Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Election Day 2 - Summary

There will be four debates - two in English and two in French. One set, before Christmas in Vancouver and the second set in Central Canada after the holidays.


Stephen Harper visits Quebec City and calls for an independent Director of Public Prosecutions. This office would handle investigations into political wrongdoings.

Jason Kenney commits another bonehead move and calls a press conference to denounce Liberals as offensive to ethnic minorities. Apparently he can't tell the difference between a magazine and television station. If the Conservatives weren’t so twisted on booting the Liberals into space, they would think before issuing such releases.

Departing Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm thinks the government should be offering tax credits to assist in the bedroom. A variation of this idea was floated by the PQ in Quebec last election and went over like a lead balloon.

The New Democrats

Jack Layton and party apparently have outsourced their post-secondary education policy to the Canadian Federation of Students. You think if you were going to outsource you would go a little higher up the food chain.

Layton also played the Iraq war card. That was last election Jacko.


Jean Chrétien just will not go away.

Canada's first astronaut, Marc Garneau , is running as a Liberal candidate for Vaudreuil-Soulanges in Quebec.

The RCMP is said to be investigating the income trust situation arising from the mini-budget.

Bloc Quebecois

Gilles is chilling in Montreal until Tuesday. He is encouraging Quebec residents to vote Bloc and punish the Liberals. The Bloc is supposedly reaching out to all Quebeckers, but that seems a tad odd since their website is only in French. They should stop pretending that they care about the entire province and show their true colours.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The first step to opening the abortion discussion?

Saskatchewan MP, now Conservative candidate in Saskatoon, Maurice Vellacott tabled a private members bill shortly before parliament fell this week. The bill, intended to allow charges to be laid against individuals who kill pregnant women for the death of the unborn child, is both emotional and controversial.

What Vellacott, a rabid pro-life supporter, is suggesting would essentially open up the abortion debate through a side door and hope nobody will notice. There is no question that the death of a mother carrying a fetus is tragic, however, there are good reasons why this is no illegal in Canada. It is a slippery slope to allow, like in the United States, charges to be laid in the death of fetus. Where do you draw the line next?

Read full story.


This little piggy

Ninety University of Saskatchewan students are venturing into smelly territory all in the name of science. The students are part of project at the institution to test dust and chemical reaction in hog barns.

I thought pulling a few all nighters on papers was bad, but this takes the cake.

Read full story.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Let the games begin!!

One of these men taught me science in high school and now apparently is looking for a career change. Peter looks down right scared. I could not have photoshopped a better picture.

A couple of good election sites to tide you over until the vote.


Election Prediction.

CTV Blog.


The number you are trying to reach is not in service


Can Lorne be charmed?

The Business Tax Review Committee has delivered their final report to the Government of Saskatchewan and now the taxpayers of the province await the next move. This review was long overdue as the corporate and business taxes in the province are far too high and need to be adjusted to ensure the province can prosper in the 21st century.

The Committee has recommended a series of necessary tax reductions which should allow private business to flourish in the knowledge economy. The Saskatchewan New Democrats have a spotty track record on taxes and it will be interesting to see if the various members of their caucus have the brains to do the right thing - lower the taxes.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Never nudes need not worry

The hit television series Arrested Development, sitting on the chopping block over at FOX, will return with new episodes starting on December 5th at 8 EST. It is time well spent.

NN's click here.


Winds of Change?

The political polls in Saskatchewan are showing a few things: (a) the voters are frustrated with Lorne Calvert's dithering and leadership (b) the public is warming to a watered down Saskatchwan Party (c) Brad Wall is an effective communicator (d) 14 years and counting in office is a long time for one party.

There is still plenty of time for a reversal, however, it would appear that with a burgoning treasury and no blueprint, the sun maybe setting on the Saskatchewan New Democrats. It will be interesting to watch the next 12-16 months playout in the province.

Courtesy of Heart of Canada.


98 Degrees can now tour again

Apparently Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are no longer together. Not that I care but the word travelled a little slow to Vegas.


General Motors needs new leadership

Did any of the senior management at General Motors take Economics 101? They are too busy trying to reduce their costs (supply) - mainly through massive job cuts - that they have forgotten to pay attention to the demand side of the equation. There brands are disjointed and their cars, for the most part, are junk. Maybe they could drop Pontiac, Saturn and some others and focus on what they do well. Companies can only bang the "high labour cost drum" for so long until they actually have to climb out from behind the bullshit wall.


Democratic reform coming soon to a curling rink near you

Belinda Stronach, the Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform, hopes to set fixed election dates after consulting Canadians in a series of conferences next year —.

Stronach is personally in favour of fixed dates. She said the government has launched a process that could lead to sweeping changes in federal politics and the wheels are turning towards the idea regardless of whether the government falls on Monday. Stronach believes the citizens' meetings will start by the end of January 2006.

A federal website has issued the call for tenders seeking potential organizers for 27 meetings of ordinary citizens across the country. The process loosely resembles recent citizens' assemblies in B.C. and is scheduled to result in a draft report by Oct. 13, 2006.

The other announcement that Stronach made is actually more emblematic of the lack of planning in government these days. For more than a year, Ottawa has offered up to six weeks' of paid leave under Employment Insurance for Canadians who care for gravely ill family members. Ms. Stronach said response has been lower than expected and the program will be expanded beyond immediate family members.

Barely $7.5-million was approved in compassionate-care benefits last year for about 5,400 claimants, even though the government budgeted $190-million and expected 270,000 Canadians to use the program. Stronach believes that loosening eligibility requirements would help the program meet its targets.

“We are making improvements to compassionate care that will allow an individual to designate who should look after them in their last moments,” Ms. Stronach said. “To me it makes good common sense.”

This program could use more than just a loosening of requirements. When a program has a 4% take-up rate I think there are some serious communication problems (or lack there of). Or, this program isn't for everyone and Canadians have found other ways to deal with unforeseen illness for family members.

Read full story.


Nation Builders?

The Globe and Mail is running their annual version of the "Hat Tip to a Canadian" and encouraging readers (and non-readers) to nominate online. There are some great choices listed in Ed's column, however, he did miss one set of Canadians who constantly contribute to the country - The Tragically Hip.

Now, I am not saying that they should get the award over Ed Broadbent, Neil Young or Bob Rae but I do believe that they are worth a mention. Jason Anderson has a great article over on the site detailing the band and its impact on the Canadian cultural scene. Also, he lists their top 5 Canadiana songs and they are brilliant.

The Globe's Nation Builder this year will be an interesting race, however, I would say that Bob Rae (a former Student Union President as well) should be the odds on favourite. Mssr. Rae has finally had a real chance to display his true policy mind. He tackled the review of Ontario's post-secondary education system with a fair and balanced eye. Many of the review's recommendations are now government policy and more will follow. Next, he led the investigation into the Air India mess and now is slated to spearhead a mini-Royal Commission. The federal political scene could have benefitted from another kick at the can by Bob (a one-time NDP MP).


I have a hidden agenda in my pocket or is that Jack Layton

Caption it!

The Election is coming so stay tuned on Moldy this week for all your coverage.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Pennies from heaven

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Job Openings

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are likely in the market for new Head Coach and General Manager. Interested individuals should address their curriculum vitae to:

We have not hosted a home playoff game since 1988
C/o Graham Barker
Taylor Field,
Box 1277
Regina, SK.
S4P 3B8

Clearly they can't promote from within.


Rich Man Workouts

Finally, an answer for men with plenty of money and no desire to hit the gym. According to Forbes magazine, there are options. Apparently playing pool is a form of exerise and a darn good one at that.

With little risk of injury and even less demand on the cardiovascular system, pool sharks may as well let themselves go Minnesota Fats, right? Wrong. "Fitness is key to increasing mental stamina and maintaining endurance through long tournaments," says Jennifer Barretta, a Manhattan gym owner and women's professional pool player who's currently ranked 24th in the world. Constant elongating over the table requires strong hamstrings and a fit lower back, while holding positions to line up shots demands a lot from the shoulders. Barretta, who will show off her playing form in a bikini spread in the May issue of FHM, recommends a raft of exercises, including lying and seated leg curls, lateral dumbbell raises for the deltoids and "Swiss ball" crunches for strong abdominals. Oh, and until pool halls begin serving sushi, avoid the food.

No word on whether playing the piano counts for anything.


The Lowest of the Low

This past weekend the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal Party of Canada met in Montreal for their biannual policy convention. As an aside, could there be a sombre political group meeting? I would have liked to have been there just to whisper the words Gomery and then run to the next person and do the same.

The event, however, did attract some heavy hitters. Mr. Dithers a.k.a Prime Minister Paul Martin was there as were several other cabinet ministers. The convention was also a time for a well-placed student protest that took place on Sunday.

When Martin took the stage on Sunday morning to deliver his "I have priorities address" to convention participants, students took the street. Or did they? The Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) organized a protest which took place outside the Hyatt hotel where the convention was being held. SSMU Vice-President University Affairs Max Reed attended the protest along with other SSMU executives. The problem is, they could have staged the *protest* in a phone booth judging by the turnout.

Reed, however, was not fazed by the low turnout. Reed said that low turnout by students did not dilute the protest's message. "I think the point of the protest was to remind people inside the convention that post-secondary education is important, and specifically to make sure the Liberal Party of Canada passed the motion that was on the floor for the $4-billion dedicated transfer," said Reed. "In that sense, the protest was quite successful because the motion was passed. It would have been nice to see more people there, but this is a campaign that is only starting to take shape and starting to build momentum."

Why are McGill students so apathetic? Reed admits he doesn't exactly know why many (most) students seem so uninvolved with issues that affect them, including university funding and the SSMU-initiated campaign for $4-billion, but was optimistic. Could it be that Quebec students are paying the lowest tuition fees in the country at $1,700 per year? Or maybe it is that the Quebec student aid system (Aide financière aux études) is one of the most generous in the country? Or maybe it is that 33% of the student body comes from outside the province - the majority of those students come from wealthy Canadian or international families. Nope, Reed does me one better and gets to the heart of the matter.

Reed believes that student apathy is an eternal question, however, having it (the protest) on a Sunday morning at 11 AM while most students are still asleep is not everyone's idea of a good time. So, a student leader chalks up, student apathy, to student laziness. Hmm, not sure if I don't smell an impeachment coming.

Reed tried to redeem himself later in the interview by saying that the SSMU has been circulating a petition and that they have garnered more than 1,000 signatures. The petition, demands that the federal government restore $4-billion in provincial transfer payments for post-secondary education cut during Paul Martin's tenure as finance minister. SSMU has also collected more than 150 signed postcards. So according to Reed, in that sense students aren't apathetic. They actually care about this issue, and are expressing themselves through other means rather than waking up early on a Sunday.

The other means is a great line - it has a resemblance to the BBC television show The Office line where someone suggests that at the staff Christmas party they have something for the old people. To which Tim counters, you can't just state that, you actually need to define it -It could be a Werthers Original or a phone call from your son.

Reed's comments are an embarrassment to elected student leaders who sensible and responsible lobby for change on their campuses. It shouldn't surprise you coming from a group who has a Vice-President from South Carolina who is a Quebec separatist. Apparently having a North and South Carolina is not enough, bring on the East!


Caption It

Manute Bol is back


Time Saver

I thought I had seen it all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Plan A is to just keep your head in the sand - *updated*

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the middle of a battle over morality that is dividing the United States. The FDA is siding with politics / religion over science and has continued to suppress access to the drug - Plan B® - due to tremendous pressure from the religious right.

Plan B® is an emergency contraceptive that can still prevent a pregnancy after contraceptive failure or unprotected sex.

A report released on Monday by the Government Accountability Office, an independent agency responsible to Congress, showed how top officials at the FDA last year overruled the scientists at their own agency and an independent advisory committee, and blocked an application to allow the pills to be sold over the counter. In fact, according to some of the key scientists involved, they were told that the application would be rejected "months before the staff had completed their reviews of the application."

Susan Wood, who quit as FDA's assistant commissioner for women's health over the Plan B® decision, said that the report was "a sad reminder of why I felt compelled to resign. Instead of improving and advancing women's health, the FDA leadership is ignoring its process and not relying on science and medical evidence."

What is even more shocking is that FDA officials, including the Director and Deputy Director of the Office of New Drugs and the Directors of the Offices of Drug Evaluation III and V, told scientists that they were told by high-level management that the Plan B® OTC switch application would be denied months before staff had completed their reviews of the application. The Director and Deputy Director of the Office of New Drugs told scientists that they were told by the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Operations43 and the Acting Director of CDER, after the Plan B® public meeting in December 2003, that the decision on the Plan B® application would be not-approvable. They informed scientists that they were also told that the direction for this decision came from the Office of the Commissioner. Both office reviews were not completed until April 2004.

Meanwhile in Canada - where science trumps politics / religion, this past spring, Health Canada announced without fanfare that Plan B®, the morning-after pill that is used as an emergency contraceptive after unprotected sex, would in future be available to Canadian women without a prescription.

"Women who need this product must have access to it very quickly or it will not be effective," Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said after Health Canada completed a review of clinical evidence and safety data for the drug."Allowing the product to be sold without a prescription will ensure that it is available to all women."

Read full story.


The long arm of the Lord

Courtesy of

New York University (NYU) plans to build a dorm on an East Village site formerly owned by the Catholic church. And although NYU is allowed to demolish the church itself, the new dorm's residents will still be subject to Catholic "morals." As part of a bizarre agreement with the church, the developer (read university) has agreed to several restrictions on the property's use: including a ban on "performing any abortions or providing any professional counselling or advice advocating abortions or family planning." It also prohibits signs or other advertising relating to abortions or family planning.

Lynne Brown, an NYU spokesperson, said the university was planning to use the building as a dorm, not a health or medical facility, where family-planning counselling would ordinarily take place. She said the NYU team that negotiated the transaction ... "felt comfortable that the activities that typically occur in a dormitory would not be inconsistent with either the spirit or the language of the covenant."

Moral deed restrictions are common in real estate transactions involving religious buildings, in part to avoid the embarrassment of a religious building being developed into something incongruous, however, should this matter. If a religious group is so concerned about future occupants or development, don't sell. One shouldn't get an exemption by sprinkling in religion.


RCMP Museum is in the works

Construction on a $30-million RCMP museum has begun in Regina and the public has been given a sneak peek at what it will look like.

The RCMP Heritage Centre will open in 2007. The Centre was designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, will open in the spring of 2007.

Count Stephen Harper out as one of the first vistors. Harper alleges federal Liberals would be deeper trouble from the Gomery findings by the RCMP, if they weren't in power. Harper goes onto to say that the police and authorities have to do their job but he has a sneaking suspicion that this job would be done much more effectively and much more quickly if the Liberal party were not in power. Smart move Harper question your potential security force. Why not call into question the cooking at 24 Sussex and sit back and wait for your first meal. He really is quite sad.


If Disney had an edge

See all here and prepare to laugh.


The Buzz in the Biz

After a long hiatus, it is back.

Mini Mariah Carey's set to take the world by storm.

If your daughter dates an A-list story, you counter with Diana Ross.

Apple has company.

Charlize Theron turns the tables.

What do you give a recovering coke addict - a mirror.

Garth Brooks is back. No sign of Chris Gaines.


The United States could learn alot from Weyburn, Saskatchewan

A billion-dollar energy program in southern Saskatchewan has the United States government seeing green - literally. The government is gushing over a pilot project in Saskatchewan's oilpatch which is injecting carbon dioxide into the oil fields.

On Tuesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said the Weyburn project has successfully sequestered five million tons of C02 into the Weyburn oilfield while doubling the field's oil recovery rate.

The Weyburn project, which is run by Calgary's Encan Corp., has "incredible implications" for reducing the U.S.'s CO2 emissions and boosting oil production, Bodman said in a news release.

"Just by applying this technique to the oil fields of Western Canada we would see billions of additional barrels of oil and a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to pulling more than 200 million cars off the road for a year," Bodman said.

The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC), in Regina, Saskatchewan is conducting a world leading international study that involves injecting and storing a harmful greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), underground into depleted oil and gas reservoirs in order to revive production. Field tests, combined with advanced computer simulations, have proven the CO2 will remain safely underground for thousands of years. This application of CO2 storage technology could eliminate between one-third and one-half of global emissions from the atmosphere over the next 100 years and increase oil production by billions of barrels that would otherwise be left untapped.

It's projected that enhanced oil recovery using CO2 will help the Weyburn Oilfield remain viable for another 20 years, produce an additional 130 million barrels of oil, and sequester as much as 30 million tons of CO2, the Energy Department said.

Some environmental groups have expressed concerns that storing CO2 underground might be unsafe. However, one recent scientific report on the Weyburn site suggests the technique works and the gas stays underground with minimal leakage.

Read full story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The Howard Dean of Canadian Politics

Not only are we going to Montreal but we're going to Saguenay and Sherbrooke and Gaspe and Gatineau and Laval. Then, we're going to Trois-Rivières and and Candiac. And we're going to Le Prairie and Longueuil and Lévis and Terrebonne and then we're going to Quebec City, to take back the Assembly! Yeeeeeeah!"


Why is this man smiling?

Federal Finance Minister and Saskatchewan's only Liberal MP Ralph Goodale is all teeth after delivering the 2005 Economic and Fiscal Update. Goodale's goodies include:

An immediate $500 increase in the basic personal exemption, which leaves more money in the pocket of every Canadian taxpayer.

An immediate drop of one percentage point in the lowest personal income tax rate, from 16 per cent to 15 per cent.

A plan to restore corporate tax cuts dropped last spring as the price of NDP support in the House of Commons.

A $2.75-billion boost in post-secondary education aid over the next five years, as well as a $1-billion higher education innovation fund and $2.1 billion more for university research funding.

$3.5 billion more for workplace training programs - this includes money for individuals with disabilities and First Nations Canadians.

A promise of $1.3 billion more over five years to help immigrants settle in Canada.

Just more than $1 billion over five years for trade supports.

An extra $100 million over five years to help bring broadband internet service to remote communities across Canada.

All of this money is coming from the overtaxed Canadian and the fact that the federal government is taking too much of your money.

It is a little sad that Goodale didn’t take time to address the blatant injustice of resource revenues and equalization. Apparently making gains in Saskatchewan isn’t a priority. Under the current Equalization formula, a sizeable chunk of Saskatchewan’s energy revenue is taken away by Ottawa. Often, more oil and gas royalty revenues are clawed back than are retained. However, if Saskatchewan’s oil and gas revenues were exempt from the formula, as is now the case with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia (and Alberta), Saskatchewan would have received $4 billion over the past 10 years of its own money.

Oil and gas are non-renewable so energy revenue is one-time money. It is not an ongoing source of revenue that can be counted on, like income tax or sales tax. If, and when, the price of oil drops, revenue streams plummet.

The Government of Saskatchewan has a great awareness campaign going on right now to draw attention to this matter. It is a parody of the flag debacle on the rock last year. It is well worth a look.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Copper Alert

Have you seen this woman? If so, be aware that she is usually crowned and extremely dangerous. You never know when her customary wave will come out or a complex invitation for high tea will sneak its way in there. Canadians should be extra careful since she is often in pockets, purses and wallets.

Toyota owners should also be on alert because they have got too comfortable with their lot in life.

All of this makes me think of a fantastic episode of the Cosby Show where Bill is being sold the merits of one of England's finer sports - Cricket. The Coz, never at a loss for words, simply mocks his colleague by raising a fake glass and toasting to the Queen.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Where are my options?

Stephen Harper believes that Canadians, he means Conservatives, want to boot out the minority Liberal government even if it means an election in the dead of winter.

Jack Layton doesn't want an election over the, Christian, holidays so he proposes that we have it in February.

Paul Martin just keeps on telling you it is coming in 30 days or your money back.

I really hope that when the writ is dropped the parties actually discuss policy and how to deal with the social and economic challenges for Canada in the 21st century. The party with the best policy deserves to win, not the one who is the most angry at patronage and corruption.



In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Is that a bomb in your paper?

The Mount Saint Vincent Students' Union is lobbying the university to prevent academic papers from being passed through a website designed to catch cheaters. The Halifax university is among 4,000 schools worldwide that use the subscription site to check whether a student's work is someone else's.

"They are going to be assumed guilty until they are otherwise proven innocent," said Chantal Brushett, president of the students' union at Mount Saint Vincent. "All of a sudden they're being accused of plagiarism when they don't even know what the word plagiarism means. I want a front-end approach, as opposed to a back-end approach."

Assignments are uploaded to the site. The program then checks each student's paper against a database of more than 4.5 billion pages of newspapers, academic journals, books and students' reports. If a paper has more than eight consecutive words in common with another source, the words are highlighted, alerting the instructor to possible plagiarism.

This case doesn't make any sense to me. Why is that individuals want to claim to be strong guardians of civil liberties in all the wrong cases. The Students' Union claim is no different than me stating that I don't want to be subject to security checks at the airport. Everyone is treated equally - with suspicion.

If, however, as was the case at McGill University a few years back, the students brought the complaint forward based on making a profit off their intellectual property that would be a different story. There was mention of that in their release, however, it was buried under the non-sense of guilty until proven innocent.

In an era where students can purchase papers from countless websites, I don't think it is unreasonable for the institution to be able to cross-reference their work.


Can you say Bank of Wal-Mart?

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, wants to open a bank, and its critics are showering American federal regulators with pleas to say no. Wal-Mart's application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to charter a bank has drawn 1,550 mostly negative comments, the most ever. With bank-charter applications, half-dozen comments are considered a lot, the FDIC says.

Wal-Mart wants to start an industrial loan corporation (ILC), a type of bank that regulators let commercial businesses operate for specific purposes, such as processing payments. Most negative comments stressed the dangers of an unregulated commercial company owning a federally insured bank.

Among the concerns: "Is the parent company sufficiently regulated? Will credit decisions be objective? Will economic power become too concentrated?" says Edward Yingling, CEO of the American Bankers Association, a trade group of independent banks that opposes Wal-Mart's application.

Wal-Mart currently allows about 300 local and community banks to operate branches in more than 1,000 stores on long-term deals. Opponents, ranging from banks to unions, fear that Wal-Mart might someday move to put its own banks in its stores, in turn devastating community banks.

Apparently not everyone is so hot on the idea of more minimum wage, no benefit jobs being created. On the flip side, however, they would be the first bank to have their staff in flare and have grey haired greeters.

Read full story here.


X marks the spot

Welcome Back Mike. The citizens of the City of New York have re-elected Michael Bloomberg (R) with almost 60% of the votes. He wins as a Republican in a city that has 5 registered Democrats for every Republican, not an easy feat.

Virginia and New Jersey stay blue. Senator Jon Corzine (D) easily won in New Jersey and Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) taking Virginia despite a last-minute campaign push for his opponent from President Bush.

In more pressing matters:

The same-sex marriage contest in Texas was, as expected, lopsided; near-complete returns showed the gay-marriage ban supported by about 76 percent of voters. Like every other state except Massachusetts, Texas didn't permit same-sex marriages previously, but the constitutional amendment was touted as an extra guard against future court rulings.

This result shouldn't shock anyone since almost 70% of Texans recently surveyed believe that homosexuality is wrong, the Klu Klux Klan recently lead a rally against the bill in Austin, civil unions are banned and sodomy involving same sex partners was illegal until two years ago. The Texas sensibilities are so sensitive that the legislature earlier this year considered a ban on risqué cheerleading. Which, one could argue is a greater threat to the traditional family (heterosexual marriage) than gay marriage, but what do I know.

Just to prove that Texas is progressive - In a local Texas election, voters in White Settlement, named 160 years ago after white settlers moved into a mostly Indian area, emphatically rejected a proposal to change the town's name to West Settlement. Some civic leaders felt the traditional name should be changed to lure business investment; nearly 92 percent of voters disagreed.

Arnold's army of proposed legislation in California is getting mixed reviews. His money bills went up in flames, but his attempts to limit teacher's tenure and neuter trade union political activity may pass.


I will raise you a cox with pairs - read down far!!

Past History:

Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships (62)

Women’s Swimming (13)
2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1986, 1985

Women’s Field Hockey (10)
2004, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1990, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1978

Men’s Swimming (9)
2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1965

Men’s Soccer (9)
1994, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1974

Women’s Basketball (4)
2004, 1974, 1973, 1972

Women’s Soccer (4)
2003, 2002, 1993, 1987

Women’s Volleyball (4)
1978, 1977, 1974, 1973

Football (3)
1997, 1986, 1982

Men’s Volleyball (3)
1983, 1976, 1967

Men’s Basketball (2)
1972, 1970

Men’s Cross Country (1)

2005 Standings:

Men's Hockey - tied for 3rd in the division and not likely to ever overcome Alberta or Calgary. In fact, likely to battle Lethbridge for the basement every year. Not ranked.

Football - 4th. First playoff appearance in a couple of years. Lost 32-6 to the Saskatchewan Huskies in the CIAU semi. Not ranked.

Men's Volleyball - ranked 9th nationally. Tied for 2nd in their division.

Men's Cross Country - not ranked.

Men's Soccer - Ranked 3rd in the country and first in the CIAU. The T-Birds are the most decorated team in CIS men's soccer history with nine Davidson Trophies, including four straight from 1989-92. UBC, last crowned at home in 1994, has never left the national tournament with less than a silver medal in 12 appearances.

Men's Basketball - Not ranked and 2nd in their division.

Women's Basketball - Ranked 2nd in the country and first in their division.

Women's Cross Country - not ranked.

Women's Hockey - not ranked and 4th in the CIAU.

Women's Soccer - ranked 2nd in the country and finished first in the CIAU. Lost in the semi finals to Calgary in kicks.

Women's Volleyball - Ranked 3rd in the country and 2nd in the CIAU.

Men's and Women's Wrestling - No program offered. They do, however, excel at Rowing in both categories.

What is with the sudden fascination with the University of British Columbia sports program you ask? Well, they are musing about applying for membership in the National College Athletic Association in the United States and so I thought that the program was worth a closer look. One would figure that you would apply to take the next step if you were dominating the competition in every outing. If you count intermittently domination in soccer and swimming with a strong supporting role for debate and rowing, than UBC is your school.

FYI - The NCAA has never admitted a non-US school and, in fact, turned down Simon Fraser five years ago when they attempted to join.

FYI (2) - At this week's Tuesday debate meeting, there will be an introduction to the British Parliamentary Style. The workshop will cover the basics of the style, the roles of the various speakers, and basic strategy. It's a good idea for anyone planning to attend the Hugill Cup who has not debated BP before to attend this workshop. There will also be an opportunity to practice Canadian Parliamentary debate, with support and comments from experienced debators.


Ma LNH - Part Deux

Can Florida please send another team to the Centre Bell to lose a one goal game.

Love the new NHL!

Alexi Kovalev maybe the most skilled Hab since Patrick Roy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Aussie Rules

Apparently tipping back a few too many Foster Lagers can result in some serious mischief. In Australia early this week, a MAN who allegedly decapitated a 17-year-old boy with a tomahawk in a suburban back yard. Later, the man is said to have played with the teenager's head, rolling it in a paddock as if it were a bowling ball.

A chilling videotape showing police interviewing one of two men charged with the murder of transient teen Morgan Jay Shepherd was played in Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Christopher Clark Jones, 22, told detectives in the interview recorded in April that his co-accused, James Patrick Roughan, 25, stomped on Shepherd's head several times before stabbing him with a kitchen knife, then decapitating him. Mr Jones and Mr Roughan are facing a committal hearing on charges they murdered Shepherd and interfered with his corpse.

Mr Jones, who repeatedly broke down and cried during the interview, told detectives the three were "mates" and were drinking at a table in the back yard of Mr Roughan's home in the Brisbane bayside suburb of Sandgate at dusk on March 29.

In the understatement of the year, Jones indicated that they all had quite a bit to drink.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Jean is on

Governor General Michaëlle Jean is facing new controversy over recent comments she made about André Boisclair, the frontrunner in the race to lead the separatist Parti Québécois – and this time the loudest critic is her sister.

On Saturday, the province's French newspapers - mainly controlled by separatists - were filled with a new uproar over comments Jean made at a recent National Press Gallery dinner, which is typically a light-hearted gathering where politicians and reporters make fun of themselves and others.

In her remarks at the dinner, the Governor General joked about holding a lunch for Boisclair, who recently admitted to using cocaine while he was a Quebec cabinet minister.

"We can have sandwiches and coke. Well, should André Boisclair, decide to attend, it will be coke for sure."

Boisclair always follows the "party line," she said.

Radio-Canada reporter Emmanuelle Latraverse, who is the president of the National Press Gallery, said it wasn't the first time the annual dinner has generated controversy. She said speakers are "asked to give funny, spicy, daring speeches to entertain the crowd that evening; that's always been the rule of the game, and this year was no exception."

The main cause of the uproar, however, is that Jean dared to criticize a separatist. Separatists believe that she is a sympathetic supporter of their cause and now she has become a traitor. All her comments were made in good fun and that is definitely the intent of the night.


Smoke Baby Smoke

French President Jacques Chirac is talking tough in the wake of the eleventh straight day of civil disobedience. Chirac is promising arrests, trials and punishment for those sowing "violence or fear" across France — as the urban unrest that has triggered attacks on vehicles, nursery schools and other targets hit central Paris for the first time.

Apparently the youth are not amused. Shortly after Chirac pleaded for calm, rioters fired at police in a Paris suburb, injuring 10 officers hours. Young men armed with guns fired on the police Sunday night in the suburb of Grigny and seriously hurt two of them, the Interior Ministry said.

Youths set ablaze thousands of vehicles and torched countless businesses, schools and symbols of French authority, including post offices and provincial police stations. The violence took another alarming turn with attacks in the well-guarded French capital. Police said 35 cars were torched, most on the city's northern and southern edges.

The tipping point for the riots happened on the October 27 electrocution deaths of two black teenagers, who climbed an electrically charged fence while running from police. Residents blamed police for the deaths. This is, however, just the straw that broke the camels back.

The root cause of this is French society. Individuals, particularly in Muslim and North African immigrant communities, are expressing pent-up anger at the country's labour market. Many of these individuals are unemployed and finding it exceptionally difficult trying to integrate into French society. Why?

France is one of the most conservative Western Democracies in the world. French farmers are pampered beyond belief, in fact they are dragging the European Union and other countries, including Canada, into an unnecessary trade subsidy war. Next, the trade union movement is far too strong and the labour laws are far too liberal. The French labour movement is too busy worrying about Turks and other Eastern Europeans "stealing French jobs" to actual work hard to get ahead.

The French (society) political culture is so risk and change averse. While the rest of Europe (and the world) adapts to the changing technological based global economy, France has its head in the sand. This combined with their xenophobic attitude towards immigrants is a recipe for disaster.

Hopefully for the people of France these incidents serve as a political and personal wakeup call. It is time for France to get into the 21st century.


Break out the leggings

Madonna is said to be mulling a new tour in support of her soon-to-be-released album. "Confessions on a Dance Floor," arrives in stores on Nov. 15. The first single "Hung Up" is No. 1 this week on Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart and No. 21 on the Hot 100. And if that isn't enough, this Monday and Wednesday, the song will be featured in episodes of "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY," respectively.

The new 12-track album was inspired by the many remixes Madonna's songs have received over the years. In tandem with producer Stuart Price, Madonna took her music back to the place where she first made her mark in the early '80s: the clubs. But they did so in a way that, while wickedly retro, pushes the beats and rhythms into the future.

Here is hoping she makes a stop in Toronto. I am not a huge fan, but one would think the show would be worth seeing.


The Buzz in the Biz - Weekend Edition

Bono and Blunt to record a duet.

Ozzy is a sex crazed rabbit.

Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards are soooo back.

Russian politicans rail against the Simpsons. Russians preaching ethics and role modelling - that is a tad rich.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Coke shuffles its lineup

Coca-Cola is set to discontinue sales of three flavours in the North America by the end of 2005, after previously axing Vanilla Coke in the UK from early 2006. Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Diet Coke and Diet Coke With Lemon are heading into the vaults. These flavours are to be replaced by Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke.

Fans of Crystal Pepsi plan their next move!

Friday, November 04, 2005


The Ambiguously Gay Duo Can Now Get Help

More than 80 million Americans suffer from some type of Homosexuality, and one in eight persons need treatment for Homosexuality during his or her lifetime. Homosexuality is not a character flaw; it is neither a “mood” nor a personal weakness that you can change at will or by “pulling yourself together.”

Many healthy men can identify with having some of the symptoms of homosexuality, such as experiencing sexual fantasies about other men; But Homosxuality is diagnosed only when these activities take at least an hour a day, are very distressing, and interfere with daily life.

Get your magic cure here.

Shetty Pharmaceuticals, the makers of this wonderdrug, are into more than health related products and their parent company is based in the United Arab Emeritas.


All your eggs in one basket

Sasktel, the publicly owned utility in Saskatchewan, still has 100% of the local phone market. According to a Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) survey released earlier this week, local competitors have made inroads on traditional phone company turf in every province but Saskatchewan.

Various competitors in Alberta and Ontario now hold almost 10% of the local market. This number is actually surprisingly high since there is so little money to be made in local telephone service provision. The future is in VOIP.


Ashlee Simpson is fried

Watch the video here.


When is a deadline a deadline if a deadline could chop wood

NDP Leader Jack Layton is expected to announce today whether he likes a package of health-care changes the Liberals gave him Thursday night, possibly putting an end to talk of a pre-Christmas election. Layton has threatened to withdraw his party's House of Commons support for Paul Martin's minority Liberal government unless it does something to stop what he considers the privatization of health care.

An NDP spokesperson has said the party won't support the Liberals beyond Nov. 15 if there's no deal. Although, when challenged by Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe to join the other parties in a non-confidence vote and bring down the Liberals, Layton gave this brilliant quote: "We're not into deadline politics. Harper and Duceppe may want to set deadlines, but I don't believe in that approach."

Layton is starting to sound a little like Donald Rumsfield. As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know that there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

My head hurts.


Best Halloween Costume

The winner.


One night stand kit

Coyote Arm - the Sequel.

Courtesy of the Double Viking.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Rough ride in Regina

This Canadian Football League season started with so much promise for Saskatchewan Roughrider fans. The team was returning almost all players - spare Hank Burris - and the coaching staff seemed to be on the same page. This, however, quickly went up in smoke. Star receiver Matt Dominguez went down with a season ending injury and Nealon Greene proved to be a major flop at quarterback.

The Riders were the picture of inconsistency throughout the campaign. Now, however, comes word that one of the team's starters is HIV positive and faces criminal charges. This is a huge deal in a city (and the province) like Regina where every Rider players business is the fans business.

Roughriders linebacker Trevis Smith was arrested and charged in Regina last Friday while he was on his way to a football practice. The RCMP also took the unusual step at that time of revealing that Smith is HIV-positive. They allege Smith knowingly exposed the woman to the virus and did not tell her about his condition. Smith was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a British Columbia woman. Information regarding the health of the woman who made the original complaint has not been released by police.

Smith has since appeared in a British Columbia court and was released on bail. He is slated to reappear in court in two weeks. Smith has been told he must not have sex without a condom, he must disclose to any sexual partner the fact that he is HIV-positive, he must have no involvement in the sex trade and cannot go to bars or nightclubs.

He must also adhere to a curfew of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., not be alone with any female – save for his wife and family – under the age of 14 and have no contact or visits with any complainants. He must also maintain his residence in Regina and must surrender his passport if he has one.

This incident has left the Roughriders reeling as they prepare for the season finale and subsequent playoff match with the Alouettes in Montreal. Graham Barker, chairman of the Roughriders' board of directors, said Monday the team knew a year ago that police were considering charging a player who they say was HIV-positive. Barker also said that the Roughriders couldn't disclose the information to anyone due to confidentiality reasons.

This case has presented some unique armchair quarterbacking for the fans and residents of the province. There are questions about why the Riders and the CFL didn’t act on this information sooner. Did they actually owe it to anyone to disclose the information or, as Graham stated, should they have abided by the confidentiality restrictions?

The lack of action by the Riders and the CFL was probably the only course of action that could have been justified. The team and the league were not obligated to act since no charges were laid and they were legally advised not to act. General Manager Roy Shivers is right to suggest that he doesn’t baby-sit players after games and practices. His team is under an intense microscope in the fishbowl that is Regina and they operate no different than a business with 100 employees - the odd bad apple and slacker or two, but the rest are fine citizens. Shivers and the league can encourage players to use condoms, but they can’t follow them into the bedroom.

Also, the last time anyone checked it isn’t illegal to have sex with multiple partners. It is, however, illegal to have unprotected sex knowingly while infected with HIV. Smith, if guilty, should do his time for this and the team should turn the page.