Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stephen Harper On Coalitions

So, Harper's running about the country blathering on about a "coalition" that would be so very awful for Canada if the electorate doesn't grant him his majority.

How awful would a coalition government be? Well, awful enough that in 2004 he signed a letter that implicitly is asking the Governor General to allow him to set up a coalition government should the then Liberal minority government collapse.

In a minority Parliament, it is in fact the opposition parties that have the greatest number of seats, and therefore reflect the will of the greater part of the voters. His current meme about "only the party with the most seats" should get to form the government conveniently ignores the reality that the majority of seats didn't go to his party last election.

The man is a hypocrite and a liar on this matter.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Writ Drops

Details Here

The Tory Leader attacked his political rivals for toppling his government and accused them of plotting to form a coalition to replace him in power if possible.

But, minutes before he spoke, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff ruled out a coalition with the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois.

Mr. Ignatieff said he's open to working issue-by-issue with other parties if his party wins the election.

Oh yes, the bogeyman of "coalition". Once again, Harper lies through his teeth, trying to convince Canadians that a coalition is a bad thing ... unless of course he's at the head of it ... as he demonstrated in 2004 or 2005 by agreeing to a coalition with the Bloc and NDP to replace the Liberal minority government headed up by Paul Martin.

Mr. Harper, this election is about your government's record ... governing. A government that has been found in contempt of parliament; a government that has subverted parliament and the machinery of government at every turn (anyone else a little worried about being fleeced for billions of dollars by the defense aerospace industry to purchase the wrong fighter jets?); a government which has been caught out lying to Canadians not once or twice, but repeatedly.

I also find it quite ridiculous that Harper is pointing to events in other parts of the world and claiming that now is not the time for an election. Sure, there's violence and uncertainty in the Middle East - when in the last century hasn't there been? That should stop Canadians from voting how? Or the disasters in Japan and New Zealand - tragic and heartbreaking to be sure. ... and we should wait on the resolution of those events why?

Last century, Canadians went to the polls during two World Wars - events which had far more impact on Canada, and far more uncertain times than we face today. Harper insults the very fabric of Canadian society when he comes up with excuses to delay an election.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Harper Makes History

... by becoming the first Prime Minister in Commonwealth History to be found In Contempt of Parliament. (and the Sun has a surprisingly insightful piece on the subject for a change)

Make no mistake about it - this is no trifling "procedural matter". Parliament is the highest power in this country. The courts are parallel, but bound to interpret the laws that Parliament writes. To be found "In Contempt of Parliament" is arguably more serious than being "in contempt of court".

For a governing party to be found "In Contempt Of Parliament" is profoundly disturbing, as it underscores a governing party which is bent not just on subverting our democracy, but is clearly bent on power for its own sake.

Still More "Persecuted Christian" Nonsense

I talked about the initial incident with Petals and Promises back here. This post is about the shrieking stupidity coming out of Canada's religious right wingnuts.

Lifesite almost brushes up against an honest bit of journalism, although their biases are clear enough.

Then there is the bunch over at "No Apologies", who seem to have gone quite over the top about the issue.

It all boils down to one basic point - they believe that they should have the right to run a business and enforce their religious beliefs upon their prospective customers.

Consider this doozy of a comment from Tom Bartlett:

The issue is not one of discrimination. Let me take the example of slavery. When slavery was legal, although it clearly contradicted the Christian (and U.S. adopted) value of recognising that all are equal in God’s sight, Christians who deemed slavery to be wrong would hide and help slaves to escape. They would face penalties under the law for taking a stand on principles not held by the state. Abortion is another example. Science establishes that life begins at conception and Christians do not allow for killing an innocent unborn child, so in principle we stand against it and regularly have our views censored, distorted, and having abortion defenders and providers paid for with our taxes while not allowing factual information to be presented in public schools. That is discrimination, but is permitted under law.

You just don't get it, do you? Nobody cares what you say as a Christian. You are absolutely free to believe and behave as you wish - up to, but not including the point where your actions demand that somebody else live by your moral creed. What you have forgotten is that Freedom of Religion is an individual freedom. It does not extend beyond the individual.

I cannot, under Canada's laws, start a business up and hang a shingle out that says "I don't serve ". Whether that group is gays, Christians or any other identifiable group. I can certainly choose to market to any one of those groups as a primary market focus(for example, there's a guy in my home town that calls himself "The Christian Contractor"), but as a business owner, I don't get to say "I won't serve " because they happen to offend my personal sensibilities somehow.

You see, there's an interesting aspect to universal freedoms such as "Freedom of Religion". Not only does it guarantee that any individual is free to believe and practice whatever faith they choose, but it similarly guarantees that others are not subject to those same beliefs being imposed in their lives. Put succinctly, Freedom of Religion includes Freedom FROM Religion.

The argument that one's faith permeates all aspects of life, including business dealings does not excuse an individual from the consequences of projecting their beliefs onto others who do not share that same faith.

Let me be clear about this. If I were to be a practicing member of a faith community that strictly forbade a medical procedure and I voluntarily underwent that procedure, then quite legitimately the members of that same community are within their rights to sanction me somehow. However, if I am NOT a member of that faith community, then they have absolutely NO SAY WHATSOEVER in the matter, and do not have the right to sanction me at all - no matter what they believe.

When it comes to businesses, one might be tempted to question just what steps a business is taking if it is run by a "christianist" who is going to drag their morals out to refuse a customer? Are they, like the "Christian Contractor" I referred to earlier making their faith a clear part of their business? Or do they just yank it out from under the counter when it is convenient? If you want the kind of privilege to tell a customer to PFO after making an agreement to do business, then you better be prepared to make your policies clear up front. (and I don't know too many people who are willing to do business with someone who posts an "I won't serve " sign on the door ... you might find that your market is a lot smaller than you thought at the outset if you were that honest with your customers)

*Note: I have used the term "christianist" here to refer to these people who insist that it is their rights who are infringed upon when they are called out for imposing their beliefs on others in blatantly discriminatory ways. The majority of Christians do not engage in such vile behaviours.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Ms. Wente ... There's More To It Than That

Apparently Margaret Wente thinks that we don't need an election.

As for scandal-mongering, Mr. Ignatieff will have to come up with something better than what he has. What he has is a bit of procedural abuse, one dopey minister and an old fool who got mixed up with a 22-year-old former escort. What he doesn’t have is a widespread pattern of abuse of power. His outrage sounds a little overdone – especially against the backdrop of current world events. Shouldn’t we be debating, say, the future of nuclear power in Canada, or the wisdom of getting entangled in a distant military action whose command structure and objectives are entirely unclear?

Nice try at deflection, Ms. Wente? Did you get that from the PMO? ... or did you forget that Harper is the man who pushed the button on Canada's participation in Libya?

As for Mr. Harper's contempt for parliament, that's been clear from the get-go. Let's not forget that it was Mr. Harper's party who produced a 200-page manual on how to disrupt committee business; it was Mr. Harper who prorogued parliament to save his political hide not once, but twice since being elected in 2006; Conservatives have been caught out lying to Canada's public some many times I've lost count; Harper's henchmen have violated the lobbying rules time and again, and the man who ran on a platform of greater accountability has done NOTHING to change the situation.

Bev Oda was the clumsy one who got caught - where there's smoke, there's fire. There's something very smelly about a government that insists on sole-sourcing a major purchase like fighter jets - who is getting bought off with what? What else has dear leader decided to bury under the covers on the basis that "Canadians don't need to know that"? ... and lastly, let's not forget the thinly disguised money laundering scheme the HarperCon$ came up with in 2006 - only criminals engage in money laundering.

... and Ms. Wente wonders why Harper's government is likely to fall tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Base ...

The Harpercrits produce a non-budget budget.

It looks to me like Harper figured out that if he wrote a budget that pandered to the squirming base of extremists that form the core support for his party that he'd lose the bulk of the rest of his support. However, he didn't dare write a budget that spoke to the bulk of Canadians with real issues either, because he'd lose the support of his "base". (although where they'd end up voting is hard to guess - CHP perhaps?)

So, what does he do? Relatively little it seems. A few tax credits that are likely not worth the powder to blow them to hell in the long run (remember, a tax credit is usually only a percentage of the cash outlay that is claimed - 15% for medical expenseses over $2000 this year), and I suspect that like the medical expenses claim, the devil's in the details. They moved the floor on medical expenses up for 2010 - from $1745 to just over $2000, and oh yes, don't forget that anything the government deems "cosmetic" is no longer eligible.

Keeps government on track for a balanced budget within six years through the combination of economic growth and spending restraints. The end of the federal stimulus program, by itself, will cut the 2011-12 deficit to $27.6 billion from a revised $40.5 billion in 2010-11.

Economic growth (real gross domestic product) of 2.9 per cent, based on the average outlook of private sector economists.

Hmmm...economic growth of 2.9% ... that's a little optimistic. I don't budget my spending on the basis of getting a pay raise of a certain size each year. I always thought that Conservatives were the "live within your means" crowd - it's funny how every time they get into power the deficit goes ballooning out of control.

Monday, March 21, 2011

There's Only One Kind Of Leader

... who will argue that events in another country should suspend democracy here. Usually we call them despots.

Harper's logic on this is spurious and insulting to Canadians. During two World Wars last century, Canadians went to the polls, under conditions far more uncertain than those we face today.

We can't deal with uncertainty? The economy won't survive a government transition? Nonsense.

Given that this government has been contemptuous of parliament (over, and over), breaks their own lobbying rules, and is generally busy lying to Canadians on anything and everything, it would not be unreasonable to turf this government out on its ear - the sooner the better.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Direct Intervention in Libya Is A Mistake

Okay ... we're sending planes to Libya to enforce a "no fly zone".

There is a moral argument that I can understand for why this is a good idea. Among other things, Ghadaffi appears to have been attacking his own citizens - certainly not a good thing by any measure.

However, direct intervention in the civil war that is unfolding in Libya is a big mistake - at least where North American and European powers are concerned.

Why do I make such a claim?

The issue is related to the perceived validity of whatever government emerges in the resulting power vacuum. If a coherent government emerges from the rebels, there is a serious image problem that they will have. Any government that emerges from such circumstances stands the distinct risk of being perceived as a "western puppet" government - both by Libyans and by Libya's neighbors.

We already know that such puppet governments eventually (if not immediately) become a liability for our politicians - requiring both economic aid and military assistance to continue retaining their grip on power. Further, they tend to be pariahs in their local region - seen by their peers as being more about "foreign interests" than anything else.

In order for any intervention in Libya to have even the veneer of validity, the "boots on the ground" (or planes in the air) are from Libya's regional peers. Western powers can assist, but we cannot be seen to assist.

If Ghadaffi keeps his grip on power, the intervention will be seen as a failure around the world - and potentially weakens the validity of alliances like NATO, which is already on shaky ground.

Either way, direct Canadian intervention has some serious downsides for Canada both in the short and long term.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Religious Bigotry

In New Brunswick this time. Florist Refuses To Sell Flowers To Lesbian Couple

After agreeing to provide the flowers for a wedding, Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers sent an email last month to the couple, saying she didn't know it was a same-sex wedding and would have no part of the ceremony.

"I am choosing to decline your business. As a born-again Christian, I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter," the email said.

Yet another case of someone dredging up their religious beliefs and demanding that everybody else live by their moral code.

... and like a certain case involving one Scott Brockie, the business is declined after agreeing to do the work in the first place. Apparently "christianists" have forgotten the very real persecution their forebears experienced at the hands of the Romans, because they are practicing more or less the same kind of oppression against GLBT people. Worse yet, they express their bigotry after making a business agreement.

The question for the denizens of places like "No Apologies" is clear enough in my mind - how is the couple supposed to know that this - or any other - business is run by some narrow-minded christianist who will deny them service? ... and just why should someone's faith be an excuse for denying service to someone else?

... and these are the same people who question the "necessity" of Bill C-389? Seems to me that they are the best argument for that bill being passed into law.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why The NA Car Market Sucks

I recently spent a bit of time looking at prospective replacements for my car. Guess what I found? Zip - nada - nothing. There are a couple of cars that I would consider if my current vehicle failed catastrophically, but nothing that I'm willing to fork out money for right now.

My complaints - what's out there is either far too large, or it has the wrong features. Most cars are getting godawful automatic transmissions crammed into them and standards aren't even an option (I'll consider a decent sequential shift design - but really, I prefer driving a standard); finding a decent mid-size car with good fuel economy, a standard and reasonable design is like finding hen's teeth - they're pretty scarce.

My disappointment with the offerings on the market turned to anger when I read this tirade on Motortrend whinging about how the VW "Bulli" mini-bus is so "awful" and inappropriate for the North American market.

The rest of the world lives with much smaller cars than we do - a 2.0L motor is a good size in most places, here it's a floor. I've been in Europe a few times (not as much as I'd like), and I've been in some fantastic little cars that are half the size of an average car here.

With two rows of fold-down bench seats, the Bulli is ostensibly a six-seater. Really, it’s more of a four-seater, for young couples or people with dogs, instead of kids. The seats fold down 50/50 front and back, and the rear windows roll down on conventional (not sliding) doors.

Whine ... whine ... whine.

It's no wonder the North American car market is so depressing these days. Not only have consumers gotten complacent, but the journalists have bought into the same complacency. Instead of cheering on more innovative and efficient designs (and while I'm not likely to buy a Bulli, I do admire it), they spend their time whining about how awful the vehicle is because it makes trade-offs compared to the bloated behemoths that dominate North American roads. Finding an automotive review with something good to say about a small car is next to impossible, and that shapes people's opinions quite dramatically.

The rising costs of fuel these days might spur a few more people to take a long, hard look at what they are driving. With a few more European inspired cars like the Ford Fiesta making their way to our shores, perhaps we'll start to crawl out of the doldrums of bloated, boring designs that currently dominate showrooms.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

More Cult Of The Harper

Now the Harperites are spending taxpayer dollars on partisan propaganda:

The massive TV and radio buy is shared among three federal departments for slick ads that began airing Jan. 11 and wrap up by March 31. The ads have been hitting some of Canada's priciest advertising real estate: the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and Hockey Night in Canada.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada has budgeted $14.5 million on three separate advertisements over nine weeks. The Canada Revenue agency is shelling out $6.5 million over 11 weeks, and Finance would only say its $5 million campaign runs during February and March.

All the ads link to the Economic Action Plan website which has drawn the ire of critics across the political spectrum for its partisan tenor.

The current run of television ads is also coming under fire, in particular a Finance department spot that features actors singing the praises of the Harper government's 2009 budget plan.

Uh huh ... so, we're paying how much for "The Harper Government" to tell us the wonders of the "Economic inAction Plan" ... on some of the most expensive advertising real estate in the country? Worse still, they're spending more on this propagand campaign than a major corporation will spend in an entire year of advertising in Canada:

Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University's Schulich School of Business, called the dollars involved "huge."

"A major advertiser like Procter and Gamble wouldn't spend that within a year in Canada, it's that big," he said.

Annualized to about $100 million for a full year, "not even McDonald's and Tim Hortons spend anywhere near that."

More outstanding fiscal management on the part of "The Harper Government" ...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Addressing The Bogus Arguments

One of the most common arguments I see from the religious right wingnuts is essentially that all study of human sexuality is invalid because they don't like Alfred Kinsey. Consider this screed by No Apologies writer Tom Bartlett.

...Despite Judith Reisman revealing the sexual abuse revealed in Kinsey’s own writings in which infants were repeatedly brought to orgasm, apologists set this aside as irrelevant. If such treatment of infants is acceptable and his research is valid, why is there still a stigma and laws against what is regarded as sexual “abuse” or “exploitation” of children?

Considering that Ms. Reisman's writings are featured regularly on Wingnut Daily, I'm somewhat inclined not to take her work too terribly seriously. When I take a few minutes to find responses to Ms. Reisman's criticisms, I find myself unsurprisingly reading a formal response over at the Kinsey Institute's website, which quite clearly calls into question the particulars of her criticisms:

Allegations against Alfred Kinsey and his research on children's sexual responses, as reported in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, were first made in 1981 by Dr. Judith Reisman. She subsequently enlarged on these ideas in a book written jointly with Edward Eichel and published in 1990 (Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud). When The Kinsey Institute responded, Reisman filed suit in 1991 against The Kinsey Institute, then director June Reinisch, and Indiana University, alleging defamation of character and slander. In September 1993, Reisman's lawyer withdrew from the case, and in June 1994 the court dismissed Reisman's case with prejudice (which means that Reisman is prohibited from refiling the suit)., Ms. Reisman sued when the Kinsey Institute responded to her allegations about Kinsey's work? That sounds like a credible response to me. Or perhaps it's really more about the usual over-the-top distortions that I have come to expect from the religious right wing.

Below is a reiteration of these accusations, recently reported, and the Institute's response.

The act of encouraging pedophiles to rape innocent babies and toddlers in the names of "science" offends. The act of protecting them from prosecution offends. The act of falsifying research findings which, in turn, open the floodgates for the sexual abuse of children, offends. (from Dr. Laura's (Schlesinger) website)

This would be a cause of great concern if it were true. Kinsey was not a pedophile in any shape or form. He did not carry out experiments on children; he did not hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings and there is absolutely no evidence that his research "opened flood gates for the sexual abuse of children." Kinsey did talk to thousands of people about their sex lives, and some of the behaviors that they disclosed, including abuse of children, were illegal. In fact, many sexual behaviors, even those between married adults, were illegal in the 1940's and 1950's. Without confidentiality, it would have been impossible to investigate the very private lives of Americans then, and even now.

While there may have been ethical issues in Dr. Kinsey's work, I would submit that those issues have been unreasonably blown out of proportion.

Others have criticized Kinsey's raw data:

Jones wrote that Kinsey's sexual activity influenced his work, that he over-represented prisoners and prostitutes, classified some single people as "married",[23] and that he included a disproportionate number of homosexual men, particularly from Indiana, in his sample, which may have distorted his studies.[12][13] It has also been pointed out he omitted African Americans in his research.[24] Bullough explains that the data was later re-processed, excluding prisoners and data derived from an exclusively gay sample, and the results indicate that it does not appear to have skewed the data. Kinsey had over-represented people who were homosexual, but Bullough considers this may have been because this was stigmatized and needed to be understood.[12][13] It was Paul Gebhard, in the 1970s, who removed all suspect data (e.g., pertaining to prisoners and similar respondents), and recalculated significant sets of figures against results given by "100 percent" groups. He found only slight differences between the original and updated figures.[25]

So, coming back to Bartlett's suggestion that somehow Kinsey's work justifies enabling pedophilia, his argument is not just a little bit incorrect, it's outright wrong. Where does he get it wrong? Besides quoting highly questionable allegations against Kinsey himself, Bartlett's argument conveniently overlooks the very fundamental point of consent. It is generally accepted in our world that children cannot make a consent decision in such matters. Further, it is widely accepted that child sexual abuse results in serious psychological trauma to the victim. It isn't rocket science to understand that harm occurs to the victim and that the victim cannot make a reasonable consent decision - hence the ridiculousness of Bartlett's assertion. Of course, he's notorious for making straw-man arguments.

Similarly, while there are moral and ethical questions that pertain to Kinsey's methods, we must not forget that he did his work on human sexuality from the 1930s to the 1950s - an era during which much of what he was exploring was subject to criminal sanction. Attacking historical works based on a projection of current understandings is an unreasonable line of argument which attempts to dismiss the results of that research not on the research itself, but on the basis of objections to how that research was conducted.

For example, at the turn of the 20th Century, it was considered ethical to experiment on people directly with x-ray equipment. Today, with the understanding we have of the effects that such radiation can have on people, we would consider that type of experimentation to be unethical because of its consequences. Even if we were to criticize that work on the basis of those ethical considerations, it does not render invalid the findings of that work itself.

Although Kinsey's methods may not have been ideal by modern standards, I think that accusations of malfeasance in his work are gross exaggerations inflated for political reasons. The Kinsey Institute has addressed these objections reasonably and rationally over the years. Kinsey was essentially a pioneer in the field of sexology - whether his findings were objectively correct is an academic discussion.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Thought Conservatives Were Supposedly Good With Money

Fighter-jet price tag will approach $30-billion, budget watchdog warns

An explosive independent report on the Harper government’s controversial purchase of new fighter jets estimates their full cost, including maintenance, could hit $29.3-billion (U.S.).

That’s about $12-billion more than what the Tories have been telling Canadians it would cost.

The report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page comes at a bad time for the Conservative government, which been dogged by controversy over the acquisition and faces a possible defeat in the weeks ahead.

So, let's see if we've got this straight. Not only did the government sole-source this contract - and in doing so, violated the public tender process that is intended to ensure that Canadians pay a reasonable price for the capital goods our government purchases, but they've been short-changing the long term costs of this program.

Figures released by the government have suggested the total cost of the planes would be $17.6-billion, which includes about $9-billion to purchase them plus decades of maintenance bills that the Tories say would not exceed the annual costs of maintaining the current CF-18 fighters.

Hmmm...let's see - the Conservatives want to minimize the costs, so they are quietly 'underestimating' the costs involved. What do they gain by it? The ability to claim that they are being fiscally prudent - and hopefully retain a few votes.

His report was independently peer-reviewed by non-partisan experts at the United States Congressional Budget Office, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Queen’s University.

Somehow, I'm thinking that the government's numbers are overly optimistic. Any other guesses on how badly the Conservatives have mangled this country's finances?

Biblical Discrimination???

Over at "No Apologies", we find Mr. Bloedow responding to my commentary on one of his dafter ramblings about rights and discrimination.

MgS makes the same socialist error. If a businessman subjects a potential customer to “‘we don’t serve your kind’ discrimination,” to use MgS’s expression, then that potential customer is restricted from participating in the particular benefits of that particular businesses products or services. He is not being restricted from participating fully in SOCIETY.

So...somehow, a business is not a part of society? Horsefeathers, Bloedow. You are drawing a false dichotomy here. A business exists as an element of society - it does not exist in a vacuum, nor does it provide its goods and services in isolation from society. To claim otherwise is false.

The problem with discrimination is that it ultimately results in groups of people being marginalized - largely because those groups make "the majority" uneasy for some reason or another. By definition, a marginalized population is prevented from participating fully in society because they are kept on the margins of that society.

The consequences of marginalization are disproportionally greater to the target of those actions than your discomfort about that person or group justifies.

Before I get to my main point, let me point out that legislation against discrimination is juvenile symbolism. It doesn’t stop much of the discrimination it targets because people can get around it.

Are anti-discrimination laws perfect? No. However, they do have the net effect of persuading a lot of people who would engage in discrimination to actually think about their actions before they do it - especially in the marketplace and workplace environments. Yes, they can be undermined - and are from time to time, but that doesn't make them ineffective. Women, members of visible minorities and others can attest to the difference that such laws have made since their introduction in the 1950s and 1960s.

As an aside, you don’t see any atheists or homosexualists condemning “gay-only” businesses or women-only clubs. Clear evidence of the discriminatory nature of “anti-discrimination” law/ideology.

Oh - I see. You've decided to take up one of Mr. Bartlett's favourite tactics - drag in unrelated topics and try to claim that your opponent's position is inconsistent because of them. Nice try - but I haven't discussed these issues, nor do I take ownership of them. Don't go putting words in my mouth.

It's sort of the same as as the conversation around child-molesting priests in my view - using your approach, I must assume that your view is one of tacit approval, since I haven't seen you speak out against the subject, nor have I seen you speak out on the organized effort of Churches to protect these predators.

... and just what is "The Biblical" view of discrimination you talk about? So far, I've seen you assert it, but not once have you shown any reasonable derivation of your position based on anything other than some pseudo-libertarian screed you must have read back in University.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Dear Leader ...

As if I should be overly surprised, but the overweaning ego of Stephen Harper has come to the forefront with Harper rebranding The Government of Canada as The Harper Government.

What an egotistical ass. Mr. Harper isn't exactly someone to create a cult of personality around - for the most part you'd have to scrape pretty hard to find something likeable enough to build a cult around ... and it would be pretty tiny.

Even as our Prime Minister, it is NOT his government - it is OUR government, and it is time for Canadians to take it back.

Even worse, we should be deeply concerned about the fact that they don't seem to understand that money laundering is something criminals engage in, that lying to Canadians is wrong or that Parliamentary resources aren't for political fundraising.

... all this from a party that promised us "greater transparency and accountability"???

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Irony ... As It Is Done

The NDP is demanding that Conservative Senators should step aside until "In-and-Out" Charges Resolved.

I'm not sure that there's actual parliamentary precedent for such a move, but I applaud the sentiment of the NDP's demand here.

However, it is this comment that really gets me going:

"The two gentlemen in question have an impeccable record of honesty and integrity," said MP Pierre Poilievre.

"They have conducted themselves admirably throughout all of this and we're proud to have them as part of our team."

Hmmm... Poilievre? Oh - that Poilievre. It's not like he's exactly the most well-informed MP out there in the first place.

More seriously, the fundamental issue in the "In-and-Out" Scam is that the Conservatives were engaging in nothing less than a money laundering scheme - and a poorly thought out one at that. It leaves one thinking that these amateurs were tossed out from organized crime for good reason ... and went into politics as a second career choice.

The Cass Review and the WPATH SOC

The Cass Review draws some astonishing conclusions about the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC) . More or less, the basic upshot of the Cass Rev...