The True Meaning of Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and I kept on reading Xmas posts and realized “Tis the season to make blog post about Christmas.” So onward we go into something or another…

Tommorow we will gorging ourselves on Turkey, Stuffing, Booze, Carbs, Bread, Buttery delights, Sugary baking, Not so Sugary “healthy” baking so we can all watch our weight, candy, sleepy gravy, cranberry everythings, pies of every shape and flavor, wine that doesn’t qualify as booze, corn, and some more turkey in a fest of gluttony that we will complain about and regret for weeks afterward.

It’s also the season of stress. Because our love is directly measured in the afterlife by the quality and quantity of gifts that we buy now. People are entitled to gifts afterall. Haven’t you heard? The new commandment is: “thou shoult buy a gift of value no less than the brand name value of a similar item but not a reduced price.”

Santa even buys into that one. I’m not talking of course of the pious priest that became a bishop because of courage oh no! And surely not the one that was probably present at the first council of bishops ever that was instrumental in taking out the Arian heresy. And surely not the one that was renown as a patron saint of sailors – especially ones that would go on to spread his name to Anglo-Saxxons and then on to the New World. I’m talking about the make believe Santa we tell children will magically appear on a sleigh with flying reindeer to all give us the gifts that we are all entitled to.

Tis the season where Christians of good faith will rail against the evils of capitalism, and blame it for all the very many sins against Christmas. Meanwhile it’s the most “socially conscious” people that tend to be the most materialistic, it’s those that believe in material equality that stress it when it comes to gift giving, and it’s lovable socialist liberation theologians that will be the first to justify whole manners of dictatorships in the name of the “common good.”

Tis the season where we all forget what this whole jumble of insanity was meant to be...

A child is born this day. A child that would die to give us perfect freedom.

Senatorial Delusions

Sheila Copps claims we're all deluded when it comes to the senate:

It matters little that the real life of a senator is very different. No one cares to remember that the Canadian Senate is the reason women today exercise freedom of choice when it comes to reproduction. Few understand the Senate plays a vital role in overseeing the workings of government. Whether it is security at Canadian ports or a thoughtful analysis of the issues surrounding the right to die, the Senate often goes where Commoners fear to tread.

Precisely because the Senate is not elected, it can afford to exercise long-term vision and provide a counterbalance (albeit limited) to the untrammeled authority of the House of Commons. For all those reasons, Senate supporters should be speaking up in support of the current work of the Red Chamber.

By that estimation the Senate acts a check on the power of the house of commons. There's one problem with that view: that's not what the Senate is or has ever been in recent memory.

When was the last time a Liberal senate blocked a law from a Liberal government? When was the last time a Tory Senate did the same? There aren't many for sure. The senate has merely acted as a rubber stamp for the House in by far the majority of cases.

When Mulroney came to power the way he dealt with a Liberal senate was by appointing more Tory senators until there was a Tory majority in the senate that would nicely pass all his bills.

The way Jean Chretien dealt with this Tory majority in the senate created by Mulroney was by appointing more Liberal ones to make it a Liberal majority once again.

And this is the system that Madame Copps claims provides a "counterbalance to the untrammeled authority of the House of Commons"?

In reality the Senate just provides a smokescreen of legitimacy for those in power to claim that someone is keeping a check on them. It just so happens that the people keeping a an eye on the "powers that be" is appointed by and dependent on the "powers that be" in the first place. That's a befuddling if I ever knew one.

And another thing...

I would ask Sheila if she would be so in love with the Senate had done the opposite on the abortion issue oh so many years ago... Somehow I think not.

Dion Doesn't Feel Like It

Freshly New-Born Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is not prepared to topple the Harper Tories afterall. Apparently Canadians don't want an election " the middle of winter..." We are left to speculate if Santa personally told Dion that Canadians did not like winter elections or whether this has some sort of sound reasoning, or even if it's just that the Liberal Party organizationally would prefer an election when it wasn't fresh out of a convention.

The Bloc argued that Afghanistan was such a pressing issue that an election was necessary if things didn't change. And by changing the Bloc demanded Canada take less of an active role in the fighting and more of a re-construction role. "Build bridges not corpses," I guess is the Bloc motto when it comes to foreign conflicts and peacekeeping.

Dion could have argued from a principled perspective, as Harper has been, that playing politics with soldiers isn't appropriate. There is legitimate room for debate on the issue of Afghanistan. However, the house was given the opportunity to vote on the measure. For the Liberals it was a free vote would you believe.

Given that the house previously voted to extend the mission, it seems very much like the Bloc is merely using this issue in a game of political lacrosse. Otherwise it would await the two year expiration date to renew its objections. Or it would provide some sort of rationale for why such drastic measures are needed now. In the absence of such reasons we are forced to conclude that the Bloc is looking more to the polls in Quebec, than they are thinking about what is best for Canada... And yes a separatist party thinking of what's best for Canada is possible although perhaps rare.

We should give Dion the benefit of the doubt here however. It may be that he had given good reasons for making the choice he has. The media hardly ever does a perfect job at reporting these things.

But in the absence of any other comments being reported, I'm forced to conclude that Dion won't bring down the government, because he doesn't want to.

Two year olds could provide better reasons than that.

Let the Arrow Die Already

The CBC seems determined to promote and extend the myth of the Avro Arrow with our Tory government's latest decision to cancel Canada's participation in NASA's mars rover program.

"The rover decision has the companies threatening to take their operations south of the border, which observers fear could lead to a brain drain of Canadian designers and scientists similar to the one suffered in the wake of the abrupt cancellation of the Avro Arrow fighter-interceptor program in 1959."

"After the Diefenbaker government axed the Arrow, many of the Avro Canada engineering and technical staff left Canada for the U.S. to become lead engineers, program managers and heads of engineering in NASA's manned space programs Mercury to Apollo, which led to the first man on the moon in 1969."

Of course what they don't mention is that by the time the Arrow was built missile defense became the prime concern for Canada. Hence the Bomarc missile defense program. Also Egypt, and India had tried similar routes as Canada did with high speed jet fighter development only to cancel them for the same reasons. However there were no "Diefenbaker's" in any of those countries at the time.

The Arrow is a classic example of cool engineering run amok. Sometimes engineers become obsessed with what cool stuff they can do, and they never stop and ask themselves "should we really be doing this?... Does this make any money?" Ask Chrysler about Engineers run amok.

The plane ended up costing almost 5 times what it was planned. And there is no way the protectionist "made in the USA" America would have ever bought them. The plane would have been an economic disaster and phased out soon after it was built.

The gravy train had to end. And it did - spectacularly. Welfare for space nerds is great, but a country like Canada can't afford like the US does. But I shouldn't speak so fast, apparently the Tories do like welfare for nerds, but only when it has the chance of producing some tangible results.

Also this story cleverly dismisses the debate we should be having about what Canada's role should be in space? Should we be joining the NASA effort or not? Or should we rather be trying an alternative model based more on the commercialization of space?

All good questions. All worthy of answers. All won't be asked in this climate of "Arrow" mythology when it comes to Canadian aerospace.

Sober Second Thought

Harper's plan to elect senators has drawn the fire of every single one of the Statist apologists in this country.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion: "The very moment the two chambers would be elected, they would have same behaviour, a greater likelihood that you would have a stalemate without some kind of dispute mechanism..."

I'm glad Dion is worried about the troublesome senate holding back progress.

I wonder where he was when the Liberal senate was holding up Harper's Federal Accountability Act? He was pretty silent then.

Dion offers one further objection, but it's not one that is directly quoted anywhere by the media. He suggests that this Act would require a constitutional change. Since the Prime Minister is still appointing Senators, just elected ones from now on, then I think we can chalk Dion's assertion up to either a misinterpretation or just plain scaremongering on Dion's part.

NDP Leader Jack Layton:"It will give the Senate more dysfunctionality and they'll be able to monkey with the business of the House of Commons even more then they have up to now..."

True that the Senate will be more effective if elected because it will have legitimacy and won't be the pawn of a single party unless desired so by the electorate. That means that yes they will be able to "monkey with the business of the House" a lot more often. It is better to have an extra check on the power of those knuckleheads in the House, than it is to have a chamber paid on the foot of taxpayers that merely rubbers stamps anything the government does.

As to this proposal making the senate more "dysfunctional" I fail to understand Layton's logic. A proposal meant to make senators more accountable to the people by making them democratically elected causes them to be "dysfunctional"? Are we actually saying that more democracy, and more voter input create dysfunctionalism? I would certainly hope not because that would mean inversly that the House of Commons would be less dysfunctional if it weren't elected. That's the type of mentality dictatorships are made of.

Quite frankly I trust the people more than I trust politicians or Mr Layton for that matter.

Now it's possible that Layton's comments are a result of not completely distrusting the will of the people, but rather that he distrusts complete populism. So he may believe that some democratic input is needed in a just Dominion, but not too much. Which is a valid argument, however in the case of the Senate, where, by the NDP's own admission is unaccountable and a waste of taxpayer money, more accountability through more democracy is desirable.

Bloc Leader Giles Duceppe:"We don't want to start a new constitutional round..."

Again a mistranslation or a misunderstanding. This bill has no meaning constitutionally. Future Prime Ministers could easily ignore the results of a senatorial election and appoint whomever they want. The question is will they be arrogant enough to do just that? Or will this start a tradition that will one day become part of common law in this Dominion?

Leeway must be given to the opposition, because it's very well possible that these comments were made to reactions to the bill before they knew the details. They could've been reacting to merely the idea of senate reform which they figured required a constitutional change. Their supplementary comments over the coming months will testify to that truth whatever it may be in good time.

In the end, this measure may very well fail. But if it succeeds, it may very well be that the Senate may one day in the future provide REAL sober second thought.

A Greedy Government, A Lying Leader

God must have a sense of Irony. On the day that Stephen Harper proves himself to be a man of principle, Dalton McGuinty proves himself to be a man that can "change mind." Apparently $90,000 a year is a salary that MPPs are impoverished on. Interesting how millions of Ontarians could afford an increase in taxes by his government that have lower salaries.

No apologies from McGuinty:"“We shouldn’t apologize for saying all we’re looking for is a 25 per cent pay gap between MPPs of this house and members of Parliament... I think it’s fair, I think it’s justifiable, and I think it’s high time.”

I think it's wrong, I think it's despicable, and I think it's MPPs that need a "tax hike" for a change.

A Principled Government, A Principled Leader

That should be the refrain of Harper Tories from this day forward. As of today Harper has managed to do the unthinkable: pass a bill through the Liberal senate. The Federal Accountability Act is now law. Dion, Duceppe, and Layton are now facing a Prime Minister with accomplisments.

To make matters worse for the opposition, Harper's decided what his next battle will be: Senate Reform. Harper's cut the GST, he's cleaned up government, and if he has any say in it he will reform the senate.

Not bad for a minority government. Especially with one with no natural allies.

None of this implies future electoral success for Harper. Accomplishments in the political arena hardly ever materialise into votes on their own. That being said, even if Harper were to loose office tommorow, he will still leave with a greater legacy than Jean Chretien, Paul Martin or dare I say Joe Clark...

Dancing with Afghanistan

Duceppe's on and off again love affair with Harper's Tories seems to be off again. Harper's down in the polls in Quebec. Afghanistan is just as good an issue as any other for Duceppe to impale Harper with. And impale he will, because now is just as good a time as any to go to the polls.

Duceppe's gripe is that the mission in Afghanistan is focusing to much on actually fighting the Taliban. We should be playing "back-up". We do reconstruction not war. That's the Canadian way I guess to Le Chef Seperatiste. Forget the French and English Canadians that died at Vimy Ridge. Canada shouldn't participate in fighting. No reason is given why.

Save one:
"Canada risks getting in deeper and deeper, sacrificing the lives of its soldiers without producing any concrete results, he argued."
This is an interesting argument. The media, in it's shalloweness, doesn't even consider what it means. What Mr Duceppe is suggesting is that a country that takes an active role in peacekeeping, such as the one Canadian troops are doing in Afghanistan, will not produce concrete results. Unfortunately it seems like no one in the media bothered to question him further on this. But it seems reasonable to conclude that Mr Duceppe seems to believe that putting our forces in more of a "re-construction" role will produce "concrete" results.

The flaw with Mr Duceppe's argument is that he assumes that fighting the Taliban and taking a direct role in bringing Taliban fighters to justice doesn't produce "concrete" results. Getting those that were partially responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Canadians on 9/11 thrown into prison is a "concrete" result. Bringing stability to the region by removing these fighters from the battlefield is another "concrete" result.

I would argue that Mr Duceppe has it all backwards. Taking a more "re-constructive" role shows less "concrete" results in the long run. Whatever roads we build, whatever wells we dig they could all be blown to bits by Taliban terrorists seeking to create instability and terror. We need stability, justice, peace and above all Liberty first.

The roads and the wells will come when there is stability and justice. Liberty breeds economic and social well being. Trying to bring Liberty by imposing economic and social norms is like trying to make an egg without a Chicken.

The second flaw with Mr Duceppe's argument is that the role he speaks of is one that Canada has far too much familiarity with. Try telling a soldier to sit back and build that bridge while he sees a genocide going on - or who knows maybe worse? We have a moral duty to act when it's reasonable for us to do so. Doing otherwise puts us on horrible moral ground that reminds me another ill fated peacekeeping mission where soldiers were told not to take an "active" role.

Mr Duceppe should stop dancing with Afghanistan. It's time for him to make a principled stand - not a political one.

The High Frontier

Just watched Ticky Fullerton's "The High Frontier" originally broadcast last year. They were re-broadcasting this past weekend to my delight.

Some first thoughts: I love Jim Benson, there are some real marxist space analysists, stop calling project prometheus a "nuclear powered rocket" because it aint, and Richard Branson really chooses his words very carefully.

Less Bush bashing and more sound reasoned space discussion please.

Benson's claim about satellites literally being able to read the newspaper over your shoulder makes me wonder a bit how much of this is exageration.

We can be reasonably sure that military satellite resolutions are under 6 inches, but it'll be interesting to see the day when satellites imagery becomes the new paporatzi.

And yes I'm late into "The High Frontier" - it being a year old already. But back then I was in school and neat stuff like this took second place to calculating the cycle life of metal parts and trying to solve heat exchanger problems and the like - all neat too when you aren't under the gun of being marked.

LifeSiteNews Has Gone Too Far, usually a decent and reliable source of news with a pro-life and generally socially conservative bent has taken to a habit of bashing conservatives of late.

And now it's blaming Harper's Tories for the same sex marriage motion defeat.

"... The wording of the motion added to its rejection as it included acceptance of same-sex 'marriages' that have already taken place under the current law."

"It is widely acknowledged that the measure was not a serious attempt to reopen debate. CanWest News reporter Janice Tibbetts captured that message in two lines of her coverage. Tibbetts wrote: 'Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the man who promised to bring the contentious same-sex marriage issue back to the Commons, was absent from the chamber and had no plans to defend traditional marriage as debate opened Wednesday on whether to revoke Canada's same-sex marriage law. The Commons was virtually empty, with about 20 of 308 members showing up.'
You can't be serious. Is the author actually trying to write away the defeat as being Harper's fault? Was it Harper's fault that not enough pro-trad marriage MPs were elected and re-elected in the last election? Was it Harper's fault that many in the trad marriage movement seemed to push for this vote?

Similarly, it seems that the folks at LifeSiteNews were also very eager to blame Harper for the defeat of social conservative Dianne Haskett's campaign in London North Center.

It's time for a wake up call in the social conservative movement in this country.

If you don't admit YOUR OWN mistakes you will never win.

Let me say that again - if you don't accept your own faults and try to learn from your OWN mistakes you will never win.

Remember whenever you point a finger at someone, there is always three fingers pointing straight back at you.

The trad marriage movement in this country should have counted the numbers. They were plainly obvious that they didn't have what it took to win.

That doesn't mean that can't change. The natural thing to do would have been to stall. Harper's pledge was a vote to re-open debate that would settle the issue once and for all.

The trad marriage should have done two things: stalled, but kept Harper's feet to the fire. Stall until another election that won't be far from now, and organize like nuts to try to affect the outcome to change the equation in the house. The whole time they would have to keep Harper's feet to the fire that a vote would eventually come.

It just makes me sorrowful for this country, because I don't see social conservatism going anywhere as a movement until the mentality of many social conservatives change.

We have to learn from the enemy. We have to learn and adapt. That's the only way to success.

Anne McLelland's Unfinished Business

Many have experienced the horrible nature of being a gun crime victim. Numerous gun crimes are committed against men and women everyday. The victims of gun violence should be treated with the care and respect that is appropriate.

Frequently gun-control proponents include many victims of gun violence. Those individuals are no less deserving of our care and respect. They have experienced something that, unless we have experienced it ourselves, we have no right to make judgments on.

That being said, I do believe that those victims of gun violence that do support gun control are being horribly lead astray by less than honest politicians - or at least deceived politicians.

Programs like the federal long gun registry are an abysmal failure. Registering duck hunters and treating them like criminals isn't what I think the first step towards tackling gun violence should be. Cost overruns and scandalous behavior seem to be the only result of the long gun registry in Canada.

And what's worse is that politicians like Anne McLelland knew that fact all along. Steven Janke reports that Anne knew all along about the cost overuns in the registry but kept a lid on it.

This will no doubt be ignored by the mainstream media in this country. It will forgotten before it was ever really known.

But I can't help but reflect on Anne McLelland. I can't recall right now for sure, but I wouldn't doubt that she gave indignant speech after idignant speech on the long gun registry supporting it in her time. She probably dismissed it's opposition and their claims that it would only lead to cost overruns.

And the whole time she knew they were right?

This is unfinished business for Anne McLelland. She will have to sleep for the rest of her life with that dishonest behavior imprinted in mind somewhere tucked away where she can't be bothered by it.

I feel sorry for her.

The Vote

Dion is dismayed that Harper's Tories will inevitably accuse him of muzzing his MPs if he muzzles his MPs:
' "If I go with a free vote ... then I will demonstrate very clearly that the overwhelming majority of us Liberals don't want to go there, and we think it's a matter of rights indeed and it's an attack against the charter," Dion told reporters yesterday. '

' Conversely, "if it's a whipped vote, we know that they will accuse us" of having "muzzled our MPs," Dion said. In that case, the Conservatives will argue that they could win a free vote and use that as justification to try to revisit the issue in Parliament yet again, he remarked. '

How quaint. Though I can't understand how Dion can reason this in his mind. He's upset that the Tories will claim that he prevented his MPs to vote according their conscience, if he prevents them from voting according to their conscience? Don't convict me of the crime I will commit - is that the jist of what he's saying?

It gets even worse as I read this:
' Liberal party officials say opposition to same-sex marriage has dwindled considerably since Bill C-38 was passed in July 2005, when 32 Liberals voted against it. Today, 26 of the MPs who did so remain in Parliament. '

So dwindling support for Liberal MPs translates into a reduction in support for Traditional Marriage?

TTHere's something wrong with that logic.

Moon Or Bust

NASA's set a goal of a permanent polar Lunar base sometime after 2020.
"The base is likely to be built on one of the Moon's poles and will serve as a science centre and possible stepping stone for manned missions to Mars."
They have it all wrong. It should be the other way around.
A Lunar base should serve as a stepping stone for a manned mission to Mars, and possibly as a science centre.

It's either that, or this hypothetical base has already become a Lunar version of the ISS: A white elephant in the sky.

This is encouraging though:
"Nasa is also expected to ask other countries - and businesses - to help it build the base."
If NASA can engage the business community in lunar exploration and turn this into a commerical opportunity, it goes a long way to getting the public out in space.

And let's not forget, that's what the whole point of this adventure is. If it's just about a select few individuals exploring the Cosmos or some space-geek getting nifty data from a science experiment then it's lost its true value to humanity.

We need an escape. The sooner the better. Hopefully one day 40 years from now we'll look up the Moon the same way that Europeans looked across the Atlantic Ocean and dreamed about a New World and a second chance.

One more thing...

I notice that the "plan" for going to the moon involves leaving the CEV unmanned in Lunar orbit based on this tidbit: "(7) In Moon orbit, they re-join the waiting robot-minded Orion and begin the journey back to Earth..."

That is of course if "unmanned" is what they mean by "robot-minded."

Apollo left one astronaut aboard the command module while the other two went down to the surface. In the event of a problem, like say the lander being unable to return to same orbit as the command module around the moon, the astronaut in the command module would have been directed to leave his comrades behind and head home. The thought being that it was better to have one astronaut come back home than risk loosing all three by trying to maneuver the command module to a lower orbit.

Or so the story goes... I'm wondering if leaving the CEV unmanned is NASA's way of eliminating the ethical dilemna of having one astronaut still in Lunar orbit. Now it's all or nothing.

I Was Wrong

My Rae prediction for victory proved to be less than accurate.

Ok well not accurate at all would be a better way to put it.

The winner of the Liberal Leadership Clown Show turned out to be non other than Stephane Dion, who started out third in the pack on the weekend.

As a public service, here was my official prediction for Dion:

"...Dion will remind everyone of 'sustainable development' and
everyother codeword for socialist policies that he can think of. I
think of him more as the 'John Crosby' of the Liberal Party - everyone
would vote for him, if they only thought he had a chance."

And I think that about sums up what Dion's effect will be on Canadian politics. What would the world had been like if John Crosby had become PC leader oh so many years ago over Clark and Mulroney?

Strange that also in Alberta Stelmach, who also started out third in the PC leadership race out there, won over establishment candidates Morton and Jim Dinning.

Is there are a general shift in mood of most people out there? You can almost sense the political ground shifting.

Either way I think Harper will have a real battle ahead of him. Dion is no fool. He's an intellectual and a ideologe just as Harper is. I'm looking forward to the two debating each other... Can you imagine that a REAL debate for once?

Who should really be nervous tonight is two people: Jack Layton and Elizabeth May.

Dion's "Greenish" tinge is no doubt going to blunt the Green Party advance. Liberals I'm sure had the recents results in mind in London North Center when they propelled Environ-Friendly Dion to the forefront.

Dion is essently a Chretien II - without the Martin rivalry. Chretien's centralizing and socialistic policies appealed a great deal to Dippers of every age. It was under Chretien's tenure that the NDP was almost wiped off the face of the map. Dion's socialism is almost as fervent as Jack Layton's. I'm sure that isn't something lost on NDP strategists this week.

My prediction of a Rae win was based on the idea that an "anybody by Iggy" campaign would be afoot. Rae was appropriately positioned to pick up that anti-Iggy vote after a ballot or two. An anti-Iggy campaign was definitely going on, but it didn't fall flat in Rae's lap. Instead it fell on to Dion, the "John Crosby" of the Liberal Party.

What happens when everyone's second choice gets elected? We're about to find out.

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The Clown Show Files XVIII

Ah the sweet smell of a leadership race convention.... What's this I smell a hint of rancid backroom dealing?
"There were also suggestions that an effort was underway to keep Dion out of the top three after the first ballot."

"As a result, strategists from other camps have predicted that Ignatieff and Rae will shift support to Kennedy to keep him in third place because Kennedy poses less of a threat than Dion to leapfrog the two frontrunners and steal the victory."
I can't say I've ever agreed with the "delegate selection process" that has been traditionally used to elect leaders of political parties. One member, one vote makes a helluva lot of sense to me. I could never quite get the reason why people seem to like it.

I'm told it's supposed to be "more exciting" than a one-member one-vote system. If what you mean by exciting is the amazing ability of candidates to make shady back room deals that may or may not reflect the wishes of the membership then this is your leadership selection process.

Also I would like to point out that the Liberal's last leadership convention that used the delegate system was hardly exciting - it was a coronation.

And now Dion is conspirying to take out Ignatieff and Rae, and they in turn are conspiring to take out Dion by propping up Kennedy. Sounds like an "honest" and "accountable " Party to me.

Anyways on the eve of this, the end of what was a clown show that provided me with a lot of blogging material and more than a few laugs, I feel like I should say something noble, wise, prophetic and generally illuminating.

Yep - I got nothing.

But here's some predictions:

1. Joe Volpe will still scare the living daylights out of me even after this leadership race is over. I'm expecting some sort of tense moment with him when he gets turfed after the first ballot. That guy really needs to work on the way he comes across. In politics perception is everything. Fear is not the best thing to inspire in people - unless you plan on being supreme overlord of the Liberal Party.

2. Iggy will pontificate about something or other probably Quebec and bore us all like a good professor should. There's the possibility of some more "misunderstandings" coming out of him too in the last final hours.

3. Rae will talk about fiscal responsibility this weekend.

4. Kennedy will continue to be a nice guy and continue to be so even after this leadership race. He's like the Tony Clement of the Liberal Party as far as I'm concerned - everyone yerns somewhere inside of them for him to win but they all know he won't.

5. Dion will remind everyone of "sustainable development" and everyother codeword for socialist policies that he can think of. I think of him more as the "John Crosby" of the Liberal Party - everyone would vote for him, if they only thought he had a chance.

And finally I'm going to go out on a limb here and make one final leadership prediction. The next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada will be.... (drull roll please)

BOB RAE! He's a lefty. The NDP and the Greens are a real threat to the Liberals right now. They need someone like a Rae, a Dion, or Kennedy to retilt the party to the left after Martin's tenure made the party seem to go more to the right. Since Dion or Kennedy are gonners my money is on Rae after a "anyone but Iggy" campaign develops.

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Enlightened Utterings From the Clown Show Files
The Clown Show Files

Spaceman Hawking

The latest is that Stephen Hawking wants to buy a ticket on Virgin Galactic: "I am not afraid of death but I'm in no hurry to die. My next goal is to go into space... Maybe Richard Branson will help me."

Something like this would be a huge public relations snatch for Virgin Galactic IMHO. A disabled reknown Cosmologist on a long dreamed flight to space is definitely something people will want to hear and watch about.

That and I do have to admit that I share Hawking's dream - as I'm sure many other space nutsos out there such as myself do. So the prospect of a disabled Hawking going into space lends credence to the little spark in us all that yes IT IS possible.

My bias admitted you can make up your own mind as to whether this had any real chance of happening.

h/t Curmudgeons.