Wednesday, November 30, 2005

These Human Rights Commissions Have Got to Go

The fallout continues from the case in BC where two lesbians rented a Knights of Columbus hall, only to have the contract broken by the Knights when they found out it was a same-sex couple. Bob Tarantino of Let It Bleed does a good job picking apart the Human Rights Commission 'decision' in the case, which you can read here.

Abortion Should Be Debated In Canada

There is something of the absurd in Canada - we are (one of) the only modern countries in the world with absolutely no limit on abortion (ie. zero fetal protection), but every election, when somebody mentions that it's worth having a law on the books, they're painted as extremists. The extremist pro-abortion situation that we currently have is painted as a 'moderate' position (and I know all those lefties, and even some righties, out there think of themselves as moderate). We are in the saddest of democracies if we can't even discuss a fundamental issue like this because certain people get scared of where that might lead. You're damn right Canada needs an abortion law, and be willing to prosecute it too! Grow up, Canada! Stop behaving like a child giving a tantrum when your parents talk about taking something away that you shouldn't have.

Monday, November 28, 2005

In case you were wondering ....

I'm very happy we're having a federal election now, and not putting it off until after the holidays. It's like an early Christmas gift!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'm (in)famous !!! (But do I want to be?)

A good friend of mine sent me a link to recent Saskatchewan Hansard (I haven't got the video version working just yet - not sure what's wrong there - if you're checking out the video, you should move the time-slider to 22:35).

Anyway, Dan D'Outremont was speaking about Kate's blog, and quoted me from her comments. His member's question section reads,

"Blogging and Saskatchewan Issues
Mr. D’Autremont: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In today’s world almost everyone has heard of blogs. Even the Minister of Learning has heard of them. Last week he even quoted from one of the more prominent blogs that reports on Saskatchewan issues.
The minister took issue with smalldeadanimals — one word — .com blogger Catherine McMillan’s opinion that our leader, the member for Swift Current, is the real thing. Mr. Speaker, the minister said that he thinks that bloggers are totally irrelevant. The Minister of Learning, during his Speech to the Throne on November 14 said, and I quote:
. . . but I will tell you that the Saskatchewan people that are going to . . . the polls in the next election are not going to be swayed by . . . small dead animals.

Well, Mr. Speaker, and the bloggers had something to say about this. Readers of her blog would know that McMillan was very happy to be mentioned by the minister. In fact she called getting slagged in the provincial legislature by Learning minister Andrew Thomson a high point of her blog.

Blogger Shane O. had this to say: If you can pull off that kind of influence, Kate, and actually kick the Sask socialists out of power — you may just convince me to move my family back to Saskatchewan.

Some Hon. Members: — Hear, hear!

The minister may be interested in knowing that had more than 1.2 million hits, averaged 4,000 a day and 29,000 a week."

My 10 seconds of fame.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

City Champions!!!

Our high school senior and junior girls volleyball teams won city championships yesterday. My wife and I had a date night, and decided to spend part of it watching the senior match. As as personal aside, I coached about half the team two seasons ago when I first started teaching at my high school. We never achieved much in terms of wins - but I've kept an eye on their play since then. I have a lot of pride in their accomplishment - not just because they won. They played EXTREMELY well - although they had a lot of talent back when I coached them, to be honest, I scarcely recognized them - they've really come a long way. One highlight was having one of 'my' players from yesteryear lead her team to a 16-0 lead, owing to her strong and consistent serve. It was also exhilirating to watch the range of plays they are capable of - in the first 3 plays, they perfectly executed power side, then right side, then back row attacks. Their fourth attack was a 5-1 - unfortunately the set was a little too high, and the hitter passed under the ball. It was a great adrenaline rush, and I got to think a little about how much has happened in the 3 years since I started teaching there - I'm going to miss an awful lot of students after they graduate this year. I'm calling it empty nest. I estimate that I have taught 2/3 of the 450 graduating this year. Oh well, I'll face that when it comes - time to enjoy these last months with those I still have in my classes!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Car insurance

Yes, I realize it's a pretty lame title - so sue me.

Actually, this post was inspired last weekend. We were back in Saskatchewan to help celebrate my grandma's soon-to-arrive 90th birthday. My sister and I began debating the merits of SK vs AB's approaches to insurance to operate a vehicle. Not that my web-traffic can handle the influx of sure-to-come visitors, but I thought I'd hash out our positions, and invite comments towards a sound policy.

Anyhoo - here goes.

I guess I should mention that neither of us is expert on any of the systems we discussed. So, to the best of our knowledge, Sask has a very lenient insurance system, particularly towards new drivers. After 3 consecutive years of 1 accident per year (coincidentally, my first 3 years driving), I paid an extra $500 in personal insurance ($850, if you consider the cumulative increases - ie. $100, then $250, then $500). My vehicle insurance stayed somewhere around $650 each year. Since then, I smartened up quite a bit, and have an almost perfectly clean driving record since (probably a couple speeding tickets over the intervening 16 years or so, and an accident for which I wasn't responsible). In Alberta, as a young man, I would probably have been tagged with several thousand dollars in car insurance each year. My sis says it's horrible for the government to penalize young people who 'need' to drive around. I mentioned that driving is a privilege, not a right. She mentioned that only the kids with rich parents would be able to afford to drive. I demurred (okay, I didn't - just thought it an interesting verb to throw in). As an aside, I also mentioned what I believe to be the 'French model', whereby a new driver pays through the nose ('le nez', pour les francophones) the first time acquiring a license. After that, the license needn't be renewed, ever, until a certain number of demerits have accumulated. If that should happen, it's nose-gushing payments again. Thoughts? (I mean, other than, 'you really don't have any blog-traffic?').

Oh, and happy 90th birthday, grandma ;)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Inside Jack!'s Brain

Rumors of a stunning gamble by Jack! Layton have surprised (at least a few) Canadians with a bid for a Christmas Federal election. When asked why he was willing to push Canadians to the polls during the holiday season, he replied, "It's not due to the Liberal corruption, we can live with that - in fact, we understand it - with a little introspection, we know we'd do the same if Canadians were ever crazy enough to elect us federally. It's not because we see a dramatic gain in popularity for the NDippers - because, frankly, we peaked a while ago and have been experiencing the post-coital sleepiness induced by our Liberal/power love affair. In fact, it's to get back at Bev Desjarlais, and any other 'Christians' like her who think Christmas is a time for anything other than turkey and consumeristic gift-buying. By forcing Canadians to think of a federal election and grandstanding policians at Christmas time, we are training Canadians to more strongly associate Christmas with turkeys, in fact. We're just trying to complete the secular utopia that Canada has always aspired to become."