Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kodachrome: 1935-2010

Today is the end of Kodachrome with the closure of the last processing lab in the US:
One of the toughest decisions was how to deal with the dozens of requests from amateurs and professionals alike to provide the last roll to be processed.
In the end, it was determined that a roll belonging to Dwayne Steinle, the owner, would be last. It took three tries to find a camera that worked. And over the course of the week he fired off shots of his house, his family and downtown Parsons. The last frame is already planned for Thursday, a picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne’s wearing shirts with the epitaph: “The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010.”


From Attaturk

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Compare and contrast

George Bush complains his fee-fees were hurt when Kanye West said he didn't like black people.
Jimmy Carter eradicates a disease that has plagued millions of African people.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Great Christmas photos

From AP and Reuters:

choristers proceed from the nearby King's College School to the chapel at King's College, Cambridge, to take part in final rehearsals for the annual Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

a Christmas party at the Small World school in Amman

the traditional Christmas bath in Monaco December 19

Shoppers at Baclaran market in Paranaque city, metro Manila December 18, 2010. The Philippines, the largest Roman Catholic state in Asia, observes one of the longest Christmas holidays in the world, beginning with dawn masses on December 16 to the feast of the Three Kings in January

a portion of Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, ... The writing on the wall reads 'Merry Christmas world from Bethlehem ghetto'

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Questions about G20 remain

Gratifying news today that finally a Toronto police officer is being charged with a G20 assault. But Joe Warmington asks the follow-up questions:
What is still unknown is who made the decision to create the climate that resulted in this occurring in the designated protest area at Queen’s Park — the home base of the premier, democracy and free speech? Also, who told police officers to run away, and turn away, from real criminal activity on the Saturday and who flicked the switch to inflict repugnant pay back against mainly innocent people Sunday?
And where is Chief Blair?

Stormy weather

When I read stories like this and this, I'm glad I live in Saskatchewan, where it is mostly just cold.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Declare victory and leave

Booman would be happy if Obama could just declare victory and leave Afghanistan:
If we try to stay there forever, we will lose. Anyone who thinks the best use of our troops is in Afghanistan has been smoking too much hashish. Any honest, sentient human being knows this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Amazing stories of resourcefulness and determination from the hundreds of people stranded on that Ontario highway, as well as from the courageous police and military rescuers who searched so diligently to make sure everyone was safe.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rant of the day

Montreal Gazette sportswriter Jack Todd on Canada's loudmouthed lout, Don Cherry:
. . . the man has morphed into Glenn Beck in sequins, out to prove that he who shouts loudest is always right. It's always the same thing: the rage, the name-calling, the complete absence of reason.
Every time I see a Tea Party rally or listen to Cherry rant, I wonder: Why are these people so angry? What are they so mad about? All these rich, fat, angry white men and rich, thin, angry white women, what is their problem?
They aren't begging on the street in Delhi, or working a mine in the Congo, or taking a bus and two subway trains to spend the night cleaning an office in Toronto before taking two subway trains and a bus to get home. Yet to hear the right-wing elite tell it, one of the great outrages in history is that the government actually wants them to pay taxes on the millions or tens of millions they earn. Imagine, the scandal of it all.
H/T Rev Paperboy

Friday, December 10, 2010

G20 land

I call bullsh**t on Ontario premier Dalton McGinty and Toronto police chief Bill Blair.
They're all coy and stuff now about how they just didn't realize what the secret G20 law really meant and how they didn't really intend to abuse anyone. And they just can't quite remember now why they didn't explain it at the time.
They know quite well why they passed that law, and how they intended to use it.
Toronto police wanted to create G20 land, where they could arrest anyone, anywhere, anytime, for no reason at all.
And the Ontario government gave it to them.

Thanks but no thanks

Cariboo Barbie is planning on going to Haiti.
Don't they have enough problems already?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The horror! The horror!

You know, if Sun TV ever gets onto the air, they'll probably give Don Cherry a show.

"the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history"

Well, its about time.
Ontario ombudsman Andre Martin describes the G20 arrests as "the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history". Joe Warmington says Toronto police chief Bill Blair should resign.
...because of this phony secret law that was “likely unconstitutional,” people were beaten, punched, arrested, detained, strip searched, humiliated and shot at with rubber bullets, tear gas or pepper spray. History will show the real criminals got away. And then police turned on their own citizens....
It is a disgrace that before Marin’s report, not one public official questioned any of this obscene abuse of policing privilege by people who are employed by us to uphold the law.

Halifax explosion

Dr. Grumpy writes about the Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917:
Although there were many heroes that awful day, one man stands out. His name was Vince Coleman, and he was a railway dispatcher ashore. When he learned of the burning ammunition ship, he realized that a loaded passenger train was on it's way to the waterfront depot, and would be there in a few minutes. Instead of saving himself, he ran to the telegraph key and quickly tapped out "Stop trains. Munitions ship on fire. Approaching Pier 6. Goodbye." He was killed a few seconds later in the explosion, and is credited with saving at least 300 lives.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

New links

I finally updated my blogroll with some new links over to the right there. Moved the previous new links into the other lists. By the way, there's a big flap going on at Daily Kos about Blackwaterdog and progressive sites that are supportive of Obama vs progressive sites that are not. Oh, well, at least Balloon Juice is safe -- oh, wait...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Great line of the day

Montreal Simon writes about Wikileaks:
...those jealously protective of the privileges of unaccountable state power will tell us that people will die if we can read their email, but so what? Different people, maybe more people, will die if we can't.

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow

Just when I am convinced about how predictable everything is, something like this happens: NASA Finds New Life Form.
There is still wonder in the world.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Gag reflex

With all the police violence at the G20 protests, this video finally seems to have triggered the media's gag reflex:

This is the video which Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said must have been tampered with to delete some supposedly awful thing done by Adam Nobody. So now the Special Investigations Unit is reopening its investigation.
The National Post editorial board writes:
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair ... suggests the few seconds of footage missing from the video of Mr. Nobody’s arrest “very likely … sheds light on why the man was arrested, and why force was used.”
OK. But he doesn’t know, and we can’t help noticing he doesn’t seem very interested in finding out. In any event, last we checked, freedom from police brutality is not a right Canadians waive while being arrested.
The Toronto Star editorial says:
The Nobody video shows a half-dozen officers arresting him; yet no one can identify the officer throwing the punches, and a bogus badge number was written on the arrest sheet.
This looks like police shielding themselves, before, during and after behaving badly. It’s worrisome. And indefensible.
Blair has even lost the Toronto Sun:
We are long-time supporters of Chief Blair . . . We have also said there shouldn’t be a full inquiry into policing at the G20.
But Blair looks like a scrambling man spinning stories. It makes us think he’s hiding something.
A police source told the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington, “The chief has lost the room.”
On this one, the chief has lost us.
And maybe we're all realizing now that the police violence at the G20 protests was more than just a few "bad apples" In today's testimony to the Public Safety Committee, Mike Leitold, a lawyer with the Law Union of Ontario, described the broader pattern of illegal searches and harassment of activists in advance of the G20:
“We received reports leading up to the demonstrations” of 29 instances involving visits by RCMP officers to the work places, schools or homes of protest organizers, he said.
In the week leading up to the G20, he said, the Law Union received dozens of reports of young people being surrounded by armed police while walking down the street in Toronto and forced to undergo searches “without reasonable grounds” by the officers.
Leitold said the police also repeatedly cited “fictitious” powers to justify questionable searches during the summit. An inquiry should find out who ordered what he described as a “blatant pattern of bad-faith searches” by police and “a pattern of proactive targeting of activists that began well in advance of Saturday, June 26.”
He also raised concerns about the use of “excessive force” by police during demonstrations at Queen’s Park and what he said was the breach of rights of those who were detained, including their inability in many cases to access a lawyer quickly or to be brought before a judge “in a timely manner.”
It’s vital to find out how this happened and who directed police conduct during the G20, Leitold said.
You know, I read a couple of stories about this type of thuggish police behaviour toward protesters prior to the Vancouver Olympics.
Maybe its more than a pattern, its a procedure.
Is Scary Cop Lady the new face of Canadian policing?