Monday, February 28, 2011

Great post of the day

From John Cole:
A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Strange days indeed

Dr. Grumpy's recent phone call with the Megalithic Suxshit Insurance Company:
Mr. Voice: "Hello, Megalithic Suxshit Insurance Company, can I help you?"
Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Dr. Ibee Grumpy. In the past 2 days I've faxed you the same form on a patient 3 times and..."
Mr. Voice: "We haven't received a form from you at all, Mr. Grumpy."
Dr. Grumpy: "...and each time I do you guys call a few hours later to say you haven't received it yet."
Mr. Voice: "What number are you faxing it to Mr. Grumpy?"
Dr. Grumpy: "It's Dr. Grumpy. I faxed it to 1-800-FAX-HERE, the number printed at the top of the form."
Mr. Voice: "Mr. Grumpy, that's the wrong number. You should be faxing it to 1-800-SUX-SHIT. Where did you get that other number?"
Dr. Grumpy: "It's the only fax number on the form! It's at the top of the page, right next to a sentence that says 'Please fax this form to the following number.' "
Mr. Voice: "Just because it says that on the form doesn't mean you were supposed to fax it there."
Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, but if the number to fax it to ISN'T the one on your form, how do I find out what the number is that I'm supposed to use?"
Mr. Voice: "You need to request that number by sending us a fax."

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's still fish and it still stinks

The words of Rosanne Rosannadanna still ring true.
Joe Warmington already has a column up about the Fifth Estate story on the Toronto G20 protests. He writes:
Bizarre arrests looking like assaults, horse tramplings, cops violently whacking people with batons for no reason, kettling, people shot with rubber bullets all in the wake of a real attack by a real group of vandals that the cops ignored.
It was hardly Toronto Police’s finest hour.
...The G20 is a rotten fish in every conversation concerning policing here. It’s a stench that won’t go away until somebody at the helm says in a free country they won’t stand for regular citizens being treated this way.
In the documentary, the most astounding comment by Toronto police chief Bill Blair was when he said "We then had a riot to try to suppress."
WTF? If a riot is "a sudden and intense rash of violence", then it was the police who were rioting in Toronto eight months ago.

One of the things I still find unnerving about the C20 protests is just how scared the police were.
This fear even came though in what Blair said last night, talking about how police had to "prevent criminality"
It is particularly evident in the Scary Cop Lady video -- the plainclothes police are tense, frightened, yelling at everyone to Get Back, justifying their own aggression by acting as though they are in imminent danger of violent attack from the crowd -- yeah, sure, a bunch of teenagers with cell phones and cardboard signs?
So who was it that convinced police there would be so many violent Canadians in the crowd that they should be scared of?

Jihadis and all that

So Bob Rae described the PMO staff as "25-year-old jihadis":
"... this government just doesn't have the imagination, political will, or the willingness to let other people do things.
"If they can't control it, if the 25-year-old jihadis in the prime minister's office can't control it, it doesn't happen. and that's what's wrong about this government. That's the pathology I talked about two weeks ago, and that's the pathology that affects everything that moves in this government."
Hrumph, hrumph! Let the pearl-clutching begin about how extremely rude Rae is to call ideological, ignorant young people "jihadis".
Would the term "Hitler Youth" be more acceptable?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

That was then, this is now

‎"We find the actions of the government, firing upon its own citizens, to be outrageous and unacceptable"
That's what Harper says now, but remember this, Stevie?
Eight months ago, this girl was just a thug who somehow deserved to get shot for pleading to police.

And remember this one, too.

Don't miss the Fifth Estate on Friday:

HT Canadians demanding a public inquiry into Toronto G20

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just come up with a proposal, won't you?

Here's an actual memo sent to the stupidest guy on the face of the earth from the next-stupidest guy:

Let's play with this a bit:
Memo to Bev Oda from Stephen Harper
re: Issues w/ various international problems
We need to do something really good for women and children. We also need to solve abortion. And birth control, what about that too. Are you coming up with proposals for me to send around? Thanks.
And here's another one:
Memo to Peter MacKay from Harper
re: Issues w/ various countries
We need to get the troops out of Afghanistan as soon as we can, so we can get one of the military transports painted white and red for me. What about buying those new airplanes? And we need to do something about the Russians in the Arctic. Are you coming up with proposals for me to send around? Thanks.
Gee, this governing stuff is so easy, isn't it -- just dash off a quick email to a subordinate and toodle off to lunch.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guess where we're going?

Next steps

If Mubarak had resigned yesterday, then Suleiman could have taken over. But because Mubarak was, as someone said yesterday, a "stubborn old man", it took the Army to finally get him out. Likely, in the process, Suleiman has been totally discredited too -- though perhaps that is no loss.
But I think now the democracy movement in Egypt will find their next challenge will be to get the Army out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Great post of the day

Ta-Nehisi Coates describes why we have to maintain the right to abortion:
Like most people, I have deep problems with the termination of life--and that is what I believe abortion to be. Still a decade ago, I learned that those problems were abstract, and could not stand against something as tangible and imposing as death.
My embrace of a pro-choice stance is not built on analogizing Rick Santorum with Hitler. It is not built on what the pro-life movement is "like." It's built on set of disturbing and inelidable truths: My son is the joy of my life. But the work of ushering him into this world nearly killed his mother. The literalism of that last point can not be escaped.
Every day women choose to do the hard labor of a difficult pregnancy. Its courageous work, which inspires in me a degree of admiration exceeded only by my horror at the notion of the state turning that courage, that hard labor, into a mandate. Women die performing that labor in smaller numbers as we advance, but they die all the same. Men do not. That is a privilege.

Cat fight

On tonight's National, the CBC basically accused CTV and the Globe & Mail of shilling for VANOC's spin on the luge story.
I guess we're supposed to think that CTV's news judgement is suspect because they carried the Olympics last year -- but we're not supposed to wonder whether perhaps the CBC still feels some resentment because they lost the Olympic broadcast rights.
That said, John Furlong's statement in the March 24, 2009 email is chilling --"the track is in their view too fast and someone could get badly hurt. An athlete gets badly injured or worse, and I think the case could be made we were warned and did nothing."
Less than eleven months later, Nodar Kumaritashvili died.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Three years?

So I'm reading this story about a drug recall and trying to remember what exactly I bought at the drugstore last weekend and what brands have I got in the cupboard.
And then I get to this sentence, in the sixth paragraph:
. . . the products were manufactured in 2007-08, and usually have a three-year shelf life. So, he said, the six products being recalled would either have been consumed by now or expired.
Well, never mind then.
And apparently it took three years for Health Canada inspectors to conclude there might have been contamination between product lines and possible mislabeling of expiry dates.
Now what does this remind me of?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl Ads

So for the first time EVAH! we got to watch the Super Bowl Ads actually DURING the Superbowl, on the Fox HD channel.
So we got to see this superb story:

and this one:

But we also saw this insulting misfire:

And this one was simply strange:

Another stupid decision

Will anyone be surprised when we find out that cutting off CIDA funds for international teacher education is just another stupid ideological decision made by some Conservative cabinet minister or back bencher who knows nothing about teacher training but has a hate on for teacher federations?
UPDATE: POGGE raises a good point, too -- though rather than deliberate sabotage, I suspect that last-minute political interference in formerly non-political CIDA decisions is responsible for the chaos.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hope for Egypt

If Obama and Clinton can pull this off, then Egypt could actually be rid of Mubarak soon and without more bloodshed.
Give Christiane Amanpour credit, too, for gently pushing Mubarak toward a graceful exit -- her contribution is another example of the kind of positive influence an experienced and trusted journalist can have in world affairs.
Compare and contrast the momentum toward change with the Harper government's "go slow" miscue, putting themselves on the wrong side of history again.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Hundert: using prison as a weapon

After spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in jail, G20 activist Alex Hundert has finally been released, still on bail. Rabble reporter John Bonnar provides Hundert's analysis of what happened to him and to many other protesters:
"It's all been about the criminalization of dissent," said Hundert, "and the state and the police and the Crown cracking down on the people who resist and organize." . . . "the prison system is used as a weapon against communities that might or would resist."
Now we hear national leaders objecting to Mubarak's police criminalizing dissent in Egypt -- while still not acknowledging that this also happened in Toronto during the G20 protests.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Who wants a food sack dress?

My reaction to the news that young women don't know how to iron a shirt or cook a roast anymore is simply "Well, iron this, buddy!" As Enchidne concludes, it is really these lost gender roles that are being mourned -- the days when men brought home the bacon and women fried it up in a pan.

As Miss Piggy says, what would you do with a food sack dress anyway.
And anyone can learn how to cook a roast -- let me google that for you.
Though perhaps some shouldn't try: