Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On Hiatus

Now that I finally have my surgery date and a somewhat definite timeline to work around, I’m going on extended hiatus. I’ve got a lot of things to do and blogging is a bit of a distraction, so I don’t anticipate posting anything until June/08. All being well, I’ll be back then… or maybe not. We’ll see. Cheerio until then.

Update: Can’t say I’ll miss the wankers and ignorant prats.


Back in the old days, little old Nanaimo (once touted as the ”Hub City” for some curious reason — now it’s promotional slogan is the “Gateway to the Island”) was regarded by us snobs in Victoria as… um, how shall we say… a seedy, downmarket, almost “Appalachian” sort of place; noted more for its biker gangs, crime-ridden neighborhoods, scurvy remnants of the rust-bucket coal-mining industry, drug culture, and its ludicrous bathtub race, than anything else. My, how times have changed.

p.s. It’s always fun to hear people mispronounce its name on “Larry King” or wherever. Right up there with the tortured mangling of “Saskatchewan”…

Hip, hip… um, hooray!

Great. I was informed today by my ortho that finally I now have a surgery date: May 6. Yay!

So there you go… if you have catastrophic joint failure and require “emergency” total hip replacement, it will only take a mere five months or so to get the problem attended to.

Just another two months of mind-bending agony, discomfort and excruciating pain to go…

Note: The video, gruesome as it is, just depicts a “resurfacing” procedure. I shudder to think what’s involved in the actual surgery when total replacement is involved.

New Media Douchebags Explained

We all know one (or more), don’t we?

How It All Ends (“In the Test Tube”)

I love this guy! The idea of viewing the contentious issue of “climate-change” as a straightforward risk-management proposition really puts things in perspective.

“This is likely to be the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced. Think that’s overblown? Maybe. But can you be so certain that you’re willing to bet everything? Because we only get to run this experiment once.”

“Global Climate Destabilization”… perhaps not as sexy as the other names out there, but certainly far more accurate.

To die so dirty and so poor…

Well, we can wish...

Try not to be horrified when this page pops up in your browser. Yikes!

Kinsella dashes off a post worthy of bookmarking for future reference whenever referring the abominable midget behind FFF.

And speaking of parasitic maggots

Saving for Education: Evil!

So, the RESP is “an irresponsible tax cut for the wealthy” is it? That’s a good one! But it gets even better. According to Flaherty:

“It runs the risk of putting the balanced budget of our government into a Liberal deficit.”

Excuse me? Um, didn’t the Liberal government pass onto this “conservative” administration the largest surplus… ever? And that was after many years of belt-tightening and downloading of federal expenses needed in order to wipe out a massive “Conservative deficit” left by their spendthrift predecessors. And isn’t the reason the Conservatives’ “balanced budget” is so perilously close to deficit in no small part because of pointless cuts to the GST that every single economist in this country said were highly irresponsible and inadvisable?

Update: I dare you not to laugh. Yeah, right. Dr. Blimp thinks it’s simply unconscionable to hinder “HM government” from managing the budget. Hey, how’s that whole budget thing going there, by the way? Teetering on the brink of deficit it seems, at least according to HM Finance Minister. Thanks for giving everyone a gigantic heads up regarding the parlous state of the federal government’s books, Jim!

Mark Steyn: Multiculturalism

Eeeew, eeew, eeew.

Okay, sorry… I just had to get that out of the way.

What’s up with that atrociously faux Midlands accent? Nails... meet blackboard.

FSM Expelled!

Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster being kept out of big academia? Is FSM creationism a viable origin theory? This film seeks to discover the truth... Move over Ben.

“We have scientific evidence correlating the total number of pirates to global average temperatures…”

More About Brain Zombies… and Kansas

Following on from a random thought yesterday, here’s the lecture from Prof. Dan Dennett that I vaguely had in the back of my mind when suggesting that people’s thoughts are sometimes effectively “hijacked” by parasitic memes that may run counter to their own personal imperatives (well that was the allusion in any case). To give the notion some verisimilitude and politically contextualize it a bit, it might be an interesting proposition to examine the puzzling conundrum, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” as posed by Thomas Frank several years ago, through this prism.

Why We Fight: Part 5

Monday, March 10, 2008

The “Final Frontier” and all that rot…

Hmmm. The romantically named Jules Verne turns out only to be little more than an extremely expensive disposable space freighter delivering bottled water form Milan, but still… kind of neat.

The shuttle Endeavour just safely lifted off from Cape Canaveral on a relatively rare night launch sending the new Japanese space laboratory and our very own Canadian “Dextre” (special purpose dexterous manipulator) into space. Here’s a diagram of it on the CSA website.

It’s an unfortunate shame that our tentative ventures in space have now become so blasé and largely commercialized for the most part.

Why We Fight: Part 4

Truth Happens

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
— Oscar Wilde

Yes, so-called “truth” does indeed happen, but those who arrogantly claim to possess it by means of presumption are frequently proven wrong...

Fallen Idols: Spitzer

Mere plebs that we are, our attitude of rotten cynicism, apathy and general disaffection with the sleazy political fray is often remarked upon with some degree of haughty contempt by the multi-millionaire nabobs (now referred to more fashionably as “villagers”) of the mainstream press, but are those feelings of alienation and disappointment really all that misplaced when so many of our public officials, even those “straight arrows” we may once have imagined as being impossibly removed from the grubby realm of scandal, so rudely disappoint us with their vulgar and immoral indiscretions?

I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, and that violates my or any sense of right and wrong.”
— Elliot Spitzer, New York Governor


Update: Predicted NYP Headline: “Love Potion #9” Heh. Clever indeed.

Update2: Quite so. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid!

Great Opinions: Part I

Thankfully, there are lots of gruesome clips like the above-noted out there… Given the frequency of stories like this, I suspect that I’ll be availing myself of them with some alarming degree of regularity in future.

Anyway… Hello, and welcome to a new series that I’m calling “Great Opinions”

Full disclosure at the outset: these citations may not actually be all that “great” — in fact, they could be kind of shitty, baseless, vile, unsubstantiated, specious, dubious or otherwise wholly counterfactual, but nonetheless, according to a certain constituency of haywire jerkwads, have been deemed to be “GREAT” for some deeply inexplicable reason or other…

So join me, won’t you as we painfully stumble upon the GREATNESS that the brightest minds of Wingnuttia offer up from the political discourse for our edification…

Conservative-BT Relationship Explained

I’m finding this whole “clearification” thing to be quite remarkably useful…

Sad Facts: We Suck!

I mean that in the broadest possible sense. So just briefly put aside your partisan political cudgels for the time being and accept for the moment the premise that WE (and you know who you/we are!) at times suck beyond belief. Why, you ask? Well, look no further

This appalling situation concerning the First Nation people of Attawapiskat is a perfect illustration of just how badly we SUCK and how miserably we’ve failed at managing aboriginal issues over the years. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in charge of “Indian Affairs”… whether it be Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, or now the spanky “New Conservatives”… the story is the same old shameful, completely inexcusable horseshit.

Good grief, how heinously pathetic is it that we’ve got a native community that’s been crying out for… A SCHOOL… for, um… THIRTY YEARS!

Gee, can you imagine the furious bellyaching that would arise from the good folks of Delisle, SK if their beloved SaskWest High School was inadvertently contaminated by a diesel fuel spill and then not replaced for THIRTY YEARS? And just imagine the howls of outrage if they happened to be sitting right next door to a diamond mine! Why the possibilities for rhetorical extravagance boggle the imagination.

Get off your fat, fucking arse, Chuck and deal with this matter like a decent human being. Heck, you’ll be breaking precedent and might even win some political points for doing so, because the Liberals have absolutely nothing to crow about here.

h/t: Cameron Holmstrom at Peterborough Politcs and CC who picked up on this earlier. By the way, there are a lot of really good (albeit depressing) links worth following up on in the comments to Cameron’s original post.

Rock’em Sock’em Robots

Perhaps there’s some wisdom behind the Liberals’ “strategy” after all.

“Essentially what you have here is two punch-drunk fighters in the centre of the ring whaling away at each other and nothing is happening. People really aren’t paying much attention.” – Darrell Bricker, Ipsos Reid President

Truth In Advertising

An absolutely hilarious spoof of the world of marketing that was featured at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. Really, this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages.

Warning: Most definitely NOT “work safe” — it contains almost endless profanity (what our “conservative” tea lady friends delicately call “potty mouth” language).

Additional Doughy Pantload Warning: Contains innumerable epithets that some retarded fuckwits may consider to be “homophobic” — watch at your own peril!

Sliced Bread & Other Marketing Delights

A TED lecture by author/speaker Seth Godin on marketing in an era when the old “TV-industrial complex” is no longer as effective at reaching consumers as it once was.

Godin has a blog (who doesn’t?) by the way, which is worth checking out for its eclectic mix of provocative ideas about advertising, communications, and… stuff.


An open source video compilation, Propaganda offers a critical look at our “so-called liberal” mainstream media, with special emphasis on how it was co-opted in connection with promoting the Iraq war. Featuring interviews and lectures by Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Amy Goodman and others. The quality of the sound and video footage is a bit dodgy, but the material more than compensates…

The True Adventures of Chad : Class

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Trade Twaddle

What an utter load of bollocks. NAFTA has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the offshoring of manufacturing jobs to China. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Zero. If the NAFTA was scrapped tomorrow, it wouldn’t impact our trade with China one iota in terms of finished goods, although it might open up some more competitive opportunities for commodity exports. But then, that’s part of what Jack’s decrying here, so his huffy petulance really makes no sense at all. What a clueless twat.

h/t: Calgary Grit

Okla-Okla-Okla-Okla-Okla-Okla... Oklahoma!

Brand new state!
Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle,
Spinach and termayters!
Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen’y of air and plen’y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen’y of heart and plen’y of hope.

Or maybe not. That is if you happen to be gay or lesbian. Meet Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern everybody. According to Pam Spaulding:

“She didn’t know that she was being recorded in a meeting, so we get a nice insight about what she thinks of her gay and lesbian constituents. Perhaps she doesn’t think she has any.

About 30 seconds into this homobigoted, fact-free, BS screed, Rep. Kern actually says how she doesn’t hate gays (of course not!), then proceeds to continue on her tirade of filth.

I don’t think you need to guess which party Kern belongs to. This is a woman who sits on the Education Committee in the OK legislature. She’s also a member of Mother Schlafly’s Eagle Forum.”
Now, what happens when you get this sort of hateful, Bible-thumping wingnut sitting on the Education Committee? Why, I’m glad you asked. Behold and be... um, amazed:
The Oklahoma House of Representatives Education Committee has just approved House Bill 2211. The bill is expected to pass the full House, and then to go to the Senate. Its authors describe it as promoting freedom of religion in the public schools. In fact, it does the opposite.

The bill requires public schools to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. If a student’s religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student’s incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory, according to this bill.

The school would be required to reward the student with a good grade, or be considered in violation of the law. Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct. Science education becomes absurd under such a situation.
To, the next person who asks why I’m so adamantly opposed to religion (Coffee… are you listening?) please simply refer to this post.

h/t: Dave (again!)

Clearification: Episode 6 (“Looking on Wheels”)

I had a heck of a time finding this final episode, eventually locating it on SpikeTV.com. Sometimes you have to go to unexpected places to find the stuff you’re looking for. Clearification!

RMR: Liberals Back Down

Priceless Mercer:

We’re backing down! And loving it.
We said some things that we regret.
Pass your budget. Don’t mind us.
Sorry if we caused a fuss.
We’re backing down with a smile.
No election for a while.
Pass your budget. Take all week.
No one can understand our leader speak.
Pass your bills. Have no fear.
If anyone needs us we’re over here.
An election now just won’t do.
The future is lookin’ Tory blue.

“The Liberals… We’re adaptable.”

The God Who Wasn’t There: The Mythical Jesus

A summary of inexplicable discrepancies within the Gospels demonstrating the contention that Jesus is more of a mythical allegory in the long tradition of other pagan “hero myths” rather than an historical reality.

True Adventures of Chad: Swim Meet

Chad... The guy who was so into Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, that he decided to live in a ball!

James Burke: After the Warming

A futuristic “documentary” from the author/presenter of Connections and The Day the Universe Changed that takes a look backwards at the climate change issue from the vantage of 2050. Made in 1994, many of Burke’ s assumptions are already laughably (and sadly) out of date in many respects, at least as far as the actions he imagined being taken by the industrialized nations of the world. For example, he foresaw the US signing onto a global initiative to tackle the greenhouse effect by the year 2000 and the establishment of an international agency, the Planetary Management Authority that would oversee a comprehensive carbon trading scheme. Nonetheless, it does provide a interesting perspective on the issue as well as an informative primer on climate change.

Bullshit: The Bible

I know, I know... Duh! Remedial viewing.

Why We Fight: Part 3

Loose Change 2nd Edition Recut

According to Wikipedia: “In May 2002, Dylan Avery began writing a fictional story about him and his friends discovering that the 9/11 attacks were not a terrorist attack involving only members of al Qaeda, but that they were, rather, an attack orchestrated by members of the United States government. While researching the events of 9/11 for the movie, Avery came to the view that his subject matter may not have been entirely fiction, and so he decided to turn his movie into a documentary.”