Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do Not Elect Bob Rae, Please

Whenever the Liberals elect their new leader, I really hope they do not elect Bob Rae.  He gets under my skin.  When he speaks, he comes off as arrogant and combative, and like he is speaking down to the Conservatives because he doesn’t agree with what they are doing (such as calling one of their new policies “stupid”).  It feels like he is lecturing them about how they should be doing their jobs.  It is very annoying, and I would prefer not to have to listen to him.  If he is elected, he will, of course, speak quite often.  And he certainly doesn’t represent the Liberals very positively.  If most “undecided” people think he is as annoying as I think he is, it would not be a good idea to elect him.  

Is Canada Becoming a Police State?

To answer the question that constitutes the title of this post, no.  Of course not.  What an absurd thought.  To those that believe it is, may I suggest moving to Myanmar?  Perhaps that will allow you to see what an actual police state is.  I am a strong believer in “infringing” on people’s rights.  Not their fundamental, inalienable human rights, but the rights that allow them to get away with crime (such as the “right” to privacy).  A reason for jeopardizing that right should be necessary, but it is simply too easy to commit crime because it is too difficult for police to do their jobs. 

It is said that it is preferable for one thousand guilty men to be free than for one innocent man to be incarcerated.  To that, I say, “Huh?”.  If one thousand guilty men were free, as well as one innocent man, then there is the potential for at least one innocent person to become something worse than incarcerated.  The point of a criminal justice system is to lock criminals away from society (to keep society safe), not to keep innocent people from being locked away from society.  At least one possible solution to this is to rid of all these technicalities that free obviously guilty people.  And if someone is probably guilty (beyond reasonable doubt), then it makes sense not to free them.  I reckon the phrase “beyond reasonable doubt” has become meaningless (or its meaning has transformed into “beyond the slightest possibility of doubt”). 

Some actual possible solutions: install conspicuous cameras everywhere (in public, of course), allow for random locker searches (lockers are the property of the school, after all), allow for random drug tests, and give police more power in general, while also limiting it.  Personally, I see no harm in any of this.  I welcome any arguments as to why it may be harmful. 

When I hear of accusations of police brutality, or other such accusations against the police, I am usually skeptical.  That someone would make such an accusation for political gain is quite easy to believe.  I do think that there should be an independent agency that performs investigations into police conduct, because sometimes these accusations are genuine, but I would conjecture that some people just have an unreasonable sense of what “rights” they are entitled to, and how the police should treat suspects (as if they were their grandmothers, or something).  And, given what the police do, I believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gender Equality vs. Gender Roles

There is nothing wrong with traditional gender roles.  However, in my opinion, there is something wrong with forcing traditional gender roles on someone.  Still, reporters discussing a survey seem shocked and appalled that about 40% of teenage boys in Canada (compared to about 15% in the UK) think women should take care of their family and house, and about 45% of teenage boys think men should be tough.  The solution, according to them, and according to the perpetrator of this survey, is to teach gender equality to children well before they begin school and for schools to focus more on breaking down gender stereotypes.  Of course, while this survey is being reported on, I am confused, as always.  I do not see the inherent horror in believing in traditional gender roles.  Of course men and women should be treated as, and thought of, as equals, but that is not necessarily incompatible with traditional gender roles (and especially not with acknowledging that they are different).  I reckon the media is becoming more and more demented.  Of course, tradition is backwards, unenlightened, and moronic.  And those who believe in it all want to oppress and brutalize women, who are, of course, according to them, objects designed for performing the duties that are below men.  And, of course, schools are meant to be tools used to program children with progressive, or “enlightened,” viewpoints as a means to erode tradition’s oppression. 

My god, this is nauseating.  

Should Quebec Get More Seats?

The Conservative majority is planning to redistribute the legislative seats among the provinces, so they are more proportional to the province’s populations.  This means that British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario will receive more seats.  I believe this should automatically happen when the census data is released, like in the United States. 

However, this seemingly innocuous action (redistributing the seats to be more proportional to the population) is causing some controversy.  And, like most controversy in Canada, Quebec is at the centre.  I, like many Anglophone Canadians, harbour contempt toward Quebec.  The reason for this is that Quebec’s French majority is resentful of being a minority nation-wide (or some such thing).  The idea of Quebec separating from Canada is somewhat popular in Quebec, and they use the threat of separation as leverage to gain special privileges.  In Canada’s constitution, Quebec is defined as “a distinct society,” giving it a seemingly superior position above the rest of the provinces.  Indeed, the Quebecois seem to have a large sense of entitlement, as if they deserve special privileges.  And, they are now demanding more seats in the legislature, despite having a disproportionately large number of seats already.  The NDP (Canada’s farthest left major party) is apparently supporting this.  Quebec is arguably Canada’s most left-wing province, giving the majority of its seats to the NDP in Canada’s most recent federal election (consequentially, the majority of the NDP seats are from Quebec).  Personally, I can’t believe anyone is actually taking this seriously.  Fortunately, the Conservative majority will not likely allow this to happen. 

I could care less whether or not Quebec separates.  Pandering to them, however, is completely unacceptable.  The fact that it happens in a first-world country is appalling.  

Showing a Good Example

Dick Cheney received quite the reception in Vancouver last night.  Promoting his book at a $500-per-ticket event, attendees were welcomed by a perpetually angry crowd demanding Cheney be arrested for war crimes (with no evidence, of course).  In an ironic twist, these people, supposedly protesting violence, managed to knock several people attending the event over, despite a large police presence and a chain of police officers separating the protesters from the pathway the attendees used to enter the event. 

I’m convinced that these people travel around looking for things to protest.  And these protests are ugly; they’re not the typical protests where people stand still peacefully holding signs.  These people get in your face, and loudly yell very judgemental things like “do you have no moral compass?”  By now, it should be quite evident that the title of this post is sarcastic.  These people, liberals, of course, do not show a good example.  This kind of behaviour makes all liberals seem crazy, but I’m sure these people represent only a small portion of the liberal population.  So, I ask reasonable liberals to distance themselves from these lunatics and denounce their behaviour.  Demonstrating that you resort to questionable tactics to make your point is not a good way to get people on your side, in my opinion.  In fact, I would bet that average people dismiss the opinions of radicals. 

While I’m on the topic of protesting, I will address the protests over the oil pipeline that is proposed to be built between Hardisty, Alberta and Houston, Texas.  Some of the protesters in this case, as well, resorted to questionable tactics to get their point across.  Acts of defiance, with the intent of getting arrested, just to make a point, does not, in my opinion, make any point other than “I’m mentally ill.”  What sensible person would actually volunteer to be arrested for naught but symbolism?  Not one, I reckon.  There are legitimate concerns about this pipeline, including the potential (but unlikely) risk of the contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer, which was, in fact, raised by the Republican governor of Nebraska.  To me, it seems counter-productive to protest in such a way, because these people are radicals, and their actions do not reflect well on their credibility.  As I said before, average people likely do not take their views very seriously. 

Which is also a reason why I believe the Tea Party movement has gained such momentum.  Not only does the Tea Party represent a common sense approach to solving the USA’s financial problems, but Tea Party protests are also civil (despite their depiction in the increasingly irrelevant mainstream media).  So, the Tea Party movement, unlike certain liberal protesters, are showing a good example.  

“Theatre of the Absurd”

Here are some excerpts from Benjamin Netanyahu’s excellent speech at the UN in response to Palenstine’s bid for statehood (emphasis added) (h/t Frugal Cafe):

Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, innovators, apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers,enrich the heritage of humanity. Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather — shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here,that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.

Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

You couldn’t make this thing up.

So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.


Ladies and gentlemen, when I first came here 27 years ago, the world was divided between East and West. Since then the Cold War ended, great civilizations have risen from centuries of slumber, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty, countless more are poised to follow, and the remarkable thing is that so far this monumental historic shift has largely occurred peacefully. Yet a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy.

That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.

Since 9/11, militant Islamists slaughtered countless other innocents — in London and Madrid, in Baghdad and Mumbai, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in every part of Israel. I believe that the greatest danger facing our world is that this fanaticism will arm itself with nuclear weapons. And this is precisely what Iran is trying to do.

Can you imagine that man who ranted here yesterday — can you imagine him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter. That would be a tragedy. Millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to replace tyranny with liberty, and no one would benefit more than Israel if those committed to freedom and peace would prevail.

This is my fervent hope. But as the prime minister of Israel, I cannot risk the future of the Jewish state on wishful thinking. Leaders must see reality as it is, not as it ought to be. We must do our best to shape the future, but we cannot wish away the dangers of the present.

And the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.


Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM (ph) in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace.

We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

And I don’t think people remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of people from their homes. We pulled children out of — out of their schools and their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even — we even moved loved ones from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of Gaza to President Abbas.

Now the theory says it should all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

Thousands of missiles have already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given all this, Israelis rightly ask: What’s to prevent this from happening again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the West Bank.

So I want to ask you. Would any of you — would any of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we’re not prepared to have another Gaza there. And that’s why we need to have real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with us.

Israelis remember the bitter lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel’s critics ignore them. They irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again. Your read what these people say and it’s as if nothing happened — just repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this happened.

And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.

So in the face of the labels and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns.


I bring up these problems because they’re not theoretical problems. They’re very real. And for Israelis, they’re life-and- death matters. All these potential cracks in Israel’s security have to be sealed in a peace agreement before a Palestinian state is declared, not afterwards, because if you leave it afterwards, they won’t be sealed. And these problems will explode in our face and explode the peace.


The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.

Israel has no intention whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just don’t want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of our state. (Applause.) We want to give up — we want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians.

President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict. (Applause.)

The settlements have to be — it’s an issue that has to be addressed and resolved in the course of negotiations. But the core of the conflict has always been and unfortunately remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border.


There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand — the hand of Israel — in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our destinies are intertwined. Let us realize the vision of Isaiah — (speaks in Hebrew) — “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” Let that light be the light of peace.

I apologize for not posting this sooner, but it is quite a long speech and I haven’t really had the time to read it fully.  Having said that, it is a great speech.  Mr. Netanyahu makes some excellent points, both about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and about the UN, which is, indeed, a theatre of the absurd. 

I do not understand anti-Israeli activists.  It does not make sense that they would ignore facts and so zealously condemn a modern, liberal nation in favour of one in stark contrast, one that, unlike Israel, oppresses its women and homosexuals.  I guess it’s the cool thing to do.

Furthermore, I want to applaud Stephen Harper for his firm support of Israel.

In spite of my often-critical tone toward my country, I am proud of Canada right now.  I am proud that the majority of Canadians elected Stephen Harper’s Conservatives into a majority government, despite the controversy that preceded the election; and I am proud to belong to a country whose leader is a such a firm ally of Israel’s.  Canada’s “progressive values” notwithstanding, these things give me a reason to be patriotic.   

Monday, September 26, 2011

Greece: The Economic Black Hole

Thanks in part to the establishment of the Eurozone, Greece’s terrible economic situation has affected the rest of Europe immensely.  Greece doesn’t have a large economy itself, but Europe as a whole does.  Add to that the economic situation in the United States, and Canada’s relative economic stability is becoming more and more unsound.  We are teetering on the event horizon of the black hole that is Greece.

I don’t know what is wrong with Greeks.  They don’t seem to understand the situation; unless they embrace severe austerity, they will default.  I can’t imagine why anyone in Greece would be so outraged at the prospect of austerity.  I mean, they don't pay their taxes, and they still expect the government to pay for everything.    

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Some Thoughts on 9/11

I write this on September 11, 2011.  While I cannot post it today, I will as soon as I can. 

Watching a documentary about 9/11, which contains actual footage from the attacks, is a surreal experience.  I don’t remember watching it on the news ten years ago.  If watching footage from the attacks is surreal, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to actually experience it.  It looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.  I have had nightmares in which I am in a state of confusion, and I don’t know what is going on, and I am afraid.  I have those nightmares I think, because that feeling is what I am truly afraid of; being in that situation.  It sounds strange, but I can sort of remember what it feels like to be in that nightmare.  That is the closest feeling I know to what it would feel like to be in hell.  And of course, that is nothing close to what they would be feeling.  I have always thought of being in such a situation as purely abstract.  This film gives me a better idea of what it’s like, and it is surreal to watch.  In those nightmares, I am usually wondering if I am in a dream.  And, of course, I am.  In the film, one firefighter wonders if what he is experiencing is real.  Going through such a profoundly surreal experience, I’m sure I would wonder the same.  In fact, even watching the events on television, I’m sure I would have wondered the same thing had I been old enough to understand the magnitude of the occurrence.

I have always understood what happened ten years ago today, but only in somewhat abstract terms.  I have seen footage of the planes crashing into the buildings, and of the buildings collapsing.  While surreal, that doesn’t even give you an idea of what really happened.  After watching this film, it is not so abstract anymore.  This film hit me, and, even though it happened ten years ago, I have a new understanding of what happened.  But, for me, it remains still beyond comprehension. 

Whatever I could say wouldn’t do the magnitude of that catastrophe or its victims justice.  Nor the heroic first responders.  While 9/11 demonstrates that pure evil exists, it has also reminded me that, within humanity, there exists good.  The pinnacle of humanity’s good is within the heroes that protect us from the abyss of humanity’s evil.  For police, firefighters, members of the military, and other such heroes, I have nothing but immense respect and admiration.  They remind me of the good that there is, and they inspire me to try to be as good a person as I can, even if my best will never be as good as theirs.  In fact, it will never even be close. 

The spirit of the founding fathers of the United States of America is a noble one.  And what America has done in the face of 9/11 shows that that spirit lives on.  I wish my country was as noble as its neighbor to the south.  What ideals encapsulate the spirit of Canada?  Compassion?  That’s probably right.  The very ideal that is anathema to my worldview.  It’s almost enough to make me want to move, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.  The spirit of America is one that I admire.  Independence, resolve, freedom, and the belief that anyone is capable of what they put their mind to.  Those are ideals that I can respect.  When America is attacked, it fights back.  It doesn’t try to understand what adversity caused its attackers to attack.  It doesn’t care, because it is facing evil, and evil doesn’t care.  I don’t care for what doesn’t care for me.  Maybe that’s a bit too mathematical for some people, but I could care less about the well-being of evil bastards, and I will revel in their demise.  It is evil to inflict harm for no reason.  It is evil to allow harm to be inflicted for no reason.  And America often seems like the only nation that understands that.  In the face of evil, America shows its resolve.  Thank you, America, and thank you, heroes, for giving me faith.  Thank you for fighting the good fight, and thank you for saving lives and for protecting us.  

NOTE: I apologize for posting this so late.  

Is the Death Penalty Outdated?

That the death penalty is outdated is an absurd notion, in my opinion.  What exactly makes something outdated?  I would say that something becomes outdated when a superior alternative is available.  It bothers me when people use the term “outdated” in a sociological context because it is basically a way of saying “traditional” with a negative connotation (even though “traditional” is seemingly gaining a negative connotation of is own), while there are more accurate adjectives available.  What I am trying to say is that “outdated,” in a sociological context, is really nothing more than a buzzword designed to add a negative connotation to a traditional custom or behaviour.  Which, it seems, is basically a way of saying anything short of progressivism (or constant social change) is inherently a bad thing. 

Semantics aside, the debate over the death penalty is becoming heated in the United States with the recent execution of Troy Davis.  I am pro-death penalty.  In fact, I would prefer to see it expanded to crimes such as sexual abuse of children and drug trafficking.  To me, it seems a perfectly ethical, reasonable, and practical option.  But only if it were limited to cases with strong evidence.  My believing in its ethicality is based upon the fact that the victims should be favoured in a criminal justice system.  Murder victims die.  They were not allowed the opportunity to be incarcerated and possibly paroled.  They’re dead.  So, why should their killers be allowed the opportunity not to be dead?  In many cases, the victim was relatively innocent, whereas the killer was not.  So, basically, a system devoid of the death penalty values the life of the killer over the life of the relatively innocent victim.  To me, that does not seem ethical; it, in fact, seems downright unethical.  Hence my belief that the death penalty is ethical.  With prisons ludicrously overcrowded, the death penalty is also practical (I agree with Homer).  It wouldn’t necessarily free up a lot of space, but that is beside the point.

I believe that anyone who believes that the death penalty, or violence, is outdated or barbaric (or, in other words, they believe that humanity has reached a point where everyone can get along without resorting to violence, or something) is living in a delusional fantasy-land.  

Friday, September 23, 2011


My computer has been broken for the past couple weeks.  That is why I have not posted since Sep 5.  It seems to be fixed now; hopefully I will not have any more problems.  I wrote something on Sep 11, that I plan on typing out and posting.  Hopefully it will not re-open any old wounds.

Monday, September 5, 2011

How to Create Jobs

Instead of attacking corporations in an attempt to get them to create jobs (as some union thugs have apparently suggested), which won't work, a better idea would be to minimize the impact of regulations and cut spending (to reduce uncertainty and the debt).  

Watching the US economy is like watching a slowly dying animal that is in agony.  The humane thing to do, in that case, would be to kill the animal to put it out of its misery.  Similarly, people in the US are suffering because of the economy.  For these people, the humane thing to do would be to get the recession over with so economic expansion can resume (and preferably not a "bubble" (i.e. artificial economic expansion)).  

When Obama gives his speech on the subject (which is on the 8th, I think), I am guessing his plan will not involve any of what I have said above. 

After I study economics a bit, I will write a post with a detailed plan for the US economic situation (I promise, I think).   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Obama Benefited From Affirmative Action

In a letter written by Barack Obama in 1990, he says this (h/t Frugal Café):
I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review. Indeed, my election last year as President of the Review would seem to indicate that at least among Review staff, and hopefully for the majority of professors at Harvard, affirmative action in no way tarnishes the accomplishments of those who are members of historically underrepresented groups.
(Emphasis added)

I'm not sure if this is a widely-known fact, but it is news to me.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Apparently, some time in the recent past, there was some debate about abortion in Canada.  I am wondering when this debate occurred.  Anyway, it seems to be a sensitive issue in Canada.  Abortion was legalized in Canada in 1988 (perhaps this was the debate I'm hearing about, which would mean it occurred before I was born), and it is funded by the government (excluding in New Brunswick).  Last year, during the G8 summit in Toronto, Stephen Harper said that Canada would not fund abortions in foreign nations.
Harper has since been insisting he doesn’t want to reopen the debate on abortion in Canada. But many have noted the contradiction between a foreign policy that rejects abortion for women in developing countries and Canadian laws that give women here access to abortions paid by government insurance.
I don't see any contradiction here.  By that logic, Canadian taxpayers would fund social services and infrastructure in developing countries, in addition to many other things.  Anyway, Harper's statement prompted this:
The Liberal Party, the main opposition to Harper’s Conservatives, has tried to make the most of the issue. Led by their struggling leader, Michael Ignatieff, it tried to pass a motion in parliament demanding that the government “refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States.” 
I love it when lefties use the term "right-wing" as if it were an insult.  Anyway, that motion failed because anti-abortion liberal MP's didn't vote (in Canada, MP's must vote along party lines, something I find stupid).

Anyway, my reason for bringing this up is that I wanted to write a post on abortion.  I would argue that any abortion committed after life begins is murder.  I am unsure whether there is scientific consensus on when life begins, but, I would argue that life begins at conception based on the fact that the when the sperm, which contains 23 chromosomes, and the ovum, which contains 23 chromosomes, are combined, you get the 46 chromosomes that constitute the individual.  However, I do have some problems with that reasoning, because that would mean that killing a zygote is murder, and a zygote (which is a cell), is not really a person.  And, while a zygote is a distinct organism, so is a deer (for example).  Personally, I have no moral issues with killing a deer.  So, if a zygote isn't a human, why should I have any moral issues with killing one?  To me, that is semantic, and a debate best left up to ethicists.  To avoid such ethical issues, it is better to simply say that life begins at conception, because it certainly doesn't begin by going through the birth canal (unless that is some sort of magic portal, which I don't think it is).