I've just been watching Marc Lalonde mop the floor with Rick Salutin on Counterspin for the last 20 minutes. What an intellectual fraud Salutin is!! Every single point he makes is promptly jammed back down his throat sideways but he is completely incapable of adjusting his thinking to account for this unfortunate circumstance. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would believe that Salutin was a product of the vast right-wing conspiracy... a composite caricature of the fuzzy-headed leftist who couldn't recognize the truth even if it served his cause. I wish that CounterSpin made transcripts available. This is highly amusing.

They have been discussing Trudeau and the War Measures Act. Salutin made the ridiculous claim that it was the War Measures Act that launched the nationalist movement in Quebec. Even an old style gentleman like Mr. Lalonde could not completely hide his contempt for such stupidity. Lalonde replied that the War Measures Act nipped domestic terrorism in the bud and could as easily be credited with constraining the entire sovereignty movement to play out in an environment free of violence.
An interesting article in the Hill Times about Chretien's animosity towards Paul Martin.

The PM's fingerprints are all over the mud balls being thrown at Finance Minister Paul Martin of late. Ethics Counsellor Howard Wilson, who answers directly to Mr. Chr├ętien and never before said boo to a Liberal, slapped Mr. Martin's wrist over tax consulting contracts awarded by Finance to Alberta lawyer Jim Palmer, who is not only a big fundraiser for the Grits, but also for Mr. Martin, the leading candidate in the unofficial race to succeed the current Prime Minister.

Need more proof? The mud pies kept coming, with leaked reports that the next target would be Mr. Martin's widely-known connection with Ottawa consulting firm Earnscliffe, which does a lot of contract work for Finance and is also home to key Martin players David Herle, Scott Reid and others.

According to my sources, the leaks came directly from Mr. Chr├ętien's most trusted and all-powerful adviser Eddie Goldenberg.

Does Chretien plan to stick around for another term or does he just jerk Paul Martin around for the fun of it?
Jay Mckeown wrote to say...
The National Post reports today that the Liberals have decided not to field
a candidate in the Calgary by-election. The PC's have made the same
And Ezra Levant has stepped aside for his leader.

Your rant seems to have been very effective.

It would be nice (but silly) to think that my rant played any part in the events of the past week. I am pleased that Levant managed to slam on the brakes just before driving himself and one third of his party over a cliff.

Now that Levant is (temporarily?) on ice, I think it is time that the DRC dissidents got serious about their futures. I have some sympathy for Strahl and Deb Gray who seem to be trying to keep one foot in each camp in order to bring the camps together. But the time has come to choose a side. If Clark is going to get all petulant and sulky when they leave then the problem lies with Clark. If they are still waiting to see which way the wind blows then the problem lies with them. Their Constituents, and the public at large, have been pretty patient up to this point but the time to make a decision is approaching fast. I'd suggest that they have until April 8th to make the call. I don't think anyone wants to see the dissidents still waffling when the house resumes. They still have some reserve of goodwill but they'll burn through it pretty quickly if they don't commit to somebody soon.
A Massive Case of Bloggers Block has been overcome at last...

Apologies to those who have sent comments over the past week. I've been strangely tongue-tied but I think I'm ready to come out of it. Alan Cameron sent me a copy of an open letter he sent to his Liberal MP.
To Dan McTeague,

Your government's approach to the conflict in the Middle East is shameful. It dishonours the memory of every Canadian who sacrificed their lives to face down the threat of evil in the past. Appeasement didn't work then, and nothing has changed. How dare you denounce Israel's "disproportionate use of force"? To suggest that "the reoccupation of Palestinian controlled areas will only lead to further violence" is to presume that their is a civilized or governmental body controlling the Palestinian areas now. Not a valid presumption even if we are to take Arafat at his word that he is incapable of stopping the suicide attacks. What level of Israeli carnage would Canada deem sufficient in justifying an Israeli attempt to stem the flow of bombers? Given that Israel has overwhelming military superiority in the region, is it not obvious that they have already shown great restraint? If the Palestinians were the ones with the military advantage now enjoyed by Israel do you doubt that there would be no state of Israel today? Arafat lives; would the same be true of Sharon if the roles were reversed? The very existence of a Palestinian nation confirms that the Israelis hold the superior moral ground in this conflict and therefore deserve Canada's unwavering support.

I have never been politically active before. Either renounce your party's position on this conflict or consider me your political enemy. I will support opposition candidates with time and money in your next election bid.

I don't even know where to begin with the situation in the Middle East. I listen to some of the crap coming out of my radio and I question my own perceptions sometimes. I heard Bill Graham, speaking from some beach somewhere today, trying to split some sub-atomic hair over 'the international community' and I found myself hoping for some newer, hotter, sharper circle in hell for such an evil fraudulent whore. When people talk about Liberal politicians they use the word 'shameless' so often that this latest example is barely touched by the word. To think about some pompous twit, flabby and greased up on some southern beach, lecturing the people of Israel about tolerance and 'forbearance,' as if they had not personified those qualities over the past years and decades, as if they are not displaying tremendous restraint even now, it's just jarring. 'Shameless' doesn't begin to touch it and I can't even hope to express my disgust with these cowards, these evil, equivocating, scheming vultures. They plot and pose to gain some advantage while the Jews bury another generation of wives and husbands and children. Shame on all of them, shame on all of us too.

Sorry, I really shouldn't touch this topic.