Friday, April 29, 2011

Off To Alberta

Birthday girl awaits.

Be back on Sunday, most likely. Monday at the latest.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Think I Have Found My Next Career!

I'm going to be a "wrongologist"!!

Seems like a perfect fit.

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Apparently WikiLeaks Dumped Another Non-Scandal...

...about Canada and the US Embassy in Ottawa:

I must say, I agree with the Ambassador's take on Maude Barlow and several other things.

Julian, you really are boring.

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Another Chance to Gloat

A few years back I had the pleasure of locking horns in the blogosphere with a rabid NDPee-er, Sean Shaw, who had moved to Saskatchewan from somewhere in Ontario. I believe it was on his blog, which no longer exists.

The topic causing the locked horns was the long-standing cozy relationship between the Liberals and the NDP. I remember several occasions and incidents of marriages, or at least informal alliances between the two. Sean was adamant that no such relationship had ever existed.

So, Sean, sweetie, in the off chance that you are checking in once in a while, I'd like to offer you this:

NDP, Liberals have a long history of co-operation

In fairness, though, you could have been in diapers when much of this happened, or not even conceived yet. Just goes to show that you arrogant young lefties ought to be more respectful towards your elders. We know more, simply because we've lived longer.

What? Me? Carry a grudge? Nah! (Gloat, gloat, gloat.)

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Groan!!

Who the F*** cares??!!??

Middleton will do her own makeup

YAWN!

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Headlines You'd Think I'd Written

Too many deadly cancers go underfunded: report

Okay. Let's give those killers better funding, then.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Journalist Pleads Guilty

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better

You've Heard Of Hamburger Polls...

...The ‘bun-official’ election burger poll results put Conservatives in tasty lead

Not to be confused with reality, though. After all, they all sound reasonably tasty to me, whereas in real life, only one would be edible.

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Okay, Folks....

...You know what you have to do.

NDP trail Tories by just three points, new poll finds

Frankly, I think the big story here is that the Dippers have replaced the Libs on the political landscape.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CRAP!!! Yaaay, Vancouver!!

Chicago just scored. And I wanted to go to bed.

PS: Who's idea was it to put an election on at the same time as the Stanley Cup playoffs?  And they think they know something about Canadian democracy!!
Yay!! One step closer!!

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I'm Sorry,

...but I do not intend to get up to watch the royal wedding at 4:00 am. I'll have to wait for the reruns.

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It May Be A Little Early...

...for Hallowe'en, but it's always a good time to read a book to your little brother:

As long as you get to suck your thumb.

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I Love It...

...when a well known columnist writes a piece in one of Canada's dailies that says more or less the same thing I said the day before:

John Ivison: Cats have nine lives, the Liberal party may not
"It seems incredible to even suggest that the most successful political party in the Western world – an electoral machine which held power for nearly 70 years in the 20th century – could be in terminal decline. Yet the same fate has befallen equally successful parties in other countries. The British Liberal Party was also the natural governing party in the second half of the 19th century and first two decades of the 20th. Yet after the First World War, radical voters shifted to Labour, leaving the Liberal Party as a rump that has never reclaimed its former glory – the decline and fall of which was chronicled in George Dangerfield’s famous book The Strange Death of Liberal England."
[---]
"...if Stephen Harper wins a majority, he has pledged to cut the per vote subsidy all parties currently get from the taxpayer. This has the potential to bankrupt the Liberals and the Bloc, but not necessarily the NDP, which has a relatively robust fund-raising capacity."
[---]
"...the mould that has shaped Canadian politics for the past seven years has been broken and we now have a completely new dynamic on the left. In less than a week, we’ll see whether the Liberal Party’s decline is terminal or whether this is just one of its periodic swoons."
Hope it is terminal. I volunteer to drive one of the hearse's. I'd even dig a grave or two.

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Oh Brother!!

Ban trans fats, tax junk food to stop obesity

I have a better idea. Why not make them pay for their own health care? Seriously, unless logical consequences are allowed to play, we'll never grow up.

We could apply that to smokers and problem drinkers, too, and probably a few other things as well.

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More Journalistic Speculation....

...on what Harper might do, should he win a majority:

What Harper might do with a majority
"While he may pay lip-service to social conservatives, he is unlikely to reopen the debate on abortion, same-sex marriage and capital punishment. He knows that's playing with fire."
Agreed. And the fire would burn inside the Conservative tent, too. Contrary to popular Liberal opinion, we are not knuckle-dragging neanderthals.
"What he is more likely to do, though, is what he is doing already: appoint more conservative judges, deny funding to liberal-minded non-governmental organizations like Planned Parenthood, abolish the gun registry and get tough on crime."
That's good.
"Where he is likely to move aggressively is reshaping the state. Here, expect him to use the deficit as reason to shrink the size of government. That may mean slashing the public service, starving (or selling) the CBC, and privatizing government services."
Yup. What'd I tell ya.
"Expect him to lower taxes and explore ways to empower the individual. Expect him to reform the Senate. Expect him to offer the provinces new authority, including Ottawa's residual powers. While he is unlikely to initiate constitutional reform (he doesn't like convening first ministers), expect the national government to be less national."
All fine and good.
"At the same time, watch for the Conservatives to give more substance to citizenship, which they think is too easy to acquire. There will be new emphasis on national history and national symbols, particularly the monarchy. The Conservative will continue to trumpet the North, espousing a new kind of nationalism."
Whoopie!!
"Abroad, Canada will continue to regard the United Nations suspiciously. There will be no return to peacekeeping, as the Liberals suggest, or a human security agenda. Military spending will rise while international assistance is reassessed. A foundering CIDA will be reorganized, even abolished.

The government will pursue a new deal with the United States on border and security issues. It will build on new free trade with Europe. Canada will remain Israel's best friend."
Woot! Woot! Woot! Bring it on!!

And best of all:
"For the opposition, particularly the Liberals, a Conservative majority will be disastrous. Michael Ignatieff will decamp for the University of Toronto and Bob Rae will dutifully succeed him."

Even better!!
"Without public financing, the party will be bankrupt. So will the Bloc Québécois."

Sure hope you're right, Mr. Cohen, and a majority it is. But why do I have this feeling I will be disappointed once again? (Heavy sigh.)

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Went and voted today. First time I've ever done the advance poll thing. I was the only voter in the place at the time, but perhaps that's because it was the lunch hour.

Anyway, I have largely ignored the campaign this time. I find the usual blah, blah, blah pretty boring. At my age I have already figured out what the Liberal brand is all about, what the NDP brand is all about and what the Conservative brand is all about. Campaigns do nothing to help change my mind. They merely confirm my overall impression yet again, but perhaps the next time I should make an attempt to attend an all candidates meeting and actually ask some hard questions, cause I don't see any of you actually voicing any thoughts on the things that really concern me.

Beyond all that, I'm glad to see the Liberals and the Bloc have been delivered a rude awakening. I'm nearly 100% certain that the NDP has reached its zenith. They will never form the government, but at least we now have a clear choice between left and right.

I'm hoping strongly, of course, for a majority Conservative government, followed by a rapid implementation of a vast number of overdue tricks to be pulled from the scary hidden agenda bag. But, to be frank, I'm not expecting much from a Conservative majority, other than a stable government which may or may not have the balls to rid us of some long standing wasteful programs and socially destructive institutions.

I said at the outset, and I'll say it again, the CBC has to be the first to go. I'm convinced the reason Harper keeps harping about the recession not being over is because he wants to cut deeply into much of the Liberal Party's state funded legacy and I think he will be more likely to do that if he can blame the cuts on the economy, coward that he is.

Also, I'm about to move back to my home town. I'll be there around June 1st. Once I'm settled in, I think I should join the Conservative Party and work to change the system from the inside, as the old saying goes. We'll see.

Until then, I'm bloody sick and tired of politics and the Canadian status quo. I've got a home to clean, a three year old grand daughter to fete this weekend and a move to prepare for, so screw you, politicians. Until I sit down to watch the results come in, I'm done with this election.

Oh, and Iggy, Jack - I haven't listened to a word you've said throughout the entire campaign. I've never been interested in your brand Jack, and Iggy, your brand expired for me in 1984. What annoys me about the Canadian political landscape is that your two parties are still standing. You should have died decades ago. With God as my witness, I hope you are gone by the time my little three year old sweetie ventures into the voting booth for the first time and I hope she can get excited about some of the things she want's to see and actually has faith that the person/party that she's voting for can actually get something done.

Sadly, her mother is one of those apathetic young folks who don't vote and it's because, as she told me the other day, she doesn't see any difference between the Libs and the Cons, but at least she has the common sense to know the NDP is a lost cause.

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How Do You Interpret This Headline?

Ignatieff to make last stand in Ontario

As for me, I think it's the "Custer's last stand" sort of posture, not "one more time". Bye, Iggy.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Gotta Ask This Again...

...is Ghadafi dead yet? We haven't seen his goonish face or heard his lunatic ravings for weeks. And more recently, it's been his daughter who has appeared on TV. Maybe his sons have also gone to meet their 72 virgins. I any case, if it hasn't happened already, it sure looks like we're trying to arrange the meeting.

Air strike flattens building in Gaddafi compound

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I Could Have Used ...

...this book about thirty-four years ago: Go the F**k to Sleep


From a review:
""This is the most honest children's book ever written. And it's f*cking hilarious." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically


"Total genius."—Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

Go the Fuck To Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach's verses and Ricardo Cortés' illustrations perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process. Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the Fuck to Sleep is a perfect gift for parents new, old, or expectant. Here is a sample verse:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep."
This is destined to be a classic, I tell ya.

Actually, I'm going to a three year old's birthday party this coming weekend. Gonna meet my new grandsons at the same time. I might take a couple of copies with me - for the children. The adult children. (Insert evil laugh here.)

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Syria - With Videos

...not for the faint-hearted.

Happy Easter, Syria!

On one of the videos is the following intro:
"For the first time, we see the Syrian flag that was used after Syrian independence on April 17, 1946. This means Syrians are refusing to raise the Ba’ath Party flag, an imitation of the ultra-nationalistic Nazi Party, and instead are choosing the flag that ushered a real democracy after WWII."
Go Syria!!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Advise For the Liberals

Liberal remedy to Layton is to look in the mirror
"Since his (Jean Chretien's) departure, and Paul Martin’s defeat, Liberal strategy has consisted of two streams: painting Stephen Harper as a stooge of the U.S. corporate-military complex, and reminding Canadians that the Liberals introduced universal health care.

Is it really a shock that the recipe has failed to excite people?"
[---]
"Now Layton appears to have passed them on the left, and taken the NDP into second spot. What to do?

Answer: Quit reacting. Find a reason for the Liberals to exist.

In 21 elections between 1921 and 1993, when the Liberals won it was because of Quebec. They took the overwhelming majority of Quebec seats in every winning campaign, and only once were they popular enough in the rest of the country to have won without Quebec (and even then, in 1935, it would have been iffy). The Liberal party was about keeping Quebec happy; that’s where power lay.

It all changed when the Bloc Quebecois came along and stole their meal ticket. Since 1993, when the Liberals win it’s because of Ontario, yet the party has never put the effort into pleasing Ontario that it did into Quebec."
[---]
"The party is all but dead from Manitoba to B.C. There is little sign Quebec is likely to come around again, having decided that, if it has to pick a federalist, Mr. Layton most closely aligns with Quebec political thinking. Liberals are still a moderate force in the Maritimes, but there aren’t enough seats there to make a big difference.

It’s time for the Liberals to accept that the world has changed. It’s not 1980, and yearning for the past is no route to success in the future. The party isn’t going anywhere until it figures out how to win more seats in Ontario, and it’s not going to do that until it stops looking at the province and seeing only a clutch of seats in and around Toronto. Toronto may be the most liberal city in the country, but once past its borders you enter a province with a pronounced conservative strain, and Liberals have done very little to appeal to it. Most of Toronto will vote Liberal whatever the case; building the party’s entire platform to satisfy activists in safe downtown ridings is a waste of resources and evidence of atrophy at the top."
[---]
"When you’re dead in the West, on life-support in Quebec and slipping in Ontario, it’s hard to pose as a national party. They need to rebuild from the ground up, and Canada’s most populous and vote-rich province is the place to start."
Yup. And Iggy ain't the man to do it either. And by that time......

I'm looking forward to the new Conservative generation. I'm especially going to enjoy the death throe theatrics that will be on display at Liblogs.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Media Types Have Read The Writing On The Wall

...Our news organs have pulled the Harper Phobia, or as it's more commonly known, HDS (Harper Derangement Syndrome) off the front page and darned if they don't sound like they're helping him achieve is coveted majority.

The Supreme Court: How a Harper majority could really change Canada
"Of the nine justices who serve on the Supreme Court of Canada, three – Ian Binnie, Morris Fish and Louis LeBel – will hit the mandatory retirement age of 75 within the next four years. Another, Marshall Rothstein, will come very close to it. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin would be 71 by the end of a majority government’s mandate, and Rosie Abella would be 68.

In other words, Mr. Harper would have an excellent opportunity to shape the country’s top court. And given that court’s enormous role in shaping public policy, particularly since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect nearly three decades ago, that could be a very transformative power.

If one were looking for signs that the abortion debate is about to be reignited, this would be a better place to start than the musings of a backbench MP. Realistically, though, it seems unlikely that Mr. Harper would overload the judiciary with raging social conservatives. If his goal is to firmly establish the Conservatives as the country’s dominant national party, then returning the focus to hot-button social issues that helped derail its past campaigns would be a dubious strategy.

But if his goal is also to subtly shift the country’s laws and institutions and culture of governance toward something more in line with his party’s vision for the country – as opposed to the one held by the Liberals – there is much that the Supreme Court could help with. From property rights to issues of federal-provincial jurisdiction to law and order, not to mention the balance between national security and individual liberties, there’s all sorts of room to help turn Canada into a more small-C conservative country."
Bring it on!!

Searching for clues to Harper's so-called hidden agenda
"The assumption is that, armed with a majority, Mr. Harper would aggressively pursue a radical social agenda, highlighted by pro-gun, anti-abortion and tough-on-crime policies. Or worse, dismantle universal health care.

But if Mr. Harper is concealing anything, it’s far more likely a determination to make government a lot smaller. So, think instead of privatizing Crown corporations, deregulating some long-protected industries and squeezing costly government programs.

Pushing an economic agenda over a social agenda is consistent with Mr. Harper’s former life as an economist and president of the National Citizens Coalition, where he championed causes such as dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board and targeting government waste.

Austerity is coming. That’s a given
."
Start with the CBC and the CRTC, please.

Constitutional 'logjam' could ensue if Harper wins minority and acts like majority government, say experts

How to seize power on May 3
"Asked on Tuesday if he would work with the other parties, Mr. Harper responded: "I don't accept the question." It's moot, he meant, because the other parties don't want to work with him. They want to take over themselves, he reiterated."
[---]
"That leaves us with a truly puzzling scenario in which the Liberal leader is making a case for a Conservative minority government backed by the Liberals, while the Conservative leader is all but swearing off his chances of leading a government that is not a majority. It's all posturing until the seat counts are known, but Mr. Harper must realize that by repeatedly insisting voters are choosing either a Conservative majority or the other guys, this leaves open the possibility that they will pick the other guys.

My guess is that his game all along has been to force Mr. Ignatieff to disavow a coalition. Even though Mr. Ignatieff has never said he would refuse to take power, absent a vote, even if he lost an election, most Canadians would believe he had gamed the system somehow. That's not how the Westminster system is supposed to work, but judging entirely by an unscientific assessment of callers to talk radio and people with whom I was playing poker the other night and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, I suspect Mr. Harper is counting on public outrage over a possible takeover to preclude Mr. Ignatieff from trying it.

It's setting up what could be a remarkable showdown between two men who don't like each other very much. Only the government would hang in the balance."
Which may explain the unusually high turnout and long line-ups at today's Advance Polls. We've had enough of these stupid games.

But not all of the media has read the writing or understood what it means:

Harper has no business bragging about his foreign policy
"One of the more egregious examples of Harper's negative effect on Canadian foreign policy was the humiliating defeat of Canada's candidacy for a rotating seat on the important United Nations Security Council, the first time a Canadian candidacy was unsuccessful since the United Nations was founded in 1945.

That humbling experience was not simply a matter of losing a particular vote. It was very much symptomatic of how previously supportive UN members had come to change their view of Canadian policies since Harper came to power.

As diplomats stationed in Ottawa point out, some countries had very specific reasons why they opted to support Portugal rather than Canada. Several African states felt the Harper government no longer gave any significant priority to Canada's traditionally close relations with Africa. Some were upset by Ottawa's decision to terminate aid programs for several African countries. Others were unhappy over the intended closure of diplomatic missions.

African diplomats stationed in Ottawa complained they had real difficulty in obtaining suitable access to Canadian officials to outline their governments' views and concerns.

Canada's relatively benign reputation in the Middle East also suffered since Harper adopted a very pro-Israel policy, even reversing longstanding votes in the UN to support Israel. His government went so far as to end CIDA funding of the respected KAIROS aid group for humanitarian assistance of people in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel."
Yup. Only a Liberal-leftie would expect us to believe that Africa isn't a basket case of corrupt and brutal regimes and that organizations like Hamas and most Middle Eastern governments have done nothing to deserve our support or that Israel is an apartheid state, or that the UN is a serious and important organization. Give it up, folks. Your head-in-the-sand attitudes are part of the problem and it's those memes of yours that are old and tarnished. Harper's approach that is fresh and based on the reality that should be apparent to everyone. You've had your half century (or more). You and the institutions you cherish have proven to be failures. You're done.

I hope Harper gets a massive majority, just so these eggheads in the media will understand they have hit a brick wall. We're on to their stonewalling and clinging to old myths and by-gone glories. Your era is over. Dead. Gone. Finished. Kaput. We're changing course. "Get outta the way, if you can't lend a hand."

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And You're Worried About The Erosion...

...of the Arctic coastlines.

Try coping with a landslide in a locale with a massive population.

Oh well. It did happen on Earth Day just to show that Gaia is pretty powerful, and no icecaps were harmed.

PS, greenies. Mother Earth kills her children. It's a well known fact.

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What With It Being Good Friday And...

...there's a momentous election just around the corner, I thought I'd present you, my Canuckistani countrymen and women, with this:

Always look on the bright side of life

And don't forget, the only way we're ever going to see what Harper has hidden, or where he's put it (like the Easter Bunny), is to give him his majority. Ummmm! Chocolate goodies.

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Another Year Has Passed And Once Again...

...it's time to remember the ways of Gaia. Earth Day is here.

So...everybody should attempt to take a shit in the woods and wipe their ass with last year's grass. Check back in a couple of months and see how much new green grass has grown up around it.

Dogs can do it on the neighbour's lawn and wipe their asses on your living room carpet.

That's what I think of Earth Day, thank you very much.

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An Islamosoph's "Gotcha" Moment

There's Room For Some Cautious Optimism

Tories headed for huge majority as NDP vaults into second place
"A new Ipsos-Reid survey puts the left-leaning party in second place behind the Conservatives. According to the poll, the NDP has 24 per cent support, well behind the Tories with 43 per cent but ahead of the Liberals' 21 per cent support for the first time, nationally, in two decades. The sinking Bloc Québécois appears to have catapulted Layton into second spot."
Okay. I've already predicted the Dip Sticks will be the official opposition, but I hadn't entertained the possibility that fear of Dip Stick ascendancy may be just the ticket needed for a Con majority.

Woot! Woot!! Woot!!!

But, there's still ten days to go before the campaign is over. :(

Let me make one more prediction that I might not be around to gloat about, if I'm right. Canada has elected Liberal/left governments (with a few brief blips of pseudo-conservative ones just for spite) since the 1930s. Prior to that, small "c" conservative governments had prevailed for nearly 70 years.  Are we about to change course again? Could we be witnessing the birth of a long Liberal/left drought of similar duration?

I think the possible demise of the Liberal Party could very well portend the death of small "L" liberalism in Canada, or at least its delegation to "second fiddle" role for a long time to come. Now it will be the Dipper's turn to be "always the bridesmaid and never the bride" which is a step up for them.

PS: If I'm right, I wonder if the news from British Columbia could be seen as the pivotal point? Or would it be Iggy's strange in-over-his-head confession?

Also, when the purveyors of political correctness are worried, you just know a sea change is looming.

(Fingers, eyes, toes and legs crossed.)

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

May 3rd, 2011 - A New Day In Canada?

Latest poll of note has the Bloc polling second place, behind the NDP. Now wouldn't that be interesting? All the whiny socialism of the Bloc, but no separatist agitation. Is that what Quebeckers want?

Note that nationally the Dippers have pulled ahead of the Libs, too.

Wouldn't that be something? Another minority government with the Con in first place, but now having to "work with" the NDP. Scaaaarrrry!

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Journalistic Ethics On Display

Protest ‘absurd’ law barring election night tweeting: American commentator

Canadian law bans tweeting or Facebook posts about election results

So you find one of Canada's laws to be contrary to your liking and you decide to take it upon yourself to advocate flouting it. You've got enough problems of your own. Why don't you tend to your own business and let Canadians decide whether or not they want that law changed? Asshole!

Note how the headline of the second article completely distorts the issue, too.

Look. I think the law is stupid and outdated, too. But it's none of your damned business.

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It's Not Just Young People...

...who participate in "Vote mobs". It's also ancient, wrinkly old tokers.

Toke and Vote

Oh. And they don't like Harper either. Geeze. All those opposition parties get the best voters. It's not fair.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And Your Point Is??

Arctic coastline shrinking faster than predicted

Melting sea ice leaves Arctic vulnerable to erosion

Report warns of 'crumbling' Arctic

Arctic coast eroding up to 8 metres a year: study

A lot of moaning, doom and gloom and stuff and the assertion that something can and should be done about it. All due to global warming of course, but darned if they don't once mention the word Anthropogenic or anything similar. No suggestions about what to do about it either.

As far as I'm concerned, this is just mother nature doing what she does - changing, and showing us who's boss. Shit happens. Things change. Organisms die. That's the nature of life and the processes of earth science. It would be worse if the earth was cooling at a rapid pace. Get over it.

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Here's Something To Be Happy About

Canadians are 2nd happiest in world

...second only to the Danes.

Mind you, that could all change on Monday, May 2nd.

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Stubble Jumping "Vote Compass": Part III

Parts I and II.

Two themes in CBC's Vote Compass were "Immigration and Multiculturalism" and "Law and Order".

The questions asked under the first topic were:
  1. Speaking English or French should be a requirement for immigration to Canada
  2. How many new immigrants should Canada admit?
  3. How much should be done to accommodate religious minorities?
And under the second:

  1.  Violent young offenders should be sentenced as adults
  2. The long gun registry should be scrapped
  3. Possession of marijuana should be a criminal offence
I'm okay with the first question under immigration and multiculturalism and my answer would be "Strongly Agree". The second and third statements/questions, though, need to be replaced with something along these lines:
  1. Immigrants should be screened on the basis of their cultural values to enable their more speedy and complete integration into Canadian society
  2. Immigrants from Muslim countries, especially those who have moved to Canada to take a position as a religious leader in a mosque, should be monitored for the purpose of weeding out those who espouse radical anti-Western ideologies
And under law and order, all three questions/statements should be replaced with something along these lines:
  1. The criminal justice system needs to be completely revamped to address the the harm done to the victim, rather than the rehabilitation of the criminal
  2. The long gun registry has had no impact on the murder rate.
  3. Possession of any mood/perception altering substance, whether for the purpose of trafficking or personal use, should be a criminal offense
I think you can see where I'm going here. We need to challenge all the pillars of political correctness and tear them down, one - by - one.

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And Speaking Of The States

Looks like this would be the year to visit our cousins to the south. They might not want to come to Canada, tho.

How low can U.S. dollar go?
"Scotia Capital currently has a year end forecast of US$1.05 for the Canadian dollar, and next year expects the loonie to close at US$1.09."
[---]
"Mr. Watt cautions that the U.S. dollar has been weaker than expected, and there is a chance for a revision of that forecast. “Going forward I’m not sure whether we are going to revise dramatically the U.S. dollar forecast — if we do revise our forecast, it would be against all currencies, and we would probably put the USD-CAD forecast below 94¢.”"
[---]
"TD Securities’ Shaun Osborne expects the U.S. dollar to trade around 0.96 against the Canadian dollar through the second half of this year."
Shit happens.

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Note To Self

If and when I ever travel to the States again, I must not fly.

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Well I'll Be Darned!

Canada may delay incandescent bulb ban

And maybe by that time, our politicians will finally have enough balls to admit the AGW scare was a ridiculous scam.

Oh, that sneaky Harper and his hidden agenda. He snuck this in when there's a election going on so nobody would notice.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mad Mullahs Won't Like That Sign

Apparently being held up by a Syrian protester:


Source

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What's With You Yanks, Anyway?

I thought royalty was anathema?

Royal wedding fever grips Washington
"Jenkins swears that his team of designers can even construct Westminster Abbey's gothic arches in the Ritz-Carlton's ballroom. This package, called the "Royal Wedding Experience," is exactly what it sounds like: A group of wedding planners who can replicate the details of Will and Kate's nuptials for couples who want their own real-life regal celebration in Washington. And while this may sound over-the-top, Jenkins says the royal fever that has suddenly gripped the nation is part of a cycle we've seen before."
[---]
"Over the next few weeks, American TV crews and journalists will descend on London to cover the big day. But royal wedding buzz has already spawned hundreds of hours of TV programming: from TLC's "Extreme Royal Collections" about royal memorabilia hoarders, to a Lifetime made-for-TV movie called "William and Kate," a chronicle of their courtship."
Regretting the revolution are we? (Just joking. Sheesh!!)

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Harper Leads By More Than A Nose

More Canadians prefer Stephen Harper as PM: poll
"The Conservatives have apparently done a good job managing campaign controversies -- an exclusive CityNews/Maclean’s poll released Tuesday shows most Canadians surveyed believe Stephen Harper would make the best prime minister.

Thirty-six per cent of respondents to an Innovative Research survey said Harper is best suited to be PM; 22 per cent said Michael Ignatieff; 20 per cent said Jack Layton and three per cent said Elizabeth May.

The Conservatives have a comfortable, double-digit lead with just under two weeks to go until Canadians head to the ballot box.

The poll shows the Conservatives lead the pack with 39 per cent support, followed by the Liberals with 28 per cent and the NDP in third with the backing of 17 per cent of the 1,897 people surveyed between April 13th and 17th.

In Ontario, the Conservatives have a seven-point lead over the Liberals -- the parties have 42 per cent and 35 per cent support respectively. The NDP sits at 16 per cent support and the Greens at six per cent."
I've been kinda hoping the Cons were saving the best for the last. After three or four weeks of campaigning they have enough dirt and gaffes from the other parties to make for some really good attack ads for the home stretch. Let's have a majority, please.

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Michael Ignatieff - The American/British Years

UPDATE:  Here's a blogger's take on the professor:

Michael Ignatieff - Politician

He quotes a Foreign Policy article which is now behind a paywall, but it's pretty good nonetheless. Interesting comments, too, like this one:
Actually, there's one way he can lose -- he can knuckle under in order to get elected and join the chorus within the Liberal Party, espousing all the policies that he criticized as an independent academic.

Ignatieff picked the wrong party for his foreign policy ideas.

That said, if he could drag it kicking and screaming into reality, he will have done his country a great service...."
Hear, hear!!
========Original Entry Starts Here====
Don't ya just love YouTube!?

Michael Ignatieff says America is his country:



Michael Ignatieff berates Canada for its poor record on peacekeeping, among other things:



Michael Ignatieff on terrorism:



Michael Ignatieff makes the case for torture, for the Iraq war and refers to himself as an American:



Michael Ignatieff on American exceptionalism, human rights and Dubya:



Michael Ignatieff on Quebec and Canada after the 1995 referendum:



So. Is he being his own man, or is he compromising his beliefs in order to lead the Liberal Party of Canada?

And on that note, here's one more: "The most important thing about a life is that it's yours."



Frankly, I think he's closer to being a Conservative than a Liberal and he's not comfortable in a politician's skin. If I could sense that he was being true to himself, and if I could sense he was capable of leading his party in the right direction, I might even vote for him - next time. Maybe. Depends on who's leading the Cons.

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Yeah, Ezra!!

CRTC's a dinosaur
"Who is this CRTC? It stands for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. So it's about as fresh and current as the vacuum tube. They're a government agency created decades ago, back when people didn't know any better about letting the government control TV and radio.

Today, the CRTC's chief reason to exist is to perpetuate itself — to keep expanding its bureaucratic empire. It's called mission creep. If it was a private company, it would have gone out of business around the time Betamax did. When was the last time a government bureaucracy stopped, just because it became useless?"
Too late for this election, but yet another reason to give the Cons a majority, since most of these government created dinosaurs were the brainchildren of the Liberal Party of Canada.

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Stubble Jumping Redneck's "Vote Compass": Part II

Part I is here.

In this part, Part II, I'll deal with government programs and taxes.

In CBC's Vote Compass these two categories are dealt with in questions 10 to 12 and 29 and 30 respectively, which seems a bit strange, because they are obviously closely related in the real world. However, part of the CBC's spin is evident in the fact that they have obviously not made a direct connection (or any connection) between government programs and the requisite taxes that must be levied to pay for them.

The statements/questions proposed were as follows:

Government Programs:

10. How much of a role should the private sector have in health care?

11. The government should fund daycare instead of giving money directly to parents

12. It should be easier to qualify for Employment Insurance

and

29. How much should wealthier people pay in taxes?

30. How much tax should corporations pay?

Now, for the statements/questions that the Stubble Jumping Redneck would have posed.

With respect to government programs:
  1. How much of a role should the government have in health care?
  2. The government should not levy taxes that will be used to usurp the role of parents
  3. Employment insurance should have greater restrictions and obligations imposed on its recipients, such as access to skills training and relocation assistance, based on the amount of taxes previously contributed by the unemployed individual 
With respect to taxes:
  1.  Wealthier people should be encouraged, through incentives such as tax breaks, to fund programs currently handled by governments, that might be better handled by the private and non-profit sector
  2. Corporations should be encouraged, through incentives such as tax breaks, to fund programs currently handled by governments, that might be better handled by the private and non-profit sector
  3. Wealthier people and corporations should be eligible for tax breaks for each person they employ
My answers to those questions may not be solidly within the CBC's idea of what constitutes a Conservative, but I think the emphasis should be on what role should the taxpayer have in determining how their taxes are spent and how do we hold governments accountable to us. Power to the people!!

Tomorrow: Immigration and Law and Order

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Letter From An Iraqi Arab

Arabs brainwashed against Israel
"The Foreign Ministry's Arabic-language website received a letter Saturday from a repentant Iraqi man who says he and his fellow citizens have been "brainwashed against Israel".

The man added that Hamas's recent attacks on Israeli civilians have caused him "shame" for being an Arab and a Muslim."
RTWT

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Ya Think...

...the royal wedding might be something like this?



I like Prince Harry. The rest of them - meh!

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He, he, he, he!

Layton trumps Duceppe in Quebec!! Oh, who to root for? What a dilemma.

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Holy Smoley

Mother Nature shows us who's boss:

This one's from a broken water main. The smart ones turned around and went back.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma gets hit. Wouldn't want to be in that car.

And in other forms of holy smoley, this soldier has nine kids.  No wonder he wants "the person leading [his] country [to be] thinking of the needs of the population and ways to keep expenses down".

To which I would add, you don't need to have nine kids to want that.  But holy smoley. How much does a poor soldier get paid?

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As You Might Have Heard...

...or seen, our esteemed CBC has decided to help us all by posting a "compass" to help us realize we are all really Liberals, after all, and should vote Liberal in the upcoming election.

"The Compass" had 30 statements representing positions on various supposedly hot button issues that may define whether you lean toward the Conservative Party or the left-of-centre parties, especially, the Liberal Party. You could select various options under each statement ranging from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree", in other words, the standard Likert Scale.  Some had a variation on the Strongly Agree-Strongly Disagree polarity - namely "Much More" to "Much Less", but, still a standard Likert Scale arrangement.

The questions were grouped according to these themes:

Defence
Economy
Environment
Government Programs
Immigration
Law and Order
Moral Values
Parliamentary Reform
Quebec
Taxes

The statements given under each heading supposedly represented a position more typical of one or more of the political parties than others. For example, statements such as the following were given:

"Environmental damage caused by the Alberta oil sands industry is exaggerated"

and

"The government should fund daycare instead of giving money directly to parents"

In some cases the statement was presented as a question:

"How much should be done to accommodate religious minorities in Canada?"

"How much of a role should the private sector have in health care?"

The trouble with these kinds of questions is they rarely represent a clear, simple expression of belief, as most people's views are more nuanced or complex. Over the next two weeks, up until election day, and in the interests of correcting that problem, I would like to present a series of my own statements, under each of the same headings and perhaps one or two that they missed, which I think are more representative of Con-speak (at least they more accurately reflect my beliefs), while at the same time lampooning Lib-speak, Dipper-speak, Bloc-head speak and Green-speak.

So, to begin, here are some statements which I feel more accurately reflect my position, but I don't claim to speak for all Conservative Party supporters. Unless otherwise indicated, I "Strongly Agree" with each of these statements:

Defense:
    1. Successive Liberal governments have decimated our once proud military
    2. We should assign an appropriate level of resources to rebuild our military forces so we can again punch at or above our weight on the international stage
    3. To accomplish this we should dismantle several key Liberal Party institutions and beliefs that have taken on the mantle of sacred cows, such as:
      • Our military forces should be used for peacekeeping missions and civilian emergencies (such as floods) only, unless...
      • Their deployment has been sanctioned by the United Nations
        Economy:
        1. To increase productivity and roll back the overweening power of unions, labour legislation needs to be amended. Among other things, the right of the individual to not join a union in the workplace must be asserted
        2. Companies should not be forced to implement costly environmental practices and technologies where the harm of not doing so has not been proven (such as the impact of industry produced CO2 on climate change)
        3. Inter-provincial and international trade barriers should be eliminated wherever possible
        4. Unfair advantages/disadvantages created by marketing boards need to be eliminated by dismantling said boards and leaving the individual entrepreneur the right to sell his product or service to whomever he wishes
        Tomorrow: Government Programs and Taxes

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        Awwwe. Cooperation On The Border

        As Red River crests, a tiny slice of border will dissolve

        I know about Emerson, but I've never heard of Noyes.

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        Sunday, April 17, 2011

        Vote Mobs

        ...brought to you by the CBC and the Liberal Party of Canada. Watch for CBC's Vote Compass pitch beginning at the 3:00 minute mark of this video:



        Oh. And another thing. They claim to be non-partisan, but you'll notice that there's no mention of any political party leader other than Harper. Hmmmmm.

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        More Election Weirdness

        Everyone is now talking about the citizenship issue. It never occurred to me before that we don't have to prove we are Canadian citizens in order to vote. Anyone, with appropriate ID proving he lives in the constituency, can vote, whether they are citizens or not. Wow!!

        I can prove I was born in Canada, but that was 61+ years ago. Cripes, I could have renounced my citizenship five times by now. I should get myself a passport.

        This has been some election campaign and, if there is a God in heaven, please, may He help us resolve these issues. First, we need a party with enough balls to deal with these issues head on and second, said party needs a majority. Harper, are you up to it. I'm quite certain none of the others are.

        Oh, the things that surface, the trickery and deceit that bubbles up to the surface when the Natural Governing Party is no longer in power keeping them hidden.

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        Glad To Hear It!

        Quebec closer to sovereignty: Gilles Duceppe

        I guess we can look forward to considerably less whining when we move to kick you out of the federation, then.

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        This Is What Israeli Apartheid Looks Like

        Saturday, April 16, 2011

        Oil Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline

        Flatlined

        Here's an interesting graphic showing the popularity of the various political parties' leaders so far in this campaign. Note the Greens and the Bloc have just about flatlined and the Liberals barely have a pulse. The only two leaders with some life in them are the Cons (still comfortably ahead) and the Dippers, who must be euphoric. I wonder if this election will be enough to make the left of centre parties consider a merger. They could very well be sucking up to Laytoon for the foreseeable future.

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        Creak and Groan - Allan Blakeney Dies

        Back in the days, when I was a young, hot to trot socialist, I used to vote for this guy. John Gormley describes him as one of the Holy Trinity of the NDP, Tommy Douglas and Roy Romanow being the other two. Now he's gone.

        I was just thinking this morning about the passage of time and an Egyptian proverb that sums it all up:
        "Man fears time, but time fears the pyramids."
        Blakeney will not leave anything as timeless as the pyramids. I remember him most for nationalizing the potash industry and making potential investors leery of investing in Saskatchewan, a millstone around our necks that has only recently been removed.

        More on his career here.

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        Okay. This Is Cool....Er....Cold

        ...but I want to know more about that "special low-temperature grease"...

        It might come in handy some winter when I'm trying to turn my wheels as I back out of the driveway.

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        Ten Foot High and Risin'

        This scene is from an lookout we used to call "Boodle Hill", the name of which has a story of its own, but it shows you the state of the Qu'Appelle River as it is right now - very, very wide. Notice the water is almost up to the bottom of the deck of the double arched bridge.

        This is right beside where I grew up. The farm yard was just to the right of the bridge. I learned to skate on that river and occasionally swam in it, although it is normally almost dry in the summer.

        There's a creek at the bottom of the valley banks in the distance, which flowed dangerously every spring, but only for a few short weeks, if that. It enters the river downstream (to the left) from this view.

        As kids we used to catch suckers and carp which were trapped in small pools in what was left of the once swollen river, and bury them alive in the sand bars. Yeah. I know. Kids are cruel. But when we weren't doing that we'd be spearing them with pitchforks, just for the helluvit. A primitive drive, or something. But, quite naturally, Mom wouldn't let us near the river when it was swollen like this:














        And it looks like it's gonna get worse. This is what's happening upstream in Lumsden (to the right, in the above picture, about fifty miles as the crow flies).

        The Qu'Appelle drains into the Assiniboine River, which joins the Red River in the centre of Winnipeg. Still a few miles to go, and a few places to flush out. Sure hope the Red has crested by the time this gets there. Its waters eventually enter Hudson's Bay. If it was any further south, it might be heading to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi.

        All of this stuff is just awe inspiring. Water. Creeks. Rivers. Lakes. Drainage basins. Gulfs and Bays. Oceans. The whole valley was apparently carved out by the receding glaciers of the last ice age. And this is just one little spot in the grand timeless process. Maybe that's why I liked this film so much when I was a kid.







        And that's why there are poems and songs about this beautiful valley:



        Even if there weren't, I'd still love it, the deep sense of history it gave me and the ultimate insignificance of one's life that it taught me to appreciate. It's hard to be anything but humble when up on Boodle Hill looking down on the grand expanse below. Anyone who thinks the prairies are flat and uninteresting hasn't seen my lovely valley nor experienced its seasonal rhythms. Ancient and beautiful.

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        Friday, April 15, 2011

        Those Other Aboriginal People

        Aww, Poor Baby

        "Harper 'tossed me under a bus': Guergis"

        No, dear. You did that to yourself. Still, I think Harper should have pointed out to you that when a member of cabinet becomes embroiled in controversy, they should do the honourable thing, and resign. Doesn't matter whether it's all trumped up media nonsense. It's the media fixation that does the damage and the only way to put a lid on it is to resign and disappear. That's what you should have done of your own volition. Although Harper should have pointed that out to you, the fact that you didn't understand that means you aren't ready for the game of politics.

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        Elections Canada Caught...

        ...with its hand in the cookie jar?

        See "lunacy" link from post below

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        I'm Not Much Of A Royal Watcher,...

        ...but this cloning of Kate Middleton is a interesting, if quirky, diversion from the lunacy of this election campaign.

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        So Much To Say...

        ...about only one news item, but here's the highlights:

        1. MSM is infatuated with the Dippers;
        2. Green's are placing @ a majestic 3.7% in the polls!!

        And I'll betchya Lizzy May thinks she'd be right up there with the rest of them, if she'd only been allowed into the debates. Oooooh, the democratic deficit we have in this country. The Green Party should have a perch from which to squawk at us, else our democracy is in danger.

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        Has Anyone Actually Seen...

        ...Ghadafi since the bombing of his compound?? It seems everybody but him is making defiant statements to the press. This time it's his daughter:

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        Thursday, April 14, 2011

        With Friends Like These....

        Wednesday, April 13, 2011

        Hmmmm


        h/t Dr. Roy

        Is this going to be Quebec versus the ROC?

        I know. I know. This is silly season. Things change from hour to hour.

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        Lamestream Media

        Can they get any weirder?

        This supposed gotcha moment has been stretched over two or three days now:

        Czech leader Vaclav Klaus caught stealing pen on Chile trip

        Anyone who has ever attended a conference, or organized one, and I've done plenty of both, will know that ball-point pens are give-aways found in nearly every single conference package ever created.

        The pen is at once an advertising gimmick given in mass quantities by one of the conference sponsors and a token gift from the conference organizers for attendees to take home with them, not to mention something the attendees can actually use while at the conference to take notes on those little notepads, which are also advertising gimmicks/token gifts found in the conference goodie bag.

        Oh. And sometimes the big names invited to conference will get the Cadillac version of a pen - a nice one inscribed with something and set in a little gold embossed, silky-padded box.

        Cripes. Does the MSM have a death wish or what! Or are they just trying to punish Klaus for being a AGW skeptic?

        Must be a slow news day. Harper won the debate, after all. Gotta find something else to focus on.

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        Tuesday, April 12, 2011

        BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        He, he, he, he, he, he!

        Meh!

        Well, I just watched about five minutes of the big debate. If I want to watch a group of kindergarterners fight over who gets to play on the swings, I'll go to the playground. (Heavy sigh!)

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        Super Cool!

        Jethro Tull in spaaaaaaacce!!

        It's also the "first circumterrestrial flute duet".

        Never let it be said that great events haven't happened in your lifetime.

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        The MSM Pulls Out All...

        ...the stops:

        Now it's Stephen Harper's hair style, completely ignoring, it seems, what amounts to a death threat from a Dipper aimed at Conservative Tony Clement.

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        Monday, April 11, 2011

        It Was Diefenbaker...

        ...who said "Only dogs know what to do with poles.", referring, of course to polls, not poles. But nevertheless, I think this is sort of interesting:
        "You may know that the polls show the Conservatives about 10 points ahead of the Liberals in this federal election campaign. But you might not know this: On questions of leadership, Stephen Harper outpolls Michael Ignatieff better than two-to-one."
        ...and this: New poll has Tories near majority territory
        "The Conservatives have opened a double-digit lead over the Liberals in the latest poll..."
        Still three weeks to go, though, and as everyone should know, the politicians and the MSM save their best shots for the last. Who knows what pseudo-scandals lay in waiting to be trumped up just in time?

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        Sunday, April 10, 2011

        My Election Issues

        ...that no one is talking about (heavy sigh):

        1. Can the CBC and scale down the CRTCs powers.
        2. Massive overhaul of health care, back to its original idea (hospital coverage only, but pay as you go to the family doctor).
        3. Defang, or better yet, dismantle the CHRC.
        4. Up funding to our armed forces
        5. Aboriginal governments pay their own way and become responsible to their people rather than INAC.
        6. Reform the justice system so that prison sentences are served in their entirety and repeat offenders are given more severe sentences.
        7. Tell the Bloc to shove it where the sun don't shine or leave, otherwise, we boot Quebec out of confederation and they take their share of the debt with them.
        8. No more funding any nonsense to do with global warming unless we also fund research to stop the earth orbiting around the sun.
        9. Target funding to post-secondary institutions to those programs that actually produce value for Canadian society, such as medical fields, engineering, commerce, scientific research and maybe law, and training of teachers.
        10. Tighten up immigration policy so that only those immigrants who have skills that we need are allowed in and only if they come with money to support themselves and any family members that come with them or follow them. Also consider implementing certain residency requirements that would effectively eliminate "citizens of convenience" who, after getting their citizenship, spend most of their time back in their country of origin, but expect Canadian protection when trouble arises.
        11. Can marketing boards.
        12. Severely limit grants to non-profit organizations based on their value to society and to those with a track record of success.
        13. Tax breaks for corporations that fund the arts with a corresponding cut in arts funding from the government.
        14. Bring back the death penalty for certain classes of murder, such as serial killers, child killers and honour killings.

        Some of these things are actually in the Conservative Policy booklet: Here for Canada

        Some are not. But I'll take what I can get.

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        "Harper Refuses to Identify Spending Cuts"

        That's what the Vancouver Sun tells us, anyway.

        Ya, we all know the bloated, gimme, gimme Canadian population doesn't want to give up anything, but I have to wonder what's so scary that they refuse to tell what they aim to cut? Could it be the CBC? Can you imagine the howling and screeching coming from the Corpse as it writhes and withers? Puts me in mind of certain scenes from the Exorcist.  I think it's time to send another letter to the PM, after he gets back into power. The campaign booklet is pretty vague. It's that hidden agenda again.

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        Young Canadian Tells Us...

        ...why raising the voting age is a good idea:

        Why young Canadians don't vote
        "On top of unappealing and uninteresting political leaders, the parties’ election platforms usually have little to do with the things that concern the young. For example, since most of us are relatively healthy and starting our careers, platforms centering on healthcare, seniors and pension plans can’t be expected to turn our cranks.

        We’re disengaged with politics, but we’re deeply engaged in social media, technology and the Web. We may be apathetic when it comes to voting, but we have loads of energy for issues that really inspire us. Climate change, affordable housing, arts funding, post-secondary education, affordable daycare and Internet metering are all topics we’ve sunk our denture-free teeth into."
        [---]
        "You may call us apathetic, spoiled and lazy . . . but really, can you blame us? We’re lucky enough to have grown up in a peaceful and prosperous country. Speaking in very general terms, most of us have jobs, enough food to eat, a roof over our heads and iPods in our pockets. We haven’t had to fight for many rights and freedoms, haven’t lived through wars, major injustices or depressions. The worst things we’ve seen are the fashion trends of the ‘80s and Michael Jackson’s fall from grace!"
        I'd be willing to make exceptions for young people who join the armed forces, you know, those people who have given you all the privileges of which you speak, but I have a feeling that wouldn't include you, ya' over indulged, spoiled ditz.

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        They're Baaack

        UPDATED AND BUMPED:

        One Dead, Dozens Injured After Egyptian Military, Protesters Clash

        More than 1,000 defy Egypt army order to quit square

        Hundreds of Egyptians remain in Tahrir after army concessions
        "Hundreds of demonstrators remained in central Cairo’s Tahrir square on Sunday, following protests against the army’s chief, despite efforts by the country’s military rulers to appease protesters."
        [---]
        "The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which had been running the country since former president Hosny Mubarak stepped down in February, said Saturday evening it will replace some provincial governors appointed by the ousted president.

        The move is an overture to protesters who are demanding a speedy trial for Mubarak and his aides for allegedly pocketing the equivalent of billions of dollars of state money during decades of power.

        Protesters returned to the square, which had been the focal point of an 18-day uprising earlier this year, after clashes with army forces left at least one dead and 71 injured in the early hours of Saturday.

        Following the clashes, thousands demonstrated against Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who is the minister of defence and also the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces."
        The revolution is far from over, folks. It's waaaay too soon to predict how it will end.
        ======================================
        Massive Cairo Protest Calls for Mubarak's Prosecution

        Hundreds Return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square After Bloody Clashes With Egyptian Military Police

        May I remind you again to go read the Sandmonkey.

        Come on folks. Revolutions take years to complete.

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        He Shot, He Shoveled...

        ...and now he's shut up.

        A sad day for Alberta.

        Too bad we don't have more politicians like him, who stand up for what they believe and shoot from the hip.

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        Saturday, April 09, 2011

        My Vote

        It should be no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I will be voting for the Cons, even though they appear to be wimps. My vote will be motivated in large part to put the leftist dominated MSM out of its misery.

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        David Suzuki At His Sickest

        "I tell children “The two most important people on the planet are Mom and Dad. Tell them you are worried about your future and because they love you, they have to become eco-warriors for you.”"

        Scaring the kids out of their wits.  Pitting children against their parents. What a despicable human being.

        I have a new line of work for ya, David.  Devote the rest of your life to studying pond scum. All you have to do is look in the mirror.

        More.

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        Hmmmm.

        Could this be an indication of what Parliament will look like after May 2nd?

        Tories, NDP get top marks for national campaigns: new poll

        I've had a hunch for a while that the Dippers could be the official opposition. Goodbye, Libs.

        We live in interesting times.

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        Red River Floods

        UPDATE: Red, Souris rivers overflowing banks

        And of course, rain is in the forecast.
        =====================
        Way back in January, authorities were predicting another flood in store for communities along the Red River this spring. This had communities downstream, on the Canadian stretch of the river valley, worried.  They are still worried. But Manitobans seem prepared. Duff's Ditch has been opened.

        Since I was living in Manitoba when the last major flood occurred, the biggie, I have my eyes and ears open for news concerning the impending deluge.

        Here's some background information:

        Floods and Flood Control

        1826: The 1826 Flood; The Mighty Red River Flooding; Red River Flood 1826

        1950: Red River Flood of 1950; A City Submerged: Winnipeg and the flood of 1950

        1997: Red River Flood

        In anticipation of the usual bullcrap from the AGW crowd (including Obama), this problem along the Red is nothing new:

        Flunking Global Warming 101

        Why We Flood

        Geoscientific insights into the Red River and it's Flood Problem in Manitoba; Geologic controls on Red River Flooding and Table 1

        Folks who live in Manitoba will know, the Red River is a narrow channel carved in the middle of a huge, expansive FLAT plain, which was once the bottom of a large inland sea. Of course it floods! The biggest flood on record occurred in 1826, and that was - er - before fossil fuel burning combustion engines. Several people actually drowned in that flood. And the second and third largest floods were in 1852 and 1861.

        Good luck to all those people who live in the inappropriately named Red River Valley. I'm sure we are all grateful that flood control techniques today are far superior to what was available to the inhabitants of the original Red River Settlement.

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        Remember This One?



        We need an update. I'd love to see how The Count would be portrayed.

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        Friday, April 08, 2011

        Well, CBC..

        Grandma Enjoying Her Bragging Rights

        Logan's big
        sister and
        auntie drying
        their newly
        polished nails.



        Big sister
        enjoying
        the first
        warm
        day of
        spring!

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        To Uncle Dave in Pa.

        Thanks bud.
        This is
        much better.

        Previously.

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        Okay.

        Go read the Sandmonkey.

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        Ghadafi Trots Out All The Old Tricks

        I Suppose It Was Only A Matter Of Time


        Sorry. Puke pails not provided.

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        Ever Heard About Izzy Hirji?

        No. I hadn't either. Maybe that's because he inhabits the fringes:

        Izzy Hirji "GUYS GUYS GUESS WHAT!?!?!? ITS INTERNATIONAL ORANGUTAN AWARENESS WEEK! YEAHHHHHHHHH"

        Izzy Hirji "Yeahh enviro! and congrats to all of you finally getting facebook lol"

        Izzy Hirji on Twitter.

        Izzy Hirji shows his colour.

        Izzy Hirji wearing weeds in his hair.

        Izzy Hirji fantasizing about romping in the Amazon rainforest.

        And the Southasian rainforests.

        Izzy Hirji speaking howling at Guelph University:





        Lizzy May will be proud of him.

        Free Dominion has a good rundown on this idiot and his associates.

        And Kevin Libin tells it like it is.

        PS: This is what our universities produce. How sad.

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        Thursday, April 07, 2011

        Liberal Brains and Conservative Brains

        Hmmmm. Turns out we're wired differently:

        Brain structure differs in liberals, conservatives: study
        "Liberals have more gray matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, said the study on Thursday in Current Biology."
        But how to interpret that is a different matter. I suspect it takes more gray cells for liberals to understand things that come naturally to us conservatives. We don't need as much.
        "It remains unclear whether the structural differences cause the divergence in political views, or are the effect of them."
        It might be good to follow the subjects of this study throughout their lives. Liberal mindsets often change over time and become more conservative. I know mine did.

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        At Last!

        Something to get me mildly riled up:

        US mayors want dirty oil discussion in Canadian election campaign
        "An outspoken coalition of American mayors is urging Canadian voters to grill federal election candidates on clean-energy alternatives to Alberta's oilsands. They oppose a plan that would see Alberta's "tar sands" oil pumped across their country to the Texas Gulf Coast through the $13-billion Keystone XL pipeline."
        Shut up. It's none of your business what we ask our election candidates. If you don't want our oil, we have other markets that will pay good money for it. We'll get all the jobs. You get none. That outta get you re-elected!

        Okay. I'm going back to sleep now.

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        Heavy Sigh!

        Can somebody please, please, please pull this election campaign out of the sewer and start talking about issues?

        Cripes, even the Greens are doing better at sticking to articulation of policy platforms. Too bad theirs sucks.

        Of course it helps to have the media working for you instead of 'agin' ya.

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        Wasn't That...

        long ago that I wrote about Gagarin, the first man in space. And here we are, coming up to the 50th anniversary of that event. And here I sit, wondering how'd I get so old, so fast.

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        Wednesday, April 06, 2011

        Logan Doesn't Like Tubby Time

        He'd rather be dirty.

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        Tres Cool!

        Go here. Notice in the bottom right corner you can flip from Nicolaus Copernicus's view of the solar system to Tycho Brahe's view. Stare. Mesmerize.

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        Tuesday, April 05, 2011

        Stoicism At Its Finest

        Postcard from Japan
        "One day, in a local market, my wife and I passed a stall selling fresh seaweed. The middle-aged woman who ran it kept saying that this was the last she would be getting and we should savour it because it was very good. She persuaded us to taste it and it was so delicious that we bought two bags.

        Later we discovered that she was from a coastal town in Miyagi, one of the worst-flooded areas. She couldn't get in touch with her sister's family, the fishermen who had produced the seaweed, but it didn't occur to her to stop working. She probably didn't want to waste the last consignment her family might ever deliver to her."
        Much more...

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        Har! Har! Har!

         UPDATE: Bwhahahhahahaha!  Poor Lizzy. Poor, poor Lizzy!

        May urges rivals to boycott debates after judge rejects legal challenge

        Sure. Hang yourself out to dry, Liz.

        Drip. Drip. Drip.
        ====================
        Poor Lizzy!

        Federal court denies Elizabeth May's bid to join leaders debate

        Seriously, the arrogance of that woman, imagining herself riding a white horse, sweeping in to rescue "democracy", because, after all, it's not democracy if we're not forced to listen to her.

        Whining about to ensue. Counting. Five, four, three,....

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        The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

        ...The Sky Is Falling!!

        Ozone depletion over Arctic at record level - UN

        Arctic ozone levels in never-before-seen plunge
        "The ozone layer has seen unprecedented damage in the Arctic this winter due to cold weather in the upper atmosphere."
        Ozone layer over Arctic experiences record loss
        "The fragile ozone layer shielding our planet from ultraviolet rays has deteriorated to unprecedented lows over the Arctic, the UN weather agency said Tuesday.

        The ozone in the Arctic has depleted by about 40 per cent from the winter's start through to late March -- exceeding the previous seasonal loss of about 30 per cent, the World Meteorological Organization said.

        The group said it appears that two factors are at play: a very cold winter in the stratosphere over the region; and the continuing presence of ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere, such as fire retardants and coolants.

        Arctic ozone conditions can vary greatly from year to year. Depending on the weather and temperatures, some Arctic winters experience almost no ozone loss while others – like this one – see substantial depletion.

        This year, the Arctic winter was warmer than average at ground level, but it was colder than normal in the stratosphere, which is the second major layer of the Earth's atmosphere and starts at about 10 km altitude, reaching up to an altitude of about 50 km.

        Although the scope of the Arctic ozone destruction this year is unprecedented, it is not unexpected, WMO scientists said.

        Scientists were aware that ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons, once present in refrigerators, spray cans and fire extinguishers, are still present in heavy concentrations the stratosphere.

        The scientists also knew that a significantly cold Arctic winter could cause those chemicals to convert into active ozone-depleting gases."
        Damned if we do. Damned if we don't.

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