Thursday, December 18, 2003


It seems that blogger is cranky today. Let's see if this works...

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The fatal football

The most innocent of goofs can be percieved as politically fatal. You could have asked Robert Stanfield, the former head of Canada's federal Tory party, who died earlier this week, whether this was so. Political boffins in this linked story argue that this photo of Robert Stanfield dropping a football during the 1974 election caused the Liberals to win, under their younger leader Pierre Trudeau. would seem that some wise journalist should go into the newspaper morgue and pull polls and letters to the editor from before the football drop, and after the football drop, to see if this theory bears out. My guess...he was also low in the polls before dropping the footbal.
If at first, you don't succeed...

Ezra Levant has announced his formal plans to
replace The Report with a launch of his new magazine, the Western Standard, in March.

I'll be watching to see how the magazine treats social conservatives, but I have decided to subscribe. Fans of AR should too, or be willing to at least kick the tires before taking this car for a test drive.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Another Report blogger!

I'm happy to note that Alberta Report alumnus Michael Jenkinson has reactivated his weblog, which is also permalinked at left.

Please read his neat blog while I toil at my new, soul destroying, day job.
Three card monte

It looks like a branch of the Alberta government might start seizing assets of the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy in order to pay off the employees of The Report magazine. My friend and former colleague Kevin Michael Grace has the details.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

From "Let's change the world!" to "Let's change where we put the deck chairs before we hit the iceberg."

A bittersweet Canadian Press story today on the death of the Canadian Alliance notes two things. First, that no grassroots movement/party like Reform will spring up for the next generation. Second, that even rightist pragmatists like Ralph Klein are conceeding the next election to Paul Martin.

Klein's quote:

"I don't think given the short time between the vote and the next election that there will be time to garner enough support to win a majority and form a government," Klein said in a telephone interview from a premiers' meeting in Charlottetown.

"But I think we will have a much more viable opposition that will provide in the future the groundwork for perhaps another Conservative government."

How is this going to inspire anyone to do anything for the party? "We can have a Mulroney Tory style government in 2008!" Oh joy.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Slippery slope, indeed

Social conservatives are oftenm criticized for reading ominous precedents into court cases. Well, the precedent being set in this Washington Times story doesn't apply in Canada, but it can illustrate what sometimes happens with these sorts of issues:

A Utah man with five wives is in court fighting to get his bigamy conviction overturned on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that decriminalized homosexual relations....
....On Monday, an attorney for [Tom] Green — who has spent the past two years in prison — argued to Utah's Supreme Court that the Texas ruling should invalidate laws against polygamy.
"It doesn't bother anyone [and with] no compelling state interest in what you can do in your own home with consenting adults, you should be allowed to do it," attorney John Bucher told the Utah court, according to the Associated Press.
In August, Green, the father of 30 children, filed an appeal of his 2001 conviction on four counts of bigamy.
He is serving a five-year sentence for that conviction and another for criminal nonsupport of his offspring. In addition, Green faces up to life in prison after being convicted of child rape for having sex with one of his five wives when she was 13.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Texas case also has been cited by attorneys for Rodney Holm, a former police officer in Hildale, Utah, who was convicted in August of bigamy and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
"Holm raised the issue [of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Texas case] before his trial, but the trial court denied it," Laura B. Dupaix, Utah's attorney general, said in a telephone interview yesterday.....

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Max Bialystock, call your office

[A press release, from the Outsider Music e-list]



LOS ANGELES, CA — The Powerhouse Theatre Company extends its world premiere
production of The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, part of the Hot
Properties series at [Inside] the Ford, for one week, through December 20.

The Shaggs is the strange but true story of one of the worst bands in rock
’n roll history—a so-called “outsider” girl group that played in their home
town of Fremont, New Hampshire during the late ’60s and early ’70s. The
three Wiggin sisters: Dot (guitar, vocals), Betty (guitar, vocals) and
Helen (drums) recorded two albums before their father, Austin, died and the
band died along with him. The Shaggs’ first album, “Philosophy of the
World”, was recorded before the girls knew how to play their
instruments. With the attention of Frank Zappa and NRBQ, it has since
become a cult classic.

“This production has an incredible momentum and a life of its own,”
comments producer Andrew Barrett-Weiss. “Shaggs fans are flying in to see
it from other cities. Last weekend, the fourth in the run, The Shaggs
broke the box office record for productions in the Hot Properties series at
[Inside] the Ford.”

The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World has been acclaimed by fans and theater
critics alike. Rob Kendt wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “[A] terrific new
musical...The cast is flawless... By turns hilarious and troubling,
celebratory and darkly ironic, ‘The Shaggs’ moves on its feet as surely as
it moves us. Seldom has so-called ‘outsider art’ struck so close to home...
Critic’s Choice!!” James C. Taylor of radio station KCRW called The
Shaggs “an important world premiere for Los Angeles,” and Jeff Favre of the
Daily Breeze said, “those who attend this world premiere will be able to
say they saw it first.” Fred Shuster summed it up in the Daily News: “The
show is funny, touching, completely wacky and highly entertaining,”

The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World is written by Joy Gregory with music by
Gunnar Madsen. John Langs directs, musical direction is by David O., and
choreography is by Ken Roht. Featured in the cast are Hedy Burress, Joe
Fria, Sarah Hays, Jamey Hood, Hubert Hodgin, Laura Lamson, Rob Moore, and
Steven Patterson.

Hot Properties series is a collaboration of the Los Angeles County Arts
Commission and A.S.K. Theatre Projects, made possible in part by a generous
grant from The James Irvine Foundation.

The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World continues Thursday, Friday, Saturday
at 8 pm and Sunday at 7 pm, through December 20. Tickets on Thursdays and
Sundays are $20.00; Fridays and Saturdays are $22.00; student and senior
tickets are available for $18.00. [Inside] the Ford is located at 2580
Cahuenga Blvd. East in Hollywood, off the 101, across the freeway from
the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios. Free, non-stacked
parking is available on-site. For reservations and information, the public
should call the Ford Theatres Box Office at (323) 461-3673 or go to


Monday, December 01, 2003

Spiffy sister

Kathy Shaidle, whose God Rides A Yamaha is a spiffy read, plans to release three new books in the next few months.

Would it be appropriate to say "You go, girl!" in such a circumstance, even if one is terminally unhip?