Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Division of Labour

I was asked, and happily agreed, to join the Division of Labour stable. So I'll be writing one or two longer pieces per week for them.

My first post over there is on a familiar subject.

Why is it that Americans don't seem to trust government? We have less regulation than most countries, and the argument "private citizens know better than government what to do with their money" seems persuasive to many. Why? Why not shining, happy people?
The answer is very old, and it involves answering a question with a question, or maybe two: As Jouvenal, in his sixth satire, asked, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guardians?)." Plato, in the Republic, has Socrates and Glaucon give this exchange, "Surely the guardian is the last man in the world who should be allowed to get drunk and not to know where on earth he is!" "That would be ridiculous. A guardian to want a guardian himself!". My other question/answer, then is this: why is it that people on the left, and many people in other "developed" nations, DO trust government?


As a bonus...some gentle readers suggested that "you can't blame a politician for being a prostitute" would be better than the dog and garbage thing. But I think that's wrong. For one, the comparison defames prostitutes. Politics is the oldest profession. Second, in prostitution, it is the hooker who gets screwed. In politics, it is the customer.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Quote-o-de-week: week 1

I'll try to come up with best quote I can, most days. Not necessarily topical, but meaningful in some trivial way. That's what quotes are for.

From John Hawkins' quotelist:

"Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaargh!" -- Howard Dean in the Iowa concession speech that was the final soliloquy in a farce of many acts.
(BONUS: The "Crazy Train" remix, and others....)

Canada's Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse

In preparing for some radio work in Canada (okay, it's a mercy appearance, with Charles Adler, who feels sorry for me), it struck me that this has been a big year for Canadian women. It struck me after reading Linda Williamson, actually. So I picked the four women who have had the biggest impact on Canadia politics. One could quarrel with my choices, of course, but...

So, here are Canada's Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse for 2004....

Carolyn Parrish: She stomped a George Bush doll, with boots (she had the boots, not the doll). On TV, on CBC-TV, in fact. Of course, the Missasauga (That's west of Toronto, just west of Etobicoke, actually) MP also critiqued the "coalition of idiots" Bush was leading in Iraq. Linda claimed that CP's real achievement was not getting ink for pounding Bush, but rather for finally getting Paul Martin (who kicked her out of caucus after much "Oh, my-ing") to make a decision on something. HE FIRED HER. I would say that this is a real achievement, but there is a deeper achievement to credit Ms. Parrish with. She hates Americans, but she sometimes talks to one, like Dorothy here. It seems clear that Carolyn Parrish is a loud-mouthed, impolite, unscrupulous self-promoting cretin. In other words, her real achievement is that SHE HAS BECOME an American, in spite of claiming to hate them.

Judy Sgro: Canadian Immigration Minister. Ms. Sgro's chief of staff, Ihor Won, who is now on "stress leave" (I think this is like the Witness Protection Program, but for government officials), apparently offered "special access" to several owners of strip clubs when he met them at their establishments to discuss the importation of foreign exotic dancers. One of the club owners, Terry Koumoudouros, president of the House of Lancaster in Toronto, had donated $7,928 to the Liberal party. This is a terrible embarrassment for trade and immigration-conscious Canada, because it means that either (1) homegrown Canadian women are so cold that they won't take off their clothes, or (2) if they do, customers wish they hadn't. I predict a new "strip at home" initiative in the Parliament, with special emphasis on keeping out those cheap foreign strumpets.

Sheila Fraser: Canadian Auditor General and national hero for the investigation breaking open the Adscam scandal -- she is having second thoughts! When she released her November audit, Fraser worried her quest to expose government waste may have had the "unintended consequence" of tarnishing some hard-working, honest public servants. As Linda Williamson put it, "C'mon Sheila, don't waffle on us! We have politicians for that!" As Kgrease would put it, "C'mon, Sheila, don't go all Canadian on us! You don't HAVE to be nice all the time! Those rat bastards deserved it. And, won't you please, PLEASE run for MP from the Missassauga riding?"

Adrienne Clarkson, the "Governor General." Americans, of course, are asking "What is a Governor General"? Of course, Americans also often ask, "How can I find my bum with both hands?" The Governor General represents the "Queen's interests" in Canada (in the U.S., there are some who would say that this is done by Key West, but I'm not one of them, of course). Ms. Clarkson's lavish "cirumpolar" trip caused outrage in cost-conscious Canada: it cost $5.3 just for a ...well...a circumpolar trip. Plus, Clarkson's budget had nearly doubled since she became Governor General in 1999, going from $11 million to $19 million. Madame Clarkson did make matters a bit worse for herself when she stridently resisted efforts to trim her budget. Kgrease's thoughts? This woman is supposed to represent the Queen's interests in Canada, and now you are mad at her for spending like the Royal Family? You ought to congratulate her, and encourage more inbreeding in the GuvGen's 1 Sussex Drive mansion (though I'm not sure that more inbreeding is possible).

Prime Minister Paul Martin: You've had a tough year with the ladies, man. Hope it goes better in 2005. Maybe you could get a testosterone transfusion from Carolyn Parrish, who seems to have more than she needs.