A 1970s musical trend we're glad to have seen die

In a world where we've been overwhelmed with faggy bands playing lame shit, Justin Bieber, and that annoying thing where a girl sings a love song and a dirty rapper interrupts to talk about being a thug (which I promise to cover soon), there is at the very least one music trend that disappeared in the 1980s and hasn't been seen since.

I'm talking here about the shitty shitty shitty musical sequel.

This was a big thing, particularly in country music, in the 70s and 80s. I'm going to give you the two worst examples here:

You know this one. You were singing along. You know it. It's, of course, CW McCall's Convoy. But you might never do this again after you hear the completely horrible followup called Around the world with the Rubber Duck:

I can't put accurately into words everything wrong this song because my fingers would fall off. First, when did truckers think they were pirates? Why do southern American country guys think they can pull off British accents? The European tour thing just boggles my mind, and then add in bizarrely over-the-top religiosity and a musical score that has please beat me up in Alabama written all over it. It's just bad. Brutally bad.

And then it gets worse. Dust off your fiddle, rosin up your bow, and get on down with the legendary right-winger Charlie Daniels and his most kick-ass tune:

If The Devil Went Down to Georgia doesn't make you cry out "fuck you, Satan!" you're probably going to bump into him when you die. And if you do end up sinning enough to wind up in hell, this song will probably play daily:

It starts off promising and familiar...it's like that "gunter glieben glausen globen" at the beginning of Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) and then after its over you find its the lame Def Leppard song instead. The first problem, of course, is that Charlie Daniels himself isn't even singing the damn song: yes yes, they got Johnny Cash, but you can tell his heart is totally not in it. One of the reasons might be that the edge in the original is totally lacking here: the Devil forces Johnny to play with his old fiddle? I don't get it. Johnny already beat the devil with that very same fiddle. It would be as if the day after Seattle won the Superbowl they signed both LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson (signed, no trades), and then 3 days after that the Denver Broncos challenged them to a Superbowl rematch...with the catch that the two new star players couldn't be in the lineup, and instead they merely had to field the team....that had already won. Yes, it's possible that Johnny may lose a rematch, but is the loss of the golden fiddle really such a big deal?

The lyrics themselves are actually pretty awful. For one thing, they're tame as all get out. I talked about the weak music in the Convoy sequel, but here the lyrics lose all the dramatic tone of the original. Why is Johnny going to the woodshed if the devil is going to hell? Does he mean he's going to take the devil to the woodshed? You can't do that if he leaves, Johnny. And aren't you supposed to be practicing anyways? And why do you need to practice, exactly? Isn't the whole point to the song that you're better than the devil? Has he been busy practicing? What's the message to this song? The original was that if the devil wants to find a soul, he'd better not try to challenge a dude in Georgia to a fiddle contest. In this one, the deal is...if you beat the devil in a contest for your soul, you'd better keep practicing your skills for his rematch? Why doesn't the devil just wait until Johnny's like 93 on his deathbed? The lyrics to this version, which avoid even the smallest amount of swearing, just disappoint on every level.

Finally, I notice that the fiddle itself doesn't get nearly the airplay in this version as the original. In fact, most of the beat to the song comes from the drums and the bass guitar.

So there may be a lot of things in modern music to be bothered over. There are a lot of music trends that need to stop. But take heed, the country music sequel seems to have bit the dust.


How they celebrate Easter in Brazil

There was a picture out of Brazil earlier this week that shows some kids acting out the Easter Story. A lot of people thought it icky. Many thought it cute. SunTV's Michael Coren, however, just went weirdo when he saw it.

Coren never replied to my question, but when Chris Timson asked a question, things just got bizarre fast:

The question I had remains unanswered (and unresponded, though clearly those are different things): does Coren (and anybody who doesn't like the photo) think that these kids are too young to read the Easter story? After all, this keeps escaping the attention of adults, but kids have insane imaginations. If you think the (fake) blood in the picture makes the picture icky, imagine when the kids are sitting in Sunday School reading the Easter story how much blood and violence is taking place in the visualization of that story taking place in their brains.

There's a website on Lifeway.com that covers the ages that kids should learn various parts of the Easter story.
Middle PreschoolWhat did Jesus do?
Older PreschoolHow did Jesus die and how was He raised from the dead?
Younger ChildrenWhy did He die?
So how old are the kids in the photo? They certainly are either middle or older preschool. Which means there's an awfully good chance that they would have been told and read the Easter story.

Bonus content: The Mom blog tackles the question of how to teach Easter to young kids.

This was totally unexpected, exactly as we'd planned

This Guardian story doesn't make any sense.

Well, that's not an unexpected phrase. But here, take a read:

Nasa's moon explorer Ladee crashes on far side of the moon
After unexpectedly surviving a full lunar eclipse, the lunar probe smashed onto surface and ended 100-day mission as planned

Nasa's robotic moon explorer, Ladee, is no more.

Flight controllers confirmed Friday that the orbiting spacecraft crashed into the back side of the moon as planned, just three days after surviving a full lunar eclipse, something it was never designed to do.

Researchers believe Ladee likely vaporized when it hit because of its extreme orbiting speed of 3,600 mph, possibly smacking into a mountain or side of a crater. No debris would have been left behind.
Okay, let me get this straight. Your moon explorer, which unexpectedly went through a lunar eclipse we've known was coming for centuries has now ended its mission "as planned"?. Well, if it ended the mission as planned wouldn't it have gone through an expected eclipse?

The Guardian makes you read a hell of a lot further into the story before they finally explain what the hell they're talking about:
It completed its primary 100-day science mission last month and was on overtime. The extension had Ladee flying during Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse; its instruments were not designed to endure such prolonged darkness and cold.

But the small spacecraft survived – it's about the size of a vending machine – with just a couple pressure sensors acting up
Ladee did not have enough fuel to remain in lunar orbit much beyond the end of its mission. It joined dozens if not scores of science satellites and Apollo program spacecraft parts that have slammed into the moon's surface, on purpose, over the decades, officials said. Until Ladee, the most recent man-made impacts were the LCross crater-observing satellite that went down in 2009 and the twin Grail spacecraft in 2012.
I mean this story has a happy ending and all, but seriously? The copy doesn't reflect the quotes very well. Ladee fared better than expected during the eclipse. Ladee ended its 100-day mission as planned -- a month ago. The article sets you up with a weird premise right out of the gate.


This Ain't a Scene It's an Arms Race

Today on the steps of the Alberta Legislature pro-sodomy activists will be doing what they do best.

Ok, no, not that, what they do second best: having a public protest because the Alberta Legislature stood up to their agenda and decided that faggot-not faggot alliances won't be made mandatory in schools.

Of course, we here at Third Edge of the Sword already brought you this story, and thanked the many of you who phoned and wrote your MLAs to express your concern over this disgusting push by the provincial government to force a group into your schools that you had no way of stopping.

What you may not have read though, is this little note a few years ago about public meetings that take place in the middle of the week:

Anyways, the City of Edmonton plans to hold a public hearing, for some sort of reason. When? Monday, June 14th in City Hall, at 3pm.

No, seriously, when?

Nope, no kidding: at 3pm on a Monday afternoon, when the only people who would be attending are homeless people, minimum wage shift workers, or students. Now its probably a moot point at this level, but it got me thinking: is this maybe the reason that so many stupid ideas (that socialists are in favour of) get passed off as crème brulée when they really are just big steaming piles of shit? If this public hearing happened to be about something important, you'd find the people in attendance are not the productive class of society, the men and woman who work hard day in and day out making the greasy commerce wheel go 'round, or generate the industrial capacity that keeps our modern day City on the Hill afloat. No, instead they would be the shiftless layabouts, and the same sort of slime who have time for midweek rallies and protests. In other words, the last people that City Council should listen to.

The more I think about this, the more depressed I get: if you schedule events so that the least productive members of society are the only ones who you get input from, your inputs will be mostly garbage, and your decisions will by default be very unproductive.
There's a parallel between this and the pro-poofter rally going on right today on the Legislature steps, and that little rant about when public hearings get held and who attends. Today at the Legislature you're going to find the usual crowd: the professional and semi-professional protesters that Ezra Levant has all the fun with, and a bunch of Kristopher Wells' student body at the University of Alberta, who oh by the way have finished their classes and unless they have exams at the same moment, are free to swing by and join the process. You'll find a few people involved in unions who've been granted "sympathy strike time", you'll find...hey, you know who you won't be finding a lot of? That's right, parents of kids in schools who were the same ones writing their MLA to fight this motion just a few scant weeks ago. They'll all be at work, supporting their families that the sodomites want to break the kneecaps from under, or they'll be at home busy taking care of (and possibly home-schooling) their children that Kent Hehr and company think should be granted the ability to form an advocacy group so long as they only advocate for the 'right' thing.

So there may be some people with bullhorns and hippie beads protesting the defeat of this horrible motion. I don't know, Hehr's Liberals may even be able to round up a decent number of them. But they aren't the stakeholders. They're just the people you get when you hold a rally on a Thursday afternoon. The day before Good Friday. So ignore them. They aren't representative, they aren't any sort of critical mass, and if we're all very very very lucky they'll take a lesson from the Easter story, and repent for the evil things they are trying to do to kids.



A few months ago I started the "Stay Bad for Ekblad" campaign. Ryan Smyth may have brought it down. In a few minutes, the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery (ie, Oiler fan Christmas) will commence, and the Oilers have a 14.2% chance of winning the top spot. Otherwise, we stay at third, since we won our last game of the season to commemorate Smyth's departure, or fall to fourth, if a team even worse than us wins.

Fortunately, as the Oilers have risen from pathetic to slightly less pathetic, Ekblad has kept the pace:

April's draft rankings from International Scouting Services shuffled the top rankings of the Top 30, seeing Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice overtake Aaron Ekblad of the OHL's Barrie Colts for the No. 1 spot.

Also, Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals has gone above and beyond with his recent play to surpass Sam Bennett of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs for the No. 3 position.

Update, 7:03pm: Well, I called it: Ryan Smyth's emotional retirement cost the Oilers the first overall pick. Florida moved up into the first overall spot, and without that last win of the season the Oilers would have had it. Of course, we can play the flip side of the Leafs or Devils: looking at all the winnable games that they screwed up and lost costing them points...we can look at the games the Oilers snuck out a win in which they absolutely didn't deserve it. Games like the Scrivens shutout record, or the home game against Carolina where they meandered their way to a 4-2 victory.


Looking for Simpsons: Tapped Out friends

With a fair bit of pride I'm able to announce that I've now maxed out in The Simpsons: Tapped Out at Level 39. Of course, one of the problems I'm now facing is that I don't have enough online friends to keep my "social" rating up.

So this is an open call to add me to your own Tapped Out friends list: I play almost daily so there won't be any worries that you can't access my buildings. I have the Krustyland expansion as well, but my Springfield is far more developed.

Username is Edmontonuser668.

Big Bang Theory actress confirms what all sane people knew

Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco has come clean about her relationship with Johnny Galecki.

Yes, she did. You know, the one everybody knew about. But that's not what the big reveal was. The big reveal was Kaley Cuoco coming clean about the boob job she got when she was 18.

Not meaning to brag, but I didn't think this was a big story. The rumours about Penny's Porkers has been around for years. And if that wasn't enough, all you need to do is look at these two images:


A Tale of Two MLAs

As I recently wrote, Shayne Saskiw put forth a private members motion to revoke the speech controls of the Alberta Human Rights Commissions. It failed, much to the shame of every member of the Legislative Assembly. Funny thing is though, he got basically no media coverage about it.

Last night, Kent Hehr got a chance to defend his disgusting Motion 503 on Alberta Primetime. Notice the lack of any voices of opposition regarding the motion. Again, it failed, opposition shouldn't have been hard to track down.

By contrast, on March 17th Shayne Saskiw's Motion #502 was debated. What was on Alberta Primetime? Crickets. The night after that motion's defeat was taken up by suntanning bans and talk about decorum in the Legislature. Certainly no sympathetic media coverage of efforts to remove law that already was used to stifle journalism. You'd almost think it didn't fit their agenda. Both Kent Hehr and fudge packing UofA activist Kris Wells were on Global TV this morning as well. Again, no voices opposed to GSAs were permitted on the shows, nor was Saskiw ever on Global Morning News to talk with disappointment about the defeat of his legislation just three weeks ago. Why the double standard? Well, we know why. It doesn't make it any less offensive.

Motion 502 was something that would have improved the freedom of everyday Albertans, none moreso than the news media. But then, if you're going to sign on full speed ahead with the sodomite agenda like Global and CityTV and CTV are doing, you don't have to worry, do you? You'll never worry about your free speech when you just blindly salivate along behind the trendy. Until you aren't. Then a silly alliance of morally weak schoolkids doesn't seem too important does it?

Albertan parents (for now) still have local control of their schools despite a Liberal's evil efforts

Great news out of the Legislature this week (so far 2014 has been good to us): Motion #503 by Calgary Liberal Kent Hehr, which would enshrine faggot-nonfaggot alliances as a permanent non-removable fixture of Alberta schools, was defeated. I know a few parents who were totally against this, so thanks to all of you who rallied your fellow parents, got a hold of your MLAs, and pushed them to vote against this despicable action. It's not easy watching the media coverage following this, I know, but your dedication and your courage will serve you and your kids well in the years ahead.

Not that you're necessarily in the clear: these GSAs still exist, still can form, and crucially still be officially endorsed by principals: so every time this topic comes up you're going to have to learn on them and the school boards to cut this nonsense off at the pass. The sheer relentlessness of the pro-sodomy crowd on this file is daunting: useless cocksuckers like Kris Wells, who's already supported by yours and my tax dollars to do nothing but push his sick agenda on kids all day and night (after all, it is how they recruit), are still appearing on local TV and radio (well supported by the uranist lovers in the mainstream media) telling outright lies about the defeat of Motion 503.

For one, as I mentioned above, these GSAs can still form. Contrary to what the fudge packers are telling you, the Legislature didn't vote "to ban" them, or even strictly speaking a "vote against them". All that happened was that the Government of Alberta decided not to use the hammer of legislation to force principals and school boards to accept these GSAs.

Now why would this be a problem, you ask? Liberals like the news team at CTV Edmonton trotted out the one pathetic woman who's upset that her son's idea of an extra-curricular group had to stay extra-curricular. I guess the principal met enough parents who were vocal in their objections that giving this horrible group official endorsements from the school had to fall off the radar. The GSA can stay in place, of course, just like any little clique. They just don't get to be the official fag-lovers club. Boo hoo. When I was in high school, everything from the chess club (disbanded after half a year, I kept winning all the games) to the Sci-Fi club (disbanded after half a year, I kept winning the trivia contests) to the tackle football games held at lunchtime just off school property (for some reason, this one lasted the longest) was all extra-curricular. If you wanted to have a group of kids who played tennis, or voted for the Reform Party, or applaud as perverted pillow biters take turns fucking each other up the ass, you just got together and started doing it. You never thought of going to the principal wishing you could be "officially sanctioned".

So why do the faggots want this? Easy: control. The GSAs are no good to them just as a bunch of kids who all get together because they are united between a common (and horrible) set of values. They need official recognition: their sick lifestyle needs constant promotion. Disparagers cannot be tolerated [that was a pun. get it? -ed], they must be up against officialdom. There can only be one accepted group when it comes to the question of whether homos are to be held up as desirable or not: their side. There's a reason this question never gets answered: it gives the game away. Putting the matter up to debate, with two different groups with two different takes on the issue, is completely unacceptable to the intolerant sodomite defenders. They keep losing when there's an actual argument, so they just throw up their hands, cry "hater" (while being completely hateful towards religious conservatives), and then fight through things like Motion 503 to ensure only their side is ever heard. That's one plank of attack. Another is, of course, having Kris Wells queering it up with a sympathic host on morning television, all the nodding and talking heads getting together and agreeing with each other and trying to pretend they have no opposition. Then, of course, parties with MLAs who listen to their constituents are passed off as "out of touch", like being in touch with the people of this province involves revoking their individual control over their own children's education.

If you doubt this, of course, get your kid in a school with a GSA to start a "Muslim-Christian-Athiest Alliance Against Legitimizing Sodom" (MCAAALS, which rolls kind of nicely off the tongue). See whether the principal gives them school resources to promote the club. You already know what the answer is, but I'd still love to see what happens when somebody tries. See if you can get useless liberals like Laurie Blakeman sobbing in public that your child's voice isn't allowed to be heard.

Probably the thing I'm most proud of is that I told you about these GSAs in 2009:

I quite rightfully call right out on here the hypocrisy of the anti-Bill#44 crowd. Every time I have stated that Alberta Teachers are already pushing a pro-uranist agenda on schoolchildren I have been the horrible monster for speaking the truth
I explained how these alliances, and the push to mandate them in your schools, is the intolerant pro-sodomite agenda's end goal and how they've given the game away. Now you know why they were so adamant that Bill 44 not pass: they had this disgusting nonsense coming down the pipe.

The other key question that nobody else is asking about Kent Hehr's motion is why it doesn't have any passages outlining how GSAs can be shut down for unacceptable conduct. We've already established the anti-religious credentials of the pro-faggotry set, so what happens if these GSAs decide to, say, burn a stack of bibles in the school parking lot? In Hehr's disgusting world of GSAs protected by legislation, what process do school boards and principals and parents have to censure a GSA? In the liberal brain, ask the question what happens if a GSA is taken over by a Muslim voting bloc that decides the GSA's new mission is to promote clitorectomies and stoning of queers in the town square? Who decides when the GSA isn't a "GSA" anymore? In the real practical world that real people live in, not liberal talking points like Hehr and Blakeman, if you give legislative protection to a group you're basically giving up any method of exerting control over them. Doubtless this is all part of the multi-faceted plan by the uranists and their allies. Wisely, enough MLAs figured this out and voted no.

Well, that's not strictly true. As I mentioned above, many parents got out their pens and their phones, and got a hold of their MLA to express their dissatisfaction with Motion 503. A great Milton Friedman quote Mark Steyn always likes to use is this one:
The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.
You parents got on the horns, talked about these trends in your kids' schools, and politicians -- whether they wanted to or not -- listened. Your efforts doing the same about the ruinous changes to the Alberta curriculum are equally important, so please don't stop doing them. The important thing now is the pushback: when somebody wishes aloud the motion had passed, ask them why the don't believe that parents through their local school boards should have the final say in what happens and how within the classroom and the hallways of the schools. When you hear that a school has an endorsed GSA, get the principal who approved this garbage on the phone: tell him/her (use "her" when talking about the principal in the third person, by the way, regardless of the gender) that you find this endorsement unacceptable and ask if your child can arrange to get together with other right-thinking children and start a group opposed to fake sodomite marriages. If not, then make sure the school board is aware that you are aware of their active role in spreading a great evil and banning dissent since that sort of light is the antidote to this poison.

Speaking of Mark Steyn, today was also the "Day of Pink", where again "bullying" is fought by ruthlessly bullying anybody who doesn't think the same way as the organizers do. Mark Steyn's National Post article on the topic from a couple years back covers it very well, tying it into..wait for it...the faggot-nonfaggot alliances!
The GSA is all over the GTA (the Gayer Toronto Area), but in a few remote upcountry redoubts north of Timmins intolerant knuckle-dragging fundamentalist school boards declined to get with the beat. So the Ontario Government has determined to afflict them with the “Accepting Schools Act.”

“Accepting?” One would regard the very name of this bill as an exquisite parody of the way statist strong-arming masquerades as limp-wristed passivity were it not for the fact that the province’s Catholic schools, reluctant to accept government-mandated GSAs, are proposing instead that they should be called “Respecting Differences” groups. Good grief, this is the best a bigoted theocrat can come up with?
This Ontario legislation, of course, seems to be the "intellectual" inspiration for Hehr's motion.
When you shrink from punishing the bullies (as our schools do), when you pursue phantom enemies (as our “human rights” nomenklatura do), when you use the victims as a pretext for ideological advancement (as the Ontario government is doing), all that’s left is the creepy, soft totalitarian, collectivized, state-enforced, glassy-eyed homogeneity of “uniting to celebrate diversity” (in Peggy Nash’s words). So Canada will have GSAs from Niagara to Nunavut; and for the lonely and unsocial, the lumpy and awkward, real bullying will proceed undisturbed in the shadows; and ideologically-compliant faux-bullying will explode, as a generation of children is conscripted into a youth corps of eternal victimhood, alert to every slight, however footling. In New York, where children are bullied with gay abandon, the school board recently proposed banning from its tests 50 hurtful, discriminatory words such as “religious holidays,” “birthdays” and “cigarettes.” From such an environment come a cowed, pliant herd and a cadre of professional grievance-mongers, but not a lot of functioning, freeborn citizens.
A cowed and pliant group of statists may be Kent Hehr's dream of what Alberta would look like in the future. Fudge-packing Wells actually talks about the Alberta he wants to build: an Alberta full of people prohibited by law from speaking out against the disgusting lifestyle he has embraced and stopping him and his ilk from indoctrinating our children with this nonsense.

So kudos to the parents who got involved: kudos to the MLAs from both sides of the floor who voted to stop this nonsense. A giant middle finger and boo-urns to the MLAs who voted to strip parents of their ability to influence the operations of their children's schools. Shame to those in the media who misrepresent this story and this bill and ensure only the side they want gets the sympathetic coverage. Boo to those who are already laying the ground for their eventual flip-flop when this sick plan comes up again. And, as always, fuck you faggots. I notice that already you've vowed not to accept this, just as you did the 1999 motion where even the Liberal Party of Canada voted to preserve the ban of sodomite fake marriages. Well, two can play at this game. I still don't recognize your fake marriages, and never will. I won't conform to your wearing pink, or your faggy downtown parade, or any of that. The fight will never be over.

Motion 503 was defeated this week, but there will be more to defeat next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, until sanity is restored and we no longer have to deal with mushy liberals like Kent Hehr and Brian Mason. And that, of course, brings me to the unique form of crazy known as the Alberta Party. They have already come out firmly in favour of these offensive GSAs, irrationally insisting that that cannot change even if their members vote to change it. For those who are falling for the Alberta Party's silly little quiz be wary. Their leader has also taken crazy one extra step, allying himself with these sorts of idiots:
As I wrote when the "Lake of Fire" thing first confused Alison Redford:
Can we trust an Alison Redford gov't to respect religious rights?
Man, I nailed it pretty good on that one didn't I? After all, just a month ago the Red Redford Tories similarly defeated Motion 502, which would have stopped the government from bringing legal bear onto citizens who spoke out about controversial topics. They don't have much respect for your rights at all: they'll sell out your principled objections to win favour with the fickle ass-piracy crowd. This spitting on your freedoms come with, just like in the case of Murray Billett up there, complete ignorance as to where the Lake of Fire comes from. I already famously trashed Red Redford for apparently being shocked that Christians believe in Hell:
But to listen to the lovers of sodomites in the media and the left side of the spectrum, you'd think the sky had fallen. Which takes us, as the left side of the spectrum so often does, to Alison "Red" Redford. Here's what Premier Mom had to say about the blogpost:
"The fact that there are people who think that's a legitimate perspective just absolutely blows my mind," Redford told reporters at a Calgary campaign stop.

"I think they're shocking and I think it goes back to Albertans are about to decide who is going to govern their province. They are going to have to decide who their premier is. They're going to have to decide who the cabinet is," she added.

"If we have people like this making these sorts of comments in Alberta I think it's absolutely wrong and of course I disagree with it."
So to the people of Alberta who believe in homosexuality being immoral (ie. a strong plurality thereof), Red Redford's mind is blown that you exist. Uranist pedophiles and their teacher's union poisoning the minds of your children with their sick views on society? Oh, she's fine with that.
Billett is too. In fact, he's okay with it happening over your objections. The intolerance and ignorance of Hehr and his "Motion 503" allies is frightening. The fact that they and their sympathetic media have gotten this motion, and not the far more important Motion 502 into the news cycles, should tell you everything you need to know about the media priorities in this province. There's no wonder that nobody wanted to go on CTV Edmonton tonight with their story of having GSAs foisted upon their children against their objections. We've seen where their biases lie. Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance is hard to beat.

The artistic ones don't even have an excuse, either. Last Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, and while I thrilled you then with a video I think I can do better. So for all the liberals too stupid to know that there is a real lake of fire, and that sodomites and those who support them are risking spending eternity in it, I give you this classic:

And then this classic..
Under a Redford government, will religious people and religious organizations be persecuted?


Kurt Cobain 20 years later

I wasn't around my PC to be able to post a proper farewell to Kurt Cobain, the iconoclastic grunge rocker who was killed 20 years ago Saturday by his wife I mean, uh, suicide. It was suicide!

I have a decently good "where I was when I learned Kurt died" story, but like my 9/11 story it will have to wait for another day.

Meanwhile, enjoy this:

Edmonton Beerfest review (uh, half a decade later)

The Edmonton International Beerfest is taking place this weekend (ie. today, it's not open on Sunday) at the Shaw Conference Centre. I most certainly won't be there. I didn't go last year either, the first (and only) year I went was May 2009, the inaugural year at the Shaw and the first time I used my cellphone to send pictures to Twitter.

The previous year I'd gone as well, but a big difference: it was held at Fort Edmonton Park, at the Blatchford Hanger on a really really really nice day. There were cool food tents out in the back, you got to drink a variety of cool beers at the hanger, and you could chill outside on the grass where unlike in bars people could drink and smoke simultaneously. It's really a bit of a pleasure, even as a non-smoker, to experience that. You have to remember that drinkers still tend to smoke more, and it means that in regular bars and even outdoor beer gardens, the smokers keep leaving routinely and causing unnecessary disruption to the ebb and flow of conversation inside. This was magically avoided at Fort Edmonton, and was a really super-cool and mellow experience. Needless to say, there were loads of good looking beer drinking girls in nice outfits that you got to talk to and had a decent chance with. Of all of us, I think only Chang didn't get a phone number, and that's because he's crazy. We all got phone numbers, some of us several, and all in all it worked out pretty well.

Contrast that now with the Shaw. The Shaw event was about the same size, but it was noisy with annoying dance music intermixed with a band who wants to play ALL THE GOTH METAL YOU CAN HANDLE. It's just not the chill pickup scene that it was before. Now there were still girls in sexy outfits, maybe even sexier since it was indoors: they were all the kind of hoochy girls who dream of meeting a guy who's as big into UFC as they are. And, unfortunately, this event didn't fail to deliver in that category, providing you with all the meathead guys who have barbed wire tattoos on their biceps and the desire to use every pickup technique Tales from the VIP can teach you. Instead of a nice chill afternoon with beer, it was just another Hudsons. We already have far too many of those. At $19 admission, it just isn't worth it.

There's also a lot more beer fests to choose from. I went to the Co-Op Wine Festival last fall and they had beer available. There's a separate Craft Beer Festival in June (at the EXPO Centre, same venue as the Co-Op wine event) that isn't as meat-heady...still not the same though.

Ultimately these beer festivals just get too big and too popular for their own good. This is maybe a good weekend to hit a normal bar. You may actually be able to pick up some phone numbers.

Too fat to invade Taiwan

The Chinese are putting on the pounds. That would be the ones in China...the ones over here already are.

If you've ever met an x-generation chinaman (or, more commonly, chinawoman) where x>2, you'll have noticed they tend to be...uh...a little on the chunky side. I've known a couple of them, and they certainly had no problem swelling to western size after a couple generations of western diet.

You probably shouldn't read too much into that, really. After all, getting bigger is a sign of more nourishment, not less. One of Martok's favourite stats about North vs. South Korea is this:

A 2006 study of 1,075 North Korean defectors aged 20 to 39 put the difference for adults at 4 inches for men and 2.5 inches for women. A 2004 study said the difference was 2.3 inches for young men and 1.6 inches for young women.
So China getting bigger is, on average, a good thing. Though it comes as a small consolation to Chinese Generals, who are finding that their soldiers are getting too fat for their military equipment.

Of course, no fat people story can't be told without referencing the United States. It's the law. Fortunately, the American soldiers are moving the other direction:
Instead of getting bigger and stronger, our guys are decreasing (in size), only to come back for about 3-4 weeks at the end of the summer to try to get back up to where they were before.

The real reason Safeway abandoned the Club Card.

Canada Safeway announced this week that it is removing the Safeway Club Card loyalty program. It's the end of an era, Safeway's loyalty rewards program has been out for quite a while, and its departure definitely is not on this list of 2014 trends in loyalty programs!

The big thing to notice though is that this news comes around the same time as Taylor Hall has passed Alex Ovechkin to have more points than any other left-winger in the league (a fitting irony, really).

Which means, if you want to put on your special aluminum conspiracy hat, you can figure out the real reason Safeway abandoned the club card: they were worried next season Taylor Hall would regularly start scoring 5 goals a game.

Fag marriages are Eich-y

Brendan Eich, the Firefox CEO who was under fire from the sodomite hordes for his "crime" of donating to the right side of the fake poofter marriage debate has now been forced to resign.

Mark Steyn writes:

Brandon Eich is a tech genius: Aside from co-founding Mozilla and creating Firefox, he also invented JavaScript. Apparently, the disgusting homophobic hatey-hatey-hateful belief that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman is not incompatible with knowing your way around a computer.
But isn't that what's just happened to the Mozilla guy? Nobody's asking him to have a genuine conversion. The gay enforcers don't care if, somewhere deep down in his heart he still believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman; all that matters is that he's not allowed to say so in public. Billions of people around the world believe as Mr Eich does, and they shouldn't be allowed to say so in public, either - not if they want to keep their jobs.
George Will notes progressives for diversity 'in everything but thought':
“The people who want to reform our finances and increase government control over political speech and spending say ‘well, everyone surely can be in favor of full disclosure of campaign contributions.’ This case is an example of why some of us who used to be for full disclosure no longer are,” said Will. “The people advocating full disclosure of campaign contribution say, "we just want voters to make an informed choice." That's not what they're doing at all. They really want to enable themselves to mount punitive campaigns and deter people and to chill political speech.”
The Heritage Foundation observes that campaign disclosures for ballot initiatives make no sense at all:
While campaign finance reformers are constantly touting the benefits of the disclosure of political contributions as a means of preventing corruption, they fail to explain how that objective is served by requiring disclosure of donations in referendum campaigns. There is some logic in disclosure of contributions to candidates who then have the ability to initiate, support, or pass legislation that may benefit contributors if they are elected. But no such logic attaches to donations against or in support of ballot propositions that are approved by all of the registered voters of a state. There is no candidate or potential legislator who can somehow be “corruptly” influenced through contributions.
They also provide another reminder why when speaking the truth, bloggers such as Yours Truly need to remain anonymous:
Moreover, the ability and right to engage in anonymous political speech and activity – and making contributions is a form of political speech – used to be considered common sense. The Federalist Papers were published under pseudonyms and one of the most famous and stirring pieces of writing in American history – Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – was first published anonymously because of the danger to its author for publishing such revolutionary ideas. The same threats those authors and others throughout our history have faced for expressing ideas not in conformity with the ruling passions of the day are today being faced by Americans like Brendan Eich.

The required disclosure of contributors like Brendan Eich to referenda is now being used to harass and intimidate them for their political opinions. Those who bullied Eich into resigning, particularly the employees of Mozilla, should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. They apparently believe that anyone who disagrees with them on controversial legal and social issues should be driven from the workplace, no matter the economic and personal consequence to that individual and his family.
This is the same reason that Third Edge of the Sword stood up for...*spits*...Stephen Carter when conservatives were trying to get him fired from his PR job.

Finally, Twitchy brings us the hilarious reality that the same website so angry at Eich that it demanded he be removed from his position is still running his code -- and in fact requires it to function.


The weird conclusion to the Diana Gabrielle O'Brien story

Years back I talked about the totally creepy story of a pretty BC girl killed in Red China.

Digging through, there was a followup about a year later:

Since punishments in China are often measured by social impact, Chen was expected to receive a harsher sentence because he murdered a foreigner and it happened right before the Olympics.
"In both cases it had the potential to embarrass China's government so many people expected a harsher sentence -- an immediate execution," Chao said.
He said Chen's lawyer told him that the court considered Chen's age and the fact that it wasn't a "planned murder" in its decision.
At his trial, Chen told the court today that he was trying to rob O'Brien in her apartment by threatening her with a knife but she ran out the door.
He said he then chased her down to a stairwell and stabbed her repeatedly.
Chen claimed in court the incident was a robbery gone awry. After the murder, Chen left the building without O'Brien's possessions but he returned later to pick them up.
Although Chen called police after leaving, O'Brien's body was discovered by her roommate in the morning.
Chen was arrested five days after the murder and police say he had O'Brien's camera, some of her jewelry and Canadian cash on him.
As for whether he was actually executed, or what, there is no English language followup online.

Anybody with Chinese website reading skills is free to post a followup in the comments.


The #NewBOSSInTown should hop on a train: a review of the KFC Big Boss

About a week ago I tried out the new "KFC Big Boss", their take on the Big Mac. It looked promising: two big crunch patties between three bun halves? Awesome.

The reality? It's unbelievably shitty. As in, I can't believe they tried pulling this stunt. Let's start with the Big Mac, the famous McDonald's hamburger we all know and love (though we know and love it more when you get a double big mac. add bacon). If you're over 40 you know the rhyme off by heart:

Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun."
Well if you liked that about a Big Mac, does KFC have a special deal for you.
They don't do beef there, so they do have chicken. Mmmmm, chicken. They have the bun. They have the cheese. They have the lettuce. They...have the onions? They have the pickles? Are you kidding, me they even have the special sauce?

Yes that's right, the new hit sandwich from KFC is exactly like a Big Mac...except they use chicken instead of beef. Let me just cut in right there to say how god-awful a decision that is. No, seriously. It's unspeakably bad. Well, not so much I won't speak a bit of it.

To wit, the same combination that tastes so delicious with beef just doesn't work with chicken. No Chinese restaurant is going to serve you Pineapple Beef Balls, nor are they going to foist ginger chicken on you. Get some honey mustard sauce and swiss cheese, and you can liven up a chicken patty. Put them on a hamburger and nobody outside some weirdo California foodies would dare put their lips to it. The pickles alone made this sandwich practically inedible. Pickles as a topping just don't liven up a chicken burger the same way they do a beef burger. You can have a pickle on the side, though even then typically you'd only do that with a buffalo chicken burger or something along those lines. You definitely don't use it to spruce up a KFC chicken patty.

But what really destroys the burger is the use of the special sauce. Yes, it's the same special sauce. Exactly the same as a Big Mac. With a couple Mickey D's patties, that sauce tastes heavenly. On a couple KFC chicken patties, with pickles, it's absolutely disgusting. It just doesn't belong there. In fact, the KFC Big Boss is so horrible that since I had it, I haven't had any desire for a Big Mac. This is a unique sandwich in the world: the scorched-earth sandwich. It not only turns you off of itself, it not only turns you off of its restaurant, it in fact turns you off Big Macs as well. That's a horrible track record to have, and yes indeed the KFC Big Boss does it: it kills any interest you have in the future in Big Macs. I haven't had the urge to have lunch at McDonald's since that fateful day. Were it not for the insanely awesome Steak and Egg Bagel, I wouldn't have even darkened their door.

And it's not like the Big Boss didn't have potential. It could have been the next Double Down -- instead, it's the antithesis of the Double Down: extra bun, and it tastes horrible. Just imagine, if you will: two Big Crunch patties in between three halves of a bun...we can make it sesame seed if you insist, but I think that's just another nail in the "too much like a Big Mac" coffin. Only no pickles. Not even onions. Cheese, of course...and lettuce...but instead of pickles and special sauce, how about a delicious combination of mayonnaise on one patty and zinger sauce on the other. Of, if KFC wanted to try a new flavour, why not the aforementioned honey mustard sauce? Maybe that could be the gag, you could get your Big Boss in one of 3 flavours: traditional (mayo), honey mustard, or spicy (zinger sauce). Now wouldn't that kick ass? You'd get even more delicious KFC chicken, a nice little saucy flavour, and at the end of the day you wouldn't avoid their restaurant like the plague.

Unless you're in a hurry. The were still their usual atrocious level of slowness when I went. 15 minutes for a shitty chicken sandwich. Next time I'll just go to McDonalds. If I ever get my taste for them back.