Linkage -



1. The Tories spent double what Baird said they did wrapping a GO train in propaganda

2. The Obama government is trying to help John Yoo out

3. Out-of-control monkey uprising at Yale

4. Bereft of ideas, Coke brings back those annoying polar bears

5. Authenticity Watch: Ancient surfboards:

Chad Marshall, a surfer in Malibu, Calif., known for his flamboyant longboard riding, said: “I like the friction-free vibe. I like that it slots you in that sweet spot on the wave.”

Another draw is the link to the sport’s early Polynesian history at a time when the surfing life has become heavily commercialized, and surfboards have become commodified.

The alaia provides a stripped down, back-to-the-roots alternative. They are to surfing what the fixed gear is to cycling or the bow and arrow are to hunting…



  1. I'd reference "The Rats of NIMH" but I'm sick of belittling John Baird.

  2. Macleans should task someone with adding up the government's advertising, P.R. and public opinion research expenses since January, assuming such a thing is still possible in this era of "accountable" government. For fun we could compare the sum to the money spent by Paul Martin's government on such things in 2005 or the $30 million party subsidy that Harper's government found so extravagant and wasteful at the time.

    • Public Opinion Research Spending in Canada, 1993-2008 ($Millions):
      1993-1994: 4
      1994-1995: 7.1
      1995-1996: 9.2
      1996-1997: 13.2
      1997-1998: 15
      1998-1999: 14.7
      1999-2000: 19.3
      2000-2001: 19.9
      2001-2002: 26.2
      2002-2003: 23.7
      2003-2004: 25.4
      2004-2005: 29.1
      2005-2006: 26.8
      2006-2007: 31.4
      2007-2008: 24.8

      Can be found through PWGSC, googling "Public Opinion Research Spending", or How Ottawa Spends, an academic publication put out by McGill-Queens University Press.

  3. "The Tories spent double what Baird said they did wrapping a GO train in propaganda."

    Does the money spent promoting the stimulus spending count as stimulus spending? Perhaps the reason for the seeming discrepancy between how much of the stimulus the government SAYS has been spent and how much it appears has actually spent is somehow accounted for by the fact that the numbers the Tories know about are actually twice as large as the numbers they share in the House.

    Also, I think a more accurate rendering of this line would be "CANADIANS spent double what Baird said they did wrapping a GO train in propaganda". Or am I mistaken in concluding that this GO train propaganda was paid for by taxpayers and not by donations to the Conservative Party of Canada?

  4. Sounds like a great use of tax dollars! 90,000 bucks for a giant, moving billboard for how awesome the economic action plan is.

    Whatever credibility John Baird once had has completely evaporated these last few months.

    • Granted, but he is still more credible than Peter MacKay

      • Sometimes I feel he is going to turn in to the Hulk, is actually pretty sad seeing him in QP….Some bad acting….

  5. I'm not sure I agree that the surfboard story fits an "authenticity watch". It seems like it gives a different surfing experience, and an increased amount of speed and sense of lightness. Making it out of hard wood that could cleave your head open and not using a leash though is perhaps an example of being "authentic" for the sake of being "authentic".

    • Yeah, I agree it's on the cusp. What qualifies it as an authenticity item is the idea that it's a reaction to the commercialization of mainstream surfing — the hallmark of the authentic is that it rejects the cash nexus.

  6. The thought of a hipster out in the woods hunting an elk with an 'authentic' bow and arrow made me giggle.

    Can't wait for the new book in the spring.