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Showing posts from January, 2009

Learning from the French

Apparently it is a serious offense to jeer French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
A regional prefect (similar to a governor) and a local police chief have been removed because they failed to shield the President from the boos and whistles of protesters when he made a speech in Normandy in January.

According to the the Independent here: About 3,000 demonstrators protested. M. Sarkozy was furious that the demonstrators had been allowed to come so near that he could hear them faintly. The official reason for their removal according to the Sarkozy’s Interior Minister is that the officials made “arrangements which failed to meet the importance of a situation”.

Although internationally Sarkozy, who is also the current head of the EU seems more progressive, than say our current leader, opposing the US invasion of Iraq, proposing strong environmental reforms for the EU, and most recently working with Mubarak of Egypt on a ceasefire in Gaza, his party, the UMP is the conservative, right of center part…

There is nothing that this Parliament cannot fix when they work together

All parties have agreed to form a coalition to end Ottawa bus strike.
And they called us Torontonians special when we got the army to shovel our snow.

1981 primitive Internet

Long before anyone had heard of the Internet, early home computer users could read their morning newspapers online ... sort of. Video from Steve Newman's 1981 story was broadcast on KRON San Francisco.

Newnan is a meteorologist with a career in media and private industry that spans more than three decades or so his bio states. He has posted other interestingly dated videos from his personal newscasts here.

JAWL

Half a million Canadians on the dole in November

Meanwhile we still have right wing ideologues in power

Despite the fact that the Harper government was humming a more conciliatory tune in yesterdays throne speech, we still have his draconian, right wing, social conservative, ideologies to deal with. Like the case of Kim Rivera a US war resister living in Toronto.


Kim served a term in Iraq and then came to Canada because she did not want to be redeployed.She has been living in Ontario with her husband and three children, including a six week old girl who was born in Canada.Well yesterday she lost her appeal to remain in Canada and will be deported next Tuesday. A similar fate to Christopher Teske, living in BC who has just also lost his last appeal.


So what happens to Kim and the other war resisters after they are charged and serve 15 months or so in jail. Are they allowed to renter Canada or does their criminal record bar them from doing so? And if they are allowed to return, what was the point of kicking them out in the first place.


There are more reasons to get rid Harper besides the obf…

Alternative Funeral Songs

The Children’s Society , a UK children's charity has commissioned a survey on the publics changing views about funerals. One of the questions dealt with which song people would like played at their funeral. Here is the top ten from the 764 Britons surveyed.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life - Eric Idle / Monty Python
Cabaret - Liza Minnelli
Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye - Gracie Fields
My Way - Sid Vicious
They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa - Napoleon
Fame! I Want To Live Forever - The cast of Fame
We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place - The Animals
Going Underground - The Jam
Spirit In The Sky - Dr and The Medics
Enjoy Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think - The Specials


From the Telegraph UK


JAWL

A positive announcement for my personal drug management

Stop the bleeding please

Have you heard about for the most important budget ever.

Let me see, we have radio ads in the 905 warning us that the coalition might still be alive, apparently television ads in Quebec linking Ignatieff and Dion. We have a finance minister that has met with every possible group he could gather for a photo op. He even pulled together an ad hoc advisory committee of business leaders and met with them once (Do you think Carol Taylor regrets quitting her day job?) and now after months of consultation, it is time for the most important budget in Canada’s history, ever.

Of course most of the details have already been leaked. So far we know that the budget expenditures will total $34 billion in 2009-10 and $30 billion in 2010-11. With various ministers playing key roles informing us, we have been advised that the budget will include:

$1.5 billion to help workers acquire new skills
$2 billion to build new housing for lower-income Canadians
$250 million to create a new regional economic developm…

What now Mr President

From Raw Story

Panorama the BBC One documentary show ran a segment this week, entitled What now Mr President, on the dismal state of health care in the United States. The show covers the plight of 45 million uninsured Americans, how the current system is rigged by the pharmaceutical industry and how the insurance industry is planning to scuttle Obamas plan.
We plan on mounting a national campaign," warned health insurance industry lobbyist Angela Hunter, and what we hope to do is to, number one, get some articles in the newspaper explaining what the problems are that we see with the plan. Two: Educate lawmakers, people who are members of our organizations, their clients--to go and lobby members of Congress--call them on the phone, visit them in their offices, and to just do everything that we can possibly do to preserve the freedom of choice for individuals in health care in America.533 members of Congress, out of 535, have received campaign contributions from within the health se…

Saving our country by getting a bang for our deficit dollar

The media and their corresponding web sites are full of articles this weekend about the forthcoming budget. Most responding to massive conservative public relations campaign detailing the extraordinary efforts that Harper, and Flaherty have gone through to prepare this budget.

Unprecedented details have been purposely leaked about the budget that is expected to contain $25 billion in stimulus spending as well as highly controversial tax cuts.

But I thought, this weekend that I would put my partisan beliefs aside and try to actually understand what the best options are for the trying to stimulate the Canadian economy.

Our economy is measured by the amount of goods and services we as nation both produce and consume and collectively we, both as individuals and corporations are producing and consuming less. Being a resource rich, exporting nation sitting next to the largest consuming population in the world, our production, at least on the corporate level is more affected by the downtur…

25 years ago today the Mac taught the kids to play

This Ridley Scott ad from the 1984 Super Bowl that announced the forthcoming birth of Mac on January 24th, 1984, wasn’t my favorite Mac ad but it is the one that got all the attention is advertising circles.



My favorite was this Lemmings ad with all the suits following each other over a cliff. If everyone else was jumping off a cliff would you jump a cliff too. The add reminded me of my childhood, but it was quickly pulled because of negative corporate feedback. It was apparently considered a negative message against corporations.

Twenty five years ago, give or take a couples days, we received our first 10 skids. The Canadian list price was $3,495 and the only software that ran on it came in the box, MacWrite and MacPaint.

Back then about the only thing people used personal computers for was word processing, spreadsheets and some geeky types doing databases. In other words a replacement for the typewriter and an adding machine (excluding maybe the K to 12 education market that was s…

Bring on the clowns

Our governor of the Bank of Canada Mark Carney, not be confused with carney, a person who works in a carnival or amusement show, was out in public yesterday spreading the good news about the economy prior to the long awaited return of parliament next week and the release of the conservatives stimulus spending budget.
In an update to his October Monetary Policy Report, Carney said the country was in a worse recession than previously thought, but its duration would be shorter and its recovery process faster than the past two downturns with economic growth expecting to resume in the second half of this year, and rebound to 3.8% in 2010.This upbeat announcement by the conservative appointed governor of the bank is surprisingly positive in comparison to the bleak announcements made by Kevin Page, parliament’s budget officer two days ago. Page announced that the government could rack up to $105 billion in deficits over the next five years before they even spend dollar one of the stimulus bu…

What should happen to a women who has an illegal abortion

Imagine going out every week to stand on the side of the road and wave your horrific images at innocent people passing by and at no time have you ever considered what the ramifications of making abortions illegal would be on the woman who choose to have one.

Apparently the fundamentalist, anti-choicers in this video, who have been protesting for the abolishment of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy for the last two years, have never taken the time to consider what the punishment should be to a woman who gets caught having an illegal abortion.

It never crossed their collective minds, they just never thought about it. Give me a break these born again fundamentalists are walking robots incapable of independent thought. What a waste of time, cardboard and in their case two births.



JAWL

100 billion to buy a neocon wet dream

Parliament's budget officer Kevin Page says the federal government will rack up between $46 billion and $105 billion in new debt over the next five years, even without new stimulus spending in Tuesday's budget.

To repeat, before the Harper government spends dollar one on the planned auto bail out, before the government even proposes their forthcoming recovery budget in Parliament next week, the conservatives are heading towards a 100 billion dollar deficit.

As pointed out by the CNEWS article that basically wipes out all the payments made over the last 11 years by the preceding Liberal governments to reduce our national debt. Of course during the election Harper and Flaherty told us that the that government would avoid a deficit and in fact produce a $100 million surplus by March end.

So how did the conservatives turn Canada’s fortunes around so quickly...

The government hastily added the second 1% reduction to the GST (basically a 16% reduction in sales tax revenues) and then…

When history repeats itself

NBS Nightly News with Ted Philips, March 11th 1970

This excerpt from a 1970 edition of NBS Nightly News (anchored by NBS stalwart Ted Philips) features a special report from co-anchor Jim Sizemore looking back at first ten years of Dr Manhattan.

Well who was Doctor Manhattan..

After an experimental accident, scientist, Jon Osterman was transformed into something rather non-human and over a short four years he became increasingly detached from humanity as a whole. Eventually he disavowed any interest in human affairs and rejected the validity of any notion of morality. He even gradually abandoned clothes.

His ability to see the world outside of time led him to embrace determinism. Doctor Manhattan had been identified as something of a God-figure even dying once and then resurrecting himself, he gained near omniscient knowledge and almost omnipotent powers, and in his final moments with us walked on water and then left to create human life somewhere else.

For all his god-like power th…

Harper appoints head of listeriosis coverup probe

From the Globe and Mail here, we learn that the new head of the toothless inquiry will not have the power to call witnesses, nor compel them to testimony.

She will get information based on the good will of the participants who may or may not tell her the full story, said Bob Kingston, union president for the meat inspectors.

In other words the inquiry will not investigate how the deregulated changes that were secretly implemented by the Harper government at the Maple Leaf meat processing plant may have played a role in allowing the listeria to go undetected for so long. Nor will it look at the governments decreased role at the western slaughterhouses to inspect for BSE (mad cow). Nor will it look into how this broad based deregulation is increasing the risk to Canadian lives in other industries such as pre-flight air plane inspections. Now performed by the cash strapped airlines, not government inspectors. Nope, I don't think the inquiry is going to look into that aspect.

To all t…

Canada sends its oil salesman to the inauguration

Jim Prentice was in Washington today to explain his perverted, environment equals energy pitch to the new Obama administration.
To say the least, there is lots to discuss and then later to do," Prentice said. "And hopefully, one of the many points of agreement for action will be commencing a co-operative, bilateral approach to the environment and energy, in ways that spur on economic recovery and renewal.Prentice who is supposed to be our Minister of the Environment, hopes that supplying oil to the US could be part of bilateral plans that would also seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create cleaner fuel.
He said the two countries also need to discuss concrete action plans to reduce not only greenhouse gas emission levels, but North American dependence on foreign oil.In other words our Environmental Minister either can’t, won't or is not allowed to say the word environment without saying the word energy, in the same sentence.

The fear of course is that the new US a…

Learning about Afghanistan from Americans

John Kerry, the new Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee reveals more about Afghanistan in interviewing Hillary Clinton at her confirmation hearing, for Secretary of State, than our government has told us in the last four years.

Politicians, though they may be, they sound like adults in discussing the plans for going forward. A couple of my favorite lines include Kerry’s description of Iraq and Afghanistan:

Iraq is government without a country and Afghanistan is a country without a government.
The other line is from Hillary when talking about setting the objectives for success:

Our expectations need to be set with a large dose of humility.
Humility, a word we have not heard from an American government since Carter’s term and certainly not one that is in our neoconservative government's vocabulary. I’m starting to get excited about this new American government.


The video was posted by Brave New Films.



JAWL

Just 24 more hours of Bush

From The Brad Blog...



September 21, 2001


January 15, 2009

And if you think he looks bad, imagine how our country looks. Thanks to him, unfortunately, thousands of Americans won't get to take that look. And no, he didn't "keep us safe," no matter how many times they keep repeating it...



Worth repeating...

JAWL

Harper, a new reason for strong unions

The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) will be voting on a new contract today. The union for the agency whose purpose it is to protect our sources of food, has played a leading role as whistle blower about the Harper government’s secretive deregulation of Canadian safety standards.

The offer averaging under 2% a year, over four years was negotiated directly by the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) in November just prior to the return of parliament.
"The bargaining process was controlled directly from the Prime Minister's Office. We were told we had until 12 noon on the Wednesday to accept the agreement, otherwise when the prime minister's economic statement came down, it was going to be legislated anyway," said Paynter.

"Of course we all know now in hindsight what happened. The prime minister dissolved Parliament and the threats that were made, aren't in fact implemented.
"Apparently in Harpers Canada, if you upset the Prime Minister's plans, his offi…

Pinning the tail on the donkey

In a speech before his caucus meeting today, Ignatieff has rightly tried to place the blame for the deficit on Harper.

This deficit is squarely Mr. Harper's responsibility. He spent us down to the red line in the good times and so we face the hard times as citizens of a great country with the cupboard bare.

To anyone that can read a profit and loss statement it is obvious that the conservatives under Deficit Jim have spent their way into a deficit even before the bail out of the banks and the auto industry. And before the forthcoming stimulus expenditures of a revised budget.

The last accurate numbers received from this government were for March 31, 2008, the end of the fiscal year 2007/2008. They were released this fall on September 30th.


Revenue only increased 2.7 year over year, with the glaring decrease being the decline in GST revenues. As you may recall at the time, opposition parties led by Dion objected to the 1% cut to the GST that the conservatives threw in at the last m…

14 days in a hole, I should of taken more drugs

Been incognito for the last two weeks, diligently, diseased, while working my ass off, on a road trip. Willy is still a salesman after all. At sixty, the trade show talk flows too naturally, but the wear and tear on your body, with the food, the drink and constantly being on, starts to take its toll, especially when mixed with a cold and accompanying fever.

After two weeks of not reading headlines, I feel out of touch (going to have to spend all weekend reading impolitical , as well as everyone else on the side bar), but the one thing I have noticed after returning to Canada as a non blogging citizen is that Harper seems to be smiling a lot more.

The airport magazines feature a smiling Harper as a newsmaker of the year and this picture with Flaherty taken at the first ministers seems to say: Hey we did it, I think we get to keep our jobs.

Little news, just political posturing and confirming alliances from the meeting with premiers, at least according to this extensive CNEWS synopsi…

For your viewing pleasure

WHO CUT THE CAKE is a comedy series, set inside the fictional Cooper/Johnson wedding and its surrounding events. Driven by its characters and story, Who Cut the Cake begins with the rehearsal dinner and ultimately ends wherever we see fit. The series blazes a trail yet unseen on the Internet: it is not sketch comedy, no one speaks into the camera, and there is no mention of "blogging".

Episode 1: Who the fuck
Dave and Lizzie, the bride and groom, would've bet the house that they, of course, knew everyone who was invited. They would've lost.

Episode 2: Thanks for coming

Episode 3: Mr. Cooper and Your Mom

Episode 4: Matt Lauer and the Tossed Salad

Episode 5: Two Girls One Cup Size

Created by Scott Foley.

Who Cut the Cake is a 60Frames original series.

I'm on a plane (all day) on my way to the end of the world of Mac show. Posting will be intermittent, so I thought I would post a soap opera for your viewing pleasure.


JAWL

What will change everything

One of the best things about blogging, besides being able to anonymously vent, my five minutes of partisan hate over some transparently ideological Harper press release, at 5:00 am in morning is the weekends.

On the weekends you have time to search for something else to blog about and you end up searching through articles and websites and every now and then you find something like this.

The Edge World Question Center
The Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world. The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of societyEach year the Edge asks their members, artisans, scientists, thinkers and the like, to respond to a question and this year’s question is:

WHAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING?
What game-chang…

Here’s the reason we have no confidence.

Flaherty is now considering a tax cut as a way to boost our confidence.

However as reported back in November by their own Parliamentary Budget Officer it was Harpers and Flaherty’s tax cuts to the GST a year ago that has moved Canada into it’s current recession, not the planned stimulus programs they are working on.
Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page told MPs yesterday that Canada's deficit next year could be as high as $13 billion and that Conservative government decisions to cut the GST and raise government spending are to blame, not global economic events.Now Flaherty says he's reviewing options for more tax cuts because we, the consumers are growing pessimistic.
Corporate tax cuts and the new tax-free savings accounts that came into effect on Jan. 1 will help stimulate the economy, Mr. Flaherty said Friday, but added he's considering other measures for the Jan. 27 budget.Well not really Jim, they will only be positive a year and half from now, if you don't loos…

There was a time, you know, when I had my sight...

There was a time or at least the story goes... before the born again followers became organized as fetus focussed, homophobic, racists, in search of a Rockwellian lifestyle. A time before the now grayed or balding, well aged cynics, ranted at the demons from their past in an effort to push for progress in the future.

A time that spawned both groups from the same innocent seeds of self discovery.

The summer of 68 was such a time, trapped in history between the birth of all things psychedelic and the death of Meredith Hunter at a California speedway.

As a recently departed room service elevator operator, I spent the middle of 68 traveling back and forth between Banff and Vancouver.

It was a time of contrasting visions, as I moved from hand painted flats with moving walls on the coast, to pup tents on Rundle, where at night you could discover your true place in the universe.

Speed had not yet hit the street or become part of the cut, while acid and shrooms were still legal to possess.