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August, 2011:

Know that…

I had fully intended on writing something about the whole MERGER-MANIA that is currently sweeping the #cdnpoli Twitter stream. Much wringing of hands! Woot!

You betcha!

Didja realise that merger and murder are separated by but one letter?

Think about it…

“Redrum. Redrem.” “Redrum. Redrem.”

OK. Two letters.


But! That will have to wait… cuz, and I’m sorry if I got some hopes all drive high-like… I have found something much more entertaining than the organizational thrashings of those of us to the left of Vic “hang ’em high” Toews.

Namely, the proposal that atheists be registered with the State of Florida. Yup, the The Christian National Registry of Atheists.” is his goal.

Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys (sic) for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

This type of “National Registry” would merely be for information purposes . To inform the public of KNOWN ( i.e., self-admitted) atheists . For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have , to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs” , you will see the names of all the self-admitted atheist(s) who live there ( e.g., if an atheist’s name happened to be “Phil Small” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed ( though , perhaps a photo could be ).

Crazy. Oh Yes.

Scary? Even more so.

I’m traveling to D.C. next month. I have already had some trepidation about this given my posts ranting against the public funding of religious education, war, conquest by imaginary characters, etc. And this makes me even more nervous.

Border dude: “Excuse me, Mr. Marshall? Do you believe in God? Do you have faith that your soul will be saved by Jesus?

Me: “Um. Seriously, sir? Don’t you want to look in my carry-on for the BC bud I’m trying to sneak across the border?”

Border dude: “No sir. Need to confirm your spiritual mindset.”

I’m screwed.


Sometimes, ya just can’t win…

A. An over reaction?

B. An under reaction?

You be the judge which is worse.

I’d take A over B any day. New York City officials made the right call. As does anyone who errs on the side of caution in situations like this.


Crazy sky





Catastrophise. noun:

1. To turn into a catastrophic state.  e.g., “The Progressive movement in Canada was catastrophised by the results of the spring 2011 election.

2. Falsely Catastrophise. To portray as a catastrophe when in reality none exists. e.g., Baby Boomers like to catastrophise events that fall far short of true catastrophes due to their obsession with their own mortality. “The Boomer-controlled media falsely catastrophised the effects of Hurricane Irene.”

var. Catastrophisation

Origins: Modern Canadian English. Believed to have originated on Highway 417 between Ottawa and Montreal.


One last, brief word about Mr. Layton…

Scores of Canadians are going to speak and write eloquently about Mr. Layton, and what – if any – legacy he will leave, and they will opine on this truly amazing week which culminated in the funeral this afternoon.

So I will not attempt to sum all of “this” up. I could not do it justice.

Yet I cannot help but express one single thought: I do truly hope with all of my being that if Mr. Layton did leave us with a lesson, it is that politics need not be mean, cynical and vindictive. I am not smugly and naïvely claiming that Mr. Layton was completely and always above that fray at all times… tough to pull that off when surrounded by it… but he did eschew the negativity of contemporary western politics whenever possible. He tried to rise above it. And most of the time, well, he did so.

In this blog, I have often written with dismay about the politics of cynicism and negativism and how this has supplanted reasoned debate as language of modern political and social discourse. These are politics that have polarised this country in so many sad ways and I fear will take decades to bring us closer together.

I can only wish that some of our leaders have been paying attention.

Thanks again, Mr. Layton.


Pond scum

Meet your equals.


There is a time and there is a place…

… for cynicism and criticism. There is a time and a place to back off and show some respect.

You’d think that less than 24 hours after the death of a Canadian who was respected by many, many of his countrymen and women is not the time to smear the man, his party or the reaction of Canadians to his untimely death.

But no. Rabid wolves do not have respect for the dead and prefer to tear at the corpse while tributes are still taking place. It gives them a sense of self-importance because they can say – HA, I’m not buying this shit. He was just another guy who died from cancer. Big deal. One less socialist.

Of course Jack Layton was a political man. This is no surprise… or shouldn’t be. He breathed politics 24/7 and sought advantage for himself and his party where it could be gained because he firmly believed that what he did was in the best interest of Canada. He really did. Just as Harper and his followers believe that what they do is best, so did Mr. Layton.

The reaction to his death was predictable. Or should have been. He was a likeable guy. The kind of guy you can picture sitting down in a bar with and shooting the shit… can’t picture doing that with Harper. And the letter? It should have been predictable too. Ever the politico, Mr. Layton saw nothing wrong in penning a “letter from the grave”. From a personal point of view, it likely gave him some comfort. From a political point of view, he would have known that contents of the letter would be copied and published widely – and this sure wouldn’t hurt the party fortunes.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. He was what he was. A fine Canadian who worked hard for his family, party and country.

So now some right-wing journos, commentators and Tweeps are blathering on about the praise being foisted on the guy. And hey, I am not one to fawn over anyone easily. There should be criticism as well as praise whenever looking back at someone’s life. Yes, the praise was uncritical praise for Layton yesterday but that’s OK, isn’t it? It was after all, THE DAY HE DIED.

Have some respect, you wolves, we Canucks are mostly caring and compassionate folks and know that there is a time and place for criticism and a time and a place for unabashed tributes. Back off.


Jack Layton

I just now learned that Mr. Layton has passed away.

My thoughts go out to his family and his colleagues.

This is a sad day for all Canadians regardless of political stripe. We will miss you, Smilin’ Jack!


Friday miscellany…Twitter edition – Hudak and junk food too!

Things I am learning about Twitter.

  1. Don’t try to engage those who are so blinded by dogmatism that they can’t even wish you a good morning without first judging your views on the CPC law and order agenda.
  2. Don’t take things personally. There are some real jerks in the Twitterverse.
  3. Do defend what you say but if confronted with facts that refute your argument, back down instead of going off on an irrelevant tangent.
  4. Respectfully acknowledge those with whom you engage – even if you disagree with them.
  5. Play nice – be polite.  Rudeness does not get you anywhere and undermines your legitimacy.


Some Tweeps are pretending that they are really in the HoC on the Government side during QP. Instead of answering a question or engaging in debate, they come back with a completely unrelated missive in response to a legitimate comment.

Let me show you.

baldjam(me) baldjam: So what happens after the Cons run out of fugitives?Make more fugitives?Will I become a fugitive?Will u? #cdnpoli 5:03pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
CanadianSenseCanadianSense: @baldjam U seem out of touch with the public opinion on many files including those found inadmissible. #cdnpoli 5:07pm, Aug 18 from TweetDeck
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense Sorry. Not following. What public opinion and which files and what are inadmissible to whom? 5:12pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense I wondered that since crime & punishment is the #CPC‘s calling card,what would happen if all the bad guys were caught? 5:27pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite
CanadianSenseCanadianSense: @baldjam Do u know the # of people deemed inadmissible(s) status we can’t find? 5:33pm, Aug 18 from TweetDeck
baldjambaldjam: @canadiansense Huh? And Holy Crime Superhero! Why do you have to be so damned rude? #cdnpoli 6:43pm, Aug 18 from HootSuite

CanadianSense CanadianSense: @baldjam That was quick, no more defense of illegal aliens, now U want to protect pot smokers? #cdnpoli

No. I didn’t follow either. I really think that some of these guys have so many convos going on at once that they mix up their venom!

But, I have only myself to blame… shouldn’t try to engage these types in a meaningful debate. Too bad, because there are those out there with whom I do not agree politically BUT can still have a good back and forth… damned extremists.. which leads me to…


Tim Hudak – Ontario’s version of a Tea Partier…

I was very disappointed to see a talk by former Premier Bill Davis (he used to be my Grandfather’s lawyer, ya know!) disrupted by a few of the ol’ Double-Double’s flunkies. This is a tact used by the We Don’t Want to Hear Facts. Facts are Socialist Tea Party in the States. Show up at a public event. Spew meaningless venom. Leave.

Hudak supporters/candidates showed up at a speech by Davis in Brampton to hold up a sign saying “don’t let them fool you!”  Aside from being unclear, (i.e. who’s doing the fooling to whom??)  its also disrespectful to a former leader of their own party.  There was some question as to whether the three holding the sign were there at the invitation of Davis and whether the sign was directed towards the Liberal Party.  However a friend who is more in the loop on such political matters says that this would be contrary to the purpose of the event and that Hudak has been trying to disassociate his party from so called “Red Conservatives” for some time now. The fact that this situation is ambiguous is a statement in itself.  An article in this morning’s Brampton Post reported that the three Conservative candidates were not invited and had to be asked to move away from the podium as they were blocking the view to the speakers.

Yup. Time Hudak = Tea Party North. Don’t need jerks like these at Queen’s Park. Don’t need U.S.-style divisiveness.

Oh wait, we already HAVE that!


You want to be well-informed about the economy? Worried about the market ups and downs? Wondering if you should lock in that interest rate on the mortgage? Follow Stephen Gordon on Twitter (@stephenfgordon) or read his columns. This is informed information.


Check this tasty treat out – served at the CNE this year… but even Coke won’t allow its name to be attached to this 1000 calories heart attack in a cup!


What a summer, eh? At least if you were in my neck of the woods. Yeah, it’s winding down now but I cannot remember the last time we had consistently beautiful weather for such a long period of time! But, alas, the season will turn soon…

Happy last couple weeks of summer everyone!




This is what I Tweeted this morning:

baldjam 7:51am via HootSuite

ALERT! Black BMW. Male driver. Driving S on Russell about 10 min. ago.ALMOST HIT MY WIFE & DAUGHTER.Any info, PLS call police! #Ottawa

Scary stuff. Got a call from my very upset spouse telling me that a speeding black BMW swerved around a line of cars waiting at a red at Russell and Tupper… doing about 100 klicks.. and just missed hitting two of my favourite people.

Bastard. I would love to have 5 minutes with the asshole.

Everyone is fine and I assured my wife of that. It’s all good. We will all have dinner together tonight.

But damn, here I am at lunch at my desk, more than 4 hours later – and I find myself shaking uncontrollably.

Bastard. Five minutes. That’s all I ask.