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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Settled science unravelling?

The science around man-made global warming is supposed to have been settled years ago. Otherwise, governments around the world wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Right?

There’s hardly a month that goes by, however, when some news story from reputable sources doesn’t cast doubt on the settled science, which holds that the Earth is experiencing global warming because of human CO2 emissions.

The latest news story to raise eyebrows is that the whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times (during the Medieval Warm Period over a 1,000 years ago) without human CO2 emissions. The Earth then cooled down naturally in what has become known as the “Little Ice Age.” Neither of these climate events have been attributed to man-made causes.

Heretofore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has argued that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Europe and that the world-wide warming we’re experiencing now is caused by human activity.

Source: Mail Online | h/t small dead animals

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ontario’s top court clears way for McGuinty to open whorehouses

The Dalton McGuinty Liberals must be celebrating news today that Ontario’s highest court has struck down the bawdy house provisions of the Criminal Code as unconstitutional. With the province of Ontario already enjoying a virtual monopoly on booze and gambling, it can’t be long now before Premier McGuinty opens a string of whorehouses to flesh out his “sins” portfolio.

The appeal court also lifted the ban on living on the avails of prostitution—pimping—except for those who do so “in circumstances of exploitation.” Fortunately for Ontario’s near-empty coffers, this should make it possible for McGuinty to levee taxes and fees on any who use the province’s new services.

He’ll have to be careful, though, when advertising this latest deficit-fighting scheme lest he run afoul of the law against communicating for the purposes of prostitution, i.e., solicitation, for that section stays on the books.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

NDP jettison socialist principles and values to elect liberal Mulcair

The Quebec wing of the NDP has executed a bloodless coup by winning the leadership of Canada’s socialist party and effectively ousting the unions-first old guard. The challenge now will be holding onto the reins of power without the direct, overt support of most of the party’s establishment.

In what National Post’s Andrew Coyne calls “something of a hostile takeover,” the NDP has denied itself leadership from its trade union base at the very time its stronghold in the public sector is about to be assaulted by the government of Stephen Harper.

Ever the pragmatist, Mulcair is far more likely to be swayed by public opinion, which is not overly sympathetic to public sector unions, than, say, Brian Topp or Peggy Nash. He does not strike me as having the single-mindedness of either of those trade unionists or the loyalty they have to the union movement.

By all accounts, Mulcair—at best, a soft socialist with few, if any, of the loyalties and the cultural affinities to the roots of the NDP—wants to remake the party in his own image, i.e., as a party of the centre-left.

Will he want to alienate much of the Canadian population by being too sympathetic to the cause of a public sector that has lived high of the public hog while so many others have suffered through one of the nations worst recessions?

I doubt it, but we’ll see how well he manages his first test, Thursday’s federal budget. Failure here will precipitate the first round of buyers remorse on the part of members of the NDP establishment who did back the new leader.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thomas Mulcair: lukewarm victory speech but excellent interview

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Mulcair in interview by Peter Mansbridge | Clip from CBC video

Thomas Mulcair made a somewhat pedestrian victory speech after securing 57.2 per cent of the vote on the fourth and final ballot at the NDP leadership convention Saturday in Toronto. He beat former NDP party President Brian Topp and is now the new leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.

The convention moved from lacklustre speeches and poor time-management on the part of some leadership candidates to about as slow a voting process as I’ve ever observed. At one point voting was totally shutdown as officials rebooted the computerized system in an attempt to foil what may have been a possible denial of service attack.

The results of the fourth ballot were announced finally just after 9 p.m. ET, with Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair taking over the role left by the late Jack Layton.

Then there was the surprisingly low voter turnout. Of about 128,400 eligible voters, slightly more than 64,000 voted in the first round. That’s only about 50 per cent.

All in all a long, boring day capped by a boring victory speech by Mulcair. The Outremont MP did, however, redeem himself in an excellent interview by Peter Mansbridge to close CBC’s live coverage of the convention. Mulcair said the right things and said them the right way.

Question: Where were the Canadian flags—or even a single Canadian flag? Some flags were, according to a party official, in some of the videos shown during the two-day event. None were in sight anywhere in the hall, however. The same official said words to the effect that the flag was imbedded in the NDP logos visible around the hall, which of course, it wasn’t. An orange coloured maple leaf is in the logo, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Sad to say, isn’t it?

To the lack of Canadian flags onsite, add the fact now-leader Thomas Mulcair felt he had to augment his Canadian citizenship by adding French citizenship. Makes one wonder just how committed these new Quebec-first Dippers are to our country, coast to coast to coast.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Leftists subvert democracy and we pay

This video has been posted elsewhere, but is important enough to promote as widely as possible. You will learn from the discussion between Sun News’ Brian Lilley and Ezra Levant that leftist organizations—some of whom are financed by foreigners—are engaging openly in political activism while enjoying status as a tax-exempt charity.

Political activism is to be encouraged—our democracy needs it. But, unlike politically active, not-for-profit citizen’s groups like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the conservative National Citizens Coalition, leftist organizations like Tides Canada fund their leftists projects with money that has been raised under the guise of being a charity.

These organizations pervert the concept of what constitutes a charity—being not-for-profit does not a charity make.

 

(h/t Small Dead Animals)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Friday, March 23, 2012

Will the Green party survive a Mulcair victory?

The federal Dippers choose a new leader on Saturday, and should Thomas Mulcair be chosen, that may very well spell the beginning of the end of the Green Party of Canada as the country’s environmental conscience. Elizabeth May, please take note.

Thomas Mulcair, the Outremont MP, is a former Quebec environment minister who, according to a straight.com Nov. 2011 article, has a quotation from David Suzuki on the front page of his calendar in Ottawa: “We are the environment, and the environment is us.”

Mulcair has been pretty consistent in his support of the Kyoto Accord and in his criticism of Alberta’s oil sands, especially of subsidies to that sector. “You have to remove the subsidies, the $1.6-billion [annually] that we were giving to the tar sands,” he is quoted as telling the Georgia Straight.

Doesn’t get much greener than that, does it?

My bet is Mulcair would be very comfortable and effective poaching voters from the Green party, thereby padding the NDP’s base by about three per cent—perhaps even a point or two more.

Surely Green voters would see that a vote for an environmentally friendly party, which is the official opposition and could form the next government, makes more sense than a vote for an environmental party that doesn’t have a chance of ever holding more that a handful of seats in the House of Commons, if that.

With their raison d’être usurped by a Mulcair-led NDP, the Green Party of Canada could be left to wither and die.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

 

Santorum said what?

With a few simple words, Rick Santorum has put paid to his fading chances of being the GOP presidential nominee. Arguing that rival Mitt Romney is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice, former Pennsylvania senator Santorum crossed the line.

“If they’re [Romney and Obama] going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have [Obama] instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate [Romney] for the future,” Santorum said, according to The Associated Press.

While Santorum may have accurately measured Romney’s degree of conservatism, he hit a raw nerve with Republicans of all stripes who believe job-one is the defeat of Barack Obama.

Time and again, GOP candidates have said that any of the current crop of contenders would do a better job than the president. Now for Santorum to actually say that the Republican front runner would not really be enough of an improvement to bother electing him? Heresy! Or, even worse, stupidity.

When your bird dog ceases to hunt, you retire him. Time to retire Rick Santorum.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mismanagement: hallmark of the McGuinty government

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Auditor General Jim McCarter releases his report on the ORNGE air ambulance agency
| picture credit: Toronto.ctv.ca

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is calling for the resignation of Health Minister Deb Matthews following revelations of lack of oversight, excessive waste and mismanagement at ORNGE, Ontario’s air ambulance service.

Back in Oct. 2009, I wrote, “Think of the billion-dollar mess that is eHealth. Think of the mess that must also be in other government agencies—surely eHealth is not unique.” Well, as it turns out, I was right. We now have another full-blown financial scandal involving hundreds of millions of tax dollars.

eHealth Ontario is the provincial agency, which is tasked with creating an electronic health record system. The agency came under fire in 2009 over nearly $5 million doled out in untendered contracts during the first months after its creation in 2008. Other scandalous revelations of mismanagement at the provincial agency soon followed and were confirmed by a report from Auditor General Jim McCarter.

As with the eHealth fiasco, we now have another report of mismanagement from Auditor General Jim McCarter, and, as they did in 2009, Premier Dalton McGuinty and his health minister are acting all surprised and outraged that such a thing could happen under their watch.

This is another episode in what I have described as Ontario’s long rudderless slide to nowhere. Ontario keeps piling on new spending initiatives like all-day kindergarten and the Ontario Tuition Rebate program, while it wallows in debt and annual budget deficits and has to accept federal handouts as a “have-not” province.

Add to this the Ontario Liberal government’s inability to provide effective oversight of the many billions of tax dollars it spends every year, and you have a recipe for fiscal disaster of the magnitude of the situation in Greece.

Ontario taxpayers have good reason to believe that mismanagement and lack of financial oversight is endemic throughout the province’s departments and agencies, and we stand powerless to remedy the situation.

[Sources: summary of the gory details here, and the audit report itself here].

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Light sentencing shows callous disregard for victims

The quality of Canadian justice has been diminished by the pathetically light sentence passed Tuesday by a Manitoba provincial court judge on former junior hockey coach Graham James for sexual attacks committed against two young teens, Theo Fleury and his cousin Todd Holt.

Judge Catherine Carlson sent James to jail for two years, and, of course, he’ll be eligible for day parole after serving six months and full parole after eight months—a third of his sentence.

This case involved multiple victims and prolonged sexual attacks over many years, and yet, for that, this evil creature could be back on the streets in eight short weeks [Correction: months]—very likely less than a day in prison for each incident of sexual abuse. And this for an individual who has shown a repeated pattern of molestation of vulnerable victims.

How can justice have been served here?

James was convicted on two counts of sexual assault and will serve his two-year sentences concurrently in federal prison. Concurrently? This means that one of the counts of his heinous crimes does not matter, and that, in effect, he has only to serve one of the prison terms and even then only a part of it.

Todd Holt, one of the victims, called the sentence, “a national travesty.” He could fairly have added the words “national disgrace” to his reaction and still come up short in condemning this sentence.

I am so angry about this callous disregard to James’s victims, I’m at a loss for words.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tories believe Rae will be permanent Liberal leader?

The Tories seem to believe that Bob Rae will become the permanent Liberal leader whenever the Grits get around to officially dropping his “interim” label, which, apparently, they have done in news releases and by-election advertising in Toronto.

This will account for the recently launched “attack” ad, Bob Rae wants to be Prime Minister.

According to cnews.ca, “Rae calls the Tories ‘jerks’ for trying to ‘smear’ him in the way they present his record.” That report quotes Rae as saying, “[c]haracter assassination is a way of life for these [Conservative] guys.”

Of course, it’s never character assassination if it’s true and shown in context. And I’m pretty sure Rae understands that.

Here’s the new ad. Enjoy.

Except video © 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Mulcair set to become NDP leader

Thomas Mulcair will almost certainly emerge as leader of the federal New Democrats at the end of this weekend. Not even former leader Ed Broadbent’s recent attack on the Outremont, Quebec MP will be enough to overcome the lead he’s built over the past several months.

Thomas Mulcair
Picture credit: National Post

Mulcair is a seasoned politician—a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister and member of Quebec’s national assembly—and is clearly the best choice NDP members have if they wish to maintain the upper hand in Quebec.

Backroom strategist Brian Topp does not come close to matching Mulcair’s personal appeal and political experience, nor do any of the run-of-the-mill MP candidates like Paul Dewar, Peggy Nash and Nathan Cullen.

Dewar, Topp and Nash seem to be defenders of the NDP’s traditional position on the left. This has, in the past, left the centre open to the Grits and Tories to fight over.

Cullen, apparently, believes in an anybody-but-Tory strategy whereby the NDP co-operate with Liberals and Greens by running a single progressive candidate in ridings where the Conservatives dominate. A modified unite-the-left, so to speak.

Thomas Mulcair seems to be the only frontrunner who’s bold enough and pragmatic enough to move the party towards the center where it can go head to head with the Liberals for their traditional voter base.

Unfortunately, Mulcair is said to have a quick temper with his own caucus colleagues. This could be an important issue if he doesn’t win on the first ballot, as other candidates may seem more likable and be favoured as second, third, etc., choices.

In an interview with Postmedia News, Ed Broadbent said he saw a “capacity to reach out to people as individuals” lacking in Mulcair. And, according to Postmedia News, “Broadbent said New Democrats should realize this is an important issue to consider because a leader who is unable to maintain caucus unity eventually loses its trust.”

Not knowing Mulcair personally, I cannot say how likable he is. I will say, however, that a leader need not be likable so long as he is respected and seen as trustworthy. If he is seen as being a winner, the smarter Dippers will pick him, whether they like him or not. 

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Iron Dome making Israel safer

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The latest round of rocket attacks from Gaza were met by interceptor missiles, which were part of Israel’s state-of-the-art “Iron Dome” short-range missile defence system. And, ironically, the more missiles fired by terrorists in Gaza, the better the Israel Defense Forces become at shooting them down.

Reports from Jerusalem state that 31 rockets fired from Gaza on Monday were targeted by Iron Dome, which made 23 successful intercepts.

Israeli officials said Iron Dome shot down some three in four of the Palestinian rockets fired in recent days. Developers of the Arrow II, which has so far proved itself only in trials, boast a shoot-down rate for that system of some 90%. Each interception costs between US$25,000 and US$80,000 for Iron Dome, and US$2-US$3-million for Arrow.”

Each Iron Dome battery is equipped with detection/tracking radar, fire control software and missile launchers, sources claim. And each is capable of launching up to 60 interceptors.

The potential threat posed by Iran and its proxies—Hezbollah alone is believed to have some 40,000 rockets—have led to the development of Iron Dome. It and Israel’s already operational Arrow Theater Missile Defense system—a system designed specifically to intercept ballistic missiles—have the potential to protect Israel’s vulnerable urban centres from rockets fired from Gaza or Lebanon, or missiles fired from Iran or Syria.

Furthermore, the Israeli defence ministry says a third system, “David’s Sling,” is currently being developed with the aim of countering medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles.

In a very real sense, a safer Israel means a safer world.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged that Israel be “wiped off the map.” Gaza terrorists are helping Israel fine tune defence systems that will thwart his baneful dream.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We know Liberals are bad actors, time will tell if others are also guilty

The federal Liberal Party is, apparently, up to more of its dirty tricks. In February, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae apologized for a staffer’s personal online attack on Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Now we find out that the Liberal campaign in Guelph, Ontario made illegal calls to constituents prior to last year’s federal election.

Furthermore, during the April-May 2011 election campaign, a man canvassing for Liberal party candidate and former Grit cabinet minister Joe Volpe was seen by a Green Party supporter removing Green Party campaign flyers from mailboxes and replacing them with Liberal materials. Note: according to Green candidate Paul Baker, “Mr. Volpe was nearby when the flyers were trashed.”

But back to Guelph. As reported elsewhere, the eventual winner in Guelph, Liberal MP Frank Valeriote, has confirmed that one of his campaign volunteers made an automated telephone call—a so-called robocall—urging people to vote Liberal because the Conservative candidate opposed abortion.

Valeriote admits he knew that the person who made the calls used a phoney name, “Laurie McDonald.” He admits also that the recorded message did not tell listeners it was funded by the Valeriote campaign. Apparently, election advertising messages must, by election law, mention the name of the political party that authorized them.

Obviously, the Valeriote campaign knew the call was not on the up and up, otherwise, why would the caller have used a false name?

It is instructive to note that, at this point, we have two cases of proven, admitted-to political dirty tricks—at least one of which was illegal. And, in both cases, they were perpetrated by Liberals. All other incidents are based on unproven allegations and hearsay.

This doesn’t let any other political party off the hook, of course, but it does illustrate that unethical, duplicitous, slanderous or illegal tactics are far too often employed by at least one political party and/or its supporters to destroy or diminish the effectiveness of its political opponents.

So far we know the Liberal party is guilty of the practice, time will tell if others are guilty also.

(h/t Blue Like You)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Time for U.S. to leave Afghanistan?

The recent massacre by a U.S. Army staff sergeant in Afghanistan increases the likelihood that President Barack Obama will pull American troops out of that wretched country in the near term. The accused U.S. soldier went walkabout in the middle of night on Sunday and gunned down at least 16 villagers.

Predictably, the incident has triggered anger in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and we are hearing calls for an early withdrawal of American troops, most notably from Newt Gingrich, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

War is hell, folks, and these sorts of incidents are going to happen when nations send young men to fight in foreign wars thousands of miles from home. And they are especially predictable when such wars last more than a decade and have little or no connection to a nation’s vital national interests.

America and its NATO allies won the War in Afghanistan several years ago, after it had ousted the Taliban regime from power in Kabul and established the democratic Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under Hamid Karzai who was democratically elected by the Afghan people in the 2004 general elections.

The United States had put an end to the safe harbour the Taliban regime had provided to al-Qaeda, and should have withdrawn then. It could have continued semi-covert search and destroy missions against remnants of al-Qaeda in rural Afghanistan and the tribal areas of neighbouring Pakistan using special forces and airpower.

In the words of U.S. Representative Adam Smith: “Incidents such as this [Sunday’s shootings] underscore the fact that after 10 years of war, it is time to bring our troops home as soon as we responsibly can.” I agree.

America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to end Taliban rule and the safe harbour it had provided the al Qaeda network. Objective met, so send the boys and girls home to their families.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Has Rush Limbaugh fallen under the blade

For so long has Rush Limbaugh operated on the razor’s edge of conservative politics, it was a mere matter of time before he would slip and injure himself, metaphorically speaking of course. Rush slipped on his own ill-chosen words and few, if any, prominent Republicans are rushing to his aid.

On the contrary, Rick Santorum dismissed Limbaugh as an “entertainer,” saying his crude comments about law student Sandra Fluke were “absurd.” Other Republican leaders have been as critical. Carly Fiorina called Limbaugh’s comments “insulting,” and House Speaker John Boehner said they were “inappropriate.”

This reaction may seem rather tepid, but two or three years ago such criticism would have been met with a storm of calls and e-mails from conservative hard-liners in support of the talk-show host. Few dared criticize Rush even in the mildest way.

So, has Rush Limbaugh’s clout diminished to the point he can now be admonished in public without regard for the terrible political consequences that might befall he who dared to be critical of the great man?

Diminished, perhaps, but his radio show is number one in the nation and continues to draw 15- to 20-million listeners. With this bully pulpit, Rush Limbaugh will continue to be a powerful voice among conservatives, and elected Republicans will continue to curry favour with him.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You can make up your own human right, then claim discrimination?

The ultimate human right is one that you make up for yourself. That’s what an Ottawa woman, Pamela Howson, seems to have discovered. And now she claims that human right has been violated by the City of Ottawa.

Ms. Howson asked the city to allow her to build a parking pad on her front yard because, she claimed, her driveway was not wide enough for her to get to her parking spot behind her house, according to a report in the Ottawa Citizen. City officials, however, told her to apply to the committee of adjustment, a panel set up to consider variations to zoning rules.

A former investigator with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal—or Commission, I’m not sure which—Ms. Howson, apparently, decided her family’s need to park in front of her house constituted special circumstances. And, after she had concluded that going to the committee of adjustment would be an “expensive and time-consuming process,” she took her case before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Ms. Howson argued at the Tribunal’s hearing on Monday that the city had discriminated against her by not letting her build the parking pad. According to the report in the Ottawa Citizen, Ms. Howson “complained that city officials ‘refused to engage’ with her human rights complaint. At the very least, she said, the city should have acknowledged the issue and supported her application before the committee of adjustment.”

Isn’t this just about the silliest use of government resources you can imagine? Consider that this person was once considered competent enough to work for the Ontario government. Consider also that the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario agreed to hear this case. What an outlandish waste of money.

And I thought Alice lived in a cocked-up world.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Video: NDP’s Pat Martin chuck’s Ian Capstick under the bus

This video shows New Democrat MP from Winnipeg, Pat Martin, displaying the most extraordinary example of  obfuscation I’ve seen in some time. Just after the 4:00 minute mark of the clip, Martin denies Ian Capstick has connections with the NDP.

Capstick, of course, appears regularly on television—including CBC’s Power & Politics—as an NDP spokesperson and has served as a press secretary to the New Democratic caucus and its leader, Jack Layton. Here’s an extract from his website:

Ian [Capstick] coordinated parliamentary training for MPs and staff of the New Democratic Party of Canada for three years, in addition to his role as media liaison and party spokesperson – having been quoted widely for the New Democrats in Canada’s media.”

Starting near the 05:35 mark Martin says Capstick “has nothing to do with the NDP … his [Capstick’s] association with our party was a couple of months years ago.”

Martin seems also to deny Robin Sears’s—former National Campaign Director for the NDP—well known connection to his party.

Watch the video and decide if this MP is playing fast and loose with the truth.

 

(h/t A CAW Worker's Voice Of Reason)

Except video © 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Radio stations drop Rush Limbaugh’s show over Sandra Fluke controversy

Update: At least 29 advertisers have now pulled their ads, as of the morning of March 7.

Two radio stations have dropped Rush Limbaugh’s show from their program schedules, according to The Huffington Post. Citing the fact that Limbaugh’s words—he called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” had crossed a line, WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii  announced Monday that they have dropped Limbaugh’s show.

The ultra conservative radio talk-show host’s offensive words were directed at Fluke—an American law student and women’s rights activist—because of her advocacy of insurance coverage of birth control. He has apologized, but  the controversy sparked by his remarks rages on.

At least nine of Limbaugh’s former sponsors have cut ties with his top-rated show—with several doing so after he had apologized.

I bet that’s one rant Limbaugh wishes he had back.

(b/t The Huffington Post)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Feds to labour unions: bring it on!

The federal government is reportedly stocking up its cash reserve to the tune of nearly $16-million this fiscal year and next to create a fund for legal costs of labour relations resulting from possible public sector cuts. Apparently, the cash will fund a “litigation management unit” within the Treasury Board.

The Treasury Board is a Cabinet committee of which Parry Sound-Muskoka (Ontario) MP Tony Clement is the current president.

According to The Vancouver Sun, based on estimates, “[t]he government expects to spend $6.5-million in 2011-12 on the unit and another $9.4-million in the 2012-13 budget year.”

If the report is accurate, that’s a hopeful sign that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government does intend to trim the size of our bloated bureaucracy. Some short-term pain can be expected, of course, but the country will be better off in the long term.

(h/t Bourque Newswatch)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Shocking news: public servants accepted freebies

The QMI Agency has uncovered details of professional misbehaviour on the part of federal public servants. Apparently, “[t]he winner of more than a $1 billion in federal contracts lavished free horseback rides, denim shirts, harbour tours and golf tournaments on public servants who evaluated competing bids” for lucrative relocation contracts in 2002.

These revelations remind us ordinary folks how the other side—public sector—behaved under the Liberal governments of the 1990s and early 2000s. 

The QMI report tells of bid-team members attending “gala dinners” and “Christmas luncheons.” Nice work, if you can get it, and you could get it when the Grits were in charge.

(h/t Bourque Newswatch)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Monday, March 5, 2012

Robocall affair: a political scandal or an orchestrated progressive media campaign?

The robocall affair seems more like a media campaign orchestrated by progressive political actors and their mainstream media cheering section than a major political scandal on a par with, for instance, AdScam. Such belief in no way lessens my concern over what is alleged to have gone on in Guelph, Ontario during the 2011 federal campaign.

I am, however, unconvinced there was voter fraud elsewhere—at least, to any measurable extent.

Consider for example that one organization alone, leadnow.ca, has apparently sent (as of Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:15 P.M.) 39,897 e-mail messages to Elections Canada with reference to “We need answers and real consequences for Robo-Call election fraud.”

Are these emails included with the more than 31,000 “contacts” Elections Canada has reportedly (as of Mar.2) received? I hope not since these were initiated by an organization with deep progressive political roots—these are not unbiased citizens simply concerned with Canada’s democracy. Their game is to damage the conservative movement and embarrass, smear and defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.

And what of the protests last weekend in Vancouver or the one on Parliament Hill today? Who organizes them? By the way, CTV’s host Don Martin Tweeted a report that only about “30 people” protested on Parliament Hill today.

We still have more questions than answers.

(h/t Stephen Taylor & BC Blue)

 © 2012 Russell G. Campbell

On Iran: does Obama get it?

The president of the United States, Barack Obama, might not fully understand that, from Iran’s viewpoint, Israel and the United States are indistinguishable as enemies. Iran’s nuclear hopes seem to be seen by the president as a threat to a U.S. ally rather than a direct threat to his nation.

It seems to me that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about this. As reported by The Associated Press:

Looking directly at Obama, Netanyahu said Iran is right about one thing: Israel and the United States are indistinguishable as Iran’s enemies. ‘We are you and you are us,’ he said.”

Here’s a riddle: consider a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the pig and the chicken? Answer: The chicken is involved; the pig is committed!

So, on the issue of preventing Iran from getting nuclear arms, is America a chicken or a pig—does America believe a nuclear-armed Iran is a clear, imminent danger or merely another bothersome rogue nation like North Korea?

There is no doubt Israel is committed—it’s very existence is on the line. A very few nuclear bombs, well placed, could literally wipe that small country off the map. And it can cite Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction to add credence to its fears. The threat to the United States is not nearly so direct or so dire.

I believe that under President Obama, Israel is less safe than it was in the face of a hostile enemy like Iran, for, although the U.S. remains committed to Israel’s security, it will not easily enter into another Middle East war.

From what I have read recently, U.S. officials believe that Iran has the capability to build a nuclear weapon, but has not yet decided to do so. They believe there is still time for sanctions to work, that is, to pressure Iran into giving up on their military nuclear ambitions.

For many Israeli officials, however, the threat is seen as too great to wait. To them, a preemptive strike is the more prudent route.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, reportedly said in Vienna on Monday that his organization harbours “serious concerns” that Iran may be hiding a secret atomic weapons program. “The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.

Fortunately, or so it seems to those who fear for Israel, President Obama will has not directly asked or demand that Israel stand down. He apparently acknowledges Israel’s right to defend itself as it sees fit.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

Rush Limbaugh / Sandra Fluke uproar

Update: Rush Limbaugh loses ninth advertiser after issuing his non-apology

 

The uproar over Rush Limbaugh’s ugly verbal attack on Sandra Fluke, a female law student who he called a “slut”, may not be unprecedented, but it certainly begs the questions: Does the media not have more important things about which to report? And does President Barack Obama really not have more important work than to intervene in the sordid affair?

Limbaugh publicly castigated 30-year-old Sandra Fluke, a third-year Georgetown University law student, calling her a “a slut” and “a prostitute” for publicly defending the White House’s policy of making insurance companies provide contraception. He also suggested Fluke post sex tapes of herself online.

It’s not that I condone Limbaugh’s words in any way. In fact, I agree with David Frum who wrote, “I can't recall anything as brutal, ugly and deliberate ever being said by such a prominent person [Limbaugh] and so emphatically repeated.”

Rush Limbaugh earns a living from saying outrageous things on radio. Calling a female law student “a slut” may well be on the extreme edge of what passes as commentary on his show, and may even justify, as the U.K.’s The Telegraph  writes, “an emboldened liberal movement demanding his resignation,” but, really, isn’t this just business as usual for Rush?

Limbaugh has now paid for his “crime.” He’s had to apologize for his words and his radio show has lost, at least, seven sponsors. Time to move on now.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Tomor­row’s memories – March 5 Edition

Hat Tip

Today’s stories are tomor­row’s memories — h/t to websites offering todays’ News & Views …

Note: A listing here does not mean I endorse the views expressed at these web sites.

From the Blogosphere

Ripped from the Headlines

Nanos Poll: NDP support slip, slip, sliding away …

The latest CTV/Globe/Nanos Poll (Feb. 25 – 29) suggests the robo-calls “scandal” has not begun to take a bite out of Conservative support. The New Democrats under their ineffective interim leader, Nycole Turmel, are now in third place behind the Tories and the Grits.

The Liberals have become the de facto official opposition both in the House of Commons and in this national poll, though the Dippers still hold the lead in Quebec.

Here are the results:

 

Conservative 35.7% (0.0)

Liberal 29.5% (+1.9)

NDP 25.0% (-0.2)

Bloc Quebecois 4.9% (-0.7)

Green 3.4% (-1.1)

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tomor­row’s Memories – March 4 Edition

Hat TipToday’s stories are tomor­row’s memories — h/t to websites offering todays’ News & Views …

From the Blogosphere

Ripped from the Headlines

  • Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Tomorrow’s Memories – March 3, PM

    Hat Tip

    Today’s news stories are tomorrow’s memories — h/t to websites offering todays’ News & Views …

    Tomorrow’s Memories… March 3rd, AM edition

    Hat Tip

    Today’s news stories are tomorrow’s memories — h/t to the websites offering todays’ News & Views …

    Andrew Coyne: McGuinty's oil-sands comments aren't wrong, just irrelevant … premier dad wrong again

    RackNine sues Pat Martin and NDP for $5 million … nice!

    Blue Like you: Let’s all take a breath

    The Economist: Dirty tricks, but did they work? … only in Canada, eh?

    Omar Khadr — The Enemy Within … (Video)

    Migration through marriage just got harder … thanks Jason Kenney

    Cohn: McGuinty sounds like Romney and Santorum when it comes to taxes … and that’s not a good thing.

    BBC presenter, Jill Dando, gunned down on the doorstep of her home … didn’t know TV hosting could be so dangerous.

    BP reaches £4.9bn Gulf oil spill deal … hmmm

    Costa Concordia captain was not wearing his glasses … [sigh]

    Facebook in new row over privacy … again?

    Putin faces a Russian Spring

    Belize rolls out royal welcome of rum and dancing

    Burka brigade: wives take up arms for the Taleban

    Chain of Avoidable Errors Cited in Koran Burning

    UK government plans to privatise police

    Netanyahu warns against renewed talks with Iran

    New England’s High Stakes Vote

    Obama calls Georgetown law student attacked by Limbaugh to offer support

    Mark Steyn: America's longest war will leave no trace

    Can Europe Be Saved?

    Was Breitbart prophetic on Occupy?

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Contraception controversy not going away

    The flap in the U.S.A. over President Barack Obama’s contraception mandate doesn’t seem likely to die down any time soon. Today, I caught a link and comment at March 2’s edition of Instapundit telling us that Vice President Biden acknowledged that president Obama’s administration screwed up when it first denied exemption terms to churches.

    I think it’s pretty well known by now that that Mr. Biden and former Chief of Staff Bill Daley warned president Obama there would be pushback on the contraception mandate, which requires religious-affiliated organizations to provide birth control coverage to employees.

    The White House has subsequently changed the rule, of course, in its attempt to please angry Roman Catholic leaders and others who object to what they see as an intrusion on religious freedom.

    The rule now allows employees of religious organizations, which object to the use of birth control, to obtain contraception from the employer’s insurer. Even this change, though, did not appease the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    And so the controversy continues.

    (h/t InstapunditThe Hill and The Volokh Conspiracy)

    © 2012 Russell G. Campbell

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