Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is Anyone REALLY Surprised?

Well I suppose that every sportsfan in the world knew deep down that Lance Armstrong's complete and utter dominance of cycling was too good to be true. Lance has some s'plainin' to do:
The director of the Tour de France said it was a "proven scientific fact" that Lance Armstrong had a performance-boosting drug in his body during his 1999 Tour win, and that the seven-time champion owed fans an explanation. In a story Wednesday, Jean-Marie Leblanc praised L'Equipe for an investigation that reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the 1999 Tour tested positive for the red blood cell- booster EPO. The French sports daily on Tuesday accused Armstrong of using EPO during his first Tour win in 1999. "For the first time _ and these are no longer rumors or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts _ someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body," Leblanc told the paper. "The ball is now in his camp. Why, how, by whom? He owes explanations to us and to everyone who follows the tour," Leblanc said. "What L'Equipe revealed shows me that I was fooled. We were all fooled." - Associated Press
It seems like Lance went up and pulled a Palmiero. For shame! Sure he hasn't lied to congress yet, but there's still time. Lance you dink, how's it feel to have an asterisk placed next to every athletic accomplishment in your career? If you need some group therapy I'm sure Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire are around (rooting around behind the local pharmaceutical plant looking for substances to use 'unknowingly'). I guess it's easier to LiveStrong when your juiced.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bending Over At The Pumps

Our fearless leader, Paul Martin announced today that the federal government will not cut back on gas taxes. Martin stated that:
"The federal government does not make money from increasing gas prices...Any calculation done of the federal government's bottom line shows there is not any undue benefit occurring in that way."
Martin is also quick to remind us of his so called "new deal" which promises to direct a portion of gas tax revenue to provincial governments and municipalities in order to fund infrastructure and public transit projects. According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation the deal sucks on several levels and mayors across the country agree that the 'new dea'l is long overdue. Some food for thought:
This year Ottawa will spend only $324 million or 7.2% of its $4.5 billion in gasoline taxes, excluding GST, on highway and road renewal. The federal gas tax increased over 560% between 1985 and 1995, from 1.5 to 10 cents per litre. (well above average inflation levels). Ottawa increased the federal gasoline tax from 8.5 to 10 cents per litre in 1995 as a deficit reduction measure.
Not only is the deficit gone but new numbers show that the federal surplus is larger than our finance minister projected:
Newly released figures show that in the first three months of fiscal 2005-06, Ottawa recorded a surplus of $4.8 billion - including a $1.7-billion surplus in June alone...In last February's budget, Goodale projected a surplus of $4 billion in the current fiscal year, all of which has been earmarked for rainy-day funds rather than spending or tax cuts. -

And lest we forget that the humble number cruncher Ralph Goodale has 'underestimated' in the past:
In the most recent miscalculation (2004), Ralph Goodale, the finance minister got the numbers right but the order reversed. He forecast a surplus of $1.9 Billion but it was actually $9.1 Billion...when the feds underestimate the budget surplus, they also reduce spending on things that Canadians want; health care, education, child care, cities, defense, and highways. Once the fiscal year is closed, Canadians have no say where surpluses go. It's automatically goes into the government's piggy bank. "Piggy bank financing is a poor way to build long term programs," says Ellen Russell, senior economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. - Kamloops Daily News
So I think it's pretty clear that Martin's statements about the gas tax are, at best, a little misleading and at the worst totally wrong. The fact of the matter is the federal does make a pretty penny off of gas taxes and in the past has spent it on whatever the hell it wants. I guess only time will tell if the 'new deal' is a good one.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fetch Me My Gun

This is a real book, I kid you not:

This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn moneyfor a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland. -

The sequel "Tommy and Lou Kill Some Commies" comes out next year. Oh, and when did broccoli become the pinko vegetable of choice? Sweet merciful crap what is the world coming to...

God's Army

The strength of Dubya's ties to the evangelical side of religion is nothing new. That being said the following still leaves me a little staggered. Do people actually believe that the U.S. army, or any freakin' army for that matter, is doing God's work?

God Loves Army Men

The craziest thing is that this showed up in my Adsense Ads. Google's omnipotent smart search ads put a very right-wing ad on my left-leaning blog. I can't imagine my blogreaders (the 5 or 6 that I have, thanks mom) will be flocking to these sites. Oh well.

Summer of Crap '05

As the end of summer fast approaches it's time for movie fans to wax nostalgic about all the celluloid gems of the past few months. There was the high octane classic Stealth:
A pretty fair military-hardware action movie until you start thinking about it -- at which point it turns incredibly sour in your mouth. I can therefore recommend it to any and all audiences lacking higher brain functions. Sea cucumbers, perhaps. Ones waving American flags. - The Boston Globe
And we can't forget that Deuce Bigalow Part Deux: aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience. The best thing about it is that it runs for only 75 minutes...As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks. - Roger Ebert
Of course we can't leave out the genre most favoured by brain dead cephalopods, the romantic comedy:
Must Love Dogs is bad; and not even in a cute, breezy, watch-it-and-forget-about-it sort of way. It’s just bad — the kind of movie only blue-haired ladies pumped up on Hormone Replacement Therapy and Vicodin could intermittently giggle at, though they’d probably find more pleasure in playing connect-the-dots with their goddamned liver spots. Ironically, given that it’s a film about online dating, it actually plays out like a half-witted, 98-minute commercial attempting to tactfully remind you that you’re 30ish, single, and so hard-up for a fucking date that you're willing to post that 10-year-old Glamour Shot to a website if it might get you laid. - Pajiba
It's staggering that box-office numbers are so low when considering the wealth of original material out there like Dukes of Hazzard:
As Dukes drags to a close, you might ask yourself how many car chases you can watch before your eyes glaze over. At one point, the film's narrator says, "If you have to go to the bathroom, now would be the wrong time." I beg to differ. There is no wrong time to flush this turd. - Rolling Stone
And last but surely not least the insta-classic, Supercross, which was apparently written by feces flinging monkeys:
The most amazing fact about Supercross is that it took three people to write it. Two chimpanzees with a typewriter could have done just as good a job. Really, it took two people just to come up with the story for this film!? And two people to actually write the script? And the best they could come up with are gems of dialogue like, "He's lucky to have you, to help him and stuff" (girlfriend to motocross racer who feels his brother doesn't appreciate him) and, "Your shoes cost more, but you're just like the rest of us" (short-skirted motocross groupie to lawyer-girlfriend of motocross racer)? - Baltimore Sun
If anyone ever blames plummeting box-office sales on downloading in your presence remind them kindly of the absolute garbagio that was created in the summer of '05 and smack them upside their ignorant heads.