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A Canadian flag at Tiananmen Square, Trashy in China, part 11

Due to Harpy’s visit, there are oodles of the red ‘n white along the main thoroughfare that transects Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Though the maple leaf looked a bit small on the flag… hmmmm… significance? Maybe if Stevo sidles up nicely to the Chinese, the leaf will be bigger next time around…

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Another yummy and spicy dinner last night… at a nice spot called South Beauty -they serve some heat that would melt lead!

008Note the sheen of perspiration.

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Arghh! The robot is following me! Trashy in China, Part 10

Hey! What the hell is HE doing here????

Stevo is on the front page of the China Daily this morning – both on-line and the hard copy… The Harperites have apparently come to the conclusion that it is best not to piss off the world’s largest growing economy.

Smart.

I don’t really expect anything surprising to come from this. There will be the usual shaking of hands, photo ops with top Chinese officials and the signing of a few trade deals. But the real significance will be in how the Chinese leadership interprets this trip. Is it mostly political posturing (You betcha! The ReformCons are targeting those Asian-rich 905 ridings in the GTA and the ethnically similar ridings in and around Vancouver) or is it a real attempt to mend some fences and move forward?

I wonder if I’ll get invited to have dinner with him tonight? I’ll have to decline though since a “hot pot” is on the agenda.

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Those wacky gun nuts are at it again!

Just when I think that I have seen the most ridiculous thing ever to come from our neighbours to the south, along comes a new doosy-winner.

According to Metro, a candidate for South Carolina’s adjutant general – the dude in charge of the state’s national guard corps (whatever that is) – invited the public to join him for a round of shootin’… and a chance to win a brand new AK-47!!!  Yup, $25 gets ya  a BBQ, a clip of bullets for target practice and a chance to win the gun!

And 500 folks came out to join him!

I wonder if our politicos are paying any attention to this. But being that big guns that can literally cut a moose into two are frowned upon north of the 49th, they’d have to think of another grand prize…

  • Like a free ticket to one of Stevo’s anger management classes. Valid only for those 18+ or 12+ if from Alberta.
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Grrr... I'm angry... grrrrrrrrrr....

  • A lecture by Minister James Moore on why the Calgary Stampede is more culturally enriching than the now buried National Portrait Gallery. Anyone named Paul Dewar will be stopped at the door.
  • An inside look at the speech therapy classes being attended by Pierre Polievre… he’s been struggling to say anything not scripted by the PMO since ‘05.
  • A free workshop hosted by Tony Clement on “Using the “wet-look” to your advantage”. Cost of Bryl-cream not included.

Pretty damn tempting. Might even buy a ticket to one of these for the fun factor!

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Gotta love youtube – so long Steve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukRPhw9Ke_4

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Oh really….

So Stevie is at the G 20 meeting in D.C. to talk about how much the rest of the world can learn from the Conservative Party of Canada in managing the current economic bowl of soggy Cheerios..

Check this out from CP:

Canada enters G-20 in strong fiscal position: Harper

WINNIPEG — Canada is joining a key economic summit in Washington with the strongest fiscal position of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday.

Canada’s monetary policy is keeping inflation in check and steps his government has taken to reduce taxes and the federal debt bode well in the face of a global economic crisis, Harper said before heading for the G-20 leaders’ meeting in the U.S. capital.

Well – gotta give him the tax reduction thing – but reducing the federal debt? C’mon Stevo! We all know it was the Grit slash and burn policies under Chretien and Martin that brought deficits and debt under control! Your government is going to add to the debt due in part to the cutting of the GST!

Man, this guy can spin ANYTHING!

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Bye-bye National Portrait Gallery

And the CPC continues its battle against anything that smells like it has been visiting the “left” side of the tracks…
The latest victim? The National Portrait Gallery is nuked.
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.cbc.ca%2Farts%2Fartdesign%2Fstory%2F2008%2F11%2F07%2Fportrait-gallery.html

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Why to NOT vote for Harper Part 6 – LIVE! From the Regina airport.

Well. I’m stuck in Regina for a few hours and won’t get back into Ottawa till the wee hours tomorrow morning. The plane hit a bird and has to be repaired. I hate birds. The good news is that a colleague gave me an extra Air Canada lounge pass so I can pass the time away in relative comfort….

Now I have to figure out a way to blame Harper for the bird. Was it a BLUEbird?

Ha-ha.

But t’was a good trip. Nice countryside and mostly flat but really unique in some places where the glaciers retreated and huge spillways created valleys. Fort Qu’Appelle is a spot like this.

The dramatic changes in the countryside in this part of the country reminds me of a couple of things relating to the nation as a whole.

Canadians, like the Prairie geography, are not homogenous. And we never have been. Immigration since the 19th century pretty much guaranteed this but even with that put aside, our geographies have dictated that the folks sitting on these landx have to change to adapt to the local conditions. Those in the Prairies have adapted to a necessity of long distances, weather travesties and the other vagaries of an agricultural existence.

This can be said for many spots in this land. We and our ancestors had to adapt to the geograhies of the land – and the seas – and the hardships or bounties provided. This has made us a hardy folk.

And this is a good thing. The heterogeneous nature of our country – even in the Prairies where much of Canada envisions nothing but field and farm  – lends to a more balanced and fair view of the world. The extremes cancel out one another, so to speak. Put into the geographic context that I just experienced, you come over a rise after miles and miles of flatness and straight-on highway and almost drop into the Qu’Appelle Valley. Quite amazing… just when you think you have the pattern figured out, everything changes.

The neo-cons don’t see this. They see the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the Canadian fabric as an obstacle to be overcome or a challenge that they must “contextualize” and “strategize” in order to get a focused message in place to maximize their electoral brand. Think about it. The Conservatives are basically running against the Canadian tide and trying to build dams and breakwaters along the way. Sadly, they may just be able to do this just enough to gain a majority and entrench this way of thinking into legislation.

I actualy feel a bit sorry for them. By cynically framing our country within a strict electoral victory framework instead of enjoying and embracing our differences, they miss the beauty of places like the Qu’Appelle Valley. And the beauty of the people who live in places like this and elsewhere in my country. 

I cannot vote for a party that simply doesn’t “get” this. And I hope you agree.

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