Friday, March 29, 2013

Harper uses Chinese pandas to avoid Canadian people

Bob Rae on the TV last week, with a throwaway line to the press who asked him about the group of dissident Con MPs:
If they wore panda suits, maybe the Prime Minister would pay attention to them.
And Edstock at the Beaver gives us this great poster:

Again it was embarrassing to see how blatantly Harper and his handlers used the pandas to avoid meeting the Aboriginal walkers.  This CBC story describes the disgust which greeted Harper's cowardly decision.  A St. John's Telegram editorial says:
But take it out of the realm of politics and into the world of simple politeness — a group of young Canadians, aged 18 to 21, walked 1,600 kilometres through a Canadian winter to bring a message to Ottawa.
The least the prime minister could have done is put their effort on par with a photo-op with a pair of pandas.
Thousands of Canadians turned out to meet with the walkers when they arrived in Ottawa:

More Aboriginal walkers are on their way to Ottawa.

UPDATE:  Just found this Gable cartoon, too:
  (Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello darkness -- the powerful anti-pipeline commercial

From the Coastal First Nations: The Sound of Silence: CFN release commercial reminding British Columbians of Dangers of Oil tankers.  Paul Simon let them use his song for this cause.

Here is the CFN report on the impact of an oil spill due to the Northern Gateway project.

Great line of the day

d r i f t g l a s s writes about the buildup in the United States to the Iraq War, and flags one aspect I had not understood or appreciated before -- how many in the media and the Washington beltway used the war fever as an excuse to bash the leftists who opposed it:
When the crisis came, many good people were misled by war criminals who lied and lied and lied and turned those good people's sense of duty and their faith in their civic institutions against them. And from my vantage point as a deeply flawed and failed human being, the good people who were defrauded and terrorized into making a mistake do not require anyone's forgiveness.
But when that crisis came and they were given complete freedom of movement, professional Conservative public intellectuals took that opportunity to whip out a gun, leap up on the table and use their privileged positions in the public square to threaten to waste any Hippie who opened his fucking pie-hole.

And that I cannot forgive.
Words we need to remember here in Canada, as the Harper Cons lead the bashing of Trudeau and Mulcair and anyone else who opposes their "action plan" BS.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Our national Harper headache

How often do the Harper Cons send out a press release that uses the phrase “Harper Government"?
About eight times a day.
Yes, its true -- every four hours, just like a headache pill, some poor civil servant is emailing the media another "Harper Government announces..." missive:
..between September 21 and December 11 (when the question was tabled), the federal government sent out 449 press releases in English using the phrase Harper Government.
So, about eight times every weekday, a government organ issues an official communication branded with the name of our prime minister. You can double the figure if you include the French version.
These were no mere passing references: Of these 449 press releases, I counted 412 slugged with a title that began “Harper Government….” followed by a suitably impressive verb, such as “helps,” “invests,” “boosts,” “supports,” “appoints,” “highlights,” “encourages,” and “commemorates,” among dozens of others.
My favourites:
“Harper Government Helps Gluten-Free Bakery Deliver New Product Line,”
“Harper Government Highlights Role of East Coast Privateers in the War of 1812,”
“Harper Government Showcases Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,”
“Harper Government Agreement Will Bring Versatile New Oat Variety Closer to Market,”
and “Harper Government Supports the 2012 Women’s Wrestling Championships.”
Does Harper think we will forget who is the Prime Minister if the PMO doesn't keep reminding us?
Or maybe its just another attempt by the staff to make Harper easier to live with.
Remember Rick Mercer's story during the prorogue crisis of 2008?
...while the nation wondered if the government would fall, junior Conservative staffers were ordered to be outside 24 Sussex Drive by six-fifteen in the morning. Their job was to stand there in the dark, with the temperature well below zero, and wait for the PM to applaud, wave and sing "O Canada" loudly as the motorcade pulled out of the gates and drove Stephen Harper to work.
Harper, by all accounts, actually believed that the young people were there of their own accord and represented a groundswell of love and support for his actions. Staffers in the Prime Minister's Office know that he is easier to handle when being applauded and not questioned. This way, nobody has to suffer at the hands of the inconsolable bear.
As long as they keep churning out "Harper government" press releases, maybe nobody has to stand around waving at him on cold Ottawa mornings anymore.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Government of the Blue Meanies

This is so amazingly mean-spirited and petty, its actually embarrassing to read.
In October, 2011, the Harper Youth in the Privy Council Office worked all weekend just to disappear Parks Canada's participation in announcing a new national park.
And the adults who run Parks Canada had no choice except to listen to these know-nothing jerks and twist their ceremony into knots to try to do what the Harper Cons wanted:
...the carefully wrought plan started to unravel days before the event when a vetting team at the Privy Council Office began to pick apart the agenda, the news release and two background documents... officials demanded a raft of changes, many of them designed to quash Parks Canada’s identity at the event.
A so-called “backgrounder” for handout to news media, for example, erased the agency’s name altogether....
“No Parks Canada banner — the brown and yellow is ugly. Please stop using this,” an unidentified official demanded in a note....A PCO note said to purge all three Parks Canada officials from the dais, and to find a politician to be the MC...Harper’s central communications unit also demanded unspecified changes to Kent’s prepared speech, but the minister did not accept them.
In the end, Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle had to sit the in audience, not on the stage...
In a courageous show of defiance, they used the banner anyway.  I'll bet someone got fired for it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We saw Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers perform, and later attended a Liam Clancey concert when the group had broken up -- a memorable evening because afterwards we were part of the group that sat around with him and gassed about music and Ireland and Canadian beer.

Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Good luck, Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald has had a liver transplant.
He has always been one of our favorite commedians -- hope he returns to good health and good form:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

They have no shame

The Harper Cons spent $21 million on those boring Action Plan ads last year.

Rick Mercer was ranting about this last fall. And back then, it was a mere $16 million they were talking about spending.

A million here, a million there, pretty soon we're talking about real money!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun -- Live At Prince's Trust Concert 1987 - YouTube: ""

From 1987 George Harrison and Ringo Starr with Elton John, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper and Phil Collins at The Prince's Trust Concert.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013

Off with their heads!

The NDP are proposing to abolish the Senate. Good for them, and wouldn't it be good for us.
What a useless, pointless, parasitical, insipid and boring organization.
Not only that, but we would save more than $100 million a year if the Senate was gone.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Being stupid about porn

Heather Mallick explains why Tom Flanagan is saying stupid things about child pornography, and why it matters
“It’s a real issue of personal liberty,” [Flanagan] said, amid cries of “That’s disgusting” from the largely First Nations audience who had come for another kind of discussion entirely. “To what extent do we put people in jail for doing something in which they do not harm another person?”
Flanagan was dumped from the CBC, condemned by Harper and rightly so. But that obscures a more important point, which is that Flanagan is sincere.
For he is an ideologue, and ideologues are always sincere. It’s what makes them dangerous. Concepts like untrammelled liberty are clear spring water to them, and real life, as it is lived by small soft-limbed splayed children weeping with pain and terror on camera, is irrelevant.
Take freedom of speech. Ideologues don’t think there should be limits, which is why they so dislike Human Rights Commission rulings for black people barred from restaurants. Take personal liberty, which ideologues say is infringed on by the long-gun registry, by border guards finding child porn on the laptops of travelling Catholic bishops.
Flanagan is saying that watching child porn is a passive crime. Police worldwide say with all the passion they can muster that it’s not.