Monday, March 28, 2005


Rebel Without a Cause Posted by Hello

Apologies for not responding. The Hipster was on vacation with the wifey for some much needed R and R.

So, I'll get right to it. A week later and I'm no more impressed or swayed by the arguments I've heard both in the media and on this here blog.

The bottom line is that many involved in the case of Terri Schiavo are getting involved, in my humble opinion, for all the wrong reasons.

You can't tell me that these people are truly worried about the "sanctity of life". I have noticed many times that those on the "pro-life" side have been stating that "we should always err on the side of life". Both President Bush and Governor Bush (and others) have been active on that message track and have been working with their fellow legislators to "save Terri".

But I guess it depends on the method of death.

Mercy killing? No (unless its your own). Death Penalty? Hell yeah!

When George W. Bush was Governor of Texas, he signed death warrants for 152 people. Only once did he allow for a clemency appeal.

In fact, he was lambasted in 1999 by former CNN talking head Tucker Carlson for mocking death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker (who was later executed):

"While driving back from the speech later that day, Bush mentions Karla Faye Tucker, a double murderer who was executed in Texas last year. In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker.

'Did you meet with any of them?' I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. 'No, I didn't meet with any of them,' he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. 'I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' 'What was her answer?' I wonder.

'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me.'"

Dubya also enshrined the "right to die" into Texas law, with the Advance Directives Act. This law, only one of three in the U.S., "allows a hospital under certain circumstances to end life-prolonging measures even against a living will or the will of the patient's family".

His borther, Governor Jeb Bush, has signed 15 death warrants since he has been Governor of Florida. 5 of those have been deemed to be mentally ill--but he signed their warrants anyway.

Jeb Bush has actively supported the death penalty in the sunshine state (even accusing his 1994 Gubernatorial opponent of not using the death penalty enough) even though a number of his death warrants have been overturned.

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a leading player in the campaign to "Save Terri" fought (with his family) against doctors hooking his own father up to machines to keep him alive. According to the Globe: "Like Ms. Schiavo, Charles DeLay had no living will, but he had reportedly expressed to others his wish not to be kept alive by artificial means."

So much for "erring on the side of life".

Now, don't get me wrong--I'm in favour of the death penalty. I'm just not in favour of hypocrisy. You can't choose to "protect the sanctity" of some lives, and not others.

Now with regard to the decisions of the courts, I don't disagree with CH reader Andrew that it is a cause for some concern. But if you look at the half-assed, ad-hoc way Congress and other legislative bodies have handled this issue, you can see why the courts acted the way they did.

In the case of Congress, during an "emergency session" the bill to transfer a state case to a federal court passed--with 174 Representatives absent!

If this issue is SO important (and pardon me for being cynical about hundreds of protesters, activists and politicians magically showing up to "fight" for a cause that has been going on for 10 years), then it should be thoughtfully and thoroughly debated and a policy should be adopted.

Actually, ABC News has the details of a "talking points" memo that has circulated to GOP operatives calling the situation "a great political issue".

This kind of policy should NOT be decided on the fly in front of cameras while a family is torn apart by a very personal decision.

I think as much as everyone is saying we shouldn't assume that Terri wants to die, we should equally not assume that she DOESN'T. It is possible, maybe even probable. Look at this column that appeared in the Globe on Saturday from bioethicist Lynda MacDonald Glenn:

"I lost my first husband, Jack MacDonald, to cancer in 1984. He died after a long struggle that led ultimately to the question of whether to insert a feeding tube to prolong his life. Jack's chemotherapy had caused nausea, mouth sores, and esophageal ulcers and his oncologist had ordered a feeding tube. As I sat by Jack's bedside while the surgeon discussed the procedure, my husband start to cry. "Please no more . . . let me go," he pleaded.

Stunned, I didn't know what to say. Jack took my hand, grasped it and repeatedly said, "Please no feeding tubes, no more tubes . . . no more." He paused, rested a moment, then smiled (as if he knew what I was thinking) and said, "And if you wait until I'm unconscious to put one in, I swear I will come back after I've died and haunt you for doing that." I cried and laughed at the same time and promised I would never do that to him.

I loved Jack and I did not want to let him go, but I did not want to see him suffer any more. Jack had realized the fight was over long before I did; he tried to reassure me that he wasn't frightened and that he wasn't in any pain, and I shouldn't worry. Ultimately, I honoured his wishes; but it was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult decisions of my life. A few weeks later, Jack slipped into unconsciousness and died quietly, peacefully, on Feb. 8, 1984, at 6:33 p.m."

I know, I know. She knew his wishes. I agree--this wouldn't be an issue if Terri Schiavo had a living will. My point is, how do we know she isn't suffering and wants out of this life?

Who are we, as outside observers, to tell Terri she must live on, for who knows how long, in her current state (vegetative or otherwise). Are you telling me keeping her alive via a feeding tube is "natural"? She should have died in 1990 when brain damage allowed her to eat and drink on her own.

As I have stated before--we should all but out and let the family deal with this issue on their own. If the lawmakers in the U.S. want to change the laws (although I beleive in the right to die with dignity), then do so.

But for the right reasons. Not like this.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


I'll probably have some fellow Conservatives tossing some angry e-mails my way, but I frankly don't care. I want to speak on this issue.

Many people, news stations, radio talk shows and columnists have been talking about Terry Schiavo. She is the severely brain-damaged 41-year old Florida woman who is the subject of major controversy in the States and across the globe.

Yesterday, doctors removed her feeding tube at the request of her husband. This is a fight that has been going on for the last 10 years between her husband and Terry's parents.

Mrs. Schiavo is in a persistent "vegetative state" and cannot eat on her own, take care of herself or communicate verbally. According to medical experts, removal of the feeding tube will cause her no discomfort in her current state.

The U.S. Congress--led by Christian Republicans--decided to join the fray by issuing a subpoena for Mr. Schiavo and Terry's caregivers, ordering them to appear before Congress. I guess this was supposed to buy them more time to figure out what to do next to stop Terry from dying of starvation.

Religious groups have also taken up the "cause" and have been "symbolically smuggling food and water" to Terry while holding vigils and protests outside her house.

I think what the U.S. Congress is doing is absolutely wrong.

What place does this body--or frankly anyone else--have in this situation? There is no living will, which is a shame. The last wishes of Mrs. Schiavo can never completely be known. But her husband has said that she did not want to be kept artificially alive.

That should be enough.

The fact that a political body is trying to use legal and legislative procedures to interfere in this family's situation is unacceptable to me.

They have no right to tell dictate how and when someone dies.

What about Mrs. Schiavo's right to die with dignity?

What about her right to a quality of life?

If the marital bond has the weight Republicans say it does, why will they not respect the wishes of the husband?

All this crap about Tom Delay saying that the husband is just doing this becuase he wants to marry his "girlfriend" is preposterous. How would Tom Delay know? Does he know the family? Is he involved in their daily lives?

Will any of these Republicans be around to care for Mrs. Schiavo if their bid to "save her" is successful?

I believe in limited government. And this is exactly why. The goverment has no right to tell me when I can end my life. And if I'm not able to do it,I trust my family (especially my wife) to do what's best for me. Not the government.

No government or group (religious or otherwise) should be telling me how to parent my kids.

Or how to live my life. Or my family's.

Tolerance goes both ways, folks. I respect your right to your religious beliefs, but you don't impose those same beliefs on me--or anyone else. You have every right to be upset about what is happening in Florida. But you have no right to interfere.

And this isn't about religion. Its about respect for the privacy and sanctity of this family. I am just as vehament that disabled rights groups, etc don't interfere in the situation either.

This is Terry and her husband's situation. It is between them, their beliefs and their God.

Everyone else should just butt out.

Including me.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Convention Update

I'm not there, but a close friend is. She is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, but is there as an observer for her company.

The Convention organizers are not allowing her to look at the policy resolutions because she is not a delegate.

How do you create the idea that the Party has a "hidden agenda"?

Step 1: Craft resolutions that focus on controversial issues like abortion, same sex marriage, the death penalty and immigration.

Step 2: Talk about it in the media, through e-mails and internal Party memos.

Step 3: But don't actually let anyone see what you're talking about and try to be as exclusive on policy discussions as possible.

Its sure is a big tent, people. There just aren't any doors to get in.


Bend over, Davey Boy! Posted by Hello

I'm happy with the merger. Honest. Despite our (policy) differences, I think the only way Conservatives can win the next--or any--federal election is for us to stay together.

So, I didn't lose a lot of sleep when Petey MacKay put the screws to PC "tourist" David Orchard when he reneged on the agreement he signed not to merge with the Canadian Alliance with Orchard to ensure his support for the leadership of the PC Party a few years back.

And hey, its not my conscience, or my word, so good on MacKay for stabbing Orchard in the back and merging the two parties.

But this is hilarous. MacKay is now "fuming" that Scott Reid, one of the MPs involved in the resulting merger talks between the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives, is pushing a Party amendment that would give larger ridings more delegates.

Apparently that specifically was supposed to be off the table as part of the merger.

Guess it doesn't feel nice to be on the other end, does it Pete?

Well, if he's getting serious with Belinda Stronach, I'd say he better get used to it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I hear about this before, but I never tried it:

Like the BK Chicken Sandwich, its totally addicting.

You tell the chicken what to do.

And (for the most part) he does it!

I typed in "moonwalk" and the chicken actually moon walked. Now, I told him to smash the TV and nothing happened, but its still fun.

Try it! At least you geeks out there can get a sense of what its like to order someone around for a change.


You talking to me, Dalton? Posted by Hello

So, the FIBerals need a new descriptor for Ontario Conservative leader John Tory.

"Never been elected" just got wiped out.

Our man in Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Gray just won a huge victory. But don't take my word for it. I'll let the stats tell the tale:








Those FIBs got SMOKED.

And you'll hear the FIB spin machine talk about "It was a by-election, government always does poorly, its a Conservative seat, blah blah blah".

I would like to point you to one interesting fact:

Last time, the PC Candidate (Premier Eves) got roughly the same percentage of the vote (56%) as the current one (not-Premier John Tory). But the FIBs? Last time they got 28%. This time? After almost every Cabinet Minister trapsed through the riding? A lousy 16.7%. They almost didn't get their deposit back.

During the 2002 by-election, where Eves first took the riding, he only got 46.5% and the FIBs got a whopping 35.7%.

Even when the Harris machine swept the province in 1995, the FIBs still managed to get 24.1% in that riding.

This is a major let down for the FIBeral McGuinty government. This goes way beyond losing. All the crap they're shoveling on farmers, the health tax, the stupid pitbull legislation, the deficits, broken promises and underperfoming--all just pimpslapped them in the by-election.

Guess that Ipsos poll showing them at 44% didn't poll in Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Gray.

Look out, McGuinty.

Tory's comin' at ya.

And its his House, beyotch!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


My god, we need to give the FIBerals at Queen's Park more to do.

Anonymous seal and FIB MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti has decided to tackle one of the greatest injustices facing Ontario today. An area of discrimination that makes us the subject of ridicule from the UN to human rights tribunals across the globe.

He wanted to make sure men pay the same price from drycleaning as women do.

I'm not lying--you can read the full story HERE.

So let me get this straight: we have a crumbling health care system, taxes up the wazoo, a "so-called" $5B deficit, lack of infrastructure, school strife and farmers being brought to their knees and this doughhead wants to solve the "gender gap" at Holt Renfrew?

Pass the air sickness bag.

Besides being a huge waste of time, how will this work? Who's going to police it?

Are the FIBs going to set up a Gender Pricing Equality Board? Will this truly begin the era of "fashion police"? Will then need to be fabulous? And who is on quality control? Will their been an enforcement matrix?

Picture it now:

FASHIONISTA SARGEANT: "Hmmm...... 20% polyester blend against a 100% cotton weave. He's clean. Let's roll, Jim."

FASHIONISTA PRIVATE: "You were lucky this time, Mr. Rosen. But we're watching you, you overpricing bastard!"

And are you telling me that I will pay the same price for my haircut ($13 for a shaved dome) as my wife does for her hairstyling ($100 if she's lucky)?

Trust me--if this nanny state crap every was passed (and with Dalton's FIBs I wouldn't be surpised) prices will go up, not down.

You might be wondering why Mr. Berardinetti decided to raise the silk flag to fight for women's pocketbooks. Was it his sense of equality? Too much Dr. Phil? Is he tired of seeing his wife pay twice the price for leg waxing that he does?

There's a simple answer:

He got married last year.

UPDATE: Looks like Angry In the Great White North is as p-o'd at this colossal waste of time as I am.

Monday, March 14, 2005


News Item:

Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush

Read the rest of this shocking story HERE.


John, Where art thou? Posted by Hello

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It wasn't so long ago that a bright new star emerged on the recent edition of The Apprentice. John, was an IT company owner, a former nightclub owner and from what I could tell pretty smart and had a great way with people. We all might recall that he was running things on the first task as the PM for running a Burger King.

That was then. This is now.

Frankly, he deserved to be fired. From the "lets pimp my female teammates" comments to the fact that he showed almost no imagination when negotiating with the "big rock stars" (and I use that term loosely), he was just abig disappointment.


If I had to predict who will be left standing in the final round, I'd say its going to be Alex versus Erin. That's my 4-star prediction.


The "Hip-Hop Violinist" Posted by Hello

Okay. I know that classical music is in danger of getting old, but it is the general foundation of music as we know it. I also know that hip-hop is influencing almost every aspect of our culture today.

But when there are two such entities, does it mean we have to bring them together?

Behold Miri Ben-Ari , the "Hip-Hop violinist". She's arranged and performed string arrangements on various rap singles (and you thought it was all just drum machines and computers), but I heard/saw her new song/video "Sunshine In the Rain" and it was just bizarre.

She is to hip-hop videos what Ashley MacIssac is/was to alternative/punk music and videos. I'm sure she's very talented, but its just weird seeing some chick with a violin walking around all "street".

To quote Cedric tha Entertainer in Be Cool: "That ain't gangsta!"

Monday, March 07, 2005


There is an interesting article in today's edition of Globe from Norman Spector (subscription is needed, but Normie has put it on his website here).

He talks about Canadian bloggers' role (if any) in contemporary Canadian political affairs of the day. Firstly, from his description, as a blogger I am:

a) a dork;
b) antisocial;
c) pigheaded;
d) Not all that bright.

Now, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point. Apparently, bloggers in Canada (except, I'm assuming, Stormin' Normin there) are just bitter, angry and "incapable of compromise".

He theorizes that this attitude is the principle reason behind why bloggers haven't brought in a big fish like Rather:

"But the weakness of Canadian conservatism -- a coalition united principally in opposition to lefties and Liberals -- explains the failure of Canadian bloggers to strike any significant blows against mainstream media."

That weakness being fear, anger, hate--you know, the Dark Side of the Force.

I don't agree.

I think most of it is a simple lack of coordination and a failure to do independent research. Let me deal with the second point first.

I might be talking out of ass here, but from what I see, much of the Canadian Blogosphere of the Right (CBR) is mostly about commentary. Myself included. We post interesting articles, use other articles as references and even link to other blogs for corroborative tools. Bloggers like Brock: On the Attack have done a great job in gathering info (Top Liberal fundraisers is a great example, but he loses points for the big-ass pic of himself).

That's all fine and good, but its not really enough to get to where the US bloggers find themselves these days.

As you might recall, "Rathergate", the trophy buck for conservative bloggers in the US, was successful to a large extent because bloggers started to dig. It all started after the "Killian documents" were released in a report from CBS and Dan Rather. On the Internet forum Free Republic, blogger "Buckhead" started to question the authenticity of the documents, backing it up with research, experts, etc. His post:

"Every single one of the memos to file regarding Bush'‘s failure to attend a physical and meet other requirements is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatine or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing (especially in the military), and typewriters used mono-spaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction high-end word processing systems from Xerox and Wang, and later of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's.

Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang and other systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used mono-spaced fonts. I doubt the TANG had typesetting or high-end 1st generation word processing systems.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively."

See? Independent research.

Which brings me to my second point.

After "Buckhead" started carping, US bloggers got the word out and it spread like wildfire.

Weeks later--one less Dan at CBS.

This is because the network of bloggers (and the existence of uber-bloggers like Instapundit) in the US is unparalleled. There is really nothing like that here in Canada (not that I know about anyway). In fact, until Blogging Tories came around about a month ago, there was really no large network for Canadian conservative bloggers at all.

Now, there might be groups, but there is nothing to link those groups. Blogging Tories is a great start, but its nothing like what you see in the States. It is difficult to disseminate (potentially damaging) information to a group large enough to create a critical mass and actually have an effect. Without those linkages, there is no sum of its parts, as it were.

So, I disagree with Normie. I don't think our lack of a "Rathergate" has anything to do with how we see the world.

Its how we run our blogs that's the problem.

Once we stop regurgitating the news and start making the news, then we'll have an impact.
Hit me up if you think I'm wrong.


(Bottom right, dummy.)

Let's see how good you folk are at prognostication.

Go forth and predict!

Friday, March 04, 2005


Fallen Heroes Posted by Hello

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it."


Christine Blizzard has an interesting column in today's edition of the Toronto Sun.

In it, she talks about the Bill that made changes made to requisite statues to remove all reference to marriage being between "a man and a woman". This Bill was put forward to the Legislative Assembly to conform with existing law.

The law was supposed to be passed by a voice vote (i.e. unanimous consent), so there wasn't an actual recorded vote on it.

That's not what interests me.

What interests me is the Liberals Blizzard tracked down to find out how they would have voted:

Mario Racco, Thornhill: Wasn't in the Legislature, "I was not on duty at the time. I would not have been supportive of the legislation," he told me in a telephone interview. "I have constituents who are significantly offended. I also have some concerns with it." Racco said it's not a religious issue for him. "I am very open-minded. I don't have any problem with people being homosexual or lesbian or whatever the case might be. There are a number of colleagues of mine who belong to those groups I mentioned. I certainly don't have any problem working with them, eating with them, co-operating with them, doing everything I would do with anybody else."

Lorenzo Berardinetti, Scarborough Southwest:"I would have voted against the bill. In my view it was premature to bring it forward pending what the feds are doing with the issue."
Berardinetti didn't stand for a recorded vote, because he understood there was all party agreement for a voice vote.

Mario Sergio, York West: "Were it not a voice vote, I would have voted against it. I am a practising Christian and I feel very strongly about the family union. We can't have a family between a man and and another man or a woman and another woman ..."
Sergio added he has no problem extending other benefits to gays, but, "on marriage, I disagree."

Khalil Ramal, London Fanshawe: Refused to comment when I asked where he stood. He said he was in London the day of the vote.

Kim Craitor, Niagara Falls: "I am opposed to the bill."

Nothing like trained seals standing up for their principles.


The eyebrows that launched a thousand ships... Posted by Hello

I'm not even sure what that means.

Another pretty good episode (nto the best, but definitely watchable). What the hell is going on with street-smarts team Net Worth? In the beginning, they were dominating. Now, they are limping along taking loss after loss.

And its not the loss itslef, its the way they are losing. Its just a big pack of infighting, whining, and all around dysfunction. I'm starting to think that the Books Smarts folk might just win this thing.


John and Net Worth better step it up.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


I think this is an absolutely critical news item in the road to democracy in the Middle East:

"Ten more people died from injuries in Monday's car bombing in Hillah, south of Baghdad, raising the death toll to 125. The attacker detonated the bomb as a group of police and national guard recruits were lining up to take physicals at a medical clinic.

At least 141 others were injured in the blast - the boldest challenge yet to Iraq's efforts to build a security force that can take over from the Americans.

More than 2,000 people held the impromptu demonstration on front of the clinic, chanting "No to terrorism!" and "No to Baathism and Wahhabism!"

Wahhabism is a reference to adherents of the strict form of Sunni Islam preached by Osama bin Laden, while the Baath party was the political organization that ran Iraq under Saddam Hussein."

2,000 Iraqis protesting against terrorists and suicide bombers.

Absolutely amazing.

No wonder we're seeing this. I'd be changing tactics too.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


The Canandian Taxpayer's Federation has released the "Teddies Waste Awards", which "are named for Ted Weatherill, a former senior public servant, who was terminated in 1999 for 'expenses incurred by him … incompatible with his position as Chairman of the Canada Labour Relations Board'".

These awards are "to honour the best of the worst in government spending".

Pretty disgusting stuff. Here are some highlights:

And the classic:

I think I'm going to be sick.

But good work to John Williamson and the hawkeyes down at the CTF.

Keep fighting the good fight.


The number one movie this weekend?

I've never even heard of it.

Am I that out of touch?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]