Saturday, March 1, 2008

Watching the Detectives: Mike Brock Edition

Who’s Mike Brock, and who cares? Questions of absolutely no importance or interest to anyone, but for the fact he’s the central player in a droll little tale of sleazy political intrigue and hypocrisy…

You see, Mike is a member of “The Blogging Tories” (a group he amusingly describes as “Other Nutty People”), who generously invites commenters at his site to “Sign in to comment on this entry, or comment anonymously”… [Update: This invitation has since been retracted.] Surely, a fair enough proposition, one would think. Ah, but as marketing pros like me know, appearances can be deceiving. As indeed it turns out in this case, because when someone actually took advantage of the offer and commented anonymously to wonder “… how Brock can bear to seperate [sic] Harper’s dick from his mouth long enough to eat?” Mike got his knickers in a bunch about the remark. Galvanized with righteous indignation, he promptly sprung into action, determined to strike back with vengeful fury at the wickedly false suggestion he was unremittingly fellating the Dear Leader.

And who did Mike turn to for technical assistance in helping track down the identity of this villainous cad? Why, none-other than über-blogger Kate McMillan, that gallant freedom-fighter who last year shamelessly defended the rights of a self-proclaimed “full-time Nazi” inciting people to murder homosexuals in the name of God. A small dog breeder and vermin hunter of some renown in the backwaters of rural Saskatchewan, Kate recently teamed up with another would-be champion of “freedom” Richard Evans, a failed municipal politician in Calgary who, when he’s not barbecuing and preparing tasty stir fries, enjoys maliciously hijacking domain names and directing them to the websites of homosexual paedophiles. Together, this dynamic duo of douchebaggery, totally punked that awful Liberal meanie Warren Kinsella using the Holocaust as their blunt instrument of choice. But I digress…

Anyway, through a bit of no-brainer cyber-sleuthing, Kate helped Mike to quickly ascertain the identity of the “anonymous” commenter in question as being one Don Beemer, who… this is the juicy part, boys and girls… turns out to be an executive with the Liberal Party of Canada in Manitoba. Shock! Horror! Well, at least I guess that was supposed to be the intended reaction. Personally, I thought it was pretty yawn-inducing revelation. I mean, so what? First of all, while the comment was vulgar, it was hardly all that shocking or reprehensible. I’ve been checking out some of my newly discovered Bill Hicks videos of late and let me tell you this is pretty tame stuff by comparison. Don’t make me tell you about Barbara Bush’s labia

Now where was I? Oh yes… So maybe Beemer’s snarky quip was uncalled for, but who knows… perhaps there was a good deal of truth to the suggestion, at least in a figurative sense; I really don’t know enough about Brock’s opinions to say one way or the other. It certainly seems like fair comment to me — something you can take or leave as you please, or in the case of Mr. Brock, simply have deleted, or here’s a stellar idea… blown off with some wittier come-back of his own.

But no… The compulsive urge to “expose” or “out” Beemer with the imagined result of causing deep and possibly harmful embarrassment to the Liberal Party was simply too tempting for Mike to resist, I guess. Well, that’s politics for you; after all, it’s a sleazy, cut-throat business at times. But where Brock really stepped over the line here in my opinion, was in providing details of Beemer’s employment. Disclosing that bit of private information quite unsurprisingly gave other partisan fuckwits (who, ironically go around Liberal blogs trashing site owners using assumed names like “Kai Wolf”) the opportunity to pile on and suggest contacting Beemer’s employer directly to complain bitterly about his extracurricular blogging activities. Look, I don’t care what your political affiliation is, but that really seems beyond the pale. You don’t start undermining someone’s livelihood just because of some petulant, insulting or vulgar thing they wrote anonymously on a blog. Geez. Get some sense of perspective here, folks.

Anyway, that’s my two cents on that matter. But here’s the really ironic gem that prompted this little diatribe in the first place. Keep in mind that in his exposé post, Brock graciously thanked Kate McMillan for her invaluable “research assistance” in tracking down Beemer’s IP number so that he could vengefully excoriate and publicly humiliate him, as well as create all sorts of personal difficulties for Beemer along the way as spiteful payback for his insulting and “demeaning” remark. Well, it turns out that just a few days prior to this incident, Brock had written the following:

“…you know what also pisses me off? People who use their computer skills as weapons.”

Yeah, you know what Mike… that really pisses me off too. Almost as much as deceitfulness, doublethink and flagrant hypocrisy. Maybe your moral compass needs a little adjustment there, bub. Perhaps a “self-awareness” upgrade might be in order too.

End of the Grand Fleet

With the production of “mega yachts” having doubled in the past five years, it’s interesting to learn that the Royal Navy views training the skippers and yacht crews of the world’s ultra-rich tycoons in partnership with a private defense contractor, Flagship Training, as a “commercial opportunity too sweet to pass up.” I’m sure Lords Rodney and Nelson must be spinning in their graves.

The Big Picture: A Discussion About Religion

Here you can see Charles McVety in action, being an obnoxious buffoon and generally pissing off everybody of all religious persuasions.

CFAC Doesn’t Speak For Me!

I can’t possibly add anything to this fulsome diatribe other than to agree that the government has no place making moralistic determinations vis-à-vis its cultural funding decisions in accordance with some imagined “family friendly” standards that will undoubtedly wind up being arbitrary, non-transparent, unaccountable and thoroughly Kafkaesque in nature.

For example, one of the so-called “crackdowns” its sponsor is so delighted with includes “significant sexual content that lacks an educational purpose.” Huh? Since when did sex in films need to have an “educational purpose” and by what metric is “significant content” going to be determined? Any self-respecting conservative should find this prudish, sort of state-sponsored “nannyism” to be offensive in the extreme. Under this proposed new regime, a film such as David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (produced with funding in part from Téléfilm Canada) most certainly wouldn’t have qualified for backing due to its controversial subject matter and “significant” sexual content.

To get an idea of the absurd direction where this type of censorship leads, please go watch an earlier post called “This film is not yet rated” that investigates the MPAA rating system. It’s bad enough that the movie industry in America already feels so pressured by the religious Right to voluntarily repress itself in this way without having to formalize and legitimize such censorship through government controls.

Oh, and if you think that the crusading wingnuts at the Canada Family Action Coalition are going to stop at films when it comes to imposing their so-called “conservative values” on government funding for the arts community… well, think again. Thin edge of the wedge, my friends…

Bill Hicks: On Marketing

How did I live this long and miss this guy? Sometimes my ignorance amazes me.

First Citiwide Change Bank

Just for you Southern Quebec! Cheers.


I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Afghanistan: Now Safe for Buzkashi!

Yes, it seems that when not smoking opium, mutilating women, or enjoying a good old fashioned dog fight, our liberated Afghan friends love nothing more than the national sport Burzkashi, in which teams of horsemen compete to throw a decapitated goat into a scoring circle. And you thought polo was a bit silly...

h/t: Gus Khouri

Spoiler Alert

Heh. I just saw this on Bill Moyers Journal. Too funny.

Bay Buchanan: “Obama has Muslim in his blood”

Why does the right-wing have an almost limitless supply of vicious, batshit crazy termagants at their disposal? It’s really quite a phenomenal thing.

And hey, maybe Wolf should have suggested there was perhaps another reason that John Sidney McCain III is quite happy to eschew the use of middle names…

Clinton’s New “Terra!” Advertisement

This is such a cringe-worthy ad. Perish the thought that the ultimate fate of your otherwise safely slumbering kiddy-winks might actually depend on the instantaneous, split-second reaction of someone being rudely awakened in a frenzied panic at 3:00 AM. Whoever it was, their most likely first response would: “Fuck off!” (Imagine if it was McCain!)

Haven’t we had quite enough of sham terra alerts and needless fear-mongering over the last eight years? “The politics of change”… Yeah, right.


How curious... Now it seems that the secret documents at the heart of the “Shawinigate” conflict-of-interest allegations involving former prime minister Jean Chrétien might be... wait for it: forgeries! Now who on earth do you think might have been behind such wicked malfeasance, fakery and unscrupulous character-assassination? Why, I simply can’t possibly imagine, can you?

Pants O’Fire!

So, at least according to accounts here and here, it seems that the Conservative House Leader lied yesterday when he said there were “no other offers” made to Chuck Cadman.

A Dumb Question... (Updated)

At the risk of posing a question that’s maybe as dumb as it is obvious, is it actually possible to purchase a generous life insurance policy in the case of man on the verge of certain death? It’s difficult to see any insurance company going in for such a thing, regardless of how hefty the premium might be (unless it was $1 million, of course). Have any of the papers explored this with insurers to verify what their policies are in this regard?

Update: I mentioned the “not for publication” conversation between Harper and author/journalist Tom Zytaruk reported by the CBC in the comments, so I won’t repeat them again, but Steve V. has them along with some amusing hypothetical responses from Harper.

Clearly Harper was aware of the offer, although he might not have bothered to familiarize himself with the details… Yeah sure, that’s credible. I mean it’s not like he’s a wonk or a control freak, or anything. But let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and consider the absurdity of tacitly authorizing “legitimate representatives of the Conservative Party” to make some sort of vague offer that he later contended he knew wouldn’t be accepted. “They wanted to do it, but I told them they were wasting their time,” Harper told Zytaruk. Well then what the hell was the point? Moreover, what if Cadman had accepted the offer “to replace financial considerations”? Are we to believe that Harper’s “legitimate representatives” were negotiating an offer, the details of which Harper was unfamiliar with? Sorry, but it doesn’t pass the smell test on any account.

Matt Drudge: Asshole Extraordinaire

Hardly a newsflash, but this abominable little hack has no sense of decency whatsoever. That he would endanger Prince Harry’s life and ruin his military career in the process, all for the sake of some pathetic “World Exclusive” (which ironically it wasn’t, the story had quietly appeared the other month in an Australian women’s magazine, but nobody paid any attention to it) is utterly pathetic.

Afghanistan Close to Failing

From The Guardian: After six years of US-led military support and billions of pounds in aid, security in Afghanistan is “deteriorating” and President Hamid Karzai's government controls less than a third of the country, America's top intelligence official has admitted.

Mike McConnell testified in Washington that Karzai controls about 30% of Afghanistan and the Taliban 10%, and the remainder is under tribal control.

Gee, sure couldn’t see that coming. By the way, did you know that Hamad Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai is one of the biggest heroin dealers in Afghanistan? Amazing.

Update: In semi-related news, the Conservative government is going to resume transfer of “detainees” to Afghan authorities. “Both military and government officials in Kandahar say they are satisfied that conditions in Afghan prisons have improved since allegations of abuse were reported in the fall.”

Amnesty International begs to differ: “To think that somehow that’s all been remedied almost overnight ... defies belief and is simply not something that should have happened.”

Archbishop Peter Akinola: “A Man of Peace”

Wayne Bessen writing about a disturbing piece in Atlantic Magazine on religion in Nigeria:

“The article discusses his prominent role in the slaughter of Muslims. Not only did his thugs shoot children, according to the article, they burned mosques, raped pregnant women, burned corpses in the streets and forced Muslims to eat pork and drink booze. Akinola incited the mass violence with a speech in which he proclaimed: "May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation.’”

Amazingly, Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) has said this about Akinola: “I believe he, like Mandela, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world.” Uh-huh.

George Galloway on Conrad Black

Too bad, so sad. Not.

Prison Town USA

The “free world”: For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.

When Wingnuts Attack … Each Other!

Apologies to Dave Neiwert for lifting his title.

So Battlin’ Bill Donohue, easily one of the most obnoxious and belligerent religious fatheads in America, has blasted John McCain for accepting the endorsement of Texas evangelist John Hagee.

This is almost too funny for words. Now, if you don’t happen to know who Rev. Hagee is, well allow me to edify you with the following:

Once upon a time, John McCain appeared to be a man of principle, a self-styled “maverick” as his swooning admirers amongst the powdered class would have had us believe (never mind all that messy business about graft with the “Keating Five”) who eschewed the religious Right and ripped into Christian televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, calling them “agents of intolerance” who “shame our faith, our party and our country.”

But alas, no more... As if it wasn’t bad enough that he’s since turned his back on his life-long Episcopalian roots to conveniently disclose in South Carolina (of all places!) that he’s actually a Baptist, and has made sycophantic public amends with Falwell and Pat Robertson… now he’s actually “pleased” about receiving the endorsement of an apocalyptic, Zionist nutter like Hagee… Scary.

The Worst Jobs In History: The Tudors

Pity more of Tony Robinson’s excellent series about the miserable lot of workers down through the ages aren’t available.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conservative Douchebaggery?

Why I’m shocked… simply shocked, I tell you.

Far be it for me to suggest that the Liberals (or the NDP, for that matter) are lily-white models of virtue in all cases — politics is a notoriously dirty business, after all — but if the allegations surrounding “The Cadman Affair” are true, this is pretty reprehensible stuff.

“It’s a Sick World…”

Jon Swift wonders about some of the other supporters beside Louis Farrakhan that Obama should distance himself from:

“…what about the enthusiastic support he has gotten from Oprah Winfrey? Winfrey is single-handedly responsible for turning the execrable Dr. Phil McGraw into a celebrity. Dr. Phil is one of the most annoying, self-righteous people on television if not the most. What has Obama done to assure those of us who despise Dr. Phil that we will not see even more of him during an Obama Administration?”

Indeed. By the way, with regards to the above-noted clip, is anyone foolish enough to think that Dr. Phil was previously unaware of the revolting sort of business the creator of the “Bumfights” videos was involved with? And then he self-righteously claims that he won’t publicize them… Give me a break.

Long War Inc.

John McCain: “Anyone who worries about how long we’re in Iraq does not understand the military and does not understand war.”

(Alter)native Reality

Hard to fathom Alter’s logic here. Even if Clinton does “go down ugly” it seems to me that her “chance of redemption” is a lot greater having fought a determined last stand in Ohio and Texas than it would be to simply bow out of the race beforehand. My predication… This time next year, Clinton will be the next Senate Majority Leader.

Mike Huckabee: More Free Pens!

Our Civil Discourse: Those Vile Lefties…

“What’s the difference between the Ku Klux Klan and Arianna Huffignton… what’s the difference?” asks Bill O’Reilly. He then went on to say, “I don’t see any difference between Huffington and the Nazis... No difference. They both want people to die…”

Liberals: We’re Adaptable

Well yes, we are…

Dion’s statement that, “We’ll find a way to not defeat the government and to express our disagreement with this budget” does indeed seem like an ineffectual, maddening sort of pretzel logic, but the budget itself isn’t egregiously awful and the Liberals are in no position to bring down the government at present, so it’s a little facile to criticize him on this basis.

It’s called pragmatism, folks. Get used to it.

Update: Thanks to Dan for the back-link. Meanwhile, over at The “What Do I Know Grit” James Curran belatedly sees the light.

William F. Buckley Jr.: Inveighing He Did Go

It was a little saddening to learn that Bill had passed away the other day at his Connecticut home at the age of 82.

As a young man, I was a devoted, entranced viewer of “Firing Line” every week, and treasured his collections of witty, eloquent and thought-provoking essays that were well-thumbed parts of my library. To me, he was the ideal of a principled, authentic conservative, and I’m quite unapologetic about my deep affection and admiration for the man. You’ll be missed...

Sounds Good to Me

Apparently, wingnuts disagree. Big surprise.

h/t: Ti-Guy

Update: To the lunatics of the Right, this is the equivalent of “surrender”… Some of the comments are simply amazing (e.g., “He’ll be assasinated [sic], most likely by the Clintons.”)

The New Rulers of The World

Author and journalist John Pilager looks at the dark side of globalization in this documentary based on his book “The New Rules of the World.” According to Pilager “'Global economy” is a modern Orwellian term. On the surface, it is instant financial trading, mobile phones, McDonald’s, Starbucks, holidays booked on the net. Beneath this gloss, it is the globalization of poverty, a world where most human beings never make a phone call and live on less than two dollars a day, where 6,000 children die every day from diarrhea because most have no access to clean water.

“ The facts of globalisation are revealing, a small group of powerful individuals are now richer than most of the population of Africa just 200 giant corporations dominate a quarter of the worlds economic activity: General Motors is now bigger than Denmark, Ford is bigger than South Africa ...”

“.. secretly backed by the United States and Britain and by western business leaders it brought to power General Suharto ... within a year of the blood bath Indonesia's economy was effectively redesigned in America, giving the West access to vast mineral wealth, markets and cheap labour, what President Nixon called the greatest prize in Asia.”

Jackie Mason: English! Who Needs It?

Jackie on the hypocrisy, fraud and selfishness of pandering to the Latino vote.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Next Stop: Recession!

Oh goody.

Tales of the Noise Machine®: Bill Cunningham

You have to love this in all sorts of ways... From the lying sack of shit radio host hired to warm up the crowd for Bomber McCain and was instructed to give the faithful partisans “red, raw meat” (and did he ever!), to unctuous Sean Hannity being a whiny, pandering douchebag, to St. McCain furiously backpedaling and disingenuously repudiating his shrieking mercenary attack dog, and finally, to Cunnigham’s subsequent meltdown, indignation and backstabbing treachery…

Colmes: On your radio show, didn’t you call him Barrack Hussein Mohammed Obama?

Cunningham: Well, I did call him that once because Mohammed is the greatest prophet of God according to the Koran…

Colmes: I see, so why did you add a name that wasn’t his name? You said you just said his name, but you actually inserted the name Mohammed to his name. Why did you do that?

Cunningham: I believed at the time that his confirmation and one of his names was Mohammed… and I rescinded the statement and I said Barrack Hussein Obama… I thought…
Allan, I made a mistake.


Cunningham: “He’s not my candidate… he’s not a conservative…. I’m going to follow the lead of Ann Coulter. I’ve had it with John McCain. I’m going to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for president because she will do a better job in the Oval Office I think than the liberal John McCain...

Quite the little passion play.

Six Trivial Things About Me

I’ve been tagged by this fellow to share six “non-important” things/habits/quirks about myself. What the heck, I’ll play along…

1) I don’t have a middle name. My father’s explanation for this decision was that he felt they were “inefficient” and served no purpose. That’s so typical of my father; he was such a prick, but also kind of funny in his own peculiar way.

2) I can’t stand using fine point pens or pencils with a harder grade than 2B. (Related: I’m an insufferable fusspot about cutlery and flatware too.)

3) I enjoy getting the flu. The bodily aches and pains involved are quite interesting to me. In part maybe that’s because it’s kind of novel experience. I haven’t had a cold or the flu in years…

4) I’ve never broken 100 playing 18 holes of golf. The closest I came was when I was stoned and shot 102. I’ve since given up the game for obvious reasons, but I did love its occasional moments of Zen-like serenity and the visceral joy of connecting just-so with the ball... A feeling I might suggest that is better than sex. (Related: Similar experiences with squash, tennis and baseball — limited ability, but much passion.)

5) I hate Starbucks coffee. It’s nasty, bitter and heinously overpriced (and don’t get me started on their baffling argot). The coffee at McDonald’s tastes better and is less expensive. (Related: I’ve never purchased a latté. Ever.)

6) I stopped wearing my glasses about a year ago. They became bothersome and I was curious to see what might happen without artificial correction.

Sorry to break with the meme, but I’m not going to post the rules or presumptuously impose this exercise on anyone else.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mostly Harmless...

Such is the assessment of the Liberal brain trust regarding the latest federal budget.

Somewhat disappointing, but having already predicted quite a while back that there wouldn’t be an election until the fall, completely unsurprising.

Per Dan Arnold (Calgary Grit):

Dion calls it a “
watered down Liberal budget” and “one mile wide and one inch deep”. Hmm... Either way, I don’t think there was anything in this budget that could easily have been turned into an election issue, even if the Liberals wanted to go to the polls.

Yep. Quite so.


It seems the definition of this hitherto unknown word “Endophobic” as coined by a certain Marginalized Action Wingnut, is as follows:

“Someone who prefers the ways of others or to be surrounded by others Or doesn’t like Canadians and wants to treat others better.”

Apparently, it’s a painfully lame effort to turn the word “xenophobic” on its head. Whereas the xenophobe suffers from an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers (fear of the “other” or the outside), the “endophobe” allegedly “prefers the ways of others” and by literal translation “fears the inside.”

Well, perhaps in some respects, the shoe fits. I do happen to prefer many characteristics of other countries and cultures to those of my own two native lands. In my whacky moonbat world, this is simply referred to as being “cosmopolitan” and “eclectic” — that however doesn’t in any way preclude the fact that I’m deeply attached to my heritage and reasonably proud of being a Brit and a Canadian.

As for wanting “to treat others better” … well, isn’t that just sort of a slightly amplified Christian imperative… the Golden Rule and all that? Ah, but of course, the author, being a functional illiterate with a computer, can’t simply be taken at his word. What he presumably means by “to treat others better” isn’t at all an uplifting, aspirational or altruistic sentiment as one might be inclined to think, but to the contrary, instead means something along the lines of “to give unwarranted preferential treatment to those who are completely undeserving but for the fact they are non-white.” This attitude it would seem, can be traced back to a minor personal setback on the employment front that the Marginalized Action Wingut experienced 30 years ago and has festered like a boil ever since.

Yawn. How fucking tedious is that?

Talking to People of Marginal Intelligence…

Over at the LFR loony bin (sorry I can’t link due to property rights issues), “Marginalized Action Dinosaur” takes me to task for calling him a “loon” and stating that his non sequitur assertion about the employment policies of the Bahamas 30 years ago having anything to do with the Canadian experience in terms of social justice, is complete “nonsense.”

Apparently however, my terse response was simply proof of my “lameness” and clear-cut evidence that I’ve got nothing to say on this topic… Yes, I’m a “hapless” dupe of decades-long “socialist propaganda” and “MSM hate propaganda towards white males” that compelled me to “launch into name calling” prompting the marginalized one to ask: “Why is it ok to have hiring based on where you were born in the Bahamas but not in Canada?” If apples and oranges spring immediately to mind after reading that, I can’t say that I blame you.

First of all, I haven’t the slightest clue about the hiring practices of the Bahamian government. According to their Dept. of Labour, they subscribe to the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which include “the Elimination of Discrimination in the workplace.” Whether that’s actually carried out to the letter in practice is something I can’t possibly be certain of given all I’ve got really got to go by is one anecdote retailed by someone who appears to be disgruntled about some unfortunate past experience in 1980 that may or may not be true.

But never mind that pesky reality stuff, Dino-Action-Guy has the answer: “The only logical conclusion is because RT is a bigot and hates white males if he thinks it’s bad here but good there.” Yes, why of course! The answer is plain as day: I’m a bigot who hates white males. Clearly, that’s the ONLY “logical” conclusion any sentient person could possibly arrive at. Oh, and not to mention that I’m a “fascist” too, at least according to Richard Evans, because… well, I’m not quite sure. Apparently, because I posted a video about British Nationalist racists and suggested that some of the more strident right-wing extremists here in Canada would feel quite at home with those folks.

But back to Dino-Action-Guy, who goes on to lavishly embellish the charge against me… Now I’m not just merely a bigot, but I’m a “socialist endophobic bigot!” I’m completely unfamiliar with the term “endophobic” by the way — it seems to be something of Dino-Action-Guy’s own coinage — but I’m sure it connotes some kind of absolutely wretched perfidy. And why exactly would I be an “endophobic bigot” you ask… Well, because Dino-Action Guy IMAGINED that I said “…we need bigoted hiring ie no males are allowed to apply at public works, but we NEED more boatloads of new Canadians while we have over a million unemployed.” Yes, Dino-Action-Guy made that up out of whole cloth — I never said or even suggested any such thing. In other words, he’s what one might indelicately call, A FUCKING LIAR.

In closing, Dino-Action-Guy calls me a hypocrite based on this pendulous question: “Why do you think it’s ok to be racist towards white males? And that not being racist towards them is loony.” Um, well first of all, I never said that racism of any sort was acceptable (although it’s a subject that could be explored with more nuance and context, vis-à-vis the issue of equity and so-called “affirmative action” — there may conceivably be instances of positive racism). As to the second “point” asking why not being racist towards white males is loony… this makes no sense at all to me. Maybe your decoder ring is working better than mine and you can decipher this. It’s lost on me.

So, my apologies for boring you with this absurd silliness, but just to recap… I called “Marginalized Action Dinosaur” a “loon” and said his stuff about Bahamian hiring practices was “nonsense”… Seems pretty spot on to me, but that’s just my entirely biased opinion. (Which is probably “endophobic” too!)

Dispatches: Supermarket Secrets – Part 2

From the Channel4 website: The second part of the series meets the organic potato farmer who feeds much of his crop to his cows because, he says, the supermarkets deem his produce to be insufficiently cosmetically pleasing. The film also hears from a toxicologist about the levels of pesticide residues in supermarket fresh produce; reveals how dairy cattle are now factory farmed and why packaged fruit and vegetables from your local supermarket may be more expensive that you think – and not as good for you.

“Giai” Blows A Gasket

What KKKate didn’t tell you:

The climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, is calling for an investigation to determine the cause of two violent wind turbine collapses in Denmark in the past week.
Both of the windmills were produced by Vestas, and Hedegaard’s request to the Energy Board comes after other breakdowns both here and abroad have been reported in the past two months.
‘The problems with the turbines abroad have had to do with poor maintenance, and if that’s the case here, then I expect a clear report on how we can ensure this problem is rectified,’ Hedegaard told Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

Her comments come on the heels of the government’s new energy agreement ratified by parliament last week, which calls for the country to have 20 percent of its energy produced by sustainable sources by 2011.

In first of the two collapses, near the city of Århus, a 10-year-old windmill began spinning out of control during high winds. A recording of the explosion-like collapse shows one of the wing blades breaking off, casting debris into the three other wings and shearing the 60- metre tower nearly in half.

Vestas itself will also now conduct an internal investigation to determine why the wind turbines have been breaking down.

‘We’ve still got about 35,000 wind turbines across the globe that are operating fine,’ said Peter Wenzel Kruse, Vestas’s spokesperson. ‘But they’re not infallible. We’re doing what we can and learning from our mistakes.’

I guess by her implied logic, whenever a house is demolished by a hurricane, it means that houses are inherently dangerous structures and we should stop living in them…

Dispatches: Supermarket Secrets – Part 1

Journalist Jane Moore investigates how supermarkets have affected the food on our plates and reveals the tell-tale signs that the food we buy may not have been grown in the way we think.

Using a combination of undercover filming and scientific analysis, “Supermarket Secrets” investigates whether the food on supermarket shelves is really as good as it looks, whether prices are as good as they seem and what happens behind the scenes in the production of supermarket food.

The first part of this Channel 4 documentary deals with Factory Farming, chickens, and general quality of supermarket food.

Dr. Mark Jaccard: Why Carbon Taxes Matter

Dan Grice, Green Party Candidate for Vancouver Quadra, interviews Dr. Mark Jaccard about Carbon Taxes and what to do about the problem.

Meanwhile... on Jupiter.

h/t: Steve @ Far & Wide

Casse Toi Alors Pauvre Con

Big deal. It seems more than sufficiently “elegant” to me. More here, here and here.

BTs: You Bought It, You Own It

Let’s wrap up this BNP thing by jumping straight to the last part of the series.

Nick Griffin (BNP leader): “If they dared show this event on television, millions of people are going to think… Wow. We thought this was a party of back streets and smoky pubs and lager and the rest of it. Wow.”

It’s my belief that the BNP is pulling the wool over the eyes of many voters in Britain; all the pseudo old-school Labour window dressing about agricultural reform, the environment, law and order, etc., is just a politically correct façade to disguise their real agenda which at its root is nothing more than a manifestation of their virulent, xenophobic racism.

Richard Evans at the laughably named “Let Freedom Reign” website (that I can’t link to because it’s an infringement of his “property”) would have you believe that I’m a fascist and think the Conservative Party here in Canada mirrors the BNP, or as he said: “…there are fascists among us but it’s not the conservatives. It’s people like Red Tory…” And “…you believe the BNP represents Canadian conservatives.”

Well no, I don’t actually think that, but I can’t help but point out that there are some rather disturbing tendencies amongst both “The Blogging Tories” and “Free Dominion” — expressed by some of their leading lights, I might add — that appear to be more than a little sympathetic with the murderously hateful sentiments whispered privately by the BNP. I would sincerely hope that the Right in Canada can manage to get its house in order and excise this sort of malevolent filth from its ranks. Unfortunately, I suspect they won’t be inclined to do so for various reasons that will have to remain open to speculation.

But don’t think for a minute that whenever the next election rolls around, liberals and progressives won’t be quick to remind people of what supporters of the STEPHEN HARPER Party have had to say in the past about sterilization and eugenics for certain “undesirable” elements of society, their advocacy for apartheid with regards to First Nations peoples, their strident denial that anthropogenic climate chance even exits, their ridiculous anti-science positions with respect to evolution and their apparent belief in supernatural miracles; and finally, their relentless, merciless and wholly mean-spirited, disrespectful derision of women, immigrants and the working poor in this country. Oh, and as well, they will most surely mention the fact that Conservative supporters gleefully mocked the Holocaust and enthusiastically supported a deranged “full-time Nazi” promoting the notion of slaughtering homosexuals in the name of God…

The Politics of Funny

Personally, I thought Jon Stewart’s “Gaydolph Titler” joke was pretty funny and dealt quite nicely with the clumsy efforts of wingnut goobers and putative “conservative comedians” (an oxymoron, I know) to link Obama’s name to Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. Just a reminder that any right-winger attempting to employ that tactic here will have their comment summarily deleted — sorry, but there’s no further debate on the matter.

The Revolution is Over

Yep, it certainly seems that, for all intents and purposes, the Ron Paul “Revolution” is done for. It was entertaining while it lasted, but the show is over (there might still be a large public protest in the summer, however). So the question now is, where will his supporters go? Perhaps given their “outsider” status and obvious dissatisfaction with “politics as usual” if they don’t drop out of the system all together, they might very well feel right at home with the Nader campaign…

Monday, February 25, 2008

What’s in a Name? – Continued

Last week, I wondered why raving sociopaths select particular names for their Internet IDs. Specifically, this was in reference to a certain person calling him/herself “John West”
that had commented over at “Canada’s Best Blog” with the following loathsome remark:

The theory that a result is more likely genetic than environmental is obvious when you consider the cushy up-bringing, educational opportunities and other advantages that so many Liberals experience in Canada, yet so many of them are still retarded, illogical, weak-spirited, dependent, unappreciative, small-minded, petty, arrogant fools who make the lives of millions a daily frustration.

Such flawed individuals can only be due to bad genetics. It's nearly impossible to learn to be such a waste of skin.

I’d joking suggested that this individual might be associating himself with the madcap character flogging a fishy product bearing the same name. But courtesy of P.Z. Myers at Pharyngula, it seems there’s another, vastly more intriguing possibility

The Secret Agent: BNP Exposed - Part 4 & 5

Meanwhile, on the dark side of Uranas... Over at the laughably titled “Let Freedom Reign” (no point in linking because it’s BLOCKED) Bereitschaftsleiter Richard Evans has this to say:

“Well, don’t go feelin’ all special because I block links from CC as well. You see, I have the freedom to determine who I allow to link here.”

Some kind of “freedom”…

Political Ads: Anything Goes?

The Secret Agent: BNP Exposed - Part 1

With the help of a disgruntled party member, an investigative journalist from the BBC goes undercover with the British National Party (BNP). Disturbing to say the least.

In private conversations, it seems a fair number of them fantasize about mass murder and want nothing more than to “shoot Pakis” (as they indiscriminately refer to any Muslim or person of “Asian” extraction).

And if you feel that some of the more egregious racists from the “Blogging Tories” and “Free Dominion” would be right at home with this lot, you’re probably not far off the mark.

Update: Over at LFR, failed municipal politician, Internet malefactor and all-around witless dunderhead Richard Evans, goes to a great deal of trouble to arrive at a hilariously moronic conclusion, deducing along the way that I am, apparently, a fascist. Uh-huh.

Update2: Here's a laugh and a half. If you click on the link to “Let Freedom Reign” from this site, it’s BLOCKED. Oh, irony where is thy sting? NAMBLA luvin’ Richard Evans, ladies and gentleman… hypocritical douchebag extraordinaire!

Liberal Video Contest

Hey, WTF... they neglected to mention our unequivocal pro-sunshine, margarita (sorry, I don’t care much for lollipops) and rainbow stance!

Anyway, here’s the video I voted for over at the Liblogs viddy contest. Nice job, Annie! This was one of the very few entrants that wasn’t just another feeble, painfully tedious attack on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. Not of course, I hasten to add, that plenty of criticism in that direction isn’t fully warranted (I’m sure most folks across the political spectrum can rattle off a well-worn list of their favourite grievances, both great and small, by heart), but in my opinion and with all due respect to the dedicated creators involved, the salvos presently on offer all missed the mark to one degree or another. Check them out for yourself and tell me if I’m out to lunch.

Of course, just as most people lie through their teeth to pollsters, telling them what they think they want to hear or parroting what they feel is the appropriately “correct” response, almost everyone decries “negative advertising” as being tawdry, degrading, and representative of a shameful coarsening our political discourse, and other such twaddle. Yeah, whatever (is there an emoticon for eye-rolling?). The fact of the matter however is that they’re effective; meaning that as with most things to do with politics we, the voters… the rubes, if you will, are absolute, two-faced hypocrites for the most part. If this wasn’t the case, then negative ads wouldn’t be such a perennial fixture in almost every political campaign you can think of. So for starters, let’s accept that this form of advertising is a perfectly legitimate part of the propaganda arsenal.

That said, there’s indelicate art of sorts to putting together an effective negative ad and some fairly straightforward rules that should be followed that I’ll attempt to explore in subsequent posts. With an election possibly looming at some time in the not-too-distant future, how best to take on the Harper Conservatives is kind of an intriguing and not altogether irrelevant line of inquiry. And who knows… maybe by mucking about with some ideas in this regard, together we could even come up with a really good line of attack that will save the cash-strapped Liberal Party some expensive consulting fees. In any case, there might be some fun to be had in the process.

A “Progressive” Model: Paul Wellstone

Al Franken: On Being a “Progressive”

Our “Progressive” Heritage: Part 3

Our “Progressive” Heritage: Part 2

Our “Progressive” Heritage: Part 1

A response of sorts to this painfully meretricious load of codswallop.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Quixotic Nader Campaign

The entrance of Ralph Nader into the presidential campaign certainly doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Just as predictable will be the howls of indignant outrage from many timorous Democrats and liberals who apparently are so insecure that they actually fear that he might siphon off critical votes in a replay of the 2000 debacle. Nonsense!

As I’ve said before, it’s hard not to have conflicted feelings about his candidacy, especially in light of the dubious motives behind some of his financial backers and promoters, but I believe Ralph is correct in maintaining that if the Democrats can’t pull off a landslide victory in the next election, they might just as well “wrap up” and “close down” for good or merge into some different form because such an improbable rebuke would be proof positive that they’re obviously serving no useful purpose whatsoever.

The reality of the situation is that given the labyrinthine rules of the American electoral system, the almost insurmountable barriers to ballot access and the innumerable bureaucratic obstacles needed for any third-party or independent to mount a viable campaign, there isn’t a hope in hell that Nader will make the slightest bit of difference on the eventual outcome of the election, certainly not any more so than his inconsequential run in 2004 did. Nader is no fool and he most certainly has no illusions that his candidacy poses any serious threat, but that said, it’s still an important opportunity (perhaps the last one he’ll ever have) to air his grievances about the sorry state of democracy in America, the de facto collusion of the Democrats and Republicans to stifle dissent and thwart opposition from independent third-parties, the corrupting influence of corporate patronage, as well as the unconstitutional, criminal recidivism, military adventurism, etc. of the current regime.

As someone who’s incredibly disaffected by the current state of affairs in America and who has been deeply disappointed by the shiftless trimming, waffling and spinelessness of the Democrats over the past eight years (and long before that, actually), I’m quite looking forward to Nader being a nettlesome bother, an outspoken crank and an equal opportunity critic of the status quo.

Ahhhh... The Insatiable Need for Speed!

Well, I finally broke down and got a new high-speed modem today and upgraded to my cable company’s “Xtreme-I” service. Très cool, to be sure, and long overdue. But as liberating as this is, I can’t help but be inclined to think it’s also a bit of a gigantic rip-off. After all, I already had what they laughably call “high speed” service, which in fact was a completely fraudulent misnomer.

Unfortunately, the only available choice in our neck of the woods is between what’s effectively tantamount to a duopoly; that being Shaw Cable and Telus. I don’t know… would deregulation solve this problem and perhaps allow for some more competition in the market, or is that naively hoping for too much?

In any case, never mind my whining. Enjoy this time-lapse “speed painting” exercise in Photoshop 7.0 (eat your heart out KNB!) by Nico Di Mattia

Obama vs Clinton: Foreign Policy Advisers

Via The Real News Network (TRNN), Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar looks at the various foreign policy advisors for both Clinton and Obama. It leaves me going Hmmmmm...

h/t: Reader “Blackstar” (cool nic, btw)

Update: In the interest of being “fair and balanced” here’s the assessment of McCain’s foreign policy stance:...

The Secret Agent: BNP Exposed - Part 2 & 3

Real Time: 02-22-08 (Matt Taibbi Reports from Youngstown, Ohio)

Taibbi: “In a place where you’d think people would be more critical of anyone who’s ever supported a free trade agreement, Hillary Clinton comes in here tonight and she campaigns against the same agreement she’s voted for consistently ever since she’s been a senator… and the crowd ate it up. So, what does that tell you about presidential campaigning in this country?”

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to find out more about this “four point plan” to “fix NAFTA” she’s disingenuously touting these days in the rust belt towns of Ohio. But unfortunately you can’t find it on her website. There’s nothing under the “Issues” section covering this topic at all and the “four point plan” is nowhere to be seen. However, there is a press release slamming Obama’s “misleading” fliers (which aren’t at all really) that cites one critical remark she made back in 2000: “What happened to NAFTA I think was we inherited an agreement that we didn’t get everything we should have got out of it in my opinion. I think the NAFTA agreement was flawed. The problem is we have to go back and figure out how we are going to fix that.” “Inherited”… Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Yeah, well technically that’s correct, but talk about misleading.

The fact of the matter is that Clinton (a former director of Wal-Mart, bear in mind) has been an enthusiastic supporter of NAFTA, and has been at the forefront of efforts to promote the elimination of trade barriers (she’s voted for every free trade agreement except CAFTA) around the world. So what exactly does she mean when she says “get[ting] everything we should have got”? By the way, Obama is no better. He too wants to “fix” NAFTA by some unspecified means.

Real Time: 02-22-08 (Monologue & Interview w/ Brokaw)

Why does Tom always sound like he has a lozenge stuck in his windpipe?

Brokaw (quoting John Osborne) on “anonymous sources”: We should characterize [them] by saying, “A cranky who lost his job as a result of his incompetence told me today about his boss…”

Anti-Evolution: The Argument From Oranges

I’m speechless.

Real Time: 02-22-08 (Overtime)

Obama Attacked as a “Far Left Ideologue”

Coming from Rick “man on dog” Santorum, maybe that’s actually a good thing. Nice little summary of Ricky’s career highlights at the end of the video...

You Go, Girl!

I’ll confess that I’m most certainly not a fan of Hillary Clinton by any means, for all sorts of reasons; but I have to say this plucky counterattack over some allegedly deceptive “Harry and Louise” type mailers (more detail here) distributed by Barack Obama to Ohio voters trashing Clinton’s proposal for universal healthcare was the first spark of really visceral, semi-genuine life her campaign has managed to generate to date (at least in my opinion).

Enough with the speeches, and the big rallies, then using tactics that are right out of Karl Rove’s playbook. This is wrong. And every Democrat should be outraged, because this is the kind of attack that not only undermines core Democratic values, but gives aid and comfort to very special interests and their allies in the Republican party, who are against doing what we want to do for America. Shame on you, Barack Obama. It’s time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That’s what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio, let’s have a debate over tactics and your behavior in this campaign.

I’m not sure how this will play with the bobbleheads, although you can bet they’ll all be talking about it later on this morning, but I sure as hell liked it. A bit counterintuitive perhaps, given hard pundit wisdom up to now has been that Hillary needs to tone down her rhetoric, soften all of her hard edges, expose her vulnerable side and “humanize” her image… Eeewww. Yuck. Well, maybe she’s realized that at this point, no manner of convenient emotional meltdown a la New Hampshire is going to save her ass in Ohio and Texas, so it’s better to come out brawling. Good! This is the kind of fighting spirit the Democrats need. More at C&L.

Update: Krugman puts the boot in. “So this is just poisoning the well for health care reform. The politics of hope, indeed.” Heh. Quite so.

The Root of All Evil: Part 2 (The Virus of Faith)