Smart ass 
Before I left for Florida, while packing, I watched a bit of Kinsella's testimony at the inquiry. Here are a few bits that made me roll my eyes or shake my head.

MR. FINKELSTEIN: Then, when the Liberals took office in 1993, you became Mr.
Dingwall’s Chief of Staff when he was Minister of Public Works and Government Services?
MR. KINSELLA: That is incorrect. I was his Executive Assistant. There was only one Chief of Staff who was Mr. Pelletier.
MR.FINKELSTEIN: So when you say I am incorrect, I got the title wrong but the
position right. You were the Head of his Staff; is that right?
MR. KINSELLA: That is correct but I was not ---
MR. FINKELSTEIN: The title was Executive Assistant.
MR. KINSELLA: I was not Chief of Staff. I was Executive Assistant.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Today your position would be called Chief of Staff?
MR. KINSELLA: I don’t know. I am not terribly familiar with the present administration.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: You haven’t followed politics much since.
MR. KINSELLA: At a distance.

Yeah, at a distance.

MR. FINKELSTEIN: Do you know Mr. Guité?
MR. KINSELLA: I knew Mr. Guité, yes.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: When did you first meet Mr. Guité?
MR. KINSELLA: I don't recall specifically but it would have been sometime in 1994.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: You didn't know him when the Liberals were in opposition?
MR. KINSELLA: No, sir.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: You met him I take it then close to the beginning of your tenure at Public Works?
MR. KINSELLA: I can't say how close but in the first half of 1994, I think.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: If I can ask you to turn up Exhibit P-16(a), that is Volume 1, Tab 4? This is a memo from you to Mr. Neville that the Minister is seeking all reports concerning public advertising and public opinion polling. So you were involved in this transparency issue very early on, weren't you?
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Almost right from the beginning, according to this memo?
MR. FINKELSTEIN: And you must have known that Mr. Guité was the person in the department who was regarded as the expert in the area?
MR. KINSELLA: At this point?
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Around that time.
MR. KINSELLA: I don't know. As I said earlier, I can't ---
MR. FINKELSTEIN: It wouldn't have taken you six months to find out, would it, Mr. Kinsella?
MR. KINSELLA: It was a big department. It was an enormous department with many thousands of employees. So I am no being coy with you, Mr. Finkelstein. I don't recall when I met Mr. Guité.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: All right. Well, let us turn up Tab 6. This is a memo dated January 24th, 1994. Mr. Neville is sending a note to you about the minister changing
certain things in an aide-mémoire about advertising guidelines; you remember that, right?
MR. KINSELLA: Yes. I think I sent you this document.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: And so by this time presumably, you would have met the person who was the expert in the department on advertising?
MR. KINSELLA: Again, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I don't know.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Well, the guidelines ---
MR. KINSELLA: You meant by your question -- I am sorry, just so I am clear, when you say "the person", do you mean Mr. Guité?
MR. KINSELLA: I don't know. I certainly would have met Mr. Neville.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Right. Just to cut to the chase, Appendix "Q" was -- or Appendix "U" as it then was, was promulgated around June of 1994. You don't remember when you met Mr. Guité, except that it would have been in the first six months of 1994, right?
MR. KINSELLA: That is an estimation, yes.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: So you might not ever have met him until the guideline was
debated, reviewed, been to Treasury Board, changed, amended, finally promulgated; you might not have met Mr. Guité throughout that piece to the best of your recollection?
MR. KINSELLA: I would be guessing and I am sure you wouldn't want me to guess.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: Well, I would like you to give us some idea. If you just have absolutely no idea, then that is your answer.
MR. KINSELLA: Yes, I have absolutely no idea.

Sure, he can't remember such trivial details from so long ago. But what about things earlier in
the day when he was partaking in such witty live blogging?

MR. FINKELSTEIN: You were here earlier this morning when Mr. Dingwall gave his evidence?
MR. KINSELLA: I was here for part of it. What time did he start?
MR. FINKELSTEIN: What time did you get here?
MR. KINSELLA: I don't remember but he looked like he was -- I think I got here about 10:15 or something like that.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: But you don't remember?
MR. KINSELLA: I remember arriving here, yes.
MR. FINKELSTEIN: You just don't remember what time?
MR. FINKELSTEIN: That was a long time ago.

HE WAS SAVING THE COUNTRY FILKELSTEIN! DON'T YOU GET IT! Quit worrying about details - he wanted you to ask him whether they saved Canada!

He wanted to say this - as predicted by Shamrocks!

General Klapp: Son, we live in a country that needs unity. And that unity has
to be guarded by the government with money. Who's gonna do it? You? You,
Gumerie? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep
for adscam and you curse the liberals. You have that luxury. You have the luxury
of not knowing what I know: That respectability's death, while tragic, probably
saved the country. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to
you, saved the country. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places
you don't talk about at parties, you want me out there guarding unity. You want
me there.

We use words like patronage, bullying, smearing...we use these words as the
backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have
neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and
sleeps under the blanket of the very unity I provide, then questions the manner
in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way.
Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a liberal membership and stand a post. Either
way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

Oh, that was funny - thanks Patrick.

Gone to sunny Florida 
See you in February.

One question 
Paul Martin said today:
Polygamy is against the law and will always be against the law.
So, if the courts rule in favour of polygamy....

Live blogging from the Inquiry 
The only thing more boring than watching the inquiry would be to read someone live blogging while waiting to appear before the inquiry.

Warren Kinsella tries it.

Actually - one thing he wrote did interest me:
11:17 - By the way, “Justice” seems to think my little letter to the Deputy Minister was “offensive.”
Hey, do you think he reads my web site, too? Like a certain litigation lawyer at Ogilvy Renault's Ottawa office?
She's female, by the way.

He's talking about Sally Gomery I guess. I would say that it would make sense that she would read his site after he tried to use her in an attempt to smear Justice Gomery and the inquiry.

Let's review:

>From: "Warren Kinsella"
>To: "Don at talkcanada"
>Subject: RE: Hey dude - confidential
>Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 11:08:40 -0400
>She is indeed.
>Wonder how Ogilvy's got that sole-source, multi-million dollar assignment as commission counsel?
>What a coincidence.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Don at talkcanada [mailto:talkcanada@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 10:56 AM
>To: Warren Kinsella
>Subject: RE: Hey dude - confidential
>Is she John's daughter?
> >From: "Warren Kinsella"
> >To:
> >Subject: Hey dude - confidential
> >Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 09:59:39 -0400
> >
> >Was going to put this up on my site, and then thought it might be something
> >we could have fun with in the blogosphere. Just don't source me. Over to
> >you:
> >* This [LINK: http://www.ogilvyrenault.com/en/biographies/bio.jsp?id=4905
> >] is an interesting coincidence. When you consider this [LINK:
> >http://radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/nouvelles/200409/07/001-commission-gomery.shtml
> > ].
> >
> >
> >Warren Kinsella, LL.B
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)
> >(omitted)

To follow Colby... 
I got this link from Levant's comment on this post on the Shotgun. Here is part of it - he's talking to the Standing Senate Committee onTransport and Communications.
As to your question about bias in the media, I read with jaw slack that Slate magazine article you referred to. They asked every single employee at Slate Magazine, not just the columnists but the interns — just about everyone except for the janitor — to say who they were backing in this election. Out of let us say 40 people in the whole company, maybe five were for Bush, more than 30 were for Kerry, and a couple were for some independents. It was shocking to me. I thought it would have been more balanced.
I worked on Parliament Hill for two leaders of the opposition who were Canadian Alliance and Reform. I got to know a number of the members of the media. I would say that out of the 100 journalists I got to know on a casual basis, perhaps three of them confided to me that they were on the conservative side of the aisle. We know so many of them who are on the liberal side of the aisle. In fact, there is a bit of a revolving door sometimes with our friends in the media taking high posts in Ottawa.
I hope one day to take advantage of that ladder and climb my way to the top. I am
joking of course. If there is to be an elected Senate, I will throw my hat in the ring.
Please do not take it from my anecdotal observations. However, I know that in the United States, Gallup frequently surveys the Washington press corps, and it is overwhelmingly Democrat. I think it is safe to say that, in this city, it is overwhelmingly liberal or left.
Journalism schools are the same way. I am proud to report that in our entire reportorial staff, other than my editor who is quite well educated, not a single one of our reporters has gone through journalism school. We hire based on one criterion only. It is: Do you know how to think? We will teach them how to write.
Maybe I'll ask for a Standard subscription for Christmas next year.

The door is open, come on in 
Colby Cosh is a good writer and it's nice to learn more about him. Today's post really is an interesting one as it makes you think of the various people you know and if, as a whole, you see a correlation as Colby suggests:
I bring this up because becoming a political writer has had the perverse effect of radicalizing me, emotionally, about class matters. I followed what now seems like a pretty singular path into this job; the enormous majority of my colleagues, on all points of the political spectrum, seem to have backgrounds that can safely be described as affluent. There are exceptions, but very few. And while I wouldn't quite say as a rule that the most strident protectors of the working class were raised the furthest from it--well, golly, it sometimes seems that way. I don't know if I can describe, as someone who once lived in a trailer park, how it makes me feel to hear Naomi Klein (parents: doctor, filmmaker) or Avi Lewis (no genealogical comment necessary) or Linda McQuaig (parents were, as I recall, some sort of doctorate-wielding consultants) mash the W word and the C word together in that self-satisfied way of theirs.
There's a kind of Marxist presumption that because I'm a right-winger I must have a trust fund somewhere, or that pater must be a stockbroker ensconced in a leather chair, applauding my every blow for the plutocratic Home Team.
If you compared the average working physicist to the average working journalist, I believe you'd find that the latter had parents whose income was much higher. And I believe this is so even though it's the physicist who is ostensibly in greater need of early-life educational advantages, an encouraging household milieu, and (to stick one toe into Larry Summers territory) inheritable cognitive endowments. This happens not because journalism is a cliquish, incestuous business, or just because it is; it's also
because a child of intellectuals or businessmen just has a much easier time imagining getting paid for doing mental work and nothing else.

Read it all.

A deal to be made 
Following the comments by Declan and myself below - here's a good piece by CP:
The league likely hopes Linden will be willing to explore what's in it for the players if they agree to the NHL's proposed framework.
On the flip side, Linden will surely ask Hotchkiss why the owners can't negotiate off the players' Dec. 9 proposal, a package highlighted by a 24 per cent salary rollback on all existing player contracts.
Linden will no doubt remind Hotchkiss the union is willing to bend on other facets of the offer, especially the payroll tax. The Vancouver Canucks centre could, for example, tell the Flames owner: "Hey, we know 20 cents on the dollar at $45 million doesn't cut it, how do you feel about 80 cents?"
The hope, for those who want to see hockey this year, is that there's enough give and take in the conversation to carry them throughout the day and perhaps into the night.
Somewhere, somehow, there must be a solution that can work for both.
Here's one from an industry source who didn't want his name or job mentioned: an eight-year "hybrid" agreement that basically works off an improved players' offer for the first four years and then evolves into the league's fixed-link system for the last four years. Both Bettman and Goodenow could save face.
A number of owner-friendly improvements would be made in the areas of entry-level contracts, qualifying offers for restricted free agents and salary arbitration, but the key component would be a dollar-for-dollar tax on payrolls over $38 million US. At that point, the luxury tax basically becomes a soft cap given that few clubs would want to get dinged at such an exorbitant rate.
And in the comments on TSN, 'Rabid' adds this:
Bob McCown of the Fan 590 makes a good point. If the owners offered a salary cap at $60 million, wouldn't the players take it? And if the players offered a luxury tax of 300% at $31 million, wouldn't the owners take it? His point is that this is still all about numbers and there is a deal to be made. SO MAKE IT, GUYS!!!!!!

Sounds about right to me. The problem will be if the owners think they have the momentum and can abuse their current PR position and force a cap at their desired level without negotiation.

Just what Linden wanted! 
On the eve of his discussions with Flames part-owner Hotchkiss, Esposito comes out and says this:
"Well, for the first time in my lifetime, I don't agree with the players," Esposito said Tuesday. "I think they're wrong this time. It's the first time, ever, that I ever thought the players were wrong. And this time I just do not understand what the big deal is with a salary cap. I just don't understand it."

It's okay Phil - nobody really understands why. It's a matter of pride and ego.

This is what I was talking about.... 
when I wondered about the reaction to 24:
The Fox television network said on Thursday it will provide its stations with TV spots that portray Muslims in a favorable way after it received complaints for featuring followers of Islam as terrorists on its hit television show "24."
On Monday, Fox premiered the fourth season of "24." The drama featured an upper-middle class Muslim family operating as a sleeper terrorist cell. The Muslim mother poisons her son's non-Muslim girlfriend because it was feared the girl could jeopardize the terrorists' plan.
A Fox spokesman said it would provide public service announcements sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to its affiliate stations. Local television
executives can decide if and when to use the spots.
The move was in response to the Islamic council's complaints about the show.

I saw the link on Absinthe & Cookies which was pointed out in Jay Jardine's fantastic edition of the Red Ensign Standard.

Nothing to do with 24 but it's really good so here is part of Jay's introduction:
So what the hell am I, Mr. All-Government-is-Force-and-Fraud doing with a monarchy-themed flag on my website? Well, for the sake of our non-Canuck visitors, a brief primer is in order. The post 1960's Canada can be better described as Trudeaupia - a progressive-era dream that just kept on chugging along. The stage in our history where good liberals had become bad Liberals and were well past the point of no return. While Mr. Trudeau was exactly right in saying "the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation" he, alas, felt the state had plenty of business
everywhere else.
Nicely put.

The Don 
I watched Don Cherry on TSN's Off the Record the other day - it was a fun 30 minutes.

One thing that was interesting was that when they got talking about the issue of visors and Cherry's statement regarding Quebecers and Europeans and the uproar that caused, Don said that he had enemies in the government.

The next exchange went something like this.....

Cherry: Yeah, I've got enemies in the government. I've been auditted 5 times! 5 times since 1980 - imagine that - being auditted 5 times in 20 years!

Landsberg: I say I love whoever is the government. Who ever it is, I love 'em.

Cherry: Oh ya - me too!

Landsberg begins to introduce the topic but Cherry continues.

Cherry: ......except the NDP

Big money politics 

Following on the fun started by Vitor - lets look at political donations this way...

Here are the 50 largest political donators or specific parties - for 2003 and 2004. The donations for the Alliance and the PCs were combined. I ignored Paul Martin's leadership donation.

Name of contributor Political party Monetary ($)
UFCW CANADA NDP 740,600.00
USWA DISTRICT 6 NDP 259,823.20
OPSEU-SEFPO NDP 252,619.60
Canadian National Railway Company Liberal 165,406.08
Bombardier Inc. Liberal 139,795.22
CEP LOCAL 467 NDP 115,000.00
Grant Forest Products Inc. Liberal 105,889.00
EnCana Corporation Liberal 103,473.60
Kruger Inc. Liberal 103,000.00
Donald Meehan Liberal 100,000.00
Scotiabank Conservative 88,953.90
Federal Liberal Association of B.C. Liberal 86,387.00
SNC-Lavalin Inc. Liberal 84,664.99
Magna International Inc. Conservative 80,976.64
Divers donateurs Liberal 79,000.00
Bell Canada Liberal 78,469.94
Power Corporation of Canada Liberal 70,000.00
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLP Liberal 69,701.83
Association libérale fédérale de Beauce Liberal 69,000.00
PSAC-AFPC NDP 65,022.00
The Ottawa Fund Liberal 62,500.00
OSSTF NDP 60,200.00
Banque Nationale du Canada Liberal 56,780.80
Scotiabank Liberal 55,462.46
Craig Wireless Syste Liberal 54,000.00
CanWest Media Inc. Liberal 53,860.80
Telus Corporation Liberal 52,741.01
International Association of Fire Fighters Liberal 52,159.80
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP Liberal 51,864.65
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada Liberal 51,587.80
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP Liberal
Sunnyside Equities Ltd. Liberal
Groupe AXOR Inc. Liberal
443472 Ontario Green Party 50,000.00
Dessau-Soprin Inc. Liberal 49,218.45
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Liberal 47,136.21

Chretien's legacy 
I don't know how this is going to play in the end but Chretien's decision to have his lawyer and friends attack Justice Gomery might be one he regrets.

Read the Globe editorial today - it reflects Canadian's thinking.

Would love to write more about it - it'll have to be later though. I'm away from home for a few more days.

24 premier 
I'm waiting to read the reaction....

600 people at the memorial 
Bene Diction wrote:
Do numbers matter?
If there are any readers from Ottawa or surrounding area, would you mind popping into the comments and answering a question?
Did you go to the Civic Centre in Ottawa yesterday for the Southeast Asia Earthquake and Tsunami memorial/mourning? Why or why not?
Other Canadians? Did you catch it on the CBC? Any thoughts?
This Ottawa Citizen columnist has a lot of questions about why only 600 members of the public showed up.
And I think he is correct, if a hockey game had been called in short order the arena would have been filled.
I commented - after noting that Elvis-loving Earl is a longtime Sun contributor:

The attendance was really disappointing but there are some reasons I think.

I live two blocks from the Civic Centre where the memorial was held. I listen to CFRA (talk radio) often on the way to and from work. I obviously read a lot on the net. Strangely, the first time I heard about the memorial was when I was getting my hair cut at 10am on Saturday - a couple blocks from the Civic Centre again - and the barber asks someone in the shop why there were some baricades being erected on the street corner. The person suggested for the memorial.

I was not surprised at the number of people that attended - disappointed but not

Pssst, I think he's talking to you... 
(Did you see that Simpson's episode?)

Okay, despite changing my blogroll to link Not Warren Kinsella to my posts on his attempt to spread smeary-like insinuations about Gomery and his family, and his threats against bloggers, I still check out his site regularly. I had noticed that I was on his 'blogroll' on his front page again last week but today I'm not.

Today's post caught my attention - he wrote:
I do understand a little bit about libel law, however, and I think anyone who runs a "comments" section on their web log is at considerable legal risk - because they will be held liable for any defamatory statements others post on their sites.
Who's he talking about?

Another question - why is his blog at the top of Bourque's blogger page? Is he paying for that spot?

I liked the old colours better. 
I'm an engineer, not a graphic artist. What do you think?

A little change - hoping for a big change 
A little change on this blog - I've shifted my association from the Red Ensign Brigade to the Blogging Tories.

It was great to join the Red Ensign Bloggers and I didn't need to leave the group but for simplicity's sake and the length of my blogroll, I decided to leave.

I'm a Conservative Party member and I think it's a great idea to have the Blogging Tories blogroll to show the growing diversity and depth of Conservative bloggers.

Can we make a difference in 2005 - absolutely.

A reason to buy the Post 
I missed Frum's article on changes to make it an easier choice for women to have children. You can find it on his archive page here - click on the December 28th article "OTTAWA ISN'T MAKING IT EASY TO HAVE CHILDREN" Here's part of the conclusion:
For example, like most social security systems, the Canada Pension Plan pays out less or more according to the amount paid in. Recognizing that this rule could reduce the pensions paid to women who leave the workforce to raise children, Canada allows pensioners to exclude their lowest-contribution months from the calculation of their pensions. That's an interesting start. Why not go further and allow women to count time spent at home with young children as an affirmative contribution to the system? What if it were possible for a mother of three or more children to qualify for the maximum pension without working at all?

Wilson has likewise proposed that women who stay home to raise children could be rewarded with scholarships and other advanced educational benefits when they are ready to return to the workforce.

Ann Coulter - funniest conservative in the US 
I've only read a couple of her columns and I know many absolutely hate her but this interview with her is definitely something you should read - from NealeNews. Here's a sampling:

Condoleezza Rice being appointed Secretary of State is a huge deal, right?

"Yes, liberals are going to have figure out a way to cut her out of all the pictures. It’s going to be like Stalinist Russia: ‘Say, who’s that black woman standing next to Bush? No, never mind—it’s probably someone he’s arresting! It’s the maid!’ No, they’re going to start to notice. And it is I think curious, the issue Democrats have with blacks: They do not attack Spanish conservatives the way they attack black conservatives. With black conservatives, Democrats immediately go to the old racist stereotypes. It’s instantly that ‘they’re incompetent, they’re stupid.’ Look at the attacks on Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice. They try to refuse to recognize her. They’re specifically engaging in racist attacks on her: ‘Oh yeah, not up to the job. She’s not competent. She’s a dummy.’ Bush, they tell us, is dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. He is the puppet and the puppet master is Dick Cheney, or it’s Donald Rumsfeld and he’s just being run around by these wily neocons. But when it comes to Condoleezza Rice, she’s the puppet of the dumb guy—that’s how dumb she is."

Funniest Post 
I'm nominated for Most Humourous Blog in Canada - you can vote here.

I think I'm worthy of a vote for one reason alone - the hilarious series of comments left by someone at Navigator.

Those events made me post this warning on my blog back in October:
STOP - posts below this one will further lower your opinion of politicians
I should say, since it happens a couple of times a day, for anyone who came here from Google looking for "canadian things" or "things that are Canadian" or "what the heck should I write in my essay on Canada", please look quickly to the links on the left. Looking at the following posts will expose you to some disturbing actions of a person who was 'a special assistant to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, and chief of staff in a pile of federal ministries.'
A strange duck that one is.

As for the other categories - here is who I voted for:

Best Blog
Inkless Wells
Hands down.

Best Liberal Blog
Peace, order and good government, eh?
Consistenly good.

Best Conservative Blog
Brock: On the attack
Oh, Coyne - where art thou?

Best Group Blog
Western Standard
This was tough as I'm a contributor to the Blogs Canada E-Group. The Shotgun wins though due to volume.

Best Non-Political Blog
Bene Diction Blogs On
It's pretty tough - I like James Bow's blog a lot too but Bene Diction Blogs On is the best in this category I think.

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