Other people's opinions

Here are a couple of interesting opinion articles. Team Corruption is rather scathing, but it makes a good point I hadn't thought of (but should have).
The last federal election cost $247-million. That's a lot of money, but NOT holding an election has cost the Canadian taxpayer over $4.6-billion... The author should say will cost, not has cost. The budget hasn't been approved yet. Still, it's a good point.
The Abolition of Democracy points out what we already know: democracy doesn't work because stupid people vote and some people don't vote at all.
This article looks at the Liberals and the media.

MP Tony Valeri decided to write about why he is a proud Liberal.
Save it Valeri.
Your party is under criminal investigation.
If you had even an ounce of self-respect, you'd leave.
This very pro-Liberal piece of propaganda makes me shake my head. Behold:
Now let's take into account what Steven Harper is doing about the crisis he is creating by wanting to take Mr. Martin's government down by way of a non confidence vote.
Crisis that Harper is creating?
How do you figure that?
Regardless of what your political views are, one thing will always be true: the Liberal Party of Canada is under criminal investigation. No criminal should be allowed to govern our country or write and pass our laws. Period. I don't care if you lean left or right: there is no disputing this fact. To even suggest that the Liberals are not solely responsible for the actions of their party is, to me, mind-boggling.


Money Making scam...

Blue mountain allows you to make avatars for MSN messenger. (If the link doesn't work, google for Blue Mountain Muggins).
I was playing around, creating a few little guys. I get to the end and what do I find?
That'll be $3.00 please.
Are people actually buying these?

What a shot!

What a sucker punch this one is.
Right to the eye!
Nice big shiner left after.
"Harper portrayed Layton as prostituting himself. In his speech at a luncheon in a winery near Windsor, Harper savaged the NDP leader.
"The NDP says they will not vote against corruption or scandal as long as their spending priorities go ahead."
He mocked Layton, likening him to Lady Astor when asked by Winston Churchill "Would you sleep with me if I paid you a million pounds?"
"She said, "Yeah, I think I would, Mr. Churchill." And he said, "Well, how about I just pay you a dollar, will you sleep with me?" She said, "What do you think I am?" And he said, "Well, we just determined what you are, now we are debating price." "

Yet another good one. Gotta love:
"All Canadians know for sure is that right now the ruling Liberal Party of Canada is hanging on to power like an anvil on the end of a thread. The Liberals are also known as the "Grits," or another word that rhymes with it."
I also love this ironic description of the Bloc:
"The Bloc is a fully funded federal party that exists only in Quebec. They use Canadian taxpayers' money to develop strategies to break up Canada."
Sadly, the Conservatives were going to call themselves this:
"The Conservative Party of Canada is the official Opposition. This right-leaning party has gone by various names over the years, including: Tories, Conservatives, Canadian Alliance, Reform and, briefly, the Conservative Reform and Alliance Party, a.k.a. CRAP." I'll bet it took about 30 seconds for that idea to die. Somebody looked at a sign and went "Hey... guys...?"
"...the New Democratic Party, a.k.a. NDP, which is known for being about as fiscally responsible as Imelda Marcos."
Ah, so true.

The Tories will be having a pow-wow Monday. The results will be interesting. Hopefully they will agree on an election time. Now would be the time to hold it, as opposed to waiting for the winter. According to the Globe and Mail, the Liberals are down by ten points in the Toronto area and the Tories and NDP are each up by six. Although the Liberals are still ahead in that area, they could stand to lose in the riding they won last year by a small amount.
Come on Toronto!
Don't let me down!


What did you think was going to happen?

Poor, naive, stupid Layton.
How could you not have seen this coming?
Of course Martin lied.
What did you think he was going to do?
Keep his word?
Meanwhile, the Conservatives are doing what they should be: trying to bring the government down.

Hit the Road Jack, and Today's News

If I voted NDP, I'd feel sold out by Jack Layton. If there was ever a time when his party should have taken the moral high ground, it was now.
Instead, he weaseled.
Good thing I don't vote NDP.
This means I can sit here, shaking my head, saying "Stupid lefties."
On the one hand, I can't really blame them. As this article points out, this is "the most influence the NDP has had in thirty years." The CBC had this to say on the subject. The Conservatives are none too happy, according to several article and what I have been hearing on the news. Here is the Macleans version. To be honest, I think Harper is right. This isn't how Parliament is supposed to be working. Whether or not Canadians want to go back to the polls is not the issue. The issue (for me at least) is that the role of the Opposition in any government is not to support the existing government. It may do that from time to time, that's true, but it is not required to do so. The role of the Opposition is to do exactly what its name implies: to oppose. They are supposed to be providing a balance to government to ensure that the citizens of the nation are not only represented, but are given what the optimal combination of what they want and what is best for them.
I guess this is why Layton's move frustrates me.
He's not doing his job.
And quite frankly, I do not care a wit if he can't sleep at night.

In other news, the publication ban surrounding Coffin's testimony was mostly lifted today. I am not surprised. Every paper and all of the news is reporting almost the same thing: Coffin falsified bills because he was directed by his boss to do so. He made something like $2.7 million through the sponsorship programme. He is also going to court in June with regards to 18 fraud related charges.
Meanwhile, the federal Liberals are waving the Quebec separation flag again. How they can get away with it, or why people are buying it is beyond me. If I were from Quebec, I'd be really offended by this. If Quebec separates, then we have to deal with it.
But stop blowing this particular trumpet over and over just to save your own sorry behind.


Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures

If this doesn't smack of desperation, I don't know what does. Not only does Chretien want Gomery removed on account of "bias," he doesn't think Gomery should be allowed to have a lawyer when they go to court.
His reason?
It would be "inappropriate and unseemly" for a lawyer for the commission to oppose Mr. Chrétien in court at the same time as the inquiry investigates his activities at a public inquiry.
Is this a legal argument?
If it is, it's a mind-bogglingly pathetic one.
Here is another version of the same story. Chretien is to be in court at 1:30pm, EST. Looks like a lot of this has to do with Gomery's "small-town cheap" comment on Chretien's golf balls.

In other news, Coffin takes the stand today. His testimony is protected by a temporary publication ban. It will be interesting to see what information is released at the end of the week.
While you're waiting, read this opinion article. I have to say, the introduction makes a great analogy.


Why One Guy Won't Vote Liberal

This is a good opinion article.
But when it came to actually doing something, charting a new course and raising the ethics bar, they’ve shown they are cut from the same cloth as the Liberals they are trying to distance themselves from.
So true.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

It Never Rains but it Pours

The Liberals need this like they need a kick in the teeth. It make you wonder how these guys have managed to hold on to power for so long without being discovered. (If you can't link to the article, google for Gomery Inquiry drug. You'll find it.)
"Because of restrictive court orders that are keeping search warrants and other material secret, little has been made public about the B.C. case that led police to raid the provincial legislature in December of 2003."
Tell me more.
Little information has come out, but what is known raises questions about the activities of key Liberal organizers in British Columbia at both the federal and provincial levels.
There's a lot of that going around just lately, isn't there?
You know, McGuinty might want to take a cue from this and NOT endorse the federal Liberals in any way at all.
Mr. Basi, then an aide to the B.C. finance minister, and Mr. Virk, then an aide to the B.C. transportation minister, traded secret government information about the pending $1-billion sale of BC Rail, in an attempt to get jobs with the Liberals in Ottawa. ... "Erik Bornman ... an associate of Basi's became a person of interest ... Bornman promotes Basi and Virk with recommendations pertaining to jobs with the federal government, with the knowledge that their credentials are fabricated or exaggerated."
Mr. Bornman was the operations manager for Mr. Martin's campaign in British Columbia and was the director of communications for the federal Liberals on the West Coast. Prior to that, he was a political assistant to Mr. Martin when the Prime Minister was finance minister.
...Marissen is responsible for the B.C. hiring pool of Paul Martin's transition government.
...Clark is a fundraiser for the Paul Martin campaign and the federal Liberal Party.
...Cpl. Cowan states that Mr. Marissen told police: "He ran Paul Martin's leadership campaign in British Columbia.
Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk were looking for chief-of-staff jobs in the $100,000 to $140,000 range.

Yet more jobs and contracts for friends. Now isn't this familiar.
But wait, there's more.
If this was just about a few patronage jobs, it would be bad enough. But there are other troubling possibilities.
Mr. Basi was a busy political operative in British Columbia. He helped the federal and provincial Liberals organize and had a reputation of being able to sign up lots of new members fast. At one point, he helped Mandeep Singh Sandhu become a director of the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca federal Liberal constituency.
Three weeks before the legislature raids, police searched Mr. Sandhu's house and seized an undisclosed amount of money.
Mr. Sandhu is the cousin of Victoria Police Constable Ravinder Singh (Rob) Dosanjh who is charged with willfully attempting to obstruct justice for allegedly telling Mr. Sandhu to "make false statements to law enforcement officials" about the origin of the money.
Mr. Sandhu was charged last September with conspiracy to traffic in marijuana. Charged at the same time, with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, was Mr. Basi and six others.

Drug money?
Say it isn't so.
Last year, Conservative MP John Reynolds asked the government to provide assurances that drug money wasn't used in Mr. Martin's leadership campaign, which in British Columbia involved a remarkable recruiting drive that signed up 36,000 new Liberal members.
"Where did all the fundraising money come from?" asked Mr. Reynolds, who, like many British Columbians is still waiting for an answer to that and other questions.

As yet, there are no answers. Still, the possibility of yet another inquiry has raised its ugly head. This one would be extremely interesting, not to mention damaging to the Liberal party.
It would make the Gomery Inquiry look like a tea party.
Speaking of which, read this bit of news. Surely Deslauriers isn't actually expecting people to believe her, is she?

Repeating History

Yet another publication ban will smother some of the testimony to be delivered this week. One wonders what the point is: it was ineffective last time. Why would it work now?
Guite and Coffin testify later in the week. Both were heavily involved in the sponsorship programme and both will be standing trial in June. Corbeil and Morselli will testify after these two are done. According to the article, there are also assorted small fish to fry. No doubt the results will be interesting.
I suspect that interested readers will be able to get information from certain American blogs.



I was not expecting this at all. Quite a few papers are running similar stories. Here is the Globe and Mail's version.
I really have no idea what to say, aside from "Hey, I didn't vote Liberal."

Depart from me Part II

I knew he was lying!
I feel like banging my head on the desk!
Read the first paragraph of this article.
While Paul Martin insists he isn't close to Claude Boulay, one of the ad executives embroiled in the sponsorship scandal, Mr. Boulay testified yesterday that he met Mr. Martin at least twice a week when he worked on the politician's election campaign in 1993.
Twice a week!!!
With a guy he claims he barely knew!!!

Before I comment on last night's speech

Allow me to direct your attention to this succulent piece. In particular, please notice:
More details on the friendship emerged Thursday during testimony by Boulay's wife, Diane Deslauriers, who said Martin once had brunch at their home with campaign workers in 1993.
Deslauriers said she admired Martin and worked with him every day during the 1993 campaign, an experience in which everyone bonded.
"People may not know each other at the beginning, but by the end of the campaign, we realize we have become family by the end of the 35 to 40 days."
She went on to call Martin "a very generous and devoted man."
Deslauriers said she handled phone calls, campaigned door-to-door and performed communications work for Martin during the campaign.
She was also confronted Thursday with a letter to her husband from Martin in which expressed his regrets at missing Boulay's 50th birthday party.

And we were supposed to buy that speech last night? We're supposed to buy into this ludicrous idea that Martin is going to clean up an "unjustifiable mess," while it's looking more and more like he not only perjured himself, but was involved? By the way, there is no doubt in my mind that he will somehow be exonerated. He is calling the investigation on himself after all.

As for the speech, could it have been more predictable? I was wrong about the gay marriage bill and the environment, and I could never in a million years have guessed he would have inserted that pathetic little story about working in Parliament with his dad, but other than that, I was pretty close. I knew he'd mention health care. I knew he'd have the audacity to point fingers at the other parties. His nerve is unbelievable. Do you realize he spent at least a full 2 or 3 minutes lauding his own praises and hard work, right at the very beginning of the speech?
I loathe and despise his arrogance. It is impossibly vain of him to imply that the average Canadian can't make up their own mind based on the testimony they are hearing. To even hint at when he thinks we should or shouldn't have an election, as far as I am concerned, makes him unworthy as a leader. We are all capable adults of voting age. We put a Prime Minister in power when WE decide, not when the current individual in power suggests we should.
This is supposed to be a democracy.
Martin had better learn that fast.


How predictable is our PM?

This is a brilliant interpretation of what the Prime Minister will not say in his speech tonight. I have to agree: we will hear none of that. What I am expecting is a lot of hoohaw about the moral responsibility of the Liberal government. I am counting on something more along the lines of the following:

"Today we the Canadian people find ourselves deep in a moral crisis. It would seem that some individuals have misused our great political system to their own advantage. The Gomery Inquiry was called, by me, to root out these individuals, determine where the problems in our system lay, and propose possible solutions.
"I have the moral responsibility to see this inquiry through to the end. Some would have you believe that I was involved in this scandal. I tell you, I am not a crook. While it is true that I was Finance Minister during most of the years that the sponsorship programme took place, I had no knowledge of misused funds.
"The sponsorship programme was necessary to preserve national unity. There were a few rogue members in our party who used the programme to their own ends, and they shall be dealt with accordingly. Despite the fact that the inquiry has cost my party much political support, it was and remains the morally upright thing to do.
"If the Conservatives, the Bloc and the NDP choose to topple this government which has fought so hard to secure the rights of all Canadian citizens, valuable bills that support such fundamental rights as gay marriage, a clean environment, early childhood education and many, many others will fall by the way side.
"The true test of character is doing the right thing when it is difficult. And let me tell you that matters a great deal more than the ambitions of any political leader.
"While the opposition is busy focusing on the problems within this government, government business is being brought to a standstill. We are being held hostage by the opportunistic nature of the other parties.
"A government run by the Conservatives would most certainly fail. Our national unity is at stake. The Quebec separatists and the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper seek to tear this country apart. It is imperative that we, as a nation, wait for the results of the Gomery inquiry before calling an election. Only then will Canadians have enough information to make the correct decision before going to the polls.
"I am committed to delivering Canadians the facts. I am committed to the common man. I tell you, I stand for Liberal values, and Liberal values are Canadian values. I will defend health care. I will defend minority rights. I am committed to a clean environment, early childhood education and a balanced budget.
"You, the average Canadian, must exercise your right to a free and independent government. You must know the facts first, and then make your choice."

What do you think?

[Edit: (1:26pm) And a mere hour and a half after I made my prediction, what do you think is being reported?

HRH Paul Martin Speaks

So, he's going to address the nation, is he?
Of all the pompous, arrogant, self-centered moves.
I'd bet you $50 that the PM will get up on TV and swear up and down that he had nothing to do with the scandal. He will lie through his teeth and say that, despite the fact he was the Finance Minister at the time, he had no knowledge of what was going on. He'll say that the Liberal government deserves another chance.
Don't believe him Canada!
He's lying!!
The Globe and Mail and CTV have a story on it. So do a few others, like The National Post, which can't resist a taking a perfect pot-shot on this pathetic scheme of Paul's (see page 3). They also have this article, which has a great introduction, Caesar, the veteran Paul Martin whose performance as Prime Minister has been called "hilarious" by just about everyone, and an even better finish: However, that would deny him the opportunity to stare directly into the camera and plead, in true Bill Clinton rheumy-eyed style, that he did not have gastronomic relations with Claude Boulay.
The tone is generally the same: the Liberals are desperate to get the upper hand and feel that by addressing the nation directly, they will gain the support of the common man.
Boy are they deluded.
If the sponsorship inquiry has taught me anything, it's that the common man doesn't care about politics. Jeopardy will be on, and it's the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. The address is scheduled for 7:45pm EST.
[Edit: (12:12pm) According to this, the speech has been moved to 7pm, and the CBC will also air it. And now back to what I was saying...]
Not being the common man, I plan to watch the address, of course... if I get the channel, which I am afraid I might not. It looks like CTV streams some of their news, so I can always watch it there. I'm envisioning something vaguely Nixon-esque... I am not a crook...

And in other news, it looks like Brault wasn't lying, despite the vehement protestations of others involved in the same scandal.


Depart from me; I never knew you

"Boulay? Barely know him."
"Martin? Eh, hardly know him at all."
"What lunch?"

There is very little that can convince me that these two don't know each other on some level. In fact, if it came out tomorrow that they had been pals for years, I would not be at all surprised. Supposedly, Martin did not write that letter, the one about th golf game. Actually, I would bet that is true; his secretary probably wrote it for him.
And yet, can it be denied that Boulay was involved in Martin's leadership campaign?
How could he possibly not know him?
This commentary in the Globe and Mail raises an excellent point. Boulay commented that he doubted Martin wrote the letter due to the fact that he didn't "know him to use this poetic style." As the article asks, how could he know what writing style Martin used if he barely knew him?
The other thing that is just killing me is this idea that Martin didn't have a hand in who was getting contracts and how much they were for. How is such a thing possible if he was the Finance Minister? Surely he would have not only been involved, but he would have been telling everyone else what to do. According to the Department of Finance's website, the purpose of the department is to, among other things, manage the nation’s bank account.
So what exactly was Martin doing all that time?

May 19th

According to the Globe and Mail, the Conservatives did manage to secure May 19th as their next opposition day.
Now get those criminals out.
On Monday, government House Leader Tony Valeri postponed a Conservative opposition day set for today in which the Tories had planned to introduce a motion that would allow opposition parties to decide the timing of their days in May. (I commented on this yesterday.)
Mr. Valeri confirmed yesterday that he had decided not only to postpone today's Conservative opposition day, but to reschedule the weekly opposition days to the end of May or into June. (This was a distinct possibility, according to the article posted on Yahoo... that link has been updated by the way.)
So-called "opposition days" allow an opposition party to put forward a motion for debate and a vote, usually the following Tuesday. They are the most obvious avenue to introduce a no-confidence motion and force an election.
The government controls the scheduling of the days. Pushing them back would have forced the opposition to trigger an election that would have to be held in the middle of summer.
But in a procedural counterattack, Conservative House Leader Jay Hill put forward a motion at the Commons committee responsible for House rules that will ensure at least one opposition day, on May 19.
(Way to go Hill!)
The motion would change the standing orders for opposition days for this year only to make sure that if the government hasn't scheduled one by May 19, there will be one that day. The motion would also ensure that whatever is raised will be voted on that day. (So, this may be the only day we get to kick the crooks out.)
That motion has the support of the New Democrats and the Bloc, and after a lengthy filibuster by the Liberals, the government agreed that it will be put to a vote in committee tomorrow and ultimately to a Commons vote, where it will pass because opposition MPs outnumber the Liberals.
Mr. Valeri confirmed that Mr. Hill's motion will pass because the opposition parties have more votes than the Liberals, but he accused the Conservatives of playing politics with House rules.
(Well now, isn't that a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?)


They can do that?

I don't know how I missed this article yesterday. I spotted it on Captain Ed's today and shook my head in disbelief.
According to the article, the Official Opposition has six opposition days guaranteed to it before Parliament breaks for summer. Wednesday, that is tomorrow, was supposed to be one of them. However, in what has to be a panicked moved, the Liberal government has cancelled it. The Conservatives had tabled a motion that would allow them to set their own opposition days (I am amazed they can't already) and were prepared to discuss it tomorrow. Given that an election seems likely, the Liberals decided to block this strategy in order to maintain control of the government. I must assume that was their motivation. Why else would they do this?
This strikes me as being not only stupid (I mean, you lot are supposed to be convincing us of your innocence), but utterly dishonourable.
As if that isn't bad enough, today they are doing more of the same: that is, literally talking until they are blue in the face.
Way to go Paul
All three parties are now united in purpose, the article goes on to say. They want an opposition day scheduled for May 19th.
Oh, and according to what is being reported in just about every paper today, Boulay not only handled more than $107 million dollars worth of contracts while Martin was Finance Minister, he actually "worked on Martin's 1990 leadership campaign."
Not bad, considering the PM claims he barely knew him.

Edit: The link to the article at Yahoo news now points to another article, related but not the same. Similar articles can be found here, here, and here. This one looks very similar to the original link I had posted.

Habemus papam...

Actually, I should say "They have a Pope."
I'm not Catholic.
Nevertheless, even as a Protestant Christian I cannot deny the significance of the role the pope plays in shaping the Christian community. I am glad they picked the pope they did.
Joseph Ratzinger has been described as anti-gay, anti-gay marriage (even homophobic), anti-women priests, a hard-liner, a fundamentalist and a conservative (as though all of these are grievous sins). He is 78 and due to his "great age," he is viewed as something of a transitional pope because he is not expected to hold the post past a couple of years. Must be nice to know that people are expecting you to die.
Still, I think it would be much worse for the Christian community, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant alike, if a young, "liberal," "progressive," pope had been chosen. There are many, many issues that the Catholic church needs to deal with not the least of which are errant priests molesting young boys and gay marriage. An older, experienced individual well-versed not only in church doctrine and Scriptural Truth but also in the matter of church discipline is absolutely required.
I hope he will be successful.
I wouldn't want his job.

Today's scandal news

I love the opening paragraphs of this article. In fact, the whole thing is well written. It's succinct, and yet has just the right amount of sting to be effective.
Such a nice picture of Boulay here. This is exactly the sort of face you want put forward to the Canadian public: defiant to the last.
Although I agree with the opening paragraph of this article, some of the author's conclusions are certainly debatable. He seems to have forgotten that timing is everything. I wholeheartedly agree that an election should be called, however, it would be a true disaster if the Liberal government somehow won. Keep in mind that the suspicion is growing that Martin may have perjured himself. Boulay will testify today; his testimony could have farther reaching effects than anyone realizes should he and the Prime Minister be good friends.
Can you imagine being in the shoes of this guy? I cannot imagine the rage he must feel at knowing that someone who did no work billed ten times the amount for work actually done by himself. It's unthinkable: a million dollars versus one hundred thousand. Mondou is, quite rightfully, considering suing. As far as I am concerned, he should.
And the Prime Minister does it again. Apparently, Canada can't afford to shell out on foreign aid. Martin couldn't explain why not, which is interesting given that he also apparently feels Canada is on the brink of an economic "golden age." So tell me, Paul, where is this money we are about to make going to go? Planning on big parties for your friends and seats at races? Also, and I love this, Bono plans to make himself the biggest pain in the ass," so much so that a year from now, Martin will regret it.
A year?
Aw c'mon Bono.
June, June.


Yet more scandal

Amazing, isn't it, how some people feel they don't necessarily owe others the truth?
Let's take this latest gem of a confession from Corriveau.
"(The reporter) had no authority to insist I tell him the truth,"
So, who does have authority to insist you tell the truth, Jack?
Your mom?
If it weren't so serious, it would be like something out of a cartoon. The guy stands there and says to the court that his peers, which is essentially what the press is, are not owed the truth because they have no authority over him. In other words, it's ok to lie to your peers and peons.

You want to know what else disturbs me? This idea that somehow the sponsorship programme was necessary for national unity. Somehow, all of this is the fault of the Quebec separatists. If I were from Quebec, separatist or not, I would be grievously offended by such a suggestion. No one forced the Liberals to steal from the public coffers and waste the money on flags and parties for their friends. Yet people are buying this, hook, line and sinker. There has been barely an eyelash batted, except by those from Quebec, and most people are ignoring their very legitimate complaint (well, of course they would deny it, blah blah blah).
We also have this notion that if the inquiry could only finish, if we would all wait for November or December until the report is published, that would give the average Canadians (who, in the minds of the politicians, can't think for themselves) time to digest the material and make an informed decision. I think that's garbage. I think there have already been so many spins put on this scandal that, were we to wait until November, not only would we find ourselves governed yet again by Liberals, we could find ourselves in the dangerous position of being governed by a majority of Liberals.
And wouldn't that suck?
I would like to see an election soon.
I would like to see these criminals out.
I would like to see some faint glimmer of hope that my country is not full of apathetic beer drinkers and Tim Horton's addicts who don't actually care at all about who runs the country. Instead of resigned cynicism, instead of blind apathy, mimicked rhetoric and ignorance, I would like to see some action.

I would like to try

This game. It looks cool. The review sounds pretty good.


According to this, the NDP will continue to support the Liberal government if they choose to pump some money into Ontario.
For a guy who is supposedly "furious" at Liberal government doling out brown envelopes full of cash, Layton sure has a bizarre way of showing it. He acknowledges that the public is "a little bit sick and tired of the attention that's always paid to the Liberals defending themselves from their own corruption," but he doesn't take it to its logical conclusion: ousting those in power.
Stupid stunts like this are why the NDP never wins at the Federal level. Who could honestly read such a thing and believe that Layton is being anything other than totally naive? The Liberals have been making promises, especially surrounding the sensitive issue of healthcare, as long as they have been in power. When was the last time they delivered? And Layton believes what? That if Martin says he agrees to his "terms," he will do as he says?
It's beyond stupidity.

If you have ever written an academic paper...

You will appreciate this.

"The idea of a fake submission was to counter "fake conferences...which exist only to make money," explained Stribling and his cohorts' website, "SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator.""


Liberal Media

If anyone has a copy of the article that is being referred to here, please send it to me. I didn't read it, sadly. I hope it's not true; I'll have to change my opinion of the National Post.

The rage...

This is a particularly angry article about the sponsorship inquiry. The writer makes some excellent points. For example:

For 10 years, municipalities and provinces have begged the federal government for more education and health care funding, with then Finance Minister Paul Martin repeatedly responding that the government didn't have enough money.
As Hamilton hospital wait times grew ever longer and patients lay on gurnies in corridors; with schools deteriorating; and as municipalities grew more desperate for cash, the Liberals were spending bundles of cash on government advertising contracts.


What a load of hooey this is. Conveniently, Corriveau has developed memory problems with regards to certain details of the sponsorship scandal.
Tell me another one, Jack.
I love the way it's phrased here at canoe.ca.
"I have someone who's very, very close to me who suffers from Alzheimer's, and I'm living with that," Corriveau said, suggesting during his first day of testimony that the disease is rubbing off on him.
I see.
So you've caught Alzheimer's then, eh Jack? Much like your average cold? What a shame. Or is it because you're friend is losing his memory, this means that you can't remember anything either? Good old fashioned telepathy...


A brief hiatus from my political ramblings

After all, this site is supposed to be about putting computers back in the hands of the human.
Instead of posting something technical, I will give you this link, which has nothing to do with computers, the internet, information or anything that this blog is supposed to be about.
It's a sad day folks.
Cookie Monster is now cookieless.

The Great Kitchen Utensil

I would have just called him a tool.
At any rate, this is a pretty good article, although I don't agree with everything.
This one is good too.

Canadian Values: What and where are they?

This article asks the question "Exactly what are "Canadian Values"?" Given some of the reactions (or lack thereof, see the post below on "Really dumb things..."), I think the writer makes an excellent point.


Paying Taxes

According to this article by Macleans, some people are so mad about the scandal that they are refusing to pay their taxes.
I shouldn't laugh.

A chance to comment

Sound off at Canada.com.
Get a load of the comment by "Dedicated Liberal" (occupation: bag man). Now that's funny stuff. In fact, reading it all, there is a lot of funny stuff.

Fear Mongering: The Last Great Strategy of the Liberal Party

Good grief!
Behold this latest Liberal move and this one also.

As I am sure most of you are aware, the Liberals have had to move fast in order to save face and protect themselves from flying feces. Tactics have included playing innocent (it was the other Liberals), lauding Martin for his "noble" efforts in starting up an inquiry that was sure to trace back to his own party's corruption (because it was the right thing to do), implying a hidden agenda on the part of the Conservative party, blaming Quebec separatists, strategically bringing up cost issues (because while it's ok to waste money left, right and center, and embezzle it from the Canadian people, it's not ok to spend money on an election), and these latest gems.
To quote from the first article, ""It's an alliance of the Alliance (Conservatives) and the Bloc. Two very provincial, separatist-type parties," said Joe Volpe, the Liberals' Ontario cabinet lieutenant.
"So the choice is Canada or them."
So what are you telling me Volpe?
A vote for the Liberals is a vote for Canada?
"Deputy prime minister Anne McLellan said she would be "disgusted" to see the Tories and Bloc band together to take her party down in the middle of the inquiry.
"It's political opportunism taken to a new level to see the Bloc and the Conservatives working together," she said.
"Of course national unity is an issue. The unity of our country is absolutely key - it's at the very heart of everything we do."
So, calling an election when the governing party has been engaged in criminal activity is political opportunism? One can't help but wonder if Ms. McLellan is living on another planet.
But oh, that's right, I forgot.
It was the Chretien Liberals.
The Martin Liberals had nothing to do with it (despite the fact that Martin was Finance Minister at the time) and are therefore totally innocent.
How clumsy of me.
They are obviously two different parties.
In the second article, we have "Prime Minister Paul Martin turned a question about lunch into a stirring defence of medicare.
"I will fight the Conservatives tooth and nail and we will protect the Canada Health Act," Martin said in Parliament on Wednesday.
But Conservative Leader Stephen Harper had asked if Martin ever had lunch with Montreal ad executive Claude Boulay, a figure in the sponsorship scandal.
Harper repeated the question several times, and Martin continually answered with attacks on the Conservatives' "hidden agenda" on health care.
This is a really, really bad attempt at deflecting attention away from the scandal on so many levels. For the first time, I find myself in agreement with a member of the NDP. "NDP Leader Jack Layton said: "We've seen no defence of the Canada Health Act. All we've seen is an epidemic of privatization." " The other thing is that if Federal Liberals behave anything like Provincial Liberals, especially those in Ontario, then an actual defense of health care would involve increased taxes and fewer nurses.
In the meantime, Lemay testified that he never actually checked any receipts or followed up on work that was claimed. He didn't know influence peddling is illegal. Kilgour left the Liberals, O'Brien is considering leaving and polls are finally reflecting plummeting support for the Liberal party instead of this insane idea that they are still somehow a viable option.


And here I was starting to worry that my country was full of Liberal-minded idiots.

"Last week’s statement that "Paul Martin is the wire brush that will scrub clean this stain on Canadian politics" is one of the most insulting and patronizing loads of manure to come out of Ottawa..."

It's like a breath of fresh air, I tell you.


Really dumb things said by people

These comments were copied directly from here. I changed their names... well, you'll get it..

"Sure, there is corruption in the Liberal government. But you would find the exact same thing in any other government in power." Everybody's Doing It, Hamilton
"I have complete confidence that Mr. Martin will clean up this mess when Justice Gomery finishes." Mr. Naivete, Kitchener
"I think everyone must remember that no sitting federal MP has been implicated in the sponsorship scandal. It concerns civil servants, election workers and advertising agency executives. Calling Paul Martin, his cabinet or any other MP ... "corrupt" is not fair." The Whining Idiot, Toronto
"I do feel this was a terrible mistake on the part of Jean Chrétien and Canadians should be reimbursed by the companies involved and the federal Liberal Party, but to paint all Liberals in the same light would be a grave mistake." Ms. Taken, Fort Frances
"It was the Chrétien Liberals, not the Martin Liberals..." It was a Different Mob, Burnaby
"Yet, I feel more disturbed by the immature rush to judge and blame an entire organization like the Liberal Party, with its great historic achievements..." Revisionist Historian, Quebec
"What a lot of people seem to be forgetting about this is that this is the testimony of one person, and it hasn't been proven in a court of law. " Brison's Personal Lackey, Nepean
"It's sad to say, but I will reluctantly accept a bit of corruption in my government if it keeps a man like Stephen Harper out of office." Obviously on Crack, Toronto
"I find it highly illogical that alleged corrupt federalists would be in bed with alleged corrupt separatists." Thinks He's Spock, Ottawa
"The amount of money involved was a mere drop in the bucket when you consider the overall government budget..." Dumb Millionaire Who Doesn't Pay Taxes, Toronto
"I can't believe that Chrétien or Martin knew of these schemes." Lie to Me, Surrey
"I think that there is a serious overreaction to this scandal. Yes, millions of dollars were handed out untendered and yes, there is mounting evidence of corruption, but it is clear that this country has more pressing issues to deal with..." What Criminal Activity, Another Planet


Sad but true fact about the Average Canadian

Read this article...

According to this article, the Gomery inquiry and Liberal Party corruption "...scandal is not overwhelming public interest or attention. A small minority (12%) is following the inquiry closely but almost two in five (38%) are not following the inquiry much at all. In fact, when asked whether they knew about the Gomery Inquiry, 27% said they did not." Also, only about "12% online Canadians looked for the banned material on the Internet and about two in ten (23%) knew someone who had searched for the information."

It would appear that I am in the minority... again.



I have created a photoBlog here.

Text Analysis

I have been learning a bit about Text Analysis. If you are unfamiliar with the topic, the best place to start is to know that a concordance is probably your most basic text analysis tool.
For other (and more useful) information, check out TAPoR.
For a tool unrelated to the TAPoR project, go here and take a look. This is rather interesting. The tool reads a piece of text, and the draws a series of bezier curves connecting related words. I would love to run this tool on several version of the Bible. It would be interesting to see if different versions (ie: King James, NIV, Amplified, NASB) produce different curves. I assume they would. What I am not sure of is how different these curves might be. It would also be interesting to compare different language translations. If you compared Hebrew to English to Spanish or Chinese, what would the curves look like?


Global National Poll

It's here, slightly to the right, about the middle of the page.
They ask: "Has the latest testimony before the Gomery Inquiry convinced you the Liberals have lost the moral authority to govern? "
The results when I voted were 99.77% Yes and 0.23% No.
Let me guess.
That one guy voting no must be Jean Chretien.
I would say Paul Martin, but he's visiting the Pope's dead body, pretending to be a good Catholic. I doubt he's got the time to surf the web right now. He's too busy faking piety.

Another Look Update

It's spring.
How could I resist?


A Flurry of Political Activity

Stay in Rome, Mr. Prime Minister, pretending to be a great Catholic.
We don't want you or your government anymore.

I feel positively vindicated for not voting Liberal and for telling everyone I knew who did that I thought they were making a mistake. It was known there was widespread corruption in the Liberal party. It was known they had some members with mob ties.

And then the Gomery inquiry.

There has finally been a partial lift of the publication ban (levied last week) surrounding the testimony of certain key witnesses in the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal. The decision was made at 2pm EST today. Due to the fact that the ban has only partially been lifted, some information has made big news (and will continue to do so) while other information will not make the news at all. Judge Gomery's decision is summarized here at the Globe and Mail. The Edmonton Journal had this to say on the whole business, Canada.com said this and this was posted at Macleans. I could keep posting articles, but most of it is repeated information by now. Special thanks must go to Captain Ed, an American blogger who can be found here. Everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame; his may change the course of Canadian politics.

What is unbelievable to me is the Liberal Party's unwavering arrogance during this whole fiasco. People like Brison are standing there say "Well, these are only allegations."
Does he think we're stupid?
Your party has ties to the mob, Mr. Brison. Substantial amounts of money changed hands illegally, not just once but many, many times. The criminal activity within the Liberal party was not only widespread but ongoing for many years.
Don't you think a little repentance is in order? Or at the very least, humility?
It was a wise idea on the part of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to wait for the publication ban to lift before making their move. Now the iron is truly hot and they can strike with maximum efficacy. The Bloc of course has been sharpening its guillotine for a while. It will be some time before the Liberals are welcome in Quebec again.
The Conservatives are actively seeking constituent feedback regarding a possible election. If you would like to see the Liberals ousted, now is your chance. Call your MP or local representative immediately. Tell your friends to call their MP's! If you voted for the Liberals in the last election (stupid you) rethink your vote! We cannot allow criminals to run our country, much less make our laws (oh the irony of criminals passing laws). Punish the Liberals to the fullest extent of the law and put every last dime of that money back where it belongs.


I just had the urge to Google for information on the possible publication ban lift.
Sometimes, I love Americans! (Hint: search for Gomery inquiry publication ban lift, then search for sponsorship scandal publication ban, then Gomery inquiry American blog)

According to this and this some American bloggers managed to get a hold of the inquiry information.
Why didn't I think of this?
Of course they have it. They aren't subject to our stupid ban.

Google is your friend.

Publication ban? Another Election?

If you are Canadian, you know about the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal (unless you have been living under a rock.) Last week the judge put a publication ban on information released during the trial of two key players in the scandal. Now it appears that the information released could make a critical impact on the Canadian population. It has the potential to cripple the Liberal government. I won't bother repeating all the ad hominem against the current government. I'm sure we've all heard it before (although, I did read a read letter to the editor making mention of an incident in the former USSR where all the culprits were lined up and shot...) and I'm sure I have nothing new to say.
According to what I have just heard on the news, the publication ban could be lifted as early as today. I am keeping my ears peeled for news. If anyone has anything they'd like to send me on the subject (I've probably already seen it but) please send it along.
The Conservatives are asking for input from their constituents regarding calling a possible election. They don't want to leap on the Bloc bandwagon too quickly (although I wouldn't blame them) and call for a non-confidence motion too quickly. As for my input, well, I'm dying to see the Liberals ousted. My taxes aren't producing enough fruit, thank you very much, but I agree with the Conservative parties move. Better to wait and see what their people will want than to jump too quickly.
So everyone, if you want the Liberals out, wait for the ban to lift (it's coming, so they say) and CALL YOUR MP!!!!!
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