Thursday, August 25, 2005

Softwood Salvation?

As is so eloquently outlined at Tilting at Windmills, the key to the softwood lumber question (or any other trade question) does not really lie with the WTO or NAFTA. It lies with PAC's, 527's, precinct captains and other vagaries of the American political system. Hurricane Katrina is bearing down on S. Florida right now. Pretty soon, they will be wishing their softwood lumber was a little cheaper. Someone in our government, tactfully, needs to point out to the good people of S. Florida and Louisiana that they could have much cheaper lumber if only their government would allow them to. Several key congressmen are fighting hard for the tarifs, we need a few fighting against them and pointing out how their constituents are tangibly hurt by the trade restriction would help. We can't beat the US from without, but we can get what we want by working from within.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What a Jerk

Pat Robertson is a blowhard.

Not much of a christian I would think either.

Today, he noted his desire to have Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela assasinated. Apparently "Thou shalt not kill" is a flexible request, an official recommendation, a piece of friendly advice..... but certainly not a commandment.

I can't begin to explain how stupid, coarse, ridiculous thing this was. That guy is a moron.

-------- update----

MSNBC just ran a report saying that Robertson's comments "did not come from a mullah or religious cleric". I beg to differ. How is this different from a violent fatwa?

Monday, August 22, 2005

God Bless HBO

I just finished watching the series finale of Six Feet Under for the second time. I honestly cannot think of a better TV show I have ever seen. I don't mean series, or series finale, but TV show. It is simply the best one I have ever come across. Alan Ball is a genius and the cast of the show are brilliant throughout. This show makes me realize what a great medium TV can be, and how unfortunate it is that is usually used to create Touched by an Angel instead of something that can truly grab you like SFU did. If you have not seen this show, stop what you are doing, subscribe to HBO or The Movie Network and watch this masterpiece.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The United States of America....... Yes or No

I am Canadian. Proudly.
My wife is American. Proudly.
I love Canada.
I love the United States.

I agree with almost half of America on almost all issues. I disagree with almost half on most.

I have more in common with my in-laws in Madison, WI than I do with my compratriots in my home town of Peace River, Alberta. My wife has more in common in our neighbours in Gatineau, Quebec than she does with her compratiots in Little Rock, AR.

Treating the US as a giant Republican blob will not help us get along with them, understand them, or play nice with them. We have a lot in common with our US neighbours and a great deal at stake in our relationship. Get to know your friendly neighbourhood American. You won't have 100% in common with them, but you will have an awful lot in common indeed.

PMO Competence

The loyal opposition has blown the Jean fiasco again. The issue is not her fealty to Canada, but the competence of the PMO. How could a competent office appoint someone who has to clarify that they in fact like Canada? That is the issue here (along with the general redundancy of the position) and the opposition parties seem to be missing it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Republic of Alberta

Many (here and here) are in a knot concerning a Western Standard poll that reports that 36% of westerners would be in favour of forming their own country. While the methodology is questionable at best the underlying message is a little disconcerting.
The thing that Albertans keep on citing is that the federal government should give Alberta more power. Albertans may like this, but Alberta's politicians likely do not. More power means more responsiblity (the Spiderman axiom) and that would suck. Alberta's premier (and all other Premiers) have managed to dodge any real responsibility by simply spouting off "fiscal imbalance" at strategic times.
A good reason to devovle more powers to provincial governments is to force them to be actually accountable. I think the Premiers would find that they should have been careful of what they wished for.

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

I am sure that Mme Jean is a fine person and an accomplished broadcaster and filmaker. Sometimes Adrienne Clarkson got on my nerves with her pomposity, but overall she did a reasonable job in the role of GG. However, either one is a mistake as a selection.

The reason that they are bad choices for the role of GG is that EVERYONE is a bad choice. The job is an unecessary figurehead position that binds our consitution to the British crown. We don't need one and shouldn't want one. The role of GG (or President in a republic) should be elected and thus finally properly seperating our legislative and executive branches of government.

I have nothing against the UK, HRH ERII or even HRH Charles, but they are not Canadians. A foreign citizen should not have the power to dismiss the Prime Minister and be the Commander in Chief of our armed forces. I certainly hope that we take the end of the Jean GGship as the end of the archaic office of the appointed head of state.

BTW - Many out there (I'm talking to you Kate) are complaining about the audacity of the "Libranos" to make this appointment based on political expediency. Guess what, your guy would have done it too. Don't hate the playa, hate tha game.

Douchebag for Freedom Goes Off

Today Bob Novak went bonkers on the air, railing against his TV nemesis James Carville and storming off the air. The US blogsphere (especially on the left) went bananas!
Wonkette was among the first on the story.
Novak has always struck me as childish, but this was really quite bad. Watch the clip to see how the host and Carville just keep going like nothing happened. Good times.

A Liberal in Calgary

A Liberal in Calgary
Seems a little confused about the functional definition of liberal. His description gets dangerously close to NDPer. It is called a political spectrum for a reason!

Canadian Liberal @ Penn

Canadian Liberal @ Penn

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Weird Interviews

The 301 days that were the NHL lockout created a lot of weirdness. Nothing was more weird though, than the interview locations. "Here's Tie Domi in a parking lot", "Here's Mike Riberio at WalMart", "Here's Mats Sundin at Shopsy's" and so on.
Come to think of it, this is kind of less weird than the traditional naked-in-front-of-locker interview location, but it was still strange.
Yet another reason for the lockout to be over.


Flight 358 was a near disaster. It was a near calamity. It was an incredible near miss. It was NOT a miracle.
Every paper in Canada screamed a headline about the miraculous nature of the end of Flight 358.

Where was the miracle?

Was it that the plane did not fall to a 1000 pieces? Nope - that was engineering.

Was it that the passengers got off quickly? Nope - that was a flight crew.

Was it that the fire did not engulf the plane more quickly? Nope - that was the fire crew at Pearson.

If Flight 358 had ended in disaster any one of the three above (and others) would have been called to task for their role in the disaster. So.... when it turns out well, give them some props, rather than chalking it up to God.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Free Emery!

The Canadian blogosphere appears to have gone apoplectic regarding the arrest of Marc Emery.

Many among them have huge problems with US drug policy and the DEA in general. Fair enough.

Many more have problems with us ceding our sovereignty to the US. They are out of their minds! Our Department of Justice authorized this, our judge will adjudicate the US extradition request. Our sovreignty is completely in tact here. If someone has a problem with the decision of our government or the extradition treaty with the US, vote for someone who will change them. Your vote is still the deciding factor here, and thus our sovreignty is still completely in tact.

Whither Landslide Annie

Forbes has released the most 100 powerful women in the world list. Our deputy PM, Anne McLellan is not on it. G8, Deputy PM, Minsiter for Emergency Preparedness. Not enough.
Maybe she should have published a high quality magazine for men.

Fake Journalism is Fun!

Anyone remotely familar with the NHL has visited Eklund's NHL rumor blog by now.

If you said that "Forsberg is likely to sign with TEAM X", and change Team X every 10 minutes until he signs you have a good chance of being correct. If he were a legitimate journalist this would be an inexcusable case of throwing spaghetti on the wall. In the blogosphere it is really fun. Blogs are better than not-blogs.

Last Dance for Mary Jane

If someone commits a crime in the US, and the US gov't politely, and properly asks the Canadian gov't to commence extradition, is there a problem? Marc Emery, leader of the BC Marijuana party is arrested in Halifax to be extradited to the US on drug distribution charges. Ianism is in conniptions about this, but Angry in the Great White North, is seeing this more reasonably.
Why must every action by the US gov't be seen as burgeoning imperialism?
They asked us nicely, we gave it some thought and then said yes. Where is the problem here?

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