Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Meh

James Calder is withdrawing support for Canadian Idol. How could people not vote for Suzi? She's rock - she's got pink hair ... She's everything Idol ain't and you let her go.

I'll still get her album.


Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

James Calder endorses Suzi Rawn, for Canadian Idol

My name is James Calder, and I endorse this message.

Suzi is the first Idol participant I have considered purchasing her post-Idol release. That has never happened, because I don't normally go in for all that cookie-cutter type music. I feel her performances are genuine in such a way that no matter what she sings, those songs will showcase her talent..

Therefore, I am officially endorsing Suzi Rawn for Canadian Idol.
"Music is the face of culture and it can change the world. If I had the chance to be part of it on a grand scale, I'd like my career path to begin a bit of a revolution, reminding people of peace and love and union for humankind."
-- Suzi Rawn
Suzi's Canadian Idol bio can be found here.

Tags: , , ,

Tough Choice for the Liberal Party of Canada

National interest or political interest ... [Canadian Press via Yahoo! News, Slamming U.S. over softwood could cut both ways for Liberal government]:
"... it must be the national interest - not the federal government's political interest - that guides the government's actions when it comes to something as fundamental as respect for the rules of our trading relationship with the United States."
The concern, as has been pointed out elsewhere is that it has been hypothesized that the Liberal Party will run on a campaign based on growing anti-American sentiment to garner votes. I'm not sure the Liberal Party would stoop there, but, I've been naive before.

At minimum, we'll need to talk tough on trade - somebody needs to talk to the President now, and not wait for a reconvening of Parliament.

If we play it wrong, it'll hurt ...

"As a pollster, the first question (to government) would be: Can you win? Following that, whose ox is going to be gored here?"

Once Canada retaliates with trade sanctions, said [pollster Michael] Marzolini [of Pollara Research], some industry or sector "is going to be taking one for the team."

Which sector or industry is to be hit? Which one can we afford to lose? Will national interest or political interest win out?

Now, I don't agree with the American position on softwood lumber - NAFTA ruled in our favour (and if I read correctly, just in our favour), regardless of the subsequent WTO ruling. They're thumping us a good one, but Mr. Martin has to have a sound game plan in the event he's going to decide to go all cowboy with any kind of retaliation.

In other words, I'm hoping Paul Martin puts national interest ahead of political interest, and I'm hoping Paul Martin has a sound game plan.

We're doomed.

Tags: , ,

James Calder en Francais

Your favourite blog is now available in French (en francais). It uses the Google translation service, so, while it may not be grammatically accurate, it will get the point across.

You can find the link to translate right beside "View Related Articles" down below the comments section.

With a hat tip to Blue Blogging Soapbox and an indirect hat tip to James Bow.

Tags: ,

Monday, August 29, 2005

Revisit on Intelligent Design; New Comment breeds New Debate

An earlier post of mine has elicited some interesting comments and one, in particular, as of late. Rather than just add another comment, since the original post was buried in the archives, I'll start a new post.

In that original post, I had contended that I didn't think personal politics or religious doctrine (outside of a religion course) should be taught within a public school.

The part, naturally, that fired up the comments was it came around the same time U.S. President George Bush announced that he wanted the concept of "intelligent design" to be taught in public schools.

Jess from jess mahone, came in with the latest comment and specifically the one that I want to continue the debate with. I'm referring to the first paragraph of her comment:
"Intelligent design," as I understand it, is to be taught with evolution, and having been taught in a U.S. public school, I can say that evolution- which itself is not proven (well, specifically macro-evolution is not)- is absoutely taught as the only acceptable viewpoint, and students are frequently discouraged from having any religious viewpoint in any course, not simply science. So yes, Jim, Andy is dead on. To teach one theory as fact to the neglect of all other theories is wrong.
Where it gets controversial is that while evolution is a pan-scientific theory (generally accepted by all scientists, although they may disagree on the particulars), intelligent design is not a pan-religious theory accepted by all religions. On top of that, science class, as it should be taught, is not about teaching science. It's about teaching the scientific method; the purpose, the hypothesis, the observations, and the conclusion. Not all conclusions are reachable, that's why further experimentation is required. Besides evolution, there are other theories of a similar nature - relativity, black holes, quantum mechanics, etc.

First, let me talk about the scientific method.

I'll start with an example; it is insufficient for students to be taught that fire causes hydrogen to explode "just because". They must be taught why it explodes, why we think it explodes, what is the chemical reaction, what are the after effects, and ultimately, does it really explode or is just a theory? If we can't come to a conclusion, what further experimentation can we do to lend evidence to our hypothesis?

Intelligent design does not lend itself to the scientific method because it doesn't lend itself to observation - we have to believe that God (or whomever) pushed or prodded or threw that lightning bolt to get things moving. That's faith. That's the domain of religion and should reside solely there. So, while you may argue that the proof of evolution is as as elusive as it is for intelligent design, evolution has produced scientific observations - a wide body of observations, in fact.

Secondly, intelligent design is not a pan-religious belief. Not all religions nor religious belief structures (eg. polytheism, agnosticism or atheism) hold to a hand-of-God-directly-intervening type of scenario - will we introduce all "intelligent design" theories, or just certain, more "popular" ones? Public schools need to be inclusive of all belief structures within core courses - even if that makes them secular. That's why, I support religious theology teaching (of all religions), but not adding doctrine to core courses. Religious theology should be optional, like Grade 11 Latin was for me (where, incidentally, I learned the Lord's Prayer in Latin - Pater Noster, qui est in caelus - can you tell I was a hit at parties?). Within those theology courses, you can teach the creation stories and the moral philosophy.

Tags: , , ,

Word Verification Thingee for Comments

Okay, because I've been hit with a spat of spam bots, I've turned on the "word verification" thing in Blogger. It just means you'll have to type in the letters as you see them before leaving a comment.

Word Verification Thingee for Comments

Okay. I've been hit with spam bots since I posted about Hurricane Katrina - I think it has something to do with all the Technorati and/or Google searching for the hurricane.

I've turned on that "word verification" thing in Blogger to hopefully kill them off.

Canadian Cynic: "If you're looking for sympathy, you're knocking on the wrong door."

It appears the Canadian Cynic is happy that the evil Americans are finally getting theirs with Hurricane Katrina as you can read in this post. The Canadian Perasma, a fellow Progressive Blogger, brought the posts forward.

It's one thing to criticize the American administration, it's another to think it karma that the U.S. is getting hit with a hurricane, all with hand-wringing glee. Sometimes the rage we have against an administration can blind us to tragedy.

I'm not sure if CC set up this post to bait responses, or if CC is having a bad day.

If that's representative of being "progressive", I'll have no part.

Hurricane Katrina

My thoughts and prayers to everyone in the affected areas as Katrina has made landfall.
Hurricane Katrina has made landfall between Grand Isle, Louisiana, and the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center reports. Although New Orleans was braced for a direct hit, experts suggest that coastal Mississippi may bear the brunt of the storm. At 7:10 a.m. ET, Katrina had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. [CNN]
Reporters' Log: Hurricane Katrina [BBC]

HurricaneTrack.com

Tags:
Cross-posted
: Progressive Right: Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

My thoughts and prayers to everyone in the affected areas as Katrina has made landfall.
Hurricane Katrina has made landfall between Grand Isle, Louisiana, and the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center reports. Although New Orleans was braced for a direct hit, experts suggest that coastal Mississippi may bear the brunt of the storm. At 7:10 a.m. ET, Katrina had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. [CNN]
HurricaneTrack.com

Reporters' Log: Hurricane Katrina [BBC]

Tags:
Cross-posted: James Calder: Hurricane Katrina

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Natalie Glebova, Top Technorati Search

Hey, I just surfed on over to the Technorati homepage and noticed that the top ten searches are:
Top Searches This Hour

1. Natalie Glebova
2. Contraception
3. “New Orleans”
4. “Thao Nguyen”
5. Loonatics
6. Hurricane
7. “Suge Knight”
8. Podcast
9. “Cindy Sheehan”
10. “Conor O'neill”
Natalie Glebova is beating out contraception, a hurricane, and Cindy Sheehan. Did Toronto ban her again? I don't even know what "Loonatics" are, but Natalie is kicking their a$$ too.

Tags: ,

Toronto Star Feeding Fears

It was unfortunate for me, but it took my vacation in the Kawarthas to remind myself why I don't like the Toronto Star's attempt at "progressive activist journalism". I apologize if this is old news.

The cottage resort I was staying at offered complimentary copies of the Toronto Star for guests. If you bypass the "news" section, it's not a bad paper. The comics, the movies, the sports ... that's about it. But, try to read the news or the opinion on a full stomach ... blech. Worse, if you read it before a coffee, you just might believe the stuff they write.

Take this hard hitting article from August 23 as an example. When you read the headline, what's the first thing that pops into your head?

Cancer Clinic Caters to Wealthy [full article here, requires free login]

I thought it was going to be scathing review of some enormous private clinic in BC or Quebec (where they flourish), or better yet, a scathing expose on Paul Martin's private clinic [oh wait, as Technique #8 for the Suppression of Truth tells us, "that's old news"].

No, it's an article about Provis Infusion Clinic Inc., that offers cancer treatments to patients in Ontario where the treatments are not approved or not approved for use by OHIP.
Ontario's lengthy approval process for a slew of high-cost cancer drugs has spawned the emergence of a private Toronto clinic catering to well-heeled patients willing to pay $30,000 to $70,000 for prompt treatment.

Provis Infusion Clinic Inc. plans to charge patients for at least six drugs that have been approved by Health Canada but not by the provincial insurance plan, including Velcade for myeloma and Herceptin for some breast cancers.
Okay, those are the first two paragraphs. I'm admittedly a little confused here. Is the article about the evils of two-tier health care or is it about slamming Ontario's slow drug approval process?

I know. It must be illegal.
Doing so is legal under the Canada Health Act, though it has fed fears of creeping privatization in health care.
Oh, it's "feeding fears".

Probably everybody has seen the Disney movie, Monsters, Inc. Monster World needs kids to scream to supply energy. That's what the Liberal Party and the Toronto Star need, people to scream. Ug, it's the big bad clinic that's providing drugs not approved for use - SAVE ME PAUL MARTIN. Or, better yet, let's let OHIP cover the coverage in the US. That's better than in some mean old nasty private clinic in Toronto, which incidentally covers the drugs for 40% cheaper than in the States, but I digress.

Perhaps the clinic is going to push the limits of the law, and provide drugs that are approved for use by OHIP?
The drugs will be offered at the clinic only until OHIP approves them, [Graham Vincent, CEO of Provis] said, but with a growing list of expensive cancer drugs being developed, inevitably some will not get approved.

"This issue is going to be ongoing, because these things are very expensive and the patient pool for them is very small."

Patients must be referred by an oncologist, and the clinic is currently booking appointments, Vincent said. Neither the oncologist nor the nurses on staff will be paid by OHIP.

David Spencer, spokesman for Health Minister George Smitherman, said the ministry plans to keep an eye on Provis to ensure it doesn't offer drugs covered by OHIP, which is illegal under the Canada Health Act.
I'm missing the point of the article here. Where's the news? Why is this a front page story?
  • The clinic is offering treatment for drugs that are not approved by the Ontario government.
  • No one at the clinic can bill OHIP.
  • It's not illegal to perform the treatment.
  • Providing this treatment does not infringe on someone else's ability to receive treatment for the same illness.
  • The client pool for this treatment is small.
The article then even goes on to quote a source from the University of Toronto recommending patients not seek treatment with non-approved drugs:
Raisa Deber, a professor in the department of health policy at the University of Toronto, said patients should be wary of taking non-approved drugs.

"You have desperate people wanting a product," she said. "We have a whole slew of these things that didn't work. You have to balance rapid access with not having another Vioxx."
The only thing I can gather from the article is that the Ontario government should be quicker in approving the drugs or clamping down on "non-approved" treatment - I think - but it says nothing about how the clinic is "catering" to the wealthy.

Is the clinic breaking the law? No. Is it offering treatment available in Ontario via medicare? No.

What's the problem? Exactly. None.

Since it is obviously an opinion piece masquerading as news, it should have more clearly headlined that the blame resides solely with the provincial government for not "apparently" doing enough to protect medicare - at least then the article would match the headline.

Still, if the province is not going to allow the treatments, how can they justify stopping the clinic?

Tags: ,

Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

I think Paul Martin and the Liberal Party have this down in the "real" red book. Paraphrased from, Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression, this list is by David Martin.

1. Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.

3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.").

4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).

7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9. Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets. For example, apologize for not being vigilant.

10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report the leak.

12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.

13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing distractions.

14. Scantly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.

15. Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.

16. Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.

17. Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups or blogs defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don't the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.

Tags: ,

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Back from Vacation

I'd like to say that I'm glad to be back, but I'm not entirely. Sitting on a Muskoka chair, at the foot of one of the greatest lakes in the Kawarthas figures a lot higher in my mind then blogging from my basement. Best souvenir? Sunburnt shoulders from my tank top. I could have sworn I used SPF 50 on them.

I hope to resume normal blogging activities soon.

Back from Vacation

I'd like to say that I'm glad to be back, but I'm not entirely. Sitting on a Muskoka chair, at the foot of one of the greatest lakes in the Kawarthas figures a lot higher in my mind then blogging from my basement. Best souvenir? Sunburnt shoulders from my tank top. I could have sworn I used SPF 50 on them.

I hope to resume normal blogging activities soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Big Five Personality Test

Big Five Test Results
Extroversion (90%) very high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Accommodation (54%) medium which suggests you are moderately kind natured, trusting, and helpful while still maintaining your own interests.
Orderliness (72%) high which suggests you are overly organized, neat, structured and restrained at the expense too often of flexibility, variety, spontaneity, and fun.
Emotional Stability (64%) moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Inquisitiveness (86%) very high which suggests you are extremely intellectual, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
Take Free Big Five Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Done and Done

I'm satisfied.
I am deeply touched and wish to thank all those who have so warmly greeted the news of my recent nomination to the office of Governor General of Canada. Others have questioned my attachment to Canada and that of my husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond.

I want to tell you unequivocally that both he and I are proud to be Canadians and that we have the greatest respect for the institutions of our country. We are fully committed to Canada. I would not have accepted this position otherwise.

We are equally proud of the attachment to Quebec that we have always shown beyond any partisan considerations. Let me be clear: We have never belonged to a political party or the separatist movement.
Thank you, Ms Jean - I appreciate it. Could have been done a bit sooner to avoid all the drama ... but, meh.

I also like to delude myself into thinking that she made this announcement after my last post.

Update: Hey, that might not be far off. Speech came at 12:15 Eastern ... a few hours after the previously mentioned post ... eh? Could be.

Tags:
,

Lay Your Cards on the Table Ms. Jean

Previously, I had indicated that we should give Michaëlle Jean an opportunity to show us that she can be Governor General.

That being said, and in light of recent news, I think she needs to come clean as to whether she is an avowed separatist or not.

How she or her husband voted in the last Quebec referendum is irrelevant.

It's whether or not she or her husband actively supports and promotes a separatist agenda that concerns me. If she does, she has absolutely no business being our Governor General nor representing Canada on the international stage.

Let me be clear here - an avowed separatist is different that somebody who voted "yes" on a separation referendum. Somebody who actively campaigns for the disassembly of Canada cannot be my Governor General.

Other blogs on this story:

Tags: ,

James Calder Tag Cloud

This here is the James Calder tag cloud. It uses the technology found at TagCloud to determine what topics of interest show up in posts of mine. The bigger the hyperlink, the more frequent the occurrence of that topic. If I add more blogs, this tag cloud will grow to include it.

Just click on the link.

Right now, it's just two blogs, this one and The Progressive Right.

Tags: ,

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More than a Message

Thanks to Randy, over at Progressive Conservative ReView & ReKnew: The Fusion of Conservative Futures... who pointed the following essay out to me, Framing: More Than A Message, over at the Longview Institute.

What's funny is, the Conservative Party up here is having the same problem as the Democratic Party down in the United States is having, in that we produce a narrative, but the Liberal Party produces a litany. The difference as the article points out is that in the US, narrative gets you elected, litany gets you defeated.

Up in Canada, litany gets you elected, narrative does not.

James Carville is quoted in the essay as saying, in regards to the 2004 U.S. presidential election:
"They produce a narrative, we produce a litany."

"[The Republicans] say, 'I'm going to protect you from the terrorists in Tehran and the homos in Hollywood.' We say, 'We're for clean air, better schools, more health care.' And so there's a Republican narrative, a story, and there's a Democratic litany."
The paragraph that follows is particularly telling:
It seems to be increasingly difficult to talk about the issues we care about most in a way that resonates with a critical mass of the population. We don’t really have a coherent story or a set of frames that link to that story. The ... promise of abundant opportunity, living wage jobs, access to health care, quality education, affordable housing, upward mobility, a clean environment, and a secure retirement seems to be drifting further from fulfillment. People committed to fulfilling this promise struggle with crafting a story rooted in resonant values, a story that captures the ethic that hard work should be fairly rewarded so that families can be self sufficient and provide for themselves. [emphasis mine]
Doesn't that sound like us, a little bit?

In Canada, the Liberal Party has always won on a platform of "clean air, better schools, more health care" without actually delivering anything - we still have dirty air, public schools in disrepair, and health care problems. For what ever reason, Canadians are naturally tying this formless litany to their identity - which in turn keeps the Liberals elected.

Whereas, when the Conservative Party comes out and says "we're going to clean up the environment with a transit tax rebate" or "we're going to create a child care program that involves maximum parental choice" or "we're going to stamp out Liberal Party corruption", we're getting perhaps too involved in actual narrative that are failing to resonate with Canadians, who just want to hear "clean air, better schools, and more health care."

Which is sad, because it means we get hammered in the polls, despite having good ideas.

The conclusion is also apropos.
The message is the final step, not the first step. It is the product that should be a natural extension of stories and frames, not the basis. The road to meaningful framing may be a longer journey than most of us like, but it’s the milestone we need to pass in order to reach our final destination.
Have a read through the article.

Tags: ,

The Men Commandments

From The Men Commandments:

1.) It is ok for a Man to cry under the following circumstances:
  • When a heroic dog dies to save its master.
  • The moment Angelina Jolie starts unbuttoning her blouse.
  • After wrecking your boss' car.
  • One hour, 12 minutes, 37 seconds into "The Crying Game".
  • When she is using her teeth.
2.) Any Man who brings a camera to a bachelor party may be legally killed and eaten by his friends.

3.) Unless he murdered someone in your family, you must bail a friend out of jail within 12 hours.

4.) If you've known a Man for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits forever, unless you actually marry her.

5.) Moaning about the brand of free beer in a friend's fridge is forbidden. Complain at will if the temperature is unsuitable.

6.) No Man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another Man. In fact, even remembering your friend's birthday is strictly optional.

7.) On a road trip, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the weakest.

8.) When stumbling upon other men watching a sporting event, you may ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who's playing.

9.) It is permissible to drink a fruity alcopop drink only when you're sunning on a tropical beach... and it's delivered by a topless supermodel...and it's free.

10.) Only in situations of moral and/or physical peril are you allowed to kick another Man in the nuts.

11.) Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.

12.) Friends don't let friends wear Speedos. Ever. Issue closed.

13.) If a Man's fly is down, that's his problem, you didn't see anything.

14.) Women who claim they "love to watch sports" must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to drink as much as the other sports watchers.

15.) A Man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain sober enough to fight.

16.) Never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of pizza, but not both - that's just mean.

17.) If you compliment a Man on his six-pack, you'd better be talking about his choice of beer.

18.) Never join your girlfriend or wife in discussing a friend of yours, except if she's withholding sex pending your response.

19.) Phrases that may NOT be uttered to another Man while lifting weights:
  • Yeah, Baby, Push it!
  • C'mon, give me one more! Harder!
  • Another set and we can hit the showers!
20.) Never talk to a Man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing: i.e. Both urinating, both waiting in line, etc. For all other situations, an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.

21.) Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone. Hang up if necessary.

22.) The morning after you and a girl who was formerly "just a friend" have carnal drunken monkey sex, the fact that you're feeling weird and guilty is no reason not to nail her again before the discussion about what a big mistake it was.

23.) There is no reason for guys to watch Men's Ice Skating or Men's Gymnastics. Ever.

24.) When you are queried by a buddy's wife, girlfriend, mother, father, priest, shrink, dentist, accountant, or dog walker, you need not and should not provide any useful information whatsoever as to his whereabouts. You are permitted to deny his very existence.

25.) You may exaggerate any anecdote told in a bar by 50 percent without recrimination; beyond that, anyone within earshot is allowed to call 'BULLSHIT!'.

Exception: When trying to pick up a girl, the allowable exaggeration rate rises to 400 percent.

26.) The minimum amount of time you have to wait for another guy who's running late is 5 minutes. For a girl, you are required to wait 10 minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10 babe scale.

27.) Agreeing to distract the ugly friend of a hot babe that your buddy is trying to hook up with is your legal duty. Should you get carried away with your good deed and end up having sex with the beast, your pal is forbidden to speak of it, even at your bachelor party.

28.) Before dating a buddy's "ex", you are required to ask his permission and he in return is required to grant it.

29.) The universal compensation for buddies who help you move is beer.

30.) A Man must never own a cat or like his girlfriend's cat.

31.) When your girlfriend/wife expresses a desire to fix her whiney friend up with your pal, you may give her the go-ahead only if you'll be able to warn your buddy and give him time to prepare excuses about joining the priesthood.

32.) If a buddy is out-numbered, out-Manned, or too drunk to fight, you must jump into the fight.

Exception: If within the last 24 hours his actions have caused you to think, "What this guy needs is a good ass-whoopin.", then you may sit back and enjoy.

33.) If a buddy is already singing along to a song in the car, you may not join him...too gay.

34.) Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

35.) When a buddy is trying to hook up, you may sabotage him only in a manner that gives you no chance of hooking up either.

36.) Before allowing a drunken friend to cheat on his girl, you must attempt one intervention. If he is able to get on his feet, look you in the eye, and deliver a "FUCK OFF!" You are absolved of your of responsibility.

37.) Never, EVER slap or smack another Man.

38.) A Man is never allowed to talk to his mother on the phone while at a bar. This is especially true if said conversation is preventing him from taking his shot during a game of pool.


Tags: ,

Is "Double-Double" Universal?

I just got back from getting a coffee at Coffee Time, instead of Tim Horton's. On aside, it'll always be "Tim Horton's", not "Tim Hortons". Anyway, back to the question at hand.

I normally get two creams in my coffee, no sugar. So when I order, it's usually "double cream" - no problem. But, if somebody normally ordered a "double-double" at Tim Horton's, would they do the same order at Coffee Time, or is that like ordering a Whopper at McDonald's?

Tags: ,

Fantasy World Order

Give this one a go.

Fantasy World Order
Where do you stand in the globalisation debate? Do you put your faith in regulation or the free market? If you were world leader, what would your policy agenda be? Let fantasyworldorder help you decide!

fantasyworldorder will help you determine the political position closest to your own. Create your own fantasy world leader and find out how you score against public opinion - the most popular fantasy world leader wins a prize.
I went in thinking I was a "Regulator", but came out a "Protester" for some reason.

Tags: ,

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Personality Defect Test

With a H/T to Socialist Swine of Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine who found this quiz:

Hand-Raiser
You are 100% Rational, 71% Extroverted, 14% Brutal, and 42% Arrogant.
You are the Hand-Raiser, that annoying kid in class who always had an answer for everything. No doubt, as a child you probably sat in the front of the class, anxiously waving your hand back and forth in the air while your teacher desperately tried to avoid calling on you because you were the ONLY fucking kid that answered her questions. Clearly, the key traits of your personality are your rationality and your extroversion. You are like a little talkative calculator, in other words. You also tend to be rather gentle and less arrogant than most people. So what is your defect, then? Well, you're boring, and when you're not boring, you are just plain annoying with your ultra-logical responses and constant need to talk to others. So keep waving that hand in the air, son. I'm still not calling on you. You are too logical, you talk too much, and your humility and gentleness only makes me hate you more, because they make me feel like I almost SHOULDN'T hate you. But I do. Big time.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.

Compatibility:

Your exact opposite is the Brute.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Braggart, the Haughty Intellectual, and the Robot.

If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.





If you liked my test, send it to your friends!

The Personality Defect Test
http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=4741219933576750506

That's it! If you'd like to write your own test or send me (saint_gasoline) a message, pick a screenname to join OkCupid

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Can He Do Over? There's a 7-second Delay, Right?

Now, I'm not the biggest George Bush fan to begin with (ahem ... lumber ... ahem ... cattle ... ahem ...), and I've avoided posting about him. But, did he really say this? (Sydney Morning Herald, Bush tells why he will shun protester):
Mr Bush said he was aware of the anti-war sentiments of Cindy Sheehan and others who have joined her protest near his Texas ranch. "But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the President, that's part of the job," he said on Saturday. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."
Emphasis mine.

Mental note, while you may be the president of the United States, and work-life balance might be an issue, try not to raise that you're
trying to get on with your life as the reason why you won't talk to a grieving mother.

Should have ended it with the "part of the job" - he obviously can't talk to every protester, but that last sentence just seems especially cold.

Worst Analogies Ever Written in a High School Essay

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7pm instead of 7:30.

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:\flw.quid55328.com\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaak/ch@ng by mistake.

He was as tall as a six-foot three-inch tree.

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be burried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man."

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36pm traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19pm at a speed of 35 mph.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr. Pepper can.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a drier without "Cling-Free."

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red crayola crayon.

[Source: Worst Analogies Ever Written in a High School Essay]



Tags: ,

I'll Let Others Do My Writing Today, Redux

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm currently enjoying the "August of Jim" and I'm having a real hard time concentrating on things that don't involve me drinking beer, swinging a golf club, sitting on a beach, or drinking beer ... um, yes, I meant to say that twice.



Jason over at Reasonable and Right has Part 4a: My Community on his Green Party review. Again, I find some things I really like - I like the idea that governments and initiatives "closer-to-home" will deliver services and programs closer-to-home. I don't like everything being run or dictated out of Ottawa, or even Queen's Park in a lot of ways because those groups don't really know what's best for us.

I thank Jason for doing this, as it was something I wanted to do, but then ... well, vacation happened. :)



Andrew's into a whole big discussion on the Nature of Human Rights over at BBG. While you're there, take a look at the pictures from "Smokey" Smith's funeral.



With all the fun that's happening south of the border, I've discovered FactCheck.org, "
we are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."



A little more light-hearted, you can read the Abbot & Costello routine I had with my three-year old.



How rich are you?



For the anti-corporate type, I found They Rule, a site that links up all the different directors to the multitude of different companies they sit on. Now, I don't buy all into the "illuminati-type" scenario, but you do have to wonder what happens when so many individuals sit on each other's corporate boards.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Politics Explained

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Axis & Allies: D-Day

Just finished my first game of Axis & Allies: D-Day and the Axis side was victorious.

The U.S. occupies Cherbourg and the British/Canadians occupy Caen, but by the beginning of turn 10, the U.S. and Germans were still fighting over St Lô. The Germans made it through the American and British fighters surrounding them, plus another German division managed to wipe out an entire company of British soldiers.

On another note, the Canadians landed on Juno Beach and completely obliterated the Germans there with no casualties.

It's a pretty good game.

Abbot & Costello Routine

I probably could have posted this last March when it originally happened, but today's exchange with my son needs to be documented for all posterity.

Last March, we went on a Caribbean cruise leaving from Miami. Yes, the cruise was fantastic!!. Anyway, we had to fly into Miami.

Anyway, driving with my son today we notice a bus - one of those big motorcoaches.

"Daddy," he says, "I went on a big bus like that."

"Yes," I replied, "When we were in Miami."

"Yeah, that's right, when we were in your Ami."

"No, Miami."

"I said 'your Ami'."

"No, the city's name is 'Miami'".

"Your Ami."

"No. Mi-ami."

"Your Ami."

"No, the city's name is 'Miami'".

"Stop talking, Daddy."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Poll Finds Canadians Want Stricter Security

As reported in the Globe & Mail, Canadians want strict security, poll finds:
The Strategic Counsel poll conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV found that 72 per cent of Canadians support placing video cameras in all public places, and 81 per cent favour "deporting or jailing anyone who publicly supports terrorist bombers."
I'm also in favour of this.

As noted here, after the bomb threat at the TD Centre in downtown Toronto, there are no closed-circuit TV cameras in the GO Train concourse at Union Station. The bomb threat was called into police and the Globe & Mail from the prevalent banks of public telephones from within the open and very busy GO Train concourse. I don't think people would object to having cameras trained on them.

We could also take a page from Tony Blair's anti-extremism initiatives:
  • New laws as planned against incitement and instigation of terrorism; that could include bomb threats made against public infrastructure
  • New measures to keep people inciting hatred out of Canada, or making it more easy to deport them
I think the "no-fly" list is a good initiative too, even though it is way too late in coming.

I think we'd need to ensure that people are first
proven to be inciting hatred within Canada before deporting them, but certainly - let's remove the threat before it becomes tragic.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Two Things That Should Not be Discussed in Public Schools

Just like when you're with friends, the two things you don't talk about are the two things that shouldn't be in public schools.

The first is religious doctrine (BBC, Bush weighs into evolution debate):
President George Bush has started a national debate in the US over the teaching of evolution in school.

The president has suggested that a theory known as "intelligent design" should be taught in the classroom.

It proposes that life is too complex to have developed through evolution, and an unseen power must have had a hand.
And the second, personal politics (Maple Ridge News, NDP calls for peace in public schools).
VICTORIA - Education Minister Shirley Bond says teachers should keep their political agenda out of public schools, despite a court ruling that upholds their right to bring political messages into school bulletin boards and parent-teacher meetings.

The B.C. Court of Appeal issued a split decision last week, upholding the B.C. Teachers' Federation's right to post political messages in schools and distribute them to parents.

Two judges ruled that teachers' right to freedom of speech should be protected. The dissenting judge said teachers can participate in politics as private citizens and shouldn't do so on the job.
Promoting a religious or a political agenda in public schools is not appropriate. It's not the place. Neither helps students read, write, or do arithmetic.

Religion and politics are personal choices that should be decided by people themselves and within themselves. Not at the direction of somebody else and certainly not in a one-sided manner.

I'm all for courses teaching religious theory and beliefs, as well as I'm for courses in political science and ideologies. I think both kinds of courses benefit someone's understanding of the world. But, teaching "intelligent design" in a public school science class without it being in the context of a religious study course? I don't think that should be allowed.

Plus, notes on the bulletin board that say "BC Lib3r@|$ SuXXoRZ!!11~!" aren't helpful either. I, of course, made that up, but it's still inappropriate for teachers and especially teacher unions to campaign their politics to students.

A New Look

A slightly new look to the place. I found this template and I like it better.

R&R: Part 3 on the Green Party Platform

Jason over at Reasonable and Right has Part 3 of his Green Party platform review, My Home and Family.

Some things that I noticed.

The Green Party is advocating a choice in daycare, including offering "tax-incentives for businesses to implement flexible schedules and on-site childcare" which I think is good, but not strong enough. By contrast, the Conservative Party policy is, I think, a little stronger in offering full choice to parents - support for parents who wish to stay home (which doesn't seem to be on any other party's agenda), or using that support to defer the costs if they still wish to use whatever form of daycare they see appropriate (child care centre, friend, family, church, etc.). If we could couple both in some fashion, I think that would be great.

Another policy point that I am in full support of is "raising the benefit levels for parental leave under the Employment Insurance Act and extend compassionate care leave to those who are caring for a gravely ill family member." Since it's fantastic that fathers can use parental leave (and I encourage all fathers to do so), it would be nice if both parents could afford to have the opportunity to be off with a newborn at the same time. Right now, if parents choose to do this, it takes a large amount of savings to make it worthwhile - as I found out with our first. Fortunately, I have not had to use compassionate leave, but I think the same argument would apply.

Like Jason, I question the ability of a federal party to "create opportunities for more outdoor physical activities." What I would like to see is provincial governments require physical education to be a required subject in schools. I remember way back in high school, I took one PE course - and it was ping pong, curling, bowling, and golf.

Anyway, go have a read.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Toronto Violence makes the Angola Press

Don't ask how I got the article from the Angola Press, but here is their description of the recent rash of violence in Toronto (Angola Press, Roundup: Gang violence rampant in Toronto):
Gang violence has become so rampant in Canada`s biggest city of Toronto during the past two weeks that police had to deploy extra forces out in the streets.

Two more deaths arising from gang shootings during Sunday night has raised the total number of those hit by gunfire to 17, with the death toll to 7 in the past 15 days.

Panic is spreading fast in the booming commercial city that residents in some of the troubled regions dare not to come out in the streets during daytime.

The worsening security situation in the city have aroused the attention of the church groups, which organized marches in four of the most plagued neighborhoods Saturday, calling for quick solutions.
Angola thinks it's rough here? Angola?

While the article uses hyperbole to full effect ("worsening security situation", "plagued neighbourhoods", "panic is spreading fast", etc.), let's not forget Angola's problems.

From Amnesty International: Angola:
In July [2004], after UNITA tried to set up party offices in Cazombo, Moxico province, a mob burned or looted about 80 houses belonging to UNITA supporters and others who did not speak the local language. The crowd, allegedly encouraged by the municipal authorities, also wounded about 10 people. Unarmed police were reportedly deployed but did nothing to stop the violence.
Three men – Manuel do Rosario, Laurindo de Oliveira and Antonio Francisco – reportedly “disappeared” in April after being arrested in Luanda in possession of a stolen car. Relatives searching for the men saw this car parked in a police station. In May they found the bodies of the three men in an unofficial cemetery in Cazenga suburb. Police exhumed the bodies and opened an investigation, but no results were reported by the end of 2004.
A violent protest in February concerning electricity supplies in Cafunfo, a diamond-mining town in northern Angola, left at least three people dead, according to official sources. Unofficial sources said that police fired indiscriminately, killing more than 10 people, including two teenage girls and 12-year-old David Alexandre Carlos, and wounding some 20 others. Seventeen protesters were subsequently detained and accused of disobeying the authorities, a crime punishable by up to seven months’ imprisonment. Applications for bail were not granted. The trial began in July but was suspended and not concluded by the year’s end. One of the defendants, a 15-year-old boy, was held with adult prisoners for several months before being given separate accommodation. There was apparently no inquiry into the reports that police had used excessive force.
Et cetera.

From Foreign Affairs Canada: Angola:
Foreign Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the region(s) specified below.

You are advised against all travel outside Luanda. If you choose to travel outside Luanda despite this advice, you should do so only under the auspices of an organization with considerable knowledge of the country.

You are advised that, if travelling outside Luanda, you should stay in the main cities and avoid roads outside provincial capitals.

OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to this country.

You are advised against non-essential travel to this country. The security situation in Angola has improved since the signing of the cease-fire in April 2002, which brought an end to the country's civil war.
Plus, watch out for the random acts of banditry, common place drunk driving, land mines, and the kidnapping of foreigners. Also, make sure your flight lands in a UN-designated landmine-proof landing strip.

Toronto is still good in my books. Angola should worry about Angola.

Global Voices Online

I got this link in my Yahoo! Daily Links. It seems like an interesting group of conversations. Adds one more layer to the whole blogging phenomenon.

Global Voices Online

From their About page:

Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.

Our primary goals:

1) To call attention to the most interesting conversations and perspectives emerging from citizens’ media around the world by linking to text, audio, and video blogs and other forms of grassroots citizens’ media being produced by people around the world.

2) To facilitate the emergence of new citizens’ voices through training, online tutorials, and publicizing the ways in which open-source and free tools can be used safely by people around the world to express themselves.

3) To advocate for freedom of expression around the world and to protect the rights of citizen journalists to report on events and opinions without fear of censorship or persecution.

At a time when the international English-language media ignores many things that are important to large numbers of the world’s citizens, Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media. We’re using a wide variety of technologies - weblogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, aggregators and online chats - to call attention to conversations and points of view that we hope will help shed new light on the nature of our inter-connected world.

The idea for the project grew out of an international bloggers’ meeting held at Harvard in December 2004. (Here is a written account of the meeting. To listen to an audio report, click here.) Global Voices, though headquartered at Harvard Law School, is a cooperative effort of contributors from every continent and dozens of countries.

For more detailed information please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you’re a blogger and want to get involved, please click here.

If you’re a journalist and want more information, please click here.

[Cross-posted from The Progressive Right]

Global Voices Online

I got this link in my Yahoo! Daily Links. It seems like an interesting group of conversations. Adds one more layer to the whole blogging phenomenon.

Global Voices Online

From their About page:

Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.

Our primary goals:

1) To call attention to the most interesting conversations and perspectives emerging from citizens’ media around the world by linking to text, audio, and video blogs and other forms of grassroots citizens’ media being produced by people around the world.

2) To facilitate the emergence of new citizens’ voices through training, online tutorials, and publicizing the ways in which open-source and free tools can be used safely by people around the world to express themselves.

3) To advocate for freedom of expression around the world and to protect the rights of citizen journalists to report on events and opinions without fear of censorship or persecution.

At a time when the international English-language media ignores many things that are important to large numbers of the world’s citizens, Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media. We’re using a wide variety of technologies - weblogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, aggregators and online chats - to call attention to conversations and points of view that we hope will help shed new light on the nature of our inter-connected world.

The idea for the project grew out of an international bloggers’ meeting held at Harvard in December 2004. (Here is a written account of the meeting. To listen to an audio report, click here.) Global Voices, though headquartered at Harvard Law School, is a cooperative effort of contributors from every continent and dozens of countries.

For more detailed information please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you’re a blogger and want to get involved, please click here.

If you’re a journalist and want more information, please click here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Men do have trouble hearing women, scientists find

A-ha! Not my fault.

LONDON (AFP) - Men who are accused of never listening by women now have an excuse -- women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's, a report said.

The Daily Mail, quoting findings published in the specialist magazine

NeuroImage, said researchers at Sheffield university in northern England discovered startling differences in the way the brain responds to male and female sounds.

Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music, while male voices engaged a simpler mechanism, it said.

The Mail quoted researcher Michael Hunter as saying, "The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices.

"This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice."

The findings may help explain why people suffering hallucinations usually hear male voices, the report added, as the brain may find it much harder to conjure up a false female voice accurately than a false male voice.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

"I Look for Inspiration" - George Petrolekas

A letter sent to the CBC in regards to the appointment of Michaëlle Jean as our new Governor General (CBC, Letter-of-the-Day, August 4, 2005):
I too am concerned about the state of my country. It is clear that there is angst in the land; we have lost our orientation. We know not who we are.

But I do not agree with many of your respondents on the subject of the governor general designate.

As a soldier, whose Commander-in-Chief she will soon become, I look for those qualities of leadership, accomplishment and passion, above politics that reflect the best of what this nation might be.

Adrienne Clarkson provided that to us.

Many of my colleagues in the military remark often on her ability to touch so many of us; her memorable speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which drew tears from so many, her many Christmas and New Year visits with the troops in some pretty inhospitable places, cancelling state visits and rushing to be close to our injured soldiers after the Khandahar bombing.

These events are just the tip of the iceberg of how deeply, closely and profoundly she touched us in the military. In many ways, she was a compass that set us straight, reminding us of who and what we are.

We Canadians have become a pretty cantankerous, scrooge-like lot judging by some of the commentary here; first to point the finger instead of asking ourselves what we have done to better this county as opposed to living off it.

In Ms Jean, I sense the same fire and passion that Ms Clarkson brought to the office.

She has devoted time to the cause of battered women, a point that none of your respondents thought worth mentioning. She has done something to better her adoptive land.

As a soldier, I care not from whence she came, or the colour of her skin nor that she resides in Quebec. I look for inspiration, humility, dignity and the grace that befits the office she is to occupy.

And in Ms Jean’s case I see ample evidence of all these qualities. I happily affirm my loyalty.

George Petrolekas | Brunssum, The Netherlands
I'm thinking there aren't that many "George Petrolekas" in the Canadian Forces. George Petrolekas of the Royal Montreal Regiment was an officer with the Canadian Forces in Bosnia (1993-94) and since then has been a senior executive with international telecommunications companies.

If he's willing to give the new GG a chance, I think we all can.