Sunday, October 31, 2004

Us vs Them

The 3rd Rock From the Sun

Heather Mallick (Oct 30, Globe & Mail Subscription) nails it for the 95% of the World's population that does not live in the United States:

"Eight or nine people in the Pentagon, ultra-ideologues with a thing about Iraq, somehow managed to take over the U.S. government, with their president being a stupid man who truly believes he can bring democracy to every nation in the world by means of bombing. Spare us from the true believers......

.....The first lash that would accompany a Bush victory was initially mentioned on the British talkboards, but it is only now occurring to Americans that the rest of the world had to this point politely distinguished between them and their dreadful president. The world rather favoured American culture (thank you, Bruce Springsteen) and indeed its individual citizens. But if Bush wins, then Americans are as one in the eyes of the world. You found out what he’s really like and you still re-elected him; you’re it....."

Ms. Mallick then details how panicked Democrats will be forced to consider cross-border anti-draft child protection, health and sanity measures which would be very prudent of them, particularly if the status quo North and South of the 49th holds such that we remain Us and they remain Them.

Gazetteers like us, however, who try to pay attention to things like borders and co-ordinates, are not so certain that that status quo, or even the border itself, will hold.

After all, US ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci spoke in Kelowna BC just last night about how the latest Bin Laden tape demonstrates that the two countries must form a UFNA to prevent the end of the world as we know it.

The UFNA is not one of those old world acronyms from Johnny Lydon's 'Anarchy in the UK'.

Instead, it is a Canadian 5th columnists wet dream - United Fortress North America.


If you don't remember Mr. Cellucci you should because he's the very same BushCo accolyte who told Us that very bad things would happen to our security and our economy because we didn't join the coalition of the unwilling and help to kill 100, 000 Iraqis for no good reason at all.

Luckily, we had a government that resisted the clarion call to naked aggression way back then.

But now?

Well, just hours before Mr. Celluci's announcement, which was made in the riding of the Shrubbery's intellectual equivalent, Stockwell Day, our current Prime Minister announced that the OBL video proved how much work we have to do together with the U.S. to erase the Terrorist scourge from the world forever.

Kind of makes you wonder if ours is a nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown as We prepare to become Them.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Schreck on Surrey

49° 07' North; 123° 06' West

David Schreck has a similarly themed, but much more nuanced, take on the Surrey-Panorama by-election as we do.

However, one additional bit that we missed is the fact that, despite the conventional wisdom spouted by BC's cuckolded mainstream media, a Lieberal loss was not a foregone conclusion:

"....Anyone who looks at the map of electoral districts can see that the new constituency of Surrey-Panorama Ridge consists of neighbourhoods that traditionally vote against the NDP.

The Campbell Liberals will try to minimize the damage by talking about how long it has been since a BC government has won a by-election, but what would they say if they lost a by-election in West Vancouver? Surrey-Panorama Ridge is little different...."

Reader, and Giant '98 addict, LC let us know that Will McMartin also pointed out that S-P should have been a shoo-in for the SS GordoC while he was on Michael Smyth's Thursday night's post-game show.

The Gauleiters of Florida

28° 36' North; 80° 30' West

There is a scene in the faux astronaut hagiography 'The Right Stuff' when Dennis Quaid's character, Gordon 'Hot Dog' Cooper, is asked, "Who's the best you ever saw?"

Cooper/Quaid goes pensive for a moment as he thinks of Chuck Yeager. Then the 'I-Ain't-Spam-In-A-Can', shite-eating grin reappears on his face and he answers, "Me".

Now, I'm pretty sure that if you asked the hot shots of the Political Blogosphere the same question you'd likely get the same answer from most.

But in that moment when they were thinking about who really had the right stuff, a lot of them would be probably be thinking of a guy named Billmon.


Billmon was a rarity in that he banged the Blogosphere like a gong without ever letting it rub up too hard against his fulltime pseudo-straight journo job, or vice versa.

He also had a nose for history, both military and political, as well as a twisted sense of Brechtian humour that separated him from the herd.

As such, the great majority of the 1600 or so posts he wrote between Spring of 2003 and the Summer of 2004 were worth two, or three, or maybe even six reads.

And, while he was no way gone lefty, many of those posts were directed squarely against BushCo and the Rovians.

Another interesting thing about his site was the way Billmon's well researched longform posts attracted an interesting and argumentative, but mostly respectful, group of posters that made the threads themselves almost as interesting as the screeds that started them.

By way of comparison check out anything on, oh say, Atrios, and compare the amusing, but ultimately trivial, dreck that floods the threads there to something like this.

But something that good that was operating non-stop, high up in the rafters without a net could not last forever.

Billmon's balance began to wobble back in the Spring when he mentioned the strain of keeping tabs on 500 comments per thread - one of the things that kept posters on their toes was the fact that they knew the Barkeeper (the site was called 'The Whiskey Bar' - more Brecht) was actually paying attention and that he would jump into the fray at a moment's notice, sometimes to contribute, sometimes to scold.

Clearly, Billmon had a great admiration for Seymour Hersh, and while he gave the original Abu Ghraib relevations great play you could see that they also gave him great pause.

Because, while the initial revelations were an indictment of BushCo, as a thinking person who still believed in all that could be good in an implied American exceptionalism, Billmon could not bring himself, at least in the beginning, to believe that the entire system was rotten to the core.

As a result, he really let fly at any and all posters who suggested that it was. Kate Storm, who we wrote about last week, was one of the ones that got hit in the cross-fire.


But then the revelations kept on coming, day after day, until the White House torture memos and the dead ghost prisoner wrapped in saran wrap finally came to light.

To his credit, Billmon changed his tune and let the posters go. But he himself started to slip when it became clear that most of the American ruling class, the So-Called-Liberal-Media, and a good chunk of the electorate just didn't give a damn.

And then he really lost his footing when he was forced to watch Colin Powell, up close and personal, soil himself, his State Department, and his country over and over again during a speech at a Davos meeting in Jordan.

After that Billmon shut off the comments, and a few weeks later he stepped off the highwire for good.


Well, almost for good.

First, there was a short, viscious rant on the OpEd page of the LA Times that was followed by a weird, HST-inspired, Mojo-Rising image on his site that came down almost as fast as it went up.

And now it looks like he's climbed the ladder to roof and has stepped out into the void once more.

This time around he pulls no punches, directly comparing the BushCo Loyalty oath that is being administered all over the U.S., and especially in swing states like Florida, to similar bouts of fascist flim-flammery that were so prevalent in pre-war Germany.

But what really scares him now is not so much the fact that the Rovians have stooped to this level of play acting, but rather the fact that the rank and file is lapping it up.

So, the question for us 'still feeling superior' Canadians is, if BushCo wins and the Anschluss comes, will we roll over and play the lapdog too?

Seem far fetched?


But don't forget that, in response to Kerry's use of Bruce Springsteen and a message of Hope this weekend, BushCo has brought in an Austrian poseur with big biceps and a message of Annhilation/Termination.

End times indeed.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Bend Over and Say Aaaaaahhhh.....

48° 39' West; 123° 26' West

......For John Ashcroft.

In fact, you might as well beat the rush and start sending the Singin' American Attorney General your Medical Records right now.

Because, regardless the fact that the Lieberals spent little time, and even less discussion, on their amendment to the Privacy Act earlier this week, their own Privacy Commissioner, David Loukidelis says:

"...once information is sent across borders, it's difficult, if not impossible, to control. He notes that under the USA Patriot Act , the U.S. government can demand access to a wide range of personal, confidential information."

This is no longer just a local, made in British Columbia story. Due to the larger implications, even Reuters has picked it up:

...."It is also an issue for the private sector, and will have to be addressed by all jurisdictions across Canada and at the international level," Loukidelis wrote in the 151-page study that drew submissions from around the world.

Loukidelis said the extraterritorial reach of the Patriot Act should raise privacy concerns in other countries. The controversy arose when British Columbia signed a tentative agreement in March to turn its medical record-keeping operations over to the Canadian unit of U.S. information technology firm Maximus Inc. Under Canada's universal health care system, the provinces administer medical services....

Remind me again, why is the SS Gordon Campbell outsourcing all of our record keeping?

And why is this not Orwellian?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dodging Flying Porcelain

49° 07' North; 123° 06' West

Promising to twin the Port Mann Bridge was not enough....

A last minute lowering of the sales tax was not enough....

Criminalizing the poor was not enough.....

Bringing in the cabinet was not enough....

Having the Commander in Chief put down the martini shaker long enough to work the phones was not enough....

Non-stop hot air from the Ferret's $30 million Whirlitzer was not enough....

Having the Green Party suck off 10% the vote from the Left Side was not enough....

Because nothing could save Mary Polak, Kevin Falcon or the SS Gordon Campbell in the Surrey Panorama by-election last night.

Which is very good news indeed.

Just hope that nobody gets in an accident avoiding all those kitchen sinks littering the shoulders of the King George during this morning's commute.

The Independent Goes Deep

48° 39' West; 123° 26' West

He may not be Charley Varrick, or even Oscar Madison, but he does it his way and now he's on top of the heap.

That's right - Sean Holman the Public Eye Guy was the big winner at last night's Jack Webster Awards.

Even more important was the story he broke, the malfeasance of Doug Walls. It's the kind of story that an independent and free press is supposed to generate regularly.

Unfortunately, the closed and coddled shop that is the mainstream Media in British Columbia has generated few such stories in recent years.

Here's hoping for many more from Holman and his ilk.

Armagideon Times

40° 44' North; 73° 55' West

MoDo throws a haymaker.
(with apologies to Joe Strummer)

Won't Cry For Thee Sammytina

49° 13' North; 123° 06' West

Still waiting for that 'complete list' of KnoWards bagmen from Sam Sullivan.

In the meantime Sammy is crying poor.

Seems he spent $45,000 of his own money despite the fact that real estate middle man Bob Rennie was giving him free full page ads in the Vancouver Sun.

And now he's facing the possiblity of legal bills and a $5000 fine for continuing with the ad blitz on the day of the referendum.

Never one to be daunted by reality our Sam had this to say about his, and his cronies, possible criminal culpability.

....He said the threat of criminal charges is hanging over everyone's heads. "A lot of people are upset about it."

Frances Bula has the story.
(and for once it is not behind the CanWest SubFireWall....hmmm, have their advertisors noticed the huge drop in flow through web hits?)

Update 8:30pm: Reader AG points out that perhaps 'never silent' Sammy doth protesteth too much. After all, didn't he meet with his high powered lawyers yesterday and hasn't he been all over the radio and TV bemoaning his poor, poor fate today? In other words, is it possible that Sammytina using his crocodile tears and his sure to be taken care of 'debt' as sympathy 'get of jail' free cards. After all, as AG point out, in addition to the fine there is a possibility of slam time if Sammy is found guilty.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Whacking the Ferret

48°42' North; 123°19' West

Gary Collins came out from behind his $30 million propaganda machine today and made the mistake of writing a letter to the Tyee taking Will McMartin to task for having the audacity to suggest that the SS Gordon Campbell has been sawing up the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder to use as decorative firewood in the mansion.

Clearly his Ferallness has been dealing with the cheerleaders and trained seals running the show over at CanWest for far too long because he forgot that David Beers will let his correspondents go.

And go McMartin did, creaming the Ferret with his past voting/non-voting record in the Ledge.

Makes for great journalism and sure got the posters going.

Worth checking out as a sister act to Rafe Mair kicking the crap out of George Abbott last week.

Riverbend Speaks

33°21' North; 44°25' East

The real story from Iraq:

".... I want Bush out of the White House at all costs. (And yes- who is *in* the White House *is* my business- Americans, you made it my business when you occupied my country last year) I’m too realistic to expect drastic change or anything phenomenal, but I don’t want Bush reelected because his reelection (or shall I call it his ‘reassignment’) will condone the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. It will say that this catastrophe in Iraq was worth its price in American and Iraqi lives. His reassignment to the White House will sanction all the bloodshed and terror we’ve been living for the last year and a half.

I’ve heard all the arguments. His supporters are a lot like him- they’ll admit no mistakes. They’ll admit no deceit, no idiocy, no manipulation, no squandering. It’s useless. Republicans who *don’t* support him, but feel obliged to vote for him, write long, apologetic emails that are meant, I assume, to salve their own conscience. They write telling me that he should be ‘reelected’ because he is the only man for the job at this point. True, he made some mistakes and he told a few fibs, they tell me- but he really means well and he intends to fix things and, above all, he has a plan.

Let me assure you Americans- he has NO PLAN. There is no plan for the mess we’re living in- unless he is cunningly using the Chaos Theory as a basis for his Iraq plan. Things in Iraq are a mess and there is the sense that the people in Washington don’t know what they’re doing, and their puppets in Iraq know even less. The name of the game now in Iraq is naked aggression- it hasn’t been about hearts and minds since complete areas began to revolt....."

Go read the entire thing.

It's opinionage and reportage from one Iraqi kid who pays attention, and it's better and more insightful than all the junk that 100 TV journos with 200 producers, 400 advancemen and 800 satellite uplinks could generate in 1000 years.

Single Vote Transferable

49°09' North; 123°55' West

It has nothing to do with Swift Boat Liars for Truth.

Instead, it appears to be an honest and unbiased attempt by the Citizen's Assembly to make Provincial voting in British Columbia more fair and representational.

But it's complicated.

The most balanced account so far, as usual, is from Paul Willcocks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Cross Border Flu Profiteering

48°42' North; 123°19' West

Somehow, I don't think that this is what Tommy Douglas had in mind:
The Victoria Clipper is now offering flu shots for their passengers. This service costs $105 per person and includes:
· 1 round-trip cruise to Victoria
· 1 flu vaccine.
The vaccine will be given to Victoria Clipper passengers at the Belleville Terminal in Victoria once the passenger has been cleared by Canada Customs and Immigration.

Apparently, for the well-heeled at least,it's a great deal at twice the price:
.....Ed and Patty Dunn, both in their 70s, couldn't get flu shots from their usual clinic in Seattle.

The Dunns took the boat for the fun - and the flu shots. Patty Dunn added that she would lunch at Il Terrazzo, an upscale Italian restaurant in Victoria.

"We're boaters in our own right," Ed Dunn said. The couple takes their 52-foot power boat across the rough waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca often, so they're not bothered by the ironic twist to the flu cruise: passengers on the Clipper sometimes get seasick.....

But what about the folks that can't afford a '3 hr cruise', people like Vera Uhl:
...Verna Uhl, 68, lives in a senior mobile home park in Mountlake Terrace. She recently paid $359 for car repairs and won't be going to Canada for a flu shot, by land or by sea.

"I've decided if I get the flu, I get the flu," she said.

Going on the Clipper is just too expensive, she told The Herald of Everett. "Most people I know are in the same condition I am financially."...

Listen. For any of our American friends that live close to the border, just drive across and head for a walk-in clinic (we have them everywhere in our universal system...ironic huh). In most places you'll be able to get the vaccine for ~$30CDN which is still only about $25US, although that exchange rate is rising fast in our favour now that your man, Alan Greenspan, has decided to try and narrow the trade deficit by crushing your dollar.

And for those outside easy driving/bus distance, well, maybe we can convince Medicins sans Frontieres to send teams into the deep south to immunize the poor, the sick and the infirm.

Oh, wait a second.....that would be a public health initiative, and that's socialism, right.

What the heck was I thinking.

And besides, aren't those Frontieres guys French?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Delysid #1

GazettEditor's Note: This is the first in, hopefully, a long line of posts from a new member of the GlobePoking team, Delysid (delysid at

38°53' North; 77°02' West

Is it just me, or is the palpable whiff of fascism hanging over the Bush campaign and the 2004 US election becoming more of a chilling stench as the days pass?

Two exhibits are offered for your perusal:

1) The first, from the Village Voice, about an anti-gay marriage protest would be merely head-shakingly disgusting if not for the fact that if Bush obtains a 2nd term, by hook or by crook (likely more of the latter), people just like these will be running the country.

"....Fear was invoked by speaker after speaker. "There's a deep division in America," said former presidential candidate and right-wing activist Gary Bauer, to ecstatic cheers. "The winner gets our children, and the right to tell them what to believe about life and death, and love and sex, and freedom and slavery. We have been losing this war. We have had to drink time and time again from a bitter cup because our opponents control the courts. I have had enough. On this I will not surrender. On this we will stand and fight."

Now, of course, once the sucker punches like this have been applied the cornermen always jump into the ring, white towels flying, and start applying salve to the wounds:

"We are not gay-bashing. We are doing this because we love gays and we want them to have the best of life as well," said Chuck Colson, Nixon's chief counsel in the Watergate era and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries."

You may remember Chuck 'E's In Love'. When last we met him he was running the plumbers for Tricky Dick, blowing up liberal think tanks, putting together enemies lists, and screwing the screwheads like Daniel Ellsberg, Paul Newman and Bill Cosbie by sending the IRS after them. Chuck E was also one of the few of the Watergate conspirators who actually did hard time. In fact, Hunter Thompson considered Colson to be so unprincipled that he abandoned a well choreographed fantasmagorical late-night effort to kidnap Chuckie, tie him to the back of a rented white cadillac convertible, and drag him screaming down Pennsylvania in front of the White House because, 'the bastard would probably enjoy it'.

2) The second, a major New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind on Bush's faith-based presidency, is an absolute must-read, and has been making quite an impact stateside. If you read only one thing political before the US election read this, and more, from Suskind:
"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency."
"The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "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."
So, there you have it, straight from the Horse's, whoops, Rovian's mouth...Reality doesn't Matter....

Ya right.

Go tell it to the dead people on all sides....or better yet, their families, friends and loved ones.

Freedom is Not Free - Especially on CableTV

33°39' North; 84° 26' West

Anybody who still thinks the term 'free press' is not a complete oxymoron in the United States was absolutely ecstatic about the fact that Jon Stewart, a comedian pretending to be a Newsman, went on CNN last week and beat the rhetorical and the literal crap out of Tucker Carlson.

Mr. Carlson is a Cable/Public TV switch-hitter. He is alse the preening little glob of smirk who aspires to be the next coming of a bow-tied George Will, but in reality owes his everything to the fact that his Dad, big Dick, is actually the former boss of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a group that has swung so far right that it has totally castrated both NPR and PBS (beware the eyes of the Aspers, oh CBC).

But there are worse cases of former public broadcast talkingheads that have lost their marbles on cable-TV. One excellent example is Judy Woodruff who, in the inimitable words of Not-So Jersey James Wolcott, should be kept indoors by CNN because:

".... whenever the wind musses her hair, she loses her train of thought."

Wolcott also picks at the rotting carcasses of a gaggle of so-called objective, middle of the road pundits that includes Adam Nagorney, Howard Fineman, Charlie Rose and Chris Matthews.

This may seem like trivial and gratuitous media bashing, but it is not.


Because, struck dumb by the realization that they do not have a hope in hell of actually influencing real world events, the Rovians are going whole-hog with a last minute blitzkrieg to influence that very same gaggle of reality-challenged CableTV pundits, particularly those that are completely incapable of recognizing said reality even when it glistens, plain as day, on the monitors right in front of them.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rovians - Spin This!

The Bunker - Lat/Long Unknown

Let's say you were a president who bet the farm on convincing the electorate that you are the war president, defender of the realm.

Now let's say you were a president who was warned, in advance, about a huge cache of conventional explosives in a country you were about to invade.

Now let's say you were a president whose secretary of defense, after he had been warned, did nothing to secure those weapons after you had invaded the country.

No let's say that insurgents/partisans stole all those unguarded explosives and started using them to blow-up your troops.

Would you be a president in trouble with the 'security and strength' side of the electorate?

Probably not, unless it was front page news in, oh say, the New York Times.

It's not even just the lies and naked agression anymore. Instead, it has become a matter of absolute and total incompetence. Clearly the only thing that the Rovians are good at are costumes on TV. Unfortunately, this is not a world run by caricatures straight out of the Village People.

The 0.5% Solution

49° 06' North; 122° 49' West
Alternative Title: Screwing Us with Our Own 1/200th

That phenomenal sales tax cut that is getting so much CanWest play (subscription) is not exactly as pure as the Ivory Driven Snow because 1/200th is exactly what 0.5% is.

And don't forget, it was the S.S. Gordon Campbell that saddled each and every one of us with that extra sliver of the sales tax pie in the first place while they simultaneously gave away entire pies to the chosen few at the top of the heap in the form of annual high percentage income tax rebates.

Regardless, now that they've given us back that 1/200th they took from us in the first place, it appears they expect us to jump for joy and elect an homophobic PR fixer in the upcoming Surrey Panorama by-election.

How else to explain the fact that Commander Campbell has, according to CBC stringer Jeff Davies, cleared the bridge and sent 11 cabinet ministers, 9 back benchers, and dozens of political staffers out on the hustings to stump for said homophobe this weekend?


Our favorite local counterweight site, 'Have You Had Enough Yet?' which is masterminded by an Al Franken to call our own, Bill Piket, has a nice take on the entire Pinocchio version of this story.

Update: Thanks to reader JS for pointing us to the excellent "progressive tax burden way down/regressive tax burden way-up" analysis by Will McMartin in the Tyee.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Peacekeeping - The Real Thing

19° 00' North; 72° 25' West

Peacekeeping does not always have to come from the barrel of a gun.

Because sometimes something as simple as true goodwill can go a heck of a long way.

Take Haiti, for example.

Unlike the situation in Iraq, BushCo has already run away from the mess that it created there when it facilitated the most recent ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. And now it is UN peacekeepers that have to deal with the aftermath:

"Young gangsters torched cars, fired in the air and terrorised people not far from the presidential palace as violence flared in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

UN peacekeepers were on high alert as supporters of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were expected to demand his return to the Caribbean country.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Aristide’s return from his first exile...."

This is bad news indeed for the blue helmets. And it is a situation that was made much, much worse by the recent spate of hurricanes and bad weather.

Luckily, ordinary Canadians, and especially folks from Quebec have stepped into the breech, raising huge amounts of money and shipping tons and tons of supplies, no strings attached, to the Carribean Island.

This is the kind of thing that people remember, and it is one more reason why all North Americans, no matter which side of the 49th parallel they live on, sew red maple leaves on their backpacks when they travel overseas.


A Vancouverite, by way of Montreal, who is also making a difference sans firearms, is a sharp young fellow named
Per Unheim

Mr. Unheim has gone overseas to help out at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights and the Centre for the Treatment of Trauma (ie. Torture) Victims. He is also a blogger, and his eyes-wide-open posts are well worth reading.

(Thanks to frequent AllSpinZone poster eteba for the tip on Quebeckers' helping hand for Haiti and to Crawford Kilian for updating us on the work of PerU).

Moms - The Real Thing

34° 05' North; 118° 22' West

Forget Soccer Moms.
Forget Security Moms.
Forget Hipper-Than-Thou Moms.
Forget All-Labels-Of-Any-Kind Moms.

Because sometimes you just need Moms, period.

Even in Left Blogistan.

And the infamous Kate Storm, the only poster that ever turned the even more infamous Billmon around, is one such Mom.

Check her out.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

It Never Got Weird Enough For Me.....

39° 13' North; 106° 52' West

The Good Docktor Thompson is back.

And, by all indications, he can still hear the high, white sound.

"....Kerry came into October as a five-point underdog with almost no chance of winning three out of three rigged confrontations with a treacherous little freak like George Bush. But the debates are over now, and the victor was clearly John Kerry every time. He steamrollered Bush and left him for roadkill....."

Three Cheers for Naomi Klein

29° 20' North; 48° 00' East

And not just because she's Canadian (but take that anyway CBC, and take your stinking 'Top-10 List' with you too!).


Mostly it's because Ms. Klein kicks Neandercon Butt every chance she gets.

For example, in the last six months alone she has:

1) Exposed the disaster of post-war Iraq for what it truly is, a failed Neandercon scorched earth policy.

2) Told nouveau-Neandercon dandies Nick Cohen and Christopher 'Hanging From My Forelock' Hitchens to go to hell while detailing how Jerry 'Suits in Boots' Bremmer, John 'IranContra' Negroponte, Ayad 'Don't Call Me Puppet' Allawi and their CIA-trained thugs have managed to turn free-election touting theocrat Muqtada al-Sadr into the country's one true democrat in the eyes of the Iraqi population.

3) Detailed how occupied Iraq is being forced to pay hundreds of million of dollars to multinational corporations for no good reason at all. In the last round of 'reparations' dozens of companies received huge payouts for no other reason than the fact that they may have had a possible decline in business and/or profit due to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. As a result Haliburton received $18million, Pepsi(!) received $4million and even Kentucky Fried Chicken(!!) and Toys 'R' Us(!!!) received hundreds of thousands of dollars. This at a time when many, many Iraqis have open sewers in the streets, inadequate potable water, and a disappearing hope.

4) Outed Poppy Bush's former Secretary of State and George II's current Debt Leverager James Baker as a cheap-jack influence peddling extortionist. This one is huge. Essentially, the Carlyle Group, in which Baker has a $180 million stake, was set to make a $1 billion windfall by fronting for a 'Consortium' that was simultaneously portraying Baker as the 'fixer' that would make like Bono to convince the world that it should forgive all Iraqi foreign debt/reparations and as a 'lobbyist' for Kuwait that would make sure the latter got all of its debt/reparation payments from Iraq. How's that for a Neandercon Con of Cons?

So how do Klein and her side-kick Avi Lewis do it? Clearly they don't have any bigtime/bigmoney media sugardaddy backing them, which is probably just as well because, as such, their loyalties are not for sale. What's more, when they went to Iraq they didn't spend their time driving around in white SUV's in Baghdad's green zone like most of the other other N. American journos. Instead, they actually got out into the countryside and talked to real Iraqis.

Funny how journalism can be so powerful when somebody follows their own nose and the 5W's.
Update: Klein's latest work has borne fruit, because the Carlyle group has indicated that it has "pulled out of a scheme to recover billions of dollars from Iraq, following the publication..... of documents detailing the secret proposals of a consortium with which it was involved". Wow!

Freepin' Tommy D

50° 27' North; 104° 37' West

The CBC should be ashamed.

Not because it's running a popularity contest, but rather because it's selling its 'Greatest Canadian' contest as something more than that.

Way more.

Especially this business about telling schools to use it as a way to encourage kids to study our history.

Sure. And maybe Peter Mansbridge can explain to my 11 year old kid why there are no women in the top 10.

She couldn't believe it when she got home from school on Tuesday. Why, she asked was there no Nelly McClung but there was Don Cherry?

I hadn't been paying attention and I was flabbergasted. This is 2004. I'm trying to teach my kid that she can do anything she wants with her life and our defender of the liberal democratic realm is telling her that there are no women in our country have done anything better than a blowhard in a too-tight suit, ever?

The only way I could put it into perspective for her was to explain that just because something is popular doesn't necessarily mean its good. How else to explain the fact that Shania Twain (#18) sells way more records than the Wailin' Jennys (# infinity) or even, for that matter, Joni Mitchell (# ninety-freaking-three!).

But speaking of Saskatchewan, at least that no-good commie-pinko, hero-of-the-people that gave us Universal Healthcare, Tommy Douglas, is in the top 10.

As a result, the very fine 'Have You Had Enough Yet' wants you to go to the CBC site and run up the vote for Heavy Tommy D.

Which is just fine by me.

Down south, Left Blogistan likes to call this "freeping" the poll (as a response to the fact that it was a Republican pseudo-op who started the 'kerning' avalanche that whacked Dan Rather up the side of the head on the way, way right FreeRepublic site ). And it works, as evidenced by John Kerry K.O.'s in every single post-presidential debate flash poll, even the ones from the rabid, and rancid, FOX News.

(Note: Kudos to Forrest of the American Bodhisattva for all the work tracking said polls)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Never Mind The Bullocks....Here Come The Squeegie Kids

48° 39' North; 123° 26' West

So now, apparently, we're getting tough with everybody.

Squeegie Kids.....

Drunk Drivers (unless your good buddies with Fred Latrimouille of course)....

Pit Bulls....

Whoops. Wait a second. Forget about that last one, because:

"Solicitor General Rich Coleman has flatly rejected any new legislation banning pit bulls in B.C., saying such a law would be clumsy and ineffective."

Just waiting patiently for one of the sheep in the Press Gallery to ask the following....

1) Why would an extraordinary law designed to curtail the actions of a certain sub-population of dogs be more "clumsy and ineffective" than a similar extraordinary law designed to curtail of a certain sub-population of people?

2) Unlike Drunks behind the Wheel or Dogs bred to Annihilate, have Squeegie Kids ever actually maimed or killed anyone?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Does He Want to Stay at the ......

37°37' North; 123° 23' West


Just guessing, based on all those uniforms and macho man costumes the Shrubbery is so fond of wearing, not to mention his conversations with Canadian bureaucrats .

Meanwhile, it appears that Shrub's Brain, Karl Rove, has finally gone starkers.
(thanks to YoungFox for the Rovian Hijinks Update)

Pulling a Mencken

39° 18' North; 76° 47' West

"The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down. " HL Mencken

Rafe Mair pulled a Mencken on the so-called Minister for 'Sustainable Resource Management' George Abbott today on the fish farm issue.

And it was a beautiful thing to hear.

Now, if only Mair and compadres would go after every double-speaking Minister like that.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Them Swedes, They're So Swiss

42°40' North; 23° 20' East

Apparently, George Bush thinks the Swiss Army knife was invented in Sweden.

And don't forget Swaziland; they're from Scandalnavia too aren't they?

Ballad of A Grey Man

43°39' North; 79° 23' West

Looks like one of the paragons of safe, staid, grey journalism in Canada, the Globe and Mail's star political columnist Jeffrey Simpson, has decided to clean up his act and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

Because for two weeks in a row now Mr. Simpson has aimed a few left jabs at the chin of George W. Bush and the Rovians.

First it was a reasonably clear-eyed look at the situation in Iraq and then this past weekend he took Mr. Bush to task for being the 'Happy Squanderer'.

In the latter piece, Simpson lays out the turn around from massive $5 trillion surpluses to massive $5 trillion deficits under Mr. Bush's so-called 'fiscally conservative' watch.

But then, like so folks trying to maintain their turf in the mushy middle, Simpson goes soft:

"Americans will pay a price for this foolishness all right, but it will be after Mr. Bush has left office, either next January or in four years, because these deficits and the resulting debt distort the economy and will eventually be paid for in weaker public services, higher taxes, or both."

So, is it possible that the well-plugged in Mr. Simpson has never heard of Grover Norquist, one of the neandercon Republican strategists that actually gives Karl Rove his marching orders? In case you haven't heard of him, it is Norquist who came up with strategy of underfunding/shrinking social programs enough so that he can take them upstairs and 'strangle them in the bathtub'.

Or how about Vice-President Dick Cheney sitting at Bush's side during cabinet meetings about permanent tax-cuts for the rich so that he can mumble "deficit's don't matter, Reagan proved it" over and over and over again, like a mantra, in the Shrubbery's ear?

I'm not making this stuff up. If you have the time and/or inclination go ahead and google it. I think you'll find that discussion of these 'policy' statements will turn up on the pages of other members of the Grey Flannel Ol' Boys Club south of the border, the Washington Post and the NY Times.

Question is.....when, if ever, will they all stop with the ineffectual jabs and start throwing haymakers?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

49°13' North; 123°06' West

No, everybody's favorite orphan, Annie, is not in town.

Instead, that's what Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell had to say last night when the NO side won the Ward vote 54-46%.

Unfortunately, there is no sun to be seen this morning. The cloud is thick and low and the dark, dank drizzle looks like it just must might go on until April.

Clearly this debacle will be seen as a sign that the NPA has been resurrected, which is downright scary, especially if it elevates Sam Sullivan to the top of the heap.

And while the chattering classes in this town, such as they are, will babble on and on about the broad coalition that was the public face of the KnoWards scare campaign, there will be very little attention paid to the groups scare tactics or the source of the big money that backed them.



I hope I'm wrong with my take on all of this.

I hope the Progressives and the Greens that fought against the straight Ward option for righteous reasons, folks like Tom Pryce-Digby who wrote a fair and balanced piece in the Tyee just before the vote, can exploit their newfound notoriety to push hard for a broad-based Citizen Assembly with a real mandate and real teeth that can generate a truly viable and inclusive proportional representation option.

And I hope that more Progressives who will fight for people rather than condo towers, people like Andrea Reimer, can use this momentum to grab hold of council, school board and parks board seats the next time around.

The only trouble with this wishful thinking is that, in reality, the NO win just slammed the door shut on all of those possibilities.

Because, effectively, the big money boys and their hand-picked slates have won again.

And if you think Sam Sullivan is gonna take the initiative to force that door back open against the glittering glass and concrete mass of NPA heavyweights like Shason, Rostich, McClanaghan and Brown et al. you just might be in for an awfully long wait.

Update: 10:15am Sunday Oct 17/04
Sam Sullivan is now saying that he will make a request to the people who backed 'his' KnoWards campaign that they allow him to reveal their names..... Don't hold your breath.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


49°13' North; 123°06' West

OK, he's not really singing but the man's shorter voice can, when called upon, pack all the lyrical punch of the longplay version.

In other words, after a long hiatus, Vancouverite William Gibson is blogging again.

And in this post he makes the case that, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

(Thanks, as always, to Sir Richard Cranium of the AllSpinZone for that last link)

Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

48°39' North; 123°26' West

Waitlists for orthopedic surgery have grown by leaps in bounds in British Columbia since the SS Gordon Campbell took over:

"....There were 11,000 people on the list in June 2001 when the B.C. Liberal government took office. The latest figures show there are now nearly 21,000 people in B.C. waiting for orthopedic surgery."

That is not a misprint. The wait lists really have almost doubled in this, the New Era of the Great Dismantling.

Now, a dispassionate observer, or even a clear-eyed Neandercon, might conclude that this means there is, indeed, a problem with the system.

But that person would not be Lieberal Health Minister Colin Hansen.

In fact, Hansen went so far as to suggest yesterday, when talking to CBC Vancouver's Rick 'I'm more than just a sports reporter' Cluff, that doctors it actually the doctors who are at fault because they are putting patients on the list early because they know there is a wait list and, thus, they are trying to pre-empt it.

Ya, sure.

And if you believe that twisted bit of pandering pretzel logic we can help you wash it down with a Big Gulp-sized flagon of iced Kool-Aid that we keep right next to the cuspador for just such purposes.

Don't Leave It To Beaver

36°10' North; 115°10' West

Or, more importantly, the Beav's Dad, Ward.

Because, while there is no doubt that Ward Cleaver was a pretty good Father, it is also very likely that if he was living in Vancouver in 2004 Mr. Cleaver would own a comfortable home on the Westside and that he would vote NPA - everytime.


Saturday Oct 16th is decision day for Vancouverites..... Do we go with Neighborhoods (ie. Wards) or do we soldier on with an En Masse (ie. At Large) system?

Personally, I'm a little bit conflicted about the whole thing because I don't believe that a lock, stock and barrel Ward system is actually the best way to go.

Instead, I figure the real ticket to ride is a proportional representation system where we elect a mixture of Neighborhood and At-Large counsellors.

So I would be willing vote 'No' to the Ward question if I thought we were gonna get another kick at the cat, but I really doubt that will happen if the proposition goes down in flames.

Why would I think that when the KnoWards anti-ward coalition says otherwise?

Because if we had not been delivered the gift of a transitory, and extremely rare, acquisition of moral backbone by former Mayor Philip Owen we would never have elected our current activist Vancouver city council, the first one we have had in almost two decades.

In other words the status quo in this town for most of the last 70 years has been conservative, pro-business, pro-development, pro-chamber of commerce slates that ramrod their way into power time after time on the back of huge gobs of money, a party machine, and a compliant media that always gets out the vote in the more affluent parts of town. The latest incarnation of this beast is the NPA which has never been whole-hog Neandercon, even when the party's cash cow of the day, Marathon Realty, selected Gordon Campbell to run the city. However, the NPA can always be counted on to pander to its base. As a result, there is a perpetual virtual wall that divides the city, like Old Berlin, into Eastern and Western factions. And while there is a bit of an ideological bent to this division, the main differences between West and East are cold hard cash and real estate assets.

And this means the NPA-dominated Westside always wins and the poor cousin Eastside always loses.


A nice little nugget in the usually throw-away 'Kudos and Kvetches' column in Wednesday's Vancouver Courier captured this state affairs perfectly:

"....(During a recent election campaign) we attended an all-candidates forum sponsored by a community group on (Eastside) Commercial Drive. Hundreds of voters showed up. Candidates form COPE and the Greens (and the independents) showed up, but one group was noticeably absent: the NPA.

Not a single NPA politician showed up, despite pressing concerns on the Drive about civic governance, the growing drug trade and community policing. The NPA later claimed it made a scheduling mistake and that no one from the cific party was able to attend.

No one? Nice try. The NPA ignored the meeting because it could afford to.

Thanks to support from West Side voters, the NPA was the dominant party on city council, which meant it could blithely brush off thousands of East Side citizens. The NPA could not have gotten away with such arrogance i a ward system because in a ward system, neighbourhoods and communities cannot be ignored when each ward means a seat on council. Vote yes for wards and you will automatically increase the power you and your neighbours have at city hall....It's that simple."

It really is that simple.

And when you get a whiff of all that NPA money wafting off of the Anti-KnowWards "Coalition" it's pretty darn clear that this is our one and only shot at this simple change.

That's why I'm voting Yes to the Wards (but not the Cleavers).


Friday, October 15, 2004

....And Watched the Tailights Disappear

40°49' North; 96°42' West

Had Bruce Springsteen's 'Highway Patrolman' from Nebraska stuck in my head all day long and couldn't figure out why.

So, instead of the usual 'City of New Orleans', I finished the goodnight lullabies tonight with the Joe Roberts story instead.

Actually it's really the story of two brothers from the American Heartland that begins in the mid-60's. One brother stays home to work the farm and gradually gets ground down until during he finally gives up and goes to work as a local cop. The other brother goes to Vietnam and comes back bitter, confused and wild. As a result, the upstanding brother is always having to reprimand and/or reign the wild one in.

When I got to the last verse of the song, which put my 5 yr old out cold, as anything from Nebraska always does, I suddenly realized why the lyrics had been runnin' round my head all day long.

And it had nothing to do with feuds I've had with my own brothers over the years.

Instead, it was because of a woman named Amy Goodman.


Ms. Goodman is one of the top independent journalists currently working in the United States. She has a radio program called Democracy Now that runs on hundreds of stations every day and she is fearless. She was also simulcast on CBC Radio One's 'The Current' this morning and a major theme of the show was the story of two American kids from the Heartland that recently bailed out of the Army and escaped North. It was a rivetting story and we can only hope that we Canadians do the right thing this time around just like we did during Vietnam, and just like Joe Roberts did when his brother got in a big heap of trouble and skipped town.

Because the highway patrolman chased his brother all over three counties until he came to a sign that said:

"Canadian border, five miles from here."

And that's when he pulled over to the side of the Highway and watched the tailights disappear.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

We Can Run, But We Can't Hide.....

33° 04' North; 111° 09' West

....Our Flu Vaccine, that is.


In Bush/Kerry II the Shrubbery said that Americans shouldn't come to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs because we're a third world nation and, thus, our drug supplies are not safe.

Now it is our children, our old, and our infirm that are no longer safe.

Because tonight in BushKerry III, Twiggy, as the Shrubbery is now known since it was discovered that he was one helluva cheerleader in between s(n?)ports at Yale, said that, in order to make up for a shortfall in the US caused by trial lawyers(??!!), he was coming North to get our Flu Shots (ie. "Operation Vaccination Liberation").

Strike another blow for freedom. Specifically, the freedom of a private American multinational drug maker (read: Chiron) to be bailed out once again, this time after it screwed up and outsourced such important public health item.

Sure glad to hear that our socialist system, a system that truly is to the Left of Ted Kennedy, can be used to help out Big Chief Neandercon in his hour of need.

Third world indeed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

CanWest Sinclair Anyone?

38°53' North; 77°02' West

Josh Marshall is one of the Sultans of Left Blogistan in the States. The last couple of days he and others of his ilk have been digging up the dirt on the connection between The Sinclair Broadcast Group and BushCo.


Because the Sinclair Group is shilling for BushCo's Brain, Karl Rove, Bigtime. Specifically, they are going to broadcast an anti-Kerry schlockumentary on the eve of the American election:

".....(The Sinclair Group) has ordered its 62 local stations to broadcast (the documentary) in the days before the election. Those 62 stations include affiliates of all six major broadcast networks in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The broadcast will preempt normal prime-time programming on those channels...."

Now this may seem trivial, in that 62 stations is relatively small potatoes south of the border and those particular states are relatively minor media markets.

But the thing to understand is that those are all battleground States, where a 0.5% swing either way in any one of them could alter the outcome of the entire election (ie. the 'official' difference in Florida, which 'won' it for the Shrubbery in 2000 was 537 votes).


So, should we be worried about blatant media manipulation such as this being used to help swing things in favour of our local NeanderCon chapter next May?

Well, why not?

After all, it's not as if they don't have both the print and broadcast arms of our own 'Made in Western Canada' type of Sinclair group in their pocket already.

And as for the federal Neandercons.....don't forget that Johnny "The EyeBrow" Reynolds had a grand-old time at the recent Republican National Convention learning all the tricks of Mr. Rove's patented "72hr Blitzkrieg Strategy".

P.S. On the flipside (ie. censorship), it was also the Sinclair Group that refused to allow it's stations to broadcast an ABC Nightline programme in which host Ted Koppel was treasonous enough to read out the names of American servicemen and women killed during the Iraqi Occupation.

Aggressive Gentrification

49°13' North; 123°06' West

Best commentary on Little Lord Lorne's Safe Streets Act so far....

A guy who called CBC Radio's Talkback line and said he hopes it can be used to keep filthy rich people from Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale and Point Grey from performing acts of aggressive gentrification East of Main St which is scaring the heck out of the current residents and fast destroying the only cool parts of Vancouver that are left.....

Monday, October 11, 2004

JimmyP Gets Beat

49°13' North; 123°06' West

In our rant on aggro-solicitious bus shelters that should be sent packing under Little Lord Mayencourt's Safe Streets Act, we suggested that, given his billboardian track record, a man named Pattison might have been involved in this latest debauchery of Vancouver's civic life.

We were a little off base, not about the whorish ads on the shelters themselves, but instead about their pimp.

Seems that JP had nothing to do with it this time, not that he didn't try. It's just that he lost the contract to a huge French/American conglomerate that bamboozled the City's old NPA Council into taking future trick projections rather than solid money upfront.

Charlie Smith has the story in last week's Georgia Straight.

What's interesting is the fact that so far the number of tricks actually performed (ie. 'projected revenues') are coming in way low. Thus, so far we've prostituted our streets for a lousy 22% of $780K.

Me, I'm wondering which of the new Wards will be the first to mount a campaign to push all of those gigantic 2-dimensional, non-ambulatory streetwalkers out of their area and into Shaughnessy where they belong.

(thanks to AD for pointing us towards Smith's piece)

The General's Revenge

39°74' North; 109°98' West

For those of you who, like us, figure that Jon Stewart is biting satire, check this out.

Apparently, at least amongst the far-right in the Excited States, there is no General like the Jesus' General.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

What Would George Bailey Think?

36°10' North; 115°10' West

It's kind of like a variation on the 'Shoe Fly' Song.

In other words, Squeegie Kids Don't Bother Me.

No Sir.

Because I can always decide whether I wanna toss 'em a loonie, chat 'em up for the duration of the red light, or, just wave 'em away if I'm not in the mood.

But if I'm sitting at the bus stop on a dank, wet Sunday night for half an hour there's no escaping the back-lit, siliconized, 8 ft tall Amazonian in the revealing lingerie with the salad bowl-sized bra cups right at eye level....or the scowling Eminem look-alike with the Viva Las Vegas shades, no shirt, and more tatoos than Rod Steiger or Ray Bradbury ever imagined.

Bus Stop Porn. That's what I hate.

And I'm pretty sure that Frank Capra would have hated it too.

So much so that if he were to re-make 'It's a Wonderful Life' today you can bet that Mr. Capra would have included a little BSP in that scene where George Bailey comes back to Pattisonville....errrr.....Potterville's main drag with angel Clarence in tow only to find that the entire place has been turned into a hopped-up 24hr gin joint that has corrupted Bert the Cop, soured the soul of Ernie the Cab Driver, and tossed Violet Bick out on her ear.

Of course, there's no telling what Capra would have done with VLTs.....

An Anti-Coulter to Call Our Own

Toronto Ontario
43°39' North; 79° 23' West

If you subscribe to a particular world view, reading the following exchange with Bill O'Lielly should make you an instant Heather Mallick fan (if you're not already):

O'Reilly: Are you a socialist?
Mallick: Yes, certainly.
O'Reilly: Are you anti-American?
Mallick: I'm generally opposed to American values, which are overly money-centred.
O'Reilly: OK, interesting. I have advised the Canadian government I will no longer buy Canadian products or visit the country.
—From The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News Network

However, even if you are not a waygone lefty it would be a mistake, based purely on the comments quoted above, to dismiss Ms. Mallick out of hand. Here are a few reasons why.

First, she's got guts. She went on O'Reilly's rigged, mundacity-filled hate-fest and gave him no quarter.

Second, she is actually way more than a waygoner. This is evident in her strangely old world and somehow simultaneously post modern pillow book titled 'Pearls and Vinegar'.

Third, she posesses one king hell-sized bullshit detector. Here's what she had to say about American Mercenaries (ie. not 'contractors') plying their trade in Iraq a few months ago in a column written before Sy Hersh published his New Yorker piece that exposed the systematic/systemic torture of the native population at Abu Graib and the other prisons of the occupation:

".....We all remember the four Americans found in Fallujah on March 31, their bodies burned and mutilated and things resembling torsos left to swing on a bridge. The killings seemed more suited to the 17th century - bits of Oliver Cromwell all over London - than anything 2004-ish. I was horrified.......

......"My human feelings changed once I studied the Fallujah bridge scene with more care. The four men killed were not U.S. soldiers. They were mercenaries, who worked for Blackwater USA, a firm that is a small part of a huge industry that contracts out hired "security guards" - read mercenaries - to nations, organizations and individuals that can afford to employ them. At least three of the four Americans in their shallow grave had worked for Halliburton, the biggest private contractor in Iraq.......

...... My first charitable thought was that the mercenaries were the same cannon fodder as regular soldiers. This is not quite true. The typical soldier fights because he has no other chance in life, but also out of some degree of patriotism or feeling for his fellow grunts. The mercenary, say, a former Green Beret trained at taxpayer expense, can earn $1,000 (U.S.) a day from Halliburton. His loyalty is to himself or his HR supervisor....."

Fourth, Ms. Mallick has a soul. From the same article on the Mercs:

" These are grim times: My reading now is divided between exposes of the Bush II administration and war poetry. W.B. Yeats's 1919 poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death seems to apply to private-sector war:

Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds.

What poem does a modern mercenary recite? Halliburton's mission statement?"

Fifth, as evidenced above, Ms. Mallick can flat out write.


For awhile now, I've viewed Mallick as our very own Morford of the North, you know, the type of columnist that speaks truth to power while at the same time cosying up to the Greedheads just enough that they can then poke them in the eye in the public prints.

But more recently I've started to think that our Heather might have a bigger role to play than that.

Specifically, I think her reasoned, soulful outrage may be just the antidote we need to fight off the necrotizing fascisti-itis that is being heaped upon us by Scaife Foundation-bankrolled shillophants like Ann Coulter.

Here's a little sample of what Ms. Coulter had to say about the Muslim world recently while she was on FOX's other, supposedly less-hateful, hate-fest a couple of weeks ago:

ALAN COLMES (co-host FOX's of Hannity & Colmes): [R]ight after September 11, you said, and you know where I'm going with this, I'm often asked if I still think we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, convert them to Christianity. You say the same thing Nixon said in 1972: "Now more than ever."

COULTER: Now more than ever.

This is wingnuttery in the extreme, but in the debased world that American punditry has become it gets a lot of play. In fact, many members of the chattering classes South of the Border are so deluded that they consider A.C. to be the far right's equivalent of the far left's Michael Moore.

Of course, the only problem with such a comparison is the fact that Moore takes, well, facts and then propagandizes based pretty much on said facts while AC/DC takes trainloads of Prefab Propaganda Polyps and utilizes bogus Ozzian Wizardry in an attempt to convert them into a few cold hard facts. The following is a 'never mind what I'm doing behind the curtain' example based on Ms. Coulter's take on last week's Cheney/Edwards VP debate:

"Democrats are good Bolsheviks. No matter, I mean, their guy could fall flat on his face, as I think Edwards did, and they will all rush to the TV cameras and say, "Oh, Edwards won the debate." And so you end up with a consensus position, even when the Republican beat the Democrat about the head, as Cheney did with Edwards."

Now, we could just let a statement like that lie there and wait for somebody like Mr. Moore to come along and stomp the life out of it with the big, slobbery, hob-nailed boots that he bought way back in the day when he was thrashing around his hometown of Flint Michigan looking to nail his first victim, Roger Smith.

But, then again, stompings like that, if and when they occur, tend to create a big mess that nobody wants to clean up. Or, even worse, the resulting flying bits of Coulter proto-spittle could metasize into a hundred new Scaiffian tumors on the Body Politic which would be disastrous in the extreme (witness Michelle Malkin, if you must).

Instead, we think we have a more polite, more surgical, and certainly more elegant, 'Made in Canada' solution. In fact, the surgeon's tool, which you cannot take on a plane or use to carve the Turkey tomorrow, arrived on our doorstep just yesterday in the form Ms. Mallick's most recent weekly column in the Globe:

" (during the debate) Mr. Cheney said he had never claimed Iraq was behind 9/11. Lie. He did, repeatedly, and it's on tape. I watched Mr. Cheney's mouth, which has been described as something doglike that scares the postman. But it looks to me like Charlotte Rampling's long upper lip stretching to greatest effect in 'The Night Porter', a movie about sado-masochism".
(Toronto Globe & Mail, Oct 09/04 pg F2 - subscription, sorry no publicly available link yet).


And best of all, we'll take our Heather's Charlotte Rampling over Ms. Coulter's faux-arayan Uber-A(pp)lles anyday.

Update: Mon Oct. 11/04, 11:37am
Heather Neale has a decent background piece on Mallick up at the Tyee that has a pretty good take on how off-putting it can be to sneak-up on the greedheads (see description of interaction with David Thompson's offspring and Andrew Coyne).

Saturday, October 09, 2004

It's a Drive Alright, But There's No Commercial

49°13' West; 123°06' West

David Beers and the folks at the Tyee are having a bit of a pledge drive.

Well, OK, it's not a pledge and it's not really a Drive either.

In truth all they want us to do is sign up for free Email alert subscriptions.

Give it a whirl. The Tyee is doing its bit for media independence and Beers' track record has pretty much convinced me that he won't sell out (at least not before the next prov. election anyway).

And besides, helping to make an enterprise like the Tyee successful is the best way to make CanWest and the other media CorpoGoons pay.

And it won't cost you a single cent.

That, as my kids like to say, is a superfunkchunkdeal.

The Dust-Up

123° 22' West; 48°25' North

It was nothing on the scale of atrios or the freepers or anything, but a recent post by Sean Holman over at Public Eye really got the juices flowing going in the local gallery.

It all started with a relatively restrained post from Mr. Holman, who's been doing a pretty good Mencken impersonation lately (ie. looking down his nose before swinging both left and right to bash whomever he sees fit), about the possibility of a hotshot banker named Paul Summerville running for the NDP in the next election.

This got everybody, including the waygone lefties, the thirdwayers, the newpragmatists, the centrists, and even the redmeateaters going.

Heck, even Charlie Smith jumped into the fray, which is worth having a look at, if only because this kind of thing is sure to become a major recurring theme in the next few months.

(for the record, we're still stuck somewhere firmly in the fireswamp between the waygoners and the thirdwayers....dangerous territory indeed; we're gonna have to make a decision one way or the other pretty darn soon)

Update: 4:30pm Sat Oct08.
Reader CK points out that while Public Eye, or even the Tyee for that matter, don't generate atriosian comment numbers one thing they do have is diversity in the comment threads. In other words they're not just preaching to the choir as is so often the case on the major American blogs.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Franco-Orwellians Are Coming!

38° 40' North; 90° 15' West

We realize that we've been sidetracked by the American election lately but the outcome is so important to everyone that it's hard not to pay at least a little attention.

Our verdict on Kerry/Bush II ....... Kerry by a TKO.

Most importantly, Kerry was clearly going after the all important swing vote (ie. he was willing to go out on a limb and take some chances) while the Shrubbery was playing almost entirely to the base (ie. war, war, war, anti-abortion, anti-tax, anti-freedom, anti-foreigner, anti-worker, anti-universal healthcare and, oh ya, war, war, war, war).

There was one point, however, where the Shrubbery did extend a twig.

It was a gnarled and diseased twig to be sure, but it was a gesture all the same.

Specifically, Bush ran through a litany of double-speak, anti-environmental programs, told us he was going to design a hydrogen car, and then concluded that this proved that he is really on Mother Nature's side (as long as she's not actually a woman, or a muslim, of course).

This was laughable in the extreme and Kerry nailed him for it. Specifically, Kerry flat out stated that Mr. Bush was being Orwellian.

Almost immediately, the Shrub's eyes glazed over as if he was trying his damndest to remember where he'd heard that dastardly foreign-sounding term before (couldn't possibly remember the septally deviated Yale Days of course, so probably had to go all the way back to references from Prep School at Andover).

And yet somehow Shrub managed to got ahold of one of the cobwebs in his ESPN/NASCAR-addicted mind because after a few moments the smirk returned and then came the Cheneyesque snarl of recognition that an evil intellectualizer was in his midst.

All of which got us to wondering, is it possible that GeorgeW thinks GeorgeO was actually a snivelling Frenchman?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

His Lorneness

49°13' West; 123°06' West

David Schreck has a well researched piece up on his website that explains the historical and ideological underpinnings of Little Lorne Mayencourt's private member's 'Safe Streets' bill.

Schreck's bit is well worth reading, if only because it uses fairness, reason and balance to demonstrate that the Little Fiberal's bill is a direct descendent of Mike Harris' 'The Poor Are Criminals' Law that is very likely unconstitutional and very definitely morally wrong.

But sometimes fairness, reason and balance are not required to toss codswallop right back into the face of he who cooked it.

In this case His Lorneness uttered those eminently tossable words on CBC Vancouver's 'Morning Edition' last week while he was describing streetkids in the West End:

"Sure, some of them come from troubled backgrounds......but some of them are just little bastards."

Which is all well and good, as far as it goes.

But then again, if we were to throw all of the bastards in jail just where would that leave the somewhat less than legitimate Mr. Mayencourt?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Wild is Still on His Side

40°65' North; 73°95' West

A lot of folks, myself included, mourn the fact that Lou Reed no longer regularly performs Metal Machine Music at decibel levels much beloved by vulcanologists.

And some have become downright concerned about the Wild One's heavy reliance on the Jane Scarpatani's cello playing on his recent album 'Animal Serenade'.

Which begs the question - Has Mr. Reed gone acoustic?

The answer is, it doesn't matter, as evidenced by this recent interview with Brent Banbury on CBC Radio.

BB: "Why do you like the cello so much?"

LR: "I like the cello for the same reason that hip hoppers like the bass in their boom boxes.

BB: (clearly dumfounded) "Why is that?"

LR: (pauses) "For the Power."

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Last Train to Kelso

46°8'31" North, 122°54'22

Actually, there are no trains to Kelso.

Because these days it's little more than a fast-food stop along I-5 in Southern Washington right next to the Columbia River.

In the old days it was a bit of a boom town that ran on raw logs. Now there's not much left because it just doesn't have the charm of nearby Castle Rock, which was made famous by Rob Reiner's movie 'Stand By Me'.

Hell, things have been so bad in Kelso lately that last spring even the Highlander mini-casino/golf complex shut down.

I knew that mini-golf course well. It had some of the best gigantic paper mache animals anywhere and my kids were especially fond of the giraffe on the 13th green.

How do I know all this?

Well, the one thing Kelso's got going for it is that is exactly 1/3 of the way between Vancouver and San Francisco.

It also has a Motel Six.

So when we make the trip to Bagdad by the Bay, which we do regularly, we always stop in Kelso, both because the Motel has a pool and because we can always get a room.

This weekend though, you wouldn't be able to get the folks at the Motel 6 to 'leave a light on for you' or give you a room for love or money.


Because if that train did stop in Kelso, the Chamber of Commerce would be furiously working the Refs right now to have it renamed 'Mount St. Helen's Station'.