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?