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August, 2009:

I’ll give ya 5 bucks for that garbage truck…

Things are bad for a household when it to start divesting itself of some of its goods for cash in order to make its basic financial obligations, like mortgage payments, gas and electricity. But it does happen and sometimes all that is needed to return to solvency is a quick jolt of ready cash to get over the hump. Hell, when I was younger I had to do the same thing… I was a full-time student with a little kid and had to sell some cool paper money that I had collected. But it needed to be done and I did it.

However, it’s a bit of a different story when an entire state of 30-odd million folks has to draw down its capital to do the same. Bu that is exactly what is happening in Arnie-land. The state of California is having a massive sale of state assets in order to raise cash to pay down its debt!

Eh? Shurely you jest!


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came up with the idea of the “Great California Garage Sale” after slashing the government car fleet by 15 per cent. He’s since become the garage sale’s biggest promoter, holding news conferences, discussing it in web chats and Tweeting about it to followers.

“Welcome to our garage sale,” Schwarzenegger told reporters during a warehouse tour in Sacramento Friday morning. “As you know, we’re trying to raise some extra money here, getting rid of the old stuff we don’t use anymore.”

Some items could be bought at the warehouse while others were available online on eBay and Craigslist.

The sale raised $1 million US in its first day and continues Saturday, with some items set to stay up on eBay until early September.

Gee, I knew that they were strapped for cash, but man – this is a sign of desperation! I guess that’s what you have to do when you are constitutionally forbidden to raise taxes!

No word on whether or not Arnie is telling purchasers that they…

(wait for it…)

Can’t bring it baaaack…


Jacques Demers traded to the Senators

I’m a bit surprised to hear that the former Hab coach is now a Senator.

I wonder if he’ll be able to pull Dany Heatley back into the fold.

Eh? Oh. Not THOSE Senators….

Ooops. My bad.

I guess he is qualified. He has experience dealing with a has-been hockey team. Now he gets to work with has-been political hacks.


Hitchin’ the Grit wagon to the right tractor

In today’s G&M, Lawrence Martin is exploring a topic that is along the same lines as one that I discussed in a posting a little while ago. Ignatieff and the Grits have been presented with a perfect opportunity to latch on to an issue that can define them from the ReformCons –  the American portrayal of our health care system.

It would be a natural fit for Iggy to defend Obama’s proposed program and universal health care in general. Both men are liberal,  well-spoken members of the educated class.  One would think that Obama’s team would welcome such an ally.

As Mr. Martin says:

These are rocky times on the bilateral front. Trade volumes are declining, border fences have gone up. Financial tumult has walloped America and its paramountcy is challenged, at least to some degree, by Asia’s rise. This country can’t ride its coattails as it used to.

These are big challenges for big thinkers. We expected Mr. Ignatieff to respond by unhesitatingly seeking a close alliance with a liberal President whose popularity in Canada is enormous. Mr. Obama is a busy man but surely, given his contacts, Mr. Ignatieff could have received entry to the Oval Office by now, as opposition leaders before him have done.

It is not too late to hitch his wagon to this train; but Iggy and the Libs should not wait very long into the fall sitting.


A lion is silenced

As much as the American political system befuddles me from time to time, I have always been an admirer of many of its fine orators. A giant among these was Edward Kennedy.

If only we in Canada could produce politicos that can use the spoken word so eloquently. At one time we had Trudeau and we had Broadbent. But who but the most partisan could honestly favourably compare the vocal skills of any of our current political leaders with theirs? And compared to the Kennedys, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., and, of course, Barack Obama, we Canadians can only watch and admire – but never equal.


Grits and ReformCons – no statistical difference between the two

The latest Harris-Decima poll conducted for The Canadian Press shows that neither party is within reach of a majority and both would be risking a defeat at the polls if one of them forces an election this fall.

Thirty-two per cent support for the Liberals and 31 per cent for the Harperites ain’t gonna buy you a whole lot of love at the ballot box..

This is in stark contrast to a we threw darts a the dartboard Ipsos-Reid poll that indicated – contrary to any other poll done over the summer – that the Harperites had built up a huge lead.

Predictably, the Cons are are jumping up and down like a nudist standing on an ant hill about how a forced vote would create political instability, cause dogs and cats to mate and bring about a plague of locusts. This is all in response to Iggy suggesting having a fall election wouldn’t be harmful at all to the economy. I can understand his position because those ReformCons are damned tough to work with and he is not sure how much longer he can hold his nose.

“There’s not one single person in the world who’d agree with him on that. You can’t just say things that are so outrageously false,” Transport Minister John “So what if my face looks like a pitbull” Baird said.

Mr. Baird said an election would mean government would “grind to a halt,” and all those really important decisions (like what colour jumpsuit to wear on a helicopter) just wouldn’t get made.

Hmmmm… the Harperites weren’t too concerned about shutting down the House last Fall  in order to avoid a non-confidence vote… just as the economic shitstorm was picking up steam… funny, that.


“It’s not a political thing. It’s a complex mathematical formula.”

That’s what Harperite Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said yesterday after touring the horrific path of destruction caused by the big storm that hit Vaughan Ontario last week.

Putting aside the laughable notion that the ReformCons could ever find the cranial capacity develop anything remotely complex, I do sincerely hope that he speaks the truth and that partisanship, for once, takes a recess.

However, as someone who deals with complex mathematical stuff on a daily basis, I humbly submit the following as the formula to which Mr. Van Loan refers.

TOTAL FUNDING = (pT/pA)*(x+a)^n=∑_(k=0)^n](n¦k) x^k a^(n-k)]*1000 {if∫R=CPC} or *0 {if ∫R≠CPC}
where pT=Total population
where pA= Total population affected
where (x+a)^n=∑_(k=0)^n](n¦k) x^k a^(n-k)] = factorial equation that most of you wouldn’t get
where {if∫R=CPC} = if riding held by CPC
where {if ∫R≠CPC} = if riding not held by CPC

Based on this formula, Central Nova will stand to reap in a big winfall once Mr. Bill has come and gone!


Oh no! It’s Mr. Bill!

Look out east coast!


Maybe Stevo should do a fly-over on, oh, Sunday afternoon?


Nice pic ruined by a damn squirrel!



Southern Ontario gets blown away

This is pretty impressive footage! Wow!


Piping Canada’s oil south

So here’s the thing, we all know that the tar sands are having a devastating effect on the local environment in northern Alberta. Just ask any duck.
We also know that the GHG emissions resulting from these operations are off the map. AND we know that the stated environmental policy of the Obama admin. is to steer away from “dirty” fuels to “cleaner” ones. So why did the United States approve Enbridge Inc.’s $3.3-billion Alberta Clipper pipeline project yesterday?

The U.S. State Department said allowing construction of the 450,000-barrel-a-day line serves U.S. interests by adding secure oil supplies from outside the OPEC nations at a time when political tensions in some producing regions threaten to interfere with oil shipments. “The department found that the addition of crude oil pipeline capacity between Canada and the United States will advance a number of strategic interests of the United States,” it said.

Most of the oil shipped on the line will come from Canadian oil sands producers, which have been under attack from some U.S. environmental groups and legislators for boosting greenhouse gas emissions because of expanding production in the oil sands in northern Alberta.

The fact is that these facilities exist. They employ people and communities have developed around them and none of this is going to go away overnight; no matter what environmentalists say. Am I in favour of turning the Fort Mac area into Mordor?

ansel_mordor_desktop_800Pic of Mordor

Of course not! I think the Alberta government has been negligent to the point of criminality in allowing this project to take place on such a scale and without the appropriate pollution abatement and control technologies in place.

But the reality is that I don’t yet have a time machine to be able to go back and talk some sense into ex- Premier Klein while there was still time to change the course.

Plus, the chickens will come home to roost when the U.S. their deficit and debt hits a breaking point. Then the Yanks may get just desperate enough down the road to march over the border and just take what they want – Canada’s oil AND our water… just watch.