Who is Scott Hennig?


Probably not the next John Galt…

After being bombarded with a welter of videos from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation today, I got a little curious about Scott Hennig — the youngish fellow with the trendy glasses appearing in many of the CTF’s “news” stories. Who is this guy and why should I value his opinion, I wondered.

Well, he’s the Alberta director of the Taxpayers Federation it turns out, and prior to that he had a brief career as a speechwriter for the provincial conservative government in Alberta (and possibly a hack paid to insert compelling words in the mouth of Stephen Harper). Aside from that… not much of anything it seems.

That’s right; the animated spokesbot persistently speaking out to any camera with an operating battery in it, supposedly on behalf of the little guy, the “average” taxpayer and the hardscrabble small businessman (or woman), appears to have gone pretty much on a smooth glide-path from the Halls of Academe (well, the home of the aptly-named “Butterdome” and leafy grounds of the University of Alberta anyway) to a well-appointed, air-conditioned sinecure located in the heart of Edmonton’s rather antiseptic corridor of hideous architectural travesties known as “the government district.”

These days, when not professionally moaning to the so-called “liberal media” about taxes of all sorts, according to his official bio, he’s also a founding member of the Fort Saskatchewan Urban Forest Committee. What’s that you ask? Shockingly, you will be entirely un-amazed to learn that it’s one of numerous worthy public relations community initiatives Shell Oil is involved with — presumably to deflect hostile criticism of its nearby Scotford heavy oil upgrader and monoethylene glycol production facilities.

It may further un-surprise you to learn that Hennig is friends with Stephen Taylor and is also part of his recently formulated, rapidly budding right-wing Twitsphere of reactionary dolts. Evidently, a 142 jabbering dunderheads are already “following” Mr. Hennig for some completely unknown reason.

Update: Canadian Cynic draws a parallel.

Provincial Branding

Is there anything the Canadian Taxpayers Federation quite possibly WON’T find to complain about?

In recent videos (as in just today!), the CTF has bitched about: the Alberta budget deficits (several times); possible ticketing of people speeding through red lights (a two part effort); pension premiums for the health workers; federal debt; lthe repeal of Alberta’s natural gas rebate; promotion of the Calgary Stampede and other tourism events; and on and on and on…

Maybe these are all legitimate gripes, but this kind of massive info-dump on YouTube is pretty annoying, especially when most of the “news” stories are actually months old.

Marriage Myths Busted

D’oh! Some more kooky myths bite the dust…

It’s heartening to hear people of faith speaking out against the bigotry that discriminates against legal equality for those with different sexual orientation.

Revenge of the Ever-Pesky Facts

Uh oh! Bad news for the Bloggin’ Tories’ favourite crime-watcher and intrepid reporter issuing frantic dispatches from the frontlines of the “war zone in Southern Ontario”

New statistics suggest serious criminal offences were on the decline well before the federal Conservative government launched its anti-crime campaign in Parliament.

The figures, reported by Statistics Canada today, indicate police-reported crime was less serious overall in 2007, the year after the Tories took office, than it was a decade earlier. The agency says the crime rate had also dropped, but to a lesser degree.

The agency’s new police-reported Crime Severity Index tracks changes in the severity of reported crimes by assigning each offence a weight, with more serious crimes such as robberies and break-ins given higher rankings. Traditional statistics have looked at the numbers of crimes, rather than rating their seriousness.

The report says the index — billed as the first of its kind anywhere — suggests crime severity fell by about 20 per cent during the decade, driven by a 40 per cent drop in break-ins.

I’m sure the findings of Statistics Canada won’t deter Neo and other paranoid loons of the right-wing from their prurient, fear-mongering hobby of scanning the nation’s police blotters every day, or disabuse them of the crackpot notion that western civilization is being hopelessly corroded by the influx of wickedly immoral brown people and their depraved “leftist” enablers.

GM: Anti-American?

It used to be that, as former GM President Charles Wilson famously said, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” but now… well, maybe not so much.