This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









StartLogic - Affordable Webhosting

california mortgage
online contact lens
compliance-news
mortgage news
christina aguilera
server security




7/31/2004

What's a week or two

Nice to see the non-political head of Canada's civil service, Clerk of the Privy Council Alex Himelfarb isn't unaware that there can be no non-policical head of a Civil Service so completely politicized as Canada's.
At the outset of the federal election campaign, Ottawa's top civil servant allowed Canada Post to delay sending the findings of a damaging audit to the federal government, officials confirmed yesterday.

Although a government spokesman said the decision to cancel a requirement to deliver an interim report was clearly sensible because it allowed auditors to clear up loose ends and gave Canada Post management time to respond, the Conservatives charged that the decision smacked of a political move to postpone scandal until after the election.
globe and mail
Geee, Tories, ya think....naaah. That would be partisan. couldn't happen.

Creeping Liberty

That Ralph Klein, laugh a minute,
Yesterday, Mr. Klein raised a question virtually no politician in Canada ever dares broach: Why, he asked reporters rhetorically, are you free to piss away money at a casino, but you can't use it to get your mother the hip replacement she so desperately needs?

Such questions are intolerable, because they expose the underlying totalitarianism of the public health-care system. Mr. Klein will need to stifle himself; that sort of loose talk could wreck the necessary compromise.

If that compromise does founder, we're in trouble. The Canadian brand of federalism will have shown itself inadequate to the needs of the country, jeopardizing the federalist cause in Quebec.
john ibbitson, globe and mail via the monger
The weird thing about this is not that Klein is right. It is that a Globe columnist comes right out and admits that the preservation of of healthcare totalitarianism is necessary to the survival of the Canadian federation.

It is strange to live in a country where Aunt Myrna's hip replacement is a matter of constitutional significance. It is even weirder to suggest, as Ibbitson seems to, that if the one tier medical system adhering to standards exclusively set by the level of government which only pays one fifth the cost of that system is not kept exactly as it is, Quebec soverigntists may win a Referendum in 2010.

In my view, if there was ever a great argument to really fix the heathcare system and toss the Canada Health Act on the rubbish tip of history, the whole, mad, chain of events outlined by Ibbitson is it. And, if there was ever an argument for bidding Quebec a fond adieu it is the idea that we have the crappy healthcare system we do as a matter of "national unity" and to provide some ammo to the feds when people ask what exactly they are useful for.(I mean other than paying off their cronies in, er, Quebec.)

One War Hero to Another



The Sargent was not a Kerry supporter,
“He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands,” one Marine said, adding, “I’m 100 percent against [him].”

A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, “I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq,” before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is “eager” to go and serve.
new york post
Bush's real job is to let Kerry look this arrogant and utterly out of touch with America's support for her military for the next three months.

7/30/2004

The Left's Favorite Redneck

But the argument goes beyond just that. There is not a single 'good' Arab in the film, barring the charred bodies of Iraqi women and children who serve only as anti-Bush scarecrows. A long sequence in the central section of the film is intended symbolically to show how the Bushes and their men have metaphorically made a pact with the "Saudi devil," as Moore runs in succession two-dozen clips of George W. Bush, his father and their advisers shaking hands with brown men in keffiyehs.

Moore, like Bush, believes in the enemy without, and that enemy happens to speak Arabic. If "Fahrenheit 9/11" has served the Kerry campaign, all the better, and good luck to America. However, for those in the Middle East Moore's anti-Bush propaganda is "friendly fire," the kind that essentially kills the very people it is intended to cover. That no major American commentator from the left thought this worth mentioning damns them and the Arab world even further.
the daily star
Turi Munthe writing in the Lebanese Daily Star notices that the Fat Bastard is perfectly willing to run roughshod over the Arab world in his Bush lust. Essentially a critical premise of the film is that there is no such thing as a good Arab and that the Bushes, pere et fils, should have known better.

Not calculated to win friends in the Arab world; but it is amazing that in the multi-cult redoubts of the university towns this troubling bit of racism has gone unremarked.

7/29/2004

Heads up for Ian Welsh

Not even the Guardian can bring itself to accept that F 9/11 is actually, er, true. Once again a little research and a bit of logic and the Fat Bastard is exposed as the distorionist he is.
It is generally agreed that Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 is not one for the intellectually fastidious. This wildly club-swinging production is nonetheless politically potent, as anyone could testify who has seen its large and appreciative British cinema audiences.

Moore, whose film became the first documentary to take more than $100m, claimed this week, as he surfaced at the Democratic convention in Boston, that he was shifting US presidential votes away from the Republicans. So it is worth asking what his factual basis might be. Are any of Moore's facts right? In particular, is his biggest conspiracy theory true?
the guardian via paul jané
The wonderful thing about F 9/11 is that the Left has entirely stopped defending its accuracy; now they are going with the
The film is not journalism. It is an extended piece of stand-up - a satiric riff by one deeply hostile individual. This shouldn't discourage people from going to this exhilarating movie.
the guardian

Remarkable

Ian Hacking a Companion of the Order of Canada? Who would have thunk it. It is rare for a philospher to be recognized for anything much; but for the Government of Canada to actually understand the intelligence and influence which Hacking has had in a variety of diciplines is astonishing. Here is the citation.
Ian Hacking, C.C.
Toronto, Ontario
Companion of the Order of Canada

Ian Hacking is considered one of the world's greatest philosophers. His work, which has been widely translated, is known and taught around the globe. He is recognized as a bridge builder, linking disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology and anthropology. His interdisciplinary scholarship has had a profound effect on current thinking about the nature of scientific inquiry and the place of science in culture. Former University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, he has also been elected to a permanent Chair at the Collège de France. He is known as a generous mentor to other scholars, warmly regarded for his kindness and candour as well as for his intellect.

al Qaeda and politics

Two reports in: first, there is a definite capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani in Pakistan.
Known among his al Qaeda peers as Ahmed the Tanzanian, he was introduced to new recruits as "a friend of al Qaeda," convicted bomber Mohammed Sadiq Odeh told the FBI, according to an official transcript. He was a key member of the cell assigned to attack the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a bombing that killed 11 people, all Africans, and injured 85 others.
cnn
Now this would be a bit of good news to counter the Kerry speech tonight; but there may be a bigger fish to toss in the general direction of Kerry. Bourque is reporting that Al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist thought to be responsible for a great deal of the mayhem in Iraq, has been captured.A report which has been denied by the US Command and the Iraq Interior Ministry.

However, this sort of story is politician Kerry's worst nightmare - I assume that citizen Kerry would welcome any news of American progress in the War on Terror.

Update 30/07/04: Al Jazeera is quoting Kuwaiti sources as saying Al-Zarqawi has been captured. (via instapundit)

Tyee back, still feisty, still a bit onesided

The Tyee, which is fast becoming BC's forum of choice, was hit with server problems this week. They are back.

Back with a Barbara McLintock article on "The Hidden Job Screen". Now, to no one's great surprise there seems to be evidence that Western (read white) employers tend to hire immigrant and non-white employees rather more slowly than white applicants.
All of which is enough to make one wonder if the blatant racism that characterized hiring practices in B.C. a few decades ago perhaps hasn’t really disappeared after all. It’s just become much more subtle and hidden. Before an employer would say openly, “I don’t hire Chinese people” (or he might use some pejorative epithet for them); now he’d happily say publicly he was an equal opportunity employer, but the non-Western applicant would just end up not getting the job, being judged just “not quite as good” as the winning (and always Western) applicant.
the tyee
Now what would be a really interesting article would have been to compare this to the behaviour of Chinese or East Indian owned firms.

7/28/2004

Thank Allah This has been cleared up

Iran's judiciary said Wednesday Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died in custody from a fall after her blood pressure dropped during a hunger strike, a sharp shift in position on a case that has strained relations between Tehran and Ottawa since her death a year ago.

The judiciary also denounced President Mohammed Khatami's reformist administration, which offered Monday to help identify the murderer of Zahra Kazemi, accusing it of providing fuel for a “spiteful” foreign media.

“The death of Mrs. Zahra Kazemi was an accident,” a judiciary statement said. A copy was obtained by Associated Press.
globe and mail
I trust this will stop the Canadian whining and allow Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to assume the Canadian cringe so ably perfected by Our Lady Peace and invented by Mr. Soft Power himself, Lloyd Axworthy. Faced with the cringe many nations have briefly considered, and then of course rejected, capitulating to the overwhelming international niceness offensive which lies at the sore of Liberal foreign policy.

7/27/2004

Nice Work if you can get it

Women wishing to enter Canada to work as strippers must provide naked photos of themselves to qualify for a visa.

The Canadian Embassy in Mexico says "stage photos during performances are required'', says Ottawa's CFRA radio.

Immigration officers are having to pore over naked pictures of hundreds of exotic dancers to keep imposters out of Canada.
ananova via Paul Jané
Well thank god for this, I had thought the visa officers might be wasting their time looking over pictures of possible terrorists or drug dealers...but stopping the fake stripper invasion is clearly a priority.

UpDate: Paul Jané deserves a medal for covering what I am sure Andrew coyne would have called BootyScamtm if I hadn't thought of it first. This story has legs and so much more:
The potential dancers have to prove they can dance in the nude, immigration lawyer Mendel Green said yesterday.

"They can't be partially nude," he said. "If they don't have pictures in the nude, they are not going to wiggle their bottoms in Canada."

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland said the women have to show nude pictures to ensure they're not abusing the system.

When it comes to Russia, the visa officers are looking for "headline performers" who can be paid up to $5,000 weekly and are often featured in ads of which they are expected to have copies.
the toronto sun



The Conservative Habit of Mind

I have posted a longish piece on the conservative habit of mind over at the Blogs Canada politics egroup. For people coming from Ian Welsh's piece over at The Blogging of the President, the piece will give a bit of insight into what I see as the fundamental philosophical bankruptcy of the Conservative Party in Canada and some suggestions about what might be done about it...

7/26/2004

Blog considered

With about a hundred bloggers covering the Democrats' convention in Boston - and finding not much going on - here is an observation on blogging,

"The nature of a blog is to type faster and longer than a daily newspaper can print,'' Warren Hinckle, of The San Francisco Examiner, wrote last year in a column about the Web's role in covering that story. "At times, as the world turns, the instant observations can prove to be wrong, or bypassed by events. ... But the rush of instant reaction and posting of contrary opinions is the opiate of Web site junkies."
argus leader

When you're this rich

"We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics," the wife of Sen. John Kerry told her fellow Pennsylvanians on Sunday night at a Massachusetts Statehouse reception.

Minutes later, Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, questioned her on what she meant by the term "un-American," according to a tape of the encounter recorded by Pittsburgh television station WTAE.

Heinz Kerry said, "I didn't say that" several times to McNickle. She then turned to confer with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and others. When she faced McNickle again a short time later, he continued to question her, and she replied: "You said something I didn't say. Now shove it."
the star
Thank God for the return of civility to American politics...I suspect that billionaires really do think that if they say something one minute they can say they didn't the next and no one will call them on it.

Update:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry defended his outspoken wife Teresa Heinz Kerry on Monday after she bluntly told a reporter to "shove it."

"My wife speaks her mind appropriately," the Massachusetts senator said during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral where he promoted U.S. innovation and ingenuity.
reuters

Nobody knew Nothing...

No, really, they didn't and that was because Public Works Canada wanted it that way,
The Public Works review, covering three years of advertising contracts from 2000 to 2003, had been expected to find significant improvements over the previous three years because of changes in the way contracts were managed.

The government revamped some advertising procedures in 2001 after persistent problems with the files.

But the new review, completed last November, found almost no improvements. Investigators could not even locate about 5 per cent of the files chosen for examination.

For the files they could locate, statements of required work were inadequate, there was lack of justification for choosing one supplier over another, and there was often no paperwork to demonstrate that the invoices submitted were valid.
the star
Boy am I ever glad we elected the Liberals to get to the bottom of this.

7/25/2004

The threat

David Brooks in the NYT points out that the 9/11 Commission actually understands the reality which underlies al Qaeda,
We are facing, the report notes, a loose confederation of people who believe in a perverted stream of Islam that stretches from Ibn Taimaya to Sayyid Qutb. Terrorism is just the means they use to win converts to their cause.

It seems like a small distinction - emphasizing ideology instead of terror - but it makes all the difference, because if you don't define your problem correctly, you can't contemplate a strategy for victory.

When you see that our enemies are primarily an intellectual movement, not a terrorist army, you see why they are in no hurry. With their extensive indoctrination infrastructure of madrassas and mosques, they're still building strength, laying the groundwork for decades of struggle. Their time horizon can be totally different from our own.
david brooks, new york times
It is a critical insight and one which means the war will go on for years. The point being to deprive the Islamofascists not of territory but rather of intellectual and emotional connection to the vast majority of Muslims.

Part of that will be an ideological battle; but the other part will be a war of economic and cultural attrition. Not in the conventional sense of bombing the Muslim world back to the Stone Age, rather in the unconventional sense of lifting that world beyond the Middle Ages where the mullahs would like to keep it mired.