Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dean Soreyko of BC Blue doesn't like reading Dr. Dawg's column in the Nat Post

From Dean Soreyko of BC Blue:
"Today was the first time I’ve time I read one of the National Post’s newest contributors and I gave my head a sad shake." (see column here)

"John Baglow, known as Dr Dawg to the on-line blogger community,  is now getting his anti-Harper/Conservative ramblings published in the only decent newspaper in Canada and you have to wonder what editor Kelly McParland is thinking." (continued)
I left a comment on BC Blue.  I don't know if it will get published as it is in moderation.  Here's is my comment anyway:
"Please, do all newspaper and magazine writers need to be conservative? I read different print and electronic news sources. I don’t care if they are liberal or conservative. I want to read good writing. I can enjoy a conservative Economist magazine as well as a liberal Toronto Star. I can read the Jerusalem Post as well as Al Jazeera (English). I can enjoy all of them. I read them because I want the authors to challenge my own way of thinking. If I just read things which which I only agree, I would limit my own range of thinking. If people wish to only read things with which they agree, they can read their own toilet paper."  [Links added on my blog post]

Update: BC Blue did publish my comment.  Thank you so kindly.

Lake Superior State University 2010 List of Banished Words

Happy 2010!  Will that be two thousand ten or twenty-ten?

Lake Superior State University has just published its list of banished words:
  • shovel-ready
  • transparent/transparency
  • czar
  • tweet
  • app
  • sexting
  • friend as a verb
  • teachable moment
  • in these economic times...
  • stimulus
  • toxic assets
  • too big to fail
  • bromance
  • chillaxin'
  • Obama-prefix or roots?
Click the link for details about each word or sets of words.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Google Street View stops about 500 metres north of the 49th parallel

I am looking at Google Street View for some of the major places in Canada.  Southeast of the Vancouver area, Google Street View stops about 500 metres north of the 49th parallel.  If you live on Zero Avenue right along the border (but on the Canadian side), you will not see your own home.  It seems you live in the buffer zone where Google Street (View) life does not exist.

Google Street View does get close to the Canadian border from the American side in many cases.  However, US border officials and indivividual vehicles are not identified.

Here are some examples of Canada's Google Street View that stops about 500 north of the unofficial DMZ between the north and south:

Southeast of Vancouver on 172 Street

View Larger Map


English Bluff Road, Delta BC

View Larger Map

Does our Canadian government want to hide our border from us?


Go to Basel, Switzerland if you want some Google Street views very close to the French and German borders.  Remember to click and drag the little orange human to the street that you want to view.

Update: Rouses Point, New York: Hwy 276:

View Larger Map

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Toronto Star: Save Local TV, but for what?

From the Toronto Star:
Has there ever been a bigger false cause in Canada than the private network's "Save Local TV" campaign? What are we being asked to save again – the right for rich guys to simulcast Lost?

Canada's broadcasters want the CRTC to grant them something Canadians have never had to pay extra for before, a direct, monthly fee for access to programming – most of which they could watch on free feeds from U.S. border stations.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, the sub-humanity!

From Eric Margolis (Toronto Sun):
"The Swiss People's Party, like conservative, right-wing parties in Canada, the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Australia, adopted anti-Islamism as their most potent, popular ideology. As I've been writing for years, hatred and fear of Muslims is the modern version of 1930s anti-Semitism

Just as Nazis denounced Jews as malevolent, dangerous sub-humans, today's western right-wingers, Christian fundamentalists, neoconservatives have simply changed the label to Muslims from Jews."
My emphasis in bold.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa's elves are wearing skimpier clothing each year

I just happened to be in Yorkville in Toronto with my camera.  Lo and behold, I saw Santa's elves running down the street.  They were raising money for the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.  Here are some slightly distorted photos so that the elves' true identities won't be discovered.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Greenpeace vs. Harper-in-South Korea

Based on my observations of watching the news on CBC, CTV, Canwest Global, and a couple of other stations, the Greenpeace protest at Parliament Hill knocked off most coverage of Stephen Harper's visit to South Korea.  Even the missing boy from Nova Scotia received more coverage than Harper's visit.  Thankfully, the missing boy was found alive.

Greenpeace achieved its objective of getting media exposure today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I don't usually talk about the goodness of Harper...

...and I am not about to.

While many my friends on Progressive Bloggers will criticize Prime Minister Harper on his belated trip to China and his upcoming trip to the climate summit in Copenhagen, Harper's constituency of support is very different from many of my fellow bloggers.  He wants the support from Canadians who place the economy first, then human rights and the environment next.  Put it simply, by my very rough estimate, a one percent increase in unemployment means a one percent loss of support for the Conservatives.  A one percent increase or decrease in pollution means very little change in support for the Conservatives.

The magic percent is 40.  On Harper's trip to China and his upcoming trip to Copenhagen, he needs the approval of 40 percent--not 50 percent plus one.  Under Canada's First-Past-the-Post voting system, Harper only needs to reach the magic 40 percent in order for his party to receive a majority of the seats in the House of Commons.  He can go to Copenhagen.  Most of the people from other countries and non-governmental organizations may hate him and Canada's environmental stance; he will still end up a winner in his own eyes.  Why?  His supporters are more concerned about the economy.  All Harper has to do is show up at the climate summit in Copenhagen, talk about balancing economic and environmental needs, and then play for a Strategema draw.

I don't normally give advice to Harper, I will suggest to him or any future prime minister visiting China to reply to any perceived insult by stating how great Canada is as a free society which helps create economic, social, and environmental wealth for its citizens.  No need to mention China.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swiss anti-minaret referendum

In the referendum to ban the new construction of minarets in Switzerland, 57.5 percent of Swiss voters supported the ban.  Also, voters 19 1/2 cantons out of 23 voted "yes" and supported the ban.  Had the Swiss referendum used the rules under Ontario or British Columbia's referendum law, it would have failed to achieve the 60 percent threshold for passing.

Whether 50 or 60 percent of the voters should agree in a referendum or if a referendum should have taken place at all, that is something that people can discuss.

I'm still trying to figure out the half-canton thingy.