Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas from Air Canada!

Merry Christmas to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have made it home for the Holidays in spite of the obstacles.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

... now for something completely different

The number one new Restaurant in Canada for 2007 according to En Route Magazine is non-other than Atlantica, on the shores of Portugal Cove overlooking the ferry to Bell Island. Reminiscent of "The Auk" from the "Rare Birds" movie and novel this tucked away little place has attracted quite a bit of attention it seems.

Of course the best of the best are always from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Canadians Wants to Orphan Newfoundland and Labrador Children

The Portnoys of Marystown are living in hell on earth hounded by the Canadian authorities. There are of course two sides to every story but nothing in the past of The Portnoy's can justify what the Canadians have done to this family. It is entirely unacceptable in a country that prides itself on being an example of democracy and humanitarianism for the globe.

The essense of the argument for or against deporting the Portnoys have been bandied about to exhaustion. The primary question is a simple one. Are the Portnoys entitled to live in Canada? The Canadian Government has to decide based on its pre-formed heuristic if this family can stay. They have decided that cannot. It would be quick and easy to end the discussion at that point. They've made their decision -end of story... ?!

In the case of the Portnoys though it becomes important to investigate the very process of government itself. Can we have confidence that the federal government has made the right decision on behalf of 30 million Canadians, and especially 1/2 million Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Can we have confidence that the best decision was made? For that we need to look beyond the paper work and consider the human interests in this story. We have our answer based on running an application through a machine... now let's run some facts through the people of Canada and let them decide.

The Portnoys are not two Israeli's and their Kids. We are in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada - The Portnoys are three Canadian Children, two of them are Newfoundland and Labradorians, with their siblings and parents.

This is a family that has the support of the community in which they live. The Portnoys are from Marystown.

This is a family who have a great deal of support in this Newfoundland and Labrador. The Portnoys are Newfoundland and Labradorian.

As Canadians we have to ask ourselves what has happened to lead up to this terrible situation for this Newfoundland and Labrador family, and what do we do as a civilized community to rectify the situation?

The situation was caused by a bureaucracy that made the final decision. It is the result of a decision made by a group who do not live in Marystown, they do not even live in Newfoundland and Labrador - but they make decisions for us. There is a fundamental flaw in this federation when a Newfoundlander or Labradorian has absolutely no say into who their neighbour is. To the question of who is a Newfoundlander, who is a Labradorian... that decision is made elsewhere. That is fundamentally wrong!

The situation with the Portnoys is the result of this inept bureaucracy. A federal department and it's arms length committees that take a decade to stamp an application. A decade passes. A decade in our life, a lifetime in the five Portnoy children. They are Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, they go to school with our kids, they contribute to the youth culture of the community... Then a small minded ineffective bureaucratic organization reaches down from another land and turns the only world they've known upside down. A faceless bogeyman who snatches their father while he is running a errand to help a friend. A monster who threatens daily to steal away their mother if she should step into the daylight.

So we humbly look to the scales of justice:

On one side of the scale, the argument to deport the Portnoys. The weak accusation against Alexi that refers to a petty crime as a youth. An accusation which has been adequately explained.

On the opposite side of the scale we have the inefficiency of the immigration committees. Add to that the children who are born and bred Canadian, and their rights as Canadians. Consider the children who were born in Marystown and are members of that community for the entire duration of their young lives. Add to that the tremendous support of the community in Marystown. Add to that the tremendous support of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians all over this island and in the Big Land. Add to that the health and welfare of two of the children who receive specialized attention in their community.

Now make your decision.

But wait, there is one more consideration. The immigration committee has made it's decision. There is a strong defensive stance that says that the immigration committee has to have it's own autonomy. It has to have it's own integrity, it has to be immune to criticisms from mere mortals. That bull-headed self preservation has to be a factor. Place that on our scales of justice. This one is very heavy because it goes to government power and bureaucratic self-preservation.

This is now very much a decision in the public arena. The immigration authourities need either to give us the solid reasoning behind its ineffective, inhumane, inept, and weak arguments or it's time for them to listen to the many voices from "down-east"

They have a lot to answer to. Better late than never.

The Portnoy Family Website

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Funny Thing About Clowns

Two cannibals are eating a clown when one turns to the other and says - "does this taste funny to you?"

On October 11 newfoundlandincanada posted a graphic suggesting the Premier of Nova Scotia as a clown. There were hits from the national media looking at that post. The funny thing is that today on October 15 the National Post publishes the editorial below. (re-electing a clown)

So Newfoundlandincanada thinks Rodney MacDonald is a clown for signing Harper's contract, and the National Post thinks Danny is a clown for refusing it.

... so two premiers are reading a contract on equalization when the Newfoundland and Labrador premier says "Does this seem funny to you". (The other premier was to busy signing to reply.)

I'm not a partisan person but I'll wear the over-sized novelty shoes and suggest that Harper, MacDonald and the mainland media stuff it up their collective ass. I'd rather have a big red nose than a brown one.


Re-electing a clown

And to think that in the early days of his government back in 2003, we fairly gushed over the prospects of Danny Williams transforming Newfoundland and Labrador into a “have” province. Back then, though, he was pledging to wean his province off dependence on federal welfare. Instead, Mr. Williams has chosen bombast and continued addiction to Ottawa’s handouts. While his militant schtick has proven wildly popular in Newfoundland — he won re-election on Tuesday with nearly 70% of the total vote — it will prove toxic to his province in the long run.

Almost from the start, Mr. Williams showed himself to be a tub-thumping populist from the Huey Long school. He stormed out of a first minsters’ meeting on equalization when then-prime minister Paul Martin dared suggest equalization to have-not provinces should begin to go down once they’ve reached “have” status. Later, Mr. Williams ordered all Canadian flags pulled down from above Newfoundland’s provincial buildings. After Stephen Harper and his Conservatives took over in 2006, Mr. Williams ran national newspaper ads against the federal government, urging people to vote “ABC” — Anybody but Conservatives.

The Premier also likes to talk tough with the oil companies looking to develop his province’s Hibernia South and Hebron offshore oil fields. This, too, has proven itself popular with voters but has cost the provincial economy hundreds of millions —if not billions — of dollars.

Thanks to Mr. Williams’ demands for “superroyalties” from the oil companies, the Hibernia field has been shelved for the foreseeable future and the Hebron field will now go ahead only because Mr. Williams swallowed his pride and made major concessions.

Like all demagogues, Mr. Williams is fond of the pronoun “I” — as in I won the deal with the oil companies through my personal “determination and strength of conviction.” If “ I’ve accomplished anything here, I just think it’s that: Pride in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Only I can back down Stephen Harper. His victory speech on Tuesday evening barely acknowledged that he had a caucus and party around him.

Meanwhile, while Mr. Williams was huffing and puffing his way to victory, Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald was quietly negotiating a settlement in the Ottawa-Atlantic equalization skirmish. Under terms of his deal with the Harper government, Nova Scotia may accept the new equalization formula offered in last spring’s budget, or it may opt for the old formula any time it feels the new one is shortchanging the province.

The same deal is open to Mr. Williams, but he has painted himself into such a rhetorical corner to win re-election, it’s hard to see how he could agree — even though it is a better deal for his province than the one it currently has.

Mr. Williams is a character. Of that there is no doubt. But his outsized ego and inflammatory stunts are hurting the people who voted him into office.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Harper's New Mascot

With sympathy and great respect for my friends in Nova Scotia...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Spy with my Little Eye, Something that is Blue

Consequences of Last Night's Election:

* Giant novelty cheques for expectant mothers.

* Giant electrical outlet for Red Bay. Giant extension cord for St. Anthony.

* Fiber Optic fed for everyone!

* Have Status in two years – Canada seeks new scapegoat.

* Out-port Newfoundland and Labrador now called “cottage country”

* One step closer to Danny acquiring The Bomb. Steven Harper is spied at Home Depot buying new locks, batteries and candles.

* Opposition meets at Tim Horton’s.

* New NDP Slogan: "From Nun to One"

* New Tory Slogan: "Four Seats to a Dictatorship"

* New Liberal Slogan: "F%$K ya we tried!"

* In Gambo: “Joey’s Lookout” to be renamed “Joey, Look out!”

* Seeking funds, the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador changes its name to “Pepsi, The Choice of a New Generation Party of Newfoundland and Labrador”

Monday, October 01, 2007

Rage Against the Machine II

I've had this one in the line-up for a while trying to decide if I should post it. the first "Rage" generated so much venum it made me a little weary of snakes. In the end though free speech has a value in our Newfoundland and Labrador...

The first "Rage Against the Machine" asked: When I read blogs and the like am I reading an opinion, or an advertisement? I did not really expect an answer. It was mostly rhetoric, and rhetorical questions by their nature don't demand an answer.

But I did receive a response. Veiled threats, articles on "Libel" and blogging. Promises that I would be revealed to the world, "my pants lowered and my forked tail exposed". (Even a cowardly anonymous e-mail apparently written by a nine year old.)

I can be faulted for one thing. I specifically stated being paid as the reason a bias would exists. That was wrong and I duly apologised for the implication. There are other rewards beyond the simple exchange of cash. Not that any of these apply to our local newspapers, radio and bloggers...

So, gagged as I am from speaking freely by those with "asbestos suits" and "lawyer friends". I will speak in vague terms and use an example that is not as locally relevent. Is there indeed a media machine that feds us redigested tripe? Take for example this article "Brain Injury, Not Steroids, Seen in Wrestler Death". As the title implies "Brain injury, not steroids" were the reason that Pro Wrestler Chris Benoit lost faculty of his senses killeding his family and himself. The article was sent to the news feeds by the "Sports Legacy Institute". But here is were that swallowed Red Pill causes trouble. Google that name... who is the SPI? Ex-WWE wrestler, some brain surgents and lawyers.

... and there I go opening myself up again to the accusation of being a perveyor of conspiracy. Am I the only one who would question the legitimacy of an article written by associates and lawyers of the WWE? Does that make me paranoid and delusional as I have been accused of by my own peers - or does it in fact offer a look at the paint beneath? These are of course baseless questions about motivation, offering only speculation, no evidence is provided or produced. For conspiracy theory none are needed. Condemnation through quiet implication. This is Newfoundland and Labrador after all, none of that here... (he whispers)

We need to be better sheep spouting the words we have read verbatum as if they are gospel. Selling the latest political candidate, or flavour of Coke. We are safe to adopt the opinion as our own because it has come from such learned blokes: I know its true, because I saw it on TV. When someone boasts they are in the "persuasion business" we should sip our Pepsi and Screetch ignoring the elephant in the room.

For those who are not registered lobbyists, opinions from regular Joes and Joannes like myself are like arseholes - everyone has one but no one wants to hear yours. No odds. Just an opinion. Fortunately we are the masterless men, we no longer bow to the elite. Those who in their income, politics and acedemics would close our minds.

I've said too much, my tinfoil hat has fallen loose and I fear they will be banging on my bunker door. Unfortunately for those of us who have swallowed the Red Pill, we'll always be prone to look for the underpainting. We scratch the surface and let the light in, even as the paint is still being applied.

Humbly yours,
Self-embarassing fork-tailed conspiracy theorist pseudonom sock puppet

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Colourful Election

I'm trying to follow along with the provincial election and do a little writing for October Reign but I have to admit I'm completely thrown for a loop. Time was when being a Liberal, PC or NDP meant something. These days with Red Tories, Blue Grits, Green NDP, it's enough to leave you black and blue.

I'm checking out the candidate for St. John's Centre. A good NDP candidate - unfortunately she's a Liberal. The Premier is talking about baby bonuses and social programs as if he too is an NDP. The NDP are talking about environmental polluters like the Greens. Then the solid Grit Simon Lono casts his vote for a conservative nomination.

... So if Reds are Orange, and Red Blues are actually Orange, and Orange is Green, while Red is actually Blue... wait I have a headache... at the same time I've been accused of being Red, Blue, and Pink White and Green, and one self-righteous blogger even calls me Yellow. Truth is although nothing is black and white, I finally understand Hendrix.

I'm completely in a Purple Haze. Excuse me while I kiss the sky...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stephenville Hosts...

(cross-posted on

Gwynne Dyer, Ray Johnson, Rex Goudie are in Stephenville this weekend. Why?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dying (Campaign) Race

“We can’t be a dying race,” the premier says. There follows an awkward pause. He said the “R” word! The reaction is mixed but swift. Bondpapers wrote about it, so did WebTalk and others including Randy Simms. The standard reaction was a shoulder shrug, next topic please. Others are not as dismissive. Race, did he say race? Shocking!

The new website for Simon Lono running for the Liberals in St. John’s North calls for the premier to apologize for the Race comment:

“To casually talk about a provincial ‘race’ at the same time government is establishing an immigration program and trying to attract foreign doctors and international students sends the worst message to the world. Many of these people come here to escape the empty concept of ‘race’ and other destructive words”.

"The key to our future is a free and democratic society that embraces the contribution of all people. To suggest that there is a “race” in Newfoundland and Labrador that needs protection by government policies raises the idea that there are people - some already living here - who are not part of that race and who do not belong here. That is fundamentally wrong.”

Not surprisingly I disagree with Mr. Lono. The people of Marystown and the handful of politicians who have supported them continue to fight for the rights of a family living in their church. The family by the definition of the people of Marystown including the mayor - are Newfoundland and Labradorians. The government of Canada says they are not. Therein lies the rub. It is not up to Newfoundlanders nor Labradorians who lives in this province. It is dictated to us federally. I can site many examples of our people supporting recent immigrants. I can not give an example of an implication that people who are here do not belong here.

Bondpapers goes further:

We all know – or we are reasonably comfortable in believing we all know - that Danny Williams was referring to the majority of people in the province. That is, he was referring to the white, English-speaking people of English, Irish and Scots ancestry. That is the race to which he most likely referred.

Yikes! How can such a harmless comment invoke such insinuation!

Danny can justify his own words. I can only say that the term Race in referring to Newfoundland and Labradorians is not new. NewfoundlandinCanada’s “ Canada ’s N Word” article suggested that there is a definite racism that exists in Canada towards Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. If you do not belief this is the case I suggest we have had fundamentally different experiences in growing up in this province. If you object to the specific term of Racism you are welcome to substitute “hate mongering”, “discrimination” or whatever you wish. I would suggest though that the majority of us living in Newfoundland and Labrador know from whence I speak.

NewfoundlandinCanada has also suggested that the term race is used in referring to a nation of people in using a definition from Can this blog then be criticisized for using the term? If Bondpapers marks Danny Williams as using the term Race to imply the white, English Irish and Scots then NewfoundlandinCanada can be faulted with the same criticism by Bond. What does NewfoundlandinCanada define as the Race of Newfoundland and Labrador? Who is a Newfoundlander or Labradorian? It is HERE for all to view.

"Race" does not necessarily imply some evil intent as some would have us believe. Odd how so many things meant to pull us together get twisted to pull us apart.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Danny's Top Ten List

Top Ten Marketing Slogans for Danny’s $1000 a Kid Plan:
(In the tradition of

10. A Penny for your thoughts, and up to $1000 depending on how far you'll go.

9. A picture is worth 1000 bucks (with birth certificate)

8. Stud fees $500 payable in nine months

7. Let's get in started - let's get it started in here!

6. More Bang for your Buck.

5. My last kid wasn't worth a shit!

4. Danny Bucks - Redeemable at Toys R Us

3. New Conservative Campaign Slogan: PC - PLEASE CONCEIVE

2. New pickup line: I'll see your $1000 and raise you THIS!

1. More bread in the oven, more dough in your hands.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Who is a Newfoundlander or Labradorian?

The novel "Return of the Native" written by Jonathan Butler asks the question what is a Newfoundland and Labradorian? In the novel a gentleman of African decent finds he has a far greater sense of connection to his friends in home town St. John's than he ever did among other black Canadians in Toronto. The novel begs the question who is a Newfoundland and Labradorian?

A conversation with Snuffy Jackson who created the republic concept is a lesson in who we are and what makes us distinct. There are few stronger Newfoundland and Labradorians than this one-time livyer who is a tried and true Texan.

Ask someone from the new Nunasuivut government, ask a francophone from the West coast, ask an Irish Catholic Townie, a Labrador Metis, a fisherman from Marystown, a mill worker in Corner Brook, Mi'kmaq from Conne River, an immigrant living in sanctuary. They know. The great frustration though is in those who would tear us apart based on regional, cultural, and language differences. The challenge for our people is to define that elusive quality that connects us all. The quality that brought Udo Nomi home in the Return of the Native. The quality that leaves Snuffy Jackson with a quiver in his voice over the phone from Texas. The challenge is to represent us all; in government policy, in cultural song and prose, in art and literature.

That challenge has remained elusive. Drive through the streets of any town in the province. You will see the Maple Leaf, the Pratt Flag, the Union Jack, the Pink White and Green, the Labrador Flag, you'll find the Stars and Stripes and the Irish Flag... All of these in common use in the province. Each of them with vastly different representations, each of them attempting to express that elusive quality of the Newfoundlander, the pride and history of the Labradorian.

I think of a song by The Proclaimers called "Scotland's Story". In the song the brothers' Reid express what makes a Scot, "the Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane ... the Irishman, Jew and Ukraine, they're all Scotland's Story and they're all worth the same."

There is a lot said about being at the crossroads of history of this island and the big land. Our actions and sense of self today will define the place in history of this land for generations to come. Time to seek and discover those qualities we share. Those linkages that hold us together. Each link of the chain is essential.


Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League
Community Linkages Concept Committee

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Us. A simple word of inclusion. I remember my American friends on this day. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When I Was Canadian

I am not a separatist. It's unfortunate that whenever I display a tiny bit of love for my province that I have to preface it with an apology. Sorry that I wear the Pink White and Green on my hat, sorry I used it in the NLDL logo. Sorry I fly the Labrador Flag, the Pratt Flag and the PWG side by side. I apologize that my brethren in the upper echelon of upper Canada feel I am inferior in my very being.

Truth is, I feel we have to start thinking like we are our own country, no apology for that. We have to have a pride and understanding in our own history and culture. We have to recognize the context of Newfoundland and Labrador outside of Canada just as we now life in a Newfoundland and Labrador that is a part of Canada.

I have been Canadian. On the rare occasion I have felt that connect to the rest of the federation. Anyone remember the Discovery Train which toured the country? It was a museum of discovery of all things Canadian Coast to Coast. Of course Central Newfoundland had recently lost its trains, tracks and infrastructure in a deal with Canada that would see the trains of Newfoundland and Labrador and the terms of union that provided them sold off to repair a crumbling system of highways. The roads nearing St. John’s were indeed improved. The Sir Robert Bond Bridge which was due for upgrade and widening which was to be paid for by the sell-off of the railway still exists in its narrow and neglected state. And Central Newfoundland has luxury compared to Labrador's transportation neglect... But I was young and I didn't see any of that. I was captivated by the lights and funny clothes.

When I met Terry Fox, I felt Canadian. Terry was one of the few simple people in this country who without financial or political gain was able to galvanize this country’s sentiments on all coasts. Terry is one of the rare instances in my life when being Canadian felt right. He remains one of the reasons I cannot dismiss Canada in the Newfoundland and Labrador experiment.

I felt an old familiar pride of the maple lead when parliament hill rung load with the ode to Newfoundland during the anniversary of Beaumont Hamel last year. When we became a nation of men, and for a short time had that pride of place, a dominion, a country, the symantecs are irrelavent. We were what we were. We were not British, nor were we Canadian.

When I have traveled or when I meet Canadians here. On the truly grassroots level the taxi driver, the farmer, the miner these Canadians have built the country and they understand the regional unfairness innate in being a Newfoundlander or Labradorian in Canada. They understand that the third world conditions of rural communities, the suicide rates in Labrador, that these are not acceptable in a land that provesses to be a province of a G8 country.

...But I hang on to these moments in the hopes that they will one day define me. I hang on to the strengths that Canada has in the hopes that one day we will be equal partners in the family. I hang on to the fundamental belief that Canada is not a failed experiment for Newfoundland and Labrador. I hang onto these fundamentals because without them I am homeless. A man without a country. A nation without a nation.

I am Newfoundland and Labradorian first, no apologies.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Success Stories

Last week the Community Linkages Concept Committee (CLCC) asked "What is the plan for rural Newfoundland and Labrador?" The CLCC is interested in the stories from across the province. What is happening that is good? What needs to be done further? What does government need to do? What do we as the people of Newfoundland and Labrador need to do?

The rarely heard part of the story is the "good news" piece of the puzzle. Part of the answer was sent to me by NL Regional Economic Development Association member in Exploits Rod French: "100 Success Stories" from across the province.

As a member of the NLDL and secretary of the CLCC I live for the success stories in this province. I think it is a valuable read - what's happening in your part of the province?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Remember Rural Newfoundland and Labrador?

The Community Linkages Concept Committee (CLCC) chaired by Ray Johnson of Buddy Wasisname today issued a statement asking the leaders to state their plan for rural Newfoundland and Labrador...

(read the press release and backgrounder)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Revisiting “The Republic”: Snuffy’s Gold

(A little break from all the talk about oil from

The mark of a great marketing campaign is one that so entrenches itself into our society that we assume it into the local vernacular. Such is the case with our colloquial use of the term Ski-Doo to mean anything that rides across the snow, or a Coke is anything that is carbonated. And such is true for the concept of the Republic of Newfoundland; was there ever a time that we did not refer to the republic? As a matter of fact there was…

In 1980 a Texan had made St. John’s his home. Pursuing the love of a local girl he very quickly found his place in Newfoundland and Labrador. The gentleman’s name is David Jackson, but he is known widely as “Snuffy”. Some may remember a man with a Texas accent and cowboy hat who worked at CKIX-FM (KIXX) Country, who hung out and played with local bands like “The Living Room Band” in the downtown pubs. Mr. Jackson describes a fond memory of descending the narrow stairs leading between Duckworth and Water near the Courthouse to find the reclusive little spot for his gig. It was among these narrow side streets in downtown St. John’s that Mr. Jackson opened a small apparel shop to showcase his particular brand of graphics arts style.

From Kerrville, Texas just outside San Antonio he says his connection to Newfoundland and Labrador is very strong. From the time he first landed at the St. John’s airport and was greeted with a sign reading “It’s about time you got your TexAss up here” and was presented with a promised bottle of “Tucker’s Gold Cap” homebrew, presented to him by Wayne Tucker and the boys, he had an instant connection to the people.

The Harbour City General Store was a showcase of love for his adopted home, and it was here the first “Republic of Newfoundland” concept was born. Printed on shirts and caps it quietly became a staple of the youth and artsy set and may have inadvertently spawned a renewed sense of pride of place on this peninsula that reaches for Europe while maintaining the Canadian name. The “Republic of Newfoundland” would bring him both fame and controversy.

The inspiration for his creation came from the stories that sparked his interest as a youth. He became a great student of Texas history…with stories of Davy Crocket and the Alamo. The fact that Texas was for a short time a country – a republic – and was for the years between 1836- 1845. In fact he says Texas was the only country to ever join the United States, "Isn't it ironic that Newfoundland and Labrador almost was to?" When Newfoundland and Labrador became his new home he saw so many comparisons with the province and the history of his home state. With great modesty he says “I’m not a brilliant man, the concept of the Newfoundland Republic came from this recognition of the similarities in the history of Texas with the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Jackson says that the brief history that Texans were a Republic, that was a defining moment for Texas, and that strength and recognition of who they are was what he saw in Newfoundland and Labradorians. The Newfoundland Republic concept just seemed to make perfect sense. “It didn’t take me long to figure out that Newfoundland has always been its own place.” He emphasizes “its own place” with a quiver of pride in his voice. He adds “No matter what’s written on a piece of paper somewhere as to its status – it doesn’t make a difference – the Newfoundland that I saw was, in and of itself, its own entity.”

When he researched the old Newfoundland Tri-Colour it seemed the perfect addition to the Republic graphic... and so the Republic of Newfoundland and accompanying Pink White and Green quietly entered the Newfoundland and Labrador psyche.

Mr. Jackson thinks that it was his unique perspective of seeing Newfoundland and Labrador with fresh eyes that inspires his Newfoundland and Labrador concept art. He also alludes to the fact that because he was American he did not carry any of the preconceived biases about Newfoundland and Labrador that a mainland Canadian might have.

He recalls the reaction to his logo first when it was introduced, “The newspaper headline read Pro-Separatist T-Shirt but they were just trying to sell papers with sensational headlines. I was celebrating basically what I was seeing which was just a wonderful independent, self-reliance that I saw in my Newfoundland and Labrador friends, not separatism.”

“The other thing they got wrong in that article was that the logo was created because of so many requests – there were never any requests – that didn’t happen. It was only after I created the T-Shirt that a certain element seemed to have embraced it and taken it into their own agenda. Whatever that agenda was, I couldn't help, but, my intension, with my heart on my sleeve, was producing a product that explained the Newfoundland spirit; a wonderfully independent spirit. The whole attitude, Newfoundlanders are wonderful, they just take absolutely take my breath away, the whole atmosphere and self-reliance.”

The Harbour City General Store exists now only in the virtual world at where the original Republic of Newfoundland concept has been given new life. About the web store Mr. Jackson exclaims proudly that the Harbour City General Store has the “real deal” with it comes to the Republic of Newfoundland.

Mr. Jackson was quite surprised when a friend from St. John’s told him of the enormous success of the Newfoundland Republic in recent years. “They told me Snuffy by’ you really blew it – you could have been a millionaire by now!” He laughs adding that he was told “that history professors are upset because people are calling the old tri-colour the ‘Republic Flag’!”

“Newfoundland and Labrador has more on the go than even they give themselves credit for. I’m seeing a new generation, the young ones who hear the newfie jokes and they are saying – you know this is Bull Shit... I read an article online the other day which described the word Newfie as Canada’s “N” word [I recall being on the mainland and] the things they were saying there and the things I was experiencing as a non-Canadian on the rock were completely different. Newfoundland and Labrador for Canada is like a family taking in a step child in... and the worst of all is not that they regard Newfoundland and Labrador badly but that they don’t regard it at all!”

When suggested that he is a great ambassador for Newfoundland and Labrador and should be on the provincial payroll he laughs saying “I even wrote a song I call I Miss the Rock. Two of my three kids were born in St. Clares. My son James and my daughter Nichole are genuine Newfoundlanders with a Texas accent, my Newfoundtexlanders! My love affair with Newfoundland and Labrador will never die, and when I look back on it – probably one of my biggest regrets is that [I left].”

He hints that he is not finished with Newfoundland and Labrador and hopes to continue to build on the designs that have given him a place in the history of our province. Reflecting on his feelings for Newfoundland and Labrador he sighs over the phone: “Newfoundland had me from, Whadda-ya-at, b'y - from the moment I got off the airplane and drank that “Tucker’s Gold Cap” homebrew.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Almost Canadian

...and have-not will be no more - won't that be sweet. The sad irony will be contributing to the equalization payments to the "have-not" Quebec. ...I mean as a part of the federation across the top of the table instead of underneath via Churchill Falls...

Enjoy the moment - ahhhhhh nice!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rage Against The Machine (or Swallowing the Red Pill)

(The following is not a paid endorsement of anything - whatsoever)

Neo was offered a choice between a blue pill and a red pill. The question offered by The Matrix is essentially this: If given the choice between status quo or exploring the true reality of your environment with all of its deception revealed, what would you choose? Status quo is comfortable, reality is the food of cynics. Sometimes I sincerely regret having swallowed the red pill.

I’ve had visions of Newfoundland and Labradorians of all stripes and colours being lead to the Promised Land, the North Atlantic parts as we are packing our salt fish and toutons. The further I dive into these waters though I fully expect to one day drown. This blue funk comes from the realization of the strength and scope of the media machine. Blame it on Ryan Cleary who asked the question as to who pays who to do what? From what motive are bloggers, newspaper journalist, and open line haunters driven? When I suck in the information from these media outlets am I hearing an ad or an opinion? has provided a piece of this puzzle. It appears one brand of coercive hired hand is the Lobbyist. For this particular breed of paid "consultant" there is reasonable disclosure as the feds require that Lobbyist are registered. However - all that the lobbyist registry tells me is that there is an elite brand of political whore that is well paid indeed. The lobbyist registry is a museum of ghosts of politicians past. Those who do not yet have a senate seat, waiting in the lobby. I wonder if that is where "Lobbyist" gets its name?! Old politicians never die they just lose the use of their caucas.

Fair enough, we know who the lobbyists are. Who then are the "communications consultants" and those other breeds of opinions for hire. From what wallet are they paid and are they paid for their open line appearances, blogging, and articles in the newspapers? The piece in The Independent has persisted for weeks and calls into question the credability of the free speakers of the web.

To my knowledge only the author has said she is not paid by any interests she writes about, or discusses on open line. So here is my question: When I read, or and the likes that were listed in The Independent am I reading an opinion, or an advertisement. If an advertisement appearing in my news magazine resembles an article it is disclosed at the top as an "advertising supplement". When I see an infomercial on TV it is prefaced with "The following is a paid broadcast." Not so for alternative media like blogs and open line shows.

Then Ryan Cleary of the Independent himself posts a "story" for Astraeus which appears to have been little more than an ad. The great hope for Independent Journalism bought by an airline? Is there no one who is untainted by the dark spew that is the waste product of the Media Machine? Does anyone even care? What difference does it make if a person is paid for their public opinion? It matters in the same way that trans fats matter in our fried chicken; we don't want to feed ourselves processed news. It's just not healthy.

No wonder it takes so damn long for anything good to happen around here. Our communities are turned into a courthouse - week after week we deal with argument and counter-argument trying to win favour of the elusive public opinion. Most of it BS. The Media Machine produces information fast-food. The Liberals have one, the Conservatives have one, big oil has one, Hydro has one... Shouldn't we know when our information has been produced by an algorithm which determines what information it spews out and when. Shouldn't we know when the machine has chopped up the meaty facts and is feeding us the sausage? Bologna factories run by the powerful and elite.

I have wrench and I'm prepared to use it. Brace yourself for the squeal of grinding gears. I've tried like a bastard to spit that red pill out, but it’s already half digested. God help me.


My Disclosure:
The preceding was not a paid announcement on behalf of anyone. I have had a coffee with writers in the Independent. I have worked through a friend for Siobhan Coady's campaign run, I have sat with the NL First executive and voiced my advice and opinions to Loyola Hearn, Peter McKay, and Peg Norman and others. I am a founding member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League, a multi-partisan, all inclusive group that aims to serve the people of this province including the author of who has publicly criticized the NLDL - but remains a member. I am also a member of the Community Linkages Concept Committee ( in progress), which serves to work for a sustainable rural Newfoundland and Labrador with an emphasis on education, innovation and youth initiatives.

I did all of this without a single copper entering my pocket... and I will continue to do so. Like a damn fool.

UPDATE: Apparently the author of offalnews which was one of those noted in The Independent article has publically made a statement as to his blogging motives and the issue of having a paid opinion. I apologize for to that blogger if I was making an unfounded insinuation. I will venture to find the statement he made and clarify.

His Response is here

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cuba-Sugar (A Little Side Bar for a Monday Morning)

This story is not the usual ramblings from Our Place in Canada but it's an interesting read. This lady is 107, living in poverty in Cuba but has a fortune in Boston. Guess where she was born?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On the Rags - News in Canada

(Let me apologise for the title right off, but I'm feeling up to my nostrils in dung and the weight of the federation is an anvil on my head)

Main stream newspapers, bah! Pressed pulp collections, the poorest use for a tree. Then again with so many bloggers in the arse pocket of some lobby group or political interest who do you trust? Makes me wonder two things. First, to what extent have these political whores discredited the Blogosphere and news rags? Secondly I must be a bit of a fool for not dipping into that purse. Taking the moral high road is both lonely and poor.

Anyway here’s a bit of mainstream tripe for your feeding. The basic jest of this is, with respect to Harper’s Government, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are hostile and irrational, Quebec wallows in petty protectionism, and Albertans are Yosemite Sam incarnate.

Only mother Ottawa is holding this country together. The ideal situation according to this editorial is disagreement and squabbling among the premiers so that we can be rescued once again by Steve and the Harpies. Not sure what sort of “equality” Steve is ready to dish out this time. Pretty much all we have left down here is a damn fine Sunday dinner. Although without the turnip that Steve took at the last go round it’s hardly a complete meal. Maybe we’ll get the turnip back when Steve has squeezed the last bit of blood from them.

From August 8 National Post p.18 Editorial

No fed-bashing – but no deal, either

“There will be plenty of talk about worthwhile initiatives ... and the like, but the real issues are intractable.”

Premiers gather in Moncton today for their annual meeting and they are promising, remarkably enough, not to bash Ottawa. How refreshing.

Specifically, the premiers assembling for the Council of the Federation conference are saying they will stay away from the subject of equalization payments. This is in large part because they’re hopelessly split on it. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan are all still somehow bitter about the new arrangement worked out by Stephen Harper’s federal government, even though the arrangement, greased by extra federal money, has won reasonable levels of support in the other seven provinces and the territories. The two Atlantic grumblers, in particular, come off as merely truculent and unreasonable.

And out-numbered. The three malcontent governments are in three small provinces, and they’ll be unable to stop the equalization express. That’s just as well, because the new deal has lots going for it besides generosity: consistency, predictability and logic.

The fact that the premiers will focus elsewhere this week is, then, a sign of success for Harper. Even the showman Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador, who has been chewing the scenery in his denunciations of Harper, has calmed down enough to say “there's a mood ... to move to a higher level and not to be seen as a group of premiers that come together to bash the federal government.”

Without Ottawa as a unanimous target, the premiers might fall to pious generalities, or to squabbling among themselves on the three subjects that dominate their agenda.

Two of the three topics, energy and climate change, are closely related. There will be plenty of talk about worthwhile initiatives about mapping energy resources and the like, but the real issues are intractable: Most provinces favour tougher measures on greenhouse-gas emissions, but Alberta adopts its gunslinger pose as soon as it hears the phrase “carbon tax” or even a reference to emissions trading. Last week, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach gave the back of his hand to a proposal, from Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty, for a national cap-and-trade emissions plan. Global climate change, Alberta seems to be saying, is not our problem.

Oh well, at least Stelmach will go along with the meeting’s cheap symbolism: The premiers will eat local food, their vehicles won’t idle and they’ll drink local water out of reusable bottles.

The third issue is interprovincial trade, and here the prototype is the Alberta British Columbia deal signed last winter, which lowers labour-market barriers and makes it easier for companies to do business across the border the two provinces share.

It’s a disgrace that other provinces – Quebec not least – still wallow so deeply in petty protectionism, imposing barriers and burdens on the growth of prosperity. But they do, and while the federal government has talked a good game on encouraging a true free market within Canada, its jawboning has accomplished little so far.

The meeting will also have its share of street theatre: Nurses from across the country will be picketing to demand more money for health care. Business groups want improved dispute-settlement mechanism under the current Agreement on Internal Trade. Saskatchewan, which grows lots of corn, will be tub-thumping for ethanol. And so on.

The meeting promises to be a treat for the country’s story starved media. We just wish we could believe it will accomplish anything.

Monday, August 06, 2007

MUN II - With a Vengence

The upper echelon of academia at Memorial University is a bastion of self-preservation.

Let me start again, give me a second to get off my high-horse that I got at MUN and rephrase that...

That University Crowd is some big-in-theirself. When the province decides that it is time for MUN to take an internal look at itself the Board of Regents dumps a brick. Why? Not because they think that improving the status of the Grenfell Campus is a bad idea - but that it comes from government and not "The Board". The Board is diametrically opposed to any outside force dropping a suggestion in the box. (The suggestion box itself is up on the top shelf with the cookies and mouse droppings.)

As a struggling student I presented a letter to a board representative so they would except a course credit towards my degree. As an extra incentive I included a letter of reference from a high-ranking government official of which I knew from my summer employment at his provincial department. When I presented the reference letter to the board of regents rep his words to me were: "this is a bad idea, I'm not going to include the reference letter with your application." Seeing the expression of naivety on my face he continued, "The Board of Regents would see a letter from a political figure as government interference and that would be a hindrance to the application." I was shocked, but I did learn a little about the university governance from that conversation.

Consider what would happen if they wanted to grow the University to be representative of this province. If they wished to seriously improve rural relations, to build a university that is responsive to Cartwright as well as St. John's, it would be done. In this era of technology it would not need to break the bank. If these great learned individuals put their heads together, MUN could be the University that this province deserves. A university that has relevance to rural Newfoundland and coastal Labrador, all regions given consideration. Distance education? From experience, teleconference, correspondence courses and the like are sub-par. Preliminary university classroom courses in other parts of the province are not up to snuff. I can also tell you that there are a great number of potential students in other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador off the Avalon who would rather attend a maritime university or go to Ontario instead of traveling to St. John's.

So why can't we speak of improving the University for rural Newfoundland and Labrador? Because it is being represented by people like John Crosbie. Sharp, articulate, head-strong, proud and entirely rooted in the rocky soils of old St. John's. That is not being critical - it is simply the reality of his perspective. He is fully entitled to it and there should never be the suggestion that he is not. But lets hear from rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians!

60,000 MUN alumni, how many of those were not born in St. John's? That's the seldom heard perspective we should be interested in, because it is these people who graduated MUN in spite of itself. Those who made the leap to the halls of academia of the biggest little University in Canada overcoming the obstacles to a higher education in this province.

I can only tell you that the travel costs, the culture loss, rural population loss, the sub-par distance education, classrooms in condemned buildings - all of this is my own experience at MUN. And it's not good enough. I suggest the Board of Regents at MUN take its head out of its collective backside and consider "How can we make this work" instead of throwing up barriers as to why it won't. Can't-do is not an attitude that belongs in academic philosophy.

If they feel so strongly that the Grenfell Concept is wrong for the University, take the reigns. Let's see where we can take higher education in this province. Only a dictatorship is afraid of change.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Globe and Mail - Quote of the Day August 1 2007

Finally something worth repeating from Canadian Largest waste of pulp.

From a story on page A4:

Harper Heads East to Win Back Atlantic Support

From a Senior Atlantic Canadian Conservative:

"In Nova Scotia you can try to stop the bleeding, but the leg is cut off in Newfoundland"

The story references a visit by Steve to PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I guess ol' NL is already written off.

Quick note to the Globe - Harper is not visiting Atlantic Canada - he is visiting the Maritimes. Perfectly acceptable to use this term when Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded.

... and an even quicker note to Harper. If you want more blood from Newfoundland and Labrador, start growing Turnip.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newfoundland and Labrador BC (Before Canada)

In the twenty-four years between the birth of my father and the birth of his son, this land we call home was reborn into a new history. In the year of my birth Canada was already celebrating its centennial.

In the year of the Centennial Newfoundland in Canada, Labrador in Canada, less than two decades. My country’s last leader, my country’s first Premier was still the current Premier and would be for another five years. This allowed me the unique opportunity in the history of a province to be alive during the leadership of every Premier that has ever governed. And I am not an old man. When we sit with our grandparents and elders and discuss the old times we speak of growing up in a foreign country. We speak of arriving in – a foreign country. Such is the history of my Newfoundland and Labrador.

It is perhaps difficult for a Toronto-centric middle Canada to comprehend, let alone empathize with this perspective. When my elders speak confederation with Canada they are not recounting stories from generations ago that were passed to them through a spoken heritage, they are recounting a history that they in fact lived. Our history in Canada is but a grain in the sands of time.

What of that history ending in 1949? The lost races, Maritime Archaic, Dorset Eskimo, and Beothuck. The Inuit, Innu, M├ętis, and Mi’kmaq. The arrival of the Scandinavian Vikings, and later the Europeans. The first permanent settlement by Europeans in Cupids in 1610. The generations of loggers, farmers, fishermen, that struggled to survive those first winters.

So what’s the deal with Newfoundlanders? What’s the deal with Labradorians? We are grounded by our history. We are at once marred by and grounded by the lives of those before us. Our hearts are wounded by the story of the Beothuck. We carry with us the loss of those countless men and women who are lost to eternity in the icy depths of the Atlantic on the Ocean Ranger, the fishermen, the merchant marines.

Our relationship with mother Ottawa is brand new. Just fifty-eight years. A relationship that has seen Resettlement and Centralization. A relationship that has seen the collapse of our cod fishery. Fifty-eight years that has seen inequitable contracts like the Upper Churchill deal with enormously unbalanced profit division. Fifty-eight years that saw the once proud and strong people of Newfoundland and Labrador reduced to its perceived welfare state. Fifty-eight years that has seen constant debt. Unemployment unequalled in the federation. Out-migration unequalled in the federation.

And if Newfoundland dears to question the Terms of Union it is seen as treason, conspiracy to separation. If Labrador looks for equity it is dismissed as a sparse population of complainers.

The history of Newfoundland and Labrador since 1949 has seen an unparalleled evolution of character in Canada. It has turned Newfoundland and Labradorians into Canadians. Through the looking glass of Central Canadian imperialism the Newfoundlander and the Labradorian wears rags like Dickens’ lost boys, with their hand-out for another cup of gruel. It has seen the emergence of a new class in Canadian society – the Newfie, Canada’s Jigger Nigger. Although in this province we are intensely aware of the rock and salt water that has brought us into being there are far more looking through that looking glass than those of us standing behind it.

The message to the mainland media rags and political spin doctors. Write whatever you wish, we are not defined by your words. We know who we are.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blame Canada (at least Harper's version of it)

Equality is a funny animal isn’t it? It’s truly a noble concept of democratic society, but it’s such an elusive beast. Look at Canada’s Equalization Formula. Has this fundamental Canadian policy leveled the playing field across the federation? Is the health and education of Nain equal to that of Toronto? Could it ever be? Should it ever be? Can we expect resource rich Alberta to prop the rest of the country? Should we expect population rich Ontario to pander to the whims of Rural Newfoundland and Labrador?

It’s a double-edged sword this whole equalization thing. On the one hand you have the argument that says “why should Newfoundland and Labrador be allowed to achieve "have" status while still receiving funds from equalization? (I hate that term "have" because it necessitates the term "have-not" which is horse shit, anyway...) It’s a hard nut to crack and a difficult one for us to ask for. The fact remains though that two of the more recent Prime Ministers of this country agreed to it. Why?

Therein is the other edge of the equalization sword. Given that a region with significant resource potential can be allowed to grow, be invested in, with a minimal investment it can become a strong and contributing member of the federation. On equal terms with its sister provinces. Equal – there’s that elusive concept again.

Where inequality exists we go back to the principals of the great philosophers who have argued these points hundreds of years before we were ever conceived of being conceived. Kantian ethics tells us to be charitable, that the more well to do among us should contribute to the less fortunate. It is this type manner of thinking which separates the third-world dictatorships from a modern country such as Canada. Much of the third-world is stained with the inequality that sees people living in tent cities across the water from mansions and towers. The true test of a great society is how its less fortunate citizens live.

The unfortunate thing about Newfoundland and Labrador is that we have always been perceived as the tent city to the North and East. At this point in our history and so many times in the past opportunity has come in the form of a handout. At least that is the perception in the land of the Towers on the coast of the Great Lakes. Money for a Rolling Stones concert in Toronto is a boost to a city that had taken a slap to its tourism from SARS. Money for Bombardier or Quebec Ad agencies is an investment in the country's future, in Newfoundland and Labrador it’s a hand-out – C’est la vie.

When our sister province of Alberta is cited as an example the Ottawa-Communications Machine (OCM) is quick to tell you that Alberta was not build on hand-outs from Ottawa. It’s a mute point. The fact is this province was allowed to grow into its present state as a financial powerhouse of Canada through people who believed in it’s potential. The fact in Newfoundland and Labrador is that we are historically similar to the pre-oil days of Alberta. This goes to the heart of why “Equalization” is such a big deal to us in this province. The fact is that the promise made by Harper, and Martin before him would have allowed Newfoundland and Labrador to realize some of its enormous potential. To push it up to the ranks of our older sisters Ontario and Alberta and at long last given us a seat at the table of the big guys.

And that was within our sights... it was promised to us... we banked on it!

But this is a country of equality after all. We can’t allow that poor adapted bastard child Newfoundland and Labrador to reach the status of Ontario, it’s just not right. It goes against equality, it flies in the face of the principles of equalization. To allow an unequal opportunity for a province is unheard of in the 140 years of this big country.... Except of course that the Auto-Pact was negotiated with The States that allowed a tremendous industry for Ontario. And the national capital is in the province of Ontario. And Bombardier has received countless millions in Quebec, not to mention the generous support to Quebec Ad agencies. And there is the fact that there are provisions which allow for seven extra MPs for Quebec beyond what they would get from population alone. The other Atlantic Provinces get three extra MPs. Newfoundland and Labrador gets only two. That’s fair right? Of course Alberta, BC and Ontario get zero, so at least we aren’t on the bottom of the scale there. There may be a few more in-equalities in the federation... like three Supreme Court Justices from Ontario and Quebec as a requirement while Newfoundland and Labrador has never had a justice sit on the Supreme Court of Canada. All fair - all equal right?

But I digress – other than these and a couple hundred more inequalities among the people of Canada this country is built on Equality. An equality that ensures that Canadians from coast to coast to coast feel the opportunity and sense of belonging that this greatest country in the world allows its citizens. It is great to know that in this country a young Inuk growing up in a community with a perpetual boil order and the highest suicide rates in the country has the same opportunity to meet their true potential as a the Torontonian who receives a Jag as a graduation gift. All things being equal.

Monday, June 11, 2007

In the Company of Sleveens

It is a scoundrel indeed who incites a racket to cover his own ass. Harper's Conservative government is pitting province against province to take the heat off their own inept governance. On equalization reform they brought all provincial governments together and told them to form a unanimous consenus on how to reform the equalization formula. In what cartoon world would ten provinces in a country as diverse as Canada agree to anything. I would suggest it would be easier to get a Vegan and a Texan to decide on what to get on their pizza. It's just not going to happen... but that's OK! This is failure by design. The addendum to the meeting of premiers is quite simply "if you can't come to a consensus the federal government will decide." Brilliant. Harper has set the stage; his standard reply to any criticism of equalization reform. "Well we tryed to let the premiers decide on equalization reform but they failed and we were forced to make the tough decisions".

Not such a tough decision though is it? For the federal government decisions that cater to the population dense Southern Ontario and Quebec regions buys the most votes, and for a minority government that is where the rubber hits the road.

So what can the Atlantic do to fight for regional rights and descrepancies in the federation? Provinces can form their own consenus - scare the feds into paying attention because in the end all they really heed are population numbers. But Harper is safe enough in that regard too isn't he... because as long as their are sleveens like Nova Scotian Premier Ronald MacDonald, Harper doesn't have a worry. MacDonald's strategy for his province goes like this. Side with Premier Williams in negotiating with Harper. Plan fails, go to plan B. Backroom negotiations with Harper trying to cut a side deal - throwing the Rodney-Danny alliance to the wind. Flaherty tells MacDonald to 'bugger off - he's not cutting any side deals'. MacDonald cries foul.

Oh if only MacDonald can rekindle some of that warmth he had with Newfoundland and Labrador's Danny Williams in the early days of the Equalization talks. I suspect though that Danny may take a page from Flaherty's book and tell MacDonald that what they had is over. Find some other Sleveen for your side-deal negotiations. Lucky for MacDonald the country has more than it's share of 'em.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

Secrets of the Canadian Spy Coin Revealed

WASHINGTON - An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind a U.S. Defense Department false espionage warning earlier this year about mysterious coin-like objects with radio frequency transmitters, The Associated Press has learned.

The harmless "poppy coin" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology,"... (full story)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Trust and Confidance Rally!

Stand up for Newfoundland and Labrador
A Trust and Confidance Rally!
Friday May 11th, 2007 Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Front Lot, Confederation Building
More information coming soon!


Also the Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League are planning to attend. If you have further questions about the NLDL or the Rally feel free to contact Us at

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Subliminal Advertising

How many boobs are in this Picture.
(Bit of fun for the kids)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dinner with the Canadians

Sitting at the table of confederation with Canada is like Christmas at Nan's. Nan has a big ol' table - but also a big ol' family to fit around that table - So the overrun of course have to sit at "the kids table". (The kids table being a colloquial for coffee table with a plastic cover.)

It was quaint when I was a young gaffer of eight. As I get older and heavier though it is becoming harder to sit on the floor and fashion a table out of my kneecaps. Unfortunately given the size of my maternal family there will never be a seat for me at the "Big" table.

For some reason I was reminded of dining at the kid's table after the budget last night. Newfoundland and Labrador sitting with its knees up into its chest next to cousin Sasketchewan. Happy to be invited but knowing that no matter how many dinners we sit down to, we'll always be sitting at the kid's table - eating our mustard pickles and kam while our older siblings carve the turkey.

Throw us a giblet - please - Sasketchwan just ate my pickled beets.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Canada's National Spewspaper - The Mop and Pail

Again the Ontario rag affectionately known as the Mop and Pail has poked it's little stick in the sides of Newfoundland and Labradorians.

From the rag that brought us Maggie "I like Newfoundlanders I really do" Wente comes the little gem above.
Ironically (perhaps) the cartoon displays on the Globe and Mail website with rotating Newfoundland Labrador Logo Ads... Ya the ad with the Super Mario Mushrooms that our government invested so heavily in.

Let's think about this a little bit. What do you think would happen if these were Coca-Cola ads and the Cartoon Read "Coke is shIT". Or perhaps the ads could be for Tommy Hilfiger and the Cartoon could have labour from Third World Countries making those overpriced Jeans?
I'll tell you what would happen. Coca-Cola would shake that bottle and ram it up their collective arses. Tommy would hire a posse of third-world lawyers to take the Globe down brick by brick. I'm being facious - I can assure you though as sure as there are monkey's on typewriters at the Globe and Mail that Coke or Tommy Hillfiger would not pay a red copper for the ads. At the very least...

So to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador - what are we going to do with the money returned from the free Globe and Mail ads? Perhaps a strip of asphalt for the Trans-Labrador Highway? Perhaps an investment in our rural communities to stem outmigration?? Ah hell - I'll leave it up to you guys -I can trust you to be fiscally responsible I'm sure.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Weather or Not

Ya the weather has been pretty tough in St. John's in recent days. This is my barometer from this morning.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Canadian Spy Coin

The Ecology of the Newfoundland and Labrador Culture

I always get a little deflated when there are articles about the defeatist Newfoundland and Labradorian. This is the opposite notion of what we have come to believe about ourselves. We were ready to lynch Margaret Wente when she said (in her maternalistic pseudo-sympathetic way) "I like Newfoundlanders, I really do - but their sense of victimhood is unmatched". As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians we know this is not the case, but at the same time we can not deny that there is something that holds us back. Is it just in our nature to be cynical? Have we put our fingers into the fires of deals-gone-bad one too many times. Are we afraid of getting burned again?

When the group the Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League (NLDL) was formed it's inception was in response to that alleged "can't do" attitude. It's goal quite simply being the "empowerment of the Newfoundland and Labrador People". To consider the potential, the "what ifs", given the resources and dedication we are known to have. What if we were not tied to the ideals of a political party? What if we remove the incentive of money and greed? What if we could tap into the enthusiasm that all but shut the doors at Costco? What if we could tap into the enthusiasm that blocks the phone lines when a Newfoundland and Labradorian is on Canadian Idol? This shows me the power is there, often beneath the surface but it is there, and it is strong. So we go back to the victimized Newfoundland and Labradorian who knows the failures of the fishery, Churchill Falls, the Sprung greenhouse - the chronic failure of industry to push Newfoundland and Labrador beyond the corner and finally take hold of the Golden Arrow of the Pratt Flag.

The victimized Newfoundland and Labradorian is not the true face of Newfoundland and Labrador . Although some may say "it will never work" there is an inner voice that says "please make it work!" and the less vocal majority who are saying "Hell yes we're going to make it work."

That's why the NLDL, FINALY, CLCC, Young Farmers and others have joined forces. That's the reason for the Dec 22 press conference with Ray Johnson and Rex Goudie. There is a lesson in the ecology of the George River caribou. It lives among the craggy barrens of Labrador in winter and its population thrives. It is in fact the largest population of caribou on the planet. It doesn't flourish on blatant abundance. It lives on lichens and small alpine plants. On closer inspection we can see that there is more than enough life and hope among the rocks to sustain this place. Find the fighting Newfoundland and Labradorian who are anchored to the rocks and get your own footing. They are out there. There are no give-aways on the rock or the big land. For the fighter though the wealth is here. It is persistence in this often-formidable landscape that lets us live because in the end this is where we flourish. As those before us have fought and flourished - this is home.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fish and Ships

Everyone wants a piece.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

For the Love of Cod

Atlantic Cod, from Highliner in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, purchased at Costco in St. John's, Product of China. These little cod fillets have more miles on them than a dancer at the Piccadilly Pub.