I had a gut feeling yesterday that dark forces were at work. But I was wrong in assuming that it was still the Conservative leadership she was after.

So when the time comes - and it will - it's gonna be fun watching her try to take on the likes of Frank McKenna.

They're plotting the seperation of Western Canada in the comments over at Kate's place here and here. Blaming Ontario again, which always strikes me as odd, particularly from the Albertans who are as true to their provincial Conservatives as the GTA is to the Federal Liberals. Peter Van Loan on the other hand made a whole lot of Ontario Conservatives very proud this afternoon while being interviewed by the CBC. You could actually see the announcer cringe and seeth at not being able to control the spin.

Harper looked good, perhaps even relieved.

So in the end I could say, "Watch your back, Paul" but I'm sure he's been doing that for a while.

The Confidence of the House

Call it a procedural matter if you want but the bottom line is the government does not have the confidence of the house.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a political scientist to determine that the opposition has shamed the government into action. This piece by Andrew Heard, Associate Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser is making the rounds on right-wing blogs this morning. Damian Penny says a reader sent it to him. I'm pretty sure the email I got wasn't from a barnyard regular.

Given the scope to which this link is being sent and posted I'm thinking that the Gomery publication ban upped Canadian blogger visibility and the next few days will determine and define their role in the coming election.

Summer Hours

It occurred to me at about 9:15 this morning that school is indeed out for the summer. I am, for the most part, the soul caregiver of the young lad. Goes without saying that blogging will be light until after Labour Day. This is the only summer he will be six years old.

But I do have some goals. I really am working on permalinks - just need to get my head around managing links on the index page when it comes time to archive it. And I'm going to post some fiction. Summer reading you might say.

Linda the Storyteller Selected for Book Week Tour

Linda the Storyteller is going on tour.

Linda Mikolayenko has been selected as one of three storytellers to represent Storytellers of Canada during this fall's TD Canadian Children's Book Week.

Linda will tour Alberta sharing her stories at schools, libraries and other public venues from October 30 to November 6, 2004.

Launched by The Canadian Children's Book Centre, the goal of TD Canadian Children's Book Week is to connect children with authors, illustrators and storytellers, allowing them to experience and share their love of books and to encourage reading and writing skills. In addition to the storytellers, 26 authors and illustrators will be touring various regions of the country. This year's theme is Book Your Ticket to Canada.

Since moving to Ingleside in 2001, Linda has told stories throughout Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. For the past two years, Linda has performed as part of the County Library’s Children's Spring Festival and in the last five years she has told stories in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New York State. She also conducted a workshop, "Storytelling Magic", for the Encore Seniors' Education Centre.

Although she enjoys and tells stories from around the world, Linda specializes in folk tales and legends from her own Ukrainian heritage. Often dressed in an embroidered blouse, colourful shawl and red boots, she likes to greet her audience with a bouquet of poppy seed pods, which one child named "magic story seeds".

In addition to being a storyteller, Linda works as a freelance writer and broadcaster. Her work has appeared on CBC Radio and in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the United States. She is a regular contributor to the Seaway News and recently received the Roger Charest Sr. Award for Broadcast and Media Arts.

First black woman to hold the office of Secretary of State

This summer my southern cousin and I were talking politics.

I said that the first black president would have to be a Republican because it would be a long time before the U.S. was ready for a black Democrat in the White House.

She said she though I was probably right.

I don't think either one of us considered the possibility that the first black president could also be a woman .

You know it's a long shot - but a damned interesting possibility.

You can always tell a Dutchman

In the decades following the Second World War, boatloads of Dutch dairy farmers came to rural Ontario. So, I grew up with ollie bollen at Christmas and mustard on my Gouda and a vocabulary of Dutch profanity that rivals only my repertoireof French cuss words.

I grew up knowing about the Canadian liberation of Holland, not from history class, but from the stories the Dutch parents told me of their experiences under Nazi occupation. The Hague and Arnhem and apeldoorn are places I still long to visit. Places, where I sometimes (in an embarrassingly new- age kind of way) think I lived in a past life.

I admit it. Some people think they were once Egyptian aristocracy or mediaeval pagans. In another life, I'm pretty sure I milked Holstein cattle and peddled a bicycle along canal banks.

A seemingly dejected Pieter at Peaktalk, posts today of the Van Gogh murder and Holland's Evaporating Hope.

Most of the punditry is centered on the notion that what happened is the result of the Dutch culture of tolerance, multiculturalist politically correct thinking and the tendency to stick your head in the sand rather than stand up and fight the terror that is enveloping your own chaturbate space.

He goes on to say...

It appears the Dutch are afraid and very reluctant to take and live with the implications of drastic measures, they somehow remain a pretty unhappy bunch overall.

Granted, his understanding of Dutch society surpasses mine. Based, as it were, on my limited relationship with post- WW2 immigrants and his experience having actually been born there but...

Even after 60 years I can't bring myself to believe that the people of the Netherlands have forgotten what oppression is. They are tolerant and polite and fair but just a bit hard-headed.

Now, will I get nasty emails, or worse/better links pointing to my insensitivity to Dutch culture. Will my can't tell them much remark get me in trouble?

I don't imagine that it will. And I wouldn't care much if I did. The Dutchmen I know are kinda proud of that hard-headedness. In fact I mentioned this post to a Gouda- head this morning.

Her reply. Wooden head. Wooden shoes Wooden listen.

So, go on over to Pieter's place. He's got insightful commentary and good links on the Van Gogh murder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Pim Fortuyn. Just be sure to take your shoes off at the door. The Dutch ladies don't like that sort of thing.

Asleep at the wheel

Bob at Let it Bleed points out that Canada has dropped three positions and now rates 18th in the Reporters Without Borders' Worldwide Freedom Index.

Bob wonders why "the institutional guardians of that right appear not to be terribly interested in covering the manner."

Difficult to say what is more frightening - that Canadian media continues to be shackled - or that Canadian media doesn't think it newsworthy that they are clearly losing ground.

Slide on over to Bob's joint. He's got what few links there are on the issue

Time to raise the Standard at Just Between Us Girls

I've long suspected, that in time, we will see the negative affects of zero tolerance for school yard violence. Who, I ask, is going to dump that annoying bully on his arse when the teacher has her back turned?

We've had a full week of bully behaviour in blogland and I suggest you click on through to Polspy . They have an excellent post about bullies.

I've added the Red Ensign to my sidebar because Margaret Hassan, the kidnapped director of CARE International in Baghdad, has been seen on a videotape aired by Al-Jazeera pleading for her life.