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Second day, live from Bell Centre. Camera changes from time to time.

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Jean Beliveau has died in Montreal at age 83. 10 Stanley cups as a player, 7 more as team executive. One of the top 10 players of all time, more than a point a game. But he is mourned across Canada and in original six cities for his effortless grace on the ice, his class on and off the ice, his tenaciousness, his love of hockey, his fights against cancer and other illnesses. I'll leave it to others to write his story.

But here's mine. I grew up in Montreal. Rocket Richard was the hero, Beliveau came along in his twenties, from the senior team in Quebec City. We ordinary folks could not get into to see the Canadiens very easily (too many big corporations had the tickets), so we contented ourselves with the second and third periods on Saturday nights on CBC tv, Hockey Night in Canada. Zambonis had not been invented yet, so rinks were cleared by many shovellers in lines, then flooded with two barrels pulled by two men each. Intermisssions had to be longer, so were interviews. One got to know the players.

Anyone who has heard Beliveau speak will know his deep baritone voice, in measured, cadence, whether in English or French. I never met him, I saw him play only twice, from way up behind the pillars in the nosebleeds. Players did not wear helmets, nor names on their sweaters. We recognized all of them from their skating and their hair, on a 17 or 21 inch tv in black and white, and we knew them from the interviews.

Fast forward to the late 90's and we are visiting and shopping in the outlet malls in Kittery, Maine. We decided on a late lunch in a MacDonald's, on the mall lot. We put purchases in our car, and headed to the washrooms first. I said to my spouse I would meet her at the cash. I came out and the women's line had been very long, so I figured I was out first. I was walking up the aisle between tables, from the back of the restaurant to the front. I was not looking at anyone, but as I passed a table I heard this voice from my boyhood, speaking French. I'm English. But I just knew it was Jean Beliveau and there he was, sitting with his wife and another couple, at this point in his sixties, as handsome as ever.

There was a vacant table across the aisle, so I just sat down, right beside him. I figured my wife would be out soon and walk that way. After a minute or two, I got jabbed in the back and she said to me, ” Your mouth is open!" So I got up and we walked to the cash. We did not disturb him.

I shall never, ever, forget his voice, now stilled.

About this time, this fine, gentle giant turned down the offer of the Prime Minister to become Governor General of Canada, our Head of State representing the Queen. He decided to spend his time with his two young grandchildren. His only daughter had married a Montreal policeman, who committed suicide in the police station locker room, right beside the Forum on Closse St. He decided it was more important to be a father to them.

Rest well, Gros Bill. Thanks for the memories.

http://montrealgazette.com/...

http://montrealgazette.com/...

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Bob Fowler, career public servant, served as foreign policy advisor to prime ministers, as deputy minister of National Defence and as Canada's UN Ambassador, has come out with a most thoughtful piece on the new military adventure and why it will fail.

A few years ago, he acted as a special envoy for the UN Secretary, in Niger. He and a Cdn colleague were kidnapped and held six months, in the desert, by Al Quaida. Thet feared for their lives every day, until released. In this oped, he mentions parenthetically he knows what his fate would be now.

He is a remarkably intelligent person, well positioned to write on these matters. I commend his analysis to you, in his own words.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/...
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Sen/Gen Dallaire, who fought to  expose the Rwandan genocide as UN commander there, has stepped down from the Canadian Senate several years early, to focus on his true issue, the levels of PTSD affecting Canadian and troops world-wide. A General, who admitted his own severe, ongoing battles with PTSD and who attempted suicide, found new fulfillment in the Canadian Senate, but now seeks to work on the one issue that will resound  with all veterans, who have been forgotten by their governments.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/...

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Not sure if this is good thing, but news from Ottawa prompts this short diary. Prime Mister Harper has been way over-the-top on his criticism of Putin, which does no serve well.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/...

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I've wondered and raised this before here. Back in 2007, relations between W and Putin were going downhil very fast.

Papa Bush stepped up and he and GWB invited Putin to the family compound at Kennebunkport for the July 1, 2007 weekend, to try to put the relaationship back on track. Aside from fishing and high-speed boatride photos, nothing was ever revealed.

Putin left, no commnique. A few days later, Putin tore up a missile treaty and things got worse, with the man into whose soul George had seen. That was the beginning of more high-stakes, bad behaviour. The events on the Russian side shortly afterward should have occasioned some questions as to what happened that weekend. But nothing.

Clearly it had gone very badly.. No one in the meda or academe ever talks about it. I even had trouble finding anything really solid in Dailykos archives. Lots of reports that it happened, boats, fish, etc., but nothing solid. Surely someone must know and be willing to talk.

Has anyone here ever heard anything solid? it may well point up how badly George bungled this relaltionship.

Here are items I found (I feel something more happened than what is revealed here):

http://www.dailykos.com/...

http://www.dailykos.com/...

http://www.dailykos.com/...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/...

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/...

 

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A short diary to update on the whereabouts of half-term Governor Sarah. She is to  be one of two keynote speakers at this annual forum, March 7-8. Bush 43 has done it twice in years since he left office, once with Laura. SEU is a self-described "dynamic, Christ-centered university." This costs $450-$1500 a pop.

http://www.seuleadershipforum.com/

http://www.seuleadershipforum.com/...

Here is how Sarah now describes herself http://www.seuleadershipforum.com/...

During Governor Palin’s first year in office, three of her administration’s major proposed pieces of legislation passed—an overhaul of the state’s ethics laws, a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and a restructuring of Alaska’s oil valuation formula. Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which pursues legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.

Palin is a contributor for FOX News where she offers her political commentary and analysis across all FOX News platforms, including FOX Business Channel, FOXNews.com and FOX News Radio. She also participates in special event political programming for FOX Broadcasting. She is the author of The New York Times best-selling books Going Rogue: An American Life (November 2009) and America by Heart (November 2010). She was also named to TIME magazine’s 2010 “100 Most Influential People” list and to Forbes magazine’s 2011 “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list. She was the host of Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC.

I cannot imagine being a faculty member or student at a university that caters to these wingnuts.

Also Tebow in 2012, Bush and Rice in 2011.

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Doctors at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario are experimenting with a new therapy to overcome the peanut allergy, based on exposing children to very small doses of peanuts to build immunity. Looks promising. Wonder if the theory/method might then be used for other types of food-allergic reactions if it is ultimately successful. Here is a video link  from CTV news.

 http://video.theloop.ca/...

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From insulin discovered at the University of Toronto by Banting and Best to this good news for diabetics.

Tonight's TV news showed this new pump capable of monitoring every ten minutes the blood sugar levels and dispensing insulin or glucagon as needed. One wearer in he clinical trials said the freedom to eat whatever she wanted without worry after many years was unbelievable. An intelligent algorithm is the key to the more stable levels with this new pump, leading to a reduction in harmful levels and periods, especially during sleep.

Some of these links contain pictures, others more technical.

http://www.newswire.ca/...

http://www.eurekalert.org/...

http://www.cmaj.ca/...

Could not find  a link for the CTV Ottawa newscast.

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Chief Spence has ended her strike. In a somewhat amazing way, the end from the political side was brokered by the interim leader of the third party in the House of Commons, Bob Rae. Rae is a former NDP Premier of Ontario who turned to the federal Liberals some years ago. After their shellacking in the last general election, he took  up the interim post for nearly two years while the party tried to reorganize and get ready for a leadership convention in March. As a condition he agreed not to run himself. One of the most intelligent people in Canadian politics and always sought by journalists for a comment other than the mundane. He is also really the best extemporaneous orator. Still, he remains reviled by many for his period as a socialist premier. The first para of the article below says a lot about him. It is also interesting that he had to bring a political end by agreeing to take up the natives' cause with the government, instead of the Prime Minister doing anything further to help out, in this very cold weather in Ottawa. Some folks are classy.

Here is Michael den Tandt's article.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/...

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Many have written here of various alleged crimes, felonies and misdemeanours comitted by a whole host of GOP office holders, in official duties and in elections. Many diaries have called upon the Department of Justice and AG Holder to prosecute.

Many citizens are now tkaing advantage of the White House site to launch petitions seeking  whole host of other nutty ideas (and yes, good ones, as in to promote gun control).

Why not use that tactic to get the AG to take action?

File a petition with 25,000 signatures for each and every allegation that has been made ( any can be found on this site) and get 25,000 signatures for each, demanding action. At the 25,000 threshold, the WH will have to respond. Couldn't hurt.  

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We know that conservative GOP administrations in the USA, despite their protestations, are the party of big, uncontrolled spending, while protesting that they intend to ratchet down big government.

People in Canada begin to believe it and accept the Canadian Conservative Government's attacks on the Liberals and New Democrats as "irresponsible tax and spend" parties of the left.

Here is an interesting website with an interactive graph showing Liberal (Pearson, Trudeau, Chretien, Martin) and Conservative (Clark, Mulroney, Harper) governments from 1963 to 2010. Each prime minister's term in office can be individually highlighted.  

 http://www.cbc.ca/...

In only four years, Harper has gone from an inherited $13.8 billion surplus to a $33.3 billion deficit. Sort of like Saint Ronnie and GWBush.

Not really saints at all.. not even good pretenders.

Now Harper is  likely to being in a budget with severe program cuts forecast to cause recessionary pressures: unjustifed cuts in the Old Age Security pension through start-age increases when young people need those jobs held by their elders, etc.

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