Saturday, November 12, 2005

The government in the whorehouse business???

There's an elected official who would not be opposed to having his burg operate a bordello.
Vancouver should open a not-for-profit brothel to help drug-addicted prostitutes, Committee of Progressive Electors Coun. Tim Louis said Wednesday.
Speaking to The Vancouver Sun's editorial board as part of a civic election tour, Louis said he's in favour of retiring Mayor Larry Campbell's idea of considering a red light district to help protect "survival" sex trade workers.
When asked if he thought the city should open its own brothel, Louis said yes, as long as the city doesn't make any money at it.
"Many people involved in survival sex are drug addicted, and it is a crime that we don't have treatment on demand, so there would be many benefits of a brothel run on a break-even basis," he said.
"Generally speaking, so long as it is, number one, break even, number two, medical services are available, and number three, drug treatment is available on demand, then yes, I support it," he said.
He said the sex trade in the Downtown Eastside is based around the drug trade, and the city needs to offer protection and health services to prostitutes.

Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Hmmmm.
Seems to me we talked about Downtown Eastside a few months ago...
VANCOUVER (CP) - The ripe stench of human excrement is getting stronger in downtown lanes, curling the stomachs of workers who no longer want to relax by the back door for smoke breaks.
"We're getting to the point where the need for public toilets is getting serious," said Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.
"There's a burgeoning entertainment district, a growing homelessness problem and people have nowhere to go.
"I've been with the association for 15 years and it's just becoming more and more of an issue for more of our members. The stench of urine and feces in back lanes in the central business district and the Downtown Eastside, where it's probably a lot worse."

What a great city, eh?
But what about this brothel idea?
We took it to Jack A. John, a self-described "connoisseur of courtesans," for his reaction.
"Well, either, I don't think it's gonna fly, especially in that neighbourhood," he said. "First off, it's the government. It's gonna be overpriced and of inferior quality. When I wish to sample a lady of the evening's wares, I have certain standards that must be met. It's highly unlikely that anything run by the government will come close to those standards.
"Then, you've got the neighbourhood to consider. There's nothing more depressing to the libido than the stench of human excrement lying about in the streets. And this is where the councillor wants to put this brothel?
"You've got to be jesting."
Hat tip to Darcey for discovering this lunacy and sharing it with the world.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Armistice Day.
Remembrance Day.
Veterans Day.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
And a special thanks to Robert T. Orr (1920-1985), USA Air Corps, India 1942-45.

The patriotism of the Mainstream Media

A precision guided humour assignment
Make no mistake about it, the Mainstream Media is patriotic.
Just as sure as Glenn Reynolds is an evil puppy-blender, the Mainstream Media is patriotic.
They salute their flag proudly every day when they enter their alcoves.
They recite the Pledge of Allegiance with unquestioned fervor and know the words of The Star Spangled Banner as well as they know their own names.
They believe in their nation as strongly as anyone.
Oh, sorry. I thought this was a Filthy Lie assignment.
Never mind.

Shut up, Pat

Televangelist Pat Robertson is at it again.
The host of the 700 Club took Dover, Pa., to task over the vote Tuesday to unseat the school board members who dared to have intelligent design mentioned in schools.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God; you just rejected him from your city. And don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for his help because he might not be there."

Pat, shut up! You're doing more harm than good.

Sneaky little devils, huh?

Toronto's City Council wins the Chutzpah Award. Big time.
They deserve it and won't vote to overturn it. That's the message from some Toronto city councillors who are standing firm on their decision to vote themselves a 12.25 per cent pay hike over four years.
"It's the first time my take-home pay will increase in 14 years," said Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale).
"I just think it's fair. We're getting the same increases as unionized staff — our garbage collectors, janitors," said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre). "I don't think it's outrageous."

Toronto city hall was in an uproar yesterday after it was reported that city councillors gave themselves and the mayor a pay hike equivalent to that given to unionized staff.
And they did it without public scrutiny because the hike was attached to a confidential item.

Sneak it through, boys and girls. That's the way to do it.
Bleeping leftards.
Oh, and there's more...
Councillor Howard Moscoe proposed the salary increase by adding the words "and elected officials" to a motion extending pay hikes to non-union staff.
Because it was an amendment to an in-camera item, the actual motion with the words "and elected officials" was only circulated to councillors....

Moscoe remained unrepentant.
"Everybody's having selective amnesia," said Moscoe (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence). "I think what I did was fair and reasonable. I was upfront. It was on the table. Council chose to support it. They chose not to debate it, not me. There was not one second of in-camera discussion."
Moscoe added clearly nobody wanted to discuss it, because it sailed through without any formal debate.

What brass ones, eh?

Killer posts

Laurent over at Polyscopique tackles the idea of assimilation and the troubles in France in a wonderful post. Go check it out.
And Jeff in the Think Sink has a letter to How-Weird Dean that is a must-read.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Liberal runners

Well, it seems as if we had some Canadian Liberal runners in a recent U.S. marathon:
Some members of a prominent Toronto runner's group deliberately skipped several miles of the 26.2-mile route during the recent U.S. Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. — then accepted medals for "finishing" the event.
"The preliminary finding is that someone in the JeansMarines organization, one of the coaches, assisted the runners into circumventing the course," said Rick Nealis, the marathon's race director.
Now, the Marine Corps wants those medals back.

God, there's no level too low for Libs to stoop, eh?

The delusional tale of Mary Mapes

Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer who created "fake but accurate" and lost her job in the ensuing Rathergate scandal, is out hyping her book telling the tale.
She's totally delusional.
At this CBS News blog site, her story gets the incredulous treatment it deserves.
But you have to dig the quotes from the unconscious Ms. Mapes... It's totally surrealistic.
To ABC News interviewer Brian Ross: “I don't think I committed bad journalism. I really don't.” Ross asked Mapes if the standard ought not to have been for her to prove their authenticity, to which she responded, “I don’t think that’s the standard.” (The CBS blogger's take: If that’s not a basic standard of journalism and professionalism, I don’t know what is).
To Anthony Violante of the Buffalo News: "If you're going to have a human sacrifice, you have to have a woman to throw into the volcano and hope the gods are satisfied. You can't have a witch hunt without the witch. But it's a bitch to be the witch."
To Ed Bark of the Dallas Morning News: “I know there are some people out there waiting in the dark beside their computers, people who are going to zing off things about how wrong and stupid and ugly I am, how I'm a fool and a liberal tool. I fully expect that."
[Note to Mary: I don't give a damn what you look like. I do, however, give a damn about the lack of journalistic integrity you exhibit.]
We'll close this with the review by American Journalism Review's Rem Rieder...
"It's everyone else's fault.
That, essentially, is the position of Mary Mapes, the producer behind CBS' deeply flawed report on President Bush's National Guard service.
In a new book called "Truth and Duty" and in a flurry of interviews, Mapes kicks a lot of sand, as Patrick Fitzgerald might say, at everyone from CBS pooh-bah Les Moonves to noted architect Karl Rove to the blogosphere.
What she doesn't do is accept any responsibility at all for putting on air a report based on questionable documents furnished by a source with an ax to grind, papers that three of CBS' own document experts warned were problematic.
The independent report on the ill-fated program by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and ex-Associated Press chief Lou Boccardi was a withering look at a piece of shoddy journalism.
But it's clear Mapes hasn't learned anything from the debacle.
All she wants to do is attack."
Scary Mary, anyone?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A defender of Kelo has arisen

I've actually found someone who is defending the Kelo eminent domain case.
Mark Alan Hughes is his name. He's one of those urban planning experts who sometimes makes a helluva lot of sense.
This time, though, he's so far off base that he can be easily picked off.
Let's take a look at his arguments...
The image of government evicting a family from its home was dramatized in the recent Kelo decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of New London, Conn., to acquire nine houses at fair market value without the consent of the owners in order to pursue an economic development project that everyone agrees will generate increased jobs and taxes.
Since the decision, at least 35 states have proposed legislation limiting or abolishing eminent domain. Pennsylvania's is rumored to be on a fast track, and the U.S. House has passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act. The vote was 376-38, and I'd like to meet the 38 members who could vote against a bill with a name like that.
Frankly, I'd rather defend gay marriage at Vacation Bible School than defend eminent domain under these circumstances. But here goes.
The Kelo decision did not expand the jurisprudence of eminent domain beyond the settled practice of the past 50 years. The court has not spawned some new demon that will devour our homes unless elected officials come riding to our rescue.
Even conservative proponents of judicial restraint and so-called "originalism" (the conservative constitutional theory that the framers' intent should govern us unless we explicitly amend it) acknowledge as much.
For example, Jonathan Adler wrote in National Review: "While the Fifth Amendment clearly requires compensation for takings of any sort, there is little evidence the Founders sought to limit the purposes for which eminent domain could be used."
Exactly. There's nothing more useful than an honest conservative. What is truly being attacked here is not eminent domain but our faith that government is capable of defining a public use.
Eminent domain is our rightful power to declare that public use will trump private use. And because Americans are the world's most fair-minded and generous people, we have written into our very Constitution the protection that the exercise of that rightful power demands the just compensation of the private owners.

And because Americans guard their liberties more dearly than anyone else in the world, we further protect private owners in our state constitutions and laws (Pennsylvania certainly does this) by requiring public participation, a well-defined planning process to determine public use, an appeals process after decisions have been made and that eminent domain be used only as a last resort.
O.K., Mr. Hughes.
What's fair about New London charging rent to the homeowners who are losing their land, which it has done, by cutting the "fair-market" payment?
What's fair about taking property from one private holder to transfer it to another, almost always wealthier, private holder?
Eminent domain applies only to holdouts who insist their private use should trump the public. For an example, think of the 26 homeowners in Bucks County who delayed construction of an interchange between I-95 and the turnpike for 50 years. The nine owners in Kelo were similar holdouts who sued after dozens of other owners had sold their properties to New London.
No rights are absolute. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, you can't sacrifice infants in free exercise of your religion, and you can't prevent the community from benefiting from a public use for which they are willing to pay you in full.
This is a specious argument and an invalid comparison.
The Bucks County case is a valid "public use" case for eminent domain. Taking property for a Turnpike interchange is a legitimate and valid eminent domain exercise. Taking property to build a school is a valid exercise of the power of eminent domain. Taking property for a much-needed highway or treatment plant is a valid use of eminent domain... as long as the property owners are fairly compensated (which in itself is a whole other issue, because it's not very likely that people will be able to [a] find a comparable property and [b] not have to go into debt to acquire it).
Taking property so Donald Trump can build a parking lot is an obscenity. Taking property so a city can build a golf course under the excuse of community revitalization is even more so -- and we just had a long and very costly battle in Coatesville, Pa., over that very topic. Even a Michigan court has said that the eminent domain that virtually wiped out Detroit's Poletown neighborhood for GM was a mistake.
The use of eminent domain must be well regulated and always demands just compensation. But an assault on eminent domain itself is an assault on our ability to govern ourselves. If we can't define a public purpose, then all government action is illegitimate.
It's just another attack on the idea that government can improve the lives of ordinary people and their communities.

That is another incredible leap of illogic. A public purpose is already well-defined. It is one that serves the public... not private investors. (I could, in some more intense moments, argue that most government action is illegitimate, anyway, but won't in this forum.) I could go so far as to defend eminent domain as a means of acquiring abandoned properties that have become hazards to the community.
The bottom line is this -- the government gets its responsibilities from the people; the government does not grant the people their rights. Those are inherent, according to far wiser folks than I. The government has a responsibility to act responsibly, defending the rights of the "little guy."
Using eminent domain for private investment is hardly defending the "little guy," don't you think?
Flame Mark Alan Hughes at

Monday, November 07, 2005

French riots: It's Bush's fault

A precision guided humour assignment
France is facing riotous conditions.
Paris is surrounded by rioting Muslims.
And, of course, it's George W. Bush's fault.
"He found out about our little plan to unseat him and is taking his revenge," said Jean-Jacques Strappe, a spokesman for the French Ministry of Surrender.
But a Muslim said it's no more than doing a favor for someone who did Muslims a favor.
"We owed the U.S. one for saving our brothers in Bosnia," declared Muammar Khadaffy Duck, a spokesman for the rioters. "What better payback than to dump on the double-dealing dhimmis in France?"

NHL: One month in...

What looked like the least likely major sports record to be broken might not be so unbreakable now.
That record is Wayne Gretzky's 92 goals in a season.
With the first month of the NHL now in the books, there are three guys out there who have legitimate shots at making a run at the Great One's mark... Jaromir Jagr of the hated Rangers, Simon Gagne of the Flyers and Dany Heatley of the Senators.
Obviously, all will have to stay healthy in order to have a shot. But the way the game is now, all three could be in a position to challenge Gretzky's mark.
To get there, these snipers need centremen adept at finding them when they're open. Martin Straka (Jagr), Peter Forsberg (Gagne) and Jason Spezza (Heatley) certainly qualify.
It helps to have other legitimate scoring threats on the club. Jagr for the moment doesn't with Martin Rucinsky out; with Daniel Alfredsson (himself a possible candidate for a run at the mark) and Martin Havlat, Heatley's got that covered; and Forsberg and the underrated Mike Knuble (who's on a 50-goal pace) as linemates, Gagne is covered in that regard.
There are others I could see making a run at some point in their careers -- the rookies Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin come to mind (and, boy, are they both real good right now) -- but those are the big three as seen from here.
Will it happen? I kinda doubt it, for now. But if the NHL stays as wide-open, power-play happy as it is, it could.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I thought I was kidding...

...when I wrote this post saying France was the next target of al-Qaeda.
But it is certainly looking as if al-Qaeda is liking what's going on over there...