Sunday, October 28, 2012

Speaking of hobgoblins

If "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" then we shouldn't be expecting any consistency from the way the Harper Cons are handling gun licensing and registration these days:
Conservatives said the registry was ineffective because it targeted “law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters” and missed the criminals who would never register anyway.
They also argued the registry information was so incomplete and out of date that it was useless for tracing guns.
Yet the same Conservative government that killed the registry recently brought in new regulations to ensure that as of December, all firearms have unique serial number markings.
A release from the Public Safety department earlier this month said serial numbers on guns “contribute to public safety, by facilitating law enforcement investigations when the markings can be linked to information on the last legal owner of the firearm.”
In short, a government that long complained over the cost of Liberal gun control laws has left the most expensive element in place, while stripping out a weapons database that — by its own logic — appears to have some use.
But Canada has learned that the last thing we can expect from the Harper Cons is logical decision-making.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Great line of the day

From Nancy Nall:
Maybe Dave Barry is right -- as we get older, our brains fill up with song lyrics and there’s no room for anything else.

These fans better watch it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

He's kidding, right?

Did the Onion start a Canadian edition?
Changes to parliamentary pension plan ‘cowardly,’ MP says:
Edmonton MP Peter Goldring, a former Conservative caucus member, said the hefty increase in contributions will dramatically reduce take-home pay for MPs who earn $157,731 in base salary, and ultimately make it far more difficult to attract top quality politicians.
Like him, I suppose.
Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out, Pete.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Funny, isn't it

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says planned changes to the pension plan for members of Parliament won’t take effect until after the next election, noting it would not be fair to change the rules during the current term.
Funny, isn't it how Conservatives believe that it would be outrageous to change MP pensions retroactively, but civil servants, airline pilots, and everybody else -- even football referees -- are just supposed to suck it up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They both could have died

What is the matter in Ottawa?
No, I don't mean in that big brown building on the banks of the river.
I mean in the city of Ottawa itself, with its so-called "justice" system.
The most recent horrible story is about jail staff ignoring a woman's screams during a breech birth. Both mother and baby could have died on the isolation cell floor while the pseudo-nurses at the jail were self-righteously assuring themselves she was faking.
And this is only the latest in a series of stories about how Ottawa treats its prisoners. Here's another one, about a woman denied her cancer pills and forced to drink the water in her toilet. Then there were the Roxanne Carr and Stacey Bonds stories.
All these cases involved female prisoners.  And in all cases, the Ottawa authorities proceeded to blame and penalize the victim -- in the latest case, its been two weeks and the new mother is still locked up and hasn't yet been allowed to hold her baby.
A planned visit at the jail during visiting hours Saturday morning was cancelled due to security concerns, Hurtubise said Saturday.
Security?  They thought the baby might spit up?

Friday, October 05, 2012

But they have no shame

Canadian Press informs us that:
The NDP is trying to shame Conservative backbenchers into abandoning their daily game of partisan trash talk in the House of Commons.. . .
New Democrat Matthew Kellway ... questioned whether they have nothing better to do.
"Since the E. coli crisis began, the New Democrats have asked 33 questions about tainted meat, Conservatives not one. Are they talking about the economy or health care? No. Conservatives have made 32 statements and asked 10 questions, 1 out of every 4 Conservative questions (has been) about us, the New Democrats.
"For my colleagues across the way, I ask if this is really what they wanted to do with their life in elected office, indulging the fantasy life of the kids in the PMO?"
I can't imagine a more pointless activity than trying to make the Harper Conservatives act like responsible grownups.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How stupid do they think we are?

Is anyone the least bit surprised that the Harper claim of "700 new food inspectors" is turning out to be a complete lie and the Ritz claim that XL Foods has a "full contingent" of CFIA staff is, at best, grossly misleading?
"There is a full contingent of inspectors on site, and there was before this incident," said Ritz, listing 40 inspectors and six veterinarians.
"That is a 20 per cent increase over the last couple of years. So we are ramping it up."
[Agriculture Union president]Kingston puts another spin on those same numbers.
The XL plant may have a "full contingent" now, but only after repeated union complaints to fill empty positions at the facility."That plant[XL Foods] was grossly — to the point of illegally — understaffed," Kingston claimed.
"All they've done is fill vacant positions. That's not quite the same as actually increasing the complement."
As for the overall 700 new inspectors everyone from the prime minister down has been citing in defence of the government's handling of the E. coli outbreak, Kingston says the number is meaningless.
"It's totally misleading to the Canadian public," he said. "It's not even worth discussing those numbers because they're simply not relevant to what's happened at XL beef."
"None of those 700 people went into slaughter plants — period."

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Beef recall gibberish

This has got to be the most ridiculous "explanation" ever promoted to explain why thousands of beef products are being recalled. Does anyone actually understand what was going on in XL Foods or at CFIA?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conceded on Monday it’s a mistake not to require companies to analyze test results from beef trimmings to to allow inspectors to “connect the dots to get the big picture” about a packing plant’s operations.
...“The requirements for analysis of the data — in other words, what they had to do to look at it at the end of the day, weren’t as rigorous,” Arsenault said. “Well, I wouldn’t use that word. They were fairly rigorous because they had to do all that testing, but in terms of connecting the dots to look for these pictures, they didn’t have a requirement to do that.
“We didn’t think that was something that would have been useful. We now know that it is, so that’s why we’re going to change it.”
Huh?  Sounds like they were testing meat here and there and filing the results without looking at them.  How long have these guys been doing this anyway?  Here's the bottom line, the actual story:
U.S. inspectors at the border in Montana first detected E. coli in beef trimmings used to make hamburger during random tests on Sept. 3. The CFIA found traces of E. coli the next day, but it wasn’t until 13 days later that a recall was issued — by the company, voluntarily.
And while Gerry Ritz continues to flail around the Commons pointing his fingers here, there and everywhere, tomorrow I'll be throwing out all the beef in my freezer.  Because the stores I shop at -- Coop, Safeway, Sobeys, Superstore -- now seem to be recalling all the beef products they sold me throughout September.
Those are the dots I'm connecting, boys.

Hooray! Justin is in

Trudeau enters Liberal leadership race: 'I love this great country' | CTV News

And I'm not surprised his first stop is going to be Calgary, the lair of the beast. The national media will be paying the most attention to him and looking for every slight and insult they can find -- gutsy play, typical of the young Trudeau.
And why did he pick Oct. 2 to announce? It was Michel's birthday.