Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The National Past

This ridiculous National Post editorial starts out describing the brave struggle for equality rights in Arkansas, then turns around and uses it as an argument against the 'trivial' human rights struggle we engage in today (gay marriage, islamophobia). Yes, that's right. The struggle for human rights ended in the 50s and 60s. Everything since then has been liberal degeneracy, identity politics and left-wing censorship.

It is truly amazing how a group of old white straight men of privilege can criticize their predecessors' backwardness and yet be so blind to the fact that they are identical in their attitudes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The man sounds like your typical right-wing idiot

"Ahmadinejad also rejected criticism of human rights in his country, notably persecution of homosexuals: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he said, sparking loud laughter from the audience. "In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

An Open Letter

To The Hon. St├ęphane Dion, P.C., B.A., M.A., Ph.D, Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

Resume your damn Open Letters.

They were gold, and they made you a household name.
You are intelligent, principled, and viciously logical and this will come through.
We'll know what you stand for.

And all without anybody being able to mock your accent.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why should God bless america?

God. I hate this sort of nonsense. Apparently God shouldn't bless America because of all the bad things going on ("Just because they made it law doesn't mean they can change God's command" or some nonsense like that.)

Good stuff.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Canada's New-ish Government

This petition is awesome. The fact that the Tories keep calling themselves "Canada's New Government" is really tiresome. Sign it.

I love this recital in particular:

AND WHEREAS, due to all of the foregoing reasons and to basic common everyday sense and common understanding of the meaning of the word "new", it is petty, partisan, asinine, childish, juvenile and silly (not to mention completely embarrassing for all of us) for the Conservative Party of Canada to continue referring to the Government of Canada and to itself, interchangeably, as "Canada's New Government";

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why can't they leave us all alone?

The thing that gets me about "family values" nutjobs is that they seem to be incredibly obsessed with the lives of others. Think what you want about the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision permitting a lesbian couple and the natural father to be listed as parents for a child, the AG of Ontario and the Parents aren't appealing.

But, of course, along comes the "Alliance for Marriage and Family" (because, of course, the lesbian couple and the child aren't a family) and asks to substitute in as the AG of Ontario to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

Here's the Supreme Court's smackdown:

This Court’s procedure is flexible, but that flexibility has its limits. What the applicant is attempting to do is to substitute itself for the Attorney General in order to bring important legal questions relating to the development and application of the law before this Court. As we have seen, neither the Attorney General nor the immediate parties intend, for reasons of their own, to contest the Court of Appeal’s judgment. The applicant is certainly concerned about the impact of that judgment. Nevertheless, it was merely an intervener in the Court of Appeal, there to defend its view of the development of family law, but it had no specific interest in the outcome of the litigation.

This Court has never allowed a private applicant under Rule 18(5) to revive litigation in which it had no personal interest.

* * *

In addition, the applicant does not explain in its application how it meets the test for public interest standing from Canadian Council of Churches v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 236. It merely states that the judgment will be otherwise “unappealable”.

Amen. I think the Court is being slightly snarky in the last two sentences. Because, of course, even though these nutjob organizations always say that the world will end when teh gays are allowed to marry/have kids/have lives, they never explain why. Because they can't.

They sky hasn't fallen, the world hasn't ended, society isn't falling apart, just because Tom and Steve can get married and have kids.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Pundit Hair Watch for the Masses

Finally, the At Issue panel returned to the National after the summer break. Hoping, praying for a new style from Chantal, but instead, the same old do appeared. She did have an interesting new necklace though.

The panel discussed the upcoming throne speech and the state of the various parties. All of them denounced Mulroney's attack on Trudeau. It was called pathetic, out of character, and the product of an insecure, vain and jealous man. Allan Gregg said that Mulroney's accomplishments speak for themselves, but he doesn't seem to realize this and wants recognition for more. Chantal Hebert pointed out that Mulroney's attacks on Trudeau (and Bouchard, although less reported) are against two men with vastly higher respect in English and French Canada than he ever had. And after this, likely will ever have.

The biggest news out of the segment came at the end when Peter Mansbridge announced that the At Issue panel, easily Canada's most comprehensive, engaging and entertaining political panel, would be available for download as a video or audio podcast! Very exciting indeed.

So go do your own pundit hair watch. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Aussie-Rules Senate Reform

According to PMO spokesperson Sandra Buckler, one of PM Harper's other goals at the APEC summit this week is to pump Australian PM Howard for advice on Senate reform.

Buckler was quoted as saying: "Australia, like Canada, is a large modern diverse and urbanized federation with the Westminster model and if the Australians can have an accountable and democratic Senate, I'm not sure why Canada can't."

The Australian senate has equal numbers from each state, and no less than 6. The total number of senators is supposed to be approximately half that of the lower house of representatives. They also use a the Single Transferable Vote system.

The big criticism of their system is that small states like Tasmania have equal numbers of senators as big states like New South Wales, disproportionately distributing their representation. We've heard that before in Canada, where tiny provinces hit far about their weight in terms of per-capita voting power.

Will senate reform be the 'big vision thing' that Harper puts in his throne speech? Likely not. Its a battle the PM doesn't need to fight right now, and the plebs don't give two hoots for senate reform. There's a referendum on proportional representation in Ontario, arguably the most important potential change to Ontario politics since, well, there were Ontario politics, and nobody even cares. But a proposal for a long weekend in February? Oh wow, that got them talking....

Senate reform is going to keep on bubbling on the backburner, until some completely daft senator pulls a completely outrageous stunt to galvanize the public or piss off the PM into really taking them on.

Nobody expects trouble from Canada

11 crew from the Australian television show The Chaser were detained after staging a fake motorcade through Sydney prior to the APEC conference. They managed to get past two checkpoints in Sydney's APEC security "red" zone by outfitting their vehicles with Canadian flags and stickers.

"No particular reason we chose Canada," Taylor said.

"We just thought they'd be a country who the cops wouldn't scrutinise too closely, and who feasibly would only have three cars in their motorcade - as opposed to the 20 or so gas guzzlers that Bush has brought with him."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who on earth (or in heaven) is running Tory's campaign?

Tory wants equal time for creationism in those publicly-funding religious schools he's a big fan of. You know, those publicly-funded religious schools that he insists are not a threat to society, because they will still have to teach the official Ontario curriculum and employ professionally-certified teachers.

Except the official Ontario curriculum doesn't included creationism, and the Ontario professional teachers body has advised rejecting equal-opportunity teaching of creationism.

Also, a note to John Tory and his daffy campaign staff: The hip kids call it "intelligent design" these days.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Calling Bullshit on Bush

This I simply cannot believe. Thus spake Bush:

"I tell people—I read an interesting book by [Richard] Carwardine—I'm on my eighty-seventh book this year." With rueful admiration, he added, "Rove's on, like, a hundred two.

(From Bob Draper's new book, Dead Certain.)

No way. And if it is true, Bush should be impeached, now. We've had around 245 days this year. That's a book around every 2.8 days. Unless he's reading kids' books, there is simply no way he could do that.

I work hard. Not as hard as I hope he works. I can read fast, and I love reading, and I would get fired if I were reading a book every 3 days because I wouldn't be getting much work done. I suppose if I left work every day at 6:00 (hahaha!), got home at 6:30 and read until 11:00, never stopping to do anything else, not going out with friends or doing anything social, I might be able to keep up with that schedule. But not if I were, say, running a country and a government, doing the campaign circuit, meet and greets, etc.

So I'm calling bullshit. But then, the man lies and no one seems to mind, so this one will just get swept under the table. . .

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Larry Craig

I swear, the fun never stops.

I have to say . . .

. . . that being stuck at your desk on a holiday weekend when it's beautiful out totally bites. And my office looks out over the swimming pool of a nearby hotel. And I can see the ocean. So evil.