I've been having a great little vacation in Guelph these last few days and blogging has, by necessity, been very light. (Mother has a PII 233 with dial-up!) Visiting at my brothers and mercifully, he has hi-speed. Not much time, so I thought I would delve into the video vault and serve up one of my favourites.
Use a Designated Driver this Christmas Season (en francais)
(Edit - I set the time on this post to noon on the 25th. Please pass the word to anyone who may need these services.)
I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.
Using a Designated Driver is the smart thing to do, especially during the holidays.
Many people don't realize that there are various for-profit designated driving companies that operate year round and Operation Nez Rouge/Operation Red Nose that runs during the holiday as a volunteer service.
Below I have listed the various locations that have either volunteer organizations or companies to help you get home safe after an evening out. Unfortunately I recently lost my link list to some of the companies. If anyone knows of websites or phone numbers just drop them in the comment section. Help make the roads safer for everyone.
In case anyone was wondering, this is why I'm the 'Late night blogger' :)
CASTLEGAR, B.C. (CP) -- A Conservative candidate in the federal election is recovering in hospital after a two-vehicle crash in the West Kootenay.
Derek Zeisman is running in the riding of British Columbia Southern Interior, held in the last Parliament by Tory Jim Gouk.
B.C. party spokesman Colin Metcalfe told CKNW radio in Vancouver that Zeisman was seriously injured while en route to Castlegar from Trail on Tuesday afternoon, but he is expected to return to the campaign for the Jan. 23 election.
"The conditions, I believe, were icy and as it stands today (Wednesday) he's listed as being in serious but stable condition," said Metcalfe.
Zeisman began working as Gouk's part-time constituency assistant last year. He had previously served as Gouk's parliamentary assistant, working in both his Ottawa and Castlegar offices.
This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa.
The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States decided to create a bi-national air defense command for the North American continent called the North American Air Defense Command. Canada and the U.S. believed they could better defend North America together as a team instead of separately.
The Command carried out its first Santa tracking in 1958 after inheriting the tradition from CONAD. Since that time, Canadian and American men and women who work at NORAD have responded to phone calls from children personally. Additionally, media from all over the world call NORAD on Christmas Eve for updates on Santa's location. Last year this Website was visited by millions of people who wanted to know Santa's whereabouts. This year, the information is provided in six languages.
NORAD relies on many volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many people at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to the many thousands of children who call in.
Stephen Harper challenges Gilles Duceppe to a debate
Duceppe wants head-to-head debate. This is his chance
OTTAWA – Statement by Conservative leader Stephen Harper:
“Several days ago, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe issued an invitation for a one-on-one debate with Liberal leader Paul Martin. Despite his rhetoric about being the man to save Canada from the separatists, Mr. Martin declined. In the interests of Canadians having at least one federalist leader willing to put words into action and stand up for Canada, I made an offer to Mr. Duceppe to debate him.
“I understand that yesterday Mr. Duceppe responded, saying he feels this election is about Liberal corruption, and that consequently, he does not see a need for the two of us to debate.
“While I understand his perspective, I do believe there is much more at play in this election than just Liberal corruption. There is much more at stake in this election for the future of Quebecers and all Canadians than just a discussion over corruption. This is Mr. Duceppe’s opportunity, and I think that he should be prepared to discuss the full range of issues in this election campaign.
“I think that someone who leads a party with an agenda so ambitious as to seek to create a new country should be prepared to debate a leader who may be prime minister after this election.”
This post just continues to grow. New links and referrals are appearing every day. A special thanks to the Corso Italia News in Ottawa. The editor emailed me a week ago to let me know that he was including the list in the latest edition. He graciously mailed me several copies which I received today. I was shocked when I opened the package. I was expecting a little article in the back pages, instead I find the list on the entire front page! As a bonus, inside is an article by James Rajotte on a subject near and dear to my heart - Technoscam.
These are the links that I've been able to track so far. If I've missed anyone, or if you notice the list somewhere else, please post the location in the comments.
Corso Italia News, December Edition - Front page - approximately 5000 3000 copies - available in the Ottawa area. Pick up your copy here:
Pubwells * Plant Recreation Centre Preston Food Market , Elm & Preston Cosenza Billiards Bell Pharmacy La Roma Caffe Roma Confectionary * Absolute Comedy Club Di Rienzo's Grocery * St Anthony's Italia Soccer Club
Edit: additional links to 199 Reasons to Not Vote Liberal
Every day the CPC site features Stephen Harper in a different place highlighting Conservative policy and issues.
Over at the Liberal site, for what I think is the third or fourth time, Stephen Harper is the main show. (I could be wrong on the count)
This is a very good sign in my opinion. Last campaign the CPC spent and inordinate amount of time talking about the Liberals. Letters to the Editor talked about them, CPC candidates focused on them and all the general discourse was about them.
What a difference 17 months can make. Harper has set and carried the agenda from Day one. Today's website pics are very telling indeed. Harper gets not only the main billing, but second billing down below. Martin is relegated to the "Where's the PM?" sidebar. A very intersting question to ask these days.
As each day goes by, the Liberals are shifting to attack mode, while Stephen continues executing his plan.
Curious riding page, the 'History' at the bottom. From Paul Martin Sr to Rick Limoges' defeat, with no mention of incumbent Joe Comartin. Howard McCurdy gets a mention. I guess it helps to join the entitled team.
With Paul Martin's refusal to debate Gilles Duceppe, and Duceppe's subsequent refusal to take up Stephen Harper's challenge to debate, once and for all it is now clear how the BQ and Liberals feed off each other in Quebec.
The last thing either party wants is for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to gain any traction whatsoever there.
Paul Martin needs the BQ so he can wrap himself in the flag and play Captain Canada in the rest of Canada. Raising the seperatist threat in Ontario remains a Liberal mainstay in scaring voters. Bernard Lord put it best with his pyro comparison.
Gilles Duceppe needs Paul Martin and his merry band to show Quebec why only the BQ can represent Quebec.
Along comes Stephen Harper with some reasonable ideas. Jean Charest and Mario Dumont like them, with Dumont going so far as to say he would vote for Harper. That alone must have sent shivers down the spine of most in the Liberal and BQ war rooms.
Harper should press on with the offer and appear on TQS in an open interview, talk show format. If no one from Quebec wants to meet him in a one on one debate he should engage the people head on.
Stephen has played this one brilliantly. CPC candidates in Quebec can hammer at the BQ for avoiding a debate and the Liberals for the same thing. What are they afraid of?
Only Stephen Harper is willing to Stand Up For Canada, and in doing so has shown himself to be a credible federalist alternative in Quebec.
Darrell Bricker President and Chief Operating Officer for the Public Affairs Practice of Ipsos-Reid Corporation
Darrell Bricker is in tune with key issues of the day, government policies, and public opinions. He knows the federal scene inside and out and how it will affect the future of businesses, organizations, and the average Canadian.
... Darrell's research specialties include analysis of social and political trends, issues management, strategic communications and corporate reputation.
For a person who's profile highlights being "in tune" and listing specialties of "analysis of social and political trends, issues management, strategic communications and corporate reputation", characterizing blogs as "wank-fests" seems decidedly out of tune.
I wonder if Ipsos-Reid has done any Government polling work? Seems to be a fair amount of wankinggoingon there.
Main stream media - wanking galore. I'm sure media bloggers such as Zerb will be overjoyed to learn she's now a leading 'wanker' in Darrell's world.
Political pundits and strategists -it's rumoured that pundits and strategists do actually have a heart and have been know to demonstrate a feeling or two now and again. To publically imply that they are wankers is truly not nice.
Ipsos-Reid just may need to draw on some of that vast experience they tout on their website:
We know from experience what to do when you need help. We have worked on public opinion and issue management assignments for clients facing strikes, allegations, and shareholder revolts, and helped repair reputations in just about every sector.
December is certainly turning into the month of 'Hoof in Mouth' disease for communications experts.
Liberal campaign workers going 'back to work' during the Christmas break, in order to get paid, rather than have the Liberal Party pay them during the campaign.
Belinda Stronach defends the actions. "...it's within the guidelines". The Liberal Party has failed miserably over the last year to raise funds, so they resort to the tried and true method of raiding the public purse.
Just another example of how the Liberals have not learned a single thing from Adscam. It's taxpayers money and they're entitled to it.
I must have been snoozing, because I totally missed this video when it was posted. I've taken it and converted it to a .wmv file for easy streaming. It's now only 2.43 mb so you can even email it! If you know of someone like your parents, Aunt and Uncle, Grandparents etc, who might be interested, email them either the whole file, or the link.
Methodology- This is a random telephone survey that according to ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) is a fair and legal depiction of the opinions of 43,873 Canadians from coast to coast. This survey was conducted from the United States and Canada between December 10-16, 2005. This survey has a margin of error of 1.58%, @99% competency. This survey was sponsored by a United States company doing business in Canada, and by NewTrend Optical of Port Coquitlam, BC, and Glen P. Robbins and Associates. Approximate time per interview 1.5 minutes. Percentage of potential respondents initially contacted who agree to answer questions promised not to take “more than two minutes” is 72%. Compare with mainstream pollsters declared success of between 10% and 30%. Number of phone numbers dialed to produce (1) contact ‘solicitation’: 3.5. Average number of interviews by caller per hour = “9”. 450 “man hours” to produce data. Aggregation of data, determination of data allocation and commentary to reflect Canadian public opinion=20 hours. Raw cost of data collection $6,762.50. Market Value of Polling Data all inclusive-$50,548.75.
I guess they must already be fully entitled here in Windsor-Tecumseh.
Tip of the Day: don't forget to hide the real location of the Volunteer and Sign request links. We wouldn't want people in Windsor-Tecumseh thinking the website is actually being done by the Liberal Party of Ontario in Toronto. Kinda defeats that 'Windsor-can-do' image.
For all those who think Paul Martin's "Captain Canada" act is smart politics, consider some of the ramifications. Just one of the things at stake is a potential $2 billion a year in tourist traffic. Ramping up the anti-American rhetoric may be good for scoring cheap political points for the Liberals, but the long term effects could leave us paying quite the price.
I have no problem with people disagreeing with George Bush or his policies, but we certainly don't have to go out of our way to do it. Martin's sliming of the Americans in Montreal was nothing more than righteous masturbation of the Canadian public. Considering his own governments' record on the Kyoto accord, Martin doesn't have a leg to stand on, let alone the slightest shred of credibility on this issue.
Martin's say anything, do anything attitude to maintaining power will eventually leave Canadians with a bill we can't afford to pay.
HOULTON, Maine (CP) - Wayne Darling used to be a frequent visitor to Canada, cruising across the border from his home state of Maine to do some shopping and sightseeing in New Brunswick and Quebec.
But now he never crosses the border and has pretty much given up on the idea, since he heard that he's going to need a passport or some sort of special identification to get back into the United States.
Even though the restriction don't come into full effect for another two years, Darling has already made up his mind.
"They brought that up a while ago, that we were supposed to have passports," Darling says on his way into a shopping centre in Houlton, Maine, near the New Brunswick border.
"We applied, but they told us it was going to cost about $100, so we just said to hell with it. We just won't bother to go over."
Critics of the American plan to require passports or secure identification to enter the United States say that Darling and his family are typical of the kind of people who will be caught in the anti-terrorism net being deployed along U.S. borders.
No one knows how many terrorists or criminals will be deterred, but there's little doubt that millions of cross-border shoppers and tourists will fall victim to the tightening security noose.
"I don't know that requiring soccer moms to have passports will make us safer," says Ken Oplinger, head of a Chamber of Commerce in Washington state, noting that all of the 19 terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks had passports.
"It may only give us the illusion we're safer."
The passport requirement was recommended by the U.S. government's Sept. 11 commission and has been passed by the U.S. Congress.
It requires citizens of the United States and all other nations, including Canada, to have passports or secure identification when entering the United States.
Enforcement begins in 2007 for those travelling by air or sea, and one year later at land border crossings.
The Canadian Tourism Commission predicts 7.7 million fewer Americans will visit Canada in the following three years as a result of the change. The agency also estimates a drop of 3.5 million trips from Canada to the United States.
Frank McKenna, Canada's ambassador to the United States, warns it will cost Canada nearly $2 billion, mostly in lost tourism revenue.
Douglas Fisher notes a long list of Liberal foul-ups that dwarf the scandals of their much-maligned predecessor Mulroney
The best reasons for electors to rid of us of the Liberal government are its poor quality and arrogance, a blend of incompetence, wastefulness and amorality.
It starts with Prime Minister Paul Martin, who depends far too much on his personal coterie of advisors and handlers and counts little on the mandarins (deputy ministers) and his own elected cabinet and caucus. In consequence, the prime minister's office absolutely dominates cabinet and the House of Commons.
For some reason, I like this guy's train of thought.
Congratulations to Windsor Green Party Candidate Catherine Pluard for joining the blogosphere here in Windsor-Tecumseh. The Green's are certainly looking better organized than they have ever been before. They have shared office space, a website and a blog.
So let me see if I've got this right. An ex-Chretien Liberal Cabinet Minister loses her seat in the Federal Election. Next comes an exemption from the Ethics Commissioner releasing her from those bothersome rules regarding ex-Ministers lobbying government.
“Susan Whelan’s hard-work for the Windsor-Essex automotive industry was an important factor in reaching an agreement between the Federal Government and DaimlerChrysler” said Prime Minister Martin. “Not only DaimlerChrysler, but many other local suppliers to DaimlerChrysler will benefit from this investment. This means jobs for hardworking Windsor and Essex County families."
The announcement was already overdue for months, and the local Windsor Star was reporting that an unnamed level of government was holding things up. I wonder which level of government that was? I guess it was just coincidental that the funding was finally announced after the election was called.
This post logged over 150 hits today thanks to CBC Watch's link, and another 45 to 50 from various other sources. That doesn't even take into account all the other blogs and forums who have mirrored the post. (eg Libscam Wiki). 'A Dubious Day' is approaching 3,000 hits on it's own, without taking the others into account.
Ottawa — The Quebec wing of the Liberal Party accidentally released a list of ridings yesterday that shows it has written off a majority of seats in the province and conceded almost all of the francophone areas to the Bloc Québécois
And this is the supposed 'only federalist option' in Quebec? This is exactly why declaring this election a "referendum on Canada" was such a dangerous thing to do.
Now the Quebec federalists are left with one simple option, vote Conservative to guarantee a party who will stand up for Canada.
It's either that or give more gas to the pyro's and STAND BACK.
Considering how much attention this got when everyone thought she wanted Conservatives to lose, why am I not suprised the clarification is buried. H/T to the CTV.ca Election Blog for the update.
Former prime minister Kim Campbell, who once opined elections weren't the right time to talk about serious issues, wants to assure the Conservative party she wants it to win.
There were some doubts when she said this at her alma mater, The London Shool of Economics, earlier this month:
"Their (the Conservative party's) positions are too socially conservative, I think, to form a government in Canada. People may like their fiscal policies but they're frightened by their social conservatism ... It's a pity because it denies people a choice on policy issues."
In Vancouver today, Campbell had this to say:
I am a Conservative and I want them to win. What I said was that my concern was if a party is being perceived as too socially conservative, it makes it hard for them to win.
Campbell was in town to endorse Tony Fogarassy, the candidate in Vancouver Centre, her old riding -- one Campbell didn't hold in the giant wave that swept the Tories from office in 1993.
Fogarassy will be in tough: Hedy Fry has held that seat for the Liberals since 1993, and former Burnaby-Douglas MP Svend Robinson -- of Ringgate fame -- is the NDP's candidate.
Edit: Don't forget - spread the word. Email a link to the video, download it and host it on a server somewhere. Point your friends to the Conservative.ca website to see it. Be an online advocate for the CPC!
Edit 2: fixed some issues, streaming player should work now. File available in both .wmv and .avi formats.
Well Campephilus principalis (Ivory Billed Woodpecker) - This species was believed to be extinct since 1987, when the last positive sighting was made in Cuba. However, at least one living male was rediscovered in Arkansas in 2004 and 2005.
Kinda like the Liberals, Bruck Easton, and Easton election signs in Windsor. There's been a few sightings, but extremely rare.
Great rally in Windsor this afternoon. The turnout was fantastic. Room was overflowing, with the crowd spilling out into the hall. As this was a rally stop there were no announcements. The one thing I wanted to blog about was the media, and specifially the National Media.
While Stephen was giving his speech, the pool camera setup in the hall to get a crowd shot, with Stephen framed in the background. The national TV personalities wanted to get their bits done for the 6 and 11pm newscasts. It was a quick 15-20 second soundbite for each of the CBC, CTV and Radio Canada. Someone in the hallway took offense to the media, because they couldn't hear Stephen speaking. They started talking loudly so the media couldn't get their spots done. Next thing, some people started chanting, further preventing the media from doing their job. It became an obvious attempt to frustrate the media from doing their job. The reporter walked away, visibly upset. They we're ready to pack up and do their spot somewhere else, with no people around.
What do you think the story would have been like if that had happened?
Luckily, we we're able to step in and convince them to come back and try again. The people in the crowd we're calmed down and the spots got done.
As they we're leaving, I heard the one reporter say she wished she had a blog so she could report what happened and vent a little. I thought I would help her out.
Just something for people to consider when they are attending events. The media has paid $10,000 to $15,000 per reporter to be on the leader's tour. Most of them have multiple deadlines feeding numerous local and national outlets. They are under constant pressure and have a job to do. When you make that job difficult, you are not helping anyone and are potentially hurting the campaign. Campaigns are a team effort and everyone from the grassroots supporters to the top echelon has to always be thinking of the overall effort and not just personal considerations.
To the media that came back and tried again - Thank-you. Windsor is a friendly city, once you get to know us. Our bark is usually worse than our bite. Really.
Do you visit a lot of blogs and other other news sources? An RSS reader is an easy way to have all your content delivered to your reader. You 'subscribe' to each feed, and each time you load your reader, your content is updated.
For those who don't have a lot of time, it's an easy way to scan a lot of different sources in a short amount of time. There are numerous free readers out there. RSS Bandit just happens to be the one I've been using for a number of months now, and I really like it.
There's no better time to try out a reader than during this election. Stay informed and on top of things. Be a Bandit!
Have you written your Letter to the Editor yet? (en francais)
Take a few minutes to write a Letter to the editor of your local daily or weekly newspaper. While it may satisfy our egos to be published in the Globe or the National Post, you have a direct effect on local campaigns when you submit to local papers.
Keep your letters short and to the point. Most papers want 200 words or less.
Your family, friends and neighbours will read and possibly heed your words. They may even approach you with concerns or questions. This is your opportunity to engage people.
"Second of all, I don't make it a habit of commenting on any discussions that any Canadian ambassador would have with a foreign country. Fundamentally, foreign policy and overall policy is set by the prime minister, and I'll continue to do that."
“Good public policy is not a politics of propaganda and national self-delusion. It is an attempt to match our national self-image and our capabilities as a people. The present government is struggling to close the gap between pretending to be a good international citizen and failing to fund our foreign aid commitments; pretending to be a peacekeeper and failing to fund our defence establishment; pretending to be green and failing to fund our investment in environmental sustainability.” (Toronto Star, June 2, 2005)
Sad comment on Canadian politics today... (en francais)
Campaign Stories #5
If Mr. Harper's flaw is that he is inclined to be too principled by half - he'd rather be right than be elected - Mr. Martin's flaw is that he has few principles at all
Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail December 10th, 2005 pg A29
We're firmly into the 'quiet' phase of the campaign. Signs are flying out the door, Rick is canvassing and plant-gating and the phone calls are humming along. Looks like I will be a Sunday to Thursday campaigner until after the Christmas season is over. Business is booming, and with my partner managing Rick's campaign, there's just not too much spare time left over. I'm able to keep up with website updates and some minor details Friday and Saturday, but not much else. Weekends are long and very stressful, so I need at least a few hours to myself.
I imagine the pace will pickup next week, as the last full week before we all break for Christmas. While we won't be contacting people, putting out lawn signs etc, there's certainly no lack of work to be done during the break. The core team will be hard at work updating our data system and honing our GOTV lists. Lit pieces are ready to go, phone scripts have been tested and the rest of the machine well oiled. The second phase of the campaign is going to be short and intense. We intend to be very organized. Our strategy has long been prepared and is working very well. I can't comment on many things at this point, but later on in the campaign I will be able to reveal some of the work that has been done in the early days.
Nice to see some of the polls are reflecting what we've know here for a long time. The Southwest is very much in play. Campaigns such as ours and Al Gretzky in London West, that have been working for over a year, are starting to reap the rewards of that work. Some suprises are on the way that nobody expects - we like that.
Although most Conservatives already know this, the post gives an excellent review of the Quebec childcare program, a glimpse of where Canada would be heading with the Liberals "pan-Canadian" vision.
This post should be required reading for anyone who believes in socialized, government run daycare as the solution to all. As always, Le Blog De Polyscopique provides the post in both official languages.
After reading this, I was also thinking about Paul Martin's recent announcement regarding childcare. An additional $6 billion for five more years, AFTER the first five year commitment won't even cover the costs of the spaces already provided, let alone any expansion in the system. Either the Provinces pony up a heck of a lot more money or we have another federal program with massive waiting lists and limited service (9 to 5 daycare, with a 10 month waiting list, if you're lucky). The Quebec program quadrupled in cost over 6 years - and they have a $5.00 user fee.
Welcome to the future of institutionalized daycare in Canada. Waiting lists, rationing of resources, daycare tax or user fee and the Provinces begging for more money from the federal Government.
I've held off commenting on the so-called blog, waiting to see if any changes might be made. Looks like the answer is no.
Just to be clear, I think the CPC Campaign Blog sucks. I don't know why they even call it a blog.
1. No permalinks 2. No trackbacks 3. No comments 4. Anonymous poster - come on - it's an election campaign. If it's a paid staffer blogging, then identify the person. If it's a volunteer, at least give us a screen name and an email for feedback and comment.
There is no way to link to individual posts, other than providing a link to that week's posts. It's as bad as Kinsella's musings page, masquerading as a blog.
At least it does have an RSS feed - something the CPC is way ahead of the other parties.
The whole goal of the internet is interactivity, something severely lacking from the CPC site.
The way the blog is setup right now, it's nothing more than a static PR page. I know blogs worry Campaign Managers and back-room strategists, but surely they can come up with a way to at least vet posts if they're that concerned about some sort of gaffe.
Comments can be moderated to prevent the usual trolls.
This campaign has the advantage of two phases. Hopefully we'll see the 'blog' re-launched after Christmas into something that actually resembles a blog.
This is something that Blogging Tories can actually work to change. Send a comment to the Webmaster and let him know your opinion.
Lately I've been averaging 30 to 50 hits a day on the "A Dubious Day" post. It has been reposted, linked and even a Wiki created. Many of the referrals are coming from email programs, so emailing is going well. The post is showing up under various terms in the major search engines. When you factor in hits on other blogs and websites that have reposted the list, together with emails, the list is getting some excellent distribution across Canada. Since Buzz is encouraging union members to vote Liberal - how about emailing a copy to your union friends? Even better - send a copy to Buzz. Give them something to think about.