Monday, December 19, 2005


The state of American culture continues to deteriorate. I acquired today a very interesting
tshatshke. Some time ago, and I had quite forgotten about it in the long move to BC, I had entered a Good Morning America sweepstakes to see various female music artists in concert. The event was the GMA Women Rule Concert Series. I did not win the Grand Prize but First which was a cotton, short-sleeved t-shirt with the ABC logo emblazoned on it as well as the contest name and the sponsor, Nissan.

Being the tidy housewifely type that I can occasionally be while I am not scattering pearls of wisdom for the masses, I checked the care label of the garment. The shirt was made in Nicaragua. Is there a problem with this picture? I guess it’s not Good Morning America if the shirt was made elsewhere and the sponsor is Japanese? Something to think about on these long Canadian winter nights

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


At the top of the news this week:  

Human habitation in England goes back 700,000 years. Scientists from the Natural History Museum in London found 32 black flint artifacts in Pakefield in eastern England. This find predates even Queen Elizabeth II. Amazing.

Obits of the week:

Richard Pryor: Comedian

Gerry Deiter: Rock photographer


Decision Canada. What does it mean to an ex-pat, eh? Besides having innocent NDPers knock on your door and give you campaign literature that you can’t use? Well, plenty, girlfriends. It means that Canada continues to be a sane and rational alternative to the U.S. or slides into a morass.  No, for an ex-pat the decision here is between tolerance and prejudice, intelligent dialogue against political posturing. We will start with a description of the parties and the players.

A main issue in Canadian politics is the question of Quebec separatism. The Québécois wish to secede from Canada proper and form their own Francophile nation. They have been at this loggerhead for years without end. It’s getting old. A greater threat to French culture isn’t the federal government but American media and McDonalds, both bad for the arteries and the brain.   The three major parties in Quebec, the one most prominent now being the Parti Québécois do not seem to appreciate the unique character of simply being Canadian. Where else in the world can an openly gay man, like Andre Boisclair who admitted to cocaine use in the past, become head of a major political party? Certainly not the United States. The little things matter sweeties so don’t cut the cord just yet.

The party currently in residence is the Liberals    Sorry, Paul Martin but buying votes with vapor wear tax cuts does just not make a campaign or a future administration.  However, keep up the tough talk on the softwood issue. The Shrub in the White House could use a few leaves trimmed.

The NDP, or National Democrat Party, is always a minority party. They are very sincere people, save the Earth types who intend good but are much too conscientious to win elections. Their party head is Jack Layton.

Last we have the storm troopers, er, the Tories otherwise called the Conservatives.

Their leader is Steven Harper. The Conservatives are like the right wing activists in America: anti-abortion, anti-gay, and lower taxes. Recently, Steven Harper called for a new debate on same-sex marriage in Canada. He will not get far on that one.


Monday, December 05, 2005

The Seigenthaler Flap

The best that I can say about the John Seigenthaler Sr. flap on Wikipedia is, like so many of his generation, he does not seem to understand the Internet medium.  Missed this one, darlings? Unplug your Nano for a bit and listen.  

The hubbub is that Mr. Seigenthaler is justifiably upset about a story on Wikipedia smearing him as a possible assassin of Bobby Kennedy. It is a great and regrettable shock to a man who acted as pallbearer to the deceased. I am very careful to treat Mr. Seigenthaler with respect over his grievances.

However, Mr. Seigenthaler, in his essay at USA Today

does not seem to understand the open source nature of a blog or a wiki. There is a tacit understanding that in a blog or a wiki, you get what you pay for; namely, it’s free and you take your chances as to the accuracy of the posted information. Furthermore, it is not the reputation of the wiki site or the blog site at stake when inaccuracies or libel occurs; it is the credibility and honesty of the blogger, or the blogger’s community, in jeopardy. In blogging, a person is open to critique from peers and detractors through posted comments and through website linking.  Commentary and/or being unlinked and isolated from the greater Internet community disciplines inaccuracies and malicious gossip. Street cred is earned, not given.  Wikipedia, as an open source information community, is not meant to be authoritative but accessible.  Blogs and wikis are Internet communities. With any community (online or offline) you get bad apples that the other group members discard.

The most sensible course of action for Mr. Seigenthaler is not to complain about the medium (a wiki or blog) but to follow leads to the person who posted the disturbing information and to pursue legal action if he feels this is necessary. Radio Free Canada wishes him the best of luck in his journey.


Thursday, December 01, 2005


12/1/2005 7:15:32 PM

Welcome to Radio Free Canada. I’m Issobell Sansamour and I’ll be your host for the program.

A brief introduction to the format and the announcer. I ‘m an American ex-pat of Canadian ancestry now residing in the homeland of my long ago family. While I reside in British Columbia, I’m proud to be of Quebecois origin. My maternal ancestors were trappers who migrated to America via the Northwest Fur Company in the early 1800’s.

Radio Free Canada is an examination of the differences between the United States and its northern neighbor, commentaries on Canadian politics, observations about other Commonwealth countries such as Britain (paternal ancestors), and whatever fires my neurons at the time.

So without more ado, let’s flick the switch.