Six In The Morning

6 in the Morning1 AMERICANS GET HEALTH CARE Watered-down, private sector-delivered health care. Much, much better than what they had though. (Guardian)

2 U.S. REPUBLICANS SUDDENLY CARE ABOUT POPULAR OPINION The  Repubes are whining that health care shouldn’t have passed because the majority of Americans have been frightened and brainwashed by corporate-funded propoganda oppose it. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald details their hypocrisy.

3 HOW BIG IS SASK’S CIVIL SERVICE? As cuts loom in Wednesday’s budget, here’s a piece on the size of government from the 1960s to the present.  (Leader-Post)

4 HARPER’S ERRORS The Toronto Star has a good recap of the PM’s recent bumbles and fumbles.

5 CAR THEFTS ARE UP, WAAAY UP, IN REGINA Oh, those cuddly, lovable young offenders and their cute shenanigans. (CBC)

600 GOALS That’s how many Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu “the Finnish Flash” Selanne has scored in his 16-year NHL career after knocking one in against the Colorado Avalanche. Seventeen other NHLers have scored 600. (TSN)

But Steve, who cares, you ask. Well, I care and I’m writing this post. Selanne started his red light-lighting NHL career in Winnipeg, my ancestral hometown, and I saw one or two of those pucks go into the net back in the day in now-bulldozed Winnipeg Arena (remember when they were allowed to name stadiums after things other than corporations?). I fact, I saw career goals numbers 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54 go in as Selanne set the all-time rookie goals record in a February, 1992 two-game rampage. He set that record against the Quebec Nordiques, so it’s fitting he scored number 600 against the same franchise–even if it’s in Colorado now.

Here’s a happy trip back in time, ripped from Youtube. Take it away, Curt Keilback!

Against Health Care Reform In America

I’ve just had one of those days where the world’s  too much to cope with and the only way to deal with it is to hide under the sheets with a friendly cat in arms reach for emergency cuddles. It’s a fitting day for an attack of existential angst, though. Today’s the day American politicians vote on health care reform. It’s going to be close from the sound of it, but the latest news is it’s going through thanks in part to the president issuing an executive order that only middle-class and rich people can have abortions the government won’t pay for abortions.

While this sorry tale limps to an unsatisfying apparent victory, here’s a video from the politics website Wonkette of some Tea Party health care protesters. These fucking stupid, mob-mentality vandals and anarchists concerned citizens have justifiably earned a lot of anger from reasonably intelligent, non-psychotic Americans (and Canadians). But let’s remember, they’re victims too. They’re just frightened, ignorant, powerless people angry about governments abandoning and betraying them who’ve been whipped up into a toxic froth by Fox News terrorists commentators like Glenn Beck.

The great irony and tragedy of this mess is that health care is for them, too. It is important to remember that.

Pick of the Day: Spring Free From Racism

Fifty years ago today, 69 men, women and children demonstrating against apartheid in the black township of Sharpeville were shot to death by South African police, and another 180 people wounded (news photo of aftermath pictured). In 1966, the United Nations, to commemorate that massacre declared March 21 the International Day Against the Elimination of Racism.

In Regina, this is the tenth year that this event has been held to mark the day. In a press release, the co-chair of the Spring Free From Racism Committee, Barb Dedi said, attendance in that ten year period had grown from a few hundred to over 3000.

Today’s gathering is at the Italian Club from noon to 7:30 p.m. It’s free, and will feature a wide array of entertainment and foods representative of different immigrant groups and cultures, along with displays on their history and traditions. For more info call 537-9509.

Also on today is New Dance Horizon’s Blueprint Series. That’s where artists present works in progress and then invite audience feedback. Today, I believe, Connie Moker-Wernikowski and Tanya Dahms will be performing. Tanya did a My Music with me awhile back, and I also interviewed her for the H1N1 feature we did last spring. She’s a Bio-Chem prof at the University of Regina who also dances. Moker-Wernikowski, of course, is the long-time head of the Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan who stepped down last summer

The performance is at 2 p.m. at NDH’s studio at 2207 Harvey St. Tix are $7. For more info call. 525-5393.

Finally, at 3 p.m. at the University of Regina Theatre pianist Christine Vanderkooy will be presenting a solo recital with music by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. Tix are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and university students, with Fine Arts and High students admitted free with ID.

Six In The Morning

6 in the Morning1 HEALTH CARE’S BIG, LAST PUSH The United States heads into the weekend with president Hopebama leading the charge for a disappointing, lame, watered-down, no public-option version of public health care. A vote is expected Sunday. Will it pass? Or will America continue its long, slow slide into anarchy, stupidity and jealous, hate-filled xenophobia? And if so, can we send them Stephen Harper? (New York Times)

2 FILM BIZ TANKS I’m not aware of anything the Saskatchewan Party government has done to destroy Saskatchewan’s film business. It’s just the economy going down the shitter to blame. But still, didn’t the Saskies used to bash NDP film industry tax credits way back when when they were in opposition, before Brad Wall became leader and made all his anti-culture yahoos shut their voter-pissing-off traps? Might one suggest this slowdown is but Saskatchewan’s collective karma for voting them in? (Leader-Post)

3 TUITION GOING UP, BUT BY HOW MUCH? University students brace for increases. (CBC) Remember when tuition was affordable? Before it doubled in the 90s after massive cuts to federal transfer payments? Anyone under 40? Hello?

4 BRAD WALL BASHED FOR ARIZONA VACATION HOME Read all about it. (Winnipeg Free Press)

5 BUD AND DEATH An opinion poll shows Canadians are really divided on marijuana decriminalization and bringing back the death penalty. (CBC) For anyone confused, the correct opinions are 1.) marijuana should be legal and regulated like alcohol and tobacco, and 2.) the death penalty should absolutely not be reinstated because it doesn’t deter crime and tends to target poorer individuals, besides it’s disgusting and uncivilized.

6 DAVID AHENEKEW REMEMBERED Doug Cuthand recalls the man. (Star Phoenix)

Rosie LaRose’s Top Six In The A.M.

6 in the Morning1 UNLOCK THE FILES The Sask. Party refused to allow consent for an NDP motion asking the federal government to unlock the RCMP file on Tommy Douglas. (cbc.ca) The RCMP say they can’t do it because of ‘national security’, which probably means they’re pretty embarrased by what’s in there, the same way, when I was a teenager, I used to yell at my mom to ‘respect my privacy’ and not go through my room — especially where I hid those copies of Penthouse

2 DISSENT IS UNPATRIOTIC Since when did the Saskatoon city police become the armed wing of the Conservative Party of Canada? (Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)

3 MORE ENTRANTS IN THE DARWIN AWARDS Instead of applying for student loans or trying to enroll in post-secondary programs, these two gomers decided that the best way to a better job is through the crowbar hotel. (Leader-Post)

4 THE GREAT SELL OFF? They may or may not be core assets, (Leader-Post) but selling off those profitable parts of Sask Tel doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense unless the Sask. Party wants to prove that Crown corporations don’t work — or at least they don’t wok when a government that doesn’t believe in the concept of Crown corporations is responsibility for Crown corporations’ welfare.

5 TAKING OUR LEADS New York’s Village Voice newspaper publishes its annual list of Gotham’s 10 worst landlords. (Village Voice) Wonder if prairie dog could get away with running a similar contest in Regina …

6 MISTER DRESSUP LIVES A Toronto city councillor bills the city $440 for renting three costumes from a theatre supply company so he can impress his friends and kids at a skating party. (Toronto Star)

Six In The Morning

6 in the MorningFEWER STAFF MEANS LESS SERVICE The cash-scrapped, Potash-punk’d Sask. government says they’re going to cut the civil service by four per cent every year for the next four years which BY THE WAY works out to losing 1800 jobs. So if you’re graduating this spring and want to work in public policy you should just move out of the province, I guess. (CBC)

MORE TAXES MEANS GREAT SERVICES Regina’s mayor’s talking about raising property taxes. “People don’t want to see less roads fixed,” Pat Fiacco tells the Leader-Post’s Joe Couture. Word.

CRAZY CONSERVATIVE MAILERS DONE? In what is supposedly a binding decision, the House Of Commons has voted to stop mailing flyers to Canadians outside a politician’s riding. I’m in Goodale’s riding and I will really miss getting that insane, photocopied propaganda. Not being sarcastic. I love them. They’re so whacked. (Toronto Star)

IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE SURPRISING? Sounds like the Vienna Boys Choir might be a magnet for pedophiles. Huh. Who knew? (Guardian)

NO NO NO, WE’RE NOT CUTTING YOUR INTERNET, DON’T BE SILLY Industry Minister Tony Clement says reports of cuts to library and other public Internet funding are premature. If community groups were funded in the past, he says, they’ll be funded in the future. (Winnipeg Free Press)

NIALL IS A NERD It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Do you know where your favourite Irish pub owner is? He’s in the Leader-Post being a huge goofball. (Leader-Post)

St. Patrick’s Day! Have some Pogues!

The newest nominees for this year’s Darwin Awards …

is the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation.Shorter version: thanks for risking your lives because we went out in the middle of avalanche season, but pay attention to warnings? Screw you! (Victoria Times Colonist)

So bloody ungrateful … I bet they voted for a government who cut the avalanche monitoring program … (Global TV BC)

Thanks to the Galloping Beaver

Homeless On The Mall

Meet David Fraser and Alex Fox, two students from the University of Regina freezing their asses off for 5 Days for the Homeless, an awareness- and fund-raising event 5 Days for the Homeless. David’s in pre-journalism and Alex is in business school. They’re great.

5 Days for the Homeless is a national event  originally started in 2005 by University of Alberta business school students who were tried of being viewed as the next generation of corporate sociopaths to not give a crap about the issues in their community. For five days, David, Alex and three other students will sleep outside (they have sleeping bags and a pillow), go without showers, computers, cell phones and money, and rely on donations for all their food.

IMPORTANT BIT: The event is a fund-raiser for Carmichael Outreach, a non-profit organization that helps people dealing with homelessness, poverty, addictions, violence, hunger and other social ills. You may make donations online by clicking here. You can make cash donations or drop off canned or other non-perishable foods at any of the event’s stations around campus.

Please consider making a donation.

To read more about 5 Days for the Homeless, click  here. To read more about Carmichael Outreach, click here.

And now, a savage, editorializing tangent–which I shall unleash after the jump. There will be bad language and extreme ranting. You have been warned.

Continue reading “Homeless On The Mall”

Six in the Morning: The Blooming Loonie, City Budget and The Curse of Kirby’s Ghost

6 in the Morning1 TWO MORE CENTS AND I’M GOING BERSERK ON AMAZON: The Canadian dollar has jumped above 98 cents today on the backs of a climbing stock and oil prices. (Oil is up? But wait, I thought the oil companies were hurting so bad we had to keep royalty rates down.) Good news if you want to shop online. Bad if you’re tired of listening to industry bellyache about how nobody wants to buy their now-more-expensive stuff anymore. (Globe and Mail)

2 PUNK ROCK NDP PLOT TO MAKE COPYRIGHT LAW LESS WRONG: Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins James Bay and former punk rocker, is introducing two private members bills to make Canada’s copyright legislation a little fairer for the users of media. The first would extend the rules that allow us to make copies of cds we own to include personal music devices like the iPod. The second would turn the list of current fair dealing categories into an illustrative rather than exhaustive list so that courts could make judgments about future technologies based on the rules rather than assuming anything new or unfamiliar is prohibited. (Boing Boing)

3 REGINA BUDGET COMING FRIDAY: Oh, budget season is starting down at city hall as Mayor Fiacco will be presenting the 2010 budget this week. Any guesses about what we’ll see in it? Will city hall opt to not raise property taxes once again? Will the fact that it’s not an election year have any impact, I wonder? (Leader Post)

4 AMERICAN SPIES TRIED TO PLUG WIKILEAKS: According to an Army Counterintelligence Center report on the Wikileaks site, American spies tried to throttle the flow info to Wikileaks by intimidating sources to the site. (Boing Boing)

5 AUSSIE NEWS IS MOSTLY SPIN: Austrailian alternative news source, Crikey, reports that more than half of all stories in that country’s media are planted by PR sources. Just because it’s happening downunder doesn’t mean its happening here, though. Right? (Crikey, via Boing Boing)

6 KIRBY ESTATE BATTLES MARVEL: The estate of late comics legend, Jack Kirby, is filing suit to revoke Marvel’s copyright control over many of comicdoms best known (and most lucrative) superheroes. This could put in jeopardy many of Marvel’s upcoming movie plans, such the Hulk’s appearance in an Avengers flick or more chapters in the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. At the same time, Kirby was one of those artists who was really grotesquely exploited during the golden age of comics. It’d be nice to see his family reap some of the benefits of his genius if not the man himself. (Cinematical)

Six In The Evening

6 in the EveningYour end of work-day news round-up. Because I didn’t write this this a.m. Because I was busy, all right? Sheesh.

1 FEDS HIKE SEAL QUOTAS Here’s a shock: I don’t like the seal hunt. I dislike it just like I dislike deer hunting, fur hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting, domestic cow, pig and sheep hunting and pretty much any kind of animal killing (except for fish–they must die because they are too delicious to live.) Just because I don’t like it, however, does not make it wrong. In my book there are only a couple reasons you put the brakes on animal hunting: 1.) when an endangered or threatened species is involved 2.) when it’s just too disgusting, like say hunting dogs, house cats, dolphins, apes or tame lions, and 3.) if the way the animals are killed is cruel (like, above and beyond the fact that the animals ARE KILLED). If seals aren’t endangered, and my understanding is that they’re not, and if the majority of humans don’t find the hunt grievously objectionable on emotional grounds, which might be a close call, and if killing them isn’t especially cruel, and I suppose there’s some debate around this, then, well, it’s maybe… not… wrong.

But even if they’re right, the Conservatives are still being belligerent.

2 SPEAKING OF STEPHEN HARPER’S CONSERVATIVES What a bunch of hooligans. Here’s what they’re wrong about today. They talk a lot about being “tough on crime”, but the government’s own studies show that approach doesn’t work (Toronto Star). They’ve sneakily slashing funding to organizations like libraries that provide public Internet (Toronto Star). They’re being wieners on a daily basis in question period (Globe And Mail), and they continue to be jackasses on the Afghan detainee file (CBC). The North West Territories have warmer and wackier weather but the party is infested with idiots, ignoramuses and petroleum pushers who don’t get it, don’t care and are actively hostile to facts and research–in fact, THEY’RE MAKING SCIENTISTS ASK FOR PERMISSION BEFORE THEY TALK TO REPORTERS (Toronto Star, Leader-Post). This government is terrible. That is a FACT. Vote. Them. Out!

3 FORK IT OVER, COLIN THATCHER A judge orders convicted murderer Colin Thatcher to turn over profits from his nasty little book on how he was framed for a murder he didn’t commit (CBC). Also, this seems like a good time to link to a reasonable article about how this law is stupid (Ottawa Sun).

4 MAKING FRIENDS AND INFLUENCING PEOPLE This building settlements in East Jerusalem no matter what anyone thinks deal of Israel’s? Diplomats are saying it’s the worst rift in U.S./Israeli diplomatic relations in 35 years. But Israel is apparently not backing down (New York Times).

5 RIOTS IN THAILAND AND CRAZY IN NEW YORK Bangkok protesters who want a different leader are marching around in a disruptive display of near-amokness (Washington Post). Meanwhile in a seemingly–SEEMINGLY–unrelated development, some at Fox news worry that their crazyman pundit is hurting the news network’s credibility. Are these two events unrelated? It looks like they are, but if we pull out some felt markers and a whiteboard and draw some flow charts, we can start to see this is all about liberty and socialism and about churches that talk about social justice being run by Nazis and, has anyone pointed out lately that Glenn Beck is a fucking lunatic?

6 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOT COM! Twenty-five years ago, the first URL ending in .com arrived on the Internet. Now, there’s like hundreds! Maybe even THOUSANDS! (BBC)

Death Race 2010 Update

 

Here’s a link to an article that ran in the Toronto alt-weekly Now a couple of weeks ago. In the first month and a bit of 2010 in Toronto 14 pedestrians were run over and killed by automobiles. That’s insane.

Even in Regina, I find, it requires a fair bit of vigor and traffic sense to survive as a pedestrian. That’s summer and winter. Any season, really. Although winter is definitely the worst with all the ice and snowbanks. In Toronto, with the sheer volume of traffic, and the number of large roadways to accommodate commuter traffic, it’s obviously a much more deadly challenge.

And yes all you die-hard motorists out there, I’m well aware that in some instances the pedestrian who died was likely at fault for jaywalking or entering a crosswalk when the walk light wasn’t on or whatever. But come on, 14 people killed in maybe 35 days?

Cities, geographically, are too big. People are too strapped for time and are always in a rush (although they also need to stop cramming too much stuff into their days). When they’re behind the wheel, drivers are way too distracted by a whole pile of things from food and drink to cell-phones and entertainment systems. We have a car culture. Our cities are designed to facilitate the movement of cars, not pedestrians (or cyclists). Anyone, really, who tries to get around other than in a private motor vehicle.

In the article, the authors advocate reducing the standard municipal speed limit below 50 k.p.h. to slow traffic and enable pedestrians to both navigate the streets better, plus enjoy a higher survival rate if they do happen to get hit.

Works for me. As a start, anyway.

Six In The Morning: FNUniv, Mississipi Proms, Oilberta

1 TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations made governance concessions and politicians, faculty and staff flew to Ottawa to plea for the reversal of cuts but the feds say First Nations University’s federal funding won’t be restored. (CBC)

The Leader-Post has a good interview with Randy Lundy, who tears a pretty good-sized strip off  government.

2 SASK PARTY 9-11 FLYER DRAWS FLAK FROM STATES Grunt. (StarPhoenix) Well, this is what happens when your communications is handled by visually illiterate incompetents. You get bad press. Design is important, people.

3 CANADA CRITICISES ISRAELI SETTLEMENT You know it’s really not good when Canada’s extremely pro-Israeli federal government feels obliged to complain about something Israel’s doing. (Toronto Star)

4 MISSISSIPPI: STILL A BIGOTED, BRAIN-DEAD BACKWATER A school cancels a prom rather than let a lesbian grad take her date. The student’s suing. What are the odds she’ll be living in that state in two years? The school’s decision is moronic,mean-spirited, frankly dangerous and generally just awful. (The Stranger)

5 EUROPEAN UNION STEPS IN TO SAVE GREECE Greece has been a clusterfuck lately. The country’s finances are a mess but the government’s budget cuts have sparked near-revolts. Here’s the latest. (The Guardian)

6 OIL GIANTS BEAT ALBERTA DOWN Ed Stelmach’s government slashes royalty rates to appease the blackmailing, bullying gas giants (Calgary Herald). Maybe big oil should just officially field a political party or better yet, a royal family. Albertans would probably support that. That province is absolutely ridiculous.

Rosie LaRose’s Top 6: Sask Party Oopsies, Government Spending, Chiropractors

1 SASK PARTY’S 9-11 BOO-BOO  Nancy Hoeppner, you should be Keith Olberman’s next Worst Person In The World. Oh, if you were only important enough (Globe and Mail).

2 YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK Yes, the Conservatives really watch government spending … (Toronto Star)

3 RECALIBRATION MY AUNT FANNY We don’t seem to like anybody. My bet is that the federal Liberals are waiting for Justin Trudeau to run for the leadership. (Globe and Mail).

4 TOUGH ON CRIME? SURE… Let me get this straight.  A male who’s not white gets pulled over by the cops after speeding and drinking while driving and doesn’t get tasered? And Rahim Jaffer gets charges of cocaine possession dropped? So much for Stephen Harer’s tough-on-crime, tough-on-drugs philosophy … (Toronto Star) Meanwhile, Buckdog the Saskatchewan blogger takes a trip down Memory Lane With Jaffer … (Buckdog)

5 REMEMBER WHEN SASKATCHEWAN WASN’T BROKE? Chiropractors in the province do … (CBC Saskatchewan)

6 NO RELATION AT ALL  Seriously. (CBC)

RPL Open House

Tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the Regina Public Library will be holding an open house at the Core Ritchie Neighbourhood Centre (445-14th Ave) to gather input from area residents and other interested Reginans on design concepts for the new Prince of Wales branch. To help create a cluster of community services in a convenient location, the new library will be built as an addition to the Core Ritchie Neighbourhood Centre (that’s a photographic rendering of the new facility above). Construction is expected to begin later this year.  For more info call 777-6114.

Six In The Morning: Science, Sanctions, Aussie Creeps, Corey

I’m out of the office today after a fun, character-building working weekend and long-ish Monday and Tuesday. Hooray for me! But just because I’m not there doesn’t mean there’s no news to post links to. The news does not stop because one dude has a time-in-lieu Wednesday. And Dog Blog hungers for news. This dog must be fed!

1 TRY DOING YOUR FANCY CLIMATE SCIENCE WITHOUT MONEY, FREELOADERS The Conservative government, which either doesn’t believe in or doesn’t care about climate change, has effectively destroyed an important climate research team. (Globe And Mail) Yeah. This is the Tories: “You can’t bother us with your “science” if we take your money away, nyah nyah.”

2 FSIN/FNUniv DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT, FINALLY The Federation  of Saskatchewan Indian Nations asks the U of R to manage its money. Time to restore funding. (CBC)

3 AUSSIE THUGS BEAT CANADIAN IN WHEELCHAIR Assholes! (Toronto Star)

4 ANOTHER STADIUM PITCH Read all about it. (Leader-Post)

5 LOG ON… TO FREEDOM! The United States removes Internet sanctions on several countries including Cuba. (Guardian)

6 RIP COREY HAIM Drug addiction sucks. (TMZ)

Six In The Morning: Jobless Future, War On Science, Palin

1. JOBS NOT PART OF CANADIAN RECOVERY: Thanks in part to Stockwell Day’s slash and burn approach to employee relations, last year’s lone source of new jobs — the public sector — just dried up. If the economy recovers at all in 2010, it’ll do so without boosting employment. Thanks for the help during tough times, Stock. I thought your government’s goal was to get people back to work? (Globe and Mail)

2. BOOKSELLERS BRACE FOR AMAZON INVASION: Canadian booksellers are calling on the Heritage Minister to halt Amazon’s plans to open a distribution hub here. (Globe and Mail)

3. SORRY KID, YOUR SCHOLARSHIP’S BEEN FNUC’ED: Looks like the FNUniv administration was dipping into scholarship funds when their general coffers were low. Advanced education minister, Rob Norris, is asking the Ministry of Justice to look into $400,000 missing in scholarship funds. (Leader Post)

4. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, WOMEN… LOVE, BRAD WALL: Whitworth is telling me that on CBC radio this morning they reported that today, the day after International Women’s Day, the Sask Party government canceled a domestic violence program in Saskatoon. Nothing’s up on their website yet. Oh lookit, the Star Phoenix has it covered. (Star Phoenix)

5. CREATIONISTS AND GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS COMING TOGETHER AT LAST: This is from last week but worth reading. Creationists in the States are using the public’s growing doubts about climate change to help shoe horn their batshit crazy ideas about people living with dinosaurs in the garden of eden into science classrooms. That creationists find the arguments of climate deniers compelling really should be the final nail in the denier’s coffin. Think it’ll work out that way? Yeah, me neither. (New York Times)

6. WE’LL SWAP YOU ONE DANNY WILLIAMS FOR YOUR SARAH PALIN: She probably just wanted to be liked, you know, when she admitted before a crowd in Calgary that when she was younger her family would scoot across the border to get treatment from the Canadian healthcare system she now vilifies. Liberal bloggers and pundits in the States are tearing her apart for it. Poor kid. Isn’t it cute how she’s pretending to run for president.This Hour Has 22 Minutes can do the rest of the heavy lifting on this story. Go get her, Marge!

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)