Saturday, April 30, 2005
Clearly, the Bear, he of Vancouver's Area Code 604, has decided to invoke a homegrown version of the Gilliard Doctrine he can call his own:
".....I always get a giggle when anybody treats polarization like something that can be prevented, like a sunburn, vapour lock, or late fees at the video store. The truth is, you either polarize or someone polarizes you: after the second time I was legislated back to work, the fourth overheard conversation about a gay-bashing, and the fifth completely motionless homeless person lying prone on East Hastings, I completely gave up on trying to see the other side of the issue. Does anyone really think that the media-powered class and culture wars that pass for Canadian society give any quarter for compromise or objectivity?"
In other words this is no time to play it safe in the hope that the Keepers of the Trusts that currently have Canuckistan's Left Coast in a hammerlock will toss some spare change our way if we make nice and move towards that nicely fenced-in, so-called middle ground that they have staked out for us on the non-existent left edge of the fauxScaifian Fraser Institute.
Because, as Steve Gilliard so aptly put it a while back when dealing with the real thing:
"There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think........
.....I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them.
I want to stop them."
Our take on the Gilliard Doctrine is here.
Rush Limbaugh may, or may not, be right about that.
But if he truly believes that statement, which is one of his 35 truths from the Days of 'Newt-Still-Rising', perhaps Mr. Limbaugh will find that Billmon's treatise on the matter is a reasonably acceptable substitute.
I know I do.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Matt St. A. is on fire these days with posts like this one on those madcaps CEOs that are destroying life as we know it:
"C.E.O. stands for "Cheat Every One." They are not under oath. They speak only their heart's truth -- which is a cavernous lie. They are possessed of greed and gluttony that would embarrass Satan himself."
And this on the Coulter flim-flammery in the pages of last week's version of Mr. Luce's rotting sarcophagus:
"Ann Coulter is America. She powders herself up for TV appearances, she engages in verbal foreplay that's as seductive and arousing as an episode of American Gladiators."
In fact, it's all so good that we are going to do something we've never done before - move Matt's Inside the Hotdog Factory from it's regular place in the sideboard back into the 'Blogs of the Week', a slot usually reserved for all that is new and/or newsworthy.
Last night I got hosed by Robert Milton.
This time it was a late plane and a two hour wait on the tarmac at Pearson while the maintenance guys fixed a valve and then added fuel.
Because Milton's got the schedule so SouthWest Airlines tight that the grounds crews don't have time to do their job properly during the allotted 6.36 minutes between flights.
Which is just one more way of slagging our willful participation in the race to the bottom in this country.
Anyway, once they finally got the big cigar tube up into the sky we took the southern route home from Toronto to Vancouver.
And as we flew over North Dakota, a War Base State with a decidedly pink tinge to it for some strange unknown reason, I could have sworn I saw Albert Speerian klieg lights slicing through the night sky groping for our soft white Air Canada underbelly.
Of course this was just paranoia - right?
But then when I got home and fired up the box after two days away, I found somebody had sent me this:
"The citizens group patrolling the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona has been in contact with North Dakota groups interested in tighter security along the Canadian border, according to a spokesman for the group.
"There is a great deal of interest in North Dakota, and it isn't only one group," said Grey Deacon, project administrator for Civil Homeland Defense, the Arizona group some have referred to as a vigilante organization.
Deacon said his group is not ready to release the names of any people or groups they've been in contact with.
"We are going along and talking to people and they say they want a more active role," he said. "I would not be surprised to see announcements made in late June, and operations begin in September and October," Deacon said.
Fair enough. I say 'Bring 'Em On'.
After all, we've got a few guys that are pretty good with the two hander who could scare the bejesus out of these made-for-CableTV vigilantes.
In fact, the way I figure it we could take care of these Minutemaid Men in about, well, 15 minutes, by massing our own homegrown, hockey stick-assisted V-group within spitting distance of the line on our side of the border in southern Manitoba.
We could call it 'The McSorely Project', fronted by the man himself, with chief lieutenants Dave Semenko and Todd Bertuzzi.
Of course, the head of the propaganda unit will be a guy Bill O'Reilly will go absolutely bonkers over, Dave 'Flapping Gums' Williams.
And once they suckered the Anita Bryant lovin' Squeezers-of-the-Juice across the Frontier, the MProject would then kick their butts straight north all the way to Flin Flon - former home of the master of the two hander, Paddy Ginnell, not to mention the very best Mary Jane tunnels government money can by.
Of course, the Squeezers would be so freaked out by all of this, not to mention their dismay over the fact that they could stop in at the local clinic to get their juice rashes treated for free, that they would be begging to buy Greyhound tickets from Flin Flon's Gay Busdriver Alliance so that they could get safely home to Nome where we would then keep them pinned down in Alaska as a public service to all of those folks in the Excited States that are still sane enough to realize that vigilantism, even when it is stupid, useless showboating, is the beginning of the end of liberal democracies everywhere.
Sound like I'm overreacting?
But just remember this, which is something HST should have once said even if he really didn't:
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."
Monday, April 25, 2005
How's this for codswallop:
"If America continues to backslide, it "could very easily be like Canada is today, where you can't even preach [about homosexuality from] the first chapter of Romans," Dobson said. "I couldn't even say the things I'm saying today on my radio stations in Canada. I will not be able to air this. ... [What's occurring in Canada is] coming here, and a whole lot more, if we don't get in and fight it."
Now, from up here in the relative safety of Canuckistan it is easy to just sit back and laugh as people like Jon Stewart and Al Franken point out that Dr. James Dobson, he of 'Sponge Bob Square Pants is Gay' fame, is the latest kookie incarnation of Elmer Gantry.
But if you did that you would be wrong.
Because as well as being the head of 'Focus on the Family' the good (so-called) Doctor Dobson is also a Wizard with a Wad.
Of cash that is.
And he and his cronies are using that cash and their toxic concentrate of target-market media hegemony to widely disseminate their thinly veiled philosphy of hate, intolerance and outright bigotry, not to mention destroy the independent judiciary of the United States.
They are also working to actively export their philospophy to Canada.
So, can only wonder if this is the kind of family Dobson would like we, the Godless hordes, to start to focussing on.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Stay with me for a minute while I attempt a reverse lay-up, behind-the-back trapezoidal lead of extreme obliquity from the piked position.
Hopefully it will pay off, but if you don't want to take a chance feel free to go straight to the bottom of the post. Just remember that the pre-amble is the part of these things that I actually work at.
Let's start by imagining that Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca was a actually a moral relativist who really longed to ask Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa the following question:
Now in matters of faith, the real thing, it might be possible to give an inch or so on that one and maybe, just maybe, come out unscathed
But when it comes to the use of the Big Lie to steamroller the common good into the pavement I honestly believe that, in the end, even the technique's most rabid proponents know in their heart of hearts that they are doomed.
Case in point - even Lee Atwater, one of the modern Godfathers of the practice, which has most recently been perfected by Karl Rove down south, repented when his number was called.
And while many have questioned Mr. Atwater's ultimate intentions, I think it is not unreasonable to conclude that even someone like him, someone whose political legacy was built on a pyramid of deception, exploitation and fear, truly did search his soul, at least for a nanosecond or two, in that period between the time he learned that he had a malignant brain tumor and the time that he died.
After all, the depths of despair have a way of doing that to a man, even when the hammer coming down has nothing to do with death.
Take Gordon Campbell for example. One can only imagine what our Premier might have offered up to his own private deity on that fateful night a couple of winters ago when he sobered up in a clean, well-lighted jail cell and came face-to-face with the realization that all he had worked for just might have instantly turned to crap.
Now, given the crocodile tears that accompanied his 'How could I have been so stupid?' pseudo-culpable mea at the time and his more recent slagging off on Mothers Against Drunk Driving, I wouldn't go far as to suggest that Mr. Campbell stepped through the looking glass and promised to repudiate all the damage that his neocon shock therapy had wrought on the hundreds of thousands of people desperately clinging to the lower rungs of British Columbia's socio-economic ladder.
But, at the very least I figure that Mrs. Campbell's son might have promised himself that if he got out of that Oowie in Maui that he would come clean and start telling us the truth.
About his real intentions that is, which, as near as I can figure them, appear to involve seducing the really Big Trusts into saving us from ourselves while simultaneously making his brother's friends really, really rich.
And if this is indeed the case it is a philosphophy that has a lot in common with that old saw from Richard Nixon and Gordon Gecko that 'Greed is Good' for everyone.
Or, to take things just a wee bit further back, it is a credo that is reminiscent of Mark Twain's description of the underpinnings of the Gilded Age from the end of the last century - and I'm not talking about the 20th.
All of which might be wrong-headed, mean-spirited and historically dumb - at least to thinking, compassionate people.
But at least it's the truth.
And right up until a few weeks ago I really did think that Mr. Campbell had made the decision to go clear and that he was sticking to it.
After all, he did a fabulous job of getting rid of all those middle-of-the-roaders in his caucus while simultaneously pushing forward, unabated, with his privatization, deregulation, and tax burden shi(f)tification policies. And all this was happening out in the open, where anybody who was paying attention could see it for what it was. Even better, it was being not-so-subtly pitched as a necessary prelude to the birth of his 'Golden Decade'.
But now I'm all confused again (well, not really).
Because in a last-minute, warp-speed move back over to the expediency side of the ledger Campbell has gone on a wanton, province-wide spending blitzkrieg in which he is dispensing glistening globs so-called 'new' money for long-neglected trivial stuff like multicultural programs, diversity programs, public health programs, children's programs, family programs, seniors programs, longterm care programs, hospital programs, education programs and on and on and on and on.
Now I'm sure that there are plenty of solid internals to be found within those top-secret BigRedWarMachine-commissioned polls that have convinced Mr. Campbell's Atwater-inspired gunsels*, not to mention the old Socred rear-guard lurking just over his shoulder, that he must pull off this last minute excercise in slush fund-assisted tomfoolery so that he can hold onto those critical middle-of-the-road swing votes, particularly in ridings outside the Lower Mainland that have yet to be touched by the Trust that laid the Golden Egg.
But here's the weird part.......
What if Mr. Campbell were to be smacked down, hard, not because people suddenly wake up and smell the coffee, but rather because the latest round of propaganda blitzkriegs actually work so well that they don't and, as result, a significant portion of the electorate goes into a polling booth on May 17th actually believing that the B.C. Liberal party truly is, well, liberal.
Which just might amount to a really big hill of really crazy beans if you put any stock at all into the following little wisdom nugget buried deep within Paul Willcocks' most recent column:
"The official provincial Liberal position is that voters know that the federal and provincial parties - despite the same name - are chalk and cheese.
The public perception is different. The Strategic Counsel poll released this week found that 37 per cent of voters said the sordid reports from the Gomery inquiry are causing them to question the wisdom of voting for the Campbell Liberals on May 17. That is a large block of potentially disaffected voters, in a volatile campaign."
Or into this butchered line from an old Bruce Springsteen song:
Now I don't know whether the Boss would look kindly on the fact that I just changed his 'don't' to 'does'.
This much I do know for sure, however. When Springsteen released 'The River' a generation ago many working people in his native New Jersey were just starting to pay the price for Ronald Reagan's 'slash and burn', 'greed is way, way better than good' policies. Thus, he sure as hell wasn't singing about the muddy Fraser at the time.
But if he were to re-release the album tomorrow I'm not so certain that would still be case.
Because just last week somebody told him (Springsteen) that Mr. Campbell's minions were using another one of his songs, Glory Days, to try and tell a really big lie.
And the Boss called him on it.
It's what we want.
*Need proof?: How about the fact that the hired guns have most recently managed to force the media herd, and that includes the local CBC, to run with the Rollie Keith non-issue for 4 straight newscyles.
Again for South of 49er's: Gordon Campbell is the sitting 'Liberal' Premier (ie. Govenor) of the Left Coast Canuckistanian province of British Columbia. Despite the name of his party he is actually a LINO (liberal in name only) who's very much into privatization, gutting social programs, busting unions, and generating craptacular corporatocries.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
And Mark's Section 15 is clearly one of them.
Not to mention very, very good as well. His analysis of the latest developments re: Conrad The Marauder's downfall is especially excellent:
"...Regardless of the exact details, it appears that Tubby is reaching the bottom of the barrel, and is about to resort to wearing it.
Yes, I think little of the man. Look at him: Born into privilege, he's a grown up rich kid who's first known business transactions were selling stolen exams to fellow students at Upper Canada College. He was expelled for it. For whatever reason, no one of importance seems to have ever taken a hint from that. Having mismanaged a score of businesses in the 1980s, including Dominion, from which he raided the workers' pension fund for a whopping $62 million before selling the company, he moved on to to temporarily dominate Canada's newspaper publishing sector, all the while pillfering Hollinger inc. Famously, he obsessively pursued his peerage, finally having to reliquish his Canadian citizenship to get it (I actually liked Jean Chretien there for about 15 minutes)."
And for Robert Broughton et al., Mark has some interesting and really positive takes on Green Issues as well.
Given that it was the Mothercorp in general, and Stephen Quinn in particular, I thought that the new CBC radio election show '28 Days' might be worth listening to on Saturday mornings.
But if they are going to run "he said/she said" crap on a regular basis I will not listen anymore because this type of gutless pretend journalism plays right into the Repug-inspired BigRedWarRoom machine's obfuscation strategy.
Two cases in point.
1) Christy Clark pit-bulling on the Rollie Keith issue and Quinn allowing it to go on for 5 minutes such that there was absolutely no substantive discussion during the entire segment with Ms. Clark and Joy McPhail. Absolutely none.
2) Dana Bales essentially saying that Carole James is a liar on the tax burden issue because she (Bales) refused to take into account the mammoth increases in premiums and user fees that disproportionately affect those on the bottom half of the economic ladder because "that is a whole other issue".
So, if we follow Ms. Bales pretzellian methodology to its not-so-logical conclusion, does that mean that if somebody changes the name of something to something else that that thing which was formerly known by a different name actually becomes what that certain somebody says it is rather than what it really is?
And if Mr. Campbell decides to call oxygen pickle juice does that mean that Ms. Bales won't need to breathe it anymore?
It's almost like they moved Cluffie to Saturday.
I, for one, am not buying.
David Schreck puts this despicable practice in perspective very nicely and very succintly (the latter being a little unusual for Mr. Schreck - and we mean that in a good way):
Friday, April 22, 2005
Glory Days, indeed:
"The Boss has pulled the plug on the Liberals' use of his rousing classic, Glory Days. Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell was blaring the Bruce Springsteen anthem at nomination meetings and campaign stops. That was until someone ratted Mr. Campbell out."
I was 18 when I bought my first Bruce Springsteen album.
Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Have gone backwards and forwards with him ever since.
And he's never let me down.
Can only hope that the James Gang manages to secure the rights to blast the entire back catalogue all month long.
For South of 49er's: Gordon Campell is the sitting Premier (ie. Govenor) in the Left Coast Canuckistan Province of British Columbia who is currently running for re-election. Despite the name of his party he is actually a LINO (Liberal in name only). Truth be told he is a neandercon through and through who's way into privatization, gutting social programs, busting unions, and craptacular corporatocries. Carole James, the challenger is a democratic socialist third wayer.
Original Link Source: Have You Had Enough Yet (again).
Mr. Campbell that is, not Bambi.
Because it looks like the James Gang really is going to try elbow its way into that big, honkin' HOV lane in the middle of the economic road.
"KAMLOOPS, B.C. – NDP Leader Carole James says there has never been an NDP government in B.C. that took a balanced approach to business and labour.....
....."I don't feel it was as balanced as it should have been. I don't believe that it ended polarization. I don't believe there was a balance where both business and labour had a seat at the table."
She (James) went even further when asked whether any NDP government in B.C. had ever been fair and balanced. "No. I think that's why I presented that kind of balanced approach. I don't think we've had a government that has represented the kind of balance that we need," she says.
And His Gordness' stammered reply, heard on CBC Radio One this morning?
"Well.....I.........I think that's the first time I've ever agreed with her on anything."
Can't say for sure, but I could have sworn I heard a collective groan from the attendent handlers come leaking through the car radio speakers as visions of the huge 3M expenditures (manpower, money and mediabuys) that will be required to push this diversion to the side of the road began to bubble up out of their hindbrains.
So JGang - it's very good start.
Now get out there and start squeezing the middle from both ends of the spectrum, hard, with those dual Environmental/Privatization Pincers.
And while you're at it, how about sending some surrogates out on the stump to re-start that little matter known as the Basi/Virk Affair. After all, if the Gordians really are in bed with the Feds, it might be time to make that one stick.
Heck, it's time to make it stick regardless.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Maybe Kevin Falcon could use a few of their hits as well as the slogan of one of our favorite website' Have You Had Enough Yet.
Because a not so-long-ago poll suggests that maybe the residents of West Vancouver Garabaldi have themselves had enough of the machinations of Heavy Kevvie:
"A recently-commissioned public opinion poll shows major dissatisfaction with the B.C. Liberals in the Sea to Sky corridor, and indicates that Green Party candidate Dennis Perry may have a good chance of winning the Liberal stronghold of West Vancouver-Garibaldi in next month’s provincial election."
And while the poll has Green party origins, the huge numbers surveyed in a single riding suggest that it may not be a not a pile of tripe:
"The poll by Robbins SCE Research of Coquitlam polled 1,000 residents of the riding, including 600 in West Vancouver, 200 in Squamish and 200 in Whistler, between March 1 and March 13. The final results were adjusted to reflect the population in each area. The survey has a margin of error of up to 2.37 per cent 19 times out of 20".
And it appears that no amount of traipsing around the Province giving us the Golden Raspberry with our own money is going to help Heavy Kevvie on this one.
Because what has people in the area really riled up is a retail issue - the proposed Highway-assisted destruction of Eagle Bluffs that Mr. Falcon has championed.
Local issue, what?
Maybe Mr. Falcon should bring in his old pal Mary Polack to help him out this time around.
After all, his stumping sure did work wonders for her in that Surrey Panorama Ridge by-election awhile back.
Update: Rob Cottingham tells us that Robbins SCE has a history of going hard for Reform BC, and even though there does not appear to be overt links to R.B.C. in the poll quoted above, at least according to the Greens, more digging led us to an interesting discussion on babble that lends some credence to what Rob has to say. So we figured we better go looking for other indicators that Mr. Falcon's handling of the issue, which essentially involved hardline support for the Sea-to-Sky bypass over the Bluffs in lieu of any serious consideration for a tunnel, might have caused some real problems for the SS Gordo amongst the notoriously commie-pinko residents of West Vancouver.
Anyway, in the interest of trying to save our own bacon, here's West Van Mayor (and former Small Faces sideman?) Ron Wood's poll-assisted take from last summer just before Mr. Falcon made his decision, courtesy of Claudia Cornwall in the Tyee:
"Ron Wood, the mayor of West Vancouver, says that he has received hundreds of letters and emails opposing the highway. Furthermore, he says that when the municipality conducted a scientific poll, two/thirds of the residents favoured the tunnel, even if it would cost more."
Wood's position itself actually hardened after the deal was made when the true dollar numbers involved and the possibility of a P3 Propapalooza began to emerge.
So, is the residual damage enough to sink Gordian Candidate Joan McIntyre on May 17th? Not in the cards at the moment. But clearly will be a strong protest vote, much of it likely going to Dennis Perry who is described as a "high profile candidate in Tory/Green" by Adam T on the Election Prediction site . Looks like the poles could be starting to bend inward.
This just in from the New Scientist:
"DEATHS from cervical cancer could jump fourfold to a million a year by 2050, mainly in developing countries. This could be prevented by soon-to-be-approved vaccines against the virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer....."
I have a confession to make.
I once worked for a fundie organization where I was locked up for weeks at a time and forced to work 15 hour days for next to nothing at all.
You see, back when I was a much younger, and in many ways much wiser, man I spent my summers working at a YMCA camp in the wilds of British Columbia.
And I loved every minute of it.
And one day I'll tell you all about it.
But right now I want to tell you about the time the mumps came through.
Ya, those mumps - the one caused by a virus that makes your glands swell-up.
It was no problem for the young women in the camp.
But all of us not so fine young cannibals were in a tizzy.
Because of the permanent damage the virus can do to post-pubertal testicles.
Now cervical cancer is also caused by a virus, specifically one of the human papilloma viruses (HPV).
And that's the virus that the vaccine is directed against that the New Scientist is talking about.
Only trouble is, there are those think that maybe young girls should not get the vaccine.
And the reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with their health:
"......but there are signs that opposition to the vaccines might lead to many preventable deaths.
The trouble is that the human papilloma virus (HPV) is sexually transmitted. So to prevent infection, girls will have to be vaccinated before they become sexually active, which could be a problem in many countries.
In the US, for instance, religious groups are gearing up to oppose vaccination, despite a survey showing 80 per cent of parents favour vaccinating their daughters. "Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group that has made much of the fact that, because it can spread by skin contact, condoms are not as effective against HPV as they are against other viruses such as HIV."
All of which brings me back to the mumps. Turned out that all of the young men were fine, even the ones from the U.S. working at the camp, because we'd all been vaccinated when we were kids.
That's right. We'd all had the good ol' mumps, measels and rubella shot that you get in elementary school.
Funny thing is....I don't remember anybody suggesting that young boys should not get the shot because it would turn us into lust-filled maniacs bent on wanton pre-marital sex when we hit puberty (if I remember correctly testosterone does that just fine on its own thank-you very much).
We are living in strange days indeed......most peculiar momma.
And if they came up with an effective HIV vaccine tomorrow?
Thanks to Kate Storm who first brought up this topic on the new, improved and better than ever All Spin Zone.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Wonder if the editorial assistant at the Vancouver Sun that let this supposed-to-be wire service filler see the light of print still has her job?
Monday, April 18, 2005
Vancouver (CP) --
What's worse, there is actual real information in the piece about where Ms. James came from, what she's done, and what she stands for.
Shocked, I say!
(and am also convinced that it will be a very slow train coming that brings something this factually useful to those pages anytime soon)
David Frum, why do you hate Canada so much?
"....Many Americans see Canada as a kind of utopian alternative to the United States: a North American democracy with socialized medicine, same-sex marriage, empty prisons, strict gun laws and no troops in Iraq.
What they don't see is how precarious political support for this alternative utopia has become among Canadian voters in recent years. From World War II until the 1980's, Liberal power rested on two political facts: its dominance in French-speaking Quebec and its popularity in the immigrant communities of urban Ontario...."Nice try Davey boy.
I wonder.... when you type this type of drivel are the words in your head all soft-boiled and low-pitched like when you pretend to be a moderate on your Mom's old (socialized) public broadcasting network?
The facts of the matter are these Mr Frum, and despite your extreme weasel words you darn well know them:
1) Every time that Canadians have been asked in the last 40 years, with very rare exception, Universal (spell it Mr. Frum "U-N-I-V-E-R-S-A-L", which means... You or I, or our Rich Uncle, our Poor Neighbour, can walk in to any clinic or any hospital from sea to shining sea in this country and get treated....try doing that down in that 'free' market privateHMO Rationland where you currently hang your two-holed hat) Health Care has been the number one priority of all the people regardless whether they are Anglophone, Francophone, Allophone or Bananaphone.
2) Same-sex marriage....if it is really a Quebequois-Assisted Liberals-Holding-Us-All-Hostage issue, why have seven, count 'em seven, Provinces, many of whom are not under the thumb of Liberal governments, already ratified it, with more on the way (for those down south out of the loop we only have 10 provinces).
3) If Immigrant Communities are responsible for our gun laws, our low murder rates, our low crime rates, and our low incarceration rates, at least in comparison with those parts of your Paymasters' Country that are not yet behind Gates, Locks, Keys, MinuteMaidMen, and Private Security Armies, well thank the Goddess for 'em, although I have a sneaking suspicion it might actually have more to do with our universal (there's that word again Dave), very longterm appreciation of peace, order and good government that is definitely not exclusively Liberal-o-centric.
4) And as for No Troops in Iraq (and no intergalactic Space-Weaponizing Empire Missiles in our Starry Eyes either - you missed that one Dave, you're slippin'), do you not think it might have had something to do with the fact that our leaders actually listened, both to us when we took to the streets in the hundreds of thousands, and to their colleagues when they made a big fuss in the House of Commons, both in Committee Rooms and in Question Period?
You remember that last messy concept Dave, right? It's called Democracy. Or have you forgotten all about it since you threw your lot in with the PNACkian Destabilization King, the Prince of Darkness himself, Richard Perle?
And one last thing Dave. Couldn't help but notice that you let the good burghers reading your NYT Op-Ed piece yesterday know that you are simultaneously a very fine fellow of the AEI down there (why don't you guys just go for broke and start calling yourselves 'scholars' anyway Dave - or is that considered too intellectupouffy for y'all in all your cloisteredness?) and a columnist for the (very rightside) National Post up here.
Which is all well and good, as far as it goes, but couldn't help but wonder - again.....Why did you leave your affiliation with the Dark Prince off this time around when as recently as three weaks ago you were trumpeting it everywhere you possibly could, including in the pages of the very same New Pravda?
Could it be that you smell those times they are a changin' , or is it just that you have a very keen nose for that truffle-filled job in an RNC-assisted Stevie Harpoon War Room?
If the latter is the case, I have only one thing to say.....
Bring it on, Dave, Bring... It....On.
And bring all your metaphorical Axes with you
Because we'd be glad to take care of those with reason, fact and argument as well (preferably before they can be used to help kill, again).
Update: Koby has a good take on this over at Jim Elve's place which has elicited lots of good discussion. Point is, this is not America bashing. Frum is one of ours, and we have the tools to stop him.
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: Timmy the G. pulls no punches!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
"The chief organizer of the Minuteman Project, which attracted hundreds of volunteers to watch for illegal immigrants and smugglers along the Mexican border, said Monday he's leaving his post early.
Jim Gilchrist said the watch project has been a success and will continue through the end of the month as planned, but under a different name.
"The operation is continuing, but it's not under the Minuteman Project," Gilchrist said. "There's nothing for us to do here. We're bored to death......."
What, can't get cable out there?
So, I'm listening to Rafe Mair and Paul Willcocks go to town yesterday morning and I'm digging it, not because I like all their conclusions but rather because they seem to be serving up the real thing - information that I don't already know, including stuff like Rafe's bizarre examples of Elephant's on the Campaign Trail in 1975 or some such crazy thing.
Now calm down l.g. et al., I know Rafe's got an agenda, but to his credit he's up front about it and in my book that's all you can really ask from someone who is ideologically at odds with you.
In fact, if el Gordo came right out and told us that, 'Ya, I really do believe that the Trusts can save you from yourselves' I'd have a whole lot more respect for him.
But (as usual) I digress.
Because what I really liked about this morning's conversation was the fact that Mair and Willcocks got me to thinking.
And this is what I came up with.....
What if the James Gang is actually right about their moderation strategy on the labour/economic front?
As much as I hate to admit it that might just make the nut on a couple or four points and get the NDP up to Rafe's magic 39 percent.
Now, that would take hella mollification of the public sector union folks, many of whom have a huge and legitimate beef with the SS Gordo's busting initiatives, but I think they might be willing to keep their shoulders to the wheel for a wink and a nudge, something that is kinda/sorta supported by Bear 604's report from last weekend's CUPE convention.
All of which would be great, because if the JGang pushed labour moderation hard and long enough it just might generate a two, or maybe even three, week diversion that would suck up bigtime 3M's* from the BigRedWarRoomMachine.
And even better, now that the Jamesians, at least according to Willcocks, have neutralized the Greens, things would be wide open if they were to go for broke and unveil a "dual pincer" Schlieffen Plan.
But if they choose this route they've got to go whole hog because the Left Wing must be very strong (ie. the Plan failed in WWI because the German left side was weak) and because the Pincers themselves could be viewed as polarizing, out-of-control, super-scary monsters by many a timid number cruncher. To whit:
Pincer #1 - The Environment
Pincer #2 - Privatization
But, and here's the 'Eureka' moment, the Pincers are also issues that way-gone lefties like me and never-surrender fiscalies like Rafe could both really get behind.
Which means that they could also be used to squeeze both ends against that disappearing middle that Mr. Campbell and his Paymasters have worked so hard to contract.
So, how do you like them apples...... or is that Salmon, or Railways, or Hecate Straight, or Health Records, or BC Hydro, or BC Parks, or BC Ferries, or, well, BC in its entirety?
*The 3M's of PropMachine/WarRooms are: Money, Manpower and Mediabuys. Make 'em pay Jamesians...
Monday, April 18, 2005
Back in the days when it first went pseudo-National, the Toronto Globe swallowed up John A. Macdonald's old house organ, the Empire and Mail.
That happened in 1936.
So don't go thinking that all of this media consolidation stuff is something new.
And don't think that, if it finds itself threatened in a market, that the Empire won't push back.
Which we figure has to be at least part of the reason why those wily BellGlobeMedians went out and hired the even wilier Gary Mason to put together a four page BC-centric puffstravaganza that fronts the Sports Section every Saturday.
But why so much pufferey (and even more former sportshackery) when we on the WetCoast already have Cluffie?
Because 'round here Fluff clearly sells.
Or, more precisely, sells ads.
As evidence we offer up Exhibits #2,478, #2,479 and #2,480, otherwise known as the shamefully vacuous Dose, Metro and 24*.
No wonder we are doomed, not to mention so easily manipulated by the Republican-inspired BigRedMachineWarRoom.
*The fact that Erin Airton is one of Exhibit #2,480's star columnists probably explains why we've been getting sucked into so many of her fabulous fans' Google bombs recently. At least we assume they are being generated by fans.....
Update: Paul Willcocks mentioned the Liberal's War Room on his very interesting segment with Rafe this a.m. Hope he's going to follow up on that and give us details, names, and a money trail in future columns.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Unfortunately, this is not 1963 and all the evidence indicates that nobody in Neanderconland is out to make a comedy to end all comedies.
Which is one of the reasons, we think, that Mike the Biologist is Mad, really mad.
Well, that and stuff like this:
"As a microbiologist, I've always found 'antimicrobial' products stupid: if dishwashing detergent or soap can't kill the bug, triclosan–the antibiotic used in these products–probably won't do much either. Unfortunately, bathing the planet in a dilute solution of triclosan isn't just stupid, it's dangerous."
We like Mike's other more political stuff too, which is why we've just made him one of our 'Sites of the Week' (see sidebar).
In case you missed it: We also added an Hono(u)r Roll over there too just because we wanted to (funny how Heather Mallick keeps popping up; more on Shirly Tilghman to come, and Cassi Niemann's Blog speaks for itself).
Although, I must admit I haven't come across anybody blogging way left in Tofino which, in and of itself, is kind of suprising.
Regardless, good is good.
And this from Thursday, he of the Lake, is very good indeed:
"Seriously, the only reason Bush hasn't descended into the freakishly paranoid rantings of Nixon is because Nixon was smart enough to know what was coming, and the smell of Impending Doom drove him mad. As for Bush? He could lose his mind if it fell on a carpet, and that seems to be his saving grace."
T'Day also has a great story-based compendium on the lives and times of a number of the current crop of out front Neandercons. Well worth the visit.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
And while there is no sign of Faye Dunaway, Mickey Rourke or even the ghost of Charles Bukowski, there is one hell of a gaggle of global Barflies.
It's a place called the Moon of Alabama.
And for a long time after the Bartender from Philly shuttered his Whiskey Bar, the Moon was a reasonably well-guarded troll-free zone that catered to all manner of lively conversation and heavy drinking.
After all, these are not good times for wide-open discussions on the body politic given the current prohibition on free thinking and the difficulty avoiding .gov-tagged tracking engines.
But all that has changed now.
Because Billmon just outed the place, with a vengeance, and the doors have been blown wide open.
Heck, things are so far out of control that even the bartender himself is commenting again.
I, for one, am very pleased to be back in my seat in that darkened corner over by the bad drawing of Kurt Weill, nursing something my tastebuds can't quite place that has been served up by the hosts, Bernhard and Jerome.
Something single malted.....an interesting blend of Old-Europe and Neo-Jeffersonianism Rising perhaps?
Frequent contributer to the comment threads, eteba, has returned to Canuckistan after an extended trip to the Southside to visit relatives.
She is from Quebec and thus has a particular revulsion for the perpetrators of the Sponsorship Scandal, not to mention pervertors of the common good everywhere. To whit:
In a 1996 book"Justice or Chaos" a French judge is quoted "what worries me,democracy is incompatible with cheating...these clandestine activities can grow and take considerable proportions and be the real danger for democracy..."
You can read all her views on the subject on the thread to the post below or by going here.
Friday, April 15, 2005
"Riverbend" is a storyteller. Her "Baghdad Burning" blog is one part Anne Frank, another part Scheherazade and "A Thousand and One Arabian Nights" -- from cyberspace. As she wrote in her first weblog entry, dated August 17, 2003: "So this is the beginning for me, I guess ... expect a lot of complaining and ranting. ... A little bit about myself: I'm female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That's all you need to know. It's all that matters these days anyway." Riverbend's experience of war, her political commentary and nuanced slice-of-life descriptions, have won her worldwide respect and appreciation. Now her weblog writings have been published in paperback....."
You can read all about it over at Buzzflash, which also has a very good interview with her.
I know I've ranted on about this many times before but it is amazing to me how all those media folks rushing around in white SUV's have missed 99.999% of the story.
Then again, given the Neandercon strategy of information domination, perhaps it's a given.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
You've heard about the morons that will tattoo a corporate logo on their forehead for a fistful of dollars?
We'll, while Gordo may not be sporting a Tat Ad, or at least not one that can be seen without a double secret probation blacklight special from Radio Shack, he apparently does bear the mark of the Beast.
The Big Conservative Beast that is:
VICTORIA (CP) - Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell is more of a Conservative than a Liberal, but that doesn't matter because Liberals in British Columbia are more like Alberta Tories......
Campbell is a "great Conservative although he calls himself a Liberal," said Klein as he outlined the growing economic relationship between the Alberta and British Columbia.
And Ralph should know because, while he hasn't spent a whole lot of time in the drunk tank, like Gordo he has spent some time drunk.
And that oughta count for something.
Thanks to Dean for the link tip in the comment threads and for his latest report on the Mugshot Meme that just won't give up the ghost (and, yes, our Part III is coming - promise).
Monday, April 11, 2005
Just returned from a forced march* to Canuckistan's own Private Idaho......errrrr.... Texas.
Which is otherwise known as Alberta.
It's a place where the National Post (our own sorta, kinda like Financial/Washingtoon Times) is considered pink-tinged.
It's also one of the last places in North America where, if you go out with friends you get back to your hotel room stinking, stinking, stinking.
Because smoking is allowed.
Because the Premier, Ralph 'Tryin' His Best to Be ShrubNorth' Klein, would have nothing to do if he couldn't go out and smoke and drink everynight.
Well not if you realize that this is the neandercon blowhard who once got plastered and had his handlers drive him to a homeless shelter so that he could throw money on the floor and berate the residents for being out of a job.
All of which would be laughable in the extreme except for the fact that King Ralph is a truly dangerous man who would kill Universal Health Care retroactively if he could get away with it.
(warning, last link to Canada's own miniAEI, the Fraser Instapuke).
* OK, no marching involved, but was forced to fly WestJet, which is practically the same thing (for South of 49'er readers think SouthWest divided by 1000 on the service side of the ledger).
Monday, April 04, 2005
The boys of summer are back!
"On the way home from Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday, (Oakland) A's manager Ken Macha told the bus driver to stop at a Dairy Queen and told his players, still wearing their uniforms as they walked inside, to order anything they wanted.
"The rest of the people were going, 'Who are these guys? Is this a softball team?'" Macha said. "The bus driver thought I was fooling around, but I wasn't. That's what you do in Little League. The game is over, and the coach says, 'Let's get ice cream at Dairy Queen.'"
Macha's tab was a little over $51, thanks mostly to (outfielder)Nick Swisher.
"I ordered the biggest blizzard I could get, a $7 blizzard," Swisher said with enthusiasm. "Chocolate chip cookie dough!"No further comment required.
Original story source: Dan Russell's SportsTalk.
In the comments to the last post Paul Willcocks made the point that we should wait and see what Frank McKenna says and does before we rush to judgement based purely on his past associations (ie. with the Carlyle Group).
Which would be fair enough - if that's all there was to it.
However, it is impossible to ignore the following timeline:
".....During U.S. President George W. Bush's first visit to Canada, Nov. 30, 2004, the missile defence program wasn't on the official agenda. Nevertheless, during a joint news conference, Bush said the issue had come up during his talks with Prime Minister Paul Martin. The next day in Halifax, Bush again raised the issue. In his first major foreign policy speech since winning re-election, he said he hoped Canada and the U.S. could move forward together on missile defence......
...... On Feb. 22, 2005, Frank McKenna, Canada's ambassador-designate to the U.S., said Canada was already taking part in missile defence because of its agreement in August 2004 to share information from the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) with officials running the program.
"There's no question that the Norad amendment has already given a great deal of what the United States needs in terms of input on North American defence," McKenna said......
.......On Feb. 24, 2005, Prime Minister Martin made official Canada's decision on whether to take part in Washington's Ballistic Missile Defence program."
And it is impossible to ignore the fact that, while there are clearly shades of grey to consider, Mr. McKenna's very public statements supported the stated foreign policy desires of Mr. Bush, not Mr. Martin.
All of which could be chalked up to a rookie mistake by a seasoned politician, businessman and transnational consultant I suppose.
Unfortunately, in follow-up statements Mr. McKenna continued to sound, at least in some instances, like the newly designated U.S. Ambassador to Canada rather than the other way around.
(G&M piece behind subscription wailing wall, sorry)
.....Mr. McKenna said trade disputes have dampened Canadians' desire to do what the United States wants.
In response to a question about the decision on missile defence, he said: "This issue, in some ways, can be construed as the direct result of letting fester some of the transactional issues."
Thus, we feel that our cynicism regarding Mr. McKenna's true agenda, even if it is well intentioned, is warranted based on past associations and past deeds that the attentive cannot ignore.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
The former employers of Canada's so-called Ambassador to the U.S. have gone yard:
"This week, Carlyle Group announced it had raised $10-billion (U.S.) from institutional investors eager to profit from its consistent rates of return in the hotly contested North American and European buyout markets."
Sure, Frank McKenna's cheques are not being signed by Carlyle at this very moment, but it is hard to believe that dreams of future big payoffs don't come to him, say, while he's watching the water swirl down the bathtub drain every night.
After all, the Carlyle Group is a multiply-malignant-multinat that loves to buy-off former politicians and political operatives such that they can placate the local populace and grease the wheels for sovereignty-busting venture deals that service no one but the corporate consortium itself.
Case in point, Naomi Klein's recent smackdown of a James Baker-engineered attempt to play both sides against the middle in Iraqi war crimes reparations settlements with neighboring countries like Kuwait.
So, everytime McKenna opens his cannonball-filled mouth and starts spouting off on issues like missile defense, common perimeters, and sovereignty don't forget to ask yourself the following question.....
Who really benefits?
From the blog of someone who knows the Middle East like the back (and front) of his hand, Juan Cole:
".....Early Saturday, gunmen opened fire from a car in Baghdad, killing local official Hassib Zamil outside of the Education Ministry offices in the Sadr City neighborhood.
.....In the central city of Khan Bani Saad, a car bomb killed five people, including four police officers on patrol. Two police officers and three civilians also were wounded.
.....A car bomb also injured six Iraqis and set a house on fire in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said. The attack happened Saturday as coalition soldiers, acting on a citizens' tip, were arriving to investigate, the U.S. military said.
.....a U.S. Marine was killed by enemy fire while conducting security operations in Ramadi on Friday"
And finally, the kicker for an operation that is supposed to be "winding down".
"An organized platoon of some 40 guerrillas launched mortar attacks on Abu Ghrain prison on Saturday, wounding 44 US troops, some seriously, and 12 Iraqis.....
All of which has Billmon working things through the smoke rings of his mind, in a slightly different context:
.....Right now I'm picturing Shrub and the Bug Man up on the wall at the Alamo, looking out at Santa Anna's army as line after line of soldiers move into position for the attack.
"Bring 'em on," Shrub screams as the bugles blare out the deguello -- the traditional call that signifies no prisoners will be taken.
"Damn straight, George. You tell 'em," croaks the Bug Man. "Ain't no raggedy ass greaser army gonna git inside this here fort. Nosirreebob......"
Now, of course, Billmon's picture is going to require photoshop because, unless there's a plastic turkey there somewhere, his Twigness is sure to be nowhere near any real, honest to goddess, firing line.
And he no longer has to even consider shooting out his eardrum with a shotgun or joining a champagne unit to stay thousands of miles away from the fighting because these days his minions can just crank up the Whirlitzer to fool most of the people all of the time by pretending the frontline is a few miles west of, oh say, San Diego.
(comment cross-posted at MOA)
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Shame on El Gordo for turning the crank on this, his new-fangled RovianPropMachine.
And even more shame on the publishers of the Kitsilano View(master) for doing such a thing.
Original Link Source: Ian King pointing towards a very interesting blog by Todd of holycola.net.
Sometimes I'll read his columns in print.
And sometimes I'll catch his schtick on the tube.
And in those media I can't argue with the fact that he is a well read fellow with something to say that is worth listening to (not that I always agree with it).
But clearly neither I, nor many others in the Bloggodome, give Norman Spector's rampant linkophilia much truck.
If you check out Jim Elve's BlogsCanada E-Group page, which is always a worthwhile pursuit, it will be hard not to notice how often Mr. Spector posts (21 of 48 total posts on the page as I write this).
And on on slightly closer inspection it is even harder miss the high zero comment quotient associated with those posts (17 out of 21).
Now, of course, comment popularity isn't everything.
However, when there's no there there, particularly in terms of novel commentary worthy of discussion, bloggers lose interest pretty darned quick.
After all, even my six year old can use Google.
Sorry Mr. S., but somebody's gotta say it......those E-threads you're wearing, they're getting a little thin.
So please, I beg of you, put on a snappy new suit of clothes for Spring and give us.....
....just a wee bit more.
In Anatomy of a Meme, Part One, I described, at some length, my conflicted feelings about using Extreme Spin to do the Right (ie. left) Thing. This led me to a pretty big and, I think, pretty important question.....
Not sure if I've found the answer to that question, but one thing I have discovered is that once you've convinced yourself to dip a little toe into the pool called 'End Justifies The Means' it is very hard to keep yourself from stripping naked and diving right in.
Especially when it works.
When the first Email from Citizen Ka(ne)yber Toss arrived, I didn't know what to do.
Not because I didn't think what he was offering up was interesting - because it was.
And not because I didn't think what he was offering up was hilarious - because it was.
It's just that I wasn't sure if it was true, and perhaps more importantly, if it was fair.
Now, as far as I can tell, Citizen K. is a true believer. I see him (or is it her?) around the local bloggodome pretty often and I really enjoy visiting his site, which uses all manner of multimedia manipulations to demonstrate, by interweaving fact and satire, that the BC Liberal Party's real agenda is to 'structurally correct' British Columbia's economy and social fabric such that a new 'Golden Era' can emerge.
Now, of course, spincycle shills like Erin Airton, hundreds of Chamber of Commerce Board Members from Vancouver to Vanderhoof, and even Gordon Campbell himself would probably be ecstatic if they could convince us that that, and only that, was all that they are really up to.
(four thats, that, sorry)
But what folks like Citizen K also make clear is the critical point that, despite how it is being pitched, the New Era will not be Golden for all of us. Instead, it has been designed to smash down all those collective public institutions that actually help 99% of the people because, as has been demonstrated over and over again throughout history, Golden Eras/Gilded Ages can only emerge when greed and exploitation are allowed to flourish such that the rich get richer and the rest of us get, well, screwed.
And that's why I call Mr. Campbell and his Corporate paymasters 'Neandercons' .
Because what they really want to do is turn back the clock to a time when the commoners really were common (and poor, repentant and under-represented). In other words, there is nothing new or 'neo' in their 'con'.
All of which is a longwinded way of saying that I'm on the same page as Citizen K and that I am convinced that he is not an agent provocateur for the other side.
But, still, when his Email came I couldn't quite shake the nagging thought that, in his unshakable commitment to the cause, Citizen K might be tempted to step an inch or so over the line.
Which for me at least would be about 2.54 centimeters too far.
So, I let his offering languish for a while.
Then someone with out-of-the-dome political connections steered me toward Dan Doucette's original post on Indy Media which verified everything Citizen K had said .
"....I saw this T-Shirt for sale at the Wal Mart in Vernon... I did a double take... laughed my head off... then promptly bought one. The shirt is a genuine "MARVEL®" Punisher t-shirt, as the label says : assembled in Mexico on US fabric.....Yes, it's the Gordon Campbell shot."
And that was enough to convince me that Citizen K's montage, which looks like this, was the real thing.
But I still wasn't convinced it was fair
And so, I held back......
Will I get over my squeamishness and, if so, how?
Read all about it in Part III of Anatomy of a Meme..... coming soon to a Bloggodome near you.