International Women’s Day Is Yummy

Our friends at the Regina Folk Festival brought us cupcakes for International Women’s Day! They’re FANTASTIC. I ate the one with the gummy fishies and it was SOOO GOOD. Thanks excellent rocking supercool folk-women for using your hard-won powers of equal personhood to bake our all-boy staff such delicious cupcakes! YUM!

Six In The Morning

1 HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY Canada ranks 50th in female politicians world-wide. Maybe we need some affirmative action? (Toronto Star) 

2 UH OH, HERE WE GO? When politicians say their next budget will “be about getting government spending under control, reducing the size of government,” it’s bad, bad, bad, bad. (CBC)  Saskatchewan NEEDS public spending: schools, libraries, hospitals, roads, welfare and arts and culture benifit us all and need to be supported. Big government is not the problem. BAD government is the problem. Let’s hope we don’t have one here. The Saskatchewan Legislature returns today.

3 THE CUTS COMETH  Treasury Board president Stockwell Day, a radical Christian who for some reason wields massivepolitical power in this country, just vapourized 245 positions on government boards and agencies. As usual, arts and culture takes a hit. Observation:  in the photo with the article he totally looks like Star Wars’ Galactic Emperor Palpitine, who once famously dissolved elected government and gave power to regional strongmen who answered to him. UPDATE: Holy crap, while I was writing this the Globe totally swapped out the awesome photo for a less sinister pic of Day. But he STILL looks like the Emperor. (Globe And Mail)

4 CANADIAN SPIES QUESTIONED CAPTIVES I had no idea people thought CSIS agents wouldn’t have questioned  Afghan POWs. Regardless, story’s here. (Toronto Star)

5 THE OSCARS HAPPENED And for the first time ever a female director won a shiny statue. Also, too bad they forgot to mention Farrah Fawcett in ths memorium section. Ebert writes on the awards here. (Roger Ebert)

6  PART OF THIS STORY IS MISSING A Regina woman is in hiding after her home was torched and pet cat killed while she was in the hospital giving birth. The story doesn’t say anything about this (because it’s, you know, journalism, not, ahem, reckless speculation), but anyone want to calculate the odds that an angry, disturbed and jealous man is involved? Happy International Women’s Day. (CBC)

Lovely In The Fog

My goodness it’s a beautiful night. A lonely night, too — not a lot of people outside for the most gorgeous evening of the year.

The picture’s a little blurry but I think that just makes the scene nicer. I have some other shots but this is the one that captures the mood.

Maybe I’ll put those after a jump.

Now don’t you wish you lived here?

Continue reading “Lovely In The Fog”

Friday Night Power Pop: Visqueen

So I have a rare, rare cold and I’m taking it easy tonight, sitting at home and listening to tunes. Just stumbled across Seattle band Visqueen and am pleased to report they rocked the snot out of me (good thing too — I have work waiting for me tomorrow). Their leader is singer/songwriter/siren Rachel Flotard and her songs are GREAT — super energetic, melodic power-pop. Their latest disc came out in the fall: it’s called Message To Garcia and it’s dedicated to Flotard’s father, who died of cancer in a country with shit for health care but no shortage of loving daughters.

Give ‘er a listen and if you like what you hear support the band–buy the album. It’s on  iToons and teh Amaze-On. I think you’ll like this. If a band’s good enough to have Neko Case sing back-up for ’em, they’re good enough for you. Thenkew.

Six In The Morning

Dog Blog’s morning news round-up, which has probably never, ever actually been posted at 6:00 a.m.

1 BUDGET! “Steady Budget Offers few Surprises”, says CBC. “Hope Keeps Flaherty’s Balanced Budget Afloat“, says the Globe And Mail. “This Budget Will Set Conservative Hearts Aglow“, says the Toronto Star’s Chantal Hébert. “Feds Aim For 17.6 Billion In Savings Over five Years“, says the Leader-Post.

2 MORE BUDGET! Saskatchewan’s Finance minister ironically says the federal budget is marred by wishful thinking on revenues. (I like the fact Gantefoer acknowledges the irony. Yes, he had to, I know. I still like it. I like it when politicians admit their screw-ups — makes them seem human.)

3 STILL MORE BUDGET “Canada’s Wind Energy Sector Laments Loss of Incentives” says the Leader-Post. “PM Gambles that Voters care About The Deficit, Little Else” says the Globe’s John Ibbitsion.

4 JAPAN WON’T JOIN TUNA BAN “There is no choice for the Japanese government. We Japanese eat tuna,” says one Japanese wholesaler. (Washington Post) Well here’s a thought, moron: let’s just fucking eat all the bluefin tuna and then it will be gone forever. How’s that sound Japan, you fucking idiots?

5 VATICAN GAY SEX SCANDAL A “Gentleman Of His Holiness”–yes, that’s apparently a job title–was busted for negotiating with a male prostitute. Huh there’s a shock, closeted gays in the Catholic Church. (Guardian)

6 DID YOU HEAR? A GUNMAN WAS KILLED TRYING TO ENTER THE PENTAGON LAST NIGHT. So, an angry white nutter who believed the U.S. government was behind the 9-11 attacks turns to armed, anti-government violence. (He was a marijuana user too–so much for the cliche of the mellow pothead.) (Washington Post) What did I just say?

America In Meltdown

I’ve watched the States closer than most for most of my adult life and while I don’t want to freak readers out, things are getting really, really ugly down there and I’m worried. Still, I’m just an armchair observer. I don’t know all the facts. I haven’t done studies.

But fortunately (I guess), some people do. And here’s what one found. And it’s creepy.

The Guardian, the first newspaper I go to in the morning, reports on a U.S. civil rights organization that’s just released a study on dangerous and escalating right-wing radicalism. According to the Guardian:

The [Southern Poverty Law Centre] report, called Rage on the Right, said the rise in extremist groups was “a cause for grave concern” given their propensity to use violence during their heyday in the 90s, most notably with the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. It added that the issues driving support for such groups were increasingly populist and that “signs of growing radicalisation are everywhere”.

The Guardian story claims a 250 per cent rise in right-wing militias in the states. They’re being fuelled by fear of changing demographics (more blacks, Hispanics and other minorities), falling economic power, religion and right-wing conspiracy pundits like a certain prominent Fox News egomaniac/sociopath.

The report says that, unlike during the 1990s, the patriot movement’s core ideas are more widely propagated and accepted by prominent politicians and some in the mass media, such as the Fox News presenter Glenn Beck.

“As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream,” said the report. “Beck, for instance, reinvigorated a key patriot conspiracy theory – the charge that the federal emergency management agency is secretly running concentration camps – before finally ‘debunking’ it.”

The most powerful country in the world is gripped by paranoia, hatred, ignorance, religious fervour, racism and general psychosis. Madmen are flying planes into IRS buildings and Republican politicians are sympathetic (Think Progress). Lunatics are showing up at political events with legally-purchased assault weaponry. Religious militias are using proto-Taliban harrasment techniques on “sinners” (Daily Kos). They’re shooting abortion doctors.

The country is a sneeze away from a very violent, fascist uprising–and if the military joined in, we’d all be fucked.

I guess the take-away point is this: We need to educate ourselves about what’s going on in the States and be vigilant for signs of it in our own country.

And President Obama needs to wear a bullet-proof vest and stay the hell out of Texas.

Six In The Morning

1 STADIUM STADIUM STADIUM STADIUM The Leader-Post has nine (!!!) stories on their website right now on the proposed downtown stadium. Judging from their headlines, most seem generally positive and excited. Us? We range from conditionally pro-stadium (me and POSSIBLY Rosie, I think) to undeclared and mysterious (Greg) to hostile (pretty much everyone else.) Links here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. (Leader-Post)

2 IT’S BUDGET DAY Here’s the link to the Globe’scoverage . Nice to see the paper’s pulled in Tom Flanagan, who’s kind of like Canada’s Karl Rove, to answer budget questions from readers. Barrrrf. (Globe And Mail)

3 OUT ON HIS ASPER Izzy’s son David officially cedes control of CanWest. (Winnipeg Free Press). Confidential note to Mr. D.: So prairie dog’s now outlasted Conrad Black andthe Asper brood. High five!

4 SASK PHARMACISTS CAN DO MORE When your doctor’s on vacation they can give you a prescription refill, plus there’s a few other things. Sounds reasonable. (CBC)

5 ALLEGED NUDE DUDE IN COURT And he’s not happy. (CBC)

6 ONLY WHINY SISSIES HAVE TEA PARTIES A new American political movement takes their caffeine without crumpets, thanks. (Guardian)

Six In The (Barely) Morning

1 THEY’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK Federal politicians return from their Harper holiday with a big fat 6000 word throne speech. (CBC)

2 NO PANTS RAMPAGE Nude dude invades mayor’s office, Fiacco said to  unharmed. (CBC)

3 TORIES PLAY PARTISAN POLITICS WITH RIGHTS AGENCY PICK Story here. The three sitting opposition parties don’t like the guy the Tories appointed to run this very divided and troubled funding agency. (Globe And Mail)

4 GAY MARRIAGE: D.C. JOINS 21ST CENTURY Hooray! (Washington Post)

5 WILD TIGER CUB DISCOVERY END IN DEATH AND CENSORSHIP Blah. Here’s an idea, lets not have six billion people elbowing every wild thing on the planet out of the way. Sheesh. (Guardian)

6 THE STUPIDEST SIGNS IN CANADA. Wow. This baffling bunch of no-parking signs is hi-LAWR-iously awful. It should win international awards for badness. (Canada.com)

Godless Liberals Get The Brains

 So a study apparently says that the average liberal is smarter than the average conservative. From the story in the Toronto Star:

“Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist from the London School of Economics and Political Science, says it makes sense biologically. In an article for Social Psychology Quarterly, Kanazawa lays out facts based on U.S. data to support his theory. According to that research, young adults who identify as “not at all religious” had an average IQ of 103 as teens, while those who identified as “very religious” had an average IQ of 97. Similarly, young adults who called themselves “very liberal” had an average IQ of 106 during adolescence, while those who identified themselves as “very conservative” had average IQs of 95.”

For Canadian readers confused by the term, “liberal” basically means “socialist wimp” in the American language.

I wonder if this researcher would get the same results in other countries. Somehow I doubt it. Only in America: where “don’t be smart” is something angry parents say to their kids.

Six In The Morning

Your (week-)daily morning news update and linkapalooza.

1 CANADA SETS MEDAL RECORD I know eh?

2 CHILE HIT BY THREE AFTERSHOCKS The country is in shambles after an Armageddon-class 8.8 magnitude earthquake smote it on Saturday. Sounds like there’s been a wise decision to recognize the difference between looters and quake victims just trying to find urgently-needed provisions, so that’s good. Our thoughts go to the nation’s people. Read more by clicking on this link. (New York Times)

3 ROGUE OVER The Olympics are done and parliament is back Wednesday for the throne speech. There’s a lot to talk about. One really ominous quote in that Toronto Star article is from Ralph Goodale. who says the Conservatives “”want to cripple the fiscal framework. That is a deliberate strategy.” Well, he’s a politician playing politics but he’s also 100 per cent right. Taxes have been cut to a level that doesn’t support spending. It’s called a structural deficit–and the nice thing about structural deficits for government-hating politicians is they give you an excuse to trash spending. bad bad bad stuff. One thing that’s different from a few months ago: it’s not likely we’ll have an election anytime soon. (Toronto Star)

4 SASK GOVERNMENT REACHES TENTATIVE DEAL WITH GOVERNMENT WORKER’S UNION Well, good! (Leader-Post)

5 EBERT SPEAKS?!? Apparently some software wizards have built a program that will let Roger Ebert “talk”using a “voice” rebuilt from samples of his own, pre-cancer surgery voice. I love this! This is news from a world I actually want to live in. (Associated Press/CBC) 

6 MEANWHILE IN U.S. HEALTH CARE Wondering where that’s all at? Here’s a ginormous article you can read. I got three graphs in myself, I’ll have to come back to it later.  Dudes! I’m busy here! (TPM)

FOOTNOTE: This Six In The Morning was written while I was blowing out my ears with the New Pornographers. The superstar mostly-Canadian band (prominent players are Carl Newman, Dan Bejar and honourary Canadian Neko Case) has a new disc coming out this spring, too. Yeehaw!


The New Pornographers – All For Swinging You Around
Download Music Video Code at Roxwel

Support The Troops Propaganda Is Out Of Control

Just me or is anyone else sickened of the whole “our brave troops serving for us” propaganda coming out of CTV as we head into overtime? What, are we Americans now? And is CTV Fox News?

I understand there can be principled differences on NATO involvement in Afghanistan but this military-boosterism is just propaganda from a brain-dead network.

It’s just disgusting. I’m trying to watch a hockey game here.

UPDATE: I am however pleased we beat the U.S. Even though I feel bad for Ryan Miller.

Comment Poo (Updated Again!)

A heads up: Dog Blog’s comments seem to be screwed. People post comments and they’re not appearing. I have no idea why or how to fix it. But we’re on it.

If you have any suggestions to fix this, please write a comment. (Ha! You can’t!)

UPDATE: So it looks like there’s a default setting somewhere that says we have to approve comments. I can approve them but I can’t change the setting to automatic approval. We’ll get this fixed as soon as possible.

UPDATE 2: They work! Open fire! Comment away!

We’re Not Just Online

 

Some troublemaking dame poses with the latest 'dog.

It’s true! We have a print edition! It’s out now and available at around 400 locations city-wide (but not government-run liquor boards, which we were kicked out of a couple years ago, or the goverment-run Casino Regina, which we were kicked out of last year, or public areas in the government-run STC depot, which we were also kicked out of last year.)

Six In The Morning

 

Your daily Dog Blog a.m. news round up. Today’s episode is brought to you by the letters J, X and the number seven. 

1 WE WERE JUST SAYING, YOU GUYS After 55 EA contracts were not renewed, there were reports that Saskatchewan’s government was planning massive cuts to educational assistant jobs–from over 3,000 to around 800. Nope, says Minister Ken Krawetz. Just the regular government doing its job and exploring options thing. (CBC)

2 THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR TEAM AND THEIR TEAM When UN climate experts make mistakes there’s an independent review. When climate liars get facts wrong and take money from oil-funded think tanks, uhhh, wait. Does anything happen to them? (Guardian)

3 MEANWHILE IN CANADA Maxime Bernier, who you may remember as the the guy who leaves secret documents at his biker-moll girlfriend’s house, says climate change worries are over-rated (Globe And Mail). A (translated) quote from the letter Bernier sent to La Presse newspaper: “It would certainly be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars and impose exaggeratedly severe regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we’re still far from discerning.” This is of course factually wrong (Guardian) and I can’t see how he’s not either 1.) an idiot and a dangerous fool or  2.) a sleazy, lying energy industry stooge. But anyway. He’s way off message here. But the Tory bloggers apparently love him for saying this. And that means trouble for Stephen Harper. (Globe And Mail)

4 MEANWHILE IN REALITY An iceberg the size of Luxemborg broke off a south pole glacier today. Could disrupt ocean currents apparently. But we don’t need currents. That’s all socialist elitist science-talk. (Reuters)

5 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Some recent news that didn’t get blogged: another beauty queen contestant is against gay marriage because God said the gays are abominations who will die (Salon), the state of Utah is about to criminalize miscarriages (Jezebel.com) and a Christian politician introduced a bill to ban abortions in Florida (Tallahassee.com).

6 NO BRIDGET, MY SISTER IS NOT CRAZY She really did see a big, weird, green light swooshing through the early morning Winnpeg sky yesterday. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Welcome To Prairie Dog Online

Goooooooooood morning Regina! Welcome to prairiedogmag.com, the new Internet home of prairie dog magazine.

If you’re already a reader, you’ll know that prairie dog is a free distribution,  independent bi-weekly published and distributed in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  For 17 years now we’ve published news, opinion, opinion about news and news about opinions, with commentary on everything. We also work hard to interview actual smart, informed people in our stories, which we hear people like.

We also run a lot of arts coverage, with a strong focus on upcoming cultural events–the idea is that people can read our magazine and get some notion about what to go out and see. We write about rock shows and CDs, visual art (including performance art), movies both popular and arty and sometimes books and dance and theatre.

And we print (and now, web-print) reviews of local restaurants, profiles of local people, occasional sports stories and odds ‘n’ ends widgets-and-whatnots to keep things fun.

Basically, we’re neato. And now we’re on the Internet. Hooray!

What else?

This website’s home page features Dog Blog, a regularly-updated blog prairie dog started in December 2008 with news, arts, rants, copious City Hall coverage and links to the notable events going on in a particular day. Expect regular updates.

(You can visit the old dog blog location by clicking here. You have 1,529 posts to get caught up on. Some of them have videos of cats being cute!)

The new prairiedogmag.com will now be the online location of our magazine, with most of the articles from the physical paper and eventually, archives. (We’ll have back issues of the paper posted to the beginning of 2010 as fast as we can get that up and we’ll add more archives over time. )

So I think that’s enough to get us started. Snoop around the website, leave comments on the blog and have fun. It’s what we do.