Friday, December 5, 2008

Canada makes the NYT

“This really has been a blow to parliamentary democracy in Canada,” said Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. “It has lowered the status of the elected Parliament and raised the status of the unelected prime minister.”

Read it here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Refreshing clarity and perspective from the Greens.

OK, Stevie: 'the people' are speaking.

[PM Harper] has lashed out against unions, against the opposition parties, and most recently--and fatally, in my view--against Quebec. (Good luck with any attempt to form a majority after that foul little effort.) He's made ten enemies for every friend over the past few days. Even if his party survives, he will not.
Thanks blogger - a busy day today!

Harper Burns The Reichstag ... er ... Locks The Doors Of Parliament

We now are a nation run by Order in Council from the Federal Conservative Cabinet table. Democracy has been set aside in the Dominion of Canada. The voice of 62% of Canadians is no longer heard. We have a functioning arrangement where representatives of 36% of the people are running the nation - with no public scrutiny.

This is a sad day for Canada.

[Thanks Buckdog]

Canada, meet the dictator your GG gave you.

Let's suspend the democratic process in the midst of a financial crisis, mKay?
That is the case for now; see you in January.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Constitution and precedent are on coalition's side

The first rule is that when we hold an election we do not directly elect a prime minister. We elect a House of Commons. It is this elected chamber of Parliament that decides who governs the country.

The second rule of parliamentary government is that it is the leaders of the party or coalition of parties that have the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons who have the right to govern.

The rest of the details, in all glorious accuracy here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Harper's options for continued residence at 24 Sussex.

Interesting times in Canadian federal politics. Unless something dramatic occurs over the next 5 or 6 days - and drama is a distinct possibility - Canada will have it's first coalition government in over 50 years and Stephane Dion will become Prime Minister.

Read the details of Harper's 10 options to avoid this.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The set-up.

OK, let the name calling begin. Oh, and stop by for the best coffee in PM, south of the tracks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Yes Men Distribute Fake New York Times: “Iraq War Ends”

It's a spoof paper, but over a million copies were printed and distributed. See reaction of readers in this video. Then do what you can to make it happen for real.

New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have we learned nothing from our neighbour's experience?

Canada's Minster of Finance is in the mood to privatize, in order to stave off a deficit or recession. Read here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When love comes to town.

This little number is now on its way from Ottawa. Commercial grade brass boiler with chrome plated brass PF and group. Coffee is [soon] on.

Tech specs and related details here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

America, take a hike, eh?!

No, there are no McKenzie brothers, here. This is a map of National Scenic Trails, National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails. I am eyeing the Lewis & Clark NHT for a good walk with Owen one day. Map from N.G.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

OMG - climate change is for real!

OK, can we now please put to rest the naysayers - no respected scientists among them - that claim humans have not materially contributed to global warming?
We really can't claim anymore that it's natural variations that are driving these very large changes.
- Peter Stott, Met Office

Here's a BBC article that references work published in Nature Geoscience.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hard times if these forecasts play out.

America, and Americans face a stark decision - and a choice that must be made now. Not next month at the polls, not next week. Today.

We now sit literally days away, with a high probability, of a credit market "dislocation" that will change American finance and decimate the stock market. That is, worse - far worse - than what has happened thus far.

Try on for size 2-3,000 points down on the Dow from here. 25% more than has been lost thus far, more-or-less "all at once." The probability of this event is now in excess of 70% - within the next few days to two weeks.

Read the engaging piece here, in its entirety.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voting by the numbers - a win (sort of) for Greens.

On election night Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was happy to see more Canadians finding a home with his party. In reality, the number of people who voted for the Conservatives was down by 168,737.

The Green Party may not have won any seats in this election but it is still the only party which actually saw the number of people vote for it go up. The Green Party saw its raw vote increase by 276,679 people. The Greens garnered 6.8 per cent of the total votes cast nationwide. In 2006, the Greens got 4.5 per cent of the national vote.
The Greens also saw 41 of their candidates achieve more than 10 per cent of the vote in their riding. In 2006 there were just seven Green candidates who hit that point.

Five Green Party candidates also finished second in their riding. Three of those were in Alberta where overall the Greens got 8.8 per cent of the vote. Their best finish came in B.C. with 9.4 per cent of the vote, but they didn’t finish second in any B.C. ridings.

Data and more here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Join the record attempt of people standing up against poverty.

October 17-19, activists from over 100 countries will Stand Up and Take Action against extreme poverty and hopefully set a new world record of 67 million people—or 1% of humanity—standing up against poverty (prev record is 43.7 million).

Link here to be counted and indicate you are also standing up.

This is probably the easiest thing we can all do in the fight against poverty, and it’s crucial that we do it to demonstrate to our leaders how many people around the world are ready to act together for this cause.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Play this all-too-real game of predicting the future

Q: What is Superstruct?
A: Superstruct is the world's first massively multiplayer forecasting game. By playing the game, you'll help us chronicle the world of 2019--and imagine how we might solve the problems we'll face. Because this is about more than just envisioning the future. It's about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential.

Visit/play here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Harper's Auto-Pilot Economy [not] At Work

Government stewardship in today's economic climate? While asleep at the wheel, Stevie H has destroyed Canada's surpluses, eroded our infrastructure and exposed us to the risks of national privatization and closer financial ties to the US. All this while deregulating in Ft. McMurray and ignoring the urgent need to modernize Canada's economic strategies and priorities.

Read Dobbin's original piece in the Tyee.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's getting so bad, it IS comedy.

"For anybody out there living in cave, let me just say this. Congratulations. You've apparently made the soundest real estate investment possible."
— Jon Stewart

"The point is this is one of the most important irrevocable economic decisions we will ever make. Let's make it in a state of panic."
— Stephen Colbert

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Night of the living vote-snatchers

In the 2004 presidential election, over three million votes - 3,006,080 - were cast and not counted. And not just anyone’s ballots. U.S. government experts reported, for example, that a black voter’s ballot is 900% more likely than a white voter’s ballot to get “lost” in the machine. Bush fired the experts. Read Greg Palast's piece.

D & G predictions for the Paulson Plan

The plan will not save the US economy, and it won’t solve the problems that require a salvation plan in the first place today. Instead, it seeks to re-insert virtual fantasy credit into the economy, taken straight out of the public trough, so that same public can continue to buy homes. But is that in the interest of the people? Home prices are far too high, when set against historical levels. The reason why they are so high is because of cheap easy lying virtual fantasy credit. And that needs to be restored, even though it is the very core of the problem. How is it in the interest of the taxpayer to pay far too much for a home?.

What the government is doing now is making sure that the biggest losses will fall on the taxpayer, not on the banks. That is the plan. The misery unleashed on the American people is hard to oversee, but it will be horrendous.
The story here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Talking Portraits (on P. Hill)

A tale of two leaders.

Where, oh where, is America's Vladimir Putin, who will drive out the oligarchs who have stolen the country's treasure and debased its currency?
- Spengler, Asia Times Online, 9/23/2008. Read the piece.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No more denial, the sky is pretty much falling.

The global credit system almost grinds to a halt as yields on US Treasury bills reach zero for the first time since the Great Depression, 1934.

Reader's Digest version of the article:
* "Hank Paulson seems to be adding to the risk in the system," and
* "We fear that a virtual nationalisation of the financial system will now be necessary," both from Bernard Connolly, global strategist at Banque AIG.
* Also "China finances the US government. So as long as the Chinese are willing to accept an annual loss of 15pc on their holdings of US bonds in real yuan terms, this can go on, but the decision lies in Beijing. What is clear is that it will take the US decades to pay this off." - Charles Dumas from Lombard Street Research.
* And finally, "What we have seen so far is just a dress rehearsal for the deep recession that is coming. America is going to be losing 500,000 jobs a month. That is when we will see interest rates go to zero. The deficit will be covered with printed money as it was in Japan. The endgame will be helicopters full of cash dropped by Ben Bernanke." - Albert Edwards, global strategist at Société Générale.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Harper economic record

My friends will know I am Green, but Dion is certainly on to something when he sketches Harper's record on managed (or mis-managed) economy.
In the first half of 2008, Canada has had the worst economic performance in the G8, and since 1991.
Since, well... Brian Mulroney!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lehman Brothers --> Chapter 11

And so it begins (unless you count Fannie & Freddie), friends.
Let's hope the focus of both US and Canadian federal/presidential elections shifts to the economy. Even though it is too late.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Conservative" spending

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today updated its tally of pre-election spending announcements made by the Conservative government to $19.2-billion. The timetable is June 2nd to September 6th, the day before the start of the federal election campaign. This is roughly $198-million a day and more than $8.2-million every hour.

Beating the Hunger Crisis

Hello friends and readers,

I just signed a petition asking G8 leaders and the UN Secretary General to commit to providing the food, seed, and fertilizer necessary to help some of the world's poorest countries beat the ongoing hunger crisis.

I hope that you'll join me in taking action here: (

We've seen aid achieve some amazing things in recent years - like over 29 million more children in school for the first time, and over 2 million more Africans with access to AIDS medications. But we must recognize the ongoing hunger crisis for the obstacle that it is and work to overcome it if we hope to continue our success.

With regards & sincerity,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Insight into a PM asking to be re-elected.

You’ve got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettos and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.
- Stephen Harper, The Report newsmagazine, January 22, 2001

Friday, September 5, 2008

Earth: Carrying Capacity Deficit

Watch a 49 minute interview with Dr. William Catton, Jr. about his book "Overshoot," which describes how human population and activity is beyond what the earth can sustain.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sept to Nov looks to get ugly down south.

Read about a coordinated smear campaign against B. Obama.
Distinguish lies from fact; web 2.0 is a vast tool for those in the smear & spread game.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Morning Press

Nothing helps Monday morning quite like a cup (or pot) of steaming black.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Funny, creative work from a recent hire.

Background to the clip: The SAP team I support in Victoria has a contest of all recent hires introducing themselves. This one, by user llawliet goes way beyond the scope of most and left the team rolling in the aisles. Now watch the movie. Fantastic work, L.C.!
RMS Idol from llawliet on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Worried of collapse? Someone's compiled a survival list.

At some point, denial will transition into scrambling. If you want to be an early adopter of good 'eyes-open' sense, check out the list of 100 items to disappear first.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Advice for resume writing

I've avoided giving open advice like this, up to now, but today I cannot resist. I see dozens, sometimes over a hundred, resumes a day and see a number of trends or assumptions I'd like to share my perspective on.

1. Don't write an objective. Most employers or agency recruiters will tell you what the objective is (I'm only being 1/2 sarcastic, here!). At best - well thought out and written - it could limit you from opportunities outside the target you've cited. At worst - and this is rampant, folks - it is meaningless drivel that says nothing and is an 80%+ match to all the other resume 'objectives' out there.
Friends don't let friends write an objective.

2. Suppress the urge to draft a lengthy summary or list of qualifications at or near the top of page one. A small handful of short bullet points may be acceptable, but mind the real estate it takes. If your items resemble 'punctual,' 'honest,' 'hardworking,' or 'works well independently or in groups' then please don't bother. Make them relevant to your accomplishments or skip it all together.

3. Despite the trend towards "marketing brochure" style resumes, most recruiters and employers I know still expect or prefer a traditional resume. That means in reverse chronology (starting with the present), list employers, titles and tenures in a single heading, under which responsibilities and accomplishments are documented. Use common language rather than industry jargon and avoid acronyms, unless universal.

4. Talk about your hobbies to your mom, a prospective mate or your neighbour, NOT a potential employer. A heading of 'interests' or 'community involvement' may be appropriate, but treat the description of these items as if they were part of your employment history.

5. Size matters. Shorter is better and has a better chance of being read in full. 10+ pages is never OK - no one reads it all, especially today where, prior to 2nd or 3rd round interviews, all resume reading is done electronically (i.e. not printed out on paper). Gone is the 'round file' or 'B pile' of yore, but the delete key or 'next' button is just as nasty, if not more so due to its ease of use. Two to three pages is the target for mid to senior level people; one or two for folks with under 8 years' experience. Writing about how great you are is easy [there's that sarcasm again]; the labour, the science, indeed the art is in the EDITING and paring down.
Ask someone you trust to proofread a printed version and arm them with a red pen. Tell them you'll buy/give them one drink for every word they remove that objectively doesn't need to be there. Be prepared to call them a taxi home.

6. When your masterpiece is done, share it. Whether you are, at that moment, looking for a new opportunity or not, get it out to people you trust to both look out for your interests and preserve your confidentiality/discretion. Get to know a good recruiter or two and have an updated resume on file with them for potential matches to your ideal. Give a copy to your brother, former colleague, parent on your kid's soccer team, anyone you trust, together with a brief, specific wish list of what your dream position looks like, and allow them to share it with people they trust. An astounding number of opportunities come from personal referrals (much more than from responses to online or newspaper ads). Do this before you need a job; do it when you are happy with your current situation, but conscious of wanting something different or something more.

There might be a #7, but my taxi is outside.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The trade - 20 years later.

The Edmonton Oilers without Wayne Gretzky is like apple pie without ice cream, like winter without snow, like the 'Wheel of Fortune' without Vanna White - it's quite simply unthinkable.
NDP House Leader Nelson Riis in the House of Commons, August 1988.

The real crunch coming is not about energy.

Stop worrying about energy availability, or gas prices, there will be plenty of oil. The chances that you will be able to afford it are slim, which is a much more important issue in the near future. That and the food you will be able to buy.
Link to the piece in "The Automatic Earth."

Folks, the sky IS starting to fall. I'd love to learn about and discuss how to personally swim clear.

Friday, August 1, 2008

DELL after BE?

Dell has $9.8 billion in cash and short-term investments, and analysts say it should spend more to help itself grow. "They have to get more acquisitive," says Eric Gebaide, a managing director at investment bank Innovation Advisors, who has discussed deals with Dell in the past. Possible paths could include bulking up in IT services, a la HP and IBM (IBM), or expanding its software presence, like Sun Microsystems (JAVA). "Where does Dell get that extra juice?" Gebaide says.

One possible target could be consulting firm BearingPoint (BE), whose market value has dropped to below $170 million, Gebaide says. Adding security software could also be a natural fit. "They could make a big impact without a lot of bucks," he says.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More grim news from financial sectors.

If you want a feel good story, do not read this. The closing lines are:
If you did not know it before, you do now. The entire US banking system is insolvent.
Visit here for the how & why.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Support the Beaver Lake Cree!

Regardless of where you fall on the political/economic barometer, you can't ignore the fact that the AB tar sands are the single largest pollution-generating project on the planet. It uses more natural gas in a single day (to heat & separate the oil out of the sand) than the entire city of Calgary would use to heat homes for a year. It uses and destroys water to the extent that SK and AB farmers may soon not have any for irrigation. And, it is a massive environmental disaster in waiting: the largest dam in the world (China's 3 Gorges is not yet completed) is one that holds back tailings outside Ft. McMurray. If any one of a dozen of these earthen structures were to leak into the water supply, the Peace and McKenzie basins (the latter drains into the Arctic Ocean) would be doomed of wildlife and water unfit for human use.
In light of this, please see what the Beaver Lake Cree are doing, in the form of a law suit against the project. Industry and short-term economic gains be damned; it's time to save our country and planet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Canada: a test case for ISP utilities model

The end of free internet, thanks to TELUS & Rodgers? Read the story.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bio-fuels to blame

Bio-fuels - with questionable value to the oil supply/demand equation (it takes as much to produce as it saves or replaces) - hurt food production and supply in exactly the way you'd expect.

From a recent World Bank report:
... at least 75% of the recent price rises are due to land being removed from agriculture — mainly maize in North America and rapeseed and corn in the EU — in order to grow crops to be burned for vehicle fuel.
Read about the secret report and decide for yourself if the fuel and food crises are related to 'population reduction.'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New look Canucks - possible lines





Burrows------Johnson---------Cowan or Hordichuk




Salo--------------Krajicek or Baumgartner


Luongo (Sanford backup)

Friday, June 27, 2008

OK, we've got Wellwood; now please hand over Sundin.

Wellwood in at centre, must mean goodbye to Pitt Meadows' Brendan Morrison. Rumour is the Canucks are hot after Marian Hossa, which would be grand. I'd also like to see Mats out here with the Sisters.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Runaway global warming

Here's piece of the GW discussion I was unaware of --> trapped methane in Arctic and Siberian permafrost. Pretty stark - says 4.5 billion people could die from global warming related causes by 2012 (twenty-twelve!).
Link to the article

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act (George Orwell).

GC and the American Dream - RIP

George Carlin passed Sunday. His humor and legacy remains. Video here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stranger than fiction: CDN gov't plans to 'reclassify' 16 lakes for toxic dumping

16 Canadian lakes are slated to be officially but quietly "reclassified" as toxic dump sites for mines. The lakes include prime wilderness fishing lakes from B.C. to Newfoundland.
The story here. Get angry. Please get very angry.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Custom Vans!

Check out this footgear - you provide the art.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Does the internet curb thinking?

Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.
From an interesting piece by Nicholas Carr in the Atlantic, which used to be a hold-in-your-hands news magazine.
Click here to read it all (you know you want to!).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The real ethics of safe-injection for addicts

From Dr. Hedy Fry's op-ed piece in the Calgary Herald.

... to deny proven life-saving assistance to those who are vulnerable, simply because we disapprove of their lifestyles, is perhaps the greatest immorality of all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ron Wilson soon to be a Leaf?

A great coach for the Sharks, is he coming to TO and can he produce a miracle? More here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

First Healey, now Diddley

Bo Diddley passed today, joining the ranks of his fellow Delta and Chicago peers. More.

From 'Who Do You Love?'

I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
I use a cobra-snake for a necktie,
I got a brand new house on the roadside,
Made from rattlesnake hide.
I got a brand new chimney made on top,
Made out of a human skull,
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene,
And tell me, who do you love?.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We want strong gov't, damn it!

In a shopping mall 11 miles from The Capital building. (It's an ad for gym membership!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Whom to honor on memorial day?

Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren.

Visit here for a story first printed in the Boston Globe for Memorial Day, 1976. History does, indeed, repeat.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How green are you?

Take the Greendex here. Then do something to improve your score.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maurice out. Nonis in?

TML cut Paul Maurice loose. Rumour is that ex-Canucks GM, Dave Nonis may be targeted for Leafs GM duties in 2008 -09 (before Brian Burke comes over - fingers crossed!). More.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What would you leave behind?

I must be overtired, stressed or going through some hormonal trough as this (read together with the song playing) made me cry today.

What would you leave behind when all your fields are dead?
When your territories are dried out and your cities drowned and swept
What would you leave behind when those who bear your name
Are born in that place that you wrecked?
What would you leave behind when you're no longer there?

To hear the song, go here and click on music player; the tune is "No Longer There."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Facts don't lie

This ice cap is not available at Timmy Ho's.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Clapton quote

Music will always find its way to us, with or without business, politics, religion, or any other bullshit attached. Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help and suffers no hindrance. It has always found me, and with God's blessing and permission, it always will.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Theatre lighting.

Promoting the current attraction at The Stanley Theatre. Photo by M. Kalus.

Deployment of US Troops in Canada

What did you do last Friday? Someone within the Canadian military signed an agreement with NORTHCOM (US) that agreed to US troop deployment on Canadian soil. Here's an encouraging quote from one of the signataries, a US Air Force General.
This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation's requests for military support of civil authorities.

Read the story here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Encore for Jeff Healey.

A great Canadian guitarist passed yesterday, though a new album is due out in April.

If you haven't heard it, one of J.H.'s greatest projects is "The Jimmy Rogers All-Star Band." Do yourself - and Jeff's estate - a favour and track down a copy of it. Magic.
"I'm the guy that never learned to dance, ..."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sigh (relief) or cry? Mats won't waive no-trade.

"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL Club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."

Whole story here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth

Did you know ...

-Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year.
-Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes.

Read the news item here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No science in the PM's ear.

Stephen Harper has dismissed the National Science Adviser, 4 years after the position was created, stating it is no longer necessary. Read it here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leafs to get a "Great" GM?

Mike Toth makes a case for Wayne Gretzky to become GM of the TMLs.