Further thoughts of the righteous execution of Saddam

I've made a post about the hanging of Saddam already, but figured I might as well post some thoughts not related to the death of some jewel-thieving sodomite.

I posted to Big Blue Wave's post about Saddam, and figured I'd share in what I wrote:

The concern, as happens so often, is not whether Saddam "would have been a danger" locked up, but rather what his remaining alive would have said about America to those in the Middle East who might dare listen.

A living Saddam, whether freezing in Baker Lake or sitting on a rock surrounded by water in the Caribbean, was a symbol to the Middle East that the West is weak.

The vision by the primitive people who suicide bomb and promote attacks against troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere is not one of reasoned analysis, or based on some cultural notion of "how precious life is". All those people know is blood and violence, and if America is serious about reducing the blood and violence inflicted by these people, they have to have enough testicles left to somewhere somehow inflict a little blood and violence on their own.

Iraq, with assistance from the United States, executed Saddam Hussein. This is not some twisted result of American foreign policy. The New York Times might cringe at the "mixed signals" being sent, but people living in Iraq or Syria or Egypt won't. Saddam was somebody the U.S. wanted to get rid of. They invaded the country, sacrificed their soldiers, and caused death to both Iraqi civilians and soliders. The most humanist of rag-headed humanists would accept this as a necessary evil required to get at Saddam: what they would not accept was that Saddam was so bad that American and Iraqi troops had to die in order for the U.S. to get him, only to leave the dictator himself alive at the end of the day.

Saddam Hussein's dead body is hanging in the gallows because he got in America's way. Regardless of any spin put on the event by the White House or Susan Sarandon or bloggers, that is the lesson the Middle East will learn. And its a lesson that the U.S. had better be ready to teach another dozen times over. A dead Hussein, a dead Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and pretty soon tin pot dictators around the world would sit up and take notice. You think Hugo Chavez is taking the death of Saddam lightly over a morning bagel? Figure Mugabwe isn't breaking into a bit of a sweat. Doesn't results like that bode well for the future of precious life in these far-flung regions?

The execution of Saddam was a good step. For the next step, the West has to be willing to fight (and brutally kill without remourse) for what it believes in. Do that, and peace in the Middle East might become a reality.


The Iraqis finally hung the bastard

Er, no, wait, not yet. Well, they got Saddam Hussein at least.


11 Billion Served. And by served, I mean robbed

(As swiped from ABFreedom's site)

"A monkey? Geesh, Wes, you guys aren't even trying anymore, are you?"

I got an interesting email today:

From : support@emailinfo.bastbuy.com
Sent : December 26, 2006 7:38:20 AM
To : (censored)
Subject : Welcome To Member
emailinfo.bastbuy.com? Oh come on spammers, at least get a native English speaker on staff to have a glance-over on these things.

The rest of the email features this graphic:

And where does it link to? To javascript:ol('http://cspart.com/_css/'); of course!

I remain convinced that most phishing scams are plain old-fashioned hilarious. Its a shame that some people continually get taken in by them.

The Four Options of the Digital Apocalypse

It's time to solve a problem which has been plaguing my computer since the first week of this blog (and in fact pre-dates it by several months).

My Christmas wish of money-for-a-new-computer quickly became money-for-a-down-payment-on-gasoline-to-drive-to-the-computer-store, and therefore I am left pondering my own desires and finances and more importantly desire to continue to have finances. Here, in a nutshell, are the four options I've been looking at:

  1. Do nothing.
    This is (naturally) the cheapest of the four options. Namely, don't buy anything new. Don't make any changes. Keep with the lousy computer setup I have right now and deal with it until I get a huge raise or a new job or a heads-up on future lottery numbers. It's the most practical solution, but it doesn't really solve anything, unless "solve" is shorthand for "accepting that I'm horrendously poor and there's nothing I can do when I barely can afford rent"

  2. Buy a new hard drive.
    I really should have thought of this one earlier. If the problem is an incompatibility between my "new" 300GB Western Digital hard drive, and my "old" ASUS A7A266 motherboard, why not simply get a new "new" hard drive? Memory Express sells 320GB Seagate hard drives for $115. The benefit is that for a small financial cost, I should have a working computer. The downsides are that there's a chance this new hard drive might not be the solution I was hoping for (ie. it might be incompatible in the same way...or a worse way), and that at the end of the day all I get is my system working normally again: a vast improvement over what I have now, but not very flashy to get me back to 2001-era speeds.

  3. Upgrade current tower.
    Now we're talking, plopping down some real cash to get a real system: perhaps a nice AMD Athlon 64+ X2 dual-core. A nice improvement from my 1.4GHz Thunderbird, finally in the area where I get a system upgrade. There are a couple small problems with this. For one, a new Socket AM2 motherboard will use DDR2, rather than DDR, for its RAM. Ergo, more money must be spent. Similarly, a new motherboard will use PCI-Express rather than AGP for its graphics card. Either stick with the onboard graphics card (an improvement over my Geforce 4, to be fair), or buy a new graphics card. At the end of the day, we get a Frankensystem:
    If you're talking about a PC that's several years old, upgrading the motherboard with a new motherboard, an inexpensive new CPU in an advanced technology family, and some DDR-2 or DDR memory, is equivalent to building a new PC with a slowish video card and drives. You'll really see the difference, you'll be in a great position to upgrade the rest, but why not just build a new one from scratch?
    A AMD64X2 processor runs in the $220 range, at least $100 for a decent motherboard, and thanks to the RAM problem an extra $135 for a stick of DDR2 RAM from A-Computers. That's at least $450 to upgrade this system, which at the end of the day might not be worth it.

  4. Buy a new laptop.
    Ahhh, the sweet smell of money falling out of my bank account. This is a flat expense in the $1050-range. $1039.90 for an Acer laptop with a 160GB hard drive and a Turion TL-50 dual-core processor. $1039.95 for an Aspire laptop with a 120GB hard drive and the TL-50 processor. Of course, this is a huge chunk of cash. Now in theory a notebook is like an import car: you pay more up front in return for keeping the resale value high. In reality: lots of people are selling used laptops for 40-60% the original purchase price, but nobody's actually buying them. Still, this is a tempting method. The problem, naturally, is that buying a new laptop puts you at the mercy of the paradigm-changing spending spree. To paraphrase Thomas Kune, suddenly you're a "laptop person". Next thing you know, you've spent $50 on a wireless router. $60 for a carrying case. $100 for backup batteries. $90 on a docking station. $75 for a privacy filter. Ooh, can't forget the Edmonton Oilers Notebook Cover from Dell, only $30! Pocket USB Numeric keypad for $30 too. $50 for the external USB floppy drive. It's all fun and games until you've blown a small fortune on laptop accessories.
Which of these 4 options will I choose from? I've yet to decide, but will keep you posted.

Thought of the day courtesy Brian Cranston

from Malcolm in the Middle:

"We're going to pay for this."
"We're going to pay big."
"But we're not going to pay today."


It's so easy, easy / When everybody's tryin' to please me baby

It's a lot easier to look into buying a new computer when websites like this exist.


Merry Christ's Mass, everyone!

Woman Honor Thyself has a Holidays and Calories Open Trackback Weekend that I am signing onto. This will be my last blog post until probably December 28th or 29th.

(Can you believe not only does YouTube have no video of the famous "David Letterman drinking eggnog" skits, but Google Image search has no stills of it either?)

Onto plan B...
Jeff Foxworthy's "12 Redneck Days of Christmas"

Trailer Park Boys Christmas special

Also good to watch this holiday season is the Yes Minister Christmas special "Party Games", the Corner Gas "Merry Gasmas" episode ("this is Edmonton. We don't talk like that here"), and finally:

Also worth a download on MP3 is the "12 Beers of Christmas" from their music album. On the same vein, may I recommend Nestor Pistor's "Ukrainian Eleven Days of Christmas", and FAN960s 12 Days of Christmas (sadly no longer on the site).

Update, 4:37pm: Section 15 brings up the Seinfeld Episode "The Strike", another great holiday themed episode. I guess. "The Race" is slightly better, despite its referrence to a "Hollywood blacklist" which really never occured.

Seems to me this more than this "no WMD" nonsense is the real "intelligence failure"

Now I know that the U.S. military probably has better information than Google Earth.

At least, I hope so. Below is a shot from Google Earth of a section of the Afghanistan-Pakinstan border. It is from roughly 2km above the ground, and note the lack of fine resolution for large chunks of the area. (Again, click the image to see it full size).

Now compare that with this shot I took of the obscure port facility of Churchill, Manitoba (population 963), from a distance of roughly half a kilometre, showing building specific resolution.

Does it really make sense that we have high-quality imaging for Churchill but not for the Afghanistan-Pakistan border? Hell, I'm at 55°37'21.07"N, 117°08'27.42"W right now, 61 km northwest of High Prairie Alberta, and can make out individual round bales of hay. This is the sort of thing which worries me.

The interconnectedness of all things

I was amusingly monitoring a debate in the letters page of the Edmonton Journal this past week (and also in the "Culture Venting" section) about money to the arts. The Journal cleverly hides its letters, so I can't go and post links to them, but it all centres around an article by that worthless tool Todd Babiak about increasing funding to the arts.

A letter in response said something along the lines of why the Tories should continue to fund artists who every election organize to defeat the Tories, and yesterday a slew of responses criticizing any notion of restricting funds to the arts as tantamount to government censorship.

So read mudcrutch79's post about funding for a new stadium (an issue I've discussed before at the Battle of Alberta):

On a certain level, the argument that hockey teams shouldn't need funding for arenas because they can afford to build themselves is absurd, unless the government makes the simultaneous decision to stop funding things that can't support themselves like, say for example, the Edmonton Folk Festival. I mean, Alberta apparently spends $20MM annually on the arts. Presumably they spend this money because not enough people in Alberta give a shit about the arts to support the events that take place. Why should Alberta's hockey teams be subject to whatever support they can find in the marketplace while other events, which can't find that support in the marketplace, get a helping hand from government? The demonstrably more popular choice of entertainment gets punished. How does that make sense?

If I lived in Alberta and was offered the choice of a) the Flames and Oilers each having $10MM in additional revenue, with certain guarantees as to it's use or b) the Flames and Oilers each getting whatever they could get from the market and $20MM being pissed away on guys playing the flute or some such nonsense, I know what I'd choose. If the options were presented like that as opposed to being presented as "Should we give money to millionaire hockey players and billionaire owners?", I'm pretty sure I know what most Albertans would choose as well. My point here is pretty simple: so long as governments are willing to hand out free money for things that don't fall within the purview of the essential services we've agreed governments need to provide, certain entities shouldn't be disqualified because they're too popular. If the responsibilities of government extend to supporting the entertainment choices of Canadians, there shouldn't be means testing.

In an interesting twist turning the tables on these arts supporters, he concludes
If, like most Canadian governments apparently do, you accept that the role of government extends to subsidizing entertainment, the governments of Alberta, Edmonton and Calgary should give serious consideration to providing the Flames and Oilers with funds for a new arena.
I don't agree with his reasoning per se, but it should give a pause to any Third Edge of the Sword readers who are half-finished penning an angry letter to the Journal about supporting the arts.

How's Rory doing?

Versus.com has current totals for NHL All-Star Game fan votes.

Useful if the Vote For Rory Fitzpatrick crowd need to keep abreast of the situation.

Current Western Defencemen totals:
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim, 447,502
Rory Fitzpatrick, Vancouver, 428,832
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit, 427,364
Chris Pronger, Anaheim, 340,941

Love is a bird, she needs to fly / Let all the hurt inside of you die / You're frozen / When your heart's not open

To the left you can see a screenshot I've just taken from the AlbertaBlogs page showing the site blogroll. (Click the picture to see it full size, if you're interested in readability).

Now as I understand, this blogroll updates constantly so that blogs with newer content are closer to the top, and blogs that haven't updated fall slowly to the floor. For some reason, the last 2 weeks have seen this action not operating. Its a BlogRolling problem for sure, since Robot Guy hasn't updated in nearly a week while, say, The Black Kettle updated just yesterday.

To be fair, for the longest time I kept mum on this because it was actually working in my favour. Sure I didn't bump up with each new post, but for a while I was fairly slow and putting up new content. But now that I've surged with content, I would very much like the bloody thing to work, si vous plait.

(It is, I admit, mere conjecture on my part regarding how BlogRolling updates. Perhaps it takes into account sustained posting rate, but I don't see that happening)

Be vewwwwy vewwwwy prudent... I'm hunting wabbits

I see. Harper is out of touch with Canadians, unlike Layton, who is so in touch with Canadians that fully 12 percent of support him. I mean, if they sent Stephen Harper the message to be prudent in the last election, what message did they send Layton? To fucking retire?
So Prairie Wrangler writes in his contribution to "Why Canada Needs the NDP" series that has senselessly been making its way around the blogroll. I'm guessing these same people would balk at "Why Canada Needs the Christian Heritage Party", but I can think of a lot more reasons for the latter than the former.

Other entries into this little game include:

- Accidental Deliberations, which started it all...
- April Reign
- Politics N' Poetry
- Idealistic Pragmatist
- Northern BC Dipper
- My Journey with AIDS (HA!)

Isn't he one of Arar's terrorist buddies?

Dear God, I hope people could bail on listening to this guy spew his Islam crap if he was going on it for 79 minutes and 51 seconds!

Quiz show

CalgaryEdmontonGrit has a pop quiz about 2006 in review. I'll probably fail this one miserably, but lets have at 'er.

  1. c - "The Britney Spears of Canadian politics"
  2. c - Read Rick a bedtime story
  3. a - Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
  4. b - 50 days
  5. a - Sandra Buckler,
  6. b - 55%
  7. b - Alexandre Trudeau
  8. b - John McCallum
  9. a - 4
  10. c - Francophone Canadians
  11. Tommy Douglas
  12. Hedy Fry, Carolyn Bennett, Scott Brison, Joe Volpe, Ken Dryden, Maurizio Bevilacqua
  13. 3
  14. Stelmach, um... no clue on this one. There are other provinces?
  15. Michael Ignatieff and Scott Brison
  16. Michael Ignatieff and Susan Kadis, Joe Volpe and Jimmy K, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
  17. James Rajotte
  18. The guy who played Zepham Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact
  19. Brian Mulroney
  20. 1%

Actual answers can be found in the comments section on the original entry. Quick summary, I got 8/20 correct.

Thoughts when ill


Hey Ed, make me the minister responisble for: policing

As the second part in the series started here on what I would do if in cabinet, I am addressing the sorry state of policing. Rampant corruption in Edmonton Police Services and small amounts of corruption in Calgary City Police and several other local detachments means its time to take serious and decisive action. No nutshell proclamations this time, just a bit of solid policy:

  • Photo radar: Photo radar will only be allowed to operate in communities whose police forces vigorously enforce all guidelines. Current soft guideline enforcement will end.

    Guidelines will include:
    1. No photo radar shall be placed in "transition zones", places where speed limits were reduced in the previous 100 metres.
    2. All photo radar will come with temporary signage within 50 metres of the location of the photo radar enforcement. This signage must be clearly visible as any other road signs in the area, and must be taken down within 10 minutes of the cessation of enforcement and must be put in place before enforcement begins but less than 10 minutes before the enforcement is underway.
    3. No permanent photo radar signage will be permitted, except to inform the public upon entry of the community, which shall be mandatory on all roadways.
    4. Locations which shall be assigned photo radar in a weeklong period will be posted in local media the day before. The community may decide any weeklong period they wish, but it must be permanent. Locations not listed in the local media will not be permitted to possess photo radar enforcement. No more than 15% of the locations listed are permitted to not have enforcement during this period.
    5. Photo radar in school or playground zones are exempt from media publication requirements, but all other photo radar requirements must be obeyed, including temporary signage and transition zone rules.
    6. All communities wishing to operate radar must, at their own expense every five years or less, submit their roadways to an engineering and traffic survey with guidelines to be published by the Department of Transportation. The guidelines may not be more strict than the ten (10) strictest American states.
    7. Communities must have a minimum of 97% of their roadways speed limits as high or higher than that mandated by the engineering survey. Photo and laser radar is only permitted on roadways with 100% compliance with these regulations.

    Failure to maintain any of these regulations shall, at first violation, require the municipality to remit its previous thirty (30) days traffic revenue to its roadway maintenance budget. Second violation within 12 months of the first violation shall require the remittance of ninety (90) days revenue, and the loss of photo/laser radar operations for one month. Third violation within 18 months of the first violation shall require the remittance of ninety (90) days revenue, and the loss of photo/laser radar priviledges for six months. A fourth violation within 18 months of the first violation shall cause an immediate and permanent removal of the municipality's photo and laser radar priviledges.

    As well, the Minister would have special powers permitting the immediate one year revokation of photo/laser radar priviledges under special circumstances (ie. the Devon Incident, the ACS Kickback incident)

    Finally, the province would not use photo or laser radar on any of its provincial highways.
  • 2006 Oiler playoff fallout: As solicitor general, I would have no tolerance for the violations of fundamental freedoms brought about by Edmonton Police in response to minor incidents during the Oilers playoffs.

    I would have immediately brought in a special set of hearings held two weeks after Game 7. At that hearing, every arresting officer would be required to prove, to the hearing's satisfaction, that the arrests made by that officer were justified. Any officer who had an arrest which was not justified would be penalized one week's pay. An officer who had between two and five (2-5) arrests which could not be justified would have been penalized two weeks pay. Officers with 5-11 unjustified arrests would be suspended for one month without pay. Finally, officers with more than 12 unjustified arrests during the playoff run would be banned from police duty and subject to legal prosecution.

    Any officer which had used physical force during the course of their duties would be subject to an external review. If an officer's use of physical force could not be justified to the satisfaction to the committee, the officer would be charged with assault or a greater charge to the committee's satisfaction.

    Edmonton police would not be permitted any additional funding source to account for the police overtime budget, and would be forced to make the shortfall up within its own means.

  • Abuse of power concerns: Edmonton Police members have taken bribes from people I know. They have taken bribes from ACS. This sort of abuse of power will not be tolerated.

    As minister, all police complaints will be investigated by a special branch of the Solicitor General or investigated by a comparable sized police force, at the sole discretion of the Solicitor General. Officers being investigated for their second complaint within ninety (90) days will be suspended for the duration of the investigation.

    Police database queries will be available to all citizens regardless of the nature of the database query. Citizens will only be able to access their database queries once every ninety (90) days, and will only have access to queries 30 days old or older. A complaint system will be set up where citizens wishing further information or investigation regarding their queries may have their request taken before the office of the Solicitor General.

I keep thinking there's something (or a lot of things) I'm missing here, but for now this is all I can come up with. I may expand upon this (or the previous) entry at a later date.

Hey Ed, make me the minister responisble for: alcohol

Technically my position would be Solicitor General and Public Security. I really had to hunt to track down where AGLC had been shunted off to, but it works well because this same position is one I want to hold for future police-related actions. More on that another day.

Here is in a nutshell what I would do if I was in charge of Alberta's liquor laws: I'd wipe them.

Since you might want a little more discussion and analysis than just that, I have brought up specific policies and taken action on them:

  • Liquor store and bar hours: There will be no restrictions on the hours of either bars, casinos, nightclubs, liquor stores, or on-reserve Lysol distributors (ha!)

    The reasons for this are many. Chiefly to be addressed is the recent problem in Edmonton and Calgary and Red Deer about late night violence after the bars close down. As has been done to a limited extent in Britain, when you remove mandatory closing times the violence dies down. Why, one asks, is all the Whyte Ave mischief between 2:30 and 3:30am? Could this be because everybody is kicked out of the bar at the same time and forced to compete for sidewalk space, pizza lineup space, and cab hailing space? Could it also have something to do with the fact that when 1am starts up, bar patrons immediately have to order and slam as many drinks as humanly possible before Big Nanny Government tells the bar to cut off the most unconscious drunk and the most timid sipper all at once? When cold weather and driving issues force bars into relatively small areas, can it be such a shock that setting all the drunks loose en masse creates such undesirable conditions? As the minister responsible for liquor liceneces, I will institute last call whenever the bar wishes it to occur. This way drunks leave the bar when they are tired of drinking, not when they have peaked and have to fight for resources outside.

  • Proof of age requirements: None. Bars are free to use any system (including "nothing" to keep minors out of the bar). Liquor stores will have no restriction on the age of customers.

    But there are still age requirements (18+) for bars. How, you may ask? Simple. Any establishment which serves alcohol to minors will be subject to a first-time fine of, say, $12,000 and a two-week suspension of the license. A second offense within 12 months of the first one doubles the fine, and a four week suspension. A third offense within 18 months of the first offense will be met with a $50,000 fine and a one year suspension of the liquor license for that licencee and at that location (ie. no opening the bar under a new name in the same spot). How shall the bar owner prevent minors from being served? They can ID everyone. They can ID nobody and hope they're lucky. They can bring in AGLC's ludicrous existing policies.

    As many are unaware, bars are required to identify anyone entering their establishment who appears to be under 26 years of age. That "appears" is enough of a loophole to drive a Mac truck through. If AGLC sends a 28 year old inspector who "appears" 23 (in their own decision-making analysis) and the inspector isn't IDed upon entry, the bar is fined. So in other words, by allowing a legal patron inside, the bar can be punished under the law. Does that make any sense? Let in a 16 year old who "appears" 31 and you're entirely in the right of law, but will be fined anyways. Ludicrous.

    I, as minister, would change all of that. I use a similar procedure when I'm supervising others at work: not meaning to get into the details, you can cut it as close to the line as you like. But I will nail you to the wall if you cross it. No reason this can't work for bars. Establishments who have done nothing wrong should not be punished.

    As for minors in liquor stores, apparently the idea of "bootlegging" has never occured to liquor regulators. In high school, I remember a young man (neé boy) who was still in Grade 12 at 21 years of age. It didn't bother him though, he bootlegged for the under-18s who needed somebody to hook them up. This fat shitbag would take kids money, go into the liquor store, and buy booze at substantial markups. This is common all over all provinces, and we could end it in Alberta. Simply let the minors purchase the booze! No longer will creepy young adults use the liquor laws as a way to make a cheap profit (and in some cases I've heard of get away with physical and sexual abuse in return for keeping it mum). I'm sure every creepy guy who hangs around high schools will hate this change, but that should be the only person.

  • Drinking and driving: Other than dangerous driving charges for suspects who fail a strictly-written mobility and awareness test, and the crime of drinking while operating a motor vehicle, there will be no laws about drinking and driving.

    I mean it. None.

    Want to have a mickey of gin open in the back? Fine. Want to drink like a fish while your sober driver operates the pickup? A-okay. 11 bottles of sealed beer in an opened box operated by somebody with a 0.00 blood-alcohol-level? Why not? Please note that all of the above are currently illegal in Alberta, and there's no good reason for any of them to be. The latter and former cases are "open alcohol", and the second is even worse, according to current law. Why? Is the driver drunk in any of these scenarios?

    With a passenger drinking, the common argument is always "its too much temptation for the driver". Bull crap. If I'm driving tipsy, and the passenger is drinking, sure I want a beer. But if I'm driving slightly tired, and the passenger is sleeping, I sure as hell want to take a nap too. No law prevents sleeping passengers from "tempting" me [even when the sleeping passenger is wearing a tempting halter top! -ed], nor does a passenger have to refrain from the "tempting" actions of playing PSP or reading a book. Why, if the driver isn't drunk, can't the passenger drink? Likewise, why can't there be open alcohol in a vehicle if nobody is drinking it? Who is it harming?

    What about intoxicated drivers who pass the sobriety test? Put them back on the road? Exactly. We've just admitted that they are not legally impaired, why on earth would we have any moral or legal authority to prevent them from driving in the legal state we found them in?

    This law shall apply to those 18 years of age or older. 16 and 17 year olds cannot blow past 0.00 on a BAL evaluation (which is the only reason such devices would still be required).

  • Liquor distribution, sale, and products: all regulations would be removed. Private firms would be allowed to import, distribute, and sell all alcoholic beverages to liquor stores throughout the province. Liquor stores themselves would be allowed to set up shop anywhere, and keep (as discussed) any hours. Minors would be allowed to purchase alcohol, and also be employed at the store.

    Connect Logistics Services would lose their monopoly on distributing alcohol in Alberta. Vendors would be free to purchase alcohol from any company that they wish, including from suppliers directly. All forms of alcohol, including but not limited to absinthe at any thujone content, may be sold at any vendor.

    Alcohol sales would be permitted at any pricing level. Safeway can give me 2 frozen pizzas for the price of 1, so why can't Liquor World give me 5 cases of Kokanee Gold for the price of 3? A "flat tax" of 1% would be charged on every wholesale price a wholesaler sold (whether to liquor stores or to the public). Sell a $455 bottle of wine? $4.55 tax. $17 for a case of Labatt Wildcat? 17 cents go to the government. The government's take on booze might drop, but the current flat rate of taxation requires undesirable pricing differences between a flat of Alberta Genuine Draft and a Texas Mickey of Jose Curervo. I would eliminate these.

    No regulation would impair the location of liquor stores, regardless of churches and schools nearby.

So there you have it: if I was in charge of Alberta Liquor and Gaming, these are the reforms I would bring in. Alberta would finally have a true advantage: liquor laws that are fair and just and accordance with the principles of only punishing when an offense occurs. Consider this my resume, Ed Stelmach. I look forward to your response.

Update, 8:52pm: The second part of this series has been posted.

Home sick

Which way does it go again? Feed a cold and starve a fever?

Regardless, NewScientist and The Beeb are pretty sure that:

If you want to live forever
Stuff a cold, and starve a fever.

On the other hand, HealthChild.net says don't bother stuffing a cold. For Pete's sake, can I have a pizza sub or not!?

New stadiums in Edmonton and/or Pittsburgh

Battle of Alberta has been busy as of late, with posts related to the Pennsylvania casino license refusal that may force Sid the Kid to play in Seattle or Kansas City

- March of the Penguins, Act V. Scene 66.:

It's a good thing the NHL hasn't handcuffed the future sale of the team by placing a giant list of conditions in front of potential buyers. [...] Oh, what's that? They did place a list of conditions in front of a potential buyer?

- Ideas and Words Matter dept.:
If Hooters said that Pittsburgh was a "great market" for beer and chicken wings, but that the only way they could open a restaurant there was if someone else paid for it to be built, what would you think? To be polite about it, you'd think that you and Hooters had different definitions of what constitutes a great market.

And today posts regarding today's Edmonton Journal article about a new arena downtown:
To be fair, Mandel does say "if we do (build a new structure), we need to be creative and not burden the taxpayers," but I have a feeling he and I have different ideas about what is meant by "burden." I'm of the "don't burden me with anything considering you can't even plough our streets properly with the money we give you" variety, for example, whereas he might be of the "it's only a burden of a few hundred million" variety.

Taye Diggs Wednesday media review

Since ABC has decided to stop airing Day Break for some undisclosed and unfathomable reason, and doesn't say when it will come back, I spent the hour from 10pm-11pm on Wednesday watching Just a Kiss, the indy film starring Day Break's Taye Diggs along with Marissa Tomei, Kyra Sedgewick, and...well, it really drops down from there.

As you watch the opening credits, you're left admiring the styled artwork-over-video trick used in the cab windows. As the trick continues ad nauseum for the next 5 minutes of the story, you're left waiting for it to end (which it mercifulously does, only to appear later in the film).

We learn all about Dag, a son of some hippies who has a small infidelity problem. Fortunately, he's a sympathetic character because the "other woman" is always equally guilty. Having slept with a mysterious woman with glowing eyes (who I suppose was responsible for the end of the movie) and memory problems, Dag and his woman are out with their friend Peter when an intentionally-hilarious scene of swapping cell phones falls flat and ultimately results in Peter's dancing girlfriend admitting that Dag slept with her in Europe. At least one of the two couples appear to break up, and Peter's small acting gig in a commercial attracts the attention of hot bowling alley bartender Paula who seems to be just a little obsessed and likely crazy. But so was Peter's ex, so maybe this is his type. Except that when Dag and Peter split in a fight, Paula has sex with Dag. Maybe. Meanwhile, Dag's girlfriend Halley (Kyra Sedgewick looks about 25 years too old to play a 30something for some bizarre reason) hooks up with Taye Digg's artsy cellist Andre. Throughout this all, Peter ends up at the airport where a beautiful woman invites him to L.A. to have sex in the first class bathroom. Somewhere in all of this, the pieces start coming together in a wholistically unrealistic way. My own "everybody meets each other in NYC" story notwithstanding, these people all seem one Kevin Bacon degree of separation from knowing everybody else. Peter's mile high club girl is Andre's wife. Peter's ex Becky sleeps with Andre. Halley ends up sleeping with Andre. Dag (apparently) sleeps with Paula, who also used to sleep with Andre. And of course this all comes together after Dag cheated on Halley with Becky. Did we mention Becky was crazy? It will become important soon.

Peter calls Becky after the in-flight sex to tell her he loves her. The cell phone (unrealistically) causes the plane to crash, killing everyone on board. Well, except for first class, which miraculously survives. As Peter walks around in a daze on storefront TV monitors, Rebecca obliviously in front of the store listens to Peter's message from the plane and slits her wrists in a suicide attempt (her first of the film and second of all time). Dag comes across her in a bloody pulp, having been mugged. Paula in her underwear watches this all while tied to a chain. In the hospital Peter, Dag, and Becky are all undergoing treatment, as is Andre's wife who in another "supposed to be funny but wasn't" moment is killed by a catering truck on camera as she wandered in a daze after the plane crash. Seriously.

Anyways, Paula assaults a nurse to steal her uniform, and under her nursing guise convinces Halley to give up all the room numbers. Dag is tragically killed when Paula scares him with a hammer, the "unlikely brain aneurism" scenario the script drills into us four or five times in the Halley scene. She then goes to Becky, convinces her to commit suicide again (the alternative is lesbian sex with Paula), and helps her out by loading her with sleeping pills. Finally, Paula goes to hit on Peter.

In the subsequent scenes, Dag dies from his aneurism. Andre's wife succumbs to her coma. Becky succumbs to hers. Peter/Halley/Andre fight/embrace at various points of the scenes. Finally, as Peter is alone with Becky, Paula comes in. Peter is about to succumb to temptation when, as I promised earlier, the neato effects pop in. Becky briefly comes to life, kisses Peter, and glares angrily at Paula. As Becky falls back to sleep, Peter has a realization that this girl is bad news, and demands she no longer talk to him.

As Peter forlornly looks on his girlfriend's body, he wishes they could do everything over again. So they do.

Relax. The movie is not about to double in length.

So now Becky still came onto Dag in Europe, but after some lip-locking Dag leaves with his honour intact. The couples still fight over it. Peter, who was cool with Becky screwing his best friend, becomes livid over some tonuge and ends the relationship. Halley gets over her anger by "getting even" in the form of kissing this black cellist (Andre). Andre's wife/girlfriend (timelines aren't clear here) sees this, and throws flowers in his face. Dag and Halley, happy again, accidently bump into Paula, who turns and angrily calls Dag an asshole...before shooting him and Halley in the back. Well, there's one last twist in the film, and I'll spoil it for you: she was imagining the gun.

Diggs looks about 5,000 years younger in this 2002 film than he looks now, and reminded me a lot of another black artsy cello player from New York. The movie also had some unanswered questions, namely:

  1. Why did the Ferrari girl's eyes light up? Was she responsible for the time-shift at the end of the movie?
  2. Did Dag sleep with Paula? Did she arrange his "mugging"?

Reason not to see this film: It makes little sense.

Reason to see this film: Marissa Tomei is hot.


Solidarity Forever

Er, with Stockwell Day, not with a bunch of hippies.

So it is with this breath that I officially inform Bob the Red, BigCity Lib, and where'd that bug go?, that you are the disgusting eastern spearchuckers that Day warned us about.

And I already know none of you are any less primitive than this guy.

Bonus "spearchucker" link: I have a theory of where Stockwell Day knows the term from, and I've posted it of in the comments section Prairie Wrangler's blog

Sneak preview into the near future

I don't see myself doing too many end-of-year introspectives. I got that out of the way with the anniversary post in a cold and lovably mathematical way.

But in the run up to the year 2007, and in the run up to the 600th post on Third Edge of the Sword, I felt it an interesting idea to mention some of the things that were due to come up.

First off is a topic I've been planning to blog about for some time: what changes I would make if Ed Stelmach had appointed myself as minister for several different cabinet posts (half tempting is to demand that "Honest Chicken Ed" just put me in charge of several posts, so I can make everything right on the first day).

Also planned is a review (and a couple stories regarding) Mark Steyn's bestselling book "America Alone".

Somewhere in there I might do also a few movie reviews, the usual commentary on news from around the world, and posting of a few more photos I've amassed of pretty girls, to help fellow Albertans make it through The Winter That Global Warming ForgetTM. Stay tuned!

Now you have the answers. Just not the questions

  1. "Typing" generally implies the mere transposing of previously completed texts into a non-handwritten form, therefore we use "writing" because it effectively communicates that the creation of the work was the primary function of said action.
  2. She's no fun to gangbang if there's no primal reaction to the notion of spreading seed.
  3. You have a hyperlink to your email address on this very page. Spammers mine websites for valid emails.
  4. It depends on the proclivities of the girl in question: while there are few nerve endings in the deeper recesses of the female genitals, psychological studies have conclusively proven women find it more satisfying to be penetrated by a large penis even where there is no physiological rationale for it. Some women do buck the trend, however.
  5. You don't. Well, if you insist on having a prescription for the damned things.
  6. Real estate in Costa Rica is a great investment, so long as you haven't wasted capital on actual buildings that are at the whim of hurricanes and communist guerillas.
  7. George W. Bush has managed to fool throngs of GreenDay fans (and, most likely, GreenDay himself) into believing he's some sort of super-powerful right winged power monger.
  8. Fruitcake was invented by Marie Rudisill in 1954.
  9. Sony did indeed get its head out of its ass to briefly count the first day sales of the PS3 on November 11, 2006.
  10. Angelina Jolie no longer accepts marriage proposals from anybody who does not in some way shape or form work for the United Nations. Which is why Brad Pitt will replace John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the international body in February of 2007.
  11. Good business leads to lawyer fees being wasted.
  12. Nobody probably will ever again. Dennis Leary was the last person to say something profound, and that was in 1995.

Now that you have the answers, you'll have to go to Tales of the Great White North to check out the questions.

(And, incidently, yes I do unfortunately know who Billie Joe Armstrong is)

Just when you thought people could not possibly get any stupider

Than this reaches your email via a very pretty flight attendant you know who has an amazing body but like most of the residents of her province of Quebec isn't entirely there in the head:

INVERSEMENT DE VOTRE N.I.P. BANCAIRE; (numéro d'identification personnel) (BON À CONNAÎ TRE)

Si vous deviez être forcés par un voleur de retirer de l'argent de votre compte bancaire dans un guichet automatique;

Vous pouvez notifier la police en entrant votre N.I.P. dans l'ordre inverse.

Par exemple si votre numéro d'identification personnel est 1234 alors vous entrez sur le c lavier 4321. Le système du guichet automatique reconnaît que votre NIP est inversé; De la carte que vous avez placée dans la machine.

La machine vous donnera toujours l'argent que vous avez demandé;

Mais inconnu au voleur, la police sera immédiatement envoyée pour vous aider;

Cette information a été récemment émise à la télévision;

Cette procédure est rarement utilisée; parce que les gens ne connaissent pas son existence;

Faites circuler, s'il vous plaît au plus grand nombre possible;



If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse.

For example if your pin number is 1234 then you would put in 4321. The ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine.

The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you.

This information was recently broadcasted on TV and it states that it is seldom used because people don't know it exists.

Please pass this along to everyone possible.
I just know that if the link to this page came with that email, people would still blindly forward it. After all, how many "Bill Gates and AOL are giving away billions for free" emails have we been made to suffer over the years? Not to mention the most glaring flaws if such a system were true.

(On the other hand, if you want an even more pathetic response to this hoax, look at the official advice from Constable Jane Naydiuk of the Saadich Police Department:
This technology may exist in the US but it is not in use in any Canadian jurisdictions that we know of. Google "Reverse Pin Panic Code" to see what the Urban Legend site says about this. Good question though.......
If you should be the subject of an armed robbery our message is that you should
  • comply with all demands (even if you don't see a weapon),
  • do not argue, lie, or attempt to trick the robber,
  • do not make any sudden moves,
  • tell the robber what you are doing (e.g .I am reaching in my coat for my wallet),
  • remain calm,
  • only give the robber what is asked for,
  • be observant so you can provide a good description,
  • call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so,
  • if safe to do so - look for the get-a-way car and get a plate description and direction of travel.
Heaven forbid the citizenry should get it into their heads that criminals like this are bullies and sometimes can be stopped without help from the donut-eating teenager-tasering local police force).


Parity in the "New NHL"? I'll believe it when I see it!

These two images were taken off of the TSN.ca NHL standings today. The Northwest is the most competitive conference in the league? Who on earth ever would claim that?


West49 seems to be vastly underusing their space

I was walking around West Edmonton Mall today ["walking" would be code for "standing at the ice palace staring at the female figure skaters", would it? -ed] and happened to notice that West Mall 8 (or was it West Mall 6?), the movie theatre next to Galaxyland, is gone. I don't remember having seen it in the past 2 years (aka. 3 trips to WEM), but until now never really paid attention to the space.

This left me wondering suddenly what was being done with all the space. West49, the overpriced snowboarding culture store which stands where the theatre lobby used to reside, doesn't go downstairs at all. The top of the escalator now holding an annoying Roots display full of obnoxious maple leaves, and behind it only wall. Er, so what's being done with the huge area beneath the mall where at least 6 and perhaps 8 movie screens and associated seating were before? Converted merely to warehouse storage?

(There is in fact a vast and complicated series of warehouses and tunnels which run underneath the main floor of the mall, so this is more than mere conjecture)


More MLB.tv discussion posts:

After my MLB.tv complaint post it seemed a good idea to show you a few more blogs discussing this:

- OOTDevelopments.com

- Well, that was it. One measely (other) blog? Is Third Edge of the Sword your one-stop shop for everybody who has paid MLB.com good money and seen them thumb their noses in response?

Bonus link: Matt at the Battle of Alberta isn't impressed with StarChoice either.

After they were stars

Remember a while ago when I decided to see what Jason Kodish is up to? (Answer: I've become too reliant on Google).

Well just browsing around today, I happen to come across Kris the Masturbation Man.

Harder to find is the only page to mention him by name, in the UofA election where we could have put Space Moose in charge, but settled for Stephen Curran (better than Mike Hudema in the same way that genital herpes is better than AIDS).

Sympathy for the RCMP

A newly declassified file on Douglas shows the Mounties surreptitiously attended the witty orator's speeches, dissected his published articles and, during one Parliament Hill demonstration, eavesdropped on a private conversation.
Wow. Those poor bastards. Having to listen to that gaseous left-wing nutjobs speeches...I hope they received bonus pay for their trouble.

These nutsos never change, really:
As premier, he ushered in public auto insurance, guaranteed hospital care and a provincial bill of rights.

The RCMP file reflects Douglas's interest in anti-war causes, including opposition to nuclear weapons and criticism of United Nations policy on Korea.

Sort of a pity that they couldn't have pulled a Dallas on that worthless commie.


Well that's a ripoff

Last winter I spent many cold Edmonton nights watching old baseball games courtesy of my MLB.tv subscription.

Today I tried to re-create the experience, and received a horrific shock. It didn't work. Searching through my in-box I came across this email:

date: Nov 19, 2006 10:41
subject: Important Subscription Announcement from MLB.com
mailed-by: acc4.mlb.com

Dear Subscriber,

Your 2006 Subscription has come to an end, but that does
not mean that baseball is over!

With your Offseason Package Subscription you will get the following for $14.95:
* Spring Training
- EXCLUSIVE LIVE Video and LIVE Audio from over 100 games

* Japan All-Star Series
- All games available on Demand

* Winter Meetings
- Exclusive LIVE coverage
- Free Agency News and Trades
- exclusive content from GM Meetings

* Arizona Fall League
- LIVE Audio of select games and LIVE Video of the
AFL Championship Game

* Unlimited Access to the 2006 regular and postseason:
MLB.TV and MLB.com Gameday Audio Archives

* Mobile Team Alerts - Coming soon!
- text message updates delivered to your phone covering
breaking news, trades, free agent signings, Winter
Meetings, and more. Please note: Separate registration
required. A U.S. mobile phone capable of two-way text
messaging is required to access this service. Standard
messaging rates may apply to all text messages ? check
with your carrier. You will receive an email that will
contain instructions on how to complete your registration
in order to activate this mobile service.

* Plus - take 10% off your next MLB.com Shop Purchase
- Discount does not apply to taxes, shipping or handling.
Offer expires 12/31/06 ? see MLB.com Confirmation e-Mail
for Code. Limit one (1) use per customer. May not be
combined with any other offer.

Yes, use existing credit card >>

Yes, enter a new credit card >>

No thank you >>

Off-Season Package expires 4/1/2007

If you have any questions about your subscription please contact
us at customerservice@website.mlb.com or call 866-800-1275.



Don't go anywhere, because we've got LIVE baseball all year long.


(c) 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
Yeah, I have a question. When I plopped down the cash for a new season of MLB.tv, did this change in the policy get mentioned? I sure don't remember seeing it. Seems a little bit underhanded, doesn't it?

Bastards. I wanted to spend the winter watching baseball, not spending another $20 to get to watch the games I already used to watch.

As another aside, does MLB really believe that getting to watch 2006 archived games (so no 2005 archived games under this package?) over the winter is really the same value as having a 1-month subscription to MLB.tv during the regular season where you have archived games AND can watch out-of-market games live? I mean seriously!

I'll take logical inconsistency for $400, Alex

Not being satisfied with merely ascribing to a theory known as "Libertarian Communism" (slogan: "nothing dating back to 1900 can possibly be wrong!"), one of my most vehement critics has literally coined the phrase "anarchist blog community in Canada".

"I didn't get into this business to have any relationships! I don't want to join your goddamn union. Loner, lone gunman — get it? That's the whole point!"
-- Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank

Bonus vehement critic link: Upgraded from "who's that?" to "crybaby of the far right".


How much different would a Jim Dinning cabinet be?

- Lloyd Snelgrove: president of Treasury Board, Service Alberta;
- Doug Horner: advanced education and technology;
- Iris Evans: employment, immigration and industry;
- Mel Knight: energy;
- Dave Hancock: health, government house leader;
- Ray Danyluk: municipal affairs and housing;
- Ron Liepert: education;
- Janis Tarchuk: children's services;
- Rob Renner: environment;
- George Groeneveld; agriculture;
- Lyle Oberg: finance;
- Luke Ouellette: infrastructure and transportation;
- Ron Stevens: justice;
- Greg Melchin: seniors and community supports;
- Guy Boutilier: international, intergovernmental and aboriginal relations;
- Ted Morton: sustainable resource development;
- Fred Lindsay: solicitor general and public security;
- Hector Goudreau: tourism, parks, recreation and culture

Suprising that Ouellette, who was being rumoured for a big push to finance in thanks for being the first MLA to support Stelmach (prior to the first ballot), ended up barely bumping up to infrastructure from his government efficiency post. With Stelmach's dual concern over government efficiency and improving infrastructure, this can't be considered anything but a lateral move.

Also surprising that Ted Morton, who's voters secured Stelmach's job, and who represents some 45,000 voters who most certainly won't go to the Liberals or NDP unless Morton himself leads them, gets the do-nothing "sustainable resource" portfolio (ie. everything but oil and agriculture and tourism -- you know, the big 3). Meanwhile Lyle Oberg, generally regarded by all but his 12,000 voters (and possibly some of them as well) as batshit crazy, ends up the finance minister. Iris Evans falls slightly to employment and immigration [only an important portfolio under Morton and his Alberta Immigration Strategy -ed], while Red Dave Hancock gets the health ministry and is now Government House Leader. Is this any different than Jim Dinning would have made his job? Maybe Hancock would have been treasurer. Is this all we accomplished by putting that coward Stelmach in charge? Hancock only in charge of one third of the government instead of half?

I want to get drunk off Mead and smash things like my ancestors: is that really so wrong?

Of course, its difficult. I have yet to find a liquor store in Edmonton (liquor stores in Calgary/Red Deer would also be acceptable) that sell the delicious honey wine that our revered forefathers used to get completely drunk and violent.

Advice on where one might find such a glorious drink would be... what's one level down from rewarded? Eternally grateful? How about two levels down?

Update, 10:33am: Is Mead even available in Alberta? This site doesn't make it appear so, does it?


Day Break Episode 5 mini-review

The show took a bit of a turn this week. I'll discuss below:
Answered Questions:

    (there were no questions answered this week)
Unanswered Questions:
  1. Did Bones really suffer from a voodoo curse?
  2. Was the voodoo powder the "dirt" that caused so much consternation?
  3. Why did Global run a rerun of Bones instead of this week's new Day Break?

When good KD goes bad

Decided to make White Cheddar Kraft Dinner last night, and also decided (since I had my storage room torn apart on an unrelated matter) to use some of the boxes of KD I had in my old food reserve box (dating to 1999 or so).

I remove the cheese packets, pour the KD into the pot, and am starting to stir when I notice some little brown floaties. Drat, I think to myself. The cardboard box didn't like the passage of time. Dump the pasta out, rinse out the pot, get 2 new boxes (I eat 2 boxes at a time) and try again. This time I'll be smart, pour the KD into a bowl first, and pick out any pieces of cardboard which wind up inside. As I'm doing so, I take a close look at the brown pieces.

That ain't cardboard.

They were in fact the hollowed out dried out bodies of little weevils. Further in-depth inspection led to the discovery that all the KD I had in that storage box (some 25 boxes) was contaminated with the little bastards. Drat I think to myself again. At least I'll have 15 packets of cheese for future boxes (some of the packets had small holes in them). Then the thought struck me: are these holes made by my bugs? Taking a hole-free cheese packet, I opened it up, poured it into my garbage can, and made a horrific discovery. There were bugs inside the cheese, and they were still alive. So last night I made Stagg Steakhouse canned chili to eat. I wasn't in the mood for pasta.


A small math problem

A minor exercise, if you will. Since nobody could solve the extremely annoying integral problem I gave last month, we'll try this one where I know the answer and can simply laugh when others don't get this.

In step (1) we declare x=y for all values of x. In step (2) both sides are multiplied by x. In step (3) y-squared is subtracted from both sides. In step (4) the left side is factored. In step (5) the x-y term is divided out on both sides, and in step (6) we use the equation (1) to replace the x with y, showing the 2y=1y for all y (and therefore proving that 2=1).

This is obviously bunk. The question is, where did we screw up? Those mathematicall inclined are welcome to respond in. Those who aren't can do the following problem instead:

47 living rooms! I like it!

(h/t: Tybalt via Cosh)

SUNshine of the day


Say It Ain't So, Joe!

"There are two places to go for pizza in Chicago" a source once told me. "Pizzeria Uno and Gino's. One looks like any other restaurant. The other looks like Al Capone is about to burst into the door."

The latter was how he described Gino's Pizzeria on Rush in Chicago, which is now closed down.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go cry.

The 10-rate graph

Finally got around to doing the rate of posting over the past year on a 10-post basis. That graph, which really shows how I go in spurts, can be found below. This is the total time between post n and post n+10 for n={2,12,22,...,562} (with the last one adjusted for the missing numbers) inverted and then graphed. Note that the index for the x-axis is for the last post, not the first post, in each group. (The posts are by group label rather than number, as inferred from n above)


Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (and by "Me", I mean "my blog")

Welcome to "The Third Edge of the Sword", my personal (and at the moment, anonymous) blog.

What I won't be doing much of here is linking to amazing stories, breaking news the mainstream media missed (I'll miss it too), presenting long critiques of things I know little about (of which there is a subject or two), or boring my non-existant audience with tales of minutia.

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. For now, things will be kept relatively private about me. That may change later.
And so went the first post of Third Edge of the Sword one year ago today. Over the past 365 days you will have found me more or less living up to my stated aims. Nothing particularly fancy, I wasn't aiming to be a specialized blog dedicated to a single cause or topic because I'm not a specialized person dedicated to a single cause or topic.

Conservatism is probably the most common topic I've dedicated myself to on this blog, not only because it comes with the best built-in audience but also because one of the biggest motivations of this blog was reading the Edmonton Journal and wanting to retort to almost every single letter in there (excepting my own, of course). To be fair, if you want to know the difference between this blog and a dedicated conservative topical blog, its that I often will digress into hockey or baseball or bad humour, and I post more often and with less substance. Every once and a while I break this rule and post things of significance. And nobody comments on them, while some one-liner about Kristen Dunst nets me 15 spam comments and one real one. Que sera, sera, right?

So this is a post to celebrate the first year of this blog. Feel free to contribute your favourite Third Edge of the Sword memories in the comments section.

Back in Post #200, I wrote:
The proper way to calculate it all would be to make a pseudo-graph of the postings as they occur in timespace. That is, treat the minute-times as positions in relation to the smooth progression of posting number. Then a formula describing these plots (or roughly describing them, MatLab is fairly good for this sort of thing) could be ascertained. The first derivative w.r.t. posting number would give you the frequency of the posts, and the second derivative would then give you the speed increase of that frequency. Using it one could then extrapolate all sorts of neat things. But that's a whole lot of work!
Well, its still a whole lot of work, but I did end up finally doing some of what I discussed above. Namely, I used the date/time for each post, calculated the time difference between them, and then plotted that time distance as a function of post number. There wasn't a whole lot as a "trend" when looking at it that way. Looking at the time taken for 50 or 100 posts worked better. So without further adieu, lets look at a graphical representation of the past year at Third Edge of the Sword.
Above is the posting rate per 50 posts discussed above. The curves on the image are perhaps deceiving, but it does show some peaks and valleys.

And here is the per 100 posts. This provides even less accuracy than the per 50 post graphic, but it does provide a neat sinusoidal wave and show how the posting rate is being maintainted lately against a "natural" dip.

Here's an interesting one that needs a bit of an explanation. Every post has been found to occur X minutes after the previous post (for ASCII notation, lets number them X(n) for post #n with n running from 2 to the 566th post to date). The speedchange is the difference between X(n) and X(n-1). Once I find it, I graph the results. They probably don't mean much, but here it is anyways.

Here's another interesting graph whose actual value is perhaps circumspect. As I discussed before, I have speedchanges for the posts I have made (minus the first two, for reasons anybody who's taken sequences and series will understand). What I then did was create an IFCONDITION for each speed: if the speed was negative (namely, I slowed down my posting rate) the post received a value of -1. An increase in posting rate left me with a +1. The result is as you see here. These two graphs probably aren't of much value, but they look neat, so I'm including them.

Ah, you say, but how does just the raw times look when graphed? The result is here below, and may not look particularly impressive.

This is a chart showing the raw number of hours between each post. As you can see, there's some incredible variation from a low of 0 to a high of 534. Also, this gives us some visually counter-intuitive results: the longer the time between posts, the higher the bar. But we want the lower bars to indicate longer times between posts.

This graph rectifies that error. What is being graphed here is the quantity 1/H with H(n) being the number of hours since post n-1 was made. Extremely high values of 1/H were factored down to 10. Values of H=0 were interpreted as H=1xE07 to keep the math workable.

This is the same graph shown above "zoomed in" on the lower values. This mainly shows how the posting rate varies quite dramatically locally, but globally mostly oscillates around the 0.2 and 1.1 ranges.

So that mostly covers the global stuff. I then did this all on a month-to-month basis. This produces 26 graphs, since I contain both the "schedule" (the time from post to post) and the "rate" (the inverse 1/H of the time from post to post). I link to these graphs below, but to keep this page from taking hours to load on a modem (and fill the blog entirely) I will link to them below.
What's in store for the 2nd year of Third Edge of the Sword? Well, more popularity. Slow increases in site-traffic are bound to occur as more people hear about this corner of the globe. Technoratti currently reports that this page is Rank: 88,588 (63 links from 38 blogs). Maybe next year I can report some improvement in that department. Also right now there are only 4 sites permalinking to mine: Woman Honor Thyself, ABFreedom, Tales from the Great White North, and The Poltiics of Life in Canada. 566 posts in a single year. That's quite the achievement, and for that I am proud.

(Check the 100,200,300,400, and 500th posts to read some of the year's highlights)

Update, December 12 2006 10:03pm: The rate per 10 posts has been completed.


A simple Alberta political inquiry

Has anybody been to Renewing the One Party State blog lately? (no, I'm not linking to it)

Is this some subtle sign that by rejecting Ted Morton we've screwed ourselves?


Presenting my evidence

You don't think there's an Alberta Bible Belt? Check a screenshot from this Party of Alberta graphic about the evolution of the PC leadership race. First the "native" image and then drawn in for those who are blind (or didn't realize Ted Morton = Green):

85% Ann Coulter, 15% Richard Feynman

Since everybody else (TABaker, Bound By Gravity, Freeway to Serfdom, Canadian Sentinel, McSey) is taking it, I might as well do it and share my results:

Your 'Do You Want the Terrorists to Win' Score: 15%

Congratulations, Patriot! Wave your flag proudly, stand tall, and bask in the glory of George Bush's America. The terrorists will never win so long as there is a sufficient number of people like you out there. Never question, never doubt. You are on the right side. America's side. God's side. Rush Limbaugh has told you so. Rah rah, go Bush!!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I'm angrier than you, and I can punch way better

I've posted a comment to this post by One Woman Army. In case it gets deleted, I thought I'd share it here. This makes more sense if you read her post.

Before I quote what I did write, I apologize for not including what I wished I'd thought to say as I hit "submit", about the comment that I’ve talked before about the cuts to Status of Women Canada. $5 million dollars. That a whole 40% of its operating budget. Namely, I see your 40%, and raise you 60!

women with post-secondary degrees earn 68.9% of what their male counterparts do
Taking into account hours worked, levels of seniority, maturnity leave, etc. etc.?

Canada ranks 38th in the world in the wage gap. Who’s more equal than Canada? Cambodia, Kenya, Czech Republic, and over 30 others!
Fun fact. 68.9% of nothing is still nothing. A wage gap is merely a measure of economic success.

1 in 5 Canadian women live in poverty
1 in 5 Canadian men live in poverty. Roughly 1 in 5 Canadian children live in poverty. Poverty by many organizations is defined as the lowest 20% of all wage earners. This belongs in the "Woman can't do math" department rather than political analysis being done by the adults.

- half of all Canadian women have been sexually or physically assaulted.
- 29% of Canadian women have been assaulted by a spouse

Seeing as how assault is now including "emotional" assault, this isn't really all that high. And if we use the same definition of assult both ways, what percentage of Canadian husbands are at risk? Also, does this mean that a woman is safer with her husband than being single and hitting the bars? We should get right on encouraging all woman to get married.

half of all single, widowed, and divorced women over 65 live in poverty
So the same government that brought you the CPP should be given more influence on the "poor old grandmother" file?

in Canada, women make up 50.4% of the population, but only 20.8 of the seats in the House of Common.
So if the Christian Heritage Party runs an all-female slate next election, will chick-sensitive parties like the Libs and Dippers have all of their male candidates in those ridings drop out of the race? That would certainly increase the number of women candidates for those parties that care about such nonsense. There are no more women MPs because nobody wants the individual women who are running in any position of power. Simple as that.

the average income for Canadian men: $36,865. The average income for Canadian women: $22,885
I guess in the interest of children Harper should change some laws tomorrow. The first I nominate is that fathers without violent criminal histories should universally be given custody preference in divorce cases. If we can't change the numbers, at least we can do whats right for our children. Women are in favour of that, right? This isn't some lame attempt to steal other peoples money and gain power beyond what is deserved, is it?

What a difference a year makes -- Jamaicans and Dion

Remember when I said I was bringing in a new regular feature? No? Well, scratch the "regular" from that, since this is a post from September that I'm following up. Anyways, with my one year anniversary fast approaching, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what another blog had to say a year ago. Let's try something about new Liberal leader Stephane Dion.

For this we find of all things an American blog. Presenting Juliana - Socialist Canada:

Toronto has its own problems though. With so many immigrants from other countries (including china of course), the government is not doing a superb job providing working opportunities for them. On a personal level, immigrants find it hard to form a sense of belonging in the new nation. Despite all the incentive to be lazy and enjoy life, people lack the social life (work being a bulk part) might tend to lose the perspective of life. Many people could not stand the life being so easy and laid back. On the national level, these valuable 'human capital' are being idle and wasted in time. Canada might want to do something to address the problem. Whoever does this might win favor of the immigrants in the coming election.
Yeah, that was the big problem with Toronto's immigrants over this past year. Their lazy enjoying of life. Valuable human capital? Hard to form a sense of belonging? Deport them! Shoot them! Shoot them, then deport them!

The 2nd day after this vote, we had the opportunity to meet with the Environment Minister Stephane Dion. A very gentle person, with a very strong accent in his English, Mr Dion gave us a rather realistic view of the issue of climate change in Canada. I did not expect him talking about the tarsand at all; however indeed he is an environmental minister who also keeps the economy in mind. People might say his talk is disapointing- he did not seem to be taking a strong stand on many issue- and seemed rather optimistic about the outcome of the COP11/MOP1.(Conference of Parties 11 for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/ Meeting of Parties 1 for Kyoto Protocol). But I think I like him.
So how did that COP-11 meeting go? The U.N. calls it "an historic event" because "The United Nations Climate Change Conference was the largest intergovernmental climate conference since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997. Some 10,000 participants attended" and also because "the conference attracted unprecedented business interest as a result of two operation trading systems: the pan-European emissions trading scheme and the Clean Development Mechanism, a tool to promote sustainable development and combat climate change". Yes, that's right, because a way to get juicy government money under the guise of climate change was developed, it attracted unprecidented business interest. Hell, telemarking senior citizens attracted unprecidented business interest from driveway pavers and eaves cleanings. Doesn't make it a good thing. (The COP-11 press release contains more of these jems, such as "key decisions were made that outline the path to future international action on climate change. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the process for future commitments beyond 2012 got underway. A new working group was established to discuss future commitments for developed countries for the period after 2012. It will start work in May next year.") As for Juliana's observation that "I did not expect him talking about the tarsand at all; however indeed he is an environmental minister who also keeps the economy in mind," we'll remember that in light of his lines during the leadership debate.

Montreal is a very attractive little city.
Ha! Just wait until another million anglos and their wallets move out!