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Thursday, October 31, 2019

California fires 

The LA Times fire coverage is free today. Very scary fires all over the state.
Here are some stunning tweets from the California fires:










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Monday, October 28, 2019

Great tweet of the day 


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"Popular" vote? Not so much 

Here is the vote result in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta:
Liberals: 500,000 votes - 4 seats
NDP: 466,000 votes - 4 seats
Conservatives: 2 million votes - 54 seats
So don't talk to me about the "popular vote"! On that basis, the Cons are extremely over-represented in western Canada.
 And here's some info about the rest of the country:

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rats behind the wheel! 

Check this out, and don't miss the comments:



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Great tweet of the day 


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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

When you come to the end of a perfect day 

I didn't hear it myself, but I guess Singh was taking too long with his concession speech and Scheer started his concession speech before Singh finished,  then Trudeau started HIS victory speech before Scheer finished. 
And the Canadian media were just thrilled.
Nobody ever seems to turn down an opportunity to inflate a controversy out of nothing, issue twitter tut-tuts, clutch pearls, come down with the vapours, and chatter about how PMJT was behaving so RUDELY!
I rather liked Jason Cherniak's reaction:





One Canadian who does NOT sound pissed off is Ontario Premier Doug Ford :
Ford issued a statement Tuesday morning congratulating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his victory and applauding all federal leaders for a “hard fought campaign.”
He says he looks forward to working with Ottawa to address “shared priorities,” including infrastructure, internal trade and mental health
And the Toronto Sun adds:
Ford’s statement stands out for its conciliatory tone
Yeah, I'll say.  The Conservative Brain Trust behind Scheer convinced Ford to spend the entire campaign at an Undisclosed Location, but it didn't help Scheer do better in Ontario, so I would think that this morning Ford is furious at Scheer.

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Russia moves in to the Middle East 

So Russia is moving in to the Middle East, now that Trump has abandoned the field:
The negotiations ended in a victory for Mr. Putin: Russian and Turkish troops will take joint control over a vast swath of formerly Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria, in a move that cements the rapid expansion of Russian influence in Syria at the expense of the United States and its Kurdish former allies. Under terms of the agreement, Syrian Kurdish forces have six days to retreat more than 20 miles from the border, abandoning land that they had controlled uncontested until earlier this month — when their protectors, the American military, suddenly began to withdraw from the region.
This is, I think, the first time this has ever happened to the United States. But with Trump, likely not the last time.  What an embarrassment.




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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Dueling crowd sizes 

So CBC's Katie Simpson was impressed that Andrew Scheer's speech in Richmond Hill Ontario last night attracted 1,500 people, she calls it his biggest crowd so far:

Well, Justin Trudeau attracted 1,500 people yesterday too. In Calgary.  At midnight:

When the story of this campaign is written, it must include the number of times federal leaders were thrown off their message by the hurly-burly of news and events -- for Trudeau, it was the blackface scandal three weeks ago; now for Scheer it is the Kinsella secret smear scandal, which couldn't have some at a worse time for him.
But the measure of leadership is not whether such scandals happen, but how a real leader handles it. 
For Trudeau, he immediately admitted he had done it, apologized profusely, and also volunteered that there had been other times he had worn blackface when in high school. This all immediately tooe the wind out of any follow-up stories, and ended any "gotcha" questions from reporters. Everybody moved on.
While over several days now Scheer has been robotically repeating stupid war room talking points about how some mythical CPC "rules" prevent him from talking about "vendors" at all -- thereby creating the #ScheerVendors hashtag trending this morning, extending the scandal right into election day itself, making it the only thing reporters are asking him about (except for a few questions about why in the world he would tell such a stupid lie about the Liberals raising the GST). And all at a time in the campaign when there is no time for moving on at all.
I hope Canadians are making note of who is handling problems well, and who is not.

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Great tweet of the day 


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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Wow - tonight Ekos predicts a Liberal govt 

NOTE: I just edited this post title to clarify that EKOS is predicting a Liberal government, but isn't yet predicting a Liberal MAJORITY - depends on how some of the close seats go.

Here's the latest tweet from EKOS:
I was hoping for this kind of news today, because attendance at Trudeau rallies is getting large and enthusiastic:




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Friday, October 18, 2019

Worst tweet of the day 

Two days to go, and we may well have a winner for worst media tweet of this election.  
Here it is, from CBC's Rosemary Barton, along with my somewhat snarky reply:
For one thing, these issues are not comparable in the least. Accusing the Liberals of wanting to raise the GST is a completely baseless and out-of-the-blue lie of desperation from Andrew Scheer.  Accusing Conservatives of wanting to criminalize abortion recognizes that this is exactly what thousands of Canadian "right to life" activists want Scheer to do.  While Harper didn't knuckle under to these elements, I believe it is now a serious risk considering Scheer's base of support and the types of CPC candidates he has recruited.  He doesn't even need to pass an abortion law at the federal level as such; rather, he could just pass a private members bill permitting provincial legislatures to decide whether to allow abortions and under what conditions, thus creating a patchwork mess across the country.
It surprises me that Barton doesn't appear to understand the difference at all.  But the hundreds of comments about this tweet show that Canadians understand it very well.

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Edmonton ❤ Greta 

Here are some photos of  Climate Change/Greta Thunberg rally in Edmonton.  
Climate Justice Edmonton says there were 10,000 at the rally.
I guess United We Roll was there too with counter-protestors in trucks, but they aren't visible in these photos:



I don't think the counter-protestors are playing a winning hand.  Here's a tweet that sort of sums it up:
And apparently Kenny's office blocked his windows so he didn't have to see what is going on.  Sorta prophetic, don't you think -- climate change deniers don't want to see what is going on in the world.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.


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Meghan Markle and the racist British press 

I knew the British tabloids were racist, but I had no idea how cruel they had been throughout Meghan Markle's pregnancy.  I guess there is a documentary being done about it, and here is an excerpt:


#WeLoveYouMeghan is trending today on Twitter. And its about time. Here is some of the garbage that has been selling newspapers in Britain. It reminds me of some of the crap that Michelle Obama had to put up with:

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And for comparison purposes, here is how they covered Kate Middleton or other celebrities, compared to exactly the same stories about Meghan Markle.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Liberal minority govt predicted 

Forum Research predicts Liberal minority govt -- Liberal 133 seats, Conservative 121, NDP 46, BQ 37, Green 1.
FYI, Forum was the only pollster 2015 to correctly predict the Lib Majority, so I am going to hope that their prediction is good this time, too.
What is will come down to, as it always does, is whether the Liberals can get their vote out.
 Here's two threads from Ed the Sock - one about Trudeau, and one about Scheer. Iits worthwhile reading the whole thing:



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Just a little funny stuff 

Make sure you watch to the end:
And this one:

And now for something completely different:

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Great Tweet of the Day 

Via the inimitable Dick King-Smith - you owe it to yourself to follow his tweets.  Make sure to have the sound on for this one:

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Commander in Least 

I haven't checked because I don't want to ruin my amateur standing, but as far as I can remember, the US Constitution gives only one real job to a U.S. President -- being Commander in Chief of their armed forces.
And for someone who hardly works at all, Trump is really screwing up that job lately.  
His most recent ignorant stunt was to knuckle under to Turkey and abandon the Syrian Kurds, which he announced all of a sudden last Sunday night, without preamble, planning or rationale.  Taking Care of (Putin's) Business, I guess, before he gets impeached.
Of course Turkey invaded Syria immediately -- which everybody knew would happen and which Trump even green-lit in his statement -- though the Senate has now passed sanctions on Turkey and Trump is going along with the tut-tutting.  
The invasion forced the Kurds to ally with Syria to survive.  ISIS prison camps are being abandoned, and US troops were pulled out so quickly they apparently didn't make arrangements to evacuate 50 US nuclear weapons stored at an airbase in the region (and why were they there anyway? Oops!)  
The winners in this clusterfuck will be Turkey, Syria and Russia, with Iran apparently benefiting somehow as well.  
At the same time as Trump is trying to justify abandoning the Kurds by saying he wants to get the US out of the Middle East, he also announced he is sending 2,800 troops to Saudi Arabia, to protect their oil fields apparently -- but in this case the Saudis are paying for these troops, thus making the largest and best equipped armed force in the world into mercenaries-for-hire.  Whether they are supposed to  follow the orders of Trump or of MBS, I don't think Trump even knows -- or understands there might be a difference. 
Last weekend was also supposed to mark some kind of resumption of negotiations between North Korea and the USA regarding denuclearization. But if you blinked you missed it, because the negotiations lasted only a few hours before being suspended again, likely until 2020.  Chances are Pompeo will be gone by then, and maybe Trump too.  So that means starting over with North Korea.
And last week as well, Trump pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia -- even Putin wasn't happy about that.  At least the START treaty doesn't expire until 2021.
And even though Trump said there was a new trade deal with China, he lied, as usual.

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Yelling at the Empty Chair 

Image result for clint eastwood empty chair image

Does anyone still remember that during the Republican Convention in 2012, Clint Eastwood infamously spent 10 minutes yelling at an empty chair, wherein sat an Invisible Obama? 
Well, just as Eastwood's Man With No Name represents the American West hero, so does Eastwood's Yelling At The Empty Chair represent our present political dilemma.
Increasingly, it seems to me, the conservative right wingers in our society are attributing to us on the left every possible bizarre belief, misbegotten philosophy, corruption, perversion, conspiracy theory, and malign intent, then yelling at us for it. 
We are all "Libtards" and the greatest joy is to "own " us by spouting increasingly racist, sexist, and misogynistic insults to which we are supposed to react with fear and loathing.
We have all become the Empty Chair.
And it appears to be increasingly violent too -- Trudeau had to wear a bulletproof vest during a rally this weekend, due to a security threat.  At a Republican gathering last week, prospective donors were "entertained" by a video edited from one of the worst scenes in the Kingsman movie, showing Trump in a church gleefully shooting and stabbing and crushing all his political opponents and reporters, all of them considered to be Libtards who are supposedly "against" their hero Trump - even John McCain and Mitt Romney were in this video.
In a nation increasingly plagued by spree shooters, the whole thing also seemed more than a little tone-deaf.  And the video was shown at Trump's Doral resort, where he wants to hold the G7!
Not to insult pre-pubescent males, but sometimes I wonder if the conservative movement in Canada and in the United States is actually run by 12-year-old boys -- the ones who think it is the nadir of wit to  scream insults at each other, create imaginary "enemies" and run around with cap pistols shooting them in the head.
I'm not sure where this will end, but I am concerned that our civil democratic society may not be sustainable when conservatives have such irrational and free-floating hate toward their fellow citizens.


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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Why I am voting for Trudeau 

Trudeau stands for poverty reduction, international democracy promotion, Indigenous partnership, climate change initiatives and economic development
He also stands for personal courage: 


And the inimitable Montreal Simon sums it up, as usual:
Just like the bullies couldn't intimidate me, the Con hate mongers can't intimidate Justin Trudeau...


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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Great tweet of the day 

Its not from today, its from a while ago, but it is a great one:


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Friday, October 11, 2019

10 days to go 

Ten days to go and I expect we will soon start to see a certain degree of panic among Canadian pundits, as they realize their unrelenting negativity toward Trudeau and their horserace cynicism toward election events and platforms may well lead Canadians toward a Scheer minority government.  
And thus the Trudeau government emphasis on poverty reduction, international democracy promotion, Indigenous partnership, climate change initiatives, and economic development will be finished, over, kaput - to be replaced by YankeeDoodleAndy's mishmash of inept and contradictory promises to somehow spend more while cutting more  - and if you believe any of that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page isn't particularly impressed with the Cons' newly-released budget either:
Page said that closing the tax gap is a worthwhile pursuit, one that all the federal parties are pursuing. He said it was a worthy goal but it hasn't been tried in Canada on the scale the Conservative are proposing. ..."The one thing you don't do, in any plan, if you're saying this is about competitiveness and productivity when you are doing this, is go after infrastructure, because its so critical. That truly is an investment." Page said that economists point to infrastructure spending as a useful tool for boosting a nation's long-term productivity and growth rates.
"Deficit financing tax cuts? That's consumption. If you give me a tax cut I will either spend it or I will just deal with my debt issues with that extra few hundred bucks a year. That provides a temporary boost to the economy, whereas infrastructure definitely is the longer term boost."
Page also said that finding $5 billion in savings from operational expenses would be a challenge — that Harper tried to do it but couldn't find the savings. He also said that cutting $1.5 billion from the foreign aid budget was doable but it would give Canada a very different personality on the world stage.
 By the way, the Liberals are talking about things that really matter to Canadians, like student loans and pharmacare  and climate change.
 

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What you need to know about Inner YouTube and PewDiePie  

Fascinating NYT article about PewDiePie, whom I had heard about only because my son knew about him and about the whole new Inner YouTube culture that he represents, sort of.
I started hanging out on Inner YouTube in earnest a few years ago, and its scale and insularity was jarring at first. Imagine a genetic mutation that gave everyone born after 1995 the ability to see ultraviolet light. Imagine that these people developed an identity around UV light, started calling themselves “UVers” and became suspicious of any media product made exclusively on the visible spectrum. As an old person with normal eyes, you would experience this change as a kind of slow cognitive decline. Every day, as more and more of the world played out in UV, you would struggle to catch glimpses of it. All of a sudden, people would be talking about Area 51 or eating Tide Pods, and you’d have no idea why. This deep chasm of understanding between Inner YouTube and the rest of the world has proved to be the defining problem of Kjellberg’s career.


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Bye, Felicia 


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Anybody there? 

Just wondering if I should start up this blog again?  
I have been away from it for more than two years now, and thinking maybe I would like to get it going again.  So maybe I will.  
I am doing more on Twitter now, but it can be frustrating not to be able to post very much.
So, maybe we will give it a shot, eh?

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