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Showing posts from November, 2011

Multiple Marriage?

"There is no place for the State in the bedrooms of the nation...What's done in private between adults does not concern the Criminal Code"--Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, December 21, 1967

Unless there are more than two of them?

Trudeau here was referring to the decriminalization of homosexuality, but his words also, to my mind, defend some--perhaps many--polygamists.

I love to watch sacred cows being tipped. Tabitha Southey does it with aplomb here, utterly demolishing the case against multiple marriage.

Full disclosure: I flirted with polyamory in my younger years and held it as an ideal for many more. I've since come to the realization that I am not capable of existing in a polyamorous relationship--as loving as I am, I don't seem to be able to balance multiple loves in my life. But just because I'm happily committed to monogamy doesn't mean I have lost sight of those who aren't.

I once corresponded at some length with a woman from Michigan who was…

I am a bigot

So I'm stumbling around the Internet, the way you do when it's a day ending in -y in laundry month and there are only a thousand or so other things you should be doing. What to my wandering eye should appear but this piece of tripe concerning Manifest Destiny. I didn't cringe quite as much as I had earlier with that UC-Davis video, but close. People have to see this, I thought, and immediately posted it to my Facebook wall, captioned "This may be the scariest thing I've ever read in my life."

I didn't bother to check's take on this article: I knew what it would be. Snide and dismissive, just as I was. Christian site, what did you expect? No, instead I sauntered around a while longer, gibbering. What to make of a headline like "Scientists Develop Gay Repellant Powder?" I know what *I* made of it: let's see now, does this redeem science in the eyes of Christianity, or not? Or how about "Is Your Teenaged Daugh…

Welcome To The New Reality

Words failed me the first time I watched this. It's so casual, so nonchalant, as if pepper-spraying peaceful protesters is all part of a police officer's daily routine. I got the sense, watching, that they would have been happier using their guns, and those kids should consider themselves lucky they didn't.

Surely this is a one-off, an aberration.


You have the right of free assembly. You have the right of free speech. Just bear in mind that if you choose to exercise these rights, you could well be attacked with noxious chemicals...or worse. But by all means, go ahead and enjoy your rights, because we really enjoy the chance to use our toys.

This reminds me of nothing so much as the doctrine of free will: "Sure," says God, "you can do whatever the heck you want. But if you sin, I can throw you in hell to burn for all eternity. By the way, I love you."

How free is your will when the wrong choice will result in eternal damnation? How free is a popul…

The World Has Lost Its Balls


A tip of the hat to Catelli for bringing this to my attention.  "This" is utter, rank stupidity, the kind of story you'd more likely expect to find in the Onion.

Balls have been banned at Errol Beatty Public School, on account of "a few serious incidents" Unless it's a Nerf ball or a sponge ball, it's not permitted on the playground. We're told the parents' council at the school supports this.

Well, of course they do. These are probably the same parents who demand their progeny get A grades just for showing up at school each day. Heaven forfend their little darlings might be hit by a ball.

Let me give you a little rundown of various and sundry incidents that (I swear)  I experienced during my public school career, I won't even mention the kissing tag. Oops, I just did.

Our school grounds sloped off fairly steeply along the…

If you don't have anything nice to say...

Check out the comments on this CBC story about the 'upscaling' of Tim Horton's.

Very few of them are at all positive. You would think, based on these comments, that Tim Horton's, far from being the most profitable quick service chain in the country, is instead about to go bankrupt.

As usual, there is no moderation in the negativity, either. Only a tiny minority of the comments say something to the effect of "if you don't like it, don't shop there". Over and over the coffee is referred to as 'swill' and the food as 'crap'. One-off horrible customer service stories are upvoted as if they are universal Tim Horton's policy.

Full disclosure: I like Tim Horton's. I love their coffee, which I can't quite recreate at home no matter what I do. I love their hot chocolate, which is far and away the best on the market. And their breakfast sandwiches are phenomenal. Yes, their donuts are not baked fresh anymore and of course the qualit…

Greece Is The Word

So Greece is bankrupt for the seventh time in the past two hundred years.
This brings Ronald Wright's aphorism to mind yet again--"each time history repeats itself, the price goes up." This time, the price is immense. The first downpayment is Greek membership in the Eurozone. They remain in the union, for now, but in name only. Further casualties are certain...probably in the literal sense of lives lost. History shows that Europe does not remain merely unstable for long before going off like old nitroglycerin.

In hindsight, one wonders what those who moulded the European Union could possibly have been thinking. I'd imagine they let idealism run roughshod over reality. Wouldn't it be nice, they thought, if we could unite continental Europeinto a land free of nationalism? Laudable goal, politically. Financially, however...
Putting aside the cultural differences between northern and southern European nations, removing the ability for a country to manage its own econ…


There's a very interesting article in this month's issue of Wired. There usually is, of course--Wired is one of a very few publications I tend to read cover to cover--but this one is above and beyond. It concerns the future of music, now that Facebook is teaming up with Spotify to dethrone iTunes.
The beleaguered record industry hasn't even fully accepted iTunes yet. Imagine the conniption when 'buying' music becomes entirely obsolete.
That's what the union of Facebook and Spotify will evertually accomplish. You won't "own" music anymore: it will reside in the amorphous, world-spanning "cloud", ready to rain down on you, or your friends, with a single mouse-click. When you're done listening, back to the cloud it goes.
 How, exactly, money will be made from this model of instant access to everything remains to be seen. Currently, Spotify (which, like almost everything really valuable on the Internet, is not yet available in Canada), …


You'd never know it from the weather outside--it's 17 and sunny right now and this could pass for a cool day in August--but we've hit November. This is the month for diseases of all sorts: it's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month; COPD Awareness Month, Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month; American Diabetes Month (I guess Canadian Diabetes Month is December); Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Month; and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Are you aware of all these diseases? Good, your work is done for another month.

Seriously, it's always bothered me when days, weeks, or entire months are set aside to promote some vague "awareness". It's International Drum Month, too: does that mean drums are verboten at any other time of the year?
Take  Remembrance Day, the 11th of this month, by the way. It's not that I have a problem with Remembrance Day. On the contrary. I just wonder why it's only one day a year. Shouldn't we keep the spirit of …

Merry Christmas?

The Pillsbury Snowmen arrived last night. The rest of the Christmas loot arrives this evening. We're to be fully Yuletided by Thursday.

Bah humbug.

If I ran the world, it would be illegal to so much as mention Christmas until December the first. There is no need, no need whatsoever, for stores to tout their holiday sales before there's even a reasonable chance of snow on the ground. And by the way, can we not at least wait for Remembrance Day? I know soldiers died to defend democracy, but somehow I don't think they envisioned a rampant consumer orgy, do you?

Maybe we could wait until American Thanksgiving. They do. Then again, they have "Black Friday", which is impossible to explain from any sane retail perspective. Why offer your best deals at the very beginning of the season and allow all your customers to buy up your store at a loss?
Things are different up here where Santa lives. (Don't believe Santa's Canadian? He has his own postal code: H0H 0H0.) O…