Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great line of the day

John Cole writes about Rick Santorum's plan to give a foreign policy speech at a jelly bean company as a tribute to Ronald Reagan:
Those weren’t firecrackers you was the entire staff of The Onion shooting themselves in despair.

Shared sacrifices

As the poorest people in Canada find themselves working at their lousy jobs for two extra years before they can qualify for $500 a month in Old Age Security, I am sure they will be comforted by the hardships that MPs will also be experiencing in the name of austerity:
Members of Parliament will be giving up their first-class tickets on short-haul flights like the popular Ottawa-Toronto leg. Now only flights over two hours will qualify for first-class privileges at taxpayers’ expense. The frequent flyers will also be forced to look for bargains. Except for long flights to their ridings, MPs will only be allowed to purchase flights at Air Canada’s “Tango Plus” fare class, which is the second cheapest of five available options.
Wow, what sacrifice!
The disgusting parsimony of the Harper Conservatives makes me sick and angry.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What film industry?

Film tax credit won't return:
Premier Brad Wall says his government will not reinstate the film employment tax credit cut in last week's budget, but it is willing to consider other ideas on how to support the industry.
What the Wall government doesn't seem to understand is this:  without the film tax credit, in a North American market where filmmakers can get such a credit just about anywhere else, Saskatchewan doesn't have a film industry anymore.
So nothing like this will ever be happening here again:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can Mulcair fight the good fight?

As best I can, I have maintained my amateur status regarding the NDP leadership race by learning very little about any of the candidates.
But I have liked what I did hear about Thomas Mulcair. I gather he can be difficult to get along with sometimes, but I wouldn't be surprised if the NDP party organization needed some new blood and an "outsider" like Mulcair can provide that.
But actually, I don't really care what kind of NDP leader he is.
What I care about is whether he will be a good Leader of the Opposition.
Canadian opposition to Harper's ideological agenda is both widespread and deep. But its disorganized, waiting for a leader to coalesce around.
Will Mulcair take on the role of fighting Harper tooth and nail? Will he fire up Canadians to fight with him?
Will he be able to articulate a coherent anti-Harper strategy, and gather together enough support from across the country to save Old Age Security, keep us out of war with Iran, and prevent new abortion legislation?
Can he fight? That's my question.

New comments now

OK I deleted the Haloscan comments and enabled the Blogger comments, so I hope this now will work across all of the various blogger homes.
Let me know by email if it doesn't work -- cfornssler (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Great line of the day

From the Jurist responding to Christian Paradis refusing to resign and Harper refusing to make him:
as usual, the Cons think law, order and accountability are only for people they don't like.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Therefore, God?

My daughter was just telling me about the Singularity philosophy and others of the "I can't understand it, therefore God?" ilk -- and I was somehow reminded of The Philosophers' Song:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Comments update -- use "ncr" after my blog address

So I wrote to Echo about the comment problem and this is the response:
Your website URL which is associated with your Haloscan account and which is registered in your dashboard is:
"". The "" domain is a separate domain, that's why you cannot see appropriate comments on that address.
Google has recently started a new thing with Blogger in which people from different regions are redirected to regional versions of the blog's address. For instance, an Canadian trying to get to is redirected to the address
Please check the changes in the Blogger made by Google recently:
So I checked out this page, and yes, Blogger is redirecting some people to a version of my blog called ".ca" instead of ".com" --and which version the comments are on, who knows? I can't find them on either anymore.
But here is a fix I figured out -- if everyone changes the title of my blog in their bookmarks to "" (for "no country redirect") then everyone will be seeing the same version of the page, and hopefully this will be the version where the comments are.
So let's all try that, and stay tuned...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What did 94 Conservative candidates know, and when did they know it?

Sixth Estate has a brilliant roundup post gathering together all 94 of the ridings where fraudulent or harassing phone calls have now been reported:
It’s become increasingly clear that there was not one effort to suppress votes during the 2011 election: there were several, some with robocalls, some with live callers, some with just plain idiots participating.
But there is one aspect of this scandal that hasn't yet received the attention it should have -- the cui bono question, who benefited?
The Conservative MPs who got elected due to these tactics -- or who lost but not for lack of trying -- need to be held to account.
Sixth Estate says later in a comment that
Given the scope of the operation, it’s almost inconceivable that local candidates would have been informed. In fact, whoever was responsible probably stayed away from sharing too much with individual candidates — less opportunity for leaks/objections that way.
Yes, that's true. But ultimately the individual candidates are responsible for EVERYTHING that was done in their ridings during a campaign.
The heart of the in-out scandal was how some Conservative candidates allowed their riding accounts to be used by the national campaign to launder national expenditures and get fraudulent reimbursements.  So its not as if local campaigns would not also be culpable in this scandal -- regardless of whose idea it was or where the phone call originated, local input would have been crucial to write those phoney redirection scripts.
When we hear during election campaigns about signs being defaced or removed, the media doesn't hesitate to phone up the offending campaign and go after the candidate for an explanation -- so why, in this scandal, have the MPs or Conservative candidates not been asked to explain what they knew and when?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Comments problems?

For the last two days, when I open my blog, the "comment" form is embedded in the text rather than showing as a popup. And all of the previous comments seem to be gone. I am not sure what is going on but I have emailed JS Kit about it -- maybe I have done something, or they have.
Does anyone else have this problem? If so, email me at cfornssler (at)

Here comes the sun

Beautiful weather here for the last few days -- it feels like spring today.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It lives!

No matter how hard the Harper Cons and their supporters try to pooh-pooh and minimize it, the robo-call scandal keeps growing and growing and growing. CBC News today:
An investigation by CBC News has turned up voters all over Canada who say the reason they got robocalls sending them to fictitious polling stations was that they'd revealed they would not vote Conservative.
Although the Conservative Party has denied any involvement in the calls, these new details suggest that the misleading calls relied on data gathered by, and carefully guarded by, the Conservative Party.
On the At Issue panel, the pundits concluded the Elections Canada report will be key to advancing the story, whenever it comes -- with some hint that the next trial balloon to be floated is that Elections Canada really can't be trusted because they have it in for the Harper Cons...

Sunday, March 11, 2012


For years I have confused Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, with Rowan Atkinson, AKA Mr. Bean. When I have written about the profoundly disappointing lack of leadership in the English church over the last decade in regard to gay marriage -- and how this has split the Anglican congregation as a result -- I kept typing "Atkinson" by mistake.
But when I read William's latest idiocy maybe I'm not confused at all.
Williams really IS a turkey-head, isn't he.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rush is taking the rest of them down with him

A hundred advertisers bail on right wing radio:
To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory...They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).
It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch...

Friday, March 09, 2012

Get those LOLcats outta here!

The Internet testifies at a parliamentary committee:
“All right, we'll carry on,” Mr. Preston sighs, removing a sloth from his lap and passing it gently to an aide.
“Like!” someone calls out.
“Like!” someone else calls out.
“Re-sharing!” someone calls out even louder.
“Headdesk,” the Prime Minister says.
“Steak, caramelized onions and Stilton on a baguette,” a voice says calmly as three baby pandas roll across the room and out the other door.
“Sushi from Omi!” another voice chimes in.
“Honey Crisp apple and a bagel. At my desk. Sigh,” says one who presents only as a purple egg.
“Why do people keep telling me what they're having for lunch?” the chairman inquires, gazing fondly after the pandas.
“I'm sorry,” a page apologizes. “That's Twitter.”
“I am hungry,” the chairman admits. “I'd buy us both lunch, but I've just given all of my money to Mr. Kumalo, a Nigerian prince.” He taps the side of his nose knowingly.
“Cherry cupcake?” 11 million babies seated in flowerpots ask kindly from the Pinterest section.
“No, thank you,” the chairman says. “Can we please just continue with our witness and – for heaven's sake, why are three-quarters of the people here naked? All right, Mr. Toews, yes, yes, someone give that walrus a bucket, in your duties as … ?”
“First!” someone shouts out from the back, followed quickly by: “Too long; did not read. You are so brave! Hugs! Thanks for sharing your story. This sucks. Check out my blog! Manolo Blahnik shoes! Yves Saint Laurent shoes! Authentic! Free shipping! $39.99! RON PAUL 2012! RON PAUL 2012! RON PAUL 2012!”
“What?” Mr. Toews asks. “What is that person shouting about? What's he even saying? None of that has anything to do with the issue at hand.”
“Well, I'm sorry, Vic,” Tony Clement explains, with a shrug. “You invite the Internet, you're going to get a comment thread.”
T'was brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Because shut up, that's why

I think the word has gone out -- everybody just SHUT THE F**K UP about the robocalls scandal.
The NDP are still talking as are the pundits but the Harper Cons know the media won't keep covering it if nobody on the Conservative side says something stupid again.
Which works unless there's something new to talk about.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Saturday, March 03, 2012

"We are propelling the War Canoe"

Its fascinating to read the Canadian blogs today.
The Galloping Beaver front-pagers are doing a bangup job keeping us up-to-date on the robocall scandal: among others, here, here, here, here, here, and most recently here. And Alison gathers up the stories here and RossK is all over it here. and Dawg here. The Sixth Estate has assembled the definitive list of 77 ridings where hoax phone calls have been reported. Buckdog notes how the media is responding to Con spin even though the strategy to blame 31,000 complaints first on the Liberals and then on Elections Canada voting lists should be laughable. Fern at Dammit Janet calls it crowdsourcing and says
We are propelling the War Canoe...the blogosphere and twitterverse will have a grand time hunting the evil-doers down.

Friday, March 02, 2012

"Mistakes were made"

Ken Mehlman's apology for going along with the Bush campaign's anti-gay ballot initiatives in 2004 isn't quite to the scale of McNamara's apology for lying about Vietnam, but in terms of the damage done to thousands of Americans, its closer than one might think.
Cowardice is never an acceptable excuse.