Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well Said

After the Ottawa Senators' 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Oct 27, which saw Sens tough guy Chris Neil and Sabres counterpart Adam Mair get game misconduct penalties for fighting with 1:48 left to play, Mair apparently tried to get to the Senators' locker room to continue the 'discussion.'

He was stopped before he got there by Senators Luke Richardson and Jarkko Ruutu, and - this kills me - vice president of communications Phil Legault.

I bet that's not in the job description.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Politics is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson which has remarkable bearing on our times, especially for our American friends:

We move, the wheel must always move,
Nor always on the plain,
And if we move to such a goal
As Wisdom hopes to gain,
Then you that drive, and know your Craft,
Will firmly hold the rein,
Nor lend an ear to random cries,
Or you may drive in vain,
For some cry "Quick" and some cry "Slow,"
But while the hills remain,
Up hill "Too-slow" will need the whip,
Down hill "Too-quick" the chain.

Reading and interpreting deep poetry such as this can be a difficult task, and it is highly dependent upon the life circumstances of the person reading it. For myself, I see this as a caution to those who would seek to lead a nation to be of firm resolve on every action taken. It is a call for integrity of the will. Any politician must have a destination in mind (this means something tangible, achievable, and measurable), and he must have a clear vision of what it will take to get there, so that when the crowd starts to shout its own directions he is able to shout them down with a greater wisdom. This is the heart and soul of what a mandate is. He should be able to say to the people, "You have selected me to lead you based upon what I articulated to you as where I think this country needs to go. I told you it would be a difficult journey but that the destination would be worthwhile. Now, shut up, please, and let me lead. I know what I'm doing."

In my lifetime, the only leader I have seen try to implement a clear mandate is George W. Bush with the war on terrorism. Our Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has been stumbling since day one in office, despite how much I like some of the reforms he has put into place. We don't know what his destination is; I don't think he does either. He's treading water, but is unwittingly being moved by the current to its own concept of a destination (which as currents go, usually involves a waterfall, or at least a nasty course of rapids).

I haven't paid enough attention to the messages of the American presidential candidate to know what their proposed destinations are, but I have definitely observed that McCain's ability to stand up to the crowd dwarfs Obama's. So far, Obama has turned his back on every long-term personal relationship in his life that contained any political risk. Say what you will about the man's unpleasant friends (Ayers & Wright come immediately to mind) but when he cuts his ties with them to save his own political neck after decades of friendship, that is the mark of a man with no backbone.

Like David Warren, were I able to vote in this American election, it would undoubtedly be for McCain. I have much more confidence in him as the one who "will firmly hold the rein."

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I got a little creative with the cheese I prepared for our Sunday Brunch today, and created a mini-cityscape.


Note especially the marble construction.

Caption Contest: Sunday Brunch Edition

Many of you know that the highlight of my week is hosting a crowd for our famous Sunday Brunch.

Today, Bill helped out with the prep work a bit, and I do believe that this photo deserves your loving attempts at capturing his thoughts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yay! Representation!

The first time I voted for the winning candidate in my federal riding was in 1993. I was living in Moose Jaw, going to Aldersgate College, and voted Reform for Allan Kerpan. That was the first time I voted. I followed that up with a vote for Roy Bailey in the next election.

Before the next election, I moved to Ottawa and lived Ottawa Centre, which in its 14 elections had elected a Conservative candidate a total of one time, and that only in a by-election after a popular incumbent retired in 1978. Seven months later that Tory incumbent was defeated by the Liberal candidate by a mere 1,030 votes (a 5.5% point margin).

So this small-town Saskatchewan boy moved into one of the most left-leaning ridings in Canada, and in futility voted for the Canadian Alliance candidate, David Brown. I volunteered with his campaign, did phone polling, knocked on doors, and when he finally hung his head in defeat, I swiped one of his election signs for posterity's sake.

Then I moved to St. Boniface in Winnipeg, and was somewhat disheartened to discover I had entered another haven of the Left. Raymond Simard had inherited the riding from Ron Duhamel, who had been sent to the Senate, and Ken Cooper unsuccessfully opposed him in the last two elections. The last election, though, was a close contest - closer than Simard enjoyed, I'm sure:

SIMARD, Raymond parliamentarian 17,989 Lib
COOPER, Ken manager 11,956 C

SIMARD, Raymond parliamentarian 16,417 Lib
COOPER, Ken manager 14,893 C

I still have Ken Cooper's lawn sign too.

Thankfully, tonight the Conservatives have slain the Liberal giant here, via the person of Shelly Glover.

So for the first time in nearly ten years, the party for which I voted has taken power in my riding.

I'm so keeping that lawn sign.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I Want To Meet The Guy...

...who actions warranted this safety label.

I'm sure it would be a fascinating conversation.

A Nice Drive

I had to take a trip up to Gimli for work today, and was so amazed at the fall colours that I stopped for a few pics.

Enlarge & enjoy.

It's (Probably & Finally) A Boy!

We had our ultrasound appointment this morning and asked to see what gender the baby is.

Either our fifth* girl has a tiny stump of a leg between her two good legs, or else my Y chromosome finally figured out how to get through the zona striata.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go buy a Tonka.

* sixth

Monday, October 06, 2008

Deconstruction of a News Report

My morning alarm is set to the local CBC Radio station, because I don't like listening to tinny music through it, I always try to avoid listening to commercials, and the REH REH REH REH of the alarm scrapes against my soul like God's fingernails on some infernal chalkboard. That leaves CBC Radio.

The news report to which I awoke had all the grab of a "gotcha" moment against one of the local Conservative candidates for the federal election, Trevor Kennard. He used to play football with the local CFL club, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

I can't find the report online, so I will paraphrase it from memory.

Conservative candidate for Winnipeg South Centre, Trevor Kennard, is at the heart of a new controversy. A letter has emerged which he wrote to his school division after a public meeting in 1999. In it he accuses the school division of being more concerned with social engineering and pandering to minority interests than proper education. (At this point the story grabbed my interest; I'm waiting anxiously for the scandalous remarks.) Nobody at the meeting remembers Kennard specifically, but one attendee remembers meeting one man who "radiated hatred and homophobia." (Ah, so it's a homosexual thing... but no mention of what Kennard himself radiated. There's got to be more... do go on.) Kennard wrote that he insists the school board reverse the changes to the curriculum, even threatening to pull his children out of the school system and place them in private school. (Oh, the horror!) The school board chair indicated that she was proud that they did not reverse the changes, and that Kennard was upset that his letter was made a matter of the public record. The CBC has repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to reach Kennard for comment.

That is it.

Seriously, that was it. The most offensive thing they quoted was that he might - gasp - send his kids to private school.

Now maybe there is really something offensive in that letter; but since they quoted nothing else from it, I can't say. But if there were, I see no reason why the CBC wouldn't have made it their central storyline instead of this feigned outrage that somebody would dare to place demands on how his children are educated by a publicly funded institution.

I send my kids to private school, and I sit on its board, specifically so I can help pull the strings behind the scenes and ensure I'm comfortable with the direction the curriculum is pointing them. Any parent with serious objections to the anti-Christian messages taught in our public schools would do no less.

So my main question in this whole debate, which goes directly to the heart of Mr. Kennard's character, is did he make good his threat and remove his kids from the school when the board refused to budge? That's how I'd determine my vote. He made a promise - did he keep it?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

No You Can't

I'm getting rather annoyed at this Barack Obama character down south. He talks about "change you can believe in," which not only ends in a preposition but is a statement that expects the reader to take it at face value. He offers no proof that his type of change is any different from anybody else's version of change. Plus, is there change I can't believe in? Change is change after all: the altering of one state into another. If change happens, believing in it or not doesn't matter.

He also runs on the assumption that change is good, for its own sake. Bah. That's like saying driving is good, or walking is good. Perhaps those activities can lead to good results, but perhaps they can lead to bad results. Who would dare maintain that it's good to drive to the house right next door to you? Who would maintain that it's good to walk off a pier? You can't talk about change without having some ultimate goal in mind, and I'm quite certain that Obama has no goals worth pursuing. Forget this "rebuild our image in the eyes of the world" nonsense - what is he really proposing that can appeal to the sense of urgency I have for society's ills?

Apparently, he's proposing this:

h/t: SoCon or Bust