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Pots and Kettles all over the bloody place

December 31, 2005

The Globe is reporting that the Conservative Party of Canada will start airing a television ad attacking the Liberal Party for (get ready) possibly, sometime in the future, launching a television ad attacking the Conservative Party.

My goodness, the Conservatives must be truly are terrified of the Liberals exploiting their greatest weakness (their leader’s charisma and character, or lack thereof) to launch such a clearly oxymoronic advertisement.

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It’s like watching toothless dogs fight …

December 31, 2005

I recall early in my academic career one of my adjunct supervisors preparing me for what was going to be an uncomfortable presentation (I had to speak to a group of scientists who would strongly disagree with what we were examining). He used the following similie to try to prepare me for what was going to happen:

You don’t need to worry, as this is going to be a lot like being attacked by a toothless dog. There’s going to be a lot of fury and yapping, but at the end of the day, all you’ll have is some saliva on your pant leg.

Those words have stuck with me over the years, and they bubbled to the surface of my consciousness as I read the following exchange between two young-earth creationist cooks.

(Via this DKos post.)

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Pollution in the North Sea: plastic in 95% of dead birds

December 30, 2005

From the Scotsman, we hear that a recent study has found that 95% of dead fulmars from the North Sea had plastic in their stomachs.

The headline is slightly misleading as it implies that 95% of all the dead birds from a certain area were found to have plastic in their stomachs, while the study focussed on a single species. Despite this, the incredibly high percentage highlights the issues surrounding pollution of the North Sea.

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The Boxing Day Shooting

December 30, 2005

Another, better take, on Toronto’s Boxing Day Shooting.

(Via The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century :: Joey deVilla’s Weblog.)

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This is an excellent example of how to piss money away

December 29, 2005

The CBC is reporting that the Canadian Shooting Sports Association will continue with its plan to spend $100,000 on an advertising campaign despite the recent Boxing Day shooting at the Eaton’s Centre, in Toronto.

Now, I’m not the most rabid fan of the proposed anti-handgun legislation (as I fear it will be costly and less effective than one might hope), any public relations campaign needs to consider the receptiveness of the audience it’s trying to affect. I’m sure that the CSSA is hoping to get their policy position on the voters’ radar, but given the recent death of an innocent bystander this PR campaign will be for naught.

They’d be better off spending $100,000 on quiet lobbying of individual politicians in the hopes of affecting votes in the next parliament.

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What happened to propriety?

December 29, 2005

Despite serious allegations of misconduct, Ralph Goodale says he won’t step aside. Some choice quotes from the article:

“This is not an allegation of jaywalking; it’s an allegation of something much more serious than that,” he said, “but it is just that, it is an allegation.

“It is not by any means proven and I know I’ve examined my own conduct in this matter and I’m confident that conduct is consistent with 30 years of integrity and trust in public life.”

But …

Questioned repeatedly about why he won’t step aside until the investigation is complete, Goodale said RCMP officials aren’t at the root of the allegations. “The opposition have made those allegations.”

You know, where I work we still abide by the old dictum that the appearance of impropriety is almost as severe as true impropriety. Apparently we are held (and hold ourselves) to a higher ethical standard than the feds.

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Harper on veterans’ rights

December 29, 2005

I don’t tend to agree with the conservatives on many issues, but this is one that I think that Harper has gotten right: Harper commits to a veterans’ bill of rights. War veterans sacrificed greatly for our country, and they deserve to be respected and protected.

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