Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, and Remember Men...

When Women Lie


One day, when a seamstress was sewing while sitting close to a river, her thimble fell into the river.


When she cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, 'My dear child, why are you crying?'


The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and that she needed it to help her husband in making a living for their family.


The Lord dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a golden thimble set with sapphires...'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked.


The seamstress replied, 'No.'


The Lord again dipped into the river. He held out a golden thimble studded with rubies. 'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked.


Again, the seamstress replied, 'No.'


The Lord reached down again and came up with a leather thimble. 'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked.


The seamstress replied, 'Yes.'


The Lord was pleased with the woman's honesty and gave her all three thimbles to keep, and the seamstress went home happy.


Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along the riverbank, and her husband fell into the river and disappeared under the water.


When she cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked her, 'Why are you crying?'


'Oh Lord, my husband has fallen into the river!'


The Lord went down into the water and came up with George Clooney. 'Is this your husband?' the Lord asked...


Yes,' cried the seamstress.


The Lord was furious. 'You lied! That is an untruth!'


The seamstress replied, 'Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said 'no' to George Clooney, you would have come up with Brad Pitt. Then if I said 'no' to him, you would have come up with my husband. Had I then said 'yes,' you would have given me all three. Lord, I'm not in the best of health and would not be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT'S why I said 'yes' to George Clooney.

And so the Lord let her keep him.


Remember Men whenever a woman lies, it's for a good and honorable reason, and in the best interest of others. That's our story, and we're sticking to it!


Signed,

All Us Women

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from countries I've visited or worked in, try to figure them out, Merry Christmas,

Donn


Maligayang Pasko

Joyeux Noël

Frohe Weihnachten

عيد ميلاد مجيد

Selamat Hari Natal

Marjinal

Feliz Navidad

诞节快乐

Veselé Vánoce

Καλά Χριστούγεννα

Mutlu Noeller

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Senior Texting Codes

Since more and more seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code).

If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you.

ATD: At The Doctor's

BFF: Best Friend Farted

BTW: Bring The Wheelchair

BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth

CBM: Covered By Medicare

CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center

DWI: Driving While Incontinent

FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers

FWIW: Forgot Where I Was

FYI: Found Your Insulin

GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!

GHA: Got Heartburn Again

HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?

LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out

LOL: Living On Lipitor

LWO: Lawrence Welk's On

OMMR: On My Massage Recliner

OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.

ROFL CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing.And Can't Get Up

SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop

TTYL: Talk To You Louder

WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?

WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again

WTP: Where's The Prunes?

WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

LMGA: Lost My Glasses Again

GG, LKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The History of Turkish Coffee

There are countless theories as to the origin of Turkish coffee, that distinctive foamy coffee which is cooked slowly in its own special pot over a brazier then served in a tiny cup accompanied by a piece of Turkish delight or some other confectionery. According to some, coffee originated in the Ethiopian city of Kaffa. Others claim that coffee originated in Yemen where it was called "qahwaw" which means "strength" or "fitness" in Arabic.

There are also countless stories as to how it was discovered. The central figure of the most popular is a Yemeni shepherd named Kaldi whose goats began frolicking about excitedly after they had eaten some red berries from a tree. The shepherd was curious and related his story to the local wise men. These sages ate some of these berries as an experiment and discovered that they were able to stay awake easily throughout their all-night worship rituals. The wise men decided that this was truly a sacred medicine. They boiled it into a drink and also used it as a balm for sores. Coffee immediately became popular, particularly as alcohol was forbidden by Islamic teachings. Coffee beans shipped out of the Mocha harbor in Yemen, were also taking on an historic mission, and thus the world discovered the pleasures of drinking coffee.

Sjehab-eddin, a mufti (muhammedan priest) during a trip to Abessinia (now Ethiopia) in the middle of 1400 century, learned to know about the brew which made the need to sleep disappear. The brew had been used and been grown for ages in Abessinia and beyond in the land of Kaffa. Sjehab-Eddin saw that it was good and decided to take bushes back to his hometown Aden in the land known now as Yemen. He especially felt that the dervesch (muhammedan monks), could use the brew to easier manage their nightly meditations. There is also consensus that the first users of coffee were indeed the Sufis who used it as a stimulus to stay awake during late night Thikr "Zikir" (remembrance of God). Coffee spread to the rest of Muslims of Yemen and eventually to all the Muslim world through travellers, pilgrims and traders. It reached Makkah and Turkey sometime in the late 15th century and Cairo in the16th century.

This 'stimulating' effect caused influential religious leaders to forbid the drinking of coffee in 1511, because it had similarly damaging effects to alcohol. Within a very short time this led to the burning of all coffee stores and a ban on sales. But the actual reason for the ban was less the stimulating effect of coffee than the growing number of coffee houses, which were suspected of being the breeding ground for free political thinking. The spread of coffee was not to be stopped that easily, however. Mecca was the hub of many trading routes, so it was only a question of time until the beans also appeared in the big trading cities of Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo. The Yemeni port city of Al-Mukha, a flourishing Red Sea coast trading centre between the Middle East and India, became the main coffee shipping location. It is from here that the strong coffee of the Orient takes its name: mocha.

To make sure that they maintained their world monopoly on coffee, the Yemeni rulers prohibited the export of coffee plants. Only roasted or boiled coffee beans, which were no use for planting, could leave the country. Theft of the plants was heavily punished. This explains why, for a very long time, no country outside Yemen was able to cultivate coffee.

The Ottomans were first introduced to coffee when Ozdemir Pasha served the sultan Suleyman the Magnificent with coffee he had brought back from Yemen. In this same period, Ibrahim Bey of Pesevel reportedly said that "a man from Aleppo named Hakem and a woman from Damascus called Sems opened the first coffeehouse in Istanbul's Tahtakale."

Soon coffee drinking became popular and widespread throughout the nation. Although coffee itself originated in Ethiopia, because of the way the Turks both cooked and served it, it soon became known as " Turkish Coffee." In 1543, when the public began to frequent the coffeehouse more than the mosque, the Sheikh ul-Islam of the time issued a proclamation to the effect that "the juice of an object which is produced from something burned until it is coal-like is not religiously permissible." However, coffee maintained its popularity, despite the prohibitions, arrests, and even executions. Cultural events were common in Turkish coffeehouses, particularly the traditional Karagoz shadow puppets, troubadours, mimics and instrumentalists. The fame of coffee soon spread throughout Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, and Southeastern Europe. The beans reached France by 1669 and then to Venice. Even though the Church proclaimed coffee to be the " work of the devil ," Italian-style coffee soon became highly popular.

From the site http://maviboncuk.blogspot.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Origin of the Tulip

Tulips

History

The Tulip was originally a wild flower, growing in Central Asia. It was first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1000 AD; the flower was introduced in Western Europe and the Netherlands in the 17th century by Carolus Clusius, a famous biologist from Vienna. In the 1590s he became the director of the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden of Europe, in Leiden. He was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants and, while doing so, he received some bulbs from his friend, Ogier de Busbecq, the Ambassador to Constantinople (presently Istanbul). He had seen the beautiful flower called the tulip, after the Turkish word for turban, growing in the palace gardens and sent a few to Clusius for his garden in Leiden. He planted them and this was the beginning of the amazing bulb fields we see today.

In the beginning of the 17th century, the tulip was starting to be used as a garden decoration in addition to its medicinal use. It soon gained major popularity as a trading product, especially in Holland. The interest in the flower was huge and bulbs sold for unbelievably high prices. Botanists began to hybridize the flower. They soon found ways of making the tulip even more decorative and tempting. Hybrids and mutations of the flower were seen as rarities and a sign of high status. In the months of late 1636 to early 1637, there was a complete "Tulipmania" in the Netherlands. Some varieties could cost more than an Amsterdam house at that time. Even ordinary men took part in the business. They saw how much money the upper class made in the commodity and thought it was an easy way of getting lots of money with no risk. The bulbs were usually sold by weight while they were still in the ground. This trade in un-sprouted flowers came to be called "wind trade".

The traders made huge amounts of money every month. People started selling their businesses, family homes, farm animals, furnishing and dowries to participate. The government could not do anything to stop "Tulipmania"; the trade was all about access and demand. Finally, the tulip did not appear to quite so rare as to justify such high prices. Over-supply led to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt while many people lost their savings because of the trade. This "Tulip Crash" made the government introduce special trading restrictions on the flower. It is said that the tulip became so popular because of its bright colours, dramatic flames and frilly petals. To have tulips in one's home was a way to impress and, when the wealth spread down the social ladder, so did the urge for tulips.

In the 20th century it was discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flames that gave the flower its stunning look were, in fact, the symptoms of an infection by the mosaic virus. The healthy flower was supposed to be solid, smooth and monotone. The virus came to the tulip from a louse living on peaches and potatoes. Diseased varieties of tulips are no longer sold. What you find today are hybrids that look similar but are genetically stable.

Borrowed in detail from the website www.holland.nl/uk

What do Tulips Mean?

Beautiful and romantic, tulip blooms are right for any occasion! The reason being, tulips have enjoyed an important position in our history and culture. In the ancient times, tulips were worn inside a turban in Turkey. (Tulips belong originally to Persia and Turkey.) Once the popularity of tulips spread, it was associated with true love. This was also because of certain Turkish legends. Over the years, however, the meaning of tulips has changed with time. In terms of color, red symbolizes love where as yellow tulips symbolize happiness in one’s life. A purple tulip stands for royalty where as white tulips signify peace or forgiveness. When one takes a trip back into time, one can know many more interesting facts about tulips. Tulips have a center that is velvet in texture and almost black in color, and this is said to represent the heart of a lover that is fired with passion!

From the site http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-do-tulips-mean.html

Friday, November 19, 2010

Social Media; a Panacea for Election Victory?

I’ve been reading some of the background from the so-called Calgary pundits on the rationale for the Nenshi victory in the 2010 campaign for the Mayor’s chair in Calgary. Most claim the Nenshi Campaign won using social media; Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc…

Once again the media declares that Calgary voters are not bright enough to select the right person unless they are manipulated into doing so.

Opposition Parties tried the “blame game” in the last Provincial election, blaming the voters for not voting other than Conservative or as the majority did, not vote at all.

I, for one do not believe the social media campaign played as major a role as some folks would have us believe. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe the Nenshi campaign used social media far more effectively than the other major campaigns but to suggest it was the major reason for the victory does not compute with me.

What do I mean by this?

Well, from all or most of the media reports the Nenshi team won the campaign by methods best described as unconventional, innovative, forward-thinking and other descriptors that preclude the fact that voters simply reviewed the cast of characters, wanted to make sure they didn’t display the apathy from past elections, felt the need for a change at the Mayor’s position, got off their collective butts and voted.

Allow me a little preamble that will include some obvious facts.

First, the Higgins campaign came out of the gate fast and furious failed to deliver and fizzled at the end. There are reasons for this some of which were a result of my poor decision making and others that need to be discussed.

1. Barb Higgins came into the race albeit late (end of July) with huge trust numbers and fantastic name recognition, all great aspects for a municipal campaign usually decided on these very factors due mainly to poor voter turnout.

2. The candidate being a political novice had some difficulty delivering a political message. Some examples were the issue of the Southwest Ring Road debated at the Oakridge Community Centre forum and the matter of campaign donors. The media jumped all over these miscues early.

3. We played the forum game too early and too long and did not engage directly with the voter from the beginning. What I mean is we started attending all the small, usually single issue forums which attract a handful of undecided voters at best and wasted valuable time getting the message to the voter. The local media made the decision to attend the vast majority of these forums, reporting mostly on the absence of the various candidates, slamming those who did not attend and not giving adequate coverage on issues using many excuses for this decision. I consider this a very lazy way to report on campaigns, but hey I don’t direct the news. Global bought into the game by broadcasting the likes of the Brian Lee forum, even reporting it as Calgary’s first Mayor’s forum when there had already been a number of forums previous to this one. Since they were a de facto sponsor it was in their interest to declare this to be the first forum.

4. The Calgary media soon began to diminish any strength that Higgins had. The major municipal reporter from the Calgary Sun decided to play the candidate as a light weight, earnestly and continuously. The Herald reporters were not much better and one Calgary MLA was outright rude and abusive to her in a conversation with his colleagues that become public. I have to question the elephant in the room and wonder would they have done this to a male candidate.

5. We should have released policy earlier and in a more concise fashion.

Aside from the above, we should have and could have run a much better campaign. We had a great team, a terrific candidate and the financing to get the job done. Again, that rests with me. The bottom line, it was our campaign to lose and we did. Some will say 3rd place isn’t the end of the world; remember there were only 3 candidates of significance at the end.

Second, the McIver campaign did what it was supposed to do. Ric, steady as she goes, received the support he was always meant to get. In true Conservative fashion in Calgary, keep your head down, march straight ahead and the voters will stay true to form and vote for the Conservatives.

What the McIver team, bolstered by Ted Morton’s people and Rob Ander’s folks failed to understand was that Calgary voters have not, in recent memory, elected the most Conservative candidate. In fact, they elected Liberals in the form of Ralph Klein, Al Duerr and Dave Bronconnier.

So there were no surprises here.

Now let’s get to what did happen.

The simple fact is this, the voters chose the candidate that they felt would best do the job, clear and simple and history supports this perspective; the candidate that resonated with them.

The David Peterson Ontario Provincial election in 1990 was a prime example of my hypothesis. Peterson called an ill-conceived election early in his mandate, less than 3 years in. He also was a key player in the support for the failed Meech Lake Accord which fell apart in June, 1990. The final insult to the voter was calling a summer election when the last thing Ontarians wanted to do was think about politics.

Initially reporters felt Peterson would return with a majority Government but the voters were thinking something else, to punish him for Meech Lake and the election call in the summer months.

Ontario voters looked at the three parties, Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP and surprising all, they gave the nod in overwhelming fashion to the NDP increasing their seat count by 55. The NDP Leader, Bob Rae looked like a deer in the headlights the night of the election. No one was more surprised than Rae that the NDP had won and with such a resounding result; much like Nenshi in Calgary.

In the aftermath of that election victory the NDP attributed the outcome to a negative; US style campaign they ran in that election. Of course this was not the reason for the victory, simply put, the voters trusted Bob Rae.

The negative, US style campaign was tried again in the ’92 by-election held in Calgary-Buffalo after the death of Sheldon Chumir. I managed the winning campaign for Gary Dickson. The NDP sent out their Ontario team to work with the ND candidate, Elaine Husband. The result of their negative campaign was 54% support for Dickson and 25% support for Husband on Election Day.

Next we move to 1993 federal campaign and the election of the Jean Chrétien Liberals. The Progressive Conservatives were coming off back to back significant majority Governments, 1884 & 1988. While there were cracks in the PC armor the outcome was not predicted.

I managed the ’93 election for Bob Blair in Calgary Centre and we had access to a daily tracking poll coming out of BC. This poll was days ahead of the national polls, even as much as a week. Unknown to most, the electorate moved en masse, leaving the PCs and moving to the new Reform Party. For a period of 6 days during that campaign the voters of Canada were electing a majority Reform Government.

Finally, they moved to the Liberals in numbers large enough to reward Chrétien with an increase of 97 seats and a majority Government. In the end the voters chose honesty, trust and integrity similar to the decision in the 1990 Ontario election.

Folks, this is what voters in Calgary did, choosing Nenshi because they perceived him to be honest and qualified for the job.

However, always looking for magic, I expect campaigns to place over-emphasized efforts on social media.

However, campaigns are about hard work and organization. The most important factor in any successful campaign is the ability to speak to and connect to voters on matters that the voters want to discuss.

When campaigns do not talk to Calgarians and Albertans about issues that they want to speak about we get, understandably so, voter apathy and low voter turnout.

So please no more discussion of the magic of the social media. Voters supported Nenshi across all of the political demographics, age, income, education, gender and ethnicity. Not all are heavily connected with social media. Social media is one tool in a campaign strategy, not a panacea for future elections. If we fall into this trap we will not put the work into a campaign that creates success.

One man’s opinion

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Relations between Canada and the UAE Hit New Low

The ongoing battle between Canada and the UAE has escalated to a stage that the UAE will require Canadians to apply for a visa effective Jan. 2011, see below;

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/uae-announces-new-visa-rules-for-canadians-361163.html

As a business person holding the magic Canadian passport I was always able to travel from Muscat, Oman to Dubai or Abu Dhabi either via air or land without the requirement of a visa. However, those niceties end in January with the imposition of a visa and a full layer of bureaucratic red tape.

It appears this all stems from a dispute over landing rights for Emirates Air and Ethiad, the two flag carriers for Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.

We have already seen the Canadian military unceremoniously discharged form the base we occupied in the UAE effective this month.

A simplistic view suggests that Air Canada holds too much sway in Ottawa with respect to our Foreign Affairs decisions. For instance, they have frustrated the efforts of Turkish Airlines to extend landing rights in Montreal and Toronto.

One wonders what kind of a Lobby is exercised by Air Canada in Ottawa that silences the moderate voices of Peter McKay and Lawrence Cannon in favour of John Baird and the real Foreign Minister, Harper.

What do you believe will be the outcome of another dispute we have entered into in the Middle East, who will the USA support? What will be the negative impact on business growth in Canada since the UAE is our largest trading partner in the Middle East?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weather Turning Cold Here

The weather is turning cold here in anticipation of the coming winter months. Last night we experienced 26 degrees C, brrr!

Today we are meeting with a Sudanese delegation to discuss opportunities between our company, Oman Energy Services LLC and oil/gas projects in Sudan.

Interesting and ironic after having done PR work with Talisman prior to their departure from Sudan.

And so it goes.....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Abu Dhabi Muscat Return

Hello,

Drove to Abu Dhabi November 2nd, returned this evening, the 3rd. Blew a tire on the Jaguar at +120, a little nerve racking. Outcome; no damage other than the front right tire and my nerves for a few minutes.

Had to arrange visas for some of my folks for a project in Kazakhstan for oil well stimulation at the state oil company, KazMunaiGas. We start the programme in a few days.

If anyone would care to make comment on the Alberta PC Party, I would welcome some input given their new polling numbers and a recent convention.

I'll await your comments.

Merci,

Donn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snorkling in Oman

32 degrees this morning, went for a swim, some snorkling and a long walk along the beach. They tell me the Reef sharks are in close to shore with young ones. Can anyone tell me if these sharks are dangerous.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Unethical, Immoral or Illegal - You Decide

Sometimes when you're on your honeymoon one of your cheques bounce.

This blogger was advised by two of the recent campaigns, one Aldermanic and one Public School Trustee that one or more of the Mayor's campaigns interfered in their campaigns. I question the involvement on Legal, Moral or just plain Ethical grounds. You be the judge.

The first information comes from the Brian Pincott campaign. They claim that the Ric McIver campaign supported James Maxim for the Ward 11 seat and on the day of the election, the phone out from the McIver campaign encouraged their supporters to vote for Maxim. This comes from a very reliable source close to the Pincott campaign. Names and numbers available on request.

The second campaign impacted was the Laura Shutiak campaign for Public School Trustee in the Ward 8 & 9 race. A race that was very tight and decided by only a few hundred votes. She claims that the Naheed Nenshi campaign supported Pat Cochrane for the Ward 8 & 9 seat and on the day of the election, the phone out from the Nenshi campaign encouraged their supporters to vote for Cochrane. She tells me when she complained to Stephen Carter she was given a rude and explicit send-off.

So the question is; Should a Mayor's campaign interfere with Aldermanic and/or Trustee campaigns that run concurrently?

Please respond to the poll.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Sunrise Was Purple and The Sky Did Not Fall

Two days after the election of Mr. Nenshi and the sky has not fallen as Kyle Fawcett would have us believe. We have attention from all over North America and more to come.

The honeymoon will last a while longer before the Mayor and Council gets down to the serious business of the deficit and other matters awaiting the fix.

This is not the time for negative feedback as displayed by Mr. Fawcett. Mr. Nenshi needs space to act within and time to get his sea legs this ole Haligonian believes.

Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A New Day, A New Era, A New Mayor

Calgary wakes up today, some of us very hungover, to a new face in the Mayor's chair in Calgary, Mr. Naheed Nenshi. It will take us a while to get to know him as reflected by the radio station that I was listening to when I awoke this morning. They kept reporting that he was a U of C professor. Mr. Nenshi in fact comes to us from MRU.

Joining him on Council are very few new faces as voters did not do what they promised and clean a little house at City Hall. They chose the old tried and true in most of the Wards. That was a surprise for me.

This person did not support Naheed during the race but as I always do I will support him as my Mayor and allow him the opportunity to get his hands on the tremendous difficulty of the current state of affairs at City Hall including the large deficit.

So bonne chance and give it your best.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back Online October 19th, 2010

Watch for the new blog following the Municipal Election, October 18th, 2010. New banner, new attitude, clean underwear in case I have an accident (thanks Mom).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dahab, Egypt

We arrived safely in Dahab, June 21st, got settled @ the Red Sea Relax Resort, had a lovely meal and planned the days in Dahab.

Nora decided to complete her PADI Open Water Course under the tutelage of Kate. This was a full time event and was successfully completed on June 25th.

Kate was a terrific instructor; patient, obviously well trained and fastidious in her approach. I encourage all to visit Dahab and book some diving time with Kate. Interested contact me and I will provide contacts.

Dahab was + 40 degrees and I was able to find cool places to enhance the economy, bar wise. I got totally immersed in the World Cup. More importantly, a time to unwind for all of us.

We left Dahab June 26th, back to London for a couple of days prior to departing for Toronto, June 29th.

The Red Sea at night from the terraces of Dahab is quite beautiful and completely serene.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Break, London, UK & Dahab, Egypt

Finally had a chance to get a break. June 11th, flew to the UK from Oman to meet Nora coming from Canada.

Had a fitting for the Ascot Morning Suit, rented a car and drove to Bath for 3 glorious days of R & R. This included a brilliant tour of Bath given by an older gentleman who obviously loved the City. Then a comedy tour, Bizarre Bath, a 2 hour comedy trip around the streets of Bath, highly recommend this. A leisurely stroll along the canals of Bath and a not so leisurely stroll through the woods surrounding Bath followed when I got lost.

We then drove to the Cotswolds, where we found a lovely B & B in Stow on the Wold. The days in the Cotswolds were spent walking about the countryside and eating in our favourite pub, the Queen's Head in Stow. Shanda managed to find her Ascot attire in Stow,

June 14th I managed a train from the nearby village of Kingham to London for a visit with Chris Fox, the Executive Officer for the Liberal Democrats. We had an hour together to discuss politics and anyone who knows me, knows I had a great time. This was arranged by a mutual friend in Muscat, John Passmore.

June 16th we departed The Cotswolds and drove to London to prepare for Ascot. Ascot was June 17th, Ladies Day and the Gold Cup race, attended by Her Majesty. Ascot was arranged by my good friend, Arthur Millholland, who has Box #215.

We bet all 6 races that day and Shanda managed to pick the winner of the 2nd race to everyone's delight. A great time was had by all.

June 18th was the Bush Theatre in Shepherd's Bush to see Like a Fishbone, "A remote valley. An unspeakable crime. A prominent architect is commissioned to design a memorial to the victims." Enjoyed it immensely.

June 19th lunch with Art Millholland at the Grenadier's Pub, Tucked away down exclusive Wilton Mews, on the corner of Old Barrack Yard, the patriotic Grenadier is painted red, white and blue. A bright red sentry box tells you, if you hadn't guessed, this is a pub with a military history. The Duke of Wellington's Grenadier Guards used it as their mess. Inside it is small, dark and cosy; the ceiling coffee black, the walls dark panelled. The bar counter has an original pewter top, maybe the oldest of its kind.

June 20th was Ramy's birthday, spent in beautiful Holland Park, Holland Park is about 22 hectares (54.36 acres) in area and is considered one of the most romantic and peaceful parks of central London. The northern half or so of the park is semi-wild woodland, the central section around the ruins of Holland House is more formal with several garden areas, and the southernmost section is used for sport.

June 21st off to Dahab and 5 days with Kate, our dive instructor daughter. Dahab, Nestled beneath the shattered mountains of South Sinai, on golden sands and above warm, marine rich seas, Dahab, Egypt is famous for its chilled out atmosphere, fantastic all year season, its breathtaking scenery and some of the best scuba diving sites on earth.

Kate and Nora will dive and I will make sure the financial integrity of the local bars is secure. A dirty job but it always falls to someone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Federal Politics - Conservatives Take 6 Point Lead

Thank heaven it is the beginning of the summer doldrums or we may have to take the polling data more serious.

However, with all of the negative news for the Harper Conservatives it appears that the Ignatieff Liberals cannot take advantage.

See the Poll

http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/POLNAT-W10-T424E.pdf

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oman Hit Hard

While I was in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, a cyclone pumelled Oman, see the link.

http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidANA20100606T130905ZBJA66/Cyclone%20Phet%20kills%2016%20in%20Oman%3A%20civil%20defence

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Back!

Hello from Oman,

Wickedly busy here. Contracts being signed we have negotiated for months.

Today I am in Baku, Azerbaijan to meet with the State Oil Company, SOCAR and Saturday off to Almaty, Kazakhstan to meet with their State Oil Company.

All good news.

I return to Oman June 5th, then off to London, UK, June 10th.

Meet Nora in London returning to Canada June 29th, stopping at the family cottage north of Toronto and in Calgary July 10th, Whew!

In London I will meet with Chris Fox, June 14th at #4 Cowley Street, London. Chris is the Chief Executive for the Liberal Democrats. I have one hour with him thanks to a mutual friend, John Passmore.

June 17th it's tails and a top hat and the Gold Cup at Ascot, 2 boxes from HM the Queen. The Chief of Staff for the new PM, Cameron will be with us. Thanks to Art Millholland.

You can kiss my political ring when I return.

Anything you want me to say to these guys?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

At the Post

I have been away from the Blog for a few weeks. Mainly because I'm seeking a new technology for the extraction of heavy oil and I was assisting Dave Taylor with his move to Independent MLA status.

The Blog will rise again in one or two days, stay tuned and thanks for the patience,

Donn

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Hehr for Mayor Campaign leads in Voting

Hehr for Mayor attracted the largest number of total votes and garnered the highest number of Yes votes (62%) of all of the candidates examined on this Blog.

Any comments from the public?

Monday, April 5, 2010

One more day to vote for 'Hehr for Mayor'

Of the many names polled as potential candidates for Mayor of Calgary Kent Hehr has received the highest yes vote at 65% and attracted the most votes in total.

One more day to vote in the poll.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Slow is the new fast

Join us for an unusual look at the world of cars, people and bicycles. Traffic is a constant source of irritation for Calgarians and regularly ranks as one of the topics of chief concern in the community. This is for good reason - we drive a lot and incidents on the road are responsible for lost lives, trauma and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

What if the answer to improving this situation was actually to slow things down? What if there was less congestion and faster travel times? What if taking away traffic signals and signs made driving, walking and cycling safer? Perhaps messing with the minds of drivers and pedestrians might actually help?

Safer Calgary wants you to help investigate these questions. Dutch traffic expert Paul van de Coevering will be in Calgary to engage in an interactive workshop that tackles Calgary’s traffic issues with imagination and clear thinking.

http://slowisfast.eventbrite.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hehr for Mayor

Get your votes in for the recent poll asking for your opinion on Kent Hehr for Mayor of Calgary.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Is there going to be a Swann Dive?

The crowd at the Wharf is waiting and it’s a tad surly right now.

Insiders tell this person that the Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party was given a 30 day ultimatum to walk a short plank or be thrown over the side of the good ship ALP. It’s taking on huge volumes of water and listing to one side (guess which side). The good doctor was also told he would be allowed to make this needed exit with grace, dignity and support.

Apparently, the news was delivered in person by Tony ‘I make house calls but I’m no MD’ Sansotta, current Party president. I am told the message was supported by a majority of the Party executive. The Leader apparently considered it, vacillated, and then decided to reject the plan. Allegedly, a second plan was put to him with slight variations but with the same bottom line. Again, with a half-hearted digging in of the heels this was followed by an awkward and eerie silence.

Sooooooooooo, what was the outcome?

Has the Leader told the Party to 'go forth and multiply?

Has the plan been exaggerated by the delivery man who often bends the spectrum of truth to suit his own needs?

Are my Deep Throats gagging on the information provided?

Gather in small groups and discuss.

Can anyone confirm the suspicious information?

Do you believe it's time to change the Leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party to re-look at strategies in a last ditch attempt to ensure success at the polls in the next provincial election?

Is it too late for any of this because the Party boat is already below the waves and about to hit the bottom of the political ocean?

Will the May convention be the beginning of the Alberta Liberal Party’s watery send-off to Davey Jones Locker?

After your discussion please forward your group’s views to this blogger (the First Mate manning the lifeboat…but please hurry…it’s getting really crowded on board).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Is Calgary A Dark City?

Which Calgary is Your Calgary?

I have always thought of Calgary as a moderate thinking city a little right of centre on the political spectrum but one that embraced Peter Lougheed and his so-called 'Red Tories", followed by the Klein era and again a time I considered in a similar vein. Perhaps I was deluded into ignoring the neo-conservative, social conservative, racist overtones that have surfaced with the likes of the standing ovation offered to Ann Coulter at the Red and White Club this past week.

Grant it, this was a manipulated event by the ever infamous Ezra Lavant, who spun the hell out of the University of Ottawa's refusal to allow the person that Fox News felt was too right wing for their tastes to speak at their University.

I want your opinions please;

Are we a City that is represented by the recent spate of speakers like George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice and now Ann Coulter?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Alberta Liberal Party Still Taking Happy Pills

I have been in the Sultanate of Oman since early February, watching Alberta politics from afar. Even from this great distance across the oceans it is still painfully obvious that the Alberta Liberal Party continues to delude itself into a false belief that there is a relevance to their current incarnation.

My perspective is reinforced by the voters in the Province who have strongly expressed their opinions about the future of Alberta politics.

The polls have the Alberta Liberal Party mired in 3rd place at 23% according to the local conservative pollster, Environics, placing them out of shouting range of the Tories and the Wildrose.

They are a distant memory in Calgary at 22% and barely hanging on at 28% in Edmonton. In rural Alberta the Liberals are a no-show.

In the disaster of the 2008 general election the Alberta Liberal Party gained the support of 26.4% of Albertans and in the recent Calgary-Glenmore by-election they received 34% of the vote.

The Party should be building on that momentum. Instead, they are heading in the opposite direction despite the obvious opportunities.

The response from the Party can best be described as immature and out of touch with reality. This scribe read in a recent Herald article that the Party leader is attacking rural Alberta for getting extra seats assigned by the new boundaries commission. Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to try and encourage support from those folks since the Party does so poorly outside of the urban centres?

Effective political leaders usually look to gather votes, not drive them away!

I also read that Rob Anderson has offered to resign his newly minted Wildrose seat in Airdrie-Chestermere. This represents another great opportunity and the Party should rise to that challenge. However, again they are letting it slip away as the Party fads in popularity.

They should be searching for a suitable candidate to contest this seat? This is a battleground the Party needs to show well in since it is a rural/urban constituency. So rather than screaming at the poor folks in rural Alberta and treating them like an enemy they should choose a candidate who potentially represents them and get on with the business of garnering support.

To its credit the Party did return to the mainstream values of Alberta voters with the Energy Policy release early this year. At that time this person suggested that they should have been followed that with effective policy positions on health care, education and agriculture.

So far the response has been deafening silence. If they had acted then perhaps we would not see the Party so far behind at this critical stage.

Meanwhile we have the curmudgeon-elf from the Herald fancifully floating the extreme possibility of a Liberal Government in a recent column. He must be drinking the same Kool Aid being passed around by the communication folks surrounding the Liberal leader who have convinced those few hunkered down in the ‘red bunker’ they can come up the middle in the next election.

What if 3rd place in the current polls turns out to be 3rd place in the next election???

The Alberta Liberal Party would then self destruct, going from the official opposition to a non-factor, both in the Legislature and more importantly in the consciousness of Alberta voters.

The reality is they will finish a distant third unless drastic changes are implemented STARTING AT THE TOP!

One Person's Opinion

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Polls Have CLosed

When we asked the voter this question;

Do you want to see these people run for the Mayor of Calgary?


Your response was;

Gary Bobrovitz
Yes 25%
No 54%
Don't Care 17%
Don't Know This Person 4%

Darryl Raymaker
Yes 35%
No 43%
Don't Care 11%
Don't Know This Person 11%

Dave Taylor
Yes 50%
No 39%
Don't Care 0%
Don't Know This Person 11%

Analysis:

Of the 3 Gary Bobrovitz had the least number of persons reporting 'Don't Know This Person'. Dave Taylor had a 0% response to the issue of 'Don't 'Care'. All had good name recognition. Dave Taylor polled the highest positive numbers for support.

Finally, Bobrovitz did not garner more votes than the other 2 and therefore is deemed to have lost the wager on the supply of booze to the Blogger.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Initial Informal Poll Results for Mayor of Calgary #2

When asked the following question, you responded;
Do you want to see these people run for the Mayor of Calgary?


Gary Bobrovitz
Yes 26%
No 52%
Don’t Care 18%
Don’t Know This Person 4%

Darryl Raymaker
Yes 35%
No 44%
Don’t Care 12%
Don’t Know This Person 9%

Dave Taylor
Yes 52%
No 37%
Don’t Care 0%
Don’t Know This Person 11%

Small sample size, but getting larger.
The margin of error for this size sample is directly proportional to
the percentage of people who believe Elvis is still alive (He is, isn't he?).

Vote for the Person to be Mayor of Calgary

So far we have run the following names and published the results;
Brett Wilson
John Mar
Joe Connelly

Now we have;
Darryl Raymaker
Dave Taylor
Gary Bobrovitz

However, we have a twist or should I say twisted element. Bobrovitz has bet the author an alcoholic beverage that he will garner more votes than either Raymaker or Taylor. So, just for the record you are also being polled to see if you want me to win an alcoholic beverage of my choice.

Vote early and vote often!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Informal Poll Results for Mayor of Calgary

When asked the following question, you responded;

Do you want to see these people run for the Mayor of Calgary?

Brett Wilson
Yes 28%
No 72%

John Mar
Yes 14%
No 86%

Joe Connelly
Yes 14%
No 72%
Don’t Care 14%


Small sample size.
The margin of error for this size sample is directly proportional to
the intersection of Venus and Saturn in the fall of the year.

News From 'The Gulf"

Iranian Deputy Commerce Minister and Head of Trade Promotion Organization, Babak Afghahi during his visit to Kuwait on Tuesday said that the two countries should take advantage of all economic and commercial capacities to boost bilateral trade.

"Iran is ready to raise its goods and services exports to Kuwait," Afghahi said while visiting Kuwait's Jomeiah Cooperative Chain Store. Heading a delegation, Afghahi left for Kuwait to attend the 9th meeting of Iran-Kuwait Joint Commercial Committee planned for March 8-10.

He said that during his meetings with Kuwaiti officials the two sides agreed on expansion of ties in various fields including foodstuffs, agriculture, nanotechnology, medicine, free trade, technical and engineering services, energy, etc.

Referring to the $300 million annual trade between Iran and Kuwait, he said that the figure should rise in the near future.

He also announced readiness to export nuclear technology to the Arab country.

Iran will start gas exports to Bahrain and Oman in the near future, an Iranian oil official said.

Tehran feels confident that negotiations with Bahrain and Oman have developed to the point that Iran can start gas exports soon, Hojatollah Ghanimifard said.

"Considering the results of the meetings and negotiations with Bahraini and Omani officials, I believe that in case the demanding sides announce the final and definite views, Iran will be ready to export gas to the two aforementioned countries," he added.

Oman is in need of natural gas and liquefied natural gas to feed its energy-hungry industries. Natural gas from Iran is slated for delivery to markets in Oman through a 124-mile pipeline along the floor of the Persian Gulf planned for 2012.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rumours in Ottawa

Can anyone confirm the following rumour?

I heard this weekend . . . .confirmed by an Ottawa insider, that Stephen Harper and his wife have split.

Apparently, she is dating an RCMP officer and living in a Hotel in Ottawa.

The rumour has been around for some time now.

Don't want to see any family split up but the tension on a sitting Prime Minister must be tremendous if in fact the rumour is true.

Should we even be discussing such rumours in a Blog?

Comments please.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What Do Canadians Have To Be Proud Of?

1. Smarties
2. Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp
3. The size of our footballs fields, one less down, and bigger balls.
4. Baseball is Canadian - First game June 4, 1838 - Ingersoll, ON
5. Lacrosse is Canadian
6. Hockey is Canadian
7. Basketball is Canadian
8. Apple pie is Canadian
9. Mr. Dress-up
10. Tim Horton’s
11. In the war of 1812, started by America, Canadians pushed the Americans back past their White House. Then we burned it and most of Washington. We got bored because they ran away. Then, we came home and partied........ Go figure.
12. We have the largest population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere. EVER. (We got clobbered in the odd battle, but prevailed in ALL the wars).
13. Our civil war was fought in a bar and lasted a little over an hour
14. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary. He slept in and missed the whole thing. He showed up just in time to get caught.
15. A Canadian invented Standard Time.
16. The Hudson’s Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the world's oldest company.
17. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in less than 3 minutes. (That's more information than I need!)
18. We know what to do with the parts of a buffalo.
19. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, Velcro, zippers, insulin, the paint roller, roller skates, duct tape, the jolly-jumper, air conditioned vehicles, the Zamboni, the barcode, the Blackberry and the telephone. Also short wave radios that save countless lives each year.
20. The light bulb was actually invented by a Canadian (Henry Woodward patented it in 1874). The patent was bought by some obscure American named Edison who improved upon the design and took credit for inventing it.
21. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.
22. A Canadian invented Superman.
23. We have coloured money.
24. Our beer advertisements kick ass, incidentally...so does our beer and the handles on our beer cases are big enough to fit your hands with mitts on.

OOoohhhhh.... Canada!!

Oh yeah... And our elections only take one day.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who is the Next Mayor of Calgary?

We will begin to speculate on the outcome of the Mayor's race over the next few blogs.

To begin with I need you to tell me who you believe will run for Mayor.

Please provide a name and a rationale for why that person should be or will be Mayor.

We will then start the process of gambling on the outcome of the election for the new Mayor of Calgary.

Please send as many persons as you wish.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thank You Note From The United States

from the NBC Olympic anchorman:

Leaving behind a thank-you note

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor




After tonight's broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we're going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week. Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.

Thank you, Canada:

For being such good hosts.

For your unfailing courtesy.

For your (mostly) beautiful weather.

For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.

For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.

For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons -- which made us laugh and cry.

For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.

For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do.

For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.

For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days -- which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.

For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.

For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.

For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.

For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.

For always saying nice things about the United States...when you know we're listening.

For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.

For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.

Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dave Bronconnier - Thrice Mayor of Calgary

With apologies to ‘Dick Whittington and His Cat’

Dave Bronconnier – Thrice Mayor of Calgary

Bronconnier was born on October 7, 1962. A third generation Calgarian (his great grandmother was born in Calgary in 1895), he grew up in the southwest community of Glenbrook and attended Viscount Bennett High School. Bronconnier enrolled at the University of Calgary but left after a short while to pursue work opportunities.

He worked for the City of Calgary Electric System and for Alberta Government Telephones and then in 1983 started a small construction company. In 1987, Bronconnier and his business partner founded First General Services. The company specializes exclusively in insurance restoration and fire damage repairs and now employs 15 people. He is married to Cindy Bronconnier, with whom he has four children.

Political career

Bronconnier served on Calgary's city council as the Alderman for Ward 6 for nine years. He was first elected in 1992 and then served 3 terms before deciding to run for mayor.

In 1997, Bronconnier ran in the federal election as the Liberal candidate for Calgary West. Bronconnier was defeated in a landslide in this election by Reform Party candidate Rob Anders.

Long serving and very popular mayor Al Duerr was retiring leaving the position open. Bronconnier narrowly defeated Bev Longstaff, Duerr's protege, winning the mayoralty race of 2001. He became Calgary's 35th mayor.

Bronconnier was re-elected in 2004 with nearly 80% of the votes. Only 18% of the population voted, making it the lowest voter turnout for a Calgary municipal election in Western Canada.

He campaigned for re-election in the 2007 Calgary municipal election and was re-elected with 61% of the votes.

On February 23, 2010, Bronconnier announced he will not seek reelection in the 2010 October Election.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yeah Canada

Pictures

http://www.calgaryherald.com/story_print.html?id=2624981&tab=PHOT&sponsor=

Stolen From the Boston Globe - February 28th, 2010

Because it sums up what I think about the issue and remember theft (oops, imitation) is the sincerest form of flattery.

Celebration of equality
A good time to cross party lines


By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff | February 28, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - What, they play a game that not long ago was exclusively a man’s game, and now the women can’t party like the opposite sex? Call me a flaming feminist - please, just once, to make me fell all PC-like - but I have no problem with Team Canada’s women going totally man-cave here Thursday night after beating the United States for the Olympic hockey gold medal.

For those who missed it, most of the proud Canadians returned to the ice about a half-hour after the medal ceremony, and they soaked up the moment, literally, chugging bottles of champagne and cans of beer. A good number of them even went Total Papelbon and smoked cigars, though they had the decency to keep their pants on, thank goodness.

Boy, could the International Olympic Committee use a pint of the Dropkick Murphys.

Livers and lungs be damned, Team Canada’s women had themselves a great impromptu party, then were forced to issue a formal apology the next day after the IOC got its collective starched shorts in a bunch over the blatant display of unbridled masculinity. Actually, the IOC didn’t say anything about gender. It just didn’t like the look of, you know, Canadian Girls Gone Wild, what with all the pictures posted on the Internet that showed them holding cans of Molson Canadian and Coors Light and giving those cigars some serious chomp.

Now, I could get really sardonic here and suggest that the IOC’s chief beef was that Molson and Coors aren’t among the official $1 billion sponsors of the Games. But I’ll stick to the comment by Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s director of the Olympic Games, who said, “It is not what we want to see. I don’t think it is a good promotion of sports values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that’s one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened.’’

In other words, uh, ladies, this is the Olympics and not a sorority kegger.

Investigate? Please, spare us the “Casablanca’’-like roundup of “the usual suspects.’’ We know what happened. They won a gold medal, in front of a screaming full house at Canada Hockey Place, and they broke out the booze and had a ball. Then they had to apologize.

Because . . . why?

We’ve watched guys make alcohol- and tobacco-centered celebrations an art form, especially in recent years. Major league clubhouses mask players’ cubicles with thick sheets of plastic on potential party nights. The players come equipped with goggles for these not-so-spontaneous occasions.

Maybe it’s all a little too much, even juvenile, but no one is asking the guys to dial it down, hide it from the public, take it to the back room. They love doing it. Fans drink it up. Granted, watching all that champagne go to waste puts a little sting in my eye, not to mention a bump in the French economy, but c’est la vie.

All of us, including the goody-two-snowshoes who own the Five Rings, should have moved beyond this stuff long ago. Brandi Chastain, bless her sports bra, broke down this wall in 1999, when she yanked off her USA shirt in sheer glee when her goal, on a fifth penalty kick, won the Women’s World Cup of soccer.

When we all got over the shock and horror that Chastain had a chest, she explained, “I wasn’t thinking about anything. I thought, ‘This is the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field.’ ’’ Something scores upon scores of male soccer players had done for decades. In context, it made perfect sense, and only the most puritanical among us weren’t able to understand her mind-set.

The Canadian women (can we call them the Lady Lager Louts?) were in precisely the same place after their emotional win over the Yanks. It was their third gold medal.

They did it with much of their country watching on TV and in front of a crazed full house that included the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, and Donald Sutherland. Heady stuff. I was a little surprised, frankly, that none of them scaled the boards and glass and jumped into the crowd for hugs and kisses.

Much to their credit - easy to forget in the hullabaloo - Team Canada’s women won with dignity and grace and style. They did and said all the right things right through the ceremony when they were handed their gold medals and broccoli bouquets.

When the building was nearly empty, save for the cleanup crew, volunteer staff, and lingering writers and photographers, they returned to the ice and savored the moment the way the boys do. They drank. They puffed. They horsed around on the Zamboni. They stretched out on the ice, backs flat on the Olympic logo between the blue lines, and stared up at the arena roof as if peering into hockey heaven and they were the reflection of the stars.

If you get a chance, please, find the pictures online. If they offend your senses, then it might be time for you to send a résumé to the IOC, or maybe stop reading the sports pages.

Meanwhile, cheers to the world’s best female hockey players. Drink up, ladies, and smoke ’em if you got ’em. You’re the very best at playing a game that for decades was for men only. You’re every bit their equal and even better partiers.

Kevin Paul Dupont’s “On Second Thought’’ appears on Page 2 of the Sunday Globe Sports section. He can be reached at dupont@globe.com.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Canada/US Perspective - Update

Sorry folks, the following now appears on the link to youtube;

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal (Sports).

Canada's Gold Medal Women's Hockey Team

Celebrate the victory, savour your time and to hell with the critics!

You made me proud!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Canada/US Perspective

Here is a Canada/US perspective you won’t see every day.

Enjoy!

For years we have complained that the majority of Americans don't know nearly enough about Canada. While I suspect this will still be true after the Olympic games, this piece (see link below) by Tom Brokaw on NBC puts our relationship in perspective.

The images are beautiful, the writing is outstanding and the feeling you are left with is uplifting.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYoTJItSPt0

Interesting Comments on Democracy

A citizen of America (Alberta) will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national (provincial) election.
Bill Vaughan

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
George Bernard Shaw

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
Gore Vidal

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Message For A Few Party Leaders

Here is a quote that Oliver Cromwell used when he dissolved the rump parliament in 1653.

Leo Amery directed it at Chamberlain in 1940 after the German invasion of France.

"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Christopher Columbus Was The First Socialist

Christopher Columbus was the first socialist: he didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know where he was… and he did it all at taxpayers expense.
Voltaire:

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kent Hehr Challenges the Government to Live Up to Promises

In 2004 this government announced it would be building the Alberta police college in Fort Macleod. At that time the government indicated that it was necessary to build this complex in order to ensure that a well-trained police force was present in Alberta. To date the project has not been built. I assume there must be a reason for this.

Kent Hehr, Official Opposition Critic for Justice

See the following excerpt from Hansard.

Peace and Police Officer Training Centre

Mr. Hehr:
My question is to the Solicitor General. Does the government still believe that the building of an Alberta police college is necessary to improve the delivery of law enforcement services in this province, or can we get by with the status quo?

Mr. Oberle:
Thank you for the question. As the member correctly points out, we have not built the college in Fort Macleod. We’re reviewing the financial situation at the moment. As members opposite have pointed out, we are in fiscal difficulties right now. I’m reviewing the situation and will report back to this House when I’m ready.

Mr. Hehr:
Well, it sounds like we still sort of need a site; we’re just not sure when. That’s, I guess, fair. Is Fort Macleod, then, still the preferred site for this training centre?

Mr. Oberle:
Well, the member just made a bunch of assumptions that I never gave him in the first question, so I can’t really address it. I didn’t say that we absolutely needed it, nor did I say that we’re looking at Fort Macleod or any other centre. I said that I would report back to this House when I’m ready to do so.

Mr. Hehr:
Well, let me back up the bus. In 2004 I thought we were clear: you guys announced you were building a training centre. Is that on or off the table? Can you confirm to this community whether you are going to be building it and quit jerking around, then?

Mr. Oberle:
Might I refer the hon. member to answer 1(a).

Alberta Hansard, February 9, 2010

Could this be the beginning of the false promises, talk tough on crime and then do not deliver the services needed. Photo Ops with the Premier announcing more cops, but not providing the training centre needed to prepare them.