Monday, January 21, 2008


Something tells me that its not ok for someone to condemn spousal abuse for others but then say 'hey, Joe, its ok to beat your wife cause your my bud'.. this is the same thing but in foreign policy terms.

This view will be very destructive to Canada's already darkening reputation abroad and once again demonstrates the type of politics practiced by this government; the self destructive, unhelpful and ideological kind.



Friday, January 18, 2008


I thought this was absolutely priceless. My wife gets this (for the most part) but not all women do. Also just to be in keeping with the article... Isaac, this one's for you...

"Ladies may need a translator to understand the Dude Code


From Friday's Globe and Mail

January 18, 2008 at 1:57 AM EST

The question

My friend's girlfriend came home early when we were playing poker at his house and was horrified by the way we talk to him. It's true we ride him quite a bit, but it's all in good fun (well, mostly: some of it can be a little harsh, I admit). She stormed in, called us all “jerks” and broke up the poker game. A few days later we got an e-mail saying she did not appreciate our “puerile insults” and disrespect. Now he's been hard to get in touch with and we suspect she's told him he can't hang with us any more. We were just treating him the same as we did long before she arrived on the scene. Are we supposed to apologize to him? To her?

The answer

Ladies: I know it's counterintuitive, but men express their affection for one another via the insult.

This was well captured, I thought, in the movies Knocked Up and Superbad. Judd Apatow and crew have a lock on this stuff. Lines like “Your face looks like Robin Williams's knuckles” (in reference to a character's beard in Knocked Up) or from Superbad: “Fogell, shut the fuck up. And take off that vest. You look like Aladdin,” ring pretty true to me.

And I'm McLovin it. For years the airwaves have been awash in treacly, Sex and the City, oh-no-that-top-looks-great-on-you-honey girly talk. Now, finally, the way men talk to each other when there are no women around is getting some onscreen representation.

Women, if I may continue boldly to generalize, tend to compliment one another in person and save the more critical material for, shall we say, discussion with a third party.
Men will just say stuff right to your face. I remember once a friend of mine, flipping through some vacation snaps, came across one of me in a bathing suit and merely said, “What's the matter, buddy? Lose your gym membership?”

Ladies, can you imagine? But I wasn't hurt. I know him to be not only one of my closest friends, but also a tireless supporter: one of my top lieutenants in the field.

Maybe it did sting a bit. But it helped, too. Hmm, I thought, maybe my physique could use a little de-pearification. I need to re-Adonisize myself immediately! Time to hit the gym!
And perhaps that's the point of “chop busting.” To cattle-prod each other forward to greater heights of self-improvement. I've certainly found that time spent in masculine society is an excellent antidote to ego preening, self-importance and putting on airs.

But it can go too far, too. I know some men use “banter” as a cloak to take serious, wounding jabs at people – a Class A Dude Code misdemeanour.

The Dude Code governs all male behaviour – it's a rulebook not only unwritten but unspoken. (How else would you expect a male code to be?) It is simply understood. And every man knows, deep down, when he has taken it too far, when chop busting for fun has edged over to the zings and poisonous arrows of genuinely insulting cracks.

So that's the bit of Damage Control you need to take care of first. Ask yourself: “Is our banter in fact friendly, only gently mocking? Does it come enwrapped in an implicit Twinkie of affection and support and love?”

If you cannot honestly answer that question with a “yes,” then I think you need to take him out for a drink – maybe all of you at once, in a kind of anti-intervention – and say, “Look, upon reflection, we realize we've been riding you too hard and we're going to back off and take it easy on you from now on.”

I know: It sounds like a horribly uncomfortable situation, and no doubt it will be, but the total elapsed time of this discussion, before someone coughs and changes the subject or waves the waitress over for more drinks, I would estimate to be in the neighbourhood of about seven seconds. And though he may not respond on the spot, you can bet your friend will think about it, and in the end appreciate it.

But if it is (mostly) just all in good fun, if you treat him with the same mixture of respect and disrespect as you do each other, I think you should approach the girlfriend.
I wouldn't apologize, except maybe to say you're sorry about how it “came off.” But explain to her, as you did to me, that this is a standard feature of masculine interaction. Maybe write it out as a note and include the note as part of a loot-bag peace offering that includes a bottle of chardonnay and copies of Knocked Up and Superbad by way of audiovisual illustration.
Who could resist such a charming gift? Tell her that's just the way men are, that they don't mean anything by it, it's just a way of keeping each other real, letting off steam, sanding down each other's rough edges.

Attempt to convey the difficult-to-swallow-but-consummate truth that it's only when you stop mocking and insulting her boyfriend that she should worry. Because that means his friends have either decided he's too fragile and “delicate” to take it; or his faults (or girth) have mushroomed to such proportions they now fall outside the purview of friendly banter; or both.
When they stop busting his chops, explain to her: That's the ultimate insult.

David Eddie is a screenwriter and the author of Chump Change and Housebroken: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So I guess its true. Canadian democracy is now in the same league as most third world countries. When an official disagrees with the government and does their job they get fired. So what about the safety of Canadians, so what about the importance of having strong arms lenght institutions to ensure proper enforcement of government regulations... to hell with all that.

I like Rick Mercer's take on the whole thing

This is what we'd get universally if these guys had a majority. Scary Scary Scary.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I was skeptical but this really rawks. Its like 24 but Canadian and very well written. Its also nice to see a CBC show with a real budget!



Wednesday, January 09, 2008



So it appears as though the CNSC wasn't as overbearing as we thought. There were two earthquakes in the past month in proximity to chalk river. While they did not appear to cause any damage the activity of the fault line and the sensitivity of managing and running a nuclear reactor suggest to me that one would want to be overly cautious rather than flippant as our government has been on this issue.


In all the noise of the Chalk River nuclear shut down, who was responsible and who did what wrong the latest chapter is the back and forth correspondence between Minister Lunn and the President of the CNSC Linda Keen.

I think the tone, ill informed content, and distain for public institutions contained in Minister Lunn's letter (and indeed the government response to this overall) speaks of what will happen on a national scale should Harper and the Conservatives ever get a majority. Lets get these guys out of here!

Letter from minister lunn

Letter in response from Linda Keen

You decide



Friday, January 04, 2008


From (of all places) the Ottawa Xpress:

January 3rd, 2008 Education & Employment: No assholes allowed
Darn dickheads! Marie-Claude Marsolais, translated by Isa Tousignant

Robert Sutton: "There are so many people whose daily lives are ruined by know-it-alls and idiots" photo: Craig Morey Manipulative assholes, condescending bitches... our workplaces are infested! At least that's what Robert Sutton suggests in his new book, The No Asshole

RuleRobert Sutton is a management prof at Stanford University's management sciences
department. And he doesn't suffer fools gladly.

"There are so many people whose daily lives are ruined by know-it-alls and idiots," says the author of The No Asshole Rule on the phone from his home in California. "Since my book came out, I'm constantly surprised by all the emails and phone calls I get from people who suffer because of their jobs."

Working for an asshole - to use Sutton's terminology - or even having one or two as colleagues can have very negative effects. "It makes people anxious and sick. Assholes drain their victims' energy, not to mention their self-esteem," he says.

But the worst thing, according to Sutton, is the vicious circle it can create. "It makes you mean and it drains the humanity out of everyone. The victims get mad and that encourages revenge and insults. It's unhealthy for oneself and for others."


In other words: beware. The asshole illness in as catchy as the flu! So in order to analyze whether you're part of the clan, Sutton provides a set of questions in his book, including:
- Do you feel that you're surrounded by incompetent idiots, to the extent than you can't help yourself from letting them know at every possible occasion?

- Were you a nice person before you began working with said bunch of idiots?

- Do you secretly enjoy the pain of others?
Avoiding the bug
If you've managed to avoid becoming an asshole thus far, make sure you stay protected against the virus. The master rule: "You must avoid assholes!" exclaims Sutton. "You have to learn to spot them and avoid them. Before taking a job, the best thing is to find out as best you can what atmosphere reigns in that workplace."

Easier said than done, you may think. However, if you can't afford the luxury of turning down employment, even if a place is teeming with assholes, Sutton suggests you act indifferent. "The best thing is to ignore attacks or mean looks. In work environments, passion is praised, but we should also praise indifference. It can take you far in life."

So at your next meeting, make yourself emotionally untouchable by the comments that victimize you. It'll be your key to after-work sanity.


Of course, there are two sides to every story. In his book Sutton also suggests tricks to be an efficient asshole, because he doesn't deny it: "The sad thing is that yes, sometimes it's useful to act like an asshole. It can help you gain power, beat your rivals..."

So if you choose to be an asshole in some circumstances, you might as well do it right! Sutton's tricks:

- You want to climb the ranks? Be witty and arrogant. You won't surpass your colleagues with a sad or pathetic outlook.

- Alternate between sarcastic remarks and compliments. It's a great way to keep your adversaries on their toes.

- Once you're management, build yourself a good cop/bad cop team. If you're the bad cop, the other can console and calm your victims. This will ingratiate them to your good cop, making them likely to do the good cop favours - so that at the end of the day, they do exactly what you want.

- That being said, remember: Being a full-time asshole isn't recommended for anybody. You must know when to stop humiliating your victims. In short, don't take too much pleasure in it, or you risk feeling the wrath of a bigger asshole than you. So goes the rule of the jungle.

The No Asshole Rule

By Robert Sutton (Warner Business Books), 224 pp.


1. Assholes lob insults
2. They invade personal space
3. They impose unwanted physical contact
4. They make threats and attempt to intimidate, verbally and non-verbally
5. They make rude comments in the guise of jokes and teasing
6. They send inappropriate emails
7. They criticize their peers' social and professional status
8. They seek to humiliate by making public scenes
9. They constantly interrupt
10. They make hypocritical arguments
11. They give mean and accusatory looks
12. They treat people as if they were invisible