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!