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Showing posts from May, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Commercials

I actually remember this one. It was how I learned the Winston song.

Chesterfield must of been one of the last companies to introduce filter tips. Filters were brought in to reduce or "filter out" the tars. It was the tobacco companies way of addressing the growing awareness that smoking might be bad for you. Of course according to this ad Chesterfield was the first company to get them right.

I was a always big fan of Wilson Bryan Key's theories of subliminal advertising and implanted messaging. I think I still have a foil hat with his name on it. But even ignoring the fact that their brand name was Kool, this ad looks packed.

Alberta’s Legally Blonde Finance Minister to share oil funds with Ontario

As reported here Alberta Finance Minister, Iris Evans “says Ontario and the federal government receive half the tax from the oilsands”.

Who knew! Hey, this have-not province thing is working out pretty well. Last week it was that crazy Danny from the new NL and now we have this Reese Witherspoon, look-a-like, doll, from Edmonton stepping right up there, to help us too.

I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Alberta. 
Remember how I used to compare my three years, living in Edmonton, to doing time in a gulag. I won’t say that anymore. 
Remember how I used to say, women in Edmonton were easy to meet, because they all had their names sewn on the sleeves of their blue ski jackets. I won't say that anymore. Remember when.. well you know what I mean.
No wonder those Albertans are Steve’s chosen people. And they think he is doing a heck of a job too.

Hey Iris, I guess sarcasm doesn't work for either one of us.
Welcome to Toronto, babe.

Scott McClellan is acting like he's at Nuremburg

Integrity could be viewed as defining one's own personal honesty, and then acting in accordance to those beliefs and values. And at at some point in our lives, we all have a moment or moments when we have to question our own integrity. 
As a salesman I've sold a lot of stuff over the years to a lot of people that didn't originally want to buy or in reality need what I was selling, but on my worst day Scotty I couldn't even carry your shoes.
Your lapse in integrity, honesty, and personal values has cost hundred's of thousands of lives and made the earth a much more dangerous place to live on. Because Scotty you were one of the salesmen.
Oh, Scotty has a new book out. It contains nothing that most of us did not already know.

Hey, Tony when you sleep with the hogs...

In early May, Tony Clement, our Minister of Health was insisting that his government was open-minded about the issue of Insite. However by mid month, Tony admitted that even though the science and the numerous studies supported Insite, they were not the only factors to consider. The eventual decision must also make for good public policy not just science nor ideology.
And now after all his posturing to live up to his position and show concern for the actual health of the addicts involved, Tony toes the company line. "the best way to deal with the health issues of drug addicts is to offer treatment and to prevent them from getting on to drugs in the first place." He then strongly suggested that the federal government is opposed to the continued operation of Insite. You can't have it both ways Tony. You can either do what is ethically right, as our country's Minister of Health, or you resign from the position. 
Or I guess, thirdly, as you have chosen to do, sleep with the …

100th Post, Whoopie, Yahoo, Woot, Woot...

as the old unrrepentant hippies would say. Actually I don't remember anyone saying that. 
Anyway, look a that, 100 posts in our first 78 days.
And there were actually two that we thought we good, from back here and here when nobody was coming around.
But hell, if you want quality go to pogge or the Galloping Beaver, or any of the other sites listed in the side bar.

This could be Steve's longest, three day, short, trip yet

Steve is off to Europe for a whirlwind, 3 day trip to four countries to explain his views on global warming, prior to the July, G8 meetings.
This could be the longest three day trip on record for all us. There were already eight stories and two photo ops and Steve hadn't even left the tarmac. 
Of course for Steve, the trip might not seem long enough, with the continuing fall out from the Bernier scandal and all the continuing questions back home.
But on a more positive side for the Prime Minister, at least he didn't have to kiss up to Clark and he'll get to have his picture taken a lot.

Ironically, it took some insight to keep INSITE open

Justice Ian Pitfield of the BC Supreme Court, has granted Vancouver's controversial safe-injection site an exemption from federal drug laws until June 30, 2009, ruling that it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to shut it down at the end of June. CTV here.From the 60 page ruling:
"Society cannot condone addiction, but in the face of its presence it cannot fail to manage it, hopefully with ultimate success reflected in the cure of the addicted individual and abstinence," says the ruling.

"While there is nothing to be said in favour of the injection of controlled substances that leads to addiction, there is much to be said against denying addicts health care services that will ameliorate the effects of their condition,'' he wrote.

"I cannot agree with the Canada's submission that an addict must feed his addiction in an unsafe environment when a safe environment that may lead to rehabilitation is the alternative." Pitfield's ruli…

The two best things that happened this week

Emerson's secret plan to fight crime one iPod at a time

Steve's Trade Minister, David (oops now I'm a conservative) Emerson has been busy working, away on a new trade agreement.
From the Financial Post here:
The federal government is secretly negotiating an agreement to revamp international copyright laws which could make the information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.It is not that ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been a secret. Emerson spoke last year of Canada's involvement in the creation of the new initiative aimed at stopping large-scale piracy of movies. Hey, giving some teeth to the  laws that go after large scale, illegal, replicators of any media is a good thing. But of course that's not what it is about and not what is being proposed.
The ACTA discussion paper has been leakedhere.   The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public securit…

Talk about timing, this is a Stats Can Report worth reading

Statistics Canada has released their annual report on Climate Change here. It is a well laid presentation with plenty of charts and graphs that sadly explains how poorly Canada is doing to reduce greenhouse gases and emissions.
Canada has about 0.5% of the world's population, but contributes about 2% of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This puts Canadians among the highest per capita emitters, largely as a result of the size of the country, the low density of the population, the high energy demands imposed by the climate, our resource-based economy, and the volume of goods we export. In 2005, slightly more than 23 tonnes of GHGs were emitted for each person in the country: this represents an 8% per capita increase since 1990. 3 Certainly a timely report with the current meetings going on in Europe. The report goes into detail about types and sources of emissions, break down by province and population (Alberta you have been bad) and comparisons to other countries as …

Galen Weston, hire this kid

As part of a science fair project, a 16 year old Canadian teenager has come up with a way to get plastic shopping bags, which normally take up to 1,000 years to decompose, to break down in as little as three months. (h/t Agonist)
Daniel Burd, a high school student in Waterloo, Canada, reasoned that, because plastic eventually degrades, there is probably some some microorganism out there that breaks it down. If that microbe could be identified, you could expose higher concentrations of it to plastic and break it down faster. Daniel won top honors at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, where he took home $30,000 in prizes and scholarships. See detailed article here.Absolutely amazing. You would think that with all the heat that they must be under, the companies that make plastic bags would have come up with this. Or for that matter any number of physicists or chemical engineers.

And I'm not being facetious about the title. I'm serious. Loblaw Companies Limited should hire Dani…

Here's some Laugh In for Dick Martin

The Globe article here, on the passing away of Dick Martin, describes how Rowan & Martin first teamed up.
The two were both struggling actors when they met in 1952. Rowan had sold his interest in a used car dealership to take acting lessons, and Martin, who had written gags for TV shows and comedians, was tending bar in Los Angeles to pay the rent. Rowan, hearing Martin was looking for a comedy partner, visited him at the bar, where he found him eating a banana. "Why are you eating a banana?" he asked. "If you've ever eaten here, you'd know what's with the banana," he replied, and a comedy team was born.

Here's a short Laugh In clip that includes one of Rowan & Martin's opening bits.

And if you were a fan, here's a longer clip of "Laugh In" out takes. You knew it had to be like this behind the camera. Their show was the first show that both the kids and their parents laughed at. It was really a bridge between the generations. …

Harper to teach Europeans about climate change

This can't be good.
From the Globe article here:Harper plans to lay out the Canadian position on climate change when he meets with the leaders of four key members of the Group of Eight industrial nations before the annual G8 summit in July. Harper wants to have some frank discussions of what Canada's doing, because I think there's a feeling that people don't understand the depth and the range of Canada's national programs of action.Guess what Steve the Europeans already understand your position.
“They're frankly getting very, very upset,” he said. “If Canada's not going to be serious about respecting the penalty for non-compliance, then frankly their view is ‘listen, get out then.' Because what you're doing is completely compromising the regime.” Great, either Canada becomes the first country thrown out of Kyoto or Canada becomes known as the country that destroyed it.

PS: On a slightly positive note George Bush will have someone to sit next to this tim…

Come on Steve, buy my vote too or at least try

Steve's government likes to announce things. And since they really don't like to talk to the press that much, unless of course there is a good patriotic, picture opportunity for Steve or some ministerial screw up or back room blunder that needs to explained, compared to worse misdeeds by the liberals and/or white washed, they profusely release proclamations via their Canada News Centre. This month alone, since May 1st, Steve and his gang have made close to 600 press releases.
For the most part these are somewhat trivial announcements covering traveling schedules, and statements of support for various causes, organizations and individuals. Everything from honoring hockey, to ongoing support of Cuban democracy (?), concern about world disasters, to a minister showing up in their local riding to open a library. Oh and stay away from Smith's Small Clubs and ground beef from the Paradise Halal Meat Market. But the site also announces how and where Steve is spending our money.
So …

Why the proposed labeling law is a red herring

From 2003 to 2006
Mexican agriculture imports increased 51% to $878 m
Chinese agriculture imports increased 38% to $430 m
Indian agriculture imports increased 27% to $152 m

The major food stuffs, recording the largest increases were: fresh garlic, apple juice, cabbages, carrots, turnips, peas, beans, spinach, grapes apples, peaches, rice, pickled cucumbers and pet food. ref  Today's Farmer March 29, 2008The reason for the increase in imports
Imports increased due to the strength of the Canadian currency versus the weakness of the US currency. The distributors and brokers in these particular countries deal in US funds and therefore our manufacturers/food processors and distributors can now buy their produce at reduced Canadian prices. It is the benefit of a strong dollar. On the downside our exports cost more and that's hurting the farmers as well.The manufacturing process (under the current rules)

In manufacturing the raw materials, in this case the food, represents the lowest perce…

Brodie booted

Hey Ian, as Steve would say look on the bright side. You can now go back to Western and continue your education. Personally I would recommend studying diplomacy, you know the part that covers not openly sabotaging the presidential incumbent of your largest trading partner. 
See CTV article here.

Definitely not a good day, Steve

Yesterday was supposed to be big day for Steve. One in which Steve is shown as a leader in action, protecting our food supply. The intent in part, (my assumption here), was to overshadow the release of the presumably, forewarned, negative, economic numbers.
Unfortunately for Steve his two appearances on Global last night, revealed nothing more than an arrogant, regionally focussed politician, who is either unaware of the impact of the economy on the average Canadian or is in fact only capable of serving the interests of his very narrow constituency.

Just prior to this clip, Global shows the heads of the oil companies being called to an emergency Senate hearing. They show Bush actually going to the Saudis to ask for help with some crazy let's increase production idea and the Saudis saying no, not our problem. 
And then complete with arrows showing a 1.7% rise in inflation, oil supposedly going to $200 a barrel and the Ontario auto sector forecasted to decrease by 14.7%, we cut to Stev…

Big sigh of relief for Harper

According to this article from our government's own News Centre, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Bernier has managed to meet with up to three Croatian leaders yesterday without causing Croatia to back out of the Afghan mission, withdraw it's NATO bid or apparently any other intl incidents. 
Although a big sigh of relief for Harper, he still has his fingers crossed as Bernier moves to Italy to meet with his Italian counterpart and eventually participate in a traditional weekly general audience with the Pope
I mean what is the worse that can happen. Can the Pope excommunicate a whole country?
Just to play it safe Bev Oda has been told to have her bags packed.

Now, how does that grab you

When you can't write like pogge(come on, a one word title, twenty one word article and more hits than I get in a week) or actually have an informed opinion and some background knowledge about what you are going to write about (like these guys here, here, here, here or here), you end up picking a topic from the 1,500 RSS feeds you receive each day. Then to hopefully grab the readers attention long enough that they might actually read your article you need to come up with a great headline.
But it appears all writers must have the same problem. Here's one from the business feeds that caught me tonight:
Home Depot earnings hammered

Besides the fact that Home Depot's profits actually dropped by 66% for the quarter, that is a very funny title. I think I want to become a staff writer for the Globe business section. I could write articles about mundane topics and then through humorous titles send subliminal messages to corporate Canada. Yep, I want to do that.
Here's some titles I…

Video: Microsoft's Ballmer pelted with eggs

Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, narrowly avoided getting egg on his face on Monday when a furious Hungarian student began pelting him with missiles during a lecture at a university in Budapest. Hungarian news reports suggested that the student was upset that the country's government has awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide software and IT training to local professionals under a program called Titan. Guardian UKIn the video the student is congratulated by fellow students, one of they holding a Mac iBook. It is probably the Mac's fault.

You see Pierre, boys have penises and girls have vaginas

And sometimes a person has been assigned one gender, usually on the basis of their sex at birth, when in fact they are really the other. 
Now read this part carefully Pete. It is the important part that explains why Ontario is re-instating coverage and why your latest blather, here is so embarrassing.
According to psychologists and physicians this condition is known as Gender Identity disorder and one of the treatments for this condition is Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). You know, the thing that doctors do in the big building with the H on the side of it.
For Christ's sake Steve, I know Pierre Poilievre is the youngest sitting MP and all that, but could you not take him aside and have that, you know, little birds and bees talk with him. Or better yet, send him on one of your famous hotel room meetings.
The boy really needs an education.

Bizarro weekend: US protects their environment from Canadian Mining company, Canada tells Europeans don't worry about environment drill here

US environmentalists support their government's move to halt Canadian Mining company
Associated Press here:
The U.S. Forest Service is requiring that a Canadian company post bonds before exploring or expanding a gold mine in Idaho. Before the Forest Service will issue a permit, it wants Atlanta Gold a Toronto based company, to provide the $1.3 million bond for 18 months and another $7.3 million bond after the exploration period ends. Environmentalists were pleased with the Forest Service's actions but want the agency to require the entire $8.6 million before exploratory drilling begins.Meanwhile Canada places "Drill Here" sign on Canada's North.
Steve has sent his Trade Minister, David (oops now I'm a conservative) Emerson, to meet with the Europeans and advise them that Canada's North is open for business.
From Canadian Press here: "Emerson said future development of Canada's natural resources in the North represents a powerful incentive for Europe t…

It's a scary world if you are a conservative or an evangelical wingnut

According to Day our somewhat paranoid Safety Czar and his site here, there is Organized Crime in my neighbourhood and I should post this page near my phone.

I bet it is those Jamaicans across the street. Strange they keep their lawn, looking so good and the kids are so polite or it could be that old hippie couple two doors up. He's nice and polite but he always looks a little stoned to me. And then there are the Italians on the corner, yep it's the Italians...

After Snark (as the cynics would say)
For Christ's sake Day (ref intended) I realize that your government only panders to it's patchwork base of supporters, but surely you could also inform your own somewhat inbred electorate (there were long isolated winters in the early days of the west), that 911 could be used for other emergencies as well. 
And as far as posting your notice next to their phone, come on it's three fucking numbers, memorize it or at least have them scribble it next to their Dial a Prayer numbe…

Texan with HIV gets 35 years for spitting on police

Prosecutors convinced a Dallas County jury this week that HIV-positive saliva should be considered a deadly weapon. The defendent was convicted of harassment of a public servant. Because of the jury's deadly weapon finding, he will have to serve half of his sentence before he's eligible for parole. The police officer has not contracted HIV. Dallas Morning News.

Nor could he. Everyone on that jury is two sandwiches short of picnic. As if Texans didn't have enough to be embarrassed about.

The New Canadian Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is awarded for “the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy." It is the highest honor Canada can bestow upon a member of it's armed forces. May we eventually no longer need to have them, but for now may few be awarded posthumously.

If it takes a mascot to start cleaning up the tar sands, so be it.

In response to Don Martin’s article "A False mascot for climate change" in the Post yesterday.

His last line is partially correct. The Polar Bear is the Canary in the Global coal mine, fat or otherwise. But the increasingly numerous population part is incredulously misleading.

Right now there are an estimated 25,000 bears worldwide in five countries. But scientists predict if current warming trends continue in the Arctic, two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by 2050. ref here

And in his reference to Canada’s (COSEWIC) passive concern about the status of the bears, the addendum in their most recent report states that they did not account for the potential influence of climate warming on the bears future population. ref here

As for Baird’s wise decision to wait for further analysis until August. I think you give him too much credit. It is more probable that Baird was waiting to see if Kempthorne could continue to stall the predicted decision in the US.

No, Mr. …

God, Guns & Gall made Canada. Let's keep all three.

You get nothing but arrogance and impudent behavior from Day, our so called Safety Minister, all the time. His latest Government news release here about his changes to the gun registry is nothing more than innuendo and of course a disparaging line about the Liberals. His changes amount to forget about it for another year and when we get our majority we will kill it. (wink, wink)
“Our Government is committed to effective gun control and tackling the criminal misuse of firearms,” stated Minister Day. “We believe in targeting criminals, not duck hunters and farmers.” “Effective gun control requires high levels of compliance,” “These measures are designed to facilitate that compliance.”No Mr. Day, your government is committed to pandering to your patchwork coalition of right wing neocons, god fearing, gun toting, evangelicals and the remnants of a conservative party that Mulroney destroyed. With similar hubris I might add.

Oh and don't worry about the duck hunters Day, there won't b…

Catholic Church attempts to widen it's base

From MSNBC here.
Vatican says it's OK to believe in aliens The Vatican's chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God. The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said that the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones. In an interview published Tuesday by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures.

Not to be outdone the Scientologists responded with "I told you so" and the Evangelicals quickly added, "as long as they are not gay and don't use contraceptives".
Einstein was right.

Einstein wasn't so smart, I figured out the God thing when I was ten

"In a note, written the year before his death, Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as “pretty childish.” from the Globe article here.

I had a bit of trouble with the EMC thing though. 

Both of them.

Dallaire vs Kenney, one has a pair, the other is shaped like one

"The minute you start playing with human rights, with conventions, with civil liberties in order to say you are doing it to protect yourself … you are no better than the guy who doesn't believe in them at all. You are either with the law or you are against the law." General Romeo Dallaire.
General, unfortunately you are talking about concepts that these neocon, ideologues, do not understand. 
Keep it up sir, the rest of us are listening.

Industry Minister in trouble: forgets to blame Liberals for gas pumps

Steve will be all over his Industry Minister this morning. Prentice was on Mike Duffy Live yesterday to explain how the cons will get tough on inaccurate gas pumps and he didn't blame the Liberals once, for the pumps, carbon tax credits or anything else. I can see Prentice getting less air time in the future.

You can read about Prentice's announcement here at CTV. There really is no plan. The stations will have to check the accuracy of a pump, every two years.

Below is the best part of the interview. Duffy sets Prentice up and actually gets him to say that there is no collusion in pricing between the oil companies. It is just the gas station looking down the street.

That's right Jim, it's the minimum wage employee working the night shift at my local Shell. "Oh look, Pedro over at Petro Canada has just raised the price again. Damn, I better phone the boss. What an asshole."

Why Thursday's Polar Bear decision is important to all of us

I never understood the "Save the Polar Bear, Save the World" slogan until tonight.
As posted earlier the US Fish & Wildlife Service, which reports to Bush's Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has been stalling the decision on the status of polar bears. Well that is all changed. Environmental groups have sued and won. A federal court has ordered the Fish & Wildlife committee to make their ruling by Thursday this week.

Kempthorne, who previously served as a Senator for six years and scored 1% on the League of Conservation Voters' legislative scorecards, obviously became Bush's first choice for Secretary of the Interior in 2006. The Secretary of the Interior is similar to our Minister of the Environment. The most obvious reason for so desperately stalling the release of the report (last meeting postponed because the head of committee didn't show up), since the fall could quite possibly be that the Polar Bear is now on their endangered species lis…

Does this now mean that Harper's threats to sue constitutes the same conflict?

Apparently just a threat of law suit is enough to prevent a member of parliament from participating in committees, and possibly the house itself.
From the Globe this morning:
Liberal MP has been barred from asking questions on the Mulroney-Schreiber affair in Parliament, raising fears that a libel chill is set to extend into the House and committee rooms on the Hill. Up until this week, Liberal MP Robert Thibault had been one of the opposition party's main questioners on the cash dealings between former prime minister Brian Mulroney and businessman Karlheinz Schreiber. However, Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has barred Mr. Thibault from raising the issue further in Parliament because Mr. Mulroney has launched a $2-million lawsuit against Mr. Thibault for allegedly libellous statements on CTV Newsnet on the matter. Ms. Dawson ruled that according to the conflict-of-interest code, Mr. Thibault now has a "private interest" in the controversy and he cannot debate or vote on i…

Steve teaches McVety a lesson

Looks like Steve is going to teach Day and his buddy Charles McVetty a lesson: STFU.

There is a Globe piece this morning here, where Liberal senators say Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was wrong when he told reporters last week that a bill to deny tax credits to makers of violent or pornographic films and TV shows is necessarily a matter of confidence and must not be changed.
"A tax credit is not a taxing measure as such," Mr. Fox said. "It's not something that really affects the fiscal framework of the government." The Finance Minister sees things differently. "This bill should not be amended," Mr. Flaherty said after his appearance before the Senate committee last week. "A tax bill is a confidence bill. We all know that." But the senators are clearly signalling their interest in amending the provision.The article goes on about the line up of who has appeared and who is going to appear before the Senate. But the end of the article is all in th…

Steve, your fascism is starting to show here

Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

Three articles from the Globe this morning give us a prelude to what Steve's Canada will look like, if he ever gets his majority.Dion assails Harper over Omar Khadr: Dion finally got some press in Parliament by going after Harper on Omar Khadr's case. As most of us know, Khadr was 15 when the US picked him up in Afghanistan and after six years he is now going to trial (or the US military version of one). The fact that he was 15 and the fact that evidence was withheld that might exonerate him, the trial proceeds. Meanwhile our government, unlike most other governments in the world has taken no steps to re-patriate him. Somewhat controversial for Dion, since Khadar's family in Canada seem like complete assholes, but that doesn't mean that the kid is not being railroaded and as Dion …