Tuesday, November 30, 2004

...And Screw You Charleton Heston

That's it. I'm officially fed up with guns, the gun lobby, gun toting freaks that claim "the right to bear arms"... all of you. How can you claim the need for guns in urban society in the face of this.
An eleven year old girl is lying in the hospital having been shot in the head on a downtown Toronto bus.

I'm now beyond wanting a gun registry. I just want them banned for the majority of the population. I think, and I've posted this in other places in the past, that if you want a gun, you should have to prove that you need a gun.

Do you live in the city and never venture into the woods to go hunting? You don't need a gun. You don't get one.

Does your job require you to carry a gun? ie/ Police, private security, conservation officer, prison guard, soldier? No? Then you don't need a gun. You don't get one.

Are you a competitive shooter that can leave the gun in a secure location like a gun safe at a range? No? You don't need a gun. You don't get one.

Now, please keep in mind that I'm writing this from a Canadian point of view. We do not have a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms. Did you get that Canada? This is not the USA. You have no guaranteed freedoms when it comes to keeping a fire arm. In this country, that's not a valid argument.

Canada is country that - in the words of Will Ferguson - "was partied into existence". We have no tradition of using gun violence to settle out problems. We didn't secede from the British in a bloody confrontation. We haven't had our northern brothers fighting their southern brothers. Canada was created at a cocktail party in Charlottetown, PEI in July 1867. Canada was a behind-the-scenes deal, brokered over martinis.

If you have a problem with the gun registry - and I don't mean the cost because that's a whole other topic - ask yourself this question: "If I have to register my car, an object that while deadly, isn't designed to kill people, then why shouldn't I have to register my gun, which is specifically designed to kill people?" But I'm digressing from the original point. This isn't about registering guns. It's about taking them away from anybody who cannot prove they need one.

Imagine how many people wouldn't shoot their family members by mistake when they come in late at night. Imagine how many guns wouldn't be stolen from their owners only to be used in street crime. Imagine how many police wouldn't be killed or injured while protecting you. Imagine how many home owners wouldn't be killed by their own guns when the guy breaking in uses the gun owner's own gun.

Imagine how many little girls wouldn't be in the hospital recovering from a gunshot to the head.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Can't Sleep, Terror's Gonna Get Me

How in the world are you people coping living south of the 49th parallel? Americans, I'm talking to you.

The mixed messages you receive on a daily basis must be driving you nuts. Seriously. I'm not being a smart ass here - for a change.

You've got a "president" telling you that you should feel safe in your communities, on your airplanes, at your places of work. Why? Because your government is working to keep you safe. Your CIA et al, are intercepting terrorist "chatter" on the internet and over cell phone conversations. Your military is bombing the hell out of anything that isn't flying a US flag or that might advocate a change in US foreign policy. Yes, the message from the top is that you are safe from terror because your government is keeping you safe from terror.

But... just in case they missed something, the media is committed to making sure that you remain absolutely, positively terrified; as can be seen in this helpful little site from Fox News.

If you've ever doubted the Republican bias of the media in the States, this site should be your proof.

Since 9/11 the only people that have been killed or injured by "terrorists" have been US forces sent to Afghanistan and Iraq - under false pretenses - in the course of mountain or urban combat. Not one single person, civilian or military, has been harmed on North American soil by a terrorist since 9/11. Good intelligence? Dumb luck? Terrorists are amateurs? Who knows. However, a smart administration would be taking credit for this safety in your borders. And they are. However, if they were truly interested in your mental well being, they'd be downplaying the threat stories and websites coming from the conservative media ie/Fox News, CNN and others.

But they don't. Why?

The current administration needs you to be afraid. They need you sitting on pins and needles, not trusting the swarthy man in flowing clothes who just happens to be sitting next to you in the mall food court. The government needs you to be suspecting your neighbours of building bombs in the basement. Bush and co. want you so paranoid about a non-existent threat that you continue to support a war that has nothing to do with terrorism, that you continue to support massive increases to the military budget, that you ignore cuts to education & health care - two things that will affect you in a very personal way.

In short, to paraphrase John Stewart: they don't want so afraid that you don't vote, just afraid enough that you vote for them. You know the next Chapter of the story. It started on Nov 2.

Enjoy your sanity while it lasts. The breakdown is coming. Don't worry, there's enough Xanax for everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hell In A Handcart

O.K., I'm a pretty big proponent of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to purchase whatever you damn well want ideas. However, there are some lines you just don't cross and really, this is right near that line.

O.K., it's not child pornography and no, you're not actually firing a real gun at a real person. However, re-creating one of the more tragic events in American history with you as the assasin, is just sick.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Yeah, Let's Not Cure Cancer or Anything

Wow, a three-post day. Odd.

Anyways. Picture yourself with a BSc, MSc and Phd. All that brain power to solve problems, do research to either help or hinder the planet and this is your big idea?

I hope your alma matter asks for their education back.

How Does It Work?

We all know (at least those of you living in Canada, yet outside of Toronto) that Ralph Klein will be the next Premier of Alberta. A job, which in his mind at least, is the most important job in the country, including that of Prime Minister.

Reality check people. This province is swimming in money from oil revenues. A trained (or untrained) monkey could run this place as effectively as Ralph. It isn't hard to manage an economy that has many dollars. The trouble is, Ralph can't seem to spend the money in places that it needs spending.

Example: We have some of the largest class sizes in our schools, in the country. Why not take some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and hire a few more teachers in the most densly populated areas.

Example: There is a waiting list a mile long for an MRI - if you're not a professional athlete. Why not spend some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and fund our hospitals so that every body can have equal access to medical care.

Example: The main North/South corridor through Alberta is Highway 2. It's a three-lane, 140km/h game of bumper cars to drive from Edmonton to Calgary. Let's part with some of that 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS and start building a rail-line next to the highway and use it for heavy cargo. Get some of the semi-truck traffic off the road.

Example: Most of our power comes from oil, gas and coal. Buring any of these increases the load of greenhouse gasses which leads to increased global warming. Hey, we have an 8 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS that we could spend on developing a real alternative energy plan.

As I may have mentioned above, if you have the intelligence of a dump-truck, you could run this place and probably do a better job of making people realize that there really is an Alberta advantage.

Ralph Klein now just looks bored with the whole thing. If he isn't bullying the federal government at First Ministers' meetings, then he's attending some photo-op looking like he's going to fall asleep. As witnessed by last week's coverage of Ralph at Agri-Trade. Seriously, the man had a glassed over look that said "I wish I could start drinking again."

And yet, many of my fellow provincial citizens will all say "baaa" and vote the bored man back into power. He'll occupy the seat until he's squeezed the last free cocktail weiner from the last Alberta Centenial celebration and then... he'll disappear. A minor footnote in a Province with a colourful past.

For You

You arrogant, condescending jackass.

You want emotion? I'll give you pure, raw, unfettered, vitriolic loathing you small-minded, nitpicking little man.

We put up with your crap on a daily basis in that place. You, who so often cries poor me when you get your wrist slapped, don't seem to understand that threads get closed because you highjack them. You are the king of personal attacks. And yet, you remain.

I have never, in 34 years, come across a person who engenders this feeling of deep-seated hatred in me. And I don't like it.

Don't bother trying to email. I've blocked your address.

From now on, I shall treat you like a bee. I'll ignore you and maybe you'll go away.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Ho Ho Holy Crap

You have got to be kidding me. This is a joke right? Not that merit has anything to do with being a celebrity anyways, but come on. Russel Crowe is a hero because he prayed for some kid with a snake bite? It's not like Russel flew to the kid's house and sucked out the poison himself. An act that for sure, would have been covered by 8 million newscams all looking for a "famous humanitarian" story.

O.K., I feel better.

To pick up on deeol's post from yesterday here is a simple, helpful list of things you can do while shopping for Chrismas presents this year.

1. Don't be a complete dickhead to the person at the till. The poor guy or girl, has probably been on staff since about 10:00 that morning. They want what we all want: enough money to pay their bills and buy some prezzies for the kids. They don't control the ordering, pricing, inventory, in-store music or anything else that is bothering you. Leave them alone. They make minimum wage, which is not enough money to put up with your crap. If you have a bad experience, yell at someone who can actually fix your problem - you'll have to find at least a district manager.

2. Be a smidge creative. If you can't find that last "must have" item, figure out an alternative. In fact, expect that you're not going to find what you want and have the list of alternatives ready to go.

3. Eat before you shop. Don't go out starving and dehydrated. The rest of us have to either step over or move your lifeless body when you pass out. All this can be avoided with proper planning on your part.

4. For the boys: Do not buy your wife/girlfriend lingerie. This is a present for you. They'd rather have jewelery, slippers, a sweater, tools, movies etc...

5. For the girls: Do not buy your husband/boyfriend... actually forget that part. We're guys. We like free stuff. Maybe keep out of stores selling "chick flick" dvds. Other than that, we're pretty easy.

6. If you must take your children to the mall during Christmas season, restrain them. I don't care how. Get a stroller, steal a shopping cart, put a leash on them or tie them to a pole. Little kids and the holiday mall are not a good combination.

7. Further to #6. Take your kids to see Santa before you go shopping. That way, they're placated for 15 minutes and they have candy to occupuy them.

8. Further to #6 & 7. You know what, leave the kids at home. Pay the $5 an hour for the sitter and take some stress out of your (and my) life. If they want to see Santa, take them just before the mall closes for the night. Make the trip to Santa a special treat just before they go to bed. Put 'em in their pj's, avoid the long lines and get some really cute pictures. Santa will appreciate having at least one kid who isn't flying off the walls, not sugared up, not covered in snot and not tracking slush all over his nice, hot, red fur suit that he has to sweat in for the next five weeks.

9. Have an open bottle of the alcohol of your choice waiting at home. Brother, you're gonna need it to cram down and repress all holiday happiness you just experienced at the mall.

I thought I'd have ten tips. Looks like only nine.

I'll wish you a Merry Christmas at an appropriate time - in five weeks.

Monday, November 15, 2004

How to Vent About Nothing

It's just becoming too easy.

Too easy to make jokes about Bush Jr being the last kid on the field to be picked for a team. I mean really, that's got to be how he feels with his "key team" of players leaving left, right and centre.

I'm just waiting to see if the really big fish jump ship (how's that for a mixed metaphor). Will Condi resign? Cheney? Rumsfeld? Poor George could be left alone in the Big White House with only his alcoholic daughters to advise him.... "Daaaddy, you said I could be Secretary of State".

Anyways, the election here is a foregone conclusion even if Ralph does look like he'll sleep through until the end of November.

Aside from easy Bush jokes and a lame campaign for a Province that nobody really seems to want to lead, I've really got nothing.

Bye. I guess.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I just made the worst phone call of my entire life.

You ever have one of those situations where you have to do something that needs to be done, it's the best thing for everybody and yet you really don't want to do it?

Try firing someone.

I just did.

It sucked.

I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We Are Not Amused

Dear America,

You voted.

You voted against poor people working hard to make a better life for themselves.
You voted against basic equal rights for all Americans to enjoy the benefits of marriage.
You voted against protecting women and against giving women a voice as to what they do with their own bodies.
You voted against keeping decent paying, union-protected, blue collar jobs in your own country, where they pay your fellow citizens.
You voted against giving every American child an equal piece of the educational pie.
You voted against protecting you fellow citizens from a health care crisis.
You voted against protecting your green spaces.
You voted against clean air.
You voted against alternative energy.

You looked at the will of the rest of the world desperately striving for a safe planet, stuck up your middle finger and voted against the rest of us.

You voted for fear.
You voted to keep sending your sons and daughters to die in a desert for oil
You voted to make the world a more dangerous place.
You voted to allow the government to enter your home, call you a terrorist and hide you in a prison cell without charge – on no grounds.
You voted to condone the torture of innocent people.
You voted to ignore international treaties regarding clean air, nuclear proliferation and land mines.
You voted to validate a corrupt CEO making (on average) 417 times the wage of his lowest earning employee.
You voted to tell your children that if they slack off in college, shirk their responsibilities, drive drunk, use cocaine and run a few companies into the ground, they too, can become President.

Dear America. You Voted.