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Showing posts from September, 2010

By Hook Or By Crook (II)

Selling's legal. Fucking's legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? Why is it illegal to sell something it's perfectly legal to give away? --George Carlin
I can just hear the consternation emanating out of Ottawa after the Ontario Superior Court decision striking down Canada's prostitution laws as unconstitutional.
"The government is very concerned with the Superior Court decision and is seriously considering an appeal": Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.
Well, of course they are. Legalized prostitution does not fit with Conservative ideology.
Why, the nerve of Justice Susan Himel! How dare she suggest that Canadian prostitution laws endanger sex workers!
...Sex workers, the very term is disgusting. It makes whoring sound legitimate, almost as if these are human beings gainfully employed. Hookers are criminals, people, and we won't let the opinion of some scummy two-bit liberal elite judge convince us otherwise, no siree Bob. Them goshdarned activist judges h…

Yum, Delicious...

Below is a menu from a Portuguese restaurant, dug up by Charlie Stross. The English translations are interesting, to say the least.

click to embiggen
Let's eat!

Today's Piece Of Doomer Wisdom

comes to us direct from renowned physicist Richard Feynman, who says
"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But now it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."
As the Fed signals it's ready with yet another round of necessary, needless quantitative easing, it's long past time to ask ourselves some fundamental questions. The first is, of course, "how can something be both necessary and needless?"
This course of action is absolutely necessary if we wish to maintain the illusion that the economy is recovering, or failing that, that it can recover. And we so wish. We fervently, ardently wish. Right now our entire economy is being powered on wishes and fairy dust. It seems to be working, too, at least on Wall Street: the high muck-a-mucks haven't quite plundered all there is to plunder just yet. That this quantitati…

A Year Goes Past

A year goes past and the tree grows another ring,and as a year goes past there are other songs to sing. And as the sun in May chases away the cold, another year has past, another story must be told...
And if the poem outlives the poet then one could say That tomorrow's song springs from life that's lived today...
--from "The Needfire: a Celtic Celebration
My love, your life's a poem shifting rhythm, shifty rhyme and it's only getting started, love: you show it all the time.
41's a prime. It is a number of distinction, Halfway along the scale that leads from birth unto extinction. (At least as it is measured lengthens every year) which means we've got a long road yet to share, so never fear.
What a time of reinvention you've been through the last twelvemonth, my love! You've come out of it much stronger; you have risen far above the place you were a year ago. And I'm still here to say I thought I loved you then: I love you even more today.
I'll be he…

The SUN Goes Down

I grew up reading the Toronto SUN. For many years, I argued with anyone who scorned that paper; I was convinced that most of the people who said it was only good for lining birdcages never actually deigned to read it. Yeah, its editorial voice is right-wing. But it runs (or at least it used to run) polemics from all over the spectrum. Sid Ryan wrote for them for a while. Eric Margolis was a mainstay for years. Jack Layton's penned the occasional column. You'd often be treated to two columnists duking it out (and a left! and a right!) Even when I disagreed with somebody (and I often did), it was usually a disagreement requiring some thought to justify. The paper was far from perfect, even at its best. Typos were disturbingly commonplace; the tone of the reportage was overdramatic, sensationalist, and shrill. And no matter how pretty the Sunshine Girls looked, they all tasted like newsprint. But the diversity of voices was something I looked forward to, particularly every Sunday.…

When Did "Elite" Become a Bad Word?

So it looks like the long gun registry's staying put.

I really, really, REALLY don't want to get into a debate on the merits or demerits. The gun registry in Canada is almost as much a hot button as abortion is. Suffice it to say that both sides have their points, and both sides are so sure of their points that they'll talk right through each other to get them out. Sadly, this disease is spreading throughout the Canadian body politic: before long, we'll be in just as sorry a shape as our neighbours to the south.
No, what interested me here was the characterization of Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff as "Toronto elites".
The intention here, as always, is to accentuate a divide, in this case between urban and rural Canadians. But I find that word 'elite' troubling. When did 'elite' become a derogatory term?
Rhetorical question: everyone knows it happened when Harper gained power. The Starbucks/Tim Horton's dichotomy has been done to death by …

Dalton McGuinty: Visionary or Nutbar?

So Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, believes that cellphones could be useful in school.

I'm going to go against a very heavy flow of commenters and say he's right. And this is coming from a guy who was until recently an avowed hater of cellphones, whose attitude towards them even now could be described as "indifferent at best." I own one. Occasionally I even remember to turn it on and carry it with me. But then I'm a 38 year old with the mindset of an octogenarian.
Most of the incredulity in the comments comes from people saying kids will be too "distracted" by their phones. As if kids aren't distracted without them. Take a teenager's cellphone away from her and chances are that's all she'll think about.
You can't fight technology, not once it's been embraced so lovingly by so many people. Better to make it work for you, rather than trying to work against it.
We've already got people agitating worldwide for Inte…

Money, Money, Money...

Still neck-deep and blissfully drowning in Disney plans...occasionally being brought up short by unexpected and often silly obstacles.Don't ever let anyone tell you Canada and the United States are essentially the same country (even though we currently have a government that might as well be Republican). There are significant differences, and it behooves holidaying Canadians to recognize and prepare for them. Most of them revolve around money.
Imagine visiting ten ATMs before you find one that will accept your bank card. Imagine trying to use that selfsame bank card--the one that works at every Canadian retailer on the Interac network, which is pretty much all of them--at an American store only to have the clerk regard it quizzically and inform you it's useless.
Imagine having to enter a zip code you don't have before being allowed to charge gasoline to your credit card at the pump. Try entering the default zip code every Canadian knows--"90210"--and watch your car…

FOX in the Henhouse

Part of my blogging lassitude over the past three months is simple to explain. No matter the topic, somebody, somewhere has summed it all up better than I ever could. More likely manybody, manywhere. Such is the case as regards SUN TV News, the FOX News-clone that Stephen Harper is bound and determined to bring to Canada. The Net is bulging with commentary pro and con; you can't open an op-ed page without stubbing your eye on somebody's high dudgeon.
Nevertheless, I'd like to add my voice to the cacophony.
First, let's dispense with the notion that SUN TV NEWS will be, as its name implies, a "news" channel. We already have two 24-hour news channels in Canada and a third, as far as I'm concerned, is doubly redundant. Quebecor knows this; ergo they're not interested in reporting the news. Instead, like FOX south of 49, they are interested in manipulating the news, in browbeating their viewership with opinion disguised as fact. If they can do so in a cont…

775 hours and counting...

or, Mousebound (II)
That's 32 days...46531 minutes...2791885 seconds...
That I can figure out at least the minutes in, well, seconds--that should give you some small idea of how obsessed I am with the upcoming trip to "The World".
Disney in a little over a month. Can there be anything else to think about?
My darling wife is getting a little Dis-y, quite frankly. She hasn't quite forbidden the D-word in the house as of yet, but I sense it must be getting close. I told her this morning I would blog some of this Disney-itis out of my system. For over six years now, writing has been my chief stress release, and excitement is its own special kind of stress, particularly when everybody in your real-life vicinity isn't quite ready to feel excitement at this pervasive level.
Compounding the issue: a couple of colleagues and friends are now...RIGHT Disney World, she by emphatic choice, he by grudging assent. (He told her he'd go if she could find a way to make Di…

Behind The Curve

After a great deal of thought, I have decided not to join the Twitterverse.
"The only people who hate Twitter haven't used it", or so the saying goes. I'll admit to a completely irrational disdain for, almost a fear of, anything so insanely popular. This despite repeated instances in the past of my disdain/fear being completely overturned.
I once held iPods in contempt. That's hard for me to believe nowadays, given that any household task is best accomplished with music.

Same goes for Facebook. You know, Facebook, the only site on the Internet with half a billion members? Hated the very concept of it at one point; now I'm on there, minimum, three times a day.
And don't get me started on cell phones. Actually, that's one piece of tricknology I haven't...quite...succumbed to. I have one. Occasionally I remember to turn it on and carry it with me. And sometimes I even (gasp!) text people. About once a month. I find texting to be indispensable...ev…