Sunday, July 30, 2006

Life In The Slow Lane


As noted Kerouacologist and sometimes sidekick to Raoul Duke, Emily Post, once noted:

"It is your troubles on the road that afterwards become your most treasured memories."

Which is just another way of saying that we are out on highways and biways looking for the perfect beach (ie. just south of Crescent City) and/or swimming hole (ie. Eel River near Redway).

Which also means that the News, as it were, takes two or three days to catch up to you. Like this Sunday morning, opening up the Santa Rosa Press Democrat to read last Friday's Krugman in which he notes that 50% of Americans now believe Mr. Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction.

Guess that means you can run away on holidays, but you just can't hide.



Sunday, July 23, 2006

Karl Rove The Science Guy


Back in the days when I had too much time on my hands I used to follow sluggers, who like Crash Davis in Bull Durham, spent their entire careers hitting a ton of homers in the minors but for whatever reason never got a real shot in the big leagues.

One of my favorites was a guy named Bernardo B. who could hit like heckfire but couldn't field for crap.

There was also a rumour floating around amongst some of the more uncouth Bleacherites at Nat Bailey stadium that Bernardo's head was actually an empty suitcase.

Not that I mean to infer that the man sitting on the tarmac in front of a jumbo jet tire in the image above has anything less than, oh say, 400,000 embryos in his suitcase, and a whole bunch of really important stuff in his head, but.......


Bush Administration Chief of Staff Josh Bolten was on 'Press the Meat' today.

And a funny thing happened on the way to the slaughterhouse, because host Tim Russert actually decided to bare his teeth. In a discussion on 'murder', Russert asked Mr. Bolten if he agreed, or could find one credible scientist that backed up Karl Rove's contention that adult stem cells have shown far more promise than embryonic stem cells.

After mightily obfuscating for a while and saying he himself couldn't comment because he wasn't a scientist Mr. Bolten finally went on the offensive and blurted out:

"Karl knows a lot of stuff."

To which, particularly as it pertains to the concept of totipotency, we would ask:

"About what?"

Totipotent destruction of the world as we know it excepted, of course.



And When Will John Bolton Denounce Her?


While Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes us further and further down the doobed-up half-pipe that is the Neocons' wetdream called 'Creative Destructionism', another Canadian is talking sense and trying to keep innocent people from getting killed.

And she is doing this by reminding killers of the innocent that they killers regardless which side they are on.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said international law stressed the need to protect civilians.

There is an obligation on all parties to respect the "principle of proportionality", she said.

About 300 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the violence. Thirty Israelis, including 15 civilians, have also been killed.The UN reported on Wednesday that about 100 Palestinians, civilians and fighters, have been killed since the start of the Israeli offensive in Gaza in late June.


"Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians," Ms Arbour said.

"Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable."


Ms Arbour expressed "grave concern over the continued killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory".

Without pointing to specific individuals, she suggested that leaders could bear personal responsibility.

"I do believe that on the basis of evidence that is available in the public domain there are very serious concerns that the level of civilian casualties, the indiscriminate shelling of cities and so on, on their face raise sufficient questions that I think one must issue a sobering signal to those who are behind these initiatives to examine very closely their personal exposure," she told the BBC.

And of course, because she is attempting to ensure that all of the perpetrators understand the consequences of their actions Ms. Arbour is now being smacked down - hard.

First here's the response from the Israeli ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker:

"I completely reject Louise Arbour's warning. Israel doesn't target civilian concentrations, and I think that by merely giving such a warning she's jumping to conclusions and as a judge she should know better," he says.

Which leaves us wondering which part of the phrase 'most of them civilians' Ms. Arbour got wrong when it comes to the 300 already dead in Lebanon?

Next up is the Montreal Gazette which had the following to say in an editorial under the title "Arbour Must Go":

The absurdity and counterproductive nature of current international law was proven once again by a bizarre statement on Wednesday by Louise Arbour, UN high commissioner for human rights and a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Of course, newspapers owned by the (not so) Magnificent Aspersons would never say anything absurd or counterproductive about things like, say, oh, I dunno, how about 'Iranian Badges'?

Speaking of which, here is Andrew Coyne who also convieniently ignores the business about the majority of the dead being civilians (talking point, anyone?) while at the same time trivializing the number 300 in the National Post:

...Remember that all of this was taking place before the death toll had mounted as "high" as it is now: about 300, military and civilian combined, on both sides. How "high" is that? Consider that in the Six Day War of 1967 the civilian death toll is estimated to have been about 50,000. You can look through all the bloody history of warfare and not find a conflict with fewer civilian casualties....

Well, at least Mr. Coyne did not say that death was life.

Of course, they only smear those that they fear most.

So, if this flurry of slime throwing has proves to be ineffective against Ms Arbour's call to account (for both sides!), how long will it be before the Rovians yank their new poodle's chain and tell Mr. Harper it's time to start gnawing on Ms. Arbour's ankles.

And if that doesn't work there is always the 'Master of Diplomatic Disaster', also known as the United States' Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Working On A Webster


Forget about the CBC, and CTV, and BCTV, and Global, and the Chorus of Weasels, and/or the network formerly known as Chum and/or CITY and/or whatever the heck it was and no longer will be ever again (good riddance?).

And most of all forget about the so-called heavyweights like Palmer, Smyth, Baldrey and, yes, even Holman.

Because it is B.C. Mary, and only Mary, our very favorite local Citizen Journalist, who has tracked down Mr. David Basi's next court appearance:

File No. 134750-1-D will come up again "for election" on 6 September 2006 at 9:30 AM.

"For election" means that the defendants decide whether to proceed to trial by judge and jury or by judge alone. Then they agree on when and where.

"File No. 134750-1-D" means Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi, James S. Duncan, and Anthony R. Young.

The charges are: against Basi: Breach of trust by a public officer. Against Duncan and Young: person dealing with government offering bribe.

To obtain this information, I spent hours in Victoria Court Room 101 that day without seeing Basi, Duncan, or Young. In the end, I had to rely upon the kindness of others to come up with these results. But I can tell you about the process ...

Go ahead.

Go try and find this information anywhere else other than Mary's site.

Could it be that, like pols, we get the journos we deserve?


Friday, July 21, 2006

Nixonian (in)Sanity Rising?


You know, despite the fact that they occasionally drank together, I never really understood what Hunter Thompson saw in former Nixon speechwriter Patrick Buchanan. And, apparently, the friendship ran both ways because the following is a response from Buchanan to HST after the latter had asked him to write a screed for Rolling Stone. The thing to realize here is that the letter was written in early 1974 at a time when Buchanan was doing everything he could to save 'The Boss' from that summer's inevitable, ignoble and final defeat:

Dear Hunter:

Sorry I haven't been able to get back to you sooner; but all leaves and furloughs have been cancelled for the last sixty days, on orders of the General Staff. At the appropriate time, I may well deliver myself of the recommended 'hammerhead screed' but I must say I was dissillusioned to learn that Rolling Stone had excercised the bad judgement to throw away three good pages on Richard Goodwin. As the Old Man said in the final days of that wonderful year, 1968, it is "getting down to the nut-cutting." Tell your liberal friends we expect to be treated with all the deference and respect as outlined in the Geneva Conventions on the handling of prisoners of war.

Patrick J. Buchanan
Special Consultant to the President

But now, finally, I think maybe I get it, because while Buchanan may be a waygone, rightsided protectionist tinged with xenophobia, I've got to admit he is not afraid to stand on his principles as he does in this recent piece on the situation in Lebanon:

On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs, and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?

No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us.

"Today, we are all Israelis!" brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel.

One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli air strikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment, that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.....


....But all this carnage and destruction has only piqued the blood lust of the hairy-chested warriors at The Weekly Standard. In a signed editorial, "It's Our War," William Kristol calls for America to play her rightful role in this war by "countering this act of aggression by Iran with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?"

"Why wait?" Well, one reason is that the United States has not been attacked. A second is a small thing called the Constitution. Where does George W. Bush get the authority to launch a war on Iran? When did Congress declare war or authorize a war on Iran?

Answer: It never did. But these neoconservatives care no more about the Constitution than they cared about the truth when they lied into war in Iraq.....

So there you have it.

Clearly the Crazies and their Screamers really are in charge when one of Mistah' Nixon's men starts sounding like he's the sane, rational and sensical one.


Update: The ever vigilant Bob Broughton gets to the heart of the matter in the comments. Nobody ever said the Nixon Agonistes didn't have ulterior motives. In related news, one of the Boss's lawyers in crime, Robert Mardian, has died. No doubt Mr. Mardian, if he were resurrected and sent straight to work for the Justice Dept. tomorrow, would look reasonable and sensical also compared to the current crop working for Alberto VO5.


Which Axis Is This Anyway?


The image above is from the front page of today's 'Independent' from Britain.

It is, to say the least, very arresting.

Unfortunately, it may not be quite right.

Because if yesterday's Globe (and No Longer Empire) Mail is correct, the Maple Leaf is actually on the wrong side of the Independent's ledger.

Stephen Harper could have taken the safe route. When fighting broke out in the Middle East, it would have been easy to stick with the usual Canadian formula: denouncing the violence on both sides, calling for a ceasefire, proposing peace talks. Prime ministers down the decades have done precisely that, tiptoeing between the usual American support of Israel and the usual Arab denunciation.

Instead, Mr. Harper did something unusual and refreshing: He said what he thought. He didn’t denounce the violence on both sides; he denounced Hezbollah violence and said Israel had a right to defend itself. He didn’t say there should be a ceasefire; he said Hezbollah was primarily responsible for starting the fighting and must be primarily responsible for ending it. He didn’t call for peace talks; he called on Hezbollah to return kidnapped Israeli soldiers and stop attacking Israeli civilians.

I guess we are all neo-Straussians now.

Maybe it's time we all moved to Calgary for a little re-education.


Original Link Source: Cloned Poster at the MoA.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Gift


The following were posted up by the notorious Uncle $cam on a 'Moon Of Alabama' content thread:

I think we ought to execute some air strikes against Syria, against the instruments of power of that state, against the airport, which is the place where the weapons shuttle through from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. I think both Syria and Iran think that we're cowards. [...] The last thing we ought to do now is to start talking about cease-fires and the rest.
-- James Woolsey, Former CIA Director

We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions -- and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement.
-- Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard

The one thing we want to avoid is stopping Israel before it gets a chance to do what it is trying to do to Hezbollah. So here's hoping that Rice's visit to the region "at some point in the future" comes later rather than sooner.
-- Rich Lowry, National Review Online

The answer lies in delivering an unequivocal blow to Syrian ground forces deployed near the Lebanese border. [...] Of course, Syria could respond with missile attacks against Israeli cities, but given the dilapidated state of Syria's army, the chances are greater that Assad will simply internalize the message.
-- Michael Oren, The New Republic

Here's what I do know about World War III and the impending apocalypse. One, we can't coexist with people who want to blow up trains and subways and bring down buildings. If somebody has a death wish, not really the best negotiating partner. [...] And it's not just us. It's the whole Western way of life that is in trouble. That's why we need to get on that World War III bandwagon.
-- Glenn Beck, CNN Headline News

Iran is behind the terror attacks on Israeli forces. The whole thing is part of World War III, ladies and gentlemen. Islamic fascism against the West. That global conflict, unfortunately, is here for the foreseeable future.
--Bill O'Reilly

That's why I think this is a gift to the world, folks. This is an opportunity finally to do something about Iran. Iran is the elephant in the room in all of this, and if we sit here and say it's Hezbollah or it's Assad or it's Syria or it's Hamas, we are blaming the tentacles and not the brain, and Iran is the center and the focus of this, and that's why this is a gift.
-- Rush Limbaugh

Pretty powerful stuff, huh.

And it's just the Neandercons and their Screamers, in their own carefully chosen words of anti-wisdom.

No wonder Billmon, and now Krugman, are both so into the form.

Also known affectionately as Gary 'U$' Bonds, and thus the 'Devil With A Blue Dress' reference which, even though it was written by Bonds, was actually made famous by Mitch Ryder and the Deeetroit Wheels which is not quite as good as the MC5, but it's close enough, especially for Uncle $cam.
To see a real devil with his blue dress on see: Neil Ornstein of Snorkblog.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Floggin' The Floatie


When commenting on the Victoria 'Raw Sewage' issue a few days ago I had missed Joel Connelly's commentary in the Seatle Post-Intellingencer.

I've long had the utmost respect for Mr. Connelly's opinions on environmental and political issues on both sides of the 49th:

Here he is on Mr. Floatie:

James Skwarok will assume his better-known identity as "Mr. Floatie" in Victoria this afternoon, dressing up in costume as a 6-foot-tall turd, donning a sailor's hat and speaking in a falsetto voice.

The get-up will draw TV cameras like flies to (bleep) as Skwarok delivers a "Frisk Assessment" at the Capital Regional District. The CRD is releasing a scientific and technical report on the discharge of untreated sewage by British Columbia's touristy capital and neighboring cities.

Mr. Floatie has become a national protest symbol in Canada, goading politicians to treat the raw, sometimes toxic effluent that gets flushed into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Victoria is renowned for its elegant gardens, its bicycle paths and the big vote it gives to Green Party candidates.

Each day, however, it uses an international waterway as a toilet for 31 million gallons of raw sewage -- enough effluent to fill 40,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools in a year.

And that's not all. According to the regional district's own monitoring figures, 5 million kilograms of oil and grease per year flow through the Clover and Macaulay Point sewage outfalls.

Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles built sewage-treatment plants years ago. North of the border, an old rule has applied: Hell hath no fury like a bureaucracy defending itself.

Which is all good stuff.

But then Mr. Connelly really goes for the jugular when he quotes the Chamber of Commerce.

"To us it's a business issue," Robin Adair, chairman of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said recently.

"I think there is an awful lot of science that is mixed," he added. "It's the optics. If our visitors are not happy with a lot of raw sewage in our strait, and a lot of people in Victoria are not happy about it, then we need to do something about it."

So there you have it.

It's all about 'mixed' science and 'optics'. Of course, this is from the impeccably credentialled Robin Adair who, before he became chair of the Chamber of Commerce, was reknowned for his nobel prize-nominated work as a Campbell Government-friendly flack-hack. And don't forget Mr. Adair's rigorous scientific, MIT/Harvard PhD comparable, scientific training as.........a news reader/legislative reporter at CHEK-TV.


Update: Here's Mr. Connelly's column from today in which he dubs the waterway concerned the 'Strait of Juan de Poopa'.
And here is the URL for the advocacy group 'Poop Victoria'.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Burn, Baby Burn.....

.....Tar Sands Inferno


Billmon has the goods on the Rovian reaction to the skyrocketing rise in the price of Oil, at least in the short term:

Oil hit $78 a barrel today (Friday), and Bloomberg News is quoting analysts saying it could soon go to $100. As of this writing, the Dow is down 130 points. The Japanese, with their usual exquisite sense of timing, just raised interest rates for the first time in the professional lives of many Wall Street traders. Retail sales are down, consumer confidence is down. In other words, the financial markets are having another very bad, horrible, no good day -- as is the Cheney administration.....


For the Rovians, it's a nightmarish dilemma: Do they pander shamelessly to the Israel lobby and its Christian conservative supporters (the default election-year position) or do they try to keep the Israelis, and the global oil markets, under some kind of adult supervision, even if it leaves Charlie Krauthammer sputtering with rage? You can already see the sweat popping out on Condi Rice's forehead.

Well, actually, there is an easier way, of course*.

And the path to this easy 'third way' can be seen in the numbers, US Department of Energy numbers to be precise.

Crude (US) Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country May-06 Apr-06 YTD 2006 May-05 Jan - May 2005


Funny how high Canuckistan is on that list compared to, oh say, Iraq.

Or even the House of Saud.

And just to be clear, despite the fact that we are lengthening our lead month-by-month, these are all pre-Tar Sands numbers.

Kind of makes you wonder why they haven't just annexed Alberta already, doesn't it?

Luckily for us, as has been recently demonstrated by the Minister now responsible for 'Giving Our Billions to Boeing' and his tough-as-nails negotiating skills, we know we have a government that will never, ever knuckle under and hand the Cheney Administration a trouble-free soft Anschluss.

So everybody just relax, and don't worry about the fact that Carlyle Group and friends already have a deal in the works to get hold of the pipelines to the coast.


To be fair, Billmon has written about the soft anschluss before. It's just that I don't have time to find it this morning because I'm currently a folk festival widow and I've got more important things to do, apparently.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Beautiful British Columbia


Still hot on the trail of finding out when the Trials for our 'Crime of The Century' actually start, BC Mary is working her way south. First it was Parksville, now it is Nanaimo. And while she didn't get an answer, she at least found a person at the Courthouse.....And despite her frustrations, one of the great things about her quest is that she is fast assembling her own Kesey-like band of Merry Pranksters along the way.


And too bad for all those Vancouver Islanders that the A Team has been dismantled by the BellGlobeMedia buy-out of CHUM. Must be a lot of folks pining for the long gone days of staid old CHEK I reckon, you know back when Robin and Marissa ruled the airwaves with an iron fist, although I'm not sure the RedTory would be one of them.

Speaking of the Red Tory, he has the story of Mr. Floatie, the piece of human poo, and the $600,000 study that was commissioned by the local burghers of Victoria which demonstrates that the dumping of millions upon millions of litres of raw sewage into the ocean year after year after year is actually a bad thing. I grew up in Victoria, and the argument has always been that it is OK because the tides move 'real fast' past Trial Island, which was weird, because the Southern Tip beaches were always closed because of the coliform counts. Then again, self-delusion is a powerful drug, especially when you've got tourism slots to fill.

But the real question is.....will anything be done? Apparently it will cost something like $500 million to build a decent secondary sewage treatment system from scratch. Which is probably impossible because, heckfire, that's almost two luge tracks and a speed skating oval's worth of pork.

Speaking of tourism, there has been a bit of a dust-up at the Victoria Times Colonist over a columnist who wrote a story about how people could come to little England and actually do stuff that doesn't cost a small fortune. The Gougers, errrr...Tourist Operators were incensed; they demanded, and were given, an audience with the publisher and the offending columnist was immediately fired. It's the old story I suppose.....A Free Press is Only Free to he who owns it. Does this mean that Paul Willcocks will have to watch his step the next time he prints something that is critical of, say, a big lumber company? Clearly, Sean Holman, the Last of the Independents, does not have to. He broke the story.


Of course, when they go to the Island all those tourists have got to use David Hahn's very fine BC Ferry fleet. Mr. Hahn, who is running a private corporation that is designed, reportedly, to stand on it's own two feet and never ask for hand-outs was, who would'a thunk it, asking for a hand-out this week. Specifically, he wants more money from the Provincial Government to buy a replacement for the Queen of the North. Sure, sure, Hand of God (where's Maradonna?) and all that, but wasn't that ship slated for decomissioning anyway? Which got us to wondering if maybe, just maybe, the Big Bossman called Keith Baldrey in the middle of the night when he was agonizing over the fact that some in the local press might call him a Corporate Welfare Queen for making the request? Then again, something like that is probably just idle, not to mention boneheaded, speculation. After all, if any columnist did get up the gumption to do such a thing the Bossman's Backers just might march into their publisher's office and have them fired.

And finally, forget the Morfitt thing, because that is actually just old news repackaged. What's really new and exciting at BC Ferries this week is that they've hired a pack of naturalists to talk to those tourists on board the ships about the, what else, Natural Wonders of Beautiful British Columbia. Which is probably a good thing I guess, because they will also be able to explain why there is poo floating in the water or, more to the point why there has been a decline in Orca stocks in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Southern Gulf Islands, which is actually one of the serious things that that $600K study on Raw Sewage looked at.


Have a great weekend everyone!

As for me?

Well, once again, just like always, I will be a Folk Festival widower.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kenny Boy Died For Somebody's Sins.....


....But Not Mine

"Jesus? Sure, let's start a religion after Kenny boy, a religion of corporate crime. Blessed are the corporate weasels, for they shall inherit the workers retirement savings funds. He died for our cons."
Q, In the Comments
To a post on Ken Lay being compared favorably to MLK, JFK and Jesus.

Which immediately brought to mind a line from one of the greatest albums, and never mind the narrow type-casting of the rock and roll genre because we're talking about the greatest of everything that can make you feel anything here, of all times.

Of all times.

Jesus died for somebody's sins
but not mine
meltin' in a pot of thieves, wild card up my sleeve
thick heart of stone
my sins my own they belong to me.....


I first heard Patti Smith's Horses in Grade 12.

And I remember taking all kinds of crap from my friends, especially the guys in our soon-to-be-nascent garage band for pushing it.

But it was absolutely life changing for me.

This was all that the poetic, thinking, feeling, rebellious and, yes, even the Rock and Roll, life could and should be.

And it was coming from a girl.

And even when it wasn't her own stuff she turned it into magic, like Van Morrison's 'Gloria'.

Or my all time favorite added to the remastered version, which is her live rendition of Pete Townsend's 'My Generation' in which the tag line morphs from 'hope I die before I get old' into 'I don't want no f@#*ing sh*t!'

Oh, how I long for the days of the beautifully profane.

Instead, all I get now is Jessica Simpson, everywhere, including everytime I open Yahoo to check my mail.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vengeance Is Mine Sayeth The Swindled


So, when you think of the life and times of Kenny Boy Lay, what do you think of?



Convicted criminal?

Destroyer of retiree's savings?

All of the above?

Well, apparently not everyone feels that way, because at his funeral today Mr. Lay was compared, favourably, to four men that most people would never associate with the above descriptors.

The Rev. Bill Lawson, pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, likened Lay to James Byrd, an African-American man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.

"Ken Lay was neither black nor poor as James Byrd was," Lawson said. "But I'm angry because he was the victim of a lynching." Lawson, who also spoke at Lay's Colorado memorial service, likened the businessman to President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus — all of whom, the minister said, were wrongly victimized.

Sure thing.

And up really is down......


What's the Frequency Philippa?


Phil Fontaine, the man who got the Kelowna Accord deal done before it was trashed by the Cons, has only one serious challenger in the Assembly of First Nations leadership vote that is being held today in Vancouver.

And that man is Bill Wilson, who had some rather interesting things to say during the leadership debate:

Bill Wilson said in his opening statement in the leadership debate at the AFN annual meeting that he does not want natives to "be on their knees under the white man's table" begging for scraps.

Mr. Wilson said that by fighting hard for land rights and access to natural resources, he would help natives break their dependence on the federal government.

"I can find the money to make us independent."

Now that's alright, as far as it goes, I suppose, but then came the hammer:

Mr. Wilson questioned the merits of the Kelowna deal, particularly with a new government in place.

"Let's face it. It's a dead dog on the Conservative highway," he said. "We can buy ourselves a new dog."

Now that last statement becomes really interesting, especially if you know a little of the local 'meet and greet' colour surrounding Mr. Wilson's visit to Vancouver, as supplied recently by Sean Holman: has come to our attention that former Non-Partisan Association board member Alex Tsakumis and Stephen Rogers, who ran for the (CCRAP/CPC) party in Vancouver-Quadra during the past two election, will be co-hosting a wine and cheese reception for the outspoken lawyer (Mr. Wilson) at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. But, in an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Tsakumis said his support for Mr. Wilson has nothing to do with Mr. Fontaine's tight relationship with the previous Liberal administration in Ottawa. Instead, the Conservative cardholder explained "I was asked by a mutual friend of Bill's and mine if I would be will to co-host the event. I've met the chief a few times in the past. And I'm an admirer of his tenacity and the forthright manner in which he conducts his affairs. And I was happy to be a co-host."

[party affiliation(s) etc. in (brackets) mine]

To which commenter 'Johnny Moonbeam' (any relation to the Reverand?) added that it didn't matter because Fontaine has the election wrapped up unless, of course, any local Lotuslandiers who so admire Mr. Wilson's tenacity manage to find a third person named 'Philip' or 'Philippa' Fontaine to split the ticket.

Which got us to wondering, purely hypothetically of course......If Philip and/or Philippa were to magically appear, would they be squired around town in a big, shiny Green bus that they couldn't pay for that was being driven by a guy named James?

Update, Later Wednesday:
Well, looks like Phillip and Phillippa were no shows, because Phil cleaned-up.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blame Canada


Well, there must be an election coming, and the internal polling must be downright scary for the incumbents, because the American Congress Critters actually did something that helps people today:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. customs and border security agents would be banned from seizing prescription drugs that Americans import from Canada under a measure passed by the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 68-32 in favor of the provision, with supporters saying the federal government should stay out of the way of Americans seeking cheaper medicines in Canada for personal use. Many Americans import prescription drugs from abroad even though the practice is illegal.

68-32...... from a Republican-controlled Senate?

That's a pretty big swing, not to mention a nice fat whack upside the head 0f the Big Pharma lobby, at least in the short term.

But that doesn't mean that all the dumbness is done because it looks like the Waterheads are still baying at the moon

Exhibit A is from a previously self-gagged Republican Senator from New Hampshire named Judd Gregg:

"It's not an issue of defending the drug industry. It's an issue of making sure that the person who gets that (imported) drug is actually getting what they paid for (and) he's getting something that's safe," New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg said.

But don't go away quite yet because, believe it or not, Mr. Gregg actually gets dumber.

Gregg also said the measure would create "a massive hole in our borders and our ability to protect ourselves." He said terrorists could hide biological weapons such as anthrax in prescription drug bottles.

Hang on, gotta go check my kid's antibiotics to see if there's any deadly nerve toxin in there.



What Do We Really Care About In B.C.......

......Bobsled Runs Or Our Kids?

You remember John Les don't you?

Mr. Les is the Solicitor General of British Columbia, who together with his boss, last year denied and denied and denied and denied and denied and denied that we had any problem investigating child deaths in this province*?

Well it seems that Mr. Les was happy to crank himself up and start spinning once again after a new Coroner's Report was released recently.

B.C.'s Solicitor General John Les said the coroner's service report signals the strong commitment to conduct thorough reviews of child deaths in British Columbia.

"This report is a part of a process that was completely endorsed by Ted Hughes and others, and I think it represents some good work, albeit somewhat late," he said. "Hopefully, it will contribute to the safety of children in British Columbia."

If one has been paying attention (see links above, or not, if you want to keep your blood from boiling) it is impossible not to be extremely angry about this, because Mr. Les and the man he works for, Gordon Campbell, created this problem in the first place due to their ideologically based cost-cutting, and now they are claiming to have fixed a problem they created without ever taking responsibility for the havoc they wreaked in the first place, for no good reason at all.

The report actually came out a couple of weeks ago. And it is so lame that I was too disgusted to even write about it.

Luckily, Paul Willcocks has.

VICTORIA - It took the Coroners Service three years to complete its first annual review of child deaths.That in itself indicates serious problems. The report, which offers only obvious and general recommendations, confirms how wrong things have gone.

The Coroners Service was supposed to take the lead in learning from child deaths after the Liberals eliminated the Children's Commission. Nothing would be lost, Premier Gordon Campbell promised.The coroner took over child death reviews in 2003. You might have expected a report in 2004, or maybe the next year. After all, they're important in helping save lives.

But only now has the first annual report appeared.

It offers seven recommendations, all glaringly obvious and all lacking useful detail. Kids should use car seats, or least be buckled in; they should learn to swim; guns should be kept locked up; and there should be meetings to talk about child suicide and the high death rate of aboriginal children. (The report did have one concrete recommendation, calling on health authorities to do more to teach parents about safe sleeping practices for infants.)


The report's weaknesses show how critical it is that the new Representative for Children and Youth get the mandate and budget to do the critical work needed. (Work has barely begun on setting the office up. There's no budget; the MLAs' committee that's to hire a representative has only met once.)

And that 'Representative For Children And Youth'?

Oh ya. That was something that Ted Hughes also recommended, in the strongest of terms, which is something else that Mr. Campbell's government previously scrapped for ideological reasons and/or to save a million or two.

Funny how Mr. Les didn't mention that.

But who really cares anyway?

After all, we've got Luge runs we need to build.

And stuff like that costs millions and millions and millions.

Which way to the shiny suits?

*Thank the goddess for Kathleen Stephany.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Why Don't We Have A Real GWOT....


.....Against Tobacco That Is

Because no matter how you slice it, Big Tobacco is a real, honest to goddess Axis of Evil:

CBC July 10/06 Tobacco is on course to kill a billion people this century — 10 times the toll it exacted in the 20th century — if current trends continue, public health officials said Monday.

Worldwide, tobacco causes one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths each year. An estimated 1.25 billion men and women around the globe smoke cigarettes.

The staggering statistics, detailed in the new Cancer Atlas and updated Tobacco Atlas, were released at the International Union Against Cancer conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

But then again, why should anyone believe the IUC.

After all it's literally filled with scientists and other well-known, card-carrying members of the reality-based community.


Big Brother And The Holding Company


Looks like our Lord is in the Cross Hairs again:

Reuters, July 7/06: Hollinger Inc. said yesterday that it was countersuing the newspaper publisher Hollinger International in Federal District Court in Chicago, contending there was fraud in the transfer of two newspapers to the publisher in the late 1990's.

Hollinger claims Hollinger International participated in a scheme to acquire The Daily Telegraph of London in 1995 and several Canadian newspapers in 1997 at prices "far below fair value," according to a statement.

This was part of a plan to reduce Hollinger to a holding company with no operating assets and allow a minority owner, the Ravelston Corporation, to become its controlling shareholder without expending any of its funds, Hollinger said.

In other news, Lord Black's arch nemesis and holder of the skeleton key* to Lady Black's heart**, Patrick Fitzgerald, wins again. This time Fitzgerald has banged the gong of something even Hunter S. Thompson could not beat - the Daley machine in Chicago.

As the Lord and Lady might say if they still had their mano(u)r......


*a.k.a. David Radler.
**and/or wardrobe closet which, rumour has it, may not necessarily be two different things.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Boss, Boss......The Plane!


Who Knew That The Rovian's Kafka Was Really Tatoo

The following is the latest story to come to light of what the Cheney Administration likes to call 'Extrajudicial Abduction':

ALGIERS — Two years ago, a motley collection of prisoners spent night after night repeating their telephone numbers to one another from within the dark and dirty cells where they were being held in Afghanistan. Anyone who got out, they said they agreed, would use the numbers to contact the families of the others to let them know that they were still alive.

At least two of those men are now free and, thanks to the memorization exercise, are back in touch with each other.

The case of one of them, Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen who was held as part of the United States' antiterrorism rendition program, was revealed last year, and German and American officials have acknowledged that he was erroneously detained by the United States. But the tale of the other, an Algerian named Laid Saidi, has never been told before, and it carries a new set of allegations against America's secret detention program.

....... {snip}

It is not clear if the crackdown on Al Haramain led to Mr. Saidi's detention, but on Saturday, May 10, 2003, Tanzanian police officers surrounded his car as he left home for work, according to Mr. Saidi, his wife and press reports at the time. That night the police drove him to Dar es Salaam and put him in jail.

"I thought I might have been arrested for holding a false passport, but I didn't tell them it was fake," he said.

Three days later, he said, he was bundled into a white Land Rover and driven to the Malawi border, where he was turned over to Malawians in plain clothes who were accompanied by two middle-aged Caucasian men wearing jeans and T-shirts. They spoke English with the Malawians, Mr. Saidi said. That is when he realized that something more ominous was going on.


After being held for a week in a prison in the mountains of Malawi, Mr. Saidi said, a group of people arrived in a sport utility vehicle: a gray-haired Caucasian woman and five men dressed in black wearing black masks revealing only their eyes.

The Malawians blindfolded him, and his clothes were cut away, he said. He heard someone taking photographs. Then, he said, the blindfold was removed and the agents covered his eyes with cotton and tape, inserted a plug in his anus and put a disposable diaper on him before dressing him. He said they covered his ears, shackled his hands and feet and drove him to an airplane where they put him on the floor.

"It was a long trip, from Saturday night to Sunday morning, " Mr. Saidi recalled. When the plane landed, he said, he was taken to what he described as a "dark prison" filled with deafening Western music. The lights were rarely turned on.

Men in black arrived, he said, and he remembers one shouting at him through an interpreter: "You are in a place that is out of the world. No one knows where you are, no one is going to defend you."

He was chained by one hand to the wall in a windowless cell and left with a bucket and a bottle in lieu of a latrine. He remained there for nearly a week, he said, and then was blindfolded and bound again and taken to another prison. "There, they put me in a room, suspended me by my arms and attached my feet to the floor," he recalled. "They cut off my clothes very fast and took off my blindfold." An older man, graying at the temples, entered the room with a young woman with shoulder-length blond hair, he said. They spoke English, which Mr. Saidi understands a little, and they interrogated him for two hours through a Moroccan translator. At last, he said, he thought he would learn why he was there, but the questioning only confounded him.

He said the interrogators focused on a telephone conversation they said he had had with his wife's family in Kenya about airplanes. But Mr. Saidi said he told them that he could not recall talking to anyone about planes.

He said the interrogators left him chained for five days without clothes or food. "They beat me and threw cold water on me, spat at me and sometimes gave me dirty water to drink," he said. "The American man told me I would die there."

He said his legs and feet became painfully swollen because he was forced to stand for so long with his wrists chained to the ceiling. After they removed him from the chains, he said, he was moved back to the "dark" prison and a doctor gave him an injection for his legs.

After one night there, he was moved to a third prison. He said the guards in this prison were Afghans, and one told him that he was outside Kabul.

There were two rows of six cells in the basement, which he described as "filthy, not even suitable for animals." Each cell had a small opening in the zinc-clad door through which the prisoners could glimpse one another as they were taken in and out of their cells.


In prison, Mr. Saidi said, he was interrogated daily, sometimes twice a day, for weeks. Eventually, he said, his interrogators produced an audiotape of the conversation in which he had allegedly talked about planes.

But Mr. Saidi said he was talking about tires, not planes, that his brother-in-law planned to sell from Kenya to Tanzania. He said he was mixing English and Arabic and used the word "tirat," making "tire" plural by adding an Arabic "at" sound. Whoever was monitoring the conversation apparently understood the word as "tayarat," Arabic for planes, Mr. Saidi said.

"When I heard it, I asked the Moroccan translator if he understood what we were saying in the recording," Mr. Saidi said. After the Moroccan explained it to the interrogators, Mr. Saidi said, he was never asked about it again.


After 16 months, Mr. Saidi was free. He was reunited with his wife and children.

And he was never charged.

With anything.

In other news.......Maher Arar last week was singled out and given the quadruple 'S' treatment* while attempting to board a plane.

That was flying domestically.

In Canada.

also known as: "Selected for Secondary Security Screening"


Citizen J. The Real Thing


Ever wonder what happened to the British Columbia Ledge Raid Trials and all the assorted and sundry spin-offs?

Me too.

But don't bother with Google News on this one, because there are no good fresh tracks there.

Luckily, though, a real citizen journalist we can call our own, BC Mary, is on the case.

Mary has been following this one since the beginning, I think. And not long ago she took it upon herself and start a blog where she's been coming through with background stories and historical reports just to get things on the record all in one place.

But now she's outdone herself and has started to do her own digging and to lay down real shoe leather on this story, which is something the CorpMediaCorps, for whatever reason, apparently refuse to do.

Here's her latest. I'm reprinting the entire thing here for all kinds of reasons. First off, this is a story that is being buried despite the fact that the central case of alleged fraud revolves around one of the biggest sell offs (outs?) of public assets that we have ever seen in this province. Second, I really like the writing. And third, I am fascinated by the way Mary let's herself come through the story that is almost, but not quite quintissential Gonzo. Instead, her adventures sound a bit like more like a cross between those of Hunter S. Thompson and Jessica Fletcher:

I'm wondering if purgatory sometimes happens before you die. I'm wondering if certain events, such as The Legislature Raids, are designated fire pits.

Let me repeat here that I phoned the Victoria Court Registry Enquiries (250) 356-1478 expecting to find out the date on which the trial of Basi, Young, & Duncan would begin. I was told that this information couldn't be given over the telephone (why not? I wondered). The correct procedure was for me to appear at the Court House and use their computer to ask the question. When I told her I was in Parksville, she said very clearly, "Then go to the Parksville Court House." I thanked her, and set off to find this place. I told you about finding its doors locked, despite the hours of business painted clearly on the glass doors ... not to mention an ominous warning (painted in the same dignified font) about not taking knives and guns into the Court House.

To make a fresh start this morning I arrived early at the Parksville Court House and although the lights were on inside the reception area, the doors remained locked. A car horn honked at the curb. A nice lady (and Bailey, why is it always "nice ladies" who come to my rescue??) called out, "They're not here yet, but they're coming."

Then she said, still at the wheel of her pick-up truck, "Are you here about the lease on this building?"

Me: No. I'm here because ... [well, you know the story ...]

Through gales of loud laughter, my new friend explained that "The Parksville Court House had been closed for FIVE years! The nearest Court House is in Nanaimo."

"Wouldn't you think," my voice was rising, "that in 5 bloody years somebody could've put a note on the door?"

Her voice was rising, too. "The whole thing just makes me furious," she said. "We need our Court House ..." and she rhymed off several other government services which no longer had a Parksville address ... a town which is growing. Crime here is also growing. The Harleys cruise through town every evening between 10:00 and 11:00 PM. The sirens never sleep.

She looked at me, disappointed. "I thought you were here to negotiate the lease with us."

Nope, not me.

Together, we denounced the forces of chaos tearing at this province. And wished each other well. But as we talked, I had been watching men at work erecting a 9-storey building just below the old Island Hall. It seemed to be made of plywood.


The empty Court House was solid brick.

See what I mean.

I can't wait to read Mary's day-by-day blow-by-blow from the actual courtroom if (and when) the trial ever actually starts.

But even before that happens visit her place early and often if you want to keep up on all that is not happening (she even tracked down Vaughn Palmer on the Dosanjh trial/not trial business not long ago).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Co-Opt Everything


So we were having a 'discussion' at our house the other day. My sister-in-law thought that maybe taking care of Tamagachi for a month or so should qualify her kid for a 'Pet' badge in Girl Guides.

I said that was crazy.


Because sometimes things just happen. Crazy things that you can never predict, like the lovebird getting out of the cage and eating the wicker lamp that a kid (or a Dad) should have to deal with when they screw up.

And sometimes you really mess up, and you let your dog off his leash and he chases you down busy Oak Bay Avenue and he gets hit by a car and the howls are unbelievable and you have to run back down Monterey Ave to get your Dad who picks up Scooter and carries him home and then you have to nurse him back to life for weeks but he's never the same because his front end goes one way and his back end goes the other and you never do something that stupid again in your life - ever.

And sometimes, unfortunately, things just die because they're at the end.

And because life's like that maybe that's the way it should be too.

Which brings to mind the story about CBGB's that made the rounds this week:

Famed New York rock club CBGB will be shutting its doors on Sept. 30, a month earlier than planned, owner Hilly Kristal has announced.

But he's promising to reopen CBGB in Las Vegas and said that if it's successful, he's willing to find another space in New York for a second location.

The Vegas CBGB "won't be the same size or the same shape, but I am going to have all the things that matter there," Kristal said an interview with "I am taking the bars with me, I am taking the stage — I'm taking the urinal that Joey [Ramone] pissed in with me. I'm going to take a lot of things — anything that makes this place CBGB."

To which I can only say - thank the goddess Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee are already gone.

And if Patti Smith goes to Vegas, well, I sure as heckfire hope that it is only to ressurrect the ghost of Oscar Zeta Acosta, or some such thing.

That's not to say I wouldn't make the trip to the desert to watch Debbie Harry do her thing in a fright wig though.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Inspiration, Or Something Like It


So, I meant to post a new HST story up today.

But life and work both got in the way.

And tonight we've gotta go see 'Jack Black in Tights' because both my kids, Bigger E. and Littler E., are suckers for the Manic Man's magic.

Not to mention my wife C., who even laughed her head off at Black showing Letterman how he 'trained' for his escape run in King Kong.

Thus, please accept my apologies for the re-play from February, but this, I think, is a good one.......


What Else Could You Possibly Ask For?


I've talked a lot about my obsessions for the writings of Hunter Thompson before.

And I've told lots of people that the lark that made Thompson famous, writing about his fear and loathing, is not my favorite bit.
On the other hand, I have also told the remaining few that will listen about the king-hell time I had reading 'The Lark' for the first time, all at once, purely for the adrenaline rush of the language, while holed up a tiny woodstove-heated cabin located high in the Sooke Hills in the early 1980's. But I don't think I've ever told anybody about my reaction to the dedication at the front end the thing in which Thompson thanked Bob Dylan. For Mr. Tambourine Man. Back then I was a much, much younger man but Dylan was already old, as were his best songs. And both were already washed up in my estimation.

That, of course, was the hubris of youth at work. Which, luckily, is a job I quit some time ago.



Tonight was a night like a thousand others at our house (which is one of those half-million dollar working-class bungalows in David Emerson's Vancouver-Kingsway riding).
And it ended with me playing my very bad guitar for my youngest kid, who is now six, at bedtime.

She likes what she calls 'story songs' in which I make up a dumber-than-dumb, almost rhyming couplet-type lyric about the day gone by that is laid over a bit of two chord chicanery that sounds vaguely reminscent of the pseudo-talking blues line that runs under the verses of Lou Reed's 'Take A Walk On The Wild Side'.

Usually she fades fast, but tonight Little E. was still awake when I finished my drone, and as I got up to go she whispered, 'You're not leaving are you Dad?'

How could I possibly go?

So I stayed.

And I played Mr. Tambourine Man.
She fell asleep half-way through the second verse; I could tell by her breathing.

But I kept going anyway.

Often as I move through it, and especially if I know nobody's listening, I'll try to switch from Zimmerman's nasal to McGuinn's falsetto in the last half.
I honestly don't remember what voice I was affecting tonight. But I do remember the last few lines of the very last verse.

"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow."

And so I ask you.

What else could a Dad possibly ask for his kid?



Photo credit: Little E. and me, taken by Bigger E. at last year's (2005) PNE. The original story, from February 2006 can be reached through the sidebar link titled 'TamborineMen'.


What Mr. Emerson Really Meant To Say


Earlier this week the Conservative Reform Alliance Party's Minister who is now responsible for 'Giving Away Our Billions To Boeing' had this to say about why it was inconceivable that the Softwood 'Deal' would be renegotiated*:

"As far as I am concerned, negotiations are complete," Mr. Emerson said in an interview. He said the province's request doesn't make sense: "It's a bit like if you're a CEO and you get a severance package if you get fired, but you also want a severance package if you quit."

Which, of course, is truly bizarro world-type stuff.

But, it does make weird sort of sense if you put the thing through the de-CRAPifier and get to the truth behind spin.

Which is what reader ArC did for us, and came up with this:

"It's a bit like if you're a Liberal MP" Mr. Emerson said to his confessor. "And you get a cabinet post if your party wins but you also want a cabinet post if your party loses."


*Actually, I'm not sure I want this bunch to continue negotiating anything, because the longer it goes on the worse the deals seem to get. Heckfire, I figure even Fessick and Inigo could do a better job. And you don't have to just take my word for it, because even Vizzini, er, Gordon Campbell, realizes that now. Again, 'Inconeivable'!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The War About The War



I just finished reading Sy Hersh's latest on the Iranian folly titled 'Last Stand' and I am now both slightly heartened and simultaneously even more deeply concerned than ever.


Well, slightly heartened because if Hersh is right, and he usually is, it looks like the Generals have had enough:

A retired four-star general, who ran a major command, said, “The system is starting to sense the end of the road, and they don’t want to be condemned by history. They want to be able to say, ‘We stood up.’ ”

You got that?

Apparently factions within the American military has decided that now is not the time to play the Strangelove or the good German roles, which sounds like a good thing. And Hersh lays out all the reasons that run the gamut from the moral to the pragmatic. The latter category includes things like this:

According to retired Army Major General William Nash, who was commanding general of the First Armored Division, served in Iraq and Bosnia, and worked for the United Nations in Kosovo, attacking Iran would heighten the risks to American and coalition forces inside Iraq. “What if one hundred thousand Iranian volunteers came across the border?” Nash asked. “If we bomb Iran, they cannot retaliate militarily by air—only on the ground or by sea, and only in Iraq or the Gulf...."


“Their first possible response would be to send forces into Iraq. And, since the Iraqi Army has limited capacity, it means that the coalition forces would have to engage them.”

Again, that just makes good common sense.

But then, just for good measure, and/or to scare the crap of out of all reasonable thinking people, Hersh goes on to plum the mindset of the people who are actually driving all this madness:

In contrast, some conservatives are arguing that America’s position in Iraq would improve if Iran chose to retaliate there, according to a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon’s civilian leaders, because Iranian interference would divide the Shiites into pro- and anti-Iranian camps, and unify the Kurds and the Sunnis. The Iran hawks in the White House and the State Department, including Elliott Abrams and Michael Doran, both of whom are National Security Council advisers on the Middle East, also have an answer for those who believe that the bombing of Iran would put American soldiers in Iraq at risk, the consultant said. He described the counterargument this way: “Yes, there will be Americans under attack, but they are under attack now.”


It sounds like Creative Destructionism on Crack to me.*

Or, perhaps more to the point, 'The Eve of All Destructions'.

*And I link to Mr. Ledeen on purpose here, because he has been both a cheerleader and an active participant in the creative destruction of American Exceptionalism since the days of Billy Carter. Yes, that's right Billy, not Jimmy, Carter.
The more I think about it, the more I figure it may be time to resurrect HST Fridays. I've got a good one that I've been saving for just the right moment. Hopefully will get it up tomorrow.


Little Stephen & The Boy(ish) King Fashion Update


Well, they didn't wear the Village People Bomber Jackets, but they did match.

Scout over at Harper-Valley has a satirical runway blow-by-blow on the fashion show that masqueraded as a photo-op earlier today in Washington.

My favorite is the shot of Ms. Rice in the audience apparently admiring the cut of her potentate's jib while she simultaneously makes double-secret probationary plans to institute a gruelling sit-up regimen to get Little Stephen's ever expanding waistline under control before the Tar Sands hand-over at the fall show.


Whither Canuckistan?


Remember all those early stories about how the ascendancy of the Conservative Reform Alliance Party* to power was not the end of the world as we, the Canuckistani people, know it?

Well, apparently, sometimes it takes a few months for a once proud country to go out, not with a bang, but rather with a whimper.

As proof of principle, here's the latest on the so-called Softwood 'Deal' on the Eve of Our Destruction:

OTTAWA, WASHINGTON -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is plowing forward with the July 1 Canada-U.S. softwood truce over the objections of industry and British Columbia, declaring that negotiations are over.

"The softwood lumber deal is going ahead," Mr. Harper told reporters yesterday as he arrived in Washington on the eve of his White House visit with President George W. Bush, saying the agreement is an accurate reflection of the original framework struck April 27.

"We expect to have the same support for it as we had for the original agreement. . . . We're taking it to Parliament in the fall," he said.

Separately, International Trade Minister David Emerson said he has no intention of reopening the deal he initialled last weekend, declaring himself "puzzled and surprised" by the B.C. government's request for a 12-month dispute-free period if Canada cancels the deal.

"As far as I am concerned, negotiations are complete," Mr. Emerson said in an interview. He said the province's request doesn't make sense: "It's a bit like if you're a CEO and you get a severance package if you get fired, but you also want a severance package if you quit."

Oh, and one more thing.....check out the duality of the location lead at the top of Chase and Galloway's story from the Globe and Mail.


Has a nice ring to it, eh?

*Also known as 'CRAP'
And just in case you are shaking your head
over Mr. Emerson's rather bizarre CEO analogy, don't forget that Canfor is the exception to the industry rule because the Minister's former employer (and value-linked pension payer) is all for the deal.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

P(r)imp Your Photo-Op


So, what's it gonna be this time?

And I'm not talking about braindead, redmeat policy statements that will never see the light of day, or bigger and better economic capitulations for the northern nation, or even an 800 foot high wall around Baffin Island to keep out the Invading Immigrant Horde's from Iceland.


What I really wanna know is the following:

What new attention-grabbing fashion wrinkle will Little Stephen and The Crackberry Miracles unveil for tomorrow's photo-op with the Boy(ish) King?*

Me, I'm thinkin' it might me a new curl in the helmut hair.

After all, Little Stephen is auditioning for the part of 'The Poodle' previously played by the now pathetic, and departing, Tony Blair.

Isn't he?

*And no, a new shade of mascara does not count.
Update: Just had a scary thought. What if they both end up wearing those Little Lord Fauntleroy/Village People Faux Fascisti bomber-type jackets?


What's The Buzz.....


So, I've been trying to figure it out for weeks now......

What, exactly, is the quid pro quo that Little Stephen and the Crackberry Miracles have managed to wring out of King George and the Replicant Rovians in return for our letting them crap all over our lumber industry?

Could it be a new round of 'Free Trade Is Not Free' talks?

Or, could it be the replacement of our National Health Care System with the very finest of the fine Perfectly Plausible Denial Of Services Healthcare System?

Or, could it be the gracious return of Frank Robinson, Le Grande Orange and Les Expos?

Or, could it be a 'Get Out Of The Hague's Jail Free' card?

Or, could it be a season's pass on the express elevator down to the Seventh Circle of Righteous Rovian Wrecktitude?

None of the above?

Well how about this then - water?

Ya, that just might make the nut - we let them straightjacket our lumber industry and in return we give them all our water.

And why not?

After all, what's our's is their's, and what's their's is their's, so why don't we just get on with it and finish polishing off this clean, crisp bottle of Anschluss* so that we can get on to bigger and better things like watching FoxNewsNorth 24/7.

*And no, that is not one half of a Busch-league, hands-across-the-border beer company.