Monday, April 30, 2007


I can attest to the attitude of which he speaks even municipally as trying to get anything done, even initiatives that save money, while protecting the environment and better health are often spurrned. Its as if we, the collective we, once relished the new, the bold, and making the barely possible a standard reality. Now we just cling to those great feats, now as old, if not older than most of our parents.

What the hell are we so afraid of?

"Idealists once, we are now just mere American consorts
America has changed. Stands to reason that the debate in Canada about America should change. But not only has it not changed, it hardly exists.

In a column last week, it was noted how we watch in relative silence as the U.S. experiences its biggest upheaval since the 1960s. The stakes are very high yet we don't seem to care. If the Americans are undermining the system of collective security they fathered, don't worry about it.

If they are rolling back their storied freedoms, fine. If, through their deathly fixation with Iraq, they leave the Afghanistan campaign in a perilous state, let's look on numbly. Let's do the same as they stoke the world's arms race with a rush for yet more stockpiles -- even though their military spending is already five times that of any other country. And if the enormous debts they compile threaten our and other economies, why raise a voice? It didn't used to be this way. One need only recall how we responded to another period of great American turmoil -- the Vietnam/Watergate era.

In the 1960s and the 1970s, the debate on the United States was intense and robust in our Parliament and beyond. We had the gall to challenge the Western military model by substantially cutting our NATO forces in Europe. We welcomed draft dodgers, were the first to recognize China, sought warmer relations with the Soviet Union.

We fought the import of low-brow culture, looked for third options, pushed hard to get the superpowers moving on Cold War solutions.

Some of it may have been wrongheaded and our impact on American thinking probably didn't amount to much. But the world got to know the Canadian conscience was different. We let ourselves know that.

There was some idealism around this place. We didn't kneel at the altar of militarism.
Today, by contrast, it's eyes wide shut. We timorously take it all in. "If there is something we fear more than the damage the Americans are doing," said Abe Rotstein, a leading nationalist voice in the former era, "it is the prospect of our doing something about it." In the 1970s, the activists, their views vindicated on Vietnam, were in the vanguard. In this decade, the activists, their views vindicated on Iraq, not to mention global warming, have no such standing.
Speak out back then and you were cool. Speak out today and some fount of wisdom with a Fox News mentality will come down on you -- to borrow a phrase from Hunter S. Thompson -- "like a million pound sh-thammer." Speak out today and, as silly as it sounds, you'll be accused of Bush-bashing -- as if it isn't warranted. In the last election campaign, Paul Martin's Liberals found out what the atmosphere was like when they underwent a media pounding for taking on the United States on certain questions.

That campaign has had a lingering effect, silencing Liberal voices, who kept Canada out of Iraq, on the big American questions of today. The Conservatives, former supporters of that war, are more inclined to join hands with the administration than pursue what Andrew Caddell, one of our United Nations officials, calls innovative multilateralism.

Among the few who challenge Washington are the NDP's Jack Layton and groups such as the Council of Canadians and the Centre for Policy Alternatives. They stick their necks out, only to get either ignored or berated by conservative media elites who would be more convincing if their track record on such matters as Iraq and the green file wasn't so dismal by comparison. Today our academic community is more conservative than in the Nixon era, our media the same. The boomer generation is retiring, leaving behind youth cohorts with little passion for things political.

There is an attitude of resignation that says we are powerless to affect the American way, so why bother trying.

Instead, better to just sit and watch the Bush brigade do it -- and hope the growing chorus of Americans themselves who oppose the administration can halt the descent.
These legions of Americans won't get much help from us. The new Canada has abandoned the independent strain we had in that era gone by. We were idealists then. We are more like consorts now. "



Friday, April 27, 2007


Honestly.... good on Hugh Grant

I'm sick of overly aggressive media. As much money as celebs make and all that. They are still people and diserve some level of respect - as people - not just celebrities.

I think Hugh should get together all his celeb buddies from London and Hollywood and make a pact. Anytime a paparazzi gets too close or a question too personal etc everyone launch a can a beans at them!



Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I have highlighted my favourite line.

"John Moore
National Post

Doing nothing is always cheap
You've got to admire Environment Minister John Baird. He has mastered the ability to suck, blow and make raspberry noises all at the same time. In his latest blustery outing last week, Baird once again tried to distract Canadians from 15 months of Conservative inaction on climate change by asserting that we can't fix global warming because it would cost too much.

I'm glad John and I don't own a property together because he'd probably argue against replacing the fireprone electrical system because that might threaten our annual trip to Disneyland.

In a recent column ("Listen to Baird: This wolf may be real," April 21) Andrew Coyne cited the fable of the boy who cried wolf in defence of Baird's prediction of a Kyoto-propelled economic apocalypse. "It's not crying 'wolf' if there really is a wolf," Coyne wrote. True. But in this case, Baird isn't the boy crying wolf; he's the town manager who insists controlling feral animals would be too expensive.

Baird's latest tack in his concerted effort to paralyze the global warming debate long enough for the Tories to improvise a strategy is an exercise in bad economics: Calculate the amount of CO2 emissions Canada needs to reduce and subtract that percentage from the economy. Voila: Here comes the Great Depression.

In support of Baird's mathematics, a National Post editorial ("Kyoto hypocrisy, April 23) dug up some gloomy figures from the Chretien years, levelling the usual charge of Liberal hypocrisy in the process. The thing is, tackling greenhouse gases need not be an economy wrecker.If it is, then why is the United States -- which has a better record than Canada on greenhousegas reductions-- booming?

How is it that Europe is years ahead of us on the issue and yet we don't see a preponderance of homeless tent cities strewn across the continent? It's true that change does not come without pain. But nor does it come without opportunity.

Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove says going green will deal a death blow to Canadian car manufacturing. That's a bit like complaining that the Model T is going to put stables out of business. Hey Buzz: Build cars people want to drive. Canadians aren't buying fewer cars; they're buying smaller cars, which can be just as profitable to make. Sales of fuel-efficient Nissans, Hondas and Toyotas have soared to record levels in the last year. Perhaps Buzz is upset because those cars are made in non-union shops -- but those are the breaks.

Going green doesn't mean less of everything, it means replacing existing product with new product. Someone has got to manufacture the new light bulbs, the new energy-efficient glass for houses and condo towers, and the solar panels for our roofs.If Canada invests now in the knowledge and technology of conservation, we become leaders in a sunrise industry.

Conservation puts money into the hands of average Canadians -- something you'd think Conservatives would be excited about. When consumers use less energy, government can spend fewer tax dollars building power plants and subsidizing cheap electricity.Investing in public transit also represents a gain for the economy. Someone's got to lay the track and build the subway cars.

Every single man-hour saved in gridlock is a man-hour spent in the workplace or in the home with one's family. While it's clear that Canada's current national government is mostly pre-occupied with the short-term goal of being elected to a majority, real leadership is about making hard decisions that plan for the future common good.Doing nothing is always cheap. The good news is that the Tories won't be able to continue this platespinning routine for long. The truth catches up.

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard, confronted with the country's fifth year of devastating drought, has been compelled to invoke a massive plan to preserve the nation's water resources. Suddenly, Howard is begging his country's answer to David Suzuki, Tim Flannery, for advice. John Baird is a young man.One hopes that faced with the prospect of living the last years of his life in infamy decades from now will soon convince him that playing pit bull for Stephen Harper in pursuit of short-term political gain is a deal worthy of Faust.

- John Moore is host of the drive home show on Toronto's NewsTalk 1010 CFRB. He's enjoying his life without a car quite nicely, thanks."


Monday, April 23, 2007


This weekend was all sun. It was also over 20C each day (besides the fact that this is quite warm for april and probably means a ferociously hot summer) it was nice to not have rainy, grey and stormy (which we've had for the previous number of weeks!.

So in honour of our dear friend Helios Liz and I packed up the car and decided to try out some of the camping equipment we received for our wedding. We packed and headed off to Algonquin park about 3 hrs or so west of us. It was great.

The weather was perfect (although still a little chilly at night) we saw 2 moose, 1 of which was up close (probably witin 5-10 metres), a wild turkey, a blue jay, a few wood peckers and a grouse.

We did some hiking and just relaxed by the campfire. It was lovely. Hopefully we'll have more time to do stuff like this over the course of the summer.



Tuesday, April 17, 2007


By chance I decided to watch 5 minutes of this show's premier sunday night. This of course turned into the full 2 hour premier and its first real episode last night. I have to say, not since 24 have I been so taken in with a storyline. This is really good. The best elements of lost, prison break and amazing race all rolled into one show (BTW i don't really watch lost or prison break).

It also helps that Nathan Fillion (Canadian actor of Firefly fame) is the lead character.

If you want my recommendation, watch this and regularly or don't and watch the first season after it comes out of DVD but WATCH IT!



Thursday, April 12, 2007


A social critic of unmatched prowess has passed when we need his kind the most.

Let us mourn his passing.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Since I 'sort-of' work for the government I got both friday and monday off. Its nice. As a result, over the weekend, I was more relaxed and rested that I have been in literally months, perhaps since last summer, perhaps before then. Either way it was very very very restful and that is a wonderful thing.

One more french test to go.



Thursday, April 05, 2007


Its been a good week:

I did my french reading and grammar tests. I got the level I needed on both. For grammer I needed 31 points to get the level I require to officially do the job I already sort of do. I received on my test, wait for it... 31. Fine. If its an inch its a mile.

Hurray. Now I only have my oral left. MMMM french oral.

Anyway a good weekend to all.



Monday, April 02, 2007


Yet one more reason why I do not support the CPC. They've brought dirty american style politics to Canada. First the unnecessary and petty attack ads, now this.

They're nothing but a bunch of dirty bastards.