2010-12-30

A Wikipedia Edit We'd Like To See

(click picture to view full-sized)

What's Your Bookshelf number?


So, what's your bookshelf storage space?

When putting away Christmas book gifts today, I ran out. Thinking about it, I went and measured the width of my bookshelves (all roughly 22 1/2", as it happens) and multiplying by the number of shelves. Then factor in half-full shelves where you can't fit them all in because of DVDs, or video games, or other such non-book items that also need to be on the shelves.

What's your book storage number? My shelves of books (not counting those front-loading racks, of which I have another 15 or so books) add up to 202".

2010-12-12

What do Dr. Gregory House and Linus Omark have in common?

This is acclaimed British actor Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, from the hit NBC series. A true character cut from the Holmsian cloth, he's a brilliant medical doctor and diagnostic analyst, but he comes with a couple of critical character flaws. First off, he's a drug addict: suffering from the after-effects of a botched treatment of limb infarction, he finds himself a habitual user of painkiller vicodin. This has gotten himself an his colleagues in and out of legal troubles as they all become enablers of his fix. Secondly, and there's probably a lot more graceful ways to put this, but Dr. House is an asshole. Like Holmes, his interpersonal skills are not quite up to par -- but also like Holmes he fully understands matters of the heart and how to apply how people interact in order to solve cases. In House's case, it means insulting people seemingly at random, refusing to show care and compassion, and playing people like chess pieces in order to advance his own goals. How then, as the motivational poster asks, does House keep his license?

Well, besides the obvious (TV rules), it's because as Cracked.com puts it, House is right approximately 100 percent of the time. So we the audience and his coworkers forgive him for (the eventually successful!) sexual harassment of his boss, ordering underlings to commit crimes, insulting patients religions, and making racial jokes about a fellow doctor. Basically, if you can pull that sort of shit, they have to keep you around for some reason, and its basically that this guy saves 26 people a year who would die in the hands of every other doctor on earth.

Which brings us to this man: Linus Omark. Omark has been the talk of the NHL this weekend after his "spin-o-rama" move that beat Dan Ellis in the shootout and won the game for Edmonton. He has his fair share of supporters, and at least amoungst the Tampa Bay Lightning, a fair number of detractors. If you haven't watched his move at least 400 times already, here it is again:


The key though about this move has to be, however, that it worked. As I mentioned on Twitter, if Dan Ellis didn't like this sort of garbage move and wanted to see Omark pay a price for it, all he had to do was stop the puck. If Ellis had made the save, the entire talk would instead be about how Omark did a silly little spin before he got stoned. We'd be discussing how Omark maybe isn't ready for the big leagues yet, how he has a lot of learning to do about what it takes to compete at the NHL level, and how hotdogging is better left to skilled players. A save by Ellis might have decimated the kid's confidence to the point that when Hemksy returns in a month Omark would find himself back in Oklahoma, his brief NHL stint a mere footnote. Omark could have been the goat in that game had he missed. It would have been like Dr. House's asshole racist double, who violates all sorts of ethics rules and completely fails to save any patients, and ultimately gets booted out into the street.

TSN got this when they asked "if players have to earn the right to be flashy:

To the victor go the spoils. Today just about everyone (except the Lightning) is praising Omark's unusual shootout marker. What if he had missed, pulled the spin-o-rama and accidentally lost control of the puck, voiding his shot, or following it up with a weak wrister wide of the net? Instead of commending Omark today, would fans and hockey pundits instead be criticizing the first-year player's brazen, misguided cockiness? Is the fact that puck went into the net all that matters when all is said and done?
Of all the Lightning players upset about this goal, Ellis is the last one allowed to mouth off about it. Omark has (at least some) skill to back up his hotdogging, and his job in the league is to score goals, particularly in breakaways and the shootout where he excels. Omark was not called up from Oklahoma City in order to not make Dan Ellis look like a weak goaltender (I'm not sure, offhand, who they could have called up to fulfill that role). So long as Omark keeps on saving lives at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, he's allowed to do spin-o-rama's in mid-ice in the same way that Gregory House can keep using every word allowed on broadcast TV to insult the black race and by extension Foreman if it means he will continue to put the puck in the net and help the Edmonton Oilers win hockey games.

2010-12-11

Third Edge of the Sword turns 5

What I will do in this blog is I'll be discussing science, conservatism, baseball and hockey, Alberta Indepedence, food, women, life, good books/movies, and anything else that comes to mind.


And with those immortal words mid-afternoon on December 11, 2005, Third Edge of the Sword was born. 1749 posts later, we continue to bring you the high quality blogging that was so promised many moons ago.

In celebration of these 5 years, let's just take a look back at a post a year.

2005: Porn proves internet not to blame for sales slumps
Now you've put your porn together, and slapped it on a DVD ($30 for a 50-spool of DVD-Rs at A&B Sound), and sold it. The article above says the prices are under $50 now. Now if the whole operation cost you about $10,000 and you charged $30 per unit, barring shipping and promotion costs you would recoup your ten grand after a mere 334 sales. Let's say you went to $20, then you need 501 sales. How hard can it be to sell 500 copies of a porn? There are tons of adult video stores in Edmonton... even if each only bought a copy and you cut it down to $15 for them (typically the movie industry charges rental places more...three guesses which practise is likely the better idea) you'd already be two-thirds to your total without a single private sale. A couple hundred on a website with promotion and suddenly you can sell a few hundred more, and boom you've just made a profit.


2006: To beat the impossible team -- The Miracle on Shale
Adam Stern is the big story of this Team Canada win. Under contract to the Boston Red Sox, Stern was considered a long shot to make the major leagues this season (that has to be considered slightly differently today, one thinks). He was used only occasionally in Boston late last season as a pinch runner (he got fewer hits for them all season than he scored for Canada today), and didn't even make it onto TSN's rundown of Canadians in the majors (that, too, has to be reconsidered). Which highlight from today's game did you want? His triple in the second inning with Canada up 1-0 to that drove in some guy named Aaron Guiel to put the Yankees down by 2? How about his single in the third inning to score both Justin Morneau and Pete LaForest? Maybe you'd prefer his third consecutive hit: an inside the park home-run in the fifth inning to put Canada up by 8 runs. That was a good one too. And those were his offensive plays. Now lets cover the defense: when he made a catch in centre field in the 6th inning when it looked like Michael Young was going to get a base hit blooper...Stern went down, and the ball hit the ground. For sure it hit the ground. Sure Stern made a valiant effort, but he was a split second too slow. And then he rolled over, triumphantly raised his arm into the sky, and you could see that in fact he had caught the ball, as it hung precariously at the very edge of his glove. It was an impossible catch, and he made it. But he wasn't done: in the 8th inning, score 8-6 with 2 outs, Vernon Wells makes it to 2nd base when Johnny Damon is walked, and substituted 2nd baseman Chase Utley blasted a monster shot to deep centre-right field. The ball soared high and wild, almost as potent as the Jason Varitek deep-bleachers grand slam 2 innings earlier. Its back, its back, they don't even mentionthe warning track, and the ball comes firmly down against the top of the way-too-high-fence...dropping down into the waiting globe of Adam Stern!


2007:Gretzky/Messier starting a grand Edmonton tradition
2. The Whitemud Drive can be named after Chris Pronger, which should cut down on traffic. Hell, I'll put an extra 30 miles on my car a day to avoid taking Pronger Drive.
3. Edmonton City Hall can be renamed Mike Peca City Hall. Both Peca and City Hall cost way too much money, didn't do what they were supposed to do, and ultimately weren't needed anyways.
4. A police station should be named after Dave Semenko.
5. Likewise, a rehab centre should be named after Grant Fuhr, along the Betty Ford model.
6. Since Paul Coffey could skate rings around most players, and Anthony Henday already has a university residence named after him, the latter's name should be taken off the outer city ring road, and the former's put in its place. Alternately, Coffey could be the name given to the west half of the ring road currently under planning stages.
7. 91.7 The Bounce, in deference to the only reason anybody listened to it, should be named 91.7 The Laraque
8. The now closed Sidetrack Cafe should remain a legend, and the new home for live music should be "Club Niinimaa".


2008: Queen Victoria Day 2008:
From my own experiences in Quebec and dealing with transplated Quebecers, there's not a thing on this earth save perhaps Eve and the Apple which cannot be directly traced back to "the hated English". And there's not a normal Anglais thing that the goddamned useless French can't allow to exist without their own sick subversions.

So, I have a plan. As you may know, June 24th is Saint-Jean Baptiste Day where St. John, the patron saint of Quebec, is honoured. It is Quebec's biggest holiday, and the "pride" of their culture.

We should totally subvert it.

I propose that June 24th become a statuatory holiday in the Province of Alberta, and that we name it General Wolfe Appreciation Day


2009: Better a lean agreement than a fat lawsuit
n the end, Harper reached an agreement that didn't give either side everything they wanted (as all agreements do), but in the end Canada got $4 billion of the $5.3 billion we were owed back. Ignatieff says that he wishes that we got all $5.3. No shit Sherlock. Of course, just saying you want the money somebody owes you doesn't bring it to you. In the end, the post title's old adage came into play: we got most of what we were owed from an organization that was perfectly willing to pay us nothing. In negotiations, there's something called a BATNA (no relation to NAFTA): the best alternative to a settlement. This is your proverbial "ace in the hole" (though in the commonly understood sense of the term this isn't how you treat it). In the event of no softwood lumber agreement, the Americans simply keep $5.3 billion (back when the U.S. government cared about $0.0053 trillion dolalrs).

This is a good thing, and that Harper and Bush allegedly did it all in one half hour phone call speaks to Harper's skill (and Bush's easygoing nature). Naturally Ignatieff has to trash it. What would he have done?


2010: Alberta: where the poor are choking to death in the streets (we can make a .pdf, so it must be true!)
At the forefront is the hilarious implication that "access to social programs" is a measure of quality of life. Check the people using social services, then check the people not using social services. Hey, anybody wanna guess whose quality of life is lower?

Next comes how their lofty goals are to be reached: right away you see that involves spending more of your money. That's right, spending those social worker salaries just aren't enough. AUPE has a lot more members in the education and healthcare fields that could use some sugar too! ACSW has scratched their back, and surely the next glossy .pdf you can read from the Alberta Teachers Association will contain some seemingly random tidbit about the need for more social workers to identify special needs and problem children right away to scratch in return. When they say "increased spending for culture and leisure" you didn't think they meant tax cuts so that families could spend more on culture and leisure, did you?

Same with "reduced working hours and increased vacations". Is anybody dumb enough to read this yet think the point was we're supposed to ask the boss to up our annual vacations from 15 business days a year to 25? Of course not. What they want is to petition to legislate a 34 hour week rather than a 44 hour one, or increase mandatory vacation pay from 6% to 12.

2010-12-03

Daily Environmental Polluted

If you want a laugh, go visit JerryCanada's website, where you can read about products of questionable legality and unquestioningly untrue health claims.

My favourite is for Men's Essential, their all-natural version of Viagra:

An active and happy sex life is an important part of a generally happy life. Yet, many contributing factors can prevent the modern individual from this important aspect of life: pressure from work and home, daily environmental polluted, an imbalance in the retention or absorption of nutrients as well as lack of fitness and so on. As a result, the modern persons' sex life can be substantially less than desired. The men's essential, studied and produced by Biotechnologies Explorer Canada Inc., provides the ideal choice for men.
Ah yes, its not that my wife has gotten fat and ugly on me: its an imbalance of absorption of nutrients.

But wait, there's more! How do they harvest this miracle cure?
It is well known that the substances withdrawn from seal penis are abundant in male hormone, active protein and fat. For many years, the seal penis has been used to treat sexual impotence, premature ejaculation, cold semen and so on. The "men's essential" is made up of substances extracted from seal penis by a scientific formula. Moreover, several precious chinese medicines for stimulation and invigoration have been added to increase the curative effect even further than the seal penis alone.

Holy Christ. Even further than the seal penis alone? However will mankind recover from the ozone depletion caused when these super-erections blow a hole in our atmosphere?

As a final joke, is it perhaps a bad idea to take your penis enhancement pills from a Chinaman??? [NSFW]

2010-12-01

The power of the internet

About 18 months ago, I posted this blogpost asking about a couple of science fiction stories.

The first one, about an historian who tries to invent a time device, has been solved thanks to the power of the interwebs.

A few hours ago, Donal placed a comment on the ol' post:

I was trying to remember, too, and was just told it is T. L. Sherred's "E for Effort."


Well, I Google E for Effort and discover a summary that is not my story. I'm about to close the window in sadness when I realize my story is also on the page:

The Dead Past, written by (who else!) Isaac Asimov in 1956.

So that's one down. Thanks internet! Now onto the second mysterious book:
Sci-Fi novel that I believe was written in the 90s by a writer who is actually a M./Ph.D Physicist? It's about two pieces of... something. They are 4-pole rather than 2-pole (I forget if its magnetic-related or what), and as a result the two pieces are trying to come into contact with each other. When unshielded (lead? forcefields? I forget what the shield was) the pieces "want" to travel towards each other, and do so extremely violently: burning/cutting through anything they touch in a relentless struggle to contact each other. Early in the novel, one piece is in orbit and causes a space station or vehicle to tilt as the other piece becomes unshielded. That's about all I remember about that little tome, though again it is a full length 90s novel. The scientist/author does a little "Afterward" where he discusses the realistic probability of his tale: basically if this 4-pole material does exist, our solid state models indicate it will behave in the manner he has indicated.

2010-11-27

The 98th Grey Cup / La 98e Coupe Grey!

La 98e Coupe Grey en est venu à Edmonton!

Dans un match revanche avec classique de la saison dernière "13e homme" débâcle, les Alouettes de Montréal se font face contre les Roughriders de la Saskatchewan, et cette année, l'action se passe à vivre au Stade du Commonwealth ici ville. Votre correspondant a des billets humble, et sera en direct du coeur de la partie.

Déjà il ya beaucoup à voir et à faire dans la ville des champions: EPCOR a construit un dôme massif à Churchill Square, qui contient beaucoup de TSN et des activités connexes CFL. La Banque Scotia "Expérience CFL" est un point fort particulier, que vous vous prendre en photo devant une maquette de terrain derrière le comptoir des TSN Sports (Jennifer Hedger non inclus). Les enfants seront sans doute comme le "Dome Huddle" plus que quiconque.

Pour les adultes, il ya la tente Boston Pizza de la bière, mais c'est un peu cher: 6 $ par tranche de boire ou de pizza est excessive. La musique aspire également, mais son si la partie est. Sherlock Holmes dans Rice Howard Way est un autre endroit (plus chaud) pour obtenir votre parti dans la région de Churchill.

Et que puis-je dire à propos de la tyrolienne! Je suis allé à ce sujet jeudi soir, et les files d'attente étaient déjà assez fou. Si vous n'êtes pas en ligne pour elle une heure après l'ouverture le week-end, vous ne sera probablement pas obtenir d'aller. Je n'ai jamais été sur une tyrolienne avant, et il est certainement un moment difficile lorsque vous commencez pas à pas vers le bas sur cet escalier. Heureusement, chaude blonde partisans des Roughriders ont été derrière moi, j'ai donc eu la motivation à l'air cool (encore plus que lorsque je leur ai dit comment je date en dehors de ma famille).

Plus tard ce soir, j'espère rapport de la tristement célèbre "Riderville", où les fans de la Saskatchewan se rassemblent en masse dans le Centre des congrès Shaw. C'est aussi là que le parti est à Hamilton.

Mais j'en ai assez dit sur les festivités: qu'en est-il le grand jeu? Et pourquoi est-ce blog inexplicablement en français? Simple: il n'existe aucun moyen sur la terre je ne pouvais approuver Les Wheatherders remporter une autre Coupe Grey. La perte de la saison dernière seconde dernière a été incroyablement impressionnant, et je veux ressentir une sensation similaire cette année. Live. De préférence avec les Alouettes ne coupe pas de si près cette fois. Ne vous inquiétez pas, une fois que ce jeu est fini, je vais revenir à haïr Montréal, et les Français, et le Quéerbec.

Mais pour les trois prochains jours .... mon nom est Feynman & Coulter's Love Child, et longue vie à les Alouettes de Montréal.

2010-11-25

What a difference a...week...makes?

David J. Climenhaga, November 14th:

More likely, though, they thought there they might still be some hope for redemption for us here in Alabamberta, seeing as we have the pro-profit Prophet Danielle Smith and her Wild-Eyed Alliance Party to warn us about the similarities to North Korea in the way we do health care. You know, kinda give us a chance to nip things in the bud with a little privatization before we all climb into that hand-basket bound for Hell.


David J. Climenhaga, November 25th:
You know, that Sheila Weatherill, the “health care genius” Edmonton lost when Ron Liepert, then the minister of health, set about wreaking havoc on the health care system. The one who, according to the Edmonton Journal, “set out to turn the Edmonton health system into the Mayo Clinic of the north, a world centre of excellence in pediatrics, cardiology, neurology, women's health care and a variety of other fields.”

You know, that was back before they were comparing Edmonton’s emergency wards to comparable facilities in the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea

Even for a backer of one of the worst unions in the country, this is a tad outrageous.

2010-11-22

Calf tease



I received this email from a hot blonde farmgirl friend of mine a couple of months back.

Slow down hotshot. It's a picture of cows.

But I also got this email:

Hello there,
I looked your profile , I looking for girl aged from 27 to 55 and up more. Your profile liked to me and I have decided to write you.
My dear, I want to tell you a little about me. My name is marina I am 27 years old, I am single lady and never married. I really would like to have friendship
with you or something more :) What you think? If after my message you have interest then you can write to me here on my private e-mail: luzukova@rocketmail.com and if you will answer please tell me about yourself and in next mail I will tell you more about me too. I send to you my photo,
hope you will like me I really shall hope for your answer soon.
Thanks and have a good day,
It didn't come with twins, but there was this picture..

2010-11-19

3 4 of 5 senses reassociated with winter


With the City of Edmonton experiencing the first snowfall of the year, I realized that of the five basic senses, three of them have begun to notice sensations associated with the season that have been long forgotten:

Sight: Have you ever been to Thailand or Hungary and been amazed at how they turn a 4-lane road into a de-facto 5-lane road because their cars are all so small? In fine Edmonton tradition, when winter comes we typically lose a lane of traffic. 105th Street north of 97th Avenue, or 170th Street south of 114th Avenue are good examples of this. Because of heavy snow and edged windrows, until the plows come out we're down a lane.

Sound: The first sense I got to experience associated with winter was that crunching noise that your boots make on snow. I bet you forgot that sound, didn't you? I did. In the words of Queen Celine, it's all coming back to me now.

Smell: Ah, that aroma of other people's exhaust hanging close to the earth and making it into your vehicle's cab. And because you need to keep hot air on your windshield, you can't just turn the blower off. I can't easily fit my truck inside my garage, so if I want a warm car to drive I have to endure this (being lower to the ground tends to make this worse).

Touch: What touch do I remember most with winter? As of yesterday, I have been re-acquainted with the feeling of ass landing on icy side streets.

What senses really bring winter alive to you? Were there tastes or sights that I missed? Drop a line in the comments.

Update, November 21 2010, 1:49pm:I found a sight. The post title has been adjusted accordingly, and you can find the entry under "sight" in the list above.

2010-11-17

Poll: Would you buy frozen Funky Pickle pizza?

2010-11-16

"The mainstream media has its own agenda. They do not want to print the facts. They have an agenda, they have a slant, they have a bias."

While its almost a matter of shooting fish in a barrel highlighting liberal bias in the mainstream media, let alone just a giant juicy halibut like the Edmonton Journal, it still frustrates and infuriates me when you see nonsense like this.

Edmonton Commons
(to which your humble correspondent recently posted) is the Edmonton post-it-all-place on the CanWest Shaw Communications media website. Your hosts for this webzone are...far-left columnist Todd Babiak, far-left columnist Paula Simons, and far-left columnist David Staples. Good start, eh?

So lets look at the 15 blogs in their "Edmonton urban affairs discussion" section:


Okay. Notice anything funny about these 15 blogs? Let's have another peek at them:


That's 11 liberal blogs, three non-political general interest blogs, and a message board that has guest columns from David Climenhaga. Pretty eclectic mix they have on there, isn't it? On the entire page the best they can do is link to the CTF on the subject of the downtown arena.

It would really trouble them that much to risk having a Journal reader even briefly exposed to a centre-right perspective on matters not related to the Oilers? What, besides the obvious, are they scared of?

An easy deconstucting of the strawman "white privilege" that still does not exist. Unlike, say, female privilege.

Lina Hoffbauer's long-awaited dissertation featuring examples hints of "white privilege" has finally gone from the nebulous world of accusations without cause to the more tactile world of written accusations...without cause

Subtle and hidden racism; the coach sitting the only non-white girl on the bench while every single other girl got to play, the job interview where you were the best candidate but didn’t get the job (you have a feeling…), the accusation of theft, the white people staring at your family while you eat, etc.
Apparently, no white people have ever not gotten a job where they "had a feeling" they were the best candidate. It's a good thing too, otherwise we would...hey, wait, nevermind, that does happen. Maybe a black person got "our" job! I think I just found a solid undeniable case of black privilege [putting it in bold was my idea... yeah, that's right, I'm creative! -ed]. You can't possibly pro or con this: if the minority claims he had a feeling he didn't get the job, then that's that: nothing anybody else can ever say otherwise!

Back in 2007, Canada was one of four countries that voted against UN’s Aboriginal Declaration. Reason stated: the broad wording “appeared to give native communities sweeping powers that could contravene existing law”. Heaven forgive giving some power back to a nation of people that were robbed of it through the European settlement of Canada.
Heaven forbid somebody can talk about the history of Canada without forwarding the patent untruth that Indians in Canada were "robbed" of their land and/or power. You'd almost think that, unique amoungst all the peoples of the world who's territory has been at some point fought or even contested for, where some sort of struggle for political power has taken place, two hundred and fifty years later Indians are still somehow completely incapable of getting over it. You'd almost think that, of course, but you would be wrong, because...well, let's face that there is no because. The most recent example that you can point to and challenge this assertion is Palestinians, and let's be honest: they've robbed quite enthusiastically from the Indian playbook. They have Judenhass as a constant feeder that Indians ("aboriginals" in the equally inaccurate vernacular) are without, but you can see much of the same trends rearing their ugly head from time to time.

Systemic racism and discrimination affects the Aboriginal community directly within the justice system; the proportion of Aboriginals in prison demonstrates this point.
No, it most definately does not "demonstrate this point". It doesn't even provide an evidential basis for further investigations. What, pray tell, is wrong with the current proportion of Indians in prison? And I don't mean by its numbers relative to its share of the population, as that's frankly an offensively simplistic measure by people who hope you haven't bothered to put any thought into it. Is the current proportion significantly higher than the proportion of Indian criminals? Indian defendants? What ratio is being looked at here? With the wrong ratio being highlighted, nothing at all has been demonstrated.

In my previous post on this topic, I provided a couple of examples where Indians had special privileges within the justice system. Meanwhile here's a special racial privilege granted only to Indians and Metis right here in Alberta. Hey look! This is Indian Privilege! Unlike "white privilege" I can actually show it to exist. It's right there in the link.

Now www.racismfreeedmonton.ca has removed reference to ‘white privilege’ and replaced it with ‘institutional’ and ‘systemic’ and ‘individual’ racism explanations; a very valid and strong explanation but a bit of a disservice to the Aboriginal community. The ‘white privilege’ in Canada that most strongly impacts their lives has been swept under the rug again.
Lina, in her comments to my earlier post, accused me of being "not prepared for a reasonable and mature discussion". Readers may remember that both on Twitter and in that post, I continually asked for an answer to the obvious question: where is my legal privileges granted to me for being white? If, I argued, no solid grounds of white privilege could be found, then the concept deserved to die. Not just be "swept under the rug": killed off. Thrown about like so much garbage.

The "Aboriginal community" already has treaty rights not granted to other blood relations of long-established white families who deserve just as much special credit for being the first in North America as they did. We see that from a 'justice' perspective in Caledonia how little privilege the peaceful white townspeople were afforded. Ditto in Oka (and those were French white people in Quebec, surely the group that would have been voted most likely to obtain some white privilege once and a while). As the previous link shows, in Alberta we see what white privilege gets you on a hunting license.

Find some nice juicy court cases, or some pieces of legislation, and then we can talk. Until then, its "white persecution", not "white privilege", which is plainly in full affect.

2010-11-14

"Yo where is the white privilege at?"



Recently the City of Edmonton founded an 'anti-racism' campaign that called on whites to acknowledge their "white privilege". After the obvious uproar from such a ludicrous concept, the city quickly removed the offending section (though the remainder of the campaign remains).

So, with almost everybody glad to see it go, it seems the matter is mostly closed. After all, the City of Edmonton doesn't give me any "white privilege": I'm taxed at the same rate as an asian, I'm forced to pay the exact same entry fee to Fort Edmonton Park as an Indian, and I have to drive at the same speed limit as a black (well, in theory). So it seems silly to be acknowledging a "white privilege" that is demonstrably shown not to exist. Examples of female privilege or Indian privilege, one may note, abound. So it seems to mark the death of this nonsense talk of "white privilege"

Apparently, however, its out there, just cannot be explained in under 140 characters. Hey look, this blog allows comments!

Not often a valid song in Edmonton

2010-11-13

It's safer inside the bullpen

Last night, four contestants for 100.3 The Bear's "Really Tough Contest" played in an event called "Cowboy Poker":

Normally when you think of poker the only thing you consider losing is your money! Cowboy poker requires a lot more than skill and money… it requires courage and NO fear!! Cowboy poker is a rodeo event played with four contestants, four chairs, a card table and a bull. The table and four chairs are set up in the middle of the rodeo arena. At the start of the game the announcer will outline the rules and then the contestants walk out to the table and sit in one of the four chairs. A bull is then released in to the ring to measure the courage of each cowboy. The rules are: the last cowboy sitting on his chair wins the poker hand. Some contests require skill; others require cajones. Cowboy Poker is one of the latter. In this high stake game the wild card really is wild!!
From all indications, things really weren't too hairy: I almost signed up for the event. I've been in a small pen with multiple bulls before, and they don't particularly frighten me. I've had to dodge them before, I can do it again.

What is ironic was that the "Cowboy Poker" event was one of the safer things you could do at the CFR last night...
EDMONTON — A woman was injured at the Canadian Finals Rodeo when a bull jumped over the railing and into the crowd on Friday at Rexall Place.

The woman was conscious but suffering from back pain and numbness in her legs as she was taken by stretcher into an awaiting ambulance.

Three other people were treated on site and released.

If it wasn’t for the actions of pick-up man Gary Rempel, rodeo officials said it could have been a lot worse.

“He’s a hero,” Krista Burton of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine said of Rempel, who lassoed the bull by one horn as it was in full flight leaping into the crowd.

“If he hadn’t roped the bull, that bull could have stampeded into who knows how many people,” said Dave Shields Sr., the CFR’s assistant chute boss.
Interesting as coincidences go, exactly four people were injured (one severely). Four men willingly got into a pen with a bull and were mostly fine. Four people got primo seats at the CFR, and could have been killed.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Soviets

Oh yeah, I'm sure this is a positive sign.

Almost certainly unrelated to this.

2010-11-08

President Monkey to be kept safe from....monkeys

Oh, this one's just too rich:

The 'world's most powerful man' faces a threat from New Delhi's infamous stray monkeys during his two day stay in the Capital starting November 7. Commandos, sharpshooters and monkey catchers will be pressed in to secure the sights on US president Barack Obama's itinerary from any untoward simian
transgression.

The Ridge area, close to the ITC Maurya, where the president will stay, as well as Humayun's Tomb, which he will visit on November 8, are infested with monkeys.

"This aspect of security will be discussed in an all-agency meeting on Monday," said Taj Hassan, joint commissioner of police (security).

"We will deploy commandos, snipers and even monkey catchers to ensure his safety," a police officer said.
Hopefully the commandos have a photo album handy. Or else this could become a messy international incident and fast.

2010-11-07

"It's zesty without being too preachy, if you know what I mean"

A good number of searches to Third Edge of the Sword are looking for the recipe to make the Ruby Club from the Corner Gas episode "Hero Sandwich". In my rundown of the episode, our #1 entry in the Corner Gas Countdown series, I mention how its a shame there is no real recipe. What we do have, however, is a variety of shots of the sandwich as various characters enjoy it. I am no food expert, but lets examine the shots:

Hank gives us our first good look at the Ruby Club. It seems to use a marble rye, fitting for Canada's Seinfeld. A slice of what is probably a hothouse tomato, and also a slice of yellow cheese (cheddar?) makes the first layer of the Ruby Club. The bottom layer only seems to be a slice of turkey, or maybe chicken. From this look, that seems to be the entire sandwich. No bacon or lettuce to be found.

Not much can be gleaned from this brief shot of the Ruby Club, though it does seem there's a Hollandaise-coloured sauce on the sandwich. This is probably what endears the town to the dish. It's also most likely where the "zesty" quality comes from that Hank appreciates.

Oscar gives another glimpse of the Ruby Club, though no new information can be found. It has a pickle on the side, which may come as standard. Don't tell Oscar though.

Mayor Fitzy, near the show's climax, is shown eating a Ruby Club (by this point, its the only menu item anybody who isn't Brent eats) that unlike Hank's and Oscars appears to be a Ruby Club Melt (though he may just have an extra slathering of the sauce we seemed to find earlier). Either he paid for the pickle, or Oscar is onto something: however, we can confirm no lettuce or bacon in this shot.

Finally we can see both halves of Fitzy's sandwich, and its clear this is it, that's all there is.

We can therefore provide the following recipe for a Ruby Club:

2010-11-03

This day in (blog) history

Hey, remember H1N1? A year ago, it was all the rage. People were terrified of the disease, mass public immunizations were impacted by a yet-unexplained worldwide shortage, and after weeks of worry that conspiracy theories would keep people from getting the shot, Alberta's clinics were swamped.

Naturally, this was a field day for the opposition parties. As a sign of "the more things change", this year it was ER wait times. As the fall sitting of the legislature opens, it seems that there is no shortage of seniors that the Liberals or NDP can try to scare into voting against the Tories to save their own lives.

Which, of course, brings us back to last year's crisis. Another opposition politician scaring seniors that the Stelmach government was going to kill them. It wasn't ER wait times, which was surely a problem last year. It was the government reaction to flu clinic wait times that were an issue (as is normal for this, the issue was government inaction until action was taken, then the action itself was a horrific act).

Which is where Third Edge of the Sword came in. Last year, in a shameless attempt to scare high risk infection groups gullible voters, Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann, who claims to be a doctor, lied his ass off.

Yes I know I'm still linking to the post. David Swann is a liar. He used his alleged medical job to bring a (false) sense of gravitas to his claims, he outright lied to the people of Alberta and endangered the lives of real people who could have succumbed to the flu had he got his way.


Okay, you've had lots of chances to click the link now. Let's summarize. Seniors are not at very high-risk for contracting H1N1: in fact they are amoung the lowest. Of course, Swann could hardly say "hey easily frightened old people! Stelmach is right, you shouldn't be allowed to get H1N1 shots because to do so would risk the health and safety of women and children." It's true, of course. Which is why a Liberal would have so much trouble saying it.

So I said so. I pointed out the outright lie that had serious consequences for the health and safety of Albertans. Then for fun, I pointed out another lie by Swann that was more just for fun. Then, after some surmising that Swann had gotten his own shots, I proved that he promised he would be doing so earlier in the week. Much to the delight of Lib-NDP apologists, it transpired he didn't...which means that later on in the post I identified yet another lie by David Swann.

Here, let's read some highlights:
In Swann's blog today (yes, today, that will become significant later), he writes the typical tug-at-heartstrings stuff that Liberals are wont to say before they either bald-faced lie to your face and/or make a play for huge amounts of your money. To give away the ending here, Swann is about to do both.
In case you hadn't followed along so far, I'm noting that the elderly in fact have a reduced risk of H1N1 because before 1957 people's immune systems already contained antibodies to defend themselves against similar ailments.

It's okay, we don't expect leaders of minor struggling opposition parties to keep abreast of swine flu developments.
So there you have it, good people of Alberta. Either Doctor David Swann, the man who wants to be premier in 2012, knows less about H1N1 than some blogger who vaguely recalled that the elderly were not at risk from newspaper stories I glanced over weeks ago... or else the Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party is lying to the people of Alberta in order to scare a significant voting bloc into believing that the Government of Alberta is taking actions that will harm them. I leave it up to you to solve this mystery.
I also notice that Swann wants us to forget that 10% of the population have gotten immunized and its expected no more than 60% will get immunized, "at this rate" the vaccine will be delivered by Christmas, not Valentine's Day. Meanwhile, the shortages of vaccine compared to original assurances is something that Swann doesn't like mentioning either. This guy sure doesn't seem to know a lot about the vaccination program he's promoting, does he?
This is the rationing argument. I've noted in Twitter that "Accessibility" in the Canada Health Act prohibits age or health-status discrimination in the provincial delivery of health services, so in reality Liberal Leader David Swann is proposing that Alberta violate the Canada Health Act. His contradictory hats are starting to be an issue now aren't they? It might be medically a good idea to violate The Act. On the other hand, as a Liberal MLA Swann hasn't exactly been keen on finding medically justifiable reasons to violate The Act now has he? If David Swann, M.D. wants to go on public record stating that he is in favour of any violation of the Canada Health Act which can provide health benefits for a subset of the population of Alberta I'm happy to stand toe to toe with him.
Spending more money again? Liberal solutions to healthcare crisis always seem to involve the province with the highest per-capita expenditures on public health somehow putting out money money. This time there's an added bonus to Swann: more publicly funded nurses mean more cash in the union coffers that keep his dilapidated party afloat. The extra angry bitches to protest in front of the leg grounds and/or star in deceptive political ads are really only an added bonus at this point.
Ahh, great stuff.

So, uh, you might see that the Alberta Liberal Party left almost as many blog comments as there are MLAs in their party. Amoung them, Ken Chapman went apeshit that I used ellipses to shorten one of the quotes, so I could fit it in a nice little info-box next to Swann's picture. They really jumped on that, which would have been impressive had I not already noted in the post that no matter which version (long or short) you read, Swann is a liar and/or an idiot. Chapman tried making strawman argument after strawman argument on Twitter. I got so tired of trying to fit responses into 140 characters (and also his tendency to accuse me of making up things that I already had linked to the proof of) that I just wrote another blogpost. It's got some highlights too, though less political and more just ripping into somebody who doesn't like his sacred cows being slaughtered by a master hunter:
I did link to proof: the TIME magazine article which discussed the actions being taken by CDC. If you don't think the Center for Disease Control is the world's best pandemic response team you can feel free to name another one. Hey, look out below! This blog takes comments!

(note, unlike the previous post I won't be linking to individual Twitter posts. Even when I did this I was accused of "making them up" so clearly I'm wearing down my "Ctrl", "C" and "V" keys unnecessarily)
I did post it all. I will post it all again:
I’ve heard from seniors with chronic disease, many with disabilities, who are not able to line up for hours due to their conditions. These are the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine!
Now to repost the same two links I used after the "misleading" and "edited" quote: seniors are the lowest risk groups (one lie) and least likely to benefit from the vaccine (two lies). If they aren't lies, then David Swann doesn't know anything about H1N1 and should stop waving his medical credentials around like a flag.
And at this point I think I'm pretty much done. In under half an hour the argument has gone from "you're making up all the various tweets you've linked to" and "once you add in a few extra words it magically makes Swann's lies into truths" into "just because he said he was going to get innoculated right away and said how important it was for people to do it doesn't mean there's any reason to believe he would" into "I didn't see you link to proof 26 times in a single blogpost and demand that you re-link things directly into my Twitter feed" into "why aren't you happy that Stelmach followed medical advice and David Swann pissed into the face of it for political points?" into "whoa, who said the CDC was a bigger expert than David Swann" into "well you didn't directly link to CDC only to a news story interviewing them and its old anyways" into "well you're not entitled to your own facts even though every fact you've already brought up has been blissfully ignored because they make David Swann look like a liar and an idiot".


A year later, with "ER wait times" the new emergency, what else has Swann been lying about? I neither know nor care to read up on the fine details of this "issue", so unlike H1N1 (where I had a specific reason to be concerned in favour of Swann: despite volunteering in a flu clinic my mother was not vaccinated -- even when interacting with potentially infected members of the public she was deemed not in a high risk group) I can't pick apart the public statements and promises in the legislature Swann has made. Though if past performance is any indication of future earnings, then David Swann is lying about ER wait times. And he's playing politics with your tax dollars and your health. Again.

2010-11-02

Warren Kinsella is totally full of shit

I originally posted about this on his Facebook page. He turned around and blocked/unfriended me. A reminder: Warren Kinsella doesn't like you knowing about his wicked ways.

Anywho, when it transpired that an unabashed neo-Nazi tried to very publicly attend the Mark Steyn talk in London on Monday, and was prevented from doing so, Kinsella did what he does best. Be moronic.

The real interesting thing about this was, in 1997 when Web of Hate was published, Warren made a big deal about how at a couple of events the Reform Party had neo-Nazis in attendance at events (and in one case, working security). Naturally, that people just showed up at these events was unacceptable. In his view, Reform should have intensely scoured the names of people attending to weed out anybody who's views were too extreme for Kinsella. [the man's a liberal: his own views are intensely extreme vis a vis sodomite marriage or deregulating healthcare... -ed] Of course, what Kinsella the Liberal Liar didn't mention (and surely he knew) was that the neo-Nazis who got into the security gig were in fact doing so at the behest of CSIS, who's political masters includes the Prime Minister that Kinsella spends much of his journalistic career giving blowjobs to on the pages of newspapers. No matter how obscure these men were, however little they had to do with the actual Reform movement or the efforts of conservatives fighting liberals like Mulroney and Chretien, it didn't matter. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon could separate Preston Manning from any of these men, but Kinsella would unfairly tar them all with the same brush. Be in the same room as a neo-Nazi (except, of course, for when Kinsella and his buddy Richard Warman hang out: that's a Nazi Kinsella is proud to call 'friend') and the gloves came off.

Of course, that was 1997. Now its 2010, and Kinsella has done a full 180. Apparently now its completely horrible that Andrew Lawton would keep this neo-nazi on the street. Had he been allowed to speak, and some new jackass was trying to pull Kinsella 1997 schtick, surely Warren would have leapt to Steyn's defense in the National Post.

What? Why are you laughing.

Omar Khadr, terrorist

2010-11-01

Google Street View deletes Edmonton's famous downtown drug deal

Way way back when Google Street View debuted in Edmonton, the Twitter meme of "you stay classy, #yeg" started up when it was found a blatent drug deal was caught in front of Milla's Pub on 101st Street.

Well today I discovered that, like many other drug deals caught on Street View, the image has been removed.

Here you can see, at a slight distance, the drug deal:
(click the image to view full sized)


Now here's that same section of sidewalk, with the people all removed by Google:
(click the image to view full sized)

Its taken at the same time of day, but the garbage bags next to the drug deal have also disappeared.

Remember the brownish van from the first picture? In this one, you can see the empty sidewalks...and the van is still there. It almost looks like Google straight out deleted these guys wholesale from the photos:
(click the image to view full sized)


So were they photoshopped out? Are there any images capturing this infamous moment for the ages?

2010-10-31

Cool things on Bing Aerial View (Edmonton edition)

Whitemud Amusement Park:


The Anthony Henday bridge:


CFB Edmonton:


Edmonton's coolest condos:


The Yellowhead cement factory:

2010-10-27

@kevinlibin

(too long to fit in a tweet)

Back in June I looked into the nanny regulations and found its a lot more than just a "texting while driving" ban or a "distracted driving ban". For one thing, there is no exemption to phoning/texting/adjusting your navigation system while at a red light or stuck behind a train or otherwise at a standstill.

But on a deeper level its a "damn these kids and their new technology" law. The mere act of holding a phone (again, even while at a red light), even a phone that isn't even turned on, is now against the law. As I noted in the link, if you're holding an Apple its illegal. If you're holding an apple, its not. (There is no blanket ban on eating or drinking). If you use your phone at a red light to check the text message telling you your friend's new address, that's illegal. If you check an old-fashioned map (or, say, printed sheet of directions), that's legal.

Then its also elitist in the fanciest of new toys: if you have a 3rd party GPS system on your dashboard (or even, possibly, a radar detector), you cannot so much as touch it at any point in your trip without violating the law. If you have a regular cellphone, you're similarly banned from touching it. But go out and buy a newer vehicle with more bells and whistles, and you can get your bluetooth devices wired directly into the console, navigational aids become directly tied into the console, and suddenly you can operate them while driving (not just while at red lights) to your heart's content.

This is a very bad nanny-state law. And its own internal construction makes little sense.

2010-10-26

SteynOnCampus

Below is the comment I posted to this hilariously bland point-counterpoint about Mark Steyn speaking on the University of Western Ontario campus:

I love the ideological mixup in this point-counterpoint article. One writer doesn't agree with anything Mark Steyn will speak about, and because once upon a time somebody else on campus spoke from a similar worldview she doesn't think he should be speaking on campus. Another writer doesn't agree with anything Mark Steyn will speak about, but because once upon a time somebody else on campus spoke from a similar worldview she thinks he should be speaking on campus. What range!

In 2006, Douglas Roche spoke at UWO on the topic of "Beyond Hiroshima: the role of Canada in nuclear disarmament". Was Roche a "controversial speaker[s] with something new to say"? Or was he a predictable far-left blowhard, insisting that the United States stop funding the military that responds to humanitarian efforts worldwide, and throw good money after bad in a 'fight against poverty and disease', and outright lie claiming that the US (which hasn't built a new nuclear warhead since at least 1992) spends over $500 billion annually on nuclear armaments? I'll leave that up to readers as an exercise to investigate themselves, along with the presence or absence of a Monica Blaylock insisting that -- as a controversial speaker with no new content -- Roche shouldn't be invited to speak on campus.

If the Gazette staff, upon looking around, discovered they don't have a single staff member who could represent Steyn's viewpoint, perhaps they should have written an article admiting that since they themselves don't represent the group of students that brought Steyn to campus, UWO students might be well advised to attend the upcoming talk. After all, if they missed Ann Coulter, this is their only chance to hear it directly. Maybe the Gazette can change some students into Steyn "sympathizers". Of course, they might find that they start challenging the messages within your own pages.
If it turns out the University of Western Ontario Gazette in fact does have both right and left articles, I am truly sorry. Of course, then the question becomes why they didn't pick one of those folk to write the other point.

If I'm right, and there is a far-left bias in the campus newspaper, then perhaps it might raise an eyebrow or two that only right-wing speakers are "controversial". After all, Maude Barlow spoke at UWO in 2007. Is there a single more offensive harpy on the entire planet?

Update, October 27 2010, 9:01pm: Your UWO student paper didn't appreciate the comment that I wrote above nor the comment that preceeded it: they have locked down the post and restricted comments to people who have registered. It looks like the Gazette's tolerance for opposing viewpoints is about as deep as you could have guessed from their treatment of the Steyn visit. Kim Jong Il would probably have gotten a better reception from this lot. George Galloway most certainly would have.

UWO students, even the ideologically driven (Monica Blaylock, Lauren Pelley) or cowardly (Managing Editor Mike Hayes) who work for the Gazette, are more than welcome to comment on this post. I think its pretty clear who's the more confident in their opinions.

Update, October 28 2010, 5:11pm: The #uwo Daily portal, which summarizes news stories about the University of Western Ontario, is covering this blogpost.

I would gladly strangle 500 ducks with my bare hands in order to get a single barrel of oil

Well, everything old is new again... more ducks have died in the tailings ponds in Fort McMurray.

Naturally, the usual suspects are up in arms...

Suffering from a self-described 'international image problem,' there's no doubt the Alberta Government considered that last week's record fine against Syncrude would quiet critics who claimed the province's oilsands environmental regulations were too lax. The 3 million dollar fine against Syncrude for failing to adequately deter approximately 1100 ducks from landing — and subsequently dieing — in one of its tailings ponds was a demonstration of the effectiveness of Alberta's environmental legislation.
I'm still left agape that people can with a straight face think that the $3,200,000 fine for 1600 ducks is too easy on the oil giant.

This is a photo of a dead duck. At West Edmonton Mall, T&T Supermarket [yes, yes asians of Edmonton, we know that Lucky 97 has better bargains.. -ed] sells these duck carcasses for $2.58/lb. The duck featured here costs $14.01. Syncrude's fine works out to $2000 per duck, a fine that's for some unfathomable reason almost 143 times higher than the going market rate for this same resource. In fact, the duck featured in the photo should be worth more rather than less than a Fort Mac duck: its already plucked, de-oiled, weighed, and packaged.

The only argument the duck-fine defenders can rally is that Syncrude bespoiled the beautiful environment which contained these ducks. But if that was really the argument, than what Syncrude would have had to pay would be for the replacement of the lost fowl to said environment. If the fine was that Syncrude pay (even a relatively outrageous markup, 200-300%) various duck farmers to buy live ducks and replace them to the environment once they're capable of flight.

Meanwhile, I'm reminded of what I remarked back when the original duck incident occured, which I happily replicate in the title to this blogpost. Of all the pains and calamities of dealing with the tarsands, the occasional death of a few ducks seems the least of our concerns. I've gotta share this quote from mymcmurray.com commentator momstaxi:
What a bunch of sh--!!!! There has been more commotion about a few ducks meeting their demise than when people accidentally get run over by heavy haulers . The ducks were front page news for months . Fort McMooseyToe, you seem to have alot of free time. Go out to the ponds and wave you arms and make funny sounds to keep the ducks away. Be a productive member of society.
Should the tailings ponds be removed? Uh, of course. Seeing as how one day the oil will be gone, there is a vested interest in the landowner ensuring that the resale value will be maximized: and that means removing the tailings ponds, sooner rather than later. The other thing to remember is that the insane costs of these tailings ponds is a continual thorn in Syncrude/Suncor/Shell's side. Why did the 2008 incident occur? Because a large snowstorm in late April prevented Syncrude from safely sending crews out to deploy the ingenuously designed anti-bird-landing prevention systems. Yes, you read that correctly: by wisely determining that potential loss of human life was worth more than potential loss of duck life (or even potential of massive loss of duck life), Syncrude was punished. I hope the employees of Syncrude appreciate that when all is said and done, we're extracting oil out of the ground for the betterment of human beings, and their employer will not lose sight of that or jeopardize their safety on behalf of an animal you can see, dead en masse, as T&T Asian Supermarket.

2010-10-20

This day in (blog) history

October 20, 2009 was the day that George W. Bush (pbuh) came to the City of Champions.

To commemorate, let's look at my George W. Bush (pbuh) video countdown!:

White Men Can't Jump said the film, and "white men can't dance" is the prevailing wisdom.

Whether you love him or hate him, everybody knows that if George W. Bush comes across "prevailing wisdom" his response is "bump that, dawg." As Third Edge of the Sword counts down favourite George W. Bush video moments, here's some footage of him schooling a bunch of tribal Africans on the top notch dance moves that white people invented in the disco era:


Also, read the warm-up article about George W. Bush's (pbuh) arrival:
But fighting real enemies is hard work, and left-wingers don't really like that sort of stuff. In a way, protesting a retired President is like a reflexive anti-American version of "Hugs for Darfur". Doing things is hard. Joining the army or starting a mercenary firm to attack those who engage in violence in Sudan or Iraq or Pakistan takes work, and offer no opportunities to shamelessly advertise your "compassion". Hugs for Darfur won't help a single person, but provide a security blanket of such for the inadequacies of the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism members. They didn't stop Saddam's starving of his own children while Iraqi missiles were equipped with circuits from smuggled Playstation2s, George W. Bush did that. All throughout the 90s liberals like Steve Notley whined about the Taliban. George W. Bush removed them from office, and in response Steve's equally vile sister Rachel had no kind words to say about him.


And finally, tune into the grande finale of last year's visit to Edmonton from President George W. Bush (pbuh) with the event review, complete with the questions I would have asked"
Once inside though, far from the annoying protestors we were able to have a couple of drinks. No good beer, though. It's a shame Shaw couldn't get some good American beers for a good American President. (Sam Adams comes to mind, since Texas microbrews are not available in Alberta to the best of my knowledge). Since George W. Bush doesn't drink anymore, after I had a drink I made sure I had one for him.


He also took the time to praise Canada, praise the oilsands, and quip that he'd rather America bought their energy from a place like Canada that likes America versus places in the Middle East that hate them. More applause. He also took his time to say how important it is for trade and not falling into economic protectionism (more applause). He emphasized that in the long run free trade not only did a better job of helping people starving in Africa than foreign aid (applause) but also that free markets lead to freedom and that leads to giving people hope for the future and away from the thugs who collect hopeless people to recruit as suicide bombers (applause).
Oh by the way Bush-haters, you wanted a verbal flub in his hourlong speech? There it was: Bush talked about Canada being in the Pacific Theatre, and he meant the European Theatre. That's it. That's all.

Bush then thanked us all again and welcomed Kelly Hrudey, who sat down in what looked like a weird version of HNIC After Hours with the worst sound guys on the planet. Seriously, for Bush's first 10-15 minutes they had to keep adjusting the sound because Bush's microphones and Kelly's microphones weren't operating at the same volume. This is elementary PA system operation here, that any half-competant amateur learns his first week. These professionals couldn't figure it out at all and finally ended up just giving Bush a handheld microphone (more applause).

There really was a lot of applause.
As the show ended, those of us who didn't have access to the Canada Place underground parkade had to go up and walk past the protesters. You remember them. I blogged about them extensively on Tuesday morning. I posted a couple tweets about them too, but the thing that struck me was how much it had in common with 1984's infamous "Two Minute Hate". This was stretched out to 3 hours and change, but the essence was still the same. Again it was covered in the Tuesday morning blogpost, but there was pure anger and hatred outside. Vicious and unfounded.

Contrast with the attendees: smiling, laughing, conversing. I talked with small business leaders, the sister of a member of EEDC (who is planning to complain a lot about the technical problems), somebody from Dave Hancock's office, and several hot asian girls with their younger-than-me boyfriends in fancy suits. There was much more ethnic diversity than the white folk angry screaming [and singing Bob Dylan songs which are even worse! -ed] outside. In the end you ended up with some successful people of all walks of life who decided to go see George W. Bush speak -- and a bunch of furious brain-dead whities who just want to prove to themselves they aren't racist when really they are, and show their opposition to violence by demanding that a former U.S. President be murdered in cold blood.

2010-10-18

Edmonton 2010 Mayoral Candidate Slogans

Well, its municipal election day in Edmonton (and all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, plus a couple cities in PEI), and its time for Edmontonians to go to the polls.

You can find how to vote in your ward here on the City of Edmonton website, or see where everybody votes by clicking the individual ward maps here.

What with this the big voting day, officially candidates are supposed to stop campaigning. However, the final weekend provided a big push by the candidate braintrusts, and therefore each mayoral candidate has come up with a brand new election slogan they legally cannot use.

Fortunately, Third Edge of the Sword has been secretly given permission to post the candidates new slogans:

Stephen Mandel
Old: Open, Decisive, Fair
New: Making you miss Bill Smith since 2005!

Dave Dorward
Old: David Dorward For Mayor
New: A vote for me is a vote for my professional campaign staff. Wait, no, not that!

Daryl Boner
Old: Fight Back and Vote
New: I can kick your mayor's ass!


Andrew Lineker
Old: Restoring Edmonton
New: Please don't ask questions about all the rainbows on my campaign material


Dave Dowling
Old: Elect Mayor Dowling
New: Am I partially blind, or do my eyes shoot concussive force beams? Vote Mandel and find out!

Dan Dromarsky
Old: Dan for Mayor
New: Hiccups

Bob Ligertwood
Old: Election 2010

New: Uncovering the media conspiracy of ignoring candidates who haven't updated their election blog since September 27th

2010-10-17

Twitter-Friendly summaries of my 2010 Edmonton Civic Election Post

Thanks to the "#yegvote:Wardxx:" style, 122 characters is all I would have on Twitter to summarize the 2010 Edmonton Civic Election. So... here they are:

#yegvote:Ward 1: have to wait b4 they can hope to find a candidate willing to say "fuck the LRT & the traffic disruptions they rode in on"

#yegvote:Ward 2:"apparently being this close to St. Albert has made the people of this riding into pansies; snow removal is a huge concern"

#yegvote:Ward 3:"Can you imagine the chutzpah for somebody to move into Lago Lindo and then start complaining about urban sprawl?"

#yegvote:Ward 4:"Whatever happened to Gorman LRT station? No, seriously, that's an issue. Along with the stations not being pretty enough"

#yegvote:Ward 5:"Brian Kendrick goes off about how kids are breaking into people's cars because of not enough midnight basketball."

#yegvote:Ward 6:"Remember that crime thing in Ward 4? Well, multiply that by about 50 billion and you get an idea about life in Ward 6"

#yegvote:Ward 7:"Katz plans on ripping a giant hole out of the middle of this ward, and he would like the residents there to pay for it."

#yegvote:Ward 8:"Striker is excited about blowing a couple billion bucks on Expo and actually brags about stopping Rossdale development."

#yegvote:Ward 9:"Once the nightmare which is Whitemud construction at Quesnel is over, lets look into ripping up Whitemud at Terwilliger."

#yegvote:Ward 10:"That stupid Expo is supposed to be held here. Also, #ecca is going to be bulldozed to make way for slum housing"

#yegvote:Ward 11:"Magalang doesn't know what year it is and probably would make an awfully lousy councilor for at least the next 63 years"

#yegvote:Ward 12:"wouldn't U vote that way once molotov cocktails started showing up in ur living room b/c ppl thought U were a gangster?"

#yegvote:"Boner, an MMA combatant who apparently is running as mayor of #yeg entirely to ensure that UFC fights are sanctioned by the city."

#yegvote:"Mandel is putting election signs on private property, not public land. Yes, we know that you're in the hip pocket of developers"

#yegvote:"sleazier aspects from Dorward campaign leave a bad taste in my mouth. What leaves a worse taste? Sleazier aspects of Mandel"

#yegvote:"Dan Dromarsky's campaign is entirely based, it seems, on his "Dan for Mayor" gag. Only 16 ppl in #yeg watch that show, though"

#yegvote:Trustees:"Schools R closing. This is because there are no kids to fill them, but that doesn't stop residents from raising a stink"

2010-10-16

2010 Edmonton Civic Election

Has it really been three years since the last civic election? I see it has. It's also, therefore, been three years since Third Edge of the Sword did a rundown on which candidates to avoid. You can read that at your leisure, and realize precisely how accurate I was in some of my warnings. Those of you who didn't listen before, just sit back and appreciate how you probably should listen now.

Edmonton has gone from the generally incomprehensible 12-alderman/6-ward system into a specifically incomprehensible 12-alderman/12-ward system. We'll break them down one by one, and then move onto the big cheese: the candidates running for mayor.

School Trustees:
Major issues: Schools are closing. This is because there are no kids to fill them, but that doesn't stop residents from raising a stink.
Candidates: Who cares? Take your vote in this department, set it on fire, and shove it down your least favourite mayoral candidate's gullet. Nothing more productive can be done with this ballot.

Ward 1:
Major issues: That stupid idea of running the west-LRT leg through Stony Plain Road. Has anybody on the planning commission ever tried driving from Terra Losa to Whyte Avenue?
The candidates: In 2007 I told you to get rid of Linda Sloan in favour of Andrew Knack. Maybe this time you actually will? Newcomer Jamie Post, despite his allusion to this blog's revelation that LRTs cause murders, spends far too much time blathering about dangerous notions such as "world class" or "walkable transit-oriented business districts". Unfortunately, Ward 1 will have to wait at least one more election cycle before they can hope to find a candidate willing to say "fuck the LRT and the traffic disruptions they rode in on".

Ward 2:
Major issues: City council voted to close the Edmonton City Centre Airport (ECCA). We've covered how that was a stupid idea before. This election is the last chance to stop it. (Well, technically, there are about 7-8 more elections where this can be stopped). Also, apparently being this close to St. Albert has made the people of this riding into pansies, as snow removal is a huge concern (see below).
The candidates: For all Mandel/Iveson/Krushell talk about "the airport a dead issue", it seems to have spawned a lot of opposition...and a lot of candidates. Tom Hindericks, Roxy Malone-Richard, and Don Koziak are all tackling Kim Krushell. Koziak is probably your best bet in this riding for removing her from office. So, uh, yeah, that's who you throw your support behind. Tupper is a pro-ecca closure fetishist, and also worried that people have to help their neighbours push each other out in the winter. I guess in urban-land this is considered a bug and not a feature. She's a mini-Krushell. And the last thing this city needs is a second Krushell. We definitely need to get rid of the one we got.

Ward 3:
Major issues: Crime is a big issue, possibly since this is the Ward where a house blew up earlier this year taking out half a city block. When not fighting crimes that would make a good Micheal Bay movie, the other major issue apparently in Ward 3 is urban sprawl. Take a goddamned look at Ward 3! Its southern border is 153rd Avenue. Ward 3 only exists because, in the past, the City of Edmonton was okay on urban sprawl. That's why all of you have homes! Can you imagine the chutzpah for somebody to move into Lago Lindo and then start complaining about urban sprawl?
Candidates: First bit of trivia: Naboulsi, Loken, Sobolewski, and Demers all live outside the Ward boundaries. I know its a new Ward system and everything, but lets be serious here. Kim Cassady is a man with two women's names, not surprising for a louse who would run for the Provincial Liberals...under Nancy MacBeth. Terry Demers was Ron Hayter's assistant, and some of him rubbed off, but clearly not quite enough. Shawn Fairbridge is in favour of corrupt EPS officers performing public surveillance as a crime-deterrent (like the actual police, Fairbridge figures actually solving crimes is a little pedantic) and is also a little dumb (he thinks that airport closure will bring more revenue into the city). John Olpanch can't even run a website and wants you to trust him running the City, while Hatem Naboulsi's website features an FAQ section with not FAQs. Louis Sobolewski worries about our carbon footprint, so stomp him out of consideration! Greg Siver is the sprawl guy, and we've already laughed him out for this subject -- he said "sprawl means transit will never take off" which means he's never been to Chicago. Dave Lokien is both a former union rep and a big pusher for the irrational north-LRT route. Michael Suess, who's kick-ass CTV video featured him saying "where's the damn money", is your far-and-away winner in Ward 3.

Ward 4:
Major issues: Whatever happened to our Gorman Industrial LRT station? No, seriously, that's an issue. Along with the LRT stations not being pretty enough, and again "urban sprawl". Apparently not an issue is the insanely common violence that takes place in this ward, typically involving ethnic or native perpetrators.
Candidates: Dan Backs was once kicked out of the Alberta Liberal caucus. That's gotta take some work, and now he wants to be your city councilor. Ed Gibbons already is your councilor, and between his mischaracterization of City Centre Airport and his hatred of property rights I don't see how you can continue to let this stand (despite him being the best candidate, ironically, in 2007). Creepy satanist and Liberal (odd, isn't it, how natural it is throwing these two things together) Scott Robb is pro-airport, but that just isn't enough. Looking at your other choices, I can see why Gibbons keeps getting in: Hafsa Goma is a community activist who's worked with the federal government, so obviously she's a no. I guess that leaves anti-tax but anti-airport Ken Atkinson for the best choice in this ward. Yuck. I can see why the only people who want to live here are drug-addled natives or Vietnamese gangsters.

Ward 5:
Major Issues: That stupid idea of running the west-LRT leg through Stony Plain Road. Has anybody on the planning commission ever tried driving from Gariepy to Jasper Avenue?
Candidates: Karen Leibovici is a big supporter of the downtown arena and Expo 2017 bids: this is probably why she gave shorter answers to the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation than her average Twitter post. Mark Grandish hasn't even dropped a piece of campaign literature into the mailbox, while Brian Kendrick goes off on inexplicable tangents about how kids are breaking into people's cars because of not enough midnight basketball. Straight-talking Steve Bergeron is your best choice in this ward by a considerable margin.

Ward 6:
Major Issues: Remember that crime thing that nobody in Ward 4 seems willing to mention? Well, multiply that by about 50 billion and you get an idea about life in Ward 6. This is also the area most impacted by the silly Stony Plain Road LRT route: hey, let's all admire 107th avenue. Nah, I'm sure the people who live there don't know what's good for them.
Candidates: Carla Frost and Thomas Roberts apparently aren't actually running. This is what Edmonton's media have concluded, and not so much as a Letter to the Editor can change their minds. Jane Loopy -- er, I mean Jane Batty, which isn't much better -- is again running in this ward. Again, she should lose, and lose miserably. Cris Basualdo is a bit of an enviro-nut and apparently public art is a major civic issue, though at least she's anti-Expo. Lee Permann looks at Ward 6 (and Edmonton in general) and says "uh, we need more low income housing projects" which maybe just maybe isn't a smart idea? Adil Pirbhai is a pretty good option for Ward 6 residents, he's an excellent second choice candidate. Bryan Kapitza supports city-owned washing centres for poor people (no, seriously), taxing people based on what other people build around them, and silly LRT lines everywhere. With that, James Johnson is left with a fairly commonsense approach and smart thinking. It's him or Pirbhai, though I'd go with Johnson.

Ward 7:
Major issues: Olde Town Beverly remains the best place to find crack in this city at 3am. Did you know there's a mall at Abbottsfield? Remember the last time anybody ever suggested going there? Also, Darryl Katz plans on ripping a giant hole out of the middle of this ward, and he would like the residents there to pay for it.
Candidates: Left-wing kook Scott McKeen, who I've been more than willing to blast as a questionable media commie for years, has decided to become a questionable candidate commie. He's no better in charge than he is in print. Andy Dick Brendan Van Alstine is another pro-transit nut, though probably one of the least nutty pro-transit nuts running. Tony Caterina could be a good choice here, "Toncat" was one of the biggest voices against closing the airport. He's probably the best choice here, though Grant Pullishy is a good backup. Despite his poor website design Terry Rolls seems to have some thinking going on, so perhaps he should sign on as his victorious opponents' assistant?

Ward 8:
Major Issues: Are 73 stabbings a night on Whyte Avenue really necessary?
Candidates: Hana Razga, if you can believe it, is concerned that not enough poor people are using transit. Ben Henderson remains Mrs. Laurie Blakeman, which remains a good reason to avoid his little ticker with your pencil. Duane Striker is excited about blowing a couple billion bucks on Expo and actually brags about his involvement in stopping Rossdale development because a couple of Indians (probably) died there (possibly) once, and Lori Jeffery-Heaney refers to herself as an "enthusiastic community leader". Sheila McKay is probably the best choice in this ward of stinkers.

Ward 9:
Major Issues: Once the nightmare which is Whitemud construction at the Quesnel is over, lets look into ripping up Whitemud at Terwilliger. You probably think I'm making these issues up. I ain't.
Candidates: Bryan Anderson is the weakest link in this ward: a pro-ecca closure fetishist, and basically Stephen Mandel's unofficial bum-buddy. A vote for Anderson is a vote for Mandel-world. This, for those who may be confused, is a bad thing. Calvin Lim isn't a great choice either: again, anti-sprawl seems odd for a Ward who's very existence is because of urban sprawl. Rami Bader is fairly nondescript. My choice for this Ward is Jennifer Watts, a tough fiscal hawk who's also pretty easy on the eyes.

Ward 10:
Major Issues: That stupid Expo is supposed to be held here. Also, Edmonton's City Centre Airport is going to be bulldozed to make way for slum housing at the behest of Don Iveson. This is the best non-violent way to prevent him from having any more power in City Hall. It's your choice, Edmonton.
Candidates: Asshole. Communist. Coward. Iveson. These four words should probably be combined into some clever acronym, but clever acronyms are ironically unsuitable for this jackass. Let me be clear about this: Don Iveson is a worthless piece of shit. Removing him from office is only a tiny way to pay him back for the disgusting havoc he's wreaked on this burg. I've already told you the proper way to pay him back in full. It's an easy enough choice, he only has one challenger: Al Slemko. So yes, that's who you vote for: Al Slemko. His name is Al Slemko. Write him in on ballots in other wards, if necessary.

Ward 11:
Major Issues: Another stupid LRT line, though one that could be done halfways properly if it was underground at Whyte Avenue. It wont' be, though.
Candidates: Another packed house here! It's got generic centre-lefties Chinwe Okelu and Shane Bergdahl with basically identical platforms full of nonsensical claptrap and unwavering support for that silly LRT. In a conversation with the Edmonton Journal Roberto Magalang doesn't know what year it is (seriously. I know these sound too unbelievable to be true, yet they are) and probably would make an awfully lousy councilor for at least the next 63 years. Kerry Diote and Brent Schaffrick are both good though not exceptional choices: both of which have a bit too much liberal tendency, but are both good on changing the airport decision and also removing some of the sleeze from Edmonton Police Service (the least efficient police force in Canada, non-presiding over Canada's fifth most dangerous city). Either/or for this one, though my tendency goes to Diotte the high-profile candidate.

Ward 12:
Major Issues: More ethnics causing more crime. Short of digging up Walter Cronkite's corpse and setting it on fire, Edmonton City Council is the best chance of making some influence on preventing this. Maybe. Probably not, but wouldn't you vote that way once molotov cocktails started showing up in your living room because people thought you were the Somali gangster living next door?
Candidates: Hey, do you like the City telling you that you have to drive a disgusting 40km/h on roads that were designed for 60-70? Well, that's the fault of Amarjeet Sohi, who needs to be removed from office. Or have a semi-trailer slam into his front door doing 90. I'm agnostic on which option to select. If you pick Monday to do the former, Vikram Bagga is a bad choice having absolutely fallen off the world's radar. Chuck McKenna seems to be a pretty decent choice, planning on holding down tax increases. However, Gerry Horn certainly gets my nod in here: he's the right mix of determined and anti-establishment to hopefully make some serious changes in how this Ward is run. And get those goddamned 40/hr signs out of my sight.

Mayor of the City of Edmonton:
Major Issues: Half-EXPO 2017 threatens to deprive our city and the province surrounding it of money for no good reason whatsoever. Katz plans on building a new arena, though he isn't keen on actually paying for it. There's a stupid airport decision that needs to be reversed, and fast. Somebody needs to put some serious brakes on overground LRT expansion, get the city out of unnecessary expenses, and treat the citizens of Edmonton as bosses and not chattle.
Candidates:
Every dumb idea mentioned above is the brainchild of our current Mayor McCheese; Stephen Mandel. Also can be added to the roster are a few other dumb ideas: the money-waste that was the 118th baseball bat, the money-waste that was the now-defunct "Welcome to Edmonton" signs, the money-waste that is Edmonton's "Poet Laureate" (though having him in front of cameras all day probably does work as a crime-prevention initiative), the money-waste that was the Oilers playoff overtime scandal, the money-waste that is the attempted re-branding of "City of Champions", the money-waste that was the Churchill Square 'revitalization', and the money-waste that was the City's share of the Alberta Art Gallery. Add in the cash grab that is the expansion of photo radar and speed-on-green red light cameras, and we have a whole slew of bad decisions. What do they all have in common? Stephen Mandel was in favour of all of them. Under his stewardship your minor delays at 114th and University Ave turned into major headaches, your tax bill climbed upwards 5-10% annually, your city looked directly at the most violent year(s) of our history, and Edmonton's face was changed again and again without any input from the citizens who live there. Mandel has mentioned in numerous interviews how he only is putting his election signs on private property, not on public land. Yes, Stephen, we know that you're in the hip pocket of developers: between the arena and the airport its pretty clear that you're their candidate, that you provide a way for them to make a killing. Short of giving Terry Paranych a blowjob in front of a live audience, I'm not sure how much more signal he could put out yet he manages to do so. Mandel has the worship of left-wing nutters like Mack Male and Dave Cournoyer -- their support is surely a greater black mark against Mandel than anything else I could tell you. Support him, and they win. They win, and we lose. It's really as simple as that.

Wins and losses are the speciality of Daryl Boner, an MMA combatant who apparently is running as mayor of Edmonton entirely to ensure that UFC fights are sanctioned by the city. He also inexplicably went homeless for a couple of days, though this may just be the lingering effect of a concussion. There is a good anti-photo radar push in his platform, but he seems insistent on putting actual officers onto the streets. I guess Chang will need to put the license plate back onto his car. Boner does a good job of expressing the notion that you can fight back against City Hall, and he could be a good choice for mayor. However, Edmonton can perhaps not afford to risk a vote for Boner. Another term of Mandel would spell death for this burg.

In 2007 I wrote of Dave Dowling "This guy's not bad, but any moment now you expect him to go off about the Jews" and I find little reason to update that evaluation now. Andrew Lineker is a platform big on visions and platitudes and little on actual answers and results. Dan Dromarsky's campaign is entirely based, it seems, on his "Dan for Mayor" gag that would be more impressive if you could find 16 people in Edmonton who actually watch Dan for Mayor. Robert Ligertwood who believes that EPS itself isn't to blame for public safety issues, which would likely be news to Kristen Wilson or that guy who's getting 4 months knocked off his sentence due to police mistreatment.

Which brings me to my disappointing choice for mayor: David Dorward. For all the public anger at Mandel, he's been particularly inadept at tapping into it. Why is this? Some of it, I think, is that Dorward isn't particularly energizing as a person. He is the best choice of this lot to be the mayor of Edmonton (he always feels like mentioning the GO Centre, which is excessive but it is the sort of major project experience a mayoral candidate needs), and many of his policies are on the right track. I don't like his giving seniors a property tax break (the infamous "fixed income" myth) and some of the sleazier aspects from his campaign staff leave a bad taste in my mouth. Of course, you know what leaves a worse taste in my mouth? The sleazier aspects of Mandel's stewardship of City Council. Dorward is the man who can beat Mandel. So that's who needs to get his vote.

And I hope I'm not having to make this same plea again in 2013.