2014-12-19

Uber Edmonton isn't quite ready for Prime Time

So with all the talk today about the cool new kid on the Smartphone block, Uber, I thought for tonight I would try out their UberX service which debuted (for free, for now) in Edmonton this week.
(click to view full size)


Let's just say I think there are still a few glitches to work out in the software...

A Black Power idiot on fantasy races

So it's white-centric and western-centric to consider Scotsmen and Russians to be foreign?

Danielle Smith has decided that elections are a waste of [your] time

My father has a line that he likes to use whenever he gets word that a couple whose wedding we attended has resulted in a separation or divorce. I've been told it a few times, most recently a family friend who got married in about four or five summers ago.

Well, looks like you wasted gas driving down to Drumheller
The quote has been repeated a half dozen times over the years. When we drove to my cousin's wedding in Canmore, we wasted gas. When we drove to another cousin's wedding in Edmonton (okay, for me granted it wasn't nearly as bad) we wasted gas. Our neighbour who got married in Calgary? We wasted gas. I wasted jet fuel too when I went to a Caribbean wedding a few years ago, but he didn't go so he wasn't as concerned over that one. The implication of the line though is pretty stunningly obvious: we drove all this way (and bought a gift, bought overpriced drinks, maybe even rented a tux. The intent of our drive was to witness an event, to be involved in a process by which two people affirmed a long-term (infinity, in this case) binding contract where they promised to be together, to support each other, and to work towards their united cause: in particular, raising a family.

When this contract turns out to be broken, it meant that our investment was a waste. Why did we drive to Drumheller anyways? Our friend's wife unilaterally decided that she didn't feel like honouring the contract anymore. We thought we were going there to support her decision to start a family, to build something new and stronger and better. Instead, she decided to take the majority of the wedding presents (yes, Dad did ask this) and hike off on her own.

When I learned about the massive Wildrose MLA defection which occurred this week, that line came back a lot in my mind. Much like when I drove to Drumheller for a wedding, a lot of you voted in April 2012 but it turns out all you were doing was wasting your gas money.

Did you vote for Wildrose because you liked the Wildrose Party?
Did you vote for Wildrose because you didn't like the Progressive Conservatives?
Did you vote for the Progressive Conservatives because you didn't like Wildrose?

Congratulations! Your vote didn't matter. You most likely drove to a polling station and wasted your gas money.

At this point it's important to throw in that favourite caveat, that this topic was so beautifully expressed in the South Park episode "Douche and Turd", way back during the 2004 Presidential race. If you don't know it, the key takeaway from it for those watching the Wildrose Defections comes near the end of the episode: Stan finally votes the final vote of the election, and the side he voted for lost by a wide margin. The vote, by the way, was on a new school mascot since PETA had forced the school to change the old name. Stan tries claiming that, since his side didn't win by a single vote, that his vote didn't matter. Immediately the voting proponents stomped on his claim, angrily telling him that it's total nonsense: even if you vote for a losing cause, you still exercised your democratic contribution and therefore it mattered. Seconds later, the town learns that PETA has been killed by Puff Daddy (don't ask), and since the objection to the original mascot is gone, neither of the two choices offered in the election need to be picked and they can go back to the old name. Stan is then told by Randy, "now your vote didn't matter". The same works with this. Even if you were one of the 440,000 Albertans who cast your vote for Wildrose in 2012, your vote still mattered (moreso, naturally, since Westminister elections aren't all-or-nothing like the U.S. Presidential one South Park spoofed). Until this week, that is, when Danielle Smith decided to kill PETA.
And just like how our friend's soon-to-be-ex-wife unilaterally made the decision that our trip to Drumheller was a wasted trip, Danielle Smith and eight compadres made the decision that your vote in 2012 was a wasted trip. The election didn't really matter. Typically floor crossings are more matters for individual constituencies rather than the electorate at large. Rob Anderson becoming a Wildrose MLA was more an Airdrie matter than an Edmonton one. Kerry Towle leaving Wildrose to become a PC last month (more on that later) is more an Innisfail problem than a Calgary one. Sometimes it can have some larger ramifications, particularly when a floor crossing tips the balance of power in the legislature, but it's still primarily a local issue.

This is different. This is literally unprecedented in Canada. Hell, it may be unprecedented in the entire history of Westminster Parliaments. The key phrase in the preceding paragraph, you see, is "tips the balance". The teeter-totter metaphor makes sense when a majority party is only a couple of defections away from being replaced (see Jim Jeffords for a non-Westminister example). It makes sense if a minority government is only a seat away from being a majority government...or a minority government is only a seat the other way from being an opposition party. These are tips of balances of powers.

This is a party with a majority already...nay, a super-majority absorbing a huge chunk of its largest (and, as the mainstream media is now starting to suddenly go on about in a topic they've never once mentioned over the past half-decade under Danielle Smith, its most effective) opposition. The sheer size of the floor crossings, and that they include the leader of the party, make this quite different than the average MLA swapping parties. Oddly enough, since the actual reins of power aren't changing, the dynamic of this switch is even more monumental. This is, at least for the next election cycle and probably the next two cycles, going to completely eliminate the Wildrose Party from contention. Don't be surprised next week to find that Wildrose has ironically dropped in popularity. Why? Voters are mad at Danielle Smith and eight other people...who are now actually PC MLAs. Voters can be dumb, that's how come Wildrose didn't form the government in 2012 (when they were deserving of the role). Ultimately it means the PCs are the only centre-right game in town.

You're totally wrong to do so, of course. If you doubt it, I did an entire series that month about why the PCs were contemptible and why you are either stupid or evil for supporting them.

Can any good come from this? Yes, probably, though nothing right away. For one, this has effectively removed a few of the squeamish "Mildrose" MLAs from the roster. There wasn't many in the way of strong social or fiscal conservatives leaving the party with the possible exception of Bruce McAllister. Remember that since the 2012 election there have been many people, this blog one of the chief among them (but, certainly, not the only!) in calling for Danielle Smith to either be replaced, or for her desire to veer Wildrose to the left to be curbed, shaved, or even stomped. (Those who thought otherwise 18 months ago are probably backing down a little bit. Those who disagreed two months ago when apparently this operation was in the middle of its implementation phase must be backing down at warp speed). Maybe with a purge of some of the leftist elements (not all: as was pointed out to me a month or so back, far-left Alberta Party and Green Party extremists are still infesting Wildrose constituency boards) the Wildrose can at least strike the sort of principled conservatism that they had when Ed Stelmach was ousted as PC leader for fear of Wildrose on the right flank. (The departure of Red Redford was more complicated: even without Danielle Smith in the wings, her time was up in dirty affairs of her own making. Perhaps this will mark the return to a long-time stint as Wildrose being the polar opposite of the NDP: never in power or even threatening power, but constantly keeping the right-wing arguments against the Prentice Tories in the public consciousness. They may even end up the polar opposite of the Liberals in the sense that they do the same as the NDP, only every couple decades they threaten to actually seize power away. Remember that the Alberta Liberals under Lawrence Decore almost beat Ralph Klein from the right. For those who want principles to win the day instead of power, knowing that the important thing is that right-wing legislation gets enacted by the Alberta Government at the end of the day, this isn't exactly a bad thing.

Perhaps, though, Wildrose will end up trying to be the next government, losing two or three more election cycles in the process, and decide that Danielle Smith's plan (immediately dismissed by Wildrose executives) isn't such a bad idea after all. In that scenario, Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives can meld their differences and enter into a merger where the PC party swings more to the right structurally in return for removing their Wildrose opposition. This wouldn't be the first merger between the Wildrose Party and another party: the Wildrose and the Alberta Alliance, after all, merged just five years ago in order to present a united front...against the PC Party...okay it would still be weird, but not particularly so. A lot of people are already comparing this to another prominent political merger this century...
Its essentially like a replay of the 2002 merger of the federal PCs and the Canadian Alliance, except without any obvious reason as its clear the PCs are not in danger of losing to a left-wing party anytime soon.
frankly, if Prentice never bothered to lift a finger for, no one could do anything about because he already had a majority!
Along with the government/opposition distinction Kyle references in that blogpost, there is perhaps a more major distinction between the "United Alternative" movement in the 1990s and the Danielle Smith merger plan (read: the Danielle Smith floor crossing plan): the "unite the right" movement started with Ezra Levant's "Winds of Change" conference in 1996. Craig Chandler had another in 1998. Reform itself turned into the Canadian Alliance following not one but two conferences, and then Peter McKay and Stephen Harper started working towards a party merger in 2003. In December 2003 the PC and Canadian Alliance memberships both ratified the change (support was in the 90% range for both parties). Hey, notice anything different about this process? Over a period of years various grassroots conferences and events were held to discuss and debate the merger(s). Letters to the Editor in various publications on each side was held. There were radio debates, there were live debates, there was a chance for voters to write their MPs and discuss their opinion on the issue. Whether or not you agreed with the Reform/PC merger that ultimately occurred at least there was a long period in which everybody got their chance to talk about it. Danielle Smith's floor-crossing party was a fait accompli: from what I can determine looking back in articles about this, only a week ago it was still just paranoid rantings from Loopy Joe Anglin, and definitely didn't include the Wildrose Leader. Now it seems that she's instantly the ringleader of a long-standing (but not long-mentioned!) plan of joining up with the man she called corrupt as she was side-dealing with him (at least now we know how she knew so well!). When was this discussed? When were Wildrose voters, or voters in their constituencies, in the loop about what was going to happen and why? She seemed to condense eight years of United Alternative discussions into roughly 36 hours of decision making, apparently only communicated through unfortunately timed leaks.

Elections matter. At least, they're supposed to. Mark Steyn has been on this file since the U.S. midterm elections, which President Monkey basically cast aside days later: for government officials to tell the electorate that the election doesn't matter is to turn them from the electorate to the ruled. Even if the Prentice-Smith team ends up being the most benign and useful political alliance in the history of the planet, the answer still has to come up in that direction.

In 2012, you wasted gas. The blame for that needs to go squarely on Danielle Smith's shoulders. Some of it probably falls on Prentice, but you can hardly blame him for his plan. It's a relatively low-risk high-reward move, despite what Rachel Notley is trying to claim today. Note there aren't a lot of PC supporters upset over this. There are tons of Wildrose voters who are, and as Colby Cosh noted, an ironic block of leftists:
The floor-crossing has some people, mostly those who would never actually vote Wildrose, fretting about the general health of democracy in Alberta.
Ultimately Prentice made a bit of a bold gambit which seems to be paying off in spades. He didn't think the election mattered either, but it's worth noting that he didn't originally get elected in one.

It's hard to imagine that really ever becoming the case. It's why, despite the 4-hour caucus debate the PCs had about letting the ship-jumping MLAs into their party, there wasn't much worry that they would decide to say no. What would be their argument? "Why, we can't let them into our caucus, they are willing to let their political beliefs slide just to be closer to the reigns of power and oh wait that's exactly what all of us have been doing for years."

Good morning and welcome to the new Alberta political reality: the days of a 20-member Wildrose Alliance opposition are gone, soon to be replaced by a 4-member caucus that doesn't even have official opposition status. Strictly speaking, this isn't what any of us voted for. We voted for Brian Mason leading the NDP, Danielle Smith leading the opposition Wildrose, with Alison Redford leading the Progressive Conservatives in government. Select few, in accordance with Parliamentary rules that don't quite factor in the modern era of Presidential-style governance in Westminster systems, voted for Jim Prentice to become their MLA (and, three other guys to become theirs). Wildrose didn't win any of those elections, but they fought in them. (At least nominally, there's some grumblings I'm seeing on Twitter that maybe the byelections were thrown. I'll post later this month on this topic, there are a few connecting threads I want to put together first).

But why am I telling you all this? It doesn't matter. It was just an election. Nothing to get excited over. The election doesn't matter. Danielle and Jim got together and decided what the Alberta Legislature would really look like. Your say was all fun and interesting and all that jazz, but it didn't matter.

You wasted the gas.

2014-12-18

Oilers at San Jose Sharks

Welcome to something I haven't done in ages. No, not liveblogging.

Well, okay, that too. I'm talking about watching the Edmonton Oilers play hockey. Their game against San Jose starts in about 11 minutes. Last game I saw, we got smoked by Arizona 5-2. Let's see what they can get up to tonight....

8:25pm: Five minutes to go: Drew says the Oilers have been told by new head coach Todd Nelson "just go back out there after you make a mistake". I think the Oil have that down pat, seeing how I don't recall any third periods where the entire team stayed on the bench.

8:26pm: So far, nobody on either team has the mumps. This may be an NHL record.

8:30pm: Sportsnet: "even with the coaching change, it was same old same old on Tuesday night". No shit, Sherlock. It's almost like Eakins wasn't the entire problem. Who knew?

8:32pm: Sportsnet talking about how Ben Scrivens sat on his head last game. Okay, that's totally news, I don't remember him doing that in the games before I left.

8:33pm: Oh God, what's Gene Principe going to say?

8:34pm: Gene's playing with a Budweiser red light prop today, talking about the Oilers being tied for second worst in the league in goals-for. So far no puns.

8:35pm: San Jose will win if they light the red light more often than the Oilers. Thanks Gene, you're a modern day genius.

8:37pm: Ben Scrivens is back in net again tonight. His .894 SV% is a stark contrast to Anti Niemi's .919.

8:38pm: The faceoff has begun. The Oilers lost it. Switching to gametime!

1st period 19:24: The Oilers get their first possession of the game only to give it back up immediately.

1st period 18:33: Joe Thorton almost got a goal there, but did an Eberle impression at the last possible second.

1st period 18:02: Scrivens handles the puck to avoid SJ getting an icing call. Great.

1st period 17:40: Thornton and Hertl almost get a shot on goal in a great scoring opportunity.

1st period 17:01: Ference touched the puck. I just booed.

1st period 16:40: So far San Jose has been mostly dominating. "Stay within your game plan" is the Oilers key to the game. Since the game plan is to lose, I think they are cool there.

1st period 15:50: Eberle's pass to the slot gets intercepted by Sheppard. At least the Oilers are doing good at winning the end board cycling so far.

1st period 14:45: Pinnezoto's pass goes wild across the Oilers zone. Oilers are backchecking good this shift, I approve.

1st period 13:55: Thane gets an elbow to the face. No call.

1st period 13:24: Nuge comes in and reads the attempted pass beautifully.

1st period 12:59: The Leafs winning streak has just been killed by Carolina. That's the most amazing news ever. That almost undoes what Danielle Smith did this week.

1st period 12:22: Edmonton Oilers have water bottled numbered. Sounds like they and San Jose have this mumps thing down.

1st period 12:12: We went from almost 5 minutes without a whistle to two whistles within a dozen seconds of each other.

1st period 11:33: Hall missed on a great crossover pass from Purcell.

1st period 10:50: Pitlick clears the puck, the first time he's been not invisible on the whole shift. Where was he when San Jose was rocking Scrivens?

1st period 9:59: Draisaitl had a good shot there, but he should have passed rather than shot when he got his own rebound

1st period 8:17: Time to turn the oven on for some frozen pizza. Hall passes to the slot, Purcell can't quite turn it into a quality shot on goal.

1st period 7:41: Hall loses his edge and falls. DRINK!

1st period 6:19: Arcabello shoots to the empty ice, Hunt has to leave the zone. Fire the coach.

1st period 5:50: HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN!

1st period 5:17: Gordon is in the lineup, and he scores with a slick backhand! What the hell happened after that though, Ebs? 1-0 Edmonton. Oilers lead, that's good, right?

1st period 4:48: Is egg nog with rum an acceptable hockey-drinking beverage? I sure hope so. Couture just tried to tie it up but couldn't get past the Oilers defense. Wow.

1st period 3:31: Both teams can only control the puck up to the opposing blue line tonight, it seems.

1st period 2:09: Yak is doing his patented "can I get to the puck? No? I give up" routine. Danielle Smith may need to pay royalties.

1st period 1:38: That same Nail Yakupov is now in the penalty box. First special teams moment of the game.

1st period 1:01: Wild play in front of the net, San Jose can't quite put it away.

1st period 0:40: Nuge! Fights the defender for a shot on goal, a pseudo-breakaway.

1st period 0:10: Tenneson's rifle gets snatched by Scrivens. Oilers hanging on from a couple scary PP moments for the Sharks.

1st period 0:03: Another Tenneson slapshot from the blue line, but the Oilers hang on. Considering it's against the Sharks, that's almost the perfect road period for a 30th place team.

9:12pm: The pizza is in, at least 17 minutes which means I may go silent as the second period starts up. Phil Kessel just gets a shout-out from John Shannon. I feel dirty even hearing it. I'd better finish this rum and eggnog, I'm pretty sure pizza and eggnog doesn't go well together.

9:16pm: Nobody on the Oilers can complete with Brent Burns in the critical "awesome beard" stat.

9:25pm: Gene is interviewing Raffi Torres. Since it's past 2008, Gene should worry that Raffi will cheap shot him across the back of the skull.

9:27pm: "Maybe some health coming in 2015 for you" says Gene. I thought for sure that's when Raffi would have hit him. I would have.

2nd period 19:41: Of course as the period starts my oven beeps: the pizza is ready.

2nd period 18:56: A powerplay just ended so the Sportsnet crew starts talking "momentum". Like the sun rising in the east, you can count on it.

2nd period 18:39: Pacoretti has now gone to the hospital in that Montreal game. I'm off to have pizza, you're on your own for now!

2nd period 14:09: San Jose scores. Hot chicks cheering on in the crowd. If you show those girls again, and we get Connor McDavid, I'll accept another dozen goals against us.

2nd period 8:03: Wow, wild period while I was away having pizza. It's now 3-2 Oilers after Nuge and Pinnezoto try this "fight for the puck in the slot" thing and find out, hey look, it works great!

2nd period 6:59: So this is the most goals the Oilers have scored against the Sharks all year. Hell, when was the last time the Oilers even scored 3 goals? October?

2nd period 5:52: Klefbom levels Couture, he's having a good shift against a tough line.

2nd period 5:34: Another Oilers penalty. Still winning 3-2 though.

2nd period 3:37: I guess November 28th was the last 3-goal Oilers game. Penalty ends as San Jose does a good impersonation of an early 2000s Oilers powerplay. Lots of cycling, barely one shot on goal.

2nd period 2:34: Oilers escape another barrage and go on the rush...Hall is not having a good game, he ran out of momentum just inside the blue line.

2nd period 2:04: Hall almost scored but again doesn't seem to have any magic in the...magic...tank....

2nd period 1:29: Yak with about 5 shot attempts within 20 seconds.

2nd period 1:11: A Ference shot is completely harmless. Please try to act surprised.

2nd period 0:42: Oilers completely collapse back on their own net and survive another strong barrage of shots from the superior Sharks forwards.

2nd period 0:00: A really wild period, 4 goals in about 4 minutes. Of course, that's the timeframe I'm busy eating pizza so I only got to really look at a couple of them. Nuge is definitely the best player on the ice tonight. Hall was starting to get his groove back later in the period, he jumped Niemi to check a Shark against the back boards with about 15 seconds left. Pinezotto's goal was a greasy greasy greasy one, but Nuge's was beautiful. Going the other way, Logan Couture's goal is going to make it on the "This guy scored" site tomorrow, as all Oilers slid to the side of the ice he wasn't rushing up the boards on.

3rd period 18:46: Perron puts a dirty dump in to make a line change. Ference almost cost us a goal again.

3rd period 17:49: San Jose totally dominating this period, kept in the opposing zone where Pavelski was a one-man wrecking crew.

3rd period 16:07: Oilers still can't get it out of their zone or make any sort of push into opposing territory.

3rd period 15:37: San Jose survives a total Oilers blitz: one of their players gloves it out of the air and play is whistled down.

3rd period 14:59: The Hall/Klefbom chemistry tonight is pretty nice.

3rd period 13:50: I wonder what was up with the refs at the Oilers bench, looks like MacT had to intervene to keep the Oilers out of the box for some reason. Burns lost his stick and still managed to clear it out of the zone.

3rd period 12:52: It's funny seeing that Adobe ad along the San Jose side of the boards. In one sense it's annoying because it's a lit sign, and its hard for your eyes to follow the action as players pass by it. On the other sense it's funny since Adobe is notorious for having compatibility issues with the chief software from the company who owns naming right to the arena. Anyways, Eberle just got softly roughed up in the corner. Again, we've seen this show before.

3rd period 12:34: This Sharks fan with the teeth looks legally retarded. Perron with a penalty for an illegal head shot.

3rd period 12:08: Couture and Pavelski were totally rocking the Oilers on that shift. Ever see a backhand blind pass on a PP before? Well you saw one now.

3rd period 11:40: Nuge wins another faceoff and the Sharks barely get out of their zone.

3rd period 11:31: But when the Sharks do get out, they snap a quick shot and score over Scrivens' blocker. We're tied at 3-3.

3rd period 11:22: So that's Tenneson's first NHL goal. He certainly earned it with the way he played so far tonight. One of the Shark's most dangerous weapons.

3rd period 10:57: Cue the Oilers collapse, as Barkley Goodrow shakes off Justin Schultz and crosses the entire ice and backhands it under Ben Scrivens. 4-3 for San Jose. Goodrow's second ever goal. Wanna guess which team he scored his first against?

3rd period 10:22: Almost 5-3 for the Sharks after this shift: they have just been pushing hard and harder and oh God oh God harder harder harder and Oilers are hanging on for dear life.

3rd period 10:09: I like the hottie in the leopard print scarf behind the Oilers bench. Wait, a scarf? In San Jose??

3rd period 9:24: They switched the Adobe sign. Heh. Loose puck almost scooped up for Courture for another San Jose goal, but luck was on Edmonton's side for once.

3rd period 8:29: Oilers can't keep the Sharks off the puck. Fortunately San Jose coudn't keep the puck inside the blue line.

3rd period 7:40: Now Burns is starting to have one hell of a game. Must be the beard.

3rd period 7:04: Hall vs. Thornton isn't going well for Taylor Hall. Not sure that Taylor Hall vs. Goodrow would be the greatest matchup for Taylor Hall tonight. He's totally not on his game. Has this been going on long?

3rd period 6:28: Hall clears it out of the zone, which is good since Thane gave the puck up and caused a good 15 second long rush where San Jose wouldn't give up on their mission to hit 6 goals tonight.

3rd period 6:12: Hall just lost another battle in the opposing zone.

3rd period 5:23: Oilers third line working hard to keep the puck in the San Jose zone. Sportsnet just said this is Schultz's best game. Did they not watch the Goodrow goal or something?

3rd period 4:33: Nuge is so far able to hem 2-3 opposing players in their own zone single-handedly. At least the third time I've seen this.

3rd period 4:14: "Taylor Hall almost got through". I'm telling you, he lost his mojo. time to travel back to the 1960s...

3rd period 3:08: C'mon Oilers, you gotta score here. You aren't one of these teams that can score with a second left on the clock...but the teams you play always seem to be. Oilers can't get possession so far.

3rd period 2:48: Oilers narrowly avoid icing, The Nuge is back out.

3rd period 2:18: Fake whistle just sounded. Hall's attempted pass intercepted, Klefbom bails him out.

3rd period 1:55: Oilers lose it in the zone, Scrivens run watch is on.

3rd period 1:31: Schultz advances and the net is almost empty.

3rd period 1:21: Now the net is empty, or will be when/if Edmonton wins the ensuing faceoff in the San Jose zone. Or, no, nevermind, it's staying empty apparently. Bold move, new coach guy.

3rd period 0:45: San Jose miscue behind their net, Hall almost capitalizes.

3rd period 0:34: Eberle almost has a chance to score...which means, of course, he doesn't. The Eberle regression season continues, it seems. 2011 Eberle totally would have buried that one.

3rd period 0:02: Oilers ice the puck with only two seconds left, but nobody except the cameras heard the whistle. 4-3 San Jose and I'm afraid that this game is basically over for the Oilers. The ref says 2 seconds, but I already told you that. No delay of game penalty despite the announcer's wish.

3rd period 0:00: That horrible arrangement of "Rock and Roll Part 2" plays, and its official. Oilers have lost another game, in regulation. The "Lose All Honour for Conner" chant should be set to resume.

The new Alberta PC Cabinet

Welcome back?

Hey everybody, sorry for the couple weeks I was unavailable. Back now though.

So what did I mi....HOLY SHITBALLS.

Okay there's been a lot going on, from Sydney to Wildrose to Eakins to Sony. That's a *LOT* to digest now that I can actually read up on stuff.

Definitely have more to say in the days coming forward. Christ Danielle Smith, I go away for two weeks and you completely give up the farm? You didn't even get any magic beans.

At least the Oilers might have some magic beans.

2014-12-12

The Grand Budapest Hotel in LEGO



(features a bonus appearance by Tony Revolori)

2014-12-02

It's still not Christmastime

C'mon people, let's pace ourselves. Yes it's December, and there's snow on the ground, and therefore everybody is getting all pumped for Christmas.

You're going to burn out.

Take those stupid puffy Christmas ornaments off your lawn. Sure, put the lights up when it's nice out, but they stay off for now. You don't need to parade around in a Santa hat, or play Christmas carols in your car, or put Christmas ornaments up in your home or place of business. You definitely don't need to put these up anywhere or at any time.

Yes you think I'm the "bah humbug" guy now, but around December 19th you're going to get so sick of Christmas shit that you're going to have some sort of Yuletide meltdown. You don't have to do this.

The window to put up Christmas decorations is December 5 through December 10th.

You may not have seen this rule before, but it's entirely true. Even if you wait until December 10th, you have two full weeks of Christmas decoration cheer to live with. This should be enough for any rational human being. Though, again, if you're doing the singing/dancing Christmas plush toy thing, you don't fall into this category anyways.

@WTF_Eh

In California there's something called "Proposition 65" which requires businesses post if their foodstuffs contain "substances which are known to the State of California to cause cancer". The signs are everywhere: Carl's Jr has them, hell even Starbucks has them. In fact I can go one crazier: I was in a shopping mall in Santa Monica where the mall entrance had to warn that it was built with *building materials* " known to cause cancer." It's just ridiculous overkill.

Which is why it's so funny to go to the docks.

On every pier you see a bunch of Mexicans fishing off the dock, and almost as many State of California social workers tagging along, each holding signs (in español, natch) warning them which fish are and are not dangerous to eat. Unfortunately, apparently the
q Mexicans ignore them and occasionally get sick. (I have a picture at home, I'll try to find it later)

The problem is same as the "wear condoms when having queer sex" issue: having just finished over-nanny-stating the populace over nonsense, the State of California has lost all credibility. Fish from Marina Del Rey isn't good for you, but apparently so is a goddamned hamburger, so who cares?

2014-12-01

The only media outlet that on FFAs gives the winning side a voice

One of the things I've pointed out many a time (and shocked and confused brain-dead liberals who believed the media) is that when it comes to these Faggot-Familiar-Alliances, the Alberta newsmedia is solidly on the side of the pillow biters. Liberal reporters only interview other liberal activists and put out a decidedly one-sided story out in the media.

Then they keep losing in the Legislature, and nobody can seem to figure out why. So it's probably not surprising that LifeNews (last seen scaring a liberal fag-lover into cowardice) actually talks with the other side of the discussion, particularly former Canadian Taxpayers Federation executive John Carpay. Worth a full read, but here's the meat of John's attack:

“Totalitarian states cannot tolerate freedom of religion because it means people look elsewhere than the state for their values,” Carpay told LifeSiteNews. Free states, on the other hand, should promote freedom of religion, and the freedom of parents to teach their children their own values. Bill 202 and gay-straight alliances were both premised on the idea that “homosexuality is healthy and normal,” which is in conflict with what Catholic and other Christian schools in Alberta teach, says Carpay, which is that “sexuality is sacred and the place for it is in heterosexual marriage.”

Redlettermedia watches the new Star Wars trailer

You know, when Rich Evans finally snaps I'm not entirely sure we'll notice.



As for the trailer itself, I was kinda "meh" on it. It's nice to see that Stormtroopers are (probably) just actual drafted soldiers again, and it looks like there's a decent chance of action. But it smells too much like "J.J. Abrams up his own asshole" again, and the deep deep voice voiceover ended up just sounding ridiculous. Then again, I geeked out at the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer, so what do I know?

#sadteenpoofter

So a bill that essentially turns children’s decisions of their own rights into a parent’s decision is now enshrined in the Alberta bill of rights.
Yeah, that's how parenting works.
Bonus ignorance:
Today Jim Prentice, the premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative party, introduced Bill 10 in response. This bill is an amendment to Bill 202 and means that if a school board or parent does not want students running a GSA they are fully in their right to refuse it.
Uh, no, Bill 10 is a separate government bill. Its timing follows Bill 202 (a private members bill) but is in no way shape or form an amendment. Meanwhile, it just establishes a longstanding legal principle that the ATA and their sodomy thugs want to deny: that the final arbiter of school systems must be the parents whose children are trapped within it.

Happy World AIDS Day (should I have brought noisemakers?)

Today marked "World AIDS Day", the day the United Nations has set aside for raising money and awareness about the disease.

I marked 2014 World AIDS Day the same way I marked 2013 World AIDS Day, 2004 World AIDS Day, 1988 World AIDS Day, and indeed all days in between World AIDS days: not doing the stupid and/or desperate things that would cause me to get AIDS.

The list isn't particularly complicated:

  1. Don't be so desperate to get your dick in something that you pick another man's ass
  2. Don't be so stupid as to let another man's dick go up yours
  3. Don't sleep with a chick who is cool on "bisexual" men (ie. fucks fags)
  4. Don't be so desperate for drugs that you're willing to jab them into you using whatever needles happen to be at hand
Now unfortunately there are a few other routes to getting AIDS, though thankfully they are (or at least were) relatively rare:
  • getting a blood transfusion
  • Being born to a mother with AIDS
  • Being in sub-Saharan Africa where huge swathes of the population are only a couple Degrees of Kevin Bacon away from a guy who thought chimpanzees make a good appetizer.
One notes that the second category, while less easy to avoid, is mostly an "already done" sort of category: if you weren't born with AIDS and don't live in Africa already, the only thing you have to worry about is blood transfusions. So far the odds of getting it are nonzero but still very small, less if the likes of Chrystia Freeland are successful in getting the Canadian Blood Services uranist ban lifted even more than it is already. It's ironic, really, that the same folks who try to promote fudge packing as a legitimate lifestyle have to at least one day a year turn around and ask for money when the diseases caused by promoting the sick lifestyle continue to spread. How can the spread of AIDS be stopped? First order of business you think would be to start spreading the message that the lifestyle choices that lead to AIDS are wrong and you shouldn't be doing them anymore. That would, you think, be the bare minimum required. Yet the AIDS lobby is with their left hand promoting the spread of AIDS and in their right hand decrying it. It's why, this AIDS Day, José María Di Bello has AIDS and I don't. It's why Merritt Butrick is dead, and the man who played his father in 1982 isn't.

I won't have AIDS next AIDS day. Michael Phair having it would probably pay 3-to-16 in Vegas.

2014-11-29

Also: the only two kinds of security guards

2014-11-28

Point-Counterpoint

Point

Counterpoint:

Khurrum Awan is a serial liar
Posted by Ezra Levant on June 3, 2008 in Uncategorized | 77 Views | Leave a response

Julian Porter himself was at the meeting where Khurrum Awan and his junior Al Sharptons tried to shake down Ken Whyte and Maclean’s for cash and a cover story.

Porter asked Awan point blank if the CIC’s proposed “counter-article” was to be “mutually acceptable” to Whyte or of the CIC’s own choosing.

After obfuscating for a few rounds, Awan acknowledged that he never in fact offered a “mutually acceptable” article — that was simply an after-the-fact lie, a little bit of taqqiya that Awan et al. has told the press.

Awan admitted that he made no such offer of a mutually acceptable author. It was to be the CIC’s own choice.
More counterpoint:
Awan the liar, part 2
Posted by Ezra Levant on June 3, 2008 in Uncategorized | 79 Views | Leave a response

Now Porter is showing Awan various letters that Awan sent to Maclean’s. The fool was stupid enough to put his shakedown demands in writing.

And Porter is showing that Awan demanded that Maclean’s submit to the CIC’s choice. No “mutually acceptable” anything. That qualifier was added later by Awan the Liar, to appear more reasonable to the Gentile press.

It reminds me of Yasser Arafat, who would preach peace when speaking in English to Western journalists, and preach terrorism to his own constituency when speaking in Arabic.

That’s Awan: reasonable to the media; a junior Al Sharpton when dealing with Ken Whyte.

No wonder Awan had trouble finding employment following his clerkship.
Yet more counterpoint:
Awan the liar, part 7
Posted by Ezra Levant on June 3, 2008 in Uncategorized | 19 Views | Leave a response

Julian Porter is asking Awan if he remembers whether or not he demanded money from Maclean’s.

Porter is now reading out a written demand by the sock puppets for “substantial” monies.

Awan is denying the documentary record.

Awan says that $10,000 was the number they had in mind — though he acknowledges he hadn’t particularize that sum before.

Why stopping FFAs matter (and why the media and Wildrose should stop denying the winning argument)

The latest push to get officially endorsed Faggot-Familiar-Alliances forced upon schools in Alberta took yet another setback yesterday, as Premier Jim Dinning announced his government would unveil its own bill on the subject which killed Mrs. Ben Henderson's Bill 202, which was a reprisal of Kent Hehr's Motion 503 from earlier this year.

You remember Motion 503, right? If not, you should remember what I wrote at the time of its defeat:

Motion 503 was defeated this week, but there will be more to defeat next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, until sanity is restored and we no longer have to deal with mushy liberals like Kent Hehr and Brian Mason.
Well I was right: there was another one to defeat (Bill 202) and now an even more difficult challenge, a government sponsored bill yet to be tabled that promises to "balance" the rights of parents and students to speak out against sodomy and prevent schools from officially recognizing groups that are explicitly pro-poofter, and the right of proponents of a sick and disturbed lifestyle to promote their shameful deeds with full governmental authority and banning any countenance or discussion.

So that's coming. Joy.

Meanwhile, if there's anything you may have noticed if you've been keeping an eye on my Twitter feed the past few days, it's that these extremist liberals are either completely ignorant of or else willfully trying to ignore any ant-FFA arguments. You'd think at a certain point they'd acknowledge that they exist, but if you were listening to the politicians speaking about this to the media, or the media coverage itself, you'd have no idea there was any opposition to Faggot-Familiar-Alliances mandated in schools at all! Hell, don't take my word for it:
One notices that even supposedly "right-wing" columnists like Don Braid won't even actually do this. So what you have is an issue that keeps coming up (hey Alberta Liberal party! You lost. MoveOn.org!) and my side keeps winning yet the media and the online chattering classes don't even pay the winning argument the slightest lip service.

Which is why the Wildrose capitulation on this issue is so distressing. After a couple years of evidence that trying to out-liberal the other Alberta parties on social issues is a non-starter, is it too much to ask that the Wildrose party, its (remaining) MLAs, its leader, its devoted fanbase, and its media supporters clue into what the grassroots already knew and already made clear at the last AGM? Specifically, is it time to acknowledge that Wildrose should look at doing the right thing first and then trying to secure political power later? There are worse fates in this world than perpetually being the right-wing official opposition to a centre-right government. Prentice gets this for crying out loud: even without official political support for banning FFAs in Alberta classrooms, the movement (which the media is apparently unaware of) is strong enough to force Prentice to "balance" it out in legislation against the noisy pro-poofter crowd and their 3.5 political parties in support.

If Wildrose could force Prentice to do this on every single issue, they would be making our beloved Alberta a better place to live without ever once forming a cabinet themselves. It's not ideal, I grant you, but it's definitely better than this mythical future where voters look at a centre-right PC party and a less-centre-right Wildrose party and decide that the Wildrose folks are trustworthy enough (or Danielle Smith is pretty enough) to put in charge of the purse-strings...where grassroots Wildrose members are members of the governing party but apparently are unable to get the legislation they want enacted. Is it any surprise that rank-and-file members, Wildrose MLAs, and the general public aren't signing up for this exciting opportunity?

So be ready, Alberta parents. These "GSAs" are coming, and the sheep that are in favour of them can't even understand what they actually represent and what the actual analogy on their terms looks like. You've fought and defeated them once. You've fought and defeated them a second time. But the sodomite agenda being pushed on your kids is relentless. You'll need to stop it again, and this time you should aim to push back so hard that they never come back. Use every method at your disposal to stop this, and ensure these far-left losers like Blakeman and Hehr know to lick their wounds and never again return to this forum.

The future of the children of Alberta lies in the balance. Why do you think the other side is so viciously underhanded about it?

It goes without saying, of course, that this is pretty much exactly the circumstances presently occurring in Ottawa: there's a "Conservative" government in power, and they as a rule do slightly conservative things, but ultimately aren't much more conservative than a "Liberal" government was with a strong right-wing opposition keeping them in check. The loss of the Reform Party would be analogous to the loss of the Wildrose, and whether the loss comes from obscurity or merger is ultimately not as important as the loss itself.

Why the CFL shouldn't change their schedule

In Edmonton this morning we're just recovering from a blizzard that dumped about a foot of snow on the city. The 102nd Grey Cup will be in two days from Vancouver.

I say this because outgoing CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon said a couple weeks ago that the CFL should look into starting the season earlier. Events like the Eskimos/Roughriders game (that your humble correspondent attended) and cold temperatures two years ago in Calgary for the Western Final have put a damper on attendance: the game I went to had a measely 26,000 people there. For Saskatchewan in the playoffs (though they still ran out of alcohol!).

The thing is though, the 18 game CFL schedule ending in late November isn't new: the Grey Cup actually used to be played in December. Even in the pro era, the big game has been held at the end of November. It's routinely been around the -10 mark for the Grey Cup: the last time it was in Edmonton, it was -19. This Grey Cup, one may note, sold out in less than a week. (Again, your humble correspondent -- and the Prime Minister -- were in attendance).

So why, especially if this so-called global warming ever starts coming our way, are we talking about moving the CFL schedule around now? The answer is simple.

Canada is becoming a nation of pussies.

The pussification of society doesn't just mean trannies in women's prisons and radio star Jian Ghomeshi: it means that as a people we're so weak and pampered that we can't really spend any amount of time in physical discomfort. Sure sure, HDTVs are a factor (the debate amongst my circle of friends this week is whose TV we're going to watch the game on: the 70", the 65", the 55", the 47", or the 42"). It also doesn't help that the Evil Empire EskimosTM have been extremely lousy this past decade or so, leaving a "good" attendance at an Esks game in the 38,000 neighbourhood when the stadium seats 66,000. Still, the ultimate answer is that we're becoming a nation of pussies. Sure sure, Alberta is working to slow this trend as much as possible with real men like myself at the forefront, but it's a relentless process.

Every time the CFL scales back the role of female cheerleaders, or has some whiny Red Indians complaining about Edmonton's team name, or has players wear pink booties during games, or fines Maurice Price for speaking to conservative Christian values, it's another little hit to the manliness of the league, the manliness of sports, the manliness of sport. The CFL is slowly succumbing to forces that will ultimately destroy it.

So no, leave the schedule alone. Don't fine the Maurice Prices of the world for chastising human weakness: work harder to chastise it yourself. Invoke a little patriotism: Canadians like to pretend they're better than Americans, start showing them the attendance differences between cold weather CFL and NFL/NCAA games. There are dark forces at work that are trying to change society in a way that will harm your league. Even if you can't stop it, you have to try. And that means holding games in weather that guarantees no pussies in the crowd.

Rona doesn't sell Christmas lights

I looked and looked and looked...but all they sell are "holiday lights".

If you're looking for Christmas lights to hang up for Christmas this year, I guess you'll have to go to another store.

2014-11-26

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Just by reading this you can destroy the world (or at the very least be enslaved by a supercomputer).

(no wonder the technocratti class is all about quashing freedom of speech)

Two stories about privacy

Story one

Story two

2014-11-22

It's about the future, Madam Chancellor

Steve Tilley looks very very superficially about 2015 according to Back to the Future, Part II. He's covering Mr. Fusion, Jaws sequels, and hoverboards. Business Insider covered this a few years back, and ultimately a Miami baseball team and 3D sequels are the best that 1987 Hollywood could tell us about this mysterious time.

And Queen Diana was in that movie, remember. Whoops. Not only is Di deader than the Dodo, but both Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth are highly likely to start 2015 (and, almost as likely, end 2015) still alive. Hell, you can't discount the Queen out for 2020 at this point.

2014-11-19

Mental note to self: Whyte

Once we get a nice cold Whyte Ave day, show Scott McKeen some photos of the vibrant street scene.