Saturday, December 31, 2011

Minimizing the horror

Remember how the right-wing had to mock and demonize the 9/11 widows to try to cover the Bush-Cheney malfeasance that lead to 9/11?
Now that the Harper Cons have dismantled the gun registry, will we see their supporters give the Montreal Massacre the same treatment? Fern Hill writes:
Despite what Kady O'Malley tweeted yesterday, I do think [Chris Jones] deserves to be known forever as 'That Guy Who Heartlessly Mocked The Montreal Massacre In A Sports Column'.Or at least as a prime example of 'Wot? Me Worry?'
(Predictably, the comments on the Globe story are full of 'honest mistake, get over it, lefty wimps', etc.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

What could possibly go wrong?

Another news story in the "What could possibly go wrong?" category -- WHO "deeply concerned" by mutated birdflu research:
The World Health Organization issued a stern warning on Friday to scientists who have engineered a highly pathogenic form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, saying their work carries significant risks and must be tightly controlled.
The United Nations health body said it was "deeply concerned about the potential negative consequences" of work by two leading flu research teams who this month said they had found ways to make H5N1 into a easily transmissable form capable of causing lethal human pandemics.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Shorter Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:
Hearings? We don't need no stinking hearings! Uranium is MUCH safer than liquid chlorine -- what could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And we're off!

We're travelling until next Wednesday (Dec. 21) so I'm not sure how much blogging I will be able to do. In the meantime, enjoy these:
Creepy Christmas Carols for a Less Cheerful Holiday
When 5 cents is too high a price: 26 destructive fictional therapists
The challenge of English pronunciation and other grammatical fritinancy (ht Nancy Nall)
And don't miss this response to the homophobic Troy mayor -- Jack Layton was so right, wasn't he -- love is better than anger, hope is better than fear.
See you next week.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Whose fake park? Our fake park"

No, this is not actually an Onion story, even though the AV Club is on the Onion website: Real Occupy Wall Street occupies Law And Order's fake Occupy Wall Street
Bending reality even further, this real occupation of Law And Order’s fake occupation was quickly answered by real cops who shut down the fake Zuccotti Park, rescinding the crew’s film permit and forcing them to disassemble their fake camp—including their fake NYPD barricades—and then disperse alongside the real protesters. There were no arrests made, but everyone involved was immediately imprisoned inside a surreal, existential hall of mirrors.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The least surprising ruling in the history of jurisprudence

Of course the federal court ruled that Gerry Ritz broke the law. The 1998 law says the people who own the Wheat Board, the farmers, have to be consulted before the government can dismantle it. The Harper Cons couldn't be bothered.
[CWB chair Allen] Oberg said farmers should have the final say over changes to their grain marketing agency.
"As farmers, we pay for the CWB, we run it and we should decide what happens to it. We are pleased the court has agreed that the minister acted in violation of laws created in 1998 to empower farmers and give them a direct say in any changes contemplated to the CWB’s marketing mandate. In light of this ruling, the government should stop steamrolling over farmers’ democratic rights.
"The minister now needs to do the right thing, obey the law and hold a vote — as he should have done from the beginning."
Fat chance.
As Brian Keith playing Teddy Roosevelt said, Why spoil the beauty of the thing with legality?
The CBC headline about this story shows that the media spinners are hard at work: Tories to reform wheat board despite court ruling -- well, you can call it "reforming" if you want, but what they're actually doing is abolishing the Wheat Board.
Ritz says the court ruling "will have no effect on continuing to move forward for freedom for western Canadian farmers." Yes, the freedom to wave goodbye to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Just when you thought it was safe to come out from under your desk

Via Balloon Juice:
Gingrich to Republican Jewish Coalition crowd: “I will ask John Bolton to be the Secretary of State.”


Shorter Con Tony Hillyer:
The true victim here is, of course, me.
He made shooting gestures at the Opposition when the Harper Conservatives voted to dismantle the gun registry, and then it's all OUR fault for finding this offensive.
As Montreal Simon says:
Gawd. I suppose we should be grateful that he didn't take his dick out and wave it like a flag eh?


That loud noise you hear is another heavy-handed, shoot-the-messenger reaction from the Harper Conservatives blowing up in their face -- chiefs from across the country are standing with Theresa Spense and against John Duncan on the Attawapiskat housing crisis:
Chiefs from across Canada, who are meeting in Ottawa this week, stood one after the other to condemn Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan for sending a third party into Attawapiskat to manage its finances after Chief Theresa Spence issued a cry for help.
Ms. Spence said she was “in shock” when the minister and his Conservative government opted to attack the accountability of Attawapiskat’s financial reporting at a time when her people are in desperate need of shelter.
“It’s very unprofessional and very rude of him to put us in third-party [management] while we are in crisis,” she told reporters. “As we speak today, the people in Attawapiskat – and it’s not just only Attawapiskat but other first nations – are living in tent frames and sheds.”
The chiefs voted unanimously in favour of a motion that calls for, among other things, first nations to stand behind Attawapiskat and its leadership and for the membership of the Assembly of First Nations to ask the United Nations to monitor Canada's actions.
Harper isn't getting very far with his blame-deflection strategy -- even the National Post is publicizing the real story.
The Tyee puts the spending issue into the larger context and points out the profound hypocrisy of the Harper Conservatives:
First Nations inmates... make up 17 per cent of the prison population though First Nations are just 2.7 per cent of the Canadian population. In effect, our prisons are just another First Nations housing program, and a very expensive one.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Grief industry"

Isn't it a shame to see so many people all across Canada exploiting the Montreal Massacre for their own selfish ends -- thank goodness we have Canadian Sports Shooting Association's Tony Bernardo to point out how terribly political these awful people really are.
Not like the sports shooters, who only have our best interests at heart.
Of course, not everyone agrees -- Ecole Polytechnique survivor Heidi Rathjen says:
“Who are they to talk about public safety? Collecting guns does not make you a safety expert, any more than smoking makes one a public health expert.”
Some examples of municipalities and universities across the country who are obviously exploiting the Ecole Polytechnique victims:
commemorative plaque in polished stone, deeply engraved with in circle with 14 small silver disks distributed around the circle. Inside, and under the university's logo and the legend "In Memoriam" are the names of the 14 victims and the date of the massacre
Ecole Polytechnique itself.

 In a park, 14 coffin-like benches of pink stone are set in a circle. A higher slanted pink panel is visible in the foreground
Vancouver:Marker of Change -- known sochulists there, of course.

 a roughly edged flat grey stone inscribed with the names of the women murdered, and dedicated by the engineering community at McMaster
McMaster University Engineering building: outrageous! Don't they get government funds?

 a long straight walk down the middle of a narrow park is bordered on both sides by trees and roads. At intervals along each side of the path, are series of waist-high boxes
Montreal: Nef pour quatorze reines -- well, what would you expect?

 circular monument  in a park made of multiple grey stones.  The large central stone contains a bilingual inscription in memory of women killed by men's violence. Many much smaller irregularly shaped stone shafts are carved with women's names
Even Minto Park, Ottawa -- why, its within a few blocks of the Parliament Buildings!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Great line of the day

Dr. Dawg creates The Pantsafire Chronicles to document the continual Con lying about gazebos, chandeliers, false rumours, fishing trips:
...when the weather turns colder, the poor folks in Attawapiskat can always stand next to the Conservative cabinet.

Friday, December 02, 2011

The nightmare before Christmas

Another dispatch from the front of the War on Christmas: An Ontario school is replacing their Christmas concert and of course some parents are flipping out.
Be careful what you wish for, people.
As a parent who endured 10 consecutive Christmas concerts -- and I only had two children -- I am cheering.
As I remember it, the schools had to go through conniptions to try to get even a few parents to actually stick around until the end of the concert -- if they started with the kindergarten and went up, then most of the audience would just disappear by Grade 6, leaving the senior classes singing magnificently to an empty house. But if they started with the Grade 8s and went down, the littler kids were exhausted by the wait. The grandparents kept getting in everyone's way to video the event. Meanwhile, the smaller sibs running all over, and the babies crying, were a terror through the whole evening.
All in all, the whole experience was the nightmare before Christmas. I felt particularly sorry for anyone who had kids spread through several grades or -- even worse -- the divorced parents or grandparents who had to attend concerts in two or three different schools. The horror!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Smashy smashy

As disappointed as I was to find out that some of the leading G20 protest leaders I had defended for the last year actually did endorse the juvenile and pointless Black Bloc "smashy smashy" that undermined the credibility of the whole G20 protest movement, I still can also understand why people remain suspicious about whether police leadership endorsed the G20 police riot too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tweet tweet tweet

This is hilarious.
During a school visit by the Kansas governor Sam Brownback, a teenager in the audience, Emma Sullivan, tweeted to her 65 followers that said governor "sucked" and "#heblowsalot".
With typical Republican over-reach, a member of the governor's staff called the school principal. He then called Emma and demanded she apologize to the governor.
Then her sister called the media.
So now, everyone in Kansas and across the United States knows about Emma Sullivan and her tweet -- the story is being covered by Associated Press and it's become a "free speech" issue in the States.
Yes, I think we can conclude that Brownback actually DOES blow a lot.


Shorter Globe and Mail:
I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the NDP are advertising between elections! Why, that's just like what the Conservatives have done for the last five years! How unseemly!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner describes the politics of ruthlessness:
Each time the tone seems to have reached bottom, down it goes again. When the House of Commons marked Remembrance Day, each party stood to say a few words honouring the dead, but MPs from the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois needed unanimous consent to speak because they are not officially recognized in the House of Commons. They didn’t get it because some Conservative MP, or MPs, objected. The next day, with the support of the NDP, they tried again. Again the Conservatives blocked them.
Blocked them. From saying a few words in honour of the dead. Why? Who knows? The Conservatives never bothered to explain this shameful deed.
Just another day in paradise.
Didn't somebody once say something about reaping what you sow?

End of the beginning?

With the gradual dismantling of Occupy camps in Canada, I think we are witnessing something end. But it is not over -- it is evolving.
As Star columnist Catherine Porter says:
You can't evict a conversation.
The thousands of Canadians who focused their energy and ideas through Occupy are not going to just disappear and go home. Montreal Simon says:
In a cold dark land of the walking dead, they are living life like it should be lived.
Their joy in the community they have created is palpable:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

That was then and this is now

I was thinking this morning about what Canada was like on November 20, 2005.
Paul Martin was Prime Minister. He had negotiated a national day-care program and the Kelowna Accord. With 12 straight years in power, the federal Liberals had implemented progressive legislation like gay marriage and banning corporate political donations, progressive programs like the Court Challenges program and financial support for Gay Pride parades. It looked like we might decriminalize marijuana. Canada supported the Kyoto protocol. We had a firearms registry. We had the Canadian Wheat Board.
Gone, all gone. And we keep on going backwards. Next on the Harper Cons chopping block, I expect, will be the Canada Pension Plan. They'd dismantle Medicare if they could.
This is what we've lost:
“For [Stephen] Harper, a national daycare plan bordered on being a socialist scheme, a phrase he had once used to describe the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. For [Paul] Martin, whose plan would have transferred to the provinces $5 billion over five years, the national program was what Canadianism was all about. "Think about it this way," [Martin] said. "What if, decades ago, Tommy Douglas and my father and Lester Pearson had considered the idea of medicare and then said, 'Forget it! Let's just give people twenty-five dollars a week.' You want a fundamental difference between Mr. Harper and myself? Well, this is it.”
Please God, give Canada another progressive government and we promise not to piss it away this time.

Friday, November 18, 2011


While the media pearl-clutches over Pat Martin's "eat my shorts" comments, nobody else really cares. And all the publicity actually made Canadians aware of how the Harper Cons are trying to ram through their agenda. The exposure just might get the Cons to back off a bit.
And for all the talk about how the election gave Harper Cons a mandate to do whatever they like, remember what happened to the last guy who boasted about how everybody loved his mandate?

Monday, November 14, 2011

"I shouldn't have showered with those kids"

As Gawker says about this quote from the Sandusky interview:
Jerry, that is never not true.
Now other victims are coming forward.
Also, read Charles Pierce.


Another I Know You Are But What Am I moment from our Harper Conservatives -- Tories accuse opposition of hindering agenda:
Mr. Van Loan notes that at the same time as the NDP and Liberals accuse him of shutting down debate with time allocation and closure motions, they are trying to stop any of his bills going forward.
I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the Opposition would actually oppose what the government is trying to do!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Great line of the day

Joe Scalzi gets to the heart of the Penn State scandal: of the great stories of science fiction is “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” which was written by Ursula K. LeGuin. The story posits a fantastic utopian city, where everything is beautiful, with one catch: In order for all this comfort and beauty to exist, one child must be kept in filth and misery. Every citizen of Omelas, when they come of age, is told about that one blameless child being put through hell. And they have a choice: Accept that is the price for their perfect lives in Omelas, or walk away from that paradise, into uncertainty and possibly chaos.
At Pennsylvania State University, a grown man found a blameless child being put through hell. Other grown men learned of it. Each of them had to make their choice, and decide, fundamentally, whether the continuation of their utopia — or at very least the illusion of their utopia — was worth the pain and suffering of that one child. Through their actions, and their inactions, we know the choice they made.
Emphasis mine. H/T Nancy Nall.

Wreck of the Edmumd Fitzgerald

And Dr Grumpy has a few interesting facts about the wreck.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Stupid is as stupid does

Wasn't Rick Perry talking a couple of weeks ago about skipping more debates?
Shoulda oughta done it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The least of these

Montreal Simon has a wonderful post about the Occupy movement and the challenge of dealing with homelessness:
I can't imagine an Occupy movement that wouldn't welcome the homeless and the marginalized, because how can you build a kinder, gentler, world, if you reject our poorest, most vulnerable citizens? City officials may use them against us, but how can we not embrace them?
I have been moved by the respectful, patient way the other occupiers have treated them. And by the sight of all those most humble of Canadians, speaking to a crowd and telling others how THEY feel, for the first time in their lives.
My friends who spent several nights at Occupy Saskatoon said that one of its most remarkable aspects was how, for the first time, the homeless people at the camp were able to participate in serious and productive conversations about politics and society and the economy. But as Simon says, its takes an enormous amount of energy to deal with these social problems
I can't help wonder whether whether people are becoming too concerned with occupying a physical space, rather than occupying the world of ideas. ... But what do I know eh? I have to admit that this wonderful baby movement has made me unusually humble.
Can I have an Amen, brother!

Friday, November 04, 2011

You can't always get what you want

Conservatives find out they can't use a private members bill to backdoor a retroactive tax on union members unless Parliament approves it first.
Of course, they might still get Parliament to approve it -- after all, the Harper Conservatives do have the endorsement of almost four in ten Canadians, AKA the most massive and overwhelming mandate EVAH!
But at least they would have to admit up front that imposing gratuitous mandatory financial reporting requirements on labour unions is the kind of ideological claptrap that might well result in thousands of people getting charged hundreds of dollars in retroactive taxes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Great line of the day

Gene Weingarten writes about online journalism and how it makes its money with goofy cat pictures:
“Who, What, When, Where and Why” has now been overtaken by “Huh?”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Would it be wrong to speculate?

Stephen Maher asks why nobody seems to be covering a possible influence-peddling scandal with connections to Harper and the PMO.
Well, perhaps it's because even in his own story, he doesn't get to the point about speculating on possible PMO influence-peddling until paragraph 13. There's all sorts of other juicy stuff in the story, too, about vacations on yachts, jobs with connected construction companies, Revenue Canada officials fired after tax evasion prosecutions, and so on. The PM and his PMO have some 'splainin to do, I think.
And with all the trashing of the CBC that we are hearing from the Harper Conservatives lately, it makes me speculate about what explosive and scandalous news stories Radio Canada just might be working on these days...

Halloween lights

Halloween is the only kids holiday, and in general I think adults should stay out of it and let the kids do it.
But this light show is worth watching.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011


If the NDP select Brian Topp as their new leader, they will regret it.
This man may be a nice guy and a comfortable supporter of the party status quo who won't challenge or confront other NDP leaders. But he is simply not ready to be the Leader of the Opposition.
Here's his latest blistering attack against Conservatives:
"I think their fiscal policies are feckless. And it is time to say so."
Wow. A real Elmer Fudd moment.
Harper and the Cons will eat him alive.

Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game?

Sorry for the lack of posts -- I had some surgery last week to take an old plate off my fibula, and have been recovering since.
I'm still following the news though -- has anyone noticed how politicians don't seem to understand the meaning of the language they are using anymore?
First there was Herman Cain calling himself "pro-life" because he supports personal choice in abortion? Huh?
Then Lisa Raitt seems to think "the economy" should be considered an "essential service" under the labour code -- she might as well just outlaw strikes completely and make it easier for everyone to understand the new power dynamics.
And the Conservatives seem to have confused an election with a wheat board plebiscite.
Around 2020, when the Port of Churchill has collapsed and nobody is growing Durham wheat anymore and farm income has dropped, we'll be hearing people wonder why they ever thought it was such a good idea to get rid of the Wheat Board.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Petty and pointless

How petty and mean are Canadian politics getting these days?
The NDP accused Conservative labour minister Lisa Raitt and her chief of staff of getting free upgrades on Air Canada flights when she was deciding whether to stop the flight attendant strike -- and now the Cons and Air Canada management in turn leak the supposedly scandalous news that Olivia Chow also maybe got an upgrade to fly from Toronto to Ottawa for Jack Layton's lying in state before his funeral.
Olivia Chow was a grieving widow at the time and had no role in deciding whether or not to prevent the Air Canada strike but other than that, completely the same of course.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#OccupySaskatoon photos

I couldn't attend due to some surgery on Thursday, but these are from a Saskatoon attendee, Jay Hall's Twitter account - he says, This is what democracy looks like:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Choosing your side

5f7b4 Technology occupy wall street What Is The Driving Occupy Wall Street Movement? [Pics]
I wrote several years ago that we usually don't get to choose our battles, we only get to choose our side.
Now that the Occupy movement is spreading, and crackdowns are increasingly likely, Montreal Simon says its time to decide. He quotes Truthdig's Chris Hedges:
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I have a right to live without hate

The Ottawa Citizen says:
"The arguments of homophobes are easy enough to demolish in the open, using facts and sense. There's no need to drive such arguments underground. Expose them to the light and they wither."
A noble sentiment, but not true.
The "arguments of homophobes" have been blasted across North America for at least 60 of the last 75 years; they"withered" when civil laws against hate speech gave people enough leverage to shut up the most egregious hate-mongers.
Think whatever you like, but why should I have to see and read and cringe and confront any homophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist or racist crap shoved into my mailbox, or handed to me on the street, or broadcast on radio or TV or the Internet?
I don't need it, our society doesn't need it.
People have a right to live without hate.

The Village has spoken

Ron Paul: Eyebrowgate, Or Just Kill Me Now:
"we can’t have a man in the White House who wears fake eyebrows, and poor ones at that"
Romney the dog-sh*tterer will win the Republican nomination by a hair, I guess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's that smell?

Everything Rupert Murdoch touches turns into sh*t:
the [Wall Street] Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal's true circulation.
The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities . . . the scam was promoted by Andrew Langhoff, the European managing director of the Journal's parent company, Dow Jones and Co, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in July 2007 . . . Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch's right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.

Monday, October 10, 2011


The Globe and Mail reports on the implications of the Insite decision :
The Insite ruling forged a new means to strike down laws if there is scientific or statistical evidence showing that a regulation worsened the danger that an individual or group faces.
It's not so outrageous, really -- in democratic theory, we elect our government because we don't want arbitrary, stupid, ideological laws and, if such laws are passed, then we have courts to strike them down.
But the tone of this article, framed with the right-wing "activist judges"epithet, makes it clear that the Harper government is simply furious. The Canadian Supreme Court dared to tell Harper that his laws should not be "arbitrary" or "grossly disproportionate" -- how dare they!

Wonders of science

Purina in Austria has made a dog-food commercial for dogs.
And it appears to work:

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Oh how I wish he'd go away

Don Cherry used to be interesting because he knew a lot about hockey. But in the last few years the game has moved beyond him. He can't keep up anymore.
And aren't we all getting sick and tired of listening to his "you kids get off my lawn" rants? He had an opportunity to demonstrate some real leadership in Canada toward reducing needless violence in hockey, and he blew it.
Go. Away. We. Are. Trying. To. Watch. The. Game.

This is why people are so mad

from #Occupy Rochester

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ballad of Gordon

RossK is writing a series of posts called Here's to the State of the Golden Era, summing up the legacy of Gordon Campbell.
Makes me embarrassed to be a Liberal.


Twitters about Christy Clark's v-neck, jokes about Elizabeth Warren's appearance, comparing Rathika Sitsabaiesan's cleavage photos, amazement that Alberta conservatives would elect a female leader -- did I wake up in 1970 by mistake?

Never give up, never surrender

Against all odds, facing terrible polls just a few weeks ago, Ontario Liberals win!
The lesson is, never give up, never surrender.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Shoot the messenger

CBC reports that Conservative MPs are deciding not to investigate all the recent Auditor-General reports about government mismanagement and malfeasance.
Well, I guess that explains why the Cons are trying to abolish the CBC, doesn't it.
And NDP MP Guy Caron wonders what will happen to all the auditor general reports still to come over the next four years.
Well, I would guess they're trying to figure out a way to avoid making auditor-general reports public, so we won't even know they exist.
Problem solved.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The grapes of wrath

...and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. . .(Steinbeck)

One of the reasons I love reading John Cole is that when he's wrong, he doesn't hesitate to say so:
So yeah, I’m looking back at my snide post where I called the vanguard of this “trustafarians,” and once again, I feel like an idiot. This may still fizzle out without any real change, but right now, it seems to be building, and the reason it is is because a small group of people went out there and publicly voiced their displeasure with the shit I’ve been sitting on my fat ass writing dyspeptic posts about for the last year, but not really doing a god damned thing to enact change. Yeah, it was some jackasses with a drum circle, and no, they didn’t have a point by point plan or coherent media strategy like some anal retentive douchebags like me were demanding. But they went out there and did something, and it seems to be working. Let’s hope it keeps growing.
And read Charlie Pierce's description of who is at OWS now and why they're there.
Occupy Wall Street

There are limits

As enjoyable as it is to watch the media ferret out scandals about egotistical ministers jetting around on military planes to attend lobster dinners, I think we've maxed out this story line when we start harping about using a military jet to transport an injured pilot back to Canada.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Let them eat cake

Montreal Simon writes about the champagne drinkers on the balcony watching the #OccupyWallSt protests below:
Whatever else these protests are achieving, they are drawing a line between THEM and US.
Today the fat cats laugh.
Tomorrow they'll be sorry...
But I don't think the balcony people are quite as sanguine as they are pretending to be. They don't exactly know what to do, but they can read the signs, too.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore

I've heard people complain that they don't know what the #OccupyWallStreet protest is trying to achieve. But that's the beauty of it -- this is a protest without a goal, so we can all invest in it our own agendas. And that's why its growing, and spreading. Here's a short history of #OccupyWallStreet and who's involved:
There are liberals and conservatives and libertarians and tea party adherents in the crowd. One person described the crowd as not politically “left and right,” but “up and down,” all victimized by corruption in our political and economic systems.
Who could disagree with that?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cargo cult conservatives

John Cole thinks conservatives have become cargo cults:
How do you have a sensible policy debate with people who reject basic facts? It’s like trying to debate members of a cargo cult- the modern GOP carry the crosses but have no idea what it means to be christian. They talk about free markets, but have no understanding of economics. Just say deregulate and tax cuts a lot, and MAGIC WILL HAPPEN. Evolution? LIES! Climate change? LIES! Modern Medicine and vaccines? LIES! KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE! That scooter just magically showed up from the scooter store, like a coca cola bottle from heaven!
The cargo cult analogy is closer than many of us are comfortable admitting, and our media has decided to just cover their eyes and pretend that it’s just two sides of the same coin. It’s crazy.
UPDATE: And I notice Rick Perry is proving the adage that it's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Hubris already? Colour me unsurprised!
Defence Minister Peter MacKay used one of only three search-and-rescue helicopters available in Newfoundland to transport him from a vacation spot last year, CTV News has learned.
In an apparent attempt to dodge reporters, Dechert on Wednesday arrived for the daily question period through a loading dock entrance at the back of the Centre Block. He was dropped off by someone driving a minivan.
Parliament Hill was buzzing Tuesday over news that Ottawa hired management consulting firm Deloitte Inc. to advise the cabinet and senior officials on how to erase the federal deficit by 2014-15. The Aug. 15 contract is worth up to $19.8-million. Because it only runs until March 31, its cost works out to about $90,000 a day.
The session is three whole days old.
And here's the guy they all once thought would do such a great job on setting a Conservative agenda for Toronto:
Mayor Rob Ford has talked the talk on the need for budget cuts. He declined to walk the walk when he had the opportunity on Tuesday morning.
In a significant concession to public opposition and to queasy council allies, Ford voted at the end of a 20-hour executive committee meeting to reject some proposed cuts and to put off decisions on almost all of the others to the 2012 budget process, which begins in November and ends in mid-January.
So after a lot of people went through a lot of misery, in the end Ford deflated like a pricked balloon.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Sometimes I find if very hard to understand Americans.
Why wouldn't they take this man's death seriously? Do they really believe that "you can just go to the emergency room" to get healthcare? Are they so terribly afraid of giving something "free" to supposedly "undeserving" people -- blacks, latinos, poor people -- that they won't set up their own health care system so it can care for their own citizens?
I hear a lot of chat about American exceptionalism -- well, I certainly hope so. I hope this callous attitude is not the norm among civilized nations.
They should be ashamed of themselves.

UPDATE: From Roy:
Forget the Gettysburg Address, forget even "Tear down this wall"; the progress of the modern Republican Party is the progress from "You lie!" to "Let him die!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Your lying eyes

Alison has posted a brilliant Colbert Report video about the 9/ll conspiracy theory.
Basically, we have always been at war with East Asia.

Update: corrected -- thanks, Purple, I hadn't read Alison's reference correctly.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shooting themselves in the foot?

If the NDP pick Brian Topp for their new leader, a man who has never run for public office, are they shooting themselves in the foot?
Well... yesterday he compared himself to Brian Mulroney.
Yes, that will be a winning message, won't it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011


Echo seems to be eating my comments tonight -- hopefully it will fix itself by tomorrow.

911 stories

I dreaded the media approach to the tenth anniversary of 9/11 because in 2001 it took me weeks to stop seeing the towers fall every time I closed my eyes.
And I am now getting increasingly snitty about how we mis-remember that day -- I read about "seeing the first tower hit" when there was actually no real-time coverage at all of that terrible moment -- videos of the first hit were accidental, and were not found and broadcast until hours or days later. Even the TV coverage I saw of the second hit was from across the river, so it wasn't very clear at first what had happened.
And I am also now getting increasingly worried about how our politicians continue to use the attack as an excuse to abuse our civil rights and drive a religious wedge between east and west.
But, in spite of all that, there are some amazing stories now being told about courage, fortitude and sacrifice on that day:
F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Saturday, September 03, 2011


The Toronto Police Board has taken the "unprecedented" step of refusing to promote nine officers who had removed their name tags during the G20 protests in June of 2010.
Well, arresting and jailing a thousand Canadians without cause was unprecedented, too.
Tit for tat.
Go here for the photos from the G20 Justice website showing Toronto police without name badges.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Looking for leadership

With both parties looking for leaders, Liberals and NDP have an historic opportunity right now to choose individuals who will cooperate for the good of the country, either informally or formally.
Will they see this opportunity? Will they take it?
I'm not optimistic -- the NDP are likely still feeling their oats as the Official Opposition ; they will want to see whether they can find another 40 or 50 seats on their own at the next election. And I doubt that the Liberals have realized that Quebec is not likely to return to their fold, even though Layton is gone. So maybe we'll have to wait until they both lose ground in 2016.
By that time, Harper will have fired another several dozen outstanding civil servants, dismantled another batch of important government programs, trashed more of Canada's reputation abroad and thrown many of Canada's "liberal" traditions into the dustbin.
But stay tuned...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We hear you now

Jackman Chiu

As well as his profoundly inspirational legacy, Jack Layton's death also served another purpose this week -- one I think he would have approved of.
His passing was such big news that newspaper columnists, bloggers, and broadcast pundits across the country all just had to write SOMETHING about their reaction to his death and their analysis of the nationwide grief it provoked.
And all this off-the-cuff pontificating gave us a rare opportunity to find out just what our media pundits are really made of -- profound and eloquent, or shallow and mean-spirited?
Some rose to the challenge; others painfully flubbed it, and their failure will not be forgotten.
Basically, most of our newspapers and broadcast pundits -- even here and here -- reacted thoughtfully to the death of Jack Layton, showing respect to his legacy and to the grief felt by hundreds of thousands of Canadian.
But some came up painfully short -- they just couldn't resist taking cheap shots, playing political games, jeering at our grief, feeling sorry for themselves and trying to trash Layton's legacy. In other words, acting like jerks.

H/T Dawg and Alison

UPDATE: Ezra Levant also shows his true colours.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's officially fall

Dr. Grumpy has posted his annual nightmare at Staples post:
When Mrs. Grumpy was wondering when she'd have time to get the school supplies, I volunteered. I figured "How hard can it be? Hell, it's just some pencils and a bottle of glue". DUMBASS!!! . . .
An African street bazaar is an orderly affair compared to this! Deranged parents running on caffeine! Kids running amok! Store clerks running for their lives! And all the crazed parents are trying to read off a list, push a cart, yell at kids, text, and scream into a cell phone at the same time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I guess they just can't help it

Every time I start to think that maybe Stephen Harper's government has grown up and become a real Canadian government instead of short-sighted incompetents, we get something like this -- yesterday's idiotic announcement that Canada is too poor to put up a pavilion at next year's Expo in Korea. We're the only G20 country that won't be there.
Really, Steve? This is what you guys think is appropriate for Canada to announce to the world? Just when we're trying to convince the world that we're a sophisticated and cosmopolitan kind of place to invest money, we start talking poor-mouth and looking cheap. What a ridiculous international embarrassment
Hey, I've got an idea -- if we're so broke, maybe Gerry Ritz shouldn't be spending a million dollars shutting down the Wheat Board? Maybe we shouldn't be building new prisons or buying jets?
Of course, the Canadian pavilion at the Olympics was a "$10 million dud" and nobody at the UN was impressed by Harper's Mounties and maple syrup campaign and the Harperites don't think its their job to protect Canadian citizens when they get in trouble overseas, so maybe the Harper Conservatives really don't have the chops to keep up with the big boys abroad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh, please...

Do you think you guys could wait a day or two, maybe until after Jack Layton's funeral, before you start speculating about improbable leadership candidates and concern-trolling the end of the NDP?


Our dog Sam died this afternoon -- he just couldn't recover from all the health problems I wrote about.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton, Canada's Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior:
Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
...'Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye,
...Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won:
...Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast:
Who....Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
That every Man in arms should wish to be.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sorry for lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.
I have had the flu, plus we have been dealing with some health issues for Sam, our black lab (that's Sam in the picture, with Chillou our other lab).
Last fall, Sam was diagnosed with right-sided heart failure, but this summer he started retaining way too much fluid in his belly -- more than the heart failure would explain -- so this week the vet did a laparotomy operation. Turns out the heart is damaged but not as badly as it could be, and the liver is fine, no tumours, but he is in kidney failure. During the surgery our vet took out two gallons of fluid and he removed the renal capsule to see if that will help his kidneys function a little better. Its not a cure, or even a treatment, but may help Sam continue on with a good quality of life for a while yet. Then today Sam's incision was dripping and it turned out he had opened some of the sutures somehow. After six hours in the vet emergency clinic, they wrapped him up and we will take him to our vet tomorrow to get him closed up again, to make sure there is no infection lurking.
So we will have Sam for a while yet, we hope. He is such a loving dog -- we have never had such an affectionate dog. After his miserable day, following a miserable week, he wanted nothing more than to stretch out on the bed and go to sleep next to my husband and finally we were able to help him up and he lay down with a very contented sigh. When I finish this post, I will carefully lie down on the other side of him and there won't be a happier dog in the world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pining for the fjords

Backward, turn backward, O time in thy flight...
I like Steve's comments about re-introducing the "Royal" terminology for our armed forces:
. . . in noting the rationalization for the latest regressive move by these Conservatives, I'm struck by the absurdity in logic:
"The country that forgets its history does so at its own peril," said MacKay in Halifax
. . . It's a false distinction, as though without the name somehow the brave sacrifices, victories of the past are lesser in stature. Anyone with a ounce of common sense can see beyond simple labelling to note the "proud tradition", my impression of what Canadian soldiers did at Juno Beach doesn't even digest the relevance of name, nor do I see a disconnect from the bravery displayed in present day Afghanistan. . . . Such bullshit, such dribble, insulting to think we need "Royal" again to fully appreciate our history.
Harper is trying to turn back the clock in Canada:
A broader Harper government strategy to bring back the feelings of the “good old days” is behind the move to restore “Royal” designations to the Canadian navy and air force, according to pollster Nik Nanos.
“It’s about turning back the clock,” the Nanos Research president told The Globe. He believes the Harper government wants to focus on “tradition and national symbols” as a way of igniting feelings of national pride.
That's just pathetic. The only people who remember what Canada was like before Pearson and Trudeau are old guys like me, retired or just about. This is hardly a forward-thinking or positive vision for Canada's future.
It reminds me of the Dead Parrot sketch:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Houses as Art

Thanks to Hooked on Houses I just learned that this year is the 25th anniversary of The Heidelberg Project in Detroit. See the photos posted by AgilityNut (and look around the rest of her great website, too.)
Here's some Heidelberg photos from

This is known as the polka-dot house -- people still live there.

Most of the art on the street is made of found objects, AKA junk.

And here is a video about the Heidelberg artist, Tyree Guyton:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just because you're paranoid...

...doesn't mean someone isn't really out to get you.
There sure seems to be a lot of talk lately about how the press should ignore "phoney" civil rights and just go along to get along. And the judiciary is supposed to just fall in line with government policies.
Now we're hearing about how authorities should shut down social networks whenever they are being used for organizing riots or other inconvenient actions -- funny, weren't we just criticizing China and Egypt for trying to shut down the Internet to prevent people from organizing?
And not to mention that our government is discovering how easy it is to revise reality by just rewriting webpages -- good catch, Alison.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I've been waiting for this for more than a year.
Finally, a real judge has had the chance to rule on a typical G20 arrest.
And, unsurprisingly, the judge has ruled that it was the police who were to blame for the violence:
“The only organized or collective physical aggression at that location that evening was perpetrated by police each time they advanced on demonstrators,” Justice Melvyn Green ruled on Thursday. He was referring to a demonstration at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. on Saturday, June 26, 2010.
Green stated police criminalized political demonstration, which is “vital” to maintain a “viable democracy.”


There is no joy in Mudville.

Friday, August 12, 2011

End of the road

I don't suppose the Canadian Wheat Board ever thought there was really any hope.
But they're going ahead and doing the responsible thing by holding a plebiscite on whether farmers support the Wheat Board or the open market for selling their wheat and barley.
And I don't suppose anyone really believed Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz when he insisted the Board would survive.
But now there's proof that it ain't gonna happen. Glen MacGregor at the Ottawa Sun has discovered a new procurement notice:
It announces the government intends to seek an auditor to check the books and “provide reasonable assurance of the total financial impact of the repeal of the Canadian Wheat Board Act and the dissolution or winding up of the CWB after the final pooling periods (expected to be July 31, 2012).”
And if they're wrapping it up by the end of July next year, there won't be any of the usual announcements in July about initial payments for the 2012 crop year. The initial payments announced this year were more than twice as high as last year, reflecting improving grain prices. And I wonder what is going to happen to the Advance Payments Program and any other early payments for next year's crop -- or if there are going to be any.
The Harper Conservatives act like we can sell our grain by Googling it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Showing the rich people we can do what we want

Booman notes this BBC interview with two young English women looting a liquor store and he discusses what America should learn from the England riots:
Different countries chose different ways of responding to the economic catastrophes of the 1920's and 1930's. The Russians became totalitarian. Europe succumbed to fascism. We chose a New Deal. It was a middle road. It provided a safety net and tolerable working conditions. It created a huge middle class. It didn't arouse the far right or far left instincts of the nation, but put them into sleep mode.
Now we're back to 1920's level of income disparity. Conservatives are attacking every aspect of the New Deal. What rich people seem to be forgetting is that the opposite of the New Deal is not some idyllic paradise of free-market bliss. The opposite is rampaging mobs who light shit on fire just to show you that they can do whatever they want. Eventually, that can include burning down your business or your house, or, maybe, even taking your life.
And it's not just income disparity that's a problem. Consider how this all started. A bunch of smart people set up a kind of scam using complex financial instruments that no one can understand. They got rich beyond all imagination, while the rest of us lost our jobs, lost our retirement money, lost, in some cases, our homes. And then we were told that there was no money for our cops, no money for our firefighters, our nurses, our teachers. And next we'll be told that our Social Security check will be smaller and we'll have to wait another year or two to get our Medicare. Meanwhile, the rich, represented ably by the Republicans, refuse to pay one dime in extra taxes.
With that kind of attitude and that lack of accountability, it's not hard to see why some people might start losing hope and might start losing respect for "the system." If the rich don't wise up quick, the scenes from England will be coming to America. Bet on it.
Emphasis mine. Its a lesson that applies to Canada too.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pot, meet kettle

Isn't it priceless that after all the harrumphing and pontificating on the part of the Conservatives and their media supporters about how awful that Nycole Turmel accepted a leadership position in the NDP without admitting her supposedly secret separatist past, we now find out that Transport minister Denis Lebel was also a Bloc member while Tourism minister Maxime Bermier worked for the Parti Quebecois.
And it looks like we're finally approaching the Godwin's Law stage in the Turmel affair.
Questioning Turmel's past association with separatists is now "close to McCarthyism" according to NDP MP Pat Martin -- for sure somebody's going to start talking about Nazis next.

Sounds like something weird is going on in Brazil

This is beyond bizarre.
First, Canadians are reading about how Harper locked himself in a bathroom and wouldn't come out until the speech schedule was changed to his liking at a presidential luncheon. That one hit the Washington Post.
Then there apparently was an unseemly tiff between the media staffs about when photos would be allowed of the two leaders.
And Dimitri Soudas has provided an incoherent "denial" of the bathroom incident (emphasis mine):
Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s director of communications, said the plan was always to do the toast off the top and denied any problems with the Brazilians over the timing.
“I wasn’t engaged on such an issue and I usually am when there is one,” he said. “I’ve checked. This story is false. Bottom line guys, when these things happen it’s because the team is fighting for you guys so you can get access.

Signs of the times

From a Manchester sandwich shop today:
"Due to the imminent collapse of society, we regret to announce we are closing at 6 pm tonight."

And a flyer of advice to the people that the British press are describing as "yobs", apparently now being distributed in London:

Saturday, August 06, 2011

‪I love the internets

Here's a little corner of the internet I'll bet you didn't know about -- a bunch of people apparently learned how to play guitar on the Google Les Paul Doodle and they have been posting the songs they made.


Shorter Boris:
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

Gonna get along without you now

After the Berlin Wall fell, the world thought that the United States had won.
So did the United States.
Reagan talked about the shining city on the hill. Bush the Elder talked about a thousand points of light. Al Gore invented the internet. They elected Bill Clinton who got their deficit under control for the first time since WWII.
They were on a roll.
But they just couldn't stop electing Republicans.
So the world watched while Clinton was impeached over a blow job. Then we watched them electing Bush the Younger. Twice. In the last ten years the world found itself following America into three wars in the Middle East. American politicians sabotaged international consensus on dealing with climate change and on trying to make progress with the Palestinian issue. The final straw was seeing the United States jeopardize the world economy twice in the last four years, by letting Wall Street run wild, and by turning the debt ceiling vote into a six-month debacle.
And its not just the Republicans' fault. The perception of the world is that, if a lot of Americans didn't agree with what the Republicans are doing, they wouldn't keep electing them.
Now the American media is freaking out because Standard & Poor cut America's credit rating. Though the political basis of the S&P action is evident, the downgrade is also a signal that the rest of the world is getting tired of these shenanigans.
An opinion piece in Der Speigel sums it up:
The name "United States" seems increasingly less appropriate. [Hate] has become routine in American political culture . . . reason has been replaced by delusion. The notion of tax cuts has taken on a cult-like status, and the limited role of the state a leading ideology. In this new American civil war, respect for the country's highest office was sacrificed long ago. The fact that Barack Obama is the country's first African-American president may have played a role there, too.
There's no deliverance in sight.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The US government shutdown which won't happen now

With all the criticism of that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Obama debt limit deal, there is one aspect that the critics seem to be missing.
The deal that Obama signed included a "deem and pass" for the 2012 federal budget.
So let's speculate -- if the debt limit had been raised in December, or if Obama had implemented the 14th Amendment option, then what would have happened in September?
Instead of taking the debt limit hostage, the Tea Party Republicans would have taken the federal budget hostage. They would have refused to pass anything and the federal government would have had to shut down.
At least with the debt limit issue, their Wall Street supporters and the conservative pundits were screaming at these guys to get off their butts. Even with that pressure, look how juiced they were to indulge in soap-opera brinksmanship and look how difficult it was to convince them to take yes for an answer and raise the limit.
If this bunch had had the opportunity to grandstand on refusing to approve a federal budget, they would have jumped at the chance. They would have thrown tens of thousands of federal civil servants out of work without a minute of hesitation. And I'm not sure how that would have ended.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


It's creepy.
A while ago I ordered some shoes over the Internet.
few days ago, I was looking up various table lamps and lighting fixtures.
And I also checked out some new knobs for the kitchen cabinets.
Now when I check my usual websites, I am constantly seeing ads for shoes. And lamps. And cabinet hardware.
Somebody really is watching me.

Shooting themselves in the foot?

Steve is right that the Nycole Turmel story speaks to the emerging media narrative that the NDP are cynically trying to be popular in Quebec by pandering to separatists.
By letting this story blindside them, the party has also reinforced the other emerging media narrative about how the NDP is an "immature" political party -- just a bunch of amateur do-gooders and looney leftists who aren't ready to take on the role of Official Opposition.
I think both narratives are profoundly incorrect, but this won't stop the Conservatives and the press from promoting them -- though I would change my mind if it turns out that Turmel was so naive about Ottawa politics that she didn't make sure the NDP caucus was aware of her Bloc membership before they selected her as interim leader.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cover your ears

Sounds like the US Congress is working on a debt ceiling bill that might actually pass their disfunctional political system.
Cue the right-wing hysteria and the left-wing flip-out in three, two, one...

Well, that was weird

I posted a little item about an elderly woman in Ontario who needs to get the governor general's office to award her the Order of Canada, and the rest of the posts in my blog disappeared!
So I deleted the item, and everything else came back.
Noblesse oblige, I guess.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Shorter ethical oil campaign
Canada: we're not as bad as those guys

Black Friday?

Oh, dear
I suspect that today's the day that the big investors will sell, sell, sell, and the stock market will tank.
And the Republicans will blame Obama.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Picking leaders

Steve is right. All the sturm and drang about whether the NDP will "survive" without Jack Layton is just silly. Over the years, the NDP has done a pretty good job picking leaders and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.
That said, I hope they don't have to.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boom goes the dynamite?

So the Republicans have screwed the pooch on raising the debt ceiling and Obama is speaking to the nation tonight.
With any luck, he'll tell the Republicans to sit on it and rotate.
I'm hoping he'll announce he is using the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, and let the Republicans impeach him if they dare.
UPDATE: Piffle.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Triple Putz-Lutz

At the Mahablog, commenter gulag describes how right-wingers are greeting the news that the Norway terror attacker was right-wing extremist:
They perform what I call “A Triple Putz-Lutz.”
This maneuver is not as difficult as it sounds, and happens pretty frequently.
“A Triple Putz-Lutz" is where some Conservative individual or group blames someone or something they hate (which is pretty much everyone except for themselves) for something that happens, find out it’s actually someone who is also a right wing nut (usually Christian), and then try to blame it on Liberals who are trying to discredit Conservatism – because, as we all know, Conservatism is perfect, and can only be discredited by Conservatives being insufficiently Conservative, or by Liberal infamy.
See Small Dead Animals (Socialists are even worse!), Powerline (Just goes to show that concealed carry laws are the answer!), the Other McCain (Just goes to show that Andrew Sullivan needs to apologize for slandering Sarah Palin!), Bruce Bawer (What a tragedy that Muslims aren't to blame!) -- and meanwhile, Little Green Footballs traces the connections between European, English and American anti-Muslim hate groups.


Owling is the new planking:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great line of the day

Carolyn Hax replies to a question about whether to tell the child that their parent didn't want the pregnancy:
Don’t succumb to the temptation of making your origin your destiny.
Don’t read too much into your childhood, either, for that matter, and whether your parents were or weren’t over the moon. Your parents decide whether you exist and whether they’ll do right by you, but they don’t get to decide whether you matter. That’s something every one of us, pampered or buffeted, gets to decide for ourselves.
Emphasis mine.

Woody ‪

Woody Allen was The Onion before there was The Onion.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


News flash -- Neanderthals interbred with early humans:
Conservatives explained at last!

National FU Day

Dr. Dawg posts about the latest outrage connected to the SIU "investigation" of the G20 police riot -- commenter Blawg makes a modest proposal:
Ever since G20 (and on top of everything else that came before) I've been thinking we need a national "Fuck You Day." It would be a day put aside each year on the anniversary of the G20 mass arrests to show peaceful disrespect to police as a reminder of who they work for. Flip them a finger as they drive past in their cruiser, yell "fuck you, assholes" as they walk down the street or direct traffic. That kind of thing. We need police who will respect us, the ordinary people, not the narrow interests of the elite. I'm just a guy, not well connected, not very activist, but I would really like to see something like this happen some day.

Small but mighty

Monday, July 18, 2011

Having fun at someone else's expense

As Republicans continue to paint themselves into a corner on the debt ceiling, the world is beginning to realize that the global economy is being held hostage by a gang of idiots who aren't even listening to their own people, much less to the financial powers that be.
In the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Dan Leger writes about the impact on Canada when the Republicans make the US default on its debt :
In a country that worships economic growth, prosperity and optimism, a bullying minority of politicians is showing itself capable of tossing the whole economy into reverse, killing growth and profoundly affecting the well-being of millions of Americans.
In effect, you’ll have the most powerful economic engine in the world blowing gaskets and spewing burnt oil in all directions. The Tea Party thinks that’s fine.
But it’s not just Americans trashing their own country. If mayhem breaks out there, Canada and large chunks of the world economy will be dragged into the mess.
A U.S. government default will likely cause the treasury bond market to collapse, sending interest rates skyward. Mortgages that are barely affordable now will become unaffordable and people will lose their homes. Jobs will disappear right across North America. And in Canada, which is the largest U.S. trading market, the tepid economic recovery will flop.
The infuriating fact is that it’s all political and it’s all avoidable.
The way the Republicans are acting reminds me of this: