Sunday 31 August 2008

Carbon Tax, Part 1

I had the idea to draw this cartoon about two months ago, shortly after Stephan Dion announced that he was hitching his wagon to the carbon tax, but I didn't get around to actually drawing it until now. The point at the time was to show that, while it is very admirable of Dion to commit to something that is very likely to be unpopular because he presumably believes it is the right thing to do, I thought it would sink his hopes of ever being PM. I saw it as being a hail Mary pass -- one last long bomb with the green football to see if he could pull out a miracle victory after letting the opponent run all over him for the first 59 minutes of the game.

That's not really how it's turning out. Dion and the Liberals are hanging right in there in the polls, and the "green shift" is not getting the negative reaction that I'm sure the Conservatives would love to see. Why? I think it's because Harper doesn't know how to fight it. Harper has ripped a page from the Hugh McFadyen campaign playbook by insulting the intelligence of the electorate with talking oil spots, and radio ads featuring a fake call-in show with bad actors. Harper is at his best when he approaches a subject in a cerebral and logical manner. Saying that the tax will "screw everybody across the country" falls far short of that. Unless he can find a way to explain the flaws of the carbon tax to average voters (without using the word "screwed"), or better yet - explain why his program is better, then this election battle will be a tough one for him.

I'll write a post a bit later (if I have time) about the carbon tax itself. À la prochaine ...

update: I may have spoken a little too quickly: Support for the Liberals' Green Shift dropping: poll

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Speed Walking: The Olympic Oxymoron

So you won a gold medal in speed walking, eh? Well congratufuckinglations. I'll bet I can kick your ass at power sitting.

If I were in Jacques Rogge's shoes for a day, the first thing I would do is strike "walking" from the next Olympics, and here's why:

  1. It's impossible to officiate. The walkers move their feet so quickly that even if you're looking carefully it's difficult to tell if they have both their feet off the ground for a fraction of a second. Over a 20km course, there's absolutely no way you can properly monitor all "racers". I am sure they cheat their assess off when they're in the middle of the course without any judges near by.
  2. It's a poor spectator sport. Really. Marathon is boring enough, but this is like a marathon in slo-mo. Not only that, the racers look ridiculous. Imagine if you will, a worm dancing upright on the pavement. That's about what they look like.
  3. It's a fringe sport. Very fringe. There are other fringe sports in the Olympics, like two man luge, but you need to draw a line somewhere.
  4. The sport just fundamentally doesn't make any sense. If you want to get from point A to point B quickly, what do you do? You run! You don't fucking walk, you idiot.
If you're going to have a contest for who can walk fastest, why don't you also have a hurdles event for walkers? The racers will speed walk up to each barrier, and them climb over the barrier without jumping. To make it really authentic, you can give each racer shopping bags and hold the event in an Impark lot. That's something I'd be more likely to watch.

Monday 18 August 2008

Only a matter of time

Flipping channels last night, I landed on TSN SportsCentre and saw none other than CTV Sports cutie Leah Hextall. It turns out, the gig is only temporary. Leah's been seconded to fill in during the busy summer/Olympics period, but really it's only a matter of time before "Sexy Hexy" joins the long list of Winnipeg sports reporters who have been poached by the big boys in Toronto. She's the total package: enthusiastic and knowledgeable, articulate, and, how should I put it ... easy on the eyes.

Maybe she isn't a looker in the traditional Jennifer Hedger sense, but her combination of good looks and quirky & bubbly personality make her a lot of fun to watch. Now that those Easterners got a taste of the perky little prarie girl they're going to want some more.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of Leah Hextall nude. I only mention Leah Hextall naked as a shameless attempt to increase my search engine traffic. Sex tape.

related: globe & mail
photo credit: chrisd
also related at chrisd


On the subject of leaving Winnipeg, blogger Jim Cotton of Pissing In The Tent announced on New Winnipeg that he was selling the home in Winnipeg Beach and moving to Calgary. The Peanut wishes you all the best.

Leah Hextall bikini pictures.

Friday 15 August 2008

Canadian culture = ass porn

Uh oh. The conservatives are tearing up the fabric of Canadian culture again!

Tories to axe five more arts and culture programs

The Department of Canadian Heritage has decided to cut five more arts and culture programs over the next two years, even as a chorus of complaints from the arts community and opposition MPs rains down on the federal government over cuts announced last week.
Liberal Heritage critic Denis Coderre reacted furiously to the PromArt and Trade Routes cuts, calling them “totally unacceptable” and “disgusting.” ... Members of the Bloc Québécois and NDP also had harsh words for the Conservatives, with Bloc MP Claude DeBellefeuille saying she “did not think it possible for a government to show so much contempt” for artists.
Let me put my conservative hat on for a second to theorize about why they might be making these cuts. (If you're wondering what my conservative hat looks like, envision a bowler hat made out of matted hair from Margaret Thatcher's side burns, decorated with the tail feather from the last known ivory billed woodpecker and buck shot from Dick Cheney's gun. It wasn't cheap, I tell ya).

So why are they taking the meat cleaver to these valued organizations that nobody has heard of until now? Maybe because nobody has heard of them. After the initial outrage, nobody will care. Here's another thing: government programs spring up with good intentions, but they don't go away!

Case in point: AV Trust, one of the programs on the chopping block:
For the highest priority materials at risk in the existing holdings
• establish a cost-shared program at a level of $2 million per year for ten years for non-federal stakeholders, and allocate an equivalent amount of $2 million per year for ten years to those federal agencies which are already preserving an important part of Canada’s audio-visual heritage.
The program was initiated in 1996. Ten years was 2 years ago! Is this still needed? If not, get rid of it!

What people don't think about is that for every program that is cut, there are usually dozens that are not. All people hear about are the sob stories of the well traveled administrators of the programs that are cut. In actuality, funding for cultural programs is increasing:
For the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2009, Parliament has voted to spend more than $4 billion on cultural programs, including the CBC, the Canada Arts Council, the National Gallery of Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage. That amount is $660 million or 19.7 per cent more than was spent in fiscal 2006, the last year when the Liberals controlled the purse strings.
With talk of a potential recession or deficit, don't you think it would be prudent to maybe take a look at where the buckets of money are going to see if it still being spent effectively (or if it was ever being spent effectively?)

Here's something else the government is spending money on, from today's paper:
More than 160 years after Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition vanished in the ice of the fabled Northwest Passage, the federal government is backing a search for the Holy Grail of the Canadian Arctic.
Searching for a piece of important Canadian history. That's cool. Nothing wrong with that. Hell, we're even supporting a Canadian porn channel:
The CRTC has given the go-ahead for Canada’s first adult television channel with “significant” homegrown content.
As long as we have good ol' Canadian ass porn on our TVs, you know our culture will be just fine.

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Quick Olympic thoughts

So here we are, well into the games and trailing Togo and Kyrgyzstan in the medal totals, with a grand total of, um, zero. Some critics may say that we need to train harder, spend more money, get our kids started earlier, etc.. Maybe, but that sounds like a lot of work. I think instead we should lobby the Olympic committee to expand the podium to include two more medals for every event. Those nickel and aluminum medals would really enhance our total, and our national pride.

And what's the deal here? In a country of 3.8 trillion people, they can't find a kid who's both cute and talented?

I can hardly wait for that thrilling speed walking event. When does that air?

Monday 11 August 2008

Wackos and waterparks

A little wrap-up from the weekend, now that I have a couple minutes to write ...

First, I was glad to hear that Tim McLean's funeral went off without an ensuing gong show. Cudo's to Jim Cotton and all the others who showed up to peacefully support the family or had a hand in keeping the Westboro Baptist Church wackos away. Those guys are the Christian equivalent of Al Qaeda -- reveling in death to support their twisted version of their religion.

Cudos as well to the Portage newspaper for refusing to print the tasteless PETA ad, and jeers to those papers that published it anyhow as a "news item".

How to catch a nutbar: dig a hole and throw in a severed human head. Come back in 48 hours and the hole will be filled with American wackos.


changing topics ... this story just kinda flirted by without much reaction:

Arborg to gain $330,000 aquatic park, says Doer

The province will spend $330,000 towards a new outdoor pool and water slide park for Arborg, the Doer government said today.

The aquatic park will feature three water slides, a four-lane Olympic lap pool, a spray park and a “lazy” river to drift on a floatation device. The water centre is targeted to open next summer.

Provincial funding for the project is part of the government’s push to double recreation spending to more than $60 million over the next four years.

That's the entire story. What's the deal here? Does every town over 1000 people get a waterpark? Or only ones in NDP ridings? How exactly was Arborg chosen and who selected this waterpark as their recreation expense? Does Ledohowski get $330,000 from the Provincial government for his waterpark too? C'mon guys .. the government is spending $60m here. Are you going to let them spend it willy nilly, or are you going to ask a few questions?

Four sentences. Sheesh.

Saturday 2 August 2008

Will Bono get the Point?

The has found a worthy cause:

OBJECTIVE To get Bono to retire from public life (so he'll stop leading misguided counter-productive philanthropy efforts)
Exhibit 1: the Red Campaign, co-created by Bono in 2006:
The RED campaign has managed to spend $40 million more on marketing that it has raised from RED product sales, while sending consumers a dangerous message.
The grassroots leaders of the global fight against AIDS didn’t ask for Bono to be their frontman. Its time for Bono to step down. We’ll all pledge donations to the Global Fund, but no pledges are collected until Bono retires from public life. ... If he want to fight AIDS he can make a direct donation instead of buying a sweatshop GAP T-shirt. As the pledges grow, Bono will have to decide what matters more, fighting AIDS effectively, or him being the movement’s frontman.
Spread the word.

h/t: much music

Oh ya, that's much better ...

Here's a little glimpse into the future for those of you who where calling for TASERs to get banned after the Langan incident:

A 26-year-old man died in hospital this morning after being shot by police outside an inner-city home when he refused to drop a knife he was brandishing ... One officer tried to use a Taser to subdue him, but the effort was unsuccessful and officers were required to use lethal force to stop the threat he posed.

Police said it’s too early to tell if the Taser malfunctioned, or if the electronic probes it shot failed to attach to the suspect.
Do you still want to suspend their use, Dr. Jon Gerrard? Let's suspend keeping people alive in favour of killing them with bullets, until the government conducts a review and sets guidelines for not killing people with bullets. Brilliant. And like Frogger points out, the police set guidelines for TASER use, not the government.

Seriously though, what's with all these people pulling knifes on cops? What are they hoping to accomplish?

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