Archive for February, 2009

We’re all Conservative now

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Now that the federal government has introduced its new anti-gang legislation, the opposition parties are attempting a novel flanking maneuver, painting themselves as tougher on crime than the Conservatives. That’s quite a task. The 22-vote man, Ujjal Dosanjh, puffed himself up and declared “We are all tough on crime: Once the crime happens, we want [...]

I’ll take European geography for $200 Alex

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

“Llamas have now returned north of the equator”. – CBC Radio One News, Calgary “… Armenia, the eastern European country…” – MacLean’s magazine It wasn’t so long ago that a national candidate was ridiculed for not knowing the local flow direction of a Canadian river. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to find a few journalistic glass [...]

Ride for cancer, while you can

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The Alberta Cancer Society is holding a bicycle ride to raise money for research into the deadly disease. The route has not been announced yet, but is advertised to extend “along the majestic Rocky Mountains”. This is a good cause, so we hope they don’t run into trouble. How could they get into trouble? Well, [...]

Vulcan first contact

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

What better day than President Obama’s visit to write about Michael Ignatieff? Dr.J. forced himself to read last week’s lengthy MacLean’s interview with the federal Liberal leader, first because he knew the questions would be good, but also to try to (not “try and”) learn something. Remarkable, hey? Interestingly, Mr.I. referred to himself in his [...]

Is this a stupidism I see before me?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

“…Othello can be seen as demeaning, in the same terms as what you’re describing African Americans in this literature…” – Carol Off, Host of CBC Radio One’s As it Happens On this show Ms Off interviewed Washington State high school teacher John Foley about his difficulty teaching some classics of American literature, like Huckleberry Finn [...]

More than cosmopolitan

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Who reads at the grocery checkout? Almost everybody I imagine. Most of the covers would get a “G” rating, assuming you don’t mind your kids learning about the cancer death watch of a particular star, the latest re-hab stint of another, or getting investment or health advice from pocket-size booklets that cost $1.25. What this [...]

Give them an inch

Monday, February 16th, 2009

My Open Range column from the February 2009 issue of Alberta Venture: We teach kids two languages. Why not two systems of measurement? “How far until we take out of the river?” called one of my paddling companions near the end of a kayak run down the Castle River some years ago. “Uh, about a [...]

Many bad ways with pasta

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Italian food is, along with Chinese, French and Hungarian (OK, only in the minds of Hungarians), one of the world’s great cuisines. That’s why, whether you’re in Seattle, Prague or Singapore, you’re liable to see Italian restaurants vying for space downtown, packed with happy locals and homesick tourists. In some capitals, like Prague, it’s actually [...]

Workin’ man

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

“I’ve worked day and night for the Liberal party for three years”. – Michael Ignatieff as quoted in MacLean’s Three years is a long time. Over a thousand days. One more if there’s a leap year in there. And Mr. Ignatieff worked all that time for the Liberal Party. OK, he did get paid, but [...]

Dead conservatism or de-valued Coyne?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

As advertized in his recent blog entry, Andrew Coyne has launched another salvo at the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister. No surprise there. In fact, his piece in this week’s MacLean’s repeats much of what Mr. Coyne asserted in that blog. Again, there is reference to a “decade of climbdowns, reversals, and broken promises, [...]