On the eve of a monumental vote

The boys from Alberta have never scared me. The media scares me. The Liberals scare the bejeepers out of me. But a western influence in federal politics suits me just fine.

I think Stephen Harper is, by far, a better leader than anything we could dig up here in Ontario. I think members like Jim Prentice, Monte Solberg , Diane Ablonczy and Rona Ambrose are principled, honourable people who would make fine, principled and honourable cabinet minsters. Now wouldn't that be as fresh as Rocky Mountain air.

I'm enjoying Jack's new format and evening news reports not just because he does a good round up but because it has allowed him to offer more commentary. I don't believe the west really wants to separate and, except for the four years I spent in Alberta, have lived within 30 miles of the Quebec border. I've never believed that Quebec really wants to separate either. Small excerpt below - read Jack's full Rant here.

As a moderate conservative I think we need to be very careful that we don't confuse moderates with people who really should move over to the Liberal camp. They will surely be welcome because when this whole mess is over that party is going to have to rebuild. But hop on over to Let it Bleed for some straight talk on moderates and Red Tories. Says Bob of Robert Stanfield, Joe Clark and Kim Campbell:

Before I head out to the garden, a few points on the language of Chaturbate gender. When I say the boys from Alberta it goes without saying that I include Diane Ablonczy and Rona Ambrose because I am confident that over in that sandbox the boys don't shove the girls out and steal their toys. And just between us girls, I have also used the label political whore in political conversation with friends and colleagues many times over the last decade but until yesterday had always said it in reference to a political male.

The garden

Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, 1990, p. 13

With words and phrases like chick, girls, barnyard animals and dirty stories on this site I get some wild (oops there I go again) google referrals.

I guess I should be creeped out by all of this but I take perverse pleasure (ok, I did that on purpose) in imagining some creepy, sweaty guy combing through the archives looking for hot stuff. Of course, there isn't any.

But I do have a few good garden links for you.

I really like garden writer and master gardener Terry Yockey's site Northern Gardening. The Minnesota climate is very similar to what I have to contend with here in eastern Ontario and I don't waste time dreaming about plants and shrubs that aren't going to perform well .

Northern Garden editor Diana Roberts from Burns Lake, BC has a large site that includes good information on everything from perennials and vegetables to ponds and propagation.

Prairie gardeners have even greater challenges and this Alberta garden site has a section on table top gardening which would seem to be a good way to enjoy tomatos and tender annuals in what can be a cruel climate for gardeners .

Now Playing screen may stop working from time to time

A few weeks ago, Yahoo! (which hosts the SitG web content) changed the way users must upload files. This broke the tried & true method I had been using for years. I have a new method of uploading the Jasminlive playlist file now, but it seems it's not 100% stable. I have been working through issues and it seems to be doing better now. But there may be times when the "Now Playing" frame is out of sync. If it seems to be stuck, feel free to drop me an email and I will fix it when I am able.

Bear with me...

Wow, long time no update.

Hi folks, if you're reading this.

Want to make sure you know what's going on with me.

I have an extremely demanding job (healthcare IT -- in charge of inpatient clinical system for large Ivy League health system).

I also have a website. And some hobbies. Mostly music. Old-time, but other kinds too.

That kind of sums it up.

I have kept this site going because people seem to enjoy it. But just barely. It's up, it's down.

Apologies for when it's down, but this is very much an afterthought these days. (See above.)

I have some wonderful sponsors, but I haven't charged them the very modest cost of sponsorship in well over a year.

I say that by way of saying: bear with me when this thing is down. Or getting stale. I'll keep it going as long as I think you all care.

Let me know when it's down -- often, I don't know.

The Sugar in the Gourd data center is a PC in the 3rd floor "man cave" of my house in West Philly. The power's pretty reliable, the network less so, the Winamp & assorted plug ins not bad, the Windows OS, well...it's not Unix.

Thanks for listening, for your patience, and support.

Hope to see some of you at Clifftop! (I made my maiden voyage last year, and don't plan to miss another one any time soon.) If I'm really lucky, the station will be up while I am down there.

It's a dirty game

Because the chicks who read this blog aren't as partisan as I am I would like to issue a warning ... this post is all rumour, allegation and innuendo.

Volpe says he'll leave MP's citizenship claims to ministry . Of course he will, that would not only be the hounourable thing to do but pretty much the way goverment ministries work. This hands off approach included making sure his allegations that Grewall was underhanded in meeting his immigration requirements first became a major news story. Keep in mind Volpe also made sure the media was fully versed in his allegations that two Conservative MP's were asking for money in exchange for visas.

Call me cynical and partisan but I'll wager the outcome of these investigations by the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP requested by Volpe will not get near the media attention the allegations did. Not to worry, rumour has it Volpe will not be in the Martin cabinet much longer anyway.

Ever cautious - remember girls these are all just allegations - the Conservatives are claiming the tapes that were found to be tampered with by sound experts weren't the original tapes. Conservatives also claim that their sound expert has found the original http://www.livejasmin.cc tapes to be clean and unaltered. But given that the Conservatives like to lie, cheat and steal you might want to reserve judgement.

Rumour has it that Liberal sound experts examined not tapes but sound files pulled from Grewals website. Angry in the Great White North alleges that at least one sound expert may be lacking in credentials.

Oh, and did you hear. Harper's done.

Bourque has been reporting on his demise since Wednesday. According to Bourque, Cool Conservative Rick Peterson and Peter MacKay's people are set to save this sinking ship. But remember again this was heard at Hy's. So it's all just rumour and innuendo.

Buckets and Barrels and Dime Bags.

From Jay Currie on the slide show at Buckets of Grewal:

Buckets' Grewal serves up a tasty slideshow demonstrating that a) what was cut from the originally released tapes was substantive, b)that there is no question that there was a deal being discussed, c) that the tapes could have been released unedited.

I was pleased to see in Bucket's comments a reference to Harper losing two key members of his communications team. I don't know that I've said it here but I have said it in comments on other blogs - Harpers communications people suck ... big time.

They need a young, hunky looking blond dude to put the proper spin on things in Ottawa. Really, they do.

Hell, even a middle-aged --- no, no, make that a forty something chick from down on the farm could do a better http://www.livesexchat.net job. I'd start with how Martin is unfairly targeting intellectually challenged, gum chewing Conservatives and independents to pad out his minority caucus .... OK, I think I've said enough. The Conservatives really need a young, hunky looking blond dude.

So if you have lots of time today hop over to Buckets of Grewal and read for yourself how Paul Martin really isn't buying people off. Then have a look at how Liberals in support of traditional marriage have Martin over a barrel. Then consider what the big city mayors will ask for next, once of course Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell has convinced Martin to legalize and tax marijuana. I'd support that last initiative but I'm afraid it just might be enough to turn British Columbia as red as the back of my neck after a day in the garden.

Speaking of which, I'm not betting on those thunderheads rolling by to drop near enough precipitation. I'm off to water the strawberries.

Whoda Thought

Ya, I know the Sun is a right-wing rag and right-wing ranters are pre-occupied with law and order.

It is that very premise which makes two Sunday columns particularly disturbing. One morning you wake up and wonder when did we come to this? Both Licia Corbella and Greg Weston have columns questioning the ethics of the RCMP.

And while we're on the subject of waking up and wondering where the hell we are a chick named Candace went to sleep in a democracy and woke up on Planet X. She has an excellent post on the Andrew Coyne chill.

Another relatively new right-wing chick who I have not mentioned yet is Canadi-Anna. Anna's post on Christian candidates is best read in tandem with this CP story by Joan Bryden.

Me? An Idealist?

I'm not sure. But I might ... maybe ... kinda ... just this once disagree with something Bob is saying over at Let It Bleed.

It all hinges on Greg's post about why more Liberals aren't crossing the floor to the Conservatives. It seems they would if Harper would guarantee their nominations. Which he will not.

In the lead up to the last election Paul Martin made a habit of securing safe ridings for his friends and important candidates. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. Scroll past Maggie to With Friends Like This ... But note the Wells links are now dead .

However, if an arrangment could be reached (with or without the blessing of the leader) between a sitting member and a riding association and a nominated Conservative were to agree to step aside for a principled liberal incumbent that would be a different story. Unlikely but different.

Disillusioned Liberal members have had time to decide which side of the floor they want to sit on and more than enough time to go to their Conservative riding associations with their intentions. If they were any damn good at all they just might have won a nomination.

This is being touted as a naive remnant of the Reform Party. Bob is calling this the pursuit of perfection.

If this is what the CPC is doing, then they're foregoing the good in pursuit of the perfect. And they're letting down everyone who is desperate to see the Liberals turfed. This isn't a question of "lowering" ourselves to discreditable conduct: if there's some rule that won't allow the party leader to protect nominees in ridings, then change the rule. There may be some democratic principle that is offended by the presence of such power in the party leadership, but we compromise on all kinds of democratic principles in favour of creating of functional system. From the point of view of the CPC, this is important for the continued viability of the party.

Sad, but true, I'd rather languish in opposition than facilitate this practice. Political manoeuvring is one thing but there should never be any guarantees.