"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There is no Walmart in New York?

I always just assumed that New York city had a Walmart.

But I guess not.


Frustrated by a bruising, and so far unsuccessful battle to open its first discount store in the nation’s largest city, Wal-Mart’s chief executive said yesterday, “I don’t care if we are ever here.”

He went on to say:

Speaking about what he sees as snobbish elites in New York and across the country, Mr. Scott added, “You have people who are just better than us and don’t want a Wal-Mart in their community.”

You know what they need? More people like this:


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Conservative boxes left behind - what is the deal with all this?

Hat tip to fuddle-duddle

This is a weird story. Here is the Ottawa News Story:


Accusing the minority government of "gross negligence", two Liberal MPs had 10 boxes of Conservative personnel files carted on a trolley for three blocks through pouring rain to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office in order to have them returned.

The files contain highly personal information, judgments on individual employee performance and comments by their peers and supervisors, Ontario MP Mark Holland and Montreal MP Marlene Jennings said. They accused the government of "gross ineptitude" and "cavalier disregard" for privacy.



According to the Liberals:


The Liberals said some of the documents were found in drawers of offices abandoned by the Conservatives and others were in boxes.

The documents were left behind in the first-floor offices of a parliamentary building after officials from the Conservative research bureau moved to third-floor offices the Liberal research office had occupied for many years.



According to the Conservatives:



I tend to err on the side of the Cons screwed up - but if they can actually make a case that the boxes were "stolen" then this could backfire on the Liberals.

According to Big City Lib These are the same boxes that yielded the Stockwell Day payoff scandal so there are some juicy contents in these boxes.

I get the sense this story is just getting started........

Ah... the70's, good times!






Nuclear Power is Safe!





note: this is a joke, see the "humour" tag below

Monday, March 26, 2007

Saskatchewan Budget - Surplus or Deficit?

The Sask Party and their lapdogs in the media and the blogosphere are trying to smear the budget that was recently tabled as a deficit budget. The numbers can get confusing and it is easy to point to any given table or chart in the budget and say "Ah ha - this number says they are running a deficit"

Part of the problem is that there are a number of ways that one can say if a a budget is a deficit budget or a surplus budget.

Revenue/Expenditure

One of the simple ways, that appeals to some people, is the answer to the question "Did you spend more than you took in in revenue?" I personally have some problems and some caveats with this method but let's assume that this is how you want to make your judgment.

Let's take a look at the budget, shall we? (Page 48)


What you are seeing is that last year the government spent 700 million less than it brought in and this year the budget calls for the government to spend 79 million less than it brought in.

So Surplus, right?

Well, this doesn't take into account debt servicing, the fiscal stabilization fund, the Saskatchewan infrastructure fund, crown corporation debt and debt servicing, some payments for the crown corporations to the government through non-dividend means, worker's compensation board issues and so on and so on.

That's why I don't like it and think it is simplistic.

But if anyone tries to claim that the NDP are spending more that they are taking in - that is just completely false.

Debt Increase/Decrease

Another way that people try to determine if their is a deficit budget is to look at the total debt at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year. If the total debt went up then it is a deficit, if the debt went down it is a surplus (I am a bigger fan of this method than the last one)

So let's see the budget (greensheets page 1)


You will see that the actual debt in 2006 is $11,228 million and the projected debt in 2007 is $11,150 million which is a decrease of 78 million in debt.

So it's a surplus right?

Well, most economists actually care if the debt is manageable or not when they talk about debt. So we have to look at debt as a percentage of GDP: A decrease in 2% of debt/GDP.

So why is the Sask Party claiming a deficit? This brings me to the third way of looking at budget surplus/deficits
Summery Financial Statements
Let's look at the budget (Greensheets again)

See, they want you to ignore that whole GRF surplus thing of 79 million and they want you to focus on the summary deficit/surplus number at the bottom. That 701 million "deficit"

But it says "deficit" right? So there is a deficit?

Not really. On a SFS basis everything is added together into one pool (al the stuff I was talking about earlier) and transactions BETWEEN branches are ELIMINATED to avoid double-counting. (This is similar in principle to the way economists calculate the GDP of a nation of province - you look at the final numbers, not each step along the way)

However, what this means is that the transfers from the fiscal stabilization fund to the general revenue fund is counted as an expense.

Think about that.

If you are running your household budget and you are a two-income family but the wife transfers some money into the husband's bank account so he can make a mortgage payment - what would you count as the expense?

The final mortgage payment right?

But on a summery financial statement you would have to include the wifes "transfer" as an expense because it came out of her account.

That's not how most people would operate, but from an accounting perspective it is correct.

That's the argument that the Sask Party is making - you have to ignore revenues over expenses, ignore if the debt goes up or down, and simply look at the one number that uses a weird accounting principle.

You also have to ignore the budget documents that show, clearly, a surplus in the general revenue fund.

If that good enough for you? No. Well it is good enough for the Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Montreal agrees with the government that the NDP is running a surplus (14 in a row to be precise) and that the province should get "top marks" for keeping spending in check.

(hat tip: buckdog)

If you want to argue with me on this point - and continue to make the spurious claim that the NDP is running a deficit then you must answer the following two points:

1) Why should we ignore the FSF when determining the status of the deficit/surplus?

2) Where did the Bank of Montreal go wrong in its analysis?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Creation/Evolution Debate

The Simpsons had a great evolution couch gag this week - but YouTube doesn't have it (Yet)

So.....

I bring you the best of the creation/evolution debate























Update: Here it is



Quebec Election Prediction

Made with no information but my gut and some poll numbers (In other words, I am just pulling these numbers out of my ass)

Liberals: 60 seats
Separatists: 49 seats
Mario: 16 seats

So that is a minority Liberal government that will be propped up by the ADQ.

If you want a real prediction then go here

Saturday, March 24, 2007

How much trouble are the Liberal in?

It's bad enough when you have this type of story:


The poll, conducted exclusively by Ipsos-Reid for CanWest News Service and Global Television after the Harper government delivered its new budget, shows the Tories have opened up an 11-point lead nationally over Stephane Dion's Liberals.

Grit support plunged to 29% from 34% in a survey conducted a week earlier.

Moreover, the poll indicates the Conservatives have opened up a 10-point lead (43% to 33%) over the Liberals in Ontario, the crown jewel of Canadian politics with 106 seats. They also are locked in a virtual tie with them in Quebec, 26%-25% for the Liberals. Quebec has 75 federal seats.



But what is even worse, is this, you never, ever want this type of story:

His zinger in turn provoked Liberal Leader Stephane Dion to charge that Mr. Harper was trying to bully him. It seemed a particularly feeble -- dare we say, whimpy -- accusation for a grown man to make.

Then don't follow it, Mr. Dion. Or do. Either way, stop whining like a child whose older brother just got a bigger lollypop. Act like a leader, or at least a grownup politician. Accept that in the cut-and-thrust of political jousting your opponents are going to make allegations against you and your party every bit as outsized as the ones you make against them.
Ouch! If this "whimpy" meme takes off then game over - it is Dion's "Mr. Dithers" tag.

Remember Joe Clark?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Details of the Saskatchewan Budget

My first take on the 2007 Saskatchewan Budget:

  • A New Parmicare plan for Seniors - No Senior will have to pay more than $15 a month for all precription drugs. This is the most significant expansion of health services for seniors in a generation

  • New tax incentives for new graduates so that if they stay in the province, or move here from elsewhere, that the first $20,000 of income will be tax-free for 5 years for a total of $100,000 worth of tax-free income.

  • The start of the return of the Children's dental program (I hope) with a targeted dental program for grades 1 to 7 in community schools.

  • Keeping the University Tuition Freeze or a third year

  • A $5 billion/Ten Year Plan for Highways

  • Continuing to cut business taxes

  • Continuing to have the lowest sales tax in Canada

  • Providing property tax relief

This is one of the most left-wing, socially progressive budgets that I have ever seen from this government and it obviously an attempt to shore-up left wing support leading into an election campaign.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The most "Liberal Budget ever"?

John Ibbitson over at the globe and mail adds insult to injury with his comments on the budget


How Liberal is this allegedly Conservative budget? It's so Liberal that it actually revives the sponsorship program.
and

There was a time when some of us thought Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty were conservatives: prudent politicians who were definably to the right of, say, Jack Layton or St├ęphane Dion. What fools we were.
and

The only losers -- apart from the opposition parties, which are left slack-jawed, with nothing meaningful to oppose (although that won't stop them) -- will be those few remaining citizens who would actually like to vote for a conservative party. No such creature exists any more.
and finally (and funnily)

This is so Liberal, the Grits should sue for breach for copyright.
I (like most dippers) have always said "Liberal, Tory, Same old Story" but who knew just how true that was?

Monday, March 19, 2007

How is the Conservative budget playing with Conservatives?

Or at least the bloging ones?

From The Calvinball Dairies


The 2007 Budget is a complete sell out. I would have nothing good to say about this document if a Liberal government tabled it, and I have nothing good to say about it now. This is a budget without one redeeming feature.

From Sham the Tory Man:

After watching Jim Flaherty deliver the Harper government's second budget lets just say I wanted to reach for the Pepto Bismol since there wasn't anything conservative about it apart from the blue cover (which might as well have been pink).

From A Step to the Right

Well, I’m disappointed with the 2007 Federal Budget. I really had my hopes up for an income tax split cut, but I guess I’ll have to wait at least another year for that.

From Proud to be Canadian

I’ve heard a Mr. Flaherty deliver a budget for the past while, but I heard the Conservatives were going to spit one out today. Still waiting.

From Political Staples

The highest spending government in the history of Canada and three parties to the left of that party. That's how Andrew Coyne characterized the budget on an ad hoc edition of the At Issue Panel.

From Kerplonka!

I guess you could sum up my reaction in the word "underwhelmed". The fundamental problem is that Harper's trying to be all things to all people, trying to do too much with too little.

From The Politic.com

An unconservative, election-ready budget. I’ll be forgiving, because I don’t want to see a Liberal government in a month, but this had better not be a pattern. Seven percent increases in spending are appalling, and not what I expect from this government.

From BC Tory

As far as this budget goes, it's great for politics, but not for policy. It's a safe, centrist budget that is designed to woo voters, but, as far as the Conservative base goes, it leaves a sour taste in their mouth. It may gain votes, but it lacks the one thing I've long clamoured for in this budget: some delicious fiscal conservatism. I've got the napkin on my lap, fork and knife in hand, and it seems as if I will go home starving. Quite a sad state of affairs.

From Wundrick Blog

And now word comes that the NDP and Liberals are going to oppose it anyway. Good grief - if that's the case, I certainly hope it's because they think we're spending too much.

And - saving the best comment for last, From Kerplonka! (Again)

"What's our next step? Start the Reform Party?"

Geeze, with this kind of endorsement, maybe I will have to change my mind and support the budget.

Update: Not just Tories are pissed off at the budget

Conservative Budget Breaks Promise to Saskatchewan

If this story is true then they broke their promise :


The Conservative budget proposes to exclude 50 per cent of non-renewable natural resources from the formula used to calculate equalization payments to the provinces. Premiers Lorne Calvert of Saskatchewan and Danny Williams of Newfoundland had lobbied hard for 100 per cent exclusion of non-renewable natural resources, but analysts had predicted 50 per cent inclusion was more realistic.
Does this break the promise? Decide for yourself:

here is the conservative plan:



The plan
A Conservative government will:
• Work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of fiscal imbalance in a permanent fashion.
• Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.

"Ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula" Not "removed with a cap" not "sort or removed but not really"

Let's see what the conservatives said in the house:

“The matter of equalization has to do with Saskatchewan's natural resources which by right of the Constitution we should have complete access to, we should have total and complete benefit of.
- Mr. Bradley Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC) Hansard

"It is our position that non-renewable resources such as oil and gas should not be in the formula. "
- Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC) Hansard

"Will the minister or his designate stand in the House today and do what is right, do what is fair, and simply commit to the elimination of the clawback provisions and give Saskatchewan people the same deal as afforded to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia?"
- Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC) Hansard
It was interesting to hear him say that equalization is not really about equality. It seems to me that it is…. We know that the current equalization formula is flawed…. We agree that Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia deserve to keep their offshore gas and oil revenues. However, we think that what is fair for those provinces is also fair for Saskatchewan…. . This change should be a slam dunk.
- Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC) Hansard
"Representatives of the people of Saskatchewan are obliged to speak out against an equalization system that penalizes our province with an over-emphasis on non-renewable resources and a complete failure to accurately measure fiscal capacity.
- Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, CPC) Hansard

This means the following (according to CTV again)


The fiscal capacity cap, another new measure in the budget, is intended to ensure that the formula doesn't unfairly bring a receiving province's overall fiscal capacity to a level higher than that of any non-receiving, or "have" provinces.

Under the measure, no province can bring in more revenue than Ontario, which doesn't receive a payment from the equalization program earns less revenue than Alberta.

That cap has a significant effect on Saskatchewan, which is currently a have-not province but has significant natural resources revenue.


In other words, Saskatchewan is to get about 220 million.

THAT IS NOT WHAT WAS PROMISED

To put it into perspective, a new equalization deal would have meant an additional $750 million for Saskatchewan, my province, this year alone.
- Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC) Hansard

"It is estimated that Saskatchewan, had it received that same deal a decade ago, would have received an additional $8 billion for the province from non-renewable resource revenues…. In regard to equalization, Saskatchewan is being treated very unfairly
- Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC) Hansard

"By my understanding, if Saskatchewan were allowed to keep 100% of its non-renewable natural resources, it would mean an estimated $800 million yearly and perhaps even higher than that".
- Tom Lukiwski source: Federal Hansard, March 22, 2005

Remember that Saskatchewan Conservative MP's - Brad Trost, according to the CBC said that Saskatchewan would get the "best deal ever" which may be true - but he also said that it would be just as good as they were promising:

Brad Trost said while caucus discussions are confidential, MPs from Saskatchewan are intent on keeping their promise to get a new equalization deal for the province.

"Let me give you a 100 per cent guarantee, Prime Minister Harper will give Saskatchewan the best deal it's ever had from any prime minister ever, " he said.


A 100% guarantee, eh? That's a pretty strong statement. But it ge's even better, what does Trost go on to say:

Asked if that would be the same deal the Conservatives campaigned on, Trost said: "If it isn't, it better be better."
Let's see what his fellow MP Tom Lukiwiski had to say (from the same article:

Before the Conservatives formed the goverment, Lukiwski said the two proposed changes to the equalization formula could mean at least $2 billion a year extra for Saskatchewan government coffers.


So Saskatchewan gets 220 million - which is not $2 billon or $8 billion or even $800 million - which are all numbers that THE CONSERVATIVES SAID WE WOULD GET

This has been a Saskatchewan Screw Job - Harper Style

Read more here

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saskatchewan Conservative Party Health Care Plan Leaked to Media

This "newspaper" somehow got a hold of the Sask Party's plan for Health Care in Saskatchewan:


Health care is all about exclusivity, pure and simple. It's for a group of like-minded people bonded by the dream of only having to contribute a portion of their weekly wages to ensure unfettered access to a number of licensed health care professionals. If we change all that, health care will be about as elite as a public restroom, open to any yokel who waltzes into an emergency room

Saturday, March 17, 2007

$60 Gadget Could Reduce Greenhouse Gas by 2 million tonnes a year

If this is true then the government should offer a tax break to the stores and manufactures to get the price of this thing down as low as possible to get people to buy them.


The £25 gadget significantly reduces the amount of energy used by fridges and freezers, which are estimated to consume about a fifth of all domestic electricity in the UK. If one was fitted to each of the 87 million refrigeration units in Britain, carbon dioxide emissions would fall by more than 2 million tonnes a year.
£25 = about $60 Canadian but the cheaper the better

Let's do this thing!

Layton Stands up For Saskatchewan

At least one federal leader cares about Saskatchewan:


NDP leader Jack Layton says he can't support the upcoming federal budget if it doesn't deal with an issue near and dear to the Saskatchewan government — equalization payments.

Remember when Conservative MP Brad Trost said this:

Finally, it should be noted that only the Conservatives are fighting for Saskatchewan to receive the full benefits of it's natural resources. The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are opposed to Saskatchewan receiving those benefits and the federal NDP has studiously avoided the issue.

Suck it Trost.

Suck it long and suck it hard.

McDonalds answers some tough questions

I kid you not. At the British Website for McDonalds they have a number of frequently asked questions.

I want to know how many times this question was asked:

That' s right - Why did your emplyees [sic] ejactulate [sic] into my grandmother's milkshake?

Some Teenager can get nuclear fusion but the government can't?

So here is the story:


In 2006 Thiago Olson joined the extremely sparse ranks of amateurs worldwide who have achieved nuclear fusion with a home apparatus. In other words, he built the business end of a hydrogen bomb in his basement. The plasma "star in a jar"—shown at the left—demonstrated his success.


Are you telling me this kid (who had to take time off to play high school sports) can get some sort of fusion deal working in his basement and the government can't fund the research to make this stuff happen?

Come on.

Imagine for a second if the provincial and federal governments put 1/2 as much money into research for alternative energy as they did into conventional energy sources.

For example, imagine if the University of Regina and the Provincial Government had gotten together and made an alternative energy research center instead of a petroleum research center

Think about it - Regina would be a world leader in wind, solar or something else, instead of wasting valuable public funding on a resource that will not only run out, but is polluting the atmosphere.

That would be progressive

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fox News in Trouble?

We can only hope.

From mydirectdemocracy:



In all likelihood, Fox News has a less profitable and less influential demographic base than CNN, which is why their larger audience isn't translating to higher profits. Their partisan branding problem is probably something that's always made them nervous and something they've always papered over with an aggressive 'Fair and Balanced' branding campaign (Air America, which is overt about its ideology, has trouble with advertisers).


Yep. That's Fox News - Fair And Balanced:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Blogger Beta and Post Footers

Hey - so I finally got the footer code to work for post in the new blogger so now people can vote on progressive bloggers for my posts, and add them to their bookmarks in a couple of different ways.

I know probably that everyone else has already figured this out and so it isn't a big deal but I am pretty proud all the same.

Look below to see what I am talking about:

Update: So just after I made this post someone e-mailed this to me and it was just to appropriate not to add to this post.

In some small way, these social bookmarking tags below are part of something bigger....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

On the Blogging Dippers Controversy Part III (and Final)

You all know the deal with this so I am not even going to link to my previous 2 posts on this topic.

So to show the difference between somebody with class and somebody without class we will ook at the following examples.

Robert McClelland shows class:


As you all know, recently I made a remark in the comments of a post that many people felt was offensive to Jews and crossed the boundaries of what constitutes good behaviour in the blogosphere.My comment was never intended to cause offense to anyone but it did and so I sincerely apologize for making it.
It wasn't a faux apology and even though it may (or may not) have been driven by the voting results of the blogging dippers site - you cannot deny that it takes a big man to admit they were wrong and say they are sorry.

Warren Kinsella on the other hand in his National Post Article shows he is sort of a dick


Robert McClelland (if that is his real name) is a blogger in the London area. For years, McClelland has posted some of the most offensive -- and stridently anti-Semitic -- material in the Canadian blogosphere.
Arrrrg. Get over yourself Warren.

And as for the "if that is his real name" game set, and match goes to Robert for his response here.

And as for Cherniak?

He is still going at it - and this part made me laugh out loud:

As I've discussed before, I don't actually like getting into "ethnic politics".
Shut the Fuck Up Jason.

At least Warren has earned the right to be a dick - you haven't.

This is why the NDP has allways stood up for civil liberties

One of the main reasons that I have been proud of the New Democratic Party over the years is our stance on civil liberties. From Tommy Douglas et. al. voting against the War Measures Act to the NDP being the only party to be consistently opposed to the Anti-Terrorism stupidity coming out of the federal government in recent years (that the liberals enacted opposed)

Why?

Because of stuff like this


Americans learned today that the F.B.I. has been abusing its authority under the Patriot Act to obtain private information about American citizens without judicial approval. So says a report issued today by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Priests to purify site after Bush visit

link


"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Is Coner Gas Ending?

I can't figure this out. I read this from the Edmonton Journal:


Corner Gas, the hit comedy about a the quirky characters living in a fictitious Saskatchewan town, is closing shop.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make a guest appearance on next week’s final episode.

In a news release today, CTV says the series will air its last episode March 12 with Brent closing his gas station and Lacy leaving the Ruby and moving back to Toronto.


And this looks pretty final to me

But there is this that sort of gives me hope that all is not lost.

Anyone heard any more about this that me?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On the NDP Blogging Controversy Part II

Read part I here wherein a the administrator of the blogging dippers makes a comment that is in poor taste and as a result the blogging dippers, progressive bloggers, liberal bloggers and possiby the Federal NDP all go nuts.

Discussion Point 1 - Robert McClelland

He made the correct and valid point that he is not "in charge" of the blogging dippers nor is affiliated with the federal party. He also has worked to put up discussion pieces for the blogging dippers to work through this issue. I defend freedom of speech and so Mr. McClelland had every right to say what he said. However, it was (in my opinion) offensive and should not have been said.

Discussion Point 2 - Progressive Bloggers

However, for the progressive bloggers to summarily remove him from the blog rolls is a bit of an overreaction in my opinion. It is not as if there were not enough condemnations of him floating around the net that they could reasonably argue that his speech was being tolerated or accepted.
Couldn't they have made an editorial statement saying that these types of posts were not welcome and that if another one was made THEN he would be removed?

It just makes me wonder what I will say that will get me banned someday?

Update: And I am not the only one

Uperdate: I have modified this post so many times I have lost track, but I got some e-mails about this and I wanted to be clear.

1) Progressive Bloggers has the right to ban whomever they want - I just don't agree with this particualr decision.

2) Scott Tribe has been a gentleman about the whole thing: see here here and particularly here


Discussion Point 3 - Jason Cherniak

A post from my discussion yesterday said:


Frankly, given Jason's past BS attacks on the NDP, I quite frankly think that he is doing this for Rovian reasons - using the cudgel of anti-semitism as a weapon to attack his opponents and political enemies. I think his self-congratulatory post shows that. Anything for political advantage to the Liberals

[snip]

right now I think Jason is one of the most dangerous people in the political blogshpere. Don't cross him, because he can fuck you up, as this incident clearly shows.

which I thought was a bit unfair (at least the second part). However, Jason is far from having clean hands on these types of issues as Eugene Plawiuk points out on his blog. Cherniak can try to spin this all he wants but the fact is that he was taking advantage of the situation to attack the NPD.

If you want Jason's arguments completely and utterly trashed then read this post by Idealistic Pragmatist on the topic. Or even (warning: blogging tory link) here

Update: to sum it all up I go to Mike's comments over here

Robert may insult my sensibilities, but Jason endangers my liberty. I know which of the two worries me more.
However, my major beef isn't with Jason, it is with the Federal Party that gave him the ammunition to do this, which brings me to my next point

Discussion Point 4 - The Federal NDP

I guess there will be a blogging dipper "official" blog roll from the Federal NDP. Hopefully this will lead them getting a freeeking clue when it comes to the blogosphere (read my comments from part I)

For example, why the hell does Cherniak get to throw these facts in my face (from the comments section of yesterday's post)

To be fair to your party, though, none of the NDP bloggers have a readership equivalent to me or Kinsella.
And he gets to add insult to injury by pointing this out in his blog:

When Jack Layton did a blog interview, it was with the head of the Blogging Tories. Today, when the NDP wanted to counteract Mr. McClelland's comment and disclaim any connection to him, they used me and Warren Kinsella.
these are all true facts, and the Federal NDP needs to give it's head a shake. If you want the NDP blogs to cover NDP-related news then, oh, I don't know......tell NDP blogs the news?

Nah, that'll never work.

However, this plan is not without it's own possible problems. As the Jurist points out this could lead to MORE of these types of situations, not less.

And for more possible problems read the post (and comments) over here

Discussion Point 5 - The Blogging Dippers

Major hat tips need to go out to Northern BC dipper for this

and the Mind of a Netjin for this

and especially leethaxor for setting this all up

Update: My comments posters corrected me - it was Netjin that set it all up - my bad.

The blogging dippers are starting to band together to deal with this situation and for that those mentioed above (and others if I forgot you) should be commended.

Unlike the progressive bloggers the blogging dippers are attempting to set up a democratic process with open and transparent debate.

I'm not sure this is the answer to the problem, but already the blogging dippers have proved to be better at dealing with this situation than either the progressive bloggers or the Federal NDP.

Monday, March 05, 2007

On the NDP Blogging Controversy

So based on this post the person who runs the blogging dippers aggregator seems to have ignited a firestorm of protest across the blogosphere. Most notably from Liberals (who might, just might, not have the NDP's best interests at heart) such as Cherniak and Kinsellsa

Normaly I would say that this is the libblogers traditional overt-the-top rhetoric towards the NDP, I mean, Jason "the NDP is sick" Cherniak is not exactly our best friend, right?

But now the federal party went and got involved.

Jason now has a copy of a letter from the President of the federal party wherein she says the following:


I am writing in regard to some highly offensive comments that appear on a blog operated by Robert McClelland The statements allegedly made by Mr. McClelland are repugnant and in no way represent the views of our Party.

I want to assure you that the New Democratic Party of Canada, its provincial sections and local riding associations are not affiliated with Mr. McClelland or his independently operated blogroll, the "blogging dippers"

The NDP is undertaking the development of a new blog roll that better reflects the views and needs of the New Democrats in the blogosphere

So here's is what pisses me off. Robert goes out of his way to admit that he is not affiliated with the NDP (and rightfully so) .

However, even though I disagree with his speech, he has done a service for the blogging dipper community.

The fact that I had to find out about this from a Liberal web page, from an anti-ndp liberal blogger goes to show me that the federal NDP just doesn't get it.

They couldn't find ONE SINGLE NDP BLOGGER TO POST THIS?!!!???!!!??

Good luck getting a party blog site started when you treat the actual bloggers of your party like crap guys!

Robert deserved to get at least a copy of the letter cc'ed to him and the rest of the blogging dippers deserved a heads up.

Update: Some other blogging dippers have gotten in no the act and most are of a similar line to me. Canadian Observer points out that Cherniak is silly and takes a shot at the Party President

Northern BC Dipper also points out the hypocracy of Cherniak but doesn't address the the Federal Party's involvement

the bigwigs in the blogosphere all weight in here

And then there is some more here, here here and here

Uperdate: And still some more, and more, but the best quote comes from a comment in Cherniak's post:


Dammit, Cherniak, things are rocky enough right now without up-thrusting young Liberals trying to make cheap political hay out of this mess, and defensive NDP officials going nuts on us.

You let us progressives clean house, as most assuredly we will. Just stop telling us what to do. We don't need you or Anne McGrath trying to make the Blogging Dippers crowd collectively responsible for the outrageous comments of one blogger. (I'm not a BDer myself, incidentally.)

Anne's announced intention to set up a new NDP blogroll, with her innuendo about the Blogging Dippers, is unconscionable. Her reaction may delight you, and shore up some political support at the same time, but there's a lot of mud in the air at the moment, flung at a lot of decent people, and it would be nice if that sort of thing were to cease.

The last thing we need is widening the loop on this, to take in the NDP brass, the Liberal Party and the Canadian Jewish Congress. I'm amazed the starboard side of the blogosphere hasn't been eating this one for lunch already, but thanks to you and Anne, it'll be any minute now. Then we'll all wear this crap. Thanks a bunch.
Again, I would like to point our that this debate could be happing on an NDP blog with links incoming and traffic broadening if the NDP would USE THEIR OWN BLOGGERS INSTEAD OF GIVING LIBERAL BLOGS THE SCOOPS.

Even more uperdate: So Northern BC dipper (to his credit) is trying to make some positive suggestions to move forward. See, now that didn't take long before blogging dippers started weighing in and trying to fix things, but the Federal Party has put a kybosh on that by saying (to the media and liberal bloggers before talking to us) that they are creating their own blogroll.

So now what can we do but wait and see what the geniuses at federal office are going to come up with?

*sigh*

Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Is a Moron

Quote:

"I have been called -- my kids are all aware of this -- dumb, crazy man, science abuser, Holocaust denier, villain of the month, hate-filled, warmonger, Neanderthal, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun,... and I can just tell you that I wear some of those titles proudly."

which ones do you "wear proudly"? Holocaust denier? Attila the Hun? Science Abuser?

*sheeesh*

Friday, March 02, 2007

Even the media doesn't know what to do with Dick Cheney

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

that was great.

What's that?

Oh, right,

the link

Kurt Vonnegut says George W. Bush is the "syphilis president"

I guess he can draw a crowd:


On a cold, cloudy night, the lines threaded all the way around the Ohio State campus. News that Kurt Vonnegut was speaking at the Ohio Union prompted these “apathetic” heartland college students to start lining up in the early afternoon. About 2,000 got in to the Ohio Union. At least that many more were turned away. It was the biggest crowd for a speaker here since Michael Moore.
best quote ever:

“Well,” says Vonnegut, “I just want to say that George W. Bush is the syphilis president.”

The students seem to agree.

“The only difference between Bush and Hitler,” Vonnegut adds, “is that Hitler was elected.”