Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Same sex Marriage Bill Passes Commons

After using sharp parliamentary maneuvers last week to force an extra-ordinary summer sitting of parliament and then repeating the maneuver late last night to shut down opposition debate on the same-sex marriage bill, the Liberal government got what it wanted.

Tonight late last the House of Commons passed the same-sex marriage bill. It now goes to the Senate for passage, after which it will receive Royal Assent and be proclaimed as the law of the land. We will be the third country in the world to do so.

Only the Conservative Party of Canada allowed its members a truly free vote on this bill. The NDP and BLOC Quebecois whipped their members en mass and the Liberals required Cabinet ministers to vote for it. About a quarter of the liberal caucus (backbenchers all) were expected to vote against it. I haven't seen the tally yet, so I don't know who voted how. The prime minister, of course, made some typically banal and silly comments.

"(This) is about the Charter of Rights,'' Prime Minister Paul Martin said earlier Tuesday.

"We are a nation of minorities. And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights.

"A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about."

How do we know it is a right? Because the unelected and unaccountable judiciary decided that gay rights were protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Don't go looking for the wording in the Charter. Parliament expressed its will on the matter when they crafted and voted on the document in 1983. They made a conscious decision to exclude these "rights" from the Charter. Not deterred by this awkward point, the Supremes demonstrated their supremacy by "reading in" gay rights to the Charter anyway in the late 1990's.

The next step was a legal cakewalk. Having watched the Supreme Court unilaterally impose gay rights on the Charter against the will of parliament, the lower courts of the land set about striking down the ancient common law definition of marriage on the on the basis of the newly minted "read in" rights.

After that Paul Martin understood his destiny. He must abandon his Catholic faith in order to give legislative sanction to this judicially created right. "A right is a right" after all, even when it is a brand spanking new model created from nothing in an act of unparalleled judicial arrogance. How could mere parliamentarians oppose such a constitutional right?

Well, by using their constitutional authority to invoke the "notwithstanding" clause of the Charter, that's how. The clause was the safeguard given to us by the Charter framers to ensure that parliament, not the courts had the final say. Letting the elected representatives have the ultimate say is called democracy. (Okay, representative democracy, but why quibble.)

But Mister Martin said he would never ever invoke the notwithstanding clause to deny rights. What right? The one created by the judges. But the clause is in the Charter for these very circumstances, oui? My head hurts. For a second I thought I had vertigo because I saw everything spinning, but I just realize it is only Mr. Martin's circular argument in action.

I know the he sees himself as a champion of the underdog, but when I close my eyes I see him as an apostate bootlick of the courts. You may say that as a Catholic I ought not to judge another Catholic's faithfulness in so harsh a manner; that he may in fact be the deeply devout man as he says he is.

Fine. I recognize my lack of authority to pronounce sentence on him on matters of faith and morals. I accept he may not be an apostate. But, Great Caesar's ghost, he sure acts like one. As for the charge of judicial bootlick; that one stands. I'm also a citizen and any citizen worth beans can spot a bootlick from a mile away.

The justice minister reacted strongly to Stephen Harper's comment that the matter is not dead and will be revisited if he forms a government.
Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said Harper is going to have to come clean and acknowledge that he would have to invoke the constitutional notwithstanding clause to override the new law.

"They're going to have to acknowledge that they want to override the (Charter of Rights); override constitutional-law decisions in nine jurisdictions in this country; override a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada; override the rule of law in this country," Cotler said.
Override the rule of law!!! Irwin Cotler is clearly not a bootlick. He is a liar. The notwithstanding clause is a legitimate component of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By invoking it, one does not override the Charter, just a specific interpretation of it.

And the Supreme Court of Canada refused to answer the government's referred question whether the current common law definition is constitutional; a refusal which itself breached the court's enabling legislation, by the way. How you ask does the Supreme Court of Canada get away with breaking the law they are sworn and paid to uphold? Well, they run the joint, with the help of guys like Irwin Cotler. (Why do I see a Supreme Court appointment in his future?)

Good night.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Something Dreadful is Afoot

Something dreadful is afoot in the Great White North. Massive numbers of Canadians are giving up on this nation, filled with utter despair that their countrymen and women are not prepared to live as citizens, with all the awful and proud responsibility that word implies.

Rather, all about us we see the hegemony of the cynical political, economic and judicial oligarchy that is rapidly returning us to the dark pre-Confederation days of the Family Compact. The Oligarchs are everywhere victorious in the land because we are a passive electorate, which is both blind to and enabling of, the selfish designs of the Oligarchs.

That so many have recently plunged past the cusp of what bloggers are calling the "tipping point" is distressing in the extreme to me. It ought to be for you too, if you love this country. More thoughtful and loyal Canadians are reaching the tipping point with every passing day and I cannot gainsay them with argument, for the best arguments right now are with those who despair.

We Canadians are rapidly abandoning the verdant constitutional valley of Responsible Government and are embracing something socially sterile and politically arid. You may recall your youthful civics classes in which Responsible Government was our touchstone to a nationhood of a free and prosperous people. It is that no longer. Our elites no longer hold themselves responsibile for their actions and we the people refuse to hold them to account.

Read David Warren's June 26th "Letter to Quebec." Here is a taste:

I am speaking to you from a province that truly doesn't get it. We don't get that you've had enough. We don't get the degree to which you are tired, not only of the corruption, but of the sheer malice of the Liberal Party. They are getting about equally tired in the West. And according to the polls, we, in Ontario, have decided the Liberal Party must stay, for reasons of "national unity."

In other words, the Liberals have become the separatist party of Ontario. In other words, the Liberals have set things up with Ontario, so the only way to shake them off is by leaving the country. Canada's most talented people do that every day; now it becomes the turn of the provinces.
After reading that go read his May 29th article "Oh Canada" in which he says this.

A week ago Saturday I concluded, after a fortnight's disgrace in our House of Commons, that, "The dignity and decency of Canadian life had been leeching away, for so long, that we are now past writing any 'lament for a nation'. The Canada of which I was once so proud now sleeps with the worms."

As I said, it is pointless to continue bemoaning something that is simply lost. Even a mother chimp will abandon the threadbare remains of her deceased babe, after dragging it around for a bit.
To a great degree our nation is the sum of our collective aspirations. What happens then when good, thoughtful and loyal citizens such as David Warren, in their thousands and tens of thousands, give up and cease to aspire?

I am not personally at the tipping point, for as a Catholic I am man of faith and not given easily to despair and my chosen vocation in life is public service. But my Canadian heart is sick at what I see unfolding in my country and the sirens of the tipping point are calling to my soul.

Polls and Attitude

There is so much about which to blog and so little time to post. Here is one item.

Last Friday CTV News reported that the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey called the Pew Global Attitudes Project. According to this survey a significant number of Canadians have once again demonstrated that they have an attitude as big as the globe when it comes to our American friends and neighbours.

According to the Pew poll, 59% of Canucks currently possess a favourable view of Americans, down from 72% in 2002. While a healthy majority of Canadians retain a positive and friendly view of the Yanks it seems that this number is dropping. Those with a negative view of Americans see them as "rude, greedy and violent."

It must be all those American elected officials calling Canadian bastards and stomping on dolls of the Canadian Prime Minister on the US TV networks that has made us upset up here. You?d never see a public figure acting such a rude way in the Great White North. We are a polite people.

Mind you, it is true that Americans are a violent people. It was not always so. Americans did not go to war when:
  • their diplomatic personnel were held hostage by Islamic extremists;
  • their embassies around the world were repeatedly bombed by Islamic terrorists;
  • their soldiers stationed abroad were bombed in their military barracks by Islamic radicals;
  • their warships were attacked in foreign ports by peace loving Islamic al Qaida-ists; and
  • their largest building was bombed by Islamic jihadists.

None of the above drove this "violent" people to war. True, President Clinton tossed a few cruise missiles at a Sudanese asprin factory to show displeasure, but there was no real retaliation of any significance. It was not until Islamic bin Ladinites flew the friendly skies of United into the sides of the World Trade Centre towers in the most unfriendly attack since Pearl Harbor that the US government and people went to war in a big way.

They remain at war today in a quest to get Muslims to stop attacking them. They are in for a long bitter battle I am afraid, and may God be at the side of their fighting troops. Unlike so many critics of the Americans, God is not a moral relativist, can distinguish between good and evil, and has been known to weigh in from time-to-time with a smite or two on the side of the good. Curiously, Americans have a more negative view of themselves than we do in the categories of greed and immorality.

Seventy per cent of Americans view themselves as greedy, which is higher than any other country surveyed. And while 34 per cent of Canadians see Americans as immoral, 39 per cent of Americans also see themselves the same way.

One may conclude from this that Americans just have higher standards than we do.

There is so much about which to blog and so little time to post. Here is one item.
Last Friday CTV News reported that the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey called the Pew Global Attitudes Project. According to this survey a significant number of Canadians have once again demonstrated that they have an attitude as big as the globe when it comes to our American friends and neighbours.

According to the Pew poll, 59% of Canucks currently possess a favourable view of Americans, down from 72% in 2002. While a healthy majority of Canadians retain a positive and friendly view of the Yanks it seems that this number is dropping. Those with a negative view of Americans see them as "rude, greedy and violent."

It must be all those American elected officials calling Canadian bastards and stomping on dolls of the Canadian Prime Minister on the US TV networks that has made us upset up here. You?d never see a public figure acting such a rude way in the Great White North. We are a polite people.

Mind you, it is true that Americans are a violent people. It was not always so. Americans did not go to war when their:
  • diplomatic personnel were held hostage by Islamic extremists;
  • embassies around the world were repeatedly bombed by Islamic terrorists;
  • soldiers stationed abroad were bombed in their military barracks by Islamic radicals;
  • warships were attacked in foreign ports by peace loving Islamic al Qaida-ists; and
  • largest building in America was bombed by Islamic jihadists.

None of the above drove this "violent" people to war. True, President Clinton tossed a few cruise missiles at a Sudanese asprin factory to show displeasure, but there was no real retaliation of any significance. It was not until Islamic bin Ladinites flew the friendly skies of United into the sides of the World Trade Centre towers in the most unfriendly attack since Pearl Harbor that the US government and people went to war in a big way.

They remain at war today in a quest to get Muslims to stop attacking them. They are in for a long bitter battle I am afraid, and may God be at the side of their fighting troops. God, in my experience, is not a moral relativist, can distinguish between good and evil, and has been known to weigh in from time-to-time with a smite or two on the side of the good.

Curiously, Americans have a more negative view of themselves than we do in the categories of greed and immorality.

Seventy per cent of Americans view themselves as greedy, which is higher than any other country surveyed. And while 34 per cent of Canadians see Americans as immoral, 39 per cent of Americans also see themselves the same way.

One may conclude from this that Americans just have higher standards than we do.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Dragon Dons New Robes

Hat tip to Neale News for this story from Bill Gertz of the Washington Times.

China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack. China's military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan. .....

..... China's economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country's military with the needed funds for modernization. The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state.

"We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production," a senior defense official said. For Pentagon officials, alarm bells have been going off for the past two years as China's military began rapidly building and buying new troop- and weapon-carrying ships and submarines.

I have been concerned for some time that the Chinese oligarchs are transforming China from a Maoist to a fascist state. With Marxist-Leninism-Maoism being thoroughly discredited because of its manifest economic and social failures, turning to fascism enables the old communist oligarchy to maintain its grip on power. They can mobilize the productive capacity of capitalism without worrying about the tempering effects of democracy on their actions. We have much to concerned about in these developments.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Autopsy

The main stream media has reported on the autopsy recently completed on Terri Schiavo and given the clear message that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state, that her brain was shrunken to a fraction of a normal sized brain, that she was blind and unable to swallow on her own. It has been taken as proof that it was right and just to remove her feeding tube thus causing her to die of starvation and thirst. This is an example from MSNBC News.
George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, said his client "was pleased to hear the hard science and evidence of those findings." "It?s a hard fact, it?s a scientific fact that Terri Schiavo was blind," Felos said. He said
Michael Schiavo plans to release autopsy photographs of her shrunken brain in the near future.

He said that after her feeding tube was removed, she would not have been able to eat or drink if she had been given food by mouth, as her parents requested. "Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not," Thogmartin told reporters. He also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead," and that her brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days following the feeding tube?s removal.
There is a countervailing opinion on that autopsy, however, from a reputable physician with ample experience in the field.
June 19, 2005
Physician Who Examined Schiavo for Over 10 Hours--Critical of Autopsy Report

CLEARWATER, Fl., June 19 /Christian Wire Service/ -- Dr. William Hammesfahr, nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work in Medicine, has been recognized by agents for Medicare, the federal government, and others for new approaches to helping the brain injured.

Dr. Hammesfahr has been identified in helping patients with chronic brain injuries from many causes actually leave long term disability, and return to work. Dr. Hammesfahr, was identified by Judge Susan Kirkland, for the State of Florida Department of Health, in her judicial ruling in which, for the State of Florida, Department of Health, found that he was "the first physician to restore deficits caused by stroke."

Dr. Hammesfahr has released the following statement in response to the autopsy report on Terri Schindler Schiavo:

We have seen a lot on the autopsy of Terri Schindler Schiavo in recent days, that I feel needs to be addressed. To ignore these comments will allow future "Terri Schiavo's" to die needlessly after the wishes of clinicians and family are ignored.

Considering that there were so many physicians and therapists who were willing to step forward to treat Terri Schiavo, from university based practitioners to those in private practice, it clearly shows that the mainstream medical community across the board, those involved in treating patients, knew that they could help Terri.

The record must be set straight. As we noted in the press, there was no heart attack, or evident reason for this to have happened (and certainly not of Terri's making).

Unlike the constant drumbeat from the husband, his attorneys, and his doctors, the brain tissue was not dissolved, with a head of just spinal fluid. In fact, large areas were "relatively preserved."

The purpose of the therapies offered by so many, from major universities, brain injury centers, and from private practice physicians, is to improve and restore quality of life, and function, which the mainstream medical community clearly tried to get to her.

I have had a chance to look at Dr. Nelson's analysis of the brain tissue, and essentially, as a clinician, these are my thoughts.

The autopsy results confirmed my opinion and Dr. Maxfield's opinions, that the frontal areas of the brains, the areas that deal with awareness and cognition were relatively intact. To use Dr. Nelson's words, "relatively preserved." In fact, the relay areas from the frontal and front temporal regions of the brain, to the spinal cord and the brain stem, by way of the basal ganglia, were preserved, thus the evident responses which she was able to express to her family and to the clinicians seeing her or viewing her videotape. The Spect scan confirmed these areas were functional and not scar tissue, and that was apparently also confirmed on Dr. Nelson's review of the slides. Dr. Maxfield's estimates of retained brain weight were apparently accurate, although there may have been some loss of brain weight due to the last two weeks of dehydration.

Dr. Maxfield and myself both emphasized that she was a woman trapped in her body, similar to a child with cerebral palsy, and that was born out by the autopsy, showing greater injury in the motor and visual centers of the brain. Obviously, the pathologists comments that she could not see were not borne out by reality, and thus his assessment must represent sampling error. The videotapes clearly showed her seeing, and even Dr. Cranfoed, for the husband, commented to her that, when she could see the balloon, she could follow it with her eyes as per his request.

That she could not swallow was obviously not borne out by the reality that she was swallowing her saliva, about 1.5 liters per day of liquid, and the clinical swallowing tests done by Dr. Young and Dr. Carpenter. Thus, there appears to be some limitations to the clinical accuracy of an autopsy in evaluating function.

With respect to the issue of trauma, that certainly does not appear to be answered adequately. Some of the types of trauma that are suspected were not adequately evaluated in this assessment. Interestingly, both myself and at least one neurologist for the husband testified to the presence of neck injuries. The issue of a forensic evaluation for trauma, is highly specialized. Hence the wish of the family to have observers which was refused by the examiner.

Ultimately, based on the clinical evidence and the autopsy results, an aware woman was killed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dick Durban of Illinois

I've been asked by Kermit, of Bubba's Bog, to comment on the statements of Senator Dick Durban, (Democrat - Illinois) in which he compared the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Gulag, and the the Kymer Rouge killing fields. Kermit says, "The fools have surrounded the bog and I cannot escape."

I'm always willing to lend a hand to our American allies. I've been following the controversy to some extent, of course, but have been too overwhelmed by domestic Canadian politcal BS to spend much thought on madness taking place south of the border. Nevertheless, when a NATO ally asks for help John the Mad helps.

According to
Mark Leibovich, Washington Post Staff Writer,

Durbin's saga began June 14 on the Senate floor when he read from an FBI memo that described the ordeal of a prisoner at Guantanamo who was allegedly chained to the floor, forced to listen to loud rap music and subjected to extreme heat and bitter cold, among other unpleasantness. Durbin said: "If I read this to you and did not tell you it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."
Last heard the aptly named senator from Illinois issued an apology of sorts.

After issuing a statement of "regret" on Friday, the Illinois Democrat came to the Senate floor yesterday to apologize in person. "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," Durbin said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies." Durbin also apologized to any soldiers who took offense at his remarks. "They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them," he said.
One has to wonder at latter statement. Just who does Senator Durban think handles those Gitmo prisoners anyway? If they aren't the equivalent of Nazi death camp guards, or Pol Pot genocidal ideologs, who did he mean is? You know dear reader, you know.

It is now clear as mud to anyone familiar with such things that the art of the non-apology apology is common to both North American liberal political elites. Note the Senator's wording. "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," and not, "I crossed the line and I'm sorry." You see, it takes cojones and a moral compass to admit an error and apologize. Senator Durbin, however, has replaced his moral compass with a political windsock. The moral compass points consistently in one direction to the truth; the windsock is full of wind and points in any and all directions as the climate around it changes. No doubt about it, the Senator from Illinois is a windsock.

Now I take no position on Senator Durbin's testicular status, for I am a gentleman and a Canadian. A gentleman is indifferent to such matters. Canucks on the other hand may, or may not, be obsessed by testicals but we are far too polite to ask and too discreet to comment. (Liberal members of parliament excepted.)

Americans, on the other hand, are not always so polite. They sometimes view cojones as targets of opportunity. I recall the lyrics to a song written and sung some years ago by Kermit's Lone Star State compatriot and songwriter, Gerry Jeff Walker. I paraphrase. "I believe in being gentle to politicians, but sometimes you've got to get their attention and give them a drop kick to the crotch." If that is your chosen course of action, it is wise to know the target's testicular state. As that old military adage goes, "Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted."

Of course with the Senator it is not really a question of his cojones, but of his mouth. He accused the US administration and members of the United States Armed Forces of running respectively a death camp, a gulag archipelago, and a killing field in Gitmo. This is hyperbole run amok in a most offensive and harmful way. It is not as though his comments were confined to the 50 American states to be debated at Uncle Fred's barber shop in Guacomoli Ohio, or at the next Democratic party communion breakfast scheduled for 2023 AD. His comments will be seized upon by every Wahabbist radical Islamic scholar in the Middle East ( I know that is a tautology). The "America is the Great Satan" school of religious love and tolerance will adore the comments of the appropriately named Dick Durbin. You can count on it. So how should you respond?

Now you, dear reader, know that members of the United States Armed Forces, (at least those not presently tasked with donning white gloves in order to not defile the Koran when distributng it to Islamic jihadists in detention in Gitmo) are engaged in mortal combat with the Muslim terrorists sworn to kill them and destroy the American nation. Senator Durbin gave aid and comfort to these sworn enemies of his country (and mine). He ought to be ashamed of himself, but he isn't. Those possessing a windsock for a conscience lack the capacity for shame.

In such circumstances there really is only one appropriate response to his transgression. Put into action the philosophy of Jerry Jeff Walker and kick Senator Durban where it hurts. With his ilk that does not mean a drop kick to the crotch, but a swift kick to this Quisling's re-election bid. Go get him. I'll be drinking a Guinness north of the border and cheering you on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Dog Days of Summer Are Here

I am a rather discouraged blogger this first day of summer. For a while there reality was more weird than even my somewhat fevered imagination. Accordingly, all I had to do to write a scintillating post was to peruse daily developments at the Gomery Commission into Liberal malfeasance, or tune in to fellow Red Ensign bloggers to find out about exploding toads in Germany, which is not to be confused with Germans exploding Frogs, which is a different matter related to a German pastime during last century. But I digress.

The last few weeks have been relatively quiet. Disturbingly so.

Prime Minister Martin is strongly suggesting that he may keep parliament sitting through the dog days of summer in order to push through the same-sex marriage bill. This is a tactical move designed by the Liberals to take advantage of the very weakened political position in which the Conservative leader Stephen Harper finds himself as a result of testimony before the Gomery Commission sponsorship scandal pertaining to massive Liberal fiscal mismanagement and fraud, including reports of the mob (the Sicilian variety, not the rabble in the streets variety) running the Liberal party in Quebec, or is that running Quebec for the Liberal party.
It is so confusing.

Because it is so confusing, if you are a Canadian reading this, I know you are probably going to vote Liberal in the next federal election because Stephen Harper is scary and has a HIDDEN AGENDA. That is simple. If you not a Canadian and are puzzled by the above statements I really cannot help you out by making sense of it for you. You must simply accept what I say on faith. I understand that in many countries faith is still allowed. Unlike me, you may be lucky enough to reside in one of them.

Okay, that latter bit was a bit of hyperbole. Our prime minister is a devout Catholic. Don't ask me for proof, ask him. He will tell you it is so and if he forgets, his flacks will ensure compliant main stream media reporters will slip his Catholic devoutness into news stories on a regular basis. Do I actually have faith in his faith? Well, as a Catholic myself, I am reluctant to judge anyone's piety level.

I will say this. In my experience, devout co-religious would allow themselves to be torn asunder before describing themselves as devout. It would be the spiritual equivalent of taking on airs and no one in my Catholic circle tolerates spiritual snobs. The one thing you may not do in the Catholic Church is describe yourself as being in the least bit holy. I know fine Presbyterians who would say there is a good reason for this.

Frankly, I just wish Paul Martin was less devout and more faithful. Yes, I know we Catholics do go on about Dogma. Not Paul Martin though. He is the sort of man who has made it be known he never lets Dogma stand in the way of his political responsibilities. Not for him any reliance on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He takes the broader view, as infallibly defined by the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada.

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that for a Catholic the one thing the road to Hell could never be paved with is good intentions. I know my Presbyterian friends who are reading this are nodding their heads in solemn agreement, ... about Papists believing that I mean, not about it being true. At any rate our prime minister had better pray that Chesterton has more insight than the Presbyterians about the road to Hell, or he'll be in a very awkward spot one day. A person may well be able to buy their way into the Liberal cabinet, but there's no way you can buy your way into Heaven. At least, there isn't since Martin Luther put the old kibosh on the selling of indulgences in the sixteenth century.

Not that Mr. Martin would be opposed to the buying and selling of indulgences on principle. His principles appear remarkably flexible and as a service indulgence selling would be subject to the federal goods and services tax. And we know how Liberals lust for taxes, don't we.

The fact is that Canadians and Swedes stand together against all the nations of the world in believing that taxes are a virtue and not a damnable vice. It is the source of our northern attitude of moral superiority. I know, given all that I've written above, that this latter fact is just too weird for most of you accept right now, so we'll leave that odd story for another day.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day 2005

It is Fathers Day and the weather is perfect and life is good. I am a truly blessed man. I have a great wife and two great sons. They love me and I love them.

I now have a great apron and chef's hat to don when grilling on my new manly BBQ. My eldest son, Liam the Mad, took a photo and said with a grin, "Now I have proof that my dad is a goof." Lady Mad thought that line was hilarious. Indeed, it was.

Brendan the Mad and Liam both gave me hand-crafted Father's Day cards. Brendan's card opened up to reveal a picture of large furry bear with the caption that I was deserving of a big bear hug. The "fur" on the bear was made of glued on pencil shavings. He told me his grade one teacher saved the pencil shavings all year so they could make the cards. Now that is dedication. "I must admit it looks realistic," I said. Everywhere in this city dads are admiring pencil shaving fur bears. Trust me.

Liam's card had a poem he wrote for me. I'd post it, but I am told it is personal and is not to be revealed under pain of some mysterious plague infesting my arm pits. As I hate plague-ridden arm pits I shall comply with his wishes. Liam also made me lunch and mowed and whipper snipped the lawn, while Brendan and I played frisbee.

Of course, I cooked hamburgers for dinner on my new manly BBQ with its cast iron grills while giving the neighbours proof that this dad is a goof. I loved it, although Liam is recommending strongly that I not wear the outfit when his friends are over. I told him I would as that was the very best time to wear it. Lady Mad said she couldn't wait.

This is a good as it gets folks. Thank you Lord.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Book Tagged

Gadzooks Batman. I just checked out Paul Cella's fine blog, Cella's Review only to discover that I've been tagged in the great book tag parlour game of 2005. Well, on with it:

1. Number of Books I own: Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1,500, give or take a hundred or so. My basement recreation room is walled with books. Like Paul, I am a regular library hound.
2. Last book I bought: Last week I purchased David Cannadine's, "In Churchill's Shadow" and Philip Zeigler's, "Soldiers." The former I have yet to crack. I am part way through the latter and it is a wonderful collection of short biographies of British military pensioners living at the Royal Chelsea Hospital.
3. Last Book I read: Margaret MacMillan's very well written history of the Paris Peace Conference that led to the Treaty of Versailles, "Paris 1919, Six months that changed the world." Excellent!
4. Five Books that mean a lot to me: (Good Lord, only five?):
  • John Henry Cardinal Newman's "Apologia Pro Vita Sua." Newman's writing is superlative, his intellect is outstanding and his character is that of a saint. His journey from Anglican priest at Oxford to Catholic Cardinal is fascinating, inspiring and compelling.
  • G.K. Chesterton's, "The Dumb Ox," Chesterton's marvellous biography of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Pick any Chesterton book and enjoy.
  • Murray Peden's, "A Thousand Shall Fall" the autobiographical story of his experiences as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force Bomber Command during WWII. Wonderful!
  • Winston Churchill's six volume "The Second World War." What a writer! What a statesman!
  • Evelyn Waugh .... pick any one .... okay.... "Brideshead Revisited."
  • Mordechai Richler's "Barney's Version," Timothy Findlay's "The Wars," C.S. Lewis "The Screwtape Letters," George MacDonald Fraser's "Flashman" series - WARNING - WARNING - Your allotment of five books has been exceeded. Cease and desist enumerating immediately!
5. Tag Five More Bloggers (see my sidebar):
  • Kermit of Bubba's Bog
  • Bob of Either Orr
  • Damian Brooks of Babbling Brooks
  • I'll add more tomorrow. I'm very tired. Good night. Yawn.

Gurmant Grewal Cleared Again

I've been out of town on Her Canadian Majesty's business for a number of days. I get back to see this from Yahoo News:

Fri Jun 17,11:04 AM ET

OTTAWA (CP) - The RCMP and federal transport regulators have cleared Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal of any wrongdoing in an incident at Vancouver International Airport.

Grewal tried on June 4 to get other passengers in a waiting area of the airport to carry a package for him to Ottawa.

But the RCMP say there was nothing criminal about the Newton-North Delta MP's actions. RCMP Cpl. Dave Williams says the Mounties never launched
a full-scale investigation. That's because Grewal had already cleared airport
security before his actions drew attention.

"It was a safety concern for the airline, but once everybody goes through security - and he was on the secure side - you can exchange packages as long as everybody knows what's in the package.

"If we found out that it had come in from a non-secure method, we may have been involved," Williams said in an interview from Richmond, B.C. "But we had no evidence to even suggest that."

Transport Canada has also cleared Grewal.

In a letter to the MP dated June 13, the agency's manager of security operations says Grewal did not contravene the Aeronautics Act.

Well, well, well. My last post noted that the only real expert (as opposed to the Globe & Mail's front page news mail order "expert") to review the originals of the infamous "doctored" tapes said they weren't. The originals were clean and undoctored. Not fiddled with. Pristine. Accurate. Real. Authentic.

Next to no main line media coverage.

Now this latest story above clears Mr. Grewal from accusations of wrongdoing at the airport. I await the rush of apologies from his accusers and front page treatment of his exoneration in the media. Come on now. Don't be shy. Step up and admit you were wrong. Hello, I can't hear you?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Grewal Tapes Clean and Unaltered

Jason Kenney, MP
Opposition Deputy House Leader
Calgary Southeast

June 9, 2005

News Release

Original Murphy/Dosanjh recordings clean and unaltered: expert

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.

"Mr. Dash's analysis of the recordings shows that they are clean and unaltered," Kenney said. "These recordings speak for themselves. Now, it's time for Paul Martin, Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy to begin answering the questions about their involvement in offering rewards to members of parliament in exchange for their votes. To this day, there has been no information produced by any of these individuals to dispute the facts on these recordings."

Kenney pointed out that Mr. Dash, a professional audio engineer specializing in post-production work, is the only expert thus far to have examined copies of the original recordings, and invited others to do the same.

"There has been a lot of conjecture about the authenticity of the recordings," Kenney said. "None of this speculation is based upon fact, and would indicate that those speculating have not taken the time to listen to or examine the entire recordings, which are publicly available."


Note: Bolding is mine. Hat tip to Neale News - JtM

North Pole Emigrates

From the Edmonton Journal via Neale News comes this story.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Nathan VanderKlippe

YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. - Sometime in the last year, a longtime friend turned its back on Canada and was last spotted heading for Siberia. For centuries, the magnetic North Pole was ours, a constant companion that wandered the rolling tundra and frozen seas of our Arctic.

But no more.

A Canadian scientist who recently returned from a trip to measure the Pole's current location says it has now left Canadian territory and crossed into international waters.

"I think the Pole has probably just moved past the 200-nautical-mile limit," said Larry Newitt, head of the Natural Resources Canada geomagnetic laboratory in Ottawa. "It's probably outside of Canada, technically. But we're still the closest country to it." .....

The pole, which, unlike the geographic North Pole, is in constant movement, has been within modern Canadian borders since at least the 1600s -- the time of Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton. In 1904 it was measured just off the northern tip of Nunavut's King William Island by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, and since then has moved in a north to northwesterly direction at a stately 10 kilometres per year.

But in 2001, scientists discovered that it was picking up the pace, suddenly Charging ahead -- and toward the edge of Canadian territory -- at more than 40
Kilometres per year.
We cannot think it should be otherwise. The Forces of Nature has its pride and it is normal to want to reside in a good neighbourhood, not one in rapid decline.

We Canadians may well be okay with daily fiscal muggings, political patronage littering the streets, mobsters disguised as Liberal fundraisers running protection rackets on local businesses, our mental streetscapes defaced with socialist ideological graffiti, political spin substituting for thought among media pundits, government officials transformed into scofflaws, and once proud citizens sprawled drunkenly on the sidewalks mainlining tax dollars given to them by Liberal pushers buying loyalty at the voting booth.

No, the Forces of Nature has taken a look at the decay and has decamped to more respectable climes. It is saying something here to note that the Forces of Nature considers a stateless existence in international waters, or a home in Siberia to be more respectable than our current puerile polity. But, as Bill Clinton says, "We are where we are." We Canadians are now without the North Pole.
But Canada prides itself on being a northern nation -- it's part of that nebulous identity we spend so much time thinking about. Does losing the pole mean losing a piece of ourselves? Will we be launched into the throes of another identity crisis, now that the world's compasses no longer point to us?

Carolyn Relf, a geologist with Indian and Northern Affairs, says no. "As long as Santa's still in the North, I don't care about the pole," she said.
Well Carolyn Relf may not care, but millions of little Canucks lying in bed on Christmas Eve with visions of a future full of federally subsidized sugarplums dancing through their heads will worry endlessly. I've been a kid and am a parent and know this to be true. I can hear it now.

Mum. Dad. Will Santa make it through Canada Customs on time? Will he have a valid visa? Where will his point of entry from Siberia be located? Will there be a Canadian immigration officer on duty on Christmas Eve? If Santa does make it through, will there be Customs duties on the little red wagon under the tree? What if the new and unproven American anti-missile defence shield takes him out by accident?

As long as the North Pole resided in Canada kids only had to worry about Rudolph crashing the sleigh into the chimney. Now this.

As for the "nebulous identity we spend so much time thinking about" it is time to admit we don't.
Sure, the CBC and the Globe and Mail obsess about it constantly. But the boys whooping it up on a Saturday night in the in the Malamute saloon know it's a crock invented to sell subscriptions to MacLeans Magazine.

Our Canadian identity is firmly rooted in Don Messer's Jubilee and rye whiskey for the older folk and in free taxpayer provided hypodermics, same sex weddings, and a government monopoly on health care for the younger generation. Okay, the Supreme Court just blew away the last item, but you get the drift.
Besides, there's not a whole lot we can do to get it back. The liquid iron that creates Earth's magnetic field is located so far beneath the planet's crust it's beyond the reach of even our most ambitious and patriotic leaders.
Clearly the author is not familiar with the tenacity of the Liberal policy back room boys. If there are votes to be had by regulating the earth's magnetic field, the mandate of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will be expanded to encompass it. Trust me.
Col. Norm Couturier, commanding officer of Canadian Forces Northern Area, is the man charged with protecting Canada's Arctic sovereignty -- but guarding the pole is beyond his pay grade.

"It's a force of nature that we're not equipped to deal with," he said, laughing.

And though Couturier says it is, of course, sad to lose the pole, there is a sunny side. With the pole gone from Canada, it means we have less responsibility for the ill-prepared adventurers who go on half-crazed skiing adventures to reach the magnetic pole.

"It will probably mean now that we'll have to stage less rescue missions," he said.

"When it was over in Canadian territory, every year we would have to go and assist somebody or recover somebody that was trying to get there."

"Now that it's in international waters, a little bit of the pressure is off us."
Colonel Couturier may laugh. Any military officer who accepts a command requiring him to defend the whole northern border of North America without possessing soldiers, sailors, airmen/women, fighter planes, submarines, snowmobiles, jeeps, or some small say over the continental missile defence shield, is an officer with a sense of humour. I believe he is the same officer who coined the motto of the CF Northern Area. "Heap Big Smoke, But No Fire." He's a card alright.

Still, Colonel Couturier is on to something with his comments. This may be the first time in living memory that the obligations of the Canadian Forces have been downsized to match declining military capabilities. It is a small silver lining in the great black thundercloud of our incoherent defence policy. Who knows? Now that there is a precedent, matching mission capability to military resources, the idea may catch on among those who set defence policy.

At least that's my hope - if this second of the great Christian virtues is still allowed in the public square of the Dominion, I mean. "Faith" is not doing well at the various Human Rights tribunals is it and "Love" has been recently hijacked and transformed by the Supreme Court of Canada. In such an environment the future of "Hope" is tenuous at best.

Still, it could be just a temporary reprieve. The forces that are pushing the pole away from us could just as easily pull it back inside Canadian borders one day.
"I'm sure we can share it for a little while. But it's coming back," said a hopeful James Pugsley, president of Yellowknife's Astronomy North. "We did such a good job of managing it while it was here. It will be back."
James Pugsley is no doubt a good man, but he sounds like he is awfully naive. The whole point of what is happening here is that the Liberals have paid as much attention to the North Pole as they do to the population of Alberta.

That is why the North Pole up and left. It is sick and tired of being just a convenient backdrop for a spectacular secular consumer orgy once a year. It wanted respect and all it got was Colonel Couturier and his arctic snowmobile platoon, rescuing ill-prepared adventurers on half-crazed skiing adventures, and a government claiming sovereignty over a vast area it cannot occupy and will not defend.

Given those circumstances I can't blame the North Pole for decamping. Can you?

Thursday, June 09, 2005


The Ontario Minister of Public Safety and Security in Ontario has released a warning late this afternoon for the public to avoid visiting Ottawa over the next couple of weeks. It seems that federal Conservatives are plummeting and there is a danger of being hit by one if you are walking on a public sidewalk in the city. The precise reason for the plummeting is unclear, but it seems to have something to do with a certain HIDDEN AGENDA.

The ministerial spokesflack, Thelmond Abernathy, said, "I would like to provide more information to the media about the content of the HIDDEN AGENDA, but it appears to be too well hidden. At the rate the plummeting is occurring," he said, "the last Conservative in Ottawa may well smush himself into pudding on the concrete below before revealing the secrets."

In Rome, a Vatican Spokepriest for Herman Cardinal Burgermeister, one of the 666 new German cardinals recently installed by Pope Benedict (who used to be a Nazi you know) stated that, "The plummeting going on in Canada was contrary to natural law and that Canadian Catholics must neither plummet themselves or counsel others to plummet. He also noted that, "Liberals must not, on their part, stand on the roof of buildings and shout, 'Jump you scary buggers!' " "Nor do we allow pushing."

Cardinal Burgermeister said that the anti-plummeting dogma is not a new one and that the Church has always opposed plummeting. The doctrinal explanation may be found in a little known appendix to the Catholic Catechism. Plummeting was formally banned in the eighteenth century because the practice was being enthusiastically endorsed by Masons in Italy.

But the more significant historical theological objection is that plummeting may lead to a greater sin called, The Fall. "We've had centuries of trouble arising from The Fall," mused Cardinal Burgermeister. "You simply can't appreciate, until you experience it, the damage that can be accomplished by two naked people and an apple."

Contacted to respond to the Vatican's position and provide balance to this report, the transspokesperson for the Rainbow Church in downtown Toronto, the Rev. Lance Larson, tartly noted that, "The Fall was an exclusively hetero debacle and it is our view that the fruit was entirely blameless."

The Canadian chapter of Amnesty International blamed the plummeting on the US policy towards the detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. "Were it not for this Bush inspired contemporary gulag Canadians would not be falling from the sky in such numbers," said the Amnesty spokesrhetorician, Che Guevara Birkenstock. He called on the United Nations to intervene by sending firefighters with nets into Ottawa. Kofi Anan, reached by cell phone from a beach in Algiers, said he would convene a meeting of the Security Council next week when he gets back from his holidays.

When President Bush was asked about his views on plummeting Conservatives in Ottawa he paused from clearing brush with his US Marine flamethrower looked thoughtful and smirked, "Remind me again whether Ottawa is a red or a blue state."

Prime Minister Martin actually swore when called for comment and yelled, "Damn it, Morselli's gone too far this time." No really, he did! I can prove it. A Conservative MP named Grewal taped the phone call.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Le Monde Guilty of Racial Defamation

Jon Henley in Paris
Saturday June 4, 2005

A French appeal court has found the editor-in-chief of Le Monde and the authors of an opinion piece in the paper guilty of "racial defamation" against Israel and the Jewish people. In a ruling greeted with applause by Jewish groups and some alarm by media lawyers, the court ordered Jean-Marie Colombani and the three writers to pay a symbolic one euro in damages to the France-Israel Association and to Lawyers Without Borders.

The two groups had alleged that the June 2002 article, headed Israel-Palestine: the Cancer, contained comments that "targeted a whole nation, or a religious group in its quasi-globality", and constituted racial defamation.
The offence was exacerbated, the groups said, by a "semantic slip" from the phrase "the Jews of Israel" to "Jews in general"; in other words, it referred to "the Jews" when it meant "certain Israelis".
Exacerbated by a semantic slip? Sounds more like an anti-Semitic slip to me.

Hat tip to The Powers That Be for this story.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Redressing a Wrong at Western

The Government of Ontario is planning to abolish mandatory retirement, thereby following the lead of six other provinces, which have already done just that. According to Karen Howlett of the Globe & Mail most current university faculty are supportive of this move but:
... administrators at many universities oppose the move. Alan Weedon, vice-provost of the University of Western Ontario, said in an interview that he is disappointed that the legislation could come into effect late next year, much earlier than the five years he had hoped for. The legislation is expected to be passed in the fall at the earliest. The government says the new law would come into effect one year after receiving Royal Assent. It is going to have a significant impact on the university's ability to hire new faculty, and its ability to increase the number of women, Mr. Weedon said. The university has 1,000 full-time faculty members, most of whom are men. About 30 retire every year.
Now one has to admire Vice-Provost Weedon's convictions. I certainly do. He is clearly dedicated to increasing the number of female and decreasing the number of male faculty at the University of Western Ontario. He is unhappy that the speed with which the government is planning on implementing the abolition of mandatory retirement may put a crimp in the plans to give preferential treatment to female applicants. But why doesn'’t he set a personal example now.

Instead of making some other guy pay for his expressed desire to redress the numerical imbalance of men and women at Western shouldn't Weedon set the example by immediately resigning his position so that it can be filled by a woman vice-provost? Leadership by example is always better than forcing folks to do what you yourself are not prepared to do, right?

After all, doesn't Alan Weedon believe that current male job applicants must make sacrifices (their job prospects) for the greater good of redressing past gender based hiring injustices? Well then, why limit the sacrifices to younger male colleagues just setting out to make a career? Vice-Provost Weedon possesses the power to make an immediate vacancy available. Live your idealism old boy. Take the plunge into retirement. Resign now.

Hello? Hello? Are you there sir?

Expert Schmexpert

From Angry in the Great White North we learn that the "expert" employed by the Globe & Mail to review the Grewal tapes obtained his formal forensic examiner qualifications from a US mail-order diploma mill.
I think the Globe and Mail should have considered the source of these pronouncements are bit more carefully. I checked out Jack Mitchell, and I have to say I'm not impressed.

Jack Mitchell is the owner of Computer Audio Engineering in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In an interview I found, he definitely sounds like he knows what he's talking about (even if the interviewer didn't -- an "FFT" is a "Fast Fourier Transform" -- a way of depicitng sound content as a spread over frequencies instead of a spread over time). On the other hand, he proudly lists the American College of Forensic Examiners as as his only professional forensic certification

- "He basically takes people's money and gives them a worthless piece of paper," says Robert Phillips, an Audubon, N.J., document examiner. "He's just in it for the money." Phillips claims he has reason to know. He says he resigned as chair of the organization's certification committee in 1993 after discovering that O'Block was issuing credentials to unqualified candidates behind the committee's back.

Many of the nation's leading forensic scientists don't seem to have much use for O'Block or his organization either.

James Starrs, a professor of law and forensic sciences at George Washington University, says the organization's certification process lacks objectivity. "It's driven by the felt needs of the people in charge," he says. "If they want you in, you're in, even if they have to break all of the rules to do it."

Andre Moenssens, a law school professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an expert on scientific evidence, goes even further. He says O'Block's organization is basically a certification mill. "For the right amount of money, he will certify just about anybody as an expert in anything," Moenssens says.
There you have it folks. The Globe's "expert" has spoken. I think, given the enormous importance of this matter for the country, that Canadians have right to expect major media outlets to use properly qualified personnel in this case. Don't you?

Were the tapes altered? I dunno and neither do you. It is clear, however, that analyzing copies of the tapes, rather than working with the originals is a mugs game.

The Grewal tapes have taken on a life of their own and, in my view, distract the electorate from extensive and pervasive Liberal corruption. That is what ought to be the story. Bickering over the authenticity of the tapes is not. That is the sad reality.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Longest Day

Today, June 6th is the sixty-first anniversary of the day known to history as D Day. On this day in 1944 the Allied armies landed the largest seaborne invasion in history and our Canadian Forces were front and centre on Juno Beach, in the Atlantic Ocean of the coast of Normandy France and in the skies above.

Damian Brooks at Babbling Brooks has posted a wonderful commentary on today's commemoration. Go read it.

Our military personnel suffered over 1,600 casualties on that Longest Day. We were to suffer many, many, more before Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated in 1945. My father served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a sergeant air gunner. My mother's brother, Private Don Campbell, served in the Canadian army and left a leg behind somewhere in Holland. They were the fortunate ones who survived the war.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

excerpt from For The Fallen by
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Mister Who ???

From the great puzzle palace known as National Defence Headquarters we hear this news as noted in the Globe & Mail.
Ottawa - Canada's military command structure is about to be turned upside down so the Armed Forces can deal more quickly with natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

In the biggest restructuring in four decades, Gen. Rick Hillier has ordered a transformation that will see control of domestic military assets turned over to integrated regional centres, known as Canada Command.

Since the mid-1960s, the army, navy and air force have worked together to a certain extent. But each section has independent control over ground forces, ships, aircraft and other equipment.

Mr. Hillier, the chief of defence staff, wants the command structure to be more "top down," with regional commanders in control of all military personnel and hardware.

"They'll now come under an integrated commander at a regional level," said a spokeswoman for Mr. Hillier.
Er, am I the only one that gags at a full general, and commander of the armed forces of Canada being referred to as Mr. Hillier. I know. I know. There is some sort of Canadian Press style book, or other journalistic scripture, in place that dictates that this usage is to be followed after his rank is referred to once in a story.

But let us face facts here. He is a general officer and not an "Esquire." Esquires are "misters" Holders of the Queen's commission are not. He has a rank that he earned through long years of service to our country. It is ridiculous to refer to him as a "mister." Who started this anyway? Name the miserable mister or ms responsible.

I warn you. Stop it, or I'll write to Mr. Benedict in Rome, or Mrs. Windsor in London to protest. For the love of Mr. Christ will no one end the silliness.

An Incident at Notre Dame

While I'm on the subject of same-sex marriages may I turn your attention to the historic cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris France, where advocates of these unions were displaying their tolerance and respect for the opposition in this debate, when they were assaulted by an "AGRESSIVE security detail." Here is what happened.

A PRIEST was slightly hurt at Paris's famed Notre-Dame Cathedral when clashes broke out between church security personnel and gay rights activists who performed a mock marriage of two lesbians.

About 20 members of the group Act Up entered the cathedral and proceeded to perform the mock marriage in front of baffled tourists and worshippers, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.

One activist - dressed as a priest - pronounded (sic) the two women married, while other Act Up members chanted: "Pope Benedict XVI, homophobe, AIDS accomplice." With security officials in pursit, they then fled the cathedral, but clashes broke out outside the Paris landmark, during which Monsignor Patrick Jacquin suffered a minor neck injury. He was treated at the scene.

The demonstration marked the first anniversary of France's first gay wedding, performed last year in the Bordeaux suburb of Begles. The union of two men has since been declared null and void by the French courts.

Monsignor Jacquin said: "They are savages. I was pushed to the ground and trampled, kicked in the neck. "It's a scandal for these people to lash out at me and the Pope."

"He said he was considering filing charges against what he called "barbaric, odious and scandalous acts".

The president of Act Up Paris, Jerome Martin - who participated in today's demonstration - said he had also been hit in the melee, but claimed the priest had exaggerated the actual events."We did not want to be aggressive with respect to the worshippers... the aggressive security detail wanted to rip up our banner," he said.

This Monsignor Jacquin is clearly a hetero crybaby who will stop at nothing to discredit honest gay disputants pursuing their legitimate goal of deep sixing the traditional institution of marriage. What gall (Gaul?) he has to complain about being knocked down and kicked in the neck when the AGRESSIVE cathedral security detail was attempting to rip up the sacred protest banner brought in by the loving and tolerant Act Up protesters. It's not as though there is anything really important or special about a church or the right of a priest (or anyone else) to the security of his person. And this God stuff is what makes people intolerant and unloving, isn't it? It all happened because of that new Nazi pope.

There, I had to get it off my chest and I did.


Oops. I amost forgot to tip my hat to Kathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic for the story.

The Choice is Clear

In a May 12, 2005 post I commented on the fact that there were good people in all of Canada's political parties. I even praised my local MP Dan McTeague with the following words:
I am well aware that not every Liberal is a crook, or a thug, or a fraudster. I knew and worked with some very fine people over my decades as a Liberal. The truth is that all parties have very good people within them. I know my local Member of Parliament, Dan McTeague is a conscientious MP and an honourable man. He works hard and serves his country to the best of his considerable ability. I expect he feels betrayed and angry over what is being revealed by the Gomery Commission. He should.
Now we hear of another principled MP by the name of Pat O'Brien who has danced the dance of the two sword lengths and left the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent MP.
Ontario Liberal MP Pat O'Brien has left the Grits to sit as an Independent member of Parliament, a move that could possibly trigger an election.

O'Brien has been out of step with his party on social issues and has been long opposed to the government's efforts to pass Bill C-38 -- the legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

"I tried my best as part of the Liberal caucus to achieve my objectives. I now find that I can't do that any more," he said at a news conference Monday morning in Ottawa.

"I'm not being listened to in the Liberal caucus to the degree I want to be on this issue. They're determined to move forward on this issue and you can see what a rush they are in to do that."
This sad statement reveals what many of us have feared for some time. One cannot be a faithful Catholic and belong to the Liberal Party of Canada. The party itself has set itself up as an protagonist in the in the cultural war underway in Western civilization. It now marches under the banner of the culture of death.

I cannot tell you how sad that makes me.

So Dan McTeague, this is your challenge. What shall it be; your faith or your party? It really is coming down to that.

Those Tampered Tapes

I see from my morning Globe & Mail that they have engaged a subject matter expert to review the infamous Grewal tapes.

Ottawa - The recordings initially released by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal were altered, and it is unlikely that the changes in the tapes he made were caused by digital copying, as the Conservatives have stated, concludes a forensic audio expert employed by The Globe and Mail to examine the controversial recordings....

... Yesterday, Jack Mitchell, a U.S. forensic audio expert who conducted a preliminary review of portions of the originally released recordings, said they had been altered. He said he did not believe the changes occurred in the digital-copying process.

"These tapes have been edited. This is not a maybe. This is not something that's unexplained. This is not, 'Oh, this is odd.' This is a definitive statement. The tapes have been edited," Mr. Mitchell said.

He said he could not say with certainty how the alterations occurred, or conclude definitely that it was done intentionally.

However, Mr. Mitchell said that he not only found instances of possible edits, including sections where it appeared that phrases had been added to the recordings, but also a telltale repeat of a brief snippet of conversation that was repeated exactly.

This tampering claim must be thoroughly investigated and the Conservative Party must cooperate fully in the investigation. If this allegation is true I believe that Mr. Grewal ought to resign his seat as a member of parliament. Failing that, he should be kicked out of the Conservative caucus. Anyone in the Conservative Party who had anything to do with altering these tapes (if they were altered) should be summarily dismissed.

I remain thoroughly disgusted by the actions of Prime Minister Martin, Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Martin's Chief of Staff, Tim Murphy. I am repelled by their strategy of promising high offices for parliamentary votes, but doing so in a cynical manner which retains a thin veneer of "plausible deniability."

But we should also be outraged by Mr. Grewal traipsing around Parliament Hill secretly taping government ministers and political staff. Even if the tapes were not altered Mr. Grewal's actions fall short the standard of integrity required of a members of parliament.

Canadians have a right to honest government. At the moment we are not getting it.


Since posting this item I see from Neale News that Mr. Grewal is taking stress leave.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What Will Your Answer Be?

A couple of weeks ago, even as the Honourable Belinda the Betrayer PC MP, crossed the floor of the House of Commons into the camp of the Liberal Party, grit strategists realized they lastill lacked sufficient votes. Her defection would not prevent future non-confidence motions in the House of Commons from succeeding, so the Grits shuffled the patronage deck and dealt out some face cards for the consideration of the dynamic duo, known as "Mr. And Mrs. Grewal MP squared."

The Grits never thought Mr. Grewal bright enough, or perfidious enough, to tape their tawdry conversations, but he did and the transcripts are not pretty. Now all the Grewal tapes have been released and the maggot-filled heart of this government is laid bare to the media and public.

In response, the Prime Minister and his minions have redeployed the Holy Obfuscator of Bytown (HOB) from its recent use at the Battle of Gomery Gulch. Unlike our helicopters, tanks, frigates, air transports, and infantry battalions, the HOB is the one weapon system that the Liberals are prepared to maintain in peak working condition, at whatever the cost.

The HOB has it's afterburners on now as I write, blowing greasy black smoke over Parliament Hill to obscure the fact that a senior Liberal cabinet minister and the PM's own Chief of Staff were engaged in talks intended to buy the Grewal family votes in the House of Commons. The greasy smoke is very distracting, but if you hold your nose and pay attention, you can see the talks for what they are.

If the Gomery Commission reveals to the people the slimy Grit bottom feeders slurping at the public trough while kicking-back public monies to the political party that fed them, the Grewal tapes reveal just how far up the food chain the Liberal way of doing business extends. The PM says not very far.

"Let me make this very clear," he [Martin] said, "that when I was told about this, the possibility of him crossing the floor, I made it very clear that no offers were to be made, and no offers were made."
Well, any reasonable person who takes the time to read the actual transcripts of the conversations Mr. Grewal held with the PM's Chief of Staff, Tim Murphy and with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, has to conclude that offers in exchange for votes were the whole point of the bloody exercise.

This is true regardless of whom contacted whom first; a debate which, interesting though it might be, is a red herring in the grand scheme of things. Nor is it particularly important whether Mr. Grewal is a paragon of public virtue or not. It certainly appears to me that he is a dubious sort at best.

But it is the Liberals who form the Government of Canada and it is their part in this tale of sleaze which ought to rivet and revolt the citizens of this nation. I am aware that there is little in the way of public outrage right now. This both puzzles and saddens me.

We are told that this year is the year of the veteran. During this year the government encourages us to honour the sacrifice of those who went to war to defend our liberties. It is a good and noble suggestion. Yet in our passive quietude over the Liberal revelations of political corruption we betray the sacrifices of our veterans and the national future of our children.

Our children will one day ask you what you did during your watch as our democracy crumbled into a kleptocracy. How will you answer this question?

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Major John McCrae, Surgeon, 1st Canadian Field Artillery Brigade