Monday, January 31, 2005

Moral Matrix

(via Ghost of a Flea)

Your Score
Your scored 2.5 on the Moral Order axis and -6 on the Moral Rules axis.
The following items best match your score:
System: Conservatism
Variation: Economic Conservatism
Ideologies: Conservative NeoLiberalism
US Parties: Republican Party
Presidents: Ronald Reagan (97.79%)
2004 Election Candidates: George W. Bush (88.10%), John Kerry (69.94%), Ralph Nader (51.34%)

Conservatism is a tendency to resist rapid change and to support traditional norms, where "traditional norms" is meant to be the type of moral order and rules that existed in previous times (e.g. Europe and North America prior to the 1950's, stricter religious periods...).
In a conservative state, citizens are subject to state authority primarily in the area of social behavior aspects of their lives.

Economic Conservatism is the variation of Conservatism that emphasizes Independence over Conformance.
People in this category will tend to have stronger opinions about favoring individual initiatives (lower taxes, less corporate and environmental regulations, ...) than about enforcing the moral order (religious conformance, strict family values, lesser freedom of expression, stricter laws...).

Neoliberalism is a political philosophy and a political-economic movement beginning in the 1970s that de-emphasizes or rejects government intervention in the economy, focusing instead on achieving progress and even social justice by more free-market methods, especially an emphasis on economic growth, as measured by changes in real gross domestic product.

Conservative Neoliberalism is Neoliberalism associated with conforming moral values.

I guess that makes me a Libertarian who likes those small town Family Values. I'll agree with that as its pretty much how I would assess my own beliefs. Admittedly I generally don't care a great deal about social issues, but the whole SSM thing has been so entirely arrogant, dishonest, undemocratic and overall annoying that I've been rather outraged about it which has been reflected in my postings. But once the issue dies down for a bit...most assuredly dear readers Burkean angst will soon become Nozickian angst as the more fiscal errors of the state will draw my wrath.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Why I don't think A SCC ruling on SSM is certain

I've been asked why I don't particularly buy the reasoning behind a number of law professors contention that Harper's proposed legislation would be struck down. Aside from the ideological underpinnings of the professors making this particular accusation, my reasoning is the prior ruling of the Supreme Court itself. Despite what Mr.Cotler and Mr. Martin have contended the only rulings made by the Supreme Court of Canada have been that Parliament was able to redefine marriage if it chose too, and in 1995 that the traditional definition of marriage was constitutional.

Indeed, the Court of Appeals in some cases rather deliberately choose to ignore the fact the matter had been ruled on. This was a rather disturbing flouting of the central legal principal of stare decisis. While I may have my misgivings about the impartiality of the current Supreme Court, I do not believe they've yet wholly abadoned principals central to the common law and civil society itself. Hence I believe they would have some difficulty surmounting the clear precident set in Egan v. Canada.

Quoting from the judgment of the majority Chief Justice Lamer :

Marriage has from time immemorial been firmly grounded in our legal tradition, one that is itself a reflection of long-standing philosophical and religious traditions. But its ultimate raison d'être transcends all of these and is firmly anchored in the biological and social realities that heterosexual couples have the unique ability to procreate, that most children are the product of these relationships, and that they are generally cared for and nurtured by those who live in that relationship. In this sense, marriage is by nature heterosexual. It would be possible to legally define marriage to include homosexual couples, but this would not change the biological and social realities that underlie the traditional marriage.

Neither in its purpose nor in its effect does the legislation constitute an infringement of the fundamental values sought to be protected by the Charter. None of the couples excluded from benefits under the Act are capable of meeting the fundamental social objectives thereby sought to be promoted by Parliament. While these couples undoubtedly provide mutual support for one another, and may occasionally adopt or bring up children, this is exceptional and in no way affects the general picture. Homosexual couples differ from other excluded couples in that their relationships include a sexual aspect, but this sexual aspect has nothing to do with the social objectives for which Parliament affords a measure of support to married couples and those who live in a common law relationship. The distinction adopted by Parliament is relevant here to describe a fundamental social unit to which some measure of support is given

Given that this is the last ruling by the Supreme Court on the subject and its far less inclusive than Harper's position, I have no qualms stating that Harper's position IS constitutional until the Supreme Court overturns this judgement. Furthermore, if you think the Supreme Court won't be influenced by its direct precident, that's a pretty damning indignment of the Court as having an ideological agenda and simply legislating from the bench. I tend to view the outcome as less than certain, and its certainly not dishonest to protray a proposed law as constitutional which is in line with the most recent Supreme Court judgment on the subject. As quite frankly following the caselaw properly the CAs would all have been overturned on appeal nor do I think it certain that the Supreme Court would want to tarnish itself by fueling its critics by ignoring its own precidents and overturning the will of the legislature on a matter where their was no harm but the suposed harm of a lack of "social acceptence".

I also think this particular statement in the SCC response to the Reference Case is something those who claim a "certain" judgement are willfully blind too:

71 In sum, a unique combination of factors is at play in Question 4. The government has stated its intention to address the issue of same-sex marriage by introducing legislation regardless of our opinion on this question. The parties to previous litigation have relied upon the finality of their judgments and have acquired rights which in our view are entitled to protection. Finally, an answer to Question 4 would not only fail to ensure uniformity of the law, but might undermine it. These circumstances, weighed against the hypothetical benefit Parliament might derive from an answer, convince the Court that it should exercise its discretion not to answer Question 4.

The court seems to be suggesting that the definition of marriage was not at all unconstitutional, which reinforces my belief that so long as the benifets attached to marriage are preserved through civil unions there is a reasonable probability that Harper's legislation would not be struck down at the Supreme Court level. Anyone suggesting a "certain" outcome is about as reliable as a tarot card dealer...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Quiz time

20 Questions to a Better Personality

(Via The Monger)

Wackiness: 40/100Rationality: 48/100Constructiveness: 34/100Leadership: 48/100

You are a SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you a Evil Genius.

You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

Offshore Oil Crisis Resolved for Now

I have to say I'm rather dissapointed by this.

The agreement-in-principle, which almost collapsed late in the evening, would see Nova Scotia get $830 million over eight years. Newfoundland would get at least $2 billion over the same period.

Ottawa will guarantee that much in either equalization payments or energy revenues. The federal government is also willing to extend the plan a further eight years, if either province is still receiving equalization payments.

In exchange, Newfoundland took off the table a demand to keep all equalization payments, as well as energy resources.

To me it looks like the Premiers simply became exhausted by protracted negotiations and took what money they could get their hands on. The oil revenues are worth far more than that and while Ottawa is running huge surplusses is as good a time as any to tackle that 'fiscal imbalance'.

I'm also going to miss the "Danny Williams Hates Ottawa" show, that's been on the evening news these last couple monthes. It seemed like a great sequal to the "Ralph Klein Hates the Federal Government" show.

SSM dividing Liberal Families

Irwin Cotler reports that he's had difficulty even convincing his own wife of the merits of his governments position. However, he states that "she's comming around".

Does anyone else find it mildly amusing that Cotler is so unconvincing on this issue that he's not even convinced his wife? He's simply moved her into the "maybe" category. Seeing as Cotler can't even convince his spouse, and presumably she's the one person who likes him the most and spends an extensive amount of time with wonder 57% of Ontario agrees with the Conservative Party of Canada.

This has yet to be confirmed but I think Stephen Harper's wife, and Vic Toews wife probably agree with their stance on marriage.

The Holy Land - Good News, Bad News

Although I'm not terribly confident in Abbas yet, as it remains to be seen whether or not he simply considers some negotiations with Israel as a means to gain concessions which will simply lead to demands for more concessions and other behaviour in bad faith such as Arafat preferred. However, I will admit that the initial signs are promissing.

Abbas has forbidden civilians from carrying firearms and sent in the police to dampen clashes as the Israelis prepare to withdraw from Gaza. The willingness to actually impose some sort of order is a huge step forwards as Arafat never did anything more than shake his finger at terrorists and say "bad terrorists bad", only to wink at them while he was doing it.

However, I did mention bad news which would be.

But Abbas suffered a setback Friday when the militant group Hamas won an overwhelming victory in elections for municipal council seats in Gaza.

Hamas won more than 65 per cent of the vote, with 30 per cent going to Fatah, led by Abbas.

Hammas is a terrorist group devoted to destroying Israel which promotes suicide bombings. I really can't take them recieving a popular mandae of any kind as anything but profoundly bad news for peace in the middle east.

Liberals Seem Partisan about Charity too

A number of non-profit organizations whom recieve government funding for their work are claiming favouritism in the new system implimented by the Liberal government.

Six non-profit community organizations are going to have to close their doors as funding is withdrawn from them. Several are being knocked off by rival organizations which just "happened" to have made a "donation" to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Ironically the history books tell us that kickbacks were the way of politics long in the past, a mere subject of texts as a historical curiousity. However, as one views the growing list of organizations which recieve government funding and the contributions they seem to be making to the Liberal coffers, it would seem that the practice is not the relic of antiquity that we've been lead to believe.

"I know that the Working Skills Centre has had a stellar track record with this department and we don't understand why it is that we don't continue to be funded," said Hui.

The agency has served 21,000 women over nearly three decades. It's attained a 70 per cent success rate placing them in jobs.

The three winning agencies have either donated to the Liberal party or are located in the riding of the former human resources minister, Joe Volpe.

Another group, Linkup, lost its funding to the Ontario March of Dimes, which also recently donated $1,100 to the Liberals

Karen Goldenberg, the president and CEO of Jobs Vision Success says neither her group's location, nor her own personal donation to the Liberal party played any role in winning the bid.

No no, it has nothing to do with it at all. Its all just a happy coincidence, not rampant corruption right? Seriously, when the CBC spin is essentially that the Liberal government is corrupt things have to have gotten pretty blatant. When your appologists can't deny the facts, you've got problems.

Friday, January 28, 2005

This link is mostly for the Red Ensigners

Click here to go to a page which has a real player version of Rule Britannia.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Climate Change's Famous "Hockey Stick Graph" a Hoax

There have been accounts of this before, however, previously studies illustrating the fact that the so called spike over the last 1,000 years in temperature was a hoax didn't make their way into peer reviewed journals. Hence they were considered to be unsubstantiated and the musing of right wing ideologues. However, as Mulder would say "the truth is out there".

However the National Post reports, that a new study by an economist out of Guelph has illustrated that the methodology involved in creating that graphic was charlatanism. Furthermore, this study has found its way into several peer review journals and has prompted the lead author of the next International Climate Change Panel report to announce that the matter definately had to be studied.

You can find the paper itself here. It warms my heart to see that science is slowly struggling to overturn ideology.

SSM Polling

(via Norman Spector)

In the spirit of working with our friends and spiting our enemies, the Conservative Party has released its polling data to the Sun Chain.

Praxis and Decima conducted a national poll of 1500 people on the issues of whom they would vote for, and more specifically on the issue of same sex marriage. The news is good all around, evidently our position has widespread support in Ontario and even more specifically the GTA, 57 and 58% respectively, compared to 34% for the Liberal position.

Nationally its a touch closer with 42% in favour of our position, to 35% for the Liberal Position.

Apparantly provincial trends are fairly consistent except in BC, which has a larger number of people in favour of gay marriage. Strangely, I would have thought Quebec would have been the odd ball amongst the statistical trends.

As for where the parties stand - the electorate doesn't think any of them are covering themselves with glory evidently.

The poll also found the Liberals at 31% support nationally; with the Conservatives at 28%; the NDP with 18% and the Green Party at 4%.

I like the fact that the Liberals are down and that we are in striking distance, however, hopefully we'll see some upward movement soon.

However, so much for our stance on SSM being toxic in Ontario and Quebec. Sometimes the Globe and Mail, the CBC and The Star need to realize what a left wing echo chamber they truly are.

Total Donations to Political Parties by Universities Comparitively

The Liberal Party of Canada - $41, 131.63

The NDP - $5213.24

The Conservative Party (combined totals for the Canadian Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservative Party) - $2304.30

The Letter Writing Profs are Giving, what about the Universities?

I've made a couple of posts on academia and politics. You can find them here, and here. Of course my last post was on the bais of those profs who attacked Stephen Harper's position on Same Sex marriage as unconstitutional. A number of them are overtly partisan, including several deans.

But what of the institutions themselves? Can we expect the Ivory tower to be above the nitty gritty and muck of partisan politics?

Apparantly not.

Fun facts to follow, the dear folks at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law who posted the anti-Harper letter on their website don't limit themselves to polemics and signatures.

In 1995 they donated $185.75 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

However, that's relatively small potatoes compared to the donation the good people at the University of Alberta have made to the Liberal party over the past number of years.

Since 1995 the University of Alberta has felt the urge to donate $6661.07 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

While the Acadia Faculty Association made a donation to the NDP in 2000 valued at $5055.92

Athabasca University in 2002 donated $637.24 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Brock University between 1996 and 1997 donated $1688.18 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Carleton University in 1994 donated $200 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Concordia University donated $677.31 to you guessed it the Liberal Party of Canada.

Dalhousie University simmilairly shared in the academic love in for mother government, donating $423.88 in 2002.

The Governors of Acadia University, evidently weren't content to let the Faculty alone venture into backing political parties between 2002 and 2003 they've donated $1794.54 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Laurentian University gave $157.32 to the NDP in 1997.

While the Laurentian University of Sudbury gave $1314.80 to the Liberal Party of Canada in 1998 and 1999.

McMaster University gave $599.94 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1993.

St.Mary's University has donated $5584.54 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 2001.

The University Of British Columbia has donated $2737.40 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1994.

The University of Calgary has given $3675.45 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1998.

While my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Manitoba has given $4043.62 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1994.

The University of Western Ontario has donated $3508.48 since 1998 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The University of Guelph has donated $782.72 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1999.

The University of Regina since 1997 has donated $1584.16 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The University of Saskatchewan has donated $3851.04 to the Liberal Party of Canada since 1998.

While the University of Waterloo has donated $616.08 since 2000 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The University of Windsor since 1999 has donated $1202.58 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Finally in 2002 Wilfried Laurier (who would have guessed they would donate to the Liberals?) gave $252.60 to the Liberal Party of Canada.

I've ommitted a few small colleges which also gave Liberal simply because I've never heard of them before and the sums weren't all that large.

In the interests of offering "fair and balanced coverage" I will point out that

The University of Saskatchewan gave $300 to the Canadian Alliance Party in 2003 (less than 10% of its donations to the Liberal Party of Canada).

Trinity Western University in 2000 gave $560 to the Canadian Alliance Party.

The University of Western Ontario gave $1304.30 to the Progressive Conservative Party in 2002.

While the Okanagan University College gave $220 to the Canadian Alliance party in 1999.

Total Donations to Conservative Parties in Canada by Universities - $2304.30

Which is a third of what the University of Alberta alone has seen fit to give to Mother Government.

A Missive to Letter Writing Law Professors

Since the professors who are questioning Stephen Harper's legal stance on the nothwithstanding clause were so kind to sign their names and post their letter on the internet, I decided that I would offer them the Vitor treatment and run their names through Elections Canada's Contributor Search. The following names appeared as contributors, Elections Canada does not show titles and affiliation those are taken from the letter itself. I'll allow it may be a coincidence that exactly the same name comes up when run through Elections Canada, however, I think number of names that come up illustrate a pattern.

The results are rather unsurprising. Of 134 names on the list 21 are contributors to either the Liberal or NDP Party.

1. Professor Jennifer Bankier, Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University - $880 to the NDP

2. Professor Jeff Berryman, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor - $150 to the Liberal Party of Canada

3. Professor Susan Boyd, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia - $700 to the NDP

4. Professor Robert J. Currie, Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University - $1000 to the Liberal Party of Canada

5. Dean Ronald Daniels, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto - $436.84 to the Liberal Party of Canada

6. Professor Donna Greschner, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan - $500 to the NDP

7. Professeure Nicole LaViolette, Common Law, Université d'Ottawa - $225 to the NDP

8. Professor Patrick Macklem, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto - $200 to the NDP

9. Professor Kathleen Mahoney, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary (Kathleen Mahoney Consulting Ltd.) - $362 to the Liberal Party of Canada

10. Professor Brian M. Mazer, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor - $1160 to the NDP

11. Professor Errol Mendes, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa - $4366.19 to the Liberal Party of Canada

12. Professor Armand de Mestral, Faculty of Law, McGill University - $369.39 to the Liberal Party of Canada

13. Professor Mayo Moran, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto - $460 to the NDP

14. Professor Jennifer Nedelsky, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto - $1,450 to the NDP

15. Doyen Daniel Proulx, Faculté de droit, Université de Sherbrooke - $1,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada

16. Professor René Provost, Faculty of Law, McGill University - $365.18 to the Liberal Party of Canada

17. Professor Denise Réaume, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto - $3525 to the NDP

18. Professeur Alain Roy, Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal - $624.15 to the Liberal Party of Canada

19. Professor Daniel Soberman, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University - $400 to the Liberal Party of Canada

20. Professor Claire Young, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia - $180 to the NDP

21. Professor Margot Young, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia - $250 to the NDP

As for the rest of the signators, I think we can determine where they stand by the company they keep. I'm sure the academy was just dying to speak out now because our position was "dishonest". Far more likely because "it might be popular". I don't think these professors have been entirely forthcoming about their motivations for producing this letter..

(welcome Small Dead Animals readers, what does one call this being kateapulted? as well as readers of What it takes to win - by the way Vitor "the vitor treatment" is now a euphamism for searching for party backers and bias in data, I started it and The Hack has picked it up..)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Canada's Military and its Future

Treehugger at Heart of the Mattter has started a discussion on Canada's military, its purpose and future. Being that I'm strictly a civilian with no military expertese, experience or qualifications aside from having read a few ancient military texts, my opinion is that of a layman and generally prognosticator. However, John the Mad, and Damian of Babbling Brooks have a more experienced perspective, and as an aside Laurie Hawn at Strong and Free is someone I'd like to see comment on that thread. For those of you who don't know Laurie Hawn is the candidate of record for Edmonton Centre and recently tilted against the windmill that is Anne McClellan, he's also a retired colonel from the air force.

However, let it not be said that little things like "humility" and "technical knowledge" are something that prevents me from expressing an opinion.

The state of the Canadian military is fundamentally unacceptable. That should be something which forms a broad consensus among Canadians regardless of political stripes. Thus it seems appropriate to seek remedy for the existing problems and lay out a vision for future expansion.

At the moment the most pressing concerns to the Canadian military have been an operating shortfall, which has significantly depleted a deficient budget for equipement purchases, the subsequent degradation of the equipement available to the military and a manpower shortage.

We've asked an aweful lot from our military in the last decade, and they've been forced to operate on a shoestring government. The number of peacekeeping missions where we've sent them into harms way, over working and under equiping them is substantial. In order to fund these overseas ventures they've forgone the replacement of equipement. My first suggestion would be to scrutinize the number of overseas commitments Canada has currently placed on its military and remove our troops from low priority areas. Thereafter, I would suggesting passing legislation entailing automatic monetary transfers to the department of defense for any moneys needed to keep its operational budget in line with operational expenses. Canabalizing the equipement budget is leading us towards a crisis situation.

Secondly, there needs to be an immediate and substantial infusion of money into the Canadian military for the purposes of replacing againing and already deficient equipement. The Sea King helicopter which has been in use for over 40 years is the most agregious example of the neglect the government has bestowed upon our forces. The navy lacks sufficient ships to properly patrol and police our waters and protect fishing stocks, while the airforce lacks sufficent transport capabilites to lift out troops to trouble spots. Insufficiently armoured vehicles have caused the death of some of our troops in Afghanistan. Our reserves don't even have enough bullets available to practice shooting.

I would suggest that there should be a multi-party commitment to investing 10 billion dollars into the Canadian military over the next five years. I'm uncertain if this would be sufficient given the rapid deplete of resources, however, it would be a strong step forward to reversing the dissapearance of a once proud entity.

Were I to hazard an opinion on spending priorities, I would emphasize airlift capacity immediately as lacking it we can't engage in peacekeeping expeditions or in offensive coalitions. I would also deem being able to aquire sufficient ships to contribute to naval exercises and maintain soverignty over territorial waters quite pressing. Stronger armoured vehicles, tanks and helicopters would also rank as things which would be of utility.

I mentioned there is a manpower shortage in the forces. And indeed by any accounts we have too few troops for the commitments we've undertaken. Ironically, we've also understaffed recruit training operations so there is a minimal inflow of new blood into the forces and apparantly many whom are interested in serving are turned away. Expanding and building new training centres to engage more people in the forces is desirable as quickly as possible. It would relieve the burden on those currently serving, as well as paving the way to being able to make more significant troop contributions at some point in the future.

I do not think it would be out of line to suggest doubling the current number of people serving in the forces. We can never compete with the size and might of the US military. However, we can maintain a good sized and respectable military comparable to England or Australia.

As for the purpose of the armed forces, I will state unequivocally the primary goal of the forces should be defense of the realm. Really, that's the first and most primary duty of any government let alone its military. However, I will acknowledge that I do not think we shall be fighting on the beaches of Halifax or Vancouver anytime soon. However, defense of the realm also includes maintaining Canadian sovereignty over our waters, our aerospeace and our territory. Its unacceptable to me that Denmark is claiming one of our islands and pressing a claim towards the Arctic. We should have sufficient patrols to discourage their presence, as a nation the size of New Brunswick with only a few million people should not be able to flout our jurisdiction. Simmilarly foreign fishing boats should not be exaccerbating crises that are occuring off the Grand Banks.

I also think that offensive capability is an absolute necessity. We can not speak credibly on the international stage if it is not. Our quarrel with Iran illustrated that to a T. We expressed out dissatisfaction that one of our citizens had been killed? But what happened as a resulte we withdrew our ambassador and said we were angry...

I know if I was an Iranian mullah I'd be not only scared but heartbroken about our dissatisfaction and having my behaviour declared unacceptable. I'm not stating that we should have been, or should have unilaterally invaded. However, I think the availability of the option to respond by launching a number of missiles at Iranian government buildings would have been benificial to our objections being taken seriously.

Keeping the peace and humanitarian efforts being undertaken by military forces are also desirable and benificial. I do not think they should be the primary purpose of the military. However, they may be its most frequent application. Maintaining out ability to do both of these things is closely tied up in manpower shortages and equipement shortages which affect the other two purposes of the military I outlined above. Hence I think that equipement shortages specifically for peacekeeping missions should be a tertiary concern they should be a concern. I think equiping one's self for the worst case scenario of an offensive action has to be the primary concern.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Group of Law Professors Says Preventing Same Sex Marriage Would Entail the Nothwithstanding Clause

The Globe and Mail has the articel here. The letter can be found here.

I find the this particle press release rather amusing as I opined the other day "do the Liberals think they have a crystal ball to discern the courts rulings into the future?"

Evidently a number of law professors think that aside from filing statements of claim, they've also developed the ability to scry. I await further announcements regarding what magical powers law professors claim to possess, given that their ability to predict the future is newfound.

For the most part what's simply occured is a number of partisan "charter party" academics have signed their name to a document stating that because they've deemed something to be trendy it must be a right. Furthermore, the courts must automatically agree with them.

The notion that government legislation which makes specific provision for the benifets of same sex couples, should be treated exactly the same as a common law definition is questionable. It certainly shouldn't entail a knee jerk reaction from the academy. However, as I have alluded too, universities aren't exactly known for their "fair and balanced" coverage of social policy.

I supose it gives me some comfort that only two professors from my school signed the letter. Given that the two who did are a criminal lawyer, and a health law specialist I'm not particularly sure why I should find either of their opinions particularly persuasive. Neither of them are constitutional experts. I will howerver, inquire as to the opinion of an actual constitutional expert on the subject.

Those who worry about the Gay Lobby taking a Run at the Church - they already are

It would seem that in anticipation of a legal challenge to the definition of marriage, a B.C. lesbian couple booked a Knights of Columbus Hall for their wedding reception.

The Knight's of Columbus is a catholic organization and given that the Catholic church refuses to perform or acknowledge same sex marriages, when the Knights discovered the nature of the ceremony they cancelled the booking.

Now the lesbian couple are sueing the knights for "discrimination."

I'm disinclined to believe this was some sort of innocent mistake. It strikes me as more a deliberate ploy being undertaken to assault religious groups whom are not onside with gay marriage.

Furthermore, it also makes Paul Martin and Irwin Cotler's assurances that "no church will be forced to perform same sex marriages" ring rather hollow, considering if church groups are being dragged into court over this now - if Liberals had their druthers where will we be five or ten years from now? It was not so long ago that Chretien was assuring us that the Charter would never lead to gay marriage...

I'm not a religious person, but I respect people of faith and for the most part feel they have a right to be left alone, to express their beliefs and have them treated with respect. It would seem those with an agenda won't extend the same courtesy.

Divided? Not really

I'd encourage people to go here and click on the video link. The party doesn't look terribly divided on the issue, and even the CBC seems to admit on air that we're 95% together on this issue. Sure some people have some concerns but really, let's not get skittish.

The write up beside the video is slightly amusing as it seems to equate opposition to the party position within the Liberal and Conservative caucuses. While on the one hand, there are at least 30 Liberals opposed to the party position which is just under a third of the party, and 2 who oppose the party position. That doesn't strike me as terribly comparable.

They also quote Belinda as stating she wouldn't have run the ads, and as far as I'm concerned Belinda that's fine. I and many other people wouldn't have or didn't vote for you as leader so you don't get to make those kind of decisions, Stephen does.

Blogging Blue is Panicking over the Reynolds Retirement and the SSM Ads

I discussed these two events yesterday just scroll down to take a look at them from my perspective, which is rather serenely calm. Northern Wish over at Blogging Blue is seeking to weave the two events into a rather pessimistic pattern. He sees it as the departure of one of Harper's staunchest allies and thus some sort of admission of failure by a Conservative heavy weight. He also seems spooked by an article in the CanWest papers that parroted a press release from the Candian Labour Federation and a few "rights" groups attacking the same sex ads. I really think he's reading way too much into this. Reynolds is not as young as he once was and hence probably figures its time for him to pass the torch to younger hands. My comment was as follows -

Northern Wish,

At the moment I think you're taking bits of informations that are coincidentally timed and straining to weave them together into some sort of factual pattern, when they are simply coincidental bits of information.

In this context I think Freud's cautionary statement that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" should be headed.

Is John Reynolds quitting over same sex marriage - no not very likely. You seem to be neglecting the fact that John Reynolds has been in politics since 1972, furthermore, Reynolds is 63 and if an election was held a year or two from now would be sitting until he's almost 70.

Politics is very taxing upon members of parliament, at least those whom strive to perform to the best of their ability. In John's case it involves flying across two thirds of the country with great frequency and long hours. He is not nearly as young as he used to be, and a great many people his age ponder retirement and spending more time with their grand children.Furthermore, as a man who's spent 30 years in the trenches for Conservatives in Canada, he's done more than his part and he deserves a break.

And while you impute his motive as being that he's outraged or dispirited over the running of the same-sex marriage adds. Neither you or I have any way of knowing his mind. I however, offer the alternative that I do not think after so long and deep a commitment to Conservatism that John Reynolds would be stepping aside unless he thought the party and the movement were in good hands.

Furthermore, it seems terribly premature to declare our ad campaign a failure. Reacting to an acticle written on a slow news day which parots the opposition of one conservative organizer in BC whom no conservative I've spoken too has previously heard of, as well as the usual list of culprits - government funded left wing organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress, and Human Rights commisions, is defeatist in tone.

When has the Canadian Labour Congress or any of the Human Rights Commissions ever said anything good about the Conservative Party, the Canadian Alliance Party, the Reform Party or the Progressive Conservative Party? Being condemned in a press release by leftist groups should either produce a yawn, or simply encourage our actions as those who oppose us obviously feel threatened by the tactic.

Needless to say I think your way off base with this one.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Charles Adler Goes National

(Via Hacks and Wonks )

Charles Adler has gone national with a talk show occuring every weekday afternoon from 2 - 4 central time on the Chorus Radio network.

Adler is a loud mouthed, arrogant, amusing, Conservative radio talk show host, somewhat in the mold of Rush Limbaugh but somewhat less offensive and outrageous because well..he is Canadian. However, if you want talk radio which is ardently right wing as opposed to that latte sipping, high tax loving, cavier eating, government loving drivel that the CBC spews forth onto the airwaves, Charles is your man.

As a former Winnipegger and listener to his broadcast I highly recommend him. Although he does have his off days so listen for a couple days to get a better flavour.

A Conservative Manifesto

I hold these things to be self evident and true.

1. Individuals are the fundamental building blocks of every state. Their rights and dignity as human beings deserve to be respected.

2. Small government is the optimal form of government, as it allows for the greatest amount of autonomy for the individual.

3. Capitalism and free markets is the most effective means of wealth production and distribution known to man. Government only has a place to step in to enforce contracts, keep law and order, defend the realm, collect taxes and provide for those essential projects that will not be, or may not effectively be provided by the market.

4. Free trade enhances the wealth of both nations involved and is both good and desirable.

5. The wisdom of the past is encapsulated in tradition and it should be respected.

6. People have a right to use and enjoy private property and not to be deprived thereof except with due process and compensation where applicable.

7. There should be freedom of religion, or not to persue religion. However, this should not be a pretext to demand anyone with religious views be silenced.

8. There should be free speach without qualification, defeat bad ideas with good ideas in reasoned debate rather than censorship.

9. The elected representatives of the people should formulate, debate and legislate the law. This law is to be interperted not subverted by the judiciary.

10. Parliament is soveirgn and should have the final say over any legal question.

11. Citizens have a right to a fair trial.

12. A country should exercise soveirgnty over its borders and defend them rigorously.

13. The judiciary should exhibit due deference to parliament and cleave to the original meaning of the words found in constitutional documents.

14. A strong military is necessary to defend one's nation from enemies and to promote the nation's international interests.

15. Local matters should be dealt with at local not national levels.

16. The traditional family unit of one man and one woman joined by marriage and at least one child, is valuable and should be encouraged and respected.

17. Crimes and violations of the law should be punished in a suitable and substantial fashion.

Bob at Let it Bleed Mocks Heather Mallick

I missed Bob's periodic trashing of Heather Mallick. I'm glad to see that might be a semi-regular feature of Let it Bleed again, for some people truely deserve to be mocked.

I wonder when the Globe will learn that columnists like Heather Mallick and Rick Salutin do them no favours? No one with anything worth saying regarding politics can rightly be described as a "big Castro fan".

Desperate Liberals Now Calling Appeal to Minorities "Racist"

According to minority rights and labour supporters our anti-gay marriage campaign is racist, because it appeals to minority groups.

Now for those of us in the know, minority rights and labour supporters is media code for "left wing nutjobs".

An anti-Harper coalition claiming 200 minority rights and labour supporters from across Canada launched a bitter denunciation of the ads, accusing Harper of fuelling racial intolerance. "The ad campaign ... is in our view, divisive; panders to prejudice; seeks to pit one minority community against another and reinforces unfounded and in fact racist stereotypes that visible minorities are intolerant," said the coalition.

Signatories to the anti-Harper letter also include members of the Canadian Labour Congress, the former deputy commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, the Chinese Canadian National Council, the Calgary Immigrant Women's Association and the Asian Canadian Labour Congress.

Going through the list we might as well simply call it "the usual suspects" considering they are generally the people who have bad things to say about Conservatives. If I was as ambitious as Vitor I could probably find that most of the groups on that list have donated to either the NDP, Liberals or both. Needless to say none of these groups have ever had anything good to say about us anyhow, so why start now?

But really "gay rights" is now an issue of ethnicity? The left is becoming a parody of itself in a fashion that seems somewhere between sad and laughable.

The idea that its racist to appeal to groups that are statistically more religious, and more likely to oppose gay marriage isn't racist. Its demographic and sound strategy at that. Furthermore, the CPC generally does fairly well with the "white guy vote", so sending out a memo to people who are already onside wouldn't make an aweful lot of sense.

The only real purpose to this group's exercise is to try and get a negative press release into the papers to smear the conservatives. Of course, lazy professional journalists are generally on side with that.

John Reynolds Retiring

John Reynolds won't stand in the next election. The vetran politician has stepped aside as houseleader to allow for continuity through the next election, and announced he won't run in the next election but he will serve as national campaign chair in the next election.

Reynolds cited health concerns as faimly as the reason for his decision.

Reynolds has been in and out of politics since 1972, so with more than 30 years of service to several conservative parties ranging from the Progressive Conservatives, to BC Social Credit, to the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance Party and the Conservative Party. He's been a valuable contributor to the party and has been one of our most valuable and effective Mps. He will be missed.

Jay Hill of Prince George - Peace River will replace Reynolds as house leader.

Lawrence Summers - Proves Stating the Obvious Can Still Get You in Trouble With the Left

(Via Babbling Brooks)

Lawrence Summers, economist and president of Havard was at a conference on the status of women in science. He seems to have created a media storm by suggesting that there were differences between the sexes which may account for their relatively small share of senior positions in the hard sciences.

Saying there are differences between the sexes isn't particularly revolutionary, a quick glance illustrates our bodies are different. While men tend to emphasize the use of our left brain while women are more divided between right and left.

Given that the left brain is to my knowledge associated with logic and analysis, it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility for scientists to state that males on average may have a higher aptitude for the true sciences than females. Does this mean there won't be girls whom aren't exceptionally good at science? Or males who won't be better at the humanities and social sciences? No - it simply refers to an average disposition.

Of course he's appologizing profusely.

However, other participants at the conference noted -

Freeman and several other participants at last Friday's conference say Summers has been portrayed unfairly. They say he was simply outlining possible reasons why women aren't filling as many top science jobs as men.

"He didn't say anything that people in that room didn't have in their own minds," said Claudia Goldin, another Harvard and NBER economist who attended the conference. Goldin said Summers simply summarized research from papers presented at the conference. "Why can they say them and he can't?"

While a Washtington Post columist points out the hypocracy of the feminist outrage over the matter.

Many of the same people denouncing Summers, I'd venture, believe fervently that homosexuality, for example, is a matter of biology rather than of choice or childhood experience. Many would demand that medical studies be structured to consider differences between men and women in metabolizing drugs, say, or responding to a particular disease. And many who find Summers's remarks offensive seem perfectly happy to trumpet the supposed attributes that women bring to the workplace -- that they are more intuitive, or more empathetic or some such. If that is so -- and I've always rather cringed at such assertions -- why is it impermissible to suggest that there might be some downside differences as well?

Yes feminists, if you want to talk about how much more caring and understanding things are when women are in control of the workplaceand how all that male machismo is bad for the world, we'll point out we're much better at toiling away in labs across the world trying to create a better viagra drug.

However, I think there is ready ancetodial evidence for the claim that males may simply be better at science. Ask any experienced teacher whose taught a gamut of courses at an elementary or high school level and their likely to observe that males are relatively stronger in science and math than they are in other courses. I've heard this frequently from my dad who taught for 30 years and from his friends.

Some would respond that the courses are taught in a way which is biased towards males, which isn't really true as there was evidently a push for a number of years to make science more girl friendly. My father has always wanted to know where has the push been to make english more male friendly? I tended to agree because every time you had a female teacher in an English course which was at least half the time you got the most wretchedly boring novels and plays to study.

Seriously, how many 15 year old males want to study or find Romeo and Julliet interesting? Give them Henry the Vth and they might pay attention.

CTV and the Globe manufacturing alleged strife

I listened to Mike Duffy try to make something of this, yesterday and now the Globe is regurgitating it.

Apparantly our leader is never suposed to make a decision without asking Peter MacKay if its alright first, or asking caucus whom were all on vaction anyhow. Leaders are there to lead, and that's precisely what Stephen is doing.

This is simply an example of the liberal media trying to stir up trouble for Conservatives because they know the Liberal Party (its political wing) has landed itself in trouble on SSM.

Bloc Claims Martin is just fishing for a pretext to hold an election

Just a brief mention that I was glancing through the National Post from Saturday as it was on the table in the lounge, it had an article of Martin's threatened and then backpeddalled talk of an election. It quoted a Bloc spokes person who stated that Martin simply wished to kill the Gomery commission so he was looking for an excuse to do so.

I tend to agree this is a plausible alternate explaination to ratcheting up the rhetoric to try to keep his backbenchers onside.

An Elaboration to My Prior Comments Regarding the Virtues of Military Intervention

Timmy the G stopped by to qualify his statements to some degree and point out that he does agree that "war is sometimes a necessary evil".

Declaring war a necessary evil is in itself a subjective thing. I tend to subscribe to the theory that there can be a "just war". By virtue of something being just, it no longer seems terribly evil to me. In its process it might require some distasteful and reprehensable acts, however, by virtue of it being war the moral compass is not what it once was.

I don't consider the war waged by the Allies evil in World War Two. In fact I consider it not only necessary, but good, just and in some cases heroic. Simmilairly the war in Afghanistan was just, as an oppressive regime ruled through tyranny not popular soveirgnty and harboured enemies of the free world.

Timmy makes the comparison between my suggestion that hard power as opposed to soft power, would be both more sucessful and desirable in dealings with Sudan, by stating that not using it would have prevented thousands of casualties in Iraq.

There have been thousands of casualties in Iraq yes, I really don't believe they are the 100,000 casualties which was the faluty median of what was a statistical range of 2,000 to 200,000 thousand in Lancet. Given that the actual number could have been any number within that range with no one number being any more likely, I'm more inclined to believed the estimates of 10,000 that have eminated from elsewhere. However, saying the number of casualties is twice that and 20,000 doesn't particularly affect my consideration of the wisdom of the war itself.

Iraq had a number of justifications for the pre-emptive war which was engaged in. There was a genuine and widespread belief by intelligence agencies in North America and Europe that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, a belief that Saddam himself fostered. There were also humanitarian justifications, those being quite simply that Saddam was a corrupt, brutal, genocidal and vicious dictator whom was long overdue to be deposed.

There was no particular manner in which anyone could be satisfied of either aim through soft power means, cooperation with inspection hadn't been successful in the past. Furthermore, sanctions had been flouted both through the corruption of Iraq's oil for food programs and illegal pipelines into Syria which fronted the oil. If the problem of Iraq was going to be dealt with it had to be dealt with by shooting.

Is it regrettable that war entails casualties? Yes, but a failure to engage in war would also have entailed casualties as Saddam continued to butcher even the slightest glimmer of restistance towards him, not to mention raping and torturing his own people just for the fun of it. A failure to take action carries consequences as well as taking action. Furthermore, the establishment of a democratic government and the long term stability, prosperity and freedom that will ultimately grant to the citizens of Iraq in opposition to further opression, offsets to a very substantial degree.

Given the two examples being juxtaposed, my example of the Sudan where millions have died while the world looked on and offered aid and attempted to use diplomacy to intervene and Iraq where the coalition of the willing came in and boot on the ground, there is hope in Iraq and only death in the Sudan.

The problem with soft power is that people try to convince themselves that it can be employed to the exclusion of hard power, either not wishing to get their hands dirty or not wanting to invest in hard power, and by doing so they render what "soft power" they have entirely ineffective. Diplomacy only works when one's implied displeasure with a course of action constitutions a real and substantial threat to the interests of the other country.

I would also disagree that DART's engagement in disaster relief is an exercise of soft power. Its a nice and charitable thing for Canada to be doing. Yes, perhaps it does improve our image in the world. So what? Our power is in no way magnified by the giving of aid. The notion that we've so how enhanced our influence by people having slightly warmer and fuzzier feelings about Canada doesn't entail that we have an iota of more imput into any decisions being made anywhere. Power isn't simply about looking good its about getting things done.

The Birth Rate (or lack thereof)

Angry in TO has an interesting post on his theory of why the birthrate has declined so substantially.

Angry in TO makes the argument that the creation of a social safety net and universal pension scheme has undercut the pragmatic need to have children to look after you in your old age.

He does have a point, in that children did have a much higher economic pay off than they do today. When society was of a more agrarian bent, they performed chores and contributed significally to the work that was done on the farm. Often performing easier but time consuming tasks and freeing up their parents for the harder or more complex work. Additionally the more children one had, the more work they could do. Thus large families were not seen as a burden. This would have been true to a lesser extent in the cities, although there after often examples of children working in family stores, and in factories (if you go back far enough)

However, now if children have jobs the money is going into their own stream of revenue and nothing is really being kicked back on up to the parents. Hence children are simply a liability.

While pragmatically children are less desirable, I think one point Angry fails to address is that people really didn't have alot of choice in the past. They wanted to have sex and nature ran its course and children would come about as a result. After all the nights can get rather long, what else is there to do?

The modern ability to indulge in physical pleasures without the entailed risk of having children has been fundamental to the decline of the birthrate. Couples can "have their cake and eat it too" as it were.

I also think that the larger number of women in the work force, and their devotion to their career as opposed to the prior orientation specifically to the family has had a rather profound influence of the negative trend in birth rates. I think if one wants to see a positive birth rate the ability to do so is going to have to reconcile both the opporunity cost to women in forgoing their careers for 3/4's of a year at a time, and making raising children more economically desirable.

The Upper Canadian meet reality, reality meet the Upper Canadian

Michael of the Upper Canadian is making predictions about Stephen Harper's suposed political suicide over same sex marriage. Given the title of this post, you get the gist of my opinion. I tend to see this analysis as nothing more than Liberal wishful thinking.

Michael, in case you haven't noticed by now there is substantial anger towards the Liberal party's latest attempt at social engineering. Their cronies in the Supreme Court failed to give them the legal cover they demanded. Thus poor Irwine Cotler is left saying "the court", suposedly the "Supreme Court" made me do it. Factually, this is simply untrue the Supreme Court stated that the government could go forward with legislation on the matter not that they had too.

A number of lower cases decided to directly ignore the precident in Elgin, and wander off into the realm of legal fantasy and ignore such concepts as stare decisis and struck down the governments marriage laws.

Stephen Harper has proposed that legislation be introduced which grants the benifets that gay couples have been deprived of, simmilair to the Interdependent Adult Act in Alberta, allowing them pensions, tax credits ect as "civil unions" or whatever word they choose to go with. Harper has stood firm that marriage is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

According to Michael, choosing to stand with thousands of years of established history and the teachings of every major religion is "bigotry". Quite frankly I should think that choosing to ignore it and deciding that you in your limited capacity as an individual "know better" is "extremism" and "extremely arrogant".

Returning to the matter of the notwithstanding clause, the need to invoke it is not some legal certainty. The process to be followed would be this, the current legislation would be amended so as to included the position Harper has lined out. It would come into force and effect as law all across Canada.

Thereafter it could be challenged in court. However, given that the actually "harm" being suffered by gay couples given the status of civil unions would be pretty much non-existant from their prior complaints. They've recieved the tax credits and pension benifets and so on, now all they can argue is that they want "the social acceptence of the word".

This sort of vague and unquantifable harm is far more difficult to gain a judgement for and they'd have to argue the whole thing over agree from Queen's Bench on upwards to the Court of Appeals and then likely to the Supreme Court. Given that government legislation would have specifically stated that marriage is between a man and a woman and made provision for the grievances that were forming the basis of their prior complaints the results would be entirely prejudiced against the sucess of the gay lobby. That's how the legal system works.

Only, if they were sucessful in finding that new legislation that had undercut the basis of prior rulings in their favour at the highest courts in the land would their be a need to invoke the notwithstanding clause. Apparantly the Liberals Party took its donations from various client charities, municipalities, zoos and big business and used to purchase a crystal ball, through which it becomes aware of court rulings which would occur years into the future.

The process described above happens to be how things work in reality rather than the fantasy land Irawin Cotler, Paul Martin and Michael happen to be living in.

Michael, being a Liberal, chooses to add a few more blatant lies to his attempt at prognostication.

Add into the mix the indebtedness of the Conservative Party, its veneer of unity.

Firstly the party isn't in debt. In fact the Conservative Party is in the best fiscal shape of any party of the country. This was in the papers in November Michael, and discussed in the blogsphere as well.

Secondly, a thin veneer of unity? Yes the conservative party is having unity problems while Liberal Party is busy engaging in fratricide between Chretien and Martin camps, not to mention warring between its left and right wings over gay marriage and the lack of freedoms being afforded ministers.

An issue which all Conservative Mps except 2, and the vast majority of conversative supports support is going to tear the party appart?

Michael seems to labour under the illusion that all Paul Martin needs to do is say "Charter" and the whole country is going to swoon and change its mind over same sex marriage. Unfortunately, that isn't the case and the country remains extremely divided on the issue. With a majority of the population favouring the Conservative Party's stance on the issue. As I mentioned above, the nothwithstanding clause isn't an inevitable conclusion to the matter.

The Liberal Party is well aware that they are on the wrong side of this debate and are alienating their own supporters. Martin has been attacked by not only the Conservative Party, but foreign leaders, and a growing list of religious leaders. Now there is the Conservative Party's direct appeal to ethnic and religious groups on the issue of same sex marriage. Why? Because Harper smells blood, not because he's tilting at windmills.

What Michael doesn't seem to realize is that - Harper is against same sex marriage, his caucus is against same sex marriage, his party is against same sex marriage and the public is against same sex marriage. Anyway you look at it, that does not precipitate a unity crisis. In fact its what one might call a "winning combination."

The notion that somehow polygamy is a ridiculous topic to be brought into the debate about same sex marriage and some sort of "right wing conspiracy theory" and the product of the minds of "yahoos" is absolute bunk. Polygamy is what one calls the law of unintended circumstances, once you open the flood gates there is no telling what can come out. Is it irrational to say that if the defination of marriage can be changed from a man and a woman, to two people, that there is no longer any particular barrier to the idea of two or more? No not at all, once you demolish the accepted understanding of things its difficult to draw a new line in the sand.

Furthermore, you can make a far better prima facie case for polygamy than you can for same sex marriage, as polygamy has a firm foundation both in history, religion and practice throughout the world. You could argue not only a violation of your sexual orientation - that's right your orientation towards only one partner is a preference, as well as freedom of religion. And by the way Michael freedom of religion is one of the guarantees actually written into the Charter, unlike sexual orientation.

Michael then goes on to suggest that Harper should have forced his own party to vote in favour of the legislation to developed "a new, modern Conservative party" which was "viable and electable". This notion is so rediculous that it hardly warrants comment and only the joy of ridiculing the statement compells me to respond.

Michael's "new, modern Conservative party" seems to sound exactly like the "old, corrupt Liberal party". Which begs the question what would the point be of having two parties which agreed on everything? He seems to completely over look the fact that a large segment of the population agrees with both him and the Liberal party and deserves political representation because of this quaint notion called democracy.

"Harper should have forced his party to vote in favour of the legisation" - note to Michael you're predicting his actual stance will ruin him, I can personally guarantee that forcing his party to vote in favour of same sex legislation would have caused Harper to be deposed as leader within a month's time. It would be political suicide and his party would not have listened. He could have told them "you must be in favour of the legislation or be expelled from the party", they in turn would have said "go to hell this is a grass roots party" and that would have been the end of Stephen Harper. Fortunately, unlike in Michael's dream world Stephen Harper is not stupid.

Michael labours under the illusion that this issue somehow makes the Conservative Party unelectable if it carries on into an election, my response is simple. Bring it. Just bloody bring it. If you want to hand us the keys to 24 Sussex on a silver platter, let's have an election on the issue.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Quiz your mind

(via Bumf Online)

Chris, you are mildly left-hemisphere dominant while showing a slight preference for auditory processing. This overall combination seems to indicate a well-working blend of logic and judgment and organization, with sufficient intuition, perception and creativity to balance that dominance.

You will at times experience conflict between how you feel and what you think which will generally be resolved in favor of what you think. You will find yourself interested in the practical applications of whatever material you have learned or whatever situation you face and will retain the ability to refine whatever knowledge you possess or aspects of whatever position you are in.

By and large, you will orient yourself toward intellectual activities and structure. Though not rigid, you will schedule yourself, plan, and focus on routine and continuity of operations, rather than on changes and disruptions

When changes or disruptions occur, you are likely to consider first how to ensure that such disruptions do The same balance is reflected in your sensory preference. You will tend to be reflective and measured in your interaction style. For the most part, you will be considered objective without being cold and goal-oriented while retaining the capacity to listen to others.

Preferentially you learn by listening and maintaining significant internal dialogues with yourself. Nevertheless, you have sufficient visualization capabilities to benefit from using graphs, charts, doodles, or even body movement to enhance your comprehension and memory.

To the extent that you are even implicitly aware of your hemispheric dominance and sensory style, you will feel most comfortable in those arenas which emphasize verbal skills and logic.

Teaching, law, and science are those that stand out among the professions, along with technical sales and management.

Your Brain Usage Profile:
Auditory : 72% Visual : 27% Left : 65% Right : 35%

Yea that does sound alot like me.

Pacificm is limp wristed cowardice

I've grown so tired of someone, somewhere on the left striking up the cry of "war is bad", or "say no to war", and various other permutations of the same thing. In Canada its called "soft power". Soft "power", and yes the quotations are a cynical questioning of the reality of that alleged power, suposes that rather than using ones military as a mechanism to settle international disputes and gain influence, we could have power through diplomacy, trade arrangements, aid and by giving a couple speaches.

Soft "power" works well enough suposing that if people don't agree to play nice they face some sort of consequence, which is exactly the opposite Hard Power. Hard Power on the other hand means you will comply or be brutalized, pilloried and/or slain.

However, without the sword of Damocles hanging over whatever particular murderous despot or glorified military jhunta which mouths a few socialist pieties you happen to be dealing with they don't have any convincing reason to acquience to your request.

Canada can lecture the Sudan on who allowing a genocide to occur within your borders in a bad thing and how they should stop immediately. They can propose sending aid through NGOs to the region. They can go to the UN and try to pass a resolution (which wouldn't work as the Sudan is Muslim and has an automatic voting block on its side as a result). However, it begs the question what does that actually accomplish?


If Canada actually cared to do something about the genocide in progress in the Sudan, it would have tried asking nicely and then flown in 20,000 troops and put them on the ground and rallied others to the task.

Yes that's right, we would have actually gotten our hands dirty, we would have shot the bad guys and not worried overly much about how that offended anyone's cultural sensitivies because we were doing the right thing.

What would this plan of action have accomplished? Thousands of people, if not tens and hundreds of thousands of people who have been brutally slaughtered because of ethnic prejudice would still be alive today.

Timmy the G thinks war is a dangerous narcotic, and is glad Canada only serves as a "peacekeeper". The problem with this is two part, war is a necessary option when the people your facing are unreasonable. Secondly, we don't even bother to "keep the peace" anymore so I'm rather sick of hearing how proud people are over something we did 40 years ago. At the moment as I recall we're quite far down the list of peacekeepers behind superpowers such as Nigeria.

War has brought democracy to Afghanistan and shortly will to Iraq, what has soft power done lately? Tsunami relief isn't soft power Timmy, its charity and sympathy both worthy goals, but power would imply we're gaining influence or favours in return and we aren't. Malayasia already wants all the infidels out.

To end this bit of sabre rattling to paraphrase Thomas Friedman regarding Bosnia "people need to give war a chance."

A Nietzchean Eye for the Leftist Guy

Leftist guy: Those whom have more money than I obviously came to it dishonestly and really don't deserve it, so its okay to tax them an aweful lot and take it for myself.

Ghost of Nietzche: A blatant case of slave morality, you are jealous of another strengths and riches so you attempt to cast your own failings in a pious light, making your failings into a virtue. Your failings are your own and do not excuse your actions. (you dirty hippy)

(note: A Nietzchean Eye for the Leftist Guy is meant to be a fictious conversation between a horribly generalized lefty and a Dead German Philosopher, take it with appropriate degrees of seriousness.)

"We can't use force to impose our system of government on other people" - Why not?

I was watching Question Period earlier and one of the nattering naybobs of negativity that make up the democratic party was parroting the tired old statement "that we can't go into other countries and impose our form of government upon them."

This statement is troublesome for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, how do you "impose" a style of government upon people where they get a voice in making their own decisions? Listening to the left you have to draw one of two conclusions that a) most people love living under their despotic/theocratic overlords b) would be incapable of making their own decisions so need their despotic/theocratic overlords. Essentially peoples beyond Europe and a few other industrialized countries are either willing thralls, or incapable of independent thought. Does this not strike anyone as racist?

The left has taken the notion that "all things are equal" and extended it to "all forms of government are equally good". Objectively this statement isn't true. Churchill labelled democracy the "least, worst form of government" and has yet to be corrected.

I don't believe for a moment that if offered the choice of being allowed to democratically exercise their will, people in various other countries of the world wouldn't happily do so rather than remain under the jackboots of their ruling regimes. They simply have not been allowed the chance because of the coercive power of said regimes.

As for "we can't go into other countries", I think the democratic strategist missed a memo and hadn't noticed that in Afghanistan and Iraq the US has already gone into these countries. Not to mention that they had set up democratic governments or were in the process of doing so. After all never let the facts get in the way of rhetoric eh?

The worst part was watching Mike Duffy sit their nodding his head like this was some sort of profound pronouncement, rather than non-sensical drivel little better than the "no oil for blood" tripe leftists are so fond of.

There are really only two arguments which can be legitimately made against the war on terror and in Iraq. Firstly, that there is a better means of fighting terror - launch into explaination at that point, don't just claim to have a "plan". Secondly, the war in Iraq is too expensive and we can't afford to pay for what is a noble goal. These two objections have substance too them and are open for discussion. The pacifistic mores leftists expound upon is simply non-sense.

A couple more thank yous

I do feel the need to thank those who shamelessly, or more subtly pimp my blog. Hence props toTejmun at West Coast Chaos, Jason at Musing and Angry in TO at Angery in the Great White North. And I swear I didn't pay Angry in TO to say this.

Subject Change and comedic relief

If your not reading Frank J. at IMAO your missing out. I was speaking to some friends about this post on a "The Crusades: Time for a Rematch" early today, so I'll post a couple excerpts.

It seems that the terrorists are always complaining about the "Crusaders" and meaning us, the Americans. Now, I don't know much about the Crusades other than that it involved Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, but I did some research (i.e., used Google), and apparently the Muslims actually won the Crusades - or, in the least, the Americans did not win it. I'm not sure how that happened, but apparently pansy-ass Europeans led the fight which is certainly a recipe for failure. Again, I don't know why that was; maybe the Crusades happened during the Carter administration. Anyway, my point is that this is confusing to me, because you'd think the terrorists, instead of constantly whining about "crusaders," would be like, "Hey, infidels, remember when we made you our bitch in the Crusades?"

Now, I don’t remember much about the Crusades, as it was obviously before my time, but I think our honor is at stake. Thus, we should demand a rematch with those terrorist bastards - and this time America will lead the charge as should have happened before. So, we'll march through the Middle East converting everyone we encounter to Christianity or killing them. Every American should be allowed to join in, even if you're Jewish or atheist, but you still have to forcefully convert the heathens to Christianity or have them meet your sword (well, M-16). When I forcefully convert people, I love the line, "Worship Jesus, bringer of love and peace to this world, or I'll gut you and your family!" because it has that nice bit of irony to it.
Now, once we have planted our flag in the holy land and captured Allah and Mohammed along the way while leaving a wake of blood and new Christians, we can say, "Yeah, now who's won the Crusades, bitch!" And all the leftover terrorists will sulk off, because the holy land will let us easily kill them with laser beams from our eyes (I think; I'll have to look again for that verse in the Bible).


The Meatriachy brought up Allan Fotheringham a few days ago, and leafing through as well as reading the back of your dad's MacLean's magazines.

My reaction to this was "other people did that too?"

Fotheringham was and is unlike any other columnist I've ever read, he managed to take serious events and prognostications and spin them in an entirely whimsical manner, making them not just informative but funny. He could be considered a print and less biased forerunner to the Daily Show.

But columnists like Fotheringham and to a lesser extent shows like the Daily Show are positive elements in our society. First, you read/watch because you find the show funny. Secondly, you begin to find the actual subjects of the show interesting, in this case politics. Thirdly, you begin to move beyond just reading the back page to the entire magazine, or you might start to follow the news from more authoritative sources than the Daily Show.

I know my interest in politics began watching elections with my dad because he told me they were important. As an aside I vaguely remember watching the 1993 election and during a roundtable discussion the poor fellow representing the PCs rather lamely said "well at least we're on the board." But following that Fotheringham was really what sustained my interest, given that I saw the cartoon and started to read the article found it funny and thereafter got sucked in to following politics and have been ever since.

I miss Fotheringham.

I think Jack Layton has a point

(Via Hacks and Wonks)

The Ottawa Sun's report on the ongoing SSM tiff offers the following quote from Jumping Jack:

"If he believes this is human rights issue, as a leader of a party he should never have said, 'By the way, if you want to vote against human rights as established in the Charter, that's okay,' " he said.

This does tend to highlight the difficulty Paul Martin is in, he's gone around waving the Charter and claiming the courts have ruled and that's final so we couldn't possibly do anything else. While at the same time he's left the door open to some of his caucus at least to do just that.

Let it never be said that a Liberal is too wedded to any principal not to try and fudge and equivocate his way out of bind. Given that the current Liberal stance is "Pro-gay marriage unless that would cause us to lose in our riding."

Saturday, January 22, 2005

When EDA meetings turn into minature blogging conventions

Just an amusing aside from my normal commentary on the many, many faults of the Government of Canada. I was at our EDA meeting today and for various reasons a good number of bloggers were at the meeting. Chris and Dennis (yes Dennis is the one who doens't post anything) from Blue Tory were there, as was William of Noise from the Right, the Reasonable Tory was also in attendence, as was Vitor of What it takes to win. So three cheers for the Vast Edmonton Right Wing Blogging Conspiracy.

Paul Martin begins to Obfuscate about a SSM Election

Unsurprisingly Dithers after taking what appeared to be a surprisingly clear if stupid position about being willing to go to the polls over SSM, is backing away from that now and claiming "he'd only do it if Stephen Harper made him do it." Or something along those lines, well if that's the case I think Stephen should sit down at the clerks table and arm wrestle Paul Martin for the decision on SSM, if Harper wins the legislation gets shot down and we have an election. If Martin wins he proves that only his policy not his wriste is limp.

Of course Martin is trying to hide behind the charter and claim that he'd only hold an election if somehow Stephen Harper managed not only to lead to the defeat of the bill, but to pass an ammendment invoking the notwithstanding clause. Now even the optomistic estimates of how the proposed legislation will come down in a vote, are leaning towards a slim margin of victory or defeat considering between Paul Martin's uber cabinet of a ridiculous number of ministers and parliamentary secretaries, the NDP and BQ whom are all whipped, a very very substantial number of Liberal backbencher need to vote against the legislation to bring it down, about two thirds of them in fact.

I sincerely doubt that the suposed two thirds support of Liberal backbenchers could be carried forwards to the invoking of the notwithstanding clause. I've outlined in a few posts prior there are ways around using the notwithstanding clause, which either makes me more creative and Machiavellian than Paul Martin, or in the alternative simply less wedded to the Liberal's "the courts made me do it" alibi.

The reason why Martin is backing away from his previous outrageous remarks? His own caucus found it a ridiculous notion.

But Martin's vehement response was met with surprise and criticism even from within his own party.

The Canadian Press reported Liberal backbencher Paul Szabo as saying that an election on the issue would be "irresponsible."

And Liberal MP Pat O'Brien said Martin would be "rolling the dice, big time", The Canadian Press reported.

That's the sort of unity I like to see in the Liberal caucus. I'm hopeful that if the Liberals are given another year it will errupt in open interfactional warfare in a way it hasn't since Martin deposed Chretien.


Just a brief acknowledgement to the Ensign folks who've been kind enough to plug my blog - Darcey at Dust My Broom, as well as Andrew at Bound by Gravity, Nick at Quotulatiousness, John at John the Mad.

Simmilarly those who've stopped by to welcome me to the group have my thanks, so a shout out to Damian of Babbling Brooks, Rebbecca of Doxology, VW at The Files of the Phantom Observer and Dr. Funk of The Musings of a Canadian Slacker.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Martin Threatens Gay marriage Election

Prime Minister Paul Martin is threatening to hold an election over gay marriage.

My reaction is simply - Bring it Dithers.

It would appear now that the Prime Minister has gone through the excruciating and agonizing experience of actually making a decision, he's quite prepared to say "Damn the torpedoes full steam ahead."

If Paul Martin is prepared to take his "I love the Charter and this is a human right" tour on the road, by all means go right ahead Paul. Harper is finally seeming to spring back into action, which seems to be how the guy operates - a lull followed by a flurry of activity. Furthermore, if you watch Martin's reaction to what's being said by Harper the Prime Minister appeared rattled. Even a Globe and Mail reporter described him as "riled up".

I think Paul Martin is well aware that he's on the wrong side of this issue. He's having difficulty keeping his own caucus in line upon this issue and resistance is mounting. Religious leaders in communities that are traditional liberal strong holds are speaking out. The Catholic church seems to be rousing itself from its rather lethargic state to draw a line in the sand.

If Paul Martin wants to hold an election on an issue where a majority of Canadians agree with the Conservative Party of Canada, its his funeral. Anyone whose listened to Stephen Harper's proposal that's been put forward regarding Same Sex Marriage will agree that its reasonable, and moderate. Paul Martin can scream about it being "extremist" all he wants, and Cotler can continue to lie about "the supreme court having ruled on it" and hope that by repeating this as a mantra they can somehow be sucessful. Yet, the simple fact of the matter is that history casts Paul Martin and the Liberal party in the role of extremists on this issue. Hence the much beloved centre is ours.

Furthermore, Paul if you alienate the ethnic vote which is fairly socially conservative and the Catholic vote our post election slogan can be "all your base are belong to us."

Rejecting Same-sex Marriage without the Notwithstanding Clause

Although Irwine Cotler may like to preach to us lesser mortals about how "this is a human right" and the "courts have rules" so it "must be done". They'll even trot out Peter Hogg a respected constitutional lawyer to say how the notwithstanding clause would need to be used to overturn those rulings. Although I can't say I find his opinion all that persausive considering he was acting as the government counsil, making him just a little biased.

However, presuming that the government bill is defeated in Parliament I have a rather simple 3 point plan to overturn the judges of the provincial appeal courts.

Firstly, state in an election "we shall appoint more Conservative judges".

Secondly, keep that promise by ammending the Supreme Court of Canada Act, altering the number of sitting Supreme Court Judges from 9 to 21, allowing us to appoint 12 judges which would constitute a majority. This would allow the SCC to not only hear more judgements but it would produce more favourable judgements for us.

Thirdly, ammend the Supreme Court of Canada Act to include a provision for special appeals that the federal government feels were neglected by the previous government, and require all supreme court judges to sit as one court for it.

Fourthly, gain a partisan judgement which works in our favour for a change overturning lower court decisions. Thereafter, laugh at the Liberals.

Some of you might wonder if this could be done, my response is why not? FDR threatened to do as much during the Great Depression and the mere threat was enough to ram his legislation through. Actually going through with it would have a devestating effect upon our "living tree".

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Red Ensign Raised

I've raised the Red Ensign and joined the Brigade. I've read a number of the Brigade's blogs for quite a while now, and I've found that the golden thread that weaves them all together into one cohesive unit is the ardent desire for a better future. That recognition coupled with the belief that Canada is not what it once was, nor is it anything like what it should be.

The Red Ensign is the flag from when Canada spoke not only with words but deeds, and when this country bleed for freedom and for democracy. Whereas now our politicians mouth pieties about how we're too enlightened to stoop to getting our hands dirty, presuming we had the means to do so to begin with.

The past can never be recreated, for the time moves ever forwards. However, gazing into history one can see its lessons and use it as a guideline to the future. Canada was once unsullied by Liberal social engineering. The ensign seems to harken back to nobler times or at least times when mouths occasionally left the government teat, and before special interest groups had declared dominion over the country. A time when Canada was more like..Canada and less like Sweden.

Thus with a mixture of hope and discontent the red ensign is raised.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Same Sex Marriage Update

Paul Martin seems to have been made rather uncomfortable on his trip to India as the issue of same sex marriage came up there. This situation came from the leader of the Sihk religion commenting on the issue.

Joginder Singh Vedanti, spiritual leader of the Sikhs, issued an edict directing his followers around the world to reject the legalization of gay marriage. Vedanti said, "Same-sex marriage originates from a sick mind."

I gather he's rather against the idea.

In related news, CTV is reporting the the Conservative Party is going to run an ad-campaign promoting its stance on gay marriage and contrasting it to the Liberals. The theme of the campaign is suposed to be asking Canadians "What kind of Canada do you want?" For those whom have been growing disgusted with the squishiness of the CPC's policies, well apparantly we feel unified enough on this issue to do some pre-election campaigning on it.

Meanwhile Stephen Harper is in Quebec trying to connect with rural voters in the province. Stephen is evidently sticking to his strategy of attempting to attack our opponents strength and remedy our glaring weakness in Quebec. As I noted in this post he seems to be gaining some traction as the CPC has began to poll in the double digits in Quebec. He's emphasized that there is room for divergent social views while in Quebec, which their should be in any party.

Politics in Universities

From people's I'v spoken too of my political persuasion my personal relatively easy ride through undergrad was something of an abberation. This is not to say that I've never gotten some strange looks and people inquiring about "how I could possibly believe that". On the other hand I've had some people state they thought the same thing but were afraid to say as much. I do tend to be rather forthcoming with my opinions. I spoke with someone in a medical faculty today who stated his sociology classes often venture into Bush and American bashing and he doesn't feel comfortable saying anything about it while there, nor can he understand how its even remotely related to what they're suposed to be doing.

To a certain degree I believe universities are isolated from reality. Places where people sit around and deal with abstractions and data without the need to deal with the harsh reality of deadlines, competition, and client. They simply have a steady diet of government dollars and inexperienced youth to deal with which allows them to continue to believe whatever they wish.

It might be deemed patronizing to say many people coming to university are inexperienced, however, I don't think they get as much exposure to differing view points in courses with political content. As I pointed out earlier, even when I thought the professor wasn't being an ideological lackey there is a disporporate amount of time spent promoting socialism and communism.

However, minds can be changed if you simply present people with a different way of looking at things. I recall a philosophy course I took in my last year of university, it was a critical thinking course. We were examining a problem where the situation was that a train was hurtling down the tracks a group of twenty people were in its path and would all be run over and killed if you did not pull the switch to sent the train onto an alternate track where only one person was walking. If you pulled the lever that person would die.

The professor then asked who would pull the lever and who would not. Most people pulled the lever, perhaps half a dozen did not. When asked to explain why should you pull the lever the response was "20 people were more important than one" so the one fellow just had to be sacrificed for the greater good. A few minutes later I explained why you should not pull the lever, and stated that in no way were you responsible for the position of the people on the train track nor that of the train. The events in action were not of your doing, nor your responsibility. However, if you acted to redirect the train you had the death of an innocent man on your hands. Furthermore, what justified sacrificing the individual for the others? There is no plausible way to judge to worth of their respective lives, but I knew for certain that if I were the one standing on the railway tracks that were deserted by myself I would most certainly object to having a train sent hurtling towards me.

The professor then polled the class again and perhaps a quater to a third of the class had changed their minds on the proper course of action. Remembering this always gives me hope.

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