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Showing posts from May, 2008

Bernier Burned

Ah, just when I said nothing was likely to happen in Canadian politics until at least September...

Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Bernier, resigned on Monday and was replaced, on an interim basis by David Emerson, the man who--of the two of them at least--probably should have had the job in the first place.

PM Harper has repeatedly said that Mr. Bernier's resignation was accepted because he left classified documents in a "non-secure location", namely his ex-girlfriend's apartment. The man screwed up, and lost his job for it. Deservedly so. I better make that clear. Maxime Bernier simply deserved to be canned.

Except in politics it's never simple. The media jackals have ripped into the carcass, scenting the faintest whiff of scandal and tearing off after it as if they've lost their minds. The ex-girlfriend, you see, was once married to (my God!) a biker. An apparantly reformed biker, who turned police informant and testified against a dozen of his forme…

I Had A Brother...

...for all of two days. Well, two days out here in the world, anyway.
That's right: I had a twin. Can you imagine two of me? I can't. (Nobody can be like me: even I have trouble.)

Monty and I were born way premature...not record-breaking, even in 1972, but eye-opening nonetheless: we were due April 10 but showed up February 6 instead. He was more premature than I was, by two minutes.

It was about the only race he won.

I don't know all the afflictions Monty had--cerebral palsy was just one of them--but he succumbed to them not forty eight hours after he came out. In cases like ours, if one of the babies dies, it's almost always the second-born. Not this time, although reading between the lines of scrapbooks my mom kept, it was touch-and-go with me for quite a while. I weighed just three and a half pounds at birth, and bounced from one hospital to another and back to the first, never making it home until March 25.

Monty never made it home at all.

Those around me are convinced …

Beyond the Pale

(Note to my readers: I apologize for the overwhelmingly America-centric tone of this blog, lately. In my defense, (a) we've hit the summer season here in Canada and nothing of note is likely to happen up here, politically at least, until September; (b) even when stuff does happen in Canada, more often than not, it's boring. At least compared to the ongoing soap opera that is the American election.)


You would think, especially in the wake of Hillary Clinton's words the other day, that people would avoid linking Obama and death in any way. But here we have Liz Trotta on FOX News:

(For those of you on dial-up, I looked for the shortest clip and thus may have lost some of the context. Liz Trotter and James Myers were actually discussing the 'media firestorm' Hillary's remarks conjured up before contributing to it.) They move on to Hillary's flaws: evasions, outright lies, race baiting...


Congratulations, Spokane Chiefs

...and condolences to the Kitchener Rangers, who put forth a valiant effort today but lost the Memorial Cup championship game, 4-1.
The score is not indicative of the play. But for a couple of costly defensive breakdowns in the second period--and a Spokane brick wall by the name of Dustin Tokarski--Kitchener could, and arguably should, have won the game. Tokarski stopped 53 of 54 shots, and many of them were close-in chances.
I hadn't paid any attention to the Rangers since I got here in 1990. Even when they won the Memorial Cup in 2003, I barely batted an eye. Kids, I thought. Not NHL-calibre hockey. Not even AHL calibre. Who gives a flying puck?
Some of my colleagues at work have season tickets, and have been raving about the Rangers all year. One of them in particular, who lives and breathes hockey at all levels, has been cajoling me to get out to a game or at least watch one on TV. "You'll be surprised," he said.
Well, we tried to get tickets. In January we tried. T…

"I just don't understand it"

I didn't have much respect for Hillary Clinton before today. Now, she's not only destroyed what eensy-teensy bit of respect I had left, she's also blown any chance she'll ever have at winning any of it back. At this point she could bring somebody back from the dead and I'd figure it was just to get that

Here's today's heaping helping of Hillary:

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."

I guess the first question, dear, is what don't you understand? Why people keep saying you should bow out? That'd be because you're saying stuff like this. Or is it that you don't understand why so many people in America are voting for--let's face it--a black man? Aside from the many qualities that particular black man has, the problem would be that …

Where There's Smoke, There's Bullshit

Over the past year I've found myself defending people I never thought I'd defend, like Dalton McGuinty and Michael Coren. Today, in that same I-can't-believe-I'm-doing-this vein: smokers.

My love has an on-again, off-again, love-hate relationship with cigarettes. My mom has smoked pretty much her whole life. I once ditched a woman I was planning on marrying for a whole bunch of very good reasons, but the straw that broke my back was her taking up smoking and rapidly progressing into a two-pack-a-day hacker. Cigarettes are number one on my personal shit list. They even rank ahead of guns, which serve no real purpose besides killing things but at least don't give their users all manner of diseases and make their clothes stink.

But we've gone way over the line demonizing smokers in this province. Way, way over the line.

I always found it odd, visiting any ol' store in the U.S. and seeing big displays of cigarettes (and booze) right out there on the sales floor as…

Kiss My Aspartame

"Life is a sexually transmitted disease, and the mortality rate is one hundred percent."
--R.D. Laing

Scientists working out of Britain announced grim news today: everything in the known universe, to some degree or another, causes cancer.
Cancer, the leading cause of death among US citizens, has been traced back to a variety of factors in the past, including cigarettes, radiation, and, more recently, high sugar intake. But if the British scientists are correct, humans will soon have to treat everything as they treat the aforementioned cancer-causing agents.
"We don't wish to alarm anyone," said John Starkley, lead researcher in the project, "but our results speak for themselves: there is not a single thing in the world that cannot give you cancer."
Silent in disbelief initially, the press quickly reacted with questions related to the announcement.
"What about telephones?" asked one reporter.
Starkley nodded in affirmation. "Telephones, in our …

The Rich and the Dead

"We are going to destroy everything, we as human beings," he says. "Our greed is going to kill us. And in the end, with all the money we are going to have, and nothing to eat, no water to drink, no air to breathe—what is the good of it? It's just a lousy piece of paper."

--Raymond Ladouceur, Ft. Chipewyan, Alberta

Chilling article here concerning the tar sands of northern Alberta...the Canadian boomtown.

Oil's sitting just under $129 (U.S.) a barrel, having more than doubled in the past year. There's an excellent chance the price will double again--or worse--over the next year, particularly if America attacks Iran.
In the United States, which imports most of its oil. this is an unmitigated disaster, and Wall Street is doing everything it can to forestall economic collapse. They may even succeed at that, although I have no idea how. Oddly enough, the campaign that never ends down there has taken scant notice, beyond the insane McCain-Clinton "gas tax h…

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

...I have no idea.

I'm 36--ostensibly "grown up" by anybody's reckoning--and I still have no idea.

When I was a kid, it was a pretty common question. I'd usually say I wanted to be a policeman: that's what Dad was, after all. Heck, my Mom was an auxiliary policewoman for a few years, my Uncle Ted was a career cop, my cousin is a cop: I could go on. Surrounded by peace officers for much of my life, I regarded them (and still do, actually) as prosaic superheroes. Maybe they didn't have extraordinary powers (although you try stopping three lanes of traffic with a single wave of your hand!), but they are the embodiment of the Superhero's Creed, expressed in different ways depending on which Force we're taking about: Maintain the Right; To Serve and Protect; Friendly, Swift and Correct; Answer the Call. Don't all of those sound like something out of Marvel Comics, something noble and inspiring? They do to me.
Alas, I knew pretty early that "poli…

Reddit, Wed It, and Fuhgeddit

I love

It's a social news site: if you find something online that you think others should see, you post it to reddit and others see it. Simple like that. There's more, of course--the things I hate about I'll mention them later. For now, suffice it to say I don't have to bother with any of those things if I don't want to, and so...

I love Mostly.

It's an inexhaustible supply of blog topics, for one thing. I've used reddit as a gateway for nearly every post I've written since I first found mention of the place on Peter's blog. There's interesting stuff posted there every few minutes, it seems like.

Today's topic: the high cost of weddings. The guy whose blog ended up cited on claims to have done a lot of research to discover that the average cost of a wedding today is $28,600. I found the site he got that figure from with two clicks: it's CNN. Which tells me the data's probably valid…

Speak of the Devil...

So one side of me just asked "how much you wanna bet ol' Bushie will engineer a security crisis sometime between now and November?" Apparently the thought has more than crossed Donald Rumsfeld's mind.
A year and a half ago, the man ostensibly in charge of the defense of America was caught on tape all but yearning for another attack.
Nor is he the only one to have suggested this. Former Senator Rick Santorum suggested in July 2007 that "a series of unfortunate events" will occur "within the next year" and change American perceptions about the war on terror.
The site I directed you to takes this information and makes a leap to claim that 9/11 was an inside job. Nuts to that, I wrote on a different blog--oh, as it turns out, nine days after Rumsfeld publically suggested another terrorist attack might wake America up, as it were.

I still have a lot of trouble believing that the American government would do such a thing, and especially get away with it…

My Friend Is Legal!

California has joined Massachusetts in allowing same-sex marriage.
About time, I say.

I cycle back to this topic every now and again--it's a hot-button issue with me. I've covered it in detail here and here and will not rehash old gruel in any detail. Here in Canada, even the most virulently opposed people have no doubt noticed that same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide for three years and the sun still managed to poke its head over the horizon this morning.

The battle in the Excited States of America is only just beginning. And it'll be a far fiercer battle down there than it ever was here. I wouldn't be surprised to see bloodshed: there are people in that country who sincerely believe that anyone performing a same-sex marriage is, by definition, an agent of the Evil One.

Whatever. They're mobilizing to fight this war on several fronts, though: for one thing, they plan to put it on the ballot in November's general election.
Speaking as a Canadian--and by…

The War Within

"[H]ope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."--Stephen King

"A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be."
--Ambrose Bierce

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death."--Robert Fulghum

"Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man."--Frederich Nietzsche

A war rages within me, and has for nearly two decades. Indeed, it's getting worse. I value stability over all else and seek to model that to the world, not always successfully. But I imagine few who meet me have the slightest clue there are wondrous and monstrous forces arrayed just behind my forehead, firing barbs back and forth, gaining and losing cranial space.

"Smite the defeatist!" screams…

Mother's Day

I may have bitten off a tad more than I can swallow, let alone chew, here. There's just no way to encapsulate thirty-six years of Mom into one blog entry. I could write forever and only get the words on top. (And there's the not-so-small matter of a couple of stepmothers and a mother-in-law to complicate things further...yeesh, I should just give up now.)

We've had our ups and downs, my Mom and I. Looking back, I'd have to say most of the downs came from our being so much alike. Of course, at the time, that was a heresy: no kid, and especially no teenager, wants to hear just how much like his mother he is, especially especially if he knows deep down that it's true.

For a while, when I was a kid, it was Mommy and I against a hostile world. I was thrust into the role of Man Of The House at all of six years old. It was a role I eagerly accepted, putting childhood aside as best I could. Foolish of me. Not only did I (willingly) deprive myself of a childhood in many respe…

Google Ad (Non) Sense


You know, there are times when, even confronted with the truth of something, I'll stare you in the face and say it's impossible.
Here's but one example: Google made 1.31 billion dollars (U.S.) in the first three months of this year.
The individual words scan. I know what each one of them means, even if I have some trouble getting my head around a figure like $1310000000.00 (or $5240000000.00, which is what that works out to, annualized). But the sentence, taken altogether, is pure gibberish.
I guess the question that begs to be answered in my mind, if nobody else's, is HOW?!?!?

I mean, last I looked, Google doesn't charge me to search for anything. I can write whatever the hell I want here on this Google-owned blog, and it won't cost a cent...nor does it cost you anything, dear reader, to partake of my words. My homepage is full of iGoogle widgets, most of which serve the occasional research purpose and all of which are free.
Google does wh…

I'll stay up here in the Dominion of Canada, thanks.

Funny how Barack's wackjob pastor seems to be directing the presidential campaign down there in the U.S. of A, while McCain's wackjob pastor has gone all but unreported.
Oh, this source calls it an "uproar". But it's really barely a ripple compared to the tsunami of coverage Jeremiah Wright's received.

Wright thinks the American government developed AIDS to cull the black population, and that U.S. policies were partially responsible for 9/11.
The first assertion is one of those conspiracy theories that persists the more it's refuted. (The beauty of conspiracy theories is that a complete and thorough debunking is, ipso facto, impossible. The harder you try to eradicate nonsense, the more devoted you are to "covering up the Real Truth".) The second statement is patently obvious to anyone who's not American and even a few brave souls who are. (Title of one of Michael Moore's chapters in Dude, Where's My Country?: "Want to Stop Terro…

Going Moldy....

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