Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Great tweets of the day - animal twitter edition

Some great animal tweets: 

And I couldn't resist including this one too:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Great tweets of the day: All Trump edition

I really do enjoy twitter for all the wit that people share.
And with Trump in the White House, there's lots to be witty about:

Who's training who?

My sister is training one of our dogs for rally obedience and things are going pretty well, I think. Our Molly is a bit of a handful, but my sister really knows her stuff.  
But I must tell her about the tweet I saw today:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Today in impeachment

What a day for the impeachment inquiry!  I'm biased of course, but I don't think Devin Nunes got anywhere with his stupid "boooooring!" comments.  Of course the narrative is complicated and the questions and testimony got into the weeds sometimes, but it was fascinating all the same.
Vindman and Williams were stunning and impressive in standing up for principles.  
Then came Volker and Morrison -- and I didn't realize until I read some of the news stories later that they were supposed to be testifying FOR Trump!  With friends like these..... 
Volker came across as well-meaning but naive, while Morrison tried his best but could only babble on about how the president sets foreign policy -- nobody is saying that Trump doesn't have this authority, just that he based his so-called "policy" on corruption and personal advantage -- and in the end even Morrison had to admit that he couldn't support what Trump had tried to do to the Ukraine.
And I thought many parts of Morrison's testimony were ridiculous --  he said the July 25 call was fine, just FINE. completely proper -- except that somehow it was also so potentially "politically damaging" that he had to talk to White House lawyers about it right away. And he said Vindman shouldn't have talked to those same lawyers because it was inefficient to have two people talking to them.  And he said the call transcript had been put into the Super Double Secret Probation server because of "administrative error" -- oh, really?
I thought this comment from Schiff was great:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Great tweets of the day

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

"I'm not racist! How dare you say that?"

There's something bizarre about the way some people define "racism" (and sexism, and homophobia, etc, but I'll just use "racism" as a shorthand to mean all of these things.)
They recognize it, and condemn it, but just cannot admit that they, themselves, could do it.  Its an odd form of "othering" where the "other" is actually an uncomfortable part of their own personality.
So they can say "I'm not racist, I just don't like black people" (or Aboriginal people or Asian people or whoever) of "I'm not sexist, I just don't think women can do things as well as men can" or "I'm not homophobic, I just don't like gay people". And they remain blithely ignorant of their own racist impulses and behaviour. 
You see, they KNOW that being racist is bad.  So it makes them VERY uncomfortable to think of themselves as racists.  So when they DO racist things and THINK racist thoughts, they have to tell themselves there is actually nothing wrong with what they did or thought because their motives are pure and their actions are just.  They take refuge in the belief that they are actually just telling the truth.
So Don Cherry can talk about "you people".  And Trump can say there are "good people" on "both sides" of Charlottesville.  And neither of them will ever even think they have said anything racist, because after all they don't think of themselves as racists. Today, we see pundits who are actually surprised that Stephen Miller has been "revealed" to be a white supremacist.  Of course he is -- who else would come up with a government policy to imprison 70,000 immigrant children? Only a racist could ever think up something so grotesque and cruel, and then get upset to be booed out of a Mexican restaurant.
Here's the tell -- racists think we all actually secretly agree with them. They think we just don't admit it because we're all Politically Correct cowards, whereas the racists are courageous truth-tellers.  "Now admit it, you know I'm right!" is what they will say. 
Image result for racism cartoons

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lest we forget

Chief Petty Officer Margaret Louise Byam -- my mother.  I have often wondered now why she did it, but she died before I thought to ask her.  
A small-town Prairie girl, the youngest of four daughters, she joined the Wrens during World War 2 and off she went to Halifax to help Canada win the war. She wasn't the only one in the family to go - her sister, my aunt, was a war nurse in Italy, and my father-in-law piloted Lancasters out of England.
But I always admired my mother, who got a teaching degree and then put that career on hold and went to war for the sheer love of her country. She found that she loved Halifax, too, as it turned out. But after the war ended she came back to the Prairies to marry my father.
They are almost all gone now, the greatest generation, and here we are watching fascism rise again around the world.  I hope it doesn't get to the point that we have to fight again. But if we do, there are still Canadians like my mother who will go.

Friday, November 08, 2019

They don't know what they don't know

Image result for calvin and hobbes research paper

We just saw it here, and now its happening in the States as well.
Its the perception by journalists and opinion pundits that they "know" where the general public is at, and therefore that they can just pull voting predictions out of their ass -- instead of, you know, actually doing some research into what people are thinking and what they want their government to do.
In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau was being written off by the press even before the blackface scandal knocked the Liberals off-message.  But it was clear, even way back in August, that while people across the country were somewhat disappointed in some of the things that the Trudeau government had done (pipelines!) or had not done (pipelines!) we weren't all going to switch our vote to Conservative or NDP without a good reason.
Scheer and Singh tried throughout the campaign to give Canadians that good reason to switch their votes, but as the weeks went by it was pretty clear they were not making their case.  Singh kept changing his mind and his message, thus confirming what everyone already thought -- a nice guy who is maybe in over his head. Scheer presented us with the spectacle of a leader who actively sandbagged his own campaign week after week, through his clumsy responses to problems - he couldn't defend women or LBGT, he couldn't figure out how to handle the American and insurance broker scandals, he started lying about his opponents, and finally he let the Con backroom boys dictate his non-response to the Kinsella scandal.  It was a display of ineptitude unparalleled in recent Canadian politics -- and considering what we Liberals saw with Ignatief and Dion, that's saying something!  Bernier and May seemed to be regarded by the media as potential giant-killers, but neither got any traction; it was Blanchet, ignored by the English-speaking media, who actually denied Trudeau a second majority.
In the States, I keep seeing Biden now being written off in the same way Trudeau was -- yet actually the nomination still remains his to lose.  Biden is winning, or close to winning, in all of the national polls.  While Warren is making strides, she fell into the trap of saying she would raise taxes to pay for healthcare  -- of course that's the only way to pay for it, but Americans are absolutely pathological about taxes -- and she may not be able to overcome this mistake.  While I love Warren, and there's lots to like about most of the other Democratic candidates too, I do believe that incumbency in the States provides so many advantages that only Biden can achieve the national stature and the "back to normal" vibe to bring out the 70 million voters he will need to beat Trump.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Great tweets of the day

Boy, people are really getting pissed off these days! Its very entertaining, really:

And he used to be the Director of the CIA

Aren't you forgetting something?

In the Star Phoenix, Doug Cuthand talks sense about Western separatism:
Kenny and Moe remind me of the two cartoon dogs, Spike and Chester. Remember them? Spike was a mean bulldog and Chester was his little sidekick who pranced around saying that Spike was his hero because he was so big and strong … I’ll leave it to you to determine which one is which.
It’s time both premiers got real and faced the fact that the economy is changing and the demand for oil is peaking. The United States is now energy self-sufficient and within a decade about half the new vehicles sold will be electric. Dirty oil, like the tarsands, will go the way of coal mines. These commodities are expensive to extract and refine and not economically viable in a world with declining demand.
Economics trump politics and there is little or nothing politicians can do about it.
One of the other things that Western Canadian separatists are also forgetting is that it isn't their land to bargain away - its treaty land.  Cuthand continues:
Our leaders made a treaty to share the land and build a future together. Of course, the equality and cooperation didn’t happen, but we’re still working on it.
At no time did our elders envision a future without the treaty and the protection of the Crown. Also, there is no groundswell of support for separation within the Indigenous community. Through Treaty we chose Canada.
When Quebec was going through its separation anxiety, my friend Billy Two Rivers from the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation commented that the only land the separatists could take with them was the dirt under their fingernails.
I agree. If the separatists want to leave Western Canada, go ahead, but the land remains with us.