The International Value Wine Awards wrap up today and results will drip out over the next couple months, culminating in full results in September (online) and October (print). We had over 1145 entries this year; up about 100 from last year. The value category is a hot topic these days and people are looking for more bang for their buck in wine as they are in everything. The IVWA, put on by Wine Access magazine, is one of the biggest wine competitions in Canada. I’ve posted some pictures on my online gallery for you to enjoy, and over the weekend I will add some pictures of the actual judging process which I took this morning (Friday). There’s a pretty good description of the process as well, so you can get an idea of what goes on at one of these things.
Extinguishing my enthusiasm and looking at politics now, I must say, I am once again whole-heartedly disappointed with my government. When Stephen Harper spoke at an exceedingly scripted town hall yesterday, he reported to Canadians that 80% of the economic stimulus was now flowing. Successive media interviews with municipalities, however, stated that the funding they’ve applied for is almost entirely tied up in applications and paperwork, and that hardly any work has even begun. Shovels in the ground? I haven’t seen any in Calgary that weren’t there prior to January 1, and that’s apparently the case across Canada. Granting money is not creating jobs, it’s step one of many. Mr. Prime Minister, the frosting is decadent, but the cake is rancid.
Why is our political process so riddled with BS? To base a political career on smoke and mirrors is dumbfounding. Communications advisors and politicians have made their careers selling and convincing agendas to the people instead of representing the wishes of the people. Politics as a whole now seems based on the presumption of mass public ignorance: government reports something that is sugar-coated in technicality, thus satisfying voters, but otherwise almost entirely inaccurate. Why is it such a game? This is real life – these are real jobs and this is a real recession.
There’s hardly any substance to anything that comes out of politicians’ mouths anymore. They’re too busy trying to win instead of doing what is right. It’s all so calculated and insincere. It’s like a bad reality TV show, on its umpteenth season. Cancel it already!
Another story that I would very much like to share with everyone is one that aired on CBC‘s the National two nights ago, about Canada’s thriving export of asbestos. The video (which is very well reported and produced by the CBC’s Mellissa Fung, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan last year) is here, or you can read the internet article here. Did you know that Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of asbestos? Did you know that we’re the only western country who hasn’t banned it, because we can mine and sell it? Did you know that our federal government subsidizes the asbestos companies to the tune of $20 million each year to market it? There are regulations against using it here because it kills people, but we will mine it and sell it to other countries, such as India, where it is killing people in scores.
The weather is nice once again in Calgary – we’re up to 23 here today. Too bad I’ll be sequestered in my home office doing school work all weekend! Happy Friday, everyone.