Thursday, March 30, 2023

Today's News: The Absolute Worst

The school shootings are the worst, the absolute worst. 
Here is an incredible photo -- a child weeping as she is being transported away from The Covenant School shooting in Nashville this week (photo credit Nicole Hester) 
I don't know how parents in the United States can deal with their own fear every day, much less how afraid their children must be. 
Worse still, their political system is paralyzed, unable to deal with it. 
The AR-15, along with the AK-47 and their ilk, are evil weapons, simply evil -- last night the Washington Post has an outstanding article called The Blast Effect which uses effective graphics to show why the AR15 bullets kill -- they blow a human body apart.
The AR-15 fires bullets at such a high velocity — often in a barrage of 30 or even 100 in rapid succession — that it can eviscerate multiple people in seconds. A single bullet lands with a shock wave intense enough to blow apart a skull and demolish vital organs. The impact is even more acute on the compact body of a small child.
“It literally can pulverize bones, it can shatter your liver and it can provide this blast effect,” said Joseph Sakran, a gunshot survivor who advocates for gun violence prevention and a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
During surgery on people shot with high-velocity rounds, he said, body tissue “literally just crumbled into your hands.”
The carnage is rarely visible to the public. Crime scene photos are considered too gruesome to publish and often kept confidential. News accounts rely on antiseptic descriptions from law enforcement officials and medical examiners who, in some cases, have said remains were so unrecognizable that they could be identified only through DNA samples.
As Sakran put it: “We often sanitize what is happening.”
The Washington Post sought to illustrate the force of the AR-15 and reveal its catastrophic effects.
...The records and interviews show in stark detail the unique mechanics that propel these bullets — and why they unleash such devastation in the body.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

This is the way the Han Dong smear ends: not with a bang, but a whimper

The accusations against Han Dong are falling apart. 
Watch everyone nodding along as the translation error story was reported on Sunday: Scrimshaw notes that Global didn't even cover the story themselves in their weekend show:

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Today's Random Stuff: Horses, Dogs. and Turning Points

First, here is an amazing photo "Slam on the Brakes" from The Atlantic. It is © Steven Zhou and was taken in Ontario in August 2022. It won the 2023 Sony World Photography Award, in the Motion category. The Atlantic writes "Barrel racing is a competition where cowgirls ride quickly around barrels; the one that does this in the shortest time wins. Every time a horse reaches a barrel it needs to brake sharply, turn around the barrel and then race to the next one." 
Next, some other animal crackers:

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Today's News: Dark Brandon comes to Ottawa

Dark Brandon came to Canada today. 
It was very funny, really -- you see, our Conservatives watch too much Fox News, so they were all thinking that the Biden they would meet in Ottawa today is the weak and stumbling Joe that Fox News has created. 
But what Canada met was the "Dark Brandon" Joe, the guy who won't put up with any right-wing malarkey, and who can dish it out faster than they can take it. 
He called Poilievre and the Conservatives out on their disrespect for women, and they couldn't do anything but take it. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Today's News: the Han Dong accusations

Today's biggest story was the Han Dong accusations. This is what he said yesterday to Parliament: Tonight, I see on Twitter this might all be just a stupid error in translation: Could it really be this simple? 
If so, then CSIS and Global News owe Canada an enormous apology. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Twenty years ago

...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I was appalled when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 -- they were without UN Security Council support, without Canada or Mexico or France or Germany or most of the other countries of the world, who refused to support so-called "preventive" war.
America had lost their minds after 9/11 and too many of them seemed to think invading Iraq was the only way to show the Middle East that America was really the boss of the world. 
A million people died because of that terrible decision. 
And the only ones who appear to be ashamed about it today are the people who said it was immoral and a mistake in the first place. 
Thank heavens for the accident of history that kept Canada out of it - luckily, Chretien was getting ready to retire so he no longer cared about the politics of America or whether Britain thought he was cowardly. Chretien knew that regime-change was not a legitimate reason to start a war, and he said so, and he wanted to prevent pointless sacrifice of Canadian lives. 
Canada has never really thanked him enough for doing that, not the way we should have.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Today's News: Saskatchewan has created another cat party

A new provincial political party recently formed here, calling themselves the Sask United Party, which intends to out-conservative the existing Saskatchewan Party. 
Basically, I think its just another Cat party trying to pretend to be mice (see above for a video about Tommy Douglas' "Mouseland" analogy)
I also wonder if the Sask United Party is basically just another reflection of the urban-rural divide, which here in Saskatchewan has now become an abyss. Now, Saskatchewan is hardly Canada's urban hell-hole but even here, we get fear and resentment of our cities, as well as a certain amount of fetishization of rural life.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Today's News: Temper Tantrums

Here's how I see it: 
First of all, Canadian voters haven't turfed Trudeau in three elections and chances are they won't in the 2025 either. 
The opinion polls are back and forth a bit - and who knows now what might be an issue in BC and Quebec and the Maritimes in two years - but the Golden Horseshoe is basically still Liberal territory and likely to remain so.  The CPC and the small-c conservative media in Canada know this. 
So they thought maybe they could find some big scandal or controversy that would force Trudeau to resign. But its been seven years now and nothing has worked - not JWR and SNC-Lavalin, not the WE Charity, not the Convoy, not the Emergencies Act, not the Rouleau report. The smaller stuff they keep trashing at him is just silly (remember the Indian outfits? the family beach walk in Tofino? the blackface 20 years ago? the Star Wars socks?) 
So finally, they started thinking that maybe China China China could do it. 
But today they realized that ain't gonna happen. China China China is a problem for Elections Canada, CSIS, RCMP and Canadian political parties (both Liberal and Conservative) but the David Johnston report, whenever it comes out, likely won't tarnish Trudeau personally.
Cue today's temper tantrums. They really went crazy:

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Today's News: David Johnston to the rescue

I do keep wondering what, exactly, this China scandal is all about:
Now former governor general David Johnston is going to investigate and that's good -- maybe he can tell the rest of us exactly what is going on here, and whether a public inquiry is really the only way to sort it out.
But I think Poilievre already realizes Johnston's appointment will move the story off the front pages and there aren't going to be any "gotcha" revelations about Trudeau. So now he's trying his very best to discredit Johnston - and the CPC Flying Monkeys are desperately pushing to kibosh the appointment quick. Or likely they think it would be just as useful to see if they can discredit in advance any Johnston recommendations against a public inquiry.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Today's Random Stuff: Cats and Pigs and Politics

Its the weekend, so here we go with some random stuff from the lighter side. 
BBC News posted an very odd tweet about how the pandemic hadn't really affected anyone's mental health - and the internet immediately went nuts:
Next, here's a pig blowing bubbles and its just so righteous:

Friday, March 10, 2023

Today's News: Outstanding Support for Trans Rights

I thought this was outstanding: Because we don't get to choose the battle, we only get to choose our side. When people whose rights are under attack need us to stand up and be counted, then we all have to do that, just as Trudeau did. 
Of course he got criticized for it from the usual suspects - and he knew he would be - but he did it anyway.
Saskatoon City Council also stepped up yesterday:

Monday, March 06, 2023

Today's Random Stuff -- dogs, frogs, and physics

Dogs, bruh!

As seen on George Takai's substack:

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Today's News: "Being Woke" = "Being Kind"

My husband and I were talking tonight and he asked "Exactly what is 'Woke' anyway?" 
Hmm, good question.  Coincidentally, I have been reading some stuff just today about it, and here it is. 
First, a few cartoons I found about how crazy the anti-woke MAGA is getting:

But defining Woke isn't difficult -- here's a succinct tweet from Bob Rae that describes the definition pretty well:

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Today's Scene: An Inquiry If Necessary, but Not Necessarily An Inquiry

A batch of very good substacks this week. 
When it comes to the news of the day, the conclusion of the Canadian columnists I read is this: 
1. If China interfered in Canadian elections and the Liberals let them, then there needs to be an investigation and Trudeau would likely need to resign. 
2.  But the CSIS leaks so far seem to show just normal political activity by Chinese-Canadian Liberal supporters, whose political involvement should be applauded, not targeted.
3. So we should have an inquiry if necessary, but not necessarily an inquiry 
The commentary this week is too extensive to quote, but see Evan Scrimshaw here Foreign Interference and CSIS Leaks, and Dale Smith here Roundup: A smear to precede the report, and The Line here Emergency Dispatch: The China File, and Paul Wells here Things to do in Ottawa when you're not calling an inquiry into Chinese election interference 
For myself, I would add this point
4 Conservatives will lose the plot if they keep on trying to turn the China questions into just another partisan anti-Trudeau issue.