Archive for October, 2008

Gary Goodyear Gets a Limo

October 30th, 2008

I have met and like Gary Goodyear but I do not suggest I have been to Chez Goodyear on a Saturday night for cigars and sherry. On a couple of occasions I have met him in official capacity, and lets face it, he’s a good politician which means he presents well. That said I am pleased for Gary Goodyear who today was appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology, an appointment I think is overdue.

During Minister Goodyear’s first term as an MP, over the period of the Paul Martin Government, he was the head of the Conservative Party Ontario Caucus. After Stephen Harper’s 2006 increase in pay grade, I thought it possible that Goodyear would be rewarded for his work with the Ontario Caucus with a key to the cabinet bathroom. It was not to be, which makes this appointment, in my opinion, overdue. Goodyear has been a loyal party man during his time as an MP, and an opportunity to show his executive mettle is warranted.

Congratulations Minister Goodyear.

Gary Goodyear

Picture of the Day: The Honourable Gary Goodyear

October 30th, 2008

Picture of the Day: Reflections on a Washington Fallace

October 23rd, 2008
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Picture of the Day: In Honor

October 22nd, 2008
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Picture of the Day: The White House

October 21st, 2008

Start Spreading the News…

October 20th, 2008
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Taking a week a way to go to my favourite landing spot in the world, New York City, specifically Manhattan. 

I may pop in from time to time, depending on time and internet connection. I will have a couple of Picture of the Day posts pop up through the week.

In the interim, enjoy the Kings of Leon singing Manhatten:

Comments are open, what is you’re favourite place to visit?

I Love NY

The Freedom of Music: The Song and the Medium Remain the Same

October 19th, 2008
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One likes to believe in the freedom of music.

Rush – Spirit of Radio.

I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago for a few hours, prior to seeing Steve Howe. Alone in Toronto can only mean one thing: HMV. It would have been Sam the Record Man’s on Yonge street, but it’s gone now. Second best (by a mile) is the HMV store across the road from the former Sam’s location. I had three hours to kill and figured I would spend an hour at HMV’s.

DVD’s, records and CD’s oh my. Tons of movie, all the CD’s you can listen to and, oh yea, records, lots of records. Real vinyl records, with readable print, gatefold covers and little wee holes in the middle. Newly released versions of old stuff like the Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta and the newest releases from Metallica, the Eagles and, oh yea, Led Zeppelin. A lovely boxset of the freshly released complete set of The Song Remains the Same.

It’s a really nice set, 4 LPs, with nice sleeves and a large detailed booklet that’s ½ the original Song Remains the Same booklet ½ new writeup by Cameron Crowe. But that’s just the window dressing. The real heart of the set is the music, and quality thereof.

The LPs are sturdy, reasonably heavy things. This is good. If you remember records, you’re first edition Abbey Road is thicker, heavier and less flexible than your copy of Born in the USA. This has an effect. Heavier, thicker vinyl records allow for deeper grooves. A deeper groove allows more contact between the record and the needle, which means a better quality record. On first listen it shows. The sound is rich and thick, the music sounds closer to concert hall quality than your Dad’s old Victrola.

The music, however, remains the same, at least somewhat. What’s special about this collection is it is a complete set list from those 1973 Madison Square Garden shows. Black Dog, The Ocean, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Over the Hills and Far Away and Misty Mountain Hop were not released on the original Song Remains the Same back in 1976. This set is more complete, better quality with better reading material. Just great, yet somehow, when Robert Plant starts moaning about hearing “my mama and papa talkin'” it’s like all those years in between never slipped away. And that’s what is best, returning home with a new Zeppelin LP, throwing it on the turntable and getting lost in the music for just a while. It’s like you can go home again, and it feels great.

Or as Robert Plant would sing:

My, my I’m so happy.
I wanna join the band.

It was true then, and sitting here listening to Celebration Day live from 1973, it’s true now.

The Freedom of Music, The Mighty Zep

Saturday Fluffernutter: Tia and David; Madonna and Guy; Elicia is Maria; RIP Frankie Venom (1957 – 2008) & Levi Stubbs (1936 – 2008)

October 18th, 2008
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Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

David Duchovny and Tea Leoni announced they were separating this week, making two the number of women on AHIH’s list that have split from their ingrate husbands in the last year: Shania Twain and Tea Leoni. Duchovny, star of the brilliant Californication, recently underwent rehab for “sex addiction,” which apparently doesn’t mean he’s married to Tea Leoni therefore, he can’t leave her alone.

Less interesting, if more newsworthy, the definition of “girl with cooties” herself, Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have also split. She apparently referred to him at a concert this week as emotionally retarded. I don’t know about his emotions but “married to Madonna” and retarded seem to me to go hand in hand. Not to mention blind and teeming with cooties.

Review in Brief: Rocknrolla: violent, fast and funny – classic Guy Ritchie.

Elicia is Maria, and Alicia MacKenzie and the new Toronto production of The Sound of Music is getting rave reviews. All the reviews I saw gave it highest marks (or stars). It looks like the must see show of the season.

Farewell to Frank Kerr (1957 – 2008), AKA Teenage Head lead singer Frankie Venom who passed away this week of throat cancer at the youthful age of 51. I was never a big fan of the Head, but they play a significant role in my marriage and to this day I meet people who proudly tell me they were at the Ontario Place 1981 Teenage Head riot.

If you grew up in Southern Ontario and are of a certain vintage (2 digit age that starts with a 4 say) then Teenage Head was an important band and cultural influence. Here’s hoping it was Some Kind of Fun for Frankie

Farewell as well to Levi Stubbs (1936 – 2008), singer for the Four Tops and legendary voice behind one of the greatest songs of all time: I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honeybunch). I’ve also always loved his voice over work as the plant Audrey II in 1986’s Little Shop of Horrors. Stubbs died Thursday at the age of 72 in Detroit.

Fluffernutter, Review in Brief

Happy 65th birthday…

October 16th, 2008

C.F. Turner

When people think of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) they think of Randy Bachman. But there where two surnames in the title and the second one was no less important to their success.

C.F. Turner was a guitar player turned bassist who backed as heavy a rhythm section as there was. More importantly, Turner was the de-facto lead vocalist who contributed lead vocals to classics such as Let it Ride, Roll on Down the Highway and Four Wheel Drive, not to mention lesser known but not lesser songs Not Fragile and Gimme Your Money Please.

To Fred Turner, the other big guy in the band, who surrounded himself with guys named Bachman, kicked it into Overdrive and took care of rock and roll business. For the last five years of the seventies he owned a piece of the world, and one summer night in 1975 he and his pals rocked the CNE where a young future blogger, at his first concert, became a life long rock and roll fan. Happy 65th Birthday.

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin'


October 15th, 2008

I simply can’t imagine PM Stephen Harper having his security detail pushing a reporter out of the way, then Harper telling that reporter, “the last one I want to speak first is (name the network), do you understand that?” and the reporter spends the rest of his air time defending Harper.

Why do I suspect the next minute would be what a bully Harper is, not what a classy guy he is. So I’ll say it: between Elizabeth May’s concession speech and this clip of Stéphane Dion, Canadians got an abject lesson in gracelessness last night.

graceless politicians, Stephane Dion

A Good Day for Canadian Democracy

October 15th, 2008
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I’ve written before that I support the concept of floor crossing, think it’s an important safeguard against “the tyranny of the party“. I have, however, also stated before that the way to deal with floor crossers is not to ban the practise, but “voters who will punish floor crossers.”

It bears repeating, if Scott Bryson and Belinda Stronach had gone down to defeat in the last election, David Emerson and Wajid Khan would never have crossed this time (Garth Turner might have anyway).

This Parliament we had the three above mentioned floor crossers, plus unelected Michael Fortier taking a senate seat and sitting in cabinet, a move that didn’t sit well with voters at the time. And what happened during last nights election?

Wajid Khan

The riding [Streetsville] was considered a bellwether for the country because of Khan’s well-publicized decision to leave the Liberals and join the Conservatives gave the Tories their only seat in Mississauga. If he could have held the seat, observers said, it might have been an indication Stephen Harper’s party could win a majority.

But Khan couldn’t hold on to it.

Garth Turner

Apparently I am too much. Too much for a successful career in Canadian politics, anyway. As you may have heard, last night I lost my seat in Parliament in the first elections in the world to be held in the immediate wake of the financial and economic mess enveloping us.

Michael Fortier

Michael Fortier gambled his Senate job against a seat in the House of Commons but he did not hold the winning cards in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Bloc Québécois incumbent Meili Faille, 36, who lives in the riding off the western tip of Montreal Island, trumped the Conservative star candidate, just as she beat other high-profile opponents in the last two general elections.

As for David Emerson, the heat over his floor crossing never subsided in his BC riding, and he chose to not even run. That makes a perfect four for four (444?) of candidates who crossed the floor or were appointed undemocratically. Any candidate who choses to cross the floor in the next Parliamentary session will have to think twice, will know that facing the consequences of their decision means more than some unpleasant editorials and a few blog postings.

Congratulations to voters in each of those ridings, who did the right thing, and proved that we don’t need bad laws to save our democracy from itself.

floor crossing

Gary Goodyear Retains Cambridge

October 14th, 2008
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Everybody should know by now it will be a Conservative victory, probably an increased minority. As of this writing the seat count is:

Conservative 144
Liberal 74
Bloc 50
Laytonians 38
Greens 0
Non Green Independents 2

Here in Cambridge, Conservative MP Gary Goodyear was returned to Parliament with a large increase in support. Goodyear had won in 2006 by almost 6,000 votes over Liberal Janko Peric. This election Goodyear ran away with a 12,000 vote victory over Liberal newcomer Gord Zeilstra.

Meanwhile in Kitchener Centre we can report that annoying Liberal Karen Redman is losing to Conservative Stephen Woodworth, albeit only by a few hundred votes. That one is going to be close, but if the results hold it should make a certain Kitchener blogger we know very happy.

Meanwhile, ladies and gentleman, Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Election 2008, Gary Goodyear

Picture of the Day: Das Capital

October 14th, 2008

Diefenbaker Blogburst

October 14th, 2008
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Freedom. This blog has always been about freedom. That’s why the top quote has for a couple of years now been the F.A. Hayek quote:

…a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy…

I believe in freedom of Canadians to act in accordance to their will and beliefs, so long as it doesn’t impose on others freedoms, or cause harm to others. I believe in freedom from government, not freedom as granted by government. And I believe the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker got this one right:

I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold
for myself and for all mankind.

Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker
July 1, 1960.

Five Feet of Fury
Covenant Zone
et al.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy

Fare The Well Toronto Sun

October 6th, 2008
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So I head to my Quickie Mart this AM for my usual news purchase, which amounts to The National Post and the Toronto Sun: price $2.03. Today the familiar voice behind the counter says “$2.53 please.”

“Huh?” says I.

“The sun is now $1.50.”

A dollar-fifty to buy the Toronto Sun. Lately I have been reading it thinking, what am I wasting my time with this crap for. The quality of the Sun has never been astounding, but they always had writers. Lately, they seem to be hiring from the can’t quite cut it at the Star club.

So it is, that at my house, the asteroid has hit my Toronto Sun habit as of today. I can’t imagine too many people paying a fifty percent price increase for a deteriorating product (that’s available for free anyway) in an increasingly difficult marketplace. But the geniuses who brought you Paul Berton and Rob Granatstein think differently, and who am I to argue with success like that?

Media doesn't matter