Sick Muse

The meme is quickly passing along, mostly by the TSN panel but other sources as well that following Montreal's miraculous 11th hour victory over Washington in Game 7 the team has a lot in common with the 2006 Edmonton Oilers cup run which came within a hair's breadth of winning the Stanley Cup.

Montreal fans may not want to get too pumped with this comparison, however. After all....









... Marc-Andre Bergeron is on your team...


An alternative explanation

Reading this story about Detroit's defeat of Phoenix tonight, you can probably guess the context in the story played out in the photo.

Or can you....


Out with the old, in with the new

We're in a little bit of an over-regulated society.

Another batch is coming to you soon... take a peek:

In all of these stories and countless others, you see the same words over and over again: new regulations about x; tougher rules about y; more restrictions about z. Do you know what you never hear? That's right, the exact opposite: ending of regulations, looser rules, fewer restrictions. Legislatures across the democratic world, in an intense desire to show their "legacy" and/or prove how much they "care" pass mammoth behemoth after mammoth behemoth into law, burdening all of our lives with incremental and seemingly irreversible intrusion.

The thing that gets me is that I'm pretty sure that legislation to curb bad behaviour can only work if bad behaviour is defined narrowly enough that not many people do it. We have clearly gone far off the deep end of that particular pond, though as I've written in this space before, making more behaviour "bad" doesn't stop it, instead merely continues it plus previously bad behaviour gets worse:
The problem becomes one of equivalency. It's fairly well known that MAID actively wants to villify and criminalize all driving while intoxicated so that in society's eyes [ignore this notion of "society" having human physical characteristics -ed] drunk driving is morally equivalent to breaking and entering.

The problem as I see it is that it seems that everything goes the other way: murdering and raping a small girl is criminal, but then so is failing to properly maintain your company's MSDS datasheets. In our haste to make more and more things less and less acceptible, the opposite has occured. And that can't be good.
So with this notion in my head that there should be some fixed quantity R of regulations (the exact point isn't yet known, though I'm sure we can figure it out given some time and energies -- any psychology grad students looking for a research project?), what can we do? Well, funny you should ask:

I propose a constitutional amendment that would require any legislative body -- be it national, provincial, or municipal -- remove either two related pieces or one unrelated piece of legislation or regulation for every item of legislation or regulation which is brought in.

You can see with a stroke what this could achieve: if you really think that, say, the regulation of midwives is so important than something else must go -- the regulation of the dairy industry, for example. Whenever a government wants to bring in some sweeping piece of legislation setting up a half dozen new government agencies, as what happened after 9/11, in return a half dozen old government agencies need to snuff it. The law is an evolving animal, and it seems silly to believe that evolution requires constant growth [ask a passing T. Rex about this if you question it! -ed], when instead legislation should be a shimmering reorganization, a metamorphosis from 24,364 rules and regulations into 24,364 different rules and regulations.

This isn't to say that laws can't be added with the passing of time: merely understood that this same passing of time must cause old laws no longer necessary to give way. It also means that new laws won't just be some silly legacy-pushing experiment by overly eager politicians with irrational views about their importance on history. Queerbec's proposed new law requiring that Muslims go without a niqab, for example, can only come through if like everybody else those self-same Muslims can write their businesses' signs in English-only. You want to ban money from election campaigns? Then let bars stay open past 2am. We'll see how interested a government is in enacting new legislation requiring dog breeders to comply with onerous new red tape if it means the rule banning sex stores next to elementary schools has to fall by the wayside.

Politicians will have to explain why Amazing New Regulation X is so important that the Amazing New Regulation Y that was only brought forward in 1986 is consigned to the dustbin of history. In time we can find our lives being reduced from the slow chokehold of government controls, and we may in fact learn that if there are only 4,000 things against the law instead of 75,000 that people will find it easier to follow them, and it will be easier to tell when somebody really has done something wrong and not merely run awfoul of something that was fashionable to regulation in 1957.


Ignorance is...left

From today's Mark Steyn mailbag:

The United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, classified the black man as 3/5 of a man, requiring five persons to make three voting persons, but at some point in our history, it was changed
So speaketh Andrew Ferguson of Toronto, latest in a long line of left-wingers who apparently wish that blacks were considered 5/5ths of a person.

Oh, wait, that would have been exactly what the slaveowners wanted to keep slavery legal in the U.S. in perpetuity.
The charter can be and should be challenged when difficult topics arise and need further discussion.
Not coincidentally, Andrew's change to Canada's laws to prohibit speech he doesn't like would do the same as increasing the 3/5s ratio: making the country less free, not more.

Incidentally, Andrew Ferguson of Toronto, by saying you wanted the 3/5s compromise removed in favour of a 5/5s compromise, you are advocating the return to the black slave trade. Anybody want to tell this guy that his free speech just ended with his little hate speech diatrabe?


Saddledome? Maybe more Snore-o-dome??

You can click the above picture to see it fullsized: here's a quick chart showing goals for, against, and the total for home games in the 2009/2010 NHL season.

That means that if you're a hometown fan, and you like seeing goals scored, here's the cities you want to live in: Washington, Edmonton, Manhattan Rangers, Minnesota (!?), Pittsburgh, or Anaheim.

Which city do you not want to watch hockey in? The one that has the biggest number of snooze-fest 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 games? Calgary.


Snow Hurricanes

The night of Thursday, April 8th 2010 won't, but should, go down in history as yet another spring storm innovation in Edmonton. We had something that could charitably be referred to as an ice hurricane. The actual snowfall was probably an inch -- maybe two. The Weather Network shows no accumulation on Thursday and only 4mm on Friday. It was awfully hard to record, however. The west side of my house where my patio doors are located had almost a foot of snow drifted tight up against them: drifts that finally disappeared in full on Saturday afternoon. This had something to do with the 90 km/hr winds, perhaps.

Power was out in various places in the province: one of my cousins was without power for roughly 15 hours, as the winds blew down the power lines in their remote corner of the province and affected exactly two houses (ie. not the highest priority for their REA, who was battered from all corners). The TransCanada was shut down, and a friend coming down from Grande Prairie left on a perfectly sunny yet chilly afternoon and at Whitecourt found that the front of the truck was no longer visible through the blowing snow.

While I tried holding on valiently, on Friday morning at about 1am I gave up and turned on my furnace. I was thinking today that it had been off for quite some time. In fact, I ended up whipping up a quick bar graph showing my winter furnace use:

A level of "0" means the furnace was never on for the entire month, "0.5" means it was on for half the month or less, and "1" means it was on for the entire month or less (typically pretty damned close to 30 days).

Another friend of mine is in Mexico this week. Damn you!


Michael Ignatieff, about to turn 63 years old, has never heard of politics before

"Just 24 hours ago, the prime minister was saying he had confidence in this minister, and now 24 hours later -- boom, she's gone," Ignatieff said Friday, about a half-hour after Harper's announcement about Guergis' resignation. "It raises questions about the prime minister's judgment."

How else, other than the title of this post, is one supposed to interpret this bizarre statement? Prime Ministers always always always have complete confidence in their ministers up to the precise millisecond that such confidence evaporates.

It's called not selling out your colleagues without a damned good reason, Michael, and I think every person who dreams of one day becoming a Liberal Member of Parliament with the aim of Prime Minister Ignatieff inviting you to join his cabinet should be extremely frightened about this. Does this mean if you're a hard working Liberal MP, he will ditch confidence in you at the slightest whim? The first unfriendly story in the Toronto Star? [well, in theory...the Toronto Starhas never had an unfriendly story about a Liberal politician since the printing press was invented. -ed]

Either Ignatieff is the most fair-weather friend in the history of the Liberal Party of Canada, or he simply doesn't know the proper public stance Prime Ministers are supposed to have. In any case, its proof that Stephen Harper will still be Prime Minister in 2013, as previously predicted.


The topless protest

Feminists in Portland tried marching topless to show that women marching topless isn't a big deal.

Of course, women marching topless is a big deal, so guys started taking perv-shots like there was no tomorrow. Now the organizer is pissed:

Ty McDowell, who organized the march, said she was "enraged" by the turnout of men attracted to the demonstration. The purpose, she said, was for society to have the same reaction to a woman walking around topless as it does to men without shirts on.

My political reaction is covered in my comment today on RightPundit.com. Below is the bigger reaction: did we want to see these chicks topless in the first place?


"The boom and the bust and the thrill and the rush and a billion barrels of oil"

I wonder if commentator Tally-Ho is as happy as he claimed he was going to be:

And IMO, busting the Alberta oil boom would probably be a good thing. 6% inflation, yippee...