Monday, April 30, 2012


Shorter Andrew Coyne:
I'm shocked SHOCKED that the Liberals and NDP are not sufficiently outraged at what the Harper Conservatives are doing now.
So what are they doing now? Well, here's Bill 38:
The bill runs to more than 420 pages. It amends some 60 different acts, repeals half a dozen, and adds three more, including a completely rewritten Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It ranges far beyond the traditional budget concerns of taxing and spending, making changes in policy across a number of fields from immigration (among other changes, it erases at a stroke the entire backlog of applications under the skilled worker program), to telecommunications (opening the door, slightly, to foreign ownership), to land codes on native reservations.
But nowhere in Coyne's column is a statement that the Harper Conservatives are wrong to try to govern this way. Instead, somehow, this is all Parliament's fault.
. . . the increasing use of these omnibills extends Parliament’s powerlessness in all directions: it has become, if you will, omnimpotent — a ceremonial body, little more. What is worse, it cannot even seem to rouse itself to its own defence . . . today’s Parliament is so accustomed to these indignities that it barely registers.
Gee, isn't it just too bad that we don't have some people watching what goes on in Parliament who could maybe tell us what's going on there, or maybe even criticize it, or something. Oh, well....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Arrested for jogging while brown

The news story doesn't mention the racial angle at all.  So I guess Windsor police and prosecutors think its OK to arrest people for jogging while brown:
As he [plainclothes police officer Van Buskirk] was heading back to the station he saw a man, who turned out to be [Dr. Tyceer] Abouhassan, running along Dougall Avenue next to Jackson Park.
He pulled Abouhassan’s headphones off, then asked him why he was in the park and why he was talking to girls.
Abouhassan replied that he didn’t know what Van Buskirk was talking about, and asked who he was.
Van Buskirk grabbed Abouhassan by the neck. The doctor stepped back and tried to get away. Van Buskirk pursued and punched him in the face at least three times.
The detective then called the tennis club employee, who said it wasn’t the same guy. At the hospital Abouhassan learned he was under arrest for assaulting a police officer. The Crown later stayed that charge.
I'll just bet they did. Now the police officer involved has pleaded guilty to assault.
But what I found curious about the story is why this obviously innocent and blameless doctor was ever put under arrest for anything whatsoever.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Going Godwin

When the Harper Conservatives talked about a law and order agenda, I didn't think they meant Godwin's law about bizarre Nazi analogies too.
But nobody escapes the Spanish Inquisition, nobody can win a land war in Asia, and nobody can stop themselves from slinging Hitler at their enemies, however inaccurate the reference.
So now we have #HarperHistory trending on twitter as we consider all the other craven examples of NDP's historical perfidy over the years. Like these:
Noah's Ark was just another pet project by the NDP for its union buddies. #HarperHistory
The NDP killed Bambi's mother. #HarperHistory
The Titanic sunk after it collided with the NDP. #HarperHistory
The NDP shamefully stood by in the fight against plaque and gingivitis #HarperHistory
The NDP was on the grassy knoll. #harperhistory
The NDP's pro-serf policies and insistence on taxing feudal lords was an impediment to trade throughout the Middle Ages. #HarperHistory
When will those guys learn to get with the program and start sending Canadians to war like everyone else always wants to do.?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Words I thought I would never say

I never thought I would actually be happy to see the PCs win in Alberta. But that's just so much better than the alternative.
Warren Kinsella called it:
Wildrose has been dropping sharply since the bozone layer eruptions began. The PCs now own Edmonton, and the huge Wildrose lead in Calgary has vanished. Rural Alberta is rural Alberta: WCC, blah blah blah.
Contrary to what Canada’s conservative-dominated media pundits may tell you, (a) the PCs have run a solid campaign under Stephen Carter (he of Nenshi fame) (b) the homophobic, racist stuff has hurt Wildrose and (c) there has been a lot of vote moving around in the past few days, just as Tom Flanagan wrote about, presciently, in respect of the 2004 federal vote. It matters.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What a week!

It was one of those weeks at work. And the next ones are going to be worse!
For me, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining on about June 15.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Its SUCH a mystery!

How mysterious -- first nobody knows who "Pierre Poutine" could possibly be, even though he apparently made thousands of calls on election day from one disposable cell phone.
Now nobody knows who accessed the lists of non-Conservative supporters in Guelph who got those thousands of calls sending them to the wrong polls.
But don't worry, the Harper Conservatives are just trying to help all they can:
"As you know, we have proactively reached out to Elections Canada and offered to assist them in any way we can," party spokesman Fred DeLorey said Monday night. "That includes handing over any documents or records that may assist them."
And they even did their own investigation:
Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton...was asked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get to the bottom of the matter.
Hamilton, a veteran who handled the party's legal business in the In and Out elections-spending affair and the Helena Guergis scandal, is said to have concluded that no party workers outside of Guelph are implicated, a point that party representatives repeatedly emphasize.
... Hamilton interviewed key party workers, asking them about their knowledge of events and instructing them not to discuss the matter publicly.
Maybe now we need to get Duckman to take the case.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Shorter Marcus Gee:
Toronto City Council should help Rob Ford do something because otherwise voters won't get any benefit from electing a buffoon as mayor.
Dumbest stuff on wheels!  We all knew (the lefty blogosphere) that  Rob Ford would be a disaster as a mayor and as a leader, not because he was right-wing but because he is an incompetent egotist.  And now the Toronto city council is supposed to let Ford "win" sometimes because the city might be better off if some of Ford's half-baked ideas are supported?  It doesn't work this way.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Maybe its an age thing?

Or maybe not.
I sometimes wonder whether people who were born in the Mulroney years or later can actually understand what it meant to Canadian women when, in 1988, the Supreme Court struck down Canada's abortion law, and the decision about whether to have an abortion became a woman's own decision to make.
Not an easy decision, nor a casual one, to be considered profoundly and made with regret -- but always, indisputably, the pregnant woman's own decision to make.
Those of us who DO remember it know that Stephen Woodworth's "let's have a respectful dialogue like reasonable people" approach is really just a backdoor attempt to criminalize abortion again.
And actually, I don't really care whether people who support Woodworth's "discussion" are just too young and naive to realize what is going on here, or if they actually share his goal of outlawing abortion again.
I agree with Orwell's Bastard:
I am not going to "debate" about the notion of fetal rights or when life begins or whether or not women have the right to control their own bodies. That's done. Anything that purports to "reopen" such a question needs to be seen for exactly what it is: a transparent attempt to reassert patriarchal control over women's sexuality and reproductive autonomy.
Anyone who wants to have that "conversation" can go fuck themselves.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Darwin award runner-ups

Naked, drunken trio survive car wash 'typhoon'
The trio had stripped down naked, loaded themselves into the cart, and selected either "typhoon" or "super typhoon" and tried to wash themselves and the buggy.
The Abbotsford police were alerted when neighbours heard screaming.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Whiners and bitchers

They whine to the Harper Cons about how unfair it is that the CBC is a "state broadcaster" and then they bitch when the CBC competes with them to become more self-supporting.
You know, anytime any private broadcaster wants to set up transmission towers and stations to connect all of the people in the netherland reaches of this country that nobody but the CBC has ever cared about or broadcast to, feel free then to complain.
Anytime another broadcaster wants to offer programming in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages in Canada, and nine languages in its international service, and eight languages in its web broadcasts for immigrants, feel free then to complain.
Anytime another broadcaster wants Parliament to pass an act requiring it to "be predominantly and distinctly Canadian ...made available throughout Canada", feel free then to complain.
Until then, please just shut up.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fiona's story

I saw this last week on Brilliant at Breakfast and have to share it:

Risking it all

Its not often you see a politician, with an insouciant air and a sublime and total confidence in their ability to make their own luck, risk it all.
Remember Hillary downing a shot of whiskey, neat?
Remember Obama making a three-point shot in front of American soldiers in Kuwait?
They would have been laughingstocks if they had sputtered, or choked, or missed.
But they didn't. Instead, they came off as confident, gutsy, in charge.
And now we have Justin Trudeau, winning a boxing match and obviously having great fun doing it.
Canada will never see him in quite the same way again.

Monday, April 02, 2012

There but for the grace of God...

Emergency Blues analyzes the tragic, needless death of Anna Brown who died of in a St. Louis jail of a blood clot because doctors, nurses and police officers wouldn't believe she was sick:
I will let the public in on a little secret. We all do it. Each and every one of us. I don’t exclude myself. We all label patients. It is deeply embedded in the culture of health care to the point where it is an accepted practice. We all call patients drug seeking and crazy and frequent flyers and failures-to-die and failures-to-cope. We laugh at them. Hell, there are whole books devoted to the art of ridiculing patients we have already labelled. (Though when you think about it, there is nothing quite as charming as making fun of human beings who are powerless, is there?)
I wonder what, over the years, they have called me?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Its not you, its me

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last while -- its not you, its me.  I've been dealing with some stuff lately --
First, iliotibial band syndrome complicated by a torn meniscus has been taking its toll. I've been seeing the physio several times a week since the end of January and gradually it might be getting better but it seems to be two steps forward one step back.
This started in November -- following the surgery I had in October to take an old plate off my fibula -- so I basically ignored it for two months, thinking whatever was wrong would improve on its own as I healed from the surgery -- the incision didn't heal as quickly as I had expected. Anyway, I finally realized the pain in my knee wasn't just going to go away on its own, and I did something about it. But its been a lengthy and painful process and I may yet still have to have surgery for it.
Then, our dog Chillou tore his anterior cruciate ligament in February and needed to have surgery for that. He had the TTA surgery, but because we live in a four-level split, keeping him on the main level for two months requires baby gates around the house, plus some furniture rearrangement to make a place for him.  He seems to be recovering well now -- at first, he threw up all the time, probably because of the anesthetic and the antibiotic pills he had to take, and I was very worried about him.  He is 9 years old, and I was not sure about his ability to bounce back.  He never lost his spirit, but he was a sick dog for a while there.  At least this meant he lost some weight, but it took a while to find food he could tolerate and in the meantime I was making him rice and hamburger.  We also had to take a quick trip to the vet to get his stitches resewn when the swelling in his leg split the first ones open.   But the incision is better now, and he is starting to put weight on his leg again -- our son has been doing passive massage and my husband gets Chillou out of the house for drives so he isn't as bored as he was.  He is starting to be able to walk outside again now that the snow is gone.  For the time being we are feeding him canned food and we are gradually going to switch him back to the hard kibble food.  My own physio has a friend who does dog physio so maybe we will both be going to physio together!
This morning, for the first time, he wanted an apple after breakfast -- it was his favourite daily treat before but this was the first time since the surgery that he has wanted one.

Great line of the day

From Boris, talking about the Trudeau-Barazeau dustup:
Better watch that rematch Justin. Cons cheat when they can't win honestly.