggested Thursday that the tapes had been tampered with and that parts of the conversation are missing.

On Thursday, two independent audio experts hired by the CBC and Canadian Press said they believed the tapes may have been altered.


Though by tonight on CBC radio they were reporting that the tapes had been altered when the experts said that it "sounded like it could be an edit, or just that the copy was poor" and that it "couldn't be proven" that it was an edit.

CTV

After analyzing a 46-second segment of recordings of Grewal speaking with Dosanjh, audio expert Steven Pausak said Thursday that there appears to be a break in one of the tapes.

"It appears to be altered," Pausak said.

"This brief segment at the beginning shows that it's not continuous, and it should be."

The Conservative Party said late Thursday that small gaps occurred when the master tapes were transferred to CD.

But Pausak said he found an entirely separate abnormality that couldn't be explained by transferring.

Pausak, who once worked for the Ontario government and now testifies in trials, said there is a discontinuity in the audio file.

"I'm talking about alteration. I am trying to avoid the word tampering,'' he said.

"When you are using the word 'tampering', that means intent, right?

Most of the time there is no way to show intent through the examination of the recording. You just see that it's altered.''

Grewal denies tampering with the evidence.


Globe and Mail

Small Dead Animals

This is a party that never got a chance to bury their dead from the Chretien-Martin wars. The wounds hadn't begun to heal before the heavens opened up to pour Adscam on them. And while there may be glee and hope in some quarters that the accusations of tape tampering will save them to fight another day - these people aren't idiots. They know as well as the rest of us what is on those tapes, and that the Prime Minister has been caught in a public lie. There are now signs of breaks in the ranks.

At a personal level, extended contraversy and dissent is hard enough on a leader - for a micro-manager like Paul Martin, having matters spiraling out of control on a weekly basis has got to be excrutiating and exhausting. He certainly appears out of sorts at times. Then, there's a longtime habit of deflecting questions ("Did you have lunch with that man?") directed at him in Question Period to other ministers.

This sometimes works at a tactical level, but as a general strategy, it's a loser. At some point, a general understands the importance of rallying his troops and leading by example - of stepping into the fray and facing down the enemy come hell or high water, of taking his share of hits like a man.

Instead, Paul Martin uses his ministers as cannon fodder. They have to be tiring of it.

There seems to be more at work than mere lack of moral fibre or personal stubborness - I think there's genuine fear. I don't think it's fear of the opposition, or fear of the media or the public. It's the fear of a man who hears the unsheathing of a knives - at his rear. The dithering has always been coupled with stammering, and a strong tendency to avoid eye contact when pressed to answer questions. These days the stammering seems more pronounced, the eyes evade a little more wildly. To me - admittedly just a lowly Canadian who sees the PM only in brief television clips - Paul Martin sometimes looks downright spooked.


Angry

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper should take the lead in the face of Paul Martin's dithering and announce with regret that until the matter is resolved, Gurmant Grewal is excluded from caucus. Mr. Harper needs to make the case that the Conservatives operate under different ethical rules than the Liberals. It's not a pleasant step to take, but then true leadership often requires making unpleasant choices.

Losing Grewal at least temporarily won't really hurt the Conservatives at all as he isn't an important MP or even a particularly impressive one and it's not likely that we are going to be having another major confidence vote any time soon and anyways Grewal has burned all his bridges in regard to the Libs.

Monte Solberg

Gee have you noticed that Ujjal Dosanjh has dropped the line that Gurmant Grewal wouldn't take no for an answer. Ujjal was suggesting that Gurmant came to the Libs begging to get on the good ship corruption and was turned down because he was looking for a position in exchange for his vote. That of course is illegal.

But if that's true then why didn't those highly ethical libs call the police?

Of course the line doesn't work very well now that we can hear Ujjal on tape talking about cabinet posts and Tim talking about that Liberal welcome mat covered in all that nice comfy fur, which was a crazy thing for Tim to say.

It was a crazy thing to say not because it suggested corruption (although it did), it was a crazy thing to say because it suggested the use of fur.

Tim should know by now that in Canada you can be perceived to be corrupt and the average Liberal voter will just shrug his shoulders. They seem to view corruption as just another lifestyle choice. But Tim you must never even joke about FUR! Yeesh man, what were you thinking?


More musings on whether Grewal should stay in Tory caucus

...Grewal also has a certain amount of accounting to do. As someone who's been active in politics in the Lower Mainland I can certainly attest to the fact that Mr. Grewal does not have the best reputation in the province. I don't know that he has broken any laws but he has failed to uphold the highest standards. Paul Martin has already had plenty of time to start cleaning out the Liberals and has failed to do much more than change some of the players. Stephen Harper must do better. It's time to consider if Gurmant Grewal belongs in the Conservative Party caucus.

Captain's Quarters

A senior Liberal MP wants the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, and Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh suspended from their posts until an investigation takes place into the growing scandal over the secretly taped negotiations between the two men and a Tory MP who was considering crossing the floor.

Sarnia MP Roger Gallaway says the situation is "totally odious" and "it shows the underbelly of politics that I think is quite unacceptable."

"[Conservative Leader Stephen Harper] will have to deal with [Tory MP Gurmant Grewal, who made the tapes], but we have to deal with our own," Mr. Gallaway said. "The use of the words 'Senate' and 'foreign posting,' even if no offer was made, is totally odious. There are several MPs who are remaining silent but who think Murphy and Dosanjh have crossed the threshold of acceptable political discourse."


The Liberals have been stabbing each other in the back for years and have managed to hang together and keep winning thus far, that said, they were never in as weak a position before either.

A brief history of lying

Source via Small Dead Animals

When Gurmant Grewal first notified the public that he had been offered a cabinet post, the liberal party, including the Prime Minister, denied that anyone had ever talked to Gurmant. When Gurmant said that he had been recorded his conversations with liberal party members, the Prime Minister changed his story and said that liberal party members were negotiating with Gurmant, but that Gurmant initiated the negotiations. Paul Martin added that at no time did he ever agree to meet with the Conservative MP.

However, the audio tapes clearly show that the chief of staff for Prime Minister Paul Martin said, “The Prime Minister is prepared to talk to you directly both by phone and in person.” During question period in the House of Commons Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper asked the Prime Minister why he said he was unwilling to meet with the Conservative MP when clearly he was.

Paul Martin answered by repeating his previous lie, that Gurmant initiated discussions with the liberal party. The Prime Minister also said that he gave specific instructions to senior party members that no offer could be given to entice a defection and at no time was the Prime Minister prepared to meet with the Conservative MP. Then Paul Martin ended his answer by saying, “obviously anyone would meet with somebody that was interested in crossing the floor.”

Stephen Harper then said, “The Prime Minister is shifting his story, because now he admits he did authorize his senior people to engage in discussions. Now yesterday in the House, I repeat, the Prime Minister said this, ‘at no time did I ever say that I would meet with the Honorable Member, yet his Health Minister is on tape saying, I talked to the Prime Minister moments ago. He will be happy to talk to you over the phone or in person. Why did the Prime Minister not tell the truth in the House of Commons?”

Paul Martin again changed his story by saying that he would not be willing to meet with the Conservative MP unless he joined the liberal party with no preconditions or offers from the liberals.

Stephen Harper pointed out this new story when he said, “Well this is another story, because the Prime Minister said he would never meet with him. Now he says he would meet with him under certain conditions. When the government was courting the member for Dauphin – Swan River (Inky Mark), the president of the treasury board said, ‘Only the Prime Minister has the authority to make an offer. Is not the reason the Prime Minister wanted to meet the Member from Newton – North Delta (Gurmant Grewal) is so that he could make him an offer, just as he did in several other cases that we are aware of?”

Treasury Board President Reg Alcock replied by saying, “The Prime Minister gave his chief of staff one instruction, not to make any offers and that was the case. The Prime Minister has been very clear about this.”

So the question remains, if the Prime Minister was so clear about not offering any deals to Gurmant Grewal for him to cross the floor and join the liberal party, why do the tapes reveal that this is exactly what happened?

When Gurmant talked to Sudesh Kalia, discussions were made about a senate seat. The transcripts also talk about a diplomatic position in India. They talked about procedure involving a hand shake to seal the deal, with a delivery on promises one to two months in the future. When Gurmant talked to Ujjal Dosanjh, the liberal Health Minister, the conversation involved an offer of a cabinet position, which could be arranged right away. A cabinet position is what former Conservative MP Belinda Stronach was given when she joined the liberal party. Scott Bryson, another former Conservative also sits in the liberal cabinet. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Tim Murphy, is also on tape coaching Gurmant Grewal in what to say to the media in the event he was to join the liberals. “Am I being offered anything? You say ‘NO’,” is what Mr. Murphy said.

Oh what tangled web Paul Martin is weaving, by lying, lying about his lies and telling more lies in the hope it all go away.


But the media seems to be buying each lie as it is offered, so I guess Paul will keep lying and hope that everyone just gets so confused that they'll assume that he must be telling the truth after all.

Guiliano to save hockey

He might want to find himself a new partner

I already posted on this here

Some people seem to think that Maurice Strong mightn't be the best person to partner up with, I can't imagine why

NY Daily News is reporting that they have given up on the plan according to Strong

R-Calf are not bright

The R-CALF complaint alleges that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to open the border to bone-in and other meats from Canada is “arbitrary (and) capricious” and “increases the risk of importing contaminated beef products from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States,” which will cause “irreparable harm” to cow or calf operators.

The US Agricultural Secratary has this to say:

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has characterized Leo McDonnell’s group as isolationists who are confused about their own message and who use lawsuits to push their agenda.

“When you look at Canada, you are looking at a multibillion-dollar issue,” McDonnell said later. “Our opposition certainly isn’t going to send flowers.”


R-Calf are short-sighted isolationists who are unable to see that they are killing their own industry.

Though I will comment that the Japanese are protective to the point of stupidity (and beyond) in regards to the supposed safety of their food.

Half of Canadians find homosexuality to be unnatural

I love the sub-heading: "Quebecers are more tolerant than most, according to poll" of course those who find it to be unnatural are intolerant ignorants.

"Results like these are the reason gay and lesbian organizations still have work to do," said Christopher DiRaddo, a spokesperson for Divers Cite, the organizer of Montreal's annual Gay Pride week and parade.

"People ask us if we really need to stage a parade anymore, and with these answers, obviously we still do," DiRaddo said.


The parade is a useless display of excess that does nothing to advance their cause and only serves to mock and anger those who oppose to the gay lifestyle. They damage a lot of their arguments by going out parading half naked and celebrating what religious people find to be immoral behaviour, I think that if they really want to advance their cause they should find a better less blatantly provocative way to go about doing so.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Conservatives say it was a technical glitch

Liberals given a free ride

They've been altered!

On CBC this evening they were reporting about how they had a forensic audio expert listen to a copy of the Grewal tapes and his conclusion was that they might possibly have been altered but it couldn't be proven. The exact phrase I believe was that it was "inconclusive at best", however, the CBC reported it as though the tapes had been altered, or at least headlined the story that way. What the Liberals are doing is first denying that an offer was made, going on the offensive by saying the tapes have been altered, and third having people not directly connected to the affair suggest that such trades are just how minority parliaments work and nothing to be excited about at all.

Now, I don't know whether or not the tapes are complete and unedited, but I would think that Grewal and the Conservatives would have to be complete morons to have done so, so assuming that they are not edited they should allow a third party expert listen to the originals and verify the accuracy. However, even if they do this, the Liberals have successfully managed to implant the idea into a certain number of peoples minds that the tapes have been altered, and furthermore, have managed to twist it into it all being Grewal just trying to weasel a cabinet post and how he wouldn't take no for an answer. Sadly, I think that the Liberals aren't really going to be all the affected by this mess, but democracy in Canada has taken another blow as voter cynicism and apathy will increase even more as Canadians look at the Liberals (with Grewal's assistance) confirm the worst of the publics widely held beliefs about politicians.

"They are all crooks so let's go with the ones with the most experience at thieving us"

"They all look bad

Captain's Quartershere and here

I'm not an audio expert, but I do work with audio files as part of my job. The zero-signal artifact could mean that an audio sample has been cut or erased, as Pausak states. However, on voice-activated recording equipment, which one frequently finds in telephone recording systems, zero-signal artifacts are common. They occur when the voice levels drop so low as to deactivate the recording, and then the machine senses the someone speaking again. It's the bane of investigators everywhere, precisely because it makes the sound on the audio appear artificially choppy. It's one reason I switched to a system that sensed an off-hook condition for automatic recording instead of the voice activation system.

I would suspect that such a short dead-air space indicates the equipment had trouble sensing the voice rather than any foul play. Of course, other artifacts may be found that drive investigators to another conclusion, but if that's all they find unusual about these tapes, it doesn't sound like much of a problem to me.


Stephen Taylor's thoughts here

What the Liberals would do

Andrew Coyne here and here

Kate on Karla Homolka

However, I do have a question for you all - without diminishing the horrific nature of her crimes and the evidence that she's a true psychopath - just what about Karla Homolka's release merits more concern for the public than any number of other cold-blooded, casual murderers who are released without fanfare on any other given day?

Other than the breathless publicity the case received - the innumerable replays of the wedding video clip. Happy, shiney, blonde evil.

Would we even have heard her name had she been born at White Bear First Nation, and committed her crimes in an alley behind 20th Street in Saskatoon? How many reporters from the Toronto Star and CBC and CTV would be covering that story?


Though most of her commenters seem to disagree, I have to side with her on this one. For that matter, what if Bernardo had killed a few transients or immigrant girls or something of that ilk? Look at how many people Pickton killed and he's still caused less of a reaction the Homolka and Bernardo did.

Also my thoughts on Norma Jean Mooswa being transferred to a healing lodge here

Kill six people go to a luxory resort-er sorry, a "healing lodge"

Also on the radio was a news story of a Saskatchewan woman who while driving drunk last year killed six people, she was sentenced to ten years in jail but now, after serving just four months, she has been transferred to a "Healing Lodge" to deal with her problems and allow for personal and spiritual healing or some such b.s.

This is another example of how society seems to be turning everyone into the victim, rather then her taking responsibility for her own actions, she is being allowed to blame her own circumstances and personal problems for what happened. Maybe she has a drinking problem, maybe she needs it dealt with, but that does not excuse her for what she did. No matter what reason there was behind why she was driving drunk that night, she was still driving drunk and she has to face full responsibility for that fact.

On Gormley this morning he was once more saying about how the Grewall tapes are just an example of how the Liberals do business and no one should be surprised and he doesn't see what anyone is so upset about them for. I agree that we shouldn't be surprised, but just because that is the way the Liberals do business and everyone has always known this doesn't mean that we shouldn't be upset and that we shouldn't protest the way that they do business, to me, the tapes are a perfect example of Liberal politics at work.

Though from how incredibly carefully they managed to guard their words it's almost as if they knew that they were being recorded.

Rival hockey league?

Possible new hockey league

See: WHA

Though in theory a rival league could be a good thing, the WHA did benefit hockey overall even though it failed, but I suspect that another hockey would fail, but perhaps it might increase the awareness of hockey in the U.S. or something which would be a benefit to hockey overall, or maybe actually come up with rule changes that are intelligent not moronic things like bigger nets.

Oil -for-food + Mob-buster = New Hockey league?

More on Grewel tapes

No criminal investigation yet

Though some nice subtle bias here, "Why won't the prime minister admit he's engaged in a sordid deal-making practice," yelled Conservative Deputy Leader Peter MacKay.

"I made it very clear that I would not meet with the honourable member unless it was under conditions he would cross the floor, with no requests being accepted, no offers being made," Martin responded.


By slipping that yelled in there they nicely infer that it is the Conservatives spoiling the supposed decorem of the House while Martin is making nice reasoned "responses"

Why we can't shrug off Grewel tapes

Though I will say that despite it being against Canadian law I think most people will agree that it has been done for years, likely since Confederation, if you look at people who cross the floor most likely received at least temporary benefits from it, though it is generally a bad long term career move.


How low can the Liberals go?

Yesterday, Martin acknowledged that he was in the loop in all this

Calgary grit on the 'proper' translation

Brock: "Maybe there is something to be said for this moral decay in our society"

In the game of partisan politics, there is certainly a game being played; a game that has been played masterfully by the Liberal party for decades. The Grewal affair brings light to aspects of that game, which in reality, should already be self-evident truths: the liberals are tired, directionless and corrupt.

If Grewal was actively trying to architect the entrapment of Liberals, then he was doing something which does not meet my moral standards of conduct, in politics or in life. I severely hope my gut feeling is wrong.

The most striking aspect of this – for any neutral observer – will be that indeed, these things are held as self-evident truths, to which no higher standard is expected or aspired to by the electorate.

I’m certainly no theologian, and I’m well-known to be atheist, but maybe there is something to be said for this moral decay in our society. Perhaps it’s not the Liberals who are corrupt after all. No, maybe the person we’re looking for is standing right in front of the mirror.


Monte Solberg

After hearing those tapes we might be tempted to conclude that politics is a very bad thing. We might become bitter and then inflict our ugly cynicism on our friends down at Tim Horton's. It is very tempting to do that. I myself have dabbled in it. But that is something that friends should never do to friends.

To do that would be more than a mistake, it would be a crime against democracy. It would be a total surrender to the tawdry status quo.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Liberal wait for the budget strategy

I don't know that it will still work, though they are still using it, simply because I don't think that most Canadians really understand how the Parlimentary system works, and thus in their minds, the budget was passed already, and they have moved on and are no longer thinking about it. The fact is, most of the money was back-loaded anyways so it isn't really like most people are actually going to see any of the money this year whether the budget is passed or not.

Conservatives are getting down in the grit, from Stephen Taylor

A recent unscientific poll on the CTV website asks whether the Liberals, Conservatives or both appear in an unflattering light given the Grewal incident. While most pick the Liberals, "both" comes in just behind, and a few pick the Conservatives. While those who picked "Conservative" likely represent partisan Liberals (or the generally unaware), those that picked "both" show that the Conservatives are spending electoral capital on this scandal. Hopefully, for Conservatives, when the dust settles, the balance of the diminished electoral support will favour our party. I advise that it certainly will not unless we bolster the negative campaign with our positive plan for Canadians.

I think that they always realized that it would come out that way, that's why they aren't really pressing as hard as they can on it, though perhaps if they attacked more vigorously they would improve the impression that they are making, but I somewhat doubt it to be honest.

Jay Hill blaming Liberals for lack of civility in the House

Obviously partisan as it is off the Conservative Party website, but still he makes very valid points and I think that for the most part he is right, though he ignores some minor details from a few of the examples that he named that might have portrayed the Conservatives in a slightly less favorable light.