F**k Off. I'm Full.

Further to Rosie's post below (beat me to it, the bastard) I must add: It was only a tiny little thin one. Wafer thin! (Monty Python, NSFW)

Harper pisses off the Catholic vote

Being an occasional participant in United Church of Canada activities (hauling my five-year-old to Sunday School), I'm not totally up on my Catholic Church dogma. But as a BCer in Toronto points out, Stephen Harper committed sacrilege during the recent funeral for former Governor General Romeo Leblanc. When handed the communion wafer by the priest, he put it in his pocket. (A BCer in Toronto) Which, in Catholic liturgy, is somewhere between a severe no-no and a desecration of the body of Christ. (Harper's people said he consumed it later: videos posted on the net [A BCer in Toronto] are supposed to be 'inconclusive,' but to me it looks as though he didn't consume the wafer).

As I understand it (and Catholics or those who know and mock the Catholic religion, please help me on this), when the presiding priest blesses the communion wafer, it becomes 'the body of Christ.' So, doing anything else but consuming it is sacrilege -- it's as if you're insulting the works, efforts, and words of Jesus Christ, who said at the Last Supper, 'This is my body, it is given for you, do this in remembrance of me." (1 Corinthians, Chapter 11, verses 23-26 via Wikipedia).

Being a member of an evangelical Protestant denomination, Harper could have -- or at least had his protocol people advise him to -- decline the communion wafer. Or he should have consumed it right away, and if anybody questioned him on it, said something to the effect of, 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.'

The fact that he screwed up -- he looks like he's trying to shake the priest's hand when he goes up for communion -- and that he won't admit it (TorStar) -- going as so far (in my mind) as to 'bear false witness' (Thanks again A BCer in Toronto) says a lot about his character. I said I didn't do it, therefore I didn't do it. All evidence to the contrary doesn't apply.

See, that's the problem. Like most social conservatives, Harper doesn't believe in God: he believes he IS God. Big difference.

Dying for a good news story

If you're a journalist and are thinking you're having a rough day, I suggest you conteplate trading places with this guy (Mother Jones). Thanks to the U.S. war on drugs, Mexico has ceased to be a democracy -- if it ever was -- and is now on the verge of becoming a 'failed state.'

Go. Read.

This Week In Suzuki

There's a good Science Matters column on seafood and sustainability in the current prairie dog (available FREE at 400 locations city-wide). I post here to pimp this fine article.

Sustainable fishing is an important topic since researchers have suggested the world's fisheries will be overfished and destroyed in our lifetime. What's nice is how David Suzuki's column provides some practical advice on how to purchase fish without contributing to (or at least exacerbating) the annihilation of ocean life. The centrepiece of the article is a mention of the website seachoice.org, which ranks delicious fishies by sustainability. But the problem with Suzuki's column in our dead-tree edition is that the links don't do anything when you click on them.

So in the interests of making people's lives more clickable, I've posted the link here. Check out seachoice.org and share the link with all your grocer and restaurant owner friends. Because not only are fish interesting and beautiful animals, they are too tasty to wipe out through over-fishing stupidity.

Click it. Do it. Share it. Use it. The tuna will love you for it. And then you can eat them!

It's All In The Headline

An amazing headline, written yesterday but only discovered by me this morning: "Michael Jackson To Be Buried Without His Brain".
From the Guardian's article:

"The King of Pop will be saluted in grand fashion at the Staples Centre memorial ceremony, and reportedly laid to rest at Los Angeles's Forest Lawn cemetery. However, the LA coroner's office has still not completed its tests on Jackson's brain, and the singer's family have been advised that unless they wish to wait, he must be buried without it."

Really, L.A. coroners? "Tests"? Is that the real reason you separated Jacko's brain from his body? Or is there something more to this? Something related to public safety, perhaps?

Downtown Plan Update

This was supposed to run as a sidebar to last issue's coverage of the Wow Project. Didn't get in for whatever reason.

* * * * *

It seems reports in a previous prairie dog claiming the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan could go before Regina Planning Commission in late June or early July were a tad optimistic. The summer is apparently making scheduling difficult.

When asked when we can expect to see the plan move forward, Director of Planning and Sustainability, Bob Bjerke, says, “I don’t know. But we have some good ideas.”

And as to whether or not we could perhaps see it before September, he replies, “That is entirely possible.”

“At this point, it depends on availability,” he says. “We want to make sure we can get everyone together in the same place.”

And while the plan is in danger of butting up against the municipal election, Bjerke says that shouldn’t be a problem.

“We’re not at all concerned about the election,” he says. “This is not a new controversial issue. Everybody is on board and everybody is probably quite anxious to get it through. We’ve got good support all the way through.”

As for concerns that the plan may have gotten watered down by consultation conducted during this last delay, Bjerke says that isn’t what’s happened, noting that most of the recent changes were only made to the text.

“There’ll be some changes but there won’t be any changes of direction, just further refinements to the plan,” he says. “I’m quite happy with how they’re going.”

He does note though: “There are some things in the Built-Form Framework that we’re going to be changing. But we’ll walk people through them.”

Six in the Morning

1. OOPS, BRIT MP SPILLS TORTURE BEANS: Under the protection of parliamentary privilege, British MP David Davis exposed details about MI5 and MI6 involvement in having a terrorism suspect detained and tortured overseas. (Guardian)

2. HOMOPHOBIC CONSERVATIVE MPS HOPE TO SCUTTLE PRIDE FUNDING FOR ALL TIME: In an interview with a socially conservative website, Conservative MP Brad Trost says funds given to the Toronto Pride Parade have opened a rift within the party. He says that MP Diane Ablonsky has been reprimanded for OK-ing the grant and that the majority of Conservative MPs do not support such funding. (Globe and Mail)

3. BROWN WARNS ECONOMAPOCALPSE 2.0 COMING: At the G8 meeting, British Prime minister warns a second wave of the economic crisis is possible if countries don't provide more financial stimulus and agree to measures like curbs on commodity speculation and regulation of international market regulations. (Globe and Mail)

4. HARPER TELLS G8, "HEY LET'S NOT GET CARRIED AWAY HERE": In response to calls for more stimulus spending from others in the G8, Harper responds by suggesting patience is required. (Globe and Mail)

5. LEADERS URGED TO KEEP CLIMATE CHANGE TO TWO DEGREES: Meanwhile G8 leaders will consider setting a limit to climate change of plus two degrees. Elsewhere (last paragraph), Canada says they won't do their usual sabotage of international climate change negotiations. Yeah, sure. (Globe and Mail)

6. PLAYBOY TO PUBLISH PORTION OF UNFINISHED NABOKOV NOVEL: Hefner's mag paid a huge sum to run a 5,000 word extract of The Original of Laura, an soon-t0-be-published Nabokov novel that the author wanted destroyed. (Guardian)