Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Derailing the narrative

Well, at least the Liberal win in Winnipeg North should help to derail the developing narrative that Ignatieff is losing by-elections -- though some will still cling to it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More violent videos

As upsetting as the Stacey Bonds video is, I am equally upset by these G20 videos. But the SIU just couldn't figure out who did what...

Man run down by mounted police:

Violent snatch and grabs:

Fired on with no warning:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still crazy after all these years

As much as I disagree with using recalls to try to punish politicians for being politicians and voting their party line -- that's what elections are for -- I can understand why people in BC are very angry about this kind of ridiculous stuff too:
Elections BC’s drafting of new recall rules after anti-HST organizers had already submitted their petition against a Vancouver Island MLA reeks of incompetence and “amateur hour,” says a political scientist.
What do they think, that they can stop these recalls by nitpicking the petitions? It's just bizarre.
If I ran the circus, Gordon Campbell would be gone tomorrow, and the HST would be gone the day after that, and then everybody in BC could just take a vacation from politics until after Christmas.
But no, the BC Liberals are determined to let a stupid HST decision destroy their party. They are going to let Campbell stay and stay and stay, and they going to continue to argue and argue and argue about how great the HST is really, and meanwhile dozens of their MLAs are going to be embroiled in recall campaigns....at some point, don't you think someone would call a halt?
BC politics, still crazy after all these years.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The headline says Police cleared in six G20 incidents but this is certainly a funny way to define "cleared":
In the majority of the cases, the officers accused of police brutality exercised their right to refuse to be interviewed by the agency.
The SIU said that it was difficult to prove any criminal liability in the cases because many of the officers could not be identified, because they weren't wearing badge numbers and were wearing similar-looking clothing.
In one case, the agency concluded that a 27-year-old man who sustained an eye fracture during a scuffle was the victim of force used by a police officer. The same officer was believed to have arrested the man, but when the agency went to look up the police report, they found the badge number that was recorded to not exist.

A Nelson week

Sorry for the lack of blogging this week -- but its been one of those "Ha Ha!" weeks, hasn't it.
Great day! Another mudfish beached
Cookie incident uproar costs Alberta health official his job
Tom Delay convicted of money-laundering
Taliban leader in secret talks was an imposter
Bristol Palin comes third while her mom declares war on South Korea
And I guess the only person who can find Julian Fantino these days is Don Cherry.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's that smell?

Dave asks:
Why is Harper afraid of a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan? Because there's obviously something he's not telling you and a debate would require someone to answer some very embarrassing questions.
Steve says:
There is something anti-democratic, backroom, end around, to this whole affair. No matter the rationalizations, the stench is there and it is very, very real. It has become even more bizarre now, that we have people lauding this process and bastardizing the word "bi-partisan". Frankly, it's a joke at this point to say the Liberals support this Afghanistan extension. As a matter of fact, it looks like most Liberal MP's don't, which explains the detour tactics employed ...
POGGE notes "this ode to Bob Rae" from this morning's Globe and Mail, and says:
What's described here is a conscious attempt to avoid parliament and the people. The article celebrates a process specifically designed to ignore public opinion and get the deal done, or as close to done as possible, before the public even knows what's going on. We've been rendered impotent and irrelevant by our own elected representatives and this article glorifies it.
And the next election, all these politicians will be pontificating about how important it is that the public be engaged with the political process and come out to vote.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where will he find 65 million voters in 2012?

Digby is absolutely right about Obama:
...despite the fact that he spent the first two years of his presidency doing back flips to get even one Republican to vote for his program, even as they demonized him as a socialist and a coward, he is assuming responsibility for the failure and earnestly promising to do better. And just like before, when the Republicans rebuff his every gesture, the American people will see someone who is unable to fulfill his promises and will blame this failure for all their problems.
If Obama wanted to be like Gandhi or Jesus he should have started a movement or a religion instead of becoming a politician. Politics is about persuasion and power, not transcending human nature. He's going to lose in two years if he doesn't start using the power of his office to fix this economy instead of moping around about "tone." If he doesn't fight, the only politicians the voters will see fighting for them are the Tea Partiers.
Americans hate losers. Voters in other nations will sometimes give a politician another election to prove himself. Americans will not.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The sound of one hand clapping

John Doyle mentions a Canadian satirical news website, in the style of The Onion, which is called URNews.ca. I hadn't read them before, but the bookmark is now made.
Here's their take on Harper's Afghanistan decision:
Canada must stay in Afghanistan until 2014 because the sit­u­a­tion there is about to mag­i­cally change for the bet­ter, accord­ing to con­ser­v­a­tive spokesman Dun­ning Kruger. “Hey, The West has been at this since the time of Alexan­der the Great, and we are very close to bring­ing Afghans around to our way of thinking.”
They also predict Harper is about to abandon the title of Prime Minister and adopt the honorific
“Steve Harper, Beloved and Respected Pianist to the Nation; Cor­rec­tor of the Way­ward, Who is a Great Man; Head in Chief, Com­man­der of Wings, Pro­tec­tor of All Things Great and Rich; Shim­mer­ing Light of the Rocky Moun­tains, Descended from Heaven; Tumes­cent Mem­ber from Cal­gary; Exalted Son of Eto­bi­coke; Tremen­dous Loss Leader; Mas­ter­mind of Unerr­ing Polit­i­cal Instincts; Med­icated Depres­sive; Suc­cor Puncher.”
He hears the sound of one hand clapping.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The economy explained

Mound of Sound posts this bit of brilliance -- I would love to find out what Paul Krugman thinks of this:

Great line of the day

Covering the Canadian Civil Liberties Association hearings into the G20 protests, Stageleft writes
As for the police, well .... don't ask why people like me distrust you on sight; your fellow officers, and the system that has been allowed to protect them, is your real problem - deal with it.
Oh, and I got an email today from the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario looking for the source of a G20 photo I ran on my blog back in July:

This and many other photos are from the G20Justice.Com website.

Crazy? Don't mind if I do!

We now have 23 months to watch the Anti-Obama Idiots in the United States go completely crazy.
The Washington Post fired the opening shot, actually publishing an opinion from two guys that the solution is for Obama not to run in 2010. As John Cole says:
Can you, for one minute, imagine Caddell and Schoen suggesting that the way to end all the nasty partisanship is for the Republicans to promise to not run anyone in 2012? Can you imagine Hiatt printing it? Of course not. In the eyes of the beltway, partisanship only occurs when the Democrats refuse to roll over and do whatever the Republicans want
The Republicans are getting so hysterical about controlling the House of Representatives that they think they are running the country -- the Minority Whip now thinks he is in charge of US foreign relations in the Middle East. IOKIYAR
And we will have 23 months of Huffington Post and Firedoglake pitching a fit over every speculative White House twitch -- they have become the left wing answer to the Drudge Report.
Meanwhile, here in the real world...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

House of cards

George Price

Tom Levenson writes about the Canadian boy who was the last soldier one of the last soldiers to die in World War I:
There was one incident that captured the essence of war on the western front, the distillation of its arbitrary violence. At two minutes to eleven in the vicinity of Mons a Canadian private named George Price was hit by a sniper’s bullet. He died instantly. The man who killed him remains unknown. That man made a choice. He was a marksman, a skilled soldier. He had just moments remaining in which it was legal for him to kill. There was no need to fire, no purpose, and some risk at least to himself and any comrades near him. If he waited until eleven, and then put his gun down, the only consequence would be that a young stranger would go home. Instead, the shot rang out. Two minutes ticked past. The war ended. George Price lay dead.
What a pointless, stupid war that was.

UPDATE: Corrected.

G20 protests are the story that just won't die

The Dominion provides the latest summary of the G20 protesters who are still facing charges or in jail:
“I think it’s rare for this much resources and energy to be put into so vehemently going after people who are allegedly guilty of nothing more than vandalism,” said Jonah Hundert.
Yes, that's for sure. The hearings being held by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and National Union of Public and General Employees in Toronto are now getting some coverage, even in the National Post.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Disappearing the disappeared

The Native Women's Association of Canada Sisters In Spirit campaign -- set up several years ago by the federal Liberals -- has apparently hurt the delicate fee-fees of the Harper Conservatives, the RCMP and police departments.
What did they do? They collected data and raised public awareness about the 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.
This made police look bad. Very bad. All these women disappearing year after year after year, and police departments across the nation greeting the news with a collective yawn.
What to do? Well, Allison reports the Conservatives have now found millions of dollars to set up a National Police Support Centre for Missing Persons. But they're not going to fund the NWAC anymore unless they drop the "Sisters in Spirit" name and stop maintaining their database.
Way to solve the problem guys -- if nobody knows about it, then it isn't a problem anymore!
Oh, wait, we tried that already, didn't we?
Quite honestly, the Harper Conservatives just make me sick -- taking a profoundly important initiative that has great significance to Aboriginal families across the country, twisting it to advance their own agenda, then trashing it to make it all go away.
Trying to make it disappear just like all those women have disappeared.
And lets also keep a wary eye on that Conservative idea that they're going to make "amendments to the Criminal Code to streamline the warrants application process where wiretaps are required in missing person cases". Thin edge of the wedge and all that...

Fool me once

I was going to post something about how offensive it was to hear Rob Ford boasting about the dirty tricks he used to become mayor of Toronto, but now I don't have to because Rev Paperboy has said everything that needs to be said:
...people who like to brag about how dirty they played and how low they stooped will eventually find that the only people impressed are other shitheels and grifters ...
Time and Karma will not be kind to Rob Ford and his campaign team and hubris will eventually prove their undoing. Nobody likes a sore loser, but most of us hate a bad winner just as much.
Yes, because the take-away message from this sorry incident is that Ford thinks the people of Toronto are stupid.
Nice mayor you've got there, guys!

Friday, November 05, 2010

More G20 stories

More G20 stories are trickling out.
Today's Friday document dump revealed more about G20 costs. Greg Elmer twitters "best expense so far: $17,482.50 for six shredders."
This week we found out that the police who removed their name tags because they were ashamed about what they did are actually being disciplined. Not, of course, much...

I guess kicking people in the face can jar loose your nametag -- who knew?
We also found out that the reason charges are being dropped against G20 protesters is due to "legal technicalities" -- yeah, like no evidence. Funny how that happens.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is finally going to hold some hearings next week about what happened and will produce a report in January.
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is also opening an investigation into, among other things "whether the Mounties were involved in infiltration and surveillance of individuals and groups before and during the summits."
The Globe and Mail has a big story on Saturday about some of the innocent people who were trapped and tormented by police.
The Toronto Star has lifted the rock under which the Toronto Special Investigations Unit has been hiding, and now we're watching what is scuttling out.
But Alex Hundert was in jail for Thanksgiving and will be in jail for Remembrance Day.
God, what a disaster the G8/G20 was for thousands of Canadians. Chris Selley writes:
the optics are similar in both the G20 and David Chen cases: Law-breakers (window-smashers, produce-snatchers) appear to have free reign; law-abiders (grocers, peaceful protesters) take it on the chin.


From last night's Daily Show:
The doorbell rings and the guy opens it to find a snail on his front step.
The snail says "I'm selling magazine subscriptions and ..."
The guy immediately kicks him off the step.
Two years later, the doorbell rings again.
"What the f**k was that all about?" asks the snail.

Sir Galahad

In Canada, it is often less difficult and certainly less contentious to run for party leadership from outside the party rather than from inside it.
Two examples --John Turner and Brian Mulroney, who built their campaign organizations and wrote their speeches while lunching at their clubs rather than scarfing a sandwich in the Parliamentary dining room and running back to the House for a vote. They did not have to endure the insular hothouse Ottawa atmosphere, the sneers of the press gallery, and the Cabinet back-stabbing that so damaged Paul Martin's relationship with Chretien and his supporters over that endless last year of Chretien's prime ministership.
So when we wonder why Jim Prentice is leaving now, perhaps it is because he expects the Conservatives will be looking for a White Knight someday soon.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Great line of the day

Tbogg on Twitter:
25% of the electorate is 65+ and they want the government to stop spending. Also they would like their benefits checks earlier in the month.

Two surprises

Both welcome: Campbell resigning and the Harper Conservatives turning down the BHP Billingon takeover of the Potash Corporation.
I don't think anybody in Saskatchewan believed that Brad Wall was going to succeed. But he did. And he turned himself into a national political leader in the process.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lessons learned

Based on what I am already reading, the lessons that progressive bloggers, Democrats, conservative bloggers, Republicans, Fox News and the Teapartiers will take away from the American election results is that the American people want them to continue doing exactly what they were already doing before, only more so.
There, that was easy.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Its a win-win

The Democrats are going to be so happy on Tuesday.
After a four-year national nightmare of productive and progressive legislative sessions, they're going to lose control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday. This means they can breathe a sign of relief because they won't be responsible anymore for how bad things are.
And with any luck, the Dems will retain the Senate, so then the Republicans won't have to accept any responsibility either for doing anything whatsoever about how bad things are.
Except, of course, for the American people, but when did Washington care about them anyway?