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

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Friday, January 28, 2005

And we took "under God" out of the company anthem.

Wal-Mart has decided to recognize same-sex partners as immediate family. That would be great news for the partners of Wal-Mart employees, if Wal-Mart actually offered any benefits. As it is, it just means those partners are described within the Wal-Mart ethics code, which:

bar[s] employees from ... approaching Wal-Mart's suppliers about jobs for immediate family members, the company said.
So, as an employee of Wal-Mart, I can't arrange for a job for my partner, same- or opposite-sex, to manufacture shoes in China for twelve cents an hour? Bastards!

Since there's now volumes of case law in Canada recognizing the equality of common-law relationships gay and straight (gay marriage or not), and since even the hard right position in this country now seems to be some sort of domestic partnership recognition for same-sex couples, Wal-Mart's decision is no big deal here. It speaks to the American gay and lesbian experience that this is considered a great victory.

(An aside - I'm reminded of a Frank Magazine three-frame "Foto Funny": Preston Manning in a Parliament Hill scrum: "Of course I'm in favour of same-sex equality. After all, Sandra and I have been having the same sex for years." I miss Frank Magazine.)

Friday, January 21, 2005

And now, in sports...

Curler Mitchell Marks was suspended for two years for refusing to submit to a drug test, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday.
For those of you who don't follow the sport, the technical term for a drug test in curling is "breathalyser". Of course, how large quantities of rye whiskey can be in any way described as "performance-enhancing" is beyond my comprehension.

Honestly, are drug tests in cases like these actually meant to identify cheaters? What constitutes "performance-enhancing" in a sport that requires almost no strength or physical endurance, that's about strategy and precision?

I did a little poking around on the USADA website, and discovered that testosterone, at least, is a prohibited substance for curlers. I guess I can understand that - it'd be a real shame if the Olympic curling teams looked like, you know, athletes.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Yesterday, Blogger was broken. Today, my comments tool is broken. Plus, no props from the Canadian blogging awards for this very attractive loud but thematic design. Is it time to rebuild this page?

Friday, January 14, 2005


People are expressing concern about Frank McKenna's appointment as ambassador to the United States. According to the radio, some believe he's too much of a "blue Liberal", too conservative.

Wait a minute. That's exactly the sort of person I want telling the Bush administration things they don't want to hear. The ambassador doesn't set policy, he communicates it. Think about it... why did we hate Paul Cellucci so much? I think it was because he kept telling Canadians our business, without having any sign that he understood anything about us.

If McKenna's appointment is a sign that Martin wants to fold up on every issue where we disagree with the USA, we have trouble. I'm willing to give the Prime Minister a little more credit than that. I think this might be part of a strategy to give Canada the flexibility to tell the American administration to get bent when we feel like it.

The old joke says diplomacy is the ability to tell a person to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. I think the tide has turned sufficiently on missile defense that Martin is in a corner - he's going to have to say "go to hell" to Dubya. I don't resent him every chance to convince the Americans not to take it out on us via softwood lumber and cattle imports.

Monday, January 10, 2005

We now return to your regularly-scheduled blogging. At least, that's the plan.

If you haven't figured out how to help the people of south-east Asia recover from the devastation to homes, communities, and livelihoods in the wake of the tsunami, you just aren't trying. Nonetheless, here's a list of the charities approved for Canadian government matching funds.