Rotten says “Sex Pistols” was a lousy name. He means it, maaaan.

I say bollocks.  I wore one of my many [one of 2,000 he owns – ed.] Sex Pistols Bollocks T-shirts on Friday, on the way up to the cottage, and it got a postive response everywhere.  A grandfatherly type came up to me at a gas station on Kingston Road and said he bought that album “simply because of the name.”  So there, Johnny.

Band names are crucially important – more important than your actual songs, in my experience.  Some of the names of bands I have been in: Hot Nasties (taken from a porn film), Social Blemishes (because we were), Sick Dick and the Volkswagens (from a Pynchon novel), Nemesis Goosehabit and the Jesus Beatles (dreamt up whilst I was a telephone solicitor at Calgary’s World of Cleaning Services), Chicken Realistic and the Fabulous Kevins (featuring my friend James Muretich on lead screams, R.I.P.), and – of course – Shit From Hell, now SFH.

Speaking of which:

Senseless census?

Tonight, I received this email:


RE: Census.  You didn’t – I DID get charged by StatsCan and am on trial.

Finished presentation of evidence on March 16th. It was very clear that the Crown cannot win the case.  And is in serious breach of Charter Rights, using the coercion of jail and a fine to force people to hand over a ‘biographical core of personal information.’  It is possible that the Govt’s move to make the long form voluntary was to try and get them off the hook.  The Judge is scheduled to hear the arguments in my trial on Sept 9th.

I refused to cooperate with the census because of the out-sourcing of census work to Lockheed Martin Corp (American military).

Appended is part of an email I circulated recently.  You may be interested.

Sandra Finley, Saskatoon

So I went online and found coverage of Sandra’s trial here and here and here and here and here.

What say you, now, long-form census enthusiasts?  In my case, I objected to the highly-personal stuff I was being told to hand over (eg. the racial composition of my family, income, mortgage payments, etc.) – and, additionally, being told to hand over such personal stuff to governments, who I know from personal experience are really sloppy with pretty much all of the information that comes into their possession.  But at least I wasn’t prosecuted (although there are no shortage of [anonymous] federal Liberals now calling for me to be kicked out of the party for my insolence).

Sandra Finley wasn’t so lucky. How about a left-leaning woman being hauled into a court by the Harper government because she objects to government’s commercial interest in gathering data it uses the law to compel millions of people to provide?  How about that?

It’s Summertime, so I reckon about 70 per cent of the sound and fury surrounding the long form census controversy is seasonal.  You know, it’s silly season, etc.  So I am trying not to get too worked up about the whole thing.

But Sandra Finley’s case – and the dozens of other cases like it – certainly tests my resolve.

Comments are open.  Oh, and fill your boots, angry Grits: explain to me, please, why the Harper government is right to prosecute a 60-year-old peace activist, would you?

You want a real election issue for a country struggling with a massive deficit? Here’s one

Tories poised to announced controversial, sole sourced $16B jet purchase
The Canadian Press
Jul 16, 2010 4:09

OTTAWA – The Harper government was expected to announce today one of the biggest military equipment purchases in history – a controversial, non-competitive $16-billion contract to build a new generation of fighter jets.

Three cabinet ministers, led by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, were scheduled to make a major military procurement announcement in Ottawa, where it was expected they would confirm the long-anticipated plan to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin.

The jet purchase and the accompanying long-term maintenance plan have drawn criticism from the Liberal opposition and former senior public servants who say the massive outlay of public cash lacks transparency because it was not subjected to other competitive bids.

The total value of the contract is expect to rival the total amount spent by the Conservatives four years ago, when they rolled out a series of high-profile military purchases of transport planes, helicopters and armoured trucks.

The 65 new jets would replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of CF-18s that recently underwent a $2.6 billion upgrade.

MacKay has assured Parliament there would be a competitive process for the selection of new planes, but the Harper cabinet has reportedly decided to go with an untendered contract.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says he would put the deal on hold if he were elected prime minister.

Here comes the Long Form Census Election!

One of the nice fellows from The Mark came and interviewed me again yesterday. Topic du jour: the shocking scandal surrounding the Census Long Form thing!

Get ready for the election campaign on this crucial, critical issue: it’ll make the Free Trade election of 1988 look positively trivial in comparison!  It’s the issue everyone is talking about!

UPDATE: Some Lib friends have genially disagreed with me, saying they don’t understand what I’m so worried about.  Fair enough. A sampling, found here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  I could go on. Other Grits may favour the Conservative government collecting and disseminating highly personal information about them; this one doesn’t.  Just as I don’t trust Facebook to protect private data, I don’t trust sloppy bureaucracies, either.

PMO news bulletin: “Stock day will be unavailable for comment. As in, forever.”

“Care to watch some Flintstones reruns, little guy?”

Angus Reid provides us with the funnest poll of the Summer so far!

Americans are Creationists; Britons and Canadians Side with Evolution
Half of Americans in the Midwest and South say God created human beings in their present form.

[NEW YORK – Jul. 15, 2010] – While a majority of people in Britain and Canada agree with the theory of evolution, almost half of Americans are in tune with creationism, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of representative samples of 1,002 Americans, 1,009 Canadians and 2,011 Britons asked respondents whether their own point of view is closest to the notion that human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, or the idea that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

In Britain, two-thirds of respondents (68%) side with evolution while less than one-in-five (16%) choose creationism. At least seven-in-ten respondents in the South of England (70%) and Scotland (75%) believe human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

In Canada, three-in-five respondents (61%) select evolution from the two options provided, while one-in- four (24%) pick creationism. Quebec (66%) and British Columbia (64%) hold the highest proportion of respondents who believe human beings evolved, while three-in-ten Albertans (31%) think God created human beings in their present form.

In the United States, almost half of respondents (47%) believe that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years, while one-third (35%) think human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.  Half of people in the Midwest (49%) and the South (51%) agree with creationism, while those in the Northeast are more likely to side with evolution (43%).

Your morning papers

Not pleasant for Team Iggy, but they’re opinion. They’re not news stories.

This Toronto Star story, however, is a bizarre combination of both. Key graf:

“Michael Ignatieff is being touted as an eventual successor to Janice Gross Stein at the university’s prestigious Munk School of Global Affairs…Sources say the university would also welcome Ignatieff’s return if he chooses to fill the post it offered in 2005 to bring him back to Canada from Harvard.”

I rather doubt one of the country’s best newspapers would permit him to print a column full of, as one of Iggy’s unidentified staff put it, “bullshit.” It’s a biggish story, it’s topping the highly-influential National Newswatch, and it’s mainly written as fact.

But questions abound. If the paper stood behind the veracity of the claims of the “sources” therein, then why let it stand as a column? Why not assign some of the Ottawa bureau to it, and write it as a news story? Why publish it as an odd mix of fact and opinion?

It’s weird one and, mostly, we’ll have to put it down as one of those flimsy Summertime stories. When I worked for the aforementioned Chretien in Opposition, we could have wallpapered Centre Block with the Chretien-is-resigning stories, particularly in the Summer. He ended up doing rather well in the election that followed, as I recall.

I’m not involved with Team Iggy, for reasons that would shortly become become crystal clear, and nor are they involved with me. What to do, what to do?

I guess that leaves you, dear reader, to decide what’s what. Who’s bullshitting? Comments are open. Fire away.