Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mr. Schreyer, I don't think you're right

The former Governor General of Canada, Ed Schreyer, is returning to politics as a candidate for a Commons seat in Manitoba.
In his announcement, Mr Schreyer offered a fundamental reason for returning to the political fray...
"I believe for starters that we cannot really get at the main issues in a way that is meaningful until we manage to straighten out and clean up parliament and parliamentary control of cabinet, and through cabinet, control of a Prime Minister's Office, a PMO, that is getting out of control and almost presidential. That's step one," Schreyer said.
The last segment is where Mr Schreyer has made a serious mistake.
When it comes to relative power, the Prime Minister of Canada holds a lot more direct power than a U.S. president does.
For example, the Prime Minister has the power to appoint members of the Senate, which -- from this corner -- appears to be an adjunct body without a lot of real power. A U.S. president cannot. All that can be done from the Executive Branch side in the legislative process is in the hands of the vice-president, whose duties include presiding over the U.S. Senate and voting only in case of ties. That is the only time in which a member of the executive branch can directly participate in the legislative process. The prime minister, on the other hand, is a voting member of the legislative branch.
The prime minister also has the power to appoint members of the judicial branch without a confirmation process. There is no veto power over any selection a PM makes, unlike in the U.S., where the Senate holds veto power over major presidential appointments. (Witness the recent controversies over various George W. Bush nominees.)
The prime minister can also appoint his nominal superior in the Canadian structure, the governor general, as the current holder of the office has done.
The prime minister can call for the dissolution of the government at any time prior to the end of its scheduled term -- an important weapon in maintaining power. The U.S. president cannot. Unless removed from office via impeachment, no president, vice-president, or federal judge will have a term shortened involuntarily. Likewise, no elected member of the legislative branch can be removed from office prior to the expiration of his or her office unless expelled by his/her colleagues.
The prime minister may serve for any number of terms or years he or she desires. U.S. presidents are constitutionally term-limited to a maximum of 10 years in the office. A person elevated to the presidency via death or resignation after the midpoint of the unexpired term may seek two full terms in office. For example, Lyndon Johnson became president after more than half of John F. Kennedy's term had passed. Johnson was elected to a full term in 1964 and was eligible to seek re-election in 1968, but chose not to in the furor over Vietnam. On the other hand, Gerald Ford served out more than half of the term to which Richard Nixon was elected in 1972. Had Ford been elected on his own in 1976, he would not have been able to run in 1980. (The constitutional change came after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to the office four times. There had been a tradition of only two terms begun by the first president, George Washington.)
And it's not clear to me that there is a clear, codified standard for the one area in which prime ministers are at a disadvantage in the possession and use of power -- the no-confidence vote. What I read in the spring seems to indicate that parliamentary traditions, handed down for centuries beginning with the English parliament, not the rule of law, dictate non-confidence. And there were some questions raised about a series of votes in the spring in which the Paul Martin Jr government held on despite defeats in the Commons. Powers of the president are much more clearly defined in the U.S. system.
So it seems to me that if anything, the office is becoming less presidential and more dictatorial.
I hope Mr Schreyer's comments were made out of insufficient knowledge and not just cheap America-bashing.
It would be sorely disappointing if it were the latter.

The lost poems of Irving Dovetonsils

In an earth-shattering development in the world of poetry, researchers today announced that they have discovered the lost poems of Irving Dovetonsils, the little-known twin cousin of legendary 1950s "off-beat" poet Percy Dovetonsils.
Dr. I. Ambic, head of the poetry department at the Institute of Deep Thoughts and Discount Duodenum Surgery, led the team that made the discovery in an abandoned farmhouse between Mehoopany and Meshoppen, Pa., last week.
"Many poetry experts thought that Irving would carry on Percy's work after Percy vanished from the scene in the early 1960s," Dr. I. Ambic said. "Percy was overwhelmed by the death of noted comedian Ernie Kovacs and just vanished from the scene.
"But Irving wasn't the most stable sort of fellow and was insanely jealous of Percy's success. He was even more irate that in Percy's voluminous output was not one mention of him.
"Irving Dovetonsils' work, as a result, seems to be highly egocentric."
Here is one example of Irving Dovetonsils' poetry, entitled "It's All About Me":

Driving in my car
Oh, I hate the traffic
Never get ahead
Traffic makes me sick

Virtual reality
Oh, so good to me
Time just slips away
Eternity at play

Friends and enemies all the same
Oh, to play the waiting game
Reality is all to blame

Love to have a drink
I stand at the sink
Blowing lunch with ease
Every time I please
Running back for more
Always near the door
Liquor makes me high
Sad to say goodbye

Dr. I. Ambic promises more from the Irving Dovetonsils file as soon as it can be translated from the original Pennsylvanian.

NOTE: There is a hidden message in this poem. Can you find it?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Flyers: All things considered...

For my favourite hockey club, it hasn't exactly been the best of times:

Number of games played with the projected lineup (out of 30): Zero
Number of games played with the top two centremen in the lineup: 9
Number of games played with the top checking line intact: Zero
Number of rookies (or players with fewer than 40 NHL games) appearing this season: 13
Number of players in the minor leagues last season appearing this season: 18

Now, the games not available due to injury list:
Peter Forsberg: 6
Simon Gagne: 3 (and counting)
Joni Pitkanen: 5 (and counting)
Mike Richards: 1 (and counting)
Kim Johnsson: 1
Eric Desjardins: 12 (and counting)
Keith Primeau: 21 (and counting)
Brian Savage: 13 (and counting)
Dennis Seidenberg: 13
Robert Esche: 6 (and counting)
Branko Radivojevic: 1
Chris Therien: 2
Turner Stevenson: 19 (and counting)

With all of that, 40 points after 30 games is pretty doggone good.
And the silver linings? Two.
One: The Flyers have found out that some young guys are legitimate NHL players. Everybody pretty much figured Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were legit, and they have been. But not many realized that R.J. Umberger was NHL-ready, and he is. Ben Eager and Freddy Meyer are also getting a baptism of fire and performing at least competently (it's interesting that Hitchcock is pairing Meyer with Seidenberg, based on their familiarity from their time with the Phantoms last season). Antero "Frank" Niittymaki is a legitimate NHL goalie, also.
Two: Just think of how this team is going to click when everybody gets healthy and up to speed.
Forsberg is, well, Forsberg. The best player on the planet.
Gagne is the least-heralded superstar in the NHL.
Mike Knuble deserves a U.S. Olympic berth. Why Boston ever let him get away, I'll never understand.
Derian Hatcher, over the last 10-15 games, is playing the best hockey of his life (not bad for a guy who was thought to be too slow for the new NHL).

It's gonna be a fun run, if the injury bug would just stop biting.

More folks are noticing

The prevalent anti-Americanism on display, especially in the recently-concluded Paul Martin Jr. government and Mr Martin Jr.'s ensuing campaign to return to power, is being noticed... and not just by those (relatively few) of us who pay attention to such things:
U.S. politicians from both sides of the aisle have joined with U.S. law enforcement personnel to ask Canada to address this growing security threat. In response, Canadian politicians from the left have basically said, "Drop dead." ...
Our once great friend is turning against us. Common sense and our national security dictate that we can no longer afford to ignore that fact.
Hear, hear!

NOTE 1: Henceforth, quotes will be differentiated here in purple, in honor of the courageous Iraqis who risked their lives to vote on Thursday. Not that the leftoids here noticed, but...
NOTE 2: After much prodding, I have finally installed Haloscan. This, of course, means all past comments have disappeared for now. I may opt to re-install Blogger comments later for reference purposes only.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Carnival update (some more)

Who says conservative Republicans have no sense of humour?
The Right Wing Testimonial, hosted by the pride of Livingston County, hosts this week's Carnival of Comedy 33 (the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar edition).
Partake and be glad.

Carnival update (again)

It's Thursday, so it's time for one and all to venture north to London on the Thames (Ontario, that is) , where the esteemed Mark A. has assembled some of the most demented wit in the known blogosphere in another edition of the Carnival of Satire.
Go forth and enjoy.

Purple Rage

Thanks to that damn Conservative UAW Guy, this song has emerged from the bowels of the either orr studios...

Purple Rage (sung by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi)

Purple rage inside our brains
Lately things, they just ain’t the same
Actin’ funny, but we don’t know why
Our future’s gonna say goodbye

Purple rage is all around
They’re voting and our dream is comin’ down
Bush wins - we’re in misery
Those fingers done put a spell on me

Help me
Help me
Oh, no, no

Purple rage all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?

(It’s the end of your time, leftoids!)

Apologies and kudos to the late, great James Marshall Hendrix.

Purple finger day

In honour of today's Iraqi elections, all posts today will be in purple type (except for direct quotes -- those will be contrasted).
The courage of the Iraqi people is not to be denied.
The lack of courage of large segments of the international community, including most Democrats here in the U.S. of A., is appalling when compared to the resoluteness of the Iraqis.
They face a helluva lot more danger in trekking to the polls than we ever have. Yet they will... and they are... despite the naysaying nattering nabobs of negativism (sorry, Spiro T Agnew, you crook!).
To those who doubted them... and who doubt the many real successes we have had in Iraq, I offer (via JimmyB) the words of Betty Dawisha, who has cast her ballot...
"Anybody who doesn’t appreciate what America has done and President Bush, let them go to hell."
Our prayers are with you all on this adventure into freedom.

It pains me to say this, but...

Jack... Layton... was... right.
Yes, the head of Canada's national Socialist party, the NDP, was right, as CP reports:
VANCOUVER (CP) - Canada's reputation on the world stage has been damaged by Prime Minister Paul Martin's "shameless posturing," says New Democrat Leader Jack Layton.
Martin has nothing to show for all his bluster about softwood duties, said Layton...
"It may sound firm, but I think what's appreciated in international relations is a firm and clear position. I have to say we haven't been getting it from our current government."
Layton also accused Martin of electioneering by calling on the U.S. to join the Kyoto accord on climate change when the Americans have actually done a better job of reducing greenhouse gases than Canada.
"He thinks he can stand up and wag his finger at George Bush and somehow impress somebody," Layton said. "It's time he started delivering results. That would allow Canadians to be able to speak to the world."
Martin has also taken a verbal spanking from U.S. ambassador David Wilkins for criticizing the country that's supposed to be Canada's greatest friend and trading partner.
"Canadians have known that the Liberals will say anything in an election to get elected," Layton sniffed. "I think now the ambassador has discovered the same thing."
When he's right, he's right... that can't be denied.
He sniffed.
Great line.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


The Gunn Nutt got me.
I've been tagged to provide for you five weird/annoying/psychotic habits, etc.
So, here you go.
1. I forgot.
2. I tend to bounce my leg a lot. A lot. It goes back to my days in radio (several lifetimes ago, in fact). It drives my wife nuts. But for my co-workers, it's a signal to back off -- the brain's in high gear.
3. I hate making the bed in the morning, so I usually don't.
4. I hate folding socks coming out of the dryer. (Unfortunately, so does everybody else in the household, so I'm stuck with it.) My revenge... I make them collect their own socks and put them away.
5. I drink straight from 2-litre bottles of peach iced tea or Mountain Dew. No glasses for me (less to wash).
Just about everybody I know has been tagged, so I'm gonna let it ride.
I would, however, if I could, tag the anonymous troll who's been demonstrating a bad case of keyboard diarrhea.

Posts for the times

Neal has struck with a great piece on the calibre of the electorate.
A highlight:
I used to work in technical support for a 24x7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, "Uh, Pacific."
. . . . . . He also votes!

And Hershblogger at The Other Club shows the follies of the First Church of Kyoto Worshippers in Global Whatever:
Stephen Guilbeault, the director of the Greenpeace movement for Quebec, describes "Global Warming" from the Enviromenshevik standpoint:
"Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that's what we're dealing with."
What we're dealing with is bullshit.
Trotsky would recognize the technique - your opponents can't possibly win if every possible counter-example is predefined as evidence supporting your position.
Every climate condition or weather event is, ipso presto, not only evidence of human caused "Global Warming", but evidence we can actually fix it via Kyoto.
Go read them. Now.

A little known fact

Stanley "Tookie" Williams is only the second acknowledged leader of a major criminal gang to be executed in the U.S.
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter met his maker in New York's electric chair in the 1940s. All he did was start the Mob's travelling hit squad, Murder Inc.
Funny, though, the Crips may have claimed more victims.

Calling the bull

It's a shame David Wilkins is so polite.
The ambassador punched into the campaign using an iron fist in a velvet diplomat's glove to scold Prime Minister Paul Martin for America-bashing.
Last week, Martin chided the White House for lacking a global conscience on climate change. He has also been slamming Washington for maintaining punishing duties on softwood lumber despite a final trade ruling in Canada's favour.

Wilkins was careful not to mention Martin by name, but the rebuke was crystal clear.
"It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner," he said in a speech to the Canadian Club in Ottawa.
"But it is a slippery slope and all of us should hope that it doesn't have a long-term impact on the relationship.
"It's a toxic attitude that I fear can't help but hurt the relationship unless all of us make a concerted effort to simply tone it down."
Martin, on the campaign trail in Surrey, B.C., denied bashing America to bolster his re-election bid.

Translation from diplomatese: Paulie baby, shut the bleep up or you're gonna pay a price.
Further translation: Paulie baby, when you honor your commitments to Kyoto, then you can talk.
Want some more? Paulie baby, when you quit piggybacking on our military for your own defence, then talk to me. Otherwise, you lying sack of dung, stifle, dingbat.

UPDATE: On a recent post I did on this topic, I've developed an anonymous troll who quite likely is a Canadian government employee in Mexico City. Four comments from the same site within a matter of minutes. (Unless, of course, it's the likes of Robbo rerouting his link to cover his tracks). Go have fun with him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Meet the Atheist Messiah

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the self-proclaimed Atheist Messiah! By name, Darwin Bedford. His Web site proclaims his unholy name...
When asked if he is concerned about people not appreciating him for taking away their god, he responded: "Not at all, in fact people will eventually thank me for ridding them of a nightmare of a ghost in their lives. When I succeed, unimaginable global jubilation will come to pass and people will gladly send me money; invite me for dinner; compose and perform on my behalf; and women will howl my name during intense orgasm."
Either this guy is one hell of a satirist or the fruitcake/moonbat/nutcase of the decade. As a supporter of Canada's national Socialist party, the NDP, I suspect the latter.
As Joel put it, I guess that tolerant liberal-left fundamentalist won’t be celebrating our great Canadian way of life and traditions this Christmas season!
Further proof, friends, of the theory of devolution.

Hat tips to Darcey and Joel (aka Dust My Broom and Proud to Be Canadian).

Linked at Rempelia Prime.

U.S. media asleep at the wheel... again

Congress might want to talk to Maurice Strong, the High Priest of the Church of the Kyoto Protocol and noted America-hater.
How did your scribe learn about this?
Bill Strong and ABFreedom. Two Canadians.
Only one peep in U.S. media, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which described Maurice Strong thusly:
A lifelong socialist, Strong was and is a first-rate influence-peddler who never missed an opportunity to enrich himself.
From Canada Free Press comes this observation:
Strong is rarely heard from since allegations of his ties to the oil-for-food scandal became public. Martin, who took time out [of] the Canadian election campaign, did what Maurice Strong does best: criticize the United States of America.
The criticism Martin leveled against the U.S. coincided with the day the draft report of the House International Relations subcommittee became public.

Why doesn't the MSM want to examine Oil-For-Food?

Monday, December 12, 2005

We need a Liberal Christmas

Time for another tune...

Haul out the goodies;
Put tax cuts up before
My spirit falls again.
Fill up the promises,
I may be rushing things,
But deck the halls again now.
For we need a Liberal Christmas
Right this very minute,
We can play our games,
And the Globe and Mail will spin it.
Yes, we need a Liberal Christmas
Right this very minute.
We need a Liberal Christmas now.

It hasn't snowed a single flurry,
But Paulie, dear, we're in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Turn on the brightest string of lightsI've ever seen.
Serve the beer and popcorn;
It's time we hung some kickbacks
On that evergreen bough.
For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little Martin
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a Liberal Christmas now.

For we need Liberal music,
Need Liberal laughter,
Need Liberal singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
"Happy ever after"
Need a Liberal Christmas now.
We need a Liberal Christmas now!
For we need a Liberal Christmas
Right this very minute,
We can play our games,
The CBC will spin it.
Yes, we need a Liberal Christmas
Right this very minute.
We need a Liberal Christmas now.

Update: The Great Pumpkin has added this ditty to the Liberal Christmas Collection.

Say no more!

Let's send this guy a ton of popcorn

Methinks it's time to give Scott (Alberta Can Blow Me) Reid a taste of his own words...
In reference to the Conservative Party's child allowance proposal, Reid said:
Don’t give people 25 bucks (a week) to blow on beer and popcorn.
How about sending Mr Reid some popcorn? Already popped, of course. And by the time it arrives, it will -- of course -- be quite stale.
I guess you send it care of the PMO, Ottawa.
What about the other thing?
I wouldn't give him a beer if his life depended on it. Nor should you.

Update: There is a site now hosting a petition for Reid's boss, Paul Martin Jr, demanding answers for Mr Reid's rant. Go to Kids, Not Beer now and sign.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bush wins Heisman, Dean cries foul

NEW YORK -- Southern California running back Reggie Bush won the voting for the Heisman Trophy, emblematic of the top player in U.S. college football Saturday night.
Immediately, How-weird Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, challenged the balloting.
"I demand a recount," Dean shrieked. "There's no way Bush could have won. The vote was rigged."
Bush received overwhelming support from all areas of the country in the balloting by sportswriters, college football officials and previous Heisman winners, including Southern Cal teammate Matt Leinart, who won the award last year.
"The whole thing is a setup," Dean insisted. "Isn't it funny that since Bush got to Southern Cal, they've won two national championships and are on their way to a third? There's no way a team can be that good three years in a row without some hanky-panky. And the name Bush certainly is connected with lots of hanky-panky, including the theft of two elections. The vote HAD to be rigged.
"Frankly, I think Southern Cal should be forced to withdraw from the Bowl Series Championship title game. There's no way they should be allowed to win."
Linked at MacStansbury.