Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

(Rev/Mod guest host BEAR, for lack of a pithy quip, simply posts...)

No more extra innings

The Montreal Expos play their final home game of the season tonight vs. the Florida Marlins, and probably, the final home game in the franchise's 35 year history, as MLB is poised to announce their imminent relocation to Washington, DC. I find the Canadian sports medias hand-wringing and mock sentiment for the days of Rusty Staub, Tim Raines, Gary Carter, et al somewhat bemusing, given that their games have been relegated to the back pages of the sports section and upper register of the cable TV dial for quite a few seasons now.

I'm somewhat sad to see the Expos go - my father, who played briefly in the New York Giants organization, was a big Expos fan, despite his incessant francophobia and my Mom's allegiance to the Toronto Blue Jays. He taught me a lot about the game, and that's one of the few things about him that's stuck with me since he died 14 years ago. The Expos began their slow descent to oblivion shortly after that, when the Bronfmans sold the team a year later.

That's pretty much where any of my sentiment about the Expos ends - MLB has made the right choice in choosing Washington. The handful of remaining diehard Expos fans may disagree, and as a fan of a team that faced relocation (the Seattle Mariners) on a number of occasions I can sympathize. However, what kept baseball in Seattle was a perfect storm of a winning team, a new ballpark, and a superheated local economy in between.

As for the other contenders for the Expos, I had my doubts about all of them. America's suburbs belong to people who renounce the sense of community a baseball team can bring, which is why I'm happy Northern Viriginia is on the outside looking in. San Juan was a logistical nightmare for the 'home' games the Expos played there, making little sense to make the rest of baseball travel there repeatedly: there's a reason why the Pacific Coast League isn't in Edmonton and Honalulu anymore. If baseball still can't agree about what to do about Pete Rose, how could they consider putting the Expos in Las Vegas? As for Portland, who's bright idea was it to collectively hold their breaths 'til they turn blue, shun the AAA Beavers and expect the Expos to drop into their laps?

Meanwhile, back in Montreal, Olympic Stadium is left with a few trade shows and the occasional Alouettes playoff game. I sense an implosion...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Humanity manages to disappoint me. Again. Seriously, Humanity, what the hell is wrong with you?

There is much gnashing of teeth going on right now in St. Catherine's, Ontario, over a t-shirt. The design features a bloodied hammer, and the caption "She was asking for it."

Personally, I'm glad the shirt is available. Think of all the time people will save - if you see a guy wearing the shirt, you won't have to spend a second in conversation with him. It'll be as good as a red neon sign that reads "I'm an asshole".

The only thing that would make these shirts better is if the restraining order came free with purchase.
Good news, bad news

I've already reported the bad: the government would like to keep the Alberta election remarkably free of policy discussion.

But the good news? At least we don't have to anticipate an October Surprise.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Good catch

Thank the Middleman for this election factoid, to be used by me at a future election forum:

A $41.2-billion health accord between Ottawa and the provinces will not blunt the Alberta government's plans to inject more privatization into its health-care system, Premier Ralph Klein said Friday.


However, he said any reform proposals will occur after the provincial election, expected in late November.
It seems Ralph Klein comes from the Kim Campbell school of democracy: an election is no time to discuss public policy.

I can't blame the guy for not wanting to hang around the First Ministers' health care meeting. "Hey, I'm just going to wreck it anyhow... you guys have fun. I'm headed to a trade show!"

Friday, September 17, 2004

(Rev/Mod guest host BEAR lets it fly...)


Woke up yesterday to see the headline that the Liberals lead the NDP 43-37 in the September Mustel Poll. The celebration for Gordon Campbell was short-lived as a few hours later, Christy Clark (Deputy Premier/Children & Families Minister) announced her resignation from cabinet plus her intention not to run on May 17, 2005. Clark claims she's quitting to look after her "thriving" son - the same infant who received a nanny and customized nursery at the legislature at taxpayers expense, at the same time the Liberals shut down Child Care BC. For the record, my MLA (Jenny Kwan, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, NDP) looks after her year-old daughter in her office in the leg annex, which has no running water, and relies on grandma to babysit.

Earlier this year, Clark was demoted from the Education portfolio, largely due to her malicious antagonizing of the British Columbia Teachers Federation. Clark insisted on revoking teachers' legal right to strike, and thumbed her nose at them (and the BC Supreme Court) by ripping out class size provisions in their collective agreement under Bill 19. Once relatively apolitical (as apolitical as public sector unions get in BC...), the BCTF responded by joining the BC Federation of Labour and are building a war chest to support New Democrats in 2005.

As we all know, resigning to spend time with the family is code for "I'm in serious trouble" given that David Basi (one of her former aides) was booked on drug dealing charges two days ago, and her husband Bruce has been repeatedly implicated in the December 28 Legislature Raids. Rather than stay on as the bitchy little mascot for Gordon Campbell and his happy little band of white collar criminals, Christy decided to bail before something really embarassing happens.

I wonder if Cambpell gave Christy the same send off he gave other female MLAs who bolt from the Liberal caucus. The guy just has an incredible way with women.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rev/Mod guest host BEAR, still lurking about, says...

The Puck Stops Here

As a result of the owners locking out the players, there will more than likely be no NHL hockey this year. I know this is upsetting for a lot of people, but like our regular host here at Rev/Mod, I really can't be bothered with the NHL. There are occasions, usually to try and fit in, I have let myself get caught up in the Vancouver Canucks frustratingly abrupt playoff runs. However, the game's voodoo economics, schizophrenic officiating, and players' prison mentiality have left me scrathing my head one more than one occasion. The NHL product, at least on the west coast, is long on hype and short on substance.

That's right, voodoo economics - NHL owners want a salary cap like the NFL or the NBA, but football and basketball can get away with a cap because there's a lot TV revenue to go around. I can't believe that the psychological and cultural well-being of a nation is caught up with an enterprise so myopic, manipulative, and mismanged.

Oh wait, that's the Liberal Party of Canada....

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

(RevMod guest host/second stringer BEAR pops by with...)

Is this Da Kine of thing we want?

Having lived in Vancouver for almost four years now, I've started to get a little tired of Marijuana. Not the actual weed, but ongoing police/media obession with it while more damaging drugs find their way into the most helpless in the Downtown Eastside, just over the railroad tracks from where I live.

I'm also tired of the Marijuana advocacy "industry", which is best illustrated by the grandstanding opportunist antics of Marc Emery and the Marijuana Party of Brtitish Columbia. Their "4:20" demonstrations at the Art Gallery are more like stoner trade shows than political rallies, and if Emery was serious about his political aspirations, why did his party endorse the NDP in the recent federal election?

There hasn't been as visible an example of pot opportunism as the recent goings-on at Da Kine Cafe, which may end up in the long run costing sick people who might benefit from herb's medicinal properties. Da Kine is also a few blocks from my place, but I haven't been bothered to go see what all the fuss is. Unfortunately, 4:20 conflicts with Happy Hour in my calendar.
Good news

Just heard, second-hand, from my Cayman people. They are alive and safe, though hot, and it sounds like at least one house among them withstood the storm well enough that they don't have to worry about where to stay.

I'm not much for praying for help. But I'm more than happy to pray thanks. How Canadian of me.
Klein misses out

While the other Premiers hash out details of a new health care deal with the Prime Minister, Ralph Klein spent the day at a trade show. That would be enough to be concerned about the Premier's priorities, but Klein's error was compounded when Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert spent a few moments of his mic time today pimping one of his constituents, Theresa Sokyrka, for Canadian Idol.

There are some Albertans who believe that Klein is responsible for helping Stephen Harper lose the federal election. Will our Premier have to accept responsibility for another Albertan's loss on the federal stage?

That works for me on a couple of different levels, actually.
More on Ivan and Grand Cayman

I have no words for these images, but fortunately, Microsoft Word comes with a thesaurus:




The international media has been remarkably quiet about the damage done to Cayman as opposed to some of Hurricane Ivan's other targets, but I suspect that's a result of a lack of moving images. (Another contributing factor may be no reported deaths, for which I'm grateful - I haven't yet heard from the people who matter to me.) Once some television cameras can get to the island, or the local news production gets electricity, and back on their feet, I suspect we'll start to hear a lot more on our televisions.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Cayman Ivan news

The international media hasn't had much news about the devastation on Grand Cayman yesterday. Regular readers know that there are people who live on that island who are important to me.

So, long story short, this story scares the shit out of me.

I haven't been able to reach the people I know since yesterday morning. Once I do, once I hear more, I'll let you know.

Update, 0935: Here's another report, more detailed and scarier.

Update, 1140: This site is taking and posting sporadic reports. Apparently, a few cel phone calls and text messages have gotten to loved ones off-island, and some of that information is being shared there.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Viet Nam war record

John Kerry attended it, but opposed it politically once he came home.

George W. Bush avoided it, but never politically opposed it.

Bush is letting his party try to undermine Kerry's record by minimizing his actions and his injuries. Some "unaffiliated" right-leaning organizations are attempting to discredit Kerry's war record altogether, or even crazier, blame Kerry for the discrediting of the Viet Nam war. It's a little desperate.

But in the end, the American left needs to understand that the comparitive war records aren't a real issue - it's a distraction. It's a little "Starship Troopers" to think that serving your country in wartime makes you the more appropriate candidate to lead. When it was Clinton vs. Dole in '96, it was pretty clear who the war hero of the two was, and I don't recall any attempt among Democrats to show Bob Dole anything but respect and appreciation for his military service. But come election day, voters made their choice based on more pressing concerns.

This time around, the left has the war veteran candidate, so they're bulletproof against "left=coward" accusations. Leave it at that and move on to the issues, because the election is two months away. This sideshow of discussing what your candidate did thirty years ago (or, for that matter, what their candidate snorted did thirty years ago) will not help the voters punish the current Administration for Iraq, the stalled economy, and the horrible fiscal management of the last four years.

Update, Thursday morning: I have to read my own links once in a while. Get Your War On beat me to this point, more effectively, about two weeks earlier. The link is here, and I'm certain you don't need to be told that GYWO is known for some strong language.