Putting The Olympics Before The House Of Commons?

I presume I am not the only one who understands the Olympics to be on one point of a sliding scale that includes little league summer’s end tournaments and Junior B hockey. How, then, could a government become so confused that this editorial observation can be made in the Globe and Mail this morning without explanation:

Political calculation is clearly behind the decision to prorogue. The Conservatives are hoping to bask in the glow of Olympic glory while dodging the mess and scrutiny of lawmaking, Question Period and an outstanding, unprecedented order from Parliament to provide transparency and truth on the detainee file. Then, they hope to return in March, stronger in the Senate and ready to reclaim, they hope, the public agenda.

Isn’t that like suggesting the political calculation is that the Conservatives are hoping to bask in the glow of their paper hat arrangements made over the holidays? What is the connection? Are the leftists who make up the majority of Canadian athletes (you don’t hear of any sending back the guvmint cheques, do you) supposed to respond and throw the game or pull up limp to ensure they play an accurate role in the Olympic political morality play? If they win, will we all pin up pictures of the dear leader in our kitchen by way of thanks for (surely) personally organizing the event?


Group Project: Does Ministerial Responsibility Exist?

Maybe it’s just like the memories of Christmastime from when I was a kid. The snows were deeper, the tree more packed with presents. But I also recall a time when Ministers of government actually stood down for events they were involved with – sometimes quite tangentially. Yet thoughts of ministerial responsibility past dance in one’s head at the news today that…

Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day and Gordon O’Connor, then senior cabinet ministers, met the head of the International Red Cross in the fall of 2006 as the humanitarian organization tried to focus Canada’s attention on alleged abuses in Afghan prisons, The Canadian Press has learned. Precisely what Jakob Kellenberger told the three, as well as Robert Greenhill, then president of the Canadian International Development Agency, in the Sept. 26, 2006 meeting is blanketed by diplomatic secrecy.

See, just one month ago the news was that “reports amounted to evaluations of the Afghan prison system based on second- and third-hand evidence” and that “when the government had “credible” evidence, it acted in 2007 to strike a new deal.” So, is the understanding of the head of the International Red Cross not credible? Is the problem that if one cannot trust the Governor General, the judiciary, the news media, the military, the premiers, scientists and even our diplomats one also cannot be expected to trust the Red Cross because it isn’t a part of the PMO?

The sad thing for the Tories appears to be that if they had taken a different approach in this matter, admitted that 2006 was a bad year for the Afghan detainee file, this would have gone away quickly. Just as this is most certainly not about the actions of the military, it really did not have to become about the actions of members of the Federal cabinet in 2006 or 2009. But now it has.


Friday Bullets For A Week From Christmas

Things get nutty. I finished the 2009 beer blog photo contest last night only to get an email this morning about forgetting to award three prizes. Santa never forgets. We also had the 2009 Kingston St. Lawrence Vintage Base Ball winter meetings last night and basically confirmed there will be a 2010 season. Huzzah! Huzzah!!!

That is it. I wonder if I will post bullet points next Friday, spending time with the computer rather than the children. But it’s like you are all my children… not like the soap opera… more in the stage play sense.


Friday Bullets For The End Of Not Yule

It is Yule. It is. It is. I am all a giggle. Most of the pressies are stashed already and the tree goes up this weekend. We’re not one of those November tree families, you know. That is freakish. You have to wait for the cold to come and it came yesterday.

  • Amazing show of RCMP red serge and support from over a thousand Mounties at the funeral for the lost police officers in Washington state. h/t to Mr. Taylor via FB.
  • It may be Christmastime but be careful. There are anti-Yule forces. Anti-Santites. Wow. Shocking news. Egg nog has calories. Who knew. Who cares. Is this news?
  • My local NNY TV station of choice knows enough to use the phrase “Gordie Howe hat trick” – excellent.
  • Good news for Jays fans as Jamie Campbell is sent out to pasture. I know he is a human being with feelings and all but… THANK GOD!!!
  • Syracuse wins another. This may be the year I head down and catch a basketball game live. I’ve caught football and lacrosse and now need to complete the holy trinity of orange garbed sports. Nine and Oh.

That is it for now. Not the most bullets but better than last week. Remember the third week of June back in ’07? That was good. Those were great Friday bullets.


Joints: Collaboration Not Litigation, Avery / Russian River

cnl1What to call these beers? For the last few years, brewers have been getting together to make something new together. This one has a deeperback story than most but the point is the same. In the end they are joint projects, opportunities to get together, to share and learn. And no doubt to have a lot of fun. But what do they offer us, the consumer? They are the specials of the specials. The seasonals with only one season. Yet surely they have to stand up for themselves as beer and not be the wall hanging commemorative china plate of the beer world. What can I learn from just this bottle?

Blended three years ago, it pours a lovely light cola colour with a frothy deep cream head. The aroma (aka smell) is dandy – date and sharp apple.with a floral thing that is almost rose. On the sip and swish, there is plenty of rich pumpernickel malt but with that Avery drying hard water. Dark chocolate, dark plum and a nod to cinnamon with an interesting juiciness that nods to pear or white grape. It is styled as a Belgian strong dark ale and that makes sense. Yet there is an the underlying tone. The hard water for me is not working but that is a personal thing for me that I have noticed since I tried a line up from Colorado’s Great Divide. I am a soft water man. Yet there is a rich plum dark sugar finish. Solid if, for me, slightly sub-moreish.

Plenty o’ BAer respect. Take their advice.