It’s gloom and doom in Alberta these days, what with falling oil prices and all. Time to tighten the belts, Premier Jim Prentice says, because we’re going to be billions of dollars short in the ol’ piggy bank. Hmmm…. so how come the government is predicting a $465-million surplus for the end of the fiscal year March 31st? Yes, a surplus. Seems that this Tory government is every bit as incompetent at predicting revenue as the other Tory governments. With a surplus in the cards, it will be that much more difficult for Prentice to justify calling an election. But that hasn’t stopped Prentice from setting the table. On Friday, he told radio listeners that his budget “will be the most significant in modern times”, and it will have impacts on every single person in the province. Amazingly, he says the budget will have a 10-year plan to wean the government off its dependence on natural resource revenue, something no one has done in this province in 50 years. If Prentice could actually pull that one off, even I would vote PC. But he can’t, so I won’t.

Stephen Harper, he of the delicate political touch, has decided to ram his anti-terrorism legislation through the House of Commons. He has limited debate, and clearly wants to make this bill the law of the land in time for the next election. Dozens of people who study these things have raised serious concerns about the bill, most notably how it can be turned into a tool of the government to stifle dissent. Is it a bad bill? Not all of it, to be sure, but large parts are of concern. I know this because everything Stephen Harper does is political, and designed only to secure his re-election. He knows tough-on-terrorism is a political winner, and a chance to paint the NDP and the Liberals as terrorism softies. And the fact that he is cutting off debate on a vitally important bill tells you everything you need to know about it.

An outspoken opponent of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was assassinated in Moscow on Saturday. Russia announced the Putin himself will lead the investigation. It shouldn’t be hard to round up suspects. All he has to do is look in the mirror.

The Oscars were handed out Sunday. It’s always a Big Deal, but ask yourself this — can you name all eight best picture nominees?

Once again gas prices took a shocking upward leap in Edmonton, another 10 cents a litre. After falling to around 68 cents, gas is now up to almost a buck a litre. What’s wrong with this picture? Everything.

Leon Benoit, a dim bulb MP from Alberta, told the House of Commons this week that the Supreme Court is “lawless”, simply because it has made some judgements he doesn’t agree with. It’s always disturbing to hear Canadian lawmakers borrowing inflammatory language used by Republicans, but what’s actually funny is that this “lawless” court is stocked with Stephen Harper appointees.

imagesRIP: Star Trek nerds around the world mourned the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock from the original TV series, at age 83. He lived long, and prospered, thanks to his Spock role. He was somewhat conflicted, however, about the part. He wrote one book called “I Am Not Spock”, and a later book called “I Am Spock”.  He also released an album (left) which I suspect was every bit as good as William Shatner’s album.

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