Sunday, July 14, 2024

Weekend Funny Stuff and Animal Crackers

We need a break before plunging into the fresh hell of next week. 

First, some funny stuff:

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Today's News: Save the Last Dance For Me

So some Democrats may still be flirting on the dance floor, but Biden is telling them all to save the last dance for him. 
Josh Marshall describes the media frenzy around Biden and whether he will withdraw from the nomination:
...For the second half of last week I was basically certain that Joe Biden would be forced to end his candidacy and that it was simply a matter of time before he did so. Then, starting Saturday, things seemed to shift. These things work in waves. For any politician the best way to avoid being forced to resign simply not to resign. It’s one of those truisms that contains more depth and nuance than one at first realizes.
One of the reasons for that shift was simply that Biden was still there. He’s still running and still the nominee. We’re in the midst of a level of feeding frenzy I’ve only seen twice as a political observer — the first week of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998 and the one that ended Al Franken’s career in the Senate in 2018. The Washington press corps and national political press overwhelmingly and vociferously want to force Biden out of the race. I don’t say that in the sense of bias, per se — it’s not even necessarily at the level of intentionality. It’s more at the level of crowd behavior. It’s just how these feeding frenzies work. What do foxes think they’re doing when they rip through a hen house? For the DC press, this is all mixed in with ego and a sense of vindication. But again, it’s just how feeding frenzies work. But at a certain point, the feeding frenzy has been churning for days and Biden’s still running and there’s some element of a wave cresting. Like, hey we’ve been telling you all the reasons why Biden has to withdraw from the race for days but he’s still running and okay, well, maybe not — or, like, we can’t keep up this 100 yard dash forever. It’s just a cresting pattern.
At the same time I think there were the first hints of a realization that this has been overwhelmingly a conversation among media and political elites without much focus or knowledge about anything average voters are thinking or doing....
As the days go by and as Biden holds fast, the tide is turning. 
At No More Mister Nice Blog, Steve M writes
...It's striking that his poll numbers have dropped only slightly since the debate -- he trailed Trump in FiveThirtyEight's poll average by 0.2 on debate day, and trails by 2.2 now. FiveThirtyEight's forecast has Biden winning in 49 simulations out of 100. And Morning Consult's polling shows Biden gaining ground in swing states.
...When people ask about Donald Trump's baffling popularity, one frequent answer is that voters look at him and think, "He fights." I wonder whether Biden's refusal to step aside is being seen by some Democratic voters as a "He fights" moment. That might explain the polls that show only slight slippage, or even an improvement, in Biden's standing.
I think this battle is effectively over. I just hope that Biden's renewed fighting spirit doesn't dissipate once his would-be dumpers have retreated. I hope he stays invigorated, and pivots to fighting Trump with the spirit he's showing in fighting his intraparty doubters.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Today's News: Moving on from Biden?

As the days pass after Biden's disastrous debate, I'm reading more stories from people I respect, saying that Biden needs to withdraw from the presidential race. 
For a time after the debate, I dithered about this. But the problem as I see it now is this: Trump is a terrible person, and Biden is a great one. But Biden's awful debate performance demonstrated that he isn't able to rise to the occasion anymore, he has apparently lost the ability to lead, to be a president. Americans have never voted for a leader they consider weak, and the way things are going, Biden will not only lose himself, he will drag down the whole ticket with him: Then again..

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Today's news: Hooray for Pride Parades!

The happiest photos ever taken in Canada are from our Pride parades!

Here are photos of Toronto's Pride Parade today:

As usual, Trudeau was there!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Animal Crackers!

A Dog at the Museum, by Tom Mosser

It's been one of those weeks, eh ... the Liberals lose the by-election, the Oilers lose the cup, Joe Biden loses the debate. 
So here's some funny to go on with, for the weekend:

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Happy Saturday: from Reggie Jackson to Indigenous Peoples Day; from "shark!" to Dark Brandon; some great moments in Twitter; animal crackers; & some beautiful threads to enjoy

Reggie Jackson describes the racism he had to endure when playing ball: For National Indigenous Peoples Day: American politics:

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Random Roundup: trying to kibosh the capital gains tax; trying to debunk misinformation; jousting over "likes"; hearing Dr. Fauci's story; and laughing at Trump

Some interesting factoids and articles recently: 

First, some comments on how Canada's rich people are trying to kibosh the Liberal plan to increase tax rates on capital gain profits:

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Today's News: Heatwave!

This summer's first heat wave is here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Today's News: About the Foreign Interference Scandal, from May, Wark, Smith, and Scrimshaw

So I've been sort of following the NSICORP (National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians) report revelations about foreign interference in Canadian politics, except there really hadn't been any, nothing concrete at any rate, about exactly who did what and to whom.
Until this happened:

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

80th anniversary of D-Day: "We will remember them"

Too much going on this week to do a longer post, but here's some interesting stuff about D-Day and the 80th anniversary.  
First, posted above is the Veterans Affairs video commemorating the 80th anniversary - "We will remember them".
Next, check out historian Craig Baird's Canada on D-Day podcast:
,,,The Canadian troops had managed to push farther inland than any other force on D-Day, but only one Canadian unit made their objectives.
Regardless, the first line of German defences were completely smashed.
One Canadian journalist said,
“The German dead were littered over the dunes, by the gun positions. By them, lay Canadians in bloodstained battledress, in the sand and in the grass, on the wire and by the concrete forts. They had lived a few minutes of the victory they had made. That was all.”
In the mayhem of Normandy, progress was made...
Plus, Baird has a great story about James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Guilty X 34 = two solitudes in America

In Canada in the 1940s, we were experiencing what we described as Two Solitudes  between our French-speaking and English-speaking peoples:
...two peoples within one nation, each with its own legend and ideas of what a nation should be. ...the chasm between French and English communities growing deeper. ...a perceived lack of communication between English- and French-speaking Canadians.
We worked through several confusing, divisive, sometimes painful decades filled with questions about whether our Confederation could ever work for the whole country -- the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, the FLQ crisis, the Quebec referenda, the founding of parties like the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois, stupid arguments against bilingualism, idiotic complaints about French on cornflake boxes and other excuses for periodic spasms of western alienation, etc. etc -- it is part of Canadian history and culture.
Today, I think we are seeing the same dynamic happening between progressives and right-wingers in the United States, with Trump as their personification. The MAGA true believers and their media enablers seem to have created their own world and they are determined to live in it, regardless of how delusional they are.
Today's Trump verdict is a case in point.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

And on the lighter side!

This is one of those weeks for me personally -- so here's some funny stuff to lighten the mood:
First, some Poilievre makeup jokes:
Next, haven't we all done this?

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Great threads: from sculptures to libraries, from Curb Your Enthusiasm to Cow 88, from TikTok to Kermit (NEW: update on Cow 88)

Here are some fascinating threads I have seen recently on Twitter - click to see all of the posts: 

Amazing sculptures:

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Into the long weekend: mosquitos and Poilievre and polls, oh my

Ahh, summer is starting at last!
Moving on to something even more biting, I think Pierre Poilievre is now finding there is a downside to being up 20 points in the polls -- people actually expect to hear something sensible from him sometimes, not the usual anti-Trudeau deflection three-word-slogan talking points. 
Some examples: 
In the Globe and Mail, Shannon Proudfoot describes why it matters that Pierre Poilievre pretends all the media is against him and refuses to even try to answer press questions: Pierre Poilievre is pretending he doesn’t know how his job works because it makes it easier
...Mr. Poilievre has spent the past two years energetically insisting that any journalist who asks him a spiky question is enacting some greasy partisan agenda. There are entire swaths of the media that he’s been training the public to see as #JustinJourno grifters....
...What he’s doing is insulating himself from any future unwelcome questions or scandals that might surface. And he’s teaching the receptive public to automatically distrust anyone critical of him. That means Mr. Poilievre doesn’t even have to be there to yell at some annoying reporter, because he’s already set the table for people to discount them.
Imagine what this looks like three years from now when – if current polls hold – Mr. Poilievre will be prime minister and perched atop a stout majority in the House of Commons.
Spending issues, policy choices, dumb programs, stinky e-mails, ugly behaviour from public officials – why, to poke at any of it is to be part of the conspiracy. To deny this, or to insist these are valid questions that the public deserves answers to? That’s what bought-and-paid-for stooges would say...

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Today's News: Trump makes cowards of them all.

The more I see of the Congressional Republicans, the more they remind me of The Sopranos.
And anyone who doesn't fall into line gets sent to the Gulag.
The cowardice is appalling.
Why isn't all of America pointing and laughing at these guys? This is the guy they're supporting: And by the way, the New York Times also owes America an apology for acting as Trump's steno:

Monday, May 13, 2024

More writings about the Israel-Hamas War: Biden's dream, IDF goals, casualty statistics, Israel divestment

I have seen several recent useful posts and comments about the Israel-Hamas War so I wanted to share them.
First, an interesting analysis from Dan Rather about Biden's Big Dream For The Middle East:
...why did Hamas attack [on Oct 7] seemingly out of the blue after years of, if not peace, then detente, in the Middle East? Perhaps because of a “grand diplomatic bargain” or “mega-deal” being negotiated among the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel — a deal that would include normalization of relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Yes, the Biden administration had been quietly working on this deal for months, and Iran-backed Hamas reportedly wanted to blow it up. The ambitious agreement has far-reaching and game-changing implications.
... “Five leaders in the Arab community were prepared to help rebuild Gaza, prepared to help transition to a two-state solution,” Biden told CNN.
If Biden can hammer out an agreement with Saudi Arabia and Israel, it could be a diplomatic masterstroke that has many upsides: forging a pathway for Israel and the Palestinians to live as neighbors, improving Arab-Jewish relations in the region, reducing Iran’s power, perhaps appeasing voters at home, and finally bringing peace. The president is dreaming big. And in the Middle East, dreams die hard. Will this dream have a different ending?

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Happy Mother's Day and other comedy bits

I liked this New Yorker cartoon -- says it all. 
I also saw this thread on X and yes, I could appreciate this sentiment:
Another constituency heard from:

Monday, May 06, 2024

Today's news: the stupid, it burns!

What a crazy week it has been -- we've all been sick with what I am calling the Black Death Cold, plus a family member fell and now has a broken pelvis. I'm afraid to leave the house. It's been a crazy week politically too -- just when everyone was starting to pile on Pierre Poilievre for that meandering babbling stop at a Freedumb Convoy camp, he started to talk about how "his laws" were going to be passed with the Notwithstanding clause -- which means that he plans to chop our Supreme Court off at the knees before they find all "his laws" unconstitutional. 
So what horrors is he planning to inflict on Canada anyway?

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Animal crackers

Just a few tweets about animals to enjoy! 

I'm sure by now the whole world has recoiled in horror after hearing that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem boasted about killing her dog. She really deserves the title "Christ, what an asshole!"

Friday, April 26, 2024

"Never Again for anyone" - Discussions about ending the Israel-Hamas War: Shulman, Fox, Alkhatib, Friedman, Ganz, Elbein

Here are some interesting and useful commentaries about the Israel-Hamas War, including some discussion about how it can be brought to an end

First, this article is recommended by Eric Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money -- at the New York Review of Books, professor David Shulman writes Israel: The Way Forward - If Israel is to survive, physically and spiritually, it needs to undergo, collectively, a sea change in its vision of reality and face some unpleasant though obvious facts:
...Israelis will have to face unpleasant though rather obvious facts:
-Palestinians are human beings, no different from the Jews or anyone else. (They have a rotten political system, but so do we.)
-They are not going anywhere.
-There are two national movements in the territory west of the Jordan River, with their own legitimate claims and bloody record of atrocities; the two populations are now equal in size, some seven million each.
-Israel cannot suppress Palestinian and other Arab resistance by force alone. (The foundational axiom of the Israeli polity has always been that only brute force works.)
-Survival depends on sharing the land between these two peoples.
-The settlement project in the West Bank has to end.
-The barbarian extremists on both sides, as if colluding together, will, given half a chance, kill us all.
-God, if there is a god, is unlikely to save us from ourselves.
None of these points is going to be easy for Israelis to swallow. I can attest that most people find it easier to sacrifice the lives of their spouses, siblings, and children in a futile cause than to change how they feel and how they understand the world.
We have wasted several blood-soaked decades on the obscene dream of annexing the territories and expelling the Palestinian population there. ....
There is only one way out of the current morass. As it happens, it’s a good way and, in theory, feasible if we had a minimally rational government capable of articulating a way forward for the people of Israel. What we now call the Biden plan would revolutionize Israel’s place in the Middle East and in the world at large; at the very least it would reverse the present murderous escalation. Its guiding idea is that Israel would become part of a regional system bound together by ties of normalization and full diplomatic relations between it and each of the moderate Sunni states, thus creating a bulwark against Iran and its proxies; the new configuration would necessarily include, indeed depend upon, some acceptable solution to the Palestinian thirst for freedom. That means a demilitarized Palestinian state and the dismantling of the occupation. In the absence of some such systemic solution, Israel will continue to fight recurrent, catastrophic wars. In the end, the state will be overwhelmed. That, in fact, is the Hamas plan, with Iranian backing. The Iranians think they can destroy Israel by 2040, if not earlier...
We will be lucky if this government doesn’t precipitate a full-scale war in Lebanon or beyond. So far it lacks any intelligible plan to end the fighting in Gaza and any political goal of some positive import. Even worse, from the start it has been playing into the hands of Hamas’s leader, Yahya Sinwar: first draw the Israeli army into Gaza, then turn it into sitting ducks in a guerrilla war that can continue indefinitely; let Israel kill enough Gazans and wreak enough destruction to turn international opinion against it, while Hamas hangs out safely in the tunnels it has created until the Israelis go away, with nothing to show for their sacrifices. Wars are won only when they have an attainable political goal.
Meanwhile, Israel is well on its way to becoming a pariah state. The wave of anti-Israel feeling that is engulfing large numbers of people in the Western world has emerged not merely from the Gaza war, with its unbearable civilian casualties and now mass starvation. What that wave reflects, more profoundly, is the justified disgust with the ongoing occupation, its seemingly eternal and ever more brutal continuation, and the policies of massive theft and apartheid that are its very essence....

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Support for Ukraine and Israel

(And read to the end for a Trump fart joke!)
Today I was very glad to see the US support for Ukraine and for Israel approved by the House -- now only was it great to see the aid approved itself, but also it was a demonstration that Trump and his crazy MAGA aren't really running the United States. 
At least, not yet. 
But why, oh why, is it just so hard for these people to do the right thing?

Thursday, April 18, 2024

"Protect the rich" is NOT going to catch on

Recently I've been seeing many articles that tut-tutted about how awful it would be for rich people and Canadian corporations to have to pay more taxes. 
I couldn't understand why this had suddenly become such a hot topic and then I realized: why, of course!  There's a new Liberal budget coming up, and chances are it is going to raise taxes for the wealthy. 
So of course the corporations and the millionaires made sure to get their media out in force beforehand, to try to set the tone of the debate and generate sympathy for the trials and tribulations of the rich. 
But I don't think it will work -- even Poilievre's Baloney Factory won't likely promote a "Protect the Rich!" slogan, because Canadians won't be fooled:

Friday, April 12, 2024

Great stories

Just sharing some stories tonight:
“I was headed into Jackson to go to work and I noticed a couple cars pulled over,” Dusty Jones tells “I looked off to the left and saw a couple of guys beating on the ice with a herd of elk right there in front of them.”
Jones ran down to the ice and called a friend to bring him a chainsaw. There were around a dozen elk in the frigid water, which Jones says measured 8-10 feet deep, and suddenly people started appearing to help.
“Before you knew it, there were 30-40 people there,” Jones said. “We began cutting a little path toward the shore so the animals could walk out but they were so cold they couldn’t move. That’s when we just started grabbing them and pulling them out.”
“Somebody had a backhoe that we were able to put two calves into the bucket and transport them to the Alpine Feed Ground,” Wyoming Game & Fish Biologist Gary Fralick told SVI’s Dan Dockstader.
Jones worried the ice might collapse but said it was around 4 inches thick and nobody fell in. The elk just happened to be standing in an area where the ice was thinner due to thermal spring action, according to Fralick.
“There normally isn’t any water there at all,” Jones said. “We had so much snow last winter that lake runoff caused this part of the reservoir to be full all summer and fall.”
One by one, each of the 13 elk was pulled to safety. Two of the calves were severely stressed and could not get up, according to Fralick. Once they were taken to another area, they were released and stood up with the rest of the herd.
“No elk died, which is awesome,” Jones said.
Moving on:
I hope George Springer can find this fan.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Yeah, isn't this just what we all needed now ... bird flu!

So let's all worry about bird flu now!

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Trending tonight: #PuntTheRunt

Canadians are laughing at Poilievre's three-word policies for anything that ails Canada -- and tonight, "Punt The Runt" is trending: 

Also today, Charlie Angus announced he won't run again, and Poilievre couldn't resist responding with the usual petty and mean whine. 
Christ, what an asshole!

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Random Round-up: from the Sask Easter Bunny, to the Trudeau Liberals, the RCMP, Boeing, the eclipse, and even wigs

For Easter, here is the Craig Baird Saskatchewan Easter Bunny:

I recently found several good articles that are worth sharing: 
Evan Scrimshaw pleads with the Trudeau Liberals to smarten up --Jurisdiction's False Sanctimony and stop pretending they can get reelected by blaming provincial Conservative premiers:
...I want this government to be re-elected. Not all that many people seem to be agreeing with me. They were down 18% in Abacus over the weekend, there’s been polls with them in third place in Quebec in recent times, and the Tories just copped a 19 point swing in Durham. Every time we think the bottom has been hit there’s a new low, and the only thing that keeps this government from falling to fourth place in seats is the NDP is led by the human equivalent of using a croissant as a dildo.
For all the spilled ink about the media’s role in all of this, at the end of the day that’s not an answer to making this better for the government it’s just an answer to feeling better when the government get fucked. You know what’s going to feel even worse than your smug certainty about how everybody voting for Poilievre is stupider than you? When Pierre Poilievre wins 250 seats and we have to spend the 2025-29 Parliament arguing about whether the Liberal Party should bother to exist.
... I want the Liberals to focus on solutions and not just handwaving away responsibility. I want a Liberal government, and if that’s not possible I want as many Liberal MPs so that a Poilievre government can be as short as possible. But yelling about the media would make me more popular, because we definitely have our priorities straight.
The left have to decide whether they want to win elections and save the Liberal Party from its current malaise or whether they want to lose safe in the comfort of smug sanctimony. Denying reality ends in a Conservative landslide.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

We're all bridge experts now, aren't we?

Here is a fascinating analysis of the Baltimore bridge disaster, by someone who actually does know a lot about ships and bridges:
 My bet is they will get some shipping lanes cleared within two weeks -- the Army Corps of Engineers already has a thousand experts working on it, and it wouldn't surprise me if vessels from Halifax to Sao Paulo are already on their way to Baltimore to help tow the girders out of the way and dredge that channel deeper.
Meanwhile, here's some of the day's less crazy commentary:
Post by @stonekettle
View on Threads
Post by @stonekettle
View on Threads

The Wire producer David Simon spent the day lambasting various idiots who blamed the disaster on everything from immigrants to vaccines. His twitter feed is pretty funny: Here's some more:

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Canada is re-thinking Mulroney today. And maybe Poilievre, too

Canada is buzzing about Brian Mulroney's funeral -- so many profound, moving and memorable moments: 
But life goes on, as Pierre Poilievre is going to find out -- he seemed to think the Mulroney funeral should be just another campaign stop, and Canada is not impressed: PP, you won't get a second chance to make a first impression on Canada. Everybody found you appalling:

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Trending tonight: #ScrapTheCrap and #22Minutes

[With thanks to Journo Dale Smith.]

So today Pierre Poilievre was getting lots of media attention due to his ridiculous "threat" of a non-confidence motion -- did he think the NDP would actually want to fight an election this spring? 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Has America finally reached its gag limit with Trump?

I try to ignore just about everything Trump babbles. 
But tonight he is quoted by activist and former Labour Secretary Robert Reich in a post titled Trump is out of his mind, and desperate
At a rally today outside the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio, Trump warned that “if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a blood bath … for the country.”
He also warned that if he didn’t win, “I don’t think you’re going to have another election, or certainly not an election that’s meaningful.”
In the rest of the speech he repeated his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, which have been utterly discredited.
He praised the people serving sentences in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol — calling them “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots,” commending their spirit, and promising to help them if elected in November.
He cast migrants as threats to American citizens — claiming without evidence that other countries were emptying their prisons of “young people” and sending them across the border. “I don’t know if you call them ‘people,’ in some cases,” he said. “They’re not people, in my opinion.” He later referred to them as “animals.”
Trump is clearly desperate. He knows that his future freedom and his fortune both depend on winning in November. He has no qualms about turning Americans against Americans to achieve this goal. Apparently he is even willing to fuel violence, a second civil war.
And finally -- FINALLY -- that "bloodbath" remark seems to have triggered America's gag reflex. 
I'm seeing tweets and columns about it all over.

Friday, March 15, 2024

The Golden Calf and the Three Little Pigs

In America, Trump is the Golden Calf - because he has no philosophy or morals or principles himself, he can only reflect the hatreds and prejudices of his worshipers. And they love him for it.
Here in Canada, we're dealing with out own fairy tale. Poilievre's three-word solutions --Ax the Tax, Build the Homes -- and his frothing hatred of Trudeau makes him a kindred spirit to people who want shouting and slogans and fist-raising rallys but who don't know what his slogans actually mean. 
Mulroney knew the real Poilievre, as does Kim Campbell
Now his MPs are following in his footsteps: