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Archive for January, 2006

Picture of the Day – The New PMO

January 26th, 2006
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Flying Car Caught by Satellite?

January 26th, 2006

This is great. A Google Earth Satellite photo apparently shows a flying car in Perth Australia.

There’s a lot of speculation about what it could be here.

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Vote For Pedro

January 26th, 2006
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I’ve had another guest column in our local paper, the Cambridge Times:

Vote for Pedro and dreams come true

By Brian Gardiner

(Jan 26, 2006)

Vote for Pedro. I did a double take, confirming that my eyes weren’t playing a trick on me.

In the middle of one of Canada’s most bitter, most divisive election campaigns, there it stood. On a Hespeler street, amid the clutter of Janko Peric and Gary Goodyear lawn signs, stood a simple white sign with black letters.

Vote for Pedro.

It was a moment of pure levity in the middle of the first winter campaign in more than 20 years; humour where it was least expected. Yet my next thought was also unexpected: Why not vote for Pedro?

Canada’s electoral history is full of fringe candidates and parties. The most famous, and humourous, was the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. The Rhinos were a registered federal party in Canada from 1963 until 1993. They ran in every federal election in those years, on a platform they described as “two feet high and made of wood”.

Promises made by the Rhinoceros Party included repeal the law of gravity and reduce the speed of light, add illiteracy as Canada’s third official language and annex the United States.

Modern federal parties took a page from the Rhino platform when they promised to legalize pot. Unusually, the Rhinos also promised to legalize pans, spatulas and other utensils.

More poignantly, the Rhinos also promised that if elected they would break every promise and immediately demand a recount. Who says voter cynicism is new?

The recent election had its own fringe parties.

The Natural Law Party argues that heightened personal consciousness is the panacea for Canada’s political and social problems.

The Marijuana Party of Canada is running on the single issue of legalizing pot. No mention in their literature of whisks or espresso makers.

Compare that to what Pedro, from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, offers voters. He has “a sweet bike, he’s really good at hooking up with chicks, plus he is the only guy at school who has a mustache”. His platform?

“Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.”

Now at the end of the current election, with the two main leaders arguing over a ban of weapons in space, whether homosexuals should be allowed to wed and whose tax cuts are favoured amongst which economists, doesn’t Pedro’s simple one-sentence platform say it better?

Vote for Pedro? Why not.

It is my second go at guest column, the first time being:

Mom No Longer Remembers Christmas

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Another Guitar Great Get’s Older

January 26th, 2006
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Happy 51st Birthday Eddie Van Halen, although with David Lee Roth talking reunion and Valerie Bertinelli not, it could be a tough year.

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Picture of the Day – Collector’s Item

January 25th, 2006
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Canada’s Hottest Lady

January 24th, 2006


Interesting phenomena has happened here today. Having done a bio on Stephen Harper 2 days ago, I have been getting lots of hits today from people who searched Laureen Harper or Laureen Teskey or Laureen Harper Teskey. So far today I have been hit by a dozen people searching those terms. It doesn’t seem like much but I get about 45 hits a day, and had 37 by the time the twelfth Laureen search came up.

By comparison I have had 4 hits for Stephen Harper, 2 that used the work illuminati in it (that’s another post and I promise I’ll do it in the next few days), plus 1 Hate Mike Harris search.

Seems people are starting to notice the Lady in Blue.

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Dear Stephen

January 24th, 2006

You’re welcome!

Back in November when the election was called, you sat at 28%-30% in the polls, a full 10 points behind Mr. Martin. On December 8th , I began “At Home in Hespeler”, and soon thereafter your fortunes began to rise. I know it’s tempting to point to Steve and Kate and say they had a greater effect. Lets examine that position: Both, while fine bloggers who have far, FAR more popular blogs than I, have been blogging for a while now. Steve for about 11 months I believe, Kate I don’t know how long. In that time, did your poll numbers improve? Stephen, Mr. Prime Minister, Sir, it wasn’t until I got in the game, and I got comfortable and found my blogging voice that your numbers improved. Today, you are the Right Honourable. And that is why, sir…

You’re Welcome!

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Picture of the Day – The Right Honourable Stephen Harper

January 24th, 2006
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January 23rd, 2006
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As of 10:20 PM – also known locally as bed time – it is a conservative minority. Locally here in Cambridge incumbent Conservative MP Gary Goodyear has been declared the winner.

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Stephen Joseph Harper

January 23rd, 2006

Note: This has been moved the top of teh page until Tuesday evening.

Since he is looking to become Prime Minister of Canada on Monday, it seemed a good idea to give a small bio of Stephen Harper and Canada’s next first family.

First off, confession time. I was one who in the spring stated publicly that Harper had to go as leader of the Conservative party. I was a great doubter, one voice in the great Canadian choir singing for a new leader. I was wrong. During this campaign I have paid great attention to the man, the politician and the leader, and I am impressed.

He is first of all a family man with two very cute kids, seemingly taking after Laureen. According to Erin over at IHeartHarper:

Stephen Harper and his amazing wife of ten years, Laureen, have the two cutest kids in the world. Ben is 9 and loves to play hockey and his dad loves driving him, although I hear the 7:30 AM practices are tough. Rachel, his little girl, is 7 and is the quieter of the two.

More than just a family man, according to all appearances Stephen is very good with children. Quick story, in the past ten days, during one of his stump speeches, he stopped in the middle of the speech when a child in the audience did something unknown. He asked the child, by name, if he was OK, and requested that someone make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. I don’t know what the child was doing, but does any other politician stop in the middle of their speech, never mind a front runner for Prime Minister ten days before an election, to enquire on a child?

Or how about this anecdote from the world according to MAW:

I was in the audience and put my hand up to ask a question. Prime Minister [sic] Harper noticed and allowed me to have a say about childcare and how just funding the child would be broad based support for all parents who should decide what’?s best for their kids from the many, many sources of caregiving.

Then, out of the blue a little boy of about 9 years old put his little hand up. Imagine being in a room full of giants (adults) and screwing up your courage to ask the Prime Minister a direct question.

In one fluid motion, an instinctive fatherly motion I might add, Prime Minister Harper maneuvered around the podium got down on bended knee to talk to that little boy eye to eye, to really listen to the question the little guy was about to ask. I will never forget that image, it was so honest, natural and forthright, how us Dad’s feel about our boys and girls, we love then unconditionally. You could hear a pin drop. The boy asked Prime Minister Harper what he would do for the poor children, would he help them?

That’s the kind of story that comes up time and again about Stephen Harper. And that’s why I’ve been so impressed, because he appears to be, above all, a decent man! Now for the bio:

He was born in the Leaside area of Toronto in 1959, and lived there until he was 12 and then in Etobicoke. At Richview Collegiate Institute he was a Reach for the Top contestant and had the highest grade point average in the school. His family would later move to Calgary where his father was an executive for Imperial Oil. He has often referred to his father as the man he most admired.

He attended the University of Calgary, where he was conferred with an MA Economics. It was while he was at the University of Calgary in 1987 that Stephen Harper first met Preston Manning. This meeting would send him on the path that would lead to a likely Prime Ministership. He first entered Parliament at age 34 in 1993, and resigned four years later.

In 1990 he met Laureen Teskey, who worked at GTO printing, a company that created professional graphs and tables for Harpers Masters Degree. They married in 1991, and have had two Children Ben 9 and Rachael 7.

Between 1997 and 2002 he led the National Citizen’s Coalition, a “group that promotes free enterprise, individual freedom and personal responsibility under limited government.” (from “Rescuing Canada’s Right: Blueprint for A Conservative Revolution” Tasha Kheiriddin and Adam Daifallah. John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd., Mississauga. 2005 pg 265). He returned to politics in 2002, winning leadership of the Canadian Alliance over Stockwell Day on March 20. In May of that year he returned to Parliament as the leader of the opposition. He spent the next 18 months helping to patch a fragmented Canadian conservative movement. In October 2003 an agreement was reached with Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay, and the Conservative Party of Canada was born.

As far as policy goes, much of the criticism leveled against Harper is both unfair and ridiculous. The notion of the religious right taking hold because of him is simply wrong. Harper is not a church goer and he and Laureen where married in a civil ceremony. He has repeatedly and consistently through his career said that issues such as SSM and abortion are personal moral issues, and not issues for party discipline. He is, in fact, one of only two reform MP’s who voted in favour of the Gun Registry.

He is a fiscal Conservative, but it seems fair to say he is a social Libertarian more than a hard core right winger. In fact, he was originally a Liberal, but left the Liberal party incensed by Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program. However, much like Trudeau he is a policy guy who comes to politics with more vision than ambition.

One more thing about Harper, he has a sense of humour. Listen to any of his stump speeches and you can see that. Last week I heard John ‘Hammer and Sickle’ Moore say “Harper doesn’t do levity.” What Moore demonstrated quite clearly is he hasn’t done his research on Harper. He very much does levity and is known privately to have a tremendous sense of humour, including impressions of Brian Mulroney, Preston Manning and John McCallum.

And that folks is Stephen Harper, the man who tomorroww night is likely to become Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. He’s not nearly as scary as he is made out to be, and he might just be a very good Prime Minister, although only time will tell.

Sources:
Michelle Mandel: No Wolf Lurking — He’s All Geek. Toronto Sun January 22, 2005.
Wilkopedia
Conservative Party of Canada – Leader – Biography
I Heart Harper

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Picture of the Day – The Great Canadian Pasttime

January 23rd, 2006
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Picture of the Day – Jailhouse Hamster

January 22nd, 2006
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How to Lose an Election

January 22nd, 2006
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This could be a multi-part series and never cover all the ground, but here’s an excellent example of what went wrong in Martinastan during the past month.

Here’s what soon to be former PM Paul Martin was on about yesterday:

In an effort to push voters back into the Liberal fold, Paul Martin warned Canadians they’ve been duped into believing that Stephen Harper’s “extreme far-right” party is really the old mainstream Tory party of Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark.

Two thoughts. First, Joe Clark is not the admired statesman this comment would have us believe. Joe came in 3rd and 4th place the last couple of elections he contested. If anybody believed The Conservatives were the party of Joe Clark, we wouldn’t vote Conservative, just like the last time we could vote for Joe Clark.

Second, if we have been duped into believing it’s the party of Brian Mulroney, who duped us?

With 10 days left of the election campaign, the Liberals have unveiled new attack ads that target the records of two former Tory leaders.

Telling voters to “think twice, vote once” the spots compare former prime minister Brian Mulroney … with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

The ad shows a picture of Mulroney with a woman’s voice saying: “Can you increase expenditures, lower taxes and still balance the books?”

“Prime Minister Brian Mulroney tried it; he left behind a deficit of $42 billion a year.”

Eight days ago Paul Martin’s Liberals were warning us the Conservative party is the old party of Brian Mulroney: now he’s warning us it’s not.

But he’s not just changing the story, but telling Canadians that if they believed the earlier Liberal ads, they have been duped.

Here’s a news flash Mr. Martin, we were duped 12 years ago; we were duped 2 years ago, but we will not be duped this year!

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James Bond car sells for $2.09 Million

January 21st, 2006
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I couldn’t resist: I am just too much of a Bond fan. So when The Astin Martin used in Goldfinger and Thunderball came on the block, I dusted off the AmEx and dove in. Who knew the price would rise so high, so fast while I ran to the bathroom (I had told the girl working there to keep the bids alive until I got back).

Anyway, I own it, although I still owe $ 2.08999 Million. But a car with built-in Browning machine guns, tyre slashers, an oil slick ejector and a retractable rear bullet-proof screen, it had to be gotten.

Now, about that guy that cut me off last week…

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2 more reasons to vote Conservative

January 21st, 2006
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In case you needed them:

Ex-pat stars fear Tories
By BILL BRIOUX, TORONTO SUN

PASADENA, Calif. — The prospect of a Conservative election victory Monday is sending chills into liberal Hollywood — especially for two of the top Canadian-born actors on American TV shows.

Eric McCormack, star of NBC’s Will & Grace, and Donald Sutherland, co-star on ABC’s Commander In Chief, both seem spooked by Stephen Harper’s lead in the polls.

McCormack says he hears “horrible, horrible things about a Conservative government coming in. If I can get back and vote, I would.”

Sutherland, who was once married to actress Shirley Douglas, NDP founder Tommy Douglas’ daughter, fears a Conservative victory.

“I’m just praying it will be a minority government,” he said yesterday.

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