Sunday, August 31, 2008

Raining repuglicans . . . .


Much to their dismay, their god did not send rain showers down in buckets on Barack Obama's parade Thursday night in Denver.


Per Crooks and Liars:

Last week, however, Focus unveiled a new video, asking politically-conservative Christians to pray for rain on Aug. 28, in order to disrupt Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Shepard called for “abundant rain, torrential rain … flood-advisory rain.” He adds, “I’m talking about umbrella-ain’t-gonna-help-you rain … swamp-the-intersections rain.” Explaining why he wants everyone to pray for rain, Shepard explains, without a hint of humor, “I’m still pro-life, and I’m still in favor or marriage being between one man and one woman. And I would like the next president who will select justices for the next Supreme Court to agree.”

In other words, Obama disagrees with the religious right on culture-war issues, so Focus on the Family wants God to smite Obama with rain. Got it.



Now, we all know that didn't quite happen.

However, now we have this bit of news, courtesy of The Guardian, UK:


Republican convention thrown into chaos by Hurricane Gustav

* Ewen MacAskill in Minneapolis-St Paul * guardian.co.uk * Sunday August 31 2008 20:30 BST

Hurricane Gustav has thrown America's political agenda into chaos with the biggest casualty being the Republican convention, which was due to open tomorrow in Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota.

John McCain and his strategists have been forced to partially scrap a four-day schedule that has been months in the planning in the face of the storm. It is the first time in living memory that a Republican or Democratic convention has been disrupted by a natural disaster.

McCain, in an interview broadcast earlier today, said it would be inappropriate to have a "festive occasion" against the backdrop of a disaster.


It appears that their god is not happy with them for some reason.

Sort of Divine Retribution, don't you think ? ? ? ?

H/T "drf"



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Michael Byers for Vancouver Centre MP . . . .


With all the talk of stevie harper calling an election soon, it's time to come clean on who Your's Truly is supporting.

Hedy Fry, Liberal, is a fine MP for the community, but we need a stronger, clearer voice in Parliament to combat harper's destruction of the Canada we moved to. That candidate is Michael Byers of the NDP.

This is his website, and today's post by Michael summarizes the urgency of the situation. If you haven't read it, his book "Intent for a Nation: What is Canada For?" is an excellent read.

Please consider supporting Michael Byers if you are in the riding.

Although we aren't able to vote yet with our Permanent Resident status, we will be volunteering on the campaign and hope to see you there . . . .


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Petroleum Puveyor's Profit Payout . . . .


Per The Globe and Mail today:




Exxon to pay out 75% of Valdez damages
August 27, 2008

SEATTLE — — Exxon Mobil Corp. [XOM-N] has agreed to pay out 75 per cent of a $507.5-million (U.S.) damages ruling to settle the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Citing both Exxon and the plaintiff's lawyer, the Anchorage Daily News said the oil giant will release about $383-million for distribution to the nearly 33,000 commercial fishermen and others who sued Exxon after the worst tanker crash in U.S. history.



Gee, I hope it doesn't hurt the company's profit margin too much.

After all, they are in a very unique position for world corporations.

Shall we all break out the tissues for the tears that will be shed by the Board and shareholders?










Somehow, I think not . . . .



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bloggerpalooza, Volume II


It's baaaaccccckkkkkkk!




Come and join the reverie
revelry if you're in Vancouver this weekend . . . .


Two Years Later . . . .


This video still pretty much sums it up.



Hope you enjoyed it then and now . . . .


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Butchart Beauties . . . .


Since I mentioned the fact that there was a trip to Butchart Gardens recently, a sampling of the photos follow:










And my personal favourite shot:



Looks rather like an in-focus Monet, don't you think?


It had been about twenty years since my last visit to the gardens.

It won't be another twenty 'til the next one.

Very beautiful . . . .



Saturday, August 23, 2008

Inaugural West End Dog Show . . . .




The first ever West End Dog Show was held today, and the "Four Footed Child" got to attend!











This is actually NOT the "Best End Show", contrary to the signage and placement of one derri├Ęre, but the "Softest Dog" contest.














A gaggle of Chihuahuas on the scene
.












She was quite well-behaved, and even got to meet her long-lost brother, Luke! (Not being entirely sure, she did a personal exam to confirm the relationship!)













As it was the first time the event was held, there were some glitches, but a good time was had by (almost*) all . . . .





*
Note Alan of Would Be Canadians fame appearing to be a bit bored with it all. (Click photo to enlarge.)


'Nuther Big Step . . . .

There's been so much going on here the past week or so, what with out of town guests, me joining out of town guests in a trip to Butchart Gardens, a trip to visit family back across the border in Washington, etc., etc., etc., that I forgot to post this:

We have in hand another verification of our Permanent Resident status. Our British Columbia Care Cards arrived for our health care plan. The BC plan has a two-month waiting plan plus the remainder of the month you physically move to the province to become effective.




















Kind of pretty, aren't they?



Take that, US HMO's and PPO's.


We don't need you anymore . . . .



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scientific Breakthrough . . . .







Apparently this video has been around for a bit, but what the hell . . . .



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kicking Ass and Taking Names . . . .

My dearly-beloved co-blogger at The Galloping Beaver, the Lady Alison, was kind(?) enough to nominate me as a Kick Ass Blogger.

Kick Ass Blogger AwardThank you so much, Alison - I think.

Now it's my turn to spread the "joy". The following (in no particular order - really, I swear!!) are my nominations are for same said award. Each and every one are well worth you checking out, if you haven't already: (Never mind that the above mentioned Lady Alison stole some of my faves . . . . )

Idealistic Pragmatist
Liberal Catnip
We Move to Canada
Runesmith's Canadian Content
The Wingnuterer

Here's the rules, folks:

  • Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
  • Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
  • Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to www.mammadawg.com
  • Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

Tag, you're it, folks . . . .



LIE-berman: Home At Last . . . .

The whiney, nasal-voiced little creep joe LIE-berman is finally going home.

Per McClatchy today:

Lieberman to speak at Republican convention
David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

August 20, 2008

WASHINGTON — Joe Lieberman will be a featured speaker on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, capping an extraordinary political journey for a man who could have been this year's Democratic nominee for president had history taken a different turn.

Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic nominee for vice president under Al Gore — a ticket that lost to George W. Bush by 537 votes in Florida and by a 5-4 vote in the U.S. Supreme Court — will get a prime-time slot Sept. 1 at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., party officials announced Wednesday.

The speaking role is the result of the four-term Connecticut senator's loyalty to Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Lieberman is often mentioned as a possible vice-presidential running mate for McCain.

_______________


Lieberman's views have infuriated many Democrats. He lost the Democratic senate primary in 2006 to anti-war activist Ned Lamont, but won the general election running as an independent. Lieberman won by 10 points with the support of 70 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents. He got only a third of Democrats in a state he had represented in the Senate for three terms as a Democrat.

After winning re-election, he insisted that he was still a Democrat — a crucial decision, since Democrats needed his vote to form a Senate majority.

He also felt somewhat alienated from the party — and from Obama. Obama was one of the few Senate Democrats who gave Lamont money, and just before the primary he sent an e-mail to about 5,000 Connecticut residents urging them to back Lamont.

_______________


If the Democrats pick up more Senate seats and Lieberman no longer is needed to form a majority, Gary Rose, a professor of political science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT said "there's a good chance he'll be more ostracized," and perhaps lose the chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But if McCain wins, Rose noted, Lieberman would be in a coveted position. "I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a McCain administration," he said.


'Ya think maybe now the democratic leadership will begin the process of stripping Holy joe from his position of power in the Senate?

Probably not, as they are not noted for making stands and taking action based on principles. More often than not, it is "what do the polls say" and "how can I get re-elected to my cushy job" that run the decision-making process in Washington.

Where are all the true statesmen and women in US government? There sure won't be many displayed in the two major party's conventions the next couple of weeks . . . .



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Border BS . . . .

This Homeland Security crap just keeps gettin' better 'n better.

Per Reuters:

U.S. tracking citizens' border crossings
Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:05am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has been using its border checkpoints to collect information on citizens that will be stored for 15 years, raising concern among privacy advocates, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said the collection is part of a broader effort to guard against terrorist threats, the report said, citing a Federal Register notice the agency issued last month.

_______________


But it states that information may be shared with federal, state and local governments to test "new technology and systems designed to enhance border security or identify other violations of law," the Post reported.






A DHS spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the report.




Information on international air passengers has long been collected this way but Customs and Border Protection only this year began to log the arrivals of all U.S. citizens across land borders, the Post said.


Privacy advocates raised concerns about the expanded collection of personal data and said safeguards are needed to ensure the system is not abused.

"People expect to be checked when they enter the country and for the government to determine if they're admissible or not," Greg Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology told the Post.

"What they don't expect is for the government to keep a record for 15 years of their comings into the country."


Huh.


15 years.

Sounds about right, doesn't it?

I'm thinkin' a boycott of the US border is in order, folks.

"Heckuva job, Mikey . . . . "



Soap Star stevie . . . .

Our illustrious(?) Prime Minister appears to be taunting the illustrious(?) Leader of the Liberal Party into an early election.

From today's Globe and Mail:

Harper mulling whether to call election
THE CANADIAN PRESS August 19, 2008

HAMILTON, Ont. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he will spend the “next few weeks” contemplating whether to call an election.

Mr. Harper, in Hamilton for a health-care funding announcement, said Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion is balking at toppling the minority Conservatives because he's worried about the polls.

_______________


Mr. Harper said he will spend the next few weeks analyzing the situation and determining whether the Tories can have a productive fall session of Parliament.

_______________


"The next election has not been scheduled until October of 2009 and — who knows? — Mr. Dion may wish to wait longer than that," Mr. Harper said at a barbecue to kick off a two-day swing through Southern Ontario.

"I have to say this has really become quite a soap opera."

Well now, stevie.

Even though you obviously have the wardrobe for one, we can't quite call this situation a soap opera, can we?

At least in a soap opera, the viewers (public) can vote with their pocket book and switch your dog-and-pony show off.

With you in the PM's office, you pretty much have carte blanche to single-handedly destroy Canada's image around the world and annihilate our values.

Even All My Children doesn't have that much power . . . .




Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Michael Moore on "How the Democrats Can Blow It" . . . . *

*and probably will


AlterNet supplies this article from Michael Moore:


How the Democrats Can Blow It ... in Six Easy Steps

By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com. Posted August 13, 2008.

A blueprint for losing the most winnable presidential election in American history.



For years now, nearly every poll has shown that the American people are right in sync with the platform of the Democratic Party. They are pro-environment, pro-women's rights and pro-choice. They don't like war. They want the minimum wage raised, and they want a single-payer universal health-care system. The American public agrees with the Republican Party on only one major issue: They support the death penalty.

So you would think the Democrats would be cleaning up, election after election. Obviously not. The Democrats appear to be professional losers. They are so pathetic in their ability to win elections, they even lose when they win! So when you hear Democrats and liberals and supporters of Barack Obama say they are worried that John McCain has a good chance of winning, they ain't a-kidding. Who would know better than the very people who have handed the Republicans one election after another on a silver platter? Yes, be afraid, be very afraid.

In an effort to help the party doofuses and pundits -- and the candidate himself -- spare all of us another suicide-inducing election night, as the results giving the election to the Republican pour in, here is the blueprint from the Democrats' past losing campaigns. Just follow each of these steps and you, the Democratic Party establishment, can help elect John Sidney McCain III to a four-year extension of the Bush Era . . . .


Go.

Read.

Be afraid, be very afraid . . . .

H/T Olde Goat Patrick


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Presidential Perfection Perhaps ? ? ? ?




'Ya know if this were the case and WEB won - it would take all the fun out of blogging.

What would I have to bitch about ? ? ? ?



Monday, August 04, 2008

Media Mumblings . . . .


Have you ever wondered why the news doesn't seem very newsworthy anymore?

Well, Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. This 4 minute video is quite revealing and an eye-opener based on the graphical analysis:






H/T Bob the Other

Warning to Acer: You may have already seen this on the web. Our sincere apologies.



Sunday, August 03, 2008

Proud in Vancouver, 2008 . . . .


This is our fourth Gay Pride in Vancouver, and our first as Permanent Residents.
'Ya know, it just keeps gettin' better 'n better:

The obligatory nearly-naked boyz

The obligatory exposed breasts

The Vancouver Police Piper Band

National and Provincial NDP'ers
Jack Layton and Carole James

NDP MP Candidate Michael Byers

Vision Vancouver Mayoral candidate
Gregor Robertson on blades - Yumm!

Vancouver firefighters spraying the crowd

Local CTV personalities

Obligatory Drag Queen

"Angels in Canada" in Heels

This year's media and police estimate was 500,000 folks enjoying the festivities. As "drf" and I made our way to the end of the route, those estimates look to be quite accurate.



What we are most appreciative of Vancouver's Gay Pride festivities is how local, provincial and national politicians clamour to participate, rather than our previous home where they are still attempting to discriminate against us.

Life is so much better North of the 49th . . . .



And the Winner Is . . . .

From today's Province:

Canada crowned fireworks champ

John Colebourn, The Province - Sunday, August 03, 2008





For the second year in a row, the Canadian team won the competition. Team Canada's Kelly Guille said the crew from Archangel Fireworks Inc. of Winnipeg had perfect weather for their event.

And he said runner-up China had quite the display as well. "It was pretty intense there. China had big firepower," he said.

This summer, there was a new "people's choice" category, with spectators rating each country's fireworks on a scale of one to 10.

The B.C. Hydro Power Smart People's Choice winner was China.

"The competition was very tight," said show producer Maude Furtado. "It took the judges two hours to decide."

And she said the crowd was huge. "This is a big night for people and based on past years, there's 400,000 down here," she said.



Well, we disagree with the decision, but that's what makes the world go 'round . . . .



Friday, August 01, 2008

Team China's "Celebration of Light" Performance . . . .

The last country to present at this year's HSBC Celebration of light was China on Wednesday night.

As has been the case in previous years, we were underwhelmed with their show. Other than the opening sequence - which gave us hope for a great show - and the ending finale, the performance was rather dull.
(That sounds bad, doesn't it? Fireworks being "dull"? Guess we are getting jaded!)





With all countries having their time at bat, "drf" and I vote for the US show last Saturday night.

Tomorrow night we'll check out the finale with all three countries participating, plus a salute to British Columbia's 150th anniversary. Also, the winner is announced.

Oh, Sunday is the huge Gay Pride parade, also. So much goin' on in August!

More as it happens . . . .



Border BS . . . .

This Homeland Security BS is getting a bit out of hand.

Per CBC News this afternoon:


U.S. border agents given power to seize travellers' laptops, cellphones
Friday, August 1, 2008 | 3:33 PM ET

CBC News


U.S. authorities now have the power to seize and detain travellers' electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones, and make copies of their contents at an off-site location, under newly disclosed customs policies.

The policy gives border agents at any point of entry into the United States the authority to also take documents, books, pamphlets and hard drives. The items can be seized from anyone crossing the border and may then be copied and shared with other government agencies, according to Department of Homeland Security documents dated July 16.

"Officers may detain documents and electronic devices, or copies thereof, for a reasonable period of time to perform a thorough border search," the policy says. "The search may take place on-site or at an off-site location."

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold told the Washington Post he finds the new policies "alarming" and said he plans to introduce legislation that would make grounds for border searches more rigorous.

_______________


"They're saying they can rifle through all the information in a traveller's laptop without having a smidgen of evidence that the traveller is breaking the law," said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Democracy and Technology.

This whole crossing the border thing is really becoming annoying, and now it is an invasion of privacy to boot.

At least Russ Feingold is aware of the situation. That gives me some hope . . . .