Monday, January 31, 2005

Sometimes a Percentage is Just a Percentage...

Saigon, Vietnam
10° 46' North; 106° 43' East

As the pom-pom waving and the cheerleading starts to recede, folks of sober second thought like Greg Mitchell from Editor and Publisher are starting to wonder what it all means for the Excited States (because, of course, it is always about them):

"What does "high turnout" mean? Is it a percentage of all eligible voters or just those who registered? Do the vast disparities suggest a coming civil war? Or did the insurgency suffer a death blow in failing to severely disrupt the process? And what are the results of the voting likely to show: a broadly representative government or one that may take Iraq in a direction troublesome for the United States?"

But regardless who does the counting and regardless the percentages ultimately generated, you've got to wonder if anything that emerges from that 'secret counting place' can possibly beat this:

United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in (...#1) presidential election despite a (....#2) terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from (....#3), 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday....."

That report was from the New York Times in Sept of 1967 and the answers to the fill in the blanks are:

#1 - South Vietnam
#2 - Vietcong
#3 - Saigon

'Nuff said.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Weekend Update - Alternative Iraqi Version

Baghdhad, Iraq
33°21' North; 44°25' West

One of the things we can never forgive fellow Canuckistan passport holder Lorne Michaels for is the fact that he gave, however unwittingly, Dennis Miller the cachet to make a living as a neanderconnish opportunistic opiner based purely on the fact that he was lucky enough to follow the wacky/insightful duo of Chevy Chase and Jane Curtain on SNL's 'Weekend Update'.

But something that irks us even more is the fact that the CBC appeared to become part of the Neandercon Whirlitzer during its weekend updates on the Iraqi Election. For example, how could any offshore news organization give immediate credence to claims of first 72%, then above 60%, then above 57%, voting turnouts when live reports were only allowed at 5 of more than 5000 polling stations?

That's not to say that good things did not happen in Iraq yesterday, but clearly alternatives are required for anyone who wishes to really pay attention. Thus, the following are offered for your consideration:

Dahr Jamail: For our money, the best day-to-day coverage from anybody in Iraq.

Electronic Iraq: A clearing house with an anti-occupation stance that must always be taken into account. Regardless, Jo Wilding's posts are worth their weight in gold.

The Agonist: Combination wire service/clearinghouse/opinion/blog with an anti-war slant. Wide ranging, good, and up to the minute.

Christopher Allbritton: Western reporter on the ground in Iraq who is not afraid to venture out of the green zone; realtime reportage.

And don't forget Juan Cole, who once again connects the dots to demonstrate that the Iraqi election came about in spite of Mr. Bush and the Neandercons rather than because of them due to the constant pressure of Shiite cleric Sistani.

Thanks to ASZ man of international man of mystery Bradford Child for reminding us how important alternatives are.
Update: My Blahg takes the JCole view and supplements it with stuff from Needlenose; 'lively' discussion over there.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Flashbacks, sans Acid

CrocVille, California
32° 44' North; 117° 11' West

For a long time Hunter S. Thompson was scared to take LSD.

Ya, you read that right.

And it wasn't because Thompson was scared of shoving crap into his body, but rather because somebody along the way, somebody with Leary-like connections, told him that it would unleash all that repressed violence inside of him that he was always alluding to in his writing.

But all that changed around about the time that Mr. Thompson helped introduce Sonny Barger's boys to Ken Kesey's bunch at La Honda.

And by the time he hit it big with the Vegas thing there was No Beast available, chemical or otherwise, that could keep Thompson from Getting Rid of the Pain of Being a Man.

But HST could still smell hypocrisy from half a continent away. And so, when the criminal repressive Nixon finished washing the floor with the decent progressive McGovern, Thompson was crestfallen when he wrote this, just weeks after that doomed election:

"'On page 39 of California Living magazine I found a hand-lettered ad from the McDonald's Hamburger Corporation, one of Nixon's big contributors in the '72 presidential campaign: PRESS ON, it said. NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF PERSISTENCE. TALENT WILL NOT: NOTHING IS MORE COMMON THAN UNSUCESSFUL MEN WITH TALENT. GENIUS WILL NOT: UNREWARDED GENIUS IS ALMOST A PROVERB. EDUCATION ALONE WILL NOT: THE WORLD IS FULL OF EDUCATED DERELICTS. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT. I read it several times before I grasped the full meaning......'

The 'full meaning', indeed.

Now I, for a whole lot of reasons that have nothing to with repressed violence I hope, have never, ever, taken acid.

But just yesterday I flashed back to a late adolescent obsession with the writings of Thompson while flipping through the pages of the NYT.

What did it was another, very different, but somehow eerily similar, fullpage Ad from McDonalds on pg C3 that contained a picture of a guy named Charley Bell, the company's former CEO, with teeth impossibly white and a golden arches pin impossibly holographic on his lapel. The Ad also had the following quote:

"At our heart is the will to do and the soul to dare."

Why all this sentiment for a man who helped streamline the freedom-fry seller by cutting labour costs, again, while simultaneously hoodwinking a significant proportion of the population/electorate into thinking that those MSG/fat-laden salads they are having with their Big Macs are actually making them healthier?

Well, you see, Mr. Bell passed away on Jan 16th at the age of 45 from colorectal cancer.

Thanks to the writing of Mr. Thompson and other contrarians of his ilk, I only had to read the Ad once to grasp the full meaning of that thing.

Bob Broughton, Green Blogger

New Westminster, British Columbia
49° 13' North; 122° 55' West

Robert Broughton, the Green Party Candidate in New Westminister, is off and blogging.

Should be interesting to see if Bob can elbow his way into the race sans Big Media Machine*.

*Unless, of course, Rafe Mair is serious and decides to get behind the GP for real.

Friday, January 28, 2005

There's Something About Mary

Montreal, Quebec
45°42' North; 73°58' West

The deal is done:

"Shareholders of historic Molson Inc. voted overwhelmingly Friday to approve a merger with U.S.-based Adolph Coors Co., clearing the main hurdle towards the creation of the world's fifth-largest brewer."

So, does this mean that Mary Cheney will soon be seen in the new Adolf/Molson commercial, sans leather chaps of course, screaming:

"I am Canadian!"

After all, such a move just might be an attractive deal for both Ms. Cheney and her life partner Heather Poe, particularly if Our Paul manages to prevail over the snidely whiplashed Mr. Harper in the gay marriage debate.

And apparently Ms. Cheney's Dad, his Dickness, has already purchased, and broken in, his parka for his upcoming visits to the Great White North (Link Source: Blondesense)

When is Prem Not Spam?

Williams Lake, British Columbia
52°07' North; 122° 09' West

When it costs you, the taxpayer, a big wad of cash.

Because it looks like Prem, and/or Peter, Vinning received more than just the promise of a job standing on the bridge of the SS Gordo. It turns out that, while he's not in the trucking business, he is part owner in Jackpine Forest Products in Williams Lake.

Interestingly, as reported by Paul Willcocks:

"The federal government came up with a $55-million program to help B.C. cope with duties levied under the softwood dispute in late 2002. The first business to get money - and the only one in the first round of payments - was Vinning's Jackpine. (All the other recepients were community groups.) The company got a $2-million loan for a new plant. Two months later, it went to court to seek protection from its creditors. The committee that approved the loan said it was never told about the financial problems."

Is this a Monty Python skit written by Dr. Seuss or what.....

"Spam, spam, spam, green eggs, and spam."

Just hold the Prem, thank-you very much.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Not With A Bang But.....

The Blogosphere

.....A Lawsuit?

Wouldn't it be ironic if Blogging went the way of the Dodo because the Nasties decided to sic the Lawyers on us?

Don't think it could happen?

Ya, well, riddle us this Batgirlieman....What if the big Media Trusts decided to go after, say, Blogger, or TypePad, or HaloScream?

Original Link Source: The Daou Report.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

When is Spam not Spam?

Victoria, British Columbia
48° 39' North; 123° 26' West

Perhaps when it is Prem?

"Public Eye has learned the premier's new director of Asia-Pacific trade and economic development Prem Vinning, a veteran federal Liberal organizer, has quit his job - three days after being hired. That decision comes hours after Public Eye revealed Mr. Vinning used a different name other than his own when phoning in a question to a weekend Channel M call-in-show featuring Premier Gordon Campbell."

It's a story that was broken by Sean Holman that has now gone ballistic, at least in local terms (ie. it's up on the not-so Giant 98's website - with no original source citation we might add).

Now, one issue to consider here is the possibly questionable moral judgement of Mr. Vinning. But something else that could be interesting is the timing of Mr. Vinning's hiring.

Specifically, it looks like Mr. Vinning may have been hired on Monday Jan. 24th after he delivered the slow-moving softball call to el Gordo's wheelhouse on the previous weekend.

Now, if this is truly the case it might not be unreasonable for a reasonable person to ask if Mr. Vinning's hiring was based, at least in part, on a (morally questionable) job well done before he was hired.

And if that is true, should this incident not lead to some real hard questions from the press gallery being directed to the man who both responded to the phone call and did the hiring?

Update Thurs. 7:00am: Story went National on CBC Radio this morning.....kudos to local CBC guy, Jeff Davies, for properly sourcing the story back to first Joy McPhail and then Public Eye.

And Why Not?

Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

Of course it's flat-out crazy, but then again the woman has guts, and she's willing to do the right thing.

So, why not

°Especially if Howard Dean becomes DNC chair.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Boxed Compass

Young Fox is back with mixed print/image collages that are truly chilling and not for the faint of heart. One point that he makes that we in Canuckistan must not forget - Our Paul is helping to legitimize the illegitimate and the indefensible 'election' in Iraq - and that includes our donation of paper (ie. not so traceable, traceable ballots).

Following the sage advice of Neil Young, Matthew Good appears to have decided it's better to burn out than to fade away. Mr. Good burned very hard and very bright for a short time and he was very good. We hope the creative juices and the outrage bring him back to the fray when he's ready.

Never, ever forget the man who uses words like Inigo Montoya uses his sword, Not-So-Jersey James Wolcott.

More locally, sometime reader Rob Broughton has decided to run for the Green Party in the upcoming provincial election. Check out his site; while we don't agree with everything he has to say, most of his positions make a lot of sense (and we're looking forward to the coming of his blog, especially if, like Andrea Reimer, he writes it himself).

We've noticed something interesting about the way Sean Holman runs his blog - he actually pays attention to his posters, and follows up on stuff they have to say. We like that - makes for an interesting dynamic amongst the crazys and it seems to draw out the real life pols and the wonks on both sides of the aisle.

While his constant format changes, server troubles, and snobber-snidely approach to his not-quite chosen profession tend to drive us crazy, we do like to read what the I-Ching King has to say. We especially liked this recent quip: "I may be a whore, but I’m an honest whore." (and while nobody has ever accused us of whoring honestly we are not afraid to stoop to outright idea-thievery when we see a good one on somebody else's shelf that we like - see Ian's 'Links Round-Up' feature for similarities to this drivel).

Unlike so many others, we hate the updated CBC website because they seem to have jettisoned much of their archived material which forces us to utilize the hated google-cached jumble pages for pull quotes.

While we still frequent the tried and true clearinghouse/opinion sites like Common Dreams and Truth Out, we are really digging the relatively new Daou Report. Granted, it's a bit of a left vs. right Point/Counterpoint kind of deal but we still like it because it's blog-o-centric, the capsule summaries are informative, to the point and up to date, and, best of all, it forces you to pay attention to what the other side is up to.

Finally, due a flurry of Broad St. Bullies Trivia on the threads, we were forced to look up the playing history of the Philosopher King himself, Reggie Leach, which reminded us of the most exotic junior hockey team we could ever imagine when we were kids - the Flin Flon Bombers.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Bully Boy Bashes Us Behind Our Backs

Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

Why did we, and our homegrown media, have to learn about this from the WaPo?

" When President Bush flew to Canada in his first international trip following his reelection, the White House portrayed it as the beginning of a fence-mending tour to bring allies back into the fold after a tense first term. But after Bush left, the Canadians were more furious than before.

They were stunned when Bush leaned across a table in a private meeting and lectured Prime Minister Paul Martin about opposing the U.S. missile defense system. And they were later taken aback by a speech filled with what they considered the same "old Bush" foreign policy pronouncements that opened the divide with the allies in the first place.

"If he's going to take that speech to Europe," said a top Canadian official who attended the meeting between Bush and Martin, "he's not going to get a good reception."

Guess Jeffie 'Button-Down-Boy' Simpson and Anthony 'Not-So-Saintly' Germain were too busy talking to Uncle Fred from Galiano and Mary Walsh respectively to go after some real sources.

Thanks tons to ASZ poster extraordinare Eric who gave us an 18 hr heads up that would have allowed us to bang the entire Canadian Media Machine like a gong if we had taken him up on it late Sunday night. Unfortunately, we missed our main chance because, well, unlike Mike Duffy et al., we actually have to get up on Monday mornings and go to work for a living.

And sorry to reader B.A.D., but Buzzflash-assisted half-assed follow-ons from the Canadian Press just don't make the nut on this one because clearly there were PMO sources itching to let the cat out of the bag and the CanWestGlobal/BellGlobeMedia Axis of BoWeevils was just not up to the task.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ministry of Screwheads

Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

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.

Apparently Daniel Schorr is also pretty proud of having been number 17, as is made clear by this modern day reminscence:

"(recently) I was able to see, for the first time, the single most electrifying moment in my career. It was a videotape of me as a CBS News correspondent reporting from the Senate Watergate Committee hearings. Having been handed the first list of 20 White House "enemies," I read the names live on camera without having even scanned them beforehand. At No. 17, I came to "Schorr, Daniel, Columbia Broadcasting System, Washington, A real media enemy."

I remember that day (or at least the videotape) in which Schorr ran out onto the Capitol steps and read out a bit of fascism so venal that no one, not even a 14 year old kid in the wilds of not-quite-yet Canuckistan, could ever again doubt that Nixon's administration was rotten to the core.

I also remember the reaction of many, many, many people that weren't on the list.

They were outraged.

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.

And until recently I was convinced Daniel Schorr had turned his back on truth and had become one of those chronic list avoiders.

After all, these days Schorr's highest profile gig is his Saturday morning to and fro with Scott Simon on NPR. Almost without fail it's a bland, banal excercise in political tightrope walking in which both participants occasionally stick out a hand or a leg but never, ever take a real chance at stepping out into the abyss.

All of which I find extremely disappointing because I've admired the work of both Simon and Schorr in the past.

But this week Schorr surprised a lot of people when he pulled a Helen Thomas in the pages of the CS Monitor.

Washington these days feels a little like Moscow in Soviet times when the government routinely dispensed information to the public and the public routinely didn't believe it. The two main newspapers were the Communist Party organ, Pravda, (Truth) and the Soviet government organ, Izvestiya (News). People used to say, "There is no Izvestiya in Pravda and no Pravda in Izvestiya."

Schorr then really takes it to the Screwheads and focusses on three specific examples of Willful Truthlessness: fairytale WMDs as a pretext for war; fake journalists bamboozling the public about anti-public programs; and the buying of supposedly not fake journalists to bamboozle the public about anti-public programs.

All of which, in our minds at least, is a devastating indictment of America's so-called free press. But we're not so sure that Schorr has cleared out all that muck from his eyes, or that fear from his heart, quite yet.

Because at the end he asks:

"How did we ever get to this point?"

To which we, and we're pretty sure Jon Stewart too, would answer - isn't it obvious?

Update: Lawrence, over at The Orchid, has an excellent real time analysis of the situation.
Double Secret Probation Update: The Revolution may not be televised but it sure as heck is being blogged.... from the Bradblog pointed out to us by sukabi at ASZ and Michael H at Spontanteous Arising, here are the pictures of nuttin' much happenin' according to the media trusts .
Ultra Super Duper Secret Update: Kate Storm has even more sinister reasons to believe that if you're in Washington you just might be Back in the USSR.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Death vs Fever

Baghdhad, Iraq
33°21' North; 44°25' West

Latest Riverbend:

"It's the third day of Eid. Eid is the Islamic holiday and usually it’s a time for families to get together, eat, drink and celebrate. Not this Eid. This Eid is unbearable.......There hasn’t been a drop of water in the faucets for six days. six days.......Water is like peace- you never really know just how valuable it is until someone takes it away..... .At first, I thought it was just our area but I’ve been asking around and apparently, almost all of the areas (if not all) are suffering this drought.

I’m sure people outside of the country are shaking their heads at the words ‘collective punishment’. “No, Riverbend,” they are saying, “That’s impossible.” But anything is possible these days. People in many areas are being told that if they don’t vote- Sunnis and Shia alike- the food and supply rations we are supposed to get monthly will be cut off. We’ve been getting these rations since the beginning of the nineties and for many families, it’s their main source of sustenance. What sort of democracy is it when you FORCE people to go vote for someone or another they don’t want?"

This is important, because if true (and at this point we are much more willing to believe River and the likes of Dahr Jamail than the entire legion of GreenZone-ensconsed gutless Western Press) it means that these so-called Democratic Elections are anything but. And worse, if they go off smoothly it will only embolden the Neandercons and their Minions to push over the next domino in the slaughter-a-thon.

Regardless, we must never forget what's happening to innocent people, on the ground. Here's River's closing:

"It's amazing how as things get worse, you begin to require less and less. We have a saying for that in Iraq, "Ili yishoof il mawt, yirdha bil iskhooneh." Which means, "If you see death, you settle for a fever." We've given up on democracy, security and even electricity. Just bring back the water."

Live Free or Die, indeed....perhaps the Neandercons should consider moving Iraq's entire population to New Hampshire.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Empire of Wank

Dover, Pennsylvania
40°01' North; 76°60' West

So, does Focus on the Family's uber-boss James Dobson figure that Sponge Bob Square Pants was created by Intelligent Design?

Because, according to the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center, an Astroturf Institute if ever there was one, "intelligent design" is a concept that is "a scientific theory" that maintains that "life is not the result of purely natural processes, but that it was in some way designed by an 'intelligence.'"

You got that. It's science, not religion.

The American Civil Liberties Union does not agree, and it is challenging ID's inclusion in the Pennsylvania school science curriculum on the following grounds:

"Teaching students about religion’s role in world history and culture is proper, but disguising a particular religious belief as science is not," said ACLU of Pennsylvania Legal Director Witold Walczak. "Intelligent design is a Trojan Horse for bringing religious creationism back into public school science classes."

It is a stand that makes Bill O'Lielly's outburst on the matter all the more puzzling:

"....(The ACLU) won't even tell you in the statement what intelligent design entails. They won't mention a creator, a deity, a God. You know why? Because the ACLU then can haul them into court and cost them $100,000 to defend themselves. Fascism, fascism, fascism. Okay? Ah, drive me nuts! Hitler would be a card-carrying ACLU member. So would Stalin. Castro probably is. And so would Mao Zedong."

Meanwhile, while the SCLM gives the Circle of Jerks all the attention they demand, people continue to die for no good reason at all.

The N Word

Prince George, British Columbia
53°53' North; 122°40' West

The red meaters on the bridge of the SS Gordo are in a tizzy because the guy that said the following is back, nipping at their heels:

"...My principal concern however, is not with Accenture's integrity or competence but with the transfer of control over BC Hydro's operations to a private firm, accountable only to the government, under an agreement whose terms are confidential. I had surmised that the government understood the overt privatization of BC Hydro to be unpalatable to the public so that it could not at this time be mandated by legislation.......Proceeding in the face of such public opposition, betrays an extraordinary arrogance on the part of the government....."

That was Paul Nettleton in 2002.

And because of that defense of the public interest Mr. Nettleton, MLA from Prince George - Omenica, was (self?) ejected from the Liberal caucus.

Nettleton was back in the (cbc) news today saying that not only would he run again, but that this time around he would switch ridings, move across town, and challenge Minister of Something or Other, Shirley Bond, for her seat.

Rumor has it that, after she had finished going white as a sheet, Ms. Bond was heard to exclaim, "It won't change the way I run my campaign one bit."

Here's hopin'.

Update: Paul Willcocks take can be found on the issue can be found at the bottom of this post.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

West of Hades

Bismarck, North Dakota
46° 49' North; 100° 47' West

Climbed back in the Cigar Tube to come home from Toronto yesterday afternoon....vibe on AC161 was much better than on the trip least at the beginning......seatmate was human....plane was only half-full and the trip was wide open - no mountain of work, no worries, looking forward to making it home in time to read my kids the latest Dave and Morley saga at was settling in and truly enjoying something I rarely have time to do these days...reading the NYTimes, slowly, cover to cover....all was well until we got somewhere over North Dakota and I flipped to page A9....what I saw made me physically ill.....began to hyperventilate....had to get up and head down the aisle towards the bathroom..... shaking.... with rage.....with shame....with utter hopelessness.

Now I, as much as anyone who has been paying attention to the situation in Iraq, have railed against the spinelessness of the NYT (ie. NewPravda) since the invasion.....but there can be no denying that that single image hit me harder than 1000 Op-Ed pieces from Joseph Wilson and Scott Ritter ever's a picture of a little Iraqi girl...she is blood-spattered....her parents are dead....they've just been assasinated by American soldiers for the crime of driving their car.

We must work to stop this.... all of us.

If we do not, I really truly fear for all of our souls.

Advance warning....this is the real thing, no sugar coating....You can see the image here; get Gilliard's take here; and another of Billmon's maximal comparisons here.
Update: From Sir Richard of Cranium over at the ASZ, here is the entire series of images.
Updatee: Lawrence over at the Orchid points out the implications of such images being seen in the Middle East.

Being There

Victoria, British Columbia
48° 39' North; 123° 26' West

Sean Holman over at Public Eye wonders if el Gordo's decision to have his minions attend a reception in honour of the National Caucus of the Conservative Party of Canada will:

"....raise the issue of whether the Campbell administration is being taken over by
social conservatives?"

Our answer to that question is a resounding No!

After all, to steal a line from Joseph Conrad and project it onto an old Peter Sellers film, "Mr. Gardiner, he dead".

In other words, it's the present tense we take issue with because the SS Gordon Campbell was taken over by the Redmeaters a long, long time ago.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

East of Eden

Toronto, Ontario
43° 40' North; 79° 24' West

Climbed into the cigar tube, heading east, again.....bad vibe on AC148.....weird uptight businessman in seat beside me who ignored sadistic Kim Basinger kidnapping movie and very first Cheers episode, and that idiot Dave Chalk and instead spent the entire flight, except for 1min 30sec wolfing of pasta (I had chicken), poring over organic hydroponic magazines.....$48.00 cab ride to hotel near no longer Maple Leaf Gardens on Carleton....Hotel might have been nice when Davey Keon was a rookie...not the Empire, although 15 min later was sitting in the lounge°..... next day maids are mean.....concierge is meaner....and desk clerks are just plain creepy.... reminds me of that place in Milwaukee run by the storm troopers that HST went on and on and on and on about during the early days of the heady, but doomed, McGovern Primaries in 1972.....went looking for Finkleman at Sam the Record Man on Yonge St.....couldn't find him, but did buy an old vinyl copy of Court and Spark.

Supposed to dip down to windchill-assisted -30°C in the Center of the Universe tonight....Finkleman has probably already been reclining on wrong'em boyo Laz-Y-Boy for, it's back to the science geeks.

°ECostello's refrain 'I don't want to go to Chelsea' would also be appropo.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Maximal Comparisons

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
39° 57' North; 75° 10' West

Billmon is back at it, going hard - purely with pull quotes.

Today, it's a direct comparison of the PropTech of today's Maximum Leader and yesterday's Maximum Fascist.

While we already know who today's Maximum G-Man of the proptech is, when all is said and done and the history books are written, we've gotta wonder - will the Man from Metamucil come to be known as this team's Field General vonRumskull?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Stop Making (non)Sense!

Victoria, British Columbia
48° 39' North; 123° 26' West

The Media Trusts are confused, very confused indeed......

"Less than a year ago, few were forecasting that the B.C. New Democrats would be running slightly ahead of Gordon Campbell's ruling Liberal Party in the polls."

How could this be they wonder, when things are going so very, very well?

"It raises the prospect that a province that is leading Canada in economic growth could soon be run by New Democrats, with a policy platform that remains virtually unknown."

Again, how can this possibly be if the SS Gordo has saved us all from a Pinko-Commie Debt worse than Death?

Well, apparently UVIC political (non)scientist Norman Ruff, has the answer:

"It suggests that strong economic growth has backfired on the Liberal government, creating the perception that B.C. can afford the NDP's traditional tax-and-spend policies, he (Ruff) said."

Are these people insane?

Or is it just that they don't know any sick people, or poor people, or homeless people, or handicapped people, or underemployed people, or students, or teachers, or hospital workers, or ferry workers, or ferry builders, or ferry takers or on and on and on and on........

Oh ya, forgot.

Media mavens and Globe and Mail business page columnists don't need to use the Ferries, because their rising corporate expense accounts are built for Harbour Air.

They really should get out more.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Is This Heaven's Gate?

Black Rock, Viacomville New York
40°47' North; 73°58' West


This is Rathergate.

And Greg Palast has the inside scoop on the paragons of virtue (ie. the 'independent' review panel) that you won't see anywhere in the SCLM.

All you need is the lead:

"Independent" my ass.

CBS' cowardly purge of five journalists who exposed George Bush's dodging of the Vietnam War draft was done under cover of what the network laughably called an "Independent Review Panel."

The "panel" was just two guys as qualified for the job as they are for landing the space shuttle: Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi.

Remember Dickie Thornburgh? He was on the Bush 41 Administration's payroll. His grand accomplishment as Bush's Attorney General was to whitewash the investigation of the Exxon Valdez Oil spill, letting the oil giant off the hook on big damages. Thornburgh's fat pay as counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, the Washington law-and-lobbying outfit, is substantially due to his job as a Bush retainer. This is the kind of stinky conflict of interest that hardly suggests "independent." Why not just appoint Karl Rove as CBS' grand inquisitor and be done with it?

Then there's Boccardi, not exactly a prince of journalism. This is the gent who, as CEO of the Associated Press, spiked his own wire service's exposure of Oliver North and his traitorous dealings with the Ayatollah Khomeini. Legendary AP investigative reporters Robert Parry and Brian Barger found their stories outing the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986 stopped by their bosses. They did not know that Boccardi was on those very days deep in the midst of talks with North, participating in the conspiracy....."

Not many sounds of bells or angels getting their wings there is there.

No sir.

In fact, you might conclude that the folks 'Standing at the Gates of the West' are getting more and more sinister everyday.

Update: Reader B.A.D. points out that Disco Dickie T. is also the guy who is doing his best to screw Canuckleheads everywhere with that apparently illegal softwood lumber countervail.
Double Secret Probation Update: That's Big Audible (not Audio) DynOmite, so there's no relation to Mick Jones, although there apparently is a passing resemblance to Jimmie 'JJ' Walker

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Gucci Man Slippeth

Ottawa, Ontario
45° 25' North; 75° 43' West

Paul 'Gucci' Cellucci, the outgoing BushCo Gaulieter to Canuckistan, let slip on some sort of quid pro quo MarchMissleMadness deal the other day.

The United States is optimistic Canada will sign on to President George W. Bush's missile-defence plan before the end of March, American Ambassador Paul Cellucci told The Canadian Press.

Mr. Cellucci, who is scheduled to leave his post this spring, said he expects the issue will be resolved before he departs.

"We've been told that it will be dealt with over the next couple of months," he said....

Of course, Our Paul was quick to deny everything.

" No such assurances were given,'' Martin told reporters outside parliament in Ottawa.....

Ya, sure.

But if the Martinis are not smiling we know somebody that just might be - Jack Layton.

Original Link Source (and Layton happyface theory): Calgary Grit

Working for the Man?

Hackensack, New Jersey
40°57' North; 74°04'

So, if Michael Chertoff is the latest Bush Administration nominee to run the Department of Homeland Security (aka 'The Colour Code Guy') just why was he working for someone who had rumored financial ties to a certain Saudi Terrorist before 9/11.

Seem far fetched?

You might think so.

Until you read Richard Cranium's excellent analysis over at the AllSpin Zone.

Mutiny on the Gordo, Part VI

Trail, British Columbia
49°06' North; 117°43' West

Commander Gordon Campbell's Minister of Resorts (no, we're not making that up), Sandy Santori, is gone.

Gone to do what?

Well, to manage a resort, of course.

Will the mutiny never cease?

Thanks: to RickB of Queer Thoughts for the heads-up
Update: PWillcocks has the the wider implications and the domino effects of the story.
Double Update: (kind of like double-secret probation, but not quite) DShreck has now also taken to comparing the SS Gordo to a rusting ghost ship (kinda sorta, but not quite) and is suggesting that Geoff 'Sings like Robert' Plant might be next to walk the plank.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tie a Yellow Ribbon...

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
39° 57' North; 75° 10' West

Holy Crap!

Billmon's back.

Update: Longer Billmon, with multiple Salvadorean Option Quotes and huge Trackback ripple effects here.

Mutiny on the Gordo, Part V

Surrey, British Columbia
49° 14' North; 122° 50' West

This ain't no Party, and it sure as heck ain't no Disco.

So, you've gotta wonder - does Gordo really have time for them all, especially when things go as badly as they went during a pair of mid-December meetings designed to placate the Indo-Canadian wing of the Lieberal coalition after Commandante Campbell's own trusties, Redmeaters like Kevin Falcon, had just blamed, trashed and humiliated them for losing the Surrey Panorama by-election?

What's more, the I-C wing is so mad they've levelled a pretty strong charge at the Mugging One, retroactively, as reported by Rattan Mall in the Voice:

"....The Liberals are in fact so angry with Campbell in spite of the December 11 meetings that he held with two separate groups of top Indo-Canadian Liberals after the by-election fiasco (mainly because he chose not to answer many of the blunt questions they spat out at him) that they came out with a terribly shocking revelation.

Campbell's campaign knowingly allowed Indo-Canadian corrupt practices in his own leadership takeover of the BC Liberal party from Gordon Wilson in 1994!"

What's that you hear?

Why, that's the sound of shrieking metal as another hole is punched in the rusting hull of the SS Gordon Campbell

Original Link Source: Public Eye where poster Budd Campbell wonders if 'Young and the Restless' cast members Dave Basi and Bob Virk were involved in any leadership race phone scams during their formative years.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Antidote

South of the 49th Parallel
77°02' West to 122°23' West

Not long ago we got a little carried away and described Heather Mallick as an 'Anti-Coulter' to call our own and the 'Mark Morford of the North'.

We were probably a little off the mark with both suggestions but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth bringing up because we all need to know who's out there trying to do the right thing.

Maybe the bigger question is - is there anybody south of border right now that can really take it to the greedheads, unyieldingly, and win?

Clearly, that person will not, and cannot, come from the mainstream media because of the level of control and coercion that anybody working for the big Trusts must operate under these days.

So, is there a blogger with the POV, the guts, the integrity, and the writing skills to do the job?

At first we thought that person was going to be Billmon before he self-destructed Nov. 3rd after he was struck dumb by the realization that American exceptionalism, at least for the time being, is dead.

But now we've stumbled across somebody else who seems to be up for the job.

His name is Steve Gilliard.

Initially, we started hanging out at Mr. Gilliard's place because of the writing.

And the POV was pretty good as well.

But this past weekend it became quite clear that Gilliard has all the integrity and guts he needs to make a go of it as well.

You see, the Re-thug integrity-challenged Screamers (ie. the New Republic Online, Instapundit) had a go at Mr. Gilliard after he suggested that Armstrong Williams, the black media shill who took money from the Rovians to boost the 'No White/All Black Children Left Behind' initiative on his talk show, was an Uncle Tom.

As a result, the Screamers sent their swarms of locusts (aka 'trolls') over to Gilliard's where they started shrieking that he was a spineless, bitter, liberal racist (and worse).

Gilliard and the regular posters on his site stood their ground and the resulting fireworks were most interesting.

Even better, today Steve had this to say:

"What stunned me with the trolls was the idea that they could call me a racist and I would care.... Conservatives make the assumption that liberals care what they think and will react to it.

There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think. The NRO Corner thinks I'm a racist, I don't care, their opinions on race are meaningless.......

.....I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them.

I want to stop them."

Isn't that something? And you don't have to just take our word for it. Folks with a much better nose for this sort of thing, people like James Wolcott, have this to say about Gilliard:

"Gilliard is a good guy who sometimes uses bad language, according to the girls in the bridge club. I haven't noticed this myself, but then again I was raised by Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler, two names lost on most of you."

What's that we see off on the horizon?

Could it be the real thing?

btw - in case you haven't caught on, and it took us a while (and the Screamers even longer), Mr. Gilliard is, himself, black.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Dumb, Dumber, and Really Dumbest

Greeley, Colorado
40°25' North; 104°37' West

From Alternet's top 25 Dumbest Quotes of 2004.

Dumb: (#22)
"I heard there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft."

Dumber: (#6)
".... Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."

Dumbest: (#1)
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Jim Carrey?


Not even close to the Twig when he's at his finest and in his very best finery - stuff like his solid gold trinket affixed to his coronation duncecap.

Links courtesy of an almost hulking Kate Storm at the ASZ and the Cottinghammerer.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

Holy Crap!

"Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same....The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts"......"

That is out and out neandercon propaganda - signed, sealed and delivered with taxpayers' money.

So, the big question is.....if they'll pay a quarter of a million to a nobody to shill/spin for them on an issue they've already won, how much will they pay to somebody to help them "Let Fascism Reign"?

Riverbend's New Year

Baghdad, Iraq
33°21 North; 44°25' East

Oh, to be young and (lucky to be?) alive in Iraq in two thousand and five.....
" We spent New Year at home (like last year)......We sat watching celebrations from different parts of the world. Seeing the fireworks, lights, droves of laughing and singing people really emphasizes our current situation.....We had our own fireworks as we began the New Year countdown. At around 10 minutes to 2005, the house shook with three colossal explosions not too far away...."

And, those elections? While not exactly the smell of Bobby Duvall's 'Napalm in the Morning', they are apparently giving off the queasy aroma of fascist-assisted not-quite Freedom....
"We're being bombarded with cute Iraqi commercials of happy Iraqi families preparing to vote....Can you just imagine what our history books are going to look like 20 years from now?
'The first democratic elections were held in Iraq on January 29, 2005 under the ever-watchful collective eye of the occupation forces, headed by the United States of America. Troops in tanks watched as swarms of warm, fuzzy Iraqis headed for the ballot boxes to select one of the American-approved candidates...'"

Which is not to say there isn't money to be made. After all, this is the Neandercon Utopia of, now, Baghdad Year Zero + One (see Naomi Klein's Archives, Sept 2004) - a place where the profit margins are superb on, whaddya know - phony ballots.
"We're getting our ballots through the people who give out the food rations in the varying areas. The whole family is registered with this person(s) and the ages of the varying family members are known. Many, many, many people are not going to vote. Some of those people are selling their voting cards for up to $400. The word on the street is that these ballots are being bought by people coming in from Iran. They will purchase the ballots, make false IDs (which is ridiculously easy these days) and vote for SCIRI or Daawa candidates."

And it is that last part that is most chilling because it proves, once and for all, that the PNACkian Paddy Wackers that run the Rovians really do have no clue as it clearly portends the rise of a Shiite theocracy which just might make Al Sadr look like a mild-mannered moderate who knows how to fix sewers and get the electricity running. Too bad L. Paul 'Puss In Boots' Bremmer sent Al Sadr to the barricades for no good reason at all.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Box(er) Score

Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

It's all over.

The play-by-play and the boxcores can be found at the BradBlog.

Question now is....will the SCLMedia focus on any of the substantive issues raised, or will it just be endless clips of Tom 'The Pig-Iron Hammer" Delay making like Zell Miller and screaming about the scourge of conspiracy theorists in the Michael Moore Wing of the Democratic party?

A Left Cross

Washington, District of Columbia
38°53' North; 77°02 West

Barbara Boxer comes through.

Now it's time for the Tubb Jones vs Cheney cage match for democracy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Better by the Half Dozen

New York, New York
40°47' North; 73° 58' West

From his sickbed Keith Olbermann, one of the only mainstream journos who has had the guts to at least report regularly on the story (if not actually dig), suggests there may be six.....

"Nothing is in writing and daybreak is a long way away, but it appeared all but certain in early evening Wednesday that House Democrats had secured the support of up to half a dozen Senators to formally challenge the Electoral College slate from Ohio, when the votes are opened before a joint session of Congress tomorrow...."

Me, I very much forward to seeing if the exchange between Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Mr. Cheney comes anywhere near the drama of the exchange between Maxine Waters and Al Gore in 2001 (as immortalized by MMoore in F-911).

Reverse Engineering Evolution

Spokane, Washington
47°40' North; 117° 23' West

John Kerry invertebrate.

Thanks to Forrest from American Bodhisattva.

Climbing into the Ring with Conyers?

San Francisco, California
37°37' North; 123°23' West

John Conyers, the lone US Congressman with spine enough to stand up to Diebold and the Rovians needs a Senator by his side to get the Ohio vote contest ball rolling in earnest.

Looks like maybe, just maybe, he might have found one in Barbara Boxer, Democrat from NorCal.

Boxer was once an old time firebrand congresswoman who stomped on the terra with fellow travellers like Ron Dellums, but some of the waygone lefties figure she's gone a little soft since then.

Here's hoping the old gang, folks like Bernie Ward, who once worked for Boxer on Capitol Hill are working her over hard right now.

After all, it's only a little matter called Democracy that's at stake here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ferries Go a Gougin'

Tsawwassen, British Columbia
49°03' North; 123° 09' West

Let's say you're going on a trip and you're not a rich guy or an expense account-assisted businesswoman/politico/journo and you wanna save money.

What do you do?

First rule is to book early.

Because the earlier you make those reservations the cheaper that hotel room, rental car and airline ticket is going to be.

Which is as it should be because it also saves the hoteliers, the rental folks and the airlines scads of money as it allows them to plan their loads, inventories and schedules ahead of time.

So, if Davey 'Boy George' Hahn's 'Perfectly Private in Every Way' operation is so efficient, why do things work exactly the other way around on BC Ferries.

Specifically, if you book early on BC Ferries why do you pay an extra $17.50, up from $15 last week, each way.

This, together with never ending ticket price increases makes me wonder if a family of four will need to spend $200 to get to and from the Vancouver Island by the time 2010 rolls around.

Which I just realized is wishful thinking.

After all, I just spent $164 for a Vancouver- Victoria round trip during the recent Christmas holidays while travelling in our VW Bus (which, while it is not as Micro as Arlo's in Alice's Restaurant, is not oversized). And that was just for the fare (ie. before handing over another small pile of athlerosclerosis-stained cash to Peter Toigo's grease bucket operation in the cafeteria).

Guess it really is a Newly-Minted Era of the Neandercon in the greatest place to get screwed by the rich on earth.

And don't even get me started about the fiasco of fraudulosity in Boy George's parking lots.

Crap! Remember when we actually owned our own public assets - including those built by that noted left-wing commie-pinko Wacky Bennett?

Everything Old is Born Again

Vancouver, British Columbia
49°15' North; 123°08' West

This, from Charles Demers at Rabble, by way of Seven Oaks, is very, very good indeed. Here's a slice....

"....everything this year (2004) was “born again”: the Bush administration, Spiderman, Bridget Jones, the French empire in Haiti, Quebec nationalism, Hugo Chavez and Paul Martin. It was the year of Second Comings! Colin Powell was somehow born again as a tragic figure. John Kerry, alternating rapidly between hawk and dove, was born again and again and again. Iraq was born again as the home of collaborators appointed to rule the country on behalf of Anglo-Saxons. Halliburton was born again as a U.S. federal government program. And after his bland and inchoate Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore was born again as a controversial populist rebel with the brilliant Fahrenheit 9/11......"

Go read it all, it's really worth it.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Comin' Out Swingin'

Digbyville, USA
Left Blogistan


His 'Battleground State (of the Mind)' is just what U.S. Demos Without a Spine need right now.

An example?

Here's his latest take on Endless Torture and the Neandercon deification of Alberto "The Memo Man" Gonzales.

"....We should fight back with righteous anger and authority. We needn't be reasonable and argue like lawyers. Make them go on the record defending torture, over and over again if possible. This is the real values fight for the heart and soul of this country, not Janet Jackson's nipple or "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance."

Strong medicine for what ail(e*)s us all.

*including Roger

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Gordo Agonistes

Maui, Hawaii
20° 25' North; 156° 25' West

It's hard to argue with Ian King's positive take on Gordon Campbell's stepping up with a significant number of dollars for the South Asian Tsunami Relief.

Mr. King even goes so far as to suggest that anyone who objects to El Gordo's actions regarding this matter is a defacto dunderhead (or some such other less chatty crudity).

However, we cannot fail to note the hypocrisy in the following words from the Big 'G' spoken from his annual schlosh-a-cation in Hawaii.

"..... British Columbians take pride in celebrating together, and today they bring us together in mourning for those lost and those who are struggling to overcome this devastating tragedy."

All of which is fine, as far as it goes.

But what about the homegrown tragedies that are of His Gordness' Very Own Making. Like, say, the ideologically-driven, Doug Wall's-assisted dismantling of the Ministry of Child and Family Development, the latest result of which just may be this.

And don't forget.... the deep, deep cuts to Child and Family Development, along with other Ministries that help British Columbians overcome adversity and tragedy have continued unabated in the face of the mounting billions in surplus.

It's going to be very important to remember this massive tearing-up of our social safety net when Mr. Campbell and Minions head out on the hustings with their million dollar Spider-Silk patchkits designed to buy themselves back a Mandate with our own Money come May.