Thursday, January 26, 2006

Artigiano Pastaio

I purchased some interesting food the other day. Tonight, I cooked some for the first time.

The food is pasta from an Italian, artisan pasta maker, that might be named Cav. Giuseppe Cocco. The name and place, perhaps typical of Italian producers is obscure to me.

  • Pastaficio Artigiano
  • Cav. Giuseppe Cocco s.n.c.
  • Zona Artigianale 15
  • 66015 Fara San Martino
  • Abruzzi, Italy.

They are № 31794 of the craftsmen register of the Chieti province.

The English language version of their website is Pasta Cocco.

The type of pasta is, Caserecci di Semola, n° 57 - Farfalloni. It is, Formato Casereccio. The variations are too subtle for me but the pasta is good if expensive.

What really intrigues me though is the packaging. It is difficult to see from the picture on their website but the bag is rivetted. Yes, they use rivets to seal the plastic and attach the paper with the fine printing.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Day After

While many pundits, including party advocates, are stating that the Tories will be able to govern for a while as none of the other parties want an election any time soon, I believe they are overlooking something crucial. Any of the three opposition parties can break the government. In the previous sitting, it required all three opposition parties to bring down the government. The Liberals and the Bloc combine to have 154 seats. The Tories and the NDP can only combine 153 seats. There is also one independent. In terms of making deals, this complicates things for the new government. The Liberals were able to make a deal with the NDP over the budget and win one of the closest votes in recent memory.

Yet more notes

The Tories ripped eight seats from the grasp of the Bloc Quebecois. That's remarkable.

Gloria Macarenko just shut her male counterpart up with some on-air flirting. Ian Hanomansing was worse than speechless when she said how seeing him on the big screen did things for her. Whoever was deciding what would show up on the screen was kind and changed the view before he could further embarass himself.

Quebec turned out to 51 Bloc, 13 Liberal, 10 Tory, 1 Independent. My feelings were that the province would end up something like 57 Bloc, 15 Liberal and 3 Tory. The Tories actually took 24% of the popular vote in Quebec.

The Bloc dropped by three seats and 6% of the popular vote. As an aside, the NDP took 7.4% of the popular vote. Not enough to win a seat but interesting nonetheless.

Some MPs who I would have like to see defeated but weren't: Maria Minna, my own MP; Joe Volpe, the former Labour Minister; Belinda Stronach, Scott Brison, Mario Silva, Hedy Fry. Oh well, can't have everything.

Some Notes 2

Gloria Macarenko, the CBC hostess, normally very attractive, is looking rather dowdy tonight. Krista Erickson, whom I've never seen before, is eye candy for news.

The Bloc won only 51 seats. That's remarkable. It is three less than they won two years ago. I am curious to see what happened to the popular vote in Quebec. Given the state of the province in December, this is a terrible result for the party. I wonder if Mr. Duceppe will feel pressure to step aside now. The Liberals were under awful pressure in the province because of the myriad scandals they'd instigated but the Bloc still couldn't crush them.

Other than the number of seats, I have no inkling of the situation in Quebec. It's got me thinking though.

Paul Martin will not lead the Liberal Party in another election. What a can of worms that will open.

Some Notes on the Election

Some of the more noteworthy results,

An NDP analyst is stating that they believe that Ken Dryden might be the next leader of the Liberal party. Mr. Dryden was previously my MP. He's not much of a campaigner however. I like the guy and considered volunteering for him when I lived in the riding of York Centre.

Tina Keeper, ex of the TV show, "North of 60", won her riding in Manitoba for the Liberals. I like her and hope she does well. She won by some 3000 votes in a riding with a relatively low turnout.

Lorne Nystrom also lost, by 2500 votes. This surprised me. He's one of the veterans of the House. He won his first election when he was about 22 years old. I'll have to look it up.

Ed Schreyer, the former Governor-General, failed to win his riding, missing by some 2000 votes.

Reg Alcock, head of the Treasury Board, lost his riding.

Ann McLellan, the Deputy Prime Minister, lost finally in Edmonton, by 3000 votes. She was known as Landslide Annie. Ostensibly, she won her first election by a single vote. The recount on that increased her victory margin to about twelve votes.

Stephen Owen, at one time, the Public Works Minister, won his riding. He was something else as well but I cannot remember what.

The Tories in Alberta won with some monster margins. Dian Ablonczy won by a fair margin.

In Calgary 44 to 6, in thousands, Jason Kenney.

Harper 41K, Lib 6K. Calgary West gave 6000 votes to the Greens.

In another riding, Sorenson 43K, NDP 3K.

In Edmonton-Leduc, 33K Rajotte, 10K Jacuta.

In many of these ridings, the NDP got substantial votes, over 6000 in many Alberta ridings.

Williams 35K, Lib 11K.

Epp 34K, Lib 7K in Edmonton Sherwood Park

Ambrose 38K, Lib 9K in another Edmonton riding.

Macleod, Menzies 37K, Lib

Medicine Hat, Solberg 35K, Lib 3K.

In Peace River, an Independent got 10,000 votes to come in second.

The one independent winner was supposedly in Quebec City.


Wild Rose, Myron Thompson

Yellowhead, 30K Merrifield, NDP 4K. I think this is Joe Clark's old riding.

In British Columbia, the Liberals got a lot of votes that did not translate into seats. In many ridings, they got over 10,000 votes but did not win. Saanich Gulf Islands, they got 17,000 votes and came in third. South Surrey-White, also over 17,000 votes.

Victoria saw 17,000 votes go to the Liberal who still couldn't win.

In Vancouver Island North, Duncan, the Tory candidate, failed to win despite getting 22,000 votes. West Van-Sunshine Coast also saw a Tory come in second with 22,000 votes.

In Nunavut, there were only 7500 votes total.

Svend loses to Heddy

Svend Robinson lost to Heddy Fry.

This result mirrors my own riding in which Maria Minna, the Liberal, held on to her seat, fending off Marilyn Churley, the NDP candidate. This disappoints me as I am not a fan of Minna.

The overall election results are: 124:103:51:29 with one independent. In order, that's Conservative, Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat.

Svend, historically a champion whiner, was gracious in defeat, his first in seven election campaigns. Heddy Fry is a veteran campaigner though. She's a nutbar but she can win elections.

The popular vote: 26.2:20.3:17:5:10:5:4.5:1.1. In order, Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc, Green, Other.

It's All Over

The election is over. The Tories will form the next government.

Some curiousities:
The Green Party got over 650,000 votes. That works out to about 4.5% of the votes. I'll need to look up what they received last election. I think that they want to hit the 5% mark.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Today's the Day

The people are voting. How will they vote?

My own beliefs are as such:

The Tories will win a minority government.

I cannot imagine them winning a majority. They will win no more than two seats in Toronto and no more than five in Quebec. Between La Belle Province and the Big Smoke, you have almost 100 seats. That's about 30% of all the seats available.

To win a majority without access to those two pools of seats is too unlikely. Winning a minority is enough of an achievement.

All of the parties did some interesting things that may really have an impact on the number of seats they'll win. The Bloc's musings about 50% popular vote in Quebec may have strengthened the hands of their opponents. Peculiarly, it may win them additional seats if the Tories get enough traction to hurt the Liberals there. The NDP decided to forget about policy and focus on being Parliamentary Fighters. I have yet to see any party be successful when that's been their platform. Unlike the Bloc, the NDP doesn't have a strong, natural constituency. The Liberals avoided policy for the most part and spent almost all of their advertising budget trying to make Stephen Harper look like a nightmare. I have not heard anybody with my own ears following their lead. The Tories started very strong, focusing on policy and generally being more positive than negative. Harper gave some thoughtful musings that were misguided on the practical nature of Canadian politics. The discussions on the Supreme Court gave the Liberals some focus and something to do during the last two weeks of the campaign.

So, without having an electoral map before me, I'll predict that the Liberals will lose some forty seats in the House. The Bloc will grab perhaps ten of them, the NDP perhaps five and the Tories the rest. The Greens will be left out in the cold again but may increase their popular vote which might give them more money for future operations.

Well, I'm off to vote.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The commentators are criticising the Panthers' receivers. Steve Smith, their star, is being harrassed by everyone who isn't rushing the passer. There should be four uncovered receivers running around the field on every play.

I was feeling a little strange writing this post as one of those other receivers just dropped another pass. However, on the very next play, Delhomme threw a pass that a high school quarterback would be embarrassed by. Well over the one receiver in the area, it was an easy interception for Seattle.

Smith now has two receptions for eight yards.

Of course, the coaching staff should all be beaten but on the field, the quarterback is not finding or hitting those receivers.

The Seahawks are being predictable. The Panthers' line is playing wonderfully now even though they look very tired. Again, they just forced the Seahawks to punt. They are pursuing and tackling well. We'll see if the offense will give them a bit of a breather.

The quarterback rating for Delhomme just went up. On Seattle's previous series, they showed us that Hasselback's rating is 122. Delhomme is now 13.

I think that something is wrong with Delhomme's arm. At first, I thought it was his hand but now I think it might be a pulled muscle, perhaps his tricep. Well, maybe not a pulled muscle but something muscle related. Only one of his past four throws was reachable by one of his own receivers. I'd pull him out of there.

Bell Mobility

Bell has some really stupid advertising for cell phones. It's all badly pixellated cartoon.

Something curious though, this ad is for MP3 playing phones.

In this commercial, there is some sort of 'rock' band and they fall on the ground from the sky. I dunno why. Anyways, their equipment falls with them. The amplifiers have something written on their front. It is completely ilegible. However, it is also clearly a representation of 'Marshall'. The script they use for their logo has been seen millions of times.

I wonder if that constitutes trademarque abuse.

Seahawks versus Panthers

The Seattle Seahawks are pulling the arms off of the Carolina Panthers. With ten minutes left in the third, the score is 27-7 Seattle.

Carolina just punted. It went 27 yards. It's how their day is going.

Seattle has a lineman, a tackle, who is very big. He's number 99. I'll look him up later. On second down, he just overwhelmed the Carolina offensive line, pushing them back even though he was double-teamed. Someone else was buckling the line on the right side and the quarterback, Jake Delhomme, was forced to scurry forward where 99 caught him. There was some great camera work on the play and it was a treat to watch.

What really interests me is that after the play was over, this DT was sucking air big time. When I saw him, and I can't even use the word 'panting' because it is just inadequate, preparing for the next play, I thought, okay, time to pass. He isn't going to be advancing further than he can fall on this play. So what did Carolina do? They ran the ball up the middle and gained one yard. Typical and deserving.

Shaun Alexander is probably my favourite back to watch these days. For such a powerful runner, he makes the most remarkable cuts. Trapped in the backfield, he somehow just wrung a first down out of the play.

It's a few minutes later and the Seahawks punted. One of their players parked himself on the goal line to await the punt. He blocked it on the first bounce and now Carolina is starting from the one.

Three yards on first down on a long pass to the far side of the field. Second down is a penalty — false start. I guess they're now on the two. Pass dropped at the six. Are they going to have to punt? Yes, a slow to develop running play got them to the four. Seattle's line is playing well.

Well, the punt was under 30 yards. Seattle didn't rush which kind of surprised me because of the tight corner the Panthers were in. They've now got the ball on the 46 of Carolina so I guess they were right.

Why Now?

CBS has an interview scheduled with President Bush.

It's big news.

Bush doesn't do this every day.

This made me wonder why he was doing it. Somebody on CBS said something about the pending State of the Union Address but …

A few minutes ago, J.D. Roberts came on after the football game to tell us that there are photographs of Bush with disgraced Republican politician buyer, Abramoff.

Bush generally only sits down to talk on camera when there is a political threat to his administration.

As an aside, there was the standard display of the White House Press Weasel twisting and squirming to avoid answering the questions being asked in the White House Press Room. I guess that it must be somebody else with the pictures or CBS would be showing them and not the weasel.

Power Game

I just pulled the stats from the NFL site.

The Steelers averaged 2.73 yards over 33 carries. The only reason they were that high was because the quarterback and a receiver each averaged 4 yards in their combined 4 carries.

Both Steeler running backs gained less than 40 yards.

They were smart to throw the ball, especially early in the game.

Incidentally, neither team was able to rush for 100 yards although the Broncos yardage per carry was a respectable 4.62 yards. Of course, when you quarterback has one-third of your team's rushes, you aren't gonna be dancing in the end zone very often.

Another interesting aspect of the game was how the two teams made their first downs.

The Steelers made 20 — 15 passing, 5 rushing. That's not a typical ratio for the Steelers but Denver has a tough run defence and appeared to be unable to effectively blitz or pressure Pittsburgh quarterback. Roethlisberger had a 72% completion rate and after the fact, that makes up for the feeble running game.

The Broncos however, made only 16 first downs. Three of those came on penalties and two of them came on 4th down. That leaves only 11 normal first downs.

Of course, two fumbles and two interceptions doesn't help either. All of the work the Broncos did to produce such numbers also gave them a time of possession of 23:53.

Firewall, the movie

Harrison Ford wants to know now.

Hasn't he made this movie already?

Steelers versus Broncos

The game is nearly half-way through the third quarter.

The plays are interesting but the game is not. The Steelers are up 27-10.

The plays include penalties on every other play this quarter and some magician's work by Denver quarterback, Jake Plummer. The Broncos just scored on a nice, straight ahead rush from about the four.

Update, the Steelers are grinding down the Broncos. They can't run very well. I suspect that their average rush today will be about 2.5 to 3 yards. However, they are combining those rushes with penalties and passes to keep the Denver offence on the sidelines.

Additionally, their defence is doing the job. Without the penalties, the Broncos wouldn't get anywhere. Because there is nobody open down field, Plummer is reduced to scrambling for near first downs. Because they can't pass or run, even when he does something good like scramble for eight yards, it still requires another play or two to get the first down.

It looks like Roethlisberger is going to get the game ball but its the Steelers' defence that is winning this game.

Denver is probably going to score one more touchdown but as they are behind by 17, the Steelers are cool with it. There's only a half-minute remaining in the game.

Nope, it's over. Denver had no time-outs and they were playing in the middle of the field.

Pittsburgh is in the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Martin has a good one

Those social conservatives in the Conservative Party aren't gone. They've been hiding but they aren't staying hidden. They've been locked away for a while but now they're getting cabin fever.

Last Media Day

It's Friday.

That means this is the last good chance for the politicians to get their faces before the populace.

Thus far today I have seen two party leaders and one ex-leader.

Right now, I'm watching Paul Martin speak in St. John's. Earlier I watched Stephen Harper speak in Brampton.

The differences between the two are interesting in a sordid way.

Harper spoke mostly about his hopes and about how the country could do more than it is; that the problems facing us are solvable, that there are clear actions we can take that will make a positive difference in our lives.

Martin, started his speech by discussing winning. His hopes are to win. All of the things that define the Liberal are a reflection of Stephen Harper and people should vote Liberal in order to stop Harper. Voting for any of the other parties connotes a defect in the voter.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

If you weren't before...

The Prime Minister is cranking up the heat with dire threats of a Conservative victory and the apocalypse that might visit thereafter.

Are You Being Bullied?

The Liberal campaign has been "an insult to the intelligence" of Canadians, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Wednesday. "The Liberals have put forward little but fear and Canadians are in no mood to be bullied," Layton said to a group of political science students at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

This is what I've seen too. In the last election, the Liberals, masterfully projected fear upon the populace. This time around, it is not having much of an effect. Even those people I listen to who don't agree with me in any way, are not quivering to the Liberal music.

Google Earth

The CBC made a reference to Ottawa and the environmental lobbies. As the voiceover blathered on, the screen zoomed in from space to Ottawa. It looked to me like Google Earth.

I'd been playing with this programme since it was made available for the Mac.

As the view zoomed in, you could see the stitched maps forming and re-forming. The initial perspective comes from an altitude of 39,251 miles up. On my display, the earth is a little over an inch in diametre. Somewhere below 3500 miles, Ottawa appears. Someone around 2000 miles up, some reddish patches show up where Ottawa is. Just under 100 miles up, the reddish maps occupy most of the vertical space in the window.

Watching the piece on TV, seeing those reddish map sections, I couldn't help but remember the images in Google Earth. I pulled up the map and of course, it was identical to what was on TV.

That's kind of fun.

False Creek

There is a snippet on the news tonight about developments by False Creek in Vancouver.

As the cameras wander, they bring back my memory of the place — chain link fence. It's a lovely area but it is overwhelmed by its ubiquitous chain link fencing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nagging Fears

The election is in its final week now.

Many pundits and party loyalists are using the example of the last election, in which the Liberals launched a very aggressive and disconcerting ad campaign against the Tories. In the last few days of that election, the Liberals swamped the Tory boat and won a minority government. At that time, a friend of mine told me that she would be voting Liberal in order to stop the Tories. When I asked why, she quoted verbatim a line from one of the ads. That campaign was effective.

However, it also innoculated us to an extent against a similar occurrence this election campaign. One thing I've noticed about pundits, is that they rarely seem to take into account that people respond to stimuli differently after they've already experienced it.

While the Liberals are trying to be negative, the words are ringing hollow this year. I have yet to hear a single individual who wasn't already a committed Liberal parroting the words of the campaign leaders. Additionally, the Tories have acted very differently this campaign and are not stepping on any land mines.

I don't know enough about elections south of the border but their political advertisements astonish me; not merely as individual statements either. Election after election, at every level of government, in every region of the country, all opposing political candidates are sinister and scary. I don't know whether these work but given that they now ubiquitous, I suspect that they do. I wonder that the citizens there never become inured to this approach.

Speculating, I'll only say that it probably won't subside until a politician, probably an unknown, cuts across the grain and wins.

Back to our own election, unless something actually happens, I don't see any turnaround this year.

Monday, January 16, 2006

More notes on the campaign

Jack Layton is going like gangbusters trying to drum up votes. I think that it is working but we'll see.

I just saw Paul Martin standing behind a podium. Two things come to mind. First, he is running out of things to say about the Tories and Stephen Harper.

Second, every Liberal speech looks like it is happening at the same place. Nothing to indicate the local is allowed to appear on cameral. That's kind of weird.

Noted on the Federal Campaign

The Tories are doing something right.

The first hobgoblin of the campaign, gay marriage, has faded to black and everybody has moved on.

Fears of health care being improved for the rich and diminished for the rest of us are no longer prevalent.

That they were able to move past the Liberal fearmongering without a hiccough implies that they've matured and that the people are not as susceptible as they once were.

That they are able to remove those issues from the table is a good indicator of the way this election campaign is going.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

No Joy

The Pittsburgh Steelers have just defeated the Indianapolis Colts and thus have earned the opportunity to play the Denver Broncos in the conference final.

The Steelers took over at the two-yard line, and the unthinkable happened. Bettis was stopped for a two-yard loss and Gary Brackett got a helmet on the ball, forcing the fumble that Nick Harper recovered. Harper picked it up and broke away, looking like he was going to head to the end zone. But Roethlisberger made the best stop of the day when he tackled Harper, saving the touchdown.

The final score is 21-18. With just over a minute left, the Colts caused and recovered a fumble. Jerome Bettis was on the two-yard line when a defender, I'm not sure who yet, pounded the ball out of his hands with a direct hit with his helmet. The ball fell to the ground where it was plucked by a Colt who promptly ran perhaps 30 yards down the field before being tackled by the Pittsburgh quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, who made an exceptional play, turning and twisting as he tracked the ball carrier.

The Colts didn't give up, though, and Manning going them into position for a Vanderjagt field goal, but the 46-yard attempt sailed wide right, securing the win.

The Colts marched down to the Pittsburgh 30 where the offence finally stalled.

Their kicker came out on the field to tie the game. Mike Vanderjagt is the most reliable kicker in NFL history. He's also a former Toronto Argonaut.

However, in his first year in the NFL, the Colts' season ended on a missed field goal at the end of a playoff game. Does that situation exceed his ability to screen out the pressure? The Steelers did their part by calling a time-out at the last second, delaying the play and presumably forcing the kicker out of his psychological comfort zone.

The kick was missed. The Steelers ran out the clock.

What I found most peculiar is that other than Bettis, redeemed by fate and a resilient defence, there was no wild celebration to follow. The Steelers seemed to feel deeply that they had dodged a bullet. Happy but not joyous in their victory.


The fumble recovery was run back to the Indianapolis 43 yard line. It's remarkable that the QB was back far enough to make a play. I want to see the play again to watch when and how Roethlisberger made his move back.

Also, I'm trying to access the Steelers and Colts web sites but they appear to be overloaded. The NFL.COM site is also sluggish.

The Colts just updated their site — An Unfortunate End.

The World Has Changed Forever

On Big Ideas, Robert Fisk is speaking. He has just published a book, The Great War for Civilisation.

He has made a statement which matches my own thinking. Uniquely perhaps, he is forceful in delivering that statement.

The world has not changed forever.

This in the context of the World Trade Center's destruction on September 11, 2001.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ralph Goodale Disapproves of the Conservative Budget

The Finance Minister is giving a press conference to inform us that he is appalled by the Tory economic plan, now finally released.

Stand Up For Canada

I am very surprised by this. Time for the mute button to do its job.

On a good note for Mr. Goodale, he no longer feels obligated to inform us that he has done nothing wrong. I am sure that his protestations proved very fatiguing for him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On the Notwithstanding Clause

Martin, in a press conference, just indicated strongly that he felt the overwhelming need to neuter himself.

He expressed and then repeated, that politicians couldn't be trusted with any significant powers. Sounds like the battle cry of a former prime minister.

Jack Comes up with a Good One

If you don't vote Liberal, the sun will rise!
If you don't vote Liberal, spring will come!
If you don't vote Liberal, the planet will not be destroyed by volcanoes!

In Defence of the Liberals

Martin is stepping into the mud. I don't recall a political party ever do well when it's foundational argument becomes, “We will defend…. ”

Martin is now preaching the defense of Canada.

Two items in his list annoy and trouble me, in particular.

First he talks about defending Canada from the separtists in Québec. The Liberals have gotten federalism in trouble in Québec by defending Canada, and of course, padding their own pocketbooks in the process. Their competence and ethical shortcomings make them a handicap in Québec.

Second, he talks about defending the Charter. However, an important component of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is section 33, a.k.a. the Notwithstanding clause. This allows a legislature to pass a law that contravenes judicial interpretation of other parts of the Charter.

While the federal government has never used it, this clause allows a legislature to wrest control of an issue back from the courts. Like anywhere else, our judges are human. They can err and they can do foolish things. This clause allows the legislature to cross them. The legislature, meaning the government, has to put its own viability on the line in order to do so. The law cannot endure more than five years without being renewed. That creates an opportunity to change the government as that period exceeds the longest time that the country can go without an election. That's why it's never been used by the feds. It has been used infrequently by the provinces (excepting Québec; that province has other issues and used it, spitefully, for many years on every law the National Assembly passed.

I think that it is important because it allows us some flexibility.

Here is the basic text of section 33:

Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

Yes, it's very romantic.

Another curious part of the charter states that:

Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

That is section 28. It clearly states, “Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, ….”

Election Campaign Quotes - Jan 11

The Prime Minister is in Toronto now, speaking to the Canadian Club.

Paul Martin
… and we will bring a handgun in.

The Prime Minister misspeaks himself.

Paul Martin
We will leave no one behind.

All of the latest statistics indicate that there are approximately 1.1 million children living in poverty in Canada. This after 13 years of Liberal government.

Sony Hires Apple Veep

Peter Kafka, of writes:

Last month, Sony quietly hired former Apple Vice President Tim Schaaff, who had overseen development of Apple's elegant QuickTime player. Schaaff's short-term goal is to help overhaul Sony's underwhelming Connect service; his general goal is to make sure that Sony's clever electronics have an equally clever and useful software interface. Like Apple's.

I don't remember the last time that I've heard anyone use the word elegant to describe the QuickTime Player.

When creating a new user account, it's one of the first icons to fall off the Dock. When I want to view a clip, I will grab VLC or MPlayerOSX. I'm tired of the lack of 'dec' in codec.

I don't know what else the former Apple Veep did but just on the surface of it, I'd guess that Sony bought themselves a pig in a poke if they're looking for a revolution.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Favourite Lines from last night's debate

Layton, to the Prime Minister
To promise to reduce pollution and lecture other countries about it and then allow pollution to rise so dramatically.

I would say the typical Liberal attitude is, ‘not seen, not caught.’

When Paul Martin talks about a democratic deficit. I think he's a living democratic deficit.

Martin, criticising all of the other leaders
We've got to have a more intelligent debate.

Martin, when being aggressively interrupted by Duceppe
The fact is that Quebecers are also polite.

Layton, to the Prime Minister
The fact is that your party has been one of the biggest recruiters for the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Values of Convenience

Brad Lavigne, the NDP strategist who appears every day on The War Rooms, a segment on CBC Politics, came up with an interesting expression today when discussing the Liberal Party.

The Liberals, especially when Susan Murray is speaking, like to attack the Conservatives for lacking a plan. The missing plan could be related to day-care or whatever but the point is that the Conservatives don't have a plan, they have an agenda. That agenda of course, is a hidden one.

What's fun about having the NDP around is that they are adept at skewering the Liberals as the Liberals put their strong face towards the Conservatives.

Brad responded to a question from the moderator, Don Murray, by stating that the Liberals like to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives in the sphere of values — the Libs have values, the Tories don't. Susan Murray interrupted to exclaim that was exactly right. The NDP strategist continued on to state that Liberal values are the values of convenience.

Well put and well delivered.

p.s. The CBC is getting on the ball. This episode of Politics is already up on the net. The exchange occurs around 20 minutes in. Incidentally, the Tory strategist is Sandra Buckler.

p.p.s. My transcription of the exchange between Brad and Susan about a new Liberal advertisement:

“That ad is attempting to suggest that there is some fundamental value difference between Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.”

“You bet there is”

“Actually there is not.”

“You bet there is, Brad!”

“When you have, when you make working families wait twelve years for a programme, after three elections that you promised, and then you've got the courage to put that up on the screen?

“You do not have a national child-care plan.

“All you have done is walked around this country and handed out cheques to provinces and said, whatever you're doing in childcare now, continue to do it and you call it a national plan.

“We have what we're calling the values of convenience that are being perpetrated by Paul Martin.

“Here in a country where we have 1.1 million children who live in poverty, we saw them trying to suggest they're going to clean up the great lakes when their environmental plan is an abolute sham, after twelve years when they promised greenhouse gas emissions would go down 20% they've actually actually increased 24% … ”

p.p.p.s. One final aside, I don't think that Jack Layton's name was mentioned during the segment; kind of weird.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I don't know what station this is but I think it's WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo, but they have a challenge related to weather. If their weatherman is off by 4°, then they will pay money. Every day he's within four, money goes into the pot.

Sounds like fun.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

For the first time, I am seeing my company advertising using Christmas carols. It is now January 8th.


There are lots of free applications out there.

Free means that you have no right to service. Most free apps have a forum site somewhere that allows people who are interested in the programme to chatter about it and sometimes assist one another in using it.

However, sometimes, you get what you pay for.

This exchange occurred on a support forum recently:

Does BOW allow for this? I see under preferences "Outside IP address" and "Incoming port" Is this the parameter I should be changing to tell BOW to use certain ports? A little unclear on it, thanks.... Yes that's it.

Irving Layton Remembered

Irving Layton Remembered

Irving Layton passed away.

It's a piece in many of the news clippings that run on TV. It may be in the newspapers as well. Like his son, I have never read a Layton poem.

Mister Layton did say something once that was memorable to me.

In an interview, he was asked to define the purpose of the writer.

With great relish, he exclaimed, "The purpose of the writer is to slay the demons of iniquity!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The world is turned upside down.

Today, Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, is talking about getting tough on crime. Elsewhere, Stephen Harper, leader of the Tories, is talking about creating a day-care industry.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

email test 4

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Previous post was plain text.


"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

- General George Patton

Posting in rich text from Mail works better than plain text. However, the markup that gets generated is ugly — really ugly.

Test post 3

Just another test of this feature.

----------------------------------------------------- "I am not young enough to know everything."

- Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 02, 2006

On Men and Government

All governments are more or less combinations against the people… and as rulers have no more virtue than the ruled… the power of government can only be kept within its constituted bounds by the display of a power equal to itself, the collected sentiment of the people.

 — Benjamin Franklin Bache, in a Philadelphia Aurora editorial, 1794

I found this quote at the end of the prologue of, A Brief History of Hackerdom by Eric S. Raymond. The book, or at least the prologue, is on the, O'Reilly website.

The words of Franklin, although they mirror my own feelings, are incomplete. They are like a cross-section view. They reveal much but are not the thing itself. Government will be kept within whatever bounds the people wish. This can be a narrow box or it can be license.

There is an old chestnut about people getting the government that they deserve. While often true, it is an after effect. People get the government they want.