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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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2/11/2005

This is just a bit scary

Their behaviour last night seemed like a genuine coming out, as they both grinned and giggled with the gawky ebullience of teenaged lovers. She revealed that Charles had got down on bended knee to propose to her.
globe and mail
But good for Chuck and Camilla. Of course I was never a big Di fan....barking mad in my view.

Big Brother Wants Your Kids

The Liberal's hidden agenda to ensure that stay at home mums and relatives who provide child care are cut out of the daycare lolly is confirmed,

Alberta has said it is accountable only to its own citizens and wants to receive the federal money with no strings attached. It also wants the ability to give the money directly to parents to spend as they see fit, even if that means paying a willing grandparent or an unregulated childcare provider.

Mr. Dryden has said one of the federal objectives is that the money go to regulated care — childcare that meets certain staffing, educational and health requirements.
globe and mail
Heaven forbid that parents actually get the money and make their own child care choices.

Well, Someone is Lying

During his appearance before the commission on Tuesday, Mr. Chrétien drew Mr. Martin into the web, saying Mr. Martin ”always agreed to set aside $50-million a year for expenditures related to national unity that would be decided upon during the course of the year.”

But Mr. Martin contradicted Mr. Chrétien's statement, saying he didn't know about the reserve until the 1996 budget. He had been finance minister since 1993.

"You were never involved in any discussion with the prime minister or anybody in his office about what kinds of expenditures would come out of the unity reserve?" asked Mr. Finkelstein.

"No, I was not," Mr. Martin answered.
globe and mail
Martin is opting for the Sgt. Schultz, "I see nothing" defence. 50 million a year is just not worth the attention of the Finance Minister who is all about "set(ting)the financial context" and then washing his hands of responsibility.

But what about Chretien's allegation of Martin's always having agreed? Well Martin is dancing here. His position is that he never discussed "sponsorship" per se. Or any of the other details for that matter.

So who is telling the truth? It is possible that Chretien, every year, had a quiet chat with Martin during which he said something like, "Same again on National Unity." and Martin replied, "Your call Jean." Yep, that's the only way that one or the other Liberal Prime Minister is not lying....

Abbas shows some spine

"The Palestinian Authority will not tolerate any actions that will sabotage the agreement reached with Israelis on a mutual cease-fire," said Hassan Abu Libdeh, secretary of the Palestinian Cabinet. Abbas and Sharon both pledged Tuesday to stop all attacks and offensive military measures after 4½ years of fighting.

"These are very dangerous developments, and they violate the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority," Abu Libdeh said.

The mass dismissals have no precedent in the 10 years since the Palestinian Authority was established, though security forces have routinely failed to stop attacks on Israel. Analysts said Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, had been looking for a pretext to reshuffle his security chiefs.
boston globe
While this is not exactly taking the game to the terrorists it at least shows willing. Taking out the remarkably corrupt and wildly inefficient "security" people the Troll of RamallahTM had in place is a decent first step to actually, er, taking on the terrorists.

I remain sceptical, but this is another hopeful sign.

2/10/2005

Oh, We're Soooo Scared

Condoleezza Rice warned Iran on Wednesday that it risks U.N. action if negotiations with Europe over its nuclear program don't progress.
ap
Somehow I cannot imagine that the Ayatollahs are terribly worried about the UN "action". What would that look like? A resolution authorizing a committee to conduct a study into the possibility of using force in certain, undefinable, circumstances provided that everyone agrees and the French have not been bought again....

2/09/2005

Hope

There have, of course, been cease fires in the Israel/Palestinian conflict before. The difference, and I hope it is a big difference, is that the Troll of RamallahTM remains dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the ceasefire on Tuesday, calling it the best hope of reviving a U.S.-led "road map" to coexistence. All agreed that Sharon's plan to "disengage" from conflict by evacuating occupied Gaza this summer could launch the process if done in coordination with the Palestinians.
reuters
Now this is a scene we have seen before. The question is whether Abbas can deliver a degree of calm from the Palestinian militants. And that question is going to be resolved by the internal politics of those Palesinians.

2/08/2005

Chretien speaks!

The sponsorship program was not partisan. It was not about the Liberal Party. It was about promoting the visibility of Canada in Québec. A conventional wisdom has nonetheless been created about "Liberal friendly" advertising agencies. We have to be very careful about labels. In Québec, there are basically two types of advertising agencies - those who are "separatist friendly" and those who are "federalist friendly". Federalist friendly agencies tended to support the Conservatives when they were in power and the Liberals when they were in power. I do hope the Government of Canada used "federalist friendly" agencies to promote the visibility of Canada in Québec, not because the agencies contributed to the Liberal Party until we abolished corporate contributions, but because the only alternative in practical terms was to use "separatist friendly" agencies. If unscrupulous people used that program or any other program of the Government of Canada to line their own pockets or for inappropriate partisan ends, I repeat what I have always said. They should be found out and punished.
from the website of he who must not be linked
If there was anything wich underscored the utter bankruptcy of the Liberal Party it is the idea that there was nothing "partisan" in overtly tampering with Quebec politics using federal cash. That that money was misused is almost insignificant compared to the enormity of the Liberal Party's arrogance.

Imagine for a moment that the American government decided to spend several billion dollars seeking to influence the next Canadian election....would we be outraged?

Effectively this is exactly what Chretien is so very proud of doing in Quebec.

Were I a Quebecois, even a federalist Quebecois, I would vow never, ever, to vote Liberal again.

2/07/2005

Does Irrelevance make you Shrill?

In truth, the ground for civilized debate has been shrinking progressively from September 11. The sharp animosity that has sprung up between the Left and Conservatives may be a kind of emergent behavior arising from the wide-ranging changes that have taken place since that fateful day. One could hardly expect that the end of the Cold War, the decline of Europe, the ascendancy of India and China, the collapse of the UN and the advent of terrorism would leave political relations between Left and Right unchanged. But it was the declining vigor of Marxist thought coupled with new conservative ideas that poured the most fuel on the flames. Discourse between Left and Right could only remain civil for so long as Conservatives remained meek or had no counter-pulpit. The weakening of the traditional media and the stresses caused by war have created a kind of 'play' in the system which now allow unchained weights to crash about. In that sense, there is nothing surprising about Juan Cole calling Jonah Goldberg names. One gets the feeling he has been calling people names all his professional life; and I think Mr. Goldberg can handle it. What has changed is that, with the decline of the MSM, there is nothing which prevents incivility from becoming a two-way street. And I'm not sure either the Left or the total system can contain the stress.
belmont club
To a degree, the farther shores of left wing thought have always been more a religion than an actual program and, as Wretchard observes, a religion whose miracles have turned to dust.

The problem may be about asymetry. If you have believed that every single action taken by the United States since the end of WWII was part of an evil conspiracy and it turns out your belief is wrong, what do you do? the more moderate left gets on with the job of attempting to soften the hard edges of modern capitalist society. But the hard left has no such option.

To try a more rational approach would be to admit to the fact that the hard left analysis of America and the West's intentions and action in the the world is wrong. As the late Susan Sontang put it, "What if what the Reader's Digest has been publishing all these years turns out to have been true?"

Psychologically this would mean much more than a mere revision of previously held ideas in the light of new facts. It would mean the abandonment of a spiritual organizing principle which has sustained the hard left through every crisis - from the collapse of the Berlin Wall to the success of the Iraqi elections - and that will not be easy.

In downtown Vancouver, upstairs on a grungy bit of Hastings Street there was for many years, and may be still, a bookshop, not Spartacus, another one. The folks who ran it were "true believer" Enver Hoxha communists. The stocked, but I rather doubt sold, the albanian Communist's life works in several beautifully bound volumes. And they kept doing it well after Hoxha had died and the really evil, nasty and weird nature of his regime had been revealed.

They kept the store going simply because not to would have been to admit they had voluntarily spent their lives, wasted their lives, following the every dictate of a man and a Party which was deranged.

That is an awfully tough admission to make.

2/06/2005

Wag the Dog

Edward Driscoll has an interesting article up at Tech Central on the long tail of the blogosphere. All those blogs, like this one, which are miles away from huge influence but are read carefully by a select and committed audience. In it he mentions an interesting fact about the fragmentation of american - and by extension - Canadian - culture and media,

It's not just television entertainers and their audiences that are turned upside down by the growing "demassification" of the media. The economist Thomas Sowell noted last year that during Tom Brokaw's long tenure as NBC News anchorman, he took his show from last place among the big three broadcast networks to number one. But he had more viewers when he was in the cellar, more than 20 years ago, than he had in first place this year when he retired, because fewer people now watch NBC, ABC, or CBS News. First is not always biggest if the pie has shrunk.
techcentralstation
I wonder what the CBC/CTV numbers look like.

I'll match you flip for flop

Every night Paul Martin gets down on his knees and thanks God for the bountiful blessing of having Stephen Harper trying to suck up to voters he has already alienated with his silly stand on SSM. I mean I could not make this up,

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is warning the Liberal government will pay a "severe price" if it sends Canadian troops to Iraq.

"I remembered how the prime minister attacked us during the federal election for wanting to spend more on defence," Harper told reporters Saturday in Halifax.

"I sat through an election campaign where the prime minister accused me of having secret plans to send troops to Iraq. If it turns out he has secret plans, this has to be one of the biggest election deceptions in history."

However, Harper didn't rule out supporting such an initiative if he could be convinced it was safe.
ctv
The ghost of MacKenzie King must have been in the room...

Look, Stephen, Simple rule #1...don't step on your message. Don't cry fraud and then say you'll support it.

Simple rule #2: don't play politics with Canadian troops. Either it is a good idea for them to go to Iraq or it is not. The spin just detracts from your position.

Simple rule #3: as you are on tape supporting the invasion of Iraq, why not stick to your guns and say, "Well, it's about time we supported our American friends."

Simple rule #4: the folks who are not going to vote for you for being pro-American are already not going to vote for you for being anti-gay marriage. So don't suck up to them.

Simple rule #5: troop deployments in a nation which has bombs going off at random are, by definition, unsafe. Don't be such a wuss. We pay our Armed forces a pitance to put themselves, on our behalf, in harm's way. Get over it....you don't send soldiers because "it's safe".

Now the complicated rule, You cannot run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds. It makes you look like an idiot and leave Herle bait littering the ground. The next election is going to be nasty enough without offering Herle and the Liberals their attack strategy on a plate.