By macleans.ca - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 0 Comments
Here is the text of Mitt Romney’s address to the Republican National Convention, as…
Here is the text of Mitt Romney’s address to the Republican National Convention, as prepared for delivery.
Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.
I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me. It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.
Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud – my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan.
In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan – a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment demands.
I love the way he lights up around his kids and how he’s not embarrassed to show the world how much he loves his mom.
But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than what divides us.
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American.
It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom to speak their mind.
Freedom to build a life.
And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands.
This is the essence of the American experience.
We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.
When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro’s tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they.
But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future.
It is not what we were promised.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.
Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.
This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
This was the hope and change America voted for.
It’s not just what we wanted. It’s not just what we expected.
It’s what Americans deserved.
You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you’re an American and you don’t quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.
But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn’t right.
But what could you do? Except work harder, do with less, try to stay optimistic. Hug your kids a little longer; maybe spend a little more time praying that tomorrow would be a better day.
I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”
So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.
To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.
I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn’t whether we’d get there, it was only when we’d get there.
The soles of Neil Armstrong’s boots on the moon made permanent impressions on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parent’s sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.
God bless Neil Armstrong.
Tonight that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don’t doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong’s spirit is still with us: that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.
That’s how I was brought up.
My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by the US Government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college and apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. And he had big dreams. He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to marry him. He moved to Detroit, led a great automobile company and became Governor of the Great State of Michigan.
We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.
Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love — this world would be a far more gentle and better place.
Mom and Dad were married 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist – because every day Dad gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. That’s how she found out what happened on the day my father died – she went looking for him because that morning, there was no rose.
My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”
I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
I grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same business, I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself.
Those weren’t the easiest of days – too many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we’d give, to break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom and dad knows the answer to that.
Those days were toughest on Ann, of course. She was heroic. Five boys, with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then and I’d call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that doesn’t help get the homework done or the kids out the door to school.
I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. And I knew without question, that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine. And as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeeded at anything she wanted to.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregants from all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.
And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.
That is the bedrock of what makes America, America. In our best days, we can feel the vibrancy of America’s communities, large and small.
It’s when we see that new business opening up downtown. It’s when we go to work in the morning and see everybody else on our block doing the same.
It’s when our son or daughter calls from college to talk about which job offer they should take….and you try not to choke up when you hear that the one they like is not far from home.
It’s that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer to coach your kid’s soccer team, or help out on school trips.
But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.
The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.
I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience.
When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.
So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.
So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had never done this before and we almost didn’t get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. I had thought about asking my church’s pension fund to invest, but I didn’t. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors’ money, but I didn’t want to go to hell too. Shows what I know. Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
These are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the President’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don’t apologize for it.
We weren’t always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business.
That’s what this President doesn’t seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn’t work out exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. He came back and changed the world.
It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.
That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.”
Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.
This president can ask us to be patient.
This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault.
This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right.
But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.
America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith.
But today, the time has come to turn the page.
Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
In the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has crushed the middle class. Family income has fallen by $4,000, but health insurance premiums are higher, food prices are higher, utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices have doubled. Today more Americans wake up in poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six Americans is living in poverty. Look around you. These are not strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans.
His policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. And this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America:
His plan to raise taxes on small business won’t add jobs, it will eliminate them;
His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China;
His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;
His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine.
And his trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall.
To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a president who respects and understands what they do.
And let me make this very clear – unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.
As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion.
President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.
I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.
Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat.
In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We’re still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning.
President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro’s Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia’s President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.
We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.
You might have asked yourself if these last years are really the America we want, the America won for us by the greatest generation.
Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No.
Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and for half the kids graduating from college? No.
Are its schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? No.
And does the America we want succumb to resentment and division? We know the answer.
The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM - 0 Comments
Twitter reviews of Dirty Harry’s stumbling vaudeville-like number
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 9:08 PM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – A large section of the roof blew off the top of Montreal’s…
MONTREAL – A large section of the roof blew off the top of Montreal’s Maurice Richard Arena on Thursday, apparently by the force of powerful winds.
Part of the roof, about the size of a couple of school buses, tumbled down the side of an exterior wall onto some trees. Officials did not report any injuries.
Sylvain Cuillerier, a spokesman for Montreal’s fire department, said a 20-metre by 30-metre section of the roof was blown off the top of the arena.
Several members of Canada’s national short-track speedskating team, which trains at the arena, gathered outside the building to survey the damage. They wondered whether their training session on Friday morning would still be a go.
“Nothing’s confirmed yet, I have no clue, but my guess is they might have to test the roof to make sure,” said Liam McFarlane, a team member for the last six years and a former Olympic alternate.
“Maybe we’ll be off a day. We’re heading off to Calgary in a week so either way we’ll have ice.”
The sounds of twisting, vibrating metal still echoed through the area hours after firefighters said the incident occurred.
At one point, a piece of sheet metal, around the size of a small coffee table, bounced down the street at high speed like a tumbleweed.
The rink, adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, has served as the home of Canada’s national short-track speedskating team.
It opened in the early 1960s, was a venue for events at the 1976 Summer Olympics and has hosted junior hockey over the decades.
The arena has a capacity of 4,750 and is perhaps best known locally for the statue of Richard in front of the building.
Dozens of people in the residential area gathered at the scene behind the police tape. Police closed a nearby subway station and structural engineers were inside the building.
Scaffolding could be seen outside the building and McFarlane said construction crews had been doing work in recent days.
“It’s slightly disconcerting, that’s for sure,” he said, staring at the mangled metal strewn on the arena lawn. “But it’s the outside (of the building) and the winds are pretty strong, so it probably could have happened anywhere.”
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM - 0 Comments
After a string of dull speeches laden with glib one-liners aimed at President Obama, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s lit up the Republican convention stage with a speech that was positive, more high-minded and showed a new side of the former Secretary of State. While her emphasis was on foreign policy, she also strayed into her views on domestic issues – sparking speculation that she’s considering a run for office, possibly governor of California or even president in 2016.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM - 0 Comments
EDMONTON – Falling oil revenues and a volatile global marketplace are hammering Alberta’s bottom…
EDMONTON – Falling oil revenues and a volatile global marketplace are hammering Alberta’s bottom line and may leave taxpayers with a deficit as large as $3 billion this year, Finance Minister Doug Horner announced Thursday.
Political opponents, however, said mismanagement by Premier Alison Redford’s government is the true culprit.
The original projected deficit in 2012-13 budget was $886 million, but that may end up between $2.3 billion and $3 billion, Horner said as he released the first-quarter update.
Horner said financial crises in Europe, economic uncertainty in the United States, political upheaval in the Middle East and record growth in China make it difficult to peg where world oil prices will go.
“All of these things are frankly beyond our control, but they affect Alberta and they affect our bottom line,” said Horner.
The government won’t incur any long-term debt as the shortfall will be covered by the $6.3-billion Sustainability Fund.
Horner reported that overall revenue decreased by $400 million in the first three months of the fiscal year because of lower oil and bitumen royalties. Expenses increased by $5 million due to disaster funding.
He noted oil has recently fluctuated between about US$109 and US$77 a barrel and currently sits at about US$95.
Horner said the government is taking action to ensure it meets Redford’s promise of balancing the budget by 2014.
“We are tightening our belts,” he said.
He said government departments have been directed to spend less than their budgets and find other efficiencies to save at least $500 million in total.
Ministers have been asked to review their capital budgets to see where money can be saved.
“We will be reviewing every government program and service to ensure every single penny goes towards delivering programs and services that produce demonstrated results,” said Horner.
“(But) we’re not going to cut for the sake of cutting.”
Horner also warned unions to expect a hard line in bargaining.
“There will be no new money for public-service sector negotiations until we see improvement,” he said.
He wouldn’t say which capital projects may be mothballed but, when asked, said the new Royal Alberta Museum project — set to break ground in downtown Edmonton — will go ahead.
On Wednesday, the government announced it was cancelling a $122-million police training college in Fort Macleod, just two months after they awarded the construction contract and just days before shovels were set to turn the earth.
The $886-million deficit figure was presented by the government in its pre-election budget in February. Redford and the Tories went on to win another majority government in April.
The budget boosted government spending by 3.3 per cent to a record $41.1 billion. Program spending went up almost seven per cent, with substantial raises for education, health, cities and money for the most vulnerable.
Opposition critics dismissed the budget as a bag of pre-election goodies, based on unattainable oil forecasts, that would be clawed back after the election.
On Thursday, Wildrose critic Kerry Towle said that, unfortunately for taxpayers, the critics were proven correct.
“This government has no plan, has no idea where they’re going to cut and they’re just doing it arbitrarily. They’re picking from the pot and they’re just taking from everyday hardworking Albertans,” said Towle.
NDP critic Dave Eggen said it’s difficult to fathom how a province leading the nation in economic growth, with a rising population, the lowest unemployment rate, and oil in the $90-a-barrel range can’t balance the books.
“What this minister is saying this morning doesn’t make any sense,” said Eggen.
“We have an economy that’s growing and yet the government can’t manage to balance the budget or have adequate revenue to fund the programs that Albertans need.”
In a news release, Liberal leader Raj Sherman call the government’s spending plans a “fudget budget.”
“Redford made irresponsible spending promises before the election to buy votes; she predicted overly rosy resource revenues and can’t get her spending priorities in check. It was always a recipe for a fiscal disaster.”
Scott Hennig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said what was not in the budget update was more telling than what it contained.
Hennig noted the update report broke sharply from past practice. The report contained few numbers and almost none of the supporting data that would allow the public to understand how the government arrived at its numbers and projections.
The government also cancelled the customary technical briefing for reporters. Such briefings allow journalists to talk off the record to department officials to better understand the minutiae and the context of the data before asking questions of the finance minister.
Horner told the news conference that such a briefing was cancelled because it would sow more confusion than clarity.
“The reality is if we have to do a technical briefing for you (reporter) folks, how do we expect that Albertans are going to understand what I am telling them?” he said.
Hennig said the lack of information should alarm taxpayers.
“This is not a budget update. This is a brochure,” said Hennig.
“I’ve been doing this for seven years. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen handed out at a quarterly budget update. They usually provide, you know, numbers and estimates going forward, not (just) a chart saying things are volatile.”
Hennig said the Redford administration is starting to resemble the government of former premier Don Getty in the 1908s, when plunging oil revenues prompted then finance minister Dick Johnston to repackage, recast, and recategorize budget figures.
“When governments start hiding their numbers, be worried,” he said.
By Luke Simcoe - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 6:04 PM - 0 Comments
3D printing has a dark side
Last month, someone on the AR15 firearms message board boasted that they used a 3D printer to create a working .22 calibre gun. “It’s had over 200 rounds through it so far and runs great,” they wrote. Known as HaveBlue, the user claimed the gun was printed in plastic and cost a mere $100 in materials to manufacture.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the world’s first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested, but I have a hard time believing that it really is the first,” they added.
3D printing, also known as “additive manufacturing,” is a term for building objects by laying down successive layers of material. A 3D printer starts with the bottom layer, waits for it to dry or solidify, and then works its way up. The process can vary depending on the printer and the material; most 3D printers work with things like plaster, polymer or resin, but some can even make things out of metal.
*If you haven’t watched a 3D printer video yet, watch this one:
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 5:40 PM - 0 Comments
Colby Cosh on Armstrong’s record of outstanding sanity in the face of an emergency
Neil Armstrong, who died after heart surgery Aug. 25 at age 82, was known for the restraint with which he used his fame. Armstrong, one of only two civilians amongst the 12 men who walked on the moon, never tried to boost his NASA salary, or his later income from business and teaching, by appearing in vacuum-cleaner ads or peddling a tell-all book. His near-reclusiveness has been seen as a manifestation of old-school Midwestern virtue, and it certainly is that. But it also reflected his engineer’s soul. Armstrong was the ultimate in right-angled rationalists—an almost monastically mission-oriented person in a ’60s NASA environment full of short-fused fighter-jock egos.
It’s hard to get a straight answer to the question of why Neil Armstrong was picked to be first on the moon. It is clear that Buzz Aldrin originally expected to exit first, and that he lobbied behind the scenes for the distinction. That wasn’t Armstrong’s style. A few years ago he told biographer James Hansen: “In my mind the important thing was that we got four aluminum legs safely down on the surface of the moon while we were still inside the craft. To me, there wasn’t a lot of difference between having 10 feet of aluminum leg between the bottom of the spacecraft in which we were standing and the surface of the moon and having one inch of neoprene rubber or plastic on the bottom of our boots touching the lunar surface.”
No, Armstrong did not see himself as a 20th-century Columbus. He was, first and last, a pilot; once he set the lunar module down on the Sea of Tranquility, everything else was trivia. The fact is the lunar landing probably was not his most impressive achievement. Such a thing would dominate anyone’s obituary, but it has led the public to forget his earlier experience aboard Gemini 8—the first movement in a sonata of NASA crises, later to be overshadowed by the Apollo 1 fire of 1967 and the 1970 rescue of Apollo 13.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM - 0 Comments
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association is planning a gun swap to mock the long gun registry.
“The governments and advocacy groups have forced our hand by suggesting the registry data is somehow useful,” Bernardo said. “Shuffling previously registered firearms is totally legal, responsible and appropriate.” Bernardo said that when people partake in the gun swap, “no one will know which owners have which firearms.” ”And that’s perfect, because it’s nobody’s business.”
The CSSA is one of the groups represented on the hunting and angling advisory panel that the Prime Minister announced in May.
By Nicholas Köhler, Patricia Treble, John Geddes, and Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:20 PM - 0 Comments
Maclean’s Newsmakers: A Murdoch family feud, Roger Clemens’s comeback and Conrad Black would like to make an appearance
His inimitable voice
The advisory council pondering whether Conrad Black should be stripped of his Order of Canada would prefer to just peruse the former press baron’s written arguments. But Black’s lawyers were in Federal Court last week asking Justice Yves de Montigny to instruct the council to let Black, who’s noted for his grandiloquence, make his case in person. “You need to see the man,” said Black’s lawyer, “to believe him or disbelieve him.” Black was named to the Order in 1990, but was later convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in the U.S., where he served 42 months in prison before returning to Canada last spring. De Montigny did not say when he’d make a decision on Black’s special request.
Touching off a rush of musical snobbery and Twitter one-liners, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and pop star Avril Lavigne announced their engagement last week. The easily mocked new royal couple of Canadian pop have apparently been dating for six months. Kroeger proposed in Los Angeles, where the two are collaborating on Lavigne’s fifth album. According to the precedent established by Bennifer, the new couple has been dubbed Chavril. Guests at the wedding will no doubt include former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and former Baywatch beauty Brooke Burns who, both apparently eager for work, star as a lovelorn barista and his customer in the new video for Nickelback’s Trying Not to Love You. The video pairing is odd, but perhaps no weirder than the one in real life.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM - 0 Comments
The Canadian Senate is hardly a bastion of good news, but this week was especially bad
Like his dad, Kim Jong Un is well versed in the art of rhetoric. As South Korea staged its annual military drills with the United States, the North’s new dear leader toured some of his military units, vowing to “deal prompt deadly blows” if the enemy attacked. But thankfully, not everything is like father, like son. In yet another subtle sign that North Korea may be ending its decades-long isolation, Kim has confirmed a meeting with senior Japanese counterparts in Beijing, the first attempt in many years to mend fences. At the very least, it’s a start.
In these times of fiscal restraint, it’s easy to criticize Ottawa’s decision to invest in the equivalent of an underwater wild goose chase. But the renewed search for Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic ships—HMS Erebus and HMS Terror—is well worth $275,000 in taxpayer money. The vessels, famously lost at sea 164 years ago, have become part of the Canadian narrative, inspiring songs, poetry and a long line of unsuccessful searches. But equipped with the latest technology, a team of experts led by Parks Canada has the best chance yet of solving the enduring mystery. A priceless prospect indeed.
Shaking it up
In an effort to promote healthy eating, the Boston Market restaurant chain is removing all salt shakers from its tables. Customers can still ask for more salt if they want it, but the company hopes diners will taste their meal first—and realize it’s just fine without another dash. The only problem? According to the world’s leading experts, the global population will grow so quickly over the next 40 years that nearly everyone will have to adopt a vegetarian diet in order to avoid catastrophic water shortages. Asparagus for dinner? Pass the salt, please.
If you build it . . .
A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says “the future is bright for pro sports.” The authors predict that by 2035, Canada could sustain three more NHL teams, three more MLS soccer clubs and seven additional CFL franchises. Yes, some of the conclusions are laughable—the Expos back in Montreal, the NBA returning to Vancouver—but that, after all, is the beauty of sport. Every fan can dream.
Not so smart
You may soon have fewer smart phones to choose from, thanks to Apple’s high-priced lawyers and dysfunctional U.S. patent laws. Just days after emerging victorious from its US$1-billion patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, Apple identified eight iPhone-like smart phones made by the South Korean giant that it wants banned from the marketplace. While companies have a right to protect key intellectual property, forcing rivals to pay royalties if they want to make rectangular phones with rounded corners (one of the two disputed patents) seems far more likely to hamper innovation and consumer choice than encourage it.
Breathe (but don’t inhale)
Good luck, mom and dad. A new study confirms that teenagers who smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ because the drug is especially harmful to developing brains. “Parents should understand that their adolescents are particularly vulnerable,” warns one researcher. But don’t be too overbearing. A separate study says snooping through your kids’ drawers or reading their Facebook pages (in search of, say, marijuana) can actually make your children more secretive.
The Canadian Senate is hardly a bastion of good news, but this week was especially bad. First came the revelation that Joyce Fairbairn, 72, was still voting in the upper chamber four months after a psychiatrist declared her legally incompetent. (She suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.) Then came the alleged air-rage rants of Sen. Rod Zimmer’s much younger wife, Maygan Sensenberger. The couple was flying from Ottawa to Saskatoon to celebrate their first wedding anniversary when, according to police, Sensenberger threatened to kill her husband and “take the plane down.”
Speaking of newsworthy marriages, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has promised to reimburse the public purse for having on-duty Mounties perform a ceremonial honour guard at his wedding. Paulson, who has vowed to clean up the troubled police force, has said in the past that too many officers misuse their power. Which is why he agreed to pay up—after the incident made headlines.
By David Newland - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM - 0 Comments
Ryerson ‘cowbell jam’ may be a new low in silly stunts
Canadians have a peculiar love for record-breaking attempts, whether it’s erecting the (former) tallest free-standing structure, preparing a giant fruit salad, or building a whack of weird roadside attractions.
It’s all in good fun, I suppose, but at times, this odd habit comes off as a desperate plea for attention, without regard for substance. Such was the case with yesterday’s (apparently successful) attempt to break the world cowbell jam record.
That’s right, folks: On Aug. 30 at Toronto’s Ryerson University, more than a thousand young minds showed up, gathered together, and put their estimable energy to work making the most horrific din imaginable for two minutes. In the process, they became a part of a Ryerson tradition of shows of academic brilliance that include biggest maracas ensemble, and biggest plastic sword fight.
I have to hand it to Ryerson: In a world where competition for education dollars is fierce, they can at least promise students a pretty good shot at the record books.
Besides the noise factor, the cowbell jam provokes a level of irritation that outdoes previous efforts, by achieving a new standard in watered-down “culture.”
A cowbell stunt is merely the latest, if not the lamest iteration of a mostly played-out meme, Needs More Cowbell!
That phrase, which has enjoyed mystifying longevity as a catchphrase and T-shirt slogan, originated with a comedy sketch, featuring Christopher Walken, that aired in 2000 on Saturday Night Live. The sketch itself refers to the decades-old Blue Oyster Cult hard rock hit, “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” which features, you guessed it, cowbell.
The sketch was funny enough, 12 years ago. It gets decidedly less so with every reference to it. And I can’t help but think that gathering 1,003 cowbell “players” in once place for another kick at the can is just plain lame.
It’s all very ironic, very hip, very meta… and very meaningless.
But this one establishes a new low because it’s not even ridiculous in its own right. It’s as derivative as the day is long: A silly stunt reminiscent of an unfunny catchphrase stemming from an overplayed skit from a dated show, referring to a distant hit for a 40-year-old band.
While it’s impressive to get 1,000 students to gather in one place and do something, anything, together, this effort had the particularly puzzling goal of trying to beat a group of 640 cowbellers from Switzerland. Yes, Switzerland: home to a pastoral people for whom the cowbell has both an actual purpose, and a genuine cultural relevance.
In other words, what was celebrated at Ryerson was the victory of something empty over something meaningful. To quote a much older catchphrase, “for this I went to college?”
Maybe next year they’ll at least go for something Canadian. Biggest moose call orchestra, maybe?
By Blog of Lists - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM - 0 Comments
From dinosaurs to ducks, these are just a few of the many small towns and cities in Canada that erected really big, really odd monuments to attract tourists.
1. World’s largest dinosaur, T. Rex: Drumheller, Alta.
2. World’s largest lobster: Shediac, N.B.
3. World’s largest moose, “Mac”: Moose Jaw, Sask.
4. The Big Nickel: Sudbury, Ont.
5. World’s largest mallard duck: Andrew, Alta.
6. World’s largest perogy: Glendon, Alta.
7. World’s largest Adirondack chair: Varney, Ont.
8. The Big Apple: Colborne, Ont.
9. World’s largest Easter egg: Vegreville, Alta.
10. World’s largest fiddle: Sydney, N.S.
Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The answers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists.
Buy your copy of the Maclean’s Book of Lists at the newsstand or order online now.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – The niece of the mayor of Canada’s most populous city apologized Thursday…
TORONTO – The niece of the mayor of Canada’s most populous city apologized Thursday for suggesting women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing “like a whore” after the comment brought a public backlash.
Krista Ford, the niece of Mayor Rob Ford and the daughter of Coun. Doug Ford, expressed her regret on Twitter, where she originally made the controversial declaration.
“I didn’t mean to cause such an alarm and I apologize if I did. I just want women to be safe,” she wrote on the social media site.
Ford, who was captain of Toronto’s short-lived lingerie football team, had earlier advised women to “Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don’t dress like a whore.”
Her message followed a police warning about a recent string of sexual assaults in the city’s west end and sparked online outrage before it was yanked from her Twitter account.
Among her critics was a woman who identified herself as a victim in one of the six sexual assaults that prompted the police alert.
“You’re a woman and you should know that your body is yours and yours alone,” the woman wrote in an open letter posted on Facebook.
“For the record, I was sexually assaulted while wearing a knee-length polka-dot dress,” she added.
Some questioned the sincerity of Ford’s apology, while others defended her against critics who took issue with her own attire.
“If your argument against Krista Ford’s comments about sexual assault are based on the way she dresses, you’re doing it wrong,” one tweet read.
Ford’s polarizing tweet came more than a year after a Toronto police officer made similar recommendations while speaking to university students about campus safety.
The officer was criticized for his advice that women should avoid dressing “like sluts” to reduce the risk of assault, and later apologized.
His comment became the catalyst for SlutWalk, a series of marches to protest the suggestion that victims are to blame.
(The Canadian Press, 680News)
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Canada Border Services Agency has ruled that an American soldier who has…
TORONTO – Canada Border Services Agency has ruled that an American soldier who has been living in Toronto because she didn’t want to serve in Iraq must return to the U.S.
The War Resisters Support Campaign says the agency has told Kimberly Rivera she must leave Canada by Sept. 20.
Michelle Robidoux, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign, says border services notified Rivera of the decision on Thursday.
Robidoux says that means the agency does not believe Rivera’s claims that she will face harsh penalties if she is deported to the U.S.
However, there is still no decision on Rivera’s humanitarian compassionate grounds claim.
Rivera, the first female U.S. war resister, fled to Canada in 2007 to avoid further military service.
She had initially arrived while on leave but then applied for refugee status.
The War Resisters Support Campaign says two other Iraq war resisters who were deported, Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, faced year-long jail sentences upon their return.
Rivera lives in Toronto with her husband and four children.
Robidoux says Rivera is meeting with her lawyer today to discuss her options.
Rivera did not comment on the ruling but is to hold a news conference Friday morning.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM - 0 Comments
Brent Rathgeber considers his own maverickness.
One can occasionally be critical of the Government without being disloyal. I proudly serve in the Conservative (Government) Caucus but do not leave the viewpoints of my constituents behind every time I board a plane to Ottawa. It is natural for me to question Supply Management, since I represent 140,000 consumers but not a single dairy farmer. Similarly, all of my adult constituents are taxpayers but only a tiny fraction work for the federal government; as a result, I believe it is appropriate that I question public pensions (including my own) and demand respect for taxpayer dollars generally.
Constructive criticism and holding government to account will invariably lead to better government. The Opposition’s constitutional mandate is to criticize and oppose. However, sometimes a critique from the Conservatives’ own benches will be more effective, as Opposition barbs are frequently written off as partisan gamesmanship. Moreover, in the current Parliament, with a Socialist Official Opposition, how realistic is it that a critical examination of spending, social programs or the CBC is going to originate from the side opposite??? Accordingly, I will continue to raise and speak out on matters important to me and my constituents. Advocating for limiting the size and role of government and respect for taxpayer dollars will occasionally and invariably irk those who are the Government. But holding the Government to account, will force a well performing Government to perform even better!
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM - 0 Comments
Why gaffe-prone, wooden Romney could—with the help of some big backers and a sputtering economy—still unseat Obama
When Mitt Romney took the stage at the fairgrounds in the Denver suburb of Golden, the midday heat was blistering. In the distance, the sunscorched Rockies had lost their usual snowcaps, and entire tracts of Colorado had gone up in the flames of the summer’s historic wildfires. It’s been a season of extreme heat in the United States, in both weather and politics.
But the man who could unseat President Barack Obama keeps stepping out from the furnace cool and collected. The former Massachusetts governor emerged from an ugly Republican primary contest this spring without the permanent political scars many observers had predicted. The Republican party has largely now embraced him under the unifying “Anyone But Obama” banner—and the conservatives who were wary of the once-moderate Romney are thrilled with his announcement this month of budget-axing, socially traditionalist Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. For months Romney has withstood a breathtaking pounding from the Obama campaign and its allies: they have attacked his character, his business record, his reluctance to release his tax returns, even his wife’s white-gloved “horse ballet” hobby. One Obama aide went so far as to suggest that he may have committed securities crimes in filling out regulatory forms that said he was still the CEO of Bain Capital years after he claimed he’d left. Meanwhile, the Democratic party’s majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, said he had been told by an anonymous former Bain investor that Romney hadn’t paid income taxes in a decade, labelling him “the most secretive presidential candidate since Richard Nixon.” Romney denied it; and the Republican party called Reid “a dirty liar.” But the controversy kept alive questions about Romney’s finances.
As roughly 1,000 people gathered in Golden in early August to hear Romney speak, a small plane circled overhead trailing a banner with the words: “WELCOME HOME MITT—NOW RELEASE THOSE RETURNS.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM - 0 Comments
In the wake of Paul Ryan’s address to the Republican convention, there is much grinding of teeth in the United States over the reality of political dishonesty.
So, why would he lie about something so easily debunked by just looking at the dates on old newspaper stories? Well, because, there’s no downside to getting caught. This post, and the many like it across the Internet this morning will not erase the gain Ryan got with telling a pat anecdote on national television. As Slate’s Farhad Manjoo explained way back in 2008, there is little to lose by lying. One thing Ryan is taking advantage of is “media fragmentation.” You can find plenty of websites and email forwards to support whatever your version of reality is. Here’s Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for George W. Bush, this morning: “Ryan was right about Janesville GM plant. ‘Factchecker’ Politifact wrong. Check out Milwaukee Journal,” he tweeted, linking to a 2011 story saying the GM plant is on standby. This was retweeted by the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes. But even this supposedly exculpatory article contains this sentence: “The Janesville plant stopped production of SUVs in 2008 and was idled in 2009 after it completed production of medium-duty trucks.” But so what? Fleischer’s tweet was retweeted 236 times. Hayes’ retweet of it was retweeted 109 times.
Steve Kornacki concludes similarly.
But the reality, of course, is that most casual voters don’t read editorials and fact-checker columns and probably don’t get much beyond the headline, picture and (maybe) first paragraph or two of a news story about a speech like Ryan’s. The Romney campaign is clearly counting on this. (Earlier this week, a top Romney strategist stated that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.) They are willing to take a hit on the editorial pages and in the 7th paragraph of a news story, so long as this doesn’t define the media’s coverage. This is why Ryan seems poised to get away with the deception he peddled last night. He and the Romney campaign, as Greg Sargent has been arguing, have no incentive to give up this tactic until and unless major, down-the-middle news organizations decide to make their dishonesty the focus of their reporting. It’s only at that point that the noise generated might begin to affect casual voters, which is all the Romney team is really worried about.
I dare say the typical Canadian politician is not (yet?) as shameless as his typical American counterpart, but the Canadian media still periodically (regularly?) faces the same challenge. Meeting the challenge requires explicitly and repeatedly pointing out the falsehood at least (or nearly) as often as it is repeated. And that requires a reporter to ignore the fear that he or she might be accused of bias or, worse, that he or she might bore his or her readers. (One thing the “media” must/could improve is its willingness to explain. Too often we explain the basics of an issue only when it emerges, not bothering to explain the basics again as the story develops for fear of repeating ourselves. This piece, written five weeks after Bill C-38 was tabled and after five weeks of coverage on this blog, is the best-read thing I’ve written this year. And, admittedly, I wouldn’t have thought to write it if my editor hadn’t asked for it.)
On a practical level, this needn’t always require long tangents or digressions. James Fallows has been relentless on the need to meet this challenge and pointed recently to an example where a single word—”falsely”—pointed out the dishonesty.
By Blog of Lists - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM - 0 Comments
American pundits, publications and politicians have been kind enough to warn us that our socialized health care system is the filthiest, most evil and dangerous system on the planet.
1. “Dear Canadian: You make socialized medicine sound ideal. But whenever private enterprise is replaced by a government institution, incentive is thwarted and the quality of services usually deteriorates.”
—Dear Abby, April 25, 1977
2. “To receive major health care in two weeks would be only a dream for most Canadians.” —Susan Riggs,
Knight-Ridder, June 22, 1994
3. “People come here from every country . . . including Canadians fleeing from the substandard quality, cruel rationing and long waiting lists of their ‘free’ socialized medicine.”
—Paul Craig Roberts, Scripps Howard News Service, June 23, 1994
4. “Did the fact that Canada has a socialist, government-run health care system—similar to the kind that President Obama wants to ram down the throats of Americans—kill acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson?”
—Matthew Vadum, The American Spectator, March 21, 2009
5. “Canada’s disastrous health care system survives because of . . . the widespread fear that any reform might constitute ‘Americanization.’ ”
—Jonah Goldberg, National Review, Nov. 25, 2002
6. “For cardiac bypass surgery, patients in Ontario are told they may have to wait six months for a surgery that Americans can often get right away.”
—Sen. Mitch McConnell, June 8, 2009
7. “Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed.”
—Sarah Palin, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, November 25, 2009
8. “In Canada,they have a lottery. They have a lottery system. Who gets to go see a doctor this month in Canada?”
—Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program, July 15, 2009
9. “Is government-run health care in Canada taking away parents’ rights?”
Fox & Friends, February 23, 2011
Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The answers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists.
Buy your copy of the Maclean’s Book of Lists at the newsstand or order online now.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
The caucus, having done in Campbell, declined to take responsibility for selecting his successor. They had one of those vote-buying orgies that are the rule in Canadian political leadership selection. A radio talkshow host, Christy Clark, with NO support from any member of the Liberal caucus, acquired the party leadership. She won a seat in the legislature (just barely) but, with no support from MLAs and no electoral mandate, she has been premier for more than a year. That parliamentary accountability thing….? Naaah, this is Canada. Turns out the leadership convention’s choice was not so successful. Clark’s Palinesque performance has won few friends, and now she has polling numbers akin to Campbell’s. She too faces abandonment by cabinet and caucus members who never wanted her to be their leader. Latest out the door is leadership runner-up and finance minister Kevin Falcon.
Look where the caucus fire/convention hire system has left the BC Liberals. The caucus could probably muscle Clark out as it did Campbell. Except there must be a provincial election by next spring, so there is hardly time for a traditional leadership race — even if there was any faith that the hey-I-just-bought-a-vote party masses could make a better choice this time. The whole convention system is simply too inflexible for the pace of parliamentary politics. Stuck with the leader imposed on them, the Liberal MLAs just have to go down in flames .
I’m somewhat torn on this one. I like the idea and the principle that the parliamentary caucus should be empowered to choose its leader. But I suppose the people who join political parties should have something to do. And I’m interested to see how the next Liberal leadership race functions with this new “supporter” thing. What we have is something like a cross between the American system of primaries and the traditional parliamentary system of letting the party caucus decide. And so we should probably choose one. Either we regard our Prime Ministers and Premiers as Presidents (and thus should open leadership elections to a wider vote beyond the card-carrying party membership) or we regard our Prime Ministers and Premiers as parliamentary leaders (and thus we should let the parliamentary caucus decide). And faced with those two choices, I side with the latter.
Update 2:47pm. It’s pointed out to me that Ms. Clark had one supporter in the BC Liberal caucus. He resigned in March.
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM - 0 Comments
VICTORIA – Long-time Chilliwack Liberal MLA John Les confirms he won’t seek a fourth…
VICTORIA – Long-time Chilliwack Liberal MLA John Les confirms he won’t seek a fourth term in the provincial election next May.
Les thanked both the premiers he worked under and says the decision to leave was difficult.
Les, whose current post is parliamentary secretary to Premier Christy Clark, was elected in 2001 and says he’s looking forward to new challenges and exploring other opportunities.
His announcement is the first of three expected today, including Education Minister George Abbott and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil.
Former finance minister Kevin Falcon announced his resignation yesterday.
Clark says she will shuffle her cabinet next week.
By Jessica Allen - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM - 0 Comments
On a fateful evening in July I drove past the remnants of a summertime haunt on the outskirts of St. Thomas, Ont. My family and I faithfully frequented The Polar King for footlongs, french fries and always a vanilla soft-serve dipped in butterscotch.
Although the charming roadside pit stop no longer exists, it got me thinking, “Surely, this country must be busting at the seams with similar off-the-beaten-track food destinations.”
It got me thinking of some other stuff, like:
- “I could find those pit stops.”
- “I could ask readers for their help.”
- “In fact, I could build an interactive map of those spots. All readers would have to do is click on the map pin for important information.”
I invited you to submit your favourite roadside destination. Boy, did you deliver.
So let me introduce you to the first edition of the Great Canadian Pit Stop map:
*Please click on the image below to access the interactive map.
There’s bound to be more, so leave your comments below, on the map’s page, or email them to email@example.com. I”ll be sure to add your suggestions to the second edition next summer. That’s right, the second edition.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM - 0 Comments
Chris Tindal figures the NDP are in a good position to win the new Toronto Centre.
In 2011, that half of the riding favoured the NDP candidate over the Liberal by 3%. Add in the votes from the section of Trinity-Spadina that’s to move over and the NDP margin increases to 5%, or 1,700 votes. That may not sound like an orange nail in the red coffin, but keep in mind the NDP earned that much support in the current Toronto Centre without any reasonable prospect of winning. With these improved odds will come a more high-profile candidate, more motivated voters and volunteers, and increased money. Liberals, on the other hand, will have moved their money, volunteers and best candidate north to the new riding of Mount Pleasant.
And Tindal figures the Liberals could be threatened by the Conservatives in Mount Pleasant.
See previously: Another one for the Conservatives?
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 11:38 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s niece is making waves by suggesting women can…
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s niece is making waves by suggesting women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing “like a whore.”
Krista Ford, the former captain of Toronto’s short-lived lingerie football team, made the controversial comment on Twitter shortly after police issued a warning about a recent string of sexual assaults.
Ford, who is the daughter of Coun. Doug Ford, advised women to “Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don’t dress like a whore.”
The message sparked online outrage before it was yanked from her account.
A Toronto police officer was criticized last year for making similar recommendations in a speech on campus safety.
The officer’s advice that women should avoid dressing “like sluts” to reduce the risk of assault became the catalyst for SlutWalk, a series of marches to protest the suggestion that victims are to blame.
He later apologized.
Meanwhile, police said Wednesday they are investigating six reports of sexual assault in the Annex and Kensington Market neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto.
Police said it appears the same suspect could be responsible for all six incidents, in which victims were grabbed from behind and groped.
Officers expressed concern that the assaults could continue and grow more violent. (680News)