In absentia

A heads up to all three (3) of my regular readers [your mom, my mom, and who else? oh, that's right, me. Couldn't you have left a note on the fridge? -ed]: for the next week I will not be around to update the blog. That means no spam comments deleted, no new posts, and no responses to comments made. Regulary [whatever that means... -ed] posting should resume on or about February 2nd.


Pam Barret; 1953-2008

I didn't like Pam Barrett any more than I liked Heath Ledger, so her obituary in this space will have very few good things to say about her.

The Edmonton SUN had no such qualms, already writing that

To her admirers, Pam Barrett was feisty, fearless and passionate. To a legion of people she helped, from the underprivileged in her Edmonton Highlands riding to the unrepresented Alberta women who followed provincial politics, she was a hero.
And to people like me who knew the kind of dangerous politics she represented, she was a dangerous zealot whose every political idea was 100% wrong and not worth paying any attention to. Therefore, the only thing I'll say about Pam Barrett is what I remember somebody remarking on the University of Alberta campus a decade ago (paraphrased, and unattributed since I don't know who said it):
Pam Barrett reminds me of a dog. Not a powerful dog or an important dog, but one of those little yippy dogs that you just want to pet in the hope that it will shut up.


Heath Ledger; 1979-2008

Heath Ledger has died.

Well, as Bon Jovi says, we're halfway there.

Update, 7:34pm: Ledger died of a sleeping pill overdose, allegedly in Mary Kate Olsen's apartment (cocaine?). Check out the wikipedia page of The Dark Knight, which just finished shooting:

Heath Ledger plays the Joker, whom the actor described as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy". Nolan had wanted to work with Ledger on a number of projects in the past, but had been unable to do so. When Ledger saw Batman Begins, he realized a way to make the character work in that film's tone, and Nolan agreed upon his anarchic interpretation. To prepare for the role he lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character's posture, voice and psychology. While he initially found it difficult, Ledger was eventually able to generate a voice which did not sound like Jack Nicholson's take on the character in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. He started a diary, in which he wrote the Joker's thoughts and feelings to guide himself during his performance. He was also given Batman: The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth to read, which he "really tried to read [...] and put it down". Ledger also cited inspiration in A Clockwork Orange and Sid Vicious. Ultimately, "there’s nothing that [is] consistent", as his main objective was to frighten the audience. The challenge of the role put a strain on Ledger's sleep patterns, finding himself unable to rest for more than a few hours each night.


The mornings good news

100 vehicles suffer a massive collision in Toronto.

That's the sort of thing that just brings a smile to my face. Ohh, and if you're a Chargers fan you need some good news. I'm told.

Richard Warman the Richard Warmanist racist of all the Richard Warmans

What else can Richard Warman do to look like a complete ass?

He's seriously running out of options. He has filed dozens of human rights complaints where his friends and former colleagues award him cash prizes. He has taken legal action against those who notice that he likes to take legal action. [He also ran for the Green Party, if you need another reason. -ed]

Now it turns out he writes racist comments on websites, and then uses those comments to file complaints against the website he posted the comment to.

(This post is a half-assed version of the Google bombing Kathy Shaidle suggests)


Major news roundup: Science news edition

A monkey has been able to move the limbs of a robot halfway around the world in a technological breakthrough in the field of prosthetic limbs. Had this happened during the 2000 Presidential campaign, I believe CalgaryGrit's head would have exploded.

Last time we saw a rat this big and ugly, she was dumping Peter McKay and joining the Liberals.

Major news roundup: International news edition

That plane crash in Heathrow on Thursday not only came close to wiping out much of western London, but also Prime Minister Brown who was in the airport at the time. One can only describe the near-miss on Brown as another tragedy.

Is there nothing Eastern Europeans can't screw up? Totalitarian era police tactics [which the Ruskies didn't even use during the Cold War! -ed] have forced the evacuation of a British (government funded) cultural organization from St. Petersburg.

O.J. Simpson is in trouble again, this time for violating his bail conditions. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine's boyfriend shared the name of an infamous killer and she gives O.J. an example of what to change it to?

Major news roundup: Alberta/Canadian news edition

As if the town (city?) of Prince George, B.C. doesn't have enough problems with the backed up Nechako River, now the plant whose warm water might save the town has suffered a fire.

The compassion of unions extends all the way to... well, nothing really. Société du parc Jean-Drapeau's labour unrest required the first ever cancellation of Montreal's Fête des Neiges winter carnival. (Apparently somebody at CBC.ca is working to rule too...read this paragraph:

And the union representing carnival workers is to blame, festival organizer Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD) said.
Sometime tonight please dedicate a beer or a chicken wing or a silent prayer to the Seattle Air Traffic Controller who may have saved the lives of everybody aboard that Victoria-Toronto flight last week that crash landed in Calgary.

Ed Stelmach has finally decided to get animated and play rough and duke it out with somebody. So naturally he chooses the Americans, in Washington DC, during a week celebrating the close ties that Alberta and the U.S. have been fostering for the past half decade. Yet Daveberta gets a wishy-washy lawyer's letter and the ATA gets their own screwups paid for by the province. Does this not bother anybody?

Major news roundup: entertainment edition

This headline gets you all excited, but I'm afraid Paris Hilton is not going up on murder charges.

After so many years together, Mary Jane and Spider-Man are splitting up. I smell JMS's sort of bad storyline idea.

American Gangster gave me a sore neck (from being in the first row) and also an empty wallet (because I took a date, who I didn't do so well with). Now its the subject of a class action defamation lawsuit.

The Vancouver Sun reports how people aren't too inconvenienced by the writers strike. Meanwhile, the Insider Media Group brings up a matter I was wondering about: why hasn't the Canadian television industry been pushing to get our new shows aired in the U.S. in the interim. It may be a quality dropoff to the viewer accustomed to American programming, but hey, its new material on television, and after a certain time period of reruns and reality shows that might end up being better than nothing. I'm sure small-scale programs like everything the CBC does or Da Kink in My Hair would be awfully cheap for the US networks to pick up, and basically give the Canadian producers free exposure. Also, why aren't older shows that got cancelled before their runs finished being given new leases on life. Maybe my beloved Day Break would be a hit if they turned around and aired all the episodes that were only shown online last year.

Rock and Roll Nomenclature

Today at approximately 11:40am, Edmonton radio station CIRK played "Until It Sleeps", Metallica's megahit from their 1996 album "Load". The single was released May 23rd 1996.

Later, at approximately 12:10pm, Edmonton radio station CHDI played "I Wanna Be Sedated", the infamous Ramones song from their 1978 album "Road to Ruin". The song was released in roughly September of 1978.

Why should anybody care? Edmontonians will likely recognize CIRK by its common name: Classic Rock 97.3 K-Rock. CHDI is also perhaps better known as: 102.9 Sonic, where they advertise that they play Modern Rock.

Okay, now listen carefully. A song from 1996 is classic rock. A song from 1978 is modern rock. That's 18 years apart...with the "modern" song being the older of the two.

Here's where it really gets odd. K-Rock doesn't play "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones. Sonic doesn't play "Until It Sleeps" by Metallica.


Were Werner Patels and Badger from Firefly switched at birth?

On the left, Calgary blogger Werner Patels. On the right, Mark Sheppard, the Brit actor who played "Badger" on the TV series Firefly.

Anyways, Werner is currently experiencing a traffic surge from being now linked multiple times by Mark Steyn (which I apparently missed the boat on). Anyways, I made a couple comments on Werner's Alberta Pundit website that tragically didn't migrate over to the major site. Rather than simply spam the new page, I thought I'd just reproduce them here (along with the Badger gag, which I think it quite shocking). Anyways, from this article on Steyn's human rights complaint I made the following note:

Feynman & Coulter's Love Child // Jan 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm

There is a storm front moving right across Canada, as well as other parts of the Western world, and unlike typhoons, which are said to be triggered by a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in the world, this particular perfect storm seems to be the doing of just two men: Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

And Bill Whatacott, and Reverend Stephen Boisson, and…

Anyways, the big pondering I had was on this post contending that "anonymous bloggers are like phone perverts", where I make a connection to the Steyn post that follows it:
Feynman & Coulter's Love Child // Jan 16, 2008 at 7:40 pm

In light of the news you post directly above this, that right-wingers in Canada using their real names can find themselves seated in front a quiet totalitarian woman who has the unilateral power to ruin their lives can it surprise you at all that so many of us choose anonymity?

Now there's a larger point there that I don't want to get ignored, namely that in an environment where what was previously legitimate polemic arguments are now made summarily illegal, it does everybody in the society well for these comments to continue to be made, even if the "strength of the argument" is diminished by anonymity.

On another level, is it perhaps a little dishonest to be so concerned about "anonymous pseudonyms"? If, for a totally random example, I announced tomorrow that I was Skyler Erasmus of 114th street in Edmonton, and posted as Skyler Erasmus on all blog posts, would it make Werner happier when I commented on his site? Would "Skyler Erasmus" be able to make more compelling arguments than "Feynman and Coulter's Love Child"? If so, we have a major problem: Skyler Erasmus is the name I just randomly picked out of the 2007/2008 Canada411.ca telephone directory. But its a "real person's name" and there's a good chance that I could milk it for a while. Then I might be Vladan Mitrovic of 108th street, and I'm no more or less anonymous than the fictional offspring of a conservative columnist and a theoretical physicist.

IB Bill (not his real name) adds to the discussion that
An anonymous blogger is more like an anonymous pamphleteer than a phone pervert. The blogger doesn’t call you up. Instead, he or she publishes something that might or might not get attention.

Some bloggers do in fact provoke others … that’s different than personally contacting them, but it is publicizing issues in a public forum.

There’s a long, proud history of anonymous pamphleteering and anonymous publishing, including the Federalist Papers.

Unfortunately, Steyn manages to find a strong argument against the anonymous blogger when he notes that pseudonyms have been used by the Human Rights dictators to possibly slander persons about to have their cases heard by the commissions.


Edmonton's Fat Epidemic

Today the major news was that 50% of Edmontonians were "obese".

You know, they may have a point. Just look at these random Plenty of Fish profiles of Edmonton fat girls:
killer cleavage

On the other hand, this entire "BMI" thing is quite frankly a load of crap. Let's look at the results from this BMI Calculator:

  • 5'11" male, 175 pounds: BMI 24.4
  • 5'1" male, 160 pounds: BMI 30.2
  • 6'4" male, 210 pounds: BMI 25.6
  • 6'1" male, 193 pounds: BMI 25.5
  • 5'8" woman, 168 pounds: BMI 25.5
  • 5'10" male, 210 pounds: BMI 30.1
  • 5'2" woman, 131 pounds: BMI 24.0
  • 5'8" male, 165 pounds: BMI 25.1
  • 6'0" male, 139 pounds: BMI 18.8
  • 6'7" male, 239 pounds: BMI 26.9
  • 5'6" woman, 154 pounds: BMI 24.9
  • 5'8" woman, 122 pounds: BMI 18.5
  • 6'3" male, 201 pounds: BMI 25.1
Remember that <18.5 is underweight, between 25 and 30 is overweight, and >30.0 is this "obese" that has our good doctor so worried.

So a 6'3" man is overweight once he crosses 200lbs? A guy who's 6 feet tall can get down below 140 and not be "underweight"? A 6'1" male who is 193 pounds is just as overweight as a 5'8" woman who weights almost 170? 6'7" and you can't hit 240 without being considered overweight? Sorry, but this just doesn't quite work as advertised: its hard to get upset about "obsese" when this includes the 5'10" bodybuilder who weighs 210. While obesity may be a problem, this overstating the matter not only leaves a lot of people needlessly worried about their weight, while the actual obese can shrug it off since Ben down at the plant is "obese" too and he's only 215 pounds.


I'll beat you like a redheaded stepchild (offer not valid beyond 2108)

As activists lobby to include the mighty white polar bear on the endangered species list, a critter of a different colour is nervously contemplating its own uncertain future.

The red-headed homo sapiens, predicted by some to be extinct within 100 years, is fighting back with an exclusive dating site, established to keep the rare and fiery breed alive and kicking forever.

The NDP is very concerned about some new invention called "the economy"

OTTAWA–Stephen Harper needs to put himself in the shoes of the growing numbers of laid-off workers and take more aggressive action to tackle a brewing economic crisis, says NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Layton issued his own financial warning yesterday, grimly predicting 2008 will be the year when the "squeeze" on the middle class becomes more intense.

"We can see working people just losing their jobs by the thousands in the manufacturing, the forestry sectors," Layton told reporters.
Er, what's the deal with the NDP pretending to care [or indeed know -ed] about the economy?

After all, doesn't Jack Layton remember what he demanded in November 2006?

Layton said the NDP-proposed amendments include the following:

  • To rename the act the Healthy Air and Climate Act, indicating that Kyoto Protocol targets, which were absent from the original bill, would become a key priority of the revised act;
  • To set targets that Canada must meet, such as the Kyoto Protocol 2008 to 2012 targets, an 80 per cent reduction in emissions below 1990 levels, by 2050;
  • To set interim targets at five year intervals between 2015 and 2050;
  • To give new authority to the environment minister that would allow him or her to designate significant areas under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act;
  • And a "just-transition fund" to help the automobile move from voluntary to mandatory targets.

The changes would effectively gut the Conservative legislation as it currently stands.

The aim is to establish "real targets" based on science, that address the growing climate change crisis facing Canada and the world, and to set firm timelines to begin controlling major polluters, such as the automobile sector, Layton said.

You can have your economy, Jack Layton. Or you can have your Kyoto. You cannot have both.

I'll always tear up when I remember his work on Street Legal

Uh, try to remember when you read about the loss of the great Oscar Peterson that Oscar on Corner Gas is played by Eric Peterson.

Oscar Peterson is some jazz player. Which is tragic too.

Women allowed to work at Bell even when hideous

Fired women file suit, human rights claim, say retreat with martial arts theme 'over the top'.

Here's the story: a couple of female executives (who have been run over by the ugly truck) did well at Bell Express-Vu.

Then they went to an executive retreat.

In documents filed in a civil lawsuit alleging gender discrimination in the workplace by their former employers, the women say they had to put up with a macho corporate culture that included sexist, vulgar language and being frozen out of drinking sessions with the "boys' club."

The company denies the women were subjected to discrimination.

A July 2005 "off-site" retreat, organized around a martial arts theme, was "over the top," Green said in an interview.

They were assigned The Art of War to read. "War music" was playing. "We had to wear war paraphernalia ... bandannas, costumes and props," Boutilier said in an interview. And they were expected to participate in a judo class.

"I'm from New York," says Green. "I'm used to crazy things. What shocked me was Fran and I were both in business attire. We were both wearing high heels, stockings and skirts."

Boutilier paired off with a third woman who was there from a different arm of Bell Canada. Green says she refused to pair off with a man to practise kicks, punches and chokeholds.

"It was full body contact," she says. "There was no way. ... I kind of feigned an injury and said that I couldn't do it. I mean that's rule 101. No bodily contact between male and female employees."
"No bodily contact between male and female employees" implies that male-male and male-female body contact is allowed. Isn't that rule (that these crazy bitches have quoted) the real discrimination? Shouldn't they have been upset if they were excluded from the judo bit because they were fragile little half-human homo acerbii? With one breath they complain that they were "excluded from the drinking sessions", and then get upset because they were permitted to participate in the same team-building rituals that the men were. In fact, this entire claim seems rooted in the firm belief that only men are capable at war, perform stylized martial arts, or read books of historical interest. Not sure exactly whose case is being strengthened here...
She points to Bell's own website, based on Statistics Canada data, which shows the percentage of women working at Bell ExpressVu – 38.3 per cent of its workforce – is well below the numbers for women available in the workforce – 59.3 per cent – for the jobs. That's surprising, given the majority are call-centre positions, traditionally "pink ghetto" jobs, says Boutilier.
So...Bell needs to... hire more tea ladies?

FACLC the minor SteynOnline celebrity

Extremely minor, I suppose.

PS All that said, I'm inclined to agree with this bit from the LawIsCool whiners:

But this issue seems to have also sunk to new depths. For example, this commentator states,

$500 says “LawIsCool” …are in fact a couple of homosexuals in Toronto

They say that as if it would be a bad thing.

Indeed. I'd rather be "a couple of homosexuals in Toronto" any day than a gaggle of Osgoode Hall law students in their present incoherent condition.

The $500 bit was mine (not being on my site, I altered my usual rules for naming faggots). What isn't expected is the LawIsCool posters quoted that bit out of context. What isn't expected is that Steyn didn't look for it (and that he seemed to hold the statement in disdain, having already cheered Kathy Shaidle for calling the Osgood law dropouts "fairies"). My full comment on Jay Currie's site reads as follows:
# Feynman & Coulter's Love Child on January 3, 2008 8:40 am

$500 says “LawIsCool” aren’t actual lawyers, have stolen the legal-related posts from some other blogger’s RSS feed, and are in fact a couple of homosexuals in Toronto who enjoy making Muslims seem completely off the deep end.
I don't know, I think the deleted sections (highlighted in blue) might perhaps of some applicability...

Update, January 20 2008 6:38pm: My $500 comment is really making the rounds: it is now a discussion post at timeimmortal.

"I have fulfilled my function"

Britain Scotland's new supercomputer is the High End Computing Terascale Resources (HECToR):

t represents the equivalent of approximately 12,000 desktop systems.

The £113m project will run for six years and will enable scientists to develop life-saving drugs and model climate change and epidemic patterns.

Researchers said it was hoped Hector would play a "key role" in keeping scientists at the forefront of their fields of research.

The supercomputer is based at the Edinburgh University's advanced computing facility.

An Edinburgh University spokesman said: "Adding the power of supercomputing simulation to the route of exploration and discovery has moved science to another level.

"Hector continues this process by taking high-performance computing up yet another gear."
So you're saying that the BBC, digg, and publictechnology.com all missed it?

A British supercomputer named Hector and nobody (save a single engadget commenter noted the eerie similarity??


Nothing on Sunday television but the Prairie Farm Report

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if you got the Push Over Gate, wouldn't all the animals figure out how to push it over themselves?

Q: Will the animals figure out how to get through it?
A: The second they rub on it, it will move a little bit so they back away from it.
Uh...have you ever known cattle or horses to back away from movement like that?


When is one equal to two?

Answer? Whenever a bloated federal agency gets involved.

Canada's major air carriers have been ordered to offer disabled travellers the same fares as everyone else.

Under a Canadian Transportation Agency ruling, travellers who need additional seating because of their disabilities will no longer have to pay more than a single fare for domestic flights.

Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet have one year to bring in a "one-person-one-fare" policy for people with severe disabilities -- including the severely obese -- who require two seats to accommodate them.

The ruling also applies to disabled persons who need a medical attendant seated with them on flights.

The CTA stresses the ruling applies only to people with severe disabilities.
So what were those cruel airlines doing before?
Currently, Air Canada offers a 50-per cent discount for some attendants travelling with disabled customers on flights within North America.
Yes, that's right, when the CTA rules that "airlines must bring in a one person one fare" policy it really means that rather than charge a full fare for one person and a half fare for the second person, both persons must be allowed to travel on the single fare.

Meanwhile, complaintant Joanne Neubauer "said the ruling means she can finally hold her 'head up high.'" Well, she would hold her head up high...if she wasn't unable to hold her head up high due to being fat and in a wheelchair.


R.I.P. Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary, 88, a beekeeper-turned-mountaineer from New Zealand who with his Sherpa guide in 1953 became the first men known to conquer Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak, died early today at Auckland City Hospital. No cause of death was reported.

Farewell Mr. Hillary. You conquered the earth in a way that "global warming" can only dream of.

Ed Stelmach vs. Daveberta: A plague on both their houses

As the Alberta Premier publically fights with the prank of a former Alberta Liberal party official and the story gains a little bit of steam, I thought perhaps it was time to ask a few critical questions. Now I am not a lawyer [but these days its hard to get too excited over the expertise of law students anyways -ed] but I did think to do a little bit of backgrounding on cybersquatting as it relates in Canada.

  • The first thing to note is that if this was in the U.S., Ed Stelmach would have already won. While cybersquatting corporate names and slogans can be passed off as fair comment, the identities of flesh and blood people certainly cannot.
  • The most famous case (so far) of a Canadian citizen running afoul of cybersquatting has to be Victoria's infamous Mike "Soft" Rowe (not related to the host of "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel). The resolution of the case seems to have been in Rowe's favour: how much was legally connected and how much was due to Microsoft's bad press will probably never be known.
  • The definitive answer, however, for Daveberta is going to be the Canadian Internet Regulatory Authority's "Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy".
    1. To apply under it, Stelmach must meet the requirements to possess a .ca address. Since Cournoyer met them, and citizenship appears to satify it, so far so good.
    2. The acceptable basis for complaint is as follows:
      Applicable Disputes. A Registrant must submit to a Proceeding if a Complainant asserts in a Complaint submitted in compliance with the Policy and the Resolution Rules that:

      (a) the Registrant’s dot-ca domain name is Confusingly Similar to a Mark in which the Complainant had Rights prior to the date of registration of the domain name and continues to have such Rights;

      (b) the Registrant has no legitimate interest in the domain name as described in paragraph 3.6; and

      (c) the Registrant has registered the domain name in bad faith as described in paragraph 3.7.

      For the purposes of this Policy, the date of registration of a domain name is the date on which the domain name was first registered in the Registry or the predecessor registry operated by the University of British Columbia.
      Now its apparently yet untested whether a person's full name is "a mark in which the complaintant has rights", but it would be very shocking for the CIRA or a court to find otherwise. It is highly questionable if Cournoyer has a "legitimate interest" in edstelmach.ca, but we shall come back to that matter. We shall immediately address Cournoyer's biggest danger: registering in bad faith.
    3. Paragraph 3.7 reads (emphasis mine):
      Registration in Bad Faith. For the purposes of paragraph 3.1(c), a Registrant will be considered to have registered a domain name in bad faith if, and only if:

      (a) the Registrant registered the domain name, or acquired the Registration, primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, licensing or otherwise transferring the Registration to the Complainant, or the Complainant’s licensor or licensee of the Mark, or to a competitor of the Complainant or the licensee or licensor for valuable consideration in excess of the Registrant’s actual costs in registering the domain name, or acquiring the Registration;

      (b) the Registrant registered the domain name or acquired the Registration in order to prevent the Complainant, or the Complainant’s licensor or licensee of the Mark, from registering the Mark as a domain name, provided that the Registrant, alone or in concert with one or more additional persons has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names in order to prevent persons who have Rights in Marks from registering the Marks as domain names; or

      the Registrant registered the domain name or acquired the Registration primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of the Complainant, or the Complainant’s licensor or licensee of the Mark, who is a competitor of the Registrant.
      I would say with a fair degree of certainty that in his role at the time of registry as Alberta Liberal Communication Director, Cournoyer is a competitor to Ed Stelmach and could be clearly construed as registering the domain in bad faith. One is tempted to apply the even easier standard of (b), since Cournoyer quite clearly registered edstelmach.ca only because Stelmach had not already done so. However, it has to be part of a pattern. Some argument including the Ontario Liberals temporary cybersquatting of a domain named after Mike Harris, and last year's case of a Michael Ignatieff campaigner being forced to cease cybersquatting against one of Harris' former staff members. As I said, easily Stelmach's biggest trump card is the "bad faith" provisions.
    4. Cournoyer's defense might include this section on "legitimate interests":
      Legitimate Interests. The Registrant has a legitimate interest in a domain name if, and only if, before the receipt by the Registrant of notice from or on behalf of the Complainant that a Complaint was submitted:

      (a) the domain name was a Mark, the Registrant used the Mark in good faith and the Registrant had Rights in the Mark;

      (b) the Registrant used the domain name in Canada in good faith in association with any wares, services or business and the domain name was clearly descriptive in Canada in the English or French language of: (i) the character or quality of the wares, services or business; (ii) the conditions of, or the persons employed in, production of the wares, performance of the services or operation of the business; or (iii) the place of origin of the wares, services or business;

      (c) the Registrant used the domain name in Canada in good faith in association with any wares, services or business and the domain name was understood in Canada to be the generic name thereof in any language;

      (d) the Registrant used the domain name in Canada in good faith in association with a non-commercial activity including, without limitation, criticism, review or news reporting;

      (e) the domain name comprised the legal name of the Registrant or was a name, surname or other reference by which the Registrant was commonly identified; or

      (f) the domain name was the geographical name of the location of the Registrant’s non-commercial activity or place of business.

      In paragraphs 3.6 (b), (c), and (d) “use” by the Registrants includes, but is not limited to, use to identify a web site.
      Cournoyer's defense would likely be (d), particularly since the redirect of edstelmach.ca to Harry Strom's Wikipedia page -- the previous redirect to Daveberta would violate this section. If Stelmach's lawyers filed before the change of redirect, this would also preclude a defense under "legitimate interests".
    5. Finally, the section on "Onus" makes Stelmach's job a little harder, but still eminantly do-able:
      4.1 Onus. To succeed in the Proceeding, the Complainant must prove, on a balance of probabilities, that:

      (a) the Registrant’s dot-ca domain name is Confusingly Similar to a Mark in which the Complainant had Rights prior to the date of registration of the domain name and continues to have such Rights; and

      (b) the Registrant has registered the domain name in bad faith as described in paragraph 3.7;

      and the Complainant must provide some evidence that:

      (c) the Registrant has no legitimate interest in the domain name as described in paragraph 3.6.

      Even if the Complainant proves (a) and (b) and provides some evidence of (c), the Registrant will succeed in the Proceeding if the Registrant proves, on a balance of probabilities, that the Registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain name as described in paragraph 3.6.
      The legitimate interest has to come to the forefront. Cournoyer might walk away from this unscathed. But on a first read-through, it looks like Stelmach will win this in the long haul -- at least in the courts. Of course, as this post's title implies, I don't care which of these idiotic liberals wins or loses. Banish both of them to Ontario for all I care.
  • Daveberta is now upset over Neil Waugh's observation that he's a Liberal staffer. From Waugh's article:
    Now here's where it gets trickier.

    Cournoyer was an employee of the Liberals when Stelmach's lawyer's letter arrived.

    "He was our communications co-ordinator and was working on our web communications," Leblanc confirmed. In other words the Grits' head computer geek.

    So who was he doing his blogging for?

    "I won't say we sanctioned it or didn't sanction it," sniffed Leblanc, not exactly coming clean. "It's just one of the realities of Internet campaigning."
    I'm left pondering the comment I made to this post of mine where I theorized about the validity of Cournoyer's complaints about "being a 24 year old bankrupt University student" -- the implication that somehow being (temporarily) financially poor while killing time for a long graft-filled career witht he Liberal Party makes any stunts or offenses unpunishable. Now there has to be an honesty aspect, along with the validity aspect, to this claim. Again, pace Waugh:
    It would have been just another prank by a student from the University of Alberta's loonie-left political science department, but Dave Cournoyer isn't some obscure fat frat boy with a sticky-up haircut.

    Until Dec. 31 he was the "communications co-ordinator" for the Alberta Liberal Party, the same Alberta Liberals who believe they have cornered the market in ethics and moral superiority.

    Anyone who has been around politics knows what edstelmach.ca was really all about, although Liberal executive director Kieran Leblanc hotly denied it.
    The note still is made: Cournoyer kept sound-biting the struggle as being "some young kid with no money versus the all-powerful ruler of the Albertan domain" when in fact this is the leader of one liberal party fighting back against questionable practises (see below) of an official with a competing liberal party. Not the stuff of glorious "David vs. Goliath" puns.
  • Finally, I think its time to attack another dubious claim by the Liberals and their former staffers:
    Though I am still surprised that the +150 staffed Public Affairs Bureau failed to complete the simple task of registering a $14.00 domain name, I am even more surprised that Premier Ed Stelmach’s first reaction in this situation was to threaten to sue an 24-year old blogger and debt ridden University of Alberta student.
    This time I would like to address the first point, where the link is located. Is it really just a "simple task of registering a $14.00 domain name?"
    www.davecournoyer.com - English musician
    www.davecournoyer.ca - Links back to Daveberta
    www.daveberta.ca - Links back to Daveberta
    www.dave_cournoyer.com - Still available
    www.davecournoyer.ab.ca - Still available
    www.davidcournoyer.com - Still available
    www.daveberta.com - Taken by a cybersquatter
    www.dave-cournoyer.com - Still available
    www.davecournoyer.org - Still available
    www.davecornoyer.com - Still available
    www.davecournoyerlib.com - Still available
    www.davecournoyerpchater.com - Still available

    While you may argue that some of these are a little obscure, that's not necessarily the point. The reason that rules against cybersquatting are in place is because there are so many obscure names. I might be able to get around to registering www.faclc.com and www.faclc.ca and a few others, but the end result is still that there are lots of hyphenated or misspelled or suffixed domains that somebody can take. Dave Cournoyer took one. A website is a parking space on the web, as it were, and if the Premier's parking space wasn't switched from "Ralph Klein" to "Ed Stelmach" in time, it would hardly be considered normal for Daveberta to swoop in with a labelmaker and claim it for himself.

Unintentionally hilarious

The best part about the Edmonton Journal's story about Daveberta's Dave Cournoyer?

Has to be, has to be, that the photo of him on Page B1 was on the right-hand side of the top-half of the fold in the paper, with the story below the fold. The headline on the left of the photo and the accompanying article is the only other thing you can see from looking at B1 when its in the 'folded' position. So the casual Journal reader's first look at Daveberta is right next to the following headline:

The dumbest thing Dion has done since... the last thing he did

OTTAWA -Stephane Dion's decision to appoint a former NDP Cabinet minister as the Liberal candidate in an upcoming Saskatchewan byelection has provoked a lot of tosh about "democratic deficits." The fact is candidates are not chosen by "the people," they are chosen by riding associations that usually consist of about 50 men in tweed jackets with elbow patches and 20 women in flowery frocks.

Nonetheless, some supporters of David Orchard, the Saskatchewan farmer and former Progressive Conservative leadership candidate, have organized an "emergency" Liberal membership meeting of the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding to protest the appointment of Joan Beatty as candidate in the March byelection. Jimmy Durocher, a past president of the Metis Association of Saskatchewan and an Orchard backer, said in a press release he was not prepared to let Mr. Dion's "Indian Act mentality" go unchallenged.
So Profane Dion has decided that along with dumping the locally popular nutcase David Orchard in favour of a demographically superior Indian woman (which natives themselves managed to become upset over, which is a feat) and risking the ire of voters across the country with his "parachute" tactics, he's also going to find a role for David Orchard anyways.

For Harper, that must feel like having his cake and eating it too. (Snide comments about Prime Minister Harper's weight are not appreciated at this point).

Speaking of snide comments, what's with the National Post's snide comments about riding associations. Aren't "50 men in tweed jackets with elbow patches and 20 women in flowery frocks" also described as "70 voters"? Of course, this all is (badly) cribbed by the Yes, Minister quote of Sir Humphrey:
The argument that we must do everything a Minister demands because he has been 'democratically chosen' does not stand up to close inspection. MPs are not chosen by 'the people' - they are chosen by their local constituency parties: thirty-five men in grubby raincoats or thirty-five women in silly hats.

The Laibar Singh contest

You may have heard the shocking story of a Sikh man who has been ordered deported and refuses to do so, and now has thousands of people illegally blocking border officials from being able to carry out the deportation.

Singh has children back in India that are in their teens and 20s. He came to Canada on a false passport in 2003 and claimed he had been falsely accused of being a member of the terrorist Khalistan Commando Force.

He suffered a debilitating aneurysm that left him a quadriplegic in 2006.

The 48-year-old lost his refugee claim and all subsequent appeals and was ordered deported last June.

On the eve of a July removal date, supporters grabbed him from Vancouver's George Pearson long-term care facility and took him to Abbotsford's Kalgidhar Darbar temple, where he remained until he was transported to the airport last month.

Okay, that's all fine and good. Now both the CBC and CTV have comment sections on their segments. Bearing in mind that CTV's anti-Harper stance is well known, it is still a private broadcaster with the audience to match.

So with your intimate knowledge of CTV and CBC's audience base, try to guess which website's viewers posted the following comments to this story:
There is nothing illegal about the way that Mr. Singh came to Canada - it is a widely-used and recognized practice to travel with falsified documents as a refugee and obviously often necessary if you are fleeing unstable and unsafe conditions. The amount of support that Mr. Singh has received in Vancouver and beyond has been an admirable challenge to Canada's repressive immigration laws. He should be allowed to stay and be granted permanent residency immediately.
You promote hate, racism and false information.I can see most people don't know about Refugee issues. Illegal? Oh, boy, its so ridiculous. By the way, you are the ones who are living in a stolen land. Thanks to your news distortion most of these readers say "Yes" to this deportation. What a shame on you!
I do agree with all of those who say that the deportation order should be followed. However, sanctuary is a very old legal tradition, that is still part of the common law today, and if the CBSA were to breach sanctuary, they would be in all kinds of legal hot water, which would not be worth it for one illegal immigrant
Those supporters sicken me. It's like saying, "Welcome to Canada where anything and everything is legal".

This can only encourage more illegal foreigners to come here. So he got a stroke, does that mean our taxes and health care need to pay for this person?????

Send him home and have his country pay for his mistakes and deal with him.
Not only should he be deported, but anyone who attempts to block the deportation should be charged with aiding a criminal. Canadians are sick of being patsies to tribal politics and political correctness. I'm sure if this guy was white, he would already be deported.
There seems to be some confusion that there is some form of sanctuary from the law in a church/temple or other place of worship.

Like the "I get one free phone call on arrest" misconception (you have no such right in Canada) THERE IS NO SUCH THING as church sanctuary in Canadian common law statute.

There are however tons of laws about avoiding deportation and for obstructing the police. Why are these not being enforced?
To reiterate: Laibar Singh came to Canada legally. He became 'illegal' when his application for refugee status was rejected. The grounds for that rejection (lack of community support) are being contested by tens of thousands of people in Laibar's community.
There is no debate - he entered Canada illegally using fraudulant means. A forged passport and a bogus refugee claim?? Give me a break. Put him on the first plane out of here.. and as for the 'protesters' that are preventing the rule of law.. if they don't obey the laws of the land then throw them on the plane as well!
Canada has a long history of opening its border to people seeking refuge, people who has suffered repression and their lives are threatened by dictatorial and murderer regimes on the world.

Unfortunately some people lives in ignorance, and believe some media’s reports with inaccurate notions like that Mr. Singh entered Canada illegally. If they bother to study immigration laws they will find that a refugee claimant has the right to enter with false documents. The common sense will make them understand that a person who is escaping murder and repression has to hide their real identity until they are safe.

I have read the comments posted here in regard the case of Mr. Laibar Singh, and I see that some people lives with the notion that skin colour matter, they forget that this hate among people because of their skin colour has brought many of the catastrophes in the world like the Holocaust in the time of the Nazis in Germany. It is ignorance and only ignorance that makes people to differentiate themselves from others, we are all humans. Even those who has power and make every effort to maintain the rest of us separated, so they can control us, and make whatever they like with our lives and our future. Like destroying the world, destroying the earth and all the living beings. Wake up people; it is time to fight together for our survival in this planet and for our rights in every corner of this world. Learn to be compassionate with people in need instead of living in hate. Learn how you can help to make every human being live with dignity including yourself, learn how you can help to fight against all inequalities.

Start with small battles like this one to help a person in need to stay in Canada where he can live in dignity as every person deserves.
Since Mr. Singh exhausted all his legal options, Canada must continue to try deporting him. Others will seek sanctuary in places of worship to avoid being deported and live there until granted citizenship on humanitarian reasons. Can you imagine all places of worship becoming full-time sanctuaries, instead being used for their original purpose? If Mr. Singh's supporters wish him to remain in Canada, then I suggest he continues to stay in sanctuary with his supporters taking care of him physically and financially forever, but without being granted citizenship. If he returns to India with his supporters paying for his medical expenses, they will get better value for their money and he is able to see his kids and grandkids. By letting him stay legally, Mr. Singh's entire costs (living, health & pension) would transfer to all Canadians and all his family will be able to immigrate to Canada. Mr. Singh's supporters should realize that not a majority nor all Canadians support Mr. Singh. Although Mr. Suleman thinks it's a difficult public policy debate, it merely continues to be a situation of holding Canada hostage to Mr. Singh and his supporters' demands until they are met. Canada can not allow bullies to succeed by agreeing to their wishes.
Who is running Canada? If a NON minority group blocked the road to YVR there would have been arrests. This person is here illegally. Return him to India so he can clear his name and then apply to come to Canada as per Canadian law. If these people are contiually allowed to act outside the law where will it stop? This is Canada like it and obey or leave it.
This individual came to Canada ILLEGALLY, using a forged passport and worked in this country ILLEGALLY until his stroke.

Now he wants leniency, when all applications have been denied, on "humanitarian grounds".

NO I say. He failed to come to Canada legally.

He used a forged passport (a criminal offense in any country), worked illegally while in Canada (also a prosecutable offense) and generally threw Canada the "bird" when it came to being here legally.

His stroke notwithstanding, he has NO right to be here, period. He needs to go back where he came from and apply like everyone else.

Reward his illegal activities because he had a stroke and every tom, dick and harry will be having medical ailments galore, conveniently in time for immigration hearings (particularly if they are here illegally).

Deport him NOW.
Let him stay, what kind of medical help and assistance would he get in India. Show some compassion.
Any person that comes to Canada that has a criminal record, should be automatically sent back to there native country. People come to Canada, knowing Canada is soft on Refugees. These people should be aware that Canada is not a safe haven for criminals. Our court system is clogged with Refugee claims from Bogus refugees. Who pays for all these delays, we the taxpayers of this country, not the people that abuse our system for their benefit. If we illegaly entered another country illegally, we would most likely be booted out quicker then we came in. The costs of healthcare, lawyers for this indivual must be staggering. Also, what do refugee mean, a person from another country thas was displaced for some reason ?
Any person from countries that might have laws that Canada does not have(ex, Death Penalty) should not be considered a refugee.
It is time the Canadian Government take control of unwanted refugees and ship them out ASAP. Do not process them through the court system,, this is only a delay tactic. That costs me in the long run more money. Ship this guy and many others like him, back to their own Country, and tell them they are not wanted.
My son-in-law is from the UK, he has been trying to get "status" to stay in Canada for approx 8 years now. He has passed the 1st phase and is ok until Aug.08, after that, who knows?? He as a University Degree and is working in a full time position, paying goods and services and all of the necessary taxes. Seems like if you take the legitimate route, you get penalized. If this individual is in Canada illegally, he should be deported.
Nothing in this article indicated any attempt to enter Canada legally that had been denied; he entered illegally. He subsequently had a stroke, which places him in a sympathetic position. Unfortunately, hundreds of millions in the world are also in sympathetic positions; based on your logic, Canada should not discriminate against these people merely because they did not get an opportunity to also enter Canada illegally. What message does this send to the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding persons following rules, or acting as guarantors for immigrants? These rules and laws, albeit imperfect, were set in place to attempt to ensure the future viability of Canada. I agree there's always exceptions to rules, but this case does not merit such. Of course I feel sorry for Mr Singh's situation, but Canada's mission in the world is not to provide for anyone who happens to cross our borders by any means. Canada is a welcoming and moderate presence in a world not known for either. However our resources and our patience are not infinite.
Fox News stated that this gentleman attempted entry into Canada "legally" 2 times prior and was denied. There must have been a good reason for it? This is a very unsettling situation...this man is ill, but he also lied to get into Canada. I hope that it works out for the best....

[ha ha, I won't even bother making you guess on this one. How many CBC viewers would ever quote FOX News? This is from the CTV article. -ed]
It seems sad that we still think of immigrants as outsiders when the system that is in place favours those who have money and contacts to properly navigate the immgration system. Many immigrants (who have not committed crimes) who need to come to a safer country with more opportunities are denied when they try the "legal" route.
If canadian law has found that he should be deported,then he should be deported. If his friends/community/protestors are breaking the law,they should be prosecuted to the full extentof our laws.
On the other hand, we could just give him a government job and everybodies happy. Perhaps in imigration. The tax payers pay either way.
Any person that comes to Canada that has a criminal record, should be automatically sent back to there native country. People come to Canada, knowing Canada is soft on Refugees. These people should be aware that Canada is not a safe haven for criminals. Our court system is clogged with Refugee claims from Bogus refugees. Who pays for all these delays, we the taxpayers of this country, not the people that abuse our system for their benefit. If we illegaly entered another country illegally, we would most likely be booted out quicker then we came in. The costs of healthcare, lawyers for this indivual must be staggering. Also, what do refugee mean, a person from another country thas was displaced for some reason ?
Any person from countries that might have laws that Canada does not have(ex, Death Penalty) should not be considered a refugee.
It is time the Canadian Government take control of unwanted refugees and ship them out ASAP. Do not process them through the court system,, this is only a delay tactic. That costs me in the long run more money. Ship this guy and many others like him, back to their own Country, and tell them they are not wanted.
I'm concerned about the ignorance shown in much of the commentary on this case, including from professional journalists.

Many if not most legitimate refugee claimants arrive in Canada with false documents out of necessity-- our asylum system recognizes this reality and Mr. Singh Declared his documents when he claimed refugee status. This does not make his presence in Canada "illegal"

Mr. Singh has sought and received sanctuary because our refugee system does not grant any means to appeal it's decisions. It should not be up to the media to evaluate the merits of Mr. Singhs case, or any other asylum claim. If our refugee system offered the means to appeal that is granted in our criminal justice system, religious communities would not be forced to offer sanctuary. I don't recall the same hostility towards refugee claimants seeking sanctuary in Christian churches. The vitriol directed at Mr. Singh and his supporters bespeaks deep seated racism and hate.
The arguments about whether he's illegal or not are not really germaine to this discussion: his status has already been decided by a court, he's appealed and lost; the decision of the court was that he be deported. What really troubles me is that such an order can be derailed by a mob of his supporters, not once but three times. Mob rule: that's scary.
Thanks Keya, for your comments for they are very real for the average middle class people from eastern countries. This man will die if sent back to india - probably on the street with the rats. We selfish Canadians should look at our own individual heritage and see how difficult our grand parents had it coming here. You would think in the year 2008 we would have more compassion in our society. A paraplegic - we have many, is one more really going to put our country in hardship...for we only die on the streets of Canada because of our own social dysfunctions.
The vast majority of the comments in reference to Laibar Singh situation make me very sad. It seems that many of you have a very uncompassionate and volatile perspective. Who are we to decide what this man needs to be safe. If people had the means necessary to live safely then people would not attempt to find refuge in Canada. I am baffled as to why so many Canadians even care if someone finds refuge in Canada. Is it because this man is not white? Is it the clothes he wears? Come on people let's provide the same opportunities that many of us were given.

As a women of European descent who's ancestors came here and ripped off Aboriginal people of their land and resources the least we can do to start making amends is allow people a safe place to find refuge when they tell us the need it.


SUNshine girl insights

SUN newspaper columnist Tanya Enberg talks (some more) about her SUNshine girl experience. (Polite company keeps me from mentioning my SUNshine girl admiring buddy's rating of Enberg's photo shoot).

But most enjoyable is Peter from Ottawa, who writes:

"The thing I have always found lacking in a good deal of the pictures is personality. So many 18-19-year-old girls going for the sultry look -- They fail miserably.

It isn't stripping down to skin that works for me.

Having fun and laughing about the picture makes it far more appealing with personality coming through than just skin."

Ladies and gentlemen (mostly the latter, mind you), I bring to you:

Megan, today's 21 year old SUNshine girl. She's a little older than 18-19. Is her having fun and bubbly personality attractive?



What you may have missed

Here's a quick rundown of what was posted under the sticky post about New Years 2008:

Telus's new enhanced high-speed internet's commercials fail utterly to tell you what they will really charge you for the service.

To ring in 2008 Alberta went non-smoking...and a historic landmark burned down.

Travelocity is partnered up with a possible phishing scam.

Dr. Richard P. Feynman has made a new enemy.