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Melissa Fong: Techno/House Party Guide: How to find the best parties Part 1 of 3

For AW. What to look for in a good party. I was talking to my good friend who wanted to start going to good techno/house parties but didn’t know where […]

knitnut.net: The Little Wedding that Grew

GC’s brother Charlie, GC, me, and my sister Deb

GC and I originally planned on having a very small civil ceremony, maybe one step up from eloping. But during our five-month engagement we kept adding little upgrades. Like family, food, booze, cake, flowers, balloons, photographs, a poem, homemade wedding favours, cupcakes, a candle ceremony and media. And, when we were totally caught up in the spirit, we promoted our witnesses (my sister and GC’s brother) to matron of honour and best man. We even added a wedding procession at literally the last minute.

As we careened towards our wedding day, (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Conservatives: Only The Rich Can Benefit From Nonprofits

Conservatives believe Justin Trudeau is wrong to take money from nonprofit organizations because to them that’s the job of rich investors on Bay Street.

According to this current government and its recent announcements on social impact bonds the only people who should be making money from nonprofit organizations are financiers, speculators, and venture capitalists.

With Justin Trudeau having earned speaker fees from nonprofit organizations the Conservatives have hastily and hypocritically attacked him.

Hypocritical not just because they have attacked Trudeau for doing something which by its very nature is economically conservative, Trudeau merely applied free market principles to properly allocate (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau Was Conservative With Nonprofit

In the free market prices reflect demand, instead of choosing a few events to speak at arbitrarily, Justin Trudeau set a price to attend those gatherings that wanted him the most. This method of relying on market prices to benefit charities and businesses is a rather conservative idea.

So yes before he was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau set a price to reflect the demand of those wanting to hear him speak, Stephen Harper for years did too, it just happened no one would pay to hear him talk.

Now the irony is that as Prime Minister we all pay when (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Liberals Down In All Major Polls, Arrogance Is Up

Justin Trudeau is popular? It doesn’t matter.

The federal Liberals are still extremely behind in the polls. The last three major polls conducted, with 100% accuracy, show the Liberal Party is far behind the Conservatives and in fact the Grits are at their lowest level of support in Canadian history. Those polls were of course conducted in the last three general elections and they are the only ones that matter.

A lot of Liberals will take refuge in a new opinion poll out that shows their party with an incredible lead, 44% to the Conservatives’ 27%, with the NDP even (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Christy Clark Loses & So Does Gender Equality

Christy Clark had as much chance of winning BC’s election today as Canadian politics has gender equality, and that’s close to zero.

With six female premiers, soon to be five, Canada looks like a pretty equitable place, but just as with Christy Clark’s chances on election day, looks can be deceiving.

For instance, on the face of it, British Columbia looks like a province of better gender representation, Christy Clark wasn’t its first female premier after all, Rita Johnston received that honour back in 1991. But considering the similarities between Johnston and Clark, what is clear is not gender equality, (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Trudeau, Soldiers With Guns, and Ironic Pride

In 2006 the Liberal Party was ashamed for accusing Stephen Harper of wanting to put armed soldiers on every street; yet somehow in 2013 Liberals are proud that their next Leader fondly recalls how his father actually did put armed soldiers on every street.

Two weeks ago Justin Trudeau was asked whether he could really defeat Stephen Harper, his response was, “Just watch me.”

The phrase was of course first his father’s. Pierre Elliot Trudeau had made the remark in answering a question of how far he’d go in reducing civil liberties during the October Crisis of 1970.

The

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knitnut.net: Curated Castoffs

We went to a great little event the other night at Patrick Gordon Framing. It was called Curated Castoffs: Art & Decor Edition. It was kind of like a collaborative garage sale where everything’s free.

It works like this: At 7:00 pm everybody shows up with five art + decor items for swapping: prints, paintings, mirrors, frames, wall hangings, fabric, ceramics, pillows, lamps, taxidermy heads, etc. No junk. You pay a cover charge of $8, turn over your items, and spend the next hour or so drinking wine, enjoying the tunes, socializing and checking out what everybody else brought. Then

. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Curated Castoffs

The Scott Ross: Liberals Should Blame Trudeau For Few Supporters

If Justin Trudeau was more concerned about winning the Liberal leadership than winning the next election, not only would his party have more registered supporters, but 2015 would almost certainly look more rouge.

It may seem counter-intuitive to blame the ever-popular Justin Trudeau for the Liberal Party’s lower than expected supporter registration numbers, after all his campaign was so successful in signing them up, but in resting on his laurels and saving funds for the next election, Trudeau is exactly the person to blame.

The current problem for the Liberals is that of the almost 300,000 Canadians who signed up

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The Scott Ross: A More Democratic Senate Is Less So

Canadians certainly are no Nero, but they do have at least one thing in common with the late Roman emperor.

In 64 AD it is said that while Rome burned its emperor Nero fiddled. That while his city suffered calamity he amused himself with music. Today Canadians are doing something similar.

Rome may not be burning, but with decreasing turnout, less party members, and more partisanship, Canada’s democracy is clearly in danger and instead of stopping to help, Canadians are too busy fiddling, with the Senate.

It can’t be anything but odd, that while Canada’s democracy is weakening on every

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: A More Democratic Senate Is Less So

The Scott Ross: Trust In Trudeau

Because Stephen Harper was a self-described “radical right-wing ideologue”, he was the only one who could make the conservatives more Liberal.

Because Barack Obama was so anti-war, he was the only one who could make the Democrats more pro-war than Republicans.

In both cases it was each man’s close association to a particular cause that gave him the credibility and therefore the power to fundamentally change it.

And it is because Justin Trudeau is perhaps the most identifiable Liberal that he, and he alone can make the party more conservative, and, as they aren’t mutually exclusive, more progressive. Trudeau has

The Scott Ross: Blandness Is Easy To Merge With Liberals, NDP, & Greens

Why should the Liberal Party, the NDP, and the Green Party merge? Because they are already united in blandness. If these parties were not bland, if they were not vague, or if they even had the slightest unique trait among them, merging would not be an… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Blandness Is Easy To Merge With Liberals, NDP, & Greens

The Scott Ross: The Conservative Economic Record

Sept 2012: Unemployment is up at 7.4%; it has been increasing since June while American unemployment has only gone down.

July 2012: Worst trade deficit ever in Canadian history at $2.3 billion.

2012: GDP growth rate is declining (PDF pg 22). Canada is no longer the fastest growing economy in the G7; it is now behind America and Japan, as well as other more comparable resource-based economies like Australia and Norway.

2007-2012: Growing debt-to-GDP ratio, now at 85%. Since 1996 Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio had been decreasing from a dangerously high 102% to an eventual low of 66% in

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Conservative Economic Record

The Scott Ross: Conservatives Can’t Avoid Social Responsibility

There is no stronger conservative principle than personal responsibility, however this Conservative government has shown that when people are only responsible to themselves, social well-being suffers, eventually including the well-being of Conservatives.

This apparent contradiction is obvious in that though Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, they also claim the largest government deficits in Canadian history are not their fault, but the world’s.

Ignoring that this government has been in office for years, that it has cut billions of dollars in taxes which in turn were solely responsible for deficits in some years, this government has continued to spend beyond its

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The Scott Ross: The Unpopular Reason To Support A Popular Trudeau

Voting for a celebrity because he is a celebrity may sound superficial but it is made all the more substantial by the changing context of Canadian politics.

Party membership in developed countries has been declining for years, surveys have shown that voters are identifying less with parties and more with specific causes. For a party hoping to unify support as this individualistic trend continues, qualities that transcend politics, such as celebrity, offer hope.

Most Liberal members and other party faithful are likely to frown upon anyone who supports a candidate primarily because of cache but as politics is becoming less

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The Scott Ross: Liberals, No One Forgets The Common Refrain

You don’t spread a message by only saying it once.

This Conservative government has created Canada’s largest deficits, the largest government and has spent more money than any other Canadian government before it.

On the most important things people don’t just speak up and than sit back down smug that they changed the world. No, when the Canadian economy is stagnating, when our productivity is in decline, when our own government is projecting to be in the red for years to come, after standing up, you don’t sit down, and you certainly don’t stop speaking.

This Conservative government has created

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The Scott Ross: How Reducing The GST Increased Your Debt

With declining productivity, higher unemployment, and deficit after deficit, it should be obvious the Canadian government would do anything to strengthen the economy, however it is not so obvious what that same government has done to weaken it.

In a 2008 report it was predicted that the Conservative government in lowering the GST from 7% to 5% would increase the indebtedness of Canadians. Last week the repercussions of that decision six years ago became clearer; Moody’s warned that growing household debt could tip the Canadian economy back into recession.

Shortly after the federal government reduced the Goods and Services Tax

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The Scott Ross: Layton’s Last Words Were First Laurier’s

“Faith is better than doubt and love is better than hate.” – Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 1918 “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear.” – Jack Layton, 2011

A year after Jack Layton’s untimely passing, the presence of the former NDP Leader is still felt across Canada, ironically however it is in his last words where such a feeling may be in doubt.

In a letter to Canadians written before he died Jack Layton wrote compellingly about the need for political change, for people to care enough to act. His last words in the

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Canadian Progressive World: Mexicans Protest Enrique Pena Nieto’s Stolen Presidency

An estimated 30 000 demonstrators marched through Mexico City on Sunday accusing President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), of massive electoral fraud. The protesters carried placards with messages such as: “Fraud, Fraud”, “Winning by cheating is not winning at all and is illegal”, “You launder money, we are cleaning our consciences”, and “Pena Out.” The #YoSoy132 student movement organized the protest.

Pena Nieto beat leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez with 38.2 per cent of the vote against 31.6 per cent. Lopez Obrador accuses Pena Nieto of winning through “paid favourable media coverage and

The Scott Ross: The Difference In Popularity Between NDP & Its Principles

How could the Conservatives or the Liberals weaken the New Democratic Party? Show Canadians what New Democrats stand for, the end of capitalism.

Because both Conservatives and Liberals have for so long ignored the NDP’s first principle, socialism, it may seem like an exaggeration to ordinary Canadians that the orange wave wants to sink Canada’s capitalistic system however that’s exactly what the party stands for.

In the preamble of the New Democratic Party’s constitution, a document that is the foundation of the party and which for obvious reasons was not posted on its website for many years, it declares that

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Difference In Popularity Between NDP & Its Principles

The Scott Ross: Stephen Harper Isn’t Socialist But Don’t Tell Him That

It would be ludicrous to suggest Stephen Harper is a socialist, because he’s not, he is however similar to one.

Creating the biggest government in Canadian history, running the largest deficit, using government programs to dictate where people live and work, increasing spending while reducing taxes, government intervention in labour disputes, and centralizing power in one man, may all seem like the actions of a socialist, and they are, but they are also the actions of Stephen Harper.

Unlike many of our southern neighbours, the association made between the leader of the so-called Conservative Party of Canada and

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Stephen Harper Isn’t Socialist But Don’t Tell Him That

The Scott Ross: Liberal Party’s Future, New Apple or Old Microsoft

Tablet computers have been around for years, but it took Steve Jobs to make them popular.

Though the Liberal Party has been around longer than any tablet computer, it shares more than a few similarities with the now ubiquitous device.

The Liberal Party has strong fundamentals and viable market share in a competitive industry, but like the early tablet computers, it is an old idea in a new world. What Liberals need is what tablet computers needed, Steve Jobs.

In 2001 Microsoft announced a revolutionary platform in personal computing, the Microsoft Tablet PC, the problem was it wasn’t very popular.

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Liberal Party’s Future, New Apple or Old Microsoft

The Scott Ross: Russia & Quebec, Don’t Protest The Similarities

Vladimir Putin recently issued new fines for unsanctioned protests, $9,000 for protesters and $30,000 for protest organizers.

Meanwhile a few months ago in Canada, Quebec Premier Jean Charest issued new fines for unsanctioned student protests, $5,000 for student protesters and $35,000 for student protest organizers.

For anyone who thinks these two instances are similar they should recognize that Putin is cracking down on protesters and Charest is cracking down on student protesters.

The Scott Ross: Ideology Involves Action

Efficiency has no allegiances and your beliefs are meaningless if you do nothing about them. These are two messages for the federal Liberals in Canada and they come from Tea Party supporter and Arizona Congressman David Schweikert (video below)

“How do you teach people that a movement isn’t sitting around a room and discussing your latest philosophy; it’s being on the telephones, it’s knocking on doors, it’s actually taking the message to the streets.

We often see the activist Left being very good at this. They understand power comes through the voting box. They will, instead of holding a meeting,

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The Scott Ross: Arguments For Free Post-Secondary Education

1. Free post-secondary education is a student loan that the country takes out and gets more money back than it ever put in. The government will receive more money from income taxes on the resulting increased salaries and wages of graduates than it spent on the initial investment for free higher education. (Compared to high school graduates, college graduates have a 21% higher income and university graduates have a 61% higher income.)

2. All other education is free because education is a public good. If high school is free, so should post-secondary education. Previously, other levels of

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Arguments For Free Post-Secondary Education