Something In The Water

Jonathan Kay Canadian Journalist

BCL on the chutzpah of Jonathan Kay, junk science enabler debunker:

[T]here’s a real lack of self-awareness here.  Jonathon [sic], after all,  is comment pages editor at the National Post, and under his watch it has for years entertained  junk science from Global Warming deniers.  Sometimes this nonsense has been confined to the OpEd pages; sometimes its made the news, and sometimes the claims have been so egregiously false that defamation suits have been the result.

And as I have written on several occasions, you can’t open the floodgates a little way.  You can’t set teh crazy just a little bit free. When you start smearing a particular scientific field, you get mud over the whole edifice.

How Dare Jack Layton Make Canadians Feel Hopeful Again!

by matttbastard

David J. Climenhaga, responding to National Post columnist Christie Blatchford’s now-infamous cranky, contrarian reaction to Canada’s outpouring of love and admiration for Socialist cur Taliban Jack Layton (HISSSSSSS!):

[T]he offending column is far from the worst piece Blatchford has written, and it makes a good point that many of us who loved and respected Layton can surely agree with, or at least concede contains some truth. Its other arguments would better be dismissed with a shrug than with obscenity and imprecation.

I bothered to read this piece only because I came across some of the angry reaction on social media sites. I turned to it with a sick feeling, because I expected from the lead-up to read something truly disgusting, like the odious efforts of Calgary Sun city editor Dave Naylor. I finished it and concluded we should all take a deep breath.

The chief knock against Blatchford’s effort seems to be that she called Layton a thoroughly political creature, and assailed his moving deathbed letter to Canadians with such uncharacteristically big words as “sophistry” and “vainglorious.”

Well, OK, the latter part of this opinion is graceless, even cheesy — exactly as we have come to expect of almost any Postmedia columnist. But really, so what? It does not seem appropriate to me to respond to this kind of drivel by calling its author a “heartless cow,” or worse, or wishing on her the same horrible fate that befell Layton.

Moreover, I think most of us can agree that Blatchford’s silly allegation of sophistry and vainglory is merely a typical response, and possibly a heartfelt one, by a Tory sympathizer who must have fretted deeply about the implications of Layton’s successful appeal to the better angels of our Canadian nature. Even our dour prime minister seems to have been improved by Layton’s sunny vision, which in some circles might be seen as evidence of miraculous powers!

While making some valid points regarding Tory anxiety over Layton’s significant posthumous power, Climenhaga misses the mark: it isn’t Blatch’s petty attack on Layton that most rankles, at least to me. Rather, it’s her arrogant, contemptuous attempt to police the natural reactions of ordinary Canadians to the passing of someone they loved and respected. As far as Blatch is concerned, the massive, spontaneous public display of emotion and affection from coast to coast (including QC — thanks Jack!) is unseemly and worthy of ridicule, another pop-cult spectacle of collective (HISSSSS!) hysteria a la Princess Di.

Now, people tend to get rather prickly when told they are grieving in an inappropriate fashion — hence the vast, vocal outcry. However, I highly doubt anyone at PostMedia is crying. One could argue that all the attention afforded to Blatch, overwhelmingly negative though it may be,  = mission accomplished.

Trolling is, after all, an art.

Regardless, I’m sure le bon Jack could not care less if his final words caused Canada’s fav crotchety wingnut Agony Aunt to throw a public shit-fit. As Climenhaga rightly notes, in this Layton too could claim the mission accomplished mantle with as much, if not more, legitimacy as she (and if the stale mother-son YYZ vaudeville act of Babs and Johnny Kay doesn’t provoke a hearty chortle of righteous satisfaction from beyond this mortal coil, well, I guess I just don’t know Jack).

Don’t get me wrong — yours truly frequently disagreed with Jack Layton over the years. A lot. But, like a vast multitude of my fellow Canuckistanians (including apostate NDP icon Judy Rebick, another longtime Layton foe on the left), I ultimately found myself overcome with a sense that we had lost a statesman, truly a Great Canadian (caps and all).

Ottawa must have been reading the same tea leaves, hence the state funeral offer.

Still, the next time a Champagne Socialist from Danforth dares to die an insanely popular, highly revered public figure, everyone first make sure to check in with Christie Blatchford and co. for instructions on proper grieving etiquette.

Oh, and none of that peace and love hippie-dippy sidewalk chalk bullshit — politics is for cynics and sociopaths goddammit.

Image: Jackman Chiu, Flickr

Jonathan Kay: Wrong on the Internet

by matttbastard

What do you want me to do?  LEAVE?  Then they'll keep being wrong!

Jonathan Kay once again illustrates why the thin ranks of the Canadian pundit corps do not represent a meritocracy:

It so happens that, with Barack Obama gradually rolling out his star-studded Cabinet in recent days, I’d already been giving quite a lot of thought to the deficiencies of our Parliamentary system. The wonderful thing about the American system — the aspect that never gets talked about for some reason — is that the President can appoint any genius he likes to Cabinet spots — people like Larry Summers, Robert Gates and Colin Powell. And these people do not have to kiss babies, run in by-elections, or get sham appointments to some upper chamber in order to gain their offices. The President, as ultimate decider, just picks the best people, they accept and … that’s it.

Well, yeah, except for that pesky little check and balance called Senate confirmation–otherwise, yeah, that’s it:

The role of Congress is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which directs the president to select officials with the Senate’s “advice and consent.” Only 51 senators, a simple majority, are required to approve a nominee.

All 15 Cabinet secretaries require Senate confirmation, as do federal judges and ambassadors. White House aides such as chief of staff and national security adviser don’t. The law establishing a federal agency dictates which agency officials require Senate approval.

This, my friends, is one of the many, many reasons why they can’t give away the National Post these days. Paul Godfrey has his work cut out for him.

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