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January 2008 Archives

January 5, 2008

Busy, busy

You may need the whole weekend to catch up on everything I've done this week... I'm getting tired here just summarizing it. The Friday signed column for the Post is a plea for executive clemency in the Marc Emery extradition case. (As is usual when I write about such subjects, the online notices have been exceedingly favourable and the personal e-mail has been illiterate and vituperative.) A post-Iowa editorial I wrote for Saturday's paper is viewable at the Full Comment page. Here's another Full Comment entry pointing to a New Yorker article I liked. And I also popped up at the American Spectator website this week with a look back at the ever-spreading effect of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing substances in baseball. Which, in turn, spawned an interesting comment thread over at the Baseball Think Factory.


Remember, kids, when you're getting together with friends, always drink responsibly.

January 9, 2008

'Biting the bullet'

I'm the author of an editorial in this morning's Post on Stephane Dion and the Liberals' hot new hand-selected by-election candidate in northern Saskatchewan, Joan Beatty.

January 12, 2008

Do not put a picture of a parrot on your flag!

I love how the "World's Flags Given Letter Grades" site pops up as an internet meme once every couple of years, even though it was written like ten years ago. It's a sign that the job was done right the first time.

And then, unbelievably, both married twins had their kidneys stolen

LONDON — A brother and sister who were parted at birth and adopted by different families married without knowing of their biological relationship, and then won an annulment, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, David Alton, said in the House of Lords on Friday. Lord Alton, a peer who is also one of Britain's leading advocates for children's rights, cited the case in a debate over new legislation on human fertilization and embryology, which opponents say will weaken the ability of children to identify their biological parents. Lord Alton, who said he had been told of the case by the high court judge who granted the annulment, did not name the judge or the couple or offer any other details, beyond saying the case was recent.

Incredibly, the story made the BBC, USA Today, the New York Times, and countless other estimable news organs without anyone subjecting it to the most cursory smell-test, even though Lord Alton is clearly a fount of uncontrolled pro-life sentiment who is not above improvising stories to make a point. It is not in fact such a terrible point to make, since the standing policy in most Western countries rests upon the absurd idea that custodial parents have the right to the cooperation of the law in deliberately obfuscating their children's biological heritage. But such a worthy cause does not require support by means of cultivated urban legendry. I assume that someone in the UK media is already taking the steps that will lead to Alton's ultimate apology and/or climbdown.

January 13, 2008

The unkindest cut

Pity the poor Americans--unwilling to give up the death penalty, yet mired in eternal quibbling over a minimally painful, optimally reliable method of executing convicted criminals. Could it be that the answer is as plain as the head on one's shoulders? I ask this question (not for the first time) in my Friday column for the National Post.

January 14, 2008

Belly of the beast

The Western Standard is defunct as a print magazine, but publisher Ezra Levant is still busy defending the company from a human rights tribunal complaint arising from his courageous decision to reproduce the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons in a news item on the international controversy. On Friday he was interviewed by an investigator, having obtained prior permission to videotape the process. He's now posting YouTube clips of his interrogation seriatim on his new website, allowing Canadians and the international friends of press freedom an unprecedented insight into the functioning of our system of soft thought control.

It's bonus day!

No, not at the cosmetics counter, but here at ColbyCosh.com, where we're bringing you links to two new pieces: a surprise Monday column about the Canadian government's war on medical-marijuana "compassion clubs", and a long Full Comment entry about how a change in NHL rules may have exercised a butterfly effect on the game.

January 17, 2008

Friday's column on Thursday afternoon

Who's to blame in the increasingly bitter fight over the safety shutdown at the Chalk River NRU nuclear reactor and the worldwide shortage of medical isotopes that followed? The depressing answer I reached after long hours of research: pretty much everybody. Protip for media consumers: don't trust anybody who tells you some party in the dispute or other has nothing to be ashamed of.

Inadvertent Wikipedia find of the day

The Einstein refrigerator.

January 18, 2008

And yet another bonus column

My new National Post column on the death of Bobby Fischer, who was long one of the more significant preoccupations of this site, appears here. That entry contains a link to a 2005 Post column about Fischer which is in some ways my most comprehensive statement on the subject. Best place to go for emerging coverage: Mig Greengard's site, which already has Garry Kasparov's official statement.

January 22, 2008

The subprime credit crisis in 20 words

"Bad things happen when you really divorce the people who take the risk from the people who understand the risk." So says an anonymous hedge fund manager, about 12-15 months too late.

January 24, 2008

Nighthawk down

When there's a war on, sometimes you miss the interesting news from the last one. In late 2006, the US Air Force declassified the identity of the F-117 Nighthawk pilot who was hit by a Serbian surface-to-air missile on March 27, 1999 and forced to eject from his stealth "fighter". With the model scheduled to be taken out of service this spring, Lt.-Col. Dale Zelko is likely to go down in history as the only F-117 pilot ever to be shot down by an enemy. His rescue just outside Belgrade makes for a remarkable story, the more so because he had the amazing presence of mind to use his survival radio to contact orbiting AWACS and KC-135 aircraft with his position details while still parachuting to the ground. The wreckage of his plane is still the pride of the Air Museum in Belgrade.

A billion dollars later

Jesus. I guess we all agree that John Ferguson Jr. needed to be fired as Leafs general manager, but can someone remind me why the opinion of a backup goalie in the Swedish second division counts for anything? (The CBC mercifully omitted the information, but it's another Eddie—national-team netminder Eddie Läck—who is getting most of the starts for Allsvenskan leader Leksands IF and leading the circuit in save percentage.)

January 25, 2008

Something for everyone

My Friday column for the National Post is part of a series on the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Morgentaler. It's pretty much designed to attract angry mail and has worked quite well ("My regret is that the Nazis failed to terminate Henry Morgentaler's life in Auchwitz [sic] or wherever it was this vile excuse for humanity was incarcerated," writes Rob Porter, a passionate defender of pro-life values from Mississauga). I also wrote this Friday editorial about gay organ donation; no infuriated replies to that one so far, but it's still morning.

About January 2008

This page contains all entries posted to ColbyCosh.com in January 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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