Glory Hallelujah, Don’t That Put the Boots Right To Ya

Heaven knows I’ve been feeling the loss of another quote from Pat Robertson to brighten up my day, and Pat has delivered – according to Pat, God has told him that America can expect storms and possibly a tsunami to hit their coastlines this summer. These revelations on the weather came to Pat during his annual prayer retreat in January – apparently he waited ’til now to tell us cause, hey – it’s not like a tsunami has the potential to be something major or anything.

Best quote:

“If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms,” Robertson said May 8. Wednesday, he added, “there well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest.”

What do you mean if you heard the Lord right? Are you trying to say that the Omnipotent God mumbles? Of course, since the Almighty created the Universe, that would make him 6000 years old in Pat Robertson years (That’s 11.2 billion years or more to you and me, folks!) and the elderly do tend to get a little vague of speech.

Of course, why God would do this and what Pat has to gain by telling us is unknown, but the last few seconds of this might give us a clue.


This’ll get ’em

I see here and there where the phrase “Adam and Steve” really gets the anti-gay Christian Right. What do you think they’ll say about Adam and Bonzo?

h/t to Havril


Afghan government accuses Pakistan of terrorism links

Hamid Karzai today has made one of the boldest statements I’ve heard him make – directed right at the Pakistani madrassas that provide motivated terrorists for the Taliban.

I post this because I’m under the impression that many people don’t understand the link between the Taliban and Pakistan, and therefore don’t appreciate my stand that the solution to the Afghan problem is not to put out Taliban fires. At least not until you’ve shut off the source of Taliban from Pakistan.


Harper castles

I have been trying to formulate my thoughts on last night’s “vote” all day long and dammit, they just won’t organize themselves into words. I’m not emotional or anything, I knew it was going to go down as it did, it’s just that I haven’t had the time to enumerate all of the disappointments and opportunities it represents. I’m glad that there was at least some discussion of the mission, but unfortunately Harper’s statement that he was going to lift his leg on a “no” vote should that happen dashed my hopes that this would form a useful and potentially important precedent for future military entanglements our government might opt to wander into, which I had written about like a doe-eyed 13 year-old earlier this week. I blush just to think…

So what have we derived from this little manouver?

  • The Canadian military is stuck in Afghanistan until 2009
  • We will very likely have to expand our contingent, as it is likely that we will taking over leadership of the mission in a year. How many troops are we talking about? 3000? When is it likely we’ll find out?
  • The vote, the Canadian military, the Parliament, was used last night in an effort to split the Liberal party, that much is obvious. That doesn’t shock or upset me – it’s happened before and it’s just part of the game. The NDP and Bloc voted as I and many others had thought, had hoped they would, but that left the Liberals stranded on a rock largely of their own making. They opted to not enforce caucus solidarity sensibly, and the result split a couple of dozen MP’s on the government side, and another dozen more that either abstained, or shamelessy didn’t show up. For what it’s worth, the vote was a hell of a lot closer than I thought it would be. How does it effect the Liberal leadership race now that two of the candidates – Scott Brison and Michael Ignatieff, have voted with the government on this?
  • The Conservatives have now firmly and absolutely hitched it’s fate to that of the Canadian military. There is no going back now for them; they no longer can call it a “Liberal mission”, because from now on, it’s all theirs. However it turns, it’s theirs.
  • I harken back to Dan saying some months ago that the Tories are going to do everything they can to split the Liberals down the centre and that they would be willing to accept 30 or 40 seats swing to the NDP because it would result in more than that swinging over to them.

Go and read James Travers editorial at the Star today. I have nothing more than “what he said”.


Where’s Paul?

Does anyone know if Paul Martin was in the House last night? Looking through the list of votes in Hansard, he does not appear, and I’m curious if he was there and sat on his hands or if his Outlook didn’t ping to let him know that he had to show up for work.


Afghan yea votes

Here is a quick list I’ve put together of the Members that either voted in favour of the Conservative party motion to extend the Afghan mission, abstained, or were absent. The Hansard record does not record abstainees. Please forgive the formatting, I’m still new to the HTML gig.

(I note with some sadness that Nova Scotian MPs largely backed the motion. The two NDP Members voted against, but all six Liberals were with the government and two of the three Conservatives voted for the motion, with one abstainee.)

Liberals that either voted for, abstained, or were not present for the vote:

Bagnell, Larry Yukon YK Yes
Brison, Scott Kings—Hants NS Yes
Cullen, Roy Etobicoke North ON Yes
Cuzner, Rodger Cape Breton—Canso NS Yes
Easter, Wayne Malpeque PE Yes
Eyking, Mark Sydney—Victoria NS Yes
Folco, Raymonde Laval—Les Îles PQ Yes
Graham, Bill Toronto Centre ON Yes
Guarnieri, Albina Mississauga East—Cooksville ON Yes
Ignatieff, Michael Etobicoke—Lakeshore ON Yes
Lee, Derek Scarborough—Rouge River ON Yes
Maloney, John Welland ON Yes
McGuire, Joe Egmont PE Yes
McKay, John Scarborough—Guildwood ON Yes
Peterson, Jim Willowdale ON Yes
Redman, Karen Kitchener Centre ON Yes
Regan, Geoff Halifax West NS Yes
Rota, Anthony Nipissing—Timiskaming ON Yes
Savage, Michael Dartmouth—Cole Harbour NS Yes
Simms, Scott Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor NL Yes
Thibault, Robert West Nova NS Yes
Tonks, Alan York South—Weston ON Yes
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest ON Yes
Zed, Paul Saint John NB Yes
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt ON
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre ON
Chan, Raymond Richmond BC
Cotler, Irwin Mount Royal PQ
Godfrey, John Don Valley West ON
Goodale, Ralph Wascana SK
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi NB
Karygiannis, Jim Scarborough—Agincourt ON
Martin, Paul LaSalle—Émard PQ
Milliken, Peter Kingston and the Islands ON
Murphy, Brian Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe NB
Murphy, Shawn Charlottetown PE
Robillard, Lucienne Westmount—Ville-Marie PQ
Wilfert, Bryon Richmond Hill ON

The entire Conservative party voted in favour of the motion, with one abstainer (or absent):

Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia BC Yes
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary—Nose Hill AB Yes
Albrecht, Harold Kitchener—Conestoga ON Yes
Allen, Mike Tobique—Mactaquac NB Yes
Allison, Dean Niagara West—Glanbrook ON Yes
Ambrose, Rona Edmonton—Spruce Grove AB Yes
Anders, Rob Calgary West AB Yes
Anderson, David Cypress Hills—Grasslands SK Yes
Baird, John Ottawa West—Nepean ON Yes
Batters, Dave Palliser SK Yes
Benoit, Leon Vegreville—Wainwright AB Yes
Bernier, Maxime Beauce PQ Yes
Bezan, James Selkirk—Interlake MN Yes
Blackburn, Jean-Pierre Jonquière—Alma PQ Yes
Blaney, Steven Lévis—Bellechasse PQ Yes
Boucher, Sylvie Beauport—Limoilou PQ Yes
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton—Melville SK Yes
Brown, Gord Leeds—Grenville ON Yes
Brown, Patrick Barrie ON Yes
Bruinooge, Rod Winnipeg South MN Yes
Calkins, Blaine Wetaskiwin AB Yes
Cannan, Ron Kelowna—Lake Country BC Yes
Cannon, Lawrence Pontiac PQ Yes
Carrie, Colin Oshawa ON Yes
Casson, Rick Lethbridge AB Yes
Chong, Michael Wellington—Halton Hills ON Yes
Clement, Tony Parry Sound—Muskoka ON Yes
Cummins, John Delta—Richmond East BC Yes
Davidson, Patricia Sarnia—Lambton ON Yes
Day, Stockwell Okanagan—Coquihalla BC Yes
Del Mastro, Dean Peterborough ON Yes
Devolin, Barry Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock ON Yes
Doyle, Norman St. John’s East NL Yes
Dykstra, Rick St. Catharines ON Yes
Emerson, David Vancouver Kingsway BC Yes
Epp, Ken Edmonton—Sherwood Park AB Yes
Fast, Ed Abbotsford BC Yes
Finley, Diane Haldimand—Norfolk ON Yes
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert SK Yes
Flaherty, Jim Whitby—Oshawa ON Yes
Fletcher, Steven Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia MN Yes
Galipeau, Royal Ottawa—Orléans ON Yes
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke ON Yes
Goldring, Peter Edmonton East AB Yes
Goodyear, Gary Cambridge ON Yes
Gourde, Jacques Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière PQ Yes
Grewal, Nina Fleetwood—Port Kells BC Yes
Guergis, Helena Simcoe—Grey ON Yes
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast AB Yes
Harper, Stephen Calgary Southwest AB Yes
Harris, Richard Cariboo—Prince George BC Yes
Harvey, Luc Louis-Hébert PQ Yes
Hawn, Laurie Edmonton Centre AB Yes
Hearn, Loyola St. John’s South—Mount Pearl NL Yes
Hiebert, Russ South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale BC Yes
Hill, Jay Prince George—Peace River BC Yes
Hinton, Betty Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo BC Yes
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton—Strathcona AB Yes
Jean, Brian Fort McMurray—Athabasca AB Yes
Kamp, Randy Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission BC Yes
Keddy, Gerald South Shore—St. Margaret’s NS Yes
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast AB Yes
Komarnicki, Ed Souris—Moose Mountain SK Yes
Kramp, Daryl Prince Edward—Hastings ON Yes
Lake, Mike Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont AB Yes
Lauzon, Guy Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry ON Yes
Lemieux, Pierre Glengarry—Prescott—Russell ON Yes
Lukiwski, Tom Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre SK Yes
Lunn, Gary Saanich—Gulf Islands BC Yes
Lunney, James Nanaimo—Alberni BC Yes
MacKay, Peter Central Nova NS Yes
MacKenzie, Dave Oxford ON Yes
Manning, Fabian Avalon NL Yes
Mark, Inky Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette MN Yes
Mayes, Colin Okanagan—Shuswap BC Yes
Menzies, Ted Macleod AB Yes
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead AB Yes
Miller, Larry Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound ON Yes
Mills, Bob Red Deer AB Yes
Moore, James Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam BC Yes
Moore, Rob Fundy Royal NB Yes
Nicholson, Rob Niagara Falls ON Yes
Norlock, Rick Northumberland—Quinte West ON Yes
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East AB Yes
O’Connor, Gordon Carleton—Mississippi Mills ON Yes
Oda, Bev Durham ON Yes
Pallister, Brian Portage—Lisgar MN Yes
Paradis, Christian Mégantic—L’Érable PQ Yes
Petit, Daniel Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles PQ Yes
Poilievre, Pierre Nepean—Carleton ON Yes
Prentice, Jim Calgary Centre-North AB Yes
Preston, Joe Elgin—Middlesex—London ON Yes
Rajotte, James Edmonton—Leduc AB Yes
Reid, Scott Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington ON Yes
Richardson, Lee Calgary Centre AB Yes
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords—Lloydminster SK Yes
Scheer, Andrew Regina—Qu’Appelle SK Yes
Schellenberger, Gary Perth—Wellington ON Yes
Shipley, Bev Lambton—Kent—Middlesex ON Yes
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar SK Yes
Smith, Joy Kildonan—St. Paul MN Yes
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat AB Yes
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot AB Yes
Stanton, Bruce Simcoe North ON Yes
Storseth, Brian Westlock—St. Paul AB Yes
Strahl, Chuck Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon BC Yes
Sweet, David Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale ON Yes
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest NB Yes
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose AB Yes
Tilson, David Dufferin—Caledon ON Yes
Toews, Vic Provencher MN Yes
Trost, Bradley Saskatoon—Humboldt SK Yes
Turner, Garth Halton ON Yes
Tweed, Merv Brandon—Souris MN Yes
Van Kesteren, Dave Chatham-Kent—Essex ON Yes
Van Loan, Peter York—Simcoe ON Yes
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon—Wanuskewin SK Yes
Verner, Josée Louis-Saint-Laurent PQ Yes
Wallace, Mike Burlington ON Yes
Warawa, Mark Langley BC Yes
Warkentin, Chris Peace River AB Yes
Watson, Jeff Essex ON Yes
Williams, John Edmonton—St. Albert AB Yes
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap SK Yes
Casey, Bill Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley NS

The Bloc and NDP voted en masse against the motion. One member of the BQ abstained or was absent:

Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean PQ

The sole Independent member voted in favour of the motion:

Arthur, André Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier Québec Yes


A Burning Sensation

Yesterday, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board saw fit to take away the license of Sensations Cabaret to offer adult entertainment, although they’ll still be able to sell booze on the premises. Residents of the neighborhood where the club is located are justifiably pleased – they have been fighting for months against the renewal of the license.

In what has become a mantra for the owner, Javis Roberts (actually his wife is the owner, and the club was purchased with money borrowed from his mother. What do you wanna bet he didn’t tell her what the money was for?), he vowed to soldier on, despite what he obviously feels is persecution by the community. In fact, he has bigger and better things in mind:

But club manager Javis Roberts said if residents think the decision means no more strip club, they’re wrong. Sensations intends to have dancers on stage this weekend with a full array of new sexual services.”It’s going to be the first real strip club in Nova Scotia,” he said.

I’m not sure what the ‘full array of sexual services’ would be, but it can’t bode well for the neighborhood.

As I have mentioned in the past, I volunteer with a group whose goal is to make the community a better place to live, so I’m sure my reaction to this is somewhat predictable. Let me be clear on one thing, though: I am not opposed to strip clubs per se. I have no moral objection beyond the outrage at the recruitment of local teenagers from a high school in the neighborhood. I actually have never been to a strip joint – I enjoy the female form as much as the next person, but when I’m in a room naked with someone (those of you who know me are now hoping for some way to get that image out of your minds) , I’d like there not to be a ‘no touching’ rule – it defeats the purpose. Save some money and buy a magazine, rent a video, whatever, as long as it’s private and harms nobody else. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than intimacy with someone you trust and respect. Which, of course, men don’t do with strippers. My cousin, to whom I’m very close, plied her trade as a stripper on the West Coast for a while, and it was hard – she’s more than capable of taking care of herself, but there are others who aren’t.

Anyway, in true porn mogul fashion, Mr. Roberts sees himself as the injured party, despite complaints from neighbors (I know one of them) who have had prostitutes doing their thing in people’s backyards, who have had their windows broken, who have been sexually harassed by patrons – do we see a pattern yet?

I’m aghast at the complete disregard for the families in the neighborhood, and Roberts’ desire to continue regardless of the damage it does. Of course, this should be expected of a person whose bus company was shut down due to safety violations. Again, another business operated regardless of the risk to others.

Let me say this directly to this ‘entrepreneur’ – you’ve lost. Get over it. The neighbors are not going away, nor should they – they were there first. All they want is the opportunity to raise families without the risk of property damage or much worse. When the first young girl is raped by someone leaving your club, will you then say that she did it on purpose to discredit you?

Cut your losses, move somewhere else – there are lots of areas on the outskirts where nobody lives, where the surrounding neighborhoods will not be at such a risk. It’s not about ‘legislating morality’, it’s about common sense – but Mr. Roberts is thinking with his wallet. Or with something else in his pants.