Last night I bit the bullet and rented National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. I really enjoyed the first movie and owned the DVD, but hesitation kept me from actually watching the second one during its theatrical run due to fear of suckage.
This fear was totally justified. The movie was often painful to watch, and you could see the whole thing coming from a mile away. The fact that by the end you knew they had to win because they had the entire U.S. government on their side really made the conclusion fall apart, and like the "falling down the staircase under Trinity Church" scene from the first movie, the "stuck on the platform that keeps tilting" and "trapped in the water filled cavern" scenes were mostly just boring "action" filler where you weren't entirely sure what you were looking at. The problem is that in this movie, that boring action filler scene is the climax of the film!
The worst thing is that the "page 47" thing just sets up a third movie, and you know in this one the bad guys are going to be this Mitch guy (who seems to have survived from the 3 second scene showing him holding his breath and diving) and Sean Bean's Ian Howe from the first movie, who join forces somehow to take on Gates and the President. Laaame.
Oh, by the way, the proceeding review contained spoilers and should not have been read by anyone who wishes to see the plot of the film. Whoever you are.
Last night I bit the bullet and rented National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. I really enjoyed the first movie and owned the DVD, but hesitation kept me from actually watching the second one during its theatrical run due to fear of suckage.
Greenpeace has launched a scathing travel website vilifying the province for new “tourist attractions” created by tarsands.
Toxic lakes, cleared forests and black sand beaches are among the sites visitors can expect to find in Wild Rose Country, charges TravellingAlberta.com, which went live today.
I won't link to the site, but I will remind you all that former UofA Students Union President Hudema is a grade A asshole who hates Alberta, hates actual Albertan residents, and is a giantly contemptible human being.
Does any other country want to take this useless wanker? Or do we just need to set him adrift on an ice floe?
That's right boys and girls, Kevin Taft is stepping down as leader of the Alberta Liberals.
I gotta say I'll miss him. Not because he was a dynamic and effective leader but because he wasn't. Even with the PC party at the helm of a coward and a lefty, the Liberals couldn't make any gains. Why? Because Taft was the perfect Liberal leader.
I don't mean perfect in the sense that with him at the helm the Liberals never broke 16 seats, I mean in the sense that he was exactly the smarmy sort of prick that personified the Alberta Liberal Party. Wearing education as a cloak in the guise of intellect, having an obnoxious voice and face that you just wanted to punch (and I almost did!), with an air that he was better than the common plebe in rural areas around the province where he would dare not go without a bulletproof vest, Kevin Taft was the caricature of a Liberal that the Tories never had to bother making up.
In other words, I've got my fingers crossed that Laurie "Red" Blakeman will be Taft's replacement. Alberta hasn't had a Liberal Party in charge since 1921. Here's to another 87 years free of those disgusting vermin anywhere near the reins of power.
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Well, as I've discussed before, I believe its the duty of every Albertan to rub those goddamned Frenchmen's nose in the fact that on the Plains of Abraham they were losers, they were the cowardly weak pathetic losers and they deserve no less than a life of slavery at the hands of the British.
And so, on this St. Jean the Bapitste's Day, lets celebrate General Wolfe, hero of the British Empire!
Which story is worse?
A father plans to appeal after a Quebec court ruled that he didn't have the right to punish his 12-year-old daughter by barring her from a school trip.
Quebec Superior Court Judge Suzanne Tessier ruled Friday that the girl should be allowed to attend the three-day trip within Quebec this week.
Initially, the father forbade his daughter from going online after the Grade 6 student posted photos on a dating site, the Globe and Mail reported in its Thursday edition.
The girl's parents are divorced, and after she had an alleged row with her stepmother, her father barred her from going on a school trip to mark the class's graduation from elementary school, the newspaper reported.
"When he said, 'OK, it's final. You're not going,' she smacked the door, left and went to live with her mother," the father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, told CBC News.
Last Wednesday, the father received a motion petitioning the court to overturn the punishment.
Two days later, the judge ruled the punishment was too severe because the girl had already been sufficiently disciplined, Beaudoin said.
Beaudoin said the judge also said there was no reason for the punishment to stand, since the girl was now living with her mother, even though the father has custody.
Beaudoin said the father, who has four children, was "devastated," especially since the ruling came days before Father's Day.
Some newcomers from Newfoundland were greeted by armed members of the "un-welcome wagon" in northeast Edmonton last night. Two men and two women who recently moved into the area of 131st Avenue and 69th Street were confronted by two other men and two other women around 9:15. One of the men put a Glock 40-calibre pistol against the head of one newcomer and basically said "get out of the 'hood...this is our turf". One of the women pulled a knife and a woman who tried to defend herself suffered a very minor cut. The four thugs fled and the EPS Tactical Team surrounded a residence at nearby Village Acres. When the guy who had the gun came out he was taken down and the stolen pistol was recovered. He faces multiple weapons charges. The rest is still under investigation.
It sounds like whatever potentially-dangerous situation there was, has been averted at Riverbend Junior High School in Edmonton. That's just off the Whitemud, on 53rd Avenue near 148th Street.
They were cleaning up a bit of a mess there Thursday afternoon, after a suspicious package was discovered in a locker at the school. Police were called at about 11 a.m. and the school was evacuated.
A bomb squad robot was used to blow up the package. It's not known exactly what was inside. This is not expected to affect classes which are to resume Friday.
Police are now investigating.
A Fort McMurray mom's decision to get a free boob job through a controversial website wasn't a bust at all.There's a bonus video of Morris at the link. But be warned, it's 1:37 of her posing in a tube top talking about her surgury, which isn't as sexy as you'd think. And you can't fullsize the window, either.
In fact, Karla-Rae Morris says her new silicone-enhanced 34Cs have not only boosted her confidence and made her feel more like a woman, but the surgery turned out to be good for her health.
That's because when she was under the knife last month in Vancouver, her surgeon discovered that she had an irregular heartbeat.
Update, 11:05pm: Hello St. Louis! KMOX hooks you up with a few photos.
Eric Robinson (who?) has reacted to the speech today where Stephen Harper inexplicably apologized for something he didn't do. [don't mothers get upset when children do this? why is it so important for the PM to do so? -ed]
Naturally, I won't let it go without a fight.
As a survivor of a Canadian policy designed to strip my people of our collective identity, it is with mixed emotion that I rise today to respond to the apology delivered by the Prime Minister yesterday in the House of Commons.Er, the policy was designed to educate Indians. Apparently it didn't work with Robinson, who fails to note the distinction between the design of a policy and the result of the policy.
I, like many of you joining us in the gallery today, was taken from my family as a five-year-old boy entering the formative years of my life, and placed in a world that taught me everything I knew was wrong. Of course at that age it’s not hard to believe.I know the whole "punished for speaking their own language" meme has really caught on as a symbol of the horrors of the residential schools. But lets look at two key elements that are forgotten:
It’s difficult to remember many aspects of those early years, but I can still taste the lye soap placed in my mouth for speaking my language. As you can see, it didn’t work.
- Even today, children in school are punished for talking non-English in class -- which the Residential schools were consisting of most of the time. We don't have true Boarding Schools anymore, but any who went to one would understand why the language thing was such a big deal: how can teachers deal with conspiracies against them when the conspirators can speak openly?
- At the time of the schools, lye soap in the mouth was a mild punishment. The strap was still in use in Alberta into the 1990s, so sorry if lye soap 50 years ago fails to impress me.
Other memories are more difficult to relive. Being molested at a young age by a priest has brought me a lifetime of pain and anguish. Being told it was my fault and later learning to blame everyone around me has taken a toll on my personal relationships.Even if every reported case of molestation at the residential schools was accepted as a gospel fact it would remove some 95% of the people clamouring for compensation.
But I still consider myself one of the fortunate ones, because at a young age I was able to leave that institution aimed at de-Indianizing me. But I could not escape the pain inside. Alcohol and drugs may have provided temporary relief but only accelerated my feelings of despair.Alcoholism, drugs, despair... I guess the institution didn't do a very good job!
Meanwhile my father attended the Brandon Residential School for seven years but never learned anything more than how to write his name.Illiterate after seven years, eh? Still better than the modern day Ontario school system.
With the kindness, strength and wisdom of our elders, and the traditional ceremonies and teachings we hold sacred, I was able to escape from that road of self-destruction.
With the Prime Minister's apology, the most powerful political figure in Canada, it is my belief that we have crossed another obstacle in our trail of hurt. I'm proud to be part of a government that respects and recognizes Aboriginal Peoples inherent right to self-governance. A government that respects the spirit and intent of our treaties. A government that works meaningfully with First Nations to build government to government relationships based on mutual respect and trust.These two quotes together are quite illuminating. The spirit and intent of treaties is questionable in the modern world, where technology has meant that "traditional native ways" are quite meaningless. Our "traditions" from the 17th and 18th centuries haven't held up, so why should we assume that Indians should act and be treated as if they have not? Furthermore, 'government to government' relationships work way better if one of the governments isn't in fact paying all the costs to the 'citizens' of the other. Can we finally lose this "government to government" bullshit? The City of Edmonton and Ottawa can communicate "government to government" with far more legitimacy, and the former is still totally subsurvient to the latter. Same with these "native self-government" dealies; the native government doesn't actually have any powers or responsibilities, so it cannot be possible for them to have a hand in negotiations. In all practical senses, the native governments are Ottawa's bitch.
At the same time I fully realize a lot of work remains to be done. I do know we cannot allow our children be taken away from us again. Our children will never again be allowed to be adopted from our reserves, our province and even our country, nor be placed in tuberculosis sanatoriums and be used as guinea pigs. That is why I support our devolution initiative that allows our people to run our own Child and Family Services.Because there are no problems with keeping children on reserves. None at all. Offhand they'd be better off in the tuberculosis sanatoriums.
Yesterday morning I heard a media personality here in Winnipeg question whether an apology was necessary. Excuse me, but it’s the survivors who decide what’s appropriate here and now, not those who believe they know what’s best, because it’s that kind of thinking that spawned the residential school system in the first place.Er, excuse me, but victims are quite often the poor choice to decide whats appropriate. Their sense of victimhood can easily get in the way of rational thought. And the residential school system was spawned by the thinking of "hey, lets help natives become educated", incidentally, which is the sort of thinking that Robinson could seriously use more of instead of "keeping children from being adopted into better homes".
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of National Chief Phil Fontaine in making yesterday’s apology a reality.As Jonathon Kay wrote, in 1998 the AFN accepted the feds apology. Who was elected as President of the AFN in 1997? Why, the self-same Phil Fontaine! Shouldn't yesterday's apology be totally unnecessary, seeing how it was already accepted a decade ago by the very person who today insisted upon its necessity. You can't trust Phil Fontaine, you can't trust the AFN, and you can't trust its defenders like Robinson. So who should be apologizing again?
Mr Speaker, I request you canvass the house to see if there is leave for a 15 minute recess of question period to allow our honoured guests time to exit and all members the opportunity to shake the hands of those brave women and men we know as survivors.Please tell me this never happened.
Steve Janke still can't figure out why two men who were not working for Elections Canada spearheaded the Elections Canada raid on Conservative offices in April.
There used to be a far better version of this, which had the actual battle straight from the episode instead of a U2 music video. Must have been pulled though:
As for the beer? Well, never drink beer right after a swig of chocolate milk. Gack.
If I had some time, and some money, and knew both an old Japanese guy and a fat guy, I would totally recreate this commercial:
Bob: David Suzuki?
DS: Hi Bob, just getting rid of this old fridge.
Bob: But that's my fridge.
DS: It uses twelve hundred kilowatt-hours of electric...
Bob: I don't fucking care. That's my fridge. I bought it. It's using the kilowatt-hours that I bought. And it contained the beer I bought that I see you've gotten your mothball-smelling old-man beard into.
DS: That's about 150 bucks!
Bob: Get out of my house you goddamned fascist. You want to put Stephen Harper in jail for not fighting global warming the year Edmonton got 10 straight days of freezing cold weather in mid-April yet you come into my house and steal my beer fridge?
Bob runs upstairs, David Suzuki looks back up
DS: You've got the power, Bob.
Bob runs downstairs with a shotgun
Bob: I've got a .303 Winchester, you condescending arrogant pseudo-scientific Nip!
Bob fires into David Suzuki's chest multiple times.
Update, 12:40am Wednesday April 22 2009: I have made this commercial (finally) and you can view it here.
I always find myself a little confused as to the support that the Maple Leafs enjoy in Edmonton. I guess all the Ontario immigrants and the endless HNIC replays must take some credit for that.
But what really justifies the push for us to cheer for the Toronto Blue Jays? Surely we've evolved beyond any sense of caring that they are the only team left in Canada, and we're in Canada (though people like me weep openly about this fact from time to time), ergo we must cheer for them?
I always figured on the pure basis of geography we should be Seattle Mariners fans. I've attended baseball games in Seattle and Chicago. Toronto? Who the hell wants to ever go there?
So today, thanks to the good people at How Far Is It? at indo.com, we'll examine some MLB teams that are far more deserving of our support on those grounds. First, as our baseline, lets see the distance between Edmonton and Toronto:
Okay, having looked at that, lets check out where the various AL-West teams are situated:
Seattle Mariners: 562 miles (905 km) (489 nautical miles)
Oakland Athletics: 1163 miles (1872 km) (1011 nautical miles)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 1374 miles (2212 km) (1194 nautical miles)
Texas Rangers (of Arlington): 1649 miles (2654 km) (1433 nautical miles)
Okay, how about the NL West?
San Diego Padres: 1439 miles (2316 km) (1251 nautical miles)
San Fransisco Giants: 1168 miles (1879 km) (1015 nautical miles)
Los Angeles Dodgers: 1360 miles (2189 km) (1182 nautical miles)
Colorado Rockies: 1032 miles (1660 km) (897 nautical miles)
Arizona Diamonbacks: 1380 miles (2220 km) (1199 nautical miles)
Okay, what about the NL Central?
Chicago Cubs: 1437 miles (2312 km) (1248 nautical miles)
Cincinnati Reds: 1686 miles (2714 km) (1465 nautical miles)
Houston Astros: 1875 miles (3018 km) (1629 nautical miles)
Milwaukee Brewers: 1369 miles (2204 km) (1190 nautical miles)
Pittsburgh Pirates: 1800 miles (2897 km) (1564 nautical miles)
Okay, so we see finally some teams farther away than Toronto. We'll come back to this later. AL Central?
Cleveland Indians: 1686 miles (2713 km) (1465 nautical miles)
Detroit Tigers: 1589 miles (2558 km) (1381 nautical miles)
Kansas City Royals: 1336 miles (2151 km) (1161 nautical miles)
Chicago White Sox: 1437 miles (2312 km) (1248 nautical miles)
Now lets notice that Cleveland and Cincinatti are only a couple kilometres (2713/2714 vs. 2712) farther than Toronto. But where are their stadiums? First lets use a base measuring point. It doesn't matter which one, so lets pick West Edmonton Mall, at 53°31′20″N, 113°37′22″W.
Bank One Ballpark in Cincinatti is at 39.097392°, -84.506858° (switching to decimals to make the calculations easier). Thanks to this site it tells us that Bank One is 2724.0039 km.
Whither the Rogers Centre? It's located at 43.6413°, -79.3892° -- 2716.9727 km away from West Edmonton Mall. Ergo, Cleveland is closer than Toronto (though Cincinatti is farther away).
The end result? Except for the Pirates, the Reds (sort of), and the Astros, every team in the West and Central divisions of MLB is closer to Edmonton than Toronto. And therefore, far more deserving of your support.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded a warning to consumers that a salmonella outbreak had been linked to consumption of certain types of raw tomatoes and products containing them.As somebody who always asks for the tomato to be removed (less so now that I can't get myself a Big Xtra with cheese and bacon and no tomato), this can't help but be good news. Some foods, like Taco Bell, makes it very hard to manually remove the tomatoes -- and you know full well in modern day Alberta that you can ask for something not to be put on your burger (ie. pickles) only to get extra of that and have them miss something else (ie. patty).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had not issued any recalls, but several Canadian restaurant chains - including McDonald's, Tim Hortons, KFC, Taco Bell, KFC, and Burger King - decided to stop using tomatoes as a precaution.
For now, those of us like me and the coworker who brought the subject up today will bask in the sweet sweet glory of no tomatoes. Until they bring them back. Which will totally suck.
Lacey and Katie, 21, are twin sisters who are the best of friends. They adore their mom and love travelling to beautiful beaches.Edmonton don't exactly have a lot of beautiful beaches!
Comes from this review of the atrocious second season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outrageous Okona":
When I see an outfit like this, all I can think about is how the girls on The Facts of Life used to wear the same kind of clothes to cover up how big they were all getting. Remember when that show started, and Natalie was "the fat one", but by the time it ended, all four of them were the fat one?
"Alberta's OK with k.d. after all" screams the Edmonton Journal headline. Er, who decided on this? I still have no use for the dumb sapphist, and am full agreement that k.d. deserved no congrats from our provincial government.
Fifteen years ago, politicians in the provincial legislature voted against sending their best wishes and congratulations for winning a Grammy for her breakout album, Ingenue. The reason, presumably, was her outspoken stance against eating meat, but there was more than a whiff of homophobia in the snub.Why only a whiff? She rejected conservative politics and beef. Those are the two reasons that Alberta is a great place to live while Manitoba isn't.Anyways, k.d. goes on to bring her Buddhist philosophy into play regarding the Chinese Olympics:
She explains why the rest of the world needs to pay attention to the Chinese suppression of a remote culture.Wait, is this supposed to be the Chinese heritage? Or the Tibetan heritage? The latter is based on being always invaded by somebody, so this may not be the grounds that Lang wants to cling to. Irregardless, the best part of the whole article is coming right up. Are you sitting down?
"It's an ancient heritage that's based in peace and compassion and exists as a working model of a society in peace. The Chinese have done an amazing job of making us forget all about it.
"But when you invite the world into your house (for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing) and you're not ready for people to look in your closet, then don't invite people into your house."k.d. effing dumbass lang is bringing up people looking in other people's closets? k.d., we'd absolutely have loved it if you'd never shown us what was in your disgusting immoral closet unless we were in your house. Don't think for a second your own closet-peeking history gives you much right to say two words to China about Tibet.
Okay, I lied. One more good tidbit from the Journal article:
Whatever her politics, lang is now undisputedly an Albertan treasure.Sometimes I wish that the media was more like Wikipedia, and all you would have to do would be dispute a claim like this to make it disappear from print. I dispute it. k.d. lang lives in Los Angeles, and they can bloody well keep it.
The kangaroo court judge in this case is a Tory patronage appointee, a divorce lawyer from Lethbridge named Lori Andreachuk, (pictured at left). That's her expertise: divorce law. Not constitutional law; not freedom of speech or freedom of religion. And it shows.Ezra posted her picture. I'll do one better.
Last November, she convicted Boissoin. Last week she ordered her "remedy".
It is the most revolting order I have ever seen in Canada. Ever.
I'll excerpt a few lines from her ruling:
In this case, there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward...
That's insane already. No-one was hurt. The complainant was an officious intermeddler, a busybody, the town scold, an anti-Christian activist named Darren Lund who had an axe to grind, and Andreachuk gave it to him.
Dr. Lund, although not a direct victim, did expend considerable time and energy and suffered ridicule and harassment as a result of his complaint. The Panel finds therefore that he is entitled to some compensation.
So a busybody with no standing spends time filing complaints -- and gets a tax-free reward for doing so. Oh -- and for his "suffering". Not suffering at the hands of Rev. Boission, but "as a result of his complaint". People in the community ridiculed Lund for filing the complaint -- as they should. And so Andreachuk will get the pastor to pay for that. Why the hell not? Who's going to stop her? Her political patron, Ed Stelmach?
Mr. Boissoin and [his organization] The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.
There's a lot there, starting with a small but telling point. Darren Lund is a not a medical doctor. He's a professor. But Andreachuk refers to him as Dr. Lund. Stephen Boissoin is a pastor. But Andreachuk calls him "Mr. Boissoin". No "Rev. Boissoin" for her.
But look at the staggering order there. Boissoin can never -- ever -- communicate anything "disparaging" about gays. It's a lifetime ban -- and it applies to every conceivable medium, including his private e-mails.
But nothing "disparaging"? That means nothing critical.
She didn't order him not to communicate anything "illegal" or even anything "hateful". She ordered him to say nothing disparaging. Ever. For the rest of his life.
She's out there somewhere (in Calgary I suspect). She goes to Safeway. She visits shops and boutiques. And every day she goes outside somebody should stop her and call her an enemy of freedom and a sodomy-lover and a threat to decent Western values. I mean it. Every day. She should be the personal recipient of hundreds of angry looks and gestures and comments. Every single day. Calgary readers, get on the case.
Update, June 12 2008 8:06pm: I forgot to mention it, but the Ezra article linked to above includes a comment from Enkidu who reports that Andreachuk lives in Lethbridge.
Another administrative error has caused disciplinary charges against a member of the EPS to be declared null and void Wednesday. Edmonton Police Commission chair Brian Gibson says the wording of the Police Act has contributed to this continuing problem. This is the third disciplinary hearing to be derailed by the same technicality
Over here on the left coast, a pseudo-legal "Human Rights Tribunal" continues to determine whether Mark Steyn committed a hate crime by tarring Muslims with a terrorism brush:
10:55 AM They’re back, and they’ve decided they’re going to hear her evidence. Buffy scholars everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.
She’s read many studies of racism in the media, although “Islamophobia” is a term she prefers not to use. Talking about stereotypes of Muslims as being associated with terrorism and the like. She does not believe the media are deliberately racist, but that journalists lack training in cultural sensitivity. On pressure of deadline, they rely on “shorthand,” stereotypes that are easily recognized by the readers. Not widespread, she says, but it happens often enough.
Now we’re talking about the Steyn article, and the passages that give her “concern.” McConchie rises to object, but is slapped down by the chairwoman. She (Hirji) reads a passage, says she sees a stereotype in it. Reads another, sees another. The cover is another stereotype, because it shows women wearing burkhas. The child’s face is in line with “the use of women and children as a marker of how oppressive Islam is.”
What is jihad? Article equates it with Al Qaeda: fighting, suicide bombing etc. But word actually means, originally, “to strive, to do one’s best.” Koranic sense is that religious struggle we must all engage in within our souls against evil tendencies. There is also “social jihad,” the obligation to change things that are wrong. This does not mean violence. The Koran is not a book of violence.
The notion of armed struggle, or violent jihad, is mentioned in the Koran. “Permission has been given to those who have been wronged only because they say God is our lord that they fight in self-defence.” (Sura 22.) So jihad is not limited to fighting — it’s just one type of jihad, and should only be done in self-defence. The extremist, violent types are an anomaly. “They are more a problem for us than for the west.”
Meanwhile, 3363km away, an Ontario court (a real one this time) hears about a homegrown terrorist plot featuring
The chatter was captured by a probe that was installed inside the car of a police informant who infiltrated the group and gained the trust of its alleged ringleaders.
Court has heard that the trip to Opasatika – a 10-hour drive north of the city – was to secure a safehouse, from which they could build a "covert" base.
During another exchange, the alleged ringleader says the house is ideal to store hand grenades, high-powered firearms and other weaponry. The evidence suggests that the house's windows would be a good place from which to fire their weapons.
"So it's just gonna be AKs, okay, PK is the biggest weapon we got. And a PKs basically – window thing. So you could line up two of them. Like you're shootin two at a time."
Then, police informant Mubin Shaikh asks, "Okay yo, so travel up here with people, equipment. We're just dealing with assault rifles."
Another man asks if they could also store "chocolate" there, which Crown prosecutor Marco Mendicino said is a euphemism for explosives.
During the car ride, music can be heard in the background.
RCMP Const. Lee Snelling, a wiretap investigator who was testifying before Justice John Sproat, said the lyrics had been translated into English.
Some of the lyrics were: "Ready to serve you my Islam – Ready to serve you my homeland ... And I offered you from the veins of my blood." The youth's voice has not been heard on any of the electronic intercepts, although the evidence suggests that he is mentioned on a few occasions.
During one conversation, after the trip to Opasatika, two alleged ringleaders mention an associate who was caught shoplifting. They say that during the arrest, the associate grew tired of standing and wanted to sit down, but couldn't because he had a machete down his pants. In the end, he gave in to fatigue and pulled the machete out from inside his pants, they say.
So you're left to wonder. Who really speaks for Islam in Canada?
Person B: What happens, what happens at Parliament?
Person A: We go and kill everybody.
Person B: And then what?
Mubin Shaikh: And then read about it.
Person A: We get victory.
Speaking of which, remember last month when I theorized about criminalizing small crimes overriding bigger ones? Another example of it presents itself here. Crimestoppers has been putting out "hate crime" radio ads, featuring news snippets of "an attack on a native man" "vandalism at a local mosque" and "man standing trial for disseminating hate". They then go on to announce that if you are aware of a crime based on distinguishing characteristics † to call Crimestoppers, emphasising that crimes can take many forms; assault. vandalism. racial slurs. Racial slurs? Again, the end result of telling Alberta's radio audience that "assault = ethnic slurs" is not the elevation of the importance of ethnic slurs but rather the degradation of the importance of assault. Ethnic slurs are nothing. I advise you to use as many of them as you can. While you can.
† The commercial also lists distinguishing characteristics. Wanna take a while guess what the last one is? "Sexual orientation". Distinguishing? Are they telling me that its no surprise that you can tell a dirty sodomist by just looking at how big of a fag he is? I mean I believe it, its just interesting to hear from them.
The Macleans/Mark Steyn kangaroo trial began yesterday.
Free Mark Steyn is your best aggregator for various news and opinion pieces on the subject. Andrew Coyne's liveblogging of the event is something else to check regularly.
Both local school boards are applauding the latest provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) provincewide test scores showing an 84 per cent of Grade 10 students met provincial literacy standards.I'm sorry, but I can't get excited about the news that "merely" one in six Grade Ten students are illiterate. I certainly wouldn't be singing how this is a massive improvement over more recent scores.
Released yesterday, the results are in line with testing levels in 2006 and 2007 and represent an increase of seven percentage points over the past five years.
One in six. Grade ten. You have to be joking.
The article tries to weasel it from being the fault of incompetent public school teachers in the abysmal failure which is government education, onto... minorities!
Among students learning English as a second language, the success rate reached 59 per cent this year, up from 42 per cent in 2003.
Still not worth a pat on the back, sorry. It reminds me of this cartoon I saw a few weeks back (apparently from a line of girls' handbags) which has a blonde girl telling an asian "you speak English so well" and the asian replying "I was born here dumbass". It seemed to make such a poignant sociological point that you almost missed the key ingredient: its not even remotely true. I can't find a website link for you, but back in the 90s Alberta Report had a story how some 40% or so of ESL students in the Greater Vancouver Area were born in Canada. Being "born here" apparently means nothing when it comes to the ability to speak English.
A little news roundup for you. First, the inspiration for this post title:
Bell falls on a student's head.
The Edmonton Journal's Graham Thompson examines how stupid that moron Taft is for even considering staying on leading his... er, wait, no Kevin you're right. Keep leading the Liberals forever!
The IRL Edmonton Grand Prix is officially a go. Toronto might get one too, eventually. If they maybe grow to a more world-class city, that is.