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Louis Vuitton Cup is going to Sweden!

Hello All!

The location for Acts 6 & 7 of the Louis Vuitton Cup have been announced – Malmö, in the Skåne region at the south of Sweden, will be the Northern European location for the Louis Vuitton Acts 6 & 7, with racing beginning on the 25th of August, 2005. The back-to-back events, featuring both Match and Fleet Racing are among 14 opening Acts of the 32nd America’s Cup.

For those of you who don’t know what I am writing about, the Louis Vuitton Cup is the “Challengers” stage of the America’s Cup (For sailing fans, it’s comparable to the Stanley or World Cup). Whichever team wins the Louis Vuitton Cup moves on to challenge the defender of the America’s Cup (the team who won last time). So, back in 2003 during the America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Team Alignhi (Switzerland) defeated 2 time America’s Cup champion, Team New Zealand, 5-0.

So far, eight challengers have been accepted into the Louis Vuitton Cup Race (including teams from the UK, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, the US, France, Spain, and Italy).

As of last week, Act 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup is to be held in Marsailles, France; Acts 2-5 are to be held in Valencia, Spain; and Acts 6 & 7 are to be held in Sweden, while the America’s Cup race is to be held in Valencia, Spain. Check it all out at the Official Website of the 32nd America’s Cup. Very exciting stuff!

D

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Janeane Garofalo slams Pat Buchanan!

Janeane Garofalo smashed right-wing nutjob Pat Buchanan on MSNBC – Check it out!

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Ode to Model Parliament 2005

3rd post of the day….I am a nerd.

I would just like to take the time to do a post-humourous recap of thanks for my weekend of last. I would like to thank my friend, Howard, for introducing me to Model Parliament two years ago! To what I am sure is the disappointment of one particular “Liberal” (translation: Good-time Charlie) who attempted to torpedo our Caucus, WE HAD FUN, SO HA! FIE ON YOU!

Yeah… so…last weekend, I and many of my fellow university chums and non-chums undertook the role of debate in the good old British style of Parliamentary Democracy (Ottawa cage-match style).

Recap

Night Friday – After an hour or so of socializing and beverage consuming at the great establishment of the Globe, myself (the Finance Minister) along with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Canadian Heritage made our way to our glorious enterance at the Alberta Legislature Buildings. After being a total of 25 minutes late for our 30 minute caucus meeting, we (the mighty Liberal Caucus of 15 – what we lost in numbers, we made up in parliamentary personality!) took on the evil conservatives and not-evil-but-sometimes-almost-evil ndper collegues in a death match of “speech from the throne.” Thanks to Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald for doing a great job as Gov Gen! What happened following the sftt was a brutally long session of kareokee and the like @ Cliff Clavin’s Pub.

Saturday Mornin’ – After a brutally long night of kareoke and schmozing, I needed a stop @ Tim’s for some coffee on my way back to the Leg. Well, lucky for me, I encountered 3 of my fellow Model Parliamentarians in line. Three great NDPers! So, back to the Leg and late again for caucus… oh well, who needs the finance minister anyway! What happened next was quite fun, QUESTION PERIOD! Twas good times, enjoyable. Everyone was in a good spirit and fun about it! I must thank the honourable member for Nanimo-Cowachin (holtopia!) for her pointed question regarding one “Mr. Sponge Bob Square Pants.” In response, I can say that the Government of Canada will do everything to protect Mr. Spongepants from those who would not have him around (Click here).Debate of Bills – I’m not going to get into this, because there ended up being alot of ammendments and attachments and stuff, I think our bill was passed (not sure what it looked like at the end…).

Saturday Night – following a long day of debate and raucus caucusing, we made our ways to the fine O’Byrne’s Pub where we proceeded to socialize and cause much scandal (take that Gomery Inquiry!) Twas a fun time, I seem to remember lots of singing and stuff. Got to meet alot of people from the other parties, good people, not all the conservatives were as scary as I thought they might be! They were actually quite fun! Same with the ND people! FUN! I didn’t like the getting kicked out at closing time part though (thanks to whoever it was that carried me back to Catherine’s apartment!).

Sunday Mornin’ – Well, Sunday mornin… I decided it was in the best interest of all my fellow caucus members to let me sleep in and recoop. So, in my 11am Trudeauesc enterance (red scarf and sunglasses included), I graced back into the house of debate and ended up accidentally voting to create a world-wide free trade zone (ooppps!). Well, in penance for this hanuos crime against common sense, I crossed the floor to the New Democratic Caucus. Soon after, my socialist bretheren and I staged a bloodless coup, taking over the front benches of the ND Caucus and enstalling myself as the moustachless Leader of the NDP (watch out Jack Layton!). Twas a good time, being able to stand up for the principles of the worker and take on those Liberal dawgs and Conservative hawks! Cheers everyone! It was fun!

So, in final recap, I HAD FUN! Though I ended up crossing to the NDP, MP2005’s Liberal Caucus was made up of a good bunch of fun people! Thanks! Though there were only 15 of us, we had fun! (and that was much better than having even one rotten smelly apple – you know who you are).

Also, Thanks to Stella for being a great Speaker! Thanks Spence for organizing such a fun weekend! Thanks to Andrea, the “Social Coordinator!” Thanks to Ryan, Dan, and Jason for their distinct leadership qualities as rotating PM’s! Thanks to Jen, Lisa Claire, and Catherine – the Charlie’s Angels of the Liberal Caucus! Thanks ND Holly, Ali, and Step for the fun time! And, everyone (who was there) for making it a fun weekend!

Cheers!

D

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gaggle.com

in the midst of secret research in my work as a top secret agent for an even more top secret organization, I accidentally typed in www.gaggle.ca (instead of www.google.ca). type it in your address bar and see what you get…

is this a good thing or a bad thing???

D

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TGIF!, Releases, and NO MORE MADE IN CHINA PINS!

g’ooday,

For my weekly finale…

Ontario’s Rae Review on post-secondary education is going to be released on Monday morning (8am alberta time). The review, led by the intrepid former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is expected to recommend some interesting reforms to Ontario’s PSE system – keep your eyes on this one… For those of you from the great land of Alberta, you may know of one of the Rae Review Advisory Panel Members – none other than former U of A SU Prez Leslie Church.

NEXT – for those of you nerds out there (comrades?). A movie trailer for the new Star Wars movie is now on the Star Wars Website. Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is going to be released in theatres on May 19m, 2005 (My first Star Wars posting = I am now officially an internet nerd!).

And finally, the federal Public Works Department will no longer supply members of Parliament with made-in-China lapel pins displaying the Canadian flag. Read the story here!

This is the type of posting I am deciding I will do when I don’t feel like writing much. : )

Have a nice weekend!

D

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TA-DA, my next post!

Howdy,

Just a couple of cool links i’ve discovered in the past week.

1) CBC Archives – Very cool site with radio and video clips from across the past 50 years. Politics, Sports, Arts, Culture, etc. Check it out! CBC Archives

2) The Living Room Candidate – On this website, you can check out US Presidential election TV commercials going back to 1952. Recommended for political junkies like myself!

3) The former memebers of BC’s Citizen’s Assembly have set up a website to promote their single transferable vote choice. Check it out…

The House of Commons is also back in session this week and I was listening to it today (background music, wow does Stephen Harper have an angellic voice or what?). During QP, one of the Conservative MP’s (I think it may have been Edmonton Spruce Grove MP Rona Ambrose)brought up the dreaded “democratic deficit.” The just of the question was that there are at least 16 vacancies in the Senate (3 in Alberta), and what is the PM going to do about it (hold elections or not?).

Now, I strongly believe that the Senate needs some pretty heavy reforming, I’m just not sold on what those reforms should look like. I don’t think that electing our Senate under the flawed winner takes-all FPTP system would do anything to improve regional representation. Perhaps somekind of PR system, or STV? What do you think?

Back to the H of C question… one of the things i’m wondering – where do the Conservative Senators stand on this issue? Most of them were appointed by former PM Brian Mulroney. Would they run in a Senate election? Something they may have to think about if the PM ever decides to move on this issue.

More later…

D

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One more note…

Just one more note… our ever Honourable Parliamentary Members from across Canada converged on Ottawa today to resume session following their Winter Holiday. Watch or listen to it live on the web.

One more… In the wake of the Williams – Martin Agreement over Newfoundland and Labrador equalization payments, Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert is stepping up to bat for his home province. Will we see the flags lowered in Regina???

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daveberta welcomes jentario!

In the spirit of inter-provincial relations, daveberta would like to welcome jentario to the blogging world! Glad that you could join us!

You can visit jentario by clicking here (no passports required!).

D 🙂

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I wish I lived in Vancouver….

U2 has recently announced their Vertigo World Tour venues, and as you can tell by the title, the only Canadian stop is in Vancouver… 🙁

Not that Vertigo was anything earthshattering, I just really want to see U2 (my fav band!). Hmmmm. Well… maybe I’ll hitch-hike my way to Vancouver. For those of you lucky SOB’s in the Van – Bono, the Edge, and company will be heading your way on April 28. For those of you who get to go – I hope you have an awful time! 😉

Also, just in case anyone is going to be in Gothenburg (?) on July 29, they’ll be playing there too!

(U2 is going to Gothenburg, but not to Edmonton?????)

On another U2 note, I saw Bono in Toronto when I was a delegate to the November 2003 Liberal Leadership Party in Toronto. I was like 10 feet away from him! Soooo Cool! Got some good picts too, when I figure out how to put pict on here maybe i’ll put some of those up…

Until next time.

D

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Perspective

As of late, in an attempt to broaden my ‘perspective of the world’, I have found myself taking a “stand back and look from across the street” view of Canadian Politics. Lately, I am pretty disappointed in many of our politicians for their inability to get past petty partisan politics (or simply the inability not to look stupid).

If you’ve picked up any major Canadian newspaper in the past few weeks you would have seen a splatering of threats of same-sex elections (Paul Martin), billions of billions of eyeballs and mad-cow dinners (Ralph Klein), political threats to take down the Gomery Inquiry (Jean Chretien’s Lawyer) and threats to protect it (Stephen Harper). I do not wish to downplay these issues, but it all seems pretty pointless.

So what have I learned from these stories?

1) Same-sex marriage is not going to destroy humanity. It’s also probably one of the most devisive issues that you could run a campaign on (Note to PM: It was a pretty thin layered bluff).

2) Letting Ralph Klein open his mouth in public is bad for us all (especially cattle ranchers!).

3) Jean Chretien is never going to leave us, he loves us too much! He’ll be around for ever! As for Stephen Harper, well…

Back to the perspective thing… the international group Human Rights Watch has released a startling report from the new free and democractic Republic of Iraq.

Iraq: Torture Continues at Hands of New Government

Police Systematically Abusing Detainees

(Baghdad, January 25, 2005) — Iraqi security forces are committing systematic torture and other abuses against people in detention, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

So, as the “leaders” of our great country continue to fight amoungst themselves for control of the sandbox, the attrocities going on in the world faze very few of us, and even fewer of our politicians.

So, is it perspective that I am looking for in a leader? Couldn’t hurt.

Bon Soir.

D

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NDP Scandal, Missiles, Cages, and John Manley?!?!

Some interesting news stories this and last week…

1) NDP and scandal….deja vu?? Saskatchewan’s NDP government says it didn’t know a woman at the centre of a missing money controversy was once convicted of a $600,000 bank fraud…read the rest of this juicy story….

2) Hey! You! Get behind my shield! U.S. President George W. Bush tried to bully Canadian officials on missile defence during his visit last month…want to read more?

3) This is why we have the Geneva Convention… Attendees at the Independence Ball, one of nine officially sanctioned galas celebrating President George W. Bush’s second inauguration Thursday, will be treated to a viewing of a caged Saddam Hussein…read the rest.

4) Just doesn’t know when to quit… Former DPM John Manley publically admits that he is keeping his formerly aborted Liberal Leadership Team alive in prepartation for the next go around…clicky here

Enjoy.

D

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A Very Bad Movie and some Political Thought

I watched M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “The Village” this weekend, and have decided that not only is it my choice for the worst movie of 2004, but that it was soooo awful, it will probably also be my worst movie choice for 2005 as well!! That twist ending was pretty lame. No…the whole movie was pretty lame.

Anyway, it was an interesting weekend. Friday night, Lewis Lapam, the editor of Harper’s Magazine was in E-town for the U of A Students’ Union Revolutionary Speakers Series. It was an interesting night. He gave the crowd quite a bit of insight into the current political climate in the US (from the viewpoint of an intellectual of the left). I would say that there were at least 600 people there.

I also attended the Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Liberals in the good city of Red Deer. Over 170 people from across Alberta came to this meeting to elect a new party executive, meet the 17 newly elected Alberta Liberal MLA’s, and hear Leader Kevin Taft speak. It seems to be a very exciting time of growth for the Official Opposition in Alberta.

I had an interesting discussion this weekend with some familiy of mine about Alberta Politics. It has always been a frustrating topic for me, I’m a provincial Liberal (big and small-L) here in Conservative dominated Alberta. I realize that the Liberals have a huge mountain to climb before they can legitimatly form a government (the PC Party has been in power since 1971). I do tend to believe that the first-part-the-post electoral system, the stagnation and lopsidedness of political debate along with the dominance of the PC Party has led many Albertans to believe that a change in government will never come. It’s frustrating and I think it may be how the Federal Reform/Alliance/Conservative Parties have felt about the federal Liberal dominance in Ontario.

But, nethertheless, it is very uplifting and re-energizing to see the the Alberta Liberals have a Leader like Kevin Taft to lead the charge against the “natural governing party of Alberta.”

Adieu and good night.

D

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Their Coming Back! :)

Happy Friday!

Good News! Family Guy, probably the only good thing about the FOX Corporation, is coming back to TV! After being cancelled by its right-wing Fox overlords, the extremly popular and controversial cartoon is coming back to air on Sunday May 1, 2005!! From the Fox website:

“Monday January 17, 2005

Premiere Date ConfirmedThe premiere date for the new season of Family Guy has finally been confirmed. No more “FOX 2005” for us. Oh no, we have a date AND a time. The season premiere of Family Guy season 4 will take place on Sunday, May 1st 9/8c on FOX. Mark your calendars and buckle up… only 104 days to go!

# posted by THE BARON @ 9:01 a.m.

So, this is probably the only time I will say this, but “Good Work Fox!” (ouch, that hurt)



Have a good weekend!



D

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Finally getting on to the Blog wave….

Well I’ve finally decided to get on the great wave of bloging sweeping the land. So, here I am. Woah, what a rush…



Not sure what the overall theme of this blog is going to be, still trying to figure out the main details of how this thing actually works…



Listening CBC Radio One’s “As it Happens” program. For those of you who don’t know, As it Happens is a CBC nightly current affairs show. I’m not going to hide my bias, I think the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is probably the best news network in Canada (a purely personal opinion). It may be a little left-leaning, but it is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the world of Global, CNN, and Fox (barf!).



Back top AIH- Right now Mary Lou Finley is talking to the BC Foresty Minister about some issue regarding trees or something.



Well, that’s it for now.



Cheers.



D

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First Post

Hello,

Welcome to my blog.

Dave