business, general silliness, Lighter Things, maritimes, Sites of Interest

Supervillainy – Only $1.4 Million Away

Giant Golf Ball Included

For only one low payment of $1.4 million, you can own a former NATO satellite station. This comes complete with “…backup power, a sterile work environment, top-notch security features, an exterior workshop and living quarters that include a kitchen, deck and four sleeping areas.”

This is a great buy because, as we all know, the most defining feature of a supervillain, besides his choice of matching costumes for his henchmen, is his lair – it is absolutely crucial in order to gain the respect you deserve, not to mention facilitating world domination. All you’d need is a bit of paint to make the satellite dish cover in the photo look like a skull, and Bob’s your uncle.

Property listing is here. I, for one, am going to start saving my pennies.  Excuse me while I go work on my hideously eeeevil laugh.


Bush, Lighter Things, maritimes, Past indiscretions biting you in the ass, Republicans, Things We Should Know, Uncategorized

The Punishment for Being One of the Perpetrators of History’s Biggest Fraud:

… A speaking engagement in Halifax.

09-21-09_condyScene from the unreleased film, “The Littlest War Criminal”

Yes, on December 10, Condi Rice becomes the latest member of the fraudulent Bush ‘government’ to grace us with their presence. for a mere $900, you can meet her and get photos taken with her.  Or, alternately, you can go just a few blocks away and hire a nice lady for much less, with whom you can also take pictures. And, you’ll probably feel less guilty afterwards.

maritimes, Nova Scotia, politics, Rodney MacDonald

Life’s like that…

Wouldn’t you know that as soon as Rodney Dangerfield’s government finally collapsed under the weight of it’s incompetence and there’s something interesting and local worth blogging extensively about, I enter into pre-survey mode and become busier than ever. Gaaaaa!  Life is like that sometimes.

For what it’s worth, an anecdote. Owing to the fact that I’m going on a boat for a couple of months, I voted early last night. While waiting for Doug to cast his ballot, I was chatting with the matronly local who always seems to be employed at these balloting offices and I asked her what the write-in turnout was like. “Here”, she said, “it was so-so, a hundred or so. But provincially it’s waaaayyy up from the last election.”

Does that indicate a higher-than-pathetic turnout for this election? Does it indicate increased interest in the result? Usually, a high turnout is not good news for the incumbant, and I have to think that it’s the case here.

The fact that the only useful act performed by this government was to say “no” to the Commonwealth Games a few years ago (after letting the local Games committee fleece us for some fourteen large) and that he’s limited his campaign to empty promises to fine parents for the bad deeds of their kids (the Get Off My Lawn campaign plan of John McCain), he’s dead.

The NDP were essentially handed this election on a platter, and they’re running a classic leader’s campaign – cautious and deliberate, making no mistakes. However the Liberals are rejuvenated under their new leader and their support outside of the NDP bastion of Metro is growing quickly – areas where the electorate may well swing to them rather than the NDP.

The results are going to be interesting – the Conservatives’ greatest fear was obviously a surge of support for the Liberals, and that’s what they’re seeing. How will the results split? Will the “left” of the province (such as it is) perform the classic split between the Liberals and NDP or will the alergic-to-real-change voters in the province cut their votes between Liberals and Conservatives and let the NDP up the middle? I don’t think there’s enough support for the Liberals in Metro (this time) to give them a real shot at even a minority, leaving the only real options in my mind being a smaller Conservative minority or an NDP win, a larger minority or even a narrow majority. That said, the NDP have made moderate gains outside HRM, but it’s likely that a large part of those gains were traditional Liberal voters loaning their votes while their party was being lead by toothless befuddled idiots. 

An interesting campaign, which I will watch with great interest from offshore.

christians, maritimes, media

Give Me a Break…

brucex26Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon from today’s Chronicle-Herald. I’ve seen funnier. It’s starting to piss me off a bit that Atheism is not taken seriously. I know, I need to lighten up…

health care, maritimes

Minimum-price drinking laws…

Nova Scotia has just announced minimum-price laws for drinking estblishments. My question for the crowd – is this an example of a nanny government infantilizing the population or in the age of highly-expensive socialized medicine, is this move necessary?

For what it’s worth, and just to get things started, I will almost always vote for fewer, clearer laws, so I vote (A). Let ’em drink and if they do get hurt, put ’em in line, treat ’em, and send them on their way. Bars that build a reputation for fights and mayhem will soon enough see their clientelle drift away to other places, that might serve more expensive alcohol in a saner, more entertaining atmosphere.

Update: If saving provincial healthcare dollars is really the motivation and not say, pedantic moralism, then I would suggest there are other places to look as well.

Consevatives, maritimes, politics

Purves blinks while kissing the toad

Jane Purves, former provincial Conservative Cabinet Minister currently considering a run for the federal party in Halifax is having second thoughts after watching Stephen “the Atlantic provinces has a culture of defeat” Harper pwn the Maritimes in this year’s budget. Is it simply bluster because the budget is so bad for the province that even Rodney identified the problems relatively quickly? Of course – it’s the only position she can take aside from just keeping quiet and risking “what did you think of the budget” questions in a campaign later on. Now that she’s got “second thoughts” headlines she’s covered, even though she supports the rest of it.

Meanwhile, other Bluenose Tories like Bill Casey defend the budget thusly: “The accord is exactly the same as negotiated, that gets lost in the shuffle here. The accord is exactly the same. The promise was to keep it exactly the same. It has no cap.” Sure, we can keep the old accord with the option of taking a new equalization scheme that results in less money going to the province – it’s the classic shell game – step up and lose, whichever you chose. It would be interesting to see if Alberta would ever accept such a deal.

The benefits of the budget are going to be a hard sell out here, but Harper doesn’t give a damn about that. It was calculated to give money to those provinces where he needs to grab seats in order to win a majority, the rest be damned. The piddly 30-odd seats out here on the coast don’t even factor in.

maritimes, politics

Peter and Elizabeth up a tree…

The announcement yesterday that Green Party leader Elizabeth May will run in Peter Mackay’s riding of Central Nova in the next federal election is interesting for a number of reasons. A locally fairly popular and high profile cabinet minister, it is certainly an interesting choice for May, who currently lives in Ontario. Unfortunately, I think her announcement serves to guarantee that he keeps his seat next time around, and I think he’s mighty glad to have her on board, as it were. Maybe I’m under-estimating the importance of the environment as a campaign issue, but I just don’t think it will cause enough votes to walk to a fringe candidate in that riding.

For those not familiar with Nova Scotia politics, voters are divided pretty much along rural (Conservative) and urban (NDP / Liberal) lines. Also, there is a tendancy towards voting for established political dynasties, provided the progeny prove to at least have opposable thumbs. Three current dynasties come to mind – Savage, Regan, and yes, Mackay. In addition, while it is a little unfair to say that all Bluenosers tend to vote as their parents did, it would not be far from the truth to say that rural ridings are less likely to warm quickly to new parties. Whether Peter Mackay is an effective minister or not is an open debate (hell, if any of them are effective is), but at the very least, he has not embarassed his home town, so he would seem to have a starting advantage over any opponent.

So why choose Central Nova?

First, the riding actually includes a couple of larger towns (Maritime-wise, that is) and also includes St. Francis Xavier University, so there is a fair proportion of young “hip” voters that might give the Greens a boost. At the very least, they would provide a population of potential volunteers should a vote be called during the school year. For a party that is likely going to run on a shoe-string budget, most of which will likely be spent in one riding, this has to be a consideration.

Also, in the last election, Alexis MacDonald, the NDP candidate, performed quite well, finishing second with 33% of the vote. There is a constituency in the riding that could well be swayed into the Green camp for sure.

However I feel it overly hopeful, if not downright silly to think that all or most of the NDP support, and a goodly chunk of the Liberals, would walk over to the Greens. Especially to a “come from away” candidate that does not live in the riding and has no real connection to the place. (Yes, I know Brian Mulroney won there, but he was Conservative, and the leader of a party that was a legitimate threat to become government. The Greens are neither.) Elizabeth May’s presence in this race will serve more to divide the non-Conservative vote and I fully expect that, without a massive gaffe from Mackay (never too far off to be sure), he will hold the riding with potentially a larger margin overall. Unless of course the Liberals plan to throw the riding altogether.

So really, why Central Nova?

Aye, that’s the question. May undoubtedly wants to make a good run for a seat, but surely there are safer ridings to get involved with. My feeling is that she wants to look tough, fight a good fight, but not win. It’s a passive-aggressive kind of move that will both raise her profile and not tie her to a behind-a-pillar seat in the House of Commons where she will rarely, if ever, be heard from or seen.

Also, it is a thumb in the eyes of the NDP, who could actually win that seat were the circumstances of the election call favourable.

Alas, it is not to be.