Thursday, October 27, 2005

Esprit de Corps

A good 1/2 hour documentary on Clown Doctors from Radio Netherlands - featuring the antics of such notables as 'Dr. Fruit-Loops' and the 'Fools for Health' from Windsor, Ontario.

With CBC Overnight back, I can finally sleep easy again... with the possible exception of Robert Greene's retirement during the lockout. His brand of on-air commentary made Paul Harvey look like the swill he is. However, with the good comes the bad. And the horrible is that crass English service of Channel Africa from the SABC, which in my estimation has the worst presenters ever - monologue readings from shuffling scribbled sheets of paper is not conducive to good radio.

It reminds me of my brief tenure at Radio Waterloo. Much like that experience, I suspect booze is somehow involved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Booklog5

W.G. Hardy - From Sea Unto Sea, c. XXII , p.392

Mowat (Premier of Ontario), like an industrious beaver, continued to whittle away at the Dominion's powers. The villain of the piece was the Privy Council. At first it had upheld Sir John A.'s contention that by the British North America Act the provinces were restricted to local spheres of action, particularly since all "residuary powers" were reserved to the Dominion.

In a curious way, however, the defeated South took vengeance on Canada for Canadian help to northern armies during the American Civil War. After the war the Attorney General of the Confederacy, Judah P. Benjamin, a strong proponent of States' rights, went to England. A man trained under him, Lord Watson, became a privy councilor. He was the man who in judgement after judgement gave the nod to provincial rights over Dominion rights. Thanks to the Privy Council's reversing its earlier attitude, Mowat achieved for Ontario and all the provinces the power to appoint Queen's counsels, unlimited jurisdiction over penalties and punishments prescribed by the province, and the like. In 1896, in announcing Ontario's Local Option Act intra vires, Great Britain's Privy Council even declared that the general residuary powers reserved to the Dominion, in Section 91 of the British North America Act, "ought to be strictly confined to such matters as are unquestionably of Canadian interest and importance and ought not to trench upon provincial legislation with respect to any of the classes of subjects enumerated in Section 92."

In this way the Privy Council practically nullified the intent and purpose of those who framed Confederation. Instead of Dominion powers being paramount, provincial rights were exalted. The relationship between the Dominion and the provinces was made more similar to that between the U.S. federal government and the states of the Union... In modern Canada provincial rights plus economic and religio-racial sectionalism are powerful centrifugal forces which act against national unity. The first of these disintegrating influences is owed to Mowat and the Privy Council.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kunstler Again.

RTH: Do you think home-builders are just building what consumers demand?

JHK: They're building what has been successful for them in the past. By the way, I abhor the word "consumer." Consumers, unlike citizens, have no implicit duties, obligations, or responsibilities to the common good. It's a degrading term. The use of it degrades the public discussion. The builders will continue to behave the way they are used to behaving until reality bitch-slaps them upside their heads. By then, they will all be headed out of business.

An oldie, but a goodie. Interview Here.

Also, here we go again.

And finally this - the phoenix of the now defunct BLC arises.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Problems Without Solutions

Three Gut Records, Toronto-based record label and the home of the Constantines, Sea Snakes, Oneida, Royal City, and Velvet Lounge favourite Jim Guthrie, closes its doors with its final official release, The Constantines' Tournament of Hearts. Could this mean a jump to a major label for Three Gut's established acts, or a slide into obscurity and real-world employment? Whatever happens, these two bloggers are thankful for the great albums, the Ramones covers, and the memories.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

News Fodder for the Week

Repentant rapacious developer turned Minister of Finance steps aside.

Oh Dear.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Devil's Imp

Surely the crutch of an era and prestigious founder of the war on drugs, the fabled opium den has been reduced to folklore. This once staple of Whirling Dervishes and 'Chinamen' everywhere, in modern times the 'celestial drug' and its burrow of filth have been wholly overtaken and replaced by its synthesized devil derivative - Diacetylmorphine. Simplified when trademarked to the catchier 'Heroin' (or 'Heroic Leader') by Bayer in the early 1900s, scag was marketed and sold as a cough medicine for children.

With the advent of competition, opium has been fazed out of the drug culture, common lexicon and relegated to mythical Victorian lore. Nonetheless, its purveyors remain undaunted.