Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday bits and bites

Just a few snippets I find worthy of mention today:

  • John Robson, someone I've always regarded as a fringe conservative, offers a decent column this morning on political civility. He chides, gently but firmly, those who have been over-indulging of late in the Manichaean politics of righteous Us vs. evil Them.

  • Dan Gardner, a libertarian I respect (and with whom I frequently disagree) delivers a stylish smackdown of apocalyptic Christian politics in America. He thinks, as do I, that VPOTUS hopeful Sarah Palin's political evangelism is of far more import than tawdry gossip about her family. Belief in the Rapture coupled with access to the launch codes may not be healthy for children and other living things.

  • The two Alberta kids who tortured a cat to death in a microwave--it took ten minutes for the creature to die--got off with a few hours of community service and some probation. One of them, apparently, has no feelings of guilt, remorse or empathy but "is capable of understanding his act." Such sick individuals often graduate from animals to people: too bad in this case that his identity cannot be revealed under the Young Offenders Act.

    “This shows a lack of respect for societal values, you both knew your actions were wrong ... the reports indicate that,” said the judge, before giving them a pass. Which reminds me, somehow, of a dreadful little rhyme I learned many moons ago:

    Little Willie, with a shout
    Gouged the baby's eyeballs out,

    Stamped on them to make them pop:

    His mother cried, "Now, William! Stop!"

  • After a precipitous plunge of stocks in all sectors since Labour Day, the director of research at MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier, one Ian Nakamoto, had this to say: "It seems to be a loss of faith in the economy." Not being an economist, I make no further comment.

  • Pachyderms are news around the globe. An elephant on heroin. An elephant on crack. A musical elephant in the room. Canada, meanwhile, may have had the last woolly mammoths.

  • What a friend we have in CSIS:

    "With out-of-control immigration numbers, goodness knows what kind of (Hezbollah) influx we have experienced and then what sort of influence those interests have (generated) within the country in radicalizing individuals already here,"
    said David Harris, a former senior CSIS operative and a man on an obvious mission.

    Could this kind of attitude explain the agency's dicey involvement in the Maher Arar case?

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