Sunday, January 28, 2007

Swiftboats Come To Canada


John Kerry was a Vietnam War hero.

George Bush was a man who did everything he could to avoid the Vietnam War.

So in the run-up to the 2004 election, what did the Rovian's do?

Why, of course, they invented the 'Swiftboat Liars For Truth' and turned Kerry's greatest strength into his greatest weakness while simultaneously portraying 'The Avoider' as 'The War President'.

And the disaster that ensued is something the United States will now spend decades and trillions of dollars trying to correct.

Not to mention lives.


Arguably, Stephane Dion's biggest political asset is that he has demonstrated to Canadians that he truly believes in real environmental legislation.

And until about a month ago Stephen Harper, as he demonstrated so well to his base (see: Ambrose, Rona), was a well known his anti-environmentalist.

But all that has changed now, just in time for that most hallowed of Canadian days - SuperBowl Sunday:

Canadian Press
Pulished: Sunday, Jan 28, 2007

OTTAWA -- The Harper government is set to unveil TV attack ads against new Liberal Leader Stephane Dion on Sunday.

CTV News reports Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenny will launch the ads at a briefing in Ottawa.

Sources tell the network the commercials, which will air during prime time and the Super Bowl, will mock Dion's leadership abilities and his environmental record.

Clearly, this 'stratergy' was test-marketed with that little bit dual citizenship codswallop that the herd media bit on, bigtime.

So now it appears that the Cons have been emboldened to the point where they figure they can win it all by going all the way down the Rovian Road and creating their own reality by pushing really big lies as abject truths.


No wonder they want to do away with the CBC and bring FOX News to Canada.

But the really big question is the following......

If Canadians are fooled by all this crap and we end up giving the CPC a majority, how much will it ultimately cost us to correct the disasters they will no doubt heap upon us during the ensuing years and decades?


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ministry of Screwheads, Revisited


This morning the googlebomb minefield forced me down this road:

Sometime during his first term Richard Nixon instructed hatchet man Charles 'Tex' Colson to develop a list of enemies to be, in his best Tricksonian vernacular, "screwed". The list quickly grew to upwards of 600 evildoers. You might think that it was filled to bursting with foreign dictators, commies, thugs, and killers. Not so.

For example, Paul Newman has said that his inclusion on the list is one of his greatest accomplishments.


Now, I have no doubt that the current group running the Screwhead Ministry has generated vast multitudes of Enemies Lists that stretch farther and wider than anything described in Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land' (and probably stretches back into the graves of long gone folk singers that scribbled 'this machine kills fascists' on their guitars).

And clearly, one of the tragedies of our age is the fact that so many politicos and journos are doing their very best to not end up on one of the intertwined multitudes lest it roughen their oh-so-smoothened lives.

That was written in early 2005, at a time when the Rovians' ability to make their own reality was at it's zenith:

''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

My, how times have changed.

And I am convinced that the people of the United States owe the fever swamps of Left Blogistan a huge debt of gratitude for that change because it is they who got out there and did the heavy lifting in the beginning which opened up the holes in the line that the journos (see: Olbermann, Keith) and politicos (see: Webb, Jim) could then bust through for a first down and more (to use a football metaphor that Mistah Nixon himself always loved).

But that does mean that all the work is done in Left Blogistan.

Because now it is time for Canuckistan's swamp dwellers to storm out of the Zamboni room and start cleaning the ice for real.

Before it is too late and The Gnu's and/or The Dobranos destroy our environment while professing to save it as they simultaneously sell everything we own to the Carlyle Group.



Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ha..... You Think It's Funny?

Turnin' Rebellion Into Money

So I'm driving hope from work tonight.



And suddenly Barbara Budd starts babbling on about the imminent demise of London's Hammersmith Palais, a place I've never been to in the flesh but have been to in spirit at least a million times, maybe more.

And what a spirit it was, that spirit of The Clash and all the honest-to-goodness world changing DIY it represented.

Which, I truly believe, was way more than the sweetly raucous bird of youth and/or teen spirit.


Not long ago, just before the fever swamps broke for real and helped influence an entire US congressional election, the indomitable Jane Hamsher suggested that the best of the Left Blogistan felt like punk all over again:

"The music business in the 70's had grown bloated and moribund and disconnected from its audience. Record executives busied themselves buying Rolexes for REO Speedwagon and paying millions for Casablanca records and nobody cared. They were perfectly horrified at the spectacle of kids paying $3 to see the Clash play a benefit for Marxist youth at the Geary Temple in 1978, but even as a kid it was perfectly obvious where the energy was, where the zeitgeist was shifting. Punk rock became a beacon for creative people of all walks, and oh so many years later the shadow it casts looms far greater than the corporate culture merchants of the time were able to envision.

It's not that the movie business or the book business or the magazine business is dead, or that the blog world is any challenge to any of them, but creativity is a very fluid thing and when it becomes difficult to achieve any kind of satisfaction in a particular medium the quality talent will siphon off into an arena that allows it expression. I could stand at a magazine stand for 24 hours straight, reading every issue on the racks and not come across the clever, relevant, insightful things I know I can find in a half hour on the blogs.

As a side note -- it's also apparent who hasn't been the beneficiary of this energy, and that would be in the right wing blogs. You can say my estimation is clouded by contempt but you would be wrong. I am perfectly able to appreciate and even (reluctantly) defend the filmmaking skills of people I loathe. I can count exactly two times I have ever read anything on the right even slightly insightful. For reasons too innumerable to go into right now, a philosophy that promotes totalitarianism and a system of endless repetition of someone else's talking points simply won't drawing the same quality thinkers. Period.

We thought punk rock and the energetic counterculture it produced would last for ever, but it didn't. It was over quite quickly.

Enjoy the blogs while you can. These are the salad days.

Salad days indeed.

Which is why, when Mr. Strummer was done singing, I rushed home tonight, wolfed down dinner, did the dishes in a flash, put littler e. to bed with an 'A/E/C#m/D' chord progression or two, helped Bigger E. study for her stupid math midterm, punched out a paragraph for the latest invasion inhibitor paper we're workin on, and then, finally, with heart pounding, I bashed my way around the googledome and put this little ditty together.

And now I'm done.

And, once again, luckily, I am certain that I will never, ever, ever need to put on a Burton suit to feel the spirit all over again whenever I need it.


btw: Ms. Hamsher is up tough, really tough, against it these days, but the denizens of FDL and the entire left coast of the Bloggodome are doing their best to help her pull through. And she damn well better, because if she doesn't we will load up the VW (not-so)Microbus, head down to the Oregon Coast and blast "Hi Infidelity" over and over and over again right outside her door until every single bad actor, ER positive and/or negative, is banished from her person forever.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Takin' A Dump

......A Document Dump That Is....

Yesterday was, without question, the biggest news day of the millenium so far here in Lotusland.

And the News Herd and every PR spincycler in town knew that it would be for weeks (witness the build up to the 'Trial' over the weekend).

So, why, when he has apparently been sitting on it for weeks, did Mr. Hahn and B.C. Ferries suddenly decide to dump George Morfitt's safety report (pdf), which contains 70 pages and 41 safety recommendations (and this is with terms of reference that did NOT include the recent disasters involving the 'corporation') yesterday?

And why, exactly, was Mr. Hahn "unavailable" to go on Michael Smyth's radio show last night?


Does this mean that, unlike, say, Keith Baldrey, Mr. Smyth doesn't get reassuring phone calls in the middle of the night from Mr. Hahn when things go wrong, and/or that he doesn't get to take cozy, pre-arranged flights to nowhere with Mr. Hahn either?

Or maybe it was just that Mr. Hahn was actually hanging around all those cameras outside the courtroom in New Westminster hoping for a photo-op that wouldn't have words like this, taken directly from Mr. Morfitt's report, wrapped around it:

B.C. Ferries should:
· carry out a comprehensive review of the Safety Management System (SMS) to determine
which areas are functioning effectively and which areas need improvement;

· improve existing training and orientation processes to ensure they are sufficient to increase
knowledge and awareness of the SMS across the organization, especially among vessel
Officers and Terminal Directors and Managers to ensure they have “bought into” the SMS;

· direct the Internal SMS Verification Audit staff to monitor the level of buy-in to the SMS;

· consider adopting a standardized uniform program for shipboard and terminal employees to
make them easily recognizable by passengers; and

· work cooperatively with the British Columbia Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union to
continuously improve the SMS and operational safety.

Got that?

Those were five specific recommendations that make it quite clear that Mr. Morfitt is concerned that Mr. Hahn's corporate culture may be preventing the implementation of an effective 'Safety Management System' which is an industry-wide best practice (see: Bowland, Darin).

And this is not news when we've recently had a ferry sink! And a ferry lose power and drift over boats in a marina! And a shipboard fire! And a ferry pull away from the dock with a vehicle on the ramp!


BTW: My Dad, who worked the coastal waters all his life, has long said that having those big boats pass each other, at speed, while going through Active Pass is, like Mr. Morfitt alsosuggests in his report, a disaster waiting to happen.


Monday, January 22, 2007

I'm Doing It.....

Because my kid has already proven that she should make her own decisions.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Dobranos


Ever since Michael Smyth took the bait and responded to Carole James query earlier this week, British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell's longtime fixer, Ken Dobell, has been doing a whole lotta backpeddling while changing hats at a totally unconflicted two thousand and ten miles an hour.

Patrick Brethour
Globe&Mail Jan 19th, 2007

VANCOUVER -- Ken Dobell, long-time confidant of Gordon Campbell, is rejecting NDP accusations that his intersecting roles with the Premier's Office, the City of Vancouver and the 2010 Olympic Committee place him in unavoidable appearance of conflict of interest.

He is a special adviser to the Premier -- by his estimate, generating at least $7,500 a month -- and has two contracts with the city that entail some lobbying of the Liberal government, enough that he has formally registered twice as a consultant lobbyist.

And Mr. Dobell, with deep experience in municipal and provincial government, is also the chair of the finance committee for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games -- a significant role, since one of his contracts with the city involves the possible construction of an Olympics-oriented entertainment and information venue.


Let's see if we've got this straight.

Mr. Dobell is fixing/working for the premier, Mr. Campbell.

And Mr. Dobell is also fixing/working for the City of Vancouver in at least two capacities. And in those capacities part of his job is to lobby Mr. Campbell who makes decisions based on his (ie. Mr. Dobell's) recommendations as a consultant.

Additionally, let's not forget that Mr. Dobell is also chair of the finance committee of VANOC that is dealing with the City of Vancouver to build the massive, developer-friendly, Olympics-oriented entertainment and information "venue".

And who is Mr. Dobell and VANOC going to be dealing with at City Hall when he negotiates the terms of the building of the "Venue"?

Why, none other than Mr. Dobell, of course.


So, what does Mr. Dobell have to say about that?

Well, here is his answer, as stenoed-up by Mr. Brethour in his "he said/she said" piece in yesterday's Globe:

Mr. Dobell readily admits that his various jobs overlap, but he doesn't believe there is a conflict of interest.

"There are multiple hats, and it's quite true I have to take one off and put on other one, but that's not atypical for people that are in this kind of a role," he said in an interview yesterday....

And just, what is that 'role' specifically?

Well, we are not entirely sure, but Mr. Dobell's main defence of his position seems to be that he is acting only as a 'public servant' in all of this and that there is no problem because he, Mr. Dobell, is not actually directly representing any 'private companies' as he, Mr. Dobell, lines his pockets while lobbying himself.

Which sounds like us to a textbook case of willful ignorance when it comes to the term 'conflict of interest'.

But there is something else to consider here.

And that is that it is that it will ultimately be 'private companies' who will ultimately be the recipients of the very 'public monies' that will be doled out based on the decisions that he, Mr. Dobell, makes after he, Mr. Dobell, is done telling he, himself , Mr. Dobell, what to do.

And in our eyes, that is a huge, steaming, stinking, pile of conflicting interests.

At best.

At worst, it will be fixing work worthy of an East Coast/Jersey-style RICO rap if the 'private companies' that ultimately receive the bulk of the largesse that will be doled-out by Mr. Dobell turn out to be the same ones that have invested so heavily in the careers of his two current paymasters in Victoria and Vancouver*.

But, despite all of that, there does appear to be at least one small upside to this story.

And that is the fact that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Mr. Dobbell and his cronies also have control of VANOC's and/or the City of Vancouver's garbage business.

At least not yet.

*And, don't forget, we now have those 'lists' of corporate donors.
And just in case you were wondering who is going to play the long-suffering side-kick who is actually the real brains behind the operation (think horn-rimmed glasses and blacker than raven's-wing hair) in the rumoured to be not-quite-good-enough-for-television 'Movie of the Week' to be aired on SCTV at a later date sometime in the unconflicted post-2010 future......Well, we thought Edith Prickley might do a pretty good job.
Oh, and one last thing - how, do you suppose, Mr. Dobell became a member of the VANOC 'slush fund', errr...'board' of directors in the first place? Well, it turns out that he, Mr. Dobell, was appointed by Mr. Gordon Campbell who, of course, takes his advice on such matters from, uhhhh......, what's that guy's name again?


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Smilin' Sammy's Fauxian Financial Connection To....


Recently, there have been murmurs in the local public prints about Vancouver Mayor Smilin' Sammy Sullivan's secret stash, most notably from Allen Garr , SM Holman, and Bill Tieleman.

But, despite the circumstantial evidence, nobody, at least as far as we know, has yet found a hard-rock money trail that leads directly from Sam-I-Am to that guy with the big green bus, James Green.

You remember James don't you? He's the very fine fellow whose bogus campaign helped derail the real candidate, Jim Green, a man who actually had a real, workable affordable housing plan for the massive Southeast False Creek development.

Anyway, due to the diligent efforts of Charlie Smith and Vancouver voter Robert Renger a public document was recently posted that does suggest, rightly, wrongly, inadvertently and/or ironically that there is, at least on paper/pdf, a tenuous financial connection between The Smiler and James-Not-Jim.

Details to follow.......


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Talkin' Bout My Reservation.....



Sure glad to hear that British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell has decided that Vancouver doctor Brian Montgomery's plan to charge his patient's a reservation fee is illegal.

CBC News Jan 17/06

A Vancouver clinic's plan to charge patients an extra fee to book specific appointments may be inappropriate, says the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.

The Mainland Medical and Laser Clinic has said it wants to start charging $30 for an appointment starting in March.

But college registrar Dr. Morris Van Andel met the clinic's owner, Dr. Brian Montgomery, on Tuesday and told him that that's not a good idea.

"We had a good discussion with him, and we expressed our concern to him and advised him to think about proceeding with this plan carefully, to seek advice if he so felt. But we indicated to him that in our opinion, an appointment was not an item that should have a fee attached to it."

Van Andel also said doctors have a responsibility to provide fair access to all patients, and the clinic's appointment fees could leave some patients behind.

"Our concern is that it places an unreasonable obstacle for a patient to access their physician."

Premier Gordon Campbell has said the fee plan is illegal.

Which is all well and good, but it does have us wondering where the good doctor might have gotten his brilliant idea to boost his income with an arbitrary reservation fee that falls outside the normal regulatory process?


Let's see.....

How about, perhaps, Mr. Campbell himself, via one of his favorite corporate capos, Mr. David Hahn, and their little experiment in public asset debasement known as B.C. Ferries.

Here's the scoop provided to us by Paul Willcocks:

"BC Ferries is taking advantage of a large loophole left by the government when it restructured the operation.

The Ferries Commissioner is charged with regulating BC Ferries' rates and service to protect the public interest, recognizing government has given up control and the corporation has a monopoly.

But the legislation didn't include reservation fe(e)s in the charges subject to regulatory review."

Yup, that's the ticket, errrr.....unregulatable 'reservation fee'.

And just like Dr. Montgomery's ridiculous, self-serving bleating this morning on the Puffmaster Flash's little radio show, Mr. Hahn's and/or his spokesthingy Deborah Marshall's arguments about 'freedom of choice' is pure codswallop when the overwhelming majority of spots in the Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay waiting rooms/terminals are reserved for those with reservable reservations.

So, again, when it comes to the laser-wielder, just whose idea was this, really?


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just Fix It, Already!

'Hey Sammy, maybe there's a golden poll over this way!'



Vancouver, like San Francisco, has a beautiful park that sits right on the water.

It's a park called Stanley and it has all the amenities anybody could ever want, happily built at public expense throughout Vancouver's history.

Thus, it truly is a people's park, and we Vancouverites want everyone to enjoy all it has to offer.

Stanley Park also has some very large tracts of forest, some of it pseudo-old growth.

And, just like in Timothy Taylor's novel of the same name, the Park also has a few crazy wild-men who live in its deepest, darkest environs.

Well, anyway, it turns out that one of those wild-men woke up a few weeks ago to the sounds of a toppling trees that were blown over by a huge winter wind storm, the gusts of which approached hurricane force.

Now, again, this is a public park.

So, you would think that our current governments would have stepped in immediately and made plans to take care of the devastation.

Unfortunately that, most definitely, did not happen.

Instead, while the pooh-bahs dithered and instead took their extended photo-ops (one of which included a much trumpeted, and trumped-up, visit from the newly minted anti-environment Environment Minister John Baird), we, the public, were bamboozled into forking over more than $1 million dollars of our own money for restoration projects that was then matched, gleefully, by local corporations and billionares after a drive-by media-induced frenzy.

And only now, after both the Park and the Public have been screwed over royally by the Pols and their PR Pimps, have local governments started to do the right thing, which is commit dollars - our tax dollars- to help nurse our park back to health.

Which, in retrospect, is what shame-faced Johns do everywhere I suppose.

But, on the bright side, it could have been worse.

After all, Messer's Sullivan and Campbell (aka 'The Glimmer Twins' pictured above) could have decided that, once they were finished doing their business, that they were going to build a brothel, .....errr.... private hunting lodge, on the shores of the park's Beaver Lake to serve as a way-station for weary Bush Rangers and OilCo Execs* in need of servicing on their way to the deflowering of the Haida Gwaii.


*Sheesh. As the Gazetteer's articling archivist, Big Audible Dyn-O-Mite, has pointed out, we need to be careful here. After all, if we start giving these people ideas they may run with them in an effort to keep local luminaries like the Fraser Institute's Mr. Walker from from hightailing it to Alberta when then they decide it is once again time to host the real bigshot/buckshot buckeroos from down south.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Surge Sisters, Starring In.....

Who's Their Daddy?


That's right.

For John McCain and his running mate, Mr. Lieberman, it's a man called Rummy.

Lightbulb lightning link: Ms. Hamsher.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Ya, But.....

......How Will Kenny Boy Get His Now?

Naw, it was never about the oil:

Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson & Tim Webb
The Independent, 07 Jan, 2007

Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.


Proposing the parliamentary motion for war in 2003, Tony Blair denied the "false claim" that "we want to seize" Iraq's oil revenues. He said the money should be put into a trust fund, run by the UN, for the Iraqis, but the idea came to nothing. The same year Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, said: "It cost a great deal of money to prosecute this war. But the oil of the Iraqi people belongs to the Iraqi people; it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil."


Several major oil companies are said to have sent teams into the country in recent months to lobby for deals ahead of the law, though the big names are considered unlikely to invest until the violence in Iraq abates.

Yup, sure wouldn't want to be subjected to any violence or anything when you're stealing an entire nation's only possible shot at a decent, independent future.

But, hey!

Just had a thought.

Keny Boy Lay and Enron may be dead, but that doesn't mean that Bush Ranger Bobby Kinder and The Boys From Carlyle can't make a bundle building pipelines to from Anbar to Castlegar.


Sister provinces.

That's the ticket.

After all, our own Kinder-Morgan lovin' LINO's would probably love the Green Zone at Christmas time, especially given the fact that environmental laws, not to mention DUI's, are rumoured to be completely non-existent there.



Sunday, January 07, 2007

Care Card?

We Don't Want Your Stinkin' Care Card!



Looks like the folks behind the private False Creek Urgent Care Centre are going back on their word, again:

CBC News, January 4, 2007

The operators of a new private emergency clinic in Vancouver are cutting back, complaining it can't afford to treat people for the standard fee it gets from the province's Medical Services Plan.

The False Creek Urgent Care Centre had struck a deal with the provincial government last month, agreeing to take patients with a B.C. Care Card.

But a spokeswoman for the clinic said they have now decided not to accept those patients, because the province pays only $35 per patient visit.

Sherry Wiebe says that's far less than the $199 the clinic would like to charge for a basic evaluation, plus other costs, including $50 for X-rays and $70 for an arm cast.

"We haven't resolved our talks with the government at this stage, and we're just not able to take MSP patients, simply because we're not able to subsidize the public system any longer."


And when somebody needs more than the $199 basic diagnosis/treatment and can't afford to pay the extra grand or five, will Ms. Weibe and her paymasters with the deep pockets pick up the tab if we were to say that:

' We are simply are not able to subsidize your private killer of universal healthcare any longer'?


Have we, the people of Canada, already forgotten why we fought and scrapped so hard to get universal, single-payer, healthcare in the first place?

Or maybe the real problem is that it has worked too well, and thus it has been too long since scores of people in this country lost their house and life savings because somebody in their family got catastrophically sick*.

*And in case you didn't know it, that sort of thing is happening, right now, every day, south of the 49th parallel. In fact, approximately one half of all the personal bankruptcies in the United States are due to the high cost of medical bills. And even when people just get the usual bumps and scrapes many still get soaked for out of pocket costs on top of what they pay in private insurance, especially the poor. Kinda puts that shimmering bit of ephemeral flim-flammery from The Fraser Institute that is being used by the Wingnut Welfare Whirltizer to whack the Canadian healthcare system up the side of the head in a whole new perspective doesn't it? All of which has us wondering if the FI and it's very fine friends and donors, some of whom no doubt just love the idea of the Copeman and False Creek clinics (and just maybe, perhaps, might have a financial interest in them), will figure prominently in Michael Moore's upcoming film on the issue.
Image courtesy the folks at CUPE Local 606.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cross-Border Shillin' Machine


(advance warning - this one is link-heavy for future reference; apologies)

Pulling things together from a variety of sources, one of our new favorites (see sidebar), the prolific Big City Lib, has a succinct post up on the shilling that our very own Fraser Institute has been doing for American Oil Lobby on the greenhouse gas emission issue:

Desmogblog links to a new Union of Concerned Scientists report on how ExxonMobile replays the tobacco lobby's tactics to create uncertainty on climate science. Haven't had a chance to read the whole report yet, but have come across one fascinating tid-bit already. The list of "Groups and Individuals Associated with ExxonMobil's Disinformation Campaign" has some Canadian content in the form of the Fraser Institute. Between 1998 and 2005 Exxon donated $120,000 to the institute for "climate change work", including "research" by the infamous Tim "I'm not funded by the Oil Lobby" Ball.

So, imagine our surprise when the first serious Democratic candidate for US President in 2008, John Edwards, started suggesting that it just might be time for universal healthcare in the States and the Wingnutterers' Whirlitzer immediately began cranking out stories about how bad the situation in Canada is based on, you guessed it, the work of that fine, unbiased and totally independent public policy group, The Fraser Institute.

Now, of course, the job of Whirlitzer is not to float stories based on truth, reason and/or perspective. Instead, it's real job is to get all of the ink-stained wretches and the bleached-brained bloviators to accept their position as a given in the shamelessly lazy 'he said - she said' duality that governs today's dumbed-down mainstream media packworld (see: Dion, Stephane -French Guy, for example).
In case you have doubts about my Whirlitzer analysis check out the bonafides of the folks behind the wingnuttery cited above. First the board behind the American 'National Center For Policy Alternatives'; second the homepage of the author of the spin piece, Michael Bates; and lastly, but certainly not least the folks (mostly American and mostly reactionary) who write for the interestingly titled 'Canadian Free Press'.
If you would like to read an actual well-reasoned analysis of the dangers of the long and winding road called 'Private Healthcare Insurance' that our premier Mr. Gordon Campbell is currently attempting to force us down using our own money, please have a gander at yesterday's NYT column by Paul Krugman.
Finally, here is a nice jumping off point for anyone interested in attempting to navigate the Fraser Institute's murky myriad of money trails.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Talkin' Points Marmalade


So, I'm listening to the spokeslady from those equality embracing dissers of equality, REAL Women Canada this morning on CBC Radio's The Current.

And I'm listening REAL hard trying to make sense out of what the woman is saying about the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision on a three parent family for a five year old boy.

Now the sound of the lady's voice, at least at the beginning, is all nice and modulated, in a David Frumpish kind of way.

But no matter how hard I try, all I can hear is the following:

"Blah, blah, blah....The Sky Is Falling!......blah, blah, blah......Polygamy!......blah, blah, blah.....Activist Judges!"

Which was pathetic, but vaguely familiar, at least in terms of the frame.

So, after racking my brains all day long, I finally hit the Google Road this evening and......Bingo!

It's nothing more than the codified talking points from Wingnutteria on gay marriage all over again.



Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Thoroughly Indececent Deception


In a kind of antithetical second coming of that old Don McLean song that just won't die, it appears that the three men admired the least by the most - the father, the son and the unholy ghost - have finally caught Bebe Rebozo's last train to Mistah Nixon's old gold coast......

First, the father:

Jerry Ford's decency was the ideal remedy for the deception of Watergate," said the first President Bush.

Next, the son:

President Bush called his predecessor a "rock of stability" in a time of turmoil. At a somber state funeral Tuesday at the Washington National Cathedral, he and others eulogized Mr. Ford as the perfect antidote to scandal.

"He brought grace to a moment of great doubt," Mr. Bush said. "When he thought that the nation needed to put Watergate behind us, he made the tough and decent decision to pardon President Richard Nixon, even though that decision probably cost him the presidential election.

And lastly, the ghost:

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men.

Of course, just one month later Mr. Ford acted extremely indecently when he took the law into his own manly hands and pardoned the unmanly man who made his anointment possible.

Which, in the eyes and words of the Bushivistas' Babbling Bloviators of Boweevility (see: Frum, David) would make decency, what, exactly?

Update: As reader Big Audible Dyn-O-Mite pointed out by E-mail, this should not be surprising to anyone who has been paying attention. After all, it's not like the Killer B's have not already told us, repeatedly, that war is peace, and hate is love, and death is life, and 2+2=5 hundred billion, and propagammon is truth, and digicams cause torture, etc., etc., etc.
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: And, just in case you want to have the bejeebuzzed whillikers scared right out of you, check out this portrait for the Four Horsemen of the Neanderconian Apocalypse


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Time To Send 'Em All Back To The Reformatory

....Before There Is A Mushroom Cloud Over Fort McMurray?.....



First off, the Reform-A-Tories started us down the Vichy Road in earnest (see: Lumber, Softwood).

Then they let it be known that all press access would be granted on the basis of fealty, preferably of the snivelling kind (see: Rove, nee Buckler).

Then they signalled that it was time to double down and play the Frame Game for the duration (see: Luntz, Frank; b/w Dion as 'The Traitorous French Guy').

Then they decided it was high time we start putting ten year olds in jail (see: Toews, Vic).

Then, while he was busy telling us to be very afraid of absolutely everything, the Minister for Fear Mongering also informed us that a top secret 'Deep Integration' meeting was not actually secret after all (see: Day, Doris).

Then they started buying votes by handing out golden hockey sticks (b/w the stupid $100 a month destruction of Universal Childcare)

Then they ripped off our Peacekeeper Patches and fitted us for Warmonger Boots happily worn by Condie's latest bitchin', hot coffee swillin', Dance Card(board cut-out) Partner (see: McKay, Peter).

But all of that was nothing compared to the latest antics of ......

'The Gang That Couldn't Kill Canuckistan Fast Enough'.

Because now, apparently, they are fixin' to blow us all up, real good, in an effort to liberate even more oil in the Northern Homeland Security Zone:

Federal Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn raised some eyebrows last week when he not only gave a big thumbs-up to the idea of using nuclear power in the oilsands, but suggested that the building of a nuclear reactor to help power the huge resource extraction was all but inevitable.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when, in my mind," said Lunn, who added that he had unspecified "discussions" last week on the idea, presumably with oilsands companies.

Lunn noted that nuclear energy is "absolutely emission free" and "CO2 free" and that it can help replace natural gas and other fossil fuels currently being burned to extract other fossil fuels from the tarsands.


With reasoning like that one can only wonder - what's next?

I know.

How about polonium strips to light our driveways at night and keep our teeth shiny and bright?


Is this not a textbook example of why it is time for a vote of non-confidence like, say, yesterday?

And, as Big City Lib, who was our original link source for this story, points out, Mr. Lund's 'Eve of Destruction' approach to liberating fossil fuels has been used before to spectactular effect, except for one teensy, tiny problem....the resulting natural gas was so radioactive that it was completely unusable.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Go Fitz Go


Here's hoping Patrick Fitzgerald goes deep twice in 2007 and gets the truth out in the both the Scooter Libby and the Conrad Black cases.