Canadian Medical Association Comes Out Against Pro Choice

The Canadian Medical Association has come out indirectly against abortions in Canada by stating they are against Mixed Martial Arts.

What this really amounts to is an attack on self determination and on what a man chooses to do with his own body. MMA fighters are grown men making decisions of their own free will.

An extended analogy yes. But an accurate one nonetheless.

I Am Calling Bragging Rights – Personal Post Alert

Y’all know family comes first.  In light of that, I have to post that my daughter Cookie and her partner took Gold with their duo routine  in the Ontario Provincial Rhythmic Gymnastics championships in Toronto On Friday night.  This is their 3rd championship in a row!!

Additionally she eked in to the provincials in 10th place after the first two qualifiers for the individual events.  I told her that all it would take for me to be happy is if she surprised herself with her performance and scores.  Simply surprise yourself.

Well in her ball routine she took the bronze, in her hoop routine she came 7th and in her ribbon she took eighth for a 7th place overall out of ten.  Considering where she qualified, she told me that she surprised herself.

So today I am a happy man.   Way to go Cookie!!

Ottawa Recreational Soccer League Creates Wimpy Children

It had to be said after I read this story.

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.

If I were a parent of a child in this league, I would move them out. When kids are not allowed to experience the pain of a good ass whooping, they are simply being protected from an experience that will drive them to strive harder. The coddling has to stop or our children will grow up trained to roll over and take it because it can’t get any worse.

These poor kids aren’t even old enough to realize they are getting OfficiallyScrewed.

h/t to my friend Iain for this one.

Cookie Takes The Cake (and the icing)

Well after going 3-0 in day one, and 2-1 in day two, my daughter Cookie and the Ottawa Fusion 14U girls team went into the elimination round with some pretty high expectations on Sunday.  The first match had them dumping the Tornadoes in straight sets 25-14 and 25-16.  A good start to the day.

Their second match was against the South County Bandits from Essex and the roll continued with a 25-14 and 25-15 straight set victory.

This set up a repeat showdown against the Leaside Lightning.  The team that had given the Fusion their only loss of the tourney a day earlier.  Leaside is coached by Canadian Olympian and bronze medalist John Child.  Leaside is one tough team.  The Lightning were flawless in a first set trouncing of the Fusion 25-9.  The Fusion were demoralized.  The smiles were gone.  The heads were hanging.  They were in a very dark place.

The second set started out with more of the same and the Leaside Lightning took a commanding 19-7 lead.  When up to serve stepped the youngest Fusion player.  Barely 13 years old and with nerves of steel, Bekah went on an 11 serve streak to bring the game back to 19-18.  Halfway through the streak you could see the spirit returning to the Fusion as if it was being sapped directly from the Lightning.  The teams traded a few points but the comeback was well on it’s way and the second set was taken by the Fusion 25-22 in an amazing show of spirit, resilience and determination.

The trend didn’t change much in the third set as the Fusion were rolling at this point.  When all was said and done, the tiebreaker went to the Fusion 15-6.  In what might be called the comeback of the tournament the Fusion went from being outscored 44-16 to outscoring the Lightning 33-9.  The comeback was complete and the Fusion were off to the Gold Medal match against the number 1 seed in Divison 2, the North Bay Blizzard.

Both games in the final were great displays of skill, power and poise, but in the end Cookie and the Fusion won 25-20 and 25-18 to take the Division 2 Gold Medal!!

While waiting for the medal ceremony, the team was chasing down the Ottawa 14U Fusion boys to see how they had done in their bronze medal match (which they won) and we were asked if we wanted another shot with the PM.  Clearly the girls gleefully accepted.

The award ceremony had all the parents gleaming but there was one more award to be presented.  Each team awards one player with the Award of Excellence which was voted on by the players and coaches.  It goes to the player who best displays a combination of traits including spirit, leadership, poise, skill, perserverence, etc.  I had a tear in my eye when the coach called Cookie up to receive the award.

There wasn’t a prouder father.

The icing on the cake.

Fusion with the PM

Lighting The Fuse in KW

As pointed out by Jo at Blue Like You, our PM showed up in KW yesterday to watch young Mr. Harper play volleyball with his 14U boys team at the provincials taking place at RIM park. Coincidentally, my daughter Cookie plays for the 14U girls team from the same club. After going 3-0, the girls raced over to watch the boys play and between matches we were all lucky enough to get a team photo with the PM and I managed to sneak another photo with my son.

This being my third or fourth time meeting the Rt. Honourable Stephen Harper, it was actually more fun to watch his son and the other Ottawa boys kick some butt on the court. They have some really talented players who can leap like no tomorrow.

I think what was even more fun was listening to all the 14U girls from teams all over the province whispering “that’s him!” and “wow, I can’t believe he’s here”. Of course they were ALL talking about Ben and not the PM.

Go figure.

Good luck to both OFVC teams. The elimination rounds start tomorrow.
OFVC Girls and the PM at Provincials in KW

And Then There Were Two

I love basketball.  But I’m not much of a fan of the NBA.  I got tired of the travelling violations, lack of real defence, lack of players willing to risk multi million dollar contracts to take a charge.  So I gave up on them.
But I HAVE been a big fan of the NCAA men’s finals (or March Madness as it is often nicknamed) since I was old enough to say Never Nervous Purvis or Earl the Pearl and I remember when Leo Rautens and Howard Triche were Syracuse Orangemen far before their sons played for ‘Cuse.  I remeber watching David Robinson single handedly destroy my Orangemen when he was with Navy.  I remember Jim Valvano’s NC State and Rollie Massamino’s Villanova winning the tourney as underdogs.
And I am incredibly proud of the fact that I can pronounce, let alone spell Krzyzewski.
And this years final is one of those Cinderella stories, a true David and Goliath.  Duke, the excellent basketball program that Coach K has turned into an institution vs. Butler, the little school with a total enrollment of 4700.  They are reminesscent of the Gene Hackman movie Hossier’s.  Indiana’s finest young men.  And they even get to play at home.  A mere 6 miles from their campus is the setting.
They took down mighty Syracuse. They eked past Izzo’s Michigan state machine.  Their 33 year old head coach, Brad Stevens is in his 3rd year coaching Butler.  Talk about a David.
And this year they face the Goliath Duke.  Coack K has lead Duke to 3 national titles and 11 final four appearances in his 30 years as the head coach.
Should be a doozy.  My brain (and my wallet if I were a betting man) would be on Duke to win going away, but my heart will be cheering Butler on from the tip off to the final buzzer.

I love basketball.  But I’m not much of a fan of the NBA.  I got tired of the travelling violations, lack of real defence, lack of players willing to risk multi million dollar contracts to take a charge.  So I gave up on them.

But I HAVE been a big fan of the NCAA men’s finals (or March Madness as it is often nicknamed) since I was old enough to say Never Nervous Purvis or Earl the Pearl and I remember when Leo Rautens and Howard Triche were Syracuse Orangemen far before their sons played for ‘Cuse.  I remeber watching David Robinson single handedly destroy my Orangemen when he was with Navy.  I remember Jim Valvano’s NC State and Rollie Massamino’s Villanova winning the tourney as underdogs.

And I am incredibly proud of the fact that I can pronounce, let alone spell Krzyzewski.

And this years final is one of those Cinderella stories, a true David and Goliath.  Duke, the excellent basketball program that Coach K has turned into an institution vs. Butler, the little school with a total enrollment of 4700.  They are reminesscent of the Gene Hackman movie Hossier’s.  Indiana’s finest young men.  And they even get to play at home.  A mere 6 miles from their campus is the setting.

They took down mighty Syracuse. They eked past Izzo’s Michigan state machine.  Their 33 year old head coach, Brad Stevens is in his 3rd year coaching Butler.  Talk about a David.

And this year they face the Goliath Duke.  Coack K has lead Duke to 3 national titles and 11 final four appearances in his 30 years as the head coach.

Should be a doozy.  My brain (and my wallet if I were a betting man) would be on Duke to win going away, but my heart will be cheering Butler on from the tip off to the final buzzer.  It should be on CBS somewhere in your neighbourhood starting at 9pm EST tonight.

<B>Addendum:</B>  Congrats to the Duke Blue Devils on their 61-59 win in one of the most exciting final games I have watched. A last second buzzer beater by Gordon Hayward just missed giving Butler the win.  What a fantastic game.

As Canadian As Having A Beer

I was watching a short interview with Jon Montgomery and I felt bad that he had to note that he was not an alcoholic or anything after he was filmed taking a couple of gulps out of a pitcher of beer shoved into his hands after he won gold in the Men’s Skeleton. Don’t worry Jon. I think Canadians know you aren’t. You were just being Canadian.

And then the women’s hockey team had their celebratory beer (and a bit of sparkling wine) on the ice where they had won gold a short time earlier. It’s ok girls. I think Canadians are forgiving you as well. You weren’t slamming shots like Marion Ravenwood in her bar in Nepal. And about the 18 year old on the team who is a tad too young to legally drink in B.C.? I just note that in every country except Canada and the USA, that same girl would have already been drinking legally so if the whole world doesn’t mind, who am I to argue.

As for how beer is good in other ways? Well I personally have bet a case of Sleeman’s vs. a case of Yuengling with an American friend and another with my American cousin on today’s Olympic gold medal hockey game. It’s all in good fun and bragging rights are a fun way of thickening our skins and laughing and enjoying sport with each other. It’s why the Olympics were so successful back in ancient times and it’s why they are now. I think battling it out with hockey sticks as opposed to battling it out with artillery and then having a beer is simply the best way diplomacy happens.

Even our Prime Minister apparently has a friendly wager with President Obama that involves beer. It’s things like this that make me smile and know that no matter what is going on in the world, Canada and the USA can rib each other, share different views on the occasional issue and even on occasion put up a bit of a barrier at the national level. But the bonds that tie our nations together are bigger than one fat rope connecting Washington to Ottawa. The bonds that bind us are the thousands, nay millions of tiny threads that have sewn our nations together, the same way I am part of many of those strands. My friendships and family are scattered all over the USA as I am sure is the case with millions of other Canadians.

So win or lose today, I encourage everyone to sit back tonight, watch the closing ceremonies, have a beer and be happy knowing that we threw one hell of a party for the world…and we served beer.

How Canadian.

My Message To Our Olympians – Canada Loves You All

I love the Olympics. I always have. I think our Olympians need to know that whether they own the podium or not, that we love them all. I see a few post event interviews with some Canadians who seem dejected and feel like they have let us down. It’s ok to feel that way. In fact, I think it might even be natural. But don’t get too far down in the dumps. You are at the elite level on the whole planet which makes you pretty darn good at what you do.

And us Canadians? Well I think it is obvious that we love every athlete willing to put in the hours, days, weeks, months, years of dedication to reach where you have and that you are willing to go and do it in front of the world on behalf of all Canadians.

Of course we get REALLY REALLY REALLY enthusiastic when one of us is the best in the world. We should be. But a 7th or a 5th or a 29th or a 56th just means that you are better at your craft than over 5 BILLION other people in the world. For that you deserve to keep your chin up.

So my message to athletes like Mellisa Hollingsworth and Denny Morrison, who have both felt like they let us down, just know we were smiling and cheering you on and happy for you. We’re all proud of you.

Tiger's Words Before They Are Spoken

Tiger Woods is speaking to the press Friday. My prediction on what he is going to say.

I’m sorry if I have hurt my fans. (interpret as “I am sorry if I lost my sponsors”)

I know I have hurt my wife and family. (interpret as “We’re probably through”)

I have been seeking counselling for my problem. (interpret as “This is my way of saying I am trying to fix myself…but don’t really care to do so because I had a hell of a ride…or many rides”)

I am going to get back to my career. (interpret as “The PGA is dying without me on tour so they are paying me a ton of money to come back sooner than I was expecting.”)

I look forward to doing well in the upcoming tournaments. (interpret as “My wife is taking a boatload of my money and I need to make some on tour”)

Thank you to those who supported me. (interpret as “Screw off you vultures who made jokes and laughed and poked fun at my situation.”

Battle Of Ideology Hits Ottawa City Council Over Lansdowne Live Proposal

The City of Ottawa has become a volleyball in the battle between Capitalists and Socialists over the Lansdowne Live proposal.

The left wing councilors have started lining up against the PPP put forward and they have been backed by Dippers Paul Dewar and past NDP leader Ed Broadbent. Even CUPE is running ads against the redevelopment of the decrepit Frank Clair Stadium and the surrounding area.

They say it has to do with transit. They say it has to do with local residents not wanting the traffic. They say we need more green space.

But let’s call a spade a spade. If a PPP (private public partnership) was to go forward, the majority of jobs in the Lansdowne Live end product would be private sector jobs. Jobs that are typically NON Union.

But if we let the city take control and build their own stadium (or museum or park) the jobs that will maintain it will all be … wait for it … Union jobs.

So in a nut shell. A vote for Lansdowne Live will employ people who put money INTO the municipality via taxes. And a vote against Lansdowne Live will take money OUT of the municipality via a) wages and b) typical city union benefits which exceed by miles the benefits the average private sector worker gets.

This should be interesting.