Sunday, November 25, 2007

Freedom to offend redux

The book "The Golden Compass" was recently pulled from the library shelves of a Catholic Schoolboard in Ontario. Having not read the book, I can't argue for the motivations.

However, I have argued that the Freedom of Expression includes a fortiori the right to offend. After listening to the arguements for and against a given book in a given school, I think the Charter of Rights should be rewritten to include a Charter of Obligations- and that should include the obligation to hear dissent.

In any event, the timing of these protests couldn't come at a better time to promote the film version which is just opening, and the furor will no doubt attract further attention to the book.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The best burgers in Ottawa

A big shout-out to The Works. They are the most consistently enjoyable restaurent I encountered in Ottawa. No I don't get paid by them- I just wish they'd open- up a "Les Works" in Montréal, preferably around Atwater market. It makes the trip to Bytown worth the aggravation. My personal faves are the Field of Dreams w/ an Elk meat patty, the Greek Goddess w/ a lamb patty and the Jamaican Jerk w/ a conventional beef patty.

And why can't we get Steam Whistle lager in K-Bec?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Down with Kindagarchy Now!

Normally, I don't care for Joseph Epstein's opinions. However, I share most of his opinions about American Thanksgiving- Especially as regards how children have come to dominate holidays. And in this we both think it is a Bad Thing.

The only opinion in this article I don't share is that Christopher Hitchens would be a drag at thanksgiving- I think he realizes nothing succeeds like excess at least as well as that pompous sonuvabitch Epstein.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Canada's New Government: Not more than 34.3%

For the last few weeks, not to mention back almost 18 months, I've had to endure endless sermons from Conservative supporters and even those that aren't. These folks seem to feel Stephen Harper, for his is the will and mind of his caucus, is a political genius who will sweep the next election.

Despite the cheering and moaning, like the fox leaping for the grapes, he never quite gets them. I predict that the Conservative party will not garner more than 34.3% of the popular vote in the next federal general election. And if Stephan Dion starts trusting his own council, and not those of the smarmy backroom operators, the Conservatives' result may be a lot smaller than 34.3%.

Every time Harper's party commissions a poll, and that poll suggests the Conservatives have reached that magic 40% popularity/ majority region, the Lemming Left and the Righteous Right announce it's all over save the CBC predicting a Conservative win on election night.

However, once the headlines clear, and polls come out that weren't paid for by Harper's Harpies, the conservatives are once again revealed to be floundering about in the low 30's. After acting like belligerent teenagers on the Floor of the House and in Committee, after trying to buy votes with our taxes, they have eliminated all but the conservative diehards, and those not yet ready to forgive the Liberals. That last group may well decide to split between the Grits, Greens and 'Dippers. At 10%, the Greens have a strong possibility of gaining seats.

For all the spin, the biggest change is the gradual decline of the Bloc and the gradual rise of the Greens. And you can take that to a non-income trust bank!

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster