Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bring on the lawsuit?

C A I T I - O N L I N E slanders one of Canada's newest Senators with a despicable blog by smear. CAITI-ONLINE is an annoying farce, but they should be careful about what they print. If I was Doug Finely I would sue over this, take all their money, then donate it to charity. It has never been proven that Mr Finely bribed anyone.

Now if CAITI posted "HARPER BREAKS ANOTHER PROMISE, APPOINTS MORE SENATORS", that is something I could agree with.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I have been meaning to blog about this for awhile, but have been unable to stop getting angry about it every time I thought of it. How hard is it to call out major and requested stops?

Only in the City of Ottawa can bus drivers fail to do the simplest thing and have managers at OCTranspo spin away the problem. And now it has cost us taxpayers five thousand dollars. Perhaps the ATU should pay this fine.

Manager of Performance and Quality Vincent Patterson tells CFRA News drivers can be distracted by things on the road and miss a stop announcement.

Nice excuse. If they can stop they bus they can call out the stop. What distractions can there be when the bus is stopped?

Simple solution to this problem. Any bus driver that gets 5 complaints lodged against them gets suspended without pay and a warning on their file at OC. They can then get some coaching on how to call out stops. If they get 10 complaints lodged against them they get fired. How simple is that?

Follow the ESA and put improvement plans in for these drivers, whey they fail that fire them. Do you really want a driver that is incapable of shouting out a stop driving yourself or your loved ones around?

Fire. Them. All.

PS: 7 million dollars for this system? My god this seems expensive. Heck, at 5000 dollar fines, let them fine us. It would be cheaper then this system by far.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blatchford Weighs in on "sexist judge"

Christie Blatchford weighs in on this debacle. I think the Globe and Mail should be ashamed at how they treated the judge on this. Seriously ashamed and Blatchford was right to take her employer to task.

Remember, the media spins everything, try not to react without understanding the full context. Good advice I need to remember to follow to :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Text of O'Brien Judgment

Maybe I am in the minority, or perhaps naive, but I have serious issues with the charges of sexism being leveled against Justice Cunningham. I mentioned these before. I cannot believe that in 2009 we have sexist judges sitting on the bench. This could be my naive part.

I also have doubts about the impartiality of the media in the reporting of this "scandal/issue/etc". So I decided to find the judgment and read it for myself. I pasted it here for you enjoyment. Some commentary at the bottom.

[61] The next witness relied upon by the Crown for corroboration was Lisa MacLeod, the MPP for Nepean-Carleton. When she learned in July 2006 that Mr. O'Brien was considering running for Mayor, she arranged a meeting with him. They met July 31st at her constituency office where Mr. O'Brien was accompanied by Mr. David Gibbons. Ms. MacLeod was pleased there might be a Conservative in the mayoralty race and offered Mr. O’Brien some advice regarding the names of potential campaign workers. During the course of their conversation Ms. MacLeod, stated that, in the context of what Mr. Kilrea might do if he were not a candidate, Mr. O'Brien said, "somebody was talking to Terry about an appointment." It wasn't clear who that was.

[62] After telling the Crown she was at the time more interested in the campaign and its people and how excited she was about the people Mr. O'Brien would draw into his campaign, the Crown asked, "Uh-hum, And this discussion with respect to a Parole Board appointment..." At that point, quite properly, the defence objected. After some discussion Ms. MacLeod said, "I believe it was the National Parole Board. Again, it came up casually, 1think once or twice... but we focused generally on (who) would be suitable campaign managers for a Conservative candidate for mayor..." After another question, she responded, "My best recollection is we're talking to Terry about an appointment" which she believed was to the National Parole Board."

[63] During cross-examination, the defence was able to demonstrate that there were a number of rather significant things going on in her life when she gave "her statement to the police in early May 2007. She was commuting regularly to Toronto for her work, leaving her husband and child in Ottawa. As well, in March 2007, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Defence counsel put her statement to her during cross-examination and without reciting her evidence in detail, I conclude that any references to Mr. Kilrea being in line for an appointment were casual, beyond the real subject matter of their conversation and really quite peripheral to the matters at hand. She agreed there was "a considerable rumour mill out there" and at one point told the police officer that "90% of it is rumour" and that her job was to try and figure out what is fact and what is fiction. Initially, during examination-in-chief she testified that Mr. O’Brien said, "somebody was talking to Terry about an appointment". That morphed into “we're talking to Terry about an appointment", following which the Crown introduced the subject of the National Parole Board. She agreed with defence counsel that since May 2007 she had offered several alternatives as to what might have been said by Mr. O'Brien. When asked, "... can you say definitely, just for example, when I say the term "we're", can you say definitely the words that fell from his lips weren't something like "we were", she responded, "Well, in the context of his campaign, I, I, didn't ask him. So I really couldn’t speculate." Later, she was asked, “You didn't know whether in fact it was Mr. Kilrea who initiated discussions about an appointment" to which she responded, "No." And later, "And you didn’t know whether this was an appointment that Mr. Kilrea was working on himself?", to which she responded, "Correct." And then, "...and you didn’t know whether this was a discussion that had taken place in the past. Correct?", to which she responded, "Yes."

[64] Taken as a whole, I cannot conclude that Ms. MacLeod's evidence is corroborative of Mr. Kilrea’s assertion that the "offer" was still outstanding in late July 2006. Ms. MacLeod's recollection of a brief; casual portion of her conversation is so imprecise that, through no fault of her own, I must assign it little weight. The various alternatives as to what might have been said by Mr. O'Brien give me real pause such that I cannot determine with any degree of certainty what was said and whether what was said related to something in the past or something that was ongoing. Nor can I conclude it was said in the context of someone looking after Mr. Kilrea or Mr. Kilrea pursuing an appointment on his own. It could just as easily have been a reference to Mr. Kilrea pursuing an appointment through Mr. Baird, something Mr. O'Brien has testified he encouraged Mr. Kilrea to do.

I bolded what I thought was the most interesting piece. I thing the Justice's talk of commuting, cancer etc were to mitigate any potential embarrassment on Lisa McLeods part for her "imprecise" testimony. She wasn't able to provide any details on her conversations, and the defence turned her testimony on its head. She herself admitted that she presented several alternatives to what was said.

Perhaps she would have been happier if the Justice said she wasn't a believable witness instead of just a distracted participant?

Sorry Girls

but there is nothing wrong with what the judge said in his ruling.

Why must everything be judged through the lenses of sexism? Give me a break.

In his ruling, Judge Cunningham said that "the defence was able to demonstrate that there were a number of rather significant things going on in her life when she gave her statement to the police. … "

"She was commuting regularly to Toronto for her work, leaving her husband and child in Ottawa," he read in his ruling. He concluded that her evidence was not corroborative of the Crown's main witness and said, "I must assign it little weight."

Look at the last sentence of the paragraph, that his the main thrust of the judge's argument in dismissing MPP Lisa MacLeod's testimony.

Now maybe the judge his a sexist prick, and maybe if we look at past judgments we can see a pattern, but this judgment is not sexist. Gender had nothing to do with. Nothing is substantially changed by switching the gender in his text.

In his ruling, Judge Cunningham said that "the defence was able to demonstrate that there were a number of rather significant things going on in his life when he gave his statement to the police. … "

"He was commuting regularly to Toronto for his work, leaving his wife and child in Ottawa," he read in his ruling.

It is pure speculation to say the judge wouldn't have said such a thing if it wasn't Lisa MacLeod, rather it was Luc MacLeod.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The last word on Sotomayor

I remember a few years ago as the same sex marriage debated raged, many on the left argued that the ultimate test of the acceptability of any proposal was if you could switch “gay” for black and not have it seem racist. This argument is often used in other contexts as well.

Let’s take Sotomayor’ infamous 2001 comment and apply the same test shall we, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Now to change this around slightly, “I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived that life.”

In a show of hands now, who finds this comment to be racist now? If a white male judge made this comment or a comment similar he would never have been appointed to the Supreme Court, let alone confirmed.

Of course it’s ok for visible minorities to be racist against the white man. They have to atone for all their centuries of oppressing minorities etc.
Of course it makes sense for Obama to appoint her, he after all seems to be more than willing to play the race card against white policemen with comments that could be construed as racism.

Or should we call it reverse racism? Nah, reverse racism is a stupid term. Racism is racism.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Left-wing not GOP flogging the birther horse

An interesting commentary over at the Daily News about left-wingers and not the GOP pushing the birther story. The commentary argues that the liberals have the most to gain from the inordinate amount of media attention focused on this conspiracy theory.

The birther story is easy to spin as an example of GOP extremism with an important side benefit of changing the story from Obama's increasingly shaky looking healthcare reforms.

The best paragraph in the article is the concluding paragraph:
Yes, it's true. A new poll shows high numbers of Republicans doubting whether Obama was, in fact, born in the U.S. But a 2007 poll found a third of Democrats convinced that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, occurred with the foreknowledge of the Bush administration. The pervasiveness of such conspiracies about the government's complicity in the deadliest assault on American soil is far more worrying than groundless doubts about the legitimacy of the President's birth certificate.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another bailout

The so-called Conservative government of Canada has decided to bailout another company. This time the venerable and vulnerable Air Canada gets to receive tax-payers largess to the tune of 250 million dollars.

This is getting pathetic. A Conservative government is picking winners and losers all over the place. Luckily, I think I have discovered the magic formula the government is using to pick its winners and losers. I shall write this is "pseudo code". Hopefully this isn't too complicated for the non-technical:

if [big partisan politically active union] represents employees of [big company] then
   interfere with market and pay out millions/billions
else if riding of [important and vulnerable MP/minister] then
   interfere with market and pay out millions/billions
   lecture Canadians on the evils of picking winners and losers and do nothing

I still don't understand the logic of saving a few thousand factory jobs and not a few thousand "jobs of the future that are in the knowledge economy". If we have to interfere, let us at least pick jobs that are creative, knowledge based, and drive innovation. Not jobs that insert widget A into widget B.