True North

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


The times they are indeed achanging. This post marks the end of True North as we know it for at least the next several months. My first post to this blog was two weeks short of a year ago and much has happened since then. From a personal perspective, most of it has been good.

However, circumstances change and, like it or not. we have to do so as well. I knew from the beginning that time was going to be an issue. There have been many occasions when there simply hasn't been time to post at all much less to write posts of the quality I wanted to write. It's interesting how even something like a little blog makes you feel obligated. After all, if people were going to bother coming here, I felt an obligation to have something new for them on a regular basis.

That last sentence holds the key to my decision. First, to grow a blog requires regular posting. It is generally accepted that that means at least two or three posts a week of something more than the "me too" variety and it usually means posting on a daily basis. The second key element is the feeling of obligation. That is just as hard to handle because, once you start feeling you have to do something, it usually stops being enjoyable. Waking up in the morning and saying "Oh shit I have to post something today" is likely a pretty good indicator that it isn't fun anymore.

My business requires 70 to 80 hour weeks from April to June and is only slightly less intense from July to October. Part of that is simply the work of living in the country - something you may have guessed I'm not planning to give up anytime soon (as in ever). In practical terms it means essentially shutting the blog down every spring and trying to reactivate it every fall. That is a situation that is not going to change as long as I live here and work at what I do.

Earlier this spring I had considered pulling the plug completely knowing the cycle I was dealing with. Instead I opted to keep it alive. At the time I said :
This will also give me an opportunity to consider different options for the future. Some of the options I'm looking at are:
1) Continuing to do the same kind of broad based advocacy I have been doing here. This despite increasingly questioning its value and an increasing reluctance to make open ended commitments of significant resources to projects which may or may not produce some vague, unspecified results at some nebulous future time.
2) Narrowing the focus so that I can concentrate on doing more, better posts on fewer subjects.
3) Not blogging at all and focusing on local issues where I can produce more tangible, timely results some time before the crows turn white.
4) Resigning from the position of being 'my brother's keeper' on the grounds that I have had the position quite long enough and it's time to concentrate on things that directly benefit me and mine.

I'm sure the correct option will reveal itself in due time.

It turns out the correct option is none of the above. For the last few weeks I have been talking with other progressive bloggers who are having the same problems. At some point in our blogging careers, all of us have encountered problems juggling work/business demands, family commitments, a desire for a life off the internet and blogging. The end result of this juggling act has been burnouts, reduced posting and consideration of temporary and/or permanent blog closures.

For the last few of weeks, we have been discussing these problems and potential solutions. We have decided that, at least on a temporary basis, the best solution for all of us is a group blog. I will be joining Timmy from Voice in the Wilderness and Jonathan from No More Shall I Roam in a group blog with pogge over at We are looking on this as an experimental venture for the next several months and will be keeping our current blogs intact for archival purposes while we work toward making the group blog a permanent situation.

This arrangement has blogging advantages. We know we can work together having done so on previous projects. While also sharing a similar world view for the most part, we approach things in different ways and have different interests. We are hoping that working together will help make us better at what we do.

Even more importantly, this arrangement has personal advantages. We hope that working together will reduce the pressure on each of us and allow us to get back to the enjoyment of blogging while still juggling the rest of our lives.

True North is not going to disappear. I will cross post enough to keep it alive for it's archival value - there are still a lot of search engine hits on items like NAWAPA and BSE. I don't know what the long term future holds for it. Who knows, by fall it might be a gardening blog. Whatever happens, True North will always be important to me. I have written since high school but I had gotten away from it over the last ten years. Starting this blog reminded me of how much I enjoy writing and for that reason it will always be a fond memory.

I know I have occasionally infuriated people by calling things the way I see them (after all Steve Gilliard is my blogfather) but I hope I have also occasionally entertained and educated you as well. There is nothing that will change about my style. It will just be found at a different spot on the dial.

See you around.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Harper: "Please Beat Me Some More"

Or at least I hope that Stevie Wonder Wanker and the rest of the SCRAC high command are heavy into masochism after yet another whipping of their sorry asses by the Canadian public in the latest round of opinion polls.

The Dithers led Kloset Konservatives, scandals and all, are up in the polls again with a 12 point swing in the national numbers. The KK leads in Ontario with 48% support leading the NDP at 24% and SCRAC at 22%. SCRAC has only 9% support in the three largest urban areas trailing both the KK and the NDP. You don't even have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of winning a federal election in this country if you are beaten in Ontario as a whole and wiped out in Quebec and the large urban areas. Seems it might be time for SCRAC to unload those Republican party consultants.

And that was the good news. If the story is bad for the party, it's even worse for Harper himself. Unlike the mythical King Midas whose touch turned everything to gold, Harper seems to have perfected the Sadim touch - every thing he touches turns to shit.

Harper not only has the rest of the country giving him the bum's rush but his own are now turning on him too. Stevie Stupid Wonder Wanker decided he just had to force a spring election even though the overwhelming majority of Canadians and many in his own caucus didn't want one.

In the course of trying to force an election, Harper managed to make a total ass of himself by somehow managing to look even more desperate to gain power than Martin was to hold on to it. That rather impressive feat seems to have been too brutal for even the party's core supporters to watch. Support for Harper's leadership is dropping faster than a dud Roman Candle. Even in the Prairies, head office for Wing Nuts 'R' Us, support for Dear Leader Jr. has dropped from 63% to 44% in a matter of weeks and among hard core SCRACheads it dropped from 92% to 79%.

And, if being Stephen Harper didn't already suck badly enough, it gets even worse. Right wing talk radio host, Charles Adler, in a column in Saturday's Winnipeg Free Press not only calls uniting the right a bigger hoax than Y2K, concedes defeat in the next election, suggests changing the party's acronym from CPC to STD, but also proposes the dissolution of SCRAC and the reformation of the Reform Party although not quite in those words.

Unfortunately, that column is behind the Free Press subscription wall. Have I mentioned how much I hate the Free Press's anal online policy? Have I mentioned how much I like my old Textbridge OCR software? It seems that, every three or four months, I get to do a free advertisement for the Free Press on this blog by publishing an article they have hidden from public view to show you that, contrary to widely held opinion, the FP is not a total waste of trees and that, even though the days of the outhouse are gone, there is still a reason to subscribe to the paper. Please support this ad campaign by subscribing today - or, at least, tomorrow.
Unite the Right Was a Bigger Hoax Than Y2K
Charles Adler/ Winnipeg Free Press

Will someone please stop polling! Grassroots Conservatives get the message.

Ontario doesn't want western-style conservatism anywhere near the prime minster's office. Western Conservatives are allowed on the property, but not the porch, and certainly not inside the bedrooms of the national government. It's OK for the prime minister to be sleeping with the NDP. But the Conservatives, now known as the CPC, might as well trade in that acronym for STD. It is unwanted.

Westerners may be stubborn, but they get it - the only way for them to be part of the national government is to have a leader who makes at least 40 per cent of Ontarians comfortable.

Ontario voters willing to vote for a Conservative want Bill Davis. Not Mike Harris. Not Ralph Klein. And certainly not Stephen Harper. Never mind that he's from Ontario.

Western Conservatives have received the message from Ipsos Reid, Environics, Decima, and a herd of media pundits. Either the Conservatives find a leader who is willing to be a Liberal in everything but name, or they need not have expectations of victory.

One could argue that westerners are overreacting to the bad polls and the media advice. After all, Harper nearly became prime minister a year ago.

But the truth is the truth. Paul Martin, who in last year's election campaign was given the last rites more often than a dying pope, climbed out of the casket. In recent weeks, he did it again. Yes, Belinda helped. But if she had decided to stay in the potato patch with Peter, we know that Goofy Gurmant and the wife he treats like a sidecar would have rolled into Paul's parking lot and given the PM the votes be he needed to snooker Harper. And if Goofy had been given his Liberal loot bag in return for betraying his party, Harper would not have looked as bad he did by being jilted by Magnababe.

If Goofy and the sidecar had gone to the libs, Harper would not have directed this low-rent passion play for a guy who may have lied his way into Canada, tape recorded his way into the Political Funny Farm, and frightened Air Canada passengers with that goofiest of phrases, "Can you please take my package?" Do western Conservatives really have trouble understanding why Air Harper and its subsidiary, Air Goofy, don't fly in Ontario?

Never mind the facts. Western Conservatives feel rejected and humiliated by the pollsters, the pundits and that acronym which fills the blogosphere, MSM (mainstream media). Once you feel that these powerful forces have been aligned against you, what do you do?

Should western Conservatives continue to participate in a process that they feel is rigged? Or should they go back home? The old hacienda of the Reform/Alliance was more comfortable for western Conservatives. They didn't have to prune their branches every day. They weren't as self-conscious. They weren't expecting the CBC, Toronto Star and Globe and Mail to like them and they didn't much care. Now many feel that they are wearing shoes that pinch and pants that are bursting their zippers. And the Central Canadian establishment still doesn't love them.

Would anyone be surprised if after the coming defeat, western Conservatives say, "We're tired of pretending that every day is Halloween. Let's get out of these stupid clothes and do what comes naturally. The Bloc Qu├ębecois guys don't pretend to be federalists. Layton's boys don't pretend to be right wingers. Why should we keep pretend that we are a bunch of panty-waist moderates? If we can't be honest about who we are, what's the damn point?"

Is there an advantage to westerners becoming a bloc party? You bet your sweet bippy! Paul Martin is willing to yield on policy to any party that is not threatening to replace him. If you want Paul Martin to give you stuff, just ask for it. Just don't tell him you will defeat him in the next election. When Paul Martin and Jack Layton shared the same hotel key at the Royal York, Jack never threatened to eat Paul's lunch. He just asked the prime minister to give him part of yours.

Do you want western Conservatives to form their own party and give up what many think of as a charade? Do you believe Unite the Right has been a bigger hoax than Y2K?

I'm no fan of Adler's politics but there are times when I really do appreciate his writing. In this case his conclusions are pretty hard to argue with. The fallout from adscam has pretty much peaked and receded unless the final report results in Paulie and several members of the cabinet being dragged away in irons. Belinda's decision to leave Peter's potato patch hurt in places where SCRAC couldn't afford to be hurt and secret agent double-O dud's flame out in his audio engineering sideline also hurt. If Harper and SCRAC couldn't win public support under recently past conditions, it isn't likely to happen before the crows turn white.

Politics makes for strange bedfellows at any time. The apparently imminent chance to win in politics makes for even stranger bedfellows. The Bush party in the Excited States is in danger of coming apart at the seams as real Republicans try to wrest power back from the wing nuts and religious extremists. The American Taliban are also threatening to leave unless the keys to the party are turned over to them.

The unholy marriage of the Progressive Conservative party and the Social Credit Reform Alliance party didn't make much sense in the first place. It was an opportunistic circular firing squad type of arrangement forged by two groups of perennial lusers desperate to change their circumstances. It always more closely resembled a case of the last two drunks left in the bar at closing time going home together because they both knew they weren't going to do any better than it did a real partnership. Throwing the Canadian Taliban into the mix only made it worse. All these diverse factions could tolerate each other as long as there was a chance of winning. As soon as that goes, it's man the lifeboats and every man for himself.

This 'can't win for losing' cabal of clowns have managed to make The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight look like expert marksmen. They truly are miracle workers - they managed to make Paul Martin look good and David Orchard look smart. The real irony of it is that, if Peter McKay hadn't been in such a rush to sell out his own party, there is a chance he could actually be living at 24 Sussex Drive today given the Canadian public's lack of enthusiasm last June for both Martin and Harper. And maybe even with Belinda. After the SCRAC balloon bursts, young Peter, sadder but wiser, is likely to have a lot of time to spend walking the dog and digging potatoes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Many Faces of Evil

Continuing with the 'Lusers' theme that currently seems to be developing, this site has posted a rogue's gallery, complete with quotes, of the leaders of the American Taliban. It seems about time for someone to start a similar project with our own Canadian Taliban. There are plenty of candidates here for the list but you might want to start with this asshole.
Police investigating Christian activist for hate crimes
Two thousand leaflets attacking gays and lesbians have put a Christian activist in western Canada under investigation by Edmonton police for hate crimes.

The flyers by Bill Whatcott of Regina refer to gay marriage as "sodomite marriage" and use graphic language to describe the alleged sex practices of homosexuals...

Whatcott has led protests across Saskatchewan and Alberta against abortion and gays.

He says he was a gay prostitute until age 18 to pay for a drug habit, then became leader of a small group called the Christian Truth Activists.

Last month, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal fined Whatcott $17,500 for handing out similar material.

But he has refused to pay the fine, calling the tribunal a "kangaroo court."

"Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages."

Voltaire had it right a couple of hundred years ago when he said "The world will never truly be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

Even though I live in what used to be the wild west, the authorities seem to frown on putting up "Wanted" posters. With this bunch, I wonder how they feel about us putting up "Unwanted" posters.

Update: Forgot the acknowlegment. The guys at Needlenose were some of the earliest supporters of this blog. Thanks to fubar for the link.

Note to Gurmant Grewal

While we're on the subject of lusers:

Dear Gurmant:

When your wife is busy trying to put 40 miles and a flooded river between herself and your efforts to buy a better deal for both of you, you're screwed buddy.
After more than two weeks of silence, Tory MP Nina Grewal says she had nothing to do with secret talks between her husband and senior Liberals concerning patronage plums in return for helping the government win a crucial vote.
When your constituents believe the Liberal version of the story over yours by 3 to 2, its time to start brushing off the old resume because you will soon be looking for a new job and it ain't gonna be a cabinet post, an ambassadorship or a senate appointment.
The response was even less favourable for Mr. Grewal with a pair of key groups: respondents who followed the issue closely, and those in Mr. Grewal's home province of British Columbia.

Among those who said they followed the taping affair closely, 32 per cent said they believed the Liberals and 27 per cent said they believed Mr. Grewal.

In B.C., it was 33 per cent for the Liberals and 21 per cent for Mr. Grewal.

PS: I suggest you leave "audio engineer" off your list of recent employment. I don't think you're going to be getting too many offers in that line of work either.


I have to admit I have never heard of a weekly paper called the Vancouver Republic before. But they may have picked up a new reader after this column by Kevin Potvin outlining in bone crunching detail what an utter moron Peter McKay is.
Peter, you have got to be the biggest idiot this country ever produced. There you were, tossing her giggling children on your knee, reclining without a care on her father’s couch with him after supper, comfortably showing affection to her in public, and probably just a few more months of continuing good behavior away from marrying into Belinda Stronach’s billions. That’s “billions,” as in world-league wealth and power. You were that close!

Stronach is no blonde dipstick, as your frat-boy pals in Alberta characterized her after you blew it. She has more power than all of them combined—more even than any mere Prime Minister. She is the former CEO of the largest auto-parts company on the planet. No daddy’s girl, she was named by Fortune 500 two years ago as the second most powerful woman in the world. That’s “in the world.”

Best article on the subject I've seen.

And a hat tip for the commentor at From the Heartland for the tip.

Say What?

Canadian Cynic's response to this news article is to suggest that you can actually have too many firearms. I must respectfully disagree.

You see our friend CC describes himself as an "unarmed (but reality-based) Canadian". I, on the other hand, am a gun toting, meat eating (but reality based) Canadian progressive. Personally, I think the extra firepower might be useful in the event that we are ever invaded by the Protest Warriors.

The only problem with stashing that much hardware is that I might have to recruit the assistance of Ol' JimBobby to help dig up half an acre of the back 40. And we all know how he likes to talk - especially once he gets into your whiskey.

G'day Eh

Greetings to those much abused and neglected faithful few who continue to show up. I think I have just set a record for not posting and that is not a great accomplishment. There will be a major item in the near future that you probably won't want to miss. In the meantime, it is raining today, has been for the last two weeks and will be for the next week. It's too wet to plow and I can't dance so I might as well use up some of this supply of snark lying around the office that is getting close to it's "best before" date. So expect a number of short shots in the next day or two.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Grewal Tapes

In case you have forgotten this post of mine several months ago, Gurmant Grewal, who is claiming the Liberals tried to buy his vote on the budget, is the same SCRAC MP who had the well known right wing nut case (and Bill O'Reilly's favourite Canadian) Rachel Marsden working in his office under an assumed name until the SCRAC head office went ballistic on him and insisted she be fired. So, Stevie Stupid Wonder Wanker, are you sure you really want to buy a used allegation from this guy?

An Open Letter

Dear Intelligent Designer(s):

My friend Canadian Cynic assures me there are many people here who believe in your existence. It, therefore, seems appropriate for me to contact you directly with my concerns.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would provide me, in writing if you don't mind, the Intelligent Design rationale behind mosquitoes and wood ticks. And, since I'm imposing, please add to the list black flies, poison ivy, skunks and the Conservative Party of Canada (to the extent the latter two are not the same). The existence of these organisms forces me to question your intelligence and/or whether you ever really graduated from design school as claimed.

I feel I must also point out a significant error in your design parameters. Having any two of the above in season at the same time - for example wood ticks and poison ivy - is an elegant sufficiency. Adding a third is completely unnecessary and totally unacceptable - except for the Conservative Party of Canada which is completely unnecessary and totally unacceptable at any time.

Designing this planet was a rather complex project and should not have been assigned to anyone who did not graduate from Design school in the top 10% of the class and possess significant experience in completing less challenging projects. I am requesting this entire project be turned over to the Supreme Council of Intelligent Designers (for surely there must be such an entity) for a review. At a very minimum the above noted design errors must be rectified at your earliest convenience and consideration should be given to replacing the current Designer with one better qualified for the position.

I would appreciate your prompt attention to these matters.

Yours intelligently,

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Belinda Bolts

Well this should be the talk of the blogosphere - not to mention the MSM - for the next several days. Timmy has a post with some conservative reaction at Voice in the Wilderness and Pogge weighs in here. I really doubt that anyone saw this coming although Stevie Depressed Wonder Wanker says he did.

While no one saw it coming, I don't see any reason why anyone should be surprised. Stronach is not now nor has she ever been a SCRAChead. Belinda is a Red Tory and made that quite clear in her SCRAC leadership campaign. And since the demise of the PC Party and Martin's take over of the Liberals, the Liberals are the Red Tory Party in this country.

Stronach blew any leadership chance she had at the time - or any time in the foreseeable future - when she made her speech announcing her candidacy for the SCRAC leadership. Saying that you are pro-choice and believe that same sex marriage is a human rights issue will get you nowhere in the reactionary SCRAC. It has been clear to me from the beginning that Stronach would have been a happier camper in the Red Tory Liberal party than in SCRAC.

What this raises is an interesting possibility of even more defections. Stronach is not the only Red Tory MP in the SCRAC caucus. There are others, and I think that includes some well known faces like Chuck Strahl and the rest who bailed on the Alliance to sit with the PCs, who may be less than comfortable with the orientation of Harper and the fright wing of the party. Is Stronach's defection going to pave the way for still others?

Better buy some more popcorn and beer and stay tuned.

Monday, May 16, 2005

And the Ethics Award Goes to...

Timmy at Voice in the Wilderness had a post on the new level of esteem in which the NDP is being held these days. It seems that high opinion is much more widespread than the blogosphere. I just checked my email and found a note from SES Research (I'm on the mailing list) on a new SES/Sun Media Poll that shows federal New Democrats score highest on ethics among political parties.
A new SES/Sun Media poll indicates that Canadians were more likely to identify the NDP as the federal party which was more ethical (+17.9) than the Liberal Party of Canada. This view cut across all regions.

The Green Party had the second highest net ethical score (+10.1) followed by the Conservatives (+8.5) and the Bloc Quebecois (-13.7). The BQ were the only party to receive a national net negative ethical score compared to the Liberals. In Quebec, owever, the BQ ethical score was +18.4.

"The only party with the clear advantage on the ethics issue is the federal NDP", according to SES Research President, Nikita Nanos...

The "net national ethics score" is based on the difference between the "more ethical" and the "less ethical" responses.

Here are the scores by party:

The NDP (N=1,000)
More ethical than Liberals - 34.4%
Same - 35.2%
Less ethical than Liberals - 16.5%
Unsure - 13.9%
Net national ethics score (+17.9)
*Score is positive in all regions

The Green Party (N=1,000)
More ethical than Liberals - 26.3%
Same - 25.8%
Less ethical than Liberals - 16.2%
Unsure - 31.7%
Net national ethics score (+10.1)
*Best region - West (+19.4)

The Conservative Party (N=1,000)
More ethical than Liberals - 28.1%
Same - 39.9%
Less ethical than Liberals - 19.6%
Unsure - 12.4%
Net national ethics score (+8.5)
*Best region - West (+22.6)

The BQ (N=1,000)
More ethical than Liberals - 18.2%
Same - 28.9%
Less ethical than Liberals - 31.9%
Unsure - 21.0%
Net national ethics score (-13.7)
*Best region - Quebec (+18.4)

It seems that a broad spectrum of Canadian voters are less than impressed by the goings on in the Common House. It sure is adding insult to injury when the relatively unknown Green Party manages to beat SCRAC in the ethics department. Somebody should up Stevie's meds. Foaming at the mouth doesn't seem to be endearing him to Canadians.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I'm sure I have posted this before but, with an election apparently imminent, it seems timely to post it again. In fact I may post it once a week until after the next election. I especially recommend it to those poor misguided folks who have been conned into believing that voting for Stevie Wonder Wanker and SCRAC is somehow going to make a difference.

The Story of Mouseland

It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a parliament. And every four years the had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for the last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider then we are.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws -- that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds -- so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided that something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said: "The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouse holes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouse holes." And they did. And the square mouse holes were twice as big as the round mouse holes, and now the cat could get both paws in. And life was tougher then ever.

And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black one's in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "OH," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: That you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.

--Tommy Douglas, 1944

The proverbial cats have gotten wiser and fatter, hired new spin-doctors and reverted to some old ways.

They have declared that enlarged mouse holes are the wave of the future. Too many mice have been cheating—holding back or hiding. We make the mice more self-reliant and vigorous if more cat paws are scratching their otherwise lazy behinds. Implementing programs using politically correct vocabulary — "opportunity" "skill sets" "retooling," "life style enhancement," we open up the mouse colony to all comers.

When the dust settles, these inspired initiatives add up to more wounded bodies and frightened rodents. Any mice that complain are of course, just a special interest group and can be disregarded as hopelessly biased. After all, the cats can no longer afford to subsidize small pickings from the mice population and without larger mouse holes the whole feline economy will collapse.

In addition to inspiring more vigour among otherwise recalcitrant mice, the country's cats have joined with cats around the world and agreed that some important issues need to be taken out of the claws of local authorities and given to international feline societies. So mouse hole sizes, feeding rates, local micely customs and other important matters will now be handled at a higher council. So, it won't matter if the mice elect themselves into government the really important issues will still be decided by fat cats—most of whom don't run for office anywhere.

In concert with these new reforms, the cats sold the responsibility to regularize certain more minor domestic issues—care of sick mice for instance— to dog syndicates who function as profit centres. They have no interest or responsibility in the welfare of the mice population—not really. They are just offering a service—pay as you go. If canines get too greedy, their avarice will be checked by the market—supply and demand—as the mice decline in health and numbers the dogs will naturally adjust their standards.

Finally, some of the cats are appointing cat public corporations to carry out all new mouse hole protection and maintenance. The elected cats are no longer in charge—it's specially appointed cat committees that all have a few token mice one them, that make the decisions on whose claws to clip. So when the mice complain about the lack of surveillance or protection of their mouse holes. "Gosh," say the fat cats, "That's a terrible pity, but its no longer in our hands. We don't make decisions, just set general policy."

addition from
The Future of Religion in Canada
By Christopher Levan
Annual Meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council
May 19, 2000