Imminent Wipe-Out

Okay, so is everybody freezing their asses off, or what?

I heard on the teevee the other day that this will be the first “white Christmas” from coast-to-coast-to-coast in 40 years! And no, I’m not going to make a cheesy joke about global warming.

It reminds me a lot of many a winter spent in Edmonton years ago. Kind of a nice change from rain and grey skies. Give me the sun and snow any day — aside from everything else, it’s incredibly uplifting. But maybe that’s just me. And the fact that I don’t have to shovel off my car or sit in crawling traffic for hours on end…

It’s colder now than when that report was filmed a couple of days ago.

Happy first day of winter!

The “Unbreakable” Toyota Hilux

Kind of a cool new ad from New Zealand for the Toyota Hilux truck.

The truck is advertised as being “unbreakable” so naturally the BBC program “Top Gear” decided to put that claim to the test. Turns out there’s more than a little truth in advertising, at least in this case.

A Very Un-Merry Xmas for Harper

The New Hoover

So thinks Barbara Yaffee in today’s Vancouver Sun, citing a litany of things that haven’t gone Harper’s way of late that taken together might strain the Dear Leader’s festive cheer.

His grand experiment on Senate reform, through elections, has failed. As if by way of acknowledgment, he’s poised to make a bunch of Conservative appointments to the upper house, which won’t help his standing.


Meanwhile, Harper continues to look wobbly on the great issue of the moment — the economy. He has had to do a 180 on earlier projections about the economic outlook for the country.

Prior to the Parliamentary crisis, Harper sounded confident about the country’s position, pooh-poohing any notion of a deficit. His government’s past actions, he assured, had cushioned any fiscal fall Canada might experience.

Now, Harper is preparing a budget that will be billions in the red. And he’s suddenly not sure whether we are facing a full-blown Depression.

He is positioned to become the prime minister who will carry Canada back into deficit after 13 years of balanced budgets. And you can bet this isn’t something that will come naturally to him.

Other “woes…on Harper’s doorstep” include such things as the environment, “a policy area his government has neglected” that he will be forced to address in a more serious fashion now that Obama has declared “his commitment to view greenhouse gas reductions as an economic opportunity.”

Oh well, such are the burdens of leadership. Doughy Heavy is the head that wears the crown and all that…

Hey, speaking of Christmas, here’s the holiday greetings video from Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party.

p.s. There’s a mischievous suggestion in Yafee’s editorial that’s interesting to ponder. She thinks that Harper’s upcoming Senate appointments, which she calls an “avalanche of patronage,” might be more palatable “if he were to make at least one compassionate appointment — that of Stephane Dion.” According to Yafee, while Dion may not have been “terribly competent as Liberal leader” he would make an excellent senator.

Stephen Taylor’s “Dudshell”

What a Dud!

As pointed out by Canadian Cynic, there’s absolutely no “there there” in terms of a “bombshell” supposed in the “news” breathlessly reported by the Conservative Party’s online shillmeister Stephen Taylor that Ignatieff recently told CityNews “business/money/political specialist” Richard Madan that “If we are in a deep deficit in year 3 or 4 you can’t exclude [GST] tax increases to get us out.” Well duh! No kidding…

Given that every economist worth their salt has expressed nothing but withering scorn for Harper’s politically motivated GST cut in the first place, it’s hardly out of the question that dire economic circumstances at some point in the future might dictate reversing the 2% GST cut. The stimulating effect of the cut has been negligible to economy by any measure and has only served to erode the government’s revenue base. The general consensus concerning this issue has always been that cuts to corporate and personal income taxes are a far more effective means of providing stimulus to the economy.

While Taylor’s shocking “news” is in actuality nothing but a damp squib, the comments to that post are a veritable treasure trove of delusional thinking by rabid Conservative partisans. I’ll refrain from “nut-picking” (as tempting as it is), but you really should check them out just for laughs.

Update: I’m obviously quite late to the game here. It seems Werner Patels already pooped on Mr. Taylor’s party yesterday, dismantling his wrongheaded conceit with regards to the GST in a rather convincing fashion.

Update2: Oh, lookee here. Behold Stephen Taylor’s hackitude. Turns out that his “bombshell” was just pimping for the latest feeble line of attack from the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda.

A New Day for Science?

Finally! After eight long years of benighted sciolism and theocratic quackery under the Bush regime that routinely ignored scientific research and distorted facts to suit its own political ends, Barack Obama named his top science and technology advisers today, pledging to “once again put science at the top of our agenda.”

Naturally, this begs the question of why this same president would want an “officiating priest” (to borrow Hitchen’s description) delivering his invocation who not only doesn’t believe in evolution, but is scientifically clueless.

More to the point here, both Harvard physicist John Holdren and marine biologist Jane Lubchenc are leading experts on climate change who have advocated forceful government response. Holdren will become Obama’s science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Lubchenco will lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees ocean and atmospheric studies and does much of the government’s research on global warming.

Some colleagues call Holdren one of the smartest people in the world, but critics (of which there are many it seems) have also called him a “crackpot,” a “ranter” and a “doomsayer” amongst other things.

Three Questions for Team Obama


Christopher Hitchens thinks everyone is entitled to ask and keep asking every member of the Obama transition team until a satisfactory answer is received, the following three questions:

• Will Warren be invited to the solemn ceremony of inauguration without being asked to repudiate what he has directly said to deny salvation to Jews?

• Will he be giving a national invocation without disowning what his mentor said about civil rights and what his leading supporter says about Mormons?

• Will the American people be prayed into the next administration, which will be confronted by a possible nuclear Iran and an already nuclear Pakistan, by a half-educated pulpit-pounder raised in the belief that the Armageddon solution is one to be anticipated with positive glee?

Read his latest piece in Slate for the background information about Warren (whom Hitchens refers to, amongst other things, as “a tree-shaking huckster and publicity seeker”) on which the above questions are predicated — it’s Hitch at his remorselessly scathing best.

Slate also features a very thoughtful online “debate” regarding the Warren issue between various bloggers in a forum called the “XX Factor” which is well worth perusing. It’s hard not to feel pulled in different directions — first one way and then the opposite — after reading through the various posts.

Update: More disconcerting revelations about Pastor Warren and a discussion about the possibility of Obama rescinding the invitation to have him deliver the invocation at the inaugural with journalist and author David Corn.

The Return of Mr. Erl

Hey look, it’s our old friend Mr. Erl! It seems he’s running to be “Canada’s Next Prime Minister” the latest edition of which will air on CBC in March of next year. Here’s his introductory (audition) video:

And here’s his response to the video question challenge:

You can help Chris along in this process by voting to make him the “Web Winner” of the contest by leaving a rating (one to five stars — five being best) and, if you’re particularly ambitious, writing a review/comment on his audition video by going here.