Monday, March 12, 2007

Boys Gone Wild

Everyone's heard about the beloved Girls Gone Wild - I know that flipping through the channels late at night I've come across some sort of info-mercial for it. Well boys and girls, have I got a treat for you, for this limited time offer (not including shipping and handling) I bring you, Boys Gone Wild: The Parliment Edition.

Okay, I lied... kind of... I came across an article... feel free to read the entire thing - it's fabulous. But, to save yourself time and having to comb over some a few extra commas, large words and other such syntatical components... just read what I've highlighted - It's the good parts!

Harper, Dion definitely made an odd couple Mar 12, 2007 04:30 AM Linwood Barclay

Few people know this, but when Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion were attending MP School, they actually roomed together.

MP School, as everyone knows, is that special academy outside Ottawa where recently elected and re-elected Members of Parliament go for a refresher course on how government works. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, elected officials are assigned roommates at random, which is how Harper and Dion ended up sharing a unit.

They are, of course, sworn enemies these days, what with Harper being the prime minister, and Dion the new Liberal leader desperate to become the next prime minister.

Even when they were roomies, there was some tension, but that's just typical when two people must share a kitchen, bathroom and a TV room.

Like every time Dion would want a glass of milk, he'd find Harper had put the container back into the fridge empty. Dion was worried Harper would snitch his food, especially things like steak and potatoes, so he started making up salads with lots of greens in them. Harper, he figured, would never eat those. But one day, Harper's tastes changed, and he'd nibble on Dion's baby carrots and celery sticks.

"Nice radicchio," Harper said, exiting the kitchen after eating the last of Dion's salad.

One night, Harper and Dion had a big fight over what they'd watch on TV. Harper voted for a Die Hard movie, while Dion argued for Amélie. "Are there ANY explosions in it?" Harper asked. "Or have you picked yet another chick movie?"

They got to shouting, which brought a complaint from the neighbours, a couple of politicians from outside Montreal.

The next day, Dion had a brainstorm. He picked some flowers from alongside the highway and went over to the neighbours' place. "I am so sorry about our behaviour," Dion said, extending the fistful of exhaust-scented flowers as the door opened.

"I guess they could go next to those," the Quebecers said, pointing to a huge bouquet of blue flag irises, Quebec's official flower, with an attached card that read, "My bad! Love, Stephen."
"Oh," said Dion.

Dion went back into the unit he shared with Harper, grabbed his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. On the way to class, a kid on a skateboard stopped to kick him. A little old lady mailing a letter did the same. When Dion came to a corner near a school zone, a crossing guard kicked him in the shins.

"What are you doing?" he demanded to know. "Why is everyone kicking me?"
The crossing guard drew his attention to the "kick me" sign stuck to his backpack.
"Ohhh!" said Dion. "He makes me SO angry!"

Every morning, Harper had managed to get into the bathroom before Dion, so the last day of MP School Dion set his alarm extra early. But when he got to the bathroom door, it was locked, and he could hear the shower running. "Drat!" Dion said. "He anticipates my every move!"
When Harper finally emerged, towelling his hair, he grinned at Dion and said, "All yours."
There was no hot water left, and the shower was so cold it nearly froze a couple of Dion's bits off. When he came out of the bathroom, shivering, a towel wrapped around his waist, Harper was walking down the hall, dressed and ready to head off to class.

"Hey, you," said Dion. "You left no hot water for me, you know. You are so mean to me."

Harper said, "What's worse than a hurricane?"

Dion said, "I do not know. What is worse than a hurricane?"

Harper reached out to the shirtless Dion and said, "Nipple twister."

Harper went outside and got behind the wheel of a spanking new bus so he could give all the MP School attendees from Ontario a ride to class. Back in the building, Dion could still be heard screaming.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Educational Porn? Sweet!

I came across this article while flipping through some newspaper articles, and oddly enough it was the only one that made me chuckle. It got me thinking, can porn actually be educational? Could porn be the answer? If it is I'm sure several young university students would be a lot more willing to "hit the books" or erm... movies for a few hours than flipping through a sterile looking text-book. Perhaps they were on to something, the plots and dialogues between people in these films definantly does promote the language. It's like learning to read, it's my philosophy that who cares what they're reading? It could be a comic book, or a literary masterpiece, who cares so log as they're reading!? Perhaps there would be less language barriers even in Canada if such an approach was taken. All in the name of education right? It reaches an audience, that audience would learn the language... I'm sure that there would be a lot more French being spoken in the West if movies were made and shuffled around - media can be a fantastic thing, non?

Grant for porn in Catalan turns the air blue Graham Keeley in Barcelona,
Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:49am GMT 04/03/2007

It is homage to Catalana as never seen before. A Spanish pornographer has been given nearly £10,000 of public money to make a series of blue movies, promoting the Catalan language.

Pro-separatist authorities in the Catalan region of north-east Spain approved the grant as part of their agenda to "promote Catalan in every medium".

They awarded the film-maker, Conrad Son, nearly £7,000 to make one film and then a further £3,000 to show it along with two other examples of his work at a women's erotic film festival in the regional capital, Barcelona, last year. Details of the funding emerged when records of spending decisions by the regional government, the Generalitat, were made public.

It caused a national outcry, with critics saying the grants were the latest example of public money being wasted by hard-line Catalan nationalists, who hold power in the hung regional government.

In an editorial, the Spanish daily newspaper ABC said: "To give public funds for pornographic films when in Catalonia, like the rest of Spain, there are people in terrible conditions, is an error bordering on misappropriation of state money."

Carlos Losada, a commentator on the local Cadena Cope radio station, said: "I don't think it is right that public money is used to pay for these pornographic films, never mind if it is supposedly to promote Catalan. It is a degradation of public money."

The films were The Sea is not Blue, about a couple's sexual relationship near the Mediterranean; Laura is Lonely, about a bored woman's sex-filled affair with a stranger; and The Memory of the Fish, about a married executive's sexual adventures. All were in Catalan.

Contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Son insisted the funding was for "legitimate" art. He said that unlike normal pornographic movies - which he also makes - the films had proper plots and storylines.

"These are erotic films, not pornographic," he said. "They have stories. I know the difference as I also make pornographic films."

He was backed up by the Generalitat's political linguistic department, where a spokesman said: "There is a difference between erotic and pornographic films. The grant was given for erotic films, which were not explicit."

But the Catalan government has chosen not to grant cash to more pornographic films this year.
Like the Basque language, Catalan was banned during the 36-year dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, but is now the co-official language in Catalonia. In the past 20 years regional authorities have vigorously promoted its return as part of their campaign for autonomy from Madrid. Among its most aggressive advocates in the Generalitat are Esquerra Republicana Catalana, the left-wing nationalist party which wants Catalan to replace Spanish as the lingua franca in the region.

However, in echoes of the rows between moderates and nationalists in Wales, critics say the pro-Catalan lobby has been over-zealous. A political language law means companies face stiff fines if they do not print everything in both Catalan and Spanish, and Catalan is taught in all schools while Spanish gets the same amount of lesson time as English - just two hours a week.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Brothels: Serving It Right

Unhappy ending for body rub parlours?

The city of Vancouver will look at bylaw changes that in effect ban what some sex-trade advocates call the closest thing the city has to a "legal" brothel.

The city's chief licence inspector is recommending changes to zoning bylaws that would streamline regulations for new businesses. But those efforts would also eliminate the term "body-rub parlour" from its list of allowable businesses, something sex-trade worker and advocate Susan Davis says is a mistake.

"It's the closest thing to an actual legal brothel we have," said Davis, who sits on a city committee discussing how to reduce harm to street prostitutes. "If they're going to rewrite those laws there should be some sort of community discussion about it."

The city's chief licence inspector, Paul Teichroeb, says the definition of a body rub parlour has become redundant over the years. Vancouver currently only has one such licensed business.
The city does not officially condone prostitution, nor is it legal even within the confines of a so-called body-rub parlour. But critics say the wording of the bylaw regarding "body-rub parlours" and "social escort services" offers tacit approval.

Davis herself is a licensed escort who sells sex for a living, while paying the city about $1,000 a year for her licence.

She says letting sex work stay indoors, explicitly or otherwise, keeps women safe.
Council will be asked to approve the bylaw change today.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gas-Tax Pledge

Dion make gas-tax transfer pledge but doesn't commit on one-cent GST request

February 27, 2007

TORONTO (CP) - A federal Liberal government would make permanent the current five-year deal that transfers a portion of the gas tax to municipalities, party leader Stephane Dion said Tuesday while stopping short of agreeing to fork over one cent of the GST to cities.In an election-style speech to delegates attending a summit on Toronto's future, Dion pledged that, as prime minister, he would make research and development, immigration, public transit and the working poor a priority. Dion suggested he wouldn't be able to honour such commitments if he agreed to a one-cent GST transfer that he said would take some $5.5 billion out of federal coffers.

On Monday, Toronto Mayor David Miller called on Ottawa to provide permanent funding for cities by giving them one cent of every six cents collected through the GST.While Dion said he's sympathetic to mayors who rely on property taxes which don't "grow at the same speed as the economy" for revenue, he called a permanent gas-tax transfer a "good first step.""Our cities and communities need stable, long-term commitments, with predictable funding," Dion told conference delegates, noting it would give cities an extra $2 billion a year."Our federal and provincial governments don't make decisions based on short-term commitments, and neither does the private sector. We shouldn't ask our cities to do what we wouldn't do ourselves."

Dion cast himself as a prime minister who would "fight" to ensure the municipalities had their needs met "on transit and other infrastructure needs.""I will work with your mayors and understand their challenges and need for real financial partnership over the long-term."In his speech, Dion also urged the Conservatives to help the poor by funding the working income-tax benefit, which supplements the wages of low-income earners, to the $2.25-billion over five years proposed by the Liberals two years ago.

He also called on the Harper government to reinstate the national day-care program and promised to invest $250 million a year to cover the indirect costs of university research - something he said the Harper government has slashed to just $40 million.A Liberal government would also reinvest in financial assistance for post-secondary students, which Dion said the current government has cut by 70 per cent."For the GTA and other university regions to prosper, we need to reverse those cuts," he said. "We need to keep our universities first class universities in the world."