Monday, November 28, 2005

Need something to make you laugh your guts out?

messianic business guy

Fashion SWAT from Something Awful:

Dr. Thorpe: He looks like some sort of messianic business figure, like maybe a guy who businesses have flown in specially to teach weird seminars. He shows up in his powder blue suit with his outrageous recluse beard and hippie poncho, and starts spouting near-incomprehensible quasi-religious business rhetoric. "In the world of business, the world of ANGELS and DEMONS, you must remain true to the PATH OF DOOM"

Zack: He has charts and graphs where one axis is Greek letters and the other is years on the Chinese calendar.

Dr. Thorpe: And when he's finished with one chart, he touches it with his pinky and it bursts into flames.

Zack: After his speech he holds a Q&A session where you have to begin each sentence with a word "that pleases his senses" and if you fail then you are condemned to "eternity outside the light". Which means no bagels at the bruncheon.

Dr. Thorpe: If someone asks a really good question, he says "You are like a child. Your beauty makes me weep." And then he hides his face in his beard and sobs for half an hour, overcome by emotions too overwhelming for sane people to understand.

Much, much more (warning: including naughty bits) here (HT: TJIC via Relapsed Catholic).

Don't believe what you hear

paul martin grey cup
"What are they saying, Tom?"
"Um, I'm pretty sure they're saying 'P-OOOOOOOOO-aul!' Yes, that's it! 'P-OOOOOOOOOOO-aul, P-OOOOOOOOO-aul!'"
"Of course, there can't be that many people from Edmonton and Québec here, right?"
Mountie on the left: [to self] "Thank God he doesn't know anything about the Grey Cup."

The government has fallen . . .

Oh, I always wanted to write that! In the U.S., it would be some great big horrible thing! But here in Canada, as in any country with a Westminster system, it just means Parliament's being dissolved due to lack of confidence and an election is coming . . . sounds pretty cool, though, if you think about it.

Federal election call set for Tuesday after Liberals lose non-confidence vote

. . . The 17 months since the last election will likely be remembered more for their caustic political jousting than classic policy achievement.

For months, Liberals used every procedural tactic at their disposal to remain in power. They wanted to stage an election next spring after delivering a good-news budget and after the final report on the sponsorship scandal.

As the government wavered with every explosive new allegation from the sponsorship inquiry, politicians of all stripes seemed to devote more energy to electoral positioning than they did to running the country.

The opposition tried to topple the government last spring following allegations that cash-stuffed envelopes illegally funded Liberal campaigns and enriched friends of the regime in the 1990s.

Parliamentary committees were shut down by an empowered opposition, there were calls for the Governor General to force an election, and the government choked off opposition days to keep itself alive.

The frenzy was best captured by the sight of cancer-stricken MPs flying in from across the country to help swing the balance in confidence votes.

. . . It's the first time a government has fallen on a straight motion of non-confidence in Parliament. Other minority governments have been forced into elections after losing budget votes or censure motions interpreted as loss of confidence.

What, I've got to go defend Edmonton Centre again???

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And now, for something completely different - Kennedy assasination version

Okay, if you are a Kennedy, or didn't grow up in the Dallas area exposed to all the "anniversaries" breathlessly covered by the local media, or if you are just too sensitive, I admit this may not seem funny. Personally, I got a good chuckle out of it, but I am warning you.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s secret career unmasked

(If you scroll down, there's a link to an interview done yesterday, the 22nd, with Jim Leavell, the detective in the left of the picture - the guy with the hat - who was escorting Mr. Oswald when Mr. Ruby made his Second Amendment statement.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

This just in . . .

Just got an e-mail from CWN that "the" document on homosexuality and the priesthood has been leaked. They're covering it over there. Don't know how much you can read without paid access, but take a gander . . . anyway, you really should subscribe, it's pretty cheap and definitely worth the money, I've found - and I hate subscribing to online resources. (Okay, I just looked at CWN's homepage and there's no "$" by the story, so I think this one will be a freebie.)

Update Nov 23: I've linked to the translated document on CWN's site, here. Their story covering the release is paid content, however.

Evil Polonia

Where homophobia™ and "right-wing extremism" run rampant.

Police make Arrests in Illegal Gay "Pride" Parade

Police arrested more than 65 homosexual activists in Poland's south-western city of Poznan for participating in an illegal "Equality March" there Saturday. . . .

Last month, a European Union spokesman suggested that the country may lose its voting rights in the EU after pro-life and pro-family leader Lech Kaczynski was elected the country's new president. The EU called Kaczynski's actions as the mayor of Warsaw, where he banned "gay pride" parades two years in a row, a potential contravention of article 6 of the Treaty of Nice, which states that countries must protect the rights of minorities.

Despite promises to the contrary, the EU in concert with the United Nations consistently pressures Poland to legalize abortion and implement very liberal policies on sex education, contraception and homosexuality.

Put your sexually active daughters on birth control: It's the responsible thing to do

There's no easy way to be a good parent, people.

Parents Sue After 14-Year-Old Daughter Died with Birth Control Patch

When the parents of 14 year-old Alycia Brown of La Crosse Wisconsin found out their daughter was sexually active, they did what the modern culture told them was the right thing to do; they put her on birth control, choosing the popular hormonal patch instead of the Pill. When on May 7, 2004, Alycia died suddenly of blood clots in her lower pelvis Michael and Lorie Brown decided to sue the deadly drug's manufacturer in the hopes of having it taken off the market.

The patch, which releases a dose of contraceptive hormones into a woman's blood stream through the skin, has been responsible for at least 17 deaths in women age 17 to 30 since its release in 2002, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. . . .

Thus far, Alycia is the youngest of the patch's victims. Her mother told the La Crosse Tribune that the suit is only partly about collecting damages. "More than anything, I want it taken off the market," she said.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mr. Ripley, call your office: Democrats once opposed Saddam, supported Bush!

And in American politics - finally, the RNC does something that is simultaneously combative, clever, and creative! And no schmaltz. Geez, that's what you people picked Ken Mehlman for, isn't it??? Just went up Monday; if this takes the blogosphere by storm, it may actually affect the real world . . . we'll see. I don't care for most internet videos - besides JibJab cartoons - but this is a good'un. In today's "Best of the Web", we learn (as if we didn't know) that the Democrats are caving to this whole stupid "Bush lied" thing faster than a sinkhole in metro Orlando, and God knows I'm tired of that meme already (I mean, besides its not being true and everything).

Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq (under "Video" on this page)

Great Moments in Television, courtesy your Liberal government

Monte, if you're ever kicked out of government, you could make a go of it writing comedy in the States, believe me.

Changing the channel

Sure [Adscam] was quality Canadian TV programming, but that always costs money. The program development alone cost over $100 million, and production expenses for Justice Gomery were, what, $72 million? Anyway, it was a nice break from watching the Beachcombers. . . .

Who was the Prime Minister when that Adscam thing was on TV. Oh ya it was that Relic guy wasn't it? And who was the Finance Minister who didn't know that it was happening right under his nose? It was either Gordon Pinsent, or it was the guy from the Goodyear tire commercials. Al Waxman was in that too I think.

Anyway it was just TV and TV is just make believe and I'm getting a tax cut so I think I'll go meet the guys at Tim's and talk politics. You know you just can't trust that Harper guy.

And . . . SCENE. Wow, is that tone-perfect or what? If I was a conservative politician in Canada, my humo[u]r would have run out a long time ago.

Oh, ick . . . I really do not want to see this now

Perhaps husband and I will stay home, watch the BBC/A&E series from 10 years ago instead. (Has it really been 10 years?)

When it comes to Mr Darcy in the US, sighs matter

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's comedy of manners which has become a hit film in Britain, is now repeating its success in America, partially, it is thought, because of a specially-tailored romantic ending. . . .

The romantic ending was chosen for release after a test screening in a US cinema. Audiences reportedly "swooned" as Elizabeth and Darcy kissed on a terrace, as he cooed: "Mrs Darcy. . . Mrs Darcy."

The embrace upset the 450 members of the Jane Austen Society of North America, who ridiculed it at a preview screening.

Elsa Solender, a member and former president of the society, said: "It has nothing at all of Jane Austen in it, is inconsistent with the first two thirds of the film, insults the audience with its banality and ought to be cut before release."

However, USA Today quoted cinemagoers yesterday as being delighted with the new ending. Gail Hunt, from Washington, said: "It wouldn't have been a movie without it."

I do hope we'll be able to get either version on DVD . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Zingers from Hansard

American Congressmen can get all fired up in congressional debate, but there are just some things that are really . . . not said in session. Tougher comments are for outside the chambers. However, it almost seems the opposite here in Canada, perhaps because of parliamentary privilege. Inside the House it's no-holds-barred. No one in the States reads the Congressional Record for amusement, but the oppo (mostly the CPC and the Bloc) is getting some good stuff into Hansard right now; of course, the Liberals are not amused.

Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC): [Last paragraph in section] I will paraphrase the member for Newmarket—Aurora. When she sat on this side of the House she said that the Prime Minister was the first mate on the good ship Chrétien before she decided to join that ship.

[Mr. Batters continuing] Let us talk about the immigration minister's ferocious appetite for pizza and the $138 bill for two people, which is more than a family of four spends in a week for groceries. Let us talk about the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his travelling chauffeur if we want to talk scandal. Let us talk about crony appointments to the Senate. Let us talk about André Ouellet from Canada Post. I can go on and on.

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew: And you are the fifth party in Quebec.

Mr. Dave Batters: The member is obviously upset about the chauffeur comment.

Not quite a "zinger", but an excellent point:

Mr. Pierre Paquette [Joliette, BQ]: Madam Speaker, what has struck me from the start of this debate is the Liberal's capacity to play the victim. I am greatly impressed. Every time they are presented with facts, whether by us, by the Conservatives, or by the NDP, there are accusations of rumour mongering and character assassination. We are basing ourselves solely on the contents of the Gomery report. Yet we had to ask questions of the government in order to get that report.

As the member for Bourassa [Denis Coderre, with whom M. Paquette is sparring] often says, in recent years question period has not been answer period. So we have had to keep our questions coming. Had any answers been forthcoming, things might not be where they are today.

I think on this, at least, I do like the Canadian way better.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Plus ça change . . .

French Police Clash With Youths in Lyon from Associated Press:

Thousands of Parisian police guarded the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees and train stations on Saturday, as part of emergency measures enacted in response to text messages and Internet postings that called for "violent actions" in the capital. . . .

Calls for peace and political change mounted.

Several hundred people demonstrated against the state of emergency in Paris' Latin Quarter, a gathering that police allowed because it was not deemed risky. Under tight police surveillance, the protesters called the new security measures a "provocation" that would not resolve the social and economic problems underlying the unrest.

The protesters, many from left-wing political groups and Communist-backed unions, called for the resignation of Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been accused of inflaming the violence by calling troublemakers "scum."

A similar rally in the southern city of Toulouse drew about 700 people.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"War of the suburbs"?

Okay, I know what it means, not to Americanize everything, but I did have to laugh for just a second at the idea of American suburbanites rioting, throwing Molotov cocktails, setting cars on fire, etc. What would it take to set that off, anyway? Probably five years of a truly bad market, plus Nixon-Carter tax brackets, plus an even worse decline in school standards, plus the banning of all lawn chemicals, plus mandatory polyester (and I'm not talking "a touch of Lycra") - all that at one time might set off American suburbanites. But somehow I think they'd still keep working - vote the bastards out and try something else - no matter their race or religion. And American suburbs are as multi-culti as you want, these days, they just don't fetishize it. Of course, these cités are nothing like what we'd think of as "suburbs" - they're just ginormous housing projects that are "suburban" in the sense of not being in the city center, or even in the established arrondisements or neighborhoods. And, if possible, they're uglier than the projects/estates that we Americans and Brits are pulling down as fast as we possibly can: Check out Colby Cosh's good post and scroll to the bottom of it for a great pic. Would you want to live there? Let's face it, Le Corbusier's theory is as dead as he is.

The other strange thing in the referenced article is that it's the PM, de Villepin, who's doing all the talking. Um, monsieur, doesn't your interior minister have anything to add? Or are you trying to elbow him out of this too?

I was speaking last night to my father-in-law, who is Polish but has lived in the English-speaking world since he was sixteen. He always has an interesting point of view. He said, "I have this schadenfreude feeling about the whole thing in France." (If you don't know what schadenfreude means, do look it up. It's a very handy word.) I replied, "Well, I feel split. Half of me feels, in a Christian way, badly for everyone involved - but the other half is definitely on the 'ha ha, you Frogs!' side." "Not me - it's all schadenfreude!" he replied, laughing. But he and I have discussed this day coming in the past, so neither of us is surprised to see it now.

Actually, there's a question: Is anyone surprised this is happening? You've got to be pretty out of the loop, or out of touch with the way reality works, to not have seen this coming. A little sooner than I thought, but no surprise.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Canadian Legion: Raising hackles during Remembrance Day week

We Americans are into Veterans Day. There's a parade in every good-sized town, a ceremony at the local cemetary, church services, what have you - and most of us don't even get the day off. But Canadians take it more seriously, if possible. It's their Memorial Day, after all (we already had that, from the Civil War, so we just adapted Armistice Day to honor all those who had served). And one of their traditions, perhaps the biggest and certainly the most visible, cutting across all lines of class, age, politics, etc., is the wearing of the red poppy in remembrance of the war dead. These are sold by the Canadian Legion and have basically become the symbol of Remembrance Day. After November 1, through November 11, you see a pin-on plastic poppy on every newscaster and politician above the 49th.

Well, turns out the Legion is getting a mite tetchy about who uses the poppy where. And, in return, patriotic Canadians are getting a bit upset with the Legion for imagining it "owns" the poppy, the way Disney "owns" Mickey Mouse. Being a lady of strong opinion, you know I've already got an opinion on this; being a lady who believes strongly in "organic" national traditions, I'm sure you know where I come down on this.

remembrance poppy

I only think that Colby Cosh is wrong in this - one ought to put poppies everywhere, wear a poppy from last year, support the vets and honor those who died in battle, but write a strongly worded (but polite) note to the Legion telling them what you think of this nonsense of theirs.

For this week, Piglet is getting a rest and will be replaced by the glorious poppy. Click on it to go to my Flickr account and copy it if you like.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Alito - Not all supporters are wacko right-wingers

Interesting article from LA Times (HT to

Nominee Has Some Unexpected Supporters

Samuel A. Alito Jr. was quickly branded a hard-core conservative [by the usual suspects - Meg] after President Bush announced his nomination, but a surprising number of liberal-leaning judges and ex-clerks say they support his elevation to the Supreme Court.

Those who have worked alongside him say he was neither an ideologue nor a judge with an agenda, conservative or otherwise. They caution against attaching a label to Alito.

Edmonton Wildlife

Walking to the Shoppers on Jasper, I came across a great lovely rabbit this evening around 5:30 p.m. at Shaughnessy House, at the southeast corner of 114 and 102 Ave. There are still some bits of green and he was nibbling down. I observed him for a moment, took a few shots in the dusk, and walked on.

shaughnessy rabbit 1

shaughnessy rabbit 2

shaughnessy rabbit 3

shaughnessy rabbit 4

The real liar in the CIA kerfuffle

Excellent column in today's LA Times by Max Boot. (HT: Norman Spector.)

Plamegate's real liar

The problem here is that the one undisputed liar in this whole sordid affair doesn't work for the administration. In his attempts to turn his wife into an antiwar martyr, Joseph C. Wilson IV has retailed more whoppers than Burger King.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Um, no.

'Kay, folks, here's the text of the proposed amendment as it appears on the ballot (and I already voted, so I can confirm it):

"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

So what's the deal? Well, this flake person/group, Save Texas Marriage (don't do us any favors), is just oh-so-concerned about this issue and put out two million phone calls last week. Yoicks. Sez that since . . . well, you can read up on it if you like. Main thing is, it's bogus. For pro-Prop. 2 news and info, your best source is Texans for Marriage (they treat the language-of-the-text question here). For more info, check out the "Campaign Updates" starting on the home page.

Oh, and you weren't going to vote because it's just boring amendments and stuff? Well, get off your duff! Especially if you live in Dallas! Lots of amendments to the city charter up a week from today. (If you're registered; if you're not, it's too late now, of course . . .)

Some reality on Chretien and Martin

If you think Jean Chretien is going to let Paul Martin hang him and his buddies out to dry and then walk away, then you've got another thing coming. I've learned enough of Canadian politics to know that "da liddle guy from Shawinigan" will make sure that if he goes down, then those he dislikes go down with him. Now we all know there's no love lost between him and the current PM, also he has to be resenting how Gomery implicates him and his buds and "exonerates" PMPM. Personally, I would not want to get between Jean Chretien and a full head of resentment . . . if there is anything to be "known" that ain't in the report, you know it's coming out between now and the election, and I'm sure Jean Chretien wouldn't mind sacrificing the Liberal Party itself at this point, if Judgment Day is coming down anyway.

Also, isn't this totally embarrassing for the Prime Minister? "Yes, I was the Finance Minister, but I was so cut off from the Prime Minister that I had absolutely no clue about this huge program they were running in my home province with federal money over several years. Nope, no clue whatsoever. Too busy figuring out how to renege on our promise to kill the GST and keep the loonie artificially low." Good thing he has the CBC covering for him.

Gomery: Before the deluge

I have one thing to say to you lovely Canadian people (and I really do like you).

If you have not yet made up your mind about the Liberal Party one way or the other, if the Gomery Report is going to "weigh heavily" for you in the next election, if you are wondering "whether" Paul Martin (or Jean Chretien, or whoever) was involved, if you are waiting with bated breath for Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd Robertson to tell you all about what Mr. Justice Gomery discovered in Quebec, well, then you are just a simp. And, frankly, you deserve no better than the Liberal Party.

Feast of All Saints

all saints

God, thank you for the example of your holy saints, and with the aid of their prayers may we follow their example to love you more and live with you forever in heaven. Amen.

A holy day of obligation in the English-speaking world except in Australia and, of course, Canada.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

[The vigil of this feast is popularly called "Hallowe'en" or "Halloween".]

Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year.

In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84).