Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Feting The Zombie Maker


Not only is the Iranian Badge News Zombie not dead, it's Frankensteinian birth father is now being feted by the Shrubbery.

Two weeks ago, Amir Taheri published an op-ed in Canada's National Post about an Iranian law that forced Jews to wear a yellow stripe. The story, reminiscent of Nazi Germany, quickly provoked outrage, but was just as quickly revealed to be a total fabrication. It also ran in the New York Post.

Apparently this is just the sort of reliable advice that President Bush needs. Yesterday, Taheri had a face-to-face with the President as one of a small group of "experts" on Iraq that visited the White House.

According to Press Secretary Tony Snow, the experts were invited to the White House for their "honest opinions" on Iraq.

This is too bizarre for words, or just about anything else you can possibly imagine, except perhaps a two week, all expenses paid, vacation at 24 Sussex Drive.

Original Link Source: Taylor Marsh.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Exterminate All The Brutes


When I saw the Globe and Mail front page in the neighbourhood newspaper box this morning blaming huge riots in Afghanistan on a tragic traffic accident, try as I might, I couldn't help but think of the words of one of the greatest writers in the English language as well as a bloated Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.

The document that Willard skims through near the film's conclusion, on which "DROP THE BOMB. EXTERMINATE THEM ALL" is scrawled, is entitled "The Role of Democratic Force in the Underdeveloped World, by Walter E. Kurtz, Colonel USSF" and is "Commissioned by The Center For Democratic Studies, Santa Barbara, California". This is taken directly from Conrad's novella, where a report written for "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs" by Kurtz is also graffitied with a similar message: "Exterminate all the brutes!"


Well, if like me you've been paying attention, you may be worried that, unfortunately, like Col/Mr. Kurtz, Canadian hands are no longer clean in Afghanistan.

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — With puffy face and red eyes, 12-year-old Mahmood was still fighting back tears as he told his story yesterday.

He had gotten the news in a phone call at dawn. His entire family -- mother, father, three sisters, three brothers -- had been killed by a coalition bombing attack on his village near Kandahar.

"I lost my family," he whispered between his sobs. "Now I am all alone."

Nearby, in an intensive-care hospital bed, his unconscious three-year-old cousin was twitching and panting for air. He, too, was a victim of the bombing. Two of his uncles were being treated in the same ward, both badly wounded, one in a coma.

At least 17 civilians -- and perhaps 25 or more -- were killed in the coalition attack on Taliban forces yesterday and at least 15 civilians were injured. Twenty Taliban insurgents were confirmed killed, the coalition said in a press release, but the rebel toll could be as high as 50.

Many houses, and even a religious school, were hit by the bombs between 11 p.m., Sunday and 5 a.m., yesterday, survivors said.


Brigadier-General David Fraser, the Canadian who commands the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, was "consulted and informed" about the attack, but the decision was made by "higher headquarters," Major Lundy said. He refused to identify the higher authorities who approved the bombing.

"Higher" headquarters?

Does that say something about who is really running the show that we are now mired in?

Apparently, it does.

There were strong hints that the assault was a special-forces operation, which would normally be kept secret. The forces hit unexpectedly stiff resistance from about 200 Taliban in the village. When they got into trouble around midnight on Sunday, they called in U.S. aircraft to attack the village.

(American) Apache helicopters and an A-10 Warthog were among the aircraft called.

Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2006

Of course war is a terrible, terrible business, even when the mission is, apparently, peace. But calling in an airstrike on a civilian area because a special operations mission has gone bad can never be justified.

Unfortunately, it looks like this was not a one off.

Maj. Quentin Innis, a coalition spokesman based in Kandahar, confirmed that coalition aircraft had dropped two 500-pound bombs on a Taliban compound, causing "a lot" of casualties. He said up to 50 militants could have been killed.
Noor Khan, Associated Press, May 29, 2006

So, when you hear and read N. American mainstream media organs try to spin Afghan riots as being caused by 'traffic accidents' don't believe for a moment that that is all there is to it.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hey, Jane Taber!


According to the Globe and Mail's 'senior political writer' Belinda Stronach is the 'Best Partier' in both the Liberal and Conservative parties of Canada.

We assume that Ms. Taber slapped this moniker on Ms. Stronach because of the panty-sniffing NY Times story last week that included this juicy description of one of her former dinner partners:

Because of Mr. Clinton's behavior in the White House, tabloid gossip sticks to him like iron filings to a magnet. Several prominent New York Democrats, in interviews, volunteered that they became concerned last year over a tabloid photograph showing Mr. Clinton leaving B.L.T. Steak in Midtown Manhattan late one night after dining with a group that included Belinda Stronach, a Canadian politician. The two were among roughly a dozen people at a dinner, but it still was enough to fuel coverage in the gossip pages.

And the source for that fine analysis?

Apparently, none other than that unimpeachable paragon of truthiness (and sister publication? - who knew), 'The Globe'.


With impeccable sources and insightful analysis like that, how long will it be before Fast Eddie G. announces that Ms. Taber will be his, and perhaps Allan Gregg's, perfect choice to act as the Globe and (nolongerEmpire) Mail's brokered interviewer for their first exclusive with neo-fawn bubble-boy, and media scrutiny chicken-little, prime minister Stephen Harper?


The Past Really Is Prologue


There will soon be plenty of discussion, recriminations and, unfortunately, possibly even reprisals (imagine if it happened in your neighborhood) as the specifics of the cold-blooded killings of families in Haditha become clear.

But that does not mean the most recent atrocities should be used to diminish past atrocities.

"It will be worse than Abu Ghraib -- nobody was killed at Abu Ghraib."
Retired US Brigadier General David Brahms,
Washington Post May 26, 2006

Sure thing.

But what about this guy?


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Who Said That, Anyway?


In an effort to fight the wave of 'False But True' bloviation that is sweeping the nation we thought we would start up a series in which we note real (ie. not made up out of whole cloth see, Badges, Iran: Fabrication) quotes that just might surprise you.

Today's was uttered by a famous politician who was having difficulty controlling rampaging Iraqis:

"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes"

Pretty strong stuff, no, even if the speaker actually thought he could use the gas to induce 'terror' rather than just kill the brutes.

So........ Who said that, anyway?

Give up?

Well, would you believe it was that great statesman, and current neocon darling, Winston Churchill?

Sure was.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Nailing The Zombie Makers


Taylor Marsh, who has been doing the digging from the beginning and who exposed the circular source chasing by the National Post during the birth of the Iranian Badge fabrication, now has the final smackdown on the Frankenstein's who built the monster, including, it would seem, the editor and/or owner of the NY Post:

....I also sent an email to the New York Post's Andy Soltis yesterday, who was one of the authors of the "Fourth Reich" fantasy article. No response from him yet on whether they're going to back away from their hyperbole. I encourage everyone who is interested in tamping down the volume on Iran to email Mr. Soltis. They, too, should be held accountable for being so irresponsible. LATE UPDATE: I just got off the phone with someone who confirmed my thoughts, which is that Soltis had NOTHING to do with the headline, which comes from the top. Who is at the top? Rupert Murdoch. I'll get right on having him clarify that headline (--snark alert--).

Sort of like Robert Duvall in 'Acopalypse Now', it would appear that Ms. Marsh likes to hear the screams of Zombie Makers in the morning.

Which is a good thing.


Tracking The Zombie


As Ms. Zerbsias makes clear, the National Post's half-a-cuppa mea culpa means nothing as long as the Iran Badge Fabrication lives on as a News Zombie.

Thus, we must all now make like Wade Davis.

Because as long as the Zombie lives, we (and that includes you, Canuckistan) will be railroaded into future wars of naked aggression based on the 'fact' that things can be 'false, but true'.

So, without further ado we introduce today's feature Zombie tracker, Glenn Greenwald:

The war-mongers who are pining for the next phase of their Glorious War of Civilizations -- regime change in Iran -- thought they hit the jackpot last week when the pro-War, Israel-centric National Post of Canada published a column by neoconservative Amir Teheri which claimed that the Iranian parliament had passed a new law mandating "separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public." The warmonger pundits immediately began screeching how they found definitive proof that Iran is the New Nazi Germany -- a new law requiring that Jews wear yellow identifying strips on their clothing.

But the story was a complete scam, total fiction, and everyone -- including the National Post and the pro-Israeli groups which were promoting the story --now acknowledge that the story was false. Everyone, that is, except for the fact-proof fanatics at Powerline, who continue to insist that it's true.


The same people who conjured up the cakewalks, Saddam's chemical stockpiles and mushroom clouds that led us into the Iraq disaster are now trying the same fraudulent tactics to induce Americans to get rid of the regime in Iran. But as the article details, all of those groups now recognize that the story was false. Indeed, the original newspaper publishing the story has not just retracted it, but said expressly that it is false.

But just as they continue to insist that Iraq had WMDs and elaborate contacts with Al Qaeda, Powerline is not going to abandon this claim just because every fact makes indisputably clear that it is false. No - they have a war to deceive people into, and nothing will take precedence over that. In an amazing post to which both Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson and John "Rocket" Hinderaker contribute, they insist that the crux of the story is true, and they even trot out their standard line by excoriating the "MSM" for covering up the story.

Sure, sure.

And love is hate and 2+2=5.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Entire Mama Mea, Half-A-Culpa


Courtesy of Kanahakkliha , who we thank profusely for saving us the loonie, not to mention the embarassment of having to look the corner grocer in the eye when buying the tainted fishwrap, here is the entire text of National Post editor-in-chief Douglas Kelly's 'apology' regarding the Iranian Badge fabrication that has now become an impossible to kill NewsZombie:

Our mistake: Note to readers

Douglas Kelly
National Post

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last Friday, the National Post ran a story prominently on the front page alleging that the Iranian parliament had passed a law that, if enacted, would require Jews and other religious minorities in Iran to wear badges that would identify them as such in public. It is now clear the story is not true. Given the seriousness of the error, I felt it necessary to explain to our readers how this happened.

The story of the alleged badge law first came to us in the form of a column by Amir Taheri. Mr. Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, has written widely on Iran for many major publications. In his column, Mr. Taheri wrote at length about the new law, the main purpose of which is to establish an appropriate dress code for Muslims. Mr. Taheri went on to say that under the law, "Religious minorities would have their own colour schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia, known as zonnar, to indicate their non-Islamic faith."

This extraordinary allegation caught our attention, of course. The idea that Iran might impose such a law did not seem out of the question given that its President has denied the Holocaust and threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." We tried to contact Mr. Taheri, but he was in transit and unreachable.

The editor who was dealing with Mr. Taheri's column wrote to Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization that keeps a close watch on issues affecting the treatment of Jews around the world, and maintains contacts in many countries, including Iran. Asked about the specific allegation that Iran had passed a law requiring religious minorities to identify themselves, Rabbi Cooper replied by e-mail that the story was "absolutely true." When a reporter spoke to Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, a short while later, Rabbi Hier said the story was true and added that the organization had sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking him to take up the matter. (Rabbi Hier has
since said that, contrary to the understanding of the reporter, the Wiesenthal Center had not independently confirmed Mr. Taheri's allegation.)

The reporter also spoke with two Iranian exiles in Canada -- Ali Behroozian in
Toronto and Shahram Golestaneh in Ottawa. Both said that they had heard the the story of the badges from their contacts in Iran and they believed it to be true.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Department did not respond to questions about the issue until after deadline, and then only to say they were looking into the matter. After several calls to the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, the reporter reached Hormoz Ghahremani, a spokesman for the embassy. Mr. Ghahremani's response to the allegation was that he did not answer such questions.

We now had four sources -- Mr. Taheri, the Wiesenthal Center and two Iranian exiles in Canada -- telling us that according to their sources the Iranian law appeared to include provisions for compelling religious minorities to identify themselves in public. Iranian authorities in Canada had not denied the story. Given the sources, and given the previous statements of the Iranian President, we felt confident the story was true and decided to publish it.

The reaction was immediate and distressing. Several experts whom the reporter had tried unsuccessfully to contact the day before called to say the story was not true. The Iranian embassy put out a statement late in the day doing what it had failed to do the day before -- unequivocally deny such a law had been passed.

The reporter continued to try to determine whether there was any truth to the story. Some sources said there had been some peripheral discussion in the Iranian parliament of identifying clothing for minority religions, but it became clear that the dress code bill, which was introduced on May 14 and has not yet been passed into law, does not include such provisions.

Mr. Taheri, who had written the column that sparked the story, was again unreachable on Friday. He has since put out a statement saying the National Post and others "jumped the gun" in our characterization of his column. He says he was only saying the provisions affecting minorities might happen at some point. All of the people who read the column on the first day took it to mean the measure was part of a law that had been passed. Mr. Taheri maintains the zonnar, or badges, could still be put in effect when the dress code law is implemented.

On Saturday, the National Post ran another front-page story above the fold with the Iranian denial and the comments of the experts casting doubts on the original story.

It is corporate policy for all of CanWest's media holdings to face up to their mistakes in an honest, open fashion. It is also the right thing to do journalistically.

We acknowledge that on this story, we did not exercise sufficient caution and skepticism, and we did not check with enough sources. We should have pushed the sources we did have for more corroboration of the information they were giving us. That is not to say that we ignored basic journalistic practices or that we rushed this story into print with no thought as to the consequences. But given the seriousness of the allegations, more was required.

We apologize for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story. We take this incident very seriously, and we are examining our procedures to try to ensure such an error does not happen again.

Douglas Kelly,


National Post

Don't you just love that part about the 'Four Sourcemen Of The Apocalypse'?

Funny thing is, if, as noted in posts below, Taylor Marsh is correct, the editor who was working on the story was actually pleading for a confirmation with not even the slightest indication that maybe, just maybe, the thing might actually be a steaming pile of rubbish.

And if they were trying to get something out of Foreign Affairs, does this mean that Stephen Harper was informed of the fabrication before the fact? And if so, did this help him make the statements, backed by half truths that parallel Mr. Kelly's very closely by the way, that helped bring the NewsZombie that now cannot be killed to life?

Finally, by giving birth to the NewsZombie in such an 'open and honest fashion' we can only wonder if Mr. Kelly will now be canned or promoted.

At the moment, based on previous CanWest corporate editorial positions and style guides, we would be willing to lay pretty decent odds on the latter.

Updated: a slight change was made from the original post to reflect the fact that Mr. Kelly does mention that an editor did, indeed, contact the Wiesenthal Center seeking a confirmation prior to publication. We apologize for the mistake (we originally had it as the 'reporter' based on the excerpt we saw from Antonia Zerbisias) which we believe would not have happened if Mr. Kelly's apology had not been hidden behind the subscription wailing wall.


Who Knew What, When?


You know, I thought it was kind of fishy when National Post editor-in-chief Douglas Kelly's apology was published behind the subscription wailing wall, unlike the original A1 above the fold Iranian Badge fabrication.

But now, more than ever, I wonder what the real motivation behind the thing was, given the latest from Taylor Marsh.

Ms. Marsh was smart enough to go right to the Simon Wiesenthal Center immediately after they and their Rabbi Cooper were cited 'sources' in the original National Post fabrication last Friday. What's more, she managed to get a 'senior researcher' there named Aaron Breitbart to tell her that the story was 'absolutely true'.

She also got Briebardt to send her a copy of a FAX that was apparently from a National Post assistant-editor named John Turley-Ewart:

Subject: Taheri on Iran

Rabbi Cooper,

As per our conversation, I'm looking at running this but I have not been able to confirm its veracity. Particularly, I want to make sure that the part saying Jews will have to wear a yellow stripe and Christians a red stripe is in fact true. Now the law has not yet come into effect, but it is moving closer to becoming law and I think we need to draw attention and much of it to this right now.

Any assistance you can give us in confirming this info would be much appreciated.



Got that? If this is correct Ewart was pleading with the good folks at the Wiesenthal Center for a circular confirmation.

All of which is bad enough in pure straight-up journalistic terms, especially given that Kelly in his half-a-cup-of-mamma-mea-culpa, today admitted that they only had a single source (Taheri, cited in the FAX above) and that at the time of publication they couldn't actually locate him.

But ponder this for a moment if you will......

What if the SWC did not hear about this first from Ewart?

Sound far fetched?

Maybe, but don't forget the Weisenthal Center sent a letter to Kofi Anan on Thursday, the day before publication of the Post fabrication, demanding that the UN do something about this Iranian Badge travesty.

Why does this matter?

Because if someone else was forewarning potential participants in the circular confirmation game that would mean that the Whirlitzer was already cranked and ready to go when the Post came calling.

And if that was, indeed, the case then this really does stink to high heaven of a black-ops conspiracy.

All of which makes what Ms. Marsh got out of Wiesenthal researcher Brietbardt today, five days after the fact, pretty darned interesting:

Now (back) to Aaron Breitbart who is the senior researcher for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, specializing in the Holocaust, and the person who first confirmed the story to me last Friday. First, he said he doesn't know John Turley-Ewart. He's the guy from the National Post who wrote in the fax I received from Breitbart that "I think we need to draw attention and much of it to this right now."


Breitbart then offered that this story was "floated about" but that as far as proving it, "certainly not." Going on, he offered that "sources" say there is talk of it happening, but it might have been "floated" (there's that word again) to "see world reaction" to it. Later in our conversation he said yet again that it was "floated around unofficially," but that we "cannot be sure."

Now before you all accuse me of having been to, as Antonia Z. calls it, the tinfoil haberdashery, consider this.......

Regardless, who did the actual floating of the story/fabrication, is it not possible that Mr. Kelly might have had an ulterior motive when he published his 'cut this thing off at the knees' - type apology today (ie. does he really want to have Mr. Ewart answer questions, for the record, about when he first contacted the Wiesenthal Center and what he told them)?


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ooops, We Did It Again


Douglas Kelly, editor-in- chief of the National Post, finally speaks about the Iranian Badge fabrication.

It's behind a subscription wailing wall, so we are excerpting from a post by Antonia Zerbisias*:

"It is now clear the story is not true. Given the seriousness of the error, I felt it necessary to explain to our readers how this happened.

The story of the alleged badge law first came to us in the form of a column by Amir Taheri. Mr. Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, has written widely on Iran for many major publications. In his column, Mr. Taheri wrote at length about the new law, the main purpose of which is to establish an appropriate dress code for Muslims. Mr. Taheri went on to say that under the law, "Religious minorities would have their own colour schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia, known as zonnar, to indicate their non-Islamic faith."

This extraordinary allegation caught our attention, of course. The idea that Iran might impose such a law did not seem out of the question given that its President has denied the Holocaust and threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." We tried to contact Mr. Taheri, but he was in transit and unreachable......


We acknowledge that on this story, we did not exercise sufficient caution and skepticism, and we did not check with enough sources. We should have pushed the sources we did have for more corroboration of the information they were giving us. That is not to say that we ignored basic journalistic practices or that we rushed this story into print with no thought as to the consequences. But given the seriousness of the allegations, more was required.

We apologize for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story. We take this incident very seriously, and we are examining our procedures to try to ensure such an error does not happen again.

Too little too late?

You be the judge.

And while you're at it, feel free to note the perpetuation of half-truths that Mr. Kelly uses to justify their running with a single sourced story, A1, above the fold when they couldn't locate that source.

In the meantime........The Zombie Lives!**

*And besides, I'm not sure I can bring myself to shell out for the hardcopy of the thing.
**Note the dates on these missives from the waygoners.
Update For all those flocking over from StevenD's Diary at dkos and other parts of the blogodome, the entire half-a-mama-mea-culpa from Mr. Kelly is now posted up here


When Shame Is Not Enough....


.......How About Belittlement?

I, for one, hope that somebody gets National Post editors like Douglas Kelly and John Turley-Ewart on the record about who gave them what and when regarding the Iranian Badges fabrication (see below) if only to put them, and others like them, on notice that if they try to pull this crap again there will be consequences (ie. it's kind of like dealing with toddlers - see also below).

But, until then Juan Cole, as noted by Jim Lobe, said something that rings both true and hits the AsperSons and their minions where they really live:

Juan Cole, president of the U.S. Middle East Studies Association (MESA), described the Taheri article and its appearance first in Canada's Post as "typical of black psychological operations campaigns", particularly in its origin in an "out of the way newspaper that is then picked up by the mainstream press" - in this case, the Jerusalem Post and the New York Post.

Out of the way?

Less mainstream than Rupert Murdoch's NY Post?


I guess that about sums things up nicely.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Racing His Own Zombie In Circles?


The single source of the Iranian Badge News Zombie (see posts below), Amir Taheri, has released a statement on the website of his 'well-connected' PR firm 'Benador Associates' in which he says that he is still right and that if only various groups had waited he could have delivered the full and complete story to them:

Regarding the dress code story it seems that my column was used as the basis for a number of reports that somehow jumped the gun.

As far as my article is concerned I stand by it.

So who, in fact did jump the gun?

Antonia Zerbisias has some ideas:

1. Here is the letter sent from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. Note that it is dated Thursday:

I am writing you on a matter of grave concern regarding a new Iranian “National Uniform Law” that was discussed in the Iranian Parliament, the Majlis, on Monday. The law was drafted two years ago and held up in the Iranian Parliament. It has now been revived and pushed forward by President Ahmadinejad.

According to an editorial that was to appear in Friday’s National Post, by Amir Taheri, a well known and well respected analyst on Iranian affairs, a consensus has developed regarding color badges to be worn by non-Moslems: yellow for Jews, red for Christians, blue for Zoroastrians and other colors for other religions. This would make religious minorities immediately identifiable and allow Moslems to avoid contact with non-Moslems.

If this is true, it would move Iran even closer to the Nazi ideology of the 1930s which also began with yellow badges and ended with the Holocaust that led to the murder of six million Jews and millions of other innocent civilians.

As I (Zerbsias) blogged last night, what this indicates is that either somebody at the Post or, perhaps Iranian-born analyst Amir Taheri Taheri himself, flipped a copy of Taheri's op-ed in advance of its publication to the SWC. Indeed, that's what sources at the Post say.

Perhaps it is time to get National Post editor-in-chief Douglas Kelly on the record as to why he went with a circularly sourced front page story that all comes back to Taheri through groups like the Wiesenthal Center whose comments were used to give the story the additional gravitas of the Holocaust angle.

Oh, wait. John Goddard of the Toronto Star already tried that.

Repeated calls to Post editor-in-chief Doug Kelly went unreturned. The paper's website ran a story headlined "Experts say report of badges ... is untrue."

Clearly, we have, indeed, been played for saps.

Thanks to Alison of Creekside, who's doing a great job on this, for the heads-up on the Taleri 'statement'.
And, again, we ask - did the PMO jump the gun too? Or, put another way, when were they 'informed' of the story that resulted in Mr. Harper's comments Friday that contributed to the birth of the Zombie?

Update: According to Taylor Marsh, guest blogging at Firedoglake the person at the National Post who may just know the real story is John Turley-Ewart.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Sugar Rush

GiveMeMyJello, Please!

Back in the old days, when I was still in gradual school*, my wife used to run a daycare.

The thing about daycares is that there are always parties, what with birthdays, and holidays, and kids leaving days, and kids coming days, and weather days, and just, well, days of days days.

Kind of like photo-ops for politicos.

Anyway, I always liked to go, not because I was particularly fond of the parties or the kids, but because of the food.

And there was one kid there at the time that liked the food way more than me, especially the deserts.

Once, over the course of about an hour-and-a-half, I watched her scarf down about 8 or 10 cookies, two pieces of cake, a huge bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup, and masses upon masses of green jello topped with that gooey, polymer-based whipped sort-of cream.

I think she was five at the time.

A little while later, with the damage done and a huge sugar rush just starting to subside, I was amazed to hear her scream, just as her parents were trying to get her to leave.....

"But, I haven't had any desert yet!"

Which, of course, brings to mind the propagandist sugar rush glut for intellectual toddlers that the Iranian Badge story (see below if you have been out actually doing stuff all weekend) has now become. Because, as the three day Canadian newcycle deadzone that is the Victoria Day long weekend draws to a close**, there are now 256 Iranian Badge stories listed in Google News and 1392 Blog posts on the matter. In addition, as Alison tells us, organs like Rupert Murdoch's NY Post are running with the fabrication, unabridged, in a second wave, and it has been up on the Mr. Drudge's and Mr. Limbaugh's fertilizer spreaders all weekend (it is still up on the latter with the linguistic link to Nazi Germany, careful, not 'reason safe'). What's more, if you read the comments on places like Antonia Zerbisias' site, where actual facts are being rooted out regarding how the story came into being, it is clear that entire swaths of the population are happily gobbling down the psy-ops-green jello, hand-over-fist.

So, are we surprised that the official psy-ops network, FOX News, has not yet joined in the gluttony, sticking so far with the low-carb, Newswire version of the story.

Of course not.

After all, when you've got folks like the Magnificent AsperSons passing you raw sugar under the table, it's easy to keep your plate clean until the real gluttony begins.

*Gradual school is a place where you go until you gradually decide it's time to stop.
**And don't think that this thing was not timed for the weekend when every self respecting CanCon editor working in the Center of the Universe hightailed it out of dodge for the opening of Cottage season, because, as Ms. Z. is reporting, the Whirlitzer actually started to crank-up behind the scenes on Thursday. Which can only make one wonder, when did the PMO hear about the story. Was it before, or after, publication?


Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Zombie Lives


As of 9:00am PDT Sunday May 21st, less than 48 hours of the initial 'story' in the National Post, there are 218 Google News-cached publications alluding to the Iranian 'Badge' falsehood.

A number now lead with a denunciation of the fraud that was the central tenet of the original 'report'. Specifically, that the Iranian parliament has passed a law that forces minority groups, including Jews and Christians, to wear special identifying tags on their clothing:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's new dress code bill is aimed at encouraging designers to work on imaginative Islamic clothing, lawmakers said on Sunday, dismissing a report that the bill sought special outfits for religious minorities.

Canada's National Post on Friday reported the draft bill approved last week would force Jews, Christians and other religious minorities such as Zoroastrians to wear colour-coded clothes to distinguish them from Muslims.

A copy of the bill obtained by Reuters contained no such references. Reuters correspondents who followed the dress code session in parliament as it was broadcast on state radio heard no discussion of proscriptions for religious minorities.

However, many are being so bold as to 'ignore' the actual falsehood so that they can instead run with the 'truthier' side of the story, in which the Iranian government is trying to impose a Muslim dress code:

TEHRAN, Iran -- A draft law aimed at encouraging Islamic dress raised fears Saturday that Iran's hard-line government plans to re-impose veils and head-to-toe overcoats on women who have shirked the restrictions for years, letting hair show and wearing jeans and shapely outfits.

Now, that latter story, from the Associated Press, ran this morning in the Washington Post.

So there you have it - voodoo mission accomplished.

Because an outright falsehood has once again been blown through the woodchipper of the Whirlitzer (think Fargo) only to emerge, rearranged and reconstituted throughout the mainstream media, as 'Zombie News'*.

In other words, an untruth that will never die that can now be grafted onto a myriad of half truths by the forces of darkness to move public opinion.

Of course, this happened not long ago when many among us were convinced of Saddam Hussein's invisible hand in 9/11 during the run-up to the act of naked imperialism that was first dubbed Operation Iraqi Liberation**.

But the 'Mother of All News Zombies' actually emerged in the previous war with Saddam, Gulf War I, when we were convinced that Mr. Hussein was way, way, way worse than any other number of American-backed puppet dictators gone bad.


Because, Saddam was ripping babies from Kuwaiti incubators and tossing them on the floor to die.

So, what does that have in common with the Iranian Badge Zombie?

Well, first, it was completely false.

More recently, in the fall of 1990, members of Congress and the American public were swayed by the tearful testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only as Nayirah.

In the girl's testimony before a congressional caucus, well-documented in MacArthur's book "Second Front" and elsewhere, she described how, as a volunteer in a Kuwait maternity ward, she had seen Iraqi troops storm her hospital, steal the incubators, and leave 312 babies "on the cold floor to die."


Later, it was learned that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington and had no connection to the Kuwait hospital.

And second, both appear to have been started by voodoo-practicing agent provocateurs (ie. hacks) working for P.R. firms:

Here's the goods on the Kuwaiti Baby Zombie:

She (Nayirah) had been coached – along with the handful of others who would "corroborate" the story – by senior executives of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, the biggest global PR firm at the time, which had a contract worth more than $10 million with the Kuwaitis to make the case for war

And here, as reported yesterday by Paleo on dKos are the potential goods on the Iranian Badge Zombie:

Google the name Amir Taheri (the original source of the National Post Story) and you will find that his writings are published by National Review, the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post and the Weekly Standard. But more significant is that he has sponsored by Benador Associates, an erstwhile public relations firm whose founder, Eleana Benador has major right-wing connections.


As for Benador Associates, aside from Taheri, its clients include such prominent neo-cons such as James Woolsey, Michael Leeden, Frank Gaffney and Richard Perle.

So, forget about the lame, after-the-fact, pseudo- retraction from the National Post, because it means nothing.

Because the Zombie lives, and that's all that counts now.

Thus, instead, we must now root out the purveyors of the voodoo and expose them for what truly are - liars who will turn any truth to crap to advance their agenda. Because, using lies and half-truths to sell soda pop and laundry detergent is one thing, but when you are selling death it is quite another thing altogether.

But where to start the hunt?

Well, how about checking into the actions of that last, bolded, name on the Benador list above?

After all, there is the history to consider:

Famed Prince of Darkness Richard Perle is a political animal unique to Washington.


Together with Paul Wolfowitz, Perle is the primary intellectual architect of George W. Bush's foreign policy. Exercising his influence through his many protégés, whom he's placed in key jobs throughout the Pentagon and elsewhere, Perle's only official role is as voluntary chair of the President's Defense Policy Board. This leaves him free not only to say what he pleases but to do what he wants.

Having spent decades in and out of office, feeding journalists and seeing his "genius" promoted in return, Perle has employed his semi-oracular status to promote war with Iraq while consistently underestimating its likely costs.

Then there are the connections. In the past, Mr. Perle has been heavily involved with the creator of the National Post, Conrad Black. He is also the ghost whose story has been written by current National Post golden boy and 'Axis of Evil' tagline creator David Frum.

Of course, none of this definitively establishes Mr. Perle as the man behind the Zombie.

But the details listed above are fact, not fiction. Which is a whole mountain range worth of actual truth compared to the tiny pebbles Mr. Perle and his associates have used in the past to start wars and wreak havoc that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

This is serious business. And we are being played for saps if we don't stop it.


*The 'Zombie' moniker for 'undead' falsehoods that cannot be killed was first described by Atrios, and more recently by pogge for this specific story.
**Please note the acronym, O.I.L.
Update: Billmon, who is on the road, sans Crosby and Hope, in the Middle-East also sees the Zombie for what it is.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I Wanna Be The NEW Tony B. Liar!!!


He may still be playing the understudy to Mr. Blair, but that doesn't mean that Stephen Harper isn't doing his best to force the casting directors at 'Special Plans Pictures' to make him the new leading man in their Iranian sequel to, Let's Make Stuff Up To Start A War:

OTTAWA (CP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to condemn Iran on Friday for an anti-Semitic law that appears not to exist.

Harper seized on a newspaper report that said Iran's hardline government would require Jews and Christians to wear coloured labels in public.

The prime minister couldn't vouch for the accuracy of the newspaper report, but he added that Iran was capable of such actions and compared them to Nazi practices.

"Unfortunately, we've seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action," Harper said.

In other words.....'Even if they didn't do it, they could have!'


Perhaps we need a nouvelle version of Bette Davis to come along and put (st)Eve in his place

Wonder if Caroline Parrish would take the part?


The Whirlitzer Moves North


Now that the American herd press is showing signs of breaking free from their faux Cowboy handlers, it appears that the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, which is pretending not to be working on 'Operation Iranian Obfuscation', just may have decided to send its Whirlitzer on a trip to the Great White North.

Pogge has the story:

Last night the National Post ran a story informing us that Iran was on the verge of forcing its Jewish and Christian citizens to wear coloured badges in public so they would be identified as non-Muslims. Quite a few media outlets picked up the story, all sourced to the Post. And a lot of bloggers picked up the story, mostly to take it at face value and scream and gnash their teeth about that horrible Iranian regime (not that they're particularly nice guys).


But independent reporter Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli Middle East expert who was born and raised in Tehran, says the report is false.
"It's absolutely factually incorrect," he told The New 940 Montreal.
"Nowhere in the law is there any talk of Jews and Christians having to wear different colours. I've checked it with sources both inside Iran and outside."


The Post story was credited to unnamed Iranian expatriates. I'd pull a quote to prove it, but the link now seems to give me a blank page. Funny, it was there this morning. Let's try a link to the print version of the story. Oops, "This story is no longer available."

There are obviously a fair number of people who are in a hurry to create a crisis where Iran is concerned. And there are obviously a lot of people who have already forgotten the con job that was pulled in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the role that expatriates played in the propaganda. Either that or they'd like us to forget.

And why not.

After all, with Mr. Harper now acting as understudy for the role currently being played by the soon to be departed Tony Blair, isn't this the time for us to really cement our bonafides with the PNACkian Paddy Wackers?


Perhaps it is actually the time for the Opposition to get unified and force an election on something, anything (how about that $500 golden hockey stick tax credit?), before it is too late and we get ourselves into a huge military quagmire in Iran that will ultimately have no quasi-moral underpinnings to justify it, as is the case with the current mission in Afghanistan.

And don't forget, the National Post was started by the Marauder himself, Conrad Black, whose ties to old time Special Planner, and longtime Obfuscator Richard Perle are well known. Of course, the Post is now owned by those paragons of truthiness and 'terrorism' re-definers, the (not-so)Magnificent AsperSons.
Update: Paleo's diary at the dKos and Antonia Zerbisias are all over the Whirlitzer aspects of the story.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Shrub's Dukakis Moment?


And what's worse, all the Shrubbery has as he flies around the Arizona desert is a Dune Buggy. At least doomed Mike had a tank.

Is it possible that the new Rovian strategy to prevent war crimes trials is to up the pathetic and/or insanity quotient to infinity?


Tag Team Intact Again


Just in case you missed it on Global News Sportsworld.....

After flexing his massive Conroid-assisted biceps before bashing Little Stephen over the head with a fake balsawood chair during the finely choreographed Kelowna Accord cage match, El Gordo of Grey's Point is back in the fold once again:

Premier Gordon Campbell says the Harper Government should dismantle the gun registry.

This comes after the federal auditor-general revealed yet more cost over-runs with the system. “I think that the report of the auditor-general speaks for itself, there's been millions, hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on the registry, we should be taking those dollars and focus them on policing and community safety across the country,” Campbell said.

Of course, as one who now sees the tag team beauty of having things both ways to Sunday, El Gordo also goes on to say:

“Obviously gun control is an important thing but let's make sure that it's working, I think it's important I think for us to focus our resources where they'll do the most good, and they do the most good in police departments and with the RCMP across the country,” said Campbell.

Fantastic stuff.

Can't wait till we get El Gordo vs. The Prestonian on 'ConWorld Raw' with Mr. Brown in the Vince McMahon role.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

When Real Research Meets Prevention.....


.....Good Things Happen

May 18, 2006 (Bloomberg) -- Merck & Co.'s vaccine against the sexually transmitted (HPV) virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts is safe and effective and should be considered for girls as young as nine, a U.S. (FDA) advisory panel said.

Now, we just have to hope like heck that the American Taliban are held at bay prior to final approval.

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.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex," Maher claims, though it is arguable how many young women have even heard of the virus.

Because if these zealots are not smacked down, what are the chances of Little Stephen's Miracles doing the right thing - not to mention third world countries who are already under the thumb of useless 'abstinence' programs for other devastating diseases?


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The 'Other' Trial


BC Mary, in the comments to our recent post about what seems like the eight trillionth delay in the British Columbia Ledge Raid trials, makes an excellent point about a related situation in which the days in court have actually begun:

The trial of former RCMP constable Ravinder Dosanjh got under way very, very quietly. Not a bit like Glen Clark's porch.

This is really the first of the trials triggered by the raid on the B.C. Legislature.

Today Ian Mulgrew, in Vancouver Sun, is reporting on it, including a poignant description of a devastated young Dosanjh finally realizing where one small step after another, has taken him: to a courtroom, charged with obstruction of justice, drug trafficking, etc.

Mulgrew's report could be describing Dave Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi, who IMO are not career criminals, either.

They were bright, ambitious young family men who learned quickly to blend into what they saw going on around (and above) them in the corridors and back rooms of power.

Punishing Basi & Virk assumes a certain insignificance when measured against their unique ability to help British Columbians understand precisely "what was going on around (and above) them" which cost this province a railroad, perhaps more.

Mary has also started her own blog on the Basi Virk issue, which should be most hopeful down the road as few in this province, including almost all the mainstream journos, have kept up with this issue like she has.


You Know You're In Trouble When....

.....Your Only Chance Is The Zalm

Former Premier Bill Vanderzalm is wading into the pool of critics concerned about the implications of Bill 30 - Section 56, which they say will eliminate municipal zoning authority when it comes to independent power projects, "All of that local input will be gone, there won't be a say. It's "Big Brother in Victoria knows best," regardless of where it happens, so that concerns me."
CKNW/Michael Smyth, Nightline BC, May 16, 2006

Which makes one wonder - just how far to the right are the British Columbia LibCons anyway, given that a former way-right premier thinks they have gone completely insane?

Then again, maybe the actual 'direction' of total extremism means nothing, if Kevin 'ThePaveMaster Flash' Falcon's recent comments on the ChiComs are any indication:

"......China has a bit of a different governance structure. But, in many ways, it is the ideal governance structure." As the room broke into laughter, Minister Falcon added, "China really has the ultimate Kevin Falcon government structure" - which got even more guffaws from the audience. He then wryly noted that, the Chinese "don't have the labour or environmental restrictions we do. It's not like they have to do community consultations. They just say 'we're building a bridge' and they move everyone out of there and get going within two weeks. Could you imagine if we could build like that?"

Sean Holman, Public Eye Online, May 17, 2006

Which, of course, brings to mind that famous line from those halcyon days long done gone:

"If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
George W. Bush, Dec 18, 2000


It's like a perverse hyper-drive 'deja-vu all over again', in which the both extremist poles bludgeon and lacerate the 'common good' middle in their headlong rush to the asymptotic exclusionary ecstasy of cronyism gone completely crazy.

Or, put, more simply, not to mention even more graphically, when one is dealing with the privatized power markets that George W. Bush's former golden boy Kenny Boy Lay was so fond of:

During California's rolling blackouts, when streets were lit only by head lights and families were trapped in elevators, Enron Energy traders laughed, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

One trader is heard on tapes obtained by CBS News saying, "Just cut 'em off. They're so f*cked. They should just bring back f*ckingg horses and carriages, f*cking lamps, f*cking kerosene lamps."

And when describing his reaction when a business owner complained about high energy prices, another trader is heard on tape saying, "I just looked at him. I said, 'Move.' (laughter) The guy was like horrified. I go, 'Look, don't take it the wrong way. Move. It isn't getting fixed anytime soon."

So listen to the Zalm. He may be a lunatic, but he's our lunatic, and this time he's on our side.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Justice Delayed Is.....

.....Justice Denied?

Looks like the trial into graft, influence peddling and the destruction of the public trust, not to mention public assets, at the British Columbia Legislature is being delayed again.

Don't feel bad if you missed it because the only mainstream media outlet who figured it was worth reporting, sans byline, was the Canadian Press:

Victoria -- Three former B.C. government workers facing corruption charges after police raided the legislature may not go to trial until December -- three years after the dramatic search.

The trial of David Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi was scheduled to start June 5 in Vancouver, but after a hearing yesterday in Vancouver, the date was postponed.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett of B.C. Supreme Court ruled the Crown and defence need more time to review evidence. Both sides will return to court in Vancouver on June 13 to begin examining the evidence.

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino and defence lawyer Michael Bolton said there are massive amounts of information still to be reviewed.

Our hearts bleed and bleed and bleed for the lawyers as the billable hours approach infinity during an ever elastic pre-trial period that will soon reach three years.

There may be at least one silver-lined cloud far-off on the horizon however......if the trial is delayed long enough the selling out of our province may just be on fullest display for all to see during the next election cycle.


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Chief Coroner Calls Codswallop


A couple of days ago we pointed out that the British Columbia Liberal Government of Gordon Campbell is shamelessly attempting to spin the scathing Hughes Report into an anti-apoptotic apologia.

And now you don't have to just take our word for it, because B.C.'s Chief Coroner, Terry Smith, upon whom Mr. Campbell's minions have tried to pin the responsiblity for hundreds upon hundreds of uninvestigated child deaths in the province, has himself come out swinging:

''I think Mr. (Ted) Hughes placed it squarely with government,'' Smith said in an interview with the Vancouver Sun.


Hughes said he disagreed with Premier Gordon Campbell's assessment last fall that the coroners service budget was adequate, and that an appropriate plan was in place in 2002 to transfer the child death files to the coroner from the Children's Commission which the Liberals axed in a budget-cutting move.

Smith said Hughes' critical words ''got it right,'' but that the ball was dropped in the government's court not his.

''I think there were some real issues around the transition plans that didn't get communicated properly, and I think the disparity between the resources assigned to the Children's Commission and those given to the coroners service speak very loudly to that,'' he said.

Lori Culbert, Vancouver Sun, May 15, 2006

We've said it before, and we'll say it again:

How do these people sleep at night?

Original Link Source: Rick Barnes, who is back in the saddle again, if only temporarily.
And forget about the latest polls, because this government is built for good times only. Thus, when the commodity bubble bursts, as is inevitable, a lot of regular folks are going to wake up, smell the coffee and start hollering, 'Where'd our safety net go?' Not to mention all our pubic assets.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, There's Always Tomorrow....

...It's Only A Day Away

From the mouth of Tweety himself:

"CIA leak grand jury meets tomorrow, Friday."


If it does happen, will we be able to measure the number of indictments by the size of the document dump tomorrow afternoon?

Update: The Day After The Night Before..... Tweety was wrong - again. When will we ever learn?


Did Ted Hughes Say.....

If At First You Screw Things Up..... Screw Things Up More?

Of course not.

But, apparently, this is the British Columbia Liberal government's strategy in response to Mr. Hughes' scathing report on the tragic mess that Premier Gordon Campbell and his minions created in the Ministry of Children and Families.

How do we know this?

Well, there is always the horse's mouth, in this case the oropharyngeal isthmus of one Lesley du Toit, the high-priced GordCo fixer who sent out a missive to Ministry staff today that included the following statement, which was leaked to Sean Holman:

"As you will be aware by now, I have been appointed to facilitate and accelerate the transformation of the system for children, youth and families in BC with which this ministry began some years back. The need for change has also been highlighted by the various reviews over the past months."

Accelerate the transformation that wrecked the Ministry as detailed exhaustively and in detail by Mr. Hughes?

All snark aside, we truly fear that this is one of those cases where buying into one's own spin just may end up in further tragedy.

I mean, really, the next thing I fully expect is Ms. du Toit and/or one of her paymasters to claim that the reinstatment of an independent children's and youth officer is something 'new' that we have long been lacking in this province.

Oh, wait, it's already happened:

" (Gordon) Campbell hailed the (new) legislation as a law that will give a clear, non-partisan approach to child protection in British Columbia."

Remember, it was Gordon Campbell that killed off the independent child and youth officer in the first place, back in the bad old days of the 'first transformation' when Doug Walls was running amok and the files of hundreds of dead kids files were being shunted off to a warehouse somewhere just east of Spuzzum.


Perhaps the time has come for Mr. Hughes to make good on his promise to hound Mr. Campbell to the ends of the earth if he does not institute his recommendations for protecting the most vulnerable among us, especially given the fact that the Hughes inquiry may be the last honest and open one we get, ever, if this government gets its way.



Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wallowing In Wingnut Welfare


Who woulda' thunk it.

Ralph Klein is a welfare king:

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says he will become a fellow with the Fraser Institute when he retires from politics at the end of the year. {snip} As a fellow, Klein would likely offer his expertise in the areas of social policy and governance, said Fraser Institute executive director Mark Mullins.

Of course, that business about 'social policy and governance' expertise sent us scrambling to the google cache, which was very forthcoming. Here are a couple of doozies, just from the last week.

The clock has run out for a controversial private member's bill that would have allowed Alberta's marriage commissioners to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. {snip} But Premier Ralph Klein gave a strong endorsement to the bill Monday, saying he felt it was simply an extension of existing government policy.

"I don't want to be perceived as a gay-basher, because I'm not,'' said Klein. "But I want to protect those who, on moral and religious grounds, don't want to marry a gay couple.''

Canadian Press, May 08, 2006

A national survey released in January shows smoking rates among Alberta teens ages 15 to 19 rose by 30 per cent from 2004 to the first six months of 2005. This survey polled 1,751 Albertans aged 15 and older, including 418 teens.

Jules Xavier, Wetaskiwin TimesAdvertiser, May 08, 2006

Now that last one probably means little - unless, of course, someone were fill you in on the following.

Last week, Premier Ralph Klein announced that he would not back the province-wide smoking ban in full, stating that the emphasis of the bill needed to be altered to protect children and prevent youth from starting to smoke rather than convincing older smokers to quit.

Cosana Preston, The Gateway, Mar 17, 2005

And just imagine what we would have found if we'd gone back a decade instead of just a week.

But, then again, come to think of it, a nation full of nicotine-addicted homophobes who are ticking lung cancer timebombs designed to blow public healthcare costs sky-high is probably just the kind boffo policy/governance result the Fraser Institute is looking for.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fake Flogging Of The Harpoon

So, when is politics like professional wrestling anyway?

How about when birds of an ideological feather start smashing fake balsa-wood chairs over each other's backs in an attempt to work the not-so-swift vote into a frenzy?

Which is the way I view this entire "Gordon 'Jail Guitar Doors' Campbell bashes Stephen 'The Expanding Buddha' Harper over the Kelowna Accord" business.

And clearly the early focus group returns are in, because now Campbell is taking his act on the road.

Heckfire, tomorrow he's even 'scheduled' to be on with Cluffie to do a little bit of WWF-like bloviation for the nation on the subject.

Can't wait to to hear the Puffmaster play the role of Vince MacMahon calling out the Jailhouse Rocker.

Or even better, maybe the Incarcerator can go to the mat with the traffic girl, Jenna Chow*.

After all, it's not like we expect anything of substance from CBC Vancouver anymore.

*which is not meant to be a cheap shot to Ms. Chow, who appears to actually have some chops. I just wish they'd let her do something for real instead of forcing her to spend her time telling us stuff about cherry blossom snowstorms raging along King Ed between Main and Cambie....
Post Puffmaster Flash Update, Thursday evening: Listened to the Cluffie 'Interview' with Mr. Campbell in the VW microbus with eldest daughter E. choir practice this morning. Disgusting. Could almost hear Cluff's rapture come leaking through the speakers. At the end E. said "I'm kind of surprised he didn't ask Campbell for his autograph". Only revealing bit came when Campbell stated, unabetted by anything even remotely approximating a probing question, that there has been 'tremendous response to his statements from last week' without a hint of irony (ie. a self-induced admission that he is proud to be driven by spin apparently means nothing to the man).


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Our Border Problem.....


The only time I ever watch the cable news on television is when I'm travelling.

I mean, I do my best to avoid the bloody stuff, but the codswallop leaks out all over the place.

Especially in airports.

Which is where I caught a chunk of a CNN 'extra-special, no-trouble-in-Aruba, Katrina's-lost-its-ratings edge' feature on 'Vigilante Border Patrols' by Anderson Cooper this weekend.

Of course, Mr. Cooper focused much of his attention on the vigilantes collective desire to stomp illegal Mexican immigrants back to the stone age where they belong.

Which is kind of ironic when you to think about it because, if not for those immigrants, who would be stocking all that cheap ammo on the WalMart shelves and pouring all those 512 ounce bladder-expanding, grande-colossal super/mega Big Gulps that the vigilantes must have in vast quantities to successfully complete their round the clock stomp-a-thon?

I dunno.

But I do know that Mr. Cooper was dead wrong when he suggested that the porous Canadian border will soon lead to a deadly influx of toque-wearing, hockey stick carrying illegal immigrants of Northern European descent into the excited states.

Because I figure that the flow is all set to go the other way - from America to Canada.

And the great majority of the folks that are getting ready to run for their lives will be of a type that we have seen, and helped, before.

It is a group that US anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan hopes Canada will continue to welcome with open arms.

"I'm just here begging the people of Canada to force your government, because your government works for you … because your government does not work for war profiteers, to allow our soldiers to have sanctuary up here," she said.

The so-called "Peace Mom" made headlines last year when she staged a month-long demonstration outside U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch to protest the American occupation of Iraq.

Sheehan asked the federal government at a news conference in Ottawa Thursday to create a provision allowing military deserters to flee to Canada so they don't need to apply for refugee status on an individual basis.

Sheehan's 24-year-old son was killed five days after he began serving in Iraq in 2004.

I can only hope that we will continue to have the gumption to do the right thing, just like we did during the Vietnam War, but I fear 'The Appeaser', Mr. Stephen Harper, has other ideas.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gordo Pulls A Chafee


There is a republican senator in the States named Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island that fronts himself as a 'contrarian conservative'.

You know, one of these so-called mavericks who are actually in favour of a woman's right to choose, gay rights and the environment.

Except, the thing is, Mr Chafee is notorious for piping up after the needle and the damage has already been done by his cronyism-addicted compatriots in the constantly conning cabal.

It is something that progressiver bloggers Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and Marcos Moulitsas of Daily Kos have been pointing out frequently as Americans move towards their 2006 midterm elections that could, potentially, help to right their ship of state before it heads for Davey Jones locker forever.

All of which probably has you wondering what Mr. Chafee has in common with the Premier of British Columbia, Mr. Gordon Campbell.

Well, we couldn't help but think of lost cause Lincoln when we heard that Mr. Campbell had gone to bat for the Kelowna accord an entire week after the Harpoonistas killed it, cremated it, and sent the smouldering remains to small Paul's favorite sailing club via a free trade unencumbered Federal Express pirate pack.

For the record, here is Mr. Campbell really letting Mr. Harper have it.

Dirk Meissner
CP May 04, 2006

VICTORIA — British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government to support the $5-billion Kelowna accord to improve the lives of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples.


"That document was the product of an unprecedented government-to-government collaboration," he said. "It was agreed to by the prime minister of Canada and all premiers as an article of good faith and as a compact to restore trust, hope and confidence with Aboriginal Peoples across Canada."

To which we respond:

Sure, sure Mr. Campbell......and talk minus action equals what, exactly?

Especially when the ashes have already been thrown to the wind.

Update: All this talk about actually trying to help people does make us wonder, however, why we have yet to hear from Rich Coleman about his 'Welfare For Landlords' (anti)housing initiative. That coupled with Wally Oppal's announcement today to introduce legislation to 'create' (we think it should be more appropriate to call it 'resurrect') the independent Children's Commissioner has us wondering if the Redmeat faction in the BC Liberal party really is on the run.