I heard something about a lamb?

March in Edmonton.

+4C high, -13C low: in like a lion

0C high, -11C low: out like... basically the same lion.


Milky White Bosums

You've read The Onion.

You've listened to The Onion Radio News on 97.3 K-Rock and other such stations.

But did you know The Onion News Network now has its own YouTube channel?

Probably the funniest straight minute imaginable is this video: FCC Okays Nudity On TV If It's Alyson Hannigan

Other highlights include:
Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 08 Election

'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat'

Army Holds Annual Bring Your Daughter To War Day

Oh, it has nothing to do with The Onion, but here's more Allyson Hannigan:

Where were we? Oh yeah:

US Schools Trail World In Child Soldier Aptitude

Ron Paul gets testy over Iraq -- no, wait, that's not from The Onion, it just sounds like satire.

Mean Automakers Dash Hope For Flying Cars

NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: Drive Fast

Situation In Nigeria Seems Pretty Complex

Breaking News - Something Happening In Haiti

And finally -- female scientists report there is no domestic abuse in America:


A great Earth Hour idea I wish I'd thought of

A buddy of mine yesterday IM'd his suggestion, which I tragically never cut-and-pasted but I'll try to reproduce here as close as I can to verbatim:

Between 8pm and 9pm [Saturday] night open your windows wide and turn on every mother[censored]ing light on that you own, and teach those hippies a thing or two.

(On an aside, is the
Toronto Star article supposed to be an op-ed? It's written by a reporter and sounds directly like a press release for the Earth Hour people.)


A new definition of "closer"

IKEA Edmonton. "It's Closer Than You Think"

By road
M25 J27 - M11 south onto A406/North Circular Road
West/4 miles to IKEA
Just drive to Halifax, get on the boat...


Party it up! Edmonton is cheaper to live than (insert insanely overpriced city name here)

From 630 CHED:

An Edmonton rabbi and his wife are pitching their city as a haven for Orthodox Jews who want to avoid the high cost of living in New York City.

Rabbi Daniel Friedman says despite Alberta's booming economy, Edmonton is affordable compared to New York.

His wife, Rebbetzin Batya Friedman, will be in New York next month representing Edmonton at a conference hosted by the Orthodox Union.

The organization represents around 1,000 orthodox congregations across North America.

Daniel Friedman says Edmonton has great infrastructure for an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle compared to Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary.

Orthodox Jewish customs mean followers must live within walking distance of synagogues, buy food prepared in kosher fashion and send their children to Jewish schools among other practices.
It just brings a tear to my eye to consider that somewhere in North America there are still people who look at Edmonton and say "wow, I wish things were that affordable in my city"!

A roundup of (old) news:

Remember when I was doing a rundown of days stories for a while? Well, I found a bunch of the stories I had emailed to myself that seem to have gotten caught up in a spam filter, which I personally found odd. You'd think I'd be on my own whitelist. Anyways, here it goes:

From January 24th, a misloaded change machine pays out thousands at a Regina casino: and the casino is trying to track down the people who improperly got the money. This is one of the most underhanded things in casinos: if they make a mistake at the cash cage and short you $1500 or something, there's a big sign there that says the casino is not responsible for errors once you walk away from the window. If you discover it 5 minutes too late, you're out the money. However, if you're at the cash cage and they overpay you, they record your photo and the next time you're in you either return the money or are banned from the establishment. What kind of deal is that?

A reminder that even the "federalists" in Quebec are underhanded and not to be trusted, it turns out Jean Charest (is he still alive?) buried a study which showed that the French population in Montreal was decreasing.

A guard at the Matsqui Correctional Facility was threatened with discipline in November of last year for reporting to Children's Services about a stroller testing positive for cocaine. This story starts to get confusing:

She was reacting to a news conference here by the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, at which a guard from Matsqui Institution said he was threatened with discipline for calling the children's ministry about a baby whose stroller had tested positive for cocaine last November.

Terry Leger, who is also the Matsqui union president, told reporters that for the safety of the child, he felt obligated to alert the children's helpline to the fact the test done when the baby visited Nov. 11 indicated close contact with drugs.

"The concern right from the get-go was this child's safety," said Leger. "I think we have an onus to protect children."

But when the ministry contacted Matsqui for more information, Leger was called in by his supervisors and threatened with an investigation for allegedly breaching the prisoners' privacy, he said.

Leger said he felt intimidated and discouraged from doing what he is obligated to do under the law -- report any suspected abuse of a child.
The story eventually mentions what any interested reader might wanted to have known: have there been any confirmed cases of baby-fencings? And there was, a woman in Quebec in October of 2006 had 32 grams of heroin on an infant.

Hey, remember back on the 28th of January when it was -30 in Edmonton? Well the premiers stupidly decided to pick that week to demand Albertans sacrifice more at the alter of global warming. Nice try, bub.

Speaking of global warming, you know that the pine beetles were sure wishing it was true!

Back from January 31st, in the runup to Valentine's Day, Happy Bunny was causing quite the controversy in Thunder Bay.
Ms. Dale said she ordered the cards from a flyer that her daughter, Emily, brought home from school and had no idea they would contain such dark humour.

"I just assumed that anything she could order in that book order was all right. I didn't know I had to look for PG- or R-rated."

After receiving complaints from Ms. Dale and others, Scholastic decided to stopselling the cards.

"We take the concerns of our parent, child and teacher customers seriously and, therefore, we have removed this item from this offer, effective immediately," the company said in a statement.

But the company also said the flyer is meant to be distributed to children in Grades 4 to 8 and that the Happy Bunny cards were "clearly identified" as appropriate for pupils in Grade 7 and up.
Good to see public school teachers are still known for their due diligence, eh?

Hey baby, can I check you for diabetes?

In late January, Guy Lafleur had a warrant out for his arrest. The hockey great turned himself in a couple of days later. Hey, can anybody do this? If I've got a warrant, can I read about it in the paper and just turn myself in, rather than have corrupt EPS officers burst down my door and break my furniture to take me down in the middle of the night? (this never happened to me, but did happen to someone I know)

A couple months ago there was a major push to have flu vaccinations given out across Alberta. Now it turns out we're all going to die anyways.

Now that the Hollywood writers strike is over, I wonder if US stations are still gung-ho to pick up Canadian series? Shaftesbury Films CEO Christina Jennings said "There seems to be a new pattern emerging at American TV networks, which have lately become more open to working with production companies outside the U.S." back on February 4th. Let's see if that trend continues, shall we?

Back in 2002/2003, France was (and is) bitterly opposed to war in Iraq. War in Chad? How could you possibly think to compare the two? Oh, here's some other random war stories from that same day in the news:"Mrs. Corruption" met with a violent end in Pakistan. Luckily, the man she taught everything she knows about bilking money from the people was there to take the reigns of power.

First they do weird things to kids toys en route to North America. Now its possible that the Chinese are deliberately poisoning Japanese consumers. Add in the Tibet debacle currently underway, and this Olympics looks a lot like the 1980 Moscow Games. Or the 1936 Berlin Games.

Jewish groups protested, but a dancing Hitler float still proceeded for Carnivale in Brazil last month.

Limited time fuel offer

Today I went to my local neighbourhood Shell Shell station close to my favourite liquor store, and was able to find a curious sign:

Now even though gas is $1.059/lire in Edmonton right now, that's not a half bad deal. The silver gas is easier on your engine (apparently), and it costs you absolutely no premium to use it (assumably, the bronze gasoline "would" be at the price they claim its at, though it is comparable to other gas prices at this time.

I wonder if this is at all related to this news story from February.


When you're this big, they call you Mr.

From the New York Times:

ROME — The Vatican on Thursday rejected an audiotaped accusation from Osama bin Laden that Pope Benedict XVI was leading a “new Crusade” against Muslims, but Italian security officials were concerned about the threats included in Mr. bin Laden’s new message.

“These accusations are absolutely unfounded,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the pope’s chief spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “There is nothing new in this, and it doesn’t have any particular significance for us.”

The audio message attributed to Mr. bin Laden was released Wednesday night and was addressed to “the intelligent ones in the European Union.” It was posted on a militant Web site on Wednesday, and an English transcription was distributed Thursday by the SITE Intelligence Group in Bethesda, Md., which tracks postings by Al Qaeda on the Internet.
Mister bin Laden? The NYT's foreign offices seem to be treating the world's most notorious terrorist as just another mid-level bureaucrat, or perhaps as a witness of a house fire.

Meanwhile if you check the NYT's site you find what has to be the most banal article ever written. Take a quick looksie:
It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black “anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”

Progress, since the Civil Rights Movement, or since apartheid, has assuaged the wounds of race but not closed them. To carry my part of shame is also to carry a clue to the vortexes of rancor for which Obama has uncovered words.

I understand the rage of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, however abhorrent its expression at times. I admire Obama for saying: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

Honesty feels heady right now. For seven years, we have lived with the arid, us-against-them formulas of Bush’s menial mind, with the result that the nuanced exploration of America’s hardest subject is almost giddying. Can it be that a human being, like Wright, or like Obama’s grandmother, is actually inhabited by ambiguities? Can an inquiring mind actually explore the half-shades of truth?

Yes. It. Can.
No. It. Can't. See, this is easy.

"Carry a clue to the vortexes of rancor"? Is this a passage from a Terry Brooks novel, or a person seriously believing he is contributing to a political discussion? If this is what "the nuanced exploration" sounds like, its no small wonder that this "menial mind" won two consecutive Presidential races while the author and his cohorts stood by stunned and unable to comprehend how it happened. [and where was this "nuanced exploration" when it was questioned endlessly why people in Palm Beach were voting for Pat Buchannen? -ed]

If Cohen feels some insane need to apologize for the colour of his skin, so be it. But if he needs to do so, don't for a second think that it serves as some sort of reason that intelligent people should choose one of the simplest-minded and most liberal politicians the Democrats have ever tossed forward as a candidate.

Corb Lund may welcome him, but should we?

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans, who grew up in Southern Alberta and were basically born as an artist in Nashville, have always had an affinity for Edmonton.

Which is why it was wholly disheartening when today I went to buy tickets to the April 3rd show at Rexall and discovered that the opening act was none other than known conservaphobe Todd Snider.

Memo to Snider: 565,398 voters comprising 60% of the voting population just finished electing conservative Christian straight-white males. We are in command here. You aren't. Screw off.

Youtube Easter celebrations

Kill Bill style, its:

The Easter Bunny hates you! (hot chick scenes at the 0:44 mark)

Eddie Izzard discussing Easter and Christmas:

"The Easter Bunny Boogie":

A 2006 Passion Play:

And finally, a song that really has nothing to do with Easter but touches on the Resurrection motifs quite heavily:

The map on the back of the Declaration of Independence directed us to Winnipeg. So we went home.

For some bizzare reason, those of us in Edmonton who don't have cable are forced to endure total crap on Sunday morning.

CTV: World Vision

CBC: Sunday News

ACCESS: (no idea, my ACCESS feed stopped working about 4 months ago)

CBC-F: Roman Catholic Programming (Easter)

GLOBAL: 100 Huntley Street Hour of Power

CTS: John Hagee Ministries

CITYTV: World Vision (again!)

So I begrudingly turned to CBC, where I got to watch a report on.... the Manitoba Legislature being a reproduction of King Solomon's Temple

If you like pretty pictures, you can read more here. I'm going to try to find a DVD or something, this is ridiculous.


Easter: The holiday I just don't quite get

Well, okay, let me clarify the title... I know what Easter is about

The thing I never understood was why it was held when it was held: and by "when it was held" I mean "why its apparently some random date between March 15th and April 25th".

Luckily for us, in this modern day there's Wikipedia:

The canonical rule is that Easter day is the first Sunday after the 14th day of the lunar month (the nominal full moon) that falls on or after 21 March (nominally the day of the vernal equinox). For determining the feast, Christian churches settled on a method to define a reckoned "ecclesiastical" full moon, rather than observations of the true Moon as the Jews did at the time. Eastern Orthodox Christians calculate the fixed date of 21 March according to the Julian Calendar rather than the modern Gregorian Calendar, and observe the additional rule that Easter may not precede or coincide with the first day of the Jewish Passover.

Finally, for those mathematically inclined:
This algorithm for calculating the date of Easter Sunday was first presented by the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss:

The number of the year is denoted by Y; mod denotes the remainder of integer division (e.g., 13 mod 5 ≡ 3; see modular arithmetic). Calculate first a, b, and c:

a = Y mod 19
b = Y mod 4
c = Y mod 7

Then calculate

d = (19a + M) mod 30
e = (2b + 4c + 6d + N) mod 7

For the Julian calendar (used in Eastern churches), M = 15 and N = 6, and for the Gregorian calendar (used in Western churches), M and N are from the following table:

Years M N
1583-1699 22 2
1700-1799 23 3
1800-1899 23 4
1900-2099 24 5
2100-2199 24 6
2200-2299 25 0

If d + e < d =" 28," e =" 6,"> 10, Easter is on 18 April.


More on my revelation about Shernell Pierre

As you may know, on Sunday I posted some interesting things I heard about Shernell Sharon Pierre, who (it now is revealed) was shot before being placed in her car and set on fire. Specifically I noted that I had heard:

First off, Pierre is from St. Vincent, the Caribbean island. Apparently after moving to Canada she entered in a relationship with a Jamaican man who turned out to be already married to another woman.
Pierre apparently brought her new husband home two weeks ago. Now she's dead. Anybody want to bet more thant $0.15 that Shernell Sharon Pierre was murdered by this Jamaican man? I thought not.
So far there have been three interesting comments regarding that entry. I will address the second one first. Anonymous writes:
i call that report malicious and i dont believe you have a inside scoop and if your scoop is so reliable you should inform police instead of using the internet to spread rumors trying to distroy people intigrity
This sounds like quite the damning statement until you remember that I didn't name the person. I simply put forward what I had heard and made a guess. At work on Friday people were surmising that Pierre was killed by an ex-boyfriend, so this isn't exactly an unheard-of proposition (see White, Liana). Meanwhile, my scoop is being discounted as unreliable whilst somehow fingering this Jamaican man who must exist, therefore confirming much of what I said as being at least moderately reliable. It can't be both ways: either I'm just talking nonsense or I've got at least a kernel of truth. If the claim is that I'm fingering an unnamed man, then it has to be the latter. As for the informing police suggestion, I'll get to that in a moment.

Now lets examine the first and third comments, also from "Anonymous" (I assume all three are different anonymouses):
Hi there,

I'm a reporter at CTV News in Edmonton. I was just reading your comments and wondering where you heard this information about Shernell Pierre.

Please give me a call. You can speak anonymously if you want. But I think this kind of information will help police and should be known.

My cell number is (deleted)

I am a reporter with the Edmonton Sun. I would also like to speak with you about Shernell Pierre.

Even if you're not interested in speaking on the record, please e-mail me at (deleted)
Now when the first one was posted, my first thought was that this "CTV Reporter" was actually somebody connected with our "innocent Jamaican man" trying to get personal information out of me and find out who knew what. For all I knew, calling that number would get me in a nice burning car of my own. [I deleted both the phone number and the email from the quoted comments in this post, even though they occur in the original comments. This will prevent excessive spam or prank calling, in theory at least. -ed] The second posting, this time with an Edmonton SUN email address rather than a phone number makes me less likely to believe the first post to be malicious: this is an actual first/last name connected to the newspaper. (Note though that there's no appeal to inform the police or asking where I'd heard the story).

I'll summarize here for the sake of other reporters who might want details: the information I brought forward in the original post is the extent of the information I know. If I knew more, I'd have said more (including the dude's name). This is the extent of the scoop, and for that I'm sorry. I don't have the suspect's name, I can't go get you his home address and a photograph of his car (or white van, as the case may be...). Now as reporters, maybe these two have already done this, but from this couldn't it be easy to determine using the resources of the MSM:
  1. Whether Pierre was from the island of St. Vincent
  2. If she recently was married there
  3. If her friends knew of a Jamaican ex-boyfriend
If it turns out the answer to any of these (or all) is "no", then you can discard what you read on this blog. If the answers are yes, then the police can be asked (on and off the record) some more pressing questions regarding this "person of interest" who owns the white Dodge van. In any case, the answers to questions about Shernell Sharon Pierre will not be coming from Third Edge of the Sword beyond what has already been revealed. I just don't knows no more.

Update, April 1 2012 1:27pm: Well, we have certainly had a lot verified since 2008. The name "Devon Hugh Saunders" which you'll see in the comments below is a name the police were interested enough in that they actually arrested him for the crime, which makes sense since his own family are aware that he did it and some of the details.

New content you may have missed

Since my St. Patrick's Day post was sticky, some of you may not have caught some of the updates that were taking place, so I will briefly discuss them here.

Colby Cosh finds a UofA Gateway article that explains why the loony left is treated with contempt in Alberta.

I heard a bit of juicy gossip on Shernell Pierre, that nurse who was shot to death and burned in her car last week. So far its gained itself two interesting comments: the first from somebody alleging to be a CTV reporter wanting me to call in about the story; the second from someone who is upset that I'm "spreading accusations" despite not actually accusing anybody. I smell a followup post soon.

Finally, Maitreye is a World Teacher who claims to be Buddha, Jesus, Allah, Moses, and David Koresh all at the same time. You'd think an image of our Lord Made Flesh would reproduce more clearly in a photocopy.

The #1 mystery in the City of Edmonton

Forget the dead chick in the car, 630 CHED brings us the real head scratcher in the City of Champions:

Police have arrested a couple of 14 year old girls after two 12 year old girls were allegedly robbed inside West Edmonton Mall.

It's alleged the 12 year olds were confronted by four other teens around 2:30 Saturday morning.

Police say the alleged victims were pushed and forced to hand over some cash and two cellphones.

Mall security detained kept the teens until police got on the scene. It's not known why the teens were at the mall at that time.
That's right, CHED news is completely perplexed that teenaged girls were in a mall. This is completely unexpected! What on earth would make teenagers want to hang out at a mall?

Bonus 630 CHED link: Last Link on the Left addresses the late 2007 departure (and 2008 return) of CHED morning man Gord Whitehead.


"All right, we'll give some land to the Niggers and the Chinks. But we don't want the Irish!"

(this post is sticky -- I hope -- scroll down for new content)

Happy St. Patrick's Weekend everyone. I'm not sure when the day to honour Saint Patrick became an entire weekend, but it would probably be the fault of those corporate monoliths known as Standard Oil Coca Cola Hallmark Beer Companies.

Regardless, I'm going to be out spending Monday night drinking (which is why I've made this post 3 days beforehand).

As for running commentary...uh...hey look! Girls! As many have heard, there's murmers every once and a while about turning March 17th into a holiday, as they do in Ireland and, believe it or not, Newfoundland. [how do they spend stat holidays in Newfoundland? Going to work for a change of pace? -ed]. This is a really really stupid idea.

They should make the holiday March 18th, so we don't have to go to work hung over.


Maitreye the World Teacher

So begins the website for "Maitreya, the World Teacher" who has posters around Whyte Ave promising his arrival. According to his website:

Since his sudden appearance 'out of the blue' in Nairobi, Kenya, on 11 June 1988, Maitreya has made many more miraculous appearances. In most cases, he has magnetized water in the vicinity before he appeared.

So far, people have discovered the healing properties of this magnetized water from wells in Mexico, Germany and India.
Hey, is his magical ability to "magnetize water" at all related to why "The World Teacher" reproduces so badly on a photocopier?

The inside scoop on that nurse in the burning car

By now most of Alberta, if not the west, has heard the sad tale of Shernell Sharon Pierre, the city nurse who was murdered and set ablaze in a car to cover up evidence.

Well, I have a relatively inside scoop on the case that should reveal a little bit of information. First off, Pierre is from St. Vincent, the Caribbean island. Apparently after moving to Canada she entered in a relationship with a Jamaican man who turned out to be already married to another woman. Pierre broke the relationship off. The Jamaican man left his wife intending to be with Pierre instead, but by that time Pierre had already returned to St. Vincent, married a man from there, and brought him back to Edmonton.

Pierre apparently brought her new husband home two weeks ago. Now she's dead. Anybody want to bet more thant $0.15 that Shernell Sharon Pierre was murdered by this Jamaican man? I thought not.

Update, March 18 2008 7:03pm: An updated post discussing the first three comments below has been posted, including vital information for any reporters or police officers who may come across this entry.

Update, April 1 2012 1:27pm:For further updates on this case that occurred, see these posts on the arrest of Devon Hugh Saunders, our "Jamaican man" described above, and how I was exposed for a second time into insider info on the case, this time by somebody close to the murderer.


Colby Cosh goes off the deep end

How else can you claim the Gateway, last seen being rejected as toilet paper by discerning dogs everywhere, has any election insight?

(To be true, Cosh is technically stating Gateway writers are so incredibly stupid that their entire political philosophy should be discarded by association, but its a slippery slope that need not be crossed)

If this dumb tramp had half a brain, incidently, she might have noted there was indeed a clue about the election results in Stelmach's joke: the PCs beat the Liberals in Alberta because people en masse are coming here to live in RalphWorld.

Ho hum, another foolish Afghan War protest

Protesters want Afghanistan mission ended

Er, and it will be ended in 2011, whether its a good idea or not. (Hint: its not) They are getting what they wanted!

Protesters plan to rally in 20 communities across Canada today against the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"This war has nothing to do with the defense of democracy or women's rights in Afghanistan and everything to do with advancing U.S. strategic interests in the region," wrote the Canadian Peace Alliance in a news release.

"We reject sending our youth to serve as cannon fodder in Afghanistan, where 78 Canadians soldiers have now died, with hundreds wounded, and even more psychologically damaged in an unjust, illegal war."
The anti-Iraq war cry in 2003, if you recall, was centered on how "unlike Afghanistan" the war in Iraq would be unjust, illegal, and solely for American interests, namely cheap gas. [So if this is true, where the hell's the cheap gas? -ed] But these people don't care.

They just hate the notion that the west might do something "for its own interests". Nevermind that we are the west, and "our own interests" are objectively the best thing for Aghanistan. They just like to protest that the U.S. might have things go its way.


A Third Edge of the Sword food tip

Have you ever noticed when it comes to buying apples, that the more colourful the apple, the more flavourful the apple?

(Note, this doesn't just work by polishing and waxing up crappy apples like they sell at T & T)

Something doesn't pass the smell test

Remains identified as missing Hobbema teen:

Mounties have identified the woman whose scattered remains were found in Hobbema on the weekend as Erica Marie Roasting.

The 18-year-old reserve resident was reported missing to the Louis Bull Police Service on March 7, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Darrel Bruno.

Police are investigating the death as suspicious and it's not yet being treated as a homicide, said Bruno.

"Our investigation is trying to establish when she was last seen and whether this is a murder case," he added.

At about 1:30 a.m. last Sunday, a constable with the Louis Bull police was patrolling the area behind the Louis Bull health centre when he came across the missing woman's remains.

Police said she was found on a three-kilometre stretch of land where snow had recently melted.

Hobbema Mounties, along with officers from Wetaskiwin, Red Deer and Calgary, are assisting in the ongoing investigation.

The EPS canine unit was called in to help on the weekend, along with the RCMP's helicopter because the remains were scattered, said Bruno.

The medical examiner's office identified Roasting yesterday using dental records.

Bruno said Project KARE, a police group that investigates deaths and disappearances of people with high-risk lifestyles, has been notified of the case but is not involved in the investigation.

Girl found dead on a reserve, I can believe. Identified using dental records? Thats a little odd.



As many people have learned, Edmonton is talking about blowing 1/5th of a million dollars on a dome over Churchill Square.

Battle of Alberta has their take: look for my "too lazy to sign in" comment at 8:05pm.

At work today somebody pointed out the semi-obvious:

The geodesic dome could even be used to house homeless people overnight, Krushell suggested. “It’s got serious potential for a lot of different uses.”
Er, and why would homeless people, who already inhabit Churchill Square begging for change, leave during the day when they can harrass pedestrians in warmth?



The comment thread of a recent Cross-Country Checkup discuss the Human Rights complaints against Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant, and Steven Boisson.

Several interesting passages present themselves. Chiefly amoung them is this:

1. The Complainant's costs are not paid by the Commission. The only time that the Commission takes carriage of a case is when the public interest is at issue.

I have filed several complaints and have never had one red cent of my costs paid.

2. Rex has accused the complainants as trying to "shake down" someone by filing a complaint. Complainants have the courage to stand up for human rights, often as great personal cost to themselves.

3. You foreget to mention that all human rights tribunal decisions are reviewable bythe Courts. Some have gone all the way to the Supreme Court, i.e Zundel's case.

4. It is not offensive speech which is protected. Only messages which expose vulnerable groups to hatred or contempt.In other words, will the messages increase discrimination against the target group?

5. Your program also fails to mention that Human Rights legislation is designed to encourage mediation and settlement, often with no penalties being imposed, i.e. the complaint against Craig Chandler and his Concerned Christian Canada and his Freedom Radio Network Inc websites.

I sincerely wish you would have a more balanced presentation on this issue. Hate messages are exposing vulnerable groups to hatred, contempt, discrimination, violence and murder.

Rob Wells
Followed by...
Similarly, Edmontonian Rob Wells filed a Canadian Human Rights Commission complaint against Calgarian Craig Chandler for radio braodcasts and websites that said things like, "God sees murder as equal to homosexuality." In that case, the CHRC negotiated a settlement -- and when Chandler subsequently won the Conservative nomination for a Calgary riding, the provincial party was embarrassed enough to dump him from the campaign.
As I did in the case of Boissoin, allow me to re-iterate that whatever Chandler said, he is 100% right and I agree with every word he says. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Some other bizzare passages include:
A useful way of determining whether Mark Steyn's work is worthy of reproduction in one of Canada's oldest mass circulation journals is to substitute the words 'Jews' or 'Blacks' whenever he uses the word 'Muslims.' Mr. Murphy, can you continue to claim that Mr. Steyn is simply expressing a reasonable opinion that deserves publication after conducting an exercise similar to the one I have suggested?
This argument, put forward by Brian O'Neal of Gatineau, fails on the first premise that Muslim, unlike Jew, is purely a religion. Instead of O'Neals suggestion, why not substitute the words 'Puppies' or 'Men in Blue T-shirts' whenever he used the world 'Muslims'? It makes exactly as much sense.

"Parliamentary Poet Laureate John Steffler" writes the following:

Everyone in the country who values freedom of political and artistic expression should speak out against Bill C-10 which is now in the hands of the Senate. In giving the Heritage Minister the power to deny tax credits to films and TV shows he/she finds offensive, this bill introduces a covert form of censorship and undermines the principle of arm's-length funding for the arts. Pornography is already ineligible for tax credits. What is the bill designed to weed out?
Hey there John-Boy? Why aren't you out there demanding that pornography become eligible for tax credits? Isn't this a covert form of censorship and undermines arms-length art funding? What if Ernst Zundel decides to make a Holocaust-denial flick? Shouldn't he get funding from the feds to pay for it? (Even as the same feds get him deported?)
State funding (tax credits or otherwise) for the arts, in its many forms, including films, documentaries & the visual arts, etc., ... should not be decided by governments, but by a separate, arms-lengh body (Canada Council -- for instance) and it should be based / juried on its artistic merits.

Thus, the people seating on such bodies, should be competent & credible professionals in their respective disciplines. No bureaucrat should have the power to make such funding decisions. Their task is to ensure funds are accounted for, and that applicants follow proper & clear procedures.

Leo Campos Aldunez
Edmonton, Alberta
Sorry there Leo, but without bureaucrats how will these procedures be properly followed? You may hate bureaucrats, but they do serve a purpose, and its the same purpose Aldunez seems to want to deny them. Why should the arms-length body have such amazing powers? Who do you go to if they unfairly deny your funding? How about your anti-homosexual drama that goes against the Council of Canadians' narrow worldview? Isn't that another form of artistic censorship?

fully support the complaint against Macleans magazine which has an obvious bias evidenced by 19 similar articles clearly discriminating against the Muslim community.

I think what is important to remember is that the complainants want to specifically target the approximate 1 million Macleans readers and give them the counter view and more accurate view of the Islamic faith. Further, isn't it a true mark of journalistic integrity to present both sides of the story. I really wonder what Macleans' magazine is afraid of!

Shaheena Kharal
You're right. Shaheena Kharal is a follower of Satan's prophet Mohammed, and Shaheena Kharal is following the false Muslim religion that will cause her to burn in hell forever as an Enemy of the One True Lord. There, we can see what I'm not afraid of! (And there's your true mark of integrity, as I give the other side to her one-sided story: if you want to say something that Macleans won't print, say it somewhere else!)


The worst non-Spence Diamonds radio ad in Edmonton

The Canadian Brewhouse has a radio ad that just played on 100.3 The Bear, that has to be one of the dumbest I've ever heard.

First it uses crazy sexual innuendo spoken by a phone-sex operator voice, where she asks if you "want it hard or soft", and the announcer says that its hard to choose, but the Brewhouse has a solution to your hard/soft taco dilemna:

One day a week (Tuesday I think), you can get 3 hard tacos or 3 soft tacos for $3.

Now think very carefully about this...in no way whatsoever does this solve your dilemna. If the offer had been "2 hard tacos and 2 soft tacos for $4" or something, that would mean something. Instead, you still have the dilemna, unless you want to buy six tacos and do three of each. Thats certainly possible for those of us with big stomachs, but not for the average Pete.

Very early 2008 baseball preview

Today the question was put to me: who would you bet on to face off in the World Series under the following two simple rules:

a. The Boston Red Sox may not be chosen
b. The New York Mets may not be chosen

My own two answers were the Fukudome-equipped Seattle Mariners, and the Milwaukee Brewers. I can see a Phillies argument to be made, but can there be any others? Surely the Yankees and Angels are no more likely than Seattle.


The greatest rock song ever to mention Captain Picard

Presenting "Banditos" by The Refreshments, as it would appear in Guitar Hero 2 if it actually was in Guitar Hero 2.

Also of interest is the Ted Nugent quote:

Update, 11:04pm: Here's how to make a custom song if any of my readers actually play this stupid game.

Alberta Election Thoughts Part Three: The Progressive Conservative secret to victory

There's a personal anecdote of mine that might in some small way explain Ed Stelmach's election win on Monday. As I previously alluded, I had only received Green Party literature. The NDP did not contact me.

The Liberals phoned me, asking if they could count on my support in the upcoming election. I was telling this story at work during the campaign, and one girl immediately said "you could just say no". I think we all know that I couldn't. I said something about how I'd rather every liberal in this province was lined up and shot, and the guy actually kept following the script! He asked what they could do to secure my vote. I was just hanging up, though I regret not mentioning that they could reverse their policies on abortion, homosexuality, private healthcare, royalty rates, and the government's role in the economy.

The PCs called me though, early in the campaign, and left a message because I wasn't home. Then they called a second time, and talked to me, and asked if I would support my candidate. After that they called me two days before the election to remind me to vote, and in the afternoon on election day called to ask if I had gotten around to vote yet. In other words, they put people on the ground, which is almost always the key to any election victory.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I believe the Tories beat expectations, and parties like the Wildrose Alliance fell short of what they were "supposed" to do.

Alberta Election Thoughts Part Two: Global's Election Coverage

I didn't watch all of it, oddly enough, but I did catch snippets of the Global TV (CITV) coverage Monday night during the election.

Ralph Klein was a bit of a bust: his only real "insight" I caught was that the negative ads Nancy MacBeth used against him in '01 backfired similarly to the anti-Ed campaigning that had been going on. The next best thing he had: well, Ed Stelmach was quiet during cabinet meetings. Quite the dropoff.

I don't know who the East Indian was from GMCC who was also there: my father switched to CFRN's coverage halfway through the night, he said, because Global seriously needed an analyst whose English was understandable. I was tempted to because he had absolutely no valuable analysis whatsoever. Look, lots of pundits were wrong in failing to catch Stelmach's win of 72+ seats. But on election night its best not to surmise that the reason the Liberals and NDP didn't fare well in rural Alberta was because "they didn't do a good enough job getting the message out".

Getting the message out? Was he serious?

The NDP are used for target practise in vast stretches of rural Alberta (ie. Peace, Cardston-Taber, Rocky Mountain House). Liberals are routinely threatened with death for merely putting up signs around Stettler. One year at the Innisfail Rodeo a friend and I had hours of fun with stolen NDP signs from the '93 election: putting them on trucks parked around the Ag grounds and coming back later to see the vehicles vandalized. And getting the message out is the problem the sodomist/socialist hordes on the left have when it comes to their low vote counts in rural Alberta?

Finally, the highlight of the night was around 9:30, when Jae-Lynn Nye (who referred to the Liberals as "we", so I'm guessing she's one of them) was interviewing the Alberta Liberal Party president, or some high ranking executive holding down the fort while Taft was unavailable. With some 45-55% of the polls reporting in, the Tories were leading in 70 or 71 ridings, and the landslide results were all but official. Jae-Lynn asked the Liberal Toady how the mood was at Liberal Campaign Headquarters: namely, was there a bit of disappointment and saddness that an election that the previous week was whispered as being possibly half-winnable (ie. minority gov't) was a total rout. The dude's (paraphrased) response?

No, we aren't disappointed at all. We're confident that we're going to form the next government in the Province of Alberta.
Um, are you fucking insane? Jae-Lynn even had to call him on that, asking how he could possibly look at the numbers and even remotely believe that the Liberals were even going to keep their existing seats, let alone gain half the province.
Those are very misleading numbers. We're confident, we are going to win this election.
I was on the ground in tears at this point: I couldn't believe the total devotion and complete idiocy of this guy! It was priceless.

Another highlight had to be Ed Stelmach's (Edmonton) acceptance speech: you would not believe how many times the dude threw the word "Albertan" or "Alberta" in there. Stelmach, you may be an Albertan by birth. You may identify yourself as an Albertan, and have a dignified respect for the province. But you aren't a Ted Morton or a Feynman and Coulter's Love Child: you don't at the end of the day love Alberta more than Canada, or your own family, or the sight of a Liberal buried six feet under. In short, you aren't in the Alberta Wildrose Alliance, and you shouldn't pretend that you are...its very embarassing.

Alberta Election Thoughts Part One: Separated at Birth?

On the left, a photo I took of an election sign for Aman Gill (Pakistani), who failed to beat Gene Zwodezsky (or however its spelled) in Edmonton-Mill Creek.

On the right, a photo of cute-as-a-button Conservative MP Rona Ambrose (German).

Seriously, did nobody else notice this?

Update, March 10 2008 9:56pm: An anonymous reader notes that Gill is from India, not Pakistan. Not that it matters much, one whim of a British bureaucrat or one launch of a nuclear weapon by those wackos over there and she's Pakistani!


Post #1000 Baby!

That's right! Post #1000!

Joe DiMaggio only hit 361 home runs.

Wayne Gretzky only scored 894 goals.

John Lennon only wrote 192 songs.

There are only 975 "3"s in the first 10,000 digits of pi.

And yet on The Third Edge of the Sword I have now made 1000 posts. The last 100 may have taken a while, but who cares? This is what we can now call a mature blog, one that I can abandon for a week or three at a time with few worries.

Usually at this point I do some sort of statistical analysis. But I'm not really interested in that right now. This is just to celebrate a momentous acheivement.

Feel free to leave congrats and condemnations in the comments!