Archive for March, 2006

Sophist’s Saga for Friday March 31st, 2006

March 31st, 2006
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The Sophist?s Saga:

Talking to a girl today whom was explaining to me that she was angry with a friend.
“How do you let her know you are angry?” I enquired.
“I block her on my MSM,” she explained patiently.
If I am angry at someone I have to deal with the problem… I have decided I need MSM.

The Sophist?s Saga updates every Tuesday and Friday.
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Next Sophist’s Saga: Wednesday April 5th, 2006

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Prove it? Why?

March 31st, 2006

Christian Peacemaker Team member and former hostage Harmeet Sooden says he believes that his rescue was ” highly likely” the result of a ransom being paid. Ransom? I don’t remember any demands for a ransom.

His primary concern is not who would have put up the money (and certainly not about paying them back). He was concerned that the money would not be spent on people who need food but instead on killing people. Again I ask, who would have paid this? The CPT? Most organizations such as that are usually underfunded. Canada? New Zealand? Government policy of both countries is never to pay ransom. It would set them up for countless ransom situations. So why would he think this?

“Instinct.” Not evidence, because he has none. Just his “instinct.”

Hmm. My “instinct” tell me that going into Iraq under a “Christian” banner just might like waving a red flag in front of a bull. But then I’m just an unfeeling, uncaring, right-wing troglodyte.

Of course there’s also no mention of the soldiers who allegedly got them out. Nope. Never happened. Uh-uh. No way. I’m not listening-lalalalalalalalala…..


Hidy Ho Neighbour

March 31st, 2006

Brian suggested that I do a little introduction before I commence with my guest blogging spots. I think it may take a bit of time to get comfortable with the format. You are all so frighteningly erudite!

I am an early forties unmarried proto-typical nice guy. You know, the one who never gets the girl. I live and work in Mississauga, the land of the World’s Strongest Mayor. I work on old British cars as a hobby and read voraciously, primarily non-fiction.

I’ve known Brian since the fifth grade when we were members of the ukulele club. I might still be able to play “Country Road”.

My scribblings here are to serve the same purpose as letters to the editor I have written – to keep my head from exploding due to the idiocy of the government and, well, people really.

So, here they come. Feel free to tell me I’m full of it. You wouldn’t be the first.


Dusting Off Grandma’s Advice

March 31st, 2006

Grandma used to say “It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and prove it” (OK, I admit she may have heard it from Mark Twain). Perhaps this is why Stephen Harper wanted to gag his people.

It’s a tough life for Stephen, last week he was vilified for acting all Nazi like and telling his people not to talk to the press, this week, he’s going to be vilified because one of his people talked to the press and acted all Nazi like:

A backbench Conservative MP (Colin Mayes: Okanagan-Shuswap) , blasting the media for its testy relationship with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has suggested reporters who write distorted articles be jailed…

““Maybe it is time that we hauled off in handcuffs reporters that fabricate stories, or twist information and even falsely accuse citizens,”” he writes.

Memo to the honourable Colin Mayes: What part of shut up do you not understand?


Liberal’s Citing Discredited YWCA report

March 30th, 2006
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Good work to Joanne over at Joanne’s Journey for her work investigative work on the YWCA daycare report (note: report is PDF file):

I told her I was trying to understand where that statement in her story came from (most Canadians would prefer a National Day Care Program…); that I had searched the whole study and still didn’t see any evidence to support it.

She assured me that it was in the report. I replied that I had poured over every word, and the closest I could find was “Canadians agree that universal child care is a necessity”, (which was suspect in itself), but I didn’t find the word ‘most’…

She candidly explained that she didn’t really read the whole report...

She replied that she got the statement from the National Coordinator…

She also points out that the study was done with hand picked focus groups, and thus inherently biased. A controversial and discredited report, just the thing for…

The Liberals:

Families Want Liberal Child Care Program, Report Finds

March 21, 2006

Canadian families, irrespective of where they live or the size of their communities, want their child care needs met by a nationally-funded public system and not a federal cash payout, according to a recent report by YWCA Canada.

So the Liberal’s are going to get tough on the Conservatives based on, a discredited report? Don’t these guys have enough problems? And what if CTV starts distancing itself from the report, particularly the remarks that “most Canadians would prefer a National Day Care Program.” There is presently a petition demanding just that. Yet the Liberals are using the report as ammunition.

I can’t wait for some Liberal to get up in Parliament waving this useless report around. Politics hasn’t been funny in a long time.


Statue’s are for Goddesses…

March 29th, 2006
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When I started writing this blog, I made myself a couple of promises. One was I would avoid personalities as much as possible, and I would avoid being overly personal about anybody. I wanted to write a bit about music and popular culture, but the easy Brittany and Kevin digs would be no fly zones. Thus I have avoided a few easy cheap shots at Madonna and Angelina that I was tempted to make: including one shot at sir Elton that was written and that I came within a whisker of posting. Now words, ideas are fair game, but not personalities. With this in mind, I was going to ignore the Brittany pro-life statue: Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston.

Then I ran across this quote in the story from Lincoln Capla co-founder of the Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery in Brooklyn, where the sculpture will be shown:

There is so much ignorance behind the people that are interested in Britney Spears that they don’t have the capacity to appreciate or evaluate any work of art…

My jaw dropped when I read this. I thought, “did he just say if you like Brittany Spears then you are too stupid for art?” I am no judge of fine art, and Mr. Capla will be appalled to know that I think art ought to be visceral, felt rather than thought about. And to be fair, I kind of like this one, although I have no time for Ms. Spears. And, I might be in New York City during the show period of April 7 to 23rd. But there is no way I am heading over to the gallery to be condescended to by the likes of Lincoln Capla.

But I wonder too, what if this had been a statue of, oh let’s say for arguments sake, Halle Berry, and Mr. Capra made the exact same statement. Is the ACLU protesting out from of the Capla Kesting gallery this morning? Wouldn’t it be fun if the Brittany Spears fan club started protesting outside, demanding he retract whatever it was he said?

P.S. Maybe it’s just me, but I found it funny that this picture was the first two that turned up when I googled brittany statue.

He’s cuter.


Blogging Tories Site of the Week

March 29th, 2006
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Something went quite wrong, and I was unable to get a site of the week from Bluebox for a week or two. Thus, I have two to offer this week:

Last weeks site of the week was Fuschi’s Canadian Forum. Anybody who has written, as he did on the first post I looked at,

the Liberal party is a blight on the Canadian landscape; that its tenure has dragged this country farther from its true potential; that it has shown no identifiable principles to guide its stewardship of our country: that the only thing natural about them, is not their propensity to govern, but their insufferable presumption of entitlement to our sweat-equity.

is alright with me.

But, how do you really feel?

This week is Choice for Childcare, a site set up to give voice to those who are shut out of the mainstream on this issue i.e. those that agree with Stephen Harper that the real childcare experts are the parents. I enoyed Sara’s post on the insufferable Carolyn Bennet.

Oh, and have you heard the news?…



Accolades From Unexpected Sources

March 28th, 2006

Looking over my numbers for today, something strange turned up: nine hits from a blog called Cowboys For Social Responsibility. When I checked things out, I found a Liblog saying nice things about me:

A member of the Blogging Tories, At Home in Hespeler is well written, funny, sometimes personal and well worth reading.

Wow! I blush. And this from someone who would generally be inclined to disagree with me. In this case, they didn’t disagree, but rather ruminated on my thoughts on David Emerson.

Looking over the site, I found it intelligent and well written, which makes the compliment received all the more special.

If you are a progressive blogger, visiting from Cowboys for Social Responsibility, or from any other place, welcome. I hope you find something to enjoy here and if you plan on disagreeing with me, please don’t be disagreeable and I’ll promise to extend the same courtesy.

Oh, and did I mention…



Taking a Few days off…

March 27th, 2006
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For some personal business

No not that! But I will be diddling around with my computer. I’m tired of waiting for Microsoft to get it’s act together on Vista, and I’m tired of using Win98 – so a re-format and an upgrade are on the books.

This would normally only take a day, but this is likely to mean it takes longer.


There’s this to ponder, and I’ve been thinking about how this guy feels about this guy bad mouthing the shape of the finances that the Tories left for poor Dalton.

As an ex-finance minister under Mike Harris, do you suppose he took any of the very direct criticism personally? And do you suppose he holds a grudge? And do you suppose he was as disgusted as the rest of us by the budget last week?

And oh yea

Picture of the Day – IT’S SPRING!


This week on my i-pod #6 – Henley and the Summer of 85

March 26th, 2006

Music is at it’s best when it moves you beyond all rational reason. For me music can create an emotional connection that visual art or movies simply can’t. It can be for different reasons: sometimes it’s a memory that it returns me too. Sometimes it just stirs an emotion in me that is unexpected.

This week, I turned on Don Henley’s greatest hits and was immediately, wonderfully transported to the summer of 1985. A lot happened that summer, two that matter here. I had broke up with the ‘love of my life’ that spring, and I went to a Don Henley concert. The break up is relevant because the Boys of Summer always, always reminded me of her. To this day it is like Don Henley is describing her in that song:

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your
Sunglasses on, baby…

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
I see you walkin’ real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone…

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on baby…

I can see you-
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and
Those wayfarers on, baby…

That’s her all right, the slicked back her, brown skin on the beach. I can sense her still in that song, all these years later. And his Henley’s response to her is so visceral, so copmpletely on the mark to what I was feeling then:

And I can tell you my love for you
Will still be strong after the boys of
Summer have gone…

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream?
Now I don’t understand what’s happened
To our love,
But babe, I’m gonna get you back
I’m gonna show you what I’m made of…

Out on the road today I saw a deadhead sticker
On a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said, don’t
Look back. you can never look back.
I thought I knew what love was,
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

That was it exactly. I was going to wait her out and I was going to show her. Here it is, more than 20 years on I think of her rarely, unless Boys of Summer comes on, then she gets some memory time. All the girls I knew, all the times I was heartbroken, there is not one song that brings back a person and time like Boys of Summer does for me.

Then there was the concert. I dated a girl that summer whose name, sadly, escapes me. She was one of the nicest women I ever dated, and she was in the process of mending her own broken heart. We were dating really casually, more like friends than lovers, and it was her birthday. Nothing was planned because, well that’s not the kind of relationship we had going. But I heard an ad for Don Henley at Kingswood (Wonderland), part of the $5.00 concert series, and called to see if she wanted to go. So off we went, caught a couple of rides, then to a show neither of us had any expectations for.

I don’t know why I didn’t know what to expect, I had been a big fan of Henley’s first solo album, I Can’t Stand Still, when it first came out, had been an Eagles fan all thorough high school, Sunset Grill and All She Wants to Do is Dance had been hits off the Building the Perfect Beast Album, and Boys of Summer was on the charts at the time. But for some reason I had tuned out Henley that summer, and had forgotten I was ever a fan.

Then a funny thing happened, the rains came. It poured an hour before the show, and we had lawn seats. Huddled under a one of those cheap plastic dollar rain ponchos, unable to sit because our seat for the night was now mud, we met our neighbours up on the hill. The next thing you know, we are having a good time with a good group of people, who haven’t much to do except a) complain about the weather/mud seats or b) enjoy themselves. We enjoyed. Dancing to the pre-show music, sharing laughs and (if I remember right) somebody’s smuggled bottle.

Katrina and The Waves were the opening act – Walking On Sunshine was a hit that summer as well – and they were OK. I expected bland pop, but they were better than that. It was a good omen, but who knew. Then Henley came on. What I remember so distinctly was he opened with the song Building The Perfect Beast. It has an 80’s electronic feel, and he came out robot dancing, everybody choreographed like they were Devo. We are wet, standing on the hill looking at each other and thinking, how many songs do we give this? I’m planning on getting some rides in within 20 minutes, and my date is thinking the same thing. Then Building The Perfect Beast ended, and Henley says “Now that we got the crap out of the way…”

From there on it was one of the best shows I have ever attended. He played nothing but great songs, all the solo hits plus some Eagles material. The only choreography was at the very end, when he tangoed with one of the singers while the band played the solo section from Hotel California. He played a song I was unfamiliar with, A Month of Sundays and we all stood on the grass weaving back and forth, like they do on TV concerts. It was a perfect night, a great concert, made all that much better because it was unexpected.

So now when I listen to Don Henley, I always manage to remember that night – and Boys of Summer takes me even further into the summer of 85.

This Week on my I-Pod

Media Missing The Point of Emerson

March 25th, 2006

This according to an un-named author, which has appeared in the Brockville Recorder & Times:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has missed the point entirely in the controversy over the defection of newly elected Vancouver MP David Emerson from the Liberals to the Conservative cabinet.

The rest is really a re-hash of Bernard Shapiro’s ethics non-report. But it highlights a problem the media have with this story. It was never about David Emerson. It was about Michael Fortier.

The real story is the appointment of Fortier to the senate, and giving him a seat at cabinet without him ever being elected. Yet the media are so strangely fixated on Emerson, and I think Harper may have done so intentionally. Here’s my scenario.

Harper decided he has a better chance of winning Quebec in the next election than BC or Ontario. He figures he can win back the seats he has, but to take more seats Quebec is his best chance. So he needs a minister from Montreal, and brings in a guy with political savvy, but no seat so you slip him into the senate. Then you bring in Emerson, maybe send off an MP with some media skills, say Garth Turner, to huff and puff for you. Voila, scandal where it doesn’t hurt you (BC), a happy constituency where it helps you (Quebec).

The fine people of David Emerson’s riding, Bernard Shapiro and the Brockville Recorder & Times are all just useful idiots in the process.


A Couple of Entertainment Stories that Caught My Eye

March 24th, 2006

I have a new rule in life: Never, ever, EVER piss of the South Park guys. EVER.
Turns out Chef, played by Isaac Hayes who last week announced he was leaving because they made fun of his precious Scientology, was a child molester:

Isaac Hayes’ Chef character had a true South Park send-off Wednesday night — seemingly killed off but mourned as a jolly old guy whose brains were scrambled by the Super Adventure Club…

Chef repeatedly said he wanted to “make sweet love” to the South Park elementary school kids — it seems the Super Adventure Club turns its members into child-molesters.

The children try to rescue Chef but in the end he turns to head back to the Super Adventure Club.

Safe to assume the Super Adventure Club = Scientology. And if I have ever said or done anything to annoy you fine folks over at South Park. I apologize without reservation. I was wrong.

On a safer note, I noticed a page in today’s Toronto Sun about last night’s Lord of the Rings premiere with the subheading “World Premiere Was the Place to be For Toronto’s Rich and Famous Last Night” (page E6 – sorry it is not on They then have four pictures including…

wait for it…

Shirley Douglas and Rachel Sutherland?

Rich, I have no doubt. Few enterprises are as profitable as socialism. But famous? Even by Canadian standards, isn’t this a major stretch? Who is Rachel Sutherland anyway?

On a final entertainment note I saw Capote the other night. A great movie about a very strange guy.


Bardot, By Her Own Logic

March 23rd, 2006

Brigitte Bardot was in Ottawa yesterday, and while there she sent a hand written note to Stephen Harper. Included on the note was this gem:

“in which we have so much hope, prove to the world that he (Stephen Harper) is intelligent,” by canceling the seal hunt.

“Only idiots refuse to change their minds,” Bardot wrote.

Mme. Bardot, a French actress, came to Canada to protest the seal hunt for the first time in 1976. That would be 30 years ago, and now she is back with the same complaint.

Hmmm. let’s see.

“Only idiots refuse to change their minds,”… “30 years ago, and now she is back with the same complaint.”

It’s been a while, but lets see if I remember how that logic 101 thing worked.

Brigitte Bardot has not changed her mind in 30 years.
Only idiots refuse to change their minds.
Brigitte Bardot is an…

I’m not writing it, but let’s just say that the Mensa application is not actually lost in the mail.


Dalton’s Libs Struggling

March 23rd, 2006

I wonder what’s different about provincial politics. The Federal Liberals run awash in scandal for years, and voters in Ontario keep voting for them. But Provincially, they can run a bland, clean government and hit trouble:

Half of Ontario voters are itching for a change in provincial government less than 2 1/2 years into the McGuinty Liberals’ mandate, a new Leger-Sun Media survey suggests.

The 1,000-person poll conducted last week found that 50% of those telephoned by Leger Marketing want a change at Queen’s Park, while just over one-third (34%) said the Liberals should be re-elected.

Leger vice-president Craig Worden said the numbers appear to be a sign that the Grits have failed to establish an identity, or brand, among voters with 19 months to go before the next general election.

Now this government has the tag Fiberals because they kept so few of their election promises. And dumb policy is not something they are afraid of. But they have been substantially better than the Cretien/Martin cabal in Ottawa, yet Ontario just kept on loving the cabal right to the end.

It has always been thus, Ontario being more conservative provincially than federally. I just don’t pretend to understand it.


New Contributor

March 22nd, 2006
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I have asked an old friend of many opinions if he would like to contribute here. Yesterday I received an e mail that read like a post, so I guess he’s in.

Ron lives and works in Mississauga and likes Jean Cretien even less than I do. He is a contributor to the Toronto Sun through their letter to the editor feature. One of the reasons I asked him to contribute is because he has strong knowledge of the military, and has done some research on the Canadian military. Regular readers will have noticed that I have said very little about Afghanistan, and the reason for that is I know so little about all things military. I know enough, however, that I can say it is not a simple subject. I would be speaking with a voice of ignorance, and I prefer not to do that. Hopefully Ron can fill that void in At Home in Hespeler (the knowledgeable voice of the military void, not the voice of ignorance void).

Welcome aboard Ron, feel free to write whatever you wish, and good luck. It’s addictive and I give you 2 months before you have your own blog. So, without further ado

Everybody – Ron.
Ron – Everybody.