Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Number one with a bullet

Tech Central Station has posted a list of this year's ten best blogging moments.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Add 20 whole chickens...

For your holiday meal needs, a recipe for Whole Stuffed Camel. Feeds 100.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

"According to Michael Carreras' sleeve notes: 'Freddie is the only man I know who can sing, dance and remove his trousers all at the same time'"

A useful Freddie and the Dreamers Fan Page for those who remember The Freddie.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Incorrectly reading the tea leaves

I'm thinking that Gary Collins, B.C.'s finance minister until he
resigned today, may be readying himself for a future B.C. Liberal leadership run in addition to spending more time with his family.

This is a wild guess on my part, but I am reminded of the example of Bill Vander Zalm, who suddenly discovered in 1983 that he needed to spend more time with his family, only to return in 1986 to win the leadership of the Social Credit Party. He then served four years as B.C.'s premier.

A few years off from politics would allow Mr. Collins to spend time with his family and make some extra money. It would also allow him to disassociate himself from Gordon Campbell's government, and run for the leadership as a "new and improved" politician.

Interestingly, former B.C. deputy premier Christie Clark, who also recently quit politics to spend more time with her kids, is finding time to keep a media profile by criticizing her former party for not recruiting enough women into politics. I am wondering if she is also keeping her political powder dry. (Why do I say this? Well, if Clark really wanted to turn her back on politics completely, she could say "No comment" when asked about issues like this. Think of former premier Rita Johnston, who seemed to drop off the face of the earth after the Socreds lost the 1991 election. She merely retired, but political retirement for Johnston meant completely leaving the political scene.)

If Clark and Collins are making future political plans, they may both be banking on the B.C. Liberals narrowly winning the upcoming provincial election. A chastened Gordon Campbell would serve as premier for three or four more years and then "outsiders" Clark and Collins would run to replace him.

A B.C. Liberal loss in the next election would throw a wrench into the works. Campbell's job could then open up quickly and the next B.C. Liberal leader would presumably be given a chance to contest the next election.

Friday, December 03, 2004

"Vacation, all I ever wanted/Vacation, time to get away..."

While I am on vacation, please read some blogs by some blogging friends of mine:

Colby Cosh
Mike Jenkinson
Kevin Grace
Kathy Shaidle

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

That's Senator Link to you

I see that my old boss Link Byfield was elected a senator-in-waiting in Alberta's recent provincial elections.

Taking his seat in the Senate will depend on Ottawa appointing the winners of the election, which is about as likely as something amusing in your mind which is very unlikely to happen. It's nice to see though.
Colby Cosh would be Boardwalk

I'm probably the last person to realize that Aaron's Rantblog has come up with a new internet game:Blogopoly. Perhaps Aaron would be kind enough to write a post explaining how Blogopoly works to those of us who are newbies.

Looks like a neat right-thinking blog. Hope this post gives him some hits.
She Loves You, oui, oui oui

Quebec's answer to the Beatles: Les Beatlettes?!?!

Check out their Beatle haircuts, which you may see at the link.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Blog author: Harry Truman

Someone has started a Mount St. Helens blog.
The Terrible Twos

I see that this blog is now two years old. Huzzah!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Heidi fails to read blitz, thrown for a loss

Last week marked the anniversary of "The Heidi Game", which is the reason that all sports events on TV are broadcast until they end. NBC cut away from a Jets-Raiders game, with just over a minute left, only to have the Raiders score the winning points as Heidi began to frolic on TV screens across the Eastern United States.
Pardon while I pout

David Frum is understandably pleased that the Argonauts won yesterday's Grey Cup, but even if I didn't live and die with the fortunes of the Lions, I would raise my eyebrows after reading this:

My brother-in-law last year became part of a new ownership group for the long-troubled Argonauts, and since then the team somehow heaved itself out of the League basement and into the finals. BC dominated the early minutes of the game, but thanks to some crucial strategic miscalculations on the part of the stronger Western team, the Argos surged to win a 27-19 victory. One of the most exciting Cups in years, all agree..

I'd disagree. Although the Lions did make a try at tying the game late, I would say that the game went to the team making the least mistakes, and that was the Argos. The 2000 Grey Cup, won by the Lions on a last play field goal, was one of several recent Grey Cups that I would cite as more exciting than yesterday's game. I'm sure that Colby Cosh could point to several games, not involving the Lions, that CFL fans would agree are more exciting than yesterday's boo boo fest.

The game would be one of the most exciting wins for Argo fans. That, I would concede.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Oh. My. Lord.

Some improv comedians have just finished a live theatre recreation of the Star Trek episode SPOCK'S BRAIN.
He violated the CUP Statement of Principles and now he sleeps with the fishes

John Gushue, in his kind mention of my post, says that there is another CUPpie blogger of his era: Bill Doskotch. The latter doesn't ring a bell, but I am happy to link just the same.
CRTC-Fox-News, Urgent

Sunday, November 14, 2004

As if you need another distraction from work...

Am I Right - Misheard Lyrics and Song Parodies

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I'm jealous

Dawn Eden once got to interview Stan Freberg.
By The Way...

While I am on the subject of Canadian University Press, I see that CUP is now naming it's national conferences Go 2004 instead of naming them like Super Bowls (as in the case of CUP 50, CUP 52 and CUP 53, which I attended).

The CUP mafia

I see that John Gushue, whose byline I remember from reading Canadian University Press materials, also has a weblog.

Pssst, CUPpies, as long as you are writing for almost free, why not start a national group CUP blog?
It would have been a travelogue to end all travelogues

Earlier this fall, I was at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition to all you non-Vancouverites). While there, I had a look at a couple of indoor historical exhibits.

I saw a working model of a 1899 Locomobile car. One of the cars of this model was reportedly the first car in Vancouver. The Locomobile, I am led to understand, was the top selling car in North America in the years 1899 and 1900.

I also saw a 1907 two-reel travelogue, Vancouver and Victoria Street Scenes, made by Seattle filmmaker William Harbeck. the film shows a series of point-of-view shots of scenes shot from the front of a boat or streetcar. You can see Victoria's harbour, an unfinished Empress Hotel, and the streets of downtown Vancouver. Although this was shot in 1907, I spotted no Locomobiles, or otrher cars, in the film. Just pedestrians, bicyclists and horse-drawn wagons or carriages.

William H. Harbeck made at least a dozen of the sorts of films for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR was trying to encourage new customers, er immigrants, to come to Canada.

The above link takes you to the fine Enclyclopedia Titanica website, as Mr. Harbeck was one of the Ttanic victims, drowning when the ship sank. The bio at the PNE speculates that Mr. Harbeck had been hired by The White Star line to make a travelogue of the trip.

Now *that* would have been something to see.

Following the various links may also lead you to an enduring Titanic mystery...was Mr. Harbeck having an affair with his unmarried female cabin roommate?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Next President elected by Rock Paper Scissors, best two out of three

Political researchers come up with 14 scenarios where the U.S. doesn't know who has been elected President when Americans wake up on Wednesday morning.

Canadians shouldn't feel too smug about this. Our PM is traditionally the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons. In 1972, if I recall correctly, the Tories and Liberals were tied in their seat count totals until military votes gave the Liberals a two seat edge and a minority government.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A little birdie told me

Now that the Boston Red Sox have finally won a World Series after 86 years of futility, I think that lots of charismatic Christians will see this as God saying "It's time for losers to win." Expect modern-day prophets to hear such a cue, I predict.

I'll have to buy a newer edition of The Curse of The Bambino. A small sacrifice to pay.

Now, did the Chicago Cubs ever own ther rights to Babe Ruth? :)
A little birdie told me

Now that the Boston Red Sox have finally won a World Series after 86 years of futility, I think that lots of charismatic Christians will see this as God saying "It's time for losers to win." Expect modern-day prophets to hear such a cue, I predict.

I'll have to buy a newer edition of The Curse of The Bambino. A small sacrifice to pay.

Now, did the Chicago Cubs ever own ther rights to Babe Ruth? :)

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Reaping the whirlwind

Earlier today, a slim majority of B.C.'s Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform expressed a preference for a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. The chairman of the assembly expressed the delegates' disappointment with our current first-past-the-post system on the grounds that many votes are "wasted".

The STV ballot system allows voters to rank all of the candidates in their riding in the order that they prefer them. If no candidate wins a majority on first choices alone (that is, winning in the same way one would win today), lower placing candidates are eliminated until second, third, fourth and fifth place preferences, from the ballots that picked them, select a winner.

Sound a little hard to understand? It was a little confusing in the 1952 B.C. provincial election when a similar system was used.

The Liberals and Conservatives, loathing each other to dissolve their electoral alliance, came up with the scheme. The plan was that anti-CCF voters amongst the Liberals and Conservatives would hold their nose and vote for the other party (Liberals for Conseravtives and Conservatives for Liberals) as their second choice. Their plan backfired, with the rise of the anti-CCF B.C. Social Credit Party, which won thousands of second choices.

Those complaining about the "democracy" of first-past-the-post shouldrecall the election night results of B.C.'s first STV election. The socialist CCF was leading with the most first choice votes and a plurality, but not a majority, of the seats. In a first-past-the post system, they would have won the election. But, as second and third choices were distributed, the Socreds eked out a 19-18 lead in seats over the CCF.

W.A.C. Bennett formed a minority government. In 1953, another STV election gave the Socreds a majority. Before the next election, the Socreds returned B.C. to first-past-the-post.

In an STV election we could have several political situations that should dismay electoral reform advocates. I can imagine the NDP and Greens making a deal where the Greens don't run candidates in 10-20 ridings in order to force NDP voters to vote for Green leader Adrienne Carr because there is no NDP candidate in Carr's riding. Green voters, under such a deal, might be forced to vote Liberal if they really dislike the NDP candidate in their riding.

I recall the last French presidential election. France's electoral system holds a runoff between the top two candidates if no-one wins the election. The main left candidate Lionel Jospin, finished third, forcing left-leaning French voters to face a choice between the conservative Chirac and the extremist Le Pen, a nauseating choice for them. Not a STV ballot, true, but one can imagine some dismaying final results in some B.C. ridings that no one could have foreseen.

Do British Columbians really want to roll the dice when they vote in provincial elections? One would hope not.
This week's winner of the Strange New Respect Award

David Frum writes that Canada's over-taxation has a positive consequence--forcing Canadians to be heathier by being able to afford less food that is bad for them:

....What accounts for this difference? Perhaps many things, but here is one that surely has a lot to do with it: food portions. Incomes are generally lower in Canada and costs and taxes are higher. Food vendors respond by offering smaller sizes in order to hold prices down. The market is still dominated by 10 ounce aluminum cans of soda, not 20 ounce plastic bottles. A “small” coffee contains six ounces not eight. At Canada’s best-known chain of sit-down family restaurants, the standard dinner is a quarter piece of roast chicken and about as many French fries as would comfortably fit inside a wine glass.....

The Super-Size Me school of conservatism!

I'll admit that Mr. Frum has a valid point, namely that as long as there is any form of socialized medicine, that the state has a right to keep costs down. Nevertheless, there are so many areas of policy where the state throws up its hands instead of imposing a set of moral standards on citizens. Why crack down on food?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Re-inventing Christianity. Again.

While surfing the net, I recently came across a blog operated by some of the people who frequent The Well, a hip alternative-y worship outreach by a Langley Vineyard, a charismatic church here in B.C..

I like their group weblog, despite my reservations expressed below.

One of the prominent people behind The Well--which would appear to be a swell thing in and of itself--is Jordan Bateman, a former journalist. This piqued my curiousity as Mr. Bateman freelanced for a couple months for B.C. Report, my old magazine. He's currently working on various writing projects.

Anyways, in this post here, Mr. Bateman argues that the Christian church has, in some ways "jumped the shark", and that "intelligent people" need to save Christianity from itself.

Here's most of the salient parts of what he writes. Emphasis is mine throughout:

....[The] modern church jumped the shark during the televangelist scandals of the late twentieth century. It was the moment that the Bride of Christ became a joke with most people, falling into a deep pit of mistrust and irrelevance. We forfeited God's deity and turned Him into a punch-line for late night comics. No local church was safe from the snickering. Christians left in droves. Any sermon on generosity--no matter how anointed, sincere or God-breathed--immediately raised the hackles of those who remained.

But Church has survived. It hasn't flourished, and it hasn't returned to the prominence it once held in society, but it has lived on. Like the post-apocalyptic survivors in The Postman or the little ants in A Bug's Life, we limp through life, oppressed by the thought that, at any moment, the world might lash out against us again. We think that the evil soldiers of pop culture are at our gates, wanting to annihilate us, once and for all.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Church, for the most part, has dropped off the world's radar. God, however, has made a comeback. Film and television is littered with references to a patient, kind God. The Jim Carrey movie, Bruce Almighty, cast Morgan Freeman--one of the world's most respected and gentlemanly actors--as the Divine One. God was treated with respect and dignity. Dogma's Alanis Morissette portrayed God as fun and alive (shocking!). The voice in Field of Dreams restored the relationship between a father and son--what greater gift can God give than that? Even the God of The Simpsons' Ned Flanders is full of grace.....

....Music, film, art, literature, the Internet--God is busting out all over and the so-called "Christian" world is beginning to recognize it.

Now, we must ask God for the right answer in how He wants to use this new move. If the Church has jumped the shark, what spin-off does God have in mind for the next period of time? Where does He want to take His bride next?

"Intelligent people are always open to new ideas," Solomon added in Proverbs 18:15. "In fact, they look for them." Christian leaders who desire to be "wise as serpents and gentle as doves," as Jesus ordered us to be, must now look for new ideas. If we do what we have always done, we'll get what we have always gotten: Nowhere.

The future of the Church is now--it's time for the intelligent people to listen to God's heartbeat and take some risks.

I would like to make some observations on this.

I am well aware of the irony of using something new, the Internet, to stand up for the "old time religion". But the subtext here, that what is new is often inherently better, is a bit troubling to me.

I usually am content to concede that new technologies and new methods of doing church are worth trying. But the Christian church should be careful to kick the tires of any new theological ideas before describing them as sound.

Take the example that Mr. Bateman cites, that of the excesses of the televangelists. These televelangelists were grounded in theologically "new" ideas that only came into prominence in the Protestant wing of Christianity after World War Two.

Jimmy Swaggart--an Assemblies of God Pentecostal.

Oral Roberts, who needed $7 million U.S. lest God "call him home", was a prominent faith healer in the 1950s. Much of his theological underpinning springs from the radically new "Latter Rain' movement of the late 1940s.

Although Jim Bakker is sometimes self-serving in his autobiography "I Was Wrong", he has realized some of the errors in the "prosperity gospel" message that he used to prominently feature on his PTL broadcast. He now believes that treating God as a celestial ATM machine is misguided.

One could argue that the excesses of these men was partly due to a lack of spiritual balance and a lack of grounding in the historical tenets of their faith. The "new spiritual wisdom" may have led them to a mindset where morally dodgy behaviour was now acceptable in their own minds.

If we concede that these men were theologically wise, the Bible does note that a man should take care when he thinks that he is standing, lest he fall.

I would advise those of us in the church, who consider that we are the "intelligent people" in Christendom, to take particular note of this Biblical admonition. I have a sneaking suspicion that the televangelists who fell into scandal felt, at the time, that those who were critical of them were dumber than a bag of hammers.

Let's not make those mistakes again.

More online distractions while you are supposed to be working

The Internet Archive has 326 short subject and feature films, which have lapsed into public domain, available free via streaming video here.

Includes the complete Reefer Madness!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

When small town reporters go bonkers

The Muckraker: a tale of Robert Marquart's erroneous discovery that a heating duct company in his small Missouri town was using their products as teleportation devices.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Conservatism can be hip?

So argues Dawn Eden in this post here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


My old colleague Jeremy Lott has been hired to write for religion.org.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

He still gets no respect

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield has died.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

"Elderly Man River/That Elderly Man River..."

I'm listening to Tip Of the Freberg, the four CDStan Freberg compilation.
Mr. Byfield has his work cut out for him

From a CP story on Alberta's upcoming election to pick a senator-in-waiting:

....None of the mainstream Alberta parties is running candidates in the Senate elections, including Ralph Klein's Tories. The premier says his party - reported to have more than $4 million in its war chest for the provincial election - can't afford to run a Senate campaign.

"If the mainstream parties won't take it seriously, the voters won't take it seriously and it has the potential to be Ralph's version of a Gong Show," says Faron Ellis, who teaches political science at Lethbridge Community College.....


So far the only candidates to come forward are Link Byfield, former editor of a defunct conservative newsmagazine, and Gerry Pyne, running under the banner of the right-wing Social Credit party. The right-wing Alberta Alliance party plans to nominate three candidates at an Oct. 16 nomination meeting in Red Deer....

One of the things that I liked about Alberta/B.C. Report in the 1990s was its advocacy of a Triple-E Senate--one that is Elected, gives Equal representation to each province, and has Effective political powers.

In making the case for a Triple-E Senate, Ted Byfield compared the histories of the United States and Canada. He noted that political and economic power has been shared amongst the regions and states of the U.S., while Canada's Toronto-Montreal economic axis was able to treat the Maritimes and the West like glorified colonies. Ontario and Quebec were able to dominate the House of Commons and thus dominate the country.

Tired of catering to the political prejudices of the Liberal-loving Central Canadian media elite? Perhaps an institutional counter-balance is the answer.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Early Comics!

Check out Andy's Early Comics Archive.

Thanks to Nicholas Packwood.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Beyond the Valley of the Ultra-directors

Hollywood's Russ Meyer, director of such films as Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!--the finest film about homicidal go-go dancers that I have ever seen--has died.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"Wash your windshield? Be your Senator?"

Tim Blair is secretly rooting for the candidate at the bottom of this list in Australia's upcoming national elections.

Watch for him to take his salary in quarters if he wins.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Who *doesn't* blog in their PJs?

A song for the blogosphere as sung to the tube of The Battle Hymn of The Republic...

Monday, September 20, 2004

"And Reverend McPherson gets dinged by Simon Cowell..."

England's newest reality show: Priest Idol.

Hat tip to Kathy.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Best of the Beatles

Pete Best has reopened one of the first places that The Beatles played--The Casbah.
Did the Nazis invent UFOs?"

The Fortean Times investigates the urban legend of Nazi UFOs.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

[Comic Book Guy voice] Lamest cartoon ever!

My vote goes to Rocket Robin Hood.

Although...Krantz Films, which made RRH, also made the first Spiderman cartoon which is still a good cartoon and, for limited animation, was well done.
Why yes, I do need to get a life. Why do you ask?

Do you recognize the fellow in the Toyota Camry TV commercials that feature black and white footage of an agitated young fellow with glasses?

It's silent film comedian Harold Lloyd.

There's some interesting stuff at the linked website, by the way. Mr. Lloyd was one of the top three silent film comedians. This picture of Mr. Lloyd dangling off the hands of a clock on the side of a tall building, in the film Safety Last, is one of the most enduring images from the days of silent film.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Mother Nature puts Edmonton into an airplane spin

Free idea for Michael Jenkinson--see if Gene Kiniski has an autobiography out. If not, approach "Canada's greatest athlete" about helping him to write a book.

In the meantime, read his funny review of an Edmonton WWE show.

In passing, he also notes that it snowed near Edmonton last weekend, as Mother Nature used Baron von Rashke's famous "claw" move on Northern Alberta.

I'm now off to my day job, a job which applies the figure four leglock to my soul. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Frank, Rest In Pieces!

Frank Magazine, the Canadian satirical magazine that delighted in oh-so politically correct needling of public figures, has apparently died.

Hat tip: Paul Wells

Starring Kirk Douglas as Kevin Michael Grace?!?

KMG, wolves at the door distracted for now, has a bit of fun at the expense of non-paleocon John Derbyshire's stance on the war against terrorism.

I don't agree with Kevin, but it's a fun way for him to make his point.
Post openings that make you go "Whaaaa?"

From the swell blog Blinkit:

"Today's Blinkit:More on my bicycle trip to Vancouver Island, without any mention of cannablism..."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Automatic flattery machine

Check it out here. How perceptive!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Now with Tornados sweater pattern

The Joe Meek Virtual Museum

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Joe Btfsplk Jr.

I see that Joe Btfsplk, er, my old Report colleague Jeremy Lott had a really bad day recently.

He's living it, but he ain't loving it. Hope he gets some good news soon.
Ambler appeal

I don't have the wherwithal to help my old Report colleague, and undaunted paleocon blogger Kevin Michael Grace, but perhaps you may be able to help.

Good luck, Kevin...

Friday, August 27, 2004

A doubleplusgood post

A Two Minutes Hate at The Toronto Star.

I'm happy to note that my former editor at B.C. Report, Terry O'Neill, has a current affairs discussion show, X-change, which airs sometimes (it's on tonight) on Now-TV, Vancouver's Christian Tv station.

Cool. We Reportniks are everywhere!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Got it, need it, need it, got it...

The Movie Card Website is devoted to movie star trading cards from World War One until at least the Fifties. Lots of movie star pictures that you may not have seen before may be seen here.

Friday, August 20, 2004

World magazine's weblog

The "worldmagblog" for the US Christian conservative newsmagazine can be found right here.

I wonder if the blog's webmaster is of German heritage with contractions like "Worldmagblog"? It's home of "Der Worldmagblogposts" and "Der kommentvonderworldmagblogposts", perhaps?

Teasing aside, well worth your time to look at it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Not a test

Michael Jenkinson writes that they used a Canadian version of the Emergency Broadcast System during a recent nasty storm in Alberta.

I wonder what M.J., a wrestling boffin, thought of Chyna's autobiography, which I am reading as a light reading break. (I (I buy wrestler bios when they are very very cheap. I liked Mick Foley's first book best.)

More seriously, here's a quote from a recent post of Michael's:

UPDATE: August 12, 8:36 a.m. On a wing and a prayer
I know there are a lot of good Christian bloggers out there, so any of them that stop by here can pray for a dear friend of mine who is battling cancer. Much thanks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

G.I. Schmo

It turns out that another prominent American, G.I. Joe, has been fibbing about his military record.

Hat tip: Blinkit, home of a blogging cat.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test."

Doooooooooot! [High pitched squeal]

"This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Had this been an actual emergency...."

Does the EBS still exist?

(I watched too much US TV as a kid. I miss Conelrad....)

We now resume your regular weblog programming.

Where is Spy Magazine when you need it?

Am I wrong in wondering why one never sees
Canadian politician David Anderson and chess champ Bobby Fischer in the same place at the same time?

Probably. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Goes 0 to 60 in 10 seconds when pushed off cliff

Damian comes across a new Yugo that hasn't moved from the dealership storeroom in 14 years.

I wonder if anyone sells Trabants on EBay?

Pretty busy today, so be sure to enjoyThe Shotgun..

Monday, August 02, 2004

"Also, I must buy one of these computer things, because apparently, they are connected in some way with Web-Sites."

John Cleese prepres to launch his website in October.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Feet of clay

It hasn't been updated in a few years, but the Bob Larson Fan Club homepage reports some interesting information on the U.S. vangelist and expert on demons and exorcisms. Reader beware, I would advise, but interesting.

Friday, July 30, 2004

"Hasta la vista, letter!"

Austria has issued an Arnold Schwarzenegger stamp. You may see it here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mr. Buckley's failure

Former National Review editor Joe Sobran muses that William F. Buckley actaully failed in his life ambitions.

I'm not a paleoconservative as Mr. Sobran is. Nevertheless, as someone who read Up From Liberalism in my teens, I would also have a hard time believing that someone who forecfully wrote that Dwight Eisenhower was too liberal would be happy with the policies that sometimes pass as conservative today.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Only his hairdresser knows for sure

A grooming aids company survey has learned that Americans seem to think that George H.W. Bush has the most presidential hair.
Is there anything that Americans can't do?

Krispy Kreme has invented a liquid doughnut drink.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Posts from his cat

Barry Link, Vancouver blogger and journalist, turns his hobby into a cover story about blogging for the Vancouver Courier newspaper.

You may read posts by Mr. Link and his cat Casper here.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The "saving some of the kids from the burning school bus" school of pro-life activism

Peter Vere fresh from meeting Kathy Shaidle, shares his frustration with the absolutist stance of some Canadian pro-life leaders.

P.S. Working about 60 hrs per week this month. So. Tired zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, July 12, 2004

Ban those dumb goatees

Kathy Shaidle starts the anti-mouth-mullet MEME.
The lady who kneecapped the Tories

You will, no doubt, recall the "controversial" Randy White remarks at the end of the last election.

Well, it turns out that a lady named Velma Cole is responsible for getting the Liberals information about the upcoming documentary and how they could contact its maker. The Liberals took it and ran with it and Ontario voters panicked like frightened sheep.

However, there is a "rest of the story."

Ms. Cole has a grudge against Mr. White. She wrote to a local paper that at a Tory nomination meeting in February, Mr. White said that a new Tory government would ban gay marriage and *all* abortions.

In response, many people who were at the meeting wrote letters to the local press saying that no, Mr. White didn't say anything like that.

The Langley Times reports that Ms. Cole then decided to clear her name, or as I would personally put it, take a piece out of Mr. White's carcass. She is quoted as saying "I was not prepared to go to my grave with liar written on my tombstone.".

But, strangely, the Times is unable to pull direct quotes from the documentary video footage promising a total ban on gay marriage and abortion under a new Tory goverment. Which, sadly, does not give me great confidence in Ms. Cole's memory.

P.S. For what it's worth, Mr. White now says that the Tories did not expect to get much more seats than they did on election night, but had to publicly pretend otherwise.

Hat tip: Jordan Bateman

There goes the separation of church and state

The B.C. government is giving $5,000 to a Langley church for one of their programs.

It gets under their radar because it was pitched to the B.C. Liberals as an "anti-crime" program. If it happens to evangelize too, well...don't let the government know!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

"Canada' equals Toronto and Montreal"

What Ted Byfield writes here...ditto.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Mr. Martin's favourite book

Remember our discussion of the most loved songs of Canadian politicians, especially our skepticism that their choices were really true?

Well John Derbyshire of National Review, learning that Paul Martin's favourite book is Flashman and The Dragon, wonders if Mr. Martin was told by his advisors to like this book. He's suspicious too.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

If we promise to lose in advance, will you vote for us?

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne is more generous than most election commentators in writing that social conservatives aren't to blame for the Tories' electoral loss on Monday.

I like some of what he has to say, but I'd like to apologize to him in advance for using his column to take issue with some urbanized fiscal conservatives (probably not Mr. Coyne) who are taking potshots at social conservatives and other brave dissenters against the "Trudeauvian consensus."

Sorry, Mr. Coyne.

In a recent column, he writes:

...."I do not share the opinions of social conservatives on most issues (for example, on gay marriage), but I recognize these are legitimate views that deserve representation -- and respect. But if there is any lesson in this election, it is that they are going to have to learn to express these views within the limits imposed by an equal respect for others -- and by the Charter of Rights..... "

Questions for Mr. Coyne:

1. Can he define what he means by "equal respect for others" in a practical political sense?

As Mr. Coyne may remember, the Tories advanced nothing in their platform or official statements that advanced social conservatism. All the "controversy" came from various MPs thinking out loud about social conservative issues.

Leftish Canadians were whipped into a frenzy at the mere *idea* of social conservatives changing things. If Mr. Coyne means by "equal respect" that we social conservatives don't say anything that could possibly lose the Tory votes cast by urban libertarians, then we can discount ever getting an opportunity to try to change government policies that impact upon the moral choices of the federal government.

I wonder if Mr. Coyne may be thinking along these lines based on this suggestion from the same column:

More broadly, Conservatives will have to acquire the maturity and discipline to focus on their core objectives, and not be sidetracked by hobbyhorse issues. How on earth did bilingualism on Air Canada become an issue in this election? Because a Conservative official sent Air Canada a letter making promises on the subject in the middle of the campaign. (Gosh: do you suppose someone might have leaked it?)

An accommodation with the Trudeauvian consensus on these issues need not and should not mean an abandonment or watering down of the central tenets of modern Conservatism. Quite the opposite: having reassured Canadians that they are no threat to the Charter, nor about to give away the store to the provinces, Conservatives are likelier to get a hearing on the issues that are most dear to them, or ought to be.

I can see the choices of the fiscal conservatives trumping the choices of the social conservatives far too often. Pro-life MPs will bring forward a bill to defund abortion. Not ban abortion, remove the funding provisions for it from the Canada Health Act. Some party bigwig from Toronto will delay or stop the move based on abortion not being a "central policy" of the Tory party. These so-con MPs would then spend the next 20 years voting on tax cuts or tax breaks for Canada's cities, but would never get the opportunity to vote on the social conservative issues that brought them into politics in the first place.

We need to ask if this would work too. Harper promised a zillion times in the English debate that the Tories would not bring forth legislation on abortion, for example. But, people didn't believe him based on the fact that he didn't start purging pro-lifers from the party for expressing their views.

2. The "Trudeauvian consensus"? Trudeau came to be loathed in the West. Do we now have to endorse ideas that we never agreed with to get votes in Ontario?

"Okay, you win, and you win forever, on these ideas that we never got to stop in the 1970s. Please vote for us now." What kind of platform is that?

"We promise in advance to lose any arguments about these morally-related government social policies if you will vote for us."

3. When did Canadians get to vote on the "Trudeauvian consensus" expressed in the sense that these would be permanent changes for the next 50, 100, or 500 years? Was it ever explained that, in the minds of some small-l liberals, if the "Trudeauvian consensus" proved flawed they would do nothing to fix it?

If Trudeau and his fellows could start hacking at the political balance of powers negotaited by the Fathers of Confederaion and embodied in the BNA Act, what should stop us from fixing what the Trudeauvians wrought?

4. Since when do voters owe the Charter of Rights any loyality, since it was passed by legislatures and never endorsed by the general public?

5. Is the Charter of Rights perfect? If not, why object to suggestions to changing it? (i.e. disrespecting "the limits set by the Charter of Rights".)

6.Was Canada so undemocratic before the Charter of Rights that we cannot return to the principles of parliamentary supremacy and a mostly unwritten consititution?

7. What rights would Canadians not have if there were no Charter of Rights next week?

[And keep in mind that if you advance the concept "Well these rights could be threatened in the future if..." that it is a logical premise that social conservatives often use to protest gay marriage, unrestricted abortion rights and such. Don't complain about their use of hypotheticals if you use them yourself.]

If we go slow, the "Trudeauvian consensus" can be changed and improved, or discarded as harmful in a practical sense to our country. Fixing the "Trudeavian consensus" is probably what Conservatives need to do to save our country.

William F. Buckley is giving up ownership of National Review magazine. It seems that he seeks to simplify his life as he writes in The Atlantic this month that he's sold his sailboat.

His Up From Liberalism was one of the books that swing me to the right in my salad days, so I guess you have him to blame.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The multicultural cavalry rides to the Liberals' rescue

Kevin Michael Grace argues that it was recent immigrants to Canada that saved the Liberals in yesterday's election:

"If Canada's immigration pattern continues, the Conservatives are doomed.".

I'm not a paleoconservative, but here is a possibly interesting question inspired by Kevin's thoughts.

Many pro-immigration conservatives argue that many recent immigrants to Canada are in reality conservative minded. Lots of them are supposed to be conservative, and lots of these new Canadian conservatives are said to be social conservatives. If so, what were they doing on Monday night?

I find it hard to believe that many of these recent immigrants from morally conservative cultures would be only fiscal conservatives, who would switch votes after being frightened
into thinking that gay marriage or abortion rights were threatened.

Perhaps they interpret all the Liberals' talk about conservatism being "unCanadian" literally.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Dogpile on the social conservatives

Fiscal conservatives are already assigning blame over at The Shotgun blog.


Don't get me started.
Guest post for me from Job of Uz

"What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest but only turmoil."

(Job 3:25-26)

Keeping the politicians where we can see them

The Shotgun is instant blogging the election too, with Kevin Steel posting from Harper HQ.
Election day, 6:43 PM Pacific

Colby Cosh has a better rolling election day blog, but I will chime in for a second.

The Marxist-Lenninist candidate is winning Winnipeg North-Centre! Of course, this is based on 32 votes for the MLs in 2 polls. But, the CBC was prepared and had her picture, in case she was elected and the dictatorship of the proletariat was established. (No big changes for the CBC necessary in that case. ;) )

Liberals have hit 49, leading and elected. Tories at 16.

I'm channelling Criswell, I know it

Colby Cosh has posted some online election predictions in his Election Day in a Box (scroll to the bottom). It looks like I am the only person who is predicting that the Liberals and NDP together will have a majority by themselves, even a tiny one.

Thanks to Colby for the mention. Guess I am a pessimist.
If you think this election was bad...

A very funny column by Michael Jenkinson which predicts what will happen in the next election.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Predicting the results of Monday's election

Over at The Shotgun, I hope that my blogging friends will
try to predict the results of tomorrow's Canadian federal election.

Keeping in mind my Criswell-like ability to foretell the future, here's my guess:

Liberals 128
Tories 105
Bloc 46
NDP 28
Ind 1

I think that the Liberal scare mongering wil frighten enough Ontarioans to swing seats their way. This will prove to be a blessing in disguise as a goofily governing Liberal-NDP government will give the Tories a big win in next year's election.

Criswell Predicts! Er, um, that's my guess.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

This *not* just in

In the B.C. riding of Dewdney-Alouette, Mike Bocking is running for the NDP. (I noticed this because my parents live in the riding, which is dominated by the town of Mission.)

On his site, he describes himself as the President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 2000. Which he is, representing his workers well and doing a fine job.

And now for what Paul Harvey might call "The Rest of the Story".

CEP Local 2000 is the labour union representing the reporters at The Vancouver Sun and The Province, Vancouver's two dailies. Isn't it interesting that a big-city newspaper union leader would seek to run for the NDP? It does not seem to be *newsworthy* though. After a brief internet search, I have discovered that this factual nugget appears to have been spelled out in media coverage just once in a community newspaper that CEP local 2000 is the main union for the Sun and Province.

Do I have a problem with a journalist running for office? Not at all. Mr. Bocking is probably articulate and smart, although he and I would disagree on most political issues. I am also sure that Mr. Bocking is professional and fair-minded in his newspaper work, whatever his politics.

And yet, is a little odd that more of Mr. Bocking's fellow journalists don't seem to think that readers would want to know that someone who is very representative of his fellow workers at the Sun naturally gravitates towards the NDP. If I was writing on political issues for the Sun I wouldn't dwell on the fact, since journalists should be free to be as political as they like, but I would want to mention it in passing if I was mentioning Mr. Bocking.

I honestly wish that more left-leaning journalist would run for office, even if I don't think that they should win. However, if Mr. Bocking were running for the Tories or Christian Heritage Party, media commentators would be looking at weighty issues such as how a journalist balances his political beliefs and actions (running for office) and his work (working with reporters who shape political coverage). I write this not because we should be McCarthyite in such matters, but because I have observed that in the current election, candidates are being viewed suspiciously because they go to church or have certain moral views.

I'm not saying that we should grill editors on their politics. Far from it.

Of course, there are mitigating factors. For one, Dewdney-Alouette is a Fraser Valley riding, and who is running there is not of great interest to Vancouver readers. Yet, since the Sun is reporting extensively on Randy White's recent comments (when Mr White's riding is far out in the valley where not a lot of Sun readers live, comparatively speaking), it's a little surprising to me that Mr. Bocking's day job doesn't merit a small mention.

I hope my guess is wrong. I hope that Mr. Bocking's day job was mentioned in the Sun and Province somewhere in a way that led readers to realize that he is the head of the union of the reporters who write the stories about politics in the Sun. It's what I would like to have seen happen, and I hope, in Mr. Bocking's defense, that that is what he wanted to see happen.
The experts say

Readers of Andrew Coyne's blog colectively pick a Tory minority in Monday's election, with the party getting about 120 seats . When Mr. Coyne averaged everything out, his readers gave the Liberals abour 105 seats. The only two party government would be the Tories with Liberal support.

They also seem to think that Chuck Cadman might win in Surrey North, despite the fact that he has to run as an independent this time. Goodness, I want him to win. If you live in Surrey North, please vote for him as he is a classy guy. But, I think that the right vote will split putting Jim Karpoff, an NDP heavy hitter, in the House.

Friday, June 25, 2004

It is unusual

The Church of Tom Jones:

Today, I am the leader of The Progressive Universal Life Church in Sacramento, CA.. While doing my spiritual work, I always listen to the angelic voice of singer Tom Jones. I perform sermons, marriages, baptisms, funerals & exorcisms with the aid of Jones' music. I also dress up & dance like Tom Jones during church services.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Rocking with John Kerry

Over 40 years ago, John Kerry played bass in a band with other high school friends. Now, some guy is selling a CD re-release of the band's only LP.

Due to popular demand, no doubt.

Paging Irwin Chusid! Paging Irwin Chusid!

Hmm. Does this mean that if you somehow play the CD backwards that the songs would include odes to tax cuts, a cover version of Ballad of The Green Berets, or other conservative treats?

At least he didn't play the saxophone.

I see that Steve has obtained the shooting script for Michael Moore's next movie.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Today on the campaign trail, Paul Martin said that the Tories should get a chance to form a government if they come first in the seat count :

"It's a common sense proposition that the party that has the most seats is the party that certainly ought to form a government. I mean, it's common sense."

Two observations:

1. It's good political sense to appear humble, anyways, despite what the Liberals' are actually planning to do.

2. This might be just too Machiavellian for my own good, but I wonder if Martin is flirting with the idea of welcoming a brief stay in Opposition that goes like this:

--Liberals finish second, but can't dump Martin immediately due to unstability of the political situation. (Recall the example of Trudeau in 1980. PET had to come back with a vengeance as there was no time for a Liberal leadership convention after the Clark Tories fell.)

--The Tories can't hold the support of both the Bloc and NDP. Trying to do so, they do a bad job of governing.

--The Tories fall and Canadians turn to the Liberals as the only thing saving the country from division, unstable politics, extremism, etc..

(This would probably not work out in real life. I would think that the Tories would try to guarantee themselves at least a year in power so they can have a good chance to win the next election. If this means bill by bill deals with the Bloc, it means bill by bill deals with the Bloc.)

Then again, perhaps Mr. Martin fancies his chances with a minority. It is the only thing that guarantees, for the time being, that he stays as Liberal leader.

If only we could be a fly on the wall to listen to what Liberal strategists are planning.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Oh. My. God.

The last of Andrew Coyne's guesses about what could happen after the election given the current polling numbers:

"Of course, there's one scenario I'm overlooking: a Liberal-NDP-Bloc "Stop the Conservatives" coalition. Don't think it can't happen."

Got another name for it. Dub it "'The Reichstag is Burning!' Front".

Aslan is pleased

Ghost Of a Flea reports that a film version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will start filming soon.
This just in...

A Canadian Press story offers useful background on the King-Byng Affair, as Tories continue to worry about finishing first in the seat count but not being asked to form a government after next Monday's election.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Colby Cosh advances the possibility of a Liberal-Tory coalition government to keep the Bloc out of power if we have two stalemate elections in a row.

Colby is wise, and it is fair to say that a shotgun marriage would work. Nevertheless, I don't think that the Bloc is dangerous enough to make the scenraio plausible for any length of time. What the Liberals would do is package some goodies for Quebec and say to voters there "You want this? Give us a majority government."

I think a Tory-Bloc coalition would make more sense, if the Bloc would be willing to put up with some conservatism in order to get a lot of political decentralization. (Quebec shouldn't mind if all the provinces start getting their BNA Act-granted powers back instead instead of just Quebec, right?)

Harper will be able to say, "Look, we might be conservative, but all the other parties like centralized federal government and we are the only ones willing to even consider provincial rights. Deal with it."

I guess it depends on what the Bloc wants more: provincial rights or socialism.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Warning: Possible Godwin's Law violation

Today in Ontario, Paul Martin made a speech. He is photographed with clenched upraised fistsby a Canadian Press photographer.

The caption says Mr. Martin is "making a passionate speech".

We on the right know what would have happened if Stephen Harper had been photographed in a similar pose. Wags on the left would already be comparing Mr. Harper to this guy, who was known for wild gestures during his public pronouncements.

Having found enough "Hey Bush is Hitler!" photoshops during my Google search for these Hitler pix to last me a while, I am fairly certain that I am correct.

(Needless to say, Mr. Martin is no Hitler by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that juveniles on the left break Godwin's Law with impunity...and it seems a bit unfair.)
Good on him

Christian author and apologetics boffin Bill Alnor, who I interviewed for a story on the religious aspect of UFOs a year or so ago, is making plans to restart his newsletter, The Christian Sentinel.

The Return of the Son of Koogle

Michael Jenkinson has discovered an Edmonton store that sells chocolate peanut butter.

But what are those of us who didn't get the Edmonton Sun grocery flyer supposed to do in order to figure out where to go?

Update: So, Kraft is bringing Koogle back even if they aren't using the brand name any more.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Time to kiss hands

Anticipating a Tory win in the upcoming election, a cheerful Damian Penny appointsThe Cabinet of Bloggers.

Friday, June 18, 2004

We'll give it five

The Ambler chimes in with his favourite five songs.

I hesitate to name only a top...whatever... because I like so many songs, but here goes:

Probably my favourite song:

1. Halfway To Paradise, the Billy Fury cover version. Listen to the "Decca Hit" here on Harry Whitehouse's fab tribute website.

Nine other ballads from the late 1950s/early 1960s that I really like:

2. Everyday
or 3. It Doesn't Matter Anymore by Buddy Holly.
4. Time, the Craig Douglas cover version
5. I'm Counting On You by Johnny O'Keefe
6. Where Are You by Johnny Kidd and The Pirates
7. Take Good Care Of My Baby by Bobby Vee
8. En Ecoutant La Pluie (French cover version of Rhythm of The Rain) by Richard Anthony
9. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles
10. Hurting Each Other, the Guess Who version

"I still say that England's greatest Prime minister was Lord Palmerston!"
"Pitt the Elder!"
"Lord Palmerston!"
"Pitt the Elder!"
(Barney starts throwing punches)

A new Debate-style chit chat blog: Have Your Say Today.
King or Byng 2.0: Ain't gonna happen?

Colby Cosh is convinced that the Liberals-governing-with-fewer-seats-than-the-Tories scenario is not that probable. I think he makes a good case, but I am still apprehensive that the Liberals and NDP will have a shotgun marriage minority government with Adrienne Clarkson as bridesmaid.

Given the even status in the polls--there's much room for mischief.

I hope that Colby proves to be correct.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"I liked Jack Layton's sharp suit too, but was it his idea or his 'handlers's' to come off as Captain Kangaroo on speed?".

The Ambler's comments on the English debate make for
amusingly acerbic commentary.

King or Byng? It's deja vu all over again

After reading this Canadian Press story (Governor general must turn to Martin if minority win in federal vote), some thoughts:

1) I think that Canadians will be angry if Martin clings to power. I bet that if you asked 9 out of ten Canadians, they would expect that the party finishing first in the seat count should get the chance to form the government.

Does Mr. Martin dare risk Canadian's rage and keep power in that situation? [Practically, though, he has to grab onto power with his fingernails. The knives will be out otherwise.]

2. Someone appealing to precedent: "There is a precedent. It happened before in 1925...."

Okay, let's use more 1925 precedents. How about bringing back legislative supremacy (Didn't have a Charter of Rights or activist judges, so...*toss*), conservative social mores, tiny government. Medicare? What's that?

Canadians, rightly or wrongly, need education before appealing to the ideals of the Fathers of Confederation instead of Tommy Douglas.

"This happened 75 years ago too". Might be a hard sell to the modern Canadian.

3. Are the Tories that dangerous? Really?

I find it hard to think that Canadians are that scared of conservatives.

The only time that all the parties should unite to stop the party with the most seats is when the Communists are tossing cabinet ministers out of windows. (Prague, 1948)

(I don't want to lose my argument by making the most obvious historical analogy. :) )

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"King or Byng?" Part 2...Harper or Clarkson?

Paul Wells suspects that if the parties are roughly balanced after the next election that Harper will be better placed to form a government by wooing away loose fish Liberal MPs.

I don't think so. I think that an alliance of the left will be set up, with the Liberals relying on NDP support as they did after the 1972 election.

This could be an interesting situation. I would even go so far as to speculate that if the Liberals have up to a dozen seats less that the Tories, they could still be asked to stay in government if the NDP can put them over the top. Adrienne Clarkson, not the most conservative person in the world, could be easily persuaded. As Wells notes in his column, Mr. Martin does not have to resign as Prime Minister until he loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons.

That kind of situation would be eerly reminscent of the run up to the 1926 election and a godsend to Stephen Harper. In the 1925 election, the Liberals lost dozens of seats after a scandal--this time a controversy over Canada Customs. What happened then was that the Liberals lost a vote of confidence. Then Viscount Byng, the Governor-General, gave the Opposition Tories a chance to govern with the support of the Progressive Party instead of immediately dissolving the House as King had asked Byng to do.

When that government fell, Canadians went to the polls in 1926. Mackenzie King, the Liberal leader, was able to clobber the Tories on a "King or Byng?" platform, making Canadian voters indignant that an appointed head of state had not overstepped his bounds by giving the Tories an opportunity to form a government, even though they and their allies had finished second in the 1925 election.

Imagine the Liberals finishing second in the seat totals behind the Tories in the current election but being allowed to stay in power. The de facto convention in the mind of the Canadian public is that the party that finishes first in the seat count gets the first chance to form a government. Canadians would be incensed and today's Tories could only benefit.

Adrienne Clarkson as the new Lord Byng. She wouldn't dare. Or would she?
Election handicapping

Shorcan Brokers of Toronto is doing an Canadian election stock market here Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs.

As of right after the English debate, Tories and Liberals are neck and neck at 33 per cent, Bloc and NDP are up very slightly.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Confusion sets in

I think I have put Blogger into a tizzy. "Related searches" for my recent posts are "Manitoba Hydro" and "Zombies"
Hear, hear!

Alas for me I am pro-war, but otherwise I think there is some truth in what Kevin Michael Gracewrites in this post.

Do libertarian conservatives wonder why social conservatives get frustrated by politics sometimes? Imagine a Canadian body politic where taxes can never get cut. Period. Where over-regulation can never be fixed. Period. That's how aggravating politics can be for Canadian pro-lifers, for example. Social policy mistakes should be able to be fixed in the same way that economic policy problems are fixed after each election. In the same way, by majority rule.

If social liberals want to make changes that will be in place forever, they should be made to phrase their arguments in that way. "Once you chose this social policy, you will *never* be allowed to go back to the way it was. We will browbeat you, or worse, into submission."
Je veux sucer votre sang!

Ghost of a Flea wonders if Gilles Duceppe is a vampire.

If he is so worried, I would advise him to be careful if he is invited over chez Duceppe for brunch. Drink the tomato juice before it clots.

[ ;) ]
"If you don't vote Liberal, the Earth will crash into the Sun!"

At the very bottom right of his blog page, The Monger is asking blog readers which possible slogan the Liberals should use as part of their campaign.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more."

Can a punk be conservative?

Anyways, I'm more than happy to pass some internet hits to a blog that was until moments ago named Conservative Punk Canuck. Her blog looks interesting.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Another reason to smack the Liberals upside the head

Jean Augustine acts like a doofus when meeting people, Kathy Shaidle reports.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Question of the Day

This was put to The Straight Dope by a Jason of Vancouver B.C.

[I hasten to assure him that I have no plans to turn into the living dead. That should reassure him.]

He asks:

If we were to suffer an apocalypse where most of the living became
flesh-eating zombies, how long, assuming I survived, would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company?....I am assuming that most of the people who were supposed to be maintaining things at my hydro company would be out looking for brains, and that the surviving hydro employees would be busy digging shelters, etc.)....

The Straight Dope experts, who have an answer for *everything*, reply:

...Your question has two possible answers
depending on which scenario of zombie conquest you envision....

The answer continues here.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The little post that grew and grew

My friend and former Report colleague, Colby Cosh, is a bit bemused that a small post he did on some stupid old comments from Edmonton NDP candidate and doofus Malcolm Azania has turned into a bit of a national story.

No surprise to me though.
"They're twistin' to the didgeridoo!"

Tim Blair, following a complaint by an Australian journalist that there aren't enough Australian place names in songs, canvassed his readers and found that they could remember a lot of ditties with place name checks.

Anyone who listens to the Johnny O'Keefe cover of Twistin' USA, called Twistin' Australia Way, would have about a hundred Australia town and city names cited in the song...all places where kids were doing the Twist. Although, I find it hard to concieve how someone could do the Twist to the didgeridoo. I'd pay an Australian dime to see that.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Faust is smiling

Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil fame has joined the Australian Labour Party.
Why not just post "an election is no time to discuss important policy questions" and be done with it?

Enter Stage Right also blogs their exasperation with pro-life Tories who just won't shut up:

People, during an election you're going to alienate more people than you'll attract when you make those kind of comments. You can't make policy sitting in the opposition benches.

Wouldn't it be better, if you are a pro-life politician, to talk about your pro-life views, instead of giving a nasty surprise to pro-choice voters when you help pass laws restricting abortion after never discussing the issue for 20 years?

Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I think that fooling voters is a bad thing.

Update: Steve of Enter Stage Right clarifies what he meant:

What I meant in that blog entry was not that pro-life Tories shouldn't publicly advocate restrictions or even a total ban, simply that some of them, like Gallant, used overly inflammatory language to advance their position. Comparing abortion to the slaughter of a human being by terrorists seeking to destroy the very notion of the West isn't a good way to get your point across in my opinion. It's hard to argue that a 'moderate' people like Canadians would hear that and agree.

This is an excellent point, which I am happy to concede.

However, in the current electoral climate all the parties of the left are using abortion as the nasty "n-word". Mr. Harper should be careful to keep his apparent "Canadians have a right to vote to restrict abortion if they so chose" stance if he feels a need to reprimand his MPs.

Always happy to clarify, though. [Rick passes out from surprise after fielding a piece of reader e-mail *THUD*]

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Do they expect Mr. Harper to heal the sick and raise the dead?

Regarding Canada's media...what Colby Cosh said, er, wrote.
Seeing through a glass, very darkly?

Rick Joyner, U.S. Christian leader, made what we can safely call a prediction touching on the current federal election, last year.

Parsing his delphic prophecy from last fall, I am surmising that he predicted that there will be a Liberal or NDP government after the June 28 federal election.

Here's his prediction, in case it mysteriously disappears from his website. Emphasis mine:

"SOUTH CENTRAL CANADA: I saw a black cloud darkening over this portion of Canada—just east of Calgary to east of Montreal. Then it started spinning and became a powerful storm of confusion and disorientation, growing tighter and tighter in order to become stronger, doing much damage before suddenly breaking up. It was followed by brilliant sunshine. When people started coming out of their storm cellars, they were all saying, “We will not let that happen again!” I felt this storm was both political and spiritual. Though this storm was preventable, it did much damage. However, the result left behind an almost fresh, virgin territory in which strong, brilliant, spiritual, and political leadership will prevail, setting a very bright course for the future.

Let's look at this from the standpoint of the social conservative Christian that Mr. Joyner is, judging from other things I have read by him.

Yes, he is not explicitly talking about this election but, unless there is an outbreak of religious-based terrorism, the only scenario that seems to make sense to me is that Mr, Joyner is talking about an election and the disastrous consequences of a vote gome wrong, from "God's perspective." Canadians by and large would not care about the flowering and end of a political and spiritual movement if it didn't have some sort of direct effect on their own lives. Unless we see FLQ type activities, an election seems to be the best way to make sense of Mr. Joyner's prediction.

[A caveat to my progressive friends and readers. I am not going out of my way to be anti-Liberal or anti-NDP here. From Mr. Joyner's perpective, it would make the most sense that he would see our Liberals or NDP as bad. So, I am following his lead in poking at the prophecy in an attempt to figure out what he means.]

Is this "black...political movement" the Tories? I would hope not, but it is possible that the Harper Tories could be just that bad. Aside from my own prejudices, this doesn't make sense as the Tories would probably not bring in various government policies that are hostile to Christian moral thinking.

Is this "black...movement" the Liberals? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. This prophecy seems to refer to something *new* happening. As students of Canadian politics will remember, after the last election, the Liberals hold most of those seats already. You could say that he is foretelling that some kind of sweep will develop for the Liberals in the last three weeks of the election, which would result in them being wiped out (as in 1958 or 1984) in the next federal election. But why use such language in the prophecy if the Liberals win again exactly as they have in the last few elections?. Unless they win every seat in this region he is talking about, this is not really new.

It could well be that the Liberals would be relected, only to prove so "bad" from a conservative Christian perspective that they sow the seeds of their own destruction. But the "new" feel of this "black" thing makes me think that isn't the case.

With due respect to my New Democrat readers, the most likely "bad" candidates, from what I am guessing is Joyner's point of view, are probably from the NDP.

Here's a scenario, in tune with the prophecy. The Liberal vote drains to the left enough that the NDP starts to pick up seats in Sakatchewan and Manitoba (quite plausible as both have NDP provincial governments) and enough seats in Ontario to either finish first or force the Liberals to include them in a formal, or de facto, coalition government.

Ridiculous? Well, I was in Ottawa during the 1990 provincial election when the provincial Liberal vote switched to the NDP and stunned commentators watched as an NDP government was elected in Ontario. Bob Rae's government gave Christian conservatives lots of headaches in the following years.

I can see the stop-Harper vote swinging to the NDP as the "stronger anti-Harper choice" in some urban ridings. Given the gravity of what Joyner seems to be pointing at, we could even go out on a limb and say that the government will be an NDP government with Liberal support. The next election, in this scenario according what I am guessing the prophecy says, will see Canadians cured of NDP-Liberal thinking and a straight right-left fight as you would see in Britian or the U.S.

This we can safely say. Mr. Joyner is not predicting a win for "godly conservatives" who will govern wisely in the June 28 vote. The government to come, he predicts, will be a national hangover for Canada.

This prophecy is maddeningly imprecise. Not quite "A virgin will have a baby and..." or "A king named Cyrus will commission the rebuilding of Jerusalem." Sigh.

How accurate is Mr. Joyner?


Several conservative Christian groups have critiqued Mr. Joyner's theology and his
tendency to get things wrong when he is predicting the future.

This is not helpful, as the Bible advises that in Old Testament days, anyone who used the phraseolgy that "The Lord says..." without the events coming to pass as specified was a false prophet. He was to be stoned. (By having rocks thrown at him until his death...you wiseacres! :) )

Several years ago, he widely distributed a prophecy by Bob Jones that stated that Los Angeles would be destroyed in an earthquake and/or nuclear war...in 1998.

[Although, to be even-handed, I'd also like to point you to Mr. Joyner's response to the above linked story that includes the prediction and other criticisms of his ministry. You may see it here.]

What do I think? Well, I do like the idea of Mr. Joyner trying to share what he believes The Lord is telling him.

However, I do hope that Mr. Joyner has the grace to admit that he is glad that he was wrong if The Tories win the election later this month and his prediction a "black political movement" proves unfounded and they govern Canada well. If so, I think Canadian christians would extend grace to him in return. Christianity is a faith of second and third and fourth and fifth chances...so anyone can make mistakes. Even modern day "prophets". But, they should be prepared to admit their mistakes too.

It will be interesting to see if he was right. I wanted to get this online before the votes are counted...thus this post.

Update: Of course, what Andrew Coyne says here could happen too:

"Of course, there's one scenario I'm overlooking: a Liberal-NDP-Bloc "Stop the Conservatives" coalition. Don't think it can't happen."

That would be diabolical if you think about it. Never foresaw that that could happen when I first posted, certainly.
What if Reagan [had] won in 1968?

Enter Stage Right's Bruce Walker poses the question, and thinks that Reagan would have won the election handily and been a good president.

I'm not sure that is the case. Here's why.

1) As The Making Of The President 1968 documents, Barry Goldwater was working hard for Richard Nixon in 1968. He was making the sort of "Just win [with Nixon], baby" arguments that are often so seductive to conservatives. Lots of conservatives had a great personal trust in Senator Goldwater that would have been hard to shake off.

The right was uneasy about Reagan's governing strategies in California in 1968. Read Kent Steffgen's books on Reagan to understand why.

2) It was not really credible to suggest that someone who had been governor of California for just over 18 months could be the a good President. Someone who had governed California for two terms is a different matter entirely.

Ronald Reagan's on-the-job political education would make him a much better president in the 1980s, when he served.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Is Gordon Campbell a goner?

Jim Goll, a U.S.
Christian who believes himself a modern day prophet of the Lord, said the following in May during an Abbotsford B.C. conference, reports The Elijah List. [Scroll down and look for his picture. Then look for the heading "British Columbia"].Emphasis mine:


....British Columbia...There is going to be an upsetting of governmental things in British Columbia. The government shall change in British Columbia and Victoria Island shall not be a place where it shall be of witchcraft and new age practitioners hiding. But it is going to be a place where the victory of God is going to be seen in a governmental seat...."

Although Mr. Goll isn't explicitly predicting this, I am guessing that he means that Premier Gordon Campbell will be stepping down.

An "upsetting of governmental things", would also seem to imply that the NDP will win the next provincial election. It could also mean a "revivial" amongst government MLAs too (which would be better for Christians to hope for, but never mind).

Why mention this? Well, I just wanted to make a record of this in case Mr. Goll is correct. Or not. If the B.C. Liberals win in 2005 and Gordon Cambell takes office again, we could fairly ask Mr. Goll "What happened?"

I'm a little dismayed to read this, as a change of government in B.C. would be bad news for so-cons, and not something to hope that God will do. Unless Mr. Goll thinks that the Unity Party of B.C. (which my mom dubbed "The Love Party" after party leader Chris Delaney appealed to "The power of love" during the last provincial leaders debate) will win, this is not a good omen.

Mr. Goll is said to have a good record of accuracy. We'll see.

P.S. How unfortunate that Mr. Goll did not have access to a good atlas. It's "Vancouver Island."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The odometer flips

This is the 1,000th Rick's Miscellany post.

No applause please, just throw money :)
Also RIP

Brian Linehan has died and Kathy has some interesting thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan, RIP

The Ronald Reagan that I like to remember...campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Friday, June 04, 2004


One music buff's picks for the 100 greatest single "flip sides" of all time. You probably haven't heard them, but there are lots of interesting song choices here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


I see that The National Post has a blog, which I would like even more if there were permalinks to each individual entry.
Ride the wild surf, mate

Some critics say that one of the best surfer bands of the 1960s might have been Australian. Read more about The Atlantics here.
Instalanche! Well, not quite...

The Meatriarch gets a bit of a hits bounce from being mentioned in the National Post.

Good for him! As someone who is doggedly trying to work on his own hit counts without mentioning at all that he blogs to friends and co-workers, I understand how he feels.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

25 years later

The Shotgun bloggers seem to think that there's no way that the Liberals can win another majority. I wouldn't be so confident.

It does raise an interesting scenario...the 1979 election resumed 25 years later. After 1979's vote, the Tories clung to power with support from Quebec (in the form of the Social Credit caucus). Harper's Tories might need the votes of the Bloc to survive as a minority government according to the early betting.

If that happens, I am wondering if the Harper government should bring forth a quick budget designed to lose a vote of conifidence but win the following election. Lots of tax cuts to polarize the electorate into anti-tax (Tory) and pro-tax (Liberals, NDP, Bloc) factions.
Ain't that funny

I see that a fellow named Russ Hiebert is running for the Tories in my home town. No relation, of course.

I wonder if he will get any votes from the people who knew me when I was younger because they think that he is me.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

My friend and former colleague Kevin Michael Grace, amused that part of one of his past articles is being used by Canada's Liberal Party to paint Stephen Harper as an extremist in election attack ads, points out that the Tory leader is no modern-day Enoch Powell.

I don't share Kevin's paleoconservatism. Nevertheless I am somewhat concerned that Mr. Harper is trying to at least appear moderate in order to appeal to Central Canadian voters. If the New Democratic Party is made up of "Liberals in a hurry", I am sure that I can guess which party Kevin would dub the "Liberals on Quaaludes".

I would like to think that if the Report was still around that the magazine would dare to ask "How conservative *is* Stephen Harper?" I think that Kevin Grace is to be commended for raising the question.

Friday, May 28, 2004

"....[T]he claim that [abortion] legalization has prevented the deaths of thousands upon thousands of women doesn't hold up...."

The Straight Dope writer Cecil Adams does pro-lifers a favour in today's column when he points out that the estimates of the amount of women who died due to illegal abortions in the U.S. prior to Roe v. Wade are probably grossly overinflated.

I can imagine that some members of the Straight Dope Message Board will be annoyed to read this column, but Mr. Adams is quite right.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

It blowed up real good

Hmm, I wonder why none of my fellow Shotgunners mentioned Victoria Day on the blog. Could I be the only monarchist there?

Anyway, here's some memories of when Victoria Day was the big day for fireworks for Canadian kids.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Why Wilfrid Laurier would not be allowed to run for the Liberals

Quotes like these would place him beyond the pale:

...."the role of government [is] [...] not to force action in any one direction but to remove barriers to man's own efforts to undertake personal and social improvement [...] Man must be free to seek his own improvement and be responsible for his own destiny...."

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Our happy little one party state

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is planting the idea of something noxious that might rebound to Canada's disadvantage twenty ot thirty years down the road.

As expected, Mr. Martin rhetorically wrapped himself in the Canadian flag this morning as he called a federal election. His main criticism of Conservative leader Stephen Harper was that he wants a "more American system" of governance, etc. Only the Liberals are "Canadian" in their political agenda.

Aside from being an ideal to one-party thinking, does Mr. Martin want to plant the idea that being a conservative is being an "American" in the minds of Canadians?

Imagine this...several of Canada's more conservative regions or provinces deciding that they will secede from Canada and become U.S. states. I can imagine, after decades years of Liberal appeals to avoid the "American" boogeyman, rash and poorly thinking Canadians deciding that they should ensure that their parts of Canada renounce the federal Liberal party forever by joining the United States.

If Mr. Martin keeps saying that Canadians can't "become American" by adopting conservative social policies and tax rates, then he has to consider what will happen if Canadians begin to say to themselves "What's so bad about that?" and decide to actually move or work for merger with the United States. It makes sense in a twisted sort of way. "Okay, if we can't be Canadians and have private medicare, then let's be Americans instead!" Just ask all the frustrated Canadians who have moved to the United States in recent because Canada just will not change [thanks to the Liberals] to become the kind of country that they would like to have.

In order to keep Canada as a viable country, we need both conservative and liberal Canadians to recognize that advocating policy choices and alternatives is not the equivalent of treason to one's country.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The Great Pumpkin is smiling

A publisher has launched a series of books reprinting all of the Peanuts comic strips.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Time to smack the SCOC upside the head

I like Colby's comments on why election spending clampdowns are not a good thing for Canada.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Little Marcy!

If you've ever heard of the singing Christian ventriloquist puppet Little Marcy, you can listen to one of her albums here.

My fave track: The Lord Is Counting On You, which I first heard by a non-puppet trio of singing kids on a 78 record.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Antonia Zerbisias picks on some Canadian conservative bloggers in her Toronto Star column.

I'm sure that they can defend themselves. I do note that Zerbisias dubs my blogging friend Kathy Shaidle a "bloggeuse".

Funny, but I thought that the experts of the left, which would include Ms Zerbisias as a charter member, had decided that female-specific nouns were now forbidden. Anyone care to call Antonia Zerbisias a "reportrix"? :)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Praise the Lord, and hike the immigration

VDare columnist Sam Francis writes that liberal churches in the US are trying to keep their membership numbers up by taking advantage of increased immigration. This also givers liberal churches a pronounced inclination towards advocating increased immigration too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Born to hand jive, baby!

If the "hand jive" dance ever makes a come back, here is a website with instructional pictures, lyrics and a Real Player file of a Hand Jive song.

I think that a cousin of mine is in the photo of the girls dancing the hand jive at the bottom of the page. Or at least someone who looks like her.

Thanks to the fabulous Billy Fury tribute site, where this particular page is usually posted.
Boy Meets Girls

TV producer Jack Good was, in some ways, the Dick Clark of England. You can read more about him here.

He made a very shrewd prediction about the future of music on TV in 1959:

"It will become the standard practice for every artist to make a film of themselves performing their record. These short films will be sent to TV producers for their programmes...it would not be a disc at all but a videotape. You would play it on your television, which would have a recorder-like attachment, which would also allow you to record your favourite TV programmes."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Okay, now I understand why I am getting all these hits for "Rachel Marsden photos"...the aspiring journalist has taken down all the come hither pictures at her website.

A recent British academic study explores just how clueless incompetent people can be.
Well, duh!

A recent British study explores just how clueless incompetent people can be.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Fair dinkum

The wonderful Tim Blair on Aussie rules football's plans to create "family friendly zones", with no swearing or drinking, at "footy" games:

This is insane. Without expert instruction, how will children ever learn how to swear? They'll grow up swearing all wrong.

Pass the chips

Todd Wilbur had to buy two gallons of salsa at a restaurant in order to find out the secret of this salsa recipe.

Friday, May 07, 2004

No Herbert Clark Harper please

While reading Gene Smith's The Shattered Dream, I found an interesting quote:

"We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty that ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but, given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years , we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation."

--Herbert Hoover, accepting the Republican nomination for President, August 11, 1928.

This leads me to suggest to Stephen Harper that he be careful with his promises in the upcoming election. Cleaning up the Stygian mess left by the Liberals will take several terms, so Mr. Harper should dream big without talking big.