Saturday, August 28, 2004

Normal Service Resumes...

Yes, I survived last night, but barely. Anyway, I've been tracking, over the past week, a story of such horrorifying import that I can barely bring myself to blog about it even now, when it seems to have had a happy resolution. I call this tale "Vikings Stole My Shrimp!!!" Here is its denouement:

Ports to remain open to Danish boats
WebPosted Aug 27 2004 05:50 PM NDT

ST. JOHN'S — Canadian ports will remain open to Danish vessels after Denmark agreed to stop fishing shrimp over its allowable quota.

Canada had threatened to banish fishing vessels from Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland because Denmark was taking more than the 144 tonnes of shrimp it was given under North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) agreement.

Yeah, and you know what happens to people who over-fish in the Grand Banks, dontcha? Alright, who's next? Who wants some?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

There would be a punk pic here if I could be sussed to go and find one...

Not going to be an active week here at Oi! Thump!, I'm afraid. It's my last week at a job I've held for six years, so I've got my hands a bit full un-embedding myself from it. I love you all, and I'll be back next week (Ok, maybe Saturday, depending on what my loving co-workers do to me on Friday night).

Friday, August 20, 2004

Bush Supporter Attacks Student
Right winger demonstrates her true respect for free speech

From the Portland Tribune: An unidentified supporter of President Bush tries to silence protester Kendra Lloyd-Knox (right) outside Southridge High School in Beaverton. Elsewhere in Portland, supporters of Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rallied on the waterfront.

Not too much I need to add to this really.
Did I mention about murky and grainy?

Well, first off, today is the anniversary of the first post coming down at World O'Crap, without doubt on of the finest blogs out there. You may recall that we first tumbled to World O'Crap over their coverage of "Family Circus," and we have been faithful readers ever since. We here at Oi! Thump! offer our most profound congratulations.

On a less happy note, there's this bit of non-news.

Web Posted Aug 20 2004 06:11 AM MDT
Alberta not funding universities: report

Edmonton - Alberta has been ranked seventh among provinces for how its post-secondary institutions are supported.

The report from the Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at how much governments spend on their universities and colleges. In the five years the centre has conducted the study, Alberta has ranked in the bottom half.

Y'know I remember back in the heady days of the early nineties, when student activism actually meant something. That was back in the days when the Klein government's sneering contempt for university students was public, official policy. For example, Alberta readers may remember Mr. John Gogo, Advanced Education Minister back then, who had never been to university in his life and whose open antipathy towards the students culminated in him being hit with an egg at a rally in 1991. I also remember marching across the High-Level Bridge with several thousand others, and a piper leading, on a freezing cold day in March to protest government cutbacks.

Now, the only bit of that policy that it seems to me has changed is the "public" part. King Ralph and his Merry Men still don't seem to have a lot of interest in post-secondary education, except for the engineering faculty at the U. of A., which is rapidly becoming one of the finest in Canada. Which is fine; I'm in favour of engineering. Part of that is the Klein Government's legendary penny-pinching; Ralph doesn't like giving money to anything. But part of it also lies in a large segment of Alberta society that believes the "book-learnin'" is over-rated, and that students are just a bunch of long-haired idealistic lefties who "need to get out in the real world." One gets quite a lot of this if one happens to be, God forbid, doing an Arts degree. It really reminds me of the excellent quote from Blazing Saddles.

You've got to remember, that these are just simple farmers, these are people of the land, the common clay of the new west. You know . . . morons.

Anyway, it's a complex issue (one that would be a Hell of a lot less complex if our provincial government would drop the 'tude and realize that not everybody is interested in studying that which will make them the most money), and I'm babbling here, so I'll stop and go away.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

If it ain't murky and grainy, it ain't a real punk pic!!

A couple of things going on today. First off, The General has done yeoman work on the subject of the little girl who was refused communion because she has Celiac disease. Yes, it actually happened. Secondly, The Dark Window's latest adventure into the heart of darkness that is the Christian t-shirt industry reminded me almost inevitably of this site. And now to do some of my own work...

It seems that they just can't resist dicking Kyle Young's family around some more:

Web Posted Aug 18 2004 11:46 AM MDT
Elevator fatality inquiry postponed

Edmonton - A fatality inquiry into the death of a 16-year-old boy who fell down a courthouse elevator shaft to his death has been delayed until January.

The inquiry, automatic when someone dies in custody, will now begin Jan. 10, rather than Sept. 27.

Lorena Young says she only heard about the delay in the inquiry into her son's death from the media.

"Maybe that's the way it works. But I was always under the impression when it was something like this that you would be notified by some authority, somewhere," she said.

Yes, you would expect that, wouldn't you. But you'd be forgetting that, in the eyes of the justice system and the police, your son was scum, and that therefore his death was no big deal. But yeah, fuck whoever it was who decided that keeping the victim's family out the loop was the decent way to go.

Kyle Young had just finished a court appearance on Jan. 22 and was being escorted through the building by guards when the incident happened. Shackled and handcuffed, he fell more than five storeys, becoming suspended by his neck from the structural bracket of the elevator shaft.

Justice Minister Dave Hancock said, after a review, that charges would not be laid against the two guards who were escorting Young when he died.

Police said there was insufficient evidence about what happened that day to proceed with any charges, and it has been determined Young's death wasn't criminal.

Not criminal? Not fucking criminal????? Ooooh, the mind simply boggles some days.

Hancock said the review showed that the guards used reasonable force, and that it was enough force while Young was against the elevator door to knock the door open and dislodge it.

Hancock said the doors met the building code and the investigation found they weren't faulty.

The eight inmate elevators at the courthouse have since been upgraded and new doors have been installed.

Ok Dave, if the guards used reasonable force, and the elevator doors weren't faulty, then could you please explain to the world, and mostly to his own fucking family, why Kyle Young is dead? If you can't even do that, then resign, because you are supposed to be the Minister of Justice and this happened on your watch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

You thought we were gone, but we're back, and there are bagpipes in the punk pic...

...and a real idiot at The Rant (not that that should come as any great steaming surprise). I came across this through the gentle and excellent ministry of Sadly, No!, which is duly added to the links bar.

Do Geeks Even Need Condoms?
Frederick Meekins
August 15, 2004

Through the wonder of supermarination, the Thunderbirds used fantastic gadgets, rockets, and futuristic vehicles to rescue those in harm’s way from the most harrowing circumstances. However, there is one thing even the famed international rescue team couldn’t save and that seems to be the nation’s declining moral values.



Throughout sci-fi and comic book history, most superheroes have been known for defending uprightness and propriety. However, a new costumed character named “Trojan Man” epitomizes and spreads what some hope will become the new American way of loose living and promiscuity by getting condoms to amorous couples in the nick of time without even first ascertaining their matrimonial status.


Ah, so that's what he's on about. And I can certainly see his point. After all, the wretched Trojan Man helps people out WITHOUT EVEN FIRST ASCERTAINING THEIR MATRIMONIAL STATUS!!!!!!!!!!!! Terrible!!! Won't somebody think of the children?


The purpose of placing a condom ad on mid-Saturday morning could only be to alter the values of those seeing it and ultimately those of the broader society. It’s definitely not about profit or even product placement, for how many Geeks do you know in the market for quality prophylactic?

A number of things occur to me here:

1). A fair number of the Saturday morning cartoons are merely ads for high-calibre weaponry. If such is to be preferred over condom ads, please explain why kids dying is a better thing than kids practicing safe sex.

2). By this fellow's logic, since getting hit by a car is a bad thing, it necessarily follows that kids should under no circumstances be taught anything about road safety.

3). Most of the Geeks I know are actually married...

Friday, August 13, 2004

A wee punk pic this afternoon...

Edmonton leads the country in police chases
Last Updated Fri, 13 Aug 2004 14:00:49 EDT

EDMONTON - Police in Edmonton got into more car chases last year than in any other Canadian city, and more than twice as many as five years ago.

I'm not sure what to make of this, actually. While my general tendency would be to simply to put it down to the fact that the Edmonton Police have a reputation for being, shall we say, over-aggressive, the numbers are so strange that I think a deeper cause is required. What numbers, you ask? Well, here they are:

Edmonton 232
Toronto 176
Montreal 142
Winnipeg 132
Vancouver 98
Calgary 70
Ottawa 31
Windsor 11

Now, there are a number of possibilities to consider here. First off, we don't know how the different cities tallied up the results. If one city included any incident where the pursuit broke 80 km/hr, and another only counted those that broke 120, that would make a striking difference. It's a distinct possibility, and one that can't be discounted until the actual methodology is seen.

The second possibility is that, in fact, the Edmonton Police are far too quick to stomp on the gas and head off in pursuit of other vehicles. Keeping in mind that those numbers are from 2003, when Chief Bob's extraordinarily confrontational attitude towards the general public was still official policy, this too is a possibility that cannot be shrugged off.

A third possibility is that Edmontonian criminals are far more likely to run away from the Police. I actually don't think this one has much validity, since the number of chases are so much greater for Edmonton, both raw and per capita, that this theory simply can't provide a decent explanation.

So, back where I started, I still don't know what to make of this. I'll be very interested to see this year's numbers, that's for sure. However, the one thing does spring to mind here; aren't we supposed to have a helicopter (maintained by our tax dollars and fueled entirely by Bob Layton's sense of self-righteousness) that was bought (in 2000, incidently) explicitly to help moderate the number and effect of high-speed police chases?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Off to the vaults for today's punk pic!

Just handed in my resignation letter here at work. Only two more weeks! I find myself oddly depressed at the prospect.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sho' 'nuff, I went and read the Sun, and it destroyed my good mood entirely. Mostly because of this letter:

RE: KYLE Young. Can someone please tell me why all the bleeding-heart liberals are so consumed with trying to figure out why Kyle Young fell to his death? The elevator opened because Young made a bad decision. Young is the only one to blame and while he may not have deserved to die, he took a risk and forced the guards to use force.

Dean Heald

Just sit back and look at that steaming pile of manure for a second, and then we'll rip this thing to pieces bit-by-bit. Finished? Ok...

RE: KYLE Young. Can someone please tell me why all the bleeding-heart liberals are so consumed with trying to figure out why Kyle Young fell to his death?

Because we find it disturbing when large armed people in positions of authority get together and abuse that authority to the extent that a child ends up dead. The fact that we "bleeding hearts" find that disturbing, and that you do not, is entirely because we are smarter and better people than you in every imaginable way. We are better-looking, better-smelling, more intelligent, wiser, and far more pleasant to be around, and we have better sex with better people. You, Dean Heald, are a mere scumbag, with no redeeming features whatsoever.

The elevator opened because Young made a bad decision.

No, dimwit. First of all, the elevator did not open, it had its door bashed in. The instrument with which the door was bashed in was a teenaged boy, and the wielder of said instrument was a jail guard. Fuck me, even the police have admitted that much.

Young is the only one to blame and while he may not have deserved to die, he took a risk and forced the guards to use force.

May not have deserved to die? Try 100%, rock-solid certainly did not deserve to die. And what do you mean he "forced the guards to use force" (nice prose by the way, asshole). A kid who weighed less than 100 lbs. and was chained up put two, presumeably trained, law enforcement professionals in a position where they could find no other solution but to kill him? What did he do, shoot lasers out of his eyes? If you're right, and the guards had no other option but to use "reasonable" force, then doesn't that say that they're incompetent? Did you mean to insult the guards like that?

Ahhh... I feel better now. I bet Kyle Young's family doesn't, though.
"Niftacious" is a word I did not make up (I googled it and got "about 9" results!), and it certainly applies to today's punk pic!!

Niftacious Technological News From Across the Pond (No, the Other Pond)

Japan unfurls solar sail in space

Japan has unfurled a delicate solar sail in space, a device which some scientists believe could enable travel to far away planets.

The Japanese Institute of Space Astronautical Science (ISAS) has tested two sails aboard its S-310-34 rocket.

In theory, solar sails reflect light particles from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction to propel spacecraft forward.

Some hope solar sails will one day help humans travel to the stars.

Fun stuff. If this technology is all it's cracked up to be, then someday we might be able to go here:

or here:

and most certainly here:

In the meantime, go here and be in awe of pictures from the Hubble telescope.

I seem to be in a good mood today. Must be the drugs. Or the fact that I haven't read the Sun yet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Just installed a counter. Now I'll know how many times I've looked at this page. Wheeeee!
Today's punk pic (no idea who the girl is...)

So we all showed up for work this morning to be greeted by the sight of about 6 police cars outside the building. These were not yer Campus 5-0 types either, we're talking about real cops. Anyway, it turns out that a body (!) turned up in the theatre in our building. It's now been ruled a suicide, I believe, but further updates will be presented as events warrant.

Not much new and exciting in the world today, except that it turns out that Molly Ivins has been vacationing in Alberta.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Yes, this is a punk picture...

On the plus side, there's a good column in the Edmonton Sun today:

It's tough being a kid today
By Paul Whitney -- For the Edmonton Sun

A couple of American kids, tourists, visiting Hogtown last week, were cut up in a stupid fracas with a Canadian kid.

Like most people hearing this story, I was shocked but secretly glad that our side came out on top. It involved a knife. Front-page stuff.

Yesterday I was stopped at a light, watching a kid on a skateboard learning new and stylish ways to hurt himself. He was wearing the obligatory boarder gear: Oakley wraparound shades, baggy surfer shorts, headphones, baseball cap on backwards and a knife. It wasn't a very big stiletto knife, probably even a semi-legal three- or four-inch blade. It wasn't concealed either. He wasn't wearing his T-shirt and the blade was clipped to his waist band on an upside- down quick-draw holster.

In a refreshing change from what jaded folks like myself have come to expect from Sun writers, Whitney complete fails to come to the conclusion that curfews, incarceration, enforced Bible study, or the execution of all single mothers are the answer to young people packing weapons, and just gently notes that it is tough being a youth these days, and that maybe the young man has a reason to carry a knife. He also fails to demonstrate any of the shrieking terror that usually emanates from right-wing columnists dealing with the young. So, well done Mr. Whitney.

It is worth pointing, as an addendum to the column, that the troubles potentially facing you young people these days in Edmonton include being hurled down elevator shafts by jail guards in what the authorities later tell your grieving family is a "reasonable" use of force, and having a prominent local business shithead, with police backing, campaign to have your (relatively) safe, alcohol-free, after-hours hangouts shut down because he thinks you're cutting into his bottom line. Reasons to carry a knife indeed.

To close, lest one think that the Sun chain of newspapers is completely cured of silliness, the Calgary version ran a Ted Byfield column this past weekend, entitled (I shit you not, here) "We're Different From Them." Now isn't that the subject of every single column that Ted Byfield or indeed any of that clan has ever written?

On the plus side, the new DVD player works great, and me mum is very happy with it!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

If'n you have to ask who this is...

Felt like crap most of today, but that didn't stop me going out and buying... (wait for it) a DVD player!! It's a b-day present for me mum, and the end goal here is to make sure that it can be hooked up along with the VCR, instead of replacing it. Tomorrow will tell all...

Friday, August 06, 2004

I'm changing over from Haloscan to the Blogger comments feature, so expect some tweaking on that over the next week or so, since I'm still not a million percent happy with how it looks. This is pretty much just a test post for the new comments, so scroll on down to read about the iniquities of Charlie Daniels, among other things.
This is not a punk picture...

Charlie Daniels angers Arab community
By Associated Press

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Charlie Daniels, the man who wrote and sang "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag," is drawing heat from Arab-Americans who say it refers to a derogatory term used against them.
Daniels, 67, is scheduled to perform Saturday in Dearborn, the center of southeastern Michigan's 300,000-member Arab-American community.

Ah yes, the Charlie Daniels phenomenon. Really, need we say more? No, but we're going to...

After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Daniels wrote and recorded the song, which became a country hit.

It begins:

"This ain't no rag, it's a flag and we don't wear it on our heads. It's a symbol of the land where the good guys live. Are you listening to what I said?"

No, Charlie, according to the picture above you wear it to cover your bloated, pasty torso. For which we're all grateful, trust me. And then there's this lovely site, which seems to give the lie to Mr. Daniels.

On Saturday, the Charlie Daniels Band will perform at the city-sponsored Homecoming Festival.


Daniels says the song is not directed at Arabs and Muslims in general, just at turbaned terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

"It's not anti-Arab or anti-anything," he said Wednesday by phone from Tennessee, where he lives. "The only thing it's `anti' is the people who bombed us on 9/11. I have people who say you're putting down people who wear turbans. I'm not."

"There are good Arabs and bad Arabs, good Greeks and bad Greeks, good people and bad people in any race," Daniels said. "I'm not a racist person. I came up during the old Jim Crow days. I know what racism is."

Yes, Charlie does indeed know what racism is.
Another lovely punk pic...

I present to you today an excellent column, from, of all sources, the Calgary Sun, not known for being in editorial lock-step with Oi! Thump!. In said column Mr. Bill Kaufmann says pretty much everything I've ever thought about the gay marriage issue, and he says with refreshingly sharp humour (read: sarcasm). Anyway, here it be:

Married strife
Same-sex marriage has failed to end the world as we know it
By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun

It's now August and still we wait for the end of the world.

But surely the same-sex marriage four horsemen of the apocalypse are still on their malignant way.

Still, after mass homosexual marriages in San Francisco and Boston earlier this year and a spate of them in Canada, no pestilence has emerged, or so it seems.

People, even married heterosexuals, are still going on summer vacation and violent crime rates have still plunged.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


So, I'm desperately trying to come up with a topic for a Directed Reading course, to be done over e-mail with my supervisor in Italy this fall. So far it looks like something related to the Roman Economy in the 3rd Century A.D.

Not much else going on today. However:

Veteran cop charged

A 26-year-veteran of the Edmonton Police Service has been charged in connection with a shooting incident on the city's north side in March. City police launched the investigation after it was claimed an officer blinded with pepper spray opened fire on a fleeing suspect March 1 in the area of 128 Street and 129 Avenue.

Apparently the officer in question opened fire AFTER he'd been shot in the eyes with pepper spray. I'm sure his fellow officers appreciated a half-blind, panicked man blasting away in their immediate vicinity. On the plus side, under chief Bob there is no damn way this would have gone to court.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Generic Punk Related Photograph of the Day

Well, I know I've been away for a bit here, but I am back, and set to blog again... Hooray. Part of the reason that I haven't been posting much is that I took some time off and took a little jaunt to British Columbia to watch some exhibition soccer. I stayed in a wonderful place on South Granville in Vancouver, with a strip joint for a pub and glue-sniffers in the parking lot. The soccer was good, and the bus trip there and back actually bearable. And, with that, not a hell of a lot else has been going on, except that we're absolutely swamped at work. However, a couple of wee things have come to my attention. First off:

Friendly fire bomber denied his final appeal

NEW ORLEANS -- The Illinois National Guard pilot who mistakenly bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan, killing four and wounding eight, lost his last U.S. air force appeal yesterday. The commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia upheld the punishment ordered last month for Maj. Harry Schmidt - a severe reprimand and loss of a month's pay.
Schmidt, 39, who was found guilty of dereliction of duty, also has agreed that he will never fly U.S. air force jets again, although he remains in the National Guard.

As I think I've said before, for my money, the flying ban is the big part of this story. Some people up here are upset at the small size of his fine, but I couldn't care less about that. Nothing's going to bring our boys back, so all we can really ask for is reassurance that dumbass will never again be able to fly a heavily-armed aircraft.

And secondly, big and very very very late propz to these guys:

Yes, as everybody who cares is already well aware, unheralded Greece won the 2004 European soccer championship. I should also mention that Brazil defeated arch-rivals Argentina for the Copa America. Again, not news.