Damian Penny is again linking to Tim Blair's coverage of the cartoon crisis. This time Blair has a different spin, comparing the Nazi reaction to English cartoonist David Low's depictions of Adolph Hitler and the appeasement attempts of the UK government. It is well worth the read. Here is an excerpt from a speech by Australian treasurer Peter Costello that makes up the bulk of Blair's post:

It wasn"t only Hitler complaining about Low. In 1938 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain singled out Low while appealing to newspapers to temper their critical commentary of Germany. Chamberlain said:
"Such criticism might do a great deal to embitter relations when we on our side are trying to improve them. German Nazis have been particularly annoyed by criticisms in the British press, and especially by cartoons. The bitter cartoons of Low of the Evening Standard have been a frequent source of complaint."

Update: The London Fog has the best headline: Cartoon Fuhrer. They also show one of the cartoons
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/21/2006 03:16:00 p.m. TITLE: Supreme Court of Canada Nominee process. ----- BODY:
Supreme Court of Canada Nominees will have to jump through the hoop of a public questioning prior to being appointed to the bench. This will please some of the electorate, annoy others and most will not know that it happened.

The complaint being addressed is the political nature of the appointments. For reasons difficult to decipher, the solution will be to subject the nominees to the most political of processes. The questions for the nominees will be designed only to promote the political success of the questioner. In short it will be a populist sham.

Good judges need the courage to do that which it is most difficult to do. The easy thing for a judge to do is to make a politically popular decision. It will be wrong legally, bring uncertainty into the system and increase the power of the police or the state. It will destroy the certainty of contract and lessen individual responsibility for individual actions, but the masses will cheer.

Take the worst case example, the police collect evidence on a serial rapist in a manner that violates the rights of said rapist. The easy thing for a judge to do is to allow that evidence to be used at trial to get a conviction. The result will be popular. The masses will cheer. The downside is that the methods used by the police will now be permissible in any investigation. By diminishing the rights of the rapist, the rights of all are diminished.

The tough thing to do, that which will be the most unpopular, is to protect the rights of the accused, throw out the evidence and in the end protect the rights of all individuals from police illegality. The masses will go nuts and the judge and the system will be vilified, but the result will be the correct one and the one that best ensures freedom from the state.

The court is the protector of the individual from the state. The independent court system is what separates Canada, the USA, Britain and those handful of other democracies from a tyranny of the majority. Politicizing the process will not get us better judges, it will get us more popular judges and we will be a lesser society for that.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/17/2006 10:12:00 a.m. TITLE: Screw You Taxpayer! ----- BODY:
The CRTC, no longer content to decide what you can watch, has now decided how your money should be spent.

GATINEAU, QUE — The CRTC said yesterday that Canadian telephone customers have been overbilled to the tune of $652.7-million over the past few years, but the money will not be going back to them.

The federal regulator ruled instead that telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. should use
most of the money -- equivalent to about $50 a customer -- to expand offerings in underserved markets, primarily rural and remote communities.

A great redistribution of income to benefit of all, except for those that actually paid the bulk of the money. A great subsidy to Bell & Telus, which they decided to collect without amny real authorization, except some sort of near authorization for the CRTC who don't think that you need that $50 anyway.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/17/2006 06:41:00 a.m. TITLE: Emerson, Fortier and building a Majority ----- BODY:
I am going to wade in on the new Tory Government's slip coming out of the gate. The appointments of Emerson and Fortier to the cabinet, and in Fortier's case the senate, have sparked no end of criticism from the media, fellow Tories and the opposition. Why, the question must be asked, did Stephen Harper bring his Conservative Government out of the gates this way? Greg Weston is writing in the Sun that the gravy train is still running in Quebec:

Lawrence Cannon, an able former minister in the Quebec government, has been put in charge of a new and giant federal cash cow that combines the transport and infrastructure portfolios, the latter spewing money at cities for everything from subways to sewers.

But no one in Harper's new cabinet will be more popular in the Quebec business community than Michael Fortier, the newly
unelected political boss of Public Works (via a Senate appointment), the minister responsible for the awarding of more than $13 billion a year in federal contracts.

Harper's putting so much spending power in the hands of Quebec
ministers is a clear signal that the federal spigot will once again flood La Belle Province with public largesse.

Again, the question being asked is why, but the real question is why not? The road to a majority government for Stephen Harper lies in Quebec, not Toronto. Ask yourself, will Harper lose his Western base over these appointments or will he actually be helping himself in Vancouver? Will these appointments help or hurt Harper in Quebec? Will these appointments help or hurt Harper in non-416 Ontario? Will they help him or hurt him in Atlantic Canada? The answer to all will be that they either help or do not hurt.

Harper has gotten these things out of the way early and they will be forgotten when the House opens and a budget is prepared. The end game for Harper is a majority government in 18-24 months and to do this he needs Quebec and to increase his seats in British Columbia. This will allow him to jump over Toronto where he stands virtually no chance of picking up more seats even if he was endorsed by Gretzky, Don Cherry, Mohammed and Jesus.

Quebec and Atlantic politics are about the gravy train and having epresentation in cabinet that can deliver the same. There are no two ways about it. Harper's approach is the obvious one. Instead of just trying to change the political game in this country he is trying to play it.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/17/2006 06:23:00 a.m. TITLE: Tim Blair calls the media on Islamic Cartoons ----- BODY:
Best quote on the cartoon crisis comes from Tim Blair:
"They won"t publish cartoons, but they will run anything they can get out of Abu Ghraib. Both sets of images provoke Islamic anger; note how the media behaves when that anger is directed at them."

There is a lot of rationalizing going on in the media these days. As commented before, the media are not printing the Mohammed cartoons out of fear and then justifying it as respect. Why, the question is asked, do you need to show the cartoons to report the story? Well, it kinda puts things perspectiveive. The reader/viewer can see what the stink is all about. It seems obvious to me.

With that said, opposition to printing pictures from Abu Ghraib will never be found at this site.

UPDATE: Damian Penny has more

UPDATE II: You will note that I do not have the cartoon posted. Frankly I do not know how to post a cartoon, but here is a link.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/16/2006 02:24:00 p.m. TITLE: Going after the the law abiding ----- BODY:
Normally, when a politician or an interest group cannot or will not take the necessary steps to tackle a legal problem they react by going after those who actually obey the law.

Look at the feds with the gun registry - the use of guns in the commission of a crime is a problem; the solution is to have those who use their guns for legal purposes register the same under the threat of criminal sanction.

Check out MADD these days - not content with getting those at .08 off the road, they now are going after those law abiders who have a couple of beers and call it a night, wanting to reduce the limit to .05.

It is the mayor of Toronto, David Miller, however, who is taking the cake. We have a gun problem in Toronto.... I'm not sure but I think the Jamaican gangsters vote for Miller..... I know! Let's ban toy guns! That's the ticket!

Like a crazed fundamentalists, Mayor Miller will not tolerate even the image of a gun.

I'm sure this will work and things should be getting a lot safer around Jane and Finch
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/10/2006 03:22:00 p.m. TITLE: Colby Cosh Calls It Right On Islamic Cartoons ----- BODY:
Colby Cosh is dead on when he says that it we are not free to say fuck Islam then we are not free. Freedom of speech is not an isue when someone is saying something we want to hear, it is only an issue when the statement is something that we find offensive. Expression is a right, not a privilege,to be allowed or revoked by the state or some dark ages religion.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/10/2006 07:55:00 a.m. TITLE: The Gretzky Non-Scandal ----- BODY:
I lost major interest in NHL hockey some years ago. A stupid game run by stupid people slowly became my view and every time Booby Clarke opened his mouth it confirmed it for me. With that said, I was a big Gretzky fan. The way I saw it, he was the Babe Ruth of hockey, the greatest to ever play and I was lucky enough to be around to watch.

Now, the Great One has himself in the middle of some gambling ring and the media are gone mad. Did you know that his wife bet $5000 on who would win the coin flip on Superbowl Sunday? What a shock!I bet $5 on the same thing...and $5 on whether a field goal would be made along with another $5 on what side would be the miss (if any). I had a little over $80 in a variety of bets on the game itself. Relative to the wealth of the Great One, it is hard to say who had more on the line. A lot of these bets took place on my blackberry with some buddies a couple of time zones away.

I also chipped in on some pro-line, and that brings me to my point: the biggest sports books in Canada are run by the Governments of Canada. In the good old USA, the state also has the bulk of the interest in gambling out side of Vegas. The scandal that is so widely talked about is this... the state is pissed off that it did not get its cut. It may be couched in the language of organized crime and protection of some unknown innocent, but the reality is that gambling is one of the vices that the government likes to hold for itself. The reason is obvious, there is so much cash involved.

So the Great One, his wife, his buddies and some underworld figures may well have been throwing a few bucks on the game. Who really cares? Unless he was betting on his own team in hockey then I am sure that the Gretzky family, like all other gamblers, win some and lose some with more losses than wins.
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/06/2006 03:26:00 p.m. TITLE: 4x4 Tag ----- BODY:
Tagged by Ian Scott:

4 vehicles I have owned

  1. Ford Escort
  2. GMC Jimmy
  3. Dodge Caravan
  4. Caprice Classic Station wagon inherited from my folks

4 jobs that I have had

  1. Tour Guide
  2. Lawyer
  3. Communications Consultant (planning, not writing)
  4. President of a Garden Supply Company

4 places that I have lived

  1. Waterloo, ON
  2. St. John's, NF
  3. Halifax, NS
  4. Fredericton, NB

4 vacations

  1. Iceland - a beautiful island with a unique history.
  2. China - they won't take over the world because they can't get their own shit together
  3. Eagle Mountain -best ski-dooing in the country
  4. Gander River - most pleasurable fly fishing (Atlantic salmon) in the country
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/06/2006 09:17:00 a.m. TITLE: Day of Anger ----- BODY:
Apparently the Muslim world is up in arms over some Cartoons or some such thing. Burning the ever ready supply of Danish flags during protests in the Muslim Street, the submissives are ready to defend the honor of the prophet by slaughtering the non-believers. Before the Cartoons, they were ready to slaughter the non-believers so I don't see how this is news.

Plenty of media outlets have decided not to publish the cartoons out of respect. Those media outlets are simply lying. They will not publish the cartoons out of fear. The editors have families and no real interest in being killed by some Muslim whack job, thus no publication of the cartoon.

Has anyone else noticed that western tolerance is simply tolerating the intolerance of others?
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/03/2006 02:27:00 p.m. TITLE: Where have the Liberals Gone ----- BODY:
When Jean Charest left the Federal Tories for his adventures in Quebec, the Tory party collapsed. Charest was a strong leader with the support of what was left of the party and there was not an heir in sight. The result was a leadership vacuum that left the Tories with Joe Clark, who really was persona non grata with the Canadian public and his own caucus. More interested in being Joe Clark than in building the party, the Tories wallowed.

The follow up to Clark was just as weak. Peter MacKay, Scott Brison, Belinda Stronach, David Orchard all ran for the job, but none were leaders to inspire. MacKay, who had been positioning himself for years as the successor to Clarke, proved the victor; but the victory was hollow. MacKay came to power by striking a deal with David Orchard and his dangerous ideas. Watching the Tory Leadership Convention's last day was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. By the time it was done, MacKay and the Tories were finished.

Then along came Stephen Harper and his Alliance crew to bail out MacKay and give the old Tories something that they could again work towards - defeating the Liberals. The stars line up, Harper is stronger than anticipated, and after 12 years in the wilderness, the Tories are back in power.

Now look at today's Liberals. There are plenty of heirs in sight but they all face the same problems:
  1. The next leader of the party has to have clean hands. There cannot be a hint of scandal. If you are a powerful Liberal, this is near impossible. The stink is all over them. The scandals surrounding the Liberal Party are far from over. Those of the Chretien camp are rotten to the core with the graft. They simply cannot run.
  2. Those in the Martin Camp are discredited and disillusioned. They were geared up for internal fights but they had no plan B. Plan A was to govern with 200 seats and undue the damage done by Chretien. Instead they did the impossible and lost the Government. Still, they do have control of the party apparatus and they will not be turning it over to the Chretien crowd without a fight.
  3. Those who would be heirs cannot be bothered to take a crack at rebuilding a party with compound fractures and tens of millions of dollars of debt.

Since there are no heirs willing to take it on ... Copps, Tobin, Rock, Manley, McKenna, are all out ... the non-heirs start to look good to the Liberals. Dryden, Brison & Stronach, with no history or base in the Party are looking good. Our Man at Harvard would have to be a front runner though he could take a lesson from Charest about returning to a jurisdiction that you left so long ago. Again, where is his base? Dion is the Frenchman, and it is a Frenchman's turn, but the Quebec wing of the party is so heavily damaged that one has to wonder about Dion's base as well.

None of these cats three years ago thought they had a chance at being Prime Minister. The Liberals are in a leadership vacuum and their party, while not as spilt as the Tories & Reformers were, is going to require major surgery to put the pieces back together, particularly in Quebec. All of this is good news for Stephen Harper.

-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/01/2006 11:13:00 a.m. TITLE: when is an expert not an expert? ----- BODY:
-------- AUTHOR: Little Tobacco DATE: 2/01/2006 10:34:00 a.m. TITLE: School kids denied pot by 25lb bust ----- BODY:
Apparently the high school students in Nefoundland are not much for smoking pot. The RCMP seized a whopping 25 pounds of the green stuff and, according to the Mounties, this is going to have a significant impact on the school yard supply. Now that they are off the pot, perhaps the students can do the math : $225,000 / 25lb = $9000/lb.... wow, that is great business. Forget about University... hell don't even bother finishing high school... with that 25lbs off the school yard, it is not like you can even get high.

TCH bust kept dope off schoolyards: police
A St. John's man has been arrested in connection with a seizure of
marijuana on the highway near Corner Brook.

RNC and RCMP officers seized marijuana they said had a street value of about $225,000.

The marijuana was seized from a car stopped late last week on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Michael Francis Reardon has been charged with possession for the purpose of

RNC Deputy Chief Bob Johnston said the find was an important one.
"What you see before you is – from a street level perspective – a significant amount of marijuana that could have an impact in schoolyards and with our young people," Johnston said.

"We think it's 25 pounds less than probably would have ended up on the streets."
Police suspect the marijuana was imported from another province.

Reardon is set to appear again in court at the end of February