Saturday, March 29, 2008

Orwell versus The Financial Post

George Orwell on the word "fascism" some six decades ago:
"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."
A Financial Post headline on Wednesday:
"Earth Hour's soft fascism."
It's nice to see that some little nuggets of wisdom simply do not change with the times. I look forward to the day when fascism is even more meaningless. "Oh, it's raining out, how fascist!"

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This is conservative?

Red Tory is saying how some on the right are planning to turn on all their lights for Earth Hour. If you want to try to make positive associations with the word "conservative" you might say things like "prudent" - not something I'd associate with driving up your electric bill for the sake of annoying people who, frankly, won't pay attention to you anyhow. We'll all be having candlelit dinners while you gun your dishwasher, washing machine and whatever else you like.


None of this tonight

Here's Kraftwerk with Neon Lights:

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Mr. McGuinty, Tear Down this OMB

This story makes me so angry. The local community does not want a big box mall, the mayor does not want it, the local city councillor does not want it, local architects and politicians oppose it too. Why does the province allow the unelected, undemocratic Ontario Municipal Board override these types of concerns.

Very quickly, no one should support the OMB:

The Left-Wing Case Against the OMB:
The OMB is so pro-development that concerns such as community and the environment are often overlooked in its decisions.

The Right-Wing Case Against the OMB:
The OMB is a government bureaucracy that centralizes decision making.

There is no good reason to keep this body around unless you are in the developer lobby. The province ought, especially in the case of larger cities, to remove the OMB's power of veto over local decisions.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shorter Jim Flaherty

Ontario is teh stupid!

Now why, oh why, doesn't Ontario move to support the Conservative Party?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Choking on the Katorade

Just as I'm easing back into more regular blogging after a vacation I see that the dear leader of the Brain Dead Animal posse has put this little gem up. I don't have too much more to say than what's been said, Cherniak nails it here and here, Saskboy does a number on her here, Dr. Dawg reflects a bit on the utter stupidity of it all here, and with all that, I can only add that I know exactly what would have happened over at the BTs if a high-profile lefty blogger had made a bizarre, somewhat elliptical comparison between political opponents and Nazis under a title stating that the Nazis weren't responsible for the Holocaust.

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How to lose friends and alienate people

For the talk that Conservatives (large and small-c) make about decentralization and leaving things out of the hands of the federal government, Jim Flaherty sure seems meddlesome. According to the National Compost he's going to discuss his "expectations" for the Ontario budget. Oh really, gee Jim, as I recall, we didn't elect your party last time out so we don't really care around here what you think.

I have an idea, Jim Flaherty, why don't just lay out there and declare your intention to run for John Tory's job? I have a hunch that's why you're really doing this.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Freedom of Speech Attacked

Some of you may have heard that people whose lawns had Liberal signs on them had their cars vandalized during the recent Willowdale byelection. These attacks involved slashing tires and carving "L" into the side of the vehicle with a key. Having grown up in Willowdale and having had a family member there affected by this, it is extremely disconcerting to me (for the record, said family member isn't even a Liberal supporter, the landlord put the sign there).

This sort of act seems designed to intimidate people into not expressing their political views - i.e. it is an attempt to circumvent their free-speech rights by causing hundreds of dollars of damage to their property. If I was still living in Willowdale this kind of thing would certainly make me think twice about putting out a campaign sign and it certainly falls into a different category than, say, just defacing the sign itself.

If this happened to me it would certainly make me a lot more upset than if I was just, say, asked some questions by a civil servant.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

British Comedy Explaining the Markets

This is pretty much what has happened in the past couple months (via):


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Monday, March 17, 2008

What I'm doing on vacation

As described by Robin Williams:

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rock On

I'm still on vacation (yes, this could be considered gloating). Here's Kevin Drew and Broken Social Scene:


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Friday, March 14, 2008

Rock On

I'm on vacation, so here's some more music, this time it's Bishop Allen, Corazon:



Harper's Wonderful Precendent

Darren McEwen points out that if Harper is going to sue for libel, there are certainly no shortage of others that could do likewise.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rock On

Josh Ritter, Girl in the War:

Thanks to Deb for cluing me into this guy's music.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Seats Over

Sadly we have lost another soldier. Right now I'm in Sooke, BC, even further removed from Afghanistan, physically speaking, than when I'm at home. On the flight out here there was a soldier just a couple seats away from me. Generally Canadian Forces travel in green - at least when I've seen them out and about, this guy was in khaki though. I wondered where he had been, was he coming back from the great Over There. I don't know. The people we lose are for the most part only as close as another anonymous air traveler. I suppose that depersonalizes war, we can feel bad for a soldier when they die, but we are not left with that dull ache that their families will probably never fully exorcise. Instead we see our men and women in uniform as, at best, someone in the same general vicinity as we are.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Outta Here

I'm going to BC for a week to see the family. Posting will be, uh, I'm not sure what it will be, but I won't have to shovel anything for a bit!


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Atoning for my movie-watching sins

My not being able to get into the Godfather has caused a fair amount of comment critical of my movie taste, and fair enough, I know it has quite a few passionate fans. It will stay that way I'm sure unless Coppola decides to make some ill-conceived prequels like the maker of a certain other 1970s-originated trilogy.

I think my problem is that I've not sat down and properly given the thing my full attention. I figure that it's problematic that I've never seen it from the beginning and have therefore been unable to figure out who everyone is. I mean, I know who the actors are, but unless, say, Robert Duvall's character is named "Robert Duvall" and is supposed to be a Hollywood actor, or he's reprising a role he had in another movie, I don't know who he is supposed to be. That said, at this stage I should stop offering excuses, I will attempt to watch the whole film from start to finish on DVD (assuming Blockbuster has it in stock). The other problem I think for me is that it's always on TV and once something breaks for commercials, frankly I'm gone. My viewing habits are like this: A bit of Godfather, a bit of Gordon Ramsay yelling at someone, Robot Chicken, The Simpsons (if it's a good one), some checking BBC World Service, seeing what "real" situation the directors have set up for Gene Simmons this week, some... wait, was I watching some kind of 1970s mafia film?

Perhaps it would be better if I had been old enough to see it, or alive, when it came out in theatres. I suppose I could have rented it before, but when you go to the video store, who recommends renting The Godfather anyway? I mean, what kind of idiot hasn't seen The Godfather in its entirety anyway? I know enough to fake it at parties, "oh yeah, Godfather, greatest movie, toll booth, horse head, offer that cannot be refused, Brando, Coppola, star-studded cast, day of my daughter's wedding, lots of man-kisses." Everyone can fake it, but, you know, I'd prefer not to. Of course taste is so subjective, it is possible that I watch the thing and not enjoy it too. What happens then, should I watch for the mob with pitchforks and torches? Will IMDb no longer load on my computer? Will I feel guilty that my favourite movie made by any Coppola right now is Sofia's Lost in Translation? (It's in my top-three overall as well, don't hate, I had a Scarlett Johansson phase.)

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Tax Credit Thought Experiment

Religious groups currently get support from the government in the form of various tax exemptions. What if a secret committee of the Heritage ministry had to vet religions to make sure that they weren't offensive to people who may have been appointed merely out of patronage. What do you think of that, Chuck McVety?

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Time Wasters

Now that I'm on vacation, this is going to gobble up a shameful amount of my time!

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Beating a Dead Horse

Stephane Dion, go directly to an election, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not abstain from confidence motions. A mediocre budget, Cadscam, Brodiegate, what does it take? Does Stephen Harper need to defecate on the flag in the middle of the House of Commons while giving the finger to a Mountie? What? The Bloc and the NDP are ready, your own people have grown impatient. You can bring down the government, Stephane, as Rob Schneider says, you can do it! I've sort of sat on a progressive fence for a long time now, but damn it, I'm so tempted to explicitly join the NDP or the Greens in large part to register my dissatisfaction with this foot-dragging and equivocation.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

From the Obvious Department

The Conservatives have won Alberta's provincial election. I'll remember this the next time someone from the West complains that what keeps the federal Cons out of majority territory is that Ontarians are reluctant to try a different party. Yeah, right.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Confession

I just cannot get into the Godfather. It was on TV again tonight and I just can't find it in myself to sit through the whole thing. I've seen bits and pieces but never the whole film. I admit that the toll-both shoot-up was pretty cool, but the rest just seems to be a lot of talking and silent misery and on and on. What am I missing here?


Charles McVety is an Idiot

A while ago I called Charles McVety a "professional embarrassment to religion" and today I see that Red Tory has found the clip I had in mind when I uttered those words. Here's McVety making a complete and total idiot of himself:

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