Monday, December 29, 2008

Japanese Discover Secret of Virginity

Japanese researchers, commissioned by the Japanese Government have just released a study drawing a connection between the eating of breakfast and prolonging virginity.

Really, do tell...

There are many theories on the links between food and sex, but Japanese researchers have came up[sic] with a new finding - young people who skip breakfast tend to lose their virginity earlier.

In a study of 3000 people, those who did not regularly eat breakfast when in their early teens said they lost their virginity at an average age of 17.5, versus an overall average age of 19 for all Japanese.

For those who had a morning meal when they were younger, the average age of having the first sexual experience was 19.4.

The study, backed by Japan's health ministry, was aimed at finding ways to curb unwanted pregnancies. It concluded that a stable home life discouraged early sex.

Due to an unfortunate translation problem, the English version of the study was inappropriately titled Hey, those sluts look hungry, but was quickly recalled.

A Mr. Kitamura, the head of the Japan Family Planning Association goes on to say:

Those unhappy with their parents - such as for not preparing breakfast - may tend to find a way to release their frustration by having sex...

Yeah, that was my first thought this morning when I woke up to no breakfast. I think I'll just go out and have sex. Then I remembered how cold it was.

Like all of us Japan wants to reduce teenage pregnancies and disease. Also they have one of the lowest birth rates in the world. The low birth rate is a problem for a country that has a bit of a thing about racial purity and nationalism. I imagine they have more than a few Pat Buchanans/Mark Steyns over there shrieking about the future demographics.

While I wonder about how they arrived at this correlation between breakfast and chastity, and whether the study is even remotely scientific, I'm not going to argue about it. If it works it works.

It only seems common sense that you should cook breakfast for your kids. Please recommend this post

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Lump of Coal Ash For You

I was reading PZ Myers blog post on coal ash. Coal ash is the toxic sludge that is leftover after coal is burned. In Tennessee a retaining wall collapsed and 500 million gallons of coal ash were dumped into the state's water table. Since coal ash contains concentrations of heavy metals and other toxic substances you would think this would be recognized by the media as a huge environmental disaster. However the coverage has been very light to say the least.

This got me thinking about how we deal with coal ash in Alberta. Over 95% of our electricity is coal fire generated. Mostly this comes from the two large generators at Lake Wabamum. The first plant built in the 1950's pretty much ruined the ecology of the lake. A CN derailment a few summers ago didn't help by dumping millions of gallons of bunker oil in the lake.

So where does the ash from these plants go? Most of the coal in Alberta is strip mined, so it is likely the ash goes back in an excavation where the coal came from. I did find one document on Alberta Environment's website which did not exactly fill me with confidence.

Some excerpts:

Coal ash contains certain elements (B, Se, As) in concentrations that may create toxic conditions when entering the food chain via plant uptake or by leaching into the ground and surface waters. Therefore, it is critical to define and characterize coal ash to ensure proper use and disposal procedures.


Update: B,Se and As in the above quotation refer to Boron, Selenium and Arsenic.

The Alberta User Guide for Waste Managers states that “fly ash waste, bottom ash waste, slag waste or flue gas emission control waste generated from the combustion of domestic waste, coal, wood, or other fossil fuels” are not considered hazardous wastes..

Emphasis mine. And...

Current management options for coal ash include: disposal in mined out areas, surface impoundments, off-site landfills, co-disposal with sour wastes, soil conditioner for pH adjustment, and re-use.

The document goes on with the usual assurances that there shouldn't be any problems. I wrote some time ago about how a moth-balled gas plant in Turner Valley was leaking toxic hydrocarbons in the Sheep River water basin and no one was acknowledging the problem or trying to fix it. Then there's the ongoing allegation of cancer rates in the Athabasca River communities. The response was to deny and fire a health official.

Do you see a pattern here? A province that actually has poor environmental practices goes to great lengths to deny the problem and harass whistle blowers.

Unfortunately there's not much the rest of us can do about it because the Government has the unwavering support of Alberta's media outlets. Vote Tory, be happy. Please recommend this post

The Thais are Funny

Please recommend this post

Monday, December 22, 2008

David Hockney Gives Me Pleasure

I came across this great book of David Hockney's paintings and photographs, with great reproduction quality and just the right amount of commentary. Hockey is a UK born artist who is a painter first, but also is good at photography. He also designs sets for Opera and stage.

My favourite Hockney painting is called Garrowby Hill (image above left). The colors and the vantage point are just too much. The painting is based on the countryside around Yorkshire but it reminds me a lot of the scenery in Alberta. I've always wanted this painting.

I also want the book. I'm not much into coffee table books but this I would make an exception for. It would also make a good bathroom book. Not that putting a book in a bathroom is in any way an insult. Its a luxury that you can look at a book and take your time, possible while in the midst of a difficult passing.

Hey, what are you doing in there hurry up!
Nothing. I'll be out in a second.
Don't touch my art books!

Or even as a bedside book...

Honey, you never make love to me anymore.
You just flip through that Hackney book every night.

Title: David Hockney
Authors: Paul Melia and Ulrich Luckhardt
ISBN: 3-7913-2413-6
Dewey: 759.2 HOC Please recommend this post

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Whose Nativity Scene is it?

The nativity scene at a church near my house. Charming, though a little kitschy. You can't see it well in the picture, but there is a little Angel hoisted above the manger with a piece of rebar. Because I'm a neurotic stickler for details I thought something was not quite right. For some reason I didn't think there was an angel at the nativity scene, at least not as its told in the bible stories.

Quick refresher. Of the four Gospels only Matthew and Luke have stories about the birth of Jesus. Mark and John start their gospels with Jesus already an adult. Matthew tells the story of the three wise men, but Luke leaves them out completely. Luke tells the story of the shepherds in the fields woken up by angels in the sky. Matthew leaves the shepherds out.

And yes, I was right. Neither story says there were Angels at the manger.

Its a minor detail and a forgivable one in the name of artistic license. The reason it bothers me is that every year at this time we have horrible arguments about who owns Christmas and what it really means. I think that if you're going to be like Bill O'Reilly or the Catholic League and bully people into believing that your version of Christmas is the correct one, to be forced upon the rest of us, then you should at least get the details correct from your own source.

Make of the holidays and the various traditions what you will. Its yours to imagine. Or to ignore. If you want zebras and helicopters in your nativity scene go for it. If you want gay shepherds or a black Virgin Mary go for it. It is your spiritual path, your story, and your symbols. Please recommend this post

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Night Links

Some of my favourites from the last couple of days.

1. Sara Posner at the Nation and Christopher Hitchens at Slate Magazine both deconstruct Rick Warren. What they find under the rock is not pretty. They're both good articles but one is more nuclear. Can you guess which one?

2. Vanity Fair's special on Tina Fey. With pictures. Awkward throat clearing. Grabbing collar.

3. A woman repeatedly fainted from eating sandwiches and pop. Luckily science figures it out without going all Freudian.

4. Steven Fletcher, Minister of Promoting Ignorance threatens to abolish the Senate. Do you think its unusual that a man responsible for democratic reform doesn't even know a sitting Government can't just unilaterally abolish the senate? Do you think he should know that?

5. Preston Manning's shallow attempt to offer advice on fixing the current Parliament. Abstract: Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Vote Conservative have a nice day. Elder Statesman...not so much.

6. A CBC news story about the California Attorney General recommending that the California Supreme Court overturn proposition 8 on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

7. PZ Myers has a good post, If Programming Languages Were Religions Also known as flame baiting.

8. And oh yeah, apparently the Belgian government has collapsed and the country may separate. Now my personal assistant Nannette will be wanting time off. Please recommend this post

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another poll needing bias has another painfully obvious poll question on their front page:

With Alberta facing a deficit, should the Premier and MLAs roll back the huge wage increases they gave themselves this year?

Hell yes, and then some. It only seems right with the Prime Minister and the Alberta Health Minister bitching about people expecting "entitlements". And while they're at it maybe they could scale back on some of those make work keep-the-back-benchers-looking-busy committees, such as the ineptly named Alberta-Idaho border committee.

Its running just over 90% yes right now, but I think that should be much higher.

For further reading, some advice from the Alberta Liberal Party. Please recommend this post

Is that an Advisory Panel in your pants...or

Wow, that's some panel that Mr. Flaherty appointed to advise him on the economy.

The panel consists entirely of CEO's:

Jim Patterson, Paul Desmarais Jr, Geoff Beattie, James Irving, George Gosbee, Isabelle Hudon, Mike Lazaridis, Jack Mintz, Ajit Someshwar, Annette Verschuren, and Carole Taylor.

I would more than glad to have any one of these people as a business mentor, they represent a lot of business success. However as a panel advising on economic matters I think they are far from balanced and not entirely qualified to advise on Government budgets during difficult times. I have a feeling it will be all happy happy as Flaherty hears mostly what he wants to hear.

It looks to me like Jim is trying to isolate and innoculate himself from the average Canadian. He has no interest in the views of labor groups, academics, the unemployed or the non-profit sector, to name a few.

I had this idea. Sequester them away in a little potemkin village for 6 months. Give them each the equivalent of the average Canadian's salary and debt. Let them see if they can make it 6 months. Survival CEO.

If they come out ok then let them offer economic advice.

In the meantime lets all sing along with Shatner.

In that case I'll have a Rum and Coca Cola...

Please recommend this post

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Calgary's Latest Grievance

I've heard this twice on the radio, saw it once in a newspaper, and overheard it once at a coffee shop:

Michael Ignatieff cannot call himself Iggy because there is only one Iggy, Calgary Flames caption Jerome Iginla.

For those of you who think this is a worth while debate, rather than trivial anti-liberal snottiness I only have two words for you:

Iggy Pop. He was Iggy before Iggy or Iggy was Iggy.

If you're a fan of all three of these men, maybe we'll make a run of t-shirts with a picture of all three. Caption: May The Holy Trinity Of Iggy Bless You.

Its not every day you can get sued by the NHL Players association, a punk rock label and the Liberal Party of Canada. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm On Irony Overload

Consider the events of the last week:

1. The Prime Minister says he will rebalance the Parliament by giving Ontario 20 more seats.

2. The Prime Minister confirms he will make 18 patronage appointments to the Senate.

3. The Conservative government of Alberta says it will break its own law and run a deficit in 09.

Somewhere in a parallel universe Stephane Dion is Prime Minister and Kevin Taft is the Premier of Alberta. They are doing the exact same things listed above, except it causes an east-west civil war.

Is it just me, or is the silence in the western media regarding these issues conspicuously absent of any kind of criticism? Please recommend this post

Show Us Your Best Bush Throwing Shoes!

Definitely the Caterpillar winter boots. They weigh a ton.

But who would get the second boot? Harper? Stelmach? Craig MacTavish? Decisions.

Disclaimer: Boot throwing is just a metaphor.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Goldring: GM Line Workers Get 100k to Retire

Peter Goldring is shocked, simply shocked.


Here's what he's learned having travelled through the Ontario communities being hard hit by layoffs. "When a person retires from the automotives industry, General Motors in particular... I've learned that on retirement, not only do they receive their pension which is $4000/month -- which they paid into. But they also receive $100,000 cash bonus and they also receive a $35,000 brand new car."

Goldring says he's concerned about the optics of this, given how taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet themselves in these tough economic times. He plans to take his findings to caucus.

This sounds pretty far-fetched to me. I'm glad that 630ched chose to run this on their website and as the top item on the radio news cast without any fact checking. Fact checking would have just got in the way of this important discovery.

Hey Pete, when you were at the donut shop did you talk to any of the GM Executives about their benefits or just the crazy guy who waves at all the buses.

Do you feel jealousy and resentment now? Good. Mission accomplished.

I'm starting to understand more and more why Prime Minister Harper chooses to run the Government entirely on his own. Please recommend this post

Chicago 9 Oilers 2

The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Chicago Black Hawks 9-2 tonight in a close, tightly fought battle that went back and forth right up until the final nerve racking minutes.

We're about to tune into Coach MacTavish' post game comments. Now would be a good time to put on your asbestos coveralls and a welding mask.

Video no longer available.

Wow, he was surprisingly mellow. I though he was going to cry. He reminded me a bit of Michael Keaton in that movie about the dead snowman. Help me out here...

Maybe MacTavish should be our finance minister.

Chicago got goals from dudes they didn't even know were on their roster. They had pucks go in the net off angles that would have baffled Werner von Braun.

Marc Pouliot's goal with 5 minutes left in the final period made it 9-2 and made it interesting going down to the final whistle.

Edmonton plays the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow night in Vancouver.

Question: If, God forbid, the Oilers' bus to the airport got stuck in under a huge pile of snow, and they had to survive through cannabilism, who do you think they would eat first? Please recommend this post

Monday, December 15, 2008

Honey Cone: 70's R and B

Sing it sister. I know exactly what you mean. Exactly.

Please recommend this post

Robert Lutz, GM, and Crockery

Robert Lutz is currently the Vice Chairman of Global Product development for General Motors Corporation. He has widespread industry experience having worked for Ford, Chrysler and BMW. His interesting wiki bio is here. Not everyone flies their helicopter to work.

Lutz would have probably flown under the radar had he not, on more than one occasion referred to global warming as a total crock of shit. He spins on the head of pin by saying that he is merely a skeptic and not a denier. I'm not sure what the difference is.

The Governments on both sides of the border are contemplating giving financial support to these businesses and even appointing a Car Czar (Autocrat?). The idea of the car czar sounds a little soviet, but I suspect the position would be little more than a well leashed poodle who knows his boundaries.

It's interesting that the discussion of the bail out has almost entirely centered on the erroneous interpretation of the labor cost model. Unionization can be easily used to provoke outrage. As a taxpayer, (I rarely start sentences that way because I hate tax hysteria) I'm not convinced these companies should get funding when the issues of science, technology and electrification are not at or near the top of the list.

There has to be some better choices other than a) allowing millions of workers to lose their jobs b) funding companies who pollute, and who have an anti-science attitude.

In Canada, once you throw in the lightweights Flaherty and Clement, who have a hate on for Ontario because they elected a Liberal provincial government, the way forward really doesn't get any clearer.

As Rod Phillips would say, Holy Cow, now we have bedlam! Please recommend this post

Needing a Block Heater Sucks

I was out in the dark late last night looking for the end of my block heater cord. At minus 30+ I thought it would be a good idea to plug it in. I couldn't find the cord at all. So I left it until this morning. It doesn't matter how cold it gets my vehicle has never failed to start even unplugged.

The problem is that its very hard on the moving parts for the first few minutes a vehicle is running. At -30 all the oil is sitting at the bottom of the engine in a frozen gel like state. When I was going to University I had a cheap cheap car. One cold morning in December the motor just blew up after I started it. It was kind of neat actually. The mechanic who did the post mortem looked just like John Candy on that morning farm show. Lordy, she did blowed up real good.

While looking for my block heater cord this morning in the bright sunshine I still couldn't find it. Then I noticed this huge block of ice attached to the grill. I gave it a whack and there was the cord, entombed inside the ice. (See first photo.)

I don't have any prominent theme or point here. I don't really hate winter I actually like it. I just hate the effort we all have to go through to keep our vehicles running in this weather. This is crazy. Not really the way of the future.

The only other complaint I have is the short days and cold weather are causing me a lot of fatigue and I'm irritable. More irritable I meant. So if I gave you the finger on the corner of 37st and 40th avenue last night I'm sorry.

Please recommend this post

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Michael Platt: Gangsters Don't Deserve our Blood

The article by Michael Plett in today's Calgary Sun is simply outstanding. You ought to read it.

Plett is angry because good caring people donate their blood only to have it used in the ER to save the lives of alleged gang members who were shooting at each other. It sounds like one of those stealth arguments for capital punishment. Here's a gang member who needs 50 units of blood to stay alive. Might as well let him die because his life is worthless, right? No need for lawyers and judges when Doctors and Nurses can solve a social problem by tweaking their triage a bit. Thankfully Doctors and Nurses are trained to simply save lives without making political value judgments.

In some ways we are a crazy species. Police, EMT's and Doctors rush feverishly to save the life of someone who just committed a horrible crime. We do this because we value life and we cannot put medical professionals in the position of deciding who is worthy to live and who isn't. As if they don't have enough problems during a crisis.

And yes, there is a blood shortage in Calgary and elsewhere. There are always signs advertising clinics. You have it in you to give. But remember, the deal is this: you give the blood, the Doctor decides who gets it.

In as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren you did it to me... Please recommend this post

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Phone in Gay Day

A gay and lesbian rights group, based in California, is urging people to stay home from work today and phone in gay. The protest is aimed to coincide with today's 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal of Human Rights.

They're not asking people to just not show up for work. They're asking them to volunteer for a gay rights group, write letters, or do other kinds of volunteer work.

Many employers now offer paid time off to volunteer. It will be interesting to see how they react to this one. I suspect a lot of employers will recoil in fear and loathing. Perhaps a few people will lose their jobs. One hopes goodwill prevails but I'm kind of cynical.

Maybe the folks who organized the Yes campaign for Proposition 8 can organize a Phone In Ignorant and Bigoted day. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Creating a No-Think Zone

The shutting down of Parliament was the ultimate act of dumbing things down. The mistake of Dion and the Coalition supporters was not realizing the whole debate was emotional rather than intellectual. Dumber not smarter. Closed not curious. Mean not good-willed. The message from the minority is loud and clear: Don't you dare think about this. Harper not only retreated from Parliament he has retreated from the world of ideas and debate, which is exactly where we needed to be during these times.

Dion who is a good thinker and a decent man simply was swamped by the negative, emotional and illogical response to the coalition. Dion, unlike Harper, simply found it unnatural to wield the axe of hyperbole and untruth. Do you admire that quality? I do. The real question now is whether the Liberal Party and the broader coalition understands the playing field.

As the argument about the coalition moves forward you can guess that brilliant debaters will offer that Ignatieff, a) Went to Harvard, and b) Harvard is in the United States. As good a reason as I've ever heard to refuse to cede power to a legal coalition and the legal alternative government. Since elected socialists and separatists are now not allowed to participate in Government via Harper's divine ban, maybe we should add Harvard Grads as well. It has already started with a Calgary radio demagogue referring to Michael Ignatieff as the Harvard brainiac. This is your new cheap shot. Write it down.

In an outright attack on literacy and history, the Calgary Sun had this to say on 30 Nov 2008:

No one wants to hear another egghead tell us about the powers of the governor general and the ins and outs of the King-Byng affair, a lesson many of us slept through in high school social studies class.

That is a horrible message to send to people, especially young people who are still in school. I can't believe that a journalist would seriously argue for people to be ignorant. A newspaper that relies on promoting ignorance, hysteria and simple-mindedness to make people feel good is not acting in its readers best interests.

This version of anti-intellectualism has always been with us, but not in this saturation. It pals around with straight jacket patriotism which is not patriotism at all. It is just another form of hatred and discrimination. Please recommend this post

Monday, December 08, 2008

John Lennon is still an influence

(Looks like my living room)

Favourite Album: Milk and Honey. Even with all the Yoko yodeling.

Favourite Book about Lennon: Instamatic Karma: Photographs of John Lennon, by Mai Pang

Favorite Song: Working Class Hero, tied with Ballad of John and Yoko

Favourite Wife: Yoko.

Favourite defining moment: Recording Give Peace a Chance in Montreal.

Favourite movie: Back Beat

Favourite quotation: The one about being bigger than Jesus which took the Catholic church a full 35 years to get their head around.

Favourite Lyric:

But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Please recommend this post

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Calgary A Mess (Weather)

I had to drive up to the North West and the roads were sheer ice. I came downhill on Nose Hill Drive and slid through a red light. ABS = Anything but stopping. People are still tail gaiting and cutting in front. The police said there were 800 accidents by 2pm today. And the guy driving in front of me in the pic above was gunning for 801. What a moron.

Meanwhile on the radio, two dudes were arguing about whether or not Calgary would need a sea port to be independent. I kid you not.

Correction: 800 should have been 200. Everything seems 4 times worse. Please recommend this post

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Oilers 3 Sharks 2 (OT)

Globe & Mail:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dwayne Roloson is still the San Jose Sharks' most improbable nemesis.

Edmonton's 39-year-old goalie made 41 saves in his latest jaw-dropping effort against San Jose, and the NHL-leading Sharks' nine-game winning streak ended on Kyle Brodziak's goal 2:40 into overtime in the Oilers' 3-2 victory Saturday night.

During the last five minutes of the game and through the overtime the Sharks threw everything they had at Dwayne Roloson. Roloson responded to the NHL's greatest coalition of offensive might by proroguing the red light. No sloppy seconds on any of those shots.

Roloson is fighting for a job, either with the Oilers, or with another team they might trade him to. The Oilers have 3 goaltenders which is unusual, and one will certainly be traded in the next couple of months.

As a result of the win the Oilers have vaulted themselves into either 7th or 8th place. Vaulted. Hard to say where the end point of that lob will be.

The game was not without controversy as the Catholic League threatened to boycott the San Jose sharks. The threat was averted after goal-tender Evgeni Nabokov clarified he was not the author of the controversial novel Lolita. The controversy erupted again when Nabokov speculated that he could write something like that if he wanted. Please recommend this post

Naomi Klein on December 6, 1989

I have never really been able to find the words to describe how the Montreal Massacre affected me. It is a tangled jumble of emotions: disgust, disbelief, shock, anger, sadness, hope, determination among others.

I wasn't prepared for this type of crime, none of us were. I thought it was a minimum expectation of society that an angry mentally ill man would not be running around with an assault rifle, a weapon designed solely for a war zone.

Nineteen years later we have a Government that is philosophically opposed to gun control and pay equity. And for that I don't have any words either.

Genevieve Bergeron
Helene Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Barbara Marie Klueznick
Maryse Laganiere
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michele Richard
Annie St. Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Please recommend this post

Thai Opposition Needs to Be Put in Their Place

From the CBC:

Thailand's opposition Democrat Party says it has enough support in parliament to form a new government and put an end to several months of political chaos.

Party secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban announced Saturday that his group has the backing of more than half of the 400 legislators in the lower house, which would allow it to form a government.

The announcement came three days after anti-government protesters ended an eight-day occupation of two airports in the Thai capital.

What? A majority you say? Ready to take power? Yikes. Sounds like a "coup" to me. I suggest we send Roy Green over their immediately to help them get back to a more appropriate mob rule by the minority and their corrupt government. Roy could whip them into a frenzy by calling people names and singing nationalistic songs over and over.

Majority. Pfft. Please recommend this post

Friday, December 05, 2008

She Wore A Maple Colored Beret

Sing along...

I'm sure your Beret is very nice but I can't actually see it because your web designer is being a bit of a bitch.

The article, from the Guardian, was about what type of hats women can and should wear at a Royal function. Did you notice how they got that little punch in about the French. I'm glad we Canadians are not like that. I say no litmus tests for hats. Wear the damn beret.

My friend Lou Ann wears a beret and smokes crappy french cigarettes. I've told her over and over again the beret screams lefty but she doesn't care.

I dream of a day when our women will be judged by the quality of their characters and not the style of their hats. Please recommend this post

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Harry Hays Rally Warmed My Heart

But froze everything else.

I just got back from a pro-coalition rally at the Harry Hays building in downtown Calgary. For those of you unfamiliar with Calgary the HH Building is a federal government building that houses Revenue Canada and some retail space.

The irony was not lost that the building was sold recently to some Calgary developers for 1.5 billion dollars along with a sweet 25 year lease.

The rally was sparsely attended by about 40-50 people and there seemed to be a lot of media people there most of whom left before the speakers showed up.

I didn't catch who all the speakers were, but they included speakers from the Liberal, NDP and Green Parties, as well as the Council of Canadians and Fair Vote Canada.

The guy standing next to me almost got poked in the eye not once but twice with the business end of a large union flag. Really, that one just dies for a punch line.

Mr. Harper will pleased to know there was a large Canadian flag present. Please recommend this post

Quebec: This is What Calgary Thinks of You

From the Calgary Sun, during the last election:

The Calgary Media had no real legitimate arguments against Stephane Dion's platform in the last election so they ran a never ending series of ad hominem attacks. Most of them were harmless and a few were actually funny.

This cartoon went a few steps further and mocked a man merely because English is his second language and he sounded funny. To me this is an expression of racism and xenophobia and not funny. One wonders why this type of thing plays so well in Calgary, a diverse place with the usual amount of higher education.

Its sort of like kick a red-head day, with large numbers of people who don't have red hair saying, hey its just harmeless fun...

Imagine if you are a recent immigrant to Calgary, probably struggling with English and its weird verbs and illogical idioms and you see something like this. What's the message?

I know that there are many Francophones who dislike Stephane Dion and might find this funny, but remember the Sun is taking aim at you too. If this is how they view someone like Dion imagine what kind of hatred they would throw at a Quebec nationalist.

Oh sorry, I forgot, Mr. Harper has had a hate on for you for some time.

Update: Edit "funny" to "not funny". Please recommend this post

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prorogue: Something Just Died Here

The prorogue of Parliament is something I never expected to see in my lifetime. Until now I didn't even know you could do this in the face of non-confidence. The fact that this decision was made by an unelected anachronistic feudal figure head is a whole serious issue in and of itself. The Monarchy League of Canada must be very proud now that they've finally seen a Conservative Prime Minister propped up - against the democratic will of the people - by what is the equivalent of a farcical aquatic ceremony. (Obligatory Monty Python reference)

The Governor General has helped Stephen Harper with his long term goal of being mentioned in the same sentence as Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin.

Even though the Parliament is padlocked the Government will continue to operate outside of any scrutiny. Keep in mind this Government has no basic legitimacy because it does not have the legal support required from the majority of members.

Mr. Harper claims that the prorogue time will be used to research and prepare a budget, and to consult with the opposition. I doubt that very much. Researching and preparing a budget will not take eight weeks and does not require all the Conservative MP's. I would bet that most of the budget work is done already anyway. Aside from that Harper does not consult.

Actually, what they are planning is a national brainwashing program that will run virtually unopposed for at least six weeks witht partial funding from the tax payer. The Conservative Party plans on running a virtual election campaign against the 62% coalition. No doubt this will consist of an unprecedented attack on the voters of Quebec and their freedom of choice. It will also slander 62% of us with fake notions of patriotism. That's correct, your Conservative MP's who are paid Federal Government salaries will be running a partisan propaganda campaign.

Harper probably thinks he can lure the opposition into spending money they don't have to counteract the propaganda, making them unable to fight a general election for at least two years.

In January, if the opposition parties do anything other than vote down the Government at the first opportunity it will be to their eternal discredit and will confirm the precedent that an undemocratic bully can just shut down parliament whenever he wants.

When the Reform/Alliance adopted the slogan Ottawa Needs More Calgary I warned you people in Ontario and Quebec. But do you listen. No.

This post was written entirely with a Canadian Flag in the back ground. God Bless Canada. Please help yourself to a complimentary pez dispenser on the way out.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sean Avery: Classless Buffoon

The Dallas Stars are playing the Calgary Flames tonight in Calgary. After an afternoon skate Dallas player Sean Avery sought out a camera and a microphone (Thanks TSN) and said some nasty things about Flames Dion Phaneuf who is now dating Avery's ex girlfriend Elish Cuthbert. In related news the United Nations continued debating its contentious run on sentence treaty. It would not be unreasonable to assume that Cuthbert dumped Avery. Who could blame her?

(If you think that plot line is complicated try following our Federal Parliament.)

I won't repeat what Avery said because it is gratuitous and for anything this sleazy and attention seeking our go to guy is Eric Duhatschek. That's his oeuvre after all.

The NHL immediately suspended Avery indefinitely for conduct unbecoming to the league. The League is right to continue to uphold their incredibly high moral standards.

You probably just think I'm mad because when the Oilers played Dallas on Sunday Mike Modano scored his 1300th career goal sinking the Oilers late in the 3rd period. How many times has that happened? Yes, I'm angry about that. And what were the Edmonton coaches doing scrapping with a fan at the end of the game? Its like a bizarro universe for those poor Oilers.

But back to my original point, I don't care who you are, you don't say bad things about your ex-girlfriends. Why does the world of hockey seem to have such a hard time respecting women?

Update: I should have mentioned I don't have any Elisha Cuthbert pictures on this site. Sorry. Please recommend this post