Saturday, January 29, 2011

Words to live by

Over at one of the dog posts on Balloon Juice, a commenter quotes the epitaph that Queen Victoria wrote for her favorite dog::
“Here lies Dash, the favorite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, by whose command this memorial was erected. He died on the 20th December 1840 in his ninth year. His attachment was without selfishness, his playfulness without malice, his fidelity without deceit. Reader, if you would live beloved and die regretted, profit by the example.”

The scariest thing ever

No, not this one:

This one

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things fall apart

I wonder if Harper and the Conservatives hadn't better try to finesse an election sooner rather than later -- like before he turns down a stadium project, and before the air farce purchase falls apart, and before Rob Ford starts pissing off conservative Torontonions.
But why in the world would Harper think that corporate tax cuts are the issue to send Canadian voters scurrying to the polls to give him a majority he yearns for?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sign of the times

You can tell what a society values by what its people spend their lives working on.
In medieval times, stonemasons would spend their whole lives building a church.
In our times, it appears that lawyers will spend their whole lives fighting one lawsuit.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Government commercials

Has everyone noticed how many Government of Canada commercials are on TV lately? There's the Canada's Action Plan spots, and those bizarre "your kid's head is like an egg" spots, and tonight I saw how Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation is busy protecting my money.
Sort of a warm, fuzzy feeling, isn't it, to know how much money my government is spending just to talk to me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Imaginary friends

DougJ at Balloon Juice observes how often pundits rely on imaginary friends as sources for wildly inaccurate social observations
It’s amazing that in this so-called information age such a huge amount of our discourse—not just the Beck/Palin part of it but the serious, respectable part—is driven by reminiscences of hunchbacks, magical dolphins, nonexistent Applebee’s salad bars, Stagger Lee-style cab drivers, and so on. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why this is so. Bob Somerby’s been at it for ten years and he doesn’t seem to have gotten anywhere with it. It’s probably something for anthropologists of the future to sort out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Godwin chronicles

Dave goes Godwin. And if you think he's gone too far, remember this?
During the past week, while the nation wondered if the government would fall, junior Conservative staffers were ordered to be outside 24 Sussex Dr. by 6:15 in the morning. Their job was to stand there in the dark with the temperature well below zero and wait for the PM to appear. Their instructions were to applaud, wave and sing O Canada loudly as the motorcade pulled out of the gates and drove Stephen Harper to work.
Mr. Harper, by all accounts, actually believed that the young people were there of their own accord and represented a groundswell of love and support for his actions. Staffers in the Prime Minister's Office know that he is easier to handle when being applauded and not questioned.
It sounds like Harper will now be making sure that nobody like Henry Morgentaler will ever get an Order of Canada ever again -- instead we'll see a lot more of this:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jerk du jour

What an appalling way for a father to act.
Jerk is the kindest description. And what a burden this self-important, self-righteous, loud-mouthed jerk must be to his son and his whole family.
I ran into many awful parents when my daughter was involved in competitive sports, but the parents of 12-year-olds were, hands down, the worst of the worst. And I talked to many coaches whose dream was to coach a team of orphans.
HT the Rev Paperboy

Best title ever

From TBogg:
Everybody Was Blood Fu Libeling

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama's speech

Here is what Arizona felt about it:

I read some criticisms of the cheering at Obama's speech, and it startled me at first, too. But then I read this in a comment thread:
I think the cheering was cathartic—this is a close-knit place and the UMC has been at the center of everything since the event. My colleagues there have commented that the students (like the rest of the city) have been truly shell-shocked by this.
So, OK.
As Obama continued, I found the cheering less annoying and the speech itself came into focus. This was the line that I remember most clearly:
in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.
It was the little girl's death that affected me the most. This was when I started to cry
Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life. “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.”
If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

It's the media's fault!

I had a hunch several days ago that Republicans would deflect the responsibility for their violent threats to the media. Now Palin is doing it too.
If only I could be so prescient with the stock market.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Great line of the day

From Jane Hamsher on how Sarah Palin's complete collapse of leadership on the Giffords shooting has doomed her political career:
You want to act recklessly? Fine, drive a race car. Put out oil fires. Climb the Himalayas. You do not have the maturity or the judgment to be President of the United States. Further, Palin’s retreat into self-pity and victimization in the wake of the shooting demonstrates that she is utterly devoid of self-reflection, completely unable to acknowledge her failure to gauge the dangers inherent in the situation at the time, or learn from her mistakes. She acts like a sneaky teenager. She lies. She pushes others out there to take the hits for her, incapable of even acknowledging her role as a political leader who consciously exerts influence over how her followers should interpret and respond to events.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Clown Car Republicans

The so-called Tea Party "movement" in the States was always a joke and now the people who they elected are acting like clowns, including circus stunts like reading the Constitution right out loud, and holding meaningless and illegal votes.
Bring on Fearless Freep!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

An existential epiphany

As Canadian fans ponder what happened, the Onion provides some perspective on how we are all just specks of dust floating through the universe without purpose:

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Great line of the day

Dawg writes about Harper's outstanding record of hiring incompetent people:
From the Rights and Democracy sideshow to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner and now apparently to the CHRT [Canadian Human Rights Tribunal], we can see a pattern clearly emerging: incompetent, tyrannical managers and/or ideologues appointed to difficult and demanding positions by the Harper administration, and spectacularly flaming out.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Auld lang syne

Sorry for lack of blogging -- had a touch of the flu today.
But I just wanted to share this happy new year moment with everyone:

It's always worth remembering that, however dull your new year celebration was, at least it wasn't this bad!