Thursday, August 31, 2006


Sweethearts not bleeding hearts

The Western Standard's Shotgun has growth potential. It should acquire Lava Life. Or, at the very least think about playing up the "cruise." I mean days out a sea with Ezra really have inherent limited appeal.

There is now a place for Conservative Singles, Conservative Events, and more. Find people who share your cultural, political and religious values. With a culture that is often hostile to conservative values our goal is to provide alternative resources.

Apparently the old days of simply stating - Single white male seeking single white female are gone. They are, after all, no longer politically correct.

Don't believe me. Cruise the site and see it is whiter than snow.

Sample profile:

Age: 36; JAY, ME

General Interests: Conservative Talk Radio, Fair Tax, Politics, Rottweilers, my children, building, creating, designing and changing my environment. Spicy foods and muscle cars are also interesting.


You have Mail

Your Fired.

That was the message that Radio Shack (The Source in Canada) sent out to 400 employees in the US. No pink slip, just a simple pink email.

Labour relations just hit a new low. The nasty HR lady has been replaced by Max Headroom.


Christmas Dinner 2006 will be - in one word - Awkward

Apparently her sister-in-law may not pass the roast so easily this holiday season. CNN’s Kyra Phillips got caught, well, with her skirt down. Someone in CNN left her mic open and on the air as she went to the loo in the middle of President Bush’s speech commemorating the Katrina anniversary. So instead of getting the president’s remarks, CNN’s audience got that and Phillips in some girl-chat.

Newsbusters has the transcript.

I also like Bush's explaination of the levy system. Most people in the US don't understand how the levy system works - include Bush in that category.


Hannah and Cedar Part II - Mainstream Media joins in

Nice of the Star Kleenex to engage in "news" weeks after the fact. The tale of Hannah and Cedar's abduction just keeps on getting more bizarre. A couple disturbing things have emerged:

Joe, who has both Australian and Lebanese citizenship, is now the subject of international warrants and an extradition order, and is charged with two counts of child abduction.

However, Calgary police Det. Theresa Garagan said the case is complicated by the fact that neither Australia nor Lebanon will recognize the Canadian extradition order.

Well it is not a shock that Lebanon does not recognize Canadian extradition order but it's a tad shocking that Australia doesn't.

The worst part of the story are the demands placed on Melissa by now ex-husband and child abductor Joe:

Engdahl and his daughter flew to Australia last week, where Joe's family told them that Lebanese passports had been acquired for the girls and that they would not be returned to Australia unless Melissa agrees to live in an apartment of their choosing in Sydney, give Joe full custody and have charges against him dropped.

Here is hoping that Melissa finds a happy ending to this sad and twisted tale. She is a good person and nobody deserves to suffer this cruel and unusual punishment.

Thanks to Prairie Boy for the tip - I had the Star article open on the laptop, but you provided the bump.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


If, ands or buts

If the current New Brunswick election was fought under the old rules, the Liberals would have won. This according to the CTV New Brunswick Election Specialist - wonder what his day job is?

Good Ole Hindsight.

This election features two leaders who are under - not to put too fine a point on it - immense pressure. Bernard Lord created a good brand and has steadily seen his / his party's popularity decline. He was once the darling of the "unite the right movement" and is now a B-list candidate who is more likely to end up on the "Where are they now list?", then to end up in Ottawa.

Shawn Graham has to convince people / his party / himself that he can put the Liberals over the top. It is not nearly enough to chip away at Lord. He needs to TKO the government.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Alberta's Dirty Little Secret

Alberta Progressive (insert snicker here) Conservative leadership candidate Ted Morton has seen his push for "equality" stopped. Morton had proposed a bill that would have forbidden anyone from being punished legally for refusing to solemnize a same-sex marriage or for speaking out on or acting on their beliefs against gay marriage. It would also have put limits on the discussion of same-sex marriage in schools.

Morton is of a dying bred - the Palo-Conservative. He is so concerned about protecting the past that he can not see the future. Albertans have bigger issues to deal with than whether Red Neck Randy can spew his opinions about Adam and Steve. Good thing Jim Dinning and others will actually purpose progressive social and economic ideas, otherwise those of us in Central Canada may actually believe that Alberta is governed by rednecks for rednecks.

FYI - Paul Stanway in today's Edmonton Sun - need I say more - has it wrong. The Bill was never about a gay "victory" lap or getting everyone to conform or support the gay agenda. That type of language is pure and utter fear tactics by the worried right.

Friday, August 25, 2006


We love silver foxes, foxy foxes and Vulpes vulpes

Two-thirds of the 3 G's are being reached out to in the New Brunswick election. What are the 3 G's you ask? The G's are crude and not political correct - Greens, Gays and Greys and taken together they form the new nexus of power.

The first major issue in the New Brunswick election campaign has emerged and it appeals directly to one group- Seniors. Wow, what a complete surprise. A de-populating, largely rural influenced province is witnessing parties think to the future with promises to support the past.

The second major issue emerging is energy / environment. High gas prices are not sitting well with the folks in New Brunswick.


Brain Drain Gain

Washington's gain will be every Albertan gain. Or is it every Calgary bar owner’s loss? I can't keep them straight.

Soon to be former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has accepted a post as a guest lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Klein said he will talk about practical politics — street politics as he knows it for a cool $5,000 US a month for the three-month term in the fall of 2007.

That will mean plenty of happy hours around Dupont Circle. Those in Washington should look for Ralph. He will be the guy with the big red nose throwing money at the homeless.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


New wave

First the environment, now Aboriginal issues. Suddenly, there are some good ideas emerging from the Liberal leadership race and they are coming in bunches.

Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff indicated at a campaign stop in Duncan that he believes the federal government should consider disbanding the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) and turning responsibility for aboriginal services over to local First Nations organizations.

There are pros and cons with this announcement, however, having watching and worked with some in INAC, I can not say that the thought has crossed my mind at least a couple of hundred times. I would be hesitant to turn over complete control instantly, but a plan for withdrawal could be in order.

This suggestion goes further than the Robert Nault White Paper, which was a good first start. Too bad Martin lacked the courage and that file and about 1,000 others.


The Academy has spoken

I had to do a double take at the posters on Bloor Street. Wow! Authorized by the university.

Their message is simple:

There are universities and then there are universities. So let's not beat around the bush.

Lakehead is different.

We believe the person you become after you graduate is even more important than the person you were when you enrolled.

Our professors and staff will prepare you to meet the challenges of your chosen profession. Experience a dynamic university in a unique environment. Make the smart choice. Go to a university that cares how well you do after you leave.

The marketing campaign by Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario sure beats the old slogan - Come for the lake, stay for the head.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Angels and Demons

Western Canadian provinces may want to consider the latest anti-drug trend emerging in many US states. It is rare that this writer would call for duplication of any American policy on drugs since the War on Drugs has been the second biggest combat battle under the Bush Administration. This one, however, appears to have merit.

US States increasingly frustrated with the growth of toxic methamphetamine labs are creating Internet registries - similar to pedophile registries - to publicize the names of people convicted of making or selling meth, the cheap and highly addictive stimulant plaguing communities across the nation.

This seems like the next logical step to combat this ugly drug and its unnecessary spread in rural and urban areas. Landlords should have the right to know if the prospective tenants are deadbeat, drug makers. The rapidly increasing popularity needs to be cut-off.

Vic Toews could turn his attention to this instead of waxing poetic about 10 year olds. Does this not make sense?


Instant Divorce

Husband: Hey Honey, I bought us a new sofa!

Spouse: Great, let's see it. Pause.... It, umm, doesn't go with anything.

The NFL enters the home decor business. Divorce lawyers everywhere do backflips.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Blue Jay Antics

Chewy throws out the first pitch, is pulled by John Gibbons and has Hans Solo take him out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Your Friendly Neighbourhood Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart sure knows how to win friends and influence people. The company often comes under fire for its "questionable" labour practices - read low wages, little or no benefits, sexist policies and decidedly anti-union stance.

Add another great piece to the company's history. Andrew Young, the American civil rights leader who was hired by Wal- Mart Stores to improve its public image, has resigned from that post after telling an African-American newspaper that Jewish, Arab and Korean shop owners had "ripped off" urban communities for years, "selling us stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables."

In the interview, published Thursday in The Los Angeles Sentinel, a weekly, Young said Wal-Mart should displace mom-and-pop stores in urban neighbourhoods.

"You see those are the people who have been overcharging us," he said of the owners of the small stores, "and they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now its Arabs."

As David Roberts at Grist Magazine writes, Wal-Mart is continually re-branding itself:

In close consultation with Amory Lovins' Rocky Mountain Institute, Scott pledged to double the efficiency of Wal-Mart's enormous truck fleet by 2015 and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from its existing stores and warehouses by 20 percent over the same stretch. By 2008, Wal-Mart will have a store design that uses 30 percent less energy and produces 30 percent fewer GHG emissions, developed out of the experimental green stores in McKinney, Texas, and Aurora, Colorado. It will reduce solid waste from its stores and clubs by 25 percent in three years.

The company also plans to reduce overall packaging, move heavily into organic products (textiles and food), and even -- if you believe the chatter -- buy more local food.

Wal-Mart's notorious monopoly powers force suppliers to bend to its will or suffer. Normally this is a lamentable state of affairs, but if such power is wielded on behalf of the environment, the ramifications could be astounding. By Scott's own reckoning, 90 percent of Wal-Mart's environmental impact will come through influence on its supply chain.

For example, the company is ordering wild-caught seafood from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. It's developing a sustainable certification system for gold. In areas where Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer -- and those are legion -- its demands could transform whole industries.

Influence will also pass forward into the enormous customer base. More than other greening companies like GE and Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart has direct, personal relationships with millions and millions of ordinary Americans of every class and color. It can educate them about eco-friendly products and behaviours; indeed, in its ubiquity it cannot help but educate them. The company is also a cultural icon, the very emblem of Middle America. By embracing green thinking, Wal-Mart could drain it of its poisonous ideological connotations and enshrine it instead as common sense. Ecology could be removed from the culture wars.

And finally, influence will move out laterally, as a signal to other businesses that green is smart. Environmentalists have been saying for years that business eco-makeover need not be an act of altruism. Reducing waste -- wasted energy, wasted packaging, and wasted time -- is the very essence of good management. Despite Scott's moral gloss, Wal-Mart would not be undertaking these reforms if they weren't going to pay off in the bottom line.

One should also pay attention to Wal-Mart's move into organic food. The very reason that organic is popular is that it isn’t mass produced and provides the customer with piece of mind that production means are, at least humane, but also ethical.

There is a great Wal-Mart blog here.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Psst... Say that again

A U.S. federal judge has ruled on the side of common sense on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's domestic eavesdropping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.

The Bush Administration disagrees and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the ruling will be appealed.

The Administration’s rationale:

"The program is carefully administered and targets only international phone calls coming into or out of the United States where one of the parties on the call is a suspected al Qaeda or affiliated terrorist."

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Divine Intervention

New Brunswick residents will head to polls on September 18th. Yesterday's Flavour of the Month Bernard Lord (and three term Student Union President at the Université de Moncton) will be looking for his electoral hat-trick.

Lord has, to understate a point, had a rough few years. He has misread a couple of resource files and completely botched the auto insurance file. In short, he has proven to be a sizzle and no substance.

The big question is, will New Brunswick residents turf a Tory. The whole Atlantic is governed by Tories.

Expect more analysis in the coming weeks. I will be leaning on my Maritime desk for assistance.

Predictions are encouraged.


Productivity Drains

Office workers combing the league waiver wire for running backs or back-up quarterbacks are part of a growing number of fantasy football owners costing employers as much as $1.1 billion a week in lost productivity, according to a study released Wednesday.

During the National Football League regular season, nearly 37 million people spend an average of 50 minutes a week at work managing their fantasy teams comprised of real-life players tallying points based on statistical performance, according to outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas. CGI's estimate was based on an estimated 36.8 million fantasy football participants, multiplied by $6, gauged to be their average earnings every 10 minutes.

Fantasy sports ranks with shopping on eBay's Web auction site and online poker as the biggest waste of productivity at the workplace, said John Challenger, CEO of the consulting firm

The study also cited a survey saying average fantasy sports owners spend 34 minutes a day just thinking about their teams and spend close to $500 a year on fantasy sports.

FYI - CGI is the same firm that ran lost productivity costs at $3.8 billion for March Madness. In fact, for every 13.5 minutes workers spent on the Internet watching March Madness games, which begin on March 16, the cost to employers in lost wages alone exceeded $237 million. Over the 16 days of the tournament the figure was slated to reach as high as $3.8 billion

FYI part deux - Moldy sits in a lousy 7th in his baseball draft after two previous stints in the money.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


2/3 agree with John

John Prescott has given vent to his private feelings about the Bush presidency, summing up George Bush's administration in a single word: crap.

The Deputy Prime Minister's condemnation of President Bush and his approach to the Middle East could cause a diplomatic row but it will please Labour MPs who are furious about Tony Blair's backing of the United States over the bombing of Lebanon.

Those remarks happen on the same day that new poll shows U.S. President George W Bush's approval rating has fallen yet again. A new Zogby International telephone poll shows Bush's approval rating has fallen two points to 34 percent.


Chewy on the Skins

Borat introducing Gnarls Barkley - The stars of 2006 collide. Anyway, the Star Wars/Darth Vader stage show is pretty cool. You gotta love Chewbacca on the drums and a Storm Trooper on bass.


Headline Hog

Two cancelled healthcare announcements, a cranky Saskatchewan caucus, a fired airline pilot and a Middle-East trip deep sixed. If only Stephen Harper could clone himself, he could be 15 places at once.


The Lowest of the Low

It is almost time for Political Sweeps or the Mid-term Elections. New York Senate Republican candidate John Spencer, who has a slim to none chance of defeating his challenger, is grasping at a series of short straws. Spencer evokes the image of Bin Laden and Hillary Clinton, not once but twice.

Finally, check out Spencer running for the nomination againist a fellow Republican.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Welcome back Carter

He may not be George Bush and they not be a powerful family, but Jimmy Carter's Son has won the Democratic Nevada primary. Jack Carter will now face Republican U.S. Sen. John Ensign in November in Nevada, where voters also were picking candidates to replace popular Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Monday, August 14, 2006



The 2006 AIDS Conference in Toronto will hear from many world, business, scientific and philanthropic world leaders except Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I am not going to bash Harper for doing what Jean Chrétien did before him - skip the Conference. I am, however, not going to go along with his voyage north. He has made a bad situation, worse.

The issue of Artic sovereignty is an important one. Former Paul Martin latched onto it as a number 1 priority for about 24 hours. In fact, the issue is far too important for current Prime Minister to cheapen it by instructing his minions to find him somewhere to be during the Conference.

If Harper didn't want to attend to the AIDS Conference in Toronto then he should have went on vacation instead of heading up to Artic to throw a couple of Northerns a perceived bone. He could have discovered the North on or about August 18th.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Hot Chicks with Douchebags

Love the site. This should be a classic entry. Bestselling author – and Dr. Phil's son – Jay McGraw married actress and Playboy model Erica Dahm on Saturday.

Dahm has been in films including Pauly Shore Is Dead and Juwanna Man. She appeared with her sisters in the December 1998 issue of Playboy. This is the first marriage for both. The fine print should state "and it won't be the last!"

Friday, August 11, 2006


Friends Optional

There are daily inventions which are moving society in a direction where social contact with other humans will be a foreign concept in the next decade. MSN? Google Talk? My space? Now comes Air hockey Over a Distance.

The game is played like a conventional air hockey game. However, the table is split in half and the two ends are connected via a network. The players can see and hear each other at all times. They shoot a real puck back and forth, trying to score a goal. Once the puck passes the midway-line, its location is detected, and a corresponding physical puck is shot out at the other table.

People, Robert Putnam was using a metaphor to describe a situation when he penned Bowling Alone. It was not meant as encouragement.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


How the mighty have fallen

Joe Lieberman will need more than a slideshow to get back on the national radar. Democrats in Connecticut showed the former Vice-Presidental candidate the door Tuesday night.

Connecticut // U.S. Senate - - Dem Primary 724 of 748 Precincts Reporting - 96.79%

Lamont, Ned 141,623 51.85% **Winner
Lieberman, Joe (i) 131,491 48.15%

Lieberman, who is popular state wide with independents and amongst some Republicans, will likely run as an Independent and will probably win. However, it is not the way he would have wanted it.


Black Holes, Black Poles

The Campaign for Corporate Responsibility in the United States is targeting hotel porn sellers. The Citizens for Community Values (CCV) and pro-family groups are calling on Department of Justice to investigate OnCommand and LodgeNet for potential violations of federal and state obscenity laws. Here is their plea - which ran as full page ad in the USA Today on August 8th:

Adult hardcore pornography can tragically lead to sex crimes against women and children. Yet prosecutable sex videos are available within a few clicks in millions of U.S. hotel rooms. We are calling on the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation to immediately investigate the companies that distribute it to determine whether "adult" videos being sold in hotels by OnCommand and LodgeNet violate long-established Federal and State laws regarding distribution of obscene material.

OnCommand, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp., and LodgeNet distribute the “worst of the worst” in graphic, hardcore pornographic videos. CEOs John Malone of Liberty Media and Scott Petersen of LodgeNet are chief among the nation’s “white collar pornographers.”

CCV President Phil Burress believes these movies - titles here - are more than mere nudity.

"We’re talking about every conceivable form of degrading, distorted sex. We’re talking about the types of material, which are addictive in nature, which men are lured into viewing in the privacy of their hotel rooms, and which have been responsible for sexual crimes and for the breakdown of countless marriages, families and careers. And we’re talking about a company and its leader who care more about the dollar than about those men, women, children and families.”

It is a known fact that registered sex offenders use adult hardcore pornography as a high-octane fuel to direct dangerous sexual behaviour toward others, including children. The often-addictive nature of pornography – which many view as a private act – continues to have drastic public consequences.

For more than 23 years Roger Young investigated obscenity cases as an FBI agent and trained prosecutors in the enforcement of federal obscenity laws. He states that, "in the majority of cases where sexual predators were arrested, pornography was associated with the commission of the crime and/or found to be in the possession of the offender."

Reams of additional evidence link the use of adult hardcore pornography to the commission of sex crimes by sexual predators. So why is such a toxic ‘drug’ so readily available in virtually any hotel room in this country? Three words: Money. Money. Money.

Causation vs. correlation. The argument raises its head again. Alcohol fuels alcoholics, who in turn drive drunk and have a higher risk of getting into traffic accidents. Should we pull mini-bars out of hotels?

What business do these groups have telling hotels how to run their business? The blanket approach of "protecting American values" is a shame. It is protecting Christian values, not American values. Conservatives are usually the first in line on market intervention. Unless somehow, someway God can be evoked.

FYI - Yes this is the same group that spearheaded the ban on gay marriage in the US. It is also the same group that is leading the charge in many counties, cities and states to close strip clubs and adult bookstores at midnight and prohibit lap dancing.

In Ohio, the issue would prohibit nude dancing within 6 feet of customers and require sexually oriented businesses to close from midnight to 6 a.m. Strip clubs with permits to sell alcohol could remain open, but the entertainment would have to stop at midnight. So, it would turn into a brothel?

If this decision passes Ohio, where the ban is first being pushed, can join Saskatchewan as the most ass backward jurisdiction for handling alcohol and nudity. Why not just have a siren go off when the dancing is going to start, encourage patrons to leave the room without drinks and proceed to a new, staged area? On second thought, Saskatchewan tried that and it was an abject failure along with the $5 colas.

The notion that these social conservative groups want to micromanage every aspect of the bedroom is laughable. These are the same idiots who are against public healthcare, taxes and any form of government intervention in the economy. However, if Adam and Steve love each other and watch the occasional porn at the Sheraton. Lock em' up.


Bears lose the bad news

One word - Finally. Now, Boston can truly rebuild. Is there any chance we could convince Milbury to head to Del Bocha Vista?

I have a larger story for this weekend on the Bruins and the Blackhawks. The tale of two original six teams heading in opposite directions. Boston fans can take solace, Blackhawk fans should seek out Bill Wirtz and plead him to sell. He is a disgrace as an owner.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Barry White would be proud

A new report released by RAND (funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) appearing in Pediatrics (The Journal for American Pediatrics) links music and sexual behaviour. The article titled - The Exposure to Degrading Versus Nondegrading Music Lyrics and Sexual Behaviour Among Youth finds listening to music with degrading sexual lyrics is related to advances in a range of sexual activities among adolescents, whereas this does not seem to be true of other sexual lyrics.

This result is consistent with sexual-script theory and suggests that cultural messages about expected sexual behaviour among males and females may underlie the effect. Reducing the amount of degrading sexual content in popular music or reducing young people's exposure to music with this type of content could help delay the onset of sexual behaviour.

Now I am sure that the no responsible government organization would back the media reports that are stating "Raunchy Lyrics Prompt Teens To Have Sex." This isn't actually true. What the study found is the age old struggle society has in interpreting data. Is it causation or correlation.
Causation - the act of causing something to happen

Correlation - the relationship between two variables during a period of time, especially one that shows a close match between the variables' movements.

For example, all utility stocks tend to have a high degree of correlation because their share prices are influenced by the same forces.
Listening to sexually suggestive lyrics is correlated with sexual behaviour. It doesn't cause it. There are many reasons why youth are having sex at a young age and I am sure that one of them is music, however, it is not the sole driver. Movies? Television? Raunch culture? Female empowerment? Lack of role models? Decline of the nuclear family? Sexual revolution hangover?


....but commentary will be available from family members.

CNN has scored a coup over its rival Fox News by hiring, as a contributor, Alina Fernandez. Alina Who? Why she is the exiled daughter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and a critic of her father's policies. Fernandez, who left Cuba in 1993, is based in Miami.

Fox News has countered with the addition of Dennis Miller. Just when it looked like Fox was loosing their grip on angry, white males. Fear not, Miller will add a jolt of arrogance and may actually make Bill O'Reilly look sane.


Happy Whatever Day

Go Celebrate the holiday that nobody bothered to name or can name in some parts - Simcoe Day in TO. Tough luck for Quebec and Alberta residents, you had fun earlier this year.


Army protest

There were 200 deeply concerned individuals marching demanding justice for one of the greatest oversights in the history of music. Fans of the iconic rock band KISS, many sporting concert T-shirts and some with their faces painted in the black and white designs made famous by the band, protested in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland on Saturday to demand that KISS be inducted into the hall.

My first thought when reading the story was that surely KISS was in the Hall. Nope. Maybe they aren't eligible. Wrong. A quick scan of the eligibility requirements and one can see that they are more than qualified:

Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

KISS, for the record, beginning with its self-titled debut album in 1974 (31 years ago), have recorded 36 albums, selling more than 75 million copies worldwide.
Not to mention single handily made Detroit call again.

If Aerosmith, Blondie and ZZ Top can make it in with half the talent and far less musical influence, KISS should be a lock.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Booby Prize

The cover of this months Babytalk magazine, a free US parenting magazine that caters to young mothers, is causing quite a stir with a "graphic" image. Americans are crying foul over the publication's latest cover depicting a woman breastfeeding, with some calling the photo offensive and disgusting.

There have been over 5,000 letters sent to the magazine in response to a poll to gage reader sentiment about Babytalk's August cover photo, which shows a baby nursing. One woman from Kansas wrote:

"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine. I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table."

Another reader said she was "horrified" when she received the magazine and hoped that her husband hadn't laid eyes on it.

"I had to rip off the cover since I didn't want it laying around the house," she said.

Understandably the editors of the magazine are somewhat perplexed. The US government and health professionals have attempted to encourage women to breastfeed by raising awareness about the benefits.

Babytalk executive editor Lisa Moran said everyone is saying that breastfeeding is best for baby but there is so little support for it in public. Moran chalks that up to the real puritanical streak running through America. Celebrities, according to Moran, get a free pass to bare their wares while Americans cringe at the sight of a breast with an occupant.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Peak Stone

The prolific John Murney has adopted Peak Oil as one of his main threads on his blog. Peak Oil is an interesting discussion topic from both a social and economic perspective, however, it is no where as explosive as Peak Stone.

Having recently returned from some r and r in Saskatchewan, I came face to face with the Stone phenomenon - Rolling Stone. The self proclaimed biggest rock band in the world are set to hit Saskatchewan on October 6th and 8th in Regina.

Stones tickets ignited a frenzy in the province. Radio talk shows were a buzz, in typical Saskatchewan fashion, with all kinds of complaints. Unfair ticket sales. Preferred tickets for Rider season tickets holders. Government sponsorship. Where will all the concert goers stay? Vouchers instead of tickets. Honestly, a woman called in WITH tickets and bitched about having to wait for her physical tickets until they are officially distributed later this month. The only legitimate complaint should be that the opening act is Three Days Grace. New York has Kayne West; Regina a never was rock act.

Now, Peak oil theory states: that any finite resource, (including oil), will have a beginning, middle, and an end of production, and at some point it will reach a level of maximum output.

I would like to suggest that we are dangerous close to Peak Stone. They began in the 1960's with a bang. Had their middle in the mid-to-late 1970's. And started on the climb to the end in the late 1990's. They should be hitting maximum output any day now. I mean even Cher stopped the "farewell tour" concept eons ago.

Similar to the western world's addiction to oil, the developed world seems hooked on "classic rock." This genre, as near as I can tell, consists of a heavy rotation of the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and a non-descript third band (early Genesis?) and then the rotation starts all over again. As the boomers age, we should start hearing less and less of this.

I suppose once the Stones start playing weddings and bat mitzvahs, we will know they have jumped the shark.


Kyoto is unaffordable...

....when you are pissing money aware on other things.

Cass Sustain in the Washington Post has a great piece on why America should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Actually, it is how the total cost of fighting War in Iraq will soon exceed the total projected cost of Kyoto.

The total cost of implementing the Kyoto Accord in the United States is projected be about $300 billion. Ironically, that cost is the same as the ongoing War in Iraq. The same war that the Bush Administration claimed would be both (a) Cheap - only $50 million max. They have since gone back to the piggybank at least 10 times for extend the ole' war line of credit. (b) Painless - Iraqis will celebrate in the streets and usher in a new democratic regime. Oops, someone miss read that script and also forgot to plan for security after the fall.

The Bush administration has repeatedly stated that the cost of adhering to the Kyoto Protocol would be prohibitive, causing (in President Bush's own words) "serious harm to the U.S. economy." I suppose the ongoing cost - both financially and with human lives - of the Iraq war

The real issue is actual global and not just limited to the United States. For the world as a whole, the comparison between the Iraq war and the Kyoto Protocol is even more dramatic. The worldwide cost of the war is already much higher than the anticipated worldwide cost of the Kyoto Protocol -- possibly at least $100 billion higher. The worldwide cost of the war now exceeds $500 billion, a figure that includes the cost to Iraq (more than $160 billion) and to non-American coalition countries (more than $40 billion). For the Kyoto Protocol, full compliance is projected to cost less than $400 billion, because the United States would bear most of the aggregate costs.

As Sustain points out there are legitimate questions which can be asked about these numbers. For the Kyoto Protocol, the estimates require a lot of projection and guesswork; much depends on issues of implementation, which could drive costs up or down. Many environmentalists believe that the $325 billion figure is inflated. Perhaps technological innovations would significantly reduce that cost.

Congressional appropriations for the Iraq war will soon exceed $300 billion and counting (generally at a rate of more than $4 billion per month). But to obtain an adequate total, it is necessary not only to take account of appropriations but also to consider the full range of costs, which include more than 2,000 deaths and many thousands of injuries to U.S. servicemen and women. Specialists disagree about how to monetize these costs; some people object to the whole exercise.

In addition, a full assessment would have to look at benefits as well as costs. The Kyoto Protocol would reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, but to evaluate the agreement we need to know how much good it would actually do. What would the United States get for its $325 billion investment? Scientists agree that the Kyoto Protocol would make only a small dent in climate change by 2100. Its defenders respond that the agreement would spur new technologies and provide an international framework for major reductions.

By the time it ends, the war in Iraq is expected to cost the United States at least $500 billion and possibly $1 trillion or more. But if the war leads to a large decrease in the risk of terrorist attacks and to a wave of democratization in the Middle East, perhaps the money will have been well spent.

Bottom line. Priority wins the day. Conservatives appear much more enamoured with saving oil supplies for an unknown period of consumption rather than actual committing to exploring the possibilities of alternative energy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Senate to curb interstate abortion runs...

.... and Greyhound reports a 25% decline in business.

Voting 65-34, the Senate has passed legislation that would make it illegal to take a pregnant teen to another state for an abortion without her parents' approval. The House already has passed a similar bill, but it differs significantly from the Senate version and must be reconciled before being sent to President Bush. The bill calls for fines and jail of up to one year, but exempts interstate abortions that save the life of the mother.

Meanwhile, America can't balance it's books and the bodies pile up in Iraq. We all, however, can rest easy knowing that nobody will help Sally make a run for the border.

Read more about it here.


Downsizing and the Catholic Church

An excellent article by Richard W. Garnett in the USA Today.

Garnett highlights two really important points:

1 - The Catholic social support system has played a key role in providing education, hope, safety, opportunity and values to vulnerable and marginalized children of all religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. Similarly, Catholic hospitals have long cared for underserved and disadvantaged people in both urban and rural areas, and helped to fill glaring gaps in the availability of health care.

2 - There is no good reason to petition the courts to stop the closure of many of the "targetted" churchs. The notion of separation of church and state — means that a secular court should not review the merits of the church's decisions, no matter how painful they might be to parishioners, students and teachers. It is not the government's job to referee intra-church disputes or tell churches with limited resources how best to carry out their religious missions.

Joel Plaskett sums up my thoughts on Catholicism:

I went to church on Christmas Eve
For the first time in a century
I sang the carols but I could not believe
This non-believer


Last Man Standing

Conservative Christian broadcaster (and failed Republican Presidental candidate) Pat Robertson has finally seen the light and maybe, just maybe it is a little too bright and way too warm. Robertson has become a a global warming "convert."

Pat has done a 180 from his stance on the issue last year. In 2005, Robertson said natural disasters affecting the globe, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita that wrecked the U.S. Gulf Coast, might be signs that the biblical apocalypse was nearing.

Plus, last October, Robertson said the National Association of Evangelicals was teaming up with "far left environmentalists" by saying global warming was caused by humans and needed to be mitigated.


Big Screen Bobby

The greatest non-United States President ever will finally have a movie on a portion of his life and accomplishments hit the silver screen. On November 22, 2006 Emilio Estevez, yep of Mighty Duck fame, will step behind the camera and direct a flick that he wrote on Robert Kennedy.

The cast includes: Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Elijah Wood, William H. Macy, Helen Hunt, Christian Slater, Heather Graham, Laurence Fishburne, Freddy Rodriguez, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen, Shia LaBeouf, Jacob Vargas, Brian Geraghty, Joshua Jackson, Joy Bryant, Svetlana Metkina, Kip Pardue, David Krumholtz, Harry Belafonte, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Coles notes on the movie - in the words of "Stakeout" Estevez:

Bobby is a fictionalised account of various people whose lives intersect in the hours leading up to and including the assassination of Senator Robert. F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The film is a journey of the heart that examines the relationships between men and women, between races and the social divisions that have clipped away the foundation of our humanity. We are given a glimpse into how life can be drastically changed in a moment in time, an indelible event in our nation's history. The characters are ordinary American's who find themselves at the epicentre of one of the most important incidents of the 20th Century.

Bobby is seen through the eyes of twenty-two characters. The hope, excitement and notion that a change is in the air, which Kennedy ignited in us all, black and white, rich and poor, young and old was extinguished that evening in June. From young men in their late teens to early twenties, facing the possibility of shipping off to Vietnam, to the retired doorman of the Ambassador, who has greeted the likes of every U.S. President from FDR to Johnson. From the hotel staff to the guests whom occupy the suites, to the "Youth of Kennedy Volunteers", all ages and genders are represented in screenplay.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The 10 Best Will Ferrell Skits of All Time

Be prepared to laugh.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Help Wanted

Let me hope for a second that this event coincidently falls as the Middle East is exploding.

An old friend - in Calgary - from high school had her little girls taken from her. It appears the girl's father took them overseas and has no intention of returning. The father, Joseph Hawach, is Lebanese and lived in Australia for several years. He is expected to take them to either Australia or Lebanon. Joseph Hawach is travelling with his mother Gladys Hawach. The little girl’s names are Hannah and Cedar Hawach.

If you have any information you can contact Melissa at