Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blogstravaganza was a success!

On Friday I walked a block from where I work and found myself at a gathering of bloggers at the Fiddler's Green on Wellesley Street in Toronto. I finally met some of the folks I read on a regular basis.

Damian Brooks of Babbling Brooks was there along with Ghost of a Flea, Sinister Thoughts, Greg Staples, Nick the Brigadier and Kateland of Last Amazon and many others. I offered to buy Nick the drink he demanded as a price for joining the RE Brigade over a year ago. He laughed and said I was the first to offer. Realizing my error I slipped away before he could claim his prize. He likes good stuff and good stuff is costly.

Warren Kinsella was also in attendance. I introduced myself as a guy that had attacked him viscously on my blog. He said I was not alone in that. He was right on that point. We actually hit it off quite well. I had a number of stories to tell of a time in the Liberal Party before the reign of that nearly erstwhile Prime Minister whom Occam of Carbuncle fame calls Paul the Regrettable, or even Jean da Proof of his time.

I also met the great Andrew Coyne and learned he has never served in the military. Said something about cowardice being his thing. A man after my own heart. Goes to show you can't believe everything you read in the MSM. Who knew?

The evening was a great pleasure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! The Conservatives have been given the opportunity to govern this great land. To be sure, as a minority government, we will have to tack to the centre and use this time as a chance to convince voters that Conservatives are not, if fact, scary. For a social conservative like me, that means I shall have to temper my expectations somewhat (though truth be told I did this a year ago).

As a Catholic conservative I intend to continue to pursue those public policies which support what the late Pope John Paul II called, the culture of life. Currently, there are three parties in Parliament which advocate for public policies supporting the culture of death. Only the Conservative party is (partly) open to the culture of life.

This divide is what the Liberal opposition (what an interesting concept!) calls the Conservative?s Hidden Agenda. It is not, of course, hidden at all. It is well known that the vast majority of Conservative members of parliament see the right to life as the essential underpinning of all human rights, view the family as the essential building block of society, support traditional marriage, and believe that the job of doctors and nurses is to heal, not kill.

But politics is the art of the possible and the possibilities are constrained by the number of opposition seats which will be in the House of Commons. If we want to move the culture of life forward, we conservatives have a job to do to create the climate of opinion required to make policy initiatives viable.

We can start by providing good, clean, solid government in Ottawa.

My Conservative candidate (Tim Dobson) was not elected last night. He is a good man and my sympathies are with him. Dan McTeague (Lib) was. I take comfort in the fact that when the Prime Minister?s Office tried to muscle Dan into voting for same-sex marriage Dan told them to take a hike. He responded that as a Catholic he was prepared to resign rather than compromise on a matter of faith and morals. That, Mr. Martin, is what having character means. Sorry Tim. Congratulations Dan.

It?s a great country!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Requiem for a Moral Lightweight

Today is election day. It has been a terrible week for me health wise (a terrific cold and sinus infection - missed three days of work) and I have not been able to go door-to-door campaigning for my local Conservative candidate as I have been doing. It's been very frustrating for me. Of course, my frustration is somewhat eased by the fact that this election looks to be resolved in favour of the Conservative Party of Canada.

By this time tomorrow the Right Honourable Paul Martin PC, MP should be a failed asterisk in the history books. A man whom people said was so full of promise turned out to be full of something else, .... mainly himself.

Someone far wiser in the affairs of national politics than I am (and a member of Her Canadian Majesty's Privy Council) told me several months ago that one could gauge the measure of the man by the fact that from the very moment he accepted high office from Jean Chretien he set into motion a national campaign to undermine and unseat him. That wise friend told me that that says all you really have to know about Mr. Martin's values, Canadian or otherwise.

There is more, of course. He told the people of Canada that, "I am a practicing Catholic, in fact a strong Catholic. But I am a legislator and I believe in the separation of church and state." I'd go further. I say Paul Martin is the kind of man who believes in the separation of man and church. Mr. Martin's position may be acceptable in one whom professes no religious belief, but it is a ridiculous position to hold for someone of faith to hold. In fact it can't be held, only asserted.

Take Jack Layton for example. As far as I know, Mr. Layton is not a man of faith. He is known to be, and professes to be a socialist. Fair ball. But how ridiculous would Jack Layton be seen to be if he were to state publicly, "I am a socialist. In fact I am a strong socialist, but I also believe in the separation of philosophy and state." And what if, having so pronounced, Jack Layton proceeded to assert numerous public policy positions completely antithetical to basic socialist principles. You would think him a liar, or a fool, or both. So would I. So what then should we think of Paul Martin?

As a Catholic I cannot tell you how repelled I am by a man who says he is a strong Catholic and who then publicly champions political causes (e.g., abortion) antithetical to what he says are his core beliefs. You simply cannot hold that human life is sacred and begins at the moment of conception (the teaching of the Church) and then vigorously defend as a human right "a woman's right to choose" to kill the life in her womb. Such a position is, as Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary has rightly said, morally incoherent.

You can assert that human life does not begin at conception (a scientifically indefensible position to be sure) and that abortion is therefore acceptable. But once you accept the Catholic view that human life begins at conception, you are duty bound to protect and nurture that life. The political protection of all our human rights are dependent on that primal right. Once it goes, and it has, all other rights cease to be inalienable (as our American cousins say) and they become contingent. A contingent human right is no right.

So what, you may say. Paul Martin is only separating his personal views from his duty as a Prime Minister, you may say. To do otherwise is to invite Popery and all its pomps into the governance of Canada, you may say. I do not agree. People of faith have the right to express their deeply held moral views publicly and to try and see them enshrined in law. That's democracy.

A person, like Paul Martin, who is prepared to act so publicly and so contrary to their professed basic moral beliefs in order to wield political power is a person who must never be trusted with high political office. There must be an intimate connection between what a leader believes and what they do. That connection is what gives us strength and results in what we call strength of character. Mr. Martin's character is being judged today and the people, having recognized his lack of character are casting him from office.

He failed as Prime Minister not so much because he inherited (and was part of) a government that was running a major kickback scheme in Quebec with characters that seemed to be drawn from Mario Puza?s novel "The Godfather." That alone was reason to toss him and his party from power, but it alone would not have done the job. Nor is he being thrown out of office just because Liberal Party members had escalated personal entitlements from the public purse to a nauseating new level for Canada.

The electorate has not supported him because they understand on some visceral level that he is weak in character and lacks any coherent vision for the country. It is vain to seek clarity of political purpose from one who lacks personal moral clarity. Paul Martin failed to be true to the underlying moral code he himself professes. Because he is morally incoherent he has been weak. Because he is weak I do not respect him and will not be sad to see the back of him.

That's the Canada in which I believe.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Suspicious Purchase of Cell Phones?

a disposable cell phone - image by Google Image

According to ABC News there have been a number of attempts recently by men with a Middle Eastern appearance to purchase large quantities of disposal cell phones.

Federal agents have launched an investigation into a surge in the purchase of large quantities of disposable cell phones by individuals from the Middle East and Pakistan, ABC News has learned. The phones -- which do not require purchasers to sign a contract or have a credit card -- have many legitimate uses, and are popular with people who have bad credit or for use as emergency phones tucked away in glove compartments or tackle boxes. But since they can be difficult or
impossible to track, law enforcement officials say the phones are widely used by
criminal gangs and terrorists.

There's very little audit trail assigned to this phone. One can walk in, purchase it in cash, you don't have to put down a credit card, buy any amount of minutes to it, and you don't, frankly, know who bought this," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI official who is now an ABC News consultant.

Law enforcement officials say the phones were used to detonate the bombs terrorists used in the Madrid train attacks in March 2004. ?The application of prepaid phones for nefarious reasons, is really widespread. For example, the terrorists in Madrid used prepaid phones to detonate the bombs in the subway trains that killed more than 200 people," said Roger Entner, a communications consultant.

150 Phones in One Sale, 60 Phones in Another

The FBI is closely monitoring the potentially dangerous development, which came to light following recent large-quantity purchases in California and Texas, officials confirmed. In one New Year's Eve transaction at a Target store in Hemet, Calif., 150 disposable tracfones were purchased. Suspicious store employees notified police, who called in the FBI, law enforcement sources said.

In an earlier incident, at a Wal-Mart store in Midland, Texas, on Dec. 18, six individuals attempted to buy about 60 of the phones until store clerks became suspicious and notified the police. A Wal-Mart spokesperson confirmed the incident. The Midland police report, dated Dec. 18 and obtained by ABC News, states: "Information obtained by MPD [Midland Police Department] dispatch personnel indicated that approximately six individuals of Middle-Eastern origin were attempting to purchase an unusually large quantity of tracfones (disposable cell phones with prepaid minutes attached)." At least one of the suspects was identified as being from Iraq and another from Pakistan, officials said.

"Upon the arrival of officers, suspects were observed moving away from the registers -- appearing to evade detection while ridding themselves of the merchandise."

Other reports have come in from other cities, including Dallas, and from authorities in other states. Authorities in Pennsylvania, New York and other parts of Texas confirmed that they were alerted to the cases, and sources say other jurisdictions were also notified. The news report goes on to say that that the purchase of large quantities of cell phones may be entirely innocent; with the phones intended to be distributed as gifts among family and friends.

That's what I do. I regularly purchase 60-150 cellphones to give away to family and friends. My kids say enough is enough. They have at least three dozen of them piled up in their closets and suggest I switch to video games instead. What do you think? Is a video game a better gift than a disposable cell phone? Just asking.

Now, what do I do with the new batch of 75 phones I just bought? Problems, problems ........

Canadian Soldier Killed

CTV News is reporting that one Canadian soldier has been killed and three have been wounded by a suicide bomber near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Two civilians were killed and ten others were wounded by the blast. May God have mercy on those killed and may He bring comfort to the their families and those wounded.

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.

From "For The Fallen" by Lawrence Robert Binyon, (1869-1943)


It appears that the person killed was not a Canadian soldier. He was a senior Canadian diplomat by the name of Glyn Berry. From CBC News:

Glen was a senior diplomat who had a long and distinguished career," Peter
Harder of Foreign Affairs told a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday. "He was
planning his holiday to celebrate his 60th birthday, which is coming up."....
Also speaking at the news conference was Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, who offered
condolences to Berry's family, as well as to the families of the three Canadian
soldiers who were injured.

'Prayers are with them'

"Our most sincere thoughts and prayers are with them and their families
and with all Canadians serving in Afghanistan," Dumais said. Two of the soldiers
are reported to have life-threatening injuries and are in critical condition.

The injured are Pte. William Salikan of 3rd Battalion Princess
Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey of 1 Combat Engineer
Regiment, and Master Cpl. Paul Franklin of 1 Field Ambulance. All three were
based in Edmonton. The military was planning to airlift them to a U.S. military
hospital in Germany as soon as was possible.
Note to all you Canadian lefties who are so fond of sneering at our neighbours. Our wounded soldiers are being evacuated to an American military hospital in Germany. They're in real good hands. American hands. Our friends and allies.

Remember that when your hearts thrill at the sight of that Liberal election attack ad which sneers at our alliance with our American neighbours. You creeps.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Breaking Faith

The above photo is from the web site of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. The army unit was the only regiment from Ottawa to land on Juno Beach on D-day in 1945 (Juno was the beach taken by the Canadian Forces). This photo shows them (Canadian soldiers!) marching on Bank Street in Ottawa in the victory parade of 1945 ..... with guns! I did not make this up. These are our some of our soldiers that did not die on Juno. Oddly, our democracy survived their presence on the street of a Canadian city ... with guns.

Members of the Cameron Highlanders are currently serving in Afghanistan. In the past few years they have served in The Congo (2002-05) , Bosnia (1994-95, 1998-09 and 2002-04), Kosovo (2000), and Israel/Syria (1997-98). Bless them.

According to Damian Brooks at
Babbling Brooks the Liberal Party of Canada website still has the French version of the "Pinochet ad" (Soldiers with guns. In our streets.) up and running. (Google it yourself. I don't want a curse on my blog that would result from linking to it directly)

Okay now. Canadian Forces members are being portrayed by our governing party as a threat to our democracy and freedoms. It is not a mistake. Liberals have not pulled the French version of the ad even after the matter was brought to their attention. Their assertion that that the clip was never intended to be aired is now a proven lie.

Now imagine yourself as a member the Cameron Highlanders or another unit, deployed to Kandahar in Afhganistan. You have put your life in harm's way to defend those Canadian values Mr. Martin prattles on about in this election. How do you feel about him and his the Liberal party's portrayal. Soldiers. In our cities. Indeed!

This is demoralizing to our troops, offensive in the extreme and downright disgusting. Shame! Shame! Shame!

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
I ask you not to break faith when you cast your ballot in this general election.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

JtM Leaks Newest Conservative Campaign Ad

In Canada there are campaign workers
Liberal campaign workers
With signs and staple guns

Staple guns right here
On the streets of Canadian cities

And Paul Martin knows of it
And has done nothing

Staple guns with staples
On the streets of our cities
I am allowed to make this up
But I'm not

Authorized by the official agent of John the Mad

Whirly Bits and the Void

A very good friend pseudonymously named Sancho Panza, Squire to the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, tells me I must stop just criticizing the state of things on my blog and start coming up with solutions. That's always much easier written than done and I'm by no means confident that I'm up to the job.

Our current society seems to have been crafted by stoned sorcerers' apprentices prancing about in Birkenstocks and togas, all the while snorting Cocaine and swilling back lattes laced with brandy. Not that I have anything against brandy. How does one fix such things? I'm John the Mad, not John the Baptist.

Our society now resembles a civilization, but it is not civilized. It consumes lots of energy, but produces nothing of lasting value. It claims to be democratic, but is really oligarchic. It claims to value life, but is consumed by death; for the individual, for the community and for the nation. It claims to value children, but slaughters them in unprecedented numbers; the toll exceeding that of even the holocaust. It the equivalent of a worldwide holocaust each and every year. This society is a decaying cipher posing as a painted harlot. No offence to painted harlots.

I believe that fixing our society would involve something of a Hail Mary pass. Of course, as a Catholic I encourage intercessions from that holy source, but the thing we once fondly referred to as western civilization (really, old Christendom) has pretty much receded from the world stage. In its place we have been gifted with a fancy Rube Goldberg machine that whirls and twirls and glistens and shines and gongs and clangs.

As entertaining as a good Rube Goldberg machine is, it cannot and does not do anything but entertain. That's fine if the point is simply to be amused, but it is an execrable foundation for a civilization. To base a society on the principles of a Rube Goldberg machine is to court extinction in a grand and terrible way. This circumstance no doubt brings great joy to the demented zealots of PETA and their spiritual familiars in the demonic choir, but it is distressing to a normal madman who has a family and desperately wants his kids to reject the false and fatal promises of the culture of death.

I'm just not sure you can "fix" the thing. It ain't broke, for one thing. The damned machine is running perfectly well, as intended, and will so run until it stops. When it does stop there will be a sudden and unexpected era of stillness and silence, utterly shocking for all those now so entranced by the twirling shiny bits. That cessation will portend eternal death for many.

I hope people will be able to "get into" voids. There will be no "getting out." The Supreme Court of Canada has no authority to abolish them and there are no parole or mandatory release programs from them. Your void will be the ultimate death sentence, pronounced by yourself on yourself. You never contemplated Hell as a seized Rube Goldberg device, have you? I told you I was mad.

I suppose there may be moments of relief. The demonic choir will be available for unrestricted group sex, if that is what turns your crank. It may well be required. Enjoy. I expect the current justices of the Supreme Court will be available as playmates. Not as members of the infernal choir, mind you. They'll be in the orchestra playing the fiddles.

What does this mean for the ordinary folk you ask? Now that the Criminal Code of Canada has been stripped, figuratively and legally, of its community standards test, your 14 year old sons and daughters (the age of consent in Canada) may now take in an evening of fun and frolicking in a local legal sex club, where public fornication with strangers is the main attractor. Foreplay is on the menu, but only as an appetizer. I warn you though. The meat, which usually was formerly rare, will now be raw.

At least your 14 year old won't be considered old enough to drink. Some limits must be respected, at least for now. Don't worry though. If your daughter gets pregnant, the helpful ghouls of Planned Parenthood and their ilk will be around to counsel them on their duty to kill the life in the womb ... and no one need, or probably will, tell you about it.

As I say, don't worry. Be happy. We live now in a society which has abandoned any purpose of life which goes beyond narcissism and hedonism. No need to await the arrival of the void. The band has already struck up a lively number and the games are already underway. And to our everlasting shame, we are all responsible that this is so. Sancho and me included.


I've now seen the Liberal kamakazi attack ad, which ran on the Liberal party website, and which depicts the Canadian Forces as an evil instument of the Conservative Party, marching through the streets with (gasp) guns and boots and everything scary. Welcome to Steven Pinochet Harper land. That, and its companion piece involving an interview between John Duffy (Liberal Strategist) and Mike Duffy (veteran CTV reporter) in which the latter shoots the cojones off the former on national TV.

You can find the clip of the atack ad on the CTV website or visit Angry in the Great White North (see sidebar) for both.

Members of the Canadian Forces are understandably and properly furious that they should be depicted in such a despicable manner. The ad certainly reveals the Liberal's hidden agenda. It involves an utter contempt for the those serving in our country's uniform and an odd plan to commit political suicide.

The wheels have fallen off the Grit campaign and they are going down hard.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Last night's Jabberwocky jabbfest

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Who "won" the leaders? debate last night? As these things go, it was tolerably tolerable. The only shocking thing to emerge was the sudden proposal by Paul Martin to remove the power of the Parliament of Canada to invoke the "notwithstanding clause" in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For my American readers, this clause within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows Parliament or a provincial legislature to enact a law notwithstanding the fact that the courts may find that it breaches a particular Charter right. If the clause is not re-invoked every five years by Parliament, the law then becomes subject to the regular judicial processes.

Essentially the notwithstanding clause is a constitutional safety valve which ensures that the will of the people, as expressed through their elected and accountable representatives can prevail over the will of the unelected and unaccountable judiciary. The Charter itself would not exist today, had (then) Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau not agreed in the early 1980's to the inclusion of the clause, which was demanded by (then) Premier Peter Lougheed of Alberta as the price for supporting the inclusion of the Charter in the Constitution.

Mr. Martin is depicting himself as a defender of the Charter, in a desperate effort to depict Conservative leader Stephen Harper as an intolerant bigot. It is the old liberal smear in action. Martin asserts that the rights of Canadians are better protected by unelected judges than by elected parliamentarians. He is not a democrat. Harper is. And the smear ain't working this time.

Who won the debate? They all put in a reasonable performance debate-wise. I say that Stephen Harper won, though, because he accomplished the mission. He did not come across as "SCARY." Those thinking of switching from the grits to the Conservatives now have no cause to hesitate any longer. Come on in. The water's just fine.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star and Montreal's La Presse suppressed a poll yesterday which showed the Conservative surge towards a majority .

Jack Aubry, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Two major newspapers and a pollster decided to sit on the results of a weekend poll that showed a double-digit breakthrough by the Conservatives over the Liberals because they felt it would be irresponsible to release the "stunning" numbers on the day of the English debate.

Calling it a "difficult decision," Frank Graves, the president of Ekos Research Associates, said he and his media clients, the Toronto Star and Montreal's La Presse, agreed to do further polling yesterday to increase the sample size to 1,200
respondents. He confirmed the weekend findings -- from a sample of 500 calls --
indicated Stephen Harper and the Conservatives were on their way to forming a
majority government similar to the ones enjoyed by Brian Mulroney in 1984 and
Jean Chretien in 1993.
Ah yes, those difficult decisions. They're just looking after the public interest here folks. Honest to Pete, they aren't biased. Shame on you for thinking so.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Extra! Extra! Red Ensign Standard Hoisted

The Red Ensign Standard, Edition XXXIV (34) has been published by Shane at The High Places. Bravo Zulu Shane.

News from the campaign trail

I figure I'd better post something before rumours begin that I've decamped on a cattle boat to Guatemala or something. Been spending my time with family and politics, in that order.

I now understand why summer elections are the norm in Canada. I've been door knocking with the Conservative candidate in my riding and it's cold, dark, wet and ... did I say cold? For the most part I've been encouraged by the number of people who tell us that they normally vote Liberal, but that this time will vote otherwise. Sometimes they're going NDP. A few times folks have said they are going to vote for the Green Party, but most of the time the "switchers" are going Conservative. There is hope for this land yet. Two weeks of campaigning to go.

I had an extended discussion with one woman who said she is voting Green this time. I asked her why. She said that Stephen Harper would send troops to Iraq. I said that is not possible. The few thousand troops we have are tied up in the Afghanistani deployment. She said that we should be training the Forces for peacekeeping, not combat. I said that the skill set needed for good peacekeepers is the same as for good combat troops, but that in any case the current threat was the Islamofascist jihad and that means combat. I asked her if she supported the Canadian forces being in Afghanistan helping the people in their transition to democracy, or whether she advocated abandoning them to the Jihadists or the Taliban. She looked bewildered.

I tried to be gentle. Birkenstockers are so fragile and I'm not the candidate.

John Tory (the Conservative party leader in the province) spent time doorknocking with us. I liked him.

Back to the coal face tomorrow. (Not the campaign. The office.)

I notice that the Conservatives pulled ahead off the Grits in Ontario (outside of Toronto) at about the same time I started to work on the campaign. Coincidence?