radio topics, august 29

As always, these are some of the things that we will talk about this week. Catch me live from 7-9 am on CKCU, 93.1fm in Ottawa, and online for all the rest.

Katrina, a year later: Finally everything is getting back to normal in New Orleans, right?

Elizabeth May Victorious, but can she bring success to the Greens?.

The Tories Godwin themselves.

For real legal downloads in France?

Culture Wars Shotgun:
– Ted Morton fights pitched battle to protect the “rights” of employees that refuse to protect those of others.
- US family planning clinics see 1800 fold increase in pill prices, what to do next? (previously posted)
- Ohio School district discovers 13% of girls at one high school are pregnant, revises abstinence only sex-ed policy
– Pope may move to teach more pseudo-science

NCAA is forcing teams to change names that may offend Natives. Discuss.

Shock of shocks: Pope may make moves to encourage teaching pseudoscience


The Pope also raised the issue in the inaugural sermon of his pontificate, saying: “We are not the accidental product, without meaning, of evolution.”

A few months later, Cardinal Schönborn, who is regarded as being close to Benedict, wrote an article for the New York Times backing moves to teach ID.

And Darwin was starting to feel vindicated.

Schadenfreude: Baby bump edition

So it seems that at least 13% of female students at one Ohio High School didn't get the school's Abstinence only sex-ed message.

Even more troubling:

According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July 2005 showed that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between the ages of 11 and 19.

Emphasis mine. That's almost 20%

Apparently the schoolboard is now expanding the teaching of sex-ed beyond just say no. Shocked, I am.

(h/t: Savagelove)

Culture Wars (sort of): Pricing edition

Slate looks into a popular birth-control pill maker's recent decision to increase what it charges family-planning clinics across the country from 1 penny to 18 dollars.

The change, which was unannounced and all at once, means that there is a shortage of pills in most of the federally-funded clinics across the US, and the rise in price will mean that other services will need to be cut, or alternatively that selection will be cut down.

Apparently, the price that companies can charge such clinics is set by the government, and this falls within the restrictions set out by the policy. It still seems a bit draconian, to say the least, and is exactly the sort of thing that government is supposed to be working to protect. I'm not suggesting that we obligate companies to sell pills for less than the cost of the cardboard packaging, but instead that it may be in government's interests to come to some sort of middle ground in pricing, as well as boosting the appropriate funding for clinics. What is worse, in the long run- spending a little more money on contraception options for those that need it, or having an increase of unwanted pregnancies amognst those that really can't afford it?

Straightforward truths

“Political history in Canada is often little more than the history of federal-provincial relations writ large.” – Jeremy Mouat, The Business of Power: Hydroelectricity in Southeastern British Columbia, 1897-1997, pp 142.

Radio Topics, August 22

These are some of the topics we'll touch on tomorrow on air. As always, you can catch us between 7 and 9am on 93.1 CKCUfm in Ottawa, or online at

Getting Tougher on Crime by getting tougher on 10 year olds

Also, who needs preliminary trials anyway?

If at first you don't succeed, challenge the constitutionality of the decision making body.
(previously posted)

Time to drop Hezbollah from the terror list?

Nothing like a clean, ecoli-free glass of water. Unless you are an Ontario Landowners Association member.

Garth Turner fights off a nomination challenge from the forces of even-greater evil.
(You can catch the full, and very interesting details, at his blog)

AND Charities can play politics?

Wither the Vancouver Safe Injection Site

I like Ceres fine, but a planet it is not.

Tories Downloading their Wait-times promise to the Provinces?
"New" hobbit-like species downgraded to "disabled caveman"

Universe down to 4/5s of a tank, going to fill up and get a cofee ASAP

Surfers vs. Wave Power stations: Turbines up, Dude

Conventional Wisdom

Paul Wells comments on the ongoing “Could have been a contender” contest at Calgary Grit. I think that much of McKenna's current woes owes more to the the Tories have a stronger and more concerted effort at clicking on web polls, but the exercise is interesting in further showing about the dangers of living by conventional wisdom.

If at first you don't succeed, challenge the constitutionality of the decision making body

Slate has a neat piece on the US softwood lobby's latest fight with what is readily apparent to everybody else. Here, they argue that NATO's dispute resolution mechanisms – neat little panels of 5 – interfere's with the American judicial system's ability to interpret American law. Or something like that. Some thoughts:

1) If this is the case, then isn't like every bi- or multi-lateral decision making body, be it the IJC or whatever, also problematic?
2) I wish I got this many do-overs when I play chess.

“Anyone can miss Canada, all tucked away down there.”

I usually hate when blogs do this, but I've been reading a lot about Canada-US relations lately, the writings below are just an example of the usual sort, and they all seem pretty shallow to me. So, bear with me.

Davie Fulton says, in an address to a conference on Canada-US relations in 1960:

““We in Canada find a strange conflict emerging. We have found that economically and socially we are tied closely to the United States and yet at the same time there is in Canada a new spirit of unity of purpose which has been for the past few years breaking down the barriers of region and language. This new spirit of Canadianism is bound in some respects to create stresses and strains by reason of the very proximity of our two nations.
“…they [the US] would remember that there has been an independent nation to their North for many generations and one who, no matter how close and cordial the relations are between these two nations, desires to stay that way and be recognized as such.”

He goes on to say:

““Between us, we share lakes the size of seas, great rivers, watersheds and prairies, which unite us; we have no Pyrenees, no Urals, no channels which divide us. This very geographical fact necessitates concord and discussion and it has been with great pleasure that I have seen such works as the St. Lawrence Seaway power project and more recently the Columbia River agreement achieved.”

This sort of distinction bothers me. We are unique, it says, but at the same time so many of the distinctions between us and them are painted as artificial. What's missing, at any given time, is an explanation of those things that do make us different, that draw us together and form whatever national identity there is. To be sure, there are common threads to any national Canadian image, be they symbolic, commercial, or athletic. But those are common interests, and only a fraction of an identity. They also all seem pretty petty and small, and too often ring as little more thanplatitudesitiudes.

I suppose, though, that since the line that divides us is artificial, and since so many people have gone both ways across it since it was drawn, that it is only fitting that the distinctions seem similarly contrived.

Radio Topics, August 15

As always, Radio is from 7-9 am, and can be heard in Ottawa on 93.1fm or online at

No more island prison camps for Asylum seekers:
Well, "detention" camps.

11 Universities back out of Maclean's Survey.
UofO? UofT?

Joe loses
But runs anyway

AIDS Conference.
More link

But who skipped out?
You'll never guess…

Once a day cocktail to curb aids?

Court Costs to High for Average Folk?
an ideal, but not a reality.

Bye-Bye Bevilacqua
Apparently, you can also call him Bob.

New Terror threats, new security rules

But does it work?

Japanese PM to Visit WWII Shrine on Anniversary
Which in no way will offend those they invaded