97th Grey Cup thoughts

This is sort of a liveblog, but don't expect regular updates.

Normie Kwong is doing the coin flip. This is incredibly better than Michelle Jean being involved.

The trouble with Grey Cups selling out early is that team fans can't make the game. McMahon Stadium isn't nearly the sea of green that the areas of Calgary have been this weekend. There are good green pockets everywhere, but unlike a Toronto Grey Cup where you can buy 2/3rds of seats in the final week, the Wheatherders here had to pre-plan a little.

Cold Lake planes are doing flybys over McMahon. Its certainly nice-ish weather in Alberta. Here's my prediction now: the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton is going to be snowy, cold, and extremely miserable: -20, that's my call. Book it.

I think I've figured out the ideal solution: After 13 overtimes, the score is still tied at 0-0. As the last Montreal player and Roughrider collapse into unconsciousness recovering a fumble, Normie Kwong scoops it up, runs into the endzone, and wins the Grey Cup on behalf of the province of Alberta.

Saskatchewan scored a field goal and now a TD. 10-0 Riders, and my 0-0 fantasy comes to a crashing halt.

Saskatchewan is winning 17-3 at the half. Blue Rodeo is playing their only hit. Hmmm, did organizers know the Stubble Bumpkins were going to be playing? The halftime act seems tailor-made for them. And there are lots of them in the stands. I smell a fix!

With fans from across the country, Saskatchewan is apparently following the Pittsburgh Steelers (c. 1977) model of community team building. On par to lose their fourth or fifth consecutive Grey Cup game, Montreal is apparently following the Boston Red Sox (c. 1986) model of community team building.

Wow, what an ending, eh? Saskatchewan leads with 21 seconds on the clock and Montreal possession: first pass is ruled incomplete, and the video replay refuses to overturn the ruling, so Montreal gets one last play, gains some yards, and tries to kick from about the 45 yard line as the clock runs to 0:00. It fails, and as the ball is being kicked 100 penalty flags fly: it turns out Saskatchewan had too many men on the field! Ten yard penalty, and Montreal scores (and wins) on the next play! Epic. Absolutely epic.

Can you put an entire province on suicide watch? All I know is whoever the 13th man was on the field will never be allowed into Saskatchewan again... its like those South American players who blow soccer matches. For his own safety he has to move.

Saskatchewan always talks about their 13th man. Well their 14th man totally screwed them up: they have to quit with the 14th man stuff.

Swiss cheese immigration

This CBC story seems strange:

Voters in Switzerland have approved a proposal to ban the construction of minarets on mosques, according to early results of a referendum.

Projections based on partial returns show support for the ban rose from only 37 per cent a week ago to 59 per cent in Sunday's voting, paving the way for a constitutional amendment.

The nationalist Swiss People's Party, the largest party in parliament, had pushed for the national vote after labelling the mosque towers as symbols of militant Islam.
Has there been some sort of change to Swiss immigration policy in the last fifteen years? I seem to recall a classmate moving to Switzerland after graduating high school, and she was only able to immigrate because she had partial Swiss ancestry.

So how did all these derka derkas get in?

Hopefully Frogs won't choke on wheat

The 97th Grey Cup is taking place later today from Calgary, Alberta.

It has to be, by far, the worst Grey Cup lineup in a decade. Two decades. Perhaps three decades. [perhaps 9.7 decades? -ed]

The Montreal Surrendering Cheese Monkeys Alouettes are taking on the Saskatchewan Sister-kissers Roughriders. Every year I hope that neither team wins more than a couple token games (they do, after all, play each other), and this year karma has awarded me the dubious joy of watching the two of them face off for the biggest prize in football: the Grey Cup.

As we look at this game, I'm reminded of what I wrote two years ago when I previewed the 2007 Grey Cup:

Now true, my loyalties in all sports tend to lie out in the west (my favourite AL team is Seattle, my 3rd favourite NL team is the Dodgers, etc.) But in this case, I'm willing to make a massive exception. Why? Because like all Edmontonians, I know more than a few passionate Saskatchewan Roughrider fans. I'm sure all of you out in Blogland can say the same. The problem is, if Saskatchewan wins the Grey Cup, we're going to hear about it for years. Maybe decades...
Hey, remember when we won the Grey Cup back in 'ought-seven?
Those wheatlanders will remind us of their victory possibly for the rest of our natural lives -- or until the Riders win their 4th (yes, 4th) Grey Cup in a decade or two -- and I for one don't want to hear that.
Well the thought of watermelon-wearing NDP-voting Che loving and Bush bashing Saskatchewan fans celebrating two Grey Cups in three years, rather than three decades, is just too much to bear. So I'm about to do something that makes me feel almost as dirty as that time I stopped a piece of heavy equipment from crushing a sodomist. I am going to...hmm, now that I try this is hard to type....uh, do I have to? Excuse me, I'm hiding in a corner.

[Feynman and Coulter's Love Child is cheering for Montreal to win the Grey Cup. -ed]

Just even reading that makes mes want to take a shower, except I have a froggy bath poof (no, seriously, thats what you call it, I'm not making a faggot joke here...well, not originally) so obviously that will remind me too much of Montreal.

I decided a few months ago to go to the Bush show, and forego my Grey Cup plans. This seems now like the smartest decision I ever made. God this game today is going to be brutal.

Bonus Grey Cup coverage: Last year I previewed the 96th Grey Cup and I do a lot of good Montreal insulting in the followup review.


Support Local Business FAIL

All I wanted was a hamburger.

I had a craving for a hamburger. Like preggo chicks are with pickles, I was for a bloody burger. It shouldn't have been that hard.

As is my Christmas tradition, I did a little bit of shopping today at 20-year-old mogul Bianca Amor's Liquidation Supercentre. Since I was in the neighbourhood, I did some Princess Auto shopping as well. Now here's where things get interesting. If you Google "best burger edmonton" you are directed to this connect2edmonton forum. They will tell you, with photos, that Grandma D's BBQ Cookhouse has the best burgers in the city. Seeing how I was in the neighbourhood, I thought I'd give it a try.

It's gone.

Shanghai Grill BBQ House is now located at the address in question. So much for that idea. So instead I look to the next suggestion: The Garage Burger Bar, just south of Grant Mac. It's a bit of a drive, but I had the hankering. So I haul ass downtown, pull up in front, and give it a try.

Closed Sundays.

Okay, Metro next door is also said on the page to have good burgers. I don't even have to restart the truck.

Doesn't open 'til 6pm.

Okay, now I'm mad. We're constantly being admonished and implicitly threatened by groups such as Keep Edmonton Original to shop local, whining about how their left-wing capitalist-in-name-but-not-in-spirit members are so great for the community and so much better to support than big name chain places. Graham Hicks blamed himself for going to McDonalds for coffee rather than shopping local just a few days ago. Well I'm here to say good for you, Graham. I remain unconvinced that these businesses really deserve our local support. Here I am trying, on a Sunday afternoon mind you, to enjoy a burger and they are nowhere to be found. Do you want to know where I got my delicious juicy hamburger? Do you?

Wendy's. Wendy's on 104th ave behind Ceili's gave me three delicious hamburgers (okay, one was a chicken but who's counting) at 1:30pm on a Sunday afternoon. You know why? Because they had the novel idea of being open during precisely the time of the week that a person who isn't an unemployed artist or Arts Student would be available and interested in eating a goddamned hamburger.

If local business can't get this, then they deserve to go under. If I happen to read in the next year or two that the owner of Garage Burger Bar goes out of business, declares bankruptcy, and ends up a pauper in the street or (better yet) manning the till at that Wendy's I enjoyed a burger at...I do believe I shall laugh. Out loud. To his face.

Fat Franks on Whyte Avenue is probably the most inexplicable business in this regard. Quick, anybody, try to guess in the comments or something what, come June 2010, their hours will be? C'mon, guess. It's 23C on a Wednesday evening, 9:30pm... will they be open? They weren't in 2009. Tuesday at 5:30pm? Nope, not in 2009. How about midnight, during the bar rush on a Saturday? Oh, guess what, they were closed. Yet the night before they had been open when we left the bar at 2am.

If local business wants to survive, it has to follow the massive rule that the highly successful (and clearly, far superior) chain restaurants have mastered: you are our bitch; get on your knees, present your asses to us, and beg us to fuck you.

As long as they aren't willing to be open Sunday afternoons, my weekend burger cravings are going to be satisfied by a big chain restaurant with a head office in America. The CEO of such a company got my money today. Edmonton's local businesses just didn't seem to want it.


The tunafish sandwich commundrum

Okay, its time we as a society settled this once and for all.

When is a good time to use real mayonnaise, and when is a good time to use Miracle Whip?

This is probably the most important issue that Third Edge of the Sword has ever tackled, so let's get it right.

Some times, the extra tang of Miracle Whip is extremely important. Other times, that smooth egg-gy flavour of mayonnaise just hits the spot. I am currently trying to make tuna sandwiches, and I don't know which substance I should mix in... my instinct says Miracle Whip, but I don't remember.

So what foods are Miracle Whip best for, and which for mayonnaise. I will make the definitive list below. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments below, or send to my Twitter page.

Miracle WhipMayonnaise
Cold turkey sandwichChicken burger
Ham sandwich
Tuna new

Update, November 22 12:57pm: We have our answer on tuna sandwiches. Please feel free to suggest further additions in the comments.


A subject near and dear to my heart liver

As I just tweeted about, the flyer for Liquor Depot this weekend contains a grevious error. Here you can see the segment of the flyer that concerned me:

Now everybody follow along here: Jack Daniels is not bourbon. For one thing, bourbon is (almost exclusively) from Kentucky. Lynchburg is in Tennessee.

There are in fact strict(ish) regulations about all this:

  • Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.
  • Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).
  • Bourbon must contain no caramel coloring (E-150)
  • Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak aging barrels.
  • Bourbon may not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).
  • Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.
  • Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
  • If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

Jack Daniels, on the other hand, is made by filtering through charcoal into non-oak vats. It is not Bourbon.

Many of you may be dozing off at this point, and indeed several coworkers had a "who cares" attitude when from memory I started spouting off some of the fine details. I suppose its too much to expect a layperson to understand this. I do, however, hold a liquor store to higher standards.

Bonus Jack Daniels trivia: Moore County, where Lynchburg is located and where Jack Daniels is produced, is a dry county.

We want press coverage only when we want press coverage

Off the Record today is talking about the incident this past week where the Calgary Flames went apeshit because a reporter mentioned a major post-game screaming match that was overheard.

The players are basically arguing that as a matter of principle reporters should not be revealing things which happened behind closed doors. They also brought up the real-world motivation against it: players (like Jeremy Roenick admitted he's done) and teams denying reporters access.

There can be an argument for the latter case, though surely reporters are not unable to hammer the team in the media for the denials in the first place. There are a lot of ethical concerns about a situation where reporters are publishing things they overheard inside the locker room and being denied team/player access: however they are all ethical concerns for the sad sacks of shit in the league, not the journalist per se.

As for the principle on the reporters side, read this article's section on eavesdropping. The Flames have nothing. NOTHING!


Oktoberfest Videos

Okay, as you probably were unaware seeing how I never got around to blogging or twittering about it, I went to the 2009 Oktoberfest at the German Canadian Cultural Centre in early October. Here are some videos on it:

You know I've had a lot of videos posted lately. I'll try to provide some text comment for my poor readers (like me) on slower machines for a while.


Glenn Beck on Southpark

(h/t polijam)

Bonus Glenn Beck:

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Should be slightly less boring than playing the actual game.


Safe Haven update

Edmonton's Somali community is bracing for more tears and heartache after the seventh shooting death of a young man from their homeland in 16 months.

The body of 21-year-old Abdulaziz Osman Isse was found Thursday behind a dumpster at a synagogue in an upscale west-end neighbourhood.

And like several of the previous victims, Isse had a history with police in Ontario.

Edmonton police said yesterday that they had no previous encounters with Isse, who had arrived here recently from eastern Canada.

But Toronto police spokesman Mark Rugash said Isse was known to them, although he couldn't provide any details.

Edmonton's gang and drug investigators are watching the case closely, but police spokeswoman Karen Carlson said yesterday that no connection to organized crime has been confirmed.

Isse's body was found at 8:45 a.m. by a staff member at Beth Israel Synagogue, 131 Wolf Willow Rd.
Anybody remember this story about Edmonton's Sudanese community turning our fair city into a nightmare of their own violence brought in from the disgusting third world basket case they came from? (and by this, of course, I mean Ontario, though Sudan is probably a bit rough too)

The SUN article goes on to list some of these "victims". Let me stress again that these aren't real victims. At best you can count them as workplace fatalities:
Here's a list of the previous victims.

- Mohamed Ali Ibrahim, 24, shot and killed outside the River Cree Resort and Casino on Aug. 24, 2008.

- Nasir Mohamed Said, 22, shot to death behind Balwin School on Sept. 16, 2008.

- Abas Akubar, 21, shot and found Oct. 31 in a park near 140 Avenue and 92 Street

- Daniel Asarfo-Adjei, 17, was shot dead in Fort McMurray on Nov. 9

- Abdul Kadir Mohamoud, 23, shot and left in a field in Grand Truck Park on Dec. 2, 2008

- Ahmed Mohammed Abdirahman, 21, was also killed Dec. 2 by a bullet in a parking lot near 148 Avenue and 88A Street

- Mohamad Farah Khalif, 20, was shot to death on April 26, 2009, in Hermitage Park.

A Nazi Trans-testicle?

Oh, Adolf
Torch me like a Jew,
Torch me like a Jew,
Like a Jew, like a Jew, like a Jew,
Like a Jew,

And yes, Bill Amesbury looks even less manly now than before. And on top of not knowing that a penis is supposed to be permanent, Bill Amesbury also doesn't understand how Wikipedia works


The real reason the McCain team is still mad at Sarah Palin

We all know what it REALLY means...

Twilight stars sparkle in Edmonton:

EDMONTON - Screams from more than 1,000 fans of the movie Twilight were deafening as three celebrities from the vampire saga appeared Saturday afternoon at West Edmonton Mall.

Fans started lining up at 7 a.m. on Friday, more than 24 hours before the Saturday event. And when the movie stars arrived, the crowd of mainly teenage girls shrieked “I-love-yous,” snapped pictures and clutched Twilight posters, books and T-shirts as they listened to a question-and-answer session.
Three girls who waited more than 30 hours in line for the event were invited into a private room where they met the stars. About 450 were allowed to get autographs from the stars.
"Invited into a private room where they met the stars". C'mon, can they really not get away with admitting that they went in to flash and likely give BJs to minor celebrities? We've all seen the Jonas Brothers on South Park!


Men are from Mars, Women's genitalia is from Mars

Here I was, minding my own business, reading an article from Britain's Daily Telegraph about Fort Hood killer Nidal Malik Hasan, when I came across something odd at the bottom of the page.

It was a link that ultimately takes you to this photogallery from a recent NASA probe. The photos they show have an odd organic quality to them, half of them looking like Zerg buildings from StarCraft.

Here's how the ad looked on the bottom of the Hasan article (it will likely rotate to something else in time):

I swear when I first saw this it took me a moment to read the text, and I was sure I was looking at a picture of a girl infected with chlamydia.


11/11/18, 11:11

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



What kind of photo shot is this?

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A female Brazilian student who was expelled from a Sao Paulo university after her short dress sparked student protests has been allowed back after federal prosecutors opened an investigation into the case.

The Universidade Bandeirante made the reversal after taking out advertisement space in Sunday newspapers to explain that it had expelled Geysi Villa Nova Arruda, 20, for her "incompatible posture with the atmosphere" at the school.
Do you see the tamest-photos-ever of the girl, Geysi Villa Nova Arruda?

That seems to be all there is. Well, that and this photo of the actual short dress:

Public consultations meaningless anyways

Paula Simons recent column on the LRT consultation meetings:

But while those who spoke in opposition to the new route outnumbered supporters two-to-one, council also heard from some two dozen people who spoke passionately in favour of the new route, residents and business people from Lynnwood and Meadowlark, Strathearn and Canora, Millwoods and Grovenor and West Jasper Place. Public hearings usually attract plenty of NIMBY sentiment, since people are far more likely to show up to city council to complain than commend.
So these consultations, Simons tells us, are already unreliable as indicators of what should be done due to those nay-saying about public decisions that affect their private lives, right. Pray, continue:
"We think this is a super system and a sensitive system for mature neighbourhoods and redevelopment," said David Kent, the developer behind the Strathearn Heights infill project. For council, this is not going to be an easy decision.

Nor should it be. The choice they make will chart the direction for this city's future development, for good or for ill. And there's probably no route they could chose that would make everybody happy. No matter where the train runs, somebody will be inconvenienced, somebody's ox will be gored.
There will be some who might be directly impacted by the decision being made, and they might raise a big public stink, but the government should ignore them in favour of the greater good.
West Edmonton community activist Andrew Knack, who's planning his own run for city council next fall, put it bluntly to the current councillors.

"No matter which route they chose, many people will be angry.

"Consensus is not possible."

But just because a decision won't' be easy, he said, that doesn't mean council should give up on LRT.

He's absolutely right. It's time for us, as a city, to put our mass transit plans back on track.

The route proposed by city planners isn't perfect -there may need to be some tweaking in response to legitimate community concern.

Yet despite the disruption and inconvenience the route will mean for some, this is a plan that offers a bold, fresh vision for LRT in Edmonton. It's time for council to get on-board -before Edmonton is left behind on the platform once again.

It sounds like a pretty open-and-shut case for pushing on with this west LRT development. There are some public consultations, but those are just for show. It sounds like if necessary, Simons would be all for just ditching the public meetings. She doesn't like what people there say, and so we will put the west LRT where government planning commissions have decided the most utilitarian route is. Public opinion of those who live in affected areas be damned. Somehow I doubt that an LRT route that would require the demolitions of both Paula Simons and Andrew Knack's homes would be so proudly promoted.

Now does this sound familiar? Lets turn to...Paula Simons:
This Monday, in the last week of the jam-packed and testy spring sitting, with tempers already running high around Bill 44, the government will introduce Bill 50, the innocuous-sounding Electric Statutes Amendment Act. The act would give the legislature responsibility for determining whether and which new power lines are needed. That's a significant shift. In a province where generators and transmission lines are built and owned, not by the province, but by private companies, it's traditionally been the responsibility of AESO, the Alberta Electric System Operator, and the Alberta Utilities Commission -- formerly the Energy and Utilities Board -- to figure out when and whether new lines were necessary. But after the debacle of the botched EUB hearings into the siting of a new power line between Edmonton and Calgary -- hearings that had to be cancelled, after the EUB hired ham-handed private investigators to spy on those who opposed the line -- the Stelmach government is centralizing control of transmission planning. The new AUC will still decide precisely where the individual lines will run. But under Bill 50, the province will specifically say which lines are built first.
Yes, thats right, the Province of Alberta is proposing to do away with the same consultation process with Bill 50 that the City of Edmonton is holding to great fanfare but literally no benefit.

So seeing how public consultations don't mean anything when the public doesn't consult in a way the political masters like, is there really any strong reason to keep the public consultation process in place? Unlike LRT lines, power lines don't require homes to be bulldozed to the ground. Unlike LRT lines, the politicians don't get a direct say into where the lines are built: AESO alone makes that determination. Unlike the LRT, there is an actual verifiable need for new power transmission lines and not some city councillors and wannabe politicians like Knack pushing for some "legacy project".

Is it too much to hope that when the Liberals and NDP [and, possibly, even Wildrose.. -ed] go hog-wild over Bill 50 somebody reminds them that you can hold tons of public consultations but unless you want nothing to get done, you will eventually have to tell those raising issues in these consultations to go to hell. That's the reality on the ground nobody wants to talk about. The merits of government agencies making LRT or power decisions in the first place may be up for debate, but there should be no illusion of a "public process" entirely made up of 100th ave in favour of 107th ave, 107th ave in favour of 103rd ave, 103rd ave in favour of 98th ave, and 98th ave in favour of 100th ave circle-jerking festivals.


Usher would probably be a better President all around

With today Music Monday on Twitter, I thought I'd followup President Monkey's little shoutout session you may have read about on Friday with another undeserving black Grammy Winner who insists on stupid shoutouts:

2005 winner Usher's "Yeah":

The difference? They didn't do 90 seconds of shoutouts before getting to the music, they throw it in near the end telling us explicitly who's performing the song. Does anybody remember Velvet Revolver doing this?

Because it wouldn't be a Queen medley without a bunch of guys wearing dresses

Bonus marks, of course, for anybody who can identify the Queen songs used in this medley which don't have anything to do with sodomy. [only fitting, since this routine is in a prison! -ed]


Full Monte

From today's Monte Solberg blog giving advice to right-wing politicos in Alberta:

I would love to see honest and fact based debates about the merits of:

• Modestly sized government, and why government should be restricted to a percentage of GDP.

• Local control of municipal services, hospitals, schools and police services. This already occurs partially but what about financing these services?

Property taxes are about as archaic, distorting and economically harmful a way of financing local government as you could possibly find. Is there a better way?
I've rambled once or twice about municipal politics before. Ironically enough, municipal elections have the lowest voter turnout imaginable. Left-wingers cheering that asshats like Don Iveson or Michael Phair win elections would be aghast and demanding action if Stephen Harper scored a minority with such a small voter turnout.

The first thing to remember about municipal government, as I know I've mentioned on here before, is that they have absolutely no constitutional standing. Edmonton City Council doesn't exist because of any longstanding arrangement with the Fathers of Confederation. The last few years municipalities have been in direct negotiations with the Government of Canada which is a tolerated but not constitutionally justifiable end around. To be fair, recently, at the behest of municipalities the Government of Alberta greatly expanded their powers, and wide-eyed socialists like Iveson or Amarjeet Sohi have been using them to our detriment ever since.

Regardless, this is something to remember:
Municipalities in the Province of Alberta have no standing.
They are the province's bitch,
and can be dissassembled and reassembled at whim.

If there is a better way to run municipal government in Alberta with greater limits on their powers, less disgusting use and abuse of their tax base, and a way to manage their assets in a sensible way more in line with responsible limited right-wing government, then lets do it.

The municipalities may object. Let them. They aren't in command here. The province may have forgotten this (the existence of Department of Municipal Affairs for example), the city councils may have forgotten this, and they may try to dupe the ratepayers in their jurisdictions that it isn't so, but it is. The faster everybody accepts this, the faster local politics in Alberta can stop being the 291-Headed Hydra it is.

You're Ed Stelmach's bitch, Stephen Mandel. If he tells you to bend over and take it you have little choice but to hold onto your ankles.

[I would like to apologize for the mental image called up in that last paragraph. For that matter, the post title as well. What can I do? -ed]

Okay, so by "recently" I mean 1995. Still, 15 years ago municipalities in Alberta didn't have nearly the clout they did now, and that ain't so very long ago.

100 villages, 111 towns, 64 municipal districts, and 16 cities in the Province of Alberta according to Wikipedia.


The latest news, only a month behind

With the Alberta PC Annual General Meeting underway today, and the leadership review of Ed Stelmach looming over the Alberta political scene, I thought this might be a good time to review the Twitter posts I made during the Wildrose Alliance Leadership Election Meeting held in Edmonton on October 17th. Enjoy:

  1. @ElectDanielle Stop twittering at the head table. ;-)9:09 AM Oct 17th from txt
  2. Wow. Danielle Smith is not the hottest woman in this room. She's not the second hottest either. #ableg #wap #hotass10:06 AM Oct 17th from txt
  3. I wish there was a session on antisocial media. #wap10:09 AM Oct 17th from txt
  4. Irony: social media session has the unattractive people, campaign building has attractive people. Play to strengths I guess.11:04 AM Oct 17th from txt
  5. @twaldo @hurtinalbertan No photos today b/c phone off during sessions. MC's gf is hottest. Gorgeous girl in white sweater 2nd place.11:07 AM Oct 17th from mobile web
  6. Hey look kids, its Gene Hackman! #wap11:44 AM Oct 17th from txt
  7. @theibein Neither. Watched five mins in the back of each, then off for a quick pint. :-)12:01 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  8. Mock #wap celeb sightings: Gene Hackman, Pat Quinn, and crazy Joe Davolla from Seinfeld.12:10 PM Oct 17th from txt
  9. Dear Lord there's no good places to eat around here. Halfway to the Wendy's by Four Points Sheraton. #yeg #wap12:19 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  10. @sjtigers Road construction was a pain. Being so far from drinking & real food establishments was criminal. Truck's fuel bill not tiny. #wap12:26 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  11. @hurtinAlbertan At the end of the day. I'll get back to you when I'm back at the hotel to see an agenda.12:41 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  12. Bad sign for Dyrholm? The people sitting near his signs are gingerly stepping around them. #wap win12:56 PM Oct 17th from txt
  13. @hurtinalbertan Ballot counting expected to be finished and announcement made in about two hours.12:57 PM Oct 17th from txt
  14. Another #wap "celebrity" sighting: Will from Will and Grace. #irony12:58 PM Oct 17th from txt
  15. And of course Hinman, who looks vaguely like Michael York (the actor, not the hockey player) #wap12:59 PM Oct 17th from txt
  16. Paul: careful with the anecdotes. Some work, some don't. #wap (careful promoting Guy too) #ableg1:22 PM Oct 17th from txt
  17. Boo-urns to Paul, Mark, and Danielle for answering questions on bureaucracy overruling Minsterial decisions w/o mentioning Yes Minister #wap1:41 PM Oct 17th from txt
  18. I wonder where the cute asian girl with the black briefcase went off to. I can't share a drink with you if you leave early sweetheart. #wap1:49 PM Oct 17th from txt
  19. If you were asking if Oscar Lacombe was here, the answer is yes. #wap1:49 PM Oct 17th from txt
  20. Dyrholm campaign material edited to remove false claim. Still misplaces quotation marks. D'oh! #wap2:00 PM Oct 17th from txt
  21. @bevurlee She's at the #wap event?2:04 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  22. She's talking to some dweeb in a suit. Guess next time I gotta wear a suit.2:06 PM Oct 17th from txt
  23. The #wap Leadership race will be announced in about twenty minutes.3:39 PM Oct 17th from txt
  24. The #wap Leadership Conference got a great presentation on how bad #Alberta's #healthcare compares to other universal systems. #ableg #roft3:42 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  25. @hurtinalbertan I kept asking why we couldn't have a two hundred tiered system.3:44 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  26. Odd in retrospect that my commie ex isn't here. She could have come for free on her press pass. #wap3:53 PM Oct 17th from txt
  27. Congrats to @ElectDanielle for her #wap win! #ableg #roft4:07 PM Oct 17th from txt
  28. @Spydyman It helps to have both outcomes pre written so its one click away milliseconds after the announcement.4:52 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  29. So, how many other people are blaring Snoop Dogg as they peel out of the parking lot after Danielle wins #wap leadership?4:55 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  30. Were there a lot of weddings today? Everybody on Whyte is wearing a suit too! How on earth can I pick up under these conditions?5:19 PM Oct 17th from txt
  31. @hurtinalbertan Cross town twice? Nah. None of the girls on Whyte compare to WildRose girls, interestingly enough.5:24 PM Oct 17th from mobile web
  32. Twitter says I have to wait an hour before logging back in.9:21 PM Oct 17th from txt
  33. Just got back from the post-election wrapup party.1:46 AM Oct 18th from web


Shady (Presidential) Records

Coming out of yesterday's Fort Hood attack is the bizzare story of President Monkey's response to the crisis.

Take it away, NBC News:

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Here you can watch the video yourself:

What is with all the shoutouts? Almost as soon as I heard this story, it immediately reminded me of something odd. Rap artists these days are always "shouting out" to either the fellow collaborators on the album, and/or the name of their label at the beginning (and occasionally the middle) of the song.

I have a minor example here:

Before the song even starts, you're given the names of the performing rappers, told that them combining forces "is history", and for added benefit told which album you can buy the song on.

You can find the same thing on 50 Cent and Marques Houston remixing "Candy Shop", or Missy Elliott unable to stop declaring that Nelly Furtado is helping her with the remix.

What does Obama have in common with these artists? C'mon now, you know it, you can think of it... hmmmm....

Barack Obama...


50 Cent...

Missy Elliott...

...what do they have in common? Oh yeah, they're all talentless hacks.

A fun thought experiment

Take this John Ibbitson article in today's Globe and Mail:

Mr. Van Loan was commenting on the Commons vote Wednesday night that approved in principle a private members bill to shut down the registry. He will be belatedly releasing a report today in support of the registry. His government ignored the report. The minister also ignored the truth that police forces insist they value the registry.

But all that is beside the political point. The political point is that the registry is popular with Canadians. About two thirds of them want the registry retained, according to a 2006 Ipsos Reid poll. More recent data doesn't appear to be available, but pollster Darrell Bricker says it is unlikely attitudes have changed since then.

Within that poll are stark contrasts. Urban voters support the registry, and any other measure that limits gun violence. Rural voters oppose the registry, seeing in it an insidious government conspiracy to pry rifles and shotguns out of hunters' and farmers' infuriated hands.

Eighty per cent of us live in cities. If the House of Commons were representative of the nation, the gun registry would survive; the voters of greater Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver would insist on it.

Now just go through, and mentally swap "gun registry" with "faggot marriages", swap "urban" with "religious", "rural" with "poofter", and "2006" with "1999".

Go on, try it, its fun. Here was a legislature trying to push through a narrow agenda only opposed by the people who are impacted by it, and its a crime against nature.

Yet when that same legislative body tried to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, a mere clarification that only prevented a few activists from trying to make a false claim about their sick perverted lifestyle, it was an outrage from the likes of pillow-biter John Ibbitson.


Thanks for the suggestion!

I'm not complaining, mind you: she's hot. But what keytags have I been looking at recently to make YouTube suggest this for me?

These are the tags the video goes with: communitychannel knows the come to bed song your mum sings every night

If you liked the first video, wait 'til you see the other ones she has!

Access: Edmonton

A couple weeks ago I discovered something neat in Microsoft Access.

If you are in the program and try to access the in-system help for input masks (ie. requiring all phone numbers to be (xxx)xxx-xxxx or all States to be XX) it provides the following example:

Then, if you are accessing Microsoft Office help online, it gives you a different set of examples.

Notice something about the postal codes? Both of them are from Edmonton.

T6V 0B1 is up on the northside of the city near St. Albert, while T5J 3S9 is right in the heart of downtown. Pretty neat, huh?

"I just don't know if it's a good idea to paint your name in 6 foot letters on the side of a stolen truck."

Alberta's Pandemic Influenza Operations Plan.

With all the current vaccination strategy complaining going around, what people probably won't fully appreciate is the creepy "Annex B - Caring for the Dead" on page 31:

The combined total capacity of all hospitals, throughout Alberta, for refrigerated storage is estimated to be less than 150 bodies, and many smaller rural hospitals have no refrigerated body storage space. Although the Medical Examiner’s Office has refrigerated space in its two regional offices for temporary storage of Medical Examiner cases (a maximum of 25 bodies each), the Office also relies upon rural hospitals as sites of temporary body storage for its rural cases. It is clear, therefore, that there will be a shortage of refrigerated body storage sites province-wide, however the acuity of the shortage will vary from location to location and in accordance with the stage of evolution of the pandemic. Apart from hospital morgues, there are three potential sources of additional refrigeration sites for bodies: commercial refrigerated units; local industries/government offices with refrigerators (e.g., Fish and Wildlife Offices); and local ice arenas (e.g. hockey and curling rinks). The most practical of these alternatives is the temporary rental of refrigerated units, as these can be placed at a hospital where there are already procedures in place for the admission and release of bodies. Based upon the projected number of deaths, it is unlikely that the majority of the rural health regions would need more than one of these units for the temporary storage of bodies. Without shelves, these units can hold approximately 25-30 bodies each. The construction of temporary wooden shelves, of sufficient strength to hold bodies, will increase the storage capacity, however the shelves must be constructed in a way that allows for safe movement and removal of bodies (i.e., storage of bodies on shelves above waist height is not recommended for safety reasons). Care must be taken to avoid using a marked commercial unit that may create a negative image for the company providing the unit. The Medical Examiner’s Offices in Edmonton or Calgary should be contacted for information on those companies that have these units available. Admission and release procedures, as well as provisions for security of the units, will have to be planned for and enforced. The next best option would be to use a Government of Alberta local office with cold storage. (E.g. Fish and Wildlife Offices, Gaming and Liquor locations) Local industry refrigerators and local ice arenas are not recommended, primarily becase their locations are fixed and the post-pandemic implications of the fact that human bodies were stored in these sites can be serious. They should only be considered as a last resort, although use of this type of facility may be necessary in the larger population centres of Alberta
"Care must be taken to avoid using a marked commercial unit that
may create a negative image for the company providing the unit."

Is this really the big thing we need to be worried about in the event of a pandemic outbreak? Sure the hockey rink has been used to store dead bodies, but I'll happily go there tomorrow. Ace Refridgeration Services? Holy hell, no way I'm ever doing business with those people again. For all we know they could be zombies!

Rather than go off on a zombie tangent, I will note that if you store dead people at curling rinks the average age is unlikely to increase.


I wish they wouldn't cover up this H1N1 - Calgary Flames story

Below is a screenshot from the Edmonton SUN's website this afternoon.

The media wouldn't be trying to scare us by blaring nothing but swine flu at us, would they?

November 4, 2009 kicks November 8, 2008's ass!

Okay, that was a Twitter comment referencing the special elections held across the U.S. yesterday.

This is more to lighten the ol' blog up after the intensity of a couple of recent posts on Alberta politics that got more than a little bit intense, and took up much of my evening having to argue bits of senseless minutia.

So instead, here are some hot pics of Israeli model Bar Refaeli:


David Swann is still either lying or doesn't know medicine.

Okay, clearly I'm going to need more than 125 characters at a time to cover this (one space plus the string "@KenChapman46" makes up the difference). This post on Dr. David Swann led to a lot of immediate discussion.

Let's start with the newest one:

@FACLC Linking to your anonymous self as an authority is laughable. Who is "world's best pandemic response team?" Link to proof #ableg
I did link to proof: the TIME magazine article which discussed the actions being taken by CDC. If you don't think the Center for Disease Control is the world's best pandemic response team you can feel free to name another one. Hey, look out below! This blog takes comments!

(note, unlike the previous post I won't be linking to individual Twitter posts. Even when I did this I was accused of "making them up" so clearly I'm wearing down my "Ctrl", "C" and "V" keys unnecessarily)

Maybe now to the bottom:
@FACLC Swann WAS in public health, hospital time irrelevant. The full seniors quote is qualified. u mislead by editing it. Post it all
I did post it all. I will post it all again:
I’ve heard from seniors with chronic disease, many with disabilities, who are not able to line up for hours due to their conditions. These are the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine!
Now to repost the same two links I used after the "misleading" and "edited" quote: seniors are the lowest risk groups (one lie) and least likely to benefit from the vaccine (two lies). If they aren't lies, then David Swann doesn't know anything about H1N1 and should stop waving his medical credentials around like a flag.

@FACLC Brevity is no excuse in Blogs not even in Twitter b/c you can always link to proof. Prove yourself - identify yourself! #ableg
Would anybody like to count the number of links in the original post? I already did: there are 26 links, which is a whole lotta linking to proof.

@FACLC Healthy seniors (no medical/disability issues) are not flu shot priorities is new GOA policy & makes sense & U disagree? #ableg
If Swann had been congradulating Ed Stelmach on excluding seniors, that had been one thing. What (false) canard had he brought up already?
I’ve heard from seniors with chronic disease, many with disabilities, who are not able to line up for hours due to their conditions.
That's right, the exact opposite of this sensible Government of Alberta policy. My opinion on the subject is secondary: Swann's "opinion" picks politics over medicine and he should admit that.

@FACLC Same time Stelmach was saying everyone had a "civic duty" to get inoculated & no high-risk priority policy then, MISLEADING! #ABLEG
Not meaning to defend Ed Stelmach, but Colby Cosh noted today that one of the reasons everybody was assured they should get the flu shot was a legitimate concern that nobody would get it due to some cranks on the internet. (something that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, interestingly enough).

@FACLC BEING SILENT ON waiting for high-risk Albertans is no evidence of not deferring to them either. MORE MISLEADING - WHO ARE YOU?
Now this implies that just because I found a reference to Swann telling the Legislative Assembly (and by extension the general public) that he would be getting a shot as soon as he had some time to spare the wait that I have no proof he wasn't going to stand there like Benton Fraser in the Due South pilot saying "pardon me after you" to hundreds of people behind him in line. You're right, I don't. But my scenario is infinately the more probable one. We on the right side of the reality/fantasy barrier will stick with my story if that's all right with you.

@FACLC I know who the CDC is & see you apparently quoting them. Why not link to CDC & the quote 2 prove your accuracy? Who are u? #ABLEG
Why not link to the CDC? Why not link to TIME? I'm not running a Wikipedia here, but for what its worth, here's the CDC's H1N1 vaccine FAQ which is dated today (though I believe its only dated via a computer script):
The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65.

This last Tweet was one of the newer ones that have trickled in as I've typed out this entry [and watched NCIS, and watched some remastered Star Trek, and talked to some girls on the phone, and... -ed]. Not much left to go on now.

And at this point I think I'm pretty much done. In under half an hour the argument has gone from "you're making up all the various tweets you've linked to" and "once you add in a few extra words it magically makes Swann's lies into truths" into "just because he said he was going to get innoculated right away and said how important it was for people to do it doesn't mean there's any reason to believe he would" into "I didn't see you link to proof 26 times in a single blogpost and demand that you re-link things directly into my Twitter feed" into "why aren't you happy that Stelmach followed medical advice and David Swann pissed into the face of it for political points?" into "whoa, who said the CDC was a bigger expert than David Swann" into "well you didn't directly link to CDC only to a news story interviewing them and its old anyways" into "well you're not entitled to your own facts even though every fact you've already brought up has been blissfully ignored because they make David Swann look like a liar and an idiot".

Instead, as a bit of a followup for everybody else in the universe who has already started dozing off, I'll do what Ken is so worried about: I'll link directly to the Hansard discussing the flu clinics.

First off, here's Ron Liepert in the Legislative Assembly dealing with what the Colby Cosh article discussed: making sure 60% of Albertans want to get the shot vs. 90% of Albertans refuse to get the shot:
Yet we still see polls saying that people are reluctant to get their shots. They say that there’s too much confusion. Some say that the vaccine isn’t safe, et cetera. Well, I’m here to give the people of Alberta a simple message: we have a safe, effective vaccine, don’t listen to the naysayers, and get immunized.

Also featured is the immortal words that have gotten Liepert in so much shit these last couple of days:
Mass clinics started delivering the vaccine across Alberta today, focusing on the high-risk groups first. I’d ask everyone to please
check www.albertahealthservices.ca for the nearest clinic. That means that people under 65 with chronic health conditions and their caregivers, kids between six months and five years of age, pregnant women, health care workers, and people in remote or isolated settings and communities, all these groups, should get immunized as soon as possible. No one will be turned away at the clinics, but we are aiming to have those groups who can benefit the most come forward first.

Now here's former Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft:
Dr. Taft: Well, thanks, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Health and Wellness is correct when he says that Albertans should ignorepeople spreading disinformation about the safety of vaccines. The safe, responsible thing to do is to get immunized as soon as possible for the H1N1 influenza. This morning about 9:20 I drove past the immunization clinic at Westmount mall in Edmonton. I was hoping to get immunized myself.

And now finally, even though I'd already linked to it (another lie! another lie! don't believe your eyes!), here's Dr. Swann admitting he was going to get innoculated as soon as possible:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Pandemic influenza is here. The vaccine will save lives, and I applaud the tireless efforts of health officials and front-line workers delivering this important preventative measure. I myself will be getting the vaccine when I have hours to spare.

For those who know what hyperlinks do, you can read the Hansard yourself. There is more to the quotes I'm not including here, and if you think this lets these disgusting Liberals off the hook then there's something seriously wrong with you.

Liberal Doctors Tell Medical Lies

Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is a medical doctor. I have set foot in a hospital twice in five years. Naturally that means I come out of this victorious.

In Swann's blog today (yes, today, that will become significant later), he writes the typical tug-at-heartstrings stuff that Liberals are wont to say before they either bald-faced lie to your face and/or make a play for huge amounts of your money. To give away the ending here, Swann is about to do both.

As line-ups continue across the province today, I am hearing from many concerned Albertans about the negligence, lack of planning and shortage of resources around this important vaccination campaign.

I’ve heard from parents, who are worried for their young children and frustrated by the hours of waiting imposed on their families.

I’ve heard from seniors with chronic disease, many with disabilities, who are not able to line up for hours due to their conditions. These are the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine!

I’ve heard from pharmacists who are inundated with phone calls after the Minister’s announcement that 400 pharmacist’s will be available to administer the vaccine shortly. These pharmacists have not been given any prior information and are frustrated that they cannot answer the questions being asked.
Wah wah wah, look at all the poor parents and seniors and babies dying of collic in the streets. I didn't spell that disease right, did I? I just want to stress that I am indeed not a medical doctor, since the Alberta Liberals take great pains to stress how indeed Swan is a doctor and, as he twittered about advertising this post he is in fact a former Public Health Officer. I am not. I just want to be 100% clear on this.

So lets reread this thing again starting with the first paragraph (my quote starts with the 2nd). And by "lets" I mean "I'll do it and spare you the agony".

Lets see here...don't panic just inoculate high risk folks, okay... hearing from concerned Albertans, okay... parents worried about the family, okay... poor seniors can't stand up long and are most at risk, ohhh -- -- -- -- -- -- -- oh not okay not okay NOT OKAY NOT OKAY!!!!!
I’ve heard from seniors...the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine!

- "Doctor" David Swann, former Public Health Officer
(of the government bureaucracy he reminds us is routinely incompetent)
Elderly, you may note, are not being targeted for immunization in the newly revamped plans the Alberta Government announced today. Why is this?

Why, its simple. Seniors are not in high-risk groups for the Swine Flu. Oh, also it appears that the elderly receive little benefit from the flu shot.

I’ve heard from seniors...the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine!
- Dr. David Swann,
former Public Health Officer
In case you hadn't followed along so far, I'm noting that the elderly in fact have a reduced risk of H1N1 because before 1957 people's immune systems already contained antibodies to defend themselves against similar ailments.

It's okay, we don't expect leaders of minor struggling opposition parties to keep abreast of swine flu developments. As Ken Chapman snapped at me yesterday, the Alberta Liberals are not in Government and so they really can't do much to actually change how Albertans get the vaccinations. [if you click the Tweet Ken is responding to, you'll find an interesting little comment. We'll come back to that one later as well. -ed] This would be a bit of a cop-out, though ultimately a somewhat excusable one, if it wasn't for the fact that its been routinely beaten over our heads by Liberal PR spinners that David Swann was a Public Health Official (in a government bureaucracy that its increasingly evident is poorly run -- or at least was a few years back).

Liberal hacks apologists might decide to jump out and note the ellipses I cut out. After all, he was only talking about chronically ill seniors, right? Well, even if he was (and I sincerely doubt it), chronically ill seniors still aren't "the very people most at risk and most likely to benefit from the vaccine" as Swann claimed. The former goes to very young children, and the latter goes to pregnant women. This might just explain why the Alberta government has decided to rank them #1 and #2 respectively in the new priority system. Don't just take my word for it: TIME Magazine did a story on the subject over the summer. They didn't consult the man who was fired for overreaching his capacity as Medical Officer for Health in a minor southern health region, I readily admit it. On the other hand, they did talk to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). Here's what they said (emphasis mine):
The 15-member panel of doctors, scientists, vaccine experts, public-health officials and a citizen representative came up with five core populations they believe should receive the first wave of H1N1/09 immunization. These include pregnant women, people living in households with babies under 6 months old (since infants cannot be immunized, they must be protected by preventing illness in those around them), emergency medical personnel who are likely to be in contact with infected patients, young people between 6 months and 24 years old, and nonelderly individuals who have underlying conditions, such as asthma, respiratory illness or a compromised immune system, that put them at higher risk of flu complications

Notably absent from the target list are the elderly, those over age 65, who are generally considered a high-risk group when it comes to seasonal influenza. Based on the populations who were hardest hit by H1N1/09 last spring, first in Mexico and then across other continents, CDC experts believe that the elderly will not be as vulnerable to H1N1/09 in the fall as younger adults might be. In fact, health officials have relegated the elderly to the back of the line for H1N1/09 vaccinations — after the five target groups have received their shots, the next eligible group would be younger, healthy adults who have no underlying medical conditions that would complicate the flu. Only after those populations have been inoculated would the elderly be permitted to receive vaccination. "People who are 65 and over are at high risk of influenza complications from seasonal influenza," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, told reporters on Wednesday. "It's important that they get the seasonal-flu shot. But the H1N1 outbreaks have so far spared that population. So I would tell them that their risk of illness from this virus is very low compared to that of younger people."

So there you have it, good people of Alberta. Either Doctor David Swann, the man who wants to be premier in 2012, knows less about H1N1 than some blogger who vaguely recalled that the elderly were not at risk from newspaper stories I glanced over weeks ago... or else the Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party is lying to the people of Alberta in order to scare a significant voting bloc into believing that the Government of Alberta is taking actions that will harm them. I leave it up to you to solve this mystery.

Now for a few loose threads to be tied up. Let's start with the input from one of my Twitter followers who saw this tweet where I first unveiled my discovery of David Swann's lie. Specifically I was told I was in error: the first lie of David Swann's post wasn't on paragraph four. It was on paragraph two.
As line-ups continue across the province today, I am hearing from many concerned Albertans about the negligence, lack of planning and shortage of resources around this important vaccination campaign.
- Dr. David Swann, had job got fired hates Klein yadda yadda yadda
Oh, I did mention at the top of this post that he wrote this today, didn't I? Good. I told you that would be significant. After all, there are no lineups at clinics today. The H1N1 vaccine has been on hold since the flu clinics closed on Saturday afternoon. This was The Bear's "hot topics" on the Paul Brown Show both yesterday and today. It was the topic of letters to the editor, it was discussed on blogs... in fact, just yesterday David Swann discussed it on his blog! While I understand Swann's desire not to have to read anything he's written twice, he possibly should remember writing it. [I sure hope his patients all got legible prescriptions from this guy! Imagine the pharmacy calling his office next afternoon for clarification and having this one-day amnesia take hold! -ed] There it is, folks. Two paragraphs for the first lie to show itself. Two more until we saw the second. His sixth paragraph reads;
Many people have suggestions about how to make positive changes to the vaccination campaign, and I would like to acknowledge their efforts to make a bad situation better for everyone.
Anybody know anybody who actually gave Swann suggestions? After all, if current trends continue...

Moving along, my editor noted an interesting little tweet I made:
@KenChapman46 The opposition MLAs not in the high risk groups (ie., most of them) can refuse to receive vaccinations until lineups cease.
Of course, I was mentioning that the Liberals and NDP can take the moral high ground and not get innoculated for H1N1. After all, they are mere politicians and aren't high priority in the event of an actual calamity. I even stated this explicitly:
@KenChapman46 I thought one of the things the left opposition parties were big about was their superior morals. I bet they jumped lines.
Saying, of course, that while the Liberals and Dippers whined a lot about the Alberta Government giving low-risk persons shots (like David Swann today upset that hockey players got shots), its all just bleating to the media... they wouldn't pass up themselves being the low-risk group given inoculations, right?

Ken didn't like that:
@FACLC Again all you give us is shallow unsubstantial comments with no evidence and U do it anonymously. Time to come out of the closet.

Well, I left that alone since the comment with "no evidence" was basically "I bet that X happened, though I have no way to know one way or the other". These comments tend to come with no evidence by default. Of course, that was until the good Doctor David Swann directed me to this blogpost he made October 28th (again, emphasis mine):
On Monday in the opening question period for this fall’s legislative session, I addressed this issue with the Premier and the Minister of Health. Both the Premier and the Minister were adamant about defending their vaccination program as it stood.

This is followed by yesterday’s announcement that 11 additional H1N1 vaccination clinics will be open to Albertans in the coming weeks. It is still unclear exactly where and when they will be open. The lack of openness and real planning around this vaccination program is evidence of a government that doesn’t understand this vital service. Twelve Albertans have died from this illness already and we’ve had months to plan for vaccine delivery. This leaves many, including myself, disappointed and angry. Seasonal vaccination programs are a regular event across the province.

At this rate of vaccination it will be Valentine’s Day before our population is fully immunized!

If I were Premier I’d make this the priority.

Please read the complete transcript from the Hansard below.

Dr. Swann: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Pandemic influenza is here.
The vaccine will save lives, and I applaud the tireless efforts of
health officials and front-line workers delivering this important
preventative measure. I myself will be getting the vaccine when I
have hours to spare. Unfortunately, there are only nine flu clinics
available between Edmonton and Calgary to cover over 2 million
people. My questions are to the Premier. With years of planning for
pandemics already completed, how is it that there are only nine
clinics providing immunization to over 2 million people in Alberta
Do you think that sometime last week David Swann found the spare time to get immunized? I certainly do. And there we have some pretty compelling proof that low-risk opposition MLAs have already gotten their own swine flu shots. They certainly were planning on doing it, and if there's anything politicians are known for its carrying out plans geared towards self-interest. I'll await Ken's apology for implying the post up until this point was "shallow unsubstantial comments with no evidence".

I also notice that Swann wants us to forget that 10% of the population have gotten immunized and its expected no more than 60% will get immunized, "at this rate" the vaccine will be delivered by Christmas, not Valentine's Day. Meanwhile, the shortages of vaccine compared to original assurances is something that Swann doesn't like mentioning either. This guy sure doesn't seem to know a lot about the vaccination program he's promoting, does he? If I ever make a movie about the life of David Swann I know who I'll get to play him...

Okay one more loose end and I can wrap this post up. Unlike David Swann, I don't like to lie in my second paragraph:
In Swann's blog today (yes, today, that will become significant later), he writes the typical tug-at-heartstrings stuff that Liberals are wont to say before they either bald-faced lie to your face and/or make a play for huge amounts of your money. To give away the ending here, Swann is about to do both.

I explained the "today" significance, but now I'd like to go to the promised ending. The lies I've covered. The money is coming up now...

David Swann last night Tweeted about his 5-step plan. I tweeted right back (if you learn anything from this post its that you should follow my Twitter feed). Here's Swann's plan (on the bottom of his blog entry I've covered):
1. Open vaccine clinics immediately and give whatever vaccine exists to the highest risk people.

2. Ensure that all vaccine available now is used ONLY for high -risk individuals - young children, pregnant women, aboriginal people and people with a chronic disease. This should have been the decision from the outset.

3. Get the resources and staffing to get on with the job.

4. Invite all available health professionals, including students and retired, to assist.

5. Expand the staffing to hospitals to ensure that patients are properly treated and moved quickly to the service appropriate for their condition.
Let's go over these one by one.
  1. "Open clinics and give the vaccine away." Besides the fact I noted above that there isn't much vaccine -- province was supposed to get 300,000 in the 2nd week and got 80,000 instead -- opening more clinics is going to cost a lot more money. Surely the Leader of the Official Opposition should remember the fuss he made about how expensive the doctors were to administer these shots!

  2. This is the rationing argument. I've noted in Twitter that "Accessibility" in the Canada Health Act prohibits age or health-status discrimination in the provincial delivery of health services, so in reality Liberal Leader David Swann is proposing that Alberta violate the Canada Health Act. His contradictory hats are starting to be an issue now aren't they? It might be medically a good idea to violate The Act. On the other hand, as a Liberal MLA Swann hasn't exactly been keen on finding medically justifiable reasons to violate The Act now has he? If David Swann, M.D. wants to go on public record stating that he is in favour of any violation of the Canada Health Act which can provide health benefits for a subset of the population of Alberta I'm happy to stand toe to toe with him. Hell, he might even get my vote out of it! As it stands now though, if my tax dollars are going to some homeless guy's health you're damned skippy that I want those same tax dollars to go to my health. In fact, I would be in favour of using the workplace immunization program as a priority. People contributing to the economy of the province are of a higher priority than those who don't, n'est pas?

  3. "Spend more money." Liberals really like this answer, don't they? "Step One, lets spend more money. Step Two, lets ration services - but include vote-rich seniors even though there's no medical justification. Step Three...uh, did I mention that we should spend more money?" There's no plan in Swann's little gag here, is there? Just another plea for more cash.

  4. "Get seniors and children to volunteer". Okay, this one isn't a half bad plan: use the can-do Alberta spirit to have a group of people in an H1N1 risk category (students, not seniors) help out with immunization. Uh, I can see a slight concern there what with students being a high risk group and all. Also, isn't this the same David Swann who started off this post complaining that seniors can't stand for long periods of time? But they can be put to the mules, right Davey??

  5. Spending more money again? Liberal solutions to healthcare crisis always seem to involve the province with the highest per-capita expenditures on public health somehow putting out money money. This time there's an added bonus to Swann: more publicly funded nurses mean more cash in the union coffers that keep his dilapidated party afloat. The extra angry bitches to protest in front of the leg grounds and/or star in deceptive political ads are really only an added bonus at this point.
David Swann's plan sounds like great news to David Swann. The other 3.1-odd million folk in this province may find that their mileage varies greatly. Update, 10:24pm: If you want a response to the 3rd comment, click here for what is more-or-less Part 2 of this post.