Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Open Letter to Canoe.ca

To Whom it May Concern,

The problem I have is, while perusing your website, I was reading an article about a high school hostage situation, and the largest graphic on the page is that of an adult female, modeling t-shirts with jokes regarding therapy, dressed as a school girl.

I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't figure out how the ad for novelty t-shirts with a woman dressed as a school girl fits into the narrative of the news article I'm reading.

I'm fully aware how Google Ads work, and I know you can tailor what shows up to avoid such embarrassment.


Friday, November 19, 2010

RCMP Comment Fail

Northern News Service Online, March of the Pig:
Const. Todd Scaplen with the Yellowknife RCMP said his detachment received a call about a pig wandering by the Ingraham Trail on April 13.

"Someone called and said they saw it on the highway," Scaplen said.

"We're normally the only pigs in town."
Emphasis mine.

[H/T, FailBlog]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Conservative Hypocrisy In Action!

Given it's now clear that the Conservative Party is playing partisan games in an attempt to force the Opposition to fast track term limits on Senators, how exactly would term limitations have impacted the farce that occurred with C-311?

I know how it goes, having read the comments by Conservative supporters on this blog:

"Blah blah blah Liberal Party! Blah blah blah AdScam! Blah blah blah Senate reform! Ha ha!
Therefore, supporting term limits would have ensured passage of C-311."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We don’t believe an unelected body should in anyway be blocking an elected body. We are looking for the opportunity to elect senators, but if at some point it becomes clear some senators are not going to be elected, the government will name senators to ensure that the elected will of the House of Commons and the people of Canada is reflected in the Senate.

- Stephen Harper

Related: Bill defeated by unelected Tories.

[via, Aaron Wherry - Maclean's]

Wow, the Blogging Tories on the Unelected Senate

It's deafening. I didn't expect this much fall out.

The Conservative Party of Canada: We expect the other parties to deliver on accountability.

Climate Change Bill Defeated by Unelected Tories

Summed up nicely by the Globe & Mail's Gloria Galloway with her headline. RIP, Reform Party movement.

Unelected Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House

The Conservatives have used their clout in the Senate stacked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill an NDP climate change bill that was passed by a majority of the House of Commons.


It is the first time that the unelected Conservative senators have used their near-majority to kill a bill passed by elected politicians. The absence of more than 15 Liberals from the Senate allowed the bill to be defeated by a margin of 43 to 32.
If there ever was a time to defeat these undemocratic thugs, it's now.

Stephen Harper has set up a defacto dictatorship where the rule of law and Parliamentary supremacy is now threatened.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Did PBS censor Tina Fey?

Tina Fey, winner of the 2010 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, had her speech edited during the PBS broadcast of the show.

Critics claim it's due to the controversial nature of the speech where she addresses the rise of Sarah Palin to prominence; PBS says it was due to time constraints.

It's funny, relevant, spot on, and deserves to be distributed.
"... [Y]ou know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course -- those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape 'kit 'n' stuff," Fey said. "But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."

[Washington Post, PBS edits Tina Fey's remarks from Twain event]

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reason in Canadian Politics?

Welcome, Reason Vancouver. I, for one, would like to see a lot less emotion-driven government.

Reason Vancouver is a new political movement dedicated to developing policies based on reason and empiricism and applying them at the municipal level.

Reason Vancouver supports policy based on evidence, justice and the rule of law instead of dogmatic commitment to Left or Right-wing ideologies. We believe in an equitable and secular society.

Policy developed by Reason is open to objective criticism and re-evaluation when the evidence dictates.


Next, we are more than happy to help establish other municipal Reason Parties. It is not our view that reason and evidence-based policy should be limited solely to the City of Vancouver, but should be a movement that effects change in every city, province and country. Ideally, traditional politicians will move to adopt our strategies and be forced to present thought-out policy that is supported by evidence, but until that happens, we need to fly the flag of Reason every where we can. To start setting up your own Reason party, contact us and we’ll do everything we can to help.

However, if you’re specifically interested in either BC or Canadian federal politics, consider checking out the websites that have been set up to gauge interest in either a Reason BC or a Reason Party of Canada. If either movement gains enough momentum, they may be worth pursuing.
Emphasis mine.

[H/T, Canadian Atheist]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Urban Rural Divide

I recommend reading the BBC article, Viewpoint: How urban-rural divide sways US politics, which talks about the urban-rural divide in politics in Seattle vs. Washington state.

It got me to thinking.

Given that I am an urban dweller, frequently blamed for the demoralization of Canadian society, I wonder if it is time for urban dwellers to organize into associations to counterbalance the over representation by rural dwellers? We carry the weight of Confederation after all and I don't see electoral reform coming any time soon.

How long before the camel's back breaks? While it's true that farmers feed cities, cities feed farmers ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Long ago and far away
across the ocean
wild and wide,
the young men stormed
an alien shore
where many of them died.
Here and now
old men remember
the valor and the gore,
and the boyish faces
of their youth
that are young for ever more

William Bedford

Friday, November 05, 2010

You Know It's Bad When ...

Stephen Taylor recognizes that the Conservative Party campaigns like they're capitalists, but governs like they're communists.

There's hope yet for thoughtful fiscal conservatism in Canada.

Jim Prentice

Just read Red Tory Liberal's take on Jim Prentice leaving the Conservative Party; also just read Richard Albert's take. Thought I'd jump in with my personal perspective building on these two pieces.

I believe Jim Prentice is leaving politics temporarily. Typically, but not always, leading contenders have distanced themselves from the party they want to lead so as not to be associated with a rival camp or with a party's lagging fortunes.

Stephen Harper's growing inability to reach Progressive Conservatives continues to be his biggest liability - his pandering for Western votes with meaningless bobbles and trinkets is wearing thin with the Reformers and not reaching the rest of Canada.

In fact, the Conservative coalition is asking itself the very question - what makes Stephen Harper's government conservative?

In the best case scenario, a Stephen Harper-led Conservative Party will maintain its 30%-ish support and pull off another minority government in the next election. Third time's the charm and the coalition will realize that Stephen Harper is not the Conservative to make inroads into Central and Eastern Canada.

I believe Jim Prentice has the best chance at the next leadership run and the best chance to revive the Conservative Party.

For one, he doesn't immediately draw criticism from his Conservative colleagues. He supports the Conservative Party, despite being at odds with some of it's more socially conservative ideals.

For two, he doesn't immediately draw criticism from his Opposition colleagues and their supporters. His positions as a minister in various portfolios under Stephen Harper notwithstanding, no one comments that Jim Prentice is a poor or embarrassing Member of Parliament or that he holds radical views on any issue that make him a danger to the country.

Thirdly, he doesn't draw criticism from Conservatives that were jilted by the merger. He campaigned for it and he's a Progressive Conservative. I don't think Joe Clark, Kim Campbell, or Garth Turner will pop up at election time to feed fodder to Opposition talking points.

Finally, he wins votes in the West, he can manage the socially conservative wing and keep it from radicalizing Conservative policy and it's hard to attack a guy that everybody respects. With the possible exception of Bernard Lord, this largely rules out everybody else that would throw their hat in the ring.

On two fronts, this is exciting news for me ...

As a Liberal, I'm excited by the prospect that Jim Prentice will not be carrying the Conservative banner during the next election, and like Scott, hope some radical two-guns-a-blazing yahoo gets nominated in his place. Love the prospective soundbites!

As a former Conservative, the prospect of having another option is always good for democracy.

The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming!

So, the free market-loving, small government-lusting Conservative government has taken a decidedly protectionist stance with regards to Potash Corporation in the name of political expediency.

It'll be fun when we start saying that Stephen Harper campaigns like a capitalist, but governs like a communist.

We'll know for sure if he's a KGB plant if he hands Potash Corp over to Moscow.