Saturday, August 30, 2014

What a strange week

What a strange week it has been -- horrible bus crashes and nine-year olds with Uzis and Russia invading the Ukraine but lying about it while the American media flips out about Obama's suit colour and England flips out about ISIS -- and I flip out because Shaw in Saskatoon doesn't carry the new TSN channels yet.
Maybe its time for September Song.

Or maybe someting a little cheerier!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shorter, on the government jets

Shorter -- why the Harper Cons couldn't decommission four of its six Challenger jets:
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
In fact, the Harper Cons will likely end up buying two more if they can find some place to hide the bill -- because really, its cheaper in the long run, economies of scale and all that....

Wrong side of history

Well, in one sense, I guess you could argue that Harper is right when he says that bringing to justice the murderers of Aboriginal women is a law enforcement matter. Ultimately, of course it is.
The problem has been that Canadian law enforcement hasn't been finding out why so many Aboriginal women are missing or murdered, and who is doing it.
And the Harper Cons have zero credibility on this issue, anyway, with their funding cuts to the Sisters in Spirit initiative and transferring the money to the RCMP.  If our justice system isn't part of the solution, that means it is part of the problem. And this is why an inquiry is needed, to find out why it has been too easy for Aboriginal women to disappear in our society, and why their murderers are not being brought to justice.
As Trudeau says:

The prime minister has shown himself not to be simply . . . just out of touch with Canadians on this issue, but also on the wrong side of history.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jaywalking in Ferguson

I found this report on Daily Kos to be shocking and horrifying
Ferguson makes 2.6 million dollars a year from court fees. In 2013, the court "disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household."
There's your smoking gun. If it seems the town of Ferguson sees protesters as something less than human and more like cattle that have escaped their pen, it may be because the town has been "farming" their mostly-black population as a vital source of revenue for a good long time. In Ferguson, a ticket for jaywalking can be the gateway to repeated jail stays, homelessness, and a lifetime of poverty.
The white paper which Hunter is discussing is here.
So maybe this helps to explain why Michael Brown was trying to get away from a jaywalking charge -- he didn't have the $275 fine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Doesn't Canada's official languages commissioner have better things to do than investigate John Baird’s tweets?

Is this the goal, to make the commissioner's office look ridiculous and trivial?
If so, they're succeeding.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Today's flying pigs

Flying pigs were in the news today.

Justice Minister Mackay actually said that the Harper Cons are still considering tickets for pot possession and he expected us to believe it.

Next we'll likely be told that the PMO is reconsidering letting federal research scientists talk about global warming and the CRA is finishing its coercive charity audits.

Why don't they have a protocol for an officer-involved shooting?

One of the many things I don't understand about the Ferguson police department is why they apparently do not have a protocol for dealing with any shooting in which an officer is involved.
It is a routine in Canada when an officer shoots a civilian, that the officer is suspended, an investigation is done right away by a neighbouring police force, and a prosecutor from another jurisdiction is often used to evaluate possible charges.  We might not believe or support the result, but everybody knows what steps need to be taken.
But in Ferguson, they seem to be struggling with these basic steps, and the credibility of the police force in this little town, and the confidence of the entire justice system in Missouri is being destroyed.
Its difficult to see how it will end, because every time things start to calm down, the incompetent Ferguson police release another meaningless tidbit to smear Brown some more.
Overall, I get the impression that nobody is in charge.
On CNN, Jake Tapper says "this doesn't make any sense"
But as the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Or, in Saskboy's version:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ferguson police shoot Brown in the back again

So six days after the shooting, Ferguson police suddenly decide that Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery? The cynicism of this ploy is incredible.

That was then, this is now

This is becoming painfully stupid.

 Now the braintrust in our PMO think they can get Canadian medical associations to do their dirty work for them by sponsoring anti-Liberal ads next fall.  And they want to spend $5 million of our dollars on this bizarre project.

These are the same guys who ignored doctors last year when they protested the Harper Con decision to deny medical treatment to refugees. And they ignored doctors last month when they protested the Northern Gateway pipeline.

But that was then, this is now.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Pottery Barn Rule

Reading today's news about Iraq -- Obama warns of long-term strikes -- I conclude that the United States is now caught by the Pottery Barn rule -- you broke it, you bought it.
President Barack Obama justified the U.S. military’s return to fighting in Iraq Saturday by saying America must act now to prevent genocide, protect its diplomats and provide humanitarian aid to refugees trapped by Islamic State militants on a mountain ridge near the Syrian border.
“This is going to be a long-term project” that won’t end and can’t succeed unless Iraqis form an inclusive government in Baghdad capable of keeping the country from breaking apart, Obama said at the White House.
As much as they will want to, the United States basically can't just leave Iraq alone anymore -- this artificial construct of a nation with its corrupt central government and divergent, turbulent regions will never be able to withstand attacks from groups like the Islamic State -- and in the unlikely event that they ever do form an inclusive government in Baghdad, then there are still the Kurds and the Iranians and the Syrians and the Saudis all around who will be wanting to pick the bones clean.
I think they're stuck.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Really? Is that all you've got?

Really, Harper Cons? Is this the best you can do? Is this all you've got?
Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney used his parliamentary email account to circulate a Conservative attack on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau over the Liberal leader’s 2011 visit to a mosque in his Montreal riding....
Neither Kenney nor Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, nor Veterans Minister Julian Fantino nor, even, the Prime Minister’s Office or its boosters at Sun Media — who all pushed the same allegations — bothered to note that Trudeau’s visit to the Montreal mosque came in the month before the New York Times reported on the mosque’s alleged al-Qaida link.
Nor did they mention that the Defence Department document quoted by the Times was by then four years old, and based on reports of al-Qaida bad guys who wafted through the mosque in the late 1990s, more than a decade before the honourable member for Papineau popped in...
The Liberals maintain that if the Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah mosque really is a training ground for religious extremists, the minister of public safety should probably be doing something about it, rather than using it to score points on the leader of the third party.
Well, I guess the marijuana smears didn't work, and the ads showing Trudeau with his shirt off actually backfired -- no surprise there.
So now we're supposed to be all "oooh, terrorism!"? Ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I have a tablet!

So because of my retirement I had to give up my office laptop so I bought one of my own, just another good old lenovo think pad which I'm used to using now.
And I also wanted a colour version of a kindle so I could use it for cookbooks -- I like my paperwhite kindle well enough for reading, but its really no good for cooking or for cooking websites, because its just black and white.
But then I wasn't sure about how flexible the kindle fire would be in Canada in terms of its operating system, so instead I bought a little Google Nexus 7 Tablet and do I ever like it!
We both miss the IT departments we used to have at work, so we are dealing with a small local company that basically does the same stuff as the IT department used to do for us -- buys the hardware, installs the software, and gets everything set up the way we want it, and answers any questions we have.
Next step is to figure out how to use my phone as a wireless hotspot for the tablet.  And I'm thinking about getting something that will connect us to Netflix, though there's already more stuff on TV than we have time to watch anyway.
I am appalled to realize that I have four -- count 'em, FOUR -- email addresses now.  And I had to buy an address book just to keep track of all my logins and passwords.
When us baby boomers start dying off, there will be millions and millions of lost webpages and email accounts that nobody will have the passwords to access.
Oh well, I won't care....

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Dr. Grumpy has a post titled Memories... about the lessons he learned when his father helped a stranger one day.

It reminded me of one of my own most distinct memories of my mother:

She was at the bus stop downtown one day when a woman with a young child started to cry. The woman told Mom that she had left her purse on a bus and had no money to get home and she couldn't think of anything to do except to check on every bus that came to the bus stop to see if her purse had been found.

My Mom immediately gave her $20 for a cab home, and made sure she had a key to get into her house.

Later that day the woman and her husband came over to my Mom and Dad's house to return the $20 -- the husband was overcome with gratitude that a total stranger would help his family, and he gave my mom a "praying hands" figurine.

A year later, when my mom was dying of cancer, that figurine was one reminder for her that her life had been meaningful, that she had made a difference.

She died almost 40 years ago, and I still miss her.


Shorter President Obama on why the United States "tortured some folks' after 911:

When the going gets tough, how could anyone expect America's leaders to respect its Constitution?
Of course, what Obama doesn't mention is that they had a President who was telling people to go shopping, and a Vice-President who gleefully set up his own CIA to run the country, and a National Security Adviser who never gave a second's thought to national security and a Secretary of Defense who was hellbent on starting wars. No wonder Americans were scared.

Saturday funnies

To start your Saturday, here's some goat balancing fun:

Chèvres en équilibre - goats balancing on a flexible steel ribbon - YouTube: