Monday, January 30, 2012

Told ya so

I've been considering what to say about Harper's throne speech in Switzerland and the words "told ya so" kept coming to mind -- this type of incompetent, half-baked, mean-spirited governing is exactly what we lefties all knew would happen as soon as Harper got his majority.
Ken Gray sums up The Conservative Death Wish:
So generations of Canadians have been promised pensions under certain conditions and now the ground is being taken out from under them by Harper. Pension reform is just unnecessary yet Harper is not proceeding on logic, but ideology. First Harper caps federal health payments, now he wants to reform promised pensions. The large senior boomer demographic is unlikely to approve.
That allows an opportunity for the Grits and the NDP. “Would you rather have your pensions and health care or a bunch of new fighter jets?”
Here we go again:
Federal Defecit Versus Political Party

From The Bolt via Kinsella

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday cartoon (Oscar edition)

I'm out of it today with a cold, but this is the NFB Oscar-nominated short "Wild Life" about a remittance man in the Canadian old west, with the sound done by Twisted Pair of Regina:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Get a grip

I know local radio news always wants to create some excitement, but every time I turned on the radio today I kept hearing about "gunfire in a fifth grade class" and "diamond heist in Saskatoon" .
Well, not so much.
The gunfire turned out to be just an accidental discharge of a gun in a backpack which an 11-year-old kid brought to school for show and tell and it turned out to be loaded. A little scary, yes, but it was just an accident and nobody was hurt.
And the big diamond heist was one (1) ring stolen from a jewelry store.
Slow news day, I guess.

Best lecture ever

I work at a university and so I keep hearing about how dull it is when faculty just lecture all the time.
Well, here's an account of the least dull lecture of all time.
Thanks, Dr. Grumpy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Popularity contest?

One of the Toronto police officers now being charged for excessive force during the Adam Nobody arrest at the G20 protests is described this way by his lawyer:
This kid has an exemplary record. He's a really good kid, and a good cop.
So is this what it's going to come down to? Is this case of police brutality going to be decided based on whether either Adam Nobody or the police who beat him up are the "good kids"?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Greg Weston does it again

After exposing the gazebo in the middle of nowhere G20 spending debacle, Greg Weston was fired-or-he-quit from Sun media AKA Fox News North.
But he keeps on finding out embarassing stuff about the Harper Cons and letting us know about it through CBC News-- his latest is the millions being spent on an agency that doesn't do anything: EI financing agency spends millions doing nothing:
A federal agency created by the Harper government with great political fanfare in 2008 is costing millions of dollars to achieve pretty much nothing.... the board has no rates to set, no surplus to invest, no contingency fund to manage, and little chance any of that will change in the near future.
The other question they don't seem to want us to ask is, what happened to the $54 billion EI surplus?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The Harper Cons say its critical that Canada sell its oil to the States. And they're also saying its critical that Canada sell its oil to Asia.
No wonder the Harper Cons abandoned Kyoto -- our government won't be interested in energy conservation until Canada hasn't got anything more to sell.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The countdown begins

Responding to yesterday's firestorm, the Harper Cons are now saying all same-sex marriages performed in Canada are legal.
Oh, and it's all the Liberals fault.
And they're going to amend the law right away to make sure that gay couples are treated fairly by the courts.
So don't worry, be happy.
But as I commented on another blog, I am done with giving the Harper Cons the benefit of the doubt. I'll believe they'll actually amend the residency requirements law only when I see them bring it to the Commons and whip their caucus to support it.
And if they actually do bring in a piece of legislation to which their base is profoundly opposed, just because its the right thing for a government to do, maybe it would be a sign that the Harper Cons are starting to think of themselves as a government instead of a party.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shamed before the world

Show of hands, please. How many people expect that the Harper Conservatives will actually do anything to reverse the ridiculous legal opinion from their Justice department about the validity of same-sex marriage?
How many expect they will dither around until the case gets to the Supreme Court in three or four years, so they can tell their base that "activist" judges are to blame for throwing out their ridiculous legal position?
Now, the melon-headed lawyer who provided the same-sex marriage opinion is the one who lost the argument on medical marijuana. But while we're waiting for the court to overturn his arguments again, the damage to Canada's international reputation is incalculable. The world is being told that Canada "Says Marriages of Foreign Gays Invalid"-- Chicago Tribune, Reuters, AFP, Australia, New Zealand, England -- and about half of these reports are also saying the government actually has "invalidated same-sex marriage" for non-Canadians. As Montreal Simon writes, this "has hurt and humiliated gay couples all over the world."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hey, here's an idea...

Reading Ross K's list of stuff the Harper Cons are doing to "celebrate" the War of 1812 gives me an idea.
Maybe if the gay pride parades across the country promised an "1812" theme this year, the feds would give them money?
How about some rainbow flags mixed with the Union Jacks?
Commander Brock look-alike contests?
There's lots of costumes. We could have floats of "1812 drag", with feathers and plumes and medallions and fancy hats
1812 has lots of fireworks potential
And there's even a navy connection!
So what's not to like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Looking at photos from the Detroit auto show made me think of this song:

and this one too:



First place in the National Geographic photo contest. The photographer writes:
Grand Prize Winner and Nature Winner - SPLASHING: This photo was taken when I was taking photos of other insects, as I normally did during macro photo hunting. I wasn’t actually aware of this dragonfly since I was occupied with other objects. When I was about to take a picture of it, it suddenly rained, but the lighting was just superb. I decided to take the shot regardless of the rain. The result caused me to be overjoyed, and I hope it pleases viewers. Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia (Photo and caption by Shikhei Goh)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Concern trolls

The Harper Conservatives care so much about the Liberals that they are warning us how damaging it would be to elect Bob Rae as leader.
Bless their hearts.
Rae must be the choice that scares Harper the most.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

More 2012

From Failblog: There’s not going to be an Apocalypse, now finish those TPS reports:
job fails - Monday Thru Friday: There's not going to be an Apocalypse, now finish those TPS reports


You know what is truly stupid? In this story on how the feds replaced two artistically significant Canadian paintings with a routine portrait of the Queen just before Bill and Cathy Cambridge's visit last June, we find out just how the minister John Baird, the deputy minister, staff in the minister's office, and a batch of other bureaucrats at Foreign Affairs have been spending their time -- worrying about the appearance of the lobby of the Foreign Affairs building in Ottawa.
With about ten days' notice last June, bureaucrats were instructed by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's office to put up a portrait of the Queen in the lobby of the Lester B. Pearson building in downtown Ottawa.
. . . "There was a lot of discussion between the Minister and Deputy Minister on Friday, and despite other recommendations, they want to go with the idea in their message at the very end of this," said one facilities manager, referring to an email by Baird's adviser to "take the red portraits down."
Glad to see we have our priorities straight in Canada's "Harper Government".
And I'll bet they've also spent more than a few hours trying to figure out how they can change the building's name.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Great line of the day

From the commenters to Sarah's Please don’t throw me into the santorum:
Santorum could easily come from behind.

New links

Some new links over on the right -- I'm increasingly interested in longer reads, and so I collected a batch of sites that post lengthier and depthier articles.
Plus Charles Pierce now that the American election season is heating up.
And Mark Bittman for the recipies. I got his How to Cook Everything cookbook for Christmas and am enjoying it -- great pancakes.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Great line of the day

The Gazetteer on the results of the Iowa Caucus:
fully 75% of the Heartland's GOP have now officially bought their tickets to take a ride on the crazy train.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The most popular song in the world

30 million views and counting.
A great song in any language, but the mixture of English and Tamil shows something about where our worldwide culture is going and how quickly we are getting there.

2012 at last

And I'm so not looking forward to this.
No, its not 2012 itself that's the problem -- it's all this Mayan calendar stuff that we'll be hearing about all year long, until next Dec. 22.