Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Conservative hearts are two sizes too small

This is one of the ads made by the Toronto agency BBDO in 2007 on behalf of the UN Refugee Agency, with the goal of raising Canadian support for refugees.
Unfortunately, they didn't work too well on the Harper Cons, who still appear to think that refugees are the scum of the earth.  Now the Liberal's immigration critic Kevin Lamourex is blasting the Harper Cons and Jason Kenney for the failure of their refugee policies.
First, for their yahoo ideology:
"There was a great deal of suspicion that [denial of health care] was a decision that was made on the whim, that there was no real consultation, there was no real studies. We haven't seen that and we would like to see the evidence," he said at a news conference in Ottawa.
"Good government policy is made when you have evidence-based policy decisions and we haven't seen any evidence and we're calling for the minister to provide that," the critic said.
And second for just plain meanness:
Lamoureux was heavily critical of Kenney's performance as a minister and said that he chooses to "demonize" refugees, often by referring to them as "bogus." His language is insulting and inflammatory, according to the Liberals, and it sends a message that Canada is no longer a welcoming place for refugees.
"It's something that is very destructive, I believe, and the Liberal party is calling upon the minister to behave in a more ministerial manner and look at refugees as people that contribute immensely to our country," he said.
The government's own website gives us some valuable information about how successful many refugees have been in Canada and how much they contribute to the country.
I guess Kenny hasn't seen this yet or he would have ordered it taken down because it doesn't fit the party line.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Medal madness

Please, please, please, could a Canadian athlete win a medal in something in the next three days?
Because that's about how long it will take until the Canadian press starts up with another hysterical pitty party about how awful it is that Canada hasn't won a medal yet, and why have we spent all this money with NOTHING to show for it, and what a disappointment all our athletes are, and how its really all the coaches' fault, and those officials are soooo mean to us...
And. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Hear. It

UPDATE:  Thank you, Jesus. And congrats to Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Who's zoomin' who

The contrast between Heather Mallick's coverage of the Douglas inquiry and Christie Blatchford's is getting wider every day.
Blatchford decided before the hearing even began that Lori Douglas is virtuous and innocent, while the complainant Alex Chapman is a slimy and duplicitous nutcase.  Mallick, in contrast, has sympathy for Chapman's circumstances and questions how Douglas could have been so ignorant for year after year of everything her husband Jack King was doing.
They agree on only one thing -- that King was and is an offensive buffoon.
I find Mallick to be the better reporter overall -- I get a clearer picture of the inquiry from her stories.  Still, it was in Blatchford's tenth story about the inquiry that we finally found out that Chapman had reason to complain about the cosy-wosy world of Manitoba justice:
Two years ago, when Mr. Chapman decided the confidentiality agreement he’d signed and reaped $25,000 for in 2003 wasn’t worth the paper it was written on and went public with his story, Mr. King was belatedly charged and pleaded guilty to professional misconduct at the Law Society of Manitoba and was reprimanded.
In fact, there’s at least the possibility that had TDS [Thompson Dorfman Sweatman] and the Law Society not so firmly closed ranks around if not Mr. King then Ms. Douglas back in the day, and charged Mr. King with misconduct in a timely way, Mr. Chapman might have been satisfied that he had been properly heard.
As the testimony of Ian Histed, the lawyer who handled Mr. Chapman’s complaint (as well as two of his civil lawsuits against the Winnipeg Police), Mr. Chapman had some reason to regard the Manitoba justice system with suspicion.
Sharp on the heels of Mr. Histed filing Mr. Chapman’s first lawsuit against the police, Mr. Chapman was again arrested in what the lawyer says was a clear tit-for-tat; sharp on the heels of Mr. Histed demanding money from TDS, Mr. Histed was hauled before the Law Society on a complaint from another client and found himself facing a discipline committee with two TDS lawyers on it and one ex-TDS lawyer.
It is, in other words, pretty clear that the Manitoba bar and judiciary is a closed little club, with Mr. Chapman, as a litigious black man, and Mr. Histed, as a John Candy-like character with a big mouth, regarded as crass outsiders.
Mr. King may have been thrown under the bus by his firm — he was fired — but it was a quiet disposal.
Lawyers at the firm were just told Mr. King was leaving (they were shown a prepared statement, which left the room when the managing partners did, presumably to limit the rumour mill), no one reported Mr. King to the Law Society, and though he was treated for depression for almost a year, he nonetheless bounced back and started practicing again.
As for Ms. Douglas, less than two years after the scandal had emerged in its then-discreet and nicely contained way, she was appointed to the Queen’s Bench on her third try, and later elevated to associate chief justice.
From Mr. Chapman’s perspective, it must have looked as though no one much gave a damn that his then-lawyer had, in his words, tried to get him into bed.

Just you wait

The Telegraph says
Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.
But what he said about England will be forgotten as soon as he says something even more stupid about Israel.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Do they know something I don't?

So I'm checking my Facebook page and I glance at the ads appearing down the right side:
skin cream, arthritic joints, OK...charity golf tourney, yes...dresses on sale, hmmm...and this one: Deadline to get Pardon. Huh?
What website did I ever visit to make the adbots think I might be interested in getting a pardon?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gag reflex

Doctors and research scientists are some of the most apolitical, small-c conservative people in the country -- now even they have reached their gag limit with the Harper Conservative agenda.
But their naivety is touching:
Dr. Williams said that while it was important to influence public opinion, her organization is really after a formal discussion with federal officials.
“What we really want at the end of the day is an opportunity to have a discussion with Minister Kenney and Citizenship and Immigration about what this means and what we think might be reasonable,” Dr. Williams said. “We're still requesting a full reversal of the cuts and we'll continue to push for that opportunity for a dialogue.”
Do they actually think that discussing this with Minister Thug is going to make a dime's worth of difference? Prepare to be disappointed, Dr. Williams.  It was the Liberals who thought that governing meant trying to do what people wanted done, but those days are long gone.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Minister Thug

I hate to link to the Toronto Sun, but I have to -- here's Warren Kinsella's great column on Kenney’s mean bill :
Whenever the Conservative government gets in trouble or seems adrift, Kenney can be counted on to offer up some mean and miserly new policy, a bit of dog-whistling to quiet the conservative core vote. Thus, his recent plan to deny basic health benefits to refugees.
Kenney’s anti-refugee bill, C-31, will kill basic medical coverage provided to refugees and asylum-seekers. As such, it persecutes those who have mostly come here to escape persecution. It is a distinctly un-Canadian bit of viciousness, one that will see diabetics denied insulin, heart patients denied life-saving medications and high-risk pregnant women unable to get the treatment they need. The Canadian Medical Association says it will see children held in detention centres with their mothers.
...Jason Kenney, in sum, is a thug. In the eyes of the world, he is making us less than we are, and even less than what we have been.
h/t buckdog

Saturday, July 14, 2012

First in our hearts

Thanks, everybody, who commented on my last post -- its nice to know that people elsewhere do love us. I know we're not always a comfortable place to live, but we have grace and peace.

You can see for miles and miles

No wonder they made Tourism Saskatchewan into a crown corporation.
There'a a new survey out that says Saskatchewan is the place that that people least want to come to on vacation.  We're basically the Ugly Kid With the Great Personality:
In most cases, then, Saskatchewan is charitably described as "the girl with personality," the kind of province for whom friends have trouble finding a blind date. We're the province who took her dad to the prom. At the great trans-Canada sock hop, we're sitting against the gym wall, behind the stacking chairs, certain we'll be rejected by the popular girls.
The category the survey missed was "easiest to draw" -- we would have won that one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting by with a little help from their friends

Sixth Estate is doing its usual outstanding job tracking Harper's patronage appointments which now total more than 1100 people. And for a government which once said it wasn't going to do patronage
the government appears to hire people who appear (based on publicly available sources) to be Conservative insiders and supporters, at a vastly disproportionate rate.
This isn't surprising, of course -- what's the point of getting power if you can't reward the people who helped you get it?
But its still just another example of how the Harper Cons say one thing and do another.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The week the universe changed

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
- Eden Phillpotts

James Burke coined the term the day the universe changed as a catchphrase for his TV series on scientific progress.
But last week, our universe actually did change -- or at least, what we could see of it.
Astronomers saw the dark matter linking galaxies the day after physicists thought they had found the Higgs Bosun particle

And for the first time ever physicists last week also photographed the shadow of an atom.
 Shadow Image (ytterbium atom)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Liberals, clean up this mess

The federal Liberals had better do something quick to clean up the mess from these leadership race debts of Martha Hall Findlay, Hedy Fry, Joe Volpe and Ken Dryden.  Or else the whole party will look like a bunch of deadbeats who can't handle money.
And how ridiculous is it that Hall Findlay -- knocked out after the first ballot in 2006 -- is thinking about running AGAIN?
One of the best things about the leadership race of 2009 was that there was no race -- Ignatieff just ascended and that was it.  This time around, the Liberals don't need a repeat of 2006, with a batch of no-chance no-names travelling around the country giving speeches. The Toronto Star writes:
. . . the Liberal race is not some student council election or a kids’ soccer team where everybody gets an equal chance to participate so no one’s feelings are hurt.
Arguably this race is the most important in the Liberals’ history, given that the party is at an all-time low in terms of seats in Parliament.. . .
What Liberals should avoid is wasting valuable time and effort simply to feed the egos of candidates who have no hope of leading them out of the wilderness.
Justin Trudeau, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

What a radical thought!

Is it too radical to believe that a majority of the US Supreme Court justices found Obamacare constitutional because it actually IS constitutional, not just because of a judicial dick-measuring contest?.
Nah, that would be too simple. What fun is that?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Things NOT to do

I just came across this list of things that make people look old so if I can just remember not to do these things I guess I'll be young forever:
1. Fumbling with payment at the register, especially counting out coins. Coins go into an overflowing jar on the bureau, and I don't want to hear any more about it.
2. Complaining about portion sizes.
3. Complaining about how prices have gone up, in a manner that implies I don't understand how inflation/money works.. . .
4. Voting against school/education taxes. . . .
5. Asking people to guess my age, and then gloating when the guesser tactfully subtracts ten years.
6. Complaining that current popular music isn't even music, or that songs/books/movies USED to be good/quality/art, but NOW are NOT. . . .
7. Explaining to frazzled, exhausted, verge-of-emotional-breakdown women with small children that this is the best time of their lives. . . .
8. Suggesting that things are getting worse and worse with every generation---starting with the one immediately following mine.
9. Complaining about how "weird" baby names are now; why don't people use NORMAL names like the names WE used for OUR babies?
I have to admit I've already done a few of these things.


Now here's a website I can love - THE FUCKING WEATHER