Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gratitude

I have been following the story of Tul Bahadur Pun VC over the past week or so, and how he was refused entry to the UK for medical treatment by some bureaucrat peon. Andrew Stuttaford quotes Kipling, but not "Tommy", a usual source of outrage in the face of abandoned Service personnel. Instead it was a poem I was not familiar with, "the Last of the Light Brigade", a riposte to Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade". The brief excerpt made me seek out the full text.

UPDATE: Labour has caved, Pun has been granted a settlement visa.

A pity - Ben Chin not to run again in Toronto-Danforth for prov Liberals

It's a pity Ben Chin has decided to stay in McGuinty's backroom rather than run again. He had a very creditable performance last time out given NDP incumbency and Tabuns' prior stint as councillor, but was fatally smeared by Tabuns over the Portlands Centre Power Station and by others over attempts to discredit his past as a refugee from the then dictatorship in South Korea.

Hopefully whoever they run instead will give the smug Dipper a strong challenge. Chin won't run federally as Andrew Coyne's cousin is taking another kamikaze run at Jack Layton.

UPDATE: correction per the comment below. Posting at midnight not so good for the fact-checking part of my brain!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Governing as if you command a majority when you don't have one - not so easy in Quebec

While the federal NDP, Liberals and Bloc have wrung their hands but stood by while Harper rams item after item on his agenda, the ADQ with Pequiste backup look likely to stop Charest in his Harper-aping tracks at the first time of asking.

Update: Mon Dieu! Have I forgotten that "PQ backup" is a contradiction in terms?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Well done that man

I have been trying to put the Blue Jays on the Stephen Colbert regime (below 0.500 "on notice", below 0.400 "dead to me") but even with the dip into the .390s recently I couldn't avoid this story. With the Jays pitching in general disarray including two successive Halladay losses and a subsequent appendectomy, the merits of promoting one of the somewhat fragile bullpen versus the plucking of Jesse Litsch from AA New Hampshire where he was running 5-1 and 0.96 ERA was discussed on sports radio here in Toronto.

Going to Litsch against the Orioles turned out to be a good call - he is now 1-0, having pitched 8.2 innings, one earned run, four hits, three bases on balls and one strikeout (1.04 ERA) while defending a slim two run contribution from his teammates with Accardo dealing with the last out for his 3rd save. More of that please!

He picked up his customary shaving cream pie from Vernon Wells along with one for his dad who was watching on his 57th birthday and who had raised his son as a lone parent.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good results in Dublin

The judgement for D (a minor) vs Judge Brennan and others isn't on the Courts Service Judgements site yet but:
(Mr Justice Liam McKechnie, in the High Court,) said (Miss D) had got devastating news about the health of the baby she was carrying when she went for a scan at 16 weeks’ pregnant and had made a sound moral judgment.

She could, Mr Justice Mc Kechnie said, have stayed mute and travelled, or she could have committed perjury by claiming she had suicidal tendencies. Miss D, he said, was determined to seek a resolution. She had shown courage and determination.

The decision of the court that she can travel to Britain for an abortion, the judge reminded the courtroom, is not the end of Miss D’s ordeal.
Vivian Kilfeather, the Examiner
The case was about the right to travel rather than the rights of the unborn child, and only totalitarian regimes prevented freedom of movement for their citizens.
News in Brief, The Times

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The previous day in a quite different matter the Supreme Court gave a 5-0 decision in Competition Authority vs O'Regan & others. I'm not usually one to follow competition law but this one has a personal interest. The judgement is quite dense so I'll rely on the media to tell the story:
Finding in favour of the (Irish League of Credit Unions), the Supreme Court has completely vindicated the position adopted by the ILCU to vigorously defend the proceedings instituted against it by the Competition Authority which had claimed that it had abused its dominant market position.
[...]
The ILCU, however, has expressed dissatisfaction at the original decision of the Competition Authority to pursue this matter, at considerable expense to the tax payer, despite the ILCU's offers to stay matters subject to the outcome of discussions regarding its Savings Protection Scheme with the Financial Regulator.
BusinessWorld
The case arose after the authority brought proceedings against the Irish League of Credit Unions when the league proposed in 2003 to disaffiliate or expel credit unions that sought loan protection and life savings insurance from outlets other than through the ECCU Life Assurance Company Ltd, a company controlled by the league.

Credit unions that did not take out this insurance cover with ECCU faced loss of access to the league's savings protection scheme (SPS). The SPS is worth up to €90 million and provides maximum compensation of some €12,700 to individual members where a credit union experiences financial difficulties. The league's SPS is the only such scheme in the State.
[...]
In the Supreme Court judgment, Mr Justice Fennelly said an essential precondition to the case for the Competition Authority was a finding that credit union representation services and SPS be considered as distinct products in different relevant product markets. If they were not, issues relating to whether the league enjoyed, or abused, a dominant position in the market for either of those services, especially SPS, did not arise.

The judge said he had reached the clear conclusion that SPS was not a distinct product and that the authority had also failed to show SPS was in a separate product market. It had been shown that not only did no such service exist on the insurance market, no insurer was willing to provide it.
FinFacts Ireland