"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Sask NDP Website

So the Sask NDP website (after much delay) has finally launched. You can take a look at it here:

The party has been kind enough to send out some promotional screen shots that bloggers like me can use to profile some of the new features of the site. I am going to focus on the three that interest me the most.

1) First up: Facebook.

The Sask NDP have apparently bought into facebook in a big way. Not only does the Premier have a page on facebook but there is also an application for receiving the Commonwire Newsletter on facebook. Not sure how many people will sign up for something like that but it nice of them to provide it.

It is interesting to see that the Party is getting into social networking. I'm still not convinced that this is a great value add but then again I don't really "get" the whole facebook thing, I log on once every three months or so.

2) RSS Feeds

As a blogger I know how valuable these things are.

It is good to see that the party is using the tools of the "web 2.o" (another term that I hate) but if people are anything like me, your rss aggregator is better than your morning newspaper.

3) YouTube

It was a given that the new web site would have video on it (you can't have a political website without video these days) but it is interesting to see them integrate YouTube as much as they have.

In fact, the entire Premier's video bio section is done via YouTube. They obviously could have chosen to have those videos simply play on their own site, (like the intro on the first page) but instead they have made them public for the whole world to use on blogs and other places (no comments, however).

Is this a sign that the Sask NDP is "getting" the new web?

Or is is just a "me too" thing?

I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. They could have just put up facebook accounts without integrating them into the new web site and they could have just had flash video of their own playing on the site (and in fact they do) but the fact that they are trying to reach out and engage people tells me that, however slightly, they are starting to adapt to the Internet and the way things work here.

The true test will be to see how their forums work out:

I am kind of surprised that they are willing to take the risk of forums. But it has the potential to pay off in a big way if nurtured and used properly.

Also the fact that they are reaching out to bloggers with this information is a good thing - it shows that they are taking us a bit more seriously than any political party has done in the psat (with the possible exception of the Federal Conservatives)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Sask Party is running scared

REGINA - An NDP advertisement accusing the Saskatchewan Party of a hidden agenda has a dirty subliminal message of its own, the Opposition charged Tuesday.

The television ad in question consists of a series of written phrases, where some words fade away letter by letter. Saskatchewan Party MLA Nancy Heppner said that one phrase - "Sask Party stood for Privatization Of Crowns" - dissolves for a split second to read "Sask Party stood for porn", before the words fade out completely.

So let me get this straight. If you freeze frame the ad and ignore one of the five letters (the "t") -then there is a subliminal message?

I franktly fintd thatt a litttle sustpicious.

Reaching much?

Political Courage

As a fairly left-of-centre person myself, I occasionally get discouraged by the waffling and hemming and hawing by those elected officials of the "left." It would be worse if we didn't have the Federal NDP and it would be even worse if I lived in the US.

I imagine that if I lived in the States I would be writing something like this:

One thing I finally noticed about Kucinich during the AFL-CIO debate was how Kucinich always made more points during his alloted time than other candidates. I have been thinking about this and found the answer when I was reading the transcript. Kucinich doesn’t equivocate. He doesn’t dance around an issue - he goes straight for the explanation and since his past is not littered with idiotic support of bad bills, HE has nothing to fear, so why do I?
And the final section is great:

He is just like me. My values are the same as his. If I was in Congress, I would vote like he does. I no longer fear. I refuse to allow the GOP to manipulate me into supporting lesser candidates.

That just might be called courage.

I am closer to Kucinich than any other US candidate and I have to think that if I lived down there I would be volunteering on his campaign.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sask NDP Attack campaign - the video

The television commercial that goes with the brochure:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This is the true face of the US

She is the true face of the US. Looks very nice at first glance, but scratch the surface and you get stupidity.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sask NDP Attack campaign

So small dead animals is talking about this...

Which (supposedly) is an image from the NDP attack campaign for this fall's election. So far all we know is what the Sask Party and Small Dead Animals have to say about it, I will wait to see, if it focuses on policy, then great, if it focuses on personal attacks, less good.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Find out your US presidential pick

This is an interesting site where you list your views on a number of topics and then it ranks the US Presidential Candidates based on your answers so you know who agrees with you the most. Apparently I would be a Kucinich supporter.

The one flaw that I see in this approach, in that it only covers the "spectacular" issues. Mostly social and "soft" issues. There is not much mention of economic issues, which might shift the matrix one way or the other for most people.

Neat idea though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

David Maclean is Gone

Man, I go away for a few days and miss a great story:

On Thursday, MacLean announced he will again fight the current, this time to return to Alberta for a new position with an electrical utility company there.

MacLean's resignation, effective at the end of today, comes at a time that he feels "really optimistic about where this province is headed and the prosperity that will come."

Buckdog has a pretty good post that sums up the whole thing (and is quite kind to yours truly)

Thanks for all the people in the blogosphere that helped us show that David was a goof. I assume that his new job will still be pretty slack but that he won't have 5 days a week to harass us on the left any more.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Had to post this one

I know I am on vacation but still, this one begged to be posted.

Is that the same Dick Cheney?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Away Again

Geeze, I am not getting much blogging done this summer ;-)

I am away for 4 days for a Wedding. Blogging will resume on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Iran is starting to look dangerous...

WASHINGTON, DC—According to an alarming new Department of Defense report combining civilian, military, and calendric evidence, Iran may be as few as nine years away from the year 2016.

"Every day they get one day closer," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a White House press conference Tuesday. "At the rate they're going, they will reach 2016 at the same time as the United States—and given their geographic position relative to the international date line, possibly even sooner."

The report recommended that the U.S. engage in bellicose international posturing, careless brinksmanship, and an eventual overwhelming series of nuclear strikes in order to prevent Iran from reaching this milestone


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Saskatchewan is never Happy

So I remember a few years ago when everyone was all "oh the economy is so bad, everyone is leaving to go to Alberta".

Now this:

The Calgary Herald cited the example of a couple moving to Saskatchewan in May "after receiving notice their Calgary rent was increasing by $975 to $1,800 a month."

Which is part of a larger article about rent control:

Along with a booming economy that has seen record job creation and soaring retail sales has come the problem of finding an affordable place to live.

It started with house prices. In just a year, Regina's average price had risen by 14 per cent in May, to $162,500, from $142,500 in May 2006. Saskatoon's average price took a staggering jump of 44 per cent to $234,000 in May, compared with $162,300 a year ago.

You can't have it both ways people! Either it is a good thing that people are now coming to Saskatchewan from Alberta or it is a bad thing, but the same people who said it was a problem a few years ago that people were moving to Albert are now the same people who are complaining about all the people moving back!


I remember when all the right-wingers were saying "the NDP can't manage an economy"

...then when the economy started to boom it was "But you are loosing jobs"

...then when there were more jobs than people it was "there is a labour shortage, get people to move here"

...now when people are moving here it is "but housing and rent is going up"

There is just no way to satisfy these people.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The First Facebook story of the 2008 Presidential Primaries

So I don't care much for the whole "Facebook" thing, (I only have an account because of some blogging things, and I think I check it about once very three months) but I know that more and more politicians are starting to use it.

What's funny is, so are their kids. Just naturally, or course, in the normal course of events. People of a certain age are bound to use Facebook in an organic manner.

The problem is that it is a very public thing. Which leads to interesting stories like this one.

There's one vote that Rudy Giuliani definitely can't count on in his 2008 presidential bid: his own daughter's. According to the 17-year-old Caroline Giuliani's Facebook profile, she's supporting Barack Obama.

On her profile, she designates her political views as "liberal" and—until this morning—proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)."


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bush now more hated than Nixon

Yep, the Democrats will have to mess up pretty bad to lose the Presidency in 08.

George W. Bush has now surpassed Richard Nixon as the second most-disliked president ever.

The latest Gallup Poll found that Bush's popularity had been below 40 percent for six consecutive quarters, the Dallas Morning News reports. Nixon ended his five-quarter streak by resigning in 1974.

Truman's approval ratings were below 40 percent for 10 months, the longest ever in the history of the Gallup Poll. Bush, with six quarters remaining in his second term, could surpass Truman.
Yep, I bet he can.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Do bloggers need a union?

So I am back from holidays and back into the spirit of blogging. And lo and behold, wheat do I com across but this little jem.

Do bloggers need a union? That was the question raised today by a small gathering of bloggers and labor activists at the Yearly Kos conference at McCormick Place here in Chicago. "AFL-CIO: Kicking Ass for the Working Class" stickers were passed around, an e-mail signup form was circulated, and the discussion began.
Now the bulk of the article focuses on health care (some bloggers can't get it) which is, luckily, a less pressing concern for Canadian bloggers. However, some of the other issues would be of concern to us.

This idea was duly floated, but some bloggers in attendance wanted something more distinctive: a blogging code of ethics, say, or accreditation when covering media events, or an auditing program to ensure that traffic metrics are accurate and comparable to those of other sites.
traffic metrics would be good, as would some standardization around credentials. I can see where Canadian bloggers would benefit from both of those things.

I also found this pretty funny.

This brought up the obvious question, though: would even conservative bloggers be welcome? Perhaps, but "they wouldn't join a union anyway," said one participant, and another cracked that right-wing bloggers would be out of business if they had to follow a code of ethics.