Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm sorry, everybody

This is all my fault -- Extreme wind chill warnings around Saskatchewan
The entire province of Saskatchewan was one big wind chill zone Friday morning — and it looks like conditions are going to get worse before they get better.
Temperatures were in the -20 to -30 C range, with winds gusting as high as 80 kilometres per hour.
At the beginning of February, I said to myself that now that January was over, the weather was bound to get better.
It didn't.
Then last week, I said to myself that now that February was almost over, the weather was bound to get better.
It got worse.
So it must be me, and my foolish prognostications about how the weather will improve -- apparently, even THINKING such a thing is dangerous and offends the weather gods.
I promise, everybody, that I won't even think about the weather getting better, ever again!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hope and hard work at the Liberal convention

If you just read the papers for your news, you would think that the only events at this week's Liberal biennial convention in Montreal were that Trudeau didn't hold a closing press conference and he missed the vote on assisted suicide.
Oh, and that Trudeau also gave a pretty good speech.
To actually find out what went on at the convention, you have to read the progressive bloggers -- Scott at Scott's DiaTribes and at Progressive Bloggers did his usual excellent job covering convention events and panels. Jeff Jedras, A BCer In Toronto, reported on a number of the information sessions and discussions, and he interviewed the LPC president candidates.  Jim Calder was tweeting the discussions and writing articles about convention topics.
Photos are posted here and #SelfiesWithBroadhurst are here.

Here is Jeff's #SelfiesWithBroadhurst blogger edition photo -- Jim Calder (I think) with Scott Tribe, centre, Jeremy Broadhurst, and Jeff Jedras.
Thanks, guys, for all the hard work you did last week, it was appreciated.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What is the matter with these people? part two

Arizona has passed a law that makes it OK to discriminate against gays and lesbians as long as you think that's what God is telling you to do.
What God is telling me is that I will never go to Arizona.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What is the matter with these people?

Hudak says unions should compete for government contracts:
The Progressive Conservatives want to force Ontario's public sector unions to compete for contracts to provide government services in order to save taxpayers money.
...Hudak says the Conservatives would not contract out police, health or teaching services, but would look at competitive bids for things such as email hosting, transportation, food and laundry services in jails and even employment training.
Why do Cons seem to think that government workers exist only to cost money to taxpayers? Do they think the best we can do is a society where somebody is trying to make a dollar on the food we force prisoners to eat? Or where isolated towns with only a few people living in them don't get provincial bus service?
I was going to say something about how their heart is in the right place, but actually I don't think it is.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


If you are starting to get a little Olympic-fatigued this weekend, take a break by reading Grantland -- their Olympics articles are lyrical, or hysterical, or both.
A Plan to Take Back the Curling Power: Let’s Buy All the Granite proposes
world domination by the United States of the sport of curling and revenge against Canada for its numerous insults to our national pride, which include, but are not limited to, Justin Bieber, Alan Thicke’s son Robin, and Nickelback.
Citius, Altius, Frigidiores uses skelton to advance the proposition that
the heart of the Winter Olympics is a dark heart, and nothing brings it relief but proximity to the abyss.
 The NHL Grab Bag notices that other winter sports have too many events while hockey has too few
in 2018, I’m proposing that in addition to the normal 60-minute games, we also debut the 45-minute and the 90-minute ice hockey events. Each will take place on both international and NHL-size rinks, as well as whatever it was in the old Boston Garden. And needless to say, each nation will also be invited to enter teams in the four-man, five-man, and six-man events.
There you go. If it’s good for the other sports, it’s good for us, too. And when Sidney Crosby heads home with nine medals, he won’t have to take any lip from Germany.
And here is their article on the tragic beauty of women's ski jumping
Their skis opened to a V, thin extended wings. Their bodies stretched and were still. They were like kites caught in the air. The quieter they stayed, the farther they flew.
They were falling at every moment, speeding toward the declining ground. They floated, and then sank downward. They were always men, until now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kicking and screaming

The real victims of today's Senate expenses scandal are, of course, the three high-flying senators themselves, Don Meredith, Scott Tannas and Neil Plett.
Being responsible adults and mature business leaders, they were not permitted any choice about their travel across the country.  As Senator Don Meredith explains:
"We travel according to the plan that is given to us"
I can just picture those Conservative senators being dragged, kicking and screaming into those business class airline seats.  Day after day, trip after trip, they were forced to take the wider seats at the front of the aircraft, the ones with more legroom, better service, free meals, a dedicated washroom and quicker exits -- and their wives were forced to travel right beside them!
Then, to add insult to injury, they were forced to sign off on their travel reimbursement forms month after month, without even being able to question the thousands and thousands of dollars being spent for their air fare costs.
Obviously, the clerical staff in the Senate are Ottawa's cruelest tyrants.
Those poor guys! I weep for them all.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's called class

Twitter image of Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth fixing Russian Anton Gafarovski.

Eight years ago Canadian cross country skier Sarah Renner won a silver medal because a Norwegian coach threw her a pole during the race.  And, as it turned out, Norway came fourth in that race.

Today, Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth ran onto the course with a spare ski to help a Russian skier finish the cross country course in front of the Russian fans.

Sometimes the Olympics really are.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Flying colours

This one is funny

This one, not so much

Both demonstrate that the worldwide anger at Russia for their homophobia isn't dying down and won't be going away.
Canadian cities are flying rainbow flags throughout the Olympics to demonstrate their support.  (Rob Ford, of course, continues down the wrong side of history but he's not really the mayor anymore so nobody cares what he thinks.)
Here is Montreal:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford doesn't want rainbow flag flown at city hall during Olympics

Flip, flop, fly: Rainbow flag flies at Edmonton City Hall and Calgary follows suit

At AthleteAlly, the athletes are gathering support for the Principle 6 campaign.

AT&T is speaking out, and urging other companies to do likewise.
And Google has declared its colours:

Olympic Charter: Today's Google Doodle make a big statement about gay rights and the Sochi Games.

I think its another sign of the times that the Globe and Mail is covering this not as a political/social issue but in the business pages.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Consultation? We don't do no stinkin' consultation!

“The chief electoral officer has not been consulted, and we heard the minister’s comments,” said spokesman John Enright.
“There’s been no consultation on the contents of the bill.”
OF COURSE the Harper Cons didn't consult with the chief electoral officer about their new Elections bill!
These guys never consult with anybody about anything.  Don't bother them with the facts, whatever they think is right and that's that.
So why would anyone believe they had actually discussed their plans to change election laws with the office that is supposed to implement them? That's something the Liberals did, and there's no way the Harper Cons will ever do things the Liberal way!
Ralph Goodale says:
“It’s ominous … given their track record with Elections Canada, which has been confrontational right from Day 1, and then resentful. It now may have moved to vindictive,” said Goodale.
“It’s significant that they’ve prepared this [bill] without any serious discussion with anyone at Elections Canada. I think everyone would be well advised to read the fine print with a great deal of care.”
Goodale recited just some of the fractious Conservative history with the elections watchdog and said parliamentarians “all need to be very alert.”
“This could in effect be the gutting of Elections Canada.”
Yes, I expect it will be.  Trevor Purdy's got it right:

Great line of the day

Charles Pierce on the startling discovery by American corporations that without a middle class, there are not going to be any middle-class businesses anymore:

This may be the first country to die of the incredibly obvious.
And I guess nobody remembers anymore that unions are good for the economy?

Best Superbowl commercials


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Why we say the prairies are beautiful

This video that I found on Bad Astronomy was shot in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah, by videographer Randy Halverson. It shows why we call ourselves big sky country.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Today in cute

Rolling Stone has an article about The Puppy Bowl:
This Sunday, millions of Americans will gather around their televisions to watch their favorite athletes compete in a thrilling contest of physical will, fearless playmaking and instinctive grace. A bunch of other people will be watching the Super Bowl.
And here's the link to last year's PB videos.