Archive for July, 2008

This Week On My i-pod; history

July 31st, 2008
Comments Off on This Week On My i-pod; history

Buzz Hargrove the Socialist

July 15th, 2008

When asked last Tuesday at the coronation of Ken Lewenza as CAW head if he is running for office after he leaves the CAW, Buzz Hargrove replied:

I am a socialist without a home. I would doubt that I’ll be a candidate, but I don’t rule anything out at this point.

It’s not really a significant comment, but I post it here so I will have it on speed dial should he decide to run in the fall as a Liberal.

Wasted Away Again in Buzzistan

Saturday Fluffernutter: Dave, the Nutty Gigolo;

July 12th, 2008
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter: Dave, the Nutty Gigolo;

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

It was reported this week that Van Halen crooner/gigolo David Lee Roth was pulled over by Brant County OPP last month in Oakland, Ontario and found to be suffering an allergic reaction due to nuts. It turns out, however, that the story, which lets face it never passed the smell test, was untrue. It was some guy impersonating David Lee Roth: because apparently Mark-Paul Gosselaar was taken.

Police discovered it was not the real David Lee Roth after realizing the real Roth could not survive with the Van Halen’s and have a nut allergy.

Coming to Theatre’s Nov. 7th.

Rumours abound that “Friends – The Movie,” is in the thinking stages, if not the planning stages. Although I have been a long time Friends fan, this is an idea I would rather stayed in the idea stage. If you could make the six cast members 15 years younger it might work, but the show lost it’s edge with the stars leaving their 20’s behind and a two-hour big screen episode isn’t going to change that.

Congratulations to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban who gave birth to a girl this week, Sunday Rose. There’s much sniping about celebrity kid-names in the gossip business, but I like this one. It’s different, yes, but not outrageous. Frankly, it’s a pretty name for a girl. So good on them for being original, without hanging a beating name on their child.

While on the subject of Kidman, if you are going to see just one Nicole Kidman movie in your life, see Dead Calm.


Dear Bell and Rogers: Go To Hell!

July 11th, 2008
Comments Off on Dear Bell and Rogers: Go To Hell!

warning: not a true blog post, more of a rant

I got my hands on a new cell phone last month. It is a palm Trëo smartphone – in fact I am penning this rant on it right now. It’s a great combination of cell-phone and palm-pilot but in order to make the phone portion work, I needed to hook it up with Bell. I did so as a pay-as-you-go because every other plan requires I lock in for a minimum of a year and I have been royally screwed over by being locked in before, and will not do it ever again. With Bell pay-as-you-go it’s no data plan and 15¢ text messages.

Here it is a month later and Bell is about to hit me for receiving text messages too. Thanks Bell: it was not nice doing business with you. My instinct is to say no dice and drop Bell, but for whom? I could of course, go to Rogers but there in the process of screwing over their customer base. I could go Telus or Fido, although I’m not sure if they can handle the smart phone, but they’re just Bell and Rogers under a different name. I could go Virgin Mobile, but not with this phone. So the question becomes which big guy do I want to get screwed over by?

Meanwhile, on the home internet front, Rogers is changing things. If you download/upload a fair chunk of stuff, as I do, start paying more. I have literally had to curtail usage dramatically even though I signed up many years ago under the promise of unlimited internet. Like any promise Rogers makes, it’s worth less than the toilet paper it’s written on. And if I don’t like it my only option, assuming I want high speed internet, is Bell who offer the exact same package, with the exact same restrictions for the exact same price.

When Bell and Telus announced a few days ago the new text message policy, and the policy of these two companies turned out to be identical in price, scope and starting date Industry Minister Jim Prentice called on the two companies to appear before Himself and explain their policy. He shouldn’t have: he should have called them to explain their anti-competitive behaviour. While he had Bell there he could have called Rogers to explain why there is no difference in their high speed internet packages save for which Bangladeshi answers the phone when you call customer service. And finally he could have stripped them of recently acquired band width and offer it to AT&T and Verizon, who provide the same services in the United States, free. He could do so on the condition they create their own Canadian infrastructure (no piggybacking on Bell and Rogers allowed) and have service up and running in a year. Virgin Mobile, which is already here, should be offered the same opportunity.

What is needed in this country is not Ministers of the Crown demanding answers, but real competition with Tele-Com companies who don’t treat their customers like weaker cell mates.

Meanwhile Bell: should this policy go through, I will punish you. Likely not through the cell phone, but I’d give up the satellite dish in a heartbeat: feel like losing $40+/month to make 15¢/text? Rogers: I am steaming over your new internet policy and am waiting patiently to punish you, and I will punish you. Jim Prentice: stop taking policy cues from Jack Layton and start taking them from conservative principals; open up the market and let Canadians get true competition.

As to my original assertion that Bell and Rogers should go to hell, I’ve changed my mind. I wouldn’t demand that even Satan, Prince of the Underworld defile his home by letting them in: pity Canadian Tele-Com consumers don’t have the same option.



Can’t the Mounties Read the Paper?

July 10th, 2008
Comments Off on Can’t the Mounties Read the Paper?

I’m having a hard time with Warren Kinsella’s argument that the Conservatives should call in the RCMP about the alleged threat made against the PM and his wife by Liberal Riding President Jane Cornelius. For one thing, this is clearly a joke and I don’t see any threat implied. But taking lawyer Kinsella as accurate that this is a proper police matter, shouldn’t the Mounties then investigate without a formal complaint? It’s not like it’s an obscure matter: it’s in every newspaper, on every newscast in the land.

If a law was broken then a police force has a duty to pull someone off generating revenue through the highway traffic act duty and investigate. If no law was broken then all the Conservatives would be doing is sicking the government in all it’s power on an innocent private citizen. His detractors like to call Harper a bully: surely calling the RCMP to investigate a joke would prove them right.

If Kinsella is correct that a formal investigation is required into Jane Cornelius and the St. Catherines Liberal newsletter, I do sincerely hope the RCMP is on it. Otherwise best to let it rest and use such articles defensively when an election comes around.

Getting Their Man

At Home in…

July 8th, 2008


Today, I received the second letter from “Jack Layton M.P.” in an unstamped, house of commons envelope.

Click on image to enlarge

I always understood the free commons mail privileges where for communicating with your constituents, not sending mailers to somebody else’s constituent. I wonder if this is legal, and if so, ethical?

I hold my breath in anticipation of a commons committee investigating Jack Layton’s mailing list habits. Meanwhile, I shall contact my M.P. to see if he knows about this.

For the record Gary, I have two of these envelopes, and they are yours if you think you’ll find them handy.


JULY 4, 1776

July 4th, 2008

Happy Independence Day to my American friends and readers

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

history, Politics American Style

It’s Canada Day…

July 1st, 2008
Comments Off on It’s Canada Day…

Not Canada week. Not Canada season – this is not your birthday which these days run from the Friday before your birthday to the Sunday after. Sorry, but Canada Day should occur, and the holiday be on, July 1st.

On July 1st we celebrate the forming of the Dominion of Canada by the signing of the British North America Act (BNA Act). That signing occurred on July 1st, 1867. Note that it is not “on or about the first Monday in July”, but on July 1st. This folks, is the holiday.

Lorrie Goldstein and the ever more communistic (“…richer people are bigger polluters and should be treated accordingly”,) Paul Berton had point/counterpoint on this subject today – irrelevant point/less relevant point would be more accurate: why do Canadians seem to think Canada day should always be a long weekend? Apparently it’s bad immigration policy and not enough Canadian history taught in schools.

I say it’s personal narcissism that is the problem. We all think that life should evolve in a way that’s convenient for us. If the founders of our country didn’t have brains enough to write the BNA Act in such a way as to make Canada Day on a Monday, then the pimply minions of bureaucracy should make it so. Too many Canadians think patriotism can be found in a beer commercial, knowing how to say “rrrrroll up the rrrrrim” and agreeing/disagreeing with Don Cherry. We brag about the greatest country in the world but think it’s over the line to have a holiday to celebrate this great country on a Tuesday. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what more your country can do for you, preferably in perpetuity &tc.

Today is Canada Day, and should be the holiday. There is no reasonable argument against it except the purely selfish one. Yet last week radio shows were full of hosts and callers who thought the holiday should just be Monday. It’s a great country, get out there tonight and celebrate it: I know I will, just as soon as I’m finished work.

Ca-na-da, I Love My Job, pimply minions of bureaucracy