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Showing posts from November, 2008

There’s a smell of freedom in the air

I have been busy all day, buying gifts for the grandkids, out there helping the economy, which for some reason is turning into weekly weekend chore.

Anyway it suddenly struck me that there was a something distinctly different today in the way people are interacting.

Canadians for some reason still believe that it is impolite to talk about politics in public, so no one was running around yelling Coalition, Coalition, Sign Up Now! Sign Up Now!

But I tell you there certainly was a feeling that something big was coming.

People were holding the doors open for each other, smiling, comparing purchases, talking about how they are cutting back this year because of recession.

And no one, not one single person seemed worried that the Harper government is about to fall.

Wow so this is what change and hope feels like.

Coalition now, sign the petition, we need to spread this feeling.


Well that takes Buddhism off my list

It was my dollar ninety five they were taking away

Despite all the cynicism from the conservative media, about how the opposition parties care only about their share of 27 million tax payer dollars, it was my 1.95 the Harper government was planning on taking away.

The 1.95 per vote subsidy was introduced by the Chrétien government in 2003 as an attempt to clean up political financing by weaning the parties off big corporate and union donations.

The same type of interest group financing that has corrupted the US system where large corporations and industry lobbyists fund both sides of the house in order to exert their influence on overall law making.

Canada was just as guilty with our largest corporations of the day Imasco, BCE, Bombardier not to mention energy and resource giants, the banks, unions and pension funds all insuring their pound of flesh when push came to shove.

The representative financing alternative introduced by the Liberals provided a honest and fair mechanism for Canadians to make their votes count.

As an example …

Damn just when I thought the left was uniting

From the CBC:

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office confirms a controversial plan to strip political parties of their public financing won't be included in a confidence vote on the fall fiscal update.

On Friday, Kory Teneycke told CBC News that only tax measures will be part of the ways and means motion that parliamentarians will vote upon on Monday.

Harper is both economically and ideologically corrupt

Putting aside the ideologically arrogant, petty partisan move to cut political party funding and under mind the functioning of our democratic process, for a moment (which is a big point to put aside)...

The early reaction by Canada’s economists is that they are mystified by the basic conclusions and forecasts put forth in Flaherty’s economic update.

With the global recession worsening our government’s first move is to cut back, which is exactly the opposite of what most economists recommend.

From BMO Nesbitt Burns
On balance, it's quite the opposite of supporting growth.

Under the current circumstances, it's unusual, to say the least, given that almost every other major country in the world is moving to stimulate the economy.Another economist from U of T who worked on Flaherty’s update can’t believe the government’s conclusions.
I just can't imagine that this document will have any shelf life at all.

His own detailed forecast was central to the federal government's case…

Like Dawg said, Bring Them down

What an asshole.

Hmm should I sell out or be bailed out

BCE announced today that due to analysis by KPMG on the future solvency of the proposed new private company, the deal would not be allowed to proceed.

The solvency opinion is a condition to the closing of the transaction and one that BCE originally put into the deal.

BCE only has until December 11th to try and work with KPMG on a re-evaluation and many experts believe the deal is now dead.

Maybe BCE sees better funding options on the horizon.

Just a thought.

Reference The Guardian here .

Sorry we don’t let queers on this bus

Excuse me is this the Lutheran license bureau.

Read the sign buddy, this is a Mormon McDonalds, you’ll have to go to the wandering Jews Wendy’s across the street.

Shit, now my Muslim mailman won’t deliver my Christmas cards.

Sound a bit bigoted?

Well apparently not to Orville Nichols, a government certified marriage commissioner in Saskatchewan. who refused to perform a same sex marriage back in 2005.

A Saskatchewan human rights tribunal cited him for discrimination last May and he was fined $2,500.

Well now Orville is suing the province, claiming that his rights have been violated under the charter of rights.
Orville and his lawyer believe that marriage commissioners should have the legal right to not perform same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. His case will be heard on December 23rd.However so far Saskatchewan seems to sort of have its act together...
Justice Minister Don Morgan said the tribunal's ruling is binding on the province

Commissioners that a…

Take a bite of Jesus for Xmas

A German chocolate maker has set up his Sweet Lord, chocolate Jesus, making business to restore some traditional religious values to Christmas in Germany.

Some German christians think it's tasteless .

Reference MSNBC here .

Tories caught lying to parliament about Abdelrazik

Abousfian Abdelrazik launched a law suit against the Canadian government back in June in an effort to get home.

Abdelrazik is the Canadian citizen who has been stranded in Sudan since 2003 during which time he was arrested twice, tortured and finally released by the Sudanese who claimed they no longer wanted to imprison an innocent man.

It appears that both the FBI and CSIS have been responsible for his original detention and successive Canadian governments are complicit in failing to protect this Canadian citizen (timeline of events here).

However it is the now the Harper government that is lying about their failure to protect him.
Although ministers told the House of Commons last spring that Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, had received full consular assistance, the documents show a senior Foreign Affairs official explicitly ordered Canadian diplomats in Khartoum to stay away from the interrogation by U.S. agents.

"Mission staff should not accompany Abdelrazik to his i…

400th post and strangers poking around

Welcome to my 400th post.

Hitting a 100th mark gives you the opportunity to pause and reflect on how the blog is progressing, where you're taking it or where it's taking you. Similar to other addictions posting regularly does seem to affect your personal life or lives (I happen to have two and try to keep them separate).

Anyway August and September were a bit rough when Prog Blogs was having server problems and only one in five posts were getting through. It's a bitch posting and not getting any feedback, but in keeping to our motto of consistency over relevance and quantity over quality we blogged on.

Hey if you want the good stuff check out the sites on the right.

Besides focussing on site visits and ProBlog votes really screws up your choice of topics and the rest, so I'm really trying hard to ignore the numbers, which is very difficult for an old salesman.

The original idea was to go after the hypocrisy of it all and leave the big stories for the pros on the blog roll, …

Friedman wants to move the inauguration up

Thomas Friedman, the not so progressive NYT columnist is concerned that Bush is going to screw things up and is suggesting here that the inauguration should be moved up.

Apparently it has happened in the past...

In 1933, the Great Depression deepened as the country drifted between the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his inauguration. In an attempt to prevent that from happening again, the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution moved presidential inaugurations from March up to January -- but now even January 20 may not come soon enough for the struggling American economy.
Friedman believes that the worst is yet to comefor the US economy.

There is a storm coming," Friedman continued, "and it hasn't hit yet.

And I believe the decisions made, possibly in these next two months, could determine the next four years.

This administration could be over before it starts -- over in the sense that it will spend the next four years digging out of a hole that has been created ri…

Technically Harper missed the point of APEC

Contrary to all the press that we have received over the weekend about APEC and Harper’s revelation that Canada is about to officially go into recession by the end of March.

The APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) conference was actually about trade and commerce.

Basically building relationships with foreign countries that surround the Pacific ocean in an effort to increase trade and commerce. Actually a pretty good idea when your country is heading into a recession.

Unfortunately Canada might not of as done as well as expected, at least according to this article from the Star .
But for most here, the real story of Lima was China. Chinese President Hu Jintao's every movement and utterance was watched and commented on.

Upon his arrival, he was met by Peru's president and accorded a triumphant motorcade, complete with horse guards, through the streets of Lima.

Harper, by comparison, was met at the airport by Peru's mines minister.

When Hu spoke to business leaders in…

Enough already with Iceland

For a country that has one of the least appealing names, Iceland gets more than it's share of press.

A year ago...

UN ranks Iceland best place to live
Rich free-market countries dominate the top places, with Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada and Ireland the first five but the United States slipping to 12th place from eighth last year in the U.N. Human Development Index.

And last May...

UN declares Icelanders Happiest people on earth Iceland, the block of sub-Arctic lava tops the latest table of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Index rankings, meaning that as a society and as an economy - in terms of wealth, health and education - they are champions of the world.However the cracks started to appear last April...

Iceland's Fizzy Economy Faces a Test None of Iceland's financial experts dispute that the economy is likely to slow, but they bristle at the notion that the situation could reach crisis level. Iceland's financial regulator rec…

The worst cringe worthy crazes of all time

A poll of 3000 on line shoppers at came up with a list of the worst fads of all time and the Mullet with its combination of shorter hair on top and at the sides and a shaggy mane at the back came in number one. No argument from me there.

Here’s the top ten as selected by this poll:

The mullet hairstyle
Shell suits
Crazy Frog ring tone
The bubble perm
Tamagotchi virtual pets
Reality television
The Macarena dance
Adidas popper tracksuits
MySpace, Facebook etc

To me the second worst should be Elephant pants which I at one time owned and they didn't even make the top twenty ...

and I am a little upset that the poll even included Lava Lamps as number 12.

Where else can find bubbles that actually rise and fall with music?

Reference: Telegraph UK here .

How James Moore curbed John Bairds spending

It started back here when CNEWS (one of Quebecor’s units) decided to go after the CBC and one of their executives by digging up the 2006 expenses of a vice president of CBC.

Of course one of Harper’s immature ministers, James Moore who has taken over Heritage (responsible for the CBC) jumped in here to make points with his boss, by publicly scolding the CBC.

Well the Chairman of the Board at the CBC came roaring back on Friday, not only defending his executive but outlining in detail what the CBC has been doing to control costs and explaining why Quebecor ran the attack piece.
The CBC also pointed out that since they were added to the list of agencies subject to the to access to information laws after the Conservative government came into power in 2006, they have received far more than those received by other Crown corporations.

In fact more than 150 access to information requests this year alone with the bulk of these requests have come from two sources.

One of which is Quebecor, wh…

Vatican finally turns its other cheek

Well isn’t that nice and so Christian like too.

The Vatican has decided to absolve John Lennon for his 1966 remarks that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.
In a lengthy editorial marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' famous White Album, L'Osservatore Romano the Vatican’s official newspaper heaps lavish praise on the British band.

Saturday's edition of the Vatican's official newspaper absolves John Lennon of his notorious remark, saying that "after so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success".John on the other hand had apologized at a Chicago news conference back in 1966.
Reporter: "Some teenagers have repeated your statements - "I like the Beatles more than Jesus Christ." What do you think about that?"

John: "Well, originally I pointed out that fact in reference to England. That we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that …

Supreme Clarence Thomas to review Obamas citizenship

The US Supreme Court has accepted the Philip Berg challenge to Barack Obama’s citizenship for conference on December 5th.

A conference is a meeting held before a supreme to review the validity of moving the complaint forward towards a challenge before the court.
It appears the case was first submitted to Justice Souter, who denied the request.

When resubmitted to Justice Thomas, one of the Justices who helped decide the 2000 election, the petition was accepted.

The hearing will be on December 5th.This challenge will not go anywhere, but it shows you how crazy Thomas is.

Here's some of his other views from Wikipedia.
Racial issues
Thomas believes that the Constitution forbids any consideration of race. He believes the Equal Protection Clause disallows any kind of race-based affirmative action or preferential treatment. He has said directly that any use of race in college or law school admissions is always violative of the Constitution.

Thomas has advocated the reversal of …

Hey Deficit Jim where have you bin Deficit Jim

As most Ontarians have been expecting, our Federal Finance Minister is about to the bring back federal deficits as early as this fiscal year, at least according to the government's own budget watchdog.
The federal Parliament's budget watchdog, Kevin Page, warned on Thursday Canada is at risk of recording deficits starting this fiscal year, and the annual shortfall could reach nearly $14-billion next year as it believes its worst-case scenario represents a "more likely" outcome.Part of the reason for this years decline of course was Flaherty’s much heralded 1% cut to the GST which has dramatically reduced government revenues in this critical year.

However you could tell the wheels were going to fall off, back here on October 8th when Deficit Jim assured the country that he had everything under control.
There will be no deficit on his watch, even on a temporary basis, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Wednesday.

In responding to the worsening global financial crisis tha…

Get real Jack

Layton is going to oppose the throne speech.

At a time when Canadians who in Layton's own words want “bold action” on the approaching economic shit storm we are about to face, forcing the country into another election, or turning it’s governance over to a coalition lead by an outgoing Liberal leader, might not be the best plan of action right now.

Harper like every other government leader, is not in control of this economic maelstrom, things will get worse and there will be plenty of opportunities to block ill defined legislation or eventually bring his government down.

However it would require some cooperation between the opposition parties, a coalition per se that offers some alternative solutions.

Not opportunistic, knee jerk, symbolic reactions.

Reference: CTV

Light up, marijuana fights Alzheimers

Talk about good news for aging boomers.
Smoking marijuana could actually keep your brain young by reducing inflammation and even stimulating the formation of new brain cells.

Research by a team at Ohio State University suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Any new drug's properties would resemble those of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, but would not share its high-producing effects.

When asked if people could smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer's disease if the disease is in their family?

Gary Wenk the principal investigator on the research replied: We're not saying that, but it might actually work.Good enough for me.

Where the hell did I leave the papers?

Reference: Telegraph UK here.

Bush leaving one last law for the fetus fetishists

The Bush administration is planning to grant “sweeping” new protections to health care providers  , who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds. The law will prohibit hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, drugstores and the like, that receive federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their religious beliefs or moral convictions.The rule would also allow employees in pharmacies to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives or sell condoms.
Some state officials said the rule could void state laws that require insurance plans to cover contraceptives and require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims.Just one last gift from Bush to the crazies that supported him.

And one more Bush, presidential proclamation that the Obama transition team will have to try and reverse .

Reference: NYT on Bus…

Why Harper wants to play nice and why the opposition should not

According to Kory Teneckye here, Harper has retreated from his original plan to make his anti-crime initiatives a confidence vote (you know locking up 14 year olds for life and the like).
As Teneckye puts it the primary focus will be the economy and everything else is secondary and they are not willing to go to an election for secondary causes.In typical Tory framing, Harper is looking to work co-operatively with the opposition and focus on the economy.In other words Harper is looking for the opposition not to embarrass him by asking “What the fuck are you doing?”.

Harper has claimed that Canada didn’t have the same problem as the US and boasted that they had taken steps to prevent a financial meltdown.

Yet here is his finance minister buying $75 billion in mortgages from Canadian banks. Anyway you cut it, that is 10% of the $750 billion that the US is spending which looks like the same size problem to me.

Although it doesn’t appear that Harper and Flaherty need parliament’s consent t…

Random notes from the weekend

Recession Pool

As we all surprisingly know an official recession is declared when a country's economy records negative growth for two consecutive quarters

So far, Germany who released their data on Thursday is the first G8 country to officially announce that they are into a recession.

Japan, the world's second largest economy officially announced it’s first recession in seven years on Saturday

Despite the fact that the US and Britain are both in recession, they won’t have to officially announce until January.

In Canada, Flaherty can probably hold off his official recession announcement until the end of March as he squeaked by last quarter, which will be accompanied by exclamations that our economy is the "bestest economy" in the world.

Con Con in Winnipeg

Read a lot about the Conservative Conference in Winnipeg over the weekend, but Dawg’s Blawg seems to have more coverage that the MSM.

I get that they are socially conservative but you think you would have some resolut…

Dont you love the smell of deficits in the morning

Apparently Canadians can breath easier.

As our prime minister peaks fresh from the G20 meeting,
In a press conference, Harper said events are forcing his government to abandon its dislike of interventionist government spending.

During the recent federal election campaign, the Conservatives said they would never run a budget deficit.

But the government now acknowledges that, with the world economy falling so much faster and farther than anyone expected, a budget shortfall cannot be ruled out this year and next.

This is not business as usual these days, Flaherty said in an interview.In other words you cut your revenue stream, wasted our surplus on ideological, vote buying projects, placed all our eggs in one basket by focussing on one region of our country and one segment of our economy to detriment of others, ridiculed the opposition who raised the economic recession during the election, made false bravado like promises of fiscal superiority and now feel that you have the consensus and …

Why the employees at Industry Canada are happy

Apparently our ministry of environment decided last spring that they could not longer extend the funding to fully manage the United Nations water monitoring program that Canada has run for the last thirty years.

The program collects data from 2,600 global monitoring stations and then reports it’s findings on a scientific database that is used by scientists and environmentalists in 70 countries around the world.

Originally funded by a Liberal government trust fund, the program was determined to be expendable by the departments management team, as part of the government wide reviews that the Harper government is always talking about.
We considered within the department at our management board last spring whether there was any opportunity to replenish the trust fund, and we could not find one reported, reported John Carey, the acting assistant deputy minister, last week.In other words there was no way that they were going to get funding for a Liberal program that their minister Baird, t…

Bob Dylans idol turns 63

You know that you are one important guy when Bob Dylan goes out of his way to visit your childhood home.

While on tour in Winnipeg Dylan sought out the house that Neil Young grew up in. He talked the current owner into letting him walk through the house.

Anyway Dylan's idol turned 63 this week. Here's Neil Young and Crazy horse from six years ago doing Hey Hey My My.

And my favorite Neil Young song Helpless from the Last Waltz.

The best musician that ever visited my home was Ted Gerow, the keyboard player for the 5 man. Ted is a really cool guy, but there's only one Dylan. Of course then again I'm no Neil Young.

Hiding our governments complicity in torture

Turning prisoners of war over to known torturers or to those who would abuse them is a war crime, under the Geneva Conventions.

Apparently our government is not concerned about a few front line soldiers getting investigated for potential war crimes, they just don’t the want the public to know that it was government officials that issued the orders.

Harpers’s government have now filed a suit to block the long delayed MPCC (Military Police Complaints Commission) hearing into the turning of prisoners of war over to the Afghan government to be knowingly tortured.
Their suit is seeking a court order to prohibit the commissioner and the commission from investigating the allegations.

The government is now claiming that the MPCC by attempting to review policy decisions made by officials in relation to the transfer of Afghan detainees falls outside of the confines of the mandate of the MPCC.So much for the cooperation promised by Harper and MacKay back in the spring.
There is no refusal to co-op…

Foolish Feckless Fiducially Free Financial Floundering

In other words Flaherty gets an F.

While continuing to profess confidence in Canada’s superiorly regulated financial institutions that his government continues to financially back, including an additional $50 billion yesterday, Flaherty of Finance has decided to write off Ontario’s auto industry industry.

Based on conversations he has had while walking down the street our Finance Minister went on national TV yesterday to inform us that the Canadian auto industry could disappear.
There are many people saying we should do something with respect to the auto sector," Flaherty said Wednesday.

But I can tell you even in my own riding, where I was yesterday, in Whitby-Oshawa ... there are lots of people who say, 'Don't do anything. Don't use my tax money to bail out an enterprise that may not survive.

These are not highfalutin rich people that are saying this to me - these are people on the street.There are 150,000 workers directly employed by the Canadian auto industry and a…

I am really getting tired of these people

Until the rest of us get a do over, you know getting our credit lines extended with tax payer dollars or selling some of the worthless purchases we have made over the last four years to the government...
Like the $15 Home Depot, DVD player that only lasted a week or the pair of shoes I bought from Wal-mart that fell apart after a month, the cheap things that I foolishly thought were a bargain...
Nothing that these top economists from the five major banks say should be considered of any importance. and certainly should not be reported as an expert opinion when it comes to handling the current financial meltdown.
From now on the chief economists of the five major banks have to STFU.
Gentlemen you have no credibility left with me, none, zero, nada, zilch.
There now I feel better.

Obamas first 100 days or so

There has been a lot of conjecture about what Obama will try to get accomplished in his first 100 days.

How does one actually start to clean up the mess left from the worst president in the history of anything that ever had president?

Henry Champ who has supposedly retired, is apparently still writing a column and as the former Washington Bureau Chief for the CBC he probably has as good an idea as anyone on what we can expect.

Here's Henry's Take on what Obama has planned so far.

Immediate moves on economy
tax cut for the middle-class, to help stimulate the economy
tax increase to those making $250,000 or more
short term extension of unemployment benefits
health-care funding to states to cover increasing number of unemployed who have lost coverage
rescue plan for Detroit’s automakers, if Bush continues to balk
redirection of the 700-billion program to include struggling homeowners fighting foreclosureNew plans for Iraq and Afghanistan
new plan for Iraq that brings majority of troops h…



The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank on Nov. 10, 1975 during a Lake Superior storm killing all 29 hands.

The 222-metre ore freighter was the largest Great Lakes freighter of it's time and the last and largest to be lost on the Great Lakes.

The Mariners' Church in Detroit rang its bell 29 times today, once for each life lost, as it has done since 1975.

And Gordon Lightfoot wrote a great song.

Ocarina iPhone Stairway to Heaven Video

One of the reasons that Apple has sold over 10 million iPhone 3Gs so far this year is that you can add some really cool apps and the new Ocarina from Smule is just that.

The ocarina is an ancient family of instrument (believed to date some 12,000 years), and one of the easiest instruments to learn.
The Smule Ocarina both preserves this instrument and extends/transforms it for your iPhone.  Blow into the phone/instrument. Control pitch with different fingerings. Learn to play countless melodies.Smule even provides musicial scores (where to place your fingers) on their site including how to play O Canada.

Like most iPhone apps Ocarina by Smule sells for 99 cents at the iPhone store.

I really have to get an iPhone, I just don't like Rogers.

Harpers minority sets sail today for a two hour meeting

This afternoon’s two hour, first ministers meeting will actually be the initial launch of Harpers new minority government or at least the first time we get to see it in action.

The Prime Minister will meet with the premiers and territorial leaders this afternoon to discuss the global economic crisis.

Harper has billed this afternoon's political summit as an "exchange of ideas" in advance of his trip to the G20 meeting next week in Washington.

Unfortunately by the sounds of it, the premiers who have already had one meeting on the economy since the federal election, have a list of ideas that are more focussed on fixing the immediate problems here in Canada.

Changing of RRSP rules from Gordon Campbell & Gary Doer
Federal rules force 71 year olds to cash in your RRSPs, which this year would be disastrous
Companies would be required to inject their own cash into the pension plan to maintain that federally mandated ratio.
Bankruptcy created through pension insolvency doesn'…

Sunday Funnies

Idea totally ripped off from the Saturday Political Cartoons here.

The barking tail of the dog

Ed Stelmach the bumptious premier of Alberta was in the news again this week, responding to Harpers somewhat premature overtures to Obama about seeking a joint climate change pact.

Either Ed has some doubts about Harper’s sincerity in protecting the tar sands production or he just can not help himself, which I sadly believe is the case.

In typical Ed like fashion he decided to rub the tar sands in Obamas face.
Premier Ed Stelmach has a message for United States president-elect Barack Obama: You need Alberta's oilsands to provide cheap energy to help the sagging American economy.

To provide that hope and to provide progress that is going to ease some of the pressures that people are experiencing today, he's going to need affordable energy.Ed also had a message for Harper...
Stelmach said Albertas voice needs to be heard because any deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have a significant impact on major energy projects in the province.and the rest of Canada.
Whatever the …

New music for an old man

Nothing makes me feel older than when I realize that I missed out on something that is really cool, especially when it comes to a new painting techniques, new software or a new style of music. Well I totally missed electronic music. I wrote it all off as E-based disco. Well I think I was wrong.

CFTPA or Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is a solo project/one man band, of 31 year old, Owen Ashworth. His musical style is "characterized by the use of electronically produced beats, cheap keyboards, and slow, frank lyrics".

It reminds me of some of tracts from Dylan's last albums. Except Dylan was lamenting about the angst of an aging boomer and Ashworth is lamenting about angst of a lost Xer.

Damn unrepentant old unicorns

Harpers plan to hold Obama over a barrel

Believing that you might as well get your only card on table Harper is seeking to protect Alberta's tar sands projects from the new US climate change rules.
Harper is proposing to strike a joint climate-change pact with Obama, an initiative that would seek to protect Alberta's oil sands projects from potentially tough new U.S. climate-change rules by offering a secure North American energy supply.Because in Canada when we talk climate protection we mean protecting tar sands production as explained by our new minister of the environment, Jim Prentice.
When you're talking about the environment, you're also talking about energy, and when you're talking about energy, you're also talking about the economy.Obama on the other hand has criticized the reliance on “dirty oil” from the tar sands and has promised tougher climate change action.

But Harper is hoping that Obama will be more concerned about the US eliminating it’s dependence on Middle East and Venezuelan oil w…

Palin greeting aides in a towel and Obamas disdain of stupidity

Newsweeks, How he did it, 2008, is an inside, behind-the-scenes account of the presidential election.

Newsweek had a group of independent reporters working for over a year with the campaigns. Everything the reporters working on the project learned was to be kept confidential until the day after the election.

Here is a sampling of some of the tidbits their notes revealed..

About Palins silence last night
Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.About Palin’s wardrobe
An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast, and said the truth (about the amount spent) will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.Obama on the debates
I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.'

So when Brian Williams is asking me about…

Hope versus apathy

According to the first projections on voter turn out, it looks like 136.6 million Americans will have voted in yesterday’s election.

That would give 2008 a 64.1 per cent turnout rate or the highest turnout rate since 1908,

There’s also a big shift in terms of demographic composition of the electorate with a large increase in black and Hispanic voting, with only 74 per cent of the electorate consisted of white males which is down from 81 per cent in 2000.

It also looks like young American voters have dispelled the notion of an apathetic generation voting in record numbers.

The Millennial generation (a term that we will quickly get tired of hearing) is making their mark on politics and shaping our future.

Meanwhile only 59.1 per cent of Canadians turned out to vote on Oct. 14, an all-time low.

A spring election would have produced a very different result in Canada, but unfortunately now we will have to wait at least another year before we can make change in Canada.

One can only hope.


Actor Tim Robbins gets purged from voter rolls

Upon arriving to vote at the same place he has voted for 10 years, Tim Robbins was told that he was not registered and would have to place a provisional vote.

Whether a provisional ballot is counted is contingent upon the verification of that voter's eligibility and eventual approval by party monitors.

The problem with provisional ballots is that they can be used as "a way to brush off troublesome voters by letting them think they have voted.

Many allege that the discrepancies in determining the validity of provisional votes, in Ohio in 2004, may have been the deciding factor in the outcome of the election.

In the 2004 election, at least 1.9 million provisional ballots were cast, and 676,000 were never counted due to various states' rules on counting provisional ballots.

Well Tim Robbins wasn’t going to take the chance with a provisional ballot, so went to the City Board of Elections to obtain proof that he was registered.

"This is what you have to do to vote," he sa…

Get it right this time

There's nothing else to watch today.

Rachel Maddows They are stealing your vote video

Here's a public service message from Rachel Maddow on some of the vote suppression schemes that have been going on in the US this time around.

Voter suppression hasn't been that big a problem in Canada. Well except for possibly Lunn's Saanich-Gulf Islands riding here.

In Canada creating voter apathy seems to be the best way to stay in power. Our actual elections might not be that long, but by running ads attacking your opposition, for two years prior to the election call seems to working for the ruling party. At least the last time out.

Reference: Saanich-Gulf Islands from impolitical