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February, 2013:

Whew, I’m glad our OCDSB Trustee is safe and sound…

… because the schools around Alta Vista and its neighbourhoods haven’t seen her since the 2010 election.

But here she is, shilling for the OCDSB Chair running for the NDP nomination in Ottawa Centre.

Whew. Folks have been worried.

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Questions about the new Office of Religious Freedom

Let’s put aside for a moment that IMHO, this is an enormous waste of money in an effort by the Harperites to appease religious groups of all stripes, I have a few direct questions.

  1. What about atheists? Will the Office monitors rights violations of non-believers? Atheists live in fear in many Islamic countries. Will they be given the same attention as the persecuted Christians in those parts of the world?

  2. Will this increased scrutiny on religious freedom take away attention from other rights abuses around the world and here in Canada? Will religious freedom trump women’s rights? How about the rights of children and the enlistment of young kids into militias – are these violations OK if the militia is religion-based?
  3. Will the religious right set the agenda of this Office? Judging by the lineup of support by prominent members of these groups, this may indeed be the case.

A key part of the ambassador’s job should be to help formulate immigration policy, argued Don Hutchinson, vice-president and legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

“It’s very important for us as a nation to have an understanding of religion and the communities where we are establishing relationships [in order] to accept refugees and other immigrants,” explained Mr. Hutchinson, who advised the government on the creation of an office of religious freedom within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

4.   Finally, is protection of religious freedom the new cornerstone of Canada’s foreign policy? Not democracy-building? What happened to that?

 

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New street food…

… is coming to Ottawa!

Ottawa – Beginning in May, Ottawa will welcome 18 new and exciting food choices to the city’s streets. Following on the City’s commitment to promote small business opportunities in the local community, these new trucks and carts will increase street food vendor options for residents and tourists alike.

“Ottawa will have a full range of street food options from appetizers to desserts,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Regardless of your culinary preference, there will be new options for you to discover from Ottawa’s enhanced street food scene!”

Last fall, City Council approved the New Street Food Vending Program that provided for the opening of up to 20 spaces for new and diversified menus. A total of 61 applications were received and reviewed by a selection panel. These new options are in addition to the existing 44 licensed truck and cart food vendors.

Some examples:

Trucks

Carts

My low sodium diet will prevent me from partaking of these pavement treats very often, but it is nice to see Ottawa’s street food scene change with the times and offer more than just fries, hot dogs and sausages.

I guess this guy didn’t apply.

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h/t to seealsoregret for the Simpsons montage.

 

 

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Friday miscellany…

… zombies, meteorites and wtf-is-up with athletes edition…

First, zombies:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueBZuZAoglE&sns=em

That was pretty hilarious.

Of course it is obvious that the CPC is courting the zombie vote. Obviously.

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Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

A super cool meteor breaks up over Russia and hundreds are injured; mostly by broken glass.

I wonder how close Putin was to pushing the button…

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Top caliber athletes.  You have to admire their dedication to their sport. But what is up with athletes always landing in hot water one way or another to varying degrees of seriously?

There’s Lance Armstrong, a guy that I used to admire a lot but now only a tad – and that only because of his work raising funds for cancer research.

And now there’s Oscar Pistorius being charged in the shooting death of his girlfriend! Wow! I know that he has been charged and not convicted, but it sure doesn’t look good for him.

So tragic to see these two men fall from their perches so hard…

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I wonder how the Sens will get around to blaming their star D-man’s severed (ouch!) Achilles tendon on the Leafs! It will happen, have no doubt…

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LPC leadership race – I’m starting to lean toward Martha Hall-Findlay… gong to delve a bit deeper into what she has to say. The party needs to think about long term stability and not short-term glitz… and she may be the answer.

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My “meh -of-the-week”: the pointy hatted guy in Vatican City is retiring.

Meh.

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This, however, is interesting.

Italian authorities have seized €23 million ($31 million Cdn) of Vatican bank assets as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering.

The Vatican said it was confused as to why financial police targeted the funds in a Vatican account at the Rome branch of the Italian bank Credito Artigiano Spa.

“The Holy See is perplexed and surprised by the initiatives of the Rome prosecutors, considering the data necessary is already available at the Bank of Italy,” the Vatican said in a statement Tuesday.

Bank chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and director-general Paolo Cipriani are also being investigated to determine whether European Union money-laundering rules have been violated, news reports said.

Nice change of pace to see officials with the Catholic Church being accused of a crime that doesn’t involve young boys.

 

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Gorge, gorge, gorge…

… on as much as you can! It’s good for ya! It’s the American way!

Well, maybe not for this guy.

 

john-alleman

 

The unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas has died of a heart attack. He was the second unpaid mascot to die in the past two years.

John Alleman, 52, suffered an attack while waiting at a bus stop in front of the diner last week. He was taken off life support Monday.

The medically themed diner is famous for its huge hamburgers, extra-fat milkshakes and fries cooked in lard. It uses the tagline: “Taste worth dying for.”

Owner Jon Basso told the Las Vegas Sun that Alleman came to the restaurant daily and encouraged passing tourists to try its calorie-laden offerings.

“He never missed a day, even on Christmas,” Basso said. “People just loved him. He connected with people in a real way.”

Yeah. He’s connecting with a funeral home now…

But this does look yummy, though:

heart-attack-grill

… but EVERY DAY????

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It is sad that this debate is even happening…

… in 2013.

The Boy Scouts of America has decided to delay a decision on lifting its archaic ban on gay members and volunteers in order to more comprehensively review their policies.

Suuuurrrrrrrrre.

Some, including former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, have argued the change could destroy scouting. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said the change could be a “catastrophe.”

“What they’ve said to us and to other religious leaders is that they are doing this under pressure, and we’re going to give people what basically amounts to a local option,” Land said. “You can’t have a local option of a core conviction.”

Changing the policy against having openly gay leaders or Scouts “would be a grave mistake,” the conservative Family Research Council and dozens of other groups said in a half-page ad in USA Today this week.

The message called on the Boy Scouts to “show courage” and “stand firm for timeless values.”

They are actually caving, even if only a little, to the frothy-mouthed ravings of the lunatic religious right who believe that gays are hell-bound sinners who should not ever be in close contact with those dear young boys.

Catholic Church priests? Sure, That’s A-OK! What we they ever do to young boys?

Anyhow, I do hope that the Scouts have the guts to follow through on this and put aside as mere noise, the backward voices telling them not to do so.

 

 

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Tell Steve how SUPER they’re doing!

Have you ever wanted to shower Stevo with accolades? Praise the Cons for their accomplishments? Show your love for Jason, John and Vic?

Well, now you can!

Fill out this completely neutral and so-darned-well-worded questionnaire and let the CPC know what you think! I’m sure they’ll appreciate your input and take your answers and comments into account when they draft the next omnibus bill.

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Separated at birth?

King Richard III and Lord Farquaad?

You be the judge.

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Monkey madness…

…has a cost attached.

So that story about the so-called Ikea Monkey just won’t disappear. The mainstream media continues to treat it with the same level of gravity as wars, weather events and the world economy.

Whatever.

But what about the public money that is being thrown at this monkey within the justice system to determine if the primate should be returned to the original owner? Surely this is not trivial!

Just give the damn thing back to the owner, quit wasting my tax dollars and then MAYBE, we won’t have to hear about this anymore!

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