Monday, December 19, 2005

Jeez, I wish

McCain torture ban spells end of Haugen Haas music
. . . Islam means submission; Haugen Haas means derision.

(h/t to Curt Jester)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Paul Wells on why the debates sucked more than a Hoover re-engineered by Lamborghini

What nobody in Canada said last night

"Gee, now that I've watched four men for two hours discussing the future of a country that spans a continent, I sure hope the reporters in Vancouver can interrogate them about the debate format."

. . . Rank the following questions in order of their importance to actual people, as Canadians head to the polls:
• Quebec, in or out? • Is my job safe? • Can my children hope to do something more interesting than promptly delivering oil to China, without having to move to China? • Lecterns or wireless microphones? • Why is the second-largest country in the world one of the hardest to travel in with any speed and efficiency? Does that maybe hurt our shot at prosperity? • Vancouver's downtown East side: any ideas? • Should the candidate look at the camera or the moderator?
If you picked the fourth and seventh questions as the ones that get at the tippy-top issues, then you absolutely have what it takes to make it in the high-stakes world of professional journalism. As long as you can also learn how to misread a poll.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Spotlight on Darfur 3: Christmas Edition

You wanted to know what you could do for our brothers and sisters in Darfur? So glad you asked! Check out the Christmas Edition of Spotlight on Darfur, hosted by Catez Stevens at Allthings2all, and see what calls . . .

Browser Wars - my personal truce

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was stuck with PCs, I downloaded the "ad version" of Opera as soon as I used a computer long enough for it to be "mine" in any way. (Now, of course, you can get it free, and I hear it's even better.) Ever since I've had the Mac, I've been noodling around with Safari, almost a year now. I really liked it, especially once I added Bookdog to it, which adds tons to its functionality (US$14.95 and worth it). But round about the first of October, I started fiddling with Firefox, and, well, that has been a whole other ball of wax. The main problem right now is that there are a lot of great browsers out there right now; you just kind of have to fiddle with a couple, see what you like, and go with it.

Anyway, this brings us all to Camino. I wanted to use a "Service" (a Mac feature) for MacGourmet, a recipe program (which I also highly recommend), but it isn't available (yet) on the Firefox file menu. Heard it would work in Camino, so I finally downloaded the latest build on Tuesday night, and now I feel about it like I feel about my Mac: I'm never, never, never going back!!! My main complaint right now is a) inability to alpha bookmarks (as far as I can see) and b) compatibility issues with some sites - but I keep Safari around for that. Oh, and c) the MacGourmet Clipping Service doesn't show up!!! Well, they're working on it . . . at least it works in Safari.

So, to sum up: If you're a Mac person, I really, really recommend Camino as a primary browser, with Safari for any incompatible sites (everything is compatible with Safari now, even my husband's cranky old Canadian bank website). If you use a PC, Firefox is definitely the way to go, if you like to mod; though I would give Opera a spin and check the recommendations at PCWorld and PC Magazine as to what's hot. Oh, boy, though, Camino! Mac people, get yourselves over to their dev site (it's a Mozilla project) and let's get it on!

(Internet Explorer? What's that???)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another look at "Trailer Park Boys"

I've never seen it, but it is huge here in Canada, so I thought I'd provide this linky to an interesting write-up on Apple's site:

Jeremy Harty & Barry Dunn — The Making of "Trailer Park Boys"

How they make it (with Apple products, natch), with info about the Ivan Reitman-helmed feature film.

When will they just butt out?

I think people are way too freaked out over all this anti-smoking stuff now, anyway (and, hey, two of my grandparents died of lung cancer, so don't get all preachy on me). It's going too far when the city, instead of dealing with its record-high homicide rate and other real problems, is going after stuff like this, where grown-ups are choosing to have a smoke and bar owners are just trying to accommodate their patrons when the weather gets below Zero Fahrenheit. IMO, of course.

'Butt buses' ignite Edmonton furor

City officials have been working feverishly to figure out a way to shut down the buses that have sprung up outside at least two bars since the city's strict smoking bylaw came into effect July 1. A decision could come as early as today.

"This city is becoming so . . . communist. You'd think we lived in freaking Toronto or something," Kevin Schotts, a 31-year-old T. B. Pub regular, complained as he took a drag on his cigarette. "This is redneck Alberta. We should be able to have a smoke wherever we want to."

Yeah, well, Kevin, they don't call it "Redmonton" for nothin'. (Though that is still by Alberta standards . . .)

The bus belongs to the bar's owner, Tony Burke. He said there is nothing the city can do because it is his private vehicle and is registered under his name -- not the bar's.

"I can let people smoke on it if I want," said Mr. Burke, who is a non-smoker. "The city doesn't have control over what people do in their own vehicles. I did my research."

. . . Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has told reporters that bars should comply with the spirit of the law.

Sure, Mayor Mandel, maybe when you reimburse them with the "letter" of the money they've lost.

On being stuck in a Mississauga snow-jam, by Monte Solberg

" . . . it was snowing and it was the 401 and apparently everyone in that part of the world needed to get to Mississauga right at that precise moment. So, the ride that usually takes 40 minutes actually took two and a half hours. Not that that is a bad thing. Not at all.

" . . . if the car goes off the road at [less than 30 kilometers/20 miles an hour], according to Sir Issac Newton, it is actually physically impossible to get hurt. Also, when you go less than 30, according to Einstein himself, you actually reverse the space-time continuim. So during that period I actually got younger. The bad news is, as Einstein knew only too well, you also get shorter and fatter, and your skin flares up."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Is it worth it? You tell me.

Stanley "Tookie" Williams: Let's look at it this way

May he rest in peace - along with the people he killed. HT on this to Relapsed Catholic.

The "Redemption" of Stanley 'Tookie' Williams — Larry Elder

Consider the following hypothetical. David Duke, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, murders, in cold blood, four innocent blacks. But, wait. Duke later renounces the Klan and pens children's books urging white kids to reject racism. But he refuses to accept responsibility for the murder of the four innocent blacks, claiming that a racist jury convicted him for his reputation, not for the murders. Imagine Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Ed Asner or the NAACP organizing a campaign to spare the "redeemed" Duke's life.

Also: " . . . where was the NAACP's opposition to the death penalty back in 2000" when James Byrd was murdered in Jasper, Texas?

Welcome to the asylum . . .


Today Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop George Hugh Niederauer, bishop of Salt Lake City, as metropolitan archbishop of San Francisco.

His installment as Archbishop will take place in San Francisco's Cathedral of Saint Mary on Wednesday, February 15, 2006. Bishop Niederauer remains an administrator in Salt Lake City until his California installation.

With all other Catholics of goodwill, I wish the Archbishop-elect all possible blessings in his new position . . . I'm sure he's prayed a lot about it, we laity (and the saints in heaven) will pray some more for him . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Nobody expects the vanish inquisition"!

From Jeff at the Curt Jester, on the dramatic resignation of the priest-director of Campus Ministry at Collegeville:

Pope Benedict XVI is running the most brilliant inquisition in Church history. No need for trials, inquiries, or other messy procedures. Those who are at odds with Church teaching are just resigning. They are just vanishing one by one on their own cognizance. Nobody expects the vanish inquisition.


Monday, December 12, 2005

The new issue of Canadian Parenting . . .

(From the Western Standard's Shotgun.)

Something tells me the Liberals are going to need a lot of R&R over the Christmas break if they're going to avoid these kinds of delicious gaffes . . . but it's nice for you all to see the shoe on the other foot, isn't it? Stephen Harper obviously feels he's got the mo . . . he's announcing even more family tax credits from a Conservative government. And after years of ridicule, he gets to take the high ground ("'I feel a certain sadness when I see these kinds of comments,' he told reporters.").

Somewhere out in the Okanagan, while campaigning door-to-door, Stockwell Day is smiling.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

immaculate_conception velazquez
The Immaculate Conception — Diego Velazquez — c. 1618 — Oil on canvas — 135 x 101.6 cm — National Gallery, London

Today is the patronal feast of the United States and a Holy Day of Obligation (except - of course - in Canada). There is also a special plenary indulgence attached to the day. The fine folks at Women for Faith and Family have a great page on this beautiful feast day here.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Montréal Massacre

This is one of those things that almost no one in the States has ever heard of, but is a huge secular memorial in Canada. It's unavoidable. And I'm sure it was a horrible tragedy. But have the right lessons been drawn? The only thing I've ever found about this event that makes any sense of it is this column by (the great) Mark Steyn, the publication of which on his website is getting to be as much of an early December tradition as St. Nicholas Day, or the fetishization of the Montréal Massacre . . .

REQUEST OF THE WEEK — We are all guilty!

. . . whatever honour we do the dead, we spend as much time dishonouring the living -- or at least the roughly 50% of Canadians who happen to be male: For women's groups, the Montreal Massacre is an atrocity that taints all men, and for which all men must acknowledge their guilt. Marc Lepine symbolizes the murderous misogyny that lurks within us all.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Here's something to make the Rad-Trads totally freak

Nonbelievers Too Can Be Saved, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2005 ( Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this affirmation today at the general audience, commenting on a meditation written by St. Augustine (354-430).

The article doesn't say whether the Pope also mentioned baptism at all, but this seems to presume that the "nonbeliever" dies without ever hearing the Gospel, so I'm going to go with a strict interpretation here. But, as we all know, there's no such thing as "baptism of desire", right? I mean, it's either the Creed and a dunk (or a pour), or Hell for you, my friend!

So now we know Papa Ratzinger is definitely one of those post-Pius XII false popes! (I've never been clear on whether Bl. John XXIII is so considered, but Paul VI definitely is. Haven't really wanted to research it further, to be honest.)

What a frickin' . . .

I don't care if he is a Marine or what decorations he has, you just don't say this. Way to boost their morale, Rep. Murtha.

Murtha Says Army Is 'Broken, Worn Out'

Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year, and the Army is "broken, worn out" and may not be able to meet future military threats to the country's security, Rep. John Murtha said.

. . . "I predict he'll make it look like we're staying the course," Murtha said, referring to Bush. "Staying the course is not a policy."

Murtha, 73, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, expressed pessimism about Iraq's stability and said the Iraqis know who the insurgents are, but don't always share that information with U.S. troops. He said a civil war is likely because of ongoing factionalism among Sunni Arabs, and Kurds and Shiites.

Excuse me, but WTF??? Is he getting talking points from David Gergen or Brent Scowcroft? And is this how the Democrats think it's best to lead the opinion of the American people? Holy tamales.