The Cadman affair

Prime Minister Stephen Harper took the unprecedented step of suing the Liberal Party of Canada for libel over statements made by the party on its website. After the release of a taped interview with Harper from 2005, Liberals began accusing the Conservative party in general, and Harper in particular, of bribery with respect to Cadman. To refresh readers on the basic story, on May 19th 2005, a crucial vote was held in Canadian Parliament, a vote that was specifically a motion of confidence (or non-confidence) in the sitting Liberal minority government of the time. In a recently released book, by author Tom Zytarek, Cadman’s widow Dona is quoted as saying her dying husband told her of a $1 million insurance policy offer, made by the Conservatives before the vote. Its important to note as well that Cadman’s vote on this non-confidence motion was beyond crucial … he was literally the deciding vote between the government holding, or falling.

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New Content at GAS – Arthur C. Clarke: The day the future died

Arthur C. Clarke - Dec 16, 1917 - Mar 19, 2008By Lyle Bateman
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

The golden age of science fiction” is a term used to describe a particularly fertile period in science fiction, when old conventions of “the space western” were challenged with new ideas, new themes, and new energy.

There are many names associated with that period—Heinlein Bradbury and Asimov, among others—but no name is more synonymous with that heady time in science fiction than Arthur C. Clarke. The death of Clarke, yesterday at his Sri Lanka home at the age of 90, almost closes that chapter of science-fiction history. With only Ray Bradbury left from the shiniest nuggets of the Golden Age, more than just writers are passing into history… the very ethic that created the world we live in today is slowing growing pale.

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Doing my part for one party democracy …

Its election time in Alberta again … the King is dead, long live the King. For those completely unfamiliar with Alberta provincial politics, I wrote a primer on the subject here on View from the Edge last year, whose title I stole for my opening line above. My previous article on the subject was in response to the election of Ed Stelmach as Conservative party leader, replacing the former Premiere Ralph Klein, and in it I spent some time talking about the history of democracy in Alberta.

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The day the music died … Jeff Healey dead at 41

The Heavenly Roadhouse will be rocking tonight. The choir of Angels will happily slide into a back up role for the premiere performance of Jeff Healey. The Canadian guitar virtuoso died last night in Toronto as a result of complications from the cancer he battled his entire life. Considered by many to be one of the greatest modern guitar players, Healey was discovered in the 80’s by Stevie Ray Vaughn, no slouch on the axe himself. Of Healey, Vaughn once said that after seeing Jeff play, he realized that no one else in the history of the instrument had ever played it properly, himself included. Blind from age 1 as a result of retinal cancer, Healey didn’t have the advantage (or disadvantage) of watching other guitar players for inspiration … instead, he developed his own style of playing with the guitar laid across his lap. With his left hand on top of the neck, Jeff had far more dextrous use of his thumb and fingers than a guitar player using a normal style. This gave him a technical ability that was matched by very few other players.

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… works in Absurd and Ironic ways …

The more I look at the world, the more I think God must have a supreme sense of the absurd, and an edge of irony sharper than the sharpest razor. As my year end post for 2006, I wrote an entry on the absurdity of some of the major news events of the year, but absurdity and irony pop up in more mundane places as well. Today, one of the “big stories” on Newsworld involves the sale of some rabid puppies from a flea market in Toronto over this past weekend, and the ensuing health scare to ensure anyone who had contact with the puppies got medical attention. Initially, it seemed to be a pretty normal story about a local health crisis.

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2007 … a year in jokes

New Years EveWell, we’re coming up on the end of 2007, and all the “year in review” shows are starting to come out now. Its one of the things I love about this time of year, the chance to reflect on the things that have happened in the past year, and think a bit about the future. In my stage act, I do a fair amount of topical, news based humour, and I thought I’d share a bit of that with you today as my version of a “year in review” post.

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Yuletide Greetings

Its a week before Christmas, and as usual for recent times, part of the Holiday season this year is the debate over the use of terms like “Christmas” and other Christian terms for the holiday. Many Christians and “traditionalists” are fighting back against a wave of “political correctness” in recent years that has sought to remove many of the Christian labels from the Christmas season. Rather than Merry Christmas, lately we are encouraged to say “Happy Holidays” to include more people from faiths other than Christianity.

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