This is a first for me.
I am blogging on Britney Spears. The skank extraordinaire is pregnant again.
In fact, she is three months pregnant. When she gives birth, sometime in September, her two children will be roughly a year apart. My first thought was along the lines of "That's unusual for a celebrity." My second was "I wonder if she was breastfeeding." The strain on you body of trying to sustain three individuals is considerable, which is why my husband and I are actively trying not to get pregnant until Eden is weaned (at nine months).
I seriously hope she isn't one of those women who mistakenly believed breastfeeding works as a form of birth control. Although the chances of getting pregnant before the third month is pretty rare, beyond that it is not only possible, but happens with alarming regularity (especially if you are healthy).
Still, I can't fault her for having more kids. As much as I dislike her, I respect women who opt to have family. Hopefully, she will remember that they are more important than her career.

Our Tax Money: The Liberal ATM

My husband sent me this article this morning.
In their final hours, Paul Martin's Liberals secretly cut a $40,000 cheque to cover the costs of a longtime Liberal's challenge of the Gomery report.
Please note that this is in addition to the $600,000 in legal fees taxpayers have already picked up for Pelletier's lawyers during the Gomery commission.
That's right. $640k paid by us to cover the legal fees of criminals . It gets better.
Jean Pelletier, has appealed to the Conservative government to dip back into federal coffers for more.
Thank goodness we have a Conservative government. At least we know the answer will be "No, M. Pelletier, there will be no money for you."
It makes me wonder what other spending we don't know about. I'd be willing to bet there was a fair amount. It'd be nice if we got our tax money back. I think he should be forced to pay, with no opportunity to declare bankruptcy and so get out of it.
Baird said the only people who should have their legal fees picked up by taxpayers are working public servants.
If you want a lawyer, you can pay for it yourself. If you cannot afford a lawyer, then the system will appoint you one, just like it does for every other citizen. I am sick of this special treatment. You guys can get down here and shlum with the rest of us.


Carolyn Bennett: Liberal Leader!!

I first heard it on Classical FM this morning. Dr. Carolyn Bennett, battle axe extraordinaire has thrown her hat into the ring, as of this morning. She wants to lead the Liberal Party to certain doom... I mean, glorious victory.
Looking online, Canadian Newswire, corroborates what I heard.
Her campaign has a strong focus on democratic reform. "We have to engage
Canadians in the democratic process not just on Election Day, but every day.
We have to show them we know how to listen and respond appropriately. We have
to put them back in the centre," she said.

Democratic Reform?
Lady, you are running as leader for the Liberal Party. No one, short of a handful of idiots, is going to buy the idea that your party is interested in democratic reform, especially when they are getting the beginnings of it from the Conservatives, via the ethics package.

Edit: Please note that I have been trying to post this since about 8:30AM. Stupid Blogger keeps going down!


Things Said At NationStates

I think I may have mentioned before that I keep a nation at NationStates.
Against my better judgement, I recently joined their "UN," in a said attempt to fix some insane resolutions and bring balance to an otherwise left leaning band.
But, on to what was said.

Ah Canadians, my second favourite people in the world after the Irish. And good on Jack Layton for continuing the fight against neo-liberalism I say.

Now, I don't think this was intended as a joke. Can I tell you, I am still laughing my butt off?

Protests in Caledonia

The First Nations' protest in Caledonia has apparently come to a stand off. The dispute is over a land claim. Apparently, natives gave up the land in the 1840's to make way for a new highway. That agreement is now being referred to as a lease. The land was never actually given to the province, only loaned. The protest is intended to halt the construction of 250 new homes, as well as draw attention to First Nation land claim problems across the country.
I am not an Indian, so perhaps I am speaking out of ignorance. In my opinion, protests over land claims like this one are proof positive why the reserve system should never, ever have been invented. It would have been a much better plan to have assimilated native peoples, but allowed them to keep their own cultures as they saw fit. Take for example China Town in Toronto, or the various Italian, Polish, Portuguese, South Asian or whatever other communities that exist quite peacefully across our country. Would it not have been more productive, and more useful for native peoples if they were living within Canadian society, instead of outside, as they do? We wouldn't have the problem of slummish reserves (and everything that goes along with it) or land claims that we do. The land wouldn't belong to one or the other group, but to all Canadians equally.
But maybe I am naive...



So, my daughter has been working out the mechanics of crawling for at least a month now. Yesterday, she broke through! She crawled to me and Daddy to get a toy. Then, later that evening, tired and cranky, she crawled down the hall (bawling as she went) towards me.
Oh what exhaustion and the need to be picked up and cuddled will do for a baby! I shouldn't laugh, but she looked so hilarious, crawling down the hall, moaning and groaing the whole way.
Today, she is all over the place.
On to walking ;-)


Bob Rae: Liberal Leader?

I cannot think of anything worse for this country.
According to an article at CTV, former Ontario premiere Bob Rae will announce his bid for the leader of the Liberal Party next week.
That guy was a total disaster for Ontario when he was premiere. The thought of him running Canada makes me shudder. We'd end up totally broke and hostage to the unions.

Ethics, Money and The Charter

Tory ethics law seen as violating Charter, or so says Allan Woods of CanWest News Service at Canada.com.
Somehow, limiting donations is seen as a violation of free speech and free association. Did even one of these people stop to think about everything that went on during the Sponsorship Scandal?
This sort of mindless wailing of "Oh! My rights!" really gets on my nerves. The people in this article, and dare I say the author as well, did not stop to think about the long term implications of their desires. Right now, Canada has an ethics crisis. There are far too many people trying to buy their way into the law... or out of it. Joe-Average-Canadian who can't afford to give tens of thousands of dollars to a political party will therefore have less say because of his lack of cash. This is not how it is supposed to work.
I realize that the world is no perfect and that the rich will always be able to afford better lawyers. But, when it comes to politics, there needs to be a limit on how much power the moneyed can have. This is a democracy, not an oligarchy.

Red Ensign Standard

Red Ensign Standard Issue #40 is up. Many thanks to Chris for his work.


Happy Easter

I probably won't get a chance to post tomorrow, so let me wish you well a day early. May God richly bless you this holiday season, as you reflect on what His death and resurrection has doe for you.



Just when you thought it was over, Liberal excess comes back to kick you in the teeth.
The report by arbitrator George Adams upheld a $417,780 severance payment the former Liberal cabinet minister received in February, along with a $42,010 annual pension.
Well, I suppose $40K is a reasonable pension, right?
Mr. Dingwall will also receive an annual pension of $42,000 from the mint on top of his yearly MP’s pension of $77,200.
So, that's $119,200 a year for a pension.
Must be nice.
Who wants totake a look at what CPP pays out to Joe-Average Retiree?
The maximum monthly benefit for a retiree who is not disabled (which Dingwall is not) is a whopping $844.58. That works out to $10134.96, which by the way is taxed again. Old Age Security averages $484.63 per month, which is about $5815.56 per year. Together, the average Canadian gets about $15,950.52 per year when they retire.
Way to look after the common people.


How to Know When Your
WebLife Has Taken Over

Hat Tip: Damian. Best read I have ever had.

The "Management Committee" at Rabble "fired" one of their moderators via email on Monday. Members were "outraged" and are organizing a strike There was even an article written up the same day Audra announced she was "fired."
Before I say anything, I'd just like to point out that any web community that has a "Management Committee" is definitely not the place for me. As far as I am concerned, that feature alone is enough to deter me from ever joining... that and the truly mean stuff I have read on their forum.
But back to the "firing."
Say it with me folks.
It's a FORUM!!
If your panties are in that much of a bundle, your web life has gone too far. You have even surpassed this broad... quite the feat, I would say.
Get a load of their "contingency plans."
If worst comes to worst, there should be some discussion of the structure of a new organization. It's all very good to say cooperative, but who would be the stakeholders? What combination of time and money contributed gives people a vote? Consensus decision making or majority rule? Legal status - non-profit, unregistered... etc?
Legal status?
Time and money equals a vote???
Are you joking?
...we should be putting in place a legal entity, a co-operative legal entity, that can register a website, that can establish articles of incorporation, that can thereby elect directors, etc. etc. .... And, we shoul be letting audra know that, should that come to pass/ as it will if she is not properly re-instated, she has a decent job offerm for a decent job - one that at least offers the minimum protections of a Provinces Employment Standards...
These people have gone nuts.
...mission statement... organizational structure and constitution that delineates both how people are elected into positions, and also takes into account the contributions of all stakeholders...well known people who will put their reputation behind the new organization... to give it credibility an organization needs to stand behind it... starting a new organization without some 'name brand' support is quite frankly an excercise in futility...
And the Rabble "name brand" stood for what?
Online insanity?
I had no idea that a place like Rabble would involve money of any type, especially considering the crap they mercilessly put out. I mean, this is a community of hardline NDPers and Communists. I thought you were all about the good of the people, not about the money.
Clearly I was wrong, since time and money gives you a vote.
I have seen web communities go down in flaming glory before. Who hasn't? But really, this takes the cake! This line has to be my favorite, though.
While the effort and intentions are admirable, I believe it's misguided to focus on building a new site already.
Gee, ya think? It is ONE DAY after Audra's "firing." And please note, it's from being a moderator of a forum, not CEO of a big time company that actually has an impact on the world.
I take it back. This is my favorite line:
...negotiate a ceasefire on screwing with the active threads...
Hah hah!
Negotiate a ceasefire!
This is what you get when a bunch of union weenies with no life get together on line. They start having flame wars against themselves, and use terms like "negotiate a ceasefire."
It's a FORUM people!!
A web community.
Got that?
Ooh! Oooh! I found another good one!
...the hypocrasy of sweatshop working conditions at supposedly labour-progressive website.
Sweatshop working conditions???
Love the spelling of hypocrisy by the way.
Anyone remember that discussion had on Cerberus' blog a while ago, about why the left can't seem to have the impact the right can? I wish I could find the link. Anyways, Cerb, I think I found your answer.


As some of you know, Shane is going to Rwanda in June for 3 weeks. He has a post intended for prospective donors and a blog that will cover the details of his trip. If you are interested and wish to donate, go here. If you are unable to donate, prayers are always helpful and I'm sure they will be much appreciated.


Pay Hike?

I was shocked to read that our MP's just got another pay hike.
Members of Parliament admit the latest annual pay hike bringing their base salaries close to $150,000 a year, with generous perks and an enviable pension plan thrown in...
That's disgusting! Please keep in mind that they also get a travel allowance to help pay for gas, while the rest of us suffer.
Recall my post on proposed budget changes. I have decided to add a sixth item.

(Edited at 2:50PM)
6. Reduce the salaries of all MP's. MP's may earn as a base salary no more than twice the average Canadian. Additions to the base salary are to be a percentage of the base salary, the highest of which is the Prime Ministers salary and may not exceed double that of the base salary (as is currently the case). The total expense allowance is not to exceed 15% of an MP's base salary. The travelling allowance which pays for gas is to be eliminated. When travelling, MP's may not rent a hotel room that costs more than three times the average price of a hotel room in a given country, the Prime Minister and Ambassadors excepted. Spouses and immediate family members may be covered by the travel allowance, but friends and assistants (such as drivers) are to pay for themselves.
Please note, according to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian male made $40,300 in 2004. At twice the average, an MP would earn as a base $80,200 a year, which is plenty to live on.

"Yet More Shameful and Ignominious..."

If Canadian civilisation had been written on by Plutarch, what would he say of us? What would he say of the treatment of our soldiers and our general attitude towards war?
...the Taliban feel confident Canadians are not resolved to see the mission through...
Sigh. Such a sad but true statement. The government is certainly correct in their concern regarding the effect tonight's "debate" will have on our soldiers. I fear that we would earn from Plutarch a description like that of Nicias of Athens.
...being naturally diffident and unhopeful in war, his good fortune supplied his want of courage, and kept it from being detected...
...Nicias declined all difficult and lengthy enterprises; if he took a command, he was for doing what was safe...
...This brought great disgrace on Nicias; for this was not to throw away his shield, but something yet more shameful and ignominous, to quit his charge voluntarily out of cowardice, and voting himself, as it were, out of his command of his own accord...
...Nicias's proceedings are inexcusable. For he did not yield up a mere opportunity off getting honour... believing that the expedition would be very hazardous, was thankful to take care of himself..."

How like Nicias our opposition, the NDP in particular, are.


The Ten Commandments

This Monday, ABC is airing a new version of the Ten Commandments. I plan to watch it, of course. I feel I have to point out, however, that the director mindlessly copied DeMille's mistake in their casting of Zipporah.
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. Numbers 12:1
How many white Ethiopians do you know?
They made the same mistake in the movie The Prince of Egypt, too.

Proposed Changes To Our Tax System

Further to this morning's notice, I have decided to post my thoughts on changes to our tax system. I plan to send an email later on today.

1. End all forms of double and triple taxation. Property taxes and provincial sales tax should be deductible from federal tax. The gas tax should also be eliminated.
2. Children are the future of our society; support the family. Lower income tax paid by single income families, where one parent stays at home. Provide incentives for parents who remain at home to raise their children.
2a. Recognize the contribution of mothers to society. Women who opted out of careers in order to raise their families should receive a pension equal to a percentage of their spouses income.
3. Education is important. Eliminate the GST on school supplies.
4. Eliminate all forms of "sin tax." If a government is not willing to outlaw a particular behaviour that it deems to be potentially harmful, then it has no right to make money from it.
5. Assist the elderly. Eliminate income tax for those who are retired war veterans, are on CPP or have a foreign pension.

Important: Government Budget

According to an article in this morning's National Post, the Conservative government is seeking input from Canadians on the budget. Citizens are asked to email suggestions to budget2006consult@fin.gc.ca before April 19. If you have any thoughts that you think would be helpful to the average person, in terms of our taxes, then I would encourage you all to send an email, briefly outlining your thoughts. Review the article for some suggestions if you are having trouble articulating your thoughts on the matter.
Again, the email is: budget2006consult@fin.gc.ca. MP Jim Flaherty is the Minister of Finance. Some will remember him from the Harris government. This is your chance to speak out. I encourage you all to take advantage of it.


Working Girls

In striking contrast with my posts on Paris Hilton and Holland MP Dijksma, I must point out this fantastic article at The Star.
Alison Wolf's article on the changes that feminism has brought to society is an excellent read. If you have not read it, then I recommend you do so. She makes one point in particular that I wish to point out. (emphases are mine)
The pioneering female professionals of the 19th and early 20th centuries were imbued, in an unselfconscious way, with the language and values of religion. Duty to God and duty to their fellow women and men were inextricably combined. If we do not understand this, we will not grasp how different the world of our modern elite women is from that of their grandmothers. Or, indeed, from their grandmothers' grandmothers. Most educated 18th-century women regarded the traditional "women's work" of caring for home and children not with 1960s feminist disdain, but with the values identified by Vickery's study of Georgian "gentle" women: love and duty, fortitude, propriety and resignation. These women were not saints, but they saw the world differently. The centrality of religious belief in both public pronouncements and private lives marks out the different country of the past. Few women were as eminent as Dorothea Beale, the great headmistress of Cheltenham Ladies' College and founder of St Hilda's, Oxford, for whom "moral training is the end, education the means," or Julie Velten Favre, who sent the first generation of highly educated female professeures into the French lycées to "take charge of souls." But these leading educators lived in a world where actively "doing good" was both a major part of many women's lives and intrinsically linked with religious faith and instruction. In Christianity and Social Service in Modern Britain, his recent study of the decline of Christian charity, Frank Prochaska estimates that on the eve of World War I there were close to 200,000 volunteer "district visitors" in Britain, linked to one or other of the churches. They were overwhelmingly women and offered a range of services: financial help, medicines and medical advice, recipes, clothing, links to potential employers and, along with these, bibles, tracts, and pressure to attend church services. The 19th and early 20th centuries saw the development of myriad charities with religious links, many of them aimed at women and almost all relying heavily on female volunteers. Today, the middle-class working-age female volunteer has all but vanished. Voluntary organizations are increasingly run by professionals. Religion has become marginal to the lives of most citizens.

So true.
Kick God out of society, and witness the results. Everything that follows thereafter is but a symptom of the fallen state of our world.

Stay At Home Moms Vs. Dijksma

I saw this at Lifesite, via The Politic, and was outraged. There's more at the Brussels Journal. Dijksma even has a blog entry about it. (It's in Dutch, which I don't speak or read. The link is here for informational purposes only.)
An MP of the Dutch Labour Party has suggested that stay-at-home mothers who used state subsidies for their education should pay the government back since their work at home is "wasted" on child rearing. Sharon Dijksma believes that punitive measures should be taken against women who choose to stay at home with children after graduating from university instead of entering the paid workforce. "A highly educated woman who chooses to stay home and not to work: that is destruction of capital," said Dijksma...
I don't suppose you are a friend of Ms. Hirshman are you, Ms. Dijksma?
Destruction of capital!!
Because money is worth more than people.
Screw you Dijksma!!
Dijksma explains that her proposal is a logical consequence of the Dutch system of subsidizing students. Society finances their studies with government scholarships, hence it is only normal that they pursue a professional career or repay. "If someone chooses not to work, then there should be a substantial repayment," she said.
Yet another idiot who thinks that raising kids isn't work. The article at the Brussels Journal mentions that Dijksma wasn't able to finish her education in the first place. I bet you I could crush this unremarkable piece of feminazi garbage in a battle of wits!! I have more brains in my pinky finger that she does in her entire body!!!
Unfortunately, it would appear that some of her fellow party members support her idea. Just goes to show you that morons of a feather flock together! Please tell me, oh enlightened ones, how you expect society to function when everyone stops having kids or raising the ones they do have? How do you expect the world to continue? Or is that the future's problem, oh shapers of a society gone utterly mad?
I can't wait till the day when all of us out here who LIKE kids and WANT large families breed out these good for nothing, waste of skin, materialistic, self-centered freak shows!!!

Now excuse me while I go off to fume for a while!!!

Holy S&@t: No Pun Intended

So I saw this at The High Places.
That's right. You did read that correctly. Paris Hilton has been shortlisted to play the role of Mother Theresa.
Words fail me.
I've been talking with a few people about it, and here are a few comments:
"That's retarded."
"Don't all catholics have public sex videos?"
"Wow. April fools obviously. I mean c'mon."
"Mother Theresa deserves better. (anyone does actually)."
"Dolce put this fabulous rosary in their new collection... pair it with this mini habit skirt and u've got the look."
"Could you imagine [if] she won an oscar?"
And, of course,
"Holy S&@t... no pun intended."


My Picture

So, I know all my readers are just dying to know what I look like. I have decided that today will be the big reveal.
Here I am.
That's right.
Ahh. Such a hard time I had in school. All the other kids had normal, compound eyes. Me? I was known as "Thousand eyes plus two." I was the only Blue Bottle in town who could actually be called "Bottle Caps." Even Flighty, who lost half her left eye in the Great Swat of '88, was cooler than I was. At least she had a story to tell.
I was the product of a freakish German lazer experiment. What's worse is those idiots didn't even design the darn things to cover all my eyes. They mostly cover the gap in between. I can only see out of the front 179 pairs. The rest are just a blur. And the weight! Do you know how it throws off my flying? My head keeps bobbing down. I am getting the worst neck cramp.
Life's just not fair.

Substance Abuse and
Drug Use

Yesterday I saw part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's address to the Professional Police Association. In his address, he made mention of the fact that the Conservative government will not be re-introducing the old Liberal legislation to decriminalize marijuana.
I was thrilled to hear that. Damian was disappointed. Damian, no offense, but you are totally wrong on this issue. Jesse has the right idea.
Marijuana is not a benign drug. It has long-term damaging effects on the brain, memory in particular. I am against it's use as a "recreational" drug. In fact, I am against all "recreational" drugs. What's more, I do not believe that any drug can possibly be "recreational." Narcotics aren't "fun;" they're deadly. If slowly (or in some cases, rapidly) killing yourself is your idea of a good time, then you really need some counseling. It is certainly true that some drugs are extremely useful as pain killers for chronic conditions. However, such usage arguably falls well outside the realm of "recreational" use.
The premise that drugs only affect the user is, at its most basic level, flawed. No man is an island. Every action you take, be it positive or negative, has an effect on someone else. In the case of substance abuse the effect is always negative. There will never be a positive emotional side-effect of addiction. I have seen the immediate physical and emotional effects of drug addiction. If you still cling to the libertarian argument that since it's your body, you can do whatever you want regardless of the effect it may have on those around you, then not only are you a blind and self-absorbed individual, but you are probably this way because you have an addiction and I feel sorry for you. If you are not an addict or have never used drugs but still believe the above lie, then you are a naive idiot who needs to get out more. No offense.
Some people will try to argue that "recreational" drug usage is no different from the occasional drink. Again, this notion is flawed. While a single glass of wine or a pint of beer can have some benefits to the body, most individuals know what their limit is (alcoholics accepted) and there are no known health benefits of narcotics. Regular sedation is not a health benefit, just in case you were thinking of mentioning it. Furthermore, in the case of crystal meth or speed, it is often sold to first time users under the lie of "not being addictive the first time." From experience, I can assure you that such is not the case, and it certainly can be addictive the first time. I realize it is not the same as marijuana, but the lies surrounding it and many other drugs are remarkably similar.
There is also the slippery slope argument to consider. If marijuana usage is permissible, then why is heroin forbidden? Why shouldn't people be allowed to use crack or meth? If one mind-altering substance is allowed, why not others? What line can we use to determine what is acceptable use and what is not? Far too many people discard slippery slope arguments because they are exactly that: a slippery slope that may not happen. The problem is that so often the slippery slope perfectly describes exactly what did happen only by then it's too late.
I, for one, am not willing to go down that slippery road.
I have a family to consider. I do not want my child to inherit a Canada full of druggies.


Speaker Again

The Honourable Peter Milliken will serve as Speaker of the House again. I am not terribly surprised. He served well, last session, and has earned everyone's deep respect.
All in all, Milliken is a good choice.

Parliament Sits!!

Instead of writing a lot of drivel, I will have some good political meat to write about. CPAC is on and I am waiting for the first session of the 39th sitting of Parliament to begin. The new Speaker of the House will be elected this morning. I'll post the results later on.

Cutting Teeth

Eden's first tooth is coming in. I've suspected for some time that she must be teething. She's been chewing on everything, cranky, had a bum rash, a blister on her lower gum, the usual.
This morning, while nursing no less, my suspicions were confirmed. The bite hurt more than usual. Sure enough, I felt something poking through her gums. I haven't had a good look yet, but it's there.

Legalizing Prostitution:
A Dumb Idea that Just Won't Die

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: decriminalizing prostitution is a very bad idea.
And yet, what do I see this morning?
A national lobby group for prostitutes will be calling for the legalization of the world's oldest profession today... Lauren Casey... says fewer prostitutes would be assaulted and murdered if the federal government reformed Canada's sex-trade laws.
It's not a trade.
Don't justify it by calling it such. Don't try to legitimize it.
But Conservative MP Art Hanger argues decriminalization isn't the answer. "I'm surprised some still want to go down that route," Hanger told the Sun yesterday. "It doesn't make it safer to decriminalize it." Hanger said legalizing prostitution was tried in New Zealand and Australia, where it caused an explosion in child prostitution and the number of illegal brothels. He said he'd rather see hefty fines - as much as $25,000 - levied against johns to "curb their desire."
And Hanger is absolutely right. I am so glad we have a Conservative government in power right now. Otherwise, I feel certain that lobby groups like this would be listened to. A stiff penalty like that is perfect. I'd also like to see some jail time for pimps and brothel owners.
The coalition, composed of working and former prostitutes - several with university degrees - has also promised to present "groundbreaking research" ... Research for the presentations was conducted by sex workers with PhDs, master's and bachelor's degrees...
I'd just like to say something here. I never actually knew anyone who did it, but I heard that there were plenty of girls paying for their education by prostituting themselves. I always thought it was an absolute travesty. So much for feminism, ladies, if the only way for you to make it in the mythical "man's world" is to have someone pay you to sleep with them. An important note, however, is that being a call girl or an escort (which is what most of these girls were doing) can be quite different than being a street prostitute. You often don't have the drugs and violence that are associated with street prostitution. It depends on the situation. Having said that, I am still vehemently opposed to any sort of legalized prostitution.
To be quite honest, I really don't care what sort of "research" these people have done to support their argument for decriminalizing prostitution. It's morally reprehensible, a stain on our society. It results in the rape and murder of thousands of women every year.
Think of it this way: would you want your daughter to grow up to be a prostitute?
Didn't think so.

Red Ensign 39

Darcy at Dust My Broom is hosting this issue of the Red Ensign Standard.
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