12/08/2001

Rick Glasel sent along some comments concerning Marc Lepine...

Firstly, Lepine was an exceptional case, not evidence of a trend, or a culture of misogyny. Almost all the women who have been murdered by men in this country fall into two groups; anonymous women from the bottom rungs (prostitutes, runaways, etc.), and women in obviously dysfunctional relationships with the killer. What Lepine did is as foreign to Canadian society as the guy who went on a rampage in an Ottawa bus garage. I don't see annual candlelight vigils for transit employees who live in fear.

Secondly, it should be obvious that accusing all males of perpetrating violence against women does not save any lives. Women need to look at their role in the relationships they willingly enter into, and what can be done to defuse conflict before their male partner (or ex-partner) snaps and destroys everything he loves, including his own children and himself. So what if the man is to blame; the woman can win the argument and still lose her life. Tougher laws won't deter someone who commits murder, then kills himself. Maybe the only real solution is to prevent future lady-killers from falling into such a deep pit that the only solution they see is to kill themselves and everyone on the other side of the broken relationship. It has frightening parallels with eliminating suicide bombers.

Thirdly, I am leaving the killers of prostitutes, female drug addicts and runaways out of this discussion. My involvement with an inner-city soup kitchen leads me to believe that a similar percentage of males living on the mean streets get killed as do females. I do not know the reasons why, but I suspect it is partly because they are easy targets for psychos who release incredible self-hatred through murder. The sex of the victim is an issue in individual cases, but this is not a general men versus women conflict.

My final comment is this, what Marc Lepine really pointed out was the need to improve the mental health of some men in Canadian society. If Canadian women want to save some of their own lives, they might want to put some effort in this direction.


I'm with you all down the line. I particularly like your second point about unstable men who come into conflict with the legal system over a domestic dispute. The current system seems to be designed to maximize the alienation and despair of men who are already not tracking properly. There seems to be a vindictive and punitive attitude towards _all_ men which only serves to increase paranoia and desperation. For the majority of men this treatment by the legal system is (merely) insulting and degrading. For that small group of potentially dangerous men, the current legal system increases the likelihood that they will realize that potential.
Warren Kinsella does lunch w/ Jan Wong. Talk about your date from hell! Kinsella is every woman's dream - a puffed up pretty boy with delusions of relevance. And Jan Wong! Well what man wouldn't want to lunch with a vicious little midget who's spent an entire week researching your weaknesses?

12/07/2001

Yesterday during Question Period seven consecutive speakers got up to announce their sensitivity to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Ten Members in total took the opportunity to bare their hearts and grieve for the women who died at the Ecole Polytechnique and this little orgy of caring was topped off with a moment's silence. Now I'm not indifferent to the very real tragedy that occurred when these young women were slaughtered but I have to confess that I find this overblown garment-rending a little ... nauseating. I hope this isn't going to become another competitive posing category like the annual Poppy-watch, where every year the Members try to be the first to publicly display their freshly minted poppy as much as two weeks out from Nov 11th. It's the Canadian version of status-seeking - not 'hipper than thou' but
'more sensitive, enlightened, reflective and precious than thou'. Gag me.
Wow! The power of Instant Punditry blows my mind, Man.

I've just gone through a pile of pleasant and encouraging email from folks scattered all over the 37 corners of cyberspace and I thank you all for your good wishes. Charles Tupper Jr. and Damian Penny provided links to their own sites and I look forward to exploring them both. Robin Brown suggested Nologo.org if ever I run short of grist for the mills of outrage.
Wayne Simmons sent along this quote from Fred C. Dobbs...

“I got my pipe going and my tea cup organised and I began thinking that nowadays, unless you go along with the official or unofficial Liberal Party of Canada’s super-patriotic, unity suck, multicultural, bilingual, bisexual, constitutional, constipational bandwagon, you just ain’t never going to get near that fucking wheel.”

This is the second time I've run across Mr. Dobbs' name today - he certainly has a command of the adjective.

I've been away all day enjoying this bizarre weather so I'll have to run and catch up on the news.

Thanks again to those who emailed.


12/06/2001

I just caught the tail end of the new Neil Young tune "Let's Roll" tonight. After the hype I was expecting to be disappointed but this tune (or at least the last 90 seconds of it) is kick-ass vintage Neil with the Grunge-anthem guitar right up front. No Harvest-style ballad here, but a Rust Never Sleeps type of 'F*ck You' to Osama & crew. Can't wait to hear the whole thing...
Glenn Reynolds has a number of letters from Canadians posted on InstaPundit EXTRA!. He's wondering if there isn't some pent-up demand for a Canadian Political Blog. I'm wondering the same thing. I haven't exactly been plugging this site as yet. Exactly one other person was aware of it's existence prior to my sending a note to Glenn just now.

Drop me a note if you happen to happen by...
I'm a big fan of Andrew Coyne, and this is why...

But the document, leaked to the Post last April, takes things much further. In a footnote, it appears to suggest the owner of the hotel owed a sum of money to the Prime Minister's family holding company, J & AC Consultants -- $23,040, to be exact -- and that the proceeds of the BDC loan would be used to pay off this and other debts. If true, it would mean the Prime Minister stood to collect part of the loan he was pressing the bank's president to approve. Worse than conflict of interest, this would be grounds for a criminal investigation. Not even Jean Chretien could survive that.

This is a straightforward and concise statement of the issue that drives me to distraction. This Prime Minister is not an amiable incompetent goofball as he likes to pretend, he's a deeply corrupt and cynical liar. He treats the entire electorate like a collection of rubes and stiffs. All the facts are laid out clearly and still Nobody Cares!!!!!

Ya Signed though, Didn't you?



Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we were present but some decided not to be there. We believe in the policy of being present. Our representative there made it clear that the resolution, as far as it concerned Israel, was completely unacceptable. We believe it is better to be present and speak than not to be there and let the resolution go without anybody talking against it.

This is in reference to a UN Resolution that condemns Israel for violence against Palestine.
During Question Period yesterday, questions were asked about the 'forged' documents that the RCMP declined to pronounce forged.
Among other bits of bafflegap, the venerable Herb Gray said the following...

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is one of the basic principles of Canadian and British justice that those who assert must prove. It is not up to the Prime Minister to prove that he was acting in the right way, although in fact he was. It is up to the hon. member and those who have these fanciful, wrong allegations to bring forward their evidence.

Is it just me or is Herb Gray missing the point that it is the PM who is asserting that these documents are forged. If he has some proof that the document is forged then let him bring it forward. In the absence of that proof, he is conceeding that he has no evidence of forgery and (just incidentally) conceeding that he was acting out of direct self-interest in the Grand-Mere case.

12/05/2001

This Mein Kampf thing...

I notice that Ms. Reisman has offered up an explanation of sorts in today's National Post. According to Ms. Reisman she is not a censor and, indeed, she goes so far as to proclaim that she opposes censorship.

We respect the decision of the Canadian authorities not to proscribe Mein Kampf and have no intention or desire to join any initiative to see this decision reversed. In fact, I personally fall into the camp of those who believe no book should be banned. Having said that, there is a world of difference between censoring and making the simple decision not to sell a book. Only governments can censor; only public institutions are compelled to play a required role.

I find that an interesting comment coming from someone who made a media event out of what should have been a 'simple decision not to sell a book.' I'm not sure who broke this story but I gather that it was not the result of an anonymous tip. If Ms. Reisman wishes to make a statement with her merchandise selection than she ought not be so surprised when the 'statement' draws some fire.

Every day, Indigo makes decisions about what to carry and what not to carry. We do so with a view toward making the choices that best earn the loyalty and patronage of our customers. Surely the right to make these decisions is as legitimate as the right of every Canadian to decide what books he or she wants to read.

I don't think anyone is questioning Ms. Reisman's right to make that decision but her choice to publicize that decision is the difference between a private act and a public act. If you don't want people questioning your dedication to free speech than don't make a public display of banishing any form of speech from your business.

The reality is Indigo is a company passionately committed to playing as rich a role as we can as booksellers in this country and we will continue to do our best at this each and every day.

Pretty words. But actions really do speak louder in this case.



I've decided to just go ahead and take this thing public because the only way to get over this shyness is just to pretend it doesn't exist. Like a typical Canadian I tend to feel underqualified to offer up my opinions. After all, I don't have a single piece of paper that testifies to my expertise in thinking about issues or drawing conclusions. This is strictly the amateur hour. In recognition of that fact, I invite any and all comments, positive or negative.

12/04/2001

So I figured out how to put in my links but I spent so long doing it that I've nothing real substantive left to say... It's my hope that doing these entries often and quickly will lead to a more complete picture of my opinions and biases than what would be revealed if I just tried to explain it. I've been reading over some of the AG's report and, I'm sorry to say, none of it even shocks me anymore. Here's an interesting graph that shows the rapidly expanding surplus in the EI fund. According to the AG,

In the Auditor General's 1999 and 2000 reports to Parliament, we asked the Commission to clarify and disclose the way it interprets the Act in setting premiums. We found that the Commission had not defined and disclosed to the public and Parliament its interpretation of some key legislative terms related to setting premium rates, such as "business cycle," "enough revenue," and "relatively stable rate levels."

"We expected the Commission to clarify and disclose the reasons for collecting $21 billion more than the maximum reserve suggested by the Department's Chief Actuary. The Commission did not explain the reasons for not accepting the Chief Actuary's suggested maximum reserve. Further, it did not provide an adequate justification for the $36 billion accumulated surplus at 31 March 2001. Therefore, we were unable to conclude that the intent of the Employment Insurance Act had been observed in setting the 2001 premium rates."

Ho-hum... the powers over at HRDC have been repeatedly asked to bring premiums back in line with the actual needs of the EI system but, so far, they haven't got around to it. C'est la Vie. The above is from the Auditors 'Other Observations', the miscellaneous outrages that include the home heating debacle and a nifty little sleight of hand called Downsview. Check this out...

On 15 August 2000, pursuant to the authority granted under an order-in-council, Downsview Park acquired about 32 acres of land from National Defence in exchange for a $19 million promissory note, payable in 2050. The note bears no interest, is unsecured, and is subordinated to future indebtedness of Downsview Park.

In September 2000, Downsview Park sold this piece of land to a private sector company and received a net consideration of 19.9 million. The proceeds were deposited in Downsview Park's bank account. No repayment was made to the Government of Canada, and the proceeds are intended to be used for the operations of Downsview Park.

In its March 2001 financial statements, Downsview Park recorded the promissory note as equity of the Government of Canada, as the note bears no interest and is not repayable for 50 years.


Cheery stuff, ain't it?

BTW, The RCMP reports that they have no idea whether or not that BDC document that showed an outstanding debt to Jean Chretien was actually a forgery or not.

So much for that...

Where to start?



Okay.
This is what I'm talking about. This is a news item about the latest report of the Auditor General. In the next couple of days I'll be comparing the AG's comments with the reponses that are elicited by it in the House of Commons. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I intend to provide permanent links to the online Hansard.

'What Fresh Hell is this...?'



It's a new Blog which is (loosely) modeled on Instapundit.Com, a fantastic Site of constantly updated links and commentary on breaking news. I've been surfing blogs for the last few weeks and I am thrilled and intimidated by the quality and quantity of intelligent content that is being offered up, gratis, on these sites. The only shortfall I've noticed is the lack of Canada-centric blogs and I've decided to light this small candle rather than (or in addition to) cursing the dark.
Not that there are no Canadian news sites at all, just far too few that meet my needs which include heavy doses of Liberal bashing and cynical comments that only a 'non-professional' could feel comfortable in offering. This little introductory text will get this thing started and I will be doing a fair bit of additional background posting before attempting to get this thing up and running as I intend.