Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great campaign photos

In Toronto
Mainstreeting in Toronto's Chinatown

Announcing the Canadian Learning Passport.
Canadian Learning Passport / Passeport canadien d’apprentissage

In Vancouver, under the red umbrellas
Round table in Vancouver / Table ronde à Vancouver

Another super-bug

I just found out about another super-bug -- a new kind of pneumonia coming soon to an intensive care ward near you! Whitecoat says
The infection is resistant to most antibiotics and about 40% of infected patients die. But hey – keep popping those Zithromax and Levaquin prescriptions for your coughs and nasal congestion. CRKP is already resistant to those. The only thing that will cure it is colistin which, in one study, caused renal failure in 27% of patients who took it.
The good news just never stops.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A noun, a verb, and "coalition"

Stephen Harper seemed to think all he would need to say to win a majority this time is a noun, a verb and "coalition".
Which has now turned around and bitten him in the ass, as predicted.
So what's next for the Conservatives? Nonsensical "income splitting" proposals and mythical family tax cuts that might take effect when today's grade schoolers have already graduated from high school? While Harper calls non-white Canadians "you people"?
For today's walk down memory lane, Dawg reminds us of 16 Harper Conservative scandals.
And here's an interesting factoid:
Harper is presently "liked" by 43,838 people on the CPC Facebook link. Ignatieff -- after all those hundreds of relentless negative ads -- is already at 41,874 on his Facebook page.
The Conservative Party is liked by 10,326, while the Liberals are at 11,296.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why don't they ask the League?

Barry McKenna at the Globe and Mail says the coalition "story" is just too easy for the media to do.
“It’s an easy story to do,” Mr. Waddell explained. “All you have to do is take what people say and repeat it. You don’t have to actually think about tougher issues and tougher questions.”
Well, if the media can't think of any questions themselves, they should just contact a few of the League of Extraordinary Canadians -- I'll bet they'd have a few tough questions for the Harper Conservatives.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Iggy's turn

Finally, its Iggy's turn. His first campaign, and Canadians are going to like what they see:

As for the Harper Conservatives, the bloom is off the rose. Curiosity Cat said it better than I could
The Harper Tories are going to find themselves scrambling over the next five weeks to persuade their own supporters to stay the course and ignore the contempt charge and the other scandals popping up all over the place. . . .
With so many seats being won in the past election with thin margins, the Harper Tories have their work cut out for them to avoid losing more than 30 or so seats.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you didn't know who Elizabeth Taylor was, see Tom and Lorenzo's tribute post. She lived a crazy life in many ways, but she demonstrated true courage 20 years ago, when she focused on AIDS and raising money for AIDS research, virtually singlehandedly getting society to stop treating people with AIDS like they were lepers.


Baby pandas are so cute.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Well, I see I'm likely going to maintain my unblemished record of always being wrong about whether an election is coming or not.
But I will bet that the first thing Harper will do after the writ is dropped is take the F-35 issue off the table by announcing that he's reviewing it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A definite maybe

When Mount St. Helens blew up and nobody knew whether it would happen again, I heard a radio interview with a learned and many-degreed geologist who said something along the lines of "the situation is extremely flexible. It could stabilize significantly, or deteriorate within the next several days. However, the uncertainty could continue for some time to come."
In other words, it will either get better, or get worse, or stay the same.
I feel the same way now about predictions on whether an election is imminent. Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe we won't know for a while yet.
But overall, I am tending toward "maybe no" -- Jack Layton's hip surgery, the Harper Conservatives' wavering poll numbers, the Carson scandal, the airplane costs, the potential for voters to realize that Iggy actually is a likable guy.... all conspire against a spring election, I think.

Are they kidding?

Remember when the Washington press convinced themselves that Fred Thompson was a sexy presidential candidate because he had a hot wife?

Remember when the Washington press convinced themselves that Rudy Giuliani was a competent presidential candidate because he gave good press conferences after 911?
Well, they're doing it again.

Gag limit

I believe there's a limit to the personal attacks that Canadians will tolerate.
And the Conservatives have now passed it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Great line of the day

From Rev Paperboy, a prediction:
Tune in next week when he tells us that us that the government being found in contempt of Parliament is an example of how Michael Ignatieff hates democracy and is just some Johnny-come-lately who is playing games with the economy and is the son of Russian aristocrats not a "real immigrant"and besides LIBYA! FREEDOM! Democracy! Whisky! Sexy! We are at War! Don't switch horses in midstream!
And if that doesn't work, expect him to try proroguing the house again, just to "save it from itself" and delay the budget so that he can "focus on the economy and the war".
Yep, that sounds about right.

The Obama Doctrine

Fascinating article by Marc Ambinder on the back story of Obama's no-fly resolution and what it means for US strategy in the Middle East.
First, why did Obama flip?
They argued that if nothing was done, despots and beleaguered leaders everywhere would vow never to repeat the “mistake” of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who yielded power without foreign military intervention. Iran, in particular, would find itself with an incentive to continue to spread its proxy forces to other countries and further repress its own citizens. And Rice has made the reinvigoration of the United Nations one of her prime goals as ambassador. The legitimacy of that body was at stake too, she argued.
Second, what is the goal
It was important to the U.S. that Libyans and the world understand that this coalition of the willing was more than a U.S. rhetorical construct. An hour before bombing began Saturday, Clinton spoke to the press in Paris. Asked why military action was in America’s interest, she gave three reasons and implied a fourth. A destabilizing force would jeopardize progress in Tunisia and Egypt; a humanitarian disaster was imminent unless prevented; Qaddafi could not flout international law without consequences. The fourth: there’s a line now, and one that others countries had better not cross.
Third, what does this mean for the future
The development of a new doctrine in the Middle East is taking form, and it could become a paradigm for how the international community deals with unrest across the region from now on. The new elements include the direct participation of the Arab world, the visible participation of U.S. allies, as well as a very specific set of military targets designed to forestall needless human suffering.
Though the Libyan situation is quite unique - its military is nowhere near as strong as Iran’s is, for one thing – Obama hopes that a short, surgical, non-US-led campaign with no ground troops will satisfy Americans skeptical about military intervention and will not arouse the suspicions of Arabs and Muslims that the U.S. is attempting to influence indigenously growing democracies.


When Alberta MLA Raj Sherman kept talking about vendettas against doctors and coverups of lung cancer deaths, I started to think his accusations were just too bizarre and he was maybe a little nuts.
But now we're finding out that accusing health system critics of being mentally ill is one of the sleazy tactics that has been used for years to discredit doctors and shut them up.
No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slouching toward Tripoli

Declaring war on Qaddafi is the worst choice we had, except for all the others.
Our soldiers face the blood-dimmed tide yet again, but how we could just leave the people of eastern Libya and Benghazi to be slaughtered by their own government?

Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

Nothing like the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem on St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Deep blue sea

Between the devil of another disastrous civilian bloodbath and the deep blue sea of US involvement in another Middle-East war, the Obama administration has finally dived in up to their necks.
Of course, they should have realized a week ago that they were going to have to make this decision, because Qaddafi and his son are megalomaniacs. But they were probably hoping against hope that the army would flip like they did in Egypt. No such luck this time. Wishful thinking is not a foreign policy, as much as we would all like it to be.
Booman says
Don't dick around with no-drive zones and military advisers. Either stay out of it entirely, or go get the bastard and put him in the Hague.

A new Simon's Cat video


It appears that 50 heroic nuclear technicians are standing between Japan and catastrophe.
A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, became the only people remaining at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday...
Tokyo Electric Power, the plant’s operator, has said almost nothing at all about the workers, including how long a worker is expected to endure exposure [to radiation.]
The few details Tokyo Electric has made available paint a dire picture. Five workers have died since the quake and 22 more have been injured for various reasons, while two are missing. One worker was hospitalized after suddenly grasping his chest and finding himself unable to stand, and another needed treatment after receiving a blast of radiation near a damaged reactor. Eleven workers were injured in a hydrogen explosion at reactor No. 3.
Nuclear reactor operators say that their profession is typified by the same kind of esprit de corps found among firefighters and elite military units. Lunchroom conversations at reactors frequently turn to what operators would do in a severe emergency.
The consensus is always that they would warn their families to flee before staying at their posts to the end, said Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at three American power plants...
The workers were withdrawn for a time Wednesday but are apparently now back at it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sounds familiar

As they raced to avert a potential nuclear catastrophe, Japanese officials said Tuesday that they were considering a risky plan to spray water from a helicopter to prevent new fires in a pool of spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The Official Plan from the Japan nuclear disaster is sounding more and more like BP's fill it up with junk plan from last May and we know how well that worked out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

$26 million

All those hundreds of Economic Action Plan ads have cost us $26 million.
And I don't think that even counts all those other federal ads we're also seeing, like the lawyer ads from Immigration Canada and the eggshell baby Health Canada ads.
Steve V says
really this is bullshit so pungent my nose hairs are burning.

Tsunami impact

ABC News Australia has a series of unique photos showing the before-and-after of the Japanese tsunami.
Here is one good news story about a man rescued at sea after being swept away by the tsunami.
And here's a chilling photo:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tweet of the day

If you live in Wisconsin, don't forget to set your clock back 50 years this weekend.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Unless the Libyan rebels get help, this isn't going to end well

They're driving to battle in pickup trucks.
I'm no military strategist, but it doesn't look like these rebel "soldiers" know what they're doing militarily.
Juan Cole provides the latest updates of how far the rebels are advancing -- best case, they link up with other rebels closer to Tripoli; worst case, it appears Gaddafi could use his remaining air force to attack rebel positions now that a sandstorm is over.
NATO and the UN may soon have a decision to make.

Shake the dust

Yes, I know there's a little whiff of the Deteriorata about this, but its still pretty neat:

Shake the dust from Anis Mojgani on Vimeo.

Complete poem is here
Do not let a moment go by that doesn't remind you that your heart beats 900 times a day and that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean.
Do not settle for letting these waves settle and the dust to collect in your veins.
Thanks, Crystal.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Harper Youth

Analyzing last night's bizarre dissing of Ignatieff at a supposedly non-partisan event, Steve V describes the Harper staff:
we are dealing with a classless, childish, hyper-partisan bunch of zealots, anything is possible, and they PROVED IT AGAIN LAST NIGHT!

Whatever happened to . . . Charlie Sheen?

I know, I know, with our busy lives, its just too easy to lose track of what some of those less-than-major Hollywood celebrities are doing these days.
So if you've been wondering where Charlie Sheen has been hiding this last while, here's just the article you need to bring you up to date.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

They'll learn eventually

It took a few years, but once the people of Canada all began to benefit from universal medicare in the 1960s, following its introduction in Saskatchewan, a curious effect began to be noticed in elections across the country -- conservative parties couldn't get elected anymore unless they stopped yapping about dismantling it.
Republicans are going to experience the same thing, sooner or later. Right now lots of Republican governors have been yapping about how they're going to get rid of Obamacare.
They'll learn.

Great line of the day

The federal appeals court finds against the Harper Conservative financing flim-flam and Boris says:
Ya can't prorogue yer way out of this one, Stevo.

G20 gag reflex

With publication of CCLA/NUPGE report, even the National Post has reached the limit of its gag reflex and is now calling for a public inquiry into the G20 police riot:
Police tactics at the G20 so demonstrably exceeded the threat posed by protesters that a comprehensive public investigation is warranted.
The Ottawa Citizen echoes the call:
The new report adds weight to the argument that the abuses by security forces outside the summit were built into the system, not just the result of a few officers misunderstanding the rules or going rogue.
"Given the scope and severity of the violations of rights that occurred during the G20 it is difficult to view this situation as anything other than a failure of policy and training," the report says.
And that sums up why a thorough inquiry is needed.
Oh, and we can no longer say that not a single person has been convicted following the G20 protests - an inept career criminal who was not part of either the Black Bloc or any protest group has now been convicted of setting one of the two police car fires.