Your Weekend Bullets For The End of January

Will February be as soft as January? I make these observations thinking one day I will maybe go back and check how bad each winter has been year after year. But I don’t. These things just languish. Like so many dreams. Contemplating leaving other things aside first, however. The cable TV and direct line telephone are under the budget department’s eye. When we had the power outage the other day the land line failed us due to the electrified base the wireless phone depends upon. Why not just have another iPhone for about the same price? At least cable TV brings me 7 months of baseball.

♦ Quite right. Use of a martini glass does not make for a martini. Your government store in action.

♦ “As usual, the Flea is right: “I don’t expect I will be back to H+M any time soon. If you work in a “creative industry”, or hold any sort of intellectual property in any medium, I suggest you don’t either.”

Neato. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935) shaking hands during his lifetime with both John Quincy Adams, born 1767, and John F Kennedy who died 1963.

♦ As we have fun watching the GOP Super PACs lead to the GOP eating itself, consider, too, the guilt of the Tea Partiers whose great-granddad didn’t fill out the right paper work.

♦ Now I know why my Mother was enthroned as the Brisbane Queen in 1949.

So, there you go. I have to make this something more than an eight day commitment. But there is beer blogging to do, you know. Lots of beer blogging.


Your Weekend Links Of Note For A Day At The Hospital

Efficient. Kind. Relaxed. Excellent. It was a good day at the hospital helping the lad get through what turned out to be a far less onerous than feared experience of an eyeball straightening. More nip than tuck, I have spent longer stretches at the dentist. Shades of my two days long medical stays of my youth disappeared. Validated Kate’s observations, too. Realized that I have sat in small city hospital waiting rooms in Canada, the US and Poland and each time thought pretty good people go into this work. Today, a small “hooray” went up among the post-op nurses at one point. I gave the “what was that face” to one of them and was told “the babies are through.” Hooray for the babies, indeed.

♦ Good to see the students of Syracuse can tell pedophilia from hate crime.

♦ I really hope many of these citizenship investigations are linked to the PEI passport selling scandal. Good to know, by comparison, that some Spuds have some sense.

♦ Boys need this last line of defends. It’s like Cold War MAD – mutually assured destruction. I recall when the bag tag war of 1982 broke out at undergrad. We needed, after only two days, a formal truce.

♦ Seventeen century science is absolutely neato: this and this, too

There. Weekend is here. Tomorrow? A Montreal Gazette weekend edition and maybe an obscure mammal in form of sausage.


Your Friday Bullets For The First Frost Warnings

We have had a good crop of tomatoes and basil this year but there is a fair nip in the air so that may be drawing to a close. I don’t mind. I picked up a copy of FutureSex/LoveSounds to keep me warm. I may start doing reviews of my new funky collection but suffice it to say that I never imagined thinking an album could remind me of punk, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. I thought the internet was affected by the cold this morning as it was 1995 sorta sluggish. I thought someone forgot to turn a switch somewhere. Maybe a key router froze up north.

⇒ Did I mention this one before? Such a weenie. Likes his own chair by the TV, too. Don’t you think of sitting in his chair. Contrast: our top soldier loves to travel. On us.
⇒ Admit it. This is useful.
⇒ Great article: : “Dubya and Me.” Another sort of great writing.
⇒ I am pretty sure I worked with Vic Gupta back in 1992 in a pub / restaruant in London, Ontario. Great guy. I would be hard pressed not to vote for the guy if he was in my riding… and he a Tory. One to watch. The vintage base ball team’s second base woman and (let’s be honest) best player, however, is a local NDP leader so the universe is balanced.
This building faced the old Gingers on lower Hollis Street, home of the original Granite Brewery where the makers of beer experimented on us college kids as we learned how to play snooker watched and jeered by a crowd of hard luck cases whose shakes kept them from the table. I had no idea that we were looking at a 1760s building as we left the place.
⇒ Good that the RCMP has been called into PEI. A cool and untraceable $400 million enters an economy of 135,000 people, citizenships are given away and no body know nuttin. Classic. I was disgusted back in 2009. Related: best headline ever. If you have to say that, you know they are screwed.
⇒ Unbelievable that the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister doesn’t know that you do not make kissy face with journalists from dictatorships.

There. That should hold you.


Friday Bullets For Your Labour Day Weekend

You better be meditating on the benefits we all share from the labour union movement this weekend. “Sure, I’ll take the day off but don’t you dare think for a minute that I like unions.” I can hear you. You hypocritical holidaying ingrates. Me, I will be singing “The International” and all my Billy Bragg 45s and calling everyone I meet comrade or maybe even Leonid.


⇒ Glad that’s cleared up. Italians are now “ethnics” under the rural overlords world view. Next, Scots and Irish and soon New Brunswickers.

⇒ Ernie Eves busts out against those Ontario Tea Party Tory bastards: “I don’t think it was fair and I don’t think it was loyal and I don’t think it was compassionate and I don’t think it’s honest.” Crime: voting for someone. Now, that’s a Tory: anti-democratic and proud of it.

⇒ I have no idea how sad it must be to be a Blue Jays fan. I mean, it’s like they think the team doesn’t suck. See, being a Leafs fan, I know they suck.

⇒ Do we now feel a twinge of guilt for reveling in Conrad’s fall? I will give him this – there is no one else reporting honestly on the state of the back end of the justice system like he is.

Ahh… long weekend. I needed it. I earned it. Really did. Didn’t I. I didn’t? Who says?


…The Public Debt Of The United States… Shall Not Be Questioned…

If I had a chance I would wallow in US constitutional law for no other goal than to enjoy how the flow if words can be used and misused and wondered upon. Consider the fourth section of the 14th Amendment brought in after the US Civil War. It has an interesting application – of some sort – today:

…It is inconsistent with the political context that produced Section 4, because it would not give the Republicans the sort of assurances they needed. We should interpret section 4 so that it solved the political problems that the Republicans wanted to solve. If our proposed interpretation does not solve those problems, it is very likely that we have picked the wrong reading. I begin with the assumption that the central purpose of section 4 was to prevent the Democrats, once they regained political power, from repudiating the Union debt– including pensions and bounties. To use my colleague Jed Rubenfeld’s language, this was the “paradigm case” of what Section 4 prohibited. But what if the Democrats did not officially repudiate the Union debt but but merely chose (or threatened) not to repay it?

Flip the Democrats and Republicans and more it 145 years into the future and we are looking at today’s news: “The Obama administration and congressional leaders are working to complete a deal on a long-term budget reduction package…” So, if the talks fail and a default on the debt occurs, is that the “questioning” that the section refers to? “Questioning?” What a horrible word to place in a constitution. Questioning occurs before there are facts known. I question my kid when I find his room overly messy. I question claims made my individually wrapped snacks as to their healthiness. What the heck does “shall not be questioned” when placed in a constitution?


Your First Friday Bullets For Summer Of ’11

So, it is finally summer. A thunderstorm hammered the town last night so that makes sense. The kids don’t actually seem to be learning anything at school, just trips trips trip so that makes sense. And you can’t find anyone at work. The trifecta of summer’s start. It was a busy week, too. Reports came in. Personnel shuffled. Outsourcing appointments were confirmed. And that was just at home.

  • • Canada’s national shame. We export death. Is this why Chuck quit?
  • • Roger Ebert was right and everyone should say so. If the driver had lived he would have played “Jackass in Jail” for the rest of his life for killing his pal.
  • • My kids really don’t have this issue: “you call this toast?”
  • Senate reform? I don’t understand how when a constitution has a section 23 that sets out qualifications of a senator that addig a qualification is not an amendment to the constitution.
  • • The Feds did something else weird constitutionally recently that no one noticed. It passed a bill in the House and in the Senate before the Throne Speech to demonstrate the right to act without the leave of the Crown. Hmm.
  • • North Carolina considers compensation for victims of state forced sterilizations under its eugenics program that lasted until the 70s. Is it time for Alberta to face its own past?
  • • Speaking of the Senate, BC’s new Premier seems to be bad with math: ““Twenty-four Senators for the entire western Canada? The economic engine for our country?” she scoffed.” In the depths of the recession, Ontario dipped to 38% of GDP, more than BC, Alberta, Saskatchwan and Manitoba combined. Twenty-four seats for Ontario? A joke. And, besides, democracy requires representation by population not by oil wells.

There. That’s a lot of bullets. Surely enough to hold you for now. Next week? Canada Day is on Friday. Expect a treat. Or much the same thing. Either one.


Friday Bullets For Getting Up At 6:43 AM

I don’t set the alarm as the house lives on the rhythm of pre-schoolers. If I am up at 5:15 am, that is life and if the stars align like last week and there is quiet well past a sensible hour, that is life, too. Like last week. When I get a string of good sleeps I start to ask why there isn’t more activism for early to bed, early to rise. Government programs. That sort of thing. I mean of we can get tax breaks for kids activities, why not for jammies if both are key to good health? What else? I am not against taxing soda pop like cigarettes but I would rather see it extend to the prepared food aisle. If you can’t cut a carrot and put it is a pot as part of making something, you should pay the same premium for health that a ciggie toker pays.

  1. Wed Design History Update: Where have all the .gif files gone… long time ago…
  2. • I would not exactly use the words royal newlyweds parasites but a do see a glimmer of the point. I pay for my own holidays. And I do appreciate that the young couple facing a life of nationals service does try live a relatively “go to worky” life. But I pay for my own holidays.
  3. Holy Division of Powers Action, Batman! I want a Supreme Court ruling on the meaning of the Senate as well as the role of the provinces in defining the Constitution.
  4. • It’s not that I don’t care about a postal strike so much as I am surprised by the extent of my not needing to care. No one sends me cheques I have to have by mail. No one sends me chatty letters. I wonder if there is a twitter hashtag to follow the strike.
  5. • Dear Ratko. Rot in hell.
  6. • 2,197 calories for nachos? I went to a US somewhat fast foodie place that had calories listed the other week and found that I paid more attention to that than the prices. I was stunned that equally priced and relatively equally interesting alternatives ranged from 400 to 1,000 a sandwich. But 2,197 calories for a plate of nachos?

There. Posted early. Before I was awake last week. No rushing. Why don’t I do this all the time?


Friday Bullets For Day 20… 21… Or So

The debates. Harper still is just on the good side of smug with is plastic grin. Iggy learned a lot but still looked a bit contrived. Jack was very good and Gilles had little or no worries. I wonder if there’s going to be exactly the same number of seats per party at the end of all this. Kingston is up for grabs and given the flattenning of the three way votes the country seems to be as well. The daily Nanos continues to show a long slow slide for the Tories that no one mentions. Because the Grits are not getting the benefit… except in Ontario. Weird how that is not getting noticed.

  • Uncomfortable Family Photos Update: Is this the photo of the 2011 Federal campaign?
  • Guilty Admission Update: New Brunswick now admits it was coerced into Confederation. Too ashamed to confess to its shame until now.
  • This is fun from my old stomping grounds. I once actually was a plant to block Chretien momentarily in a crowd as he passed through a doorway separating him from his heavies so someone could shove a Hec Clouthier, Independent Liberal, pamphlet into his hands. Renfrew Co. politics are fun.
  • Still not sure why pork barreling does not stick to the Tories. Maybe Canadians do want a tang of corruption in their national politicians and they are just accepting the fact.
  • There are plenty of ways to get at a pot of money. This situation calls for a constructive trust, I’d say.
  • I have no idea what happened in Guelph
  • El Tigre was at the ethnic outfit event but has yet to report. No word on the manly unbifurcated garment ratio.

That is it for now. Two weeks and still the election is up in the air. Who knew? And don’t forget to read your Batter Chatter. The Red Sox may suck but the game is fine.


How Originalists Get Wobbly On Law

Hearing Justice Alito, at least a form of originalist, had dissented in the very difficult case of the foul mouthed wacko protesters at a military funeral had me running to read his words to see how he got it wrong. Because when folk who claim to a certain level of purity go out on a limb, well, that is when you find out what is really going on. And there is it in the second paragraph of his opinion [warning: .pdf]:

Mr Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace. But respondents, members of Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right.

See, no matter how awful and stupid the protests were, not matter how hurtful their effect… they did not trigger a “right” of the parent. A right is a relationship set out in law. Do we have a right to be left alone in grief and respected? No, because we should have respect at that moment as a matter of cultural norm. Decency. The members of Westboro Baptist Church were unbelievably indecent and, frankly, clearly have a higher authority to answer to in the Christian construct for their act of judgment. But there is no right. Free speech, however, is a right in the US constitution for which there are legal protections. To balance that, Alito needs to make something up which he does at page 11 when he states that funerals are unique events at which special protection against emotional assault is in order. Where does that come from? His sense of decency. Which is great and admirable and what we all wish for. But it is not of the constitutional order of things.


Friday Bullets For Truck Week

It was “Truck Day” this week and so by extension this is Truck Week. Is February Truck Month? It’s not a bad idea. The beginning of the end of winter. You can see it in how the sun melts the road cover even if you can’t feel it in a skip in your step. A few short weeks are left. Lawns shall be mown. Pork shall be smoked. Did you realized it’s two weeks tomorrow that the first game of spring training is played? Life has meaning again.

  • We Do What We Want Update: if it weren’t so sad it would be a great Kids in the Hall script – ““It’s like we’re on CSI or an investigative forensic thing – who’s put the ‘not’ in. I’d like to know what your issue is,” she said then. “What is your issue?” Resign.
  • Deferring a political and cultural question to the Canadian Standards Association, safe keeper of hockey helmets and other consumer products is both startling innovative and wildly dumb.
  • See. Tail. Wag. Dog… See. Crisis. In. Right. Begin.
  • Make your own joke here: “Bay Street lawyers fear job losses.”
  • I really dislike suits but mainly because they look like really dull pajamas made of far too heavy a cloth.
  • Really? “This government has a hostility toward people who think for a living or people who write for a living…”?

Did you know a Bieber movie opens today? Spot man with pre-teen.