Tuesday 27 November 2007

Bikini Ban

Yes, I am sure there is something more important going on in Iran or somewhere, but this caught my eye: a bikini ban in the Dominican Republic! Whaaa??

Actually, it's just a ban on bikinis on TV. Why, you ask? Well it's obvious: it's turning the Dominican's kids into retarded porn stars:

Opposition congressman Nestor Julio Cruz Pichardo said Monday that images of women in revealing swimsuits "are limiting the intellect and deforming the vocational interests" of children in the Dominican Republic.
Of course it is ....

Gratuitous bikini shot here:

Sunday 25 November 2007

Damn ...

Well, what can you do?

The Sask Roughriders brought home the cup. I really wanted to believe that we could win it with our back-up QB ... that Glenn was overrated and that we would be just about as good with NCAA star Dinwiddie running the offence. Sadly, that proved not to be the case. He didn't have a terrible game, but he didn't have the poise and play reading abilities that we needed. Case in point, the game ending play was a 2nd and 1 where Dinwiddie broke out of the pass rush and could have easily ran for the first down, but instead threw into a tight coverage situation, giving up his 3rd interception of the game. Johnson and Chick (who the hell is this Chick guy anyhow?) both had outstanding games for the Sask D, making life miserable for our would-be hero, and all Bomber fans.

After all that, I only have one thing to say: One more year, Milt!

Saturday 24 November 2007

The Atlantic Schooners need a home!

Tomorrow I will likely be writing about the Bombers amazing win over the Saskatewan Banjo-Pickers in the Grey Cup. Today, I am writing about the Schooners. As a CFL fan, I truly believe that we need a team in the Altantic provinces, and I am equally sure that they have the support to make it successful. All they need is a stadium!

I am reminded of this because this time last year, I was having a blast at the Down East Kitchen Party here in Winnipeg .. possibly the best of the Grey Cup parties. There is no question that East Coasters know how to have a good time. They are passionate people who are starved for a professional sports team to rally behind. Consider that Halifax/Dartmouth has a population of about half a million, in a province of 900,000 -- roughly equivalent to Manitoba or Saskatewan, and I think it's obvious that it will be a success. New rivalries will be borne and many kegs of Keiths will be drank. All good stuff.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, if they want it so bad, why doesn't somebody step forward to build a stadium? And then we get into that whole argument of public money funding stadiums and all that. Look, the reality in the sports world is that stadiums are rarely built with only private money. Look at all these stadiums that are on the drawing boards. Do you think that these are all being built with private bucks only? I mean, there's a freakin' 80,000 seat stadium in Baghdad fer chryssakes! Who the hell is paying for that?? Professional sports is a quality of life factor and an economic generator that the government should have an interest in promoting. Build the damn ball park! Steal the plans for Waterfront Stadium in Vancouver and save the cost of design if you have to.

Thursday 22 November 2007

Musharraf gets kicked out of the club ... again

Well, it seems that our buddy Pervez Musharraf's shenanigans have made him unwelcome in the cozy Commonwealth club. I happened to wander over to the BBC website and found this late breaking news.

"The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group agreed that notwithstanding some progress by the Pakistan government since its last meeting, the situation in Pakistan continued to represent a serious violation of the Commonwealth's fundamental values."
It is the second time that Pakistan has been expelled from the Commonwealth. The country was suspended in 1999, after Gen Musharraf seized power in a coup.

What does this mean? Well, it means that Pakistan isn't allowed to attend the Commonwealth meetings and play in the Commonwealth games. That must be crushing. Him and Rudolf have so much in common.

Oh well, what can you do? I guess it's a statement. But I think Pervez has bigger problems than trying to get reinstated into an archaic club of countries with a second rate track meet. Like: trying to convince people that fair elections can be held under a state of emergency, or trying to save his political future after jailing lawyers, judges, political rivals and anybody else who gives a damn about the future of the country.

Pakistan will get reinstated, but with Benazir Bhutto at the helm..

Sunday 18 November 2007

News Flash: 62% of Free Press Readers are Idiots

Online poll results from the Free Press website:

The death of Robert Dziekanski was regrettable, and the police may have been a little trigger-happy with their 50,000 volt toys, but it is undebatable that the use of a Taser is still a far better option than the use of a gun in subduing an unruly person in close quarters. May is either very short-sighted or a political opportunist who doesn't mind seeing people die if it means more votes for her. I hope it's the former. But you would think Free Press readers would know better after reading this.

Friday 16 November 2007

Awakening in Baghdad

Every once in a while I like to wander over to Last Of Iraqis to get another perspective on what's going on over in Baghdad, and keep me grounded when I consider the relatively minor controversies back here in Canada.

Many of his posts contain depressing and sometimes gruesome stories and pictures, but the past couple of stories give a glimmer of hope for at least one part of Baghdad. As Mohammed, the author, tells it, an organization composed of former members of various insurgent factions, called Awakening has come together for a common cause -- to route Al Qaeda out of the area and restore order ... ultimately for money and personal gain most likely, but nevertheless there has been a temporary reprieve from the violence that plagued the area, which is a good thing.

Now, I can't vouch for the accuracy of this guy. I don't know if he is who he says he is, but he does seem credible. Anyhow, it's worth a look. Make a point of checking out the "Art of death in the mesopotamian" post if you're in the mood.

Letter to the Mayor on Transit Fares

I sent an email to the mayors office recently. Here is part of it:

I am sure the mayor's office is familiar with basic economic concepts such as elasticity of demand. Let me suggest that we may be at the point where increasing fares could result in less revenue and an increased burden on the city. There are a two main reasons for this:

a) parking in downtown Winnipeg is relatively cheap. Saving money is the primary motivator for most people to take public transit, so as the cost of riding the bus approaches the cost of parking downtown, the incentive is reduced.

b) the increase breaks a psychological and convenience barrier. It is a simple matter to pay for transit using a toonie, but I suspect that increasing the price above two dollars will discourage many people from taking transit if they have other alternatives.

I believe the city should encourage use of public transit and is misguided in this latest increase. While attempting to increase revenues for future improvements, you may actually find that revenues decrease, or increase only marginally, while taking more money out of the pockets of those who have no choice but to use transit ... and I am sure you know that most of those people are part of a low income demographic.

To summarize, I recommend that you reconsider the transit fare increase. It will reduce ridership and add to the burden of low income users while failing in it's purpose of generating additional revenues for the City.

The response: "Please be assured that your comments are valued and will be brought to the Mayor's attention."

Tuesday 13 November 2007

I've got a Schreiber in my poll

What do we make of this whole Schreiber / Mulroney / Harper thing that's been going on? Is this the big break that the Liberals have been waiting for? A new poll has come out showing that support for the Conservatives has dropped and Liberal support has spiked several points, especially in Ontario. Wow, with results like that the Liberals might be tempted to actually vote on a confidence motion in the House. Can they parlay this into lasting support? A minority government? A majority government? An airport named after Stephane Dion?

Of course, just a few days earlier, this poll came out:

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper is soaring as Canadians' top pick to lead the country, while Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has plunged to third spot behind the NDP's Jack Layton."
Contoversy in the Conservative camp does not make Stephane a good leader. The impact of this depends on how Harper responds. What's happening here is that a shady business man is fighting tooth and nail to keep his ass out of a German jail, and if he's going down he wants to take everybody else with him. The only thing connecting Harper to this mess (so far) is a 7-month old letter that NDP MP Pat Martin considered important enough to throw dierctly into the trash can. Harper has shown that he can navigate tricky situations and end up more popular then before. From his first day appointing unelected individuals to cabinet, to the same sex marriage debate, to his backtrack on Income Trusts. If I were Stephane, I would not get too excited. Unless the Liberals can form a cohesive party with a compelling platform, they're still going nowhere.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Win it for the Turtle Man

In all likelihood, this Sunday will Winnipegger's last chance to see Milt Stegall catch a football. It's the end of an era, boys and girls. The Stegall era. Throughout all of those crumby years of losing records and playoff disappointments Milt suck with us and gave us hope. He was a beacon of light in a dark and cloudy time. He sacrificed himself for our sins. Okay, maybe not that, but he certainly did catch touchdown passes .. more than anybody in CFL history.

And now we approach his last game in Winnipeg. Possibly (but hopefully not!) his last game as a Bomber. I for one am grateful that he committed so much to this team and this city, and it would be a crime against humanity if he retires without holding up the Grey Cup. So DAMMIT win this bloody game! And the one after that and the one after that!

I have noticed that there have been uncharacteristic dropped passes these past few games, Milt included. I think the knowledge that this is the end of an era is putting extra pressure on everybody. I hope that they regain their focus and crush their opposition in all three playoff games so we can put a big happy stamp on the end of Milt's career.

Saturday 3 November 2007

The "hidden agenda" is back!

*Whew* I hadn't heard anything about it and I was worried that it had dissappeared. But thankfully the prickly hidden agenda blanket that comforts Liberal and NDP supporters across the country has reappeared in the form of capital punishment:

The Harper government scrambled Friday to clarify its position on capital punishment amid opposition accusations that the Tories are harbouring a hidden agenda to bring back the death penalty in Canada. The accusations followed Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day's surprise announcement Thursday that Canada will no longer seek clemency for Canadian murderers sentenced to death in other democratic countries after a fair trial.
It's good to see that the Liberals now have something to clutch on to while they abstain their way through parliament. It's been a rough year for them, what with the Conservatives giving tax breaks to everybody and all, and not a same-sex marriage debate to be found. Finally there's a social conservative bogeyman the Liberals can use to scare the public, while they try to figure out how to make Dion look like a leader of some kind.


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