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Fair and balanced government updates

The first Martin government budget was released today. There was nothing really earth-shattering announced, but there were some interesting points made and some money well-spent. There was some help given to students with an increase in student loan money and the default ceiling raised. Some people are complaining about a program that is being implemented for low-income families — children born after 2003 will receive money in the form of grants to help the families save for post secondary — saying that low-income families don’t save money and that the answer is to reduce poverty. Personally, I think the best way to get out of poverty is to be given the opportunity to start saving, but that’s just my opinion. People are complaining about the lack of funding for defense, however there was a slight increase in the amount that DND gets AND personnel who are deployed in “hostile environments” are going to get tax breaks (they don’t have to pay income tax for their entire tour!) so I think that balances out. As usual, there’s always going to be someone complaining about something because you can never please the entire country. But it seemed to be fair and balanced and that’s the important thing. I’m happy with it.

Medical Marijuana in Canada

Ottawa has announced a new project that will be starting soon:
Health Canada plans to make government-certified marijuana available in pharmacies, a move that could boost the number of registered medical users.

Officials are organizing a pilot project in British Columbia that would allow medical users to buy marijuana at drugstores.

Currently, 78 medical users in Canada are permitted to buy Health Canada marijuana, which is grown in Flin Flon, Man. The 30-gram bags of dried buds, sold for $150 each, now are sent by courier directly to patients or their doctors.

The department will allow participating pharmacies to stock marijuana for sale to approved patients without a prescription.

That’s right — people who are legally allowed to use marijuana for medical use will now be able to purchase it at their local pharamacy. For months since the legalized-for-medical-use ruling came out, there has been debate over how these people were supposed to get their pot. Now they will be able to just get it at the drug store. This is a great step for Canada, and it’s one that I’m very glad to see the government taking.

Is the world going crazy?

I decided to name this post “why is the world going crazy?” because it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for the last couple of days. The first time that I thought it was when I read this article about how more hate crimes against Jewish people and Holocaust survivors have been popping up in the Toronto area. I can’t imagine the kind of hate that you need to have to torment and torture elderly people who have already been to the depths of hell. But yet that is what is happening in Toronto. Even the dead are not safe, with tombstones and graves being defaced at night. What is going through a person’s mind when they create such a disgusting display? What could possess them to treat people, even those who have gone before us, in such an inhuman way?

Top 10 Canceled TV Shows

There are very few things more depressing than having your favorite TV show cancelled by money-hungry television execs. So many good shows are cancelled every year, not because of a lack of good ratings but because of a lack of support from The Powers That Be. MSN Entertainment has compiled a list of the ten best TV shows to ever get cancelled. Is your favorite on the list? Personally, I was a huge Sports Night fan.

Browser of the future

Now this is a toy that I can’t wait to get my hands on:
Opera Software announced yesterday the upcoming release of a multi-modal desktop browser that incorporates IBM’s Embedded ViaVoice speech technology.

By leveraging IBM’s voice libraries in this version of Opera, users can navigate, request information and even fill in Web forms using speech and other forms of input in the same interaction.

A web browser that responds to voice commands. No more typing in web sites or even having to use a mouse. For us lazy people, it’s the perfect tool. I’ve used IE for years now, but I think that I just might have to switch over to Opera when this is released. You know, just for giggles.

Almost the end of school

I finished my last human resources assignment this morning. I now have two business planning I assignments, one marketing assignment and the entire business planning course to finish by the end of May. Considering I got started a month late, I’m pretty proud of myself to be finishing almost a month early. It hasn’t been pretty, but it’s getting close to being over.

You Call it Easter

If you compare the Christian holiday calendar with the Pagan holidays, you will notice that for every Pagan holiday celebrated there is a Christian one close to it. Coincidence? I think not. It’s a rumor that when the Christian religion was first getting its roots, the bishops and the popes decided that the best way to ease the transition from Paganism to Christianity was to make all the holidays close to each other. I don’t know if I actually believe this theory, but it definitely makes you wonder about when Christ was really born…

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, which is the current holiday of Ostara, and it’s Christian mate, Easter. There are a ton of similarities between the two holidays, the biggest one being their names. Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre. Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling “Ostara” which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox.

The 1974 edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary defines Easter as: “orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21.” The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

This year, the actual date of Ostara was yesterday, March 20th. However, I didn’t get around to posting about it because, well, I’m lazy. For those of you who are interested, there is more info about Ostara below in the extended entry. I think the reason why I like this particular holiday so much is because it symbolizes the end of the winter and the coming of spring. Out with the cold, in with the warmth. That’s a good reason to celebrate for me.

Spring is here

It’s hard to get into the spirit of spring when there’s still four feet of snow on the ground. Hopefully, this new look for the site will be helpful.

Oh, please also note that over to the side, the archives for.. are now available for your viewing pleasure. I didn’t realize that there was so many until I had to upload them all. Do I ever shut up?

Stephen Harper’s Prison

Stephen Harper jumped out to an early, commanding lead in the Conservative Party leadership race as votes were counted Saturday.

The former Alliance leader was revered within his old party for his stance on gay marriage (he’s against it), pot legalization (he’s against it), and immigration laws (close the borders). If he were to become the next Prime Minister, we would be looking at a Bush-like government. Basically, we would lose every freedom and liberty that has been given to us over the last ten years by the Liberal party. I know that the people of Canada are really pissed about the Liberal scandals that have been surfacing lately, but I think that we really need to give the new government a chance to clean up from the old one before we do something stupid and make Stephen Harper the PM of Canada.

A Boring Update

I’ve been so bored all day, it’s been ridiculous. I spent most of the day doing school work that I wasn’t interested in. There’s nothing on TV tonight because Survivor was off last night (we’ll miss you, Ethan!). And the weather is kinda crappy.

Dad is coming home next weekend, which makes me think about moving out next week. Or killing myself. Whichever one is cheaper.

Jersey Girl has been getting some awesome reviews — I can’t wait to go and see it next week. Anybody want to tag along?

Yeah, that’s my day. Shoot me now.