Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wingnuttia in Excelsis

Canadian Cynic posted again about this right-wing religious wingnut today and invited readers to click through to his website to discover how “completely bugfuck crazy” he is. Hardly an exaggeration as it turns out. Take this suggestion he’s contemplating if elected to Congress (which surely won’t happen):

I’m considering discussing divorce aids and my plans for a “Derrenger’s for Dildos” policy to put guns in American women’s hands instead of divorce aids. Presently, when a criminal is arrested for a weapons crime, the prosecutors seek orders to destroy those weapons. What a waste! Put our criminal prisoners to work modifying those guns to be smart-guns that can only be fired when the female owner is holding it so that children don’t hurt themselves and so that criminals can’t use them (unless they use the woman’s hand). When a women turns in her stash of divorce aids, then give her a free gun to defend America when the jihadists follow us home.

Yikes! Where do you even begin with something like that?

When Blockheads Attack

Poor Patrick… like Charlie Brown forever attempting to connect with the football held by Lucy, he tries ever so hard, but seems doomed not to win an argument. Perhaps he’d have more luck flying a kite. I really shouldn’t waste my time on this loser, but it would be remiss of me to allow his arrogant taunts to go completely unchallenged.

In his latest attempt to prove how absolutely brilliant he is, he takes our friend Canadian Cynic to task for a snarky observation made in passing a while back about the hypocrisy of Charles McVety. First, he contends that CC “never said anything about the tax-deductibility of donations to religious organizations.” Well, considering this was completely obvious to everyone but Patrick and was reinforced by a graphic of McVety’s advertisement wherein it was stated “All donations are tax deductible” it hardly needed to be spelled out in order for the reader to get the point. And what was the point? It most certainly wasn’t, as Patrick seemed to have imagined for some reason, that “that McVety uses the internet to solicit donations for the Canada Christian Coalition.” No, it was simply pointing out the alleged “hypocrisy” of someone like McVety complaining about his tax dollars going to “subsidize porn” as he put it, while at the same time being “subsidized” by virtue of being a tax exempt religious organization.

Now, Patrick’s contention is that the sort of tax exemption McVety’s organization enjoys is entirely different from that of the situation applicable to domestic films because: “Tax deductible donations to religious organizations provide individuals with a choice regarding what their tax dollars will support. Largely unaccountable production grants to, in particular, pornographic films -- like Bubbles Galore, which received a $100,000 production grant -- offers the taxpayer no choice.” He then accuses CC of having made a “false equivalency” between the two.

This of course is an utterly specious argument because the issue at hand is the proposed amendment to Bill C-10, which is what McVety has been publicly crusading of late to change. Therefore, we’re not talking about “production grants” at all, but rather about “tax credits” — a big difference. The dispute over C-10 involves a proposed amendment to The Income Tax Act that would allow the Heritage Minister, or a government committee, to deny tax credits to productions deemed offensive and “contrary to public policy.”

Whether tax exemptions or credits constitute a “subsidy” is debatable — in some ways they are very much like subsidies, and there are other ways in which they are not. For whatever it’s worth, the SCOTUS has regularly treated tax exemptions as a type of subsidy. For example, in the 1983 case of Regan v. Taxation With Representation of Washington, the Court noted that tax exemption, credits, and deductions are “a form of subsidy that is administered through the tax system.”

Be that as it may, if McVety maintains that the current system of allowing tax credits to films that he deems as being “pornographic” constitutes a “subsidy” then logic dictates that he too is enjoying a “subsidy” at the taxpayer’s expense (including many people who may find his brand of Judeo-Christian zealotry offensive). Hence the hypocrisy. Now, had the discussion actually been about production grants (which the Calgary Herald article in question wasn’t), that’s another matter altogether.

I think it’s quite clear who’s “terminally not so bright”… and sorry, but it’s not ME Patrick. Maybe in future, before you go complaining about the “lost art of getting one’s point across” and then start laughably thumping your chest about the “ass kicking” you’ve purportedly delivered, it might help if you had your basic facts straight instead of charging off half-cocked and making a completely asinine fool out of yourself — again.

Update: The delusional retardation never stops. Remember, this absurd argument was all based on a passing remark that was painfully obvious to all but the most profoundly thick sort of person. What kind of pathetic reject would engage in meandering rants, spanning four posts made up of untold thousands of words from an initial observation that was actually just a pretty trivial bit of casual snark about the hypocritical double-standard of Charles McVety. A lonely wanker with a dismal blog that nobody reads, that’s who — aka Patsy “Doughy Pantload” Ross.

The Trudeau Haters

How utterly despicable. You can bet there are a lot of “Conservatives” secretly delighted by this cowardly act of defilement.

The hostile animosity against Trudeau never ceases to amaze me.

Kids! (And how to avoid them…)

Isn’t it a curious paradox that there seems to be so much objection to advertising condoms, while sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy and abortion remain at unacceptably high levels? It’s quite baffling.

“These networks are celebrating a free sexual lifestyle in their programming, but refusing to talk about it in their advertising. The big problem in this country is we’re hedonistic in our behavior and moralistic in our attitudes. We don’t have an open discussion about our sexuality, and the price of not being open is millions of sexually transmitted infections.” — Michael Weinstein

Animation Nation (Part 1.1 – 1.2)

BBC documentary from 2005 on the history of the British animation industry.
The first part “The Art of Persuasion” looks at the early use of animation for propaganda.

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Education for Death

Seeing as all the cool kids are doing it these days, what the heck…

Goodbye to the Normals

Young Magnus has decided to leave home. He’s all packed, he’s planned his trip to America, and now it’s time to say farewell to Mum and Dad. Amused by these juvenile escape plans, his parents wave him off down the street...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Real Time: Jeffrey Sachs Interview

“We just wasted this whole time… and moved closer to disaster.”

Depressing stuff. Eight years of squandered opportunities and a trillion dollars of misplaced investment on failed wars. And somehow or other our so-called “conservative” friends are either willfully ignorant and/or blithely unconcerned…

Real Time: Opening Monologue

Last show of the season! Crap.

The Machine That Made Us (Part 2 & 3)

Ah, the things we learn… It seems that while beavering away on his new invention, Guttenburg attempted to fund his project and pay the bills through the sale of “magic mirrors” to the less fortunate pilgrims trekking to bask in the divine healing rays cast off by the holy relics and ecclesiastical treasures such as the “Cross of Lothair” the “Bust of Charlemagne” and the “Persephone sarcophagus” housed at the gothic cathedral of Aachen.

Meet Brandon Rosario

Remember that name because, for quite obvious reasons, I suspect we might well be hearing a good deal more from this incredibly amusing and highly talented young fellow in years to come.

But for now, Brandon has caused something of a controversy at girl #3’s school here in Victoria with his sarcastic and somewhat unconventional pitch the other day to become valedictorian. Personally, I thought it was an absolutely brilliant, highly commendable and thoroughly entertaining performance. Alas, it seems not everyone saw it that way. All too predictably, the pettifogging minions of “political correctness” were vaguely concerned by some of the offhand and deliberately challenging remarks he made and now their congealed turd of manufactured outrage has, quite appropriately, landed on the pages of our local dog trainer.

As reported in the Times Colonist “the 17-year-old Belmont Secondary student urging fellow students to vote for him as class valedictorian is being investigated.” According to Sooke school district spokesman Ron Warder, this is being done in order to see “whether or not there needs to be discipline.” Investigated? Discipline? If this proceeds at all it will be amusing in the extreme to discover the precise nature of the offenses alleged to have been committed. It’s understood the matter is being taken “very seriously” by school officials... whatever that means.

“In the back of my mind, I can’t help but worry that all this is going to do is put emphasis on the blind approval of some vacant, empty, middle-brow, shallow speech that we’ve all seen and heard before. You all know the one I’m talking about… where the guy walks slowly across the stage like he’s hot shit, and then gives everyone a brain hemorrhage with some self-satisfying, grandiose statement about life and transition and the pursuit of true happiness. I mean, this is your school… look around.”

The “Conservative” Party: Bloodthirsty Sharks


Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the analogy. Actually, it comes directly from one of the most rabidly fanatical supporters of the “Conservative” Party who’s apparently quite delighted to compare this witless collective of flabby, slavering douchebags to the “godless, rampaging killing machines” of the deep. It seems that falsely smearing Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, notwithstanding the fact that Elections Canada spokesman John Enright has already said that her campaign expenses have been reviewed and approved by the agency, is all just a routine part of the sleazy, malicious “counterattack” envisaged to shift attention away from the CPC’s own alleged malfeasance.

Update: Oh, according to the “Trusty Tory” it seems the Gomery Commission was nothing but a “charade”… So let me translate this for you. If the Liberals throw open something to a complete public inquiry into alleged wrongdoings by their party, it’s a just a sham. But if the “Conservatives” stonewall, obfuscate, run, hide, scurry down the back stairs, blame everyone and their dog for their scheming clusterfuck gone awry, then make wild, unsubstantiated charges about a vast nefarious liberal media conspiracy attempting to unfairly demonize them, it’s called “accountability” and “leadership”… Allrightee then. Glad we could straighten that out!

The Best Premier Oil Money Can Buy

Priceless. Greenpeace pranks Ed Stelmach's fundraising dinner at the Edmonton Convention Centre. Much better than a botched pie in the face.

Canadian Political Hinterland Who’s Who

Coming soon to an underwater drive-thru near you!

Introducing sQuba, the worlds first diving car that not only drives on roads autonomously with a push of a button (thus without a driver, passenger or further assistance — don’t ask why), but can also transform into an amphibious vehicle which can be submerged in water up to 10 meters (33 feet). Again, the point of this function is rather mysterious.

An electric motor with powerful torque drives the rear wheels, while the propulsion on the water is ensured by two propellers in the stern and two powerful jet drives in the bow propelling the vehicle under water while diving. When underwater, the driver and passenger are enclosed in the vehicle thanks to light weight body components made of futuristic Carbon Nano Tubes and are supplied with fresh breathing air by the self-contained on-board system.

The Amazing CN Tower!

Here you go Crabby. (And it won’t cost you a $100 either.)

Update: This certainly isn’t the most “mature” post I’ve ever made, but I don’t think I can be accused have sunken to this sort of level of infantilism (more here and here, if you’ve got the stomach for it).

“Operation Chaos”

“The dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and we have a replay of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here.” — Rush Limbaugh

After singing his “WHITE Christmas tune” he went on to say: “Riots in Denver, the Democrat Convention would see to it that we don’t elect Democrats.” That’s the best thing that could happen to the country, said Limbaugh.

Today’s modern “conservatives” ladies and gentlemen...

Our Destructive Forests

“British Columbia’s pine-beetle devastated forest is belching out enough carbon to equal Canada’s average annual forest fire emissions, says a new report from scientists at the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada.”

Crap. Well, so much for that whole “carbon sink” idea… Kind of ironic when one considers that the proliferation of the pine beetle in the first place is attributed by some to global-warming that has largely eliminated the lengthy winter freezes that would otherwise have arrested spread of the pest.

More here. But not to worry, the “Conservatives” have a solution:

The Machine That Made Us (Part 1)

“The slightly more hands-on than I expected story of Johannes Gutenberg and his marvelous machine…” — Stephen Fry

“Exterminate! Exterminate!”

Attention Rob Nicholson: Respectfully submitted, here’s the perfect solution to address the Conservatives’ ever-pressing concerns about Canada’s menacing urban crime problem!

Imagine the benefits of having small armies of radio-controlled “Bumbots” vigilantly patrolling the streets of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. This innovative crime-fighting device, with a proven track record of frightening off crack-addled junkies, homeless losers, and all manner of suspicious human refuse would be an invaluable addition to the CPC’s efforts to make our streets safer for “People who work hard, pay their taxes, and play by the rules”… Moreover, just think how much fun it would be scaring the living shit out of these scofflaw social wastrels — barking out incomprehensible commands in a blaring electronic (“Dalek”) voice, unexpectedly blinding them with spotlights and then recording their horrified reactions on live video... Oh, and best of all — remotely pissing on them with a pressurized water cannon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Straight Talk from Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger

God bless this man.

It seems that Fox News dispatched one of Bill O’Reilly’s muckraking flunkies, err… reporters, to interview Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago, who had invited Rev. Jeremiah Wright to an event marking poet Maya Angelou’s birthday several weeks ago. Despite all of the deceitful, cringe-worthy attempts made by Bill O’s little helper bee to get Rev. Pfleger to make some compromising or damning statements about Wright and/or Obama, the good father simply refused to get sidetracked into slander and innuendo, and instead, turned the tables on this sleazy douchebag, delivering a pretty stinging “truth to power” rebuke of his own about the gross distortions, hypocrisy and double-standards of the media and society at large. It’s really quite a thing of beauty to watch.

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams…

WFP cuts school meals as food crisis grows. “The World Food Programme said yesterday that it has begun to cut the provision of school meals to some of the world’s poorest children as the global crisis over food prices worsens.”

Roots of Asia’s rice crisis. “For decades, governments have been encouraging a boom in services and skyscrapers, but not the capacity to grow more rice. Financing in agriculture has stagnated, and fewer farmers are expected to produce more rice for exploding populations.”

World Bank says Thai curb on rice exports would deepen crisis. “World Bank officials are concerned that pressure is growing in Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, to restrict the nation’s exports of the staple and worsen a global food crisis.”

Japan’s hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations. “Japan’s acute butter shortage, which has confounded bakeries, restaurants and now families across the country, is the latest unforeseen result of the global agricultural commodities crisis... Last week, as the prices of wheat and barley continued their relentless climb, the Japanese Government discovered it had exhausted its ¥230 billion budget for the grains with two months remaining. It was forced to call on an emergency ¥55 billion reserve to ensure it could continue feeding the nation.“

Afghans protest skyrocketing food prices. “Hundreds of people angry over the rising cost of food demonstrated in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday... Many demonstrators expressed anger with Pakistan - upon which Afghans are heavily reliant for food imports. Pakistan has recently slowed its exports due to its own concerns about rising food prices.”

Food prices drag down Garcia’s popularity in Peru. “President Alan Garcia’s approval rating sank to the lowest level of his second term, hammered by rising food prices that have stoked public discontent, according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.”

Rice shortage in Philippines may mean more trouble for Arroyo. “Rice futures had their biggest weekly gain in at least seven years last week on concerns export curbs by China and Vietnam will spread as importing nations struggle to feed their people. The Philippines, the biggest rice importer, received offers for only two-thirds of the grain it sought to buy on April 17.”

Food for America’s famished. “Americans are a generous sort but not as much in a weak economy with food prices climbing more than 5 percent a year. Donations to private food banks are off 9 by percent. A CNN poll finds nearly 1 in 3 people already cutting back on food. Hunger, once again, is rising in America.”

Oh well, there’ll be another world soon enough... Screw those poor people.

A Political History of Tibet

Filmmaker Chris Nebe the creator of the “Mysterious China” series of documentaries here provides a brief political history of Tibet; one that’s at odds with the conventional representation in the mainstream media and that promoted by the “Free Tibet” movement (which some contend is funded and controlled by the CIA).

What I Can’t Stand About Harper…

In response to the meme circulating around various Liberal and “progressive” blogs asking folks to chip in with the things they find most annoying about the Prime Minister, here’s my contribution: He’s a flip-flopper. One minute he’s for prairie dogs, then the next thing you know, he’s gung-ho for gophers. Shameless!

But seriously, it would be a lot easier to produce a list of things that I actually like about Harper. Now, if only I could think of something…

Defending the Border, Standing Up & All That Rot

“The [Iraqi] army is very good at what they do… they just have a problem with sleeping in.”
— Lt. Colonel William Zemp

Fills you with confidence, doesn’t it? Details here.

Bears: Godless Killing Machines

Maybe you’ll start paying more attention to Colbert’s “Threat Down” from now on…

By the way that Wikiality, The Truthiness Encyclopedia is new to me. Funny stuff.


The next time I hear the old “stolen millions” refrain I’m just going to think of this.

“Canada’s Biggest Mistake” – “Teh Stupid” Take

Before launching into his own ridiculous take on what he sees as “Canada’s Biggest Mistake” (following on the series of columns on that theme published recently by The National Post) The Politic’s Matthew promptly insults all of his readers/commenters at the outset by admitting that usually he’s too busy with more important matters or pressing exigencies to actually read anything they might have to say — which unfortunately for him usually consists of people taking issue with the fact-free, God-bothering rubbish that he posts at The Politic. Nonetheless, he invites other Blogging Tories to let him know if they’re interested in “participating” in his pissy little gripe-fest.

Well, never mind that minor faux-pas. Let’s see what “Canada’s Biggest Mistake” is according to St. Matthew. You may already have guessed from the video I posted. Yes, it’s PUBLIC EDUCATION! According to this pompous, self-righteous twatwaffle, public education is arguably responsible for: Canada’s “poor performance in the world”; a “narcissistic and euthanasia-bent society”; the “crumbling of our ability to govern ourselves”; and so on. As we’ve said here many times before, this is typical of the virulent Canada-hating by our so-called “Conservatives.”

It sounds quite dreadful, but what on earth does the “crumbling of our ability to govern ourselves” even mean… and how is the public school system responsible for this deeply mysterious affliction? Does our school system really inculcate children with a desire to pursue policies of euthanasia? Certainly not that I’m aware of, but hey, what would I know… I’ve only got four grown kids. As for promoting narcissism, I’m sure those engaged in the fields of advertising and marketing, as well as our political leaders and media élites will be tremendously relieved to learn that, contrary to conventional wisdom, they’re in no way responsible for contributing to these unfortunate societal trends. Now they’re off the hook, let’s put the blame back where it belongs: with public school teachers!

And what’s up with this “poor performance in the world” bullshit? The last time I checked, our rates of productivity were amongst the highest in the world and by any number of measures Canada is an outstanding, world-class performer in many different respects from tax competitiveness to overall health, well-being and quality of life. Ah, but not in the topsy-turvy world of Matthew it seems where, “the over-bearing and scofflaw unions” (those perfidious teachers again) “indoctrinate our children year after year.” The horror! Oh, and not only that, but apparently these money-grubbing parasites and their greedy union overlords are also responsible for “the massive debts that our provincial governments have accumulated because they got tangled in the teaching domain in the first place.”

So, what’s Matthew’s alternative to “having big government pay for every little boy and girl’s enlightenment”? Um, well you know that’s the interesting thing… He doesn’t seem to have one at all. Short of pointing to the “sparsely populated elitist, religious and cultural private schools” that he falsely claims “consistently [out-perform] the government systems in the western world” he offers precisely nothing in the way of a comprehensive alternative solution. And yet, he suggests that by simply abolishing the public education system and presumably letting the chips fall where they may, “We’d become the new Japanese,” But of course, being the completely dishonest hack and profoundly ignorant retard that he is, Matthew fails to note (or perhaps may simply not be aware of) the fact that 99% of elementary schooling in Japan is public with that figure dropping slightly to 95% at the secondary level. So, if our aim is emulate the Japanese, we seem to have a serious logical problem here in asserting that somehow public education is the root of all evil.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a case of Matthew being an ignorant fool; it’s entirely typical of the “Blogging Tories” and, the “Conservative” Party in general. These folks are mighty quick to demonize “big government” as the cause of all problems and to feverishly decry this or that factor as being directly responsible for various societal aspects they passionately HATE about Canada, but they have precious little to offer in the way of viable, practicable alternatives. Rather than attempting to improve the system or address existing problems in a meaningful or substantive way, they’d rather just break it altogether, pitch it in the scrap heap, and then allow “the market” to work its ineffable magic — this apparently is their idea of a “solution” more often than not, but of course it’s incredibly remote from being anything of the sort. Is it any wonder that so many of these vacuous, intellectually lazy idiots also believe in the supernatural and despise science and rational thought?

Seeing as Matthew doesn’t read anyone’s comments as a rule, I suggest we all return the favour and not read his fatuous postings in future. I’m sure we’ve all got better things to do than waste time on such arrogant, howling stupidity.

Update: As if further proof of the profound idiocy running amuck at The Politic, behold contributor Charles confessing for the record that “I genuinely believe the world is 10,000 years old AND I believe in natural selection. I just do not believe we come from apes.” Good grief. I’d venture to guess that he didn’t learn THAT nonsense in public school.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Too Cool

Apropos of nothing in particular, here’s a mechanical tiger by the Belgian sculptor Kezanti.

The World According to Matthew

It seems creationists like The Politic’s Matthew had it right all along.

This video succinctly explains how.

Update: Some more hilarity. (Sarcasm alert! But then you knew that already, right?)

CPC: A “Big Tent” or “Big Top” Party?

I think we can expect to be seeing some of this in a future political ad.

Update: It seems that some of us just aren’t interpreting things in good faith.

SEX-pelled - No Intelligence Allowed

Bonus: Second Foundational Falsehood of Creationism

Speaking of Retards...

There’s so much risible, downright fallacious crap in Matthew’s latest post that it’s difficult to know where to start, but let’s just take one assertion to begin with:

The movie also did deal with the Hitler-Darwin connection, admitting that not every Darwinist will become a Nazi, but suggesting that Darwinism does lend itself nicely to eugenics and the bloodbath that has been many atheistic regimes throughout the 20th century (see current news on China for more details…). Could the Darwinists counter this claim? I don’t know, but that’s only because they haven’t seriously tried yet except to collectively say “nuh-uh”

Complete and utter bullshit. This issue has been addressed by atheists (pretty much all of whom are “Darwinists”) countless times. In fact, Christopher Hitchens devotes an entire chapter of his book God is not Great to this spurious claim: “An Objection Anticipated: The Last-Ditch ‘Case’ Against Secularism.” So, quite simply put, Matthew has proven, once again, that he’s not only profoundly retarded, but is also a big, fat LIAR. Oh, and by the way, Hitler was Christian and claimed in Mein Kampf that what he was doing, he was doing for God.

Old Canard Update: And another thing... I should have stated this in the original post, but the “Darwinism” that Matthew is suggesting as “lend[ing] itself nicely to eugenics and the bloodbath that has been many atheistic regimes throughout the 20th century” is actually “Social Darwinism” that has nothing to do with Darwin’s theory of evolution. In fact, that term only came into vogue in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter. The notion of eugenics and similar theories predate Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species and is more closely related to the ideas of the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, Francis Galton and others.

The Adam Daifallah Show!

Just sayin’... Oh, and Tequila!

Dear Media Overlords…

Look, I realize you folks have a lot on your plates what with running your respective tax-sheltered and/or subsidized communications and entertainment fiefdoms and/or repressive media bureaucracy and/or conglomerate duopoly, but would it KILL you to hire a bunch of interns working at minimum wage to provide online transcripts of your televised political programs? This seems to be standard practice at EVERY MEDIA OUTLET in the U.S. after all. And seeing as the offering here in Canada is fairly paltry by comparison... how much effort would it take?

So come on CBC and CTV… make a small gesture of respect to your viewers who pay quite handsomely to receive your cable broadcasts and, for whatever reason (some nutty interest in democracy and politics, apparently), take interest in these unprofitable public service ventures that you’re compelled to air as part of your CRTC license agreement. Have a little heart for “the workers… the activists that are out there” or the “20 people” as Bob Fife so condescendingly referred to them, who are actually scrutinizing the stuff you post on the Intertubes, or, more specifically the stuff you DON’T happen to post for whatever reason.

Yours, etc.

The Less You Know: War Made Easy

Some have taken me to task for having made assumptions in being entirely unsurprised by the NYT story this past weekend that so-called “military experts” — delightfully referred to in Pentagon milspeak as “message force multipliers” — were in the pocket of weapons contractors while at the same time spinning the war for the Bush administration. Herewith is a repost from last month of the film adaptation of media critic Norman Soloman’s 2005 book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” The final piece of the puzzle provided by the NYT was inevitable and the one that most naturally fit — not really much of an assumption after all.

The Harperites We Know…

I ran across this old chestnut from 2004. Ha! All that vague fear-mongering by the Liberals back then was quite unfounded as it turns out. Who knew the real Achilles Heel for this government would be what should by all rights have been its strongest suit: accountability and transparency?

To that end, here for your delight and edification, is a clip from Charles Adler’s radio program: Tory MP tries to spin Adler... but he spins outNow I’m no fan of Adler (remember the infamous “Coke bottle up the ass” picture?), but this cross-examination of Poilievre is quite delightful. At one point Adler remarks, “This is embarrassing…”


h/t: Steve @ Far & Wide (And the laughs just keep coming. I hadn’t seen this post by Steve when I wrote my remarks about accountability. Ready-made satire... how sweet.)

“We’ve done some stuff that’s not really problematic, but it’s not something I’d necessarily want Elections Canada or reporters getting their hands on” — Anonymous CPC Official

Media Bias

Gosh, where’s that fearless crusader against nefarious media bias Sandy “Crock of the Matter” when you need her? Oh, right… I forgot. She’s too busy furiously pimping all of the “accomplishments” of the Harper régime. Never mind.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Indiana-North Carolina: The Tie-Breakers?

Well, the gun-owners and “blue-collar” small town voters of Pennsylvania have spoken. Hillary won both of these demographics by a healthy margin. Although not unexpected, this was a real disappointment for those of us who support Obama because despite her victory, Clinton still can’t win. Not of course that this fact will deter her in the least from trying. And the worst part is that things are only going to get uglier from here.

Oh, and Jamie… some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time!

Update: The best description of the race as it stands now has to go to BFB: “Never-ending root canal” Quite so.

Nero Fiddled, Bush “Dances”

Um, yeah. How cute.

Lest we forget. (Oh and here, here, here, here and elsewhere…)

Update: Heckuva job, George!

“The president has never promised me anything he couldn’t deliver and that’s always appreciated.” — Stephen Harper

Pennsylvania Smack-Down (With Poll & Updates!)

It’s been ages since we had a poll around here, so let’s give this a whirl:

Update: The results so far are rather interesting. Can we assume that 2-6% group has opted instead for “Doesn’t Matter”…? I’m kind of thinking so.

Why Harper Muzzles His Caucus…

Because this is the goofy, asinine sort of right-wing SHITE the “Conservatives” would have to deal with on a regular basis otherwise.

Brenda Martin: Guilty!

Like you expected anything else from Mexico’s crackerbox justice system?

Right on Cue Update: The flood-gates of “Conservative compassion” open up. (Surfing on the same brainwave...)

Won’t Someone Think of the Lawns!!!

Now that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is actually delivering on his promise to implement a province-wide ban on pesticides, as part of her relentless hate campaign that’s waged day in and day out with such relentless fervour, JoJo Magoo at “Blue Like You!” asks the burning question:

What about people with “weed allergies”?

Good grief, how pathetically desperate is that?

Update: I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me sooner. It seems that JoJo Magoo is conflating PESTICIDES with HERBICIDES. D’oh! (This, by the way, would account for the exemption granted to golf courses because part of their design includes water hazards that are, in effect, fairly stagnant pools of water that breed mosquitoes.)

Update2: Wherein we learn what’s meant by a “cosmetic pesticide”…

Via The Lung Association:

“Cosmetic pesticides are chemical or biological substances used to destroy living things such as: insects (insecticides), plants (herbicides), and fungi (fungicides) for the purpose of enhancing the appearance of a lawn or garden. They are sold commonly as sprays, liquids, powders or combined with chemical fertilizers.”

CPC Hacks… On the Run From the Press

It seems that even our friend “Trusty Tory” realizes how catastrophically boneheaded the CPC’s “communication strategy” has been on this issue.

Props to PSA for the idea.

“They say ‘we’re being judged differently,’ well yes, because they acted differently.” — Gilles Duceppes

Update: And still the kooky CONspiracy theories persist...

China: Another Perspective

Hmmm. There’s something to think about amidst all the fashionable protests about Tibet. But I think you know that I’m pro-Chinese on that issue. Maybe not a popular position these days, but so be it.

Lou Dobbs: SPP/NAU Talks in The Big Easy

Harper is nowhere to be seen in this segment. He refused to hold a press conference for the Canadian media, who only have the opportunity to ask TWO whole questions during the wrap-up presser with Bush and Calderón, one of which was about In-n-Outgate that drew an utterly predictable response about the raid being “the same story as before” with Elections Canada.

“They will have some jambalaya, eat some gumbo and send the right signals, but don’t expect much.” — Prof. Michael Hart

The Great Green Smokescreen

Seeing as it’s Earth Day an all, I thought it might be appropriate to run this Channel 4 documentary from last year that reveals how attempts to buy our way out of climate crisis may not be delivering. Science Correspondent Tom Clark examines many of the “solutions” to global warming — from carbon off-setting to green energy tariffs.

Update: Ah yes, the fully anticipated gratuitous assholery from retarded “classical liberal” fuckwits and FFoF wannabes who just don’t get it and feel that going out of one’s way to be a complete jerk is somehow making a bold statement for individual freedom. Yawn.

Peter Van Pantload: Discussing the “Visit” (Updated)

Shorter version: But, but… ADSCAM!!!

Update: I had initially dismissed the contention that the additional Conservative spending may have affected the outcome of the election, but Steve at Far & Wide has some very interesting stuff on this:

“What I see here, with VERY few exceptions, the Conservatives topped off ridings that weren’t in play, in order to use that money where it could make a difference. The above supports the idea that this extra money was very important for Conservative fortunes, spent in targeted regions, it could very well have made a difference, as suggested by both the Liberals and NDP.”

Update2: So much for that “free speech” argument. What a load of bollocks.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Too bad, Scott!
Game and riot highlights…

The Hour: McVety on Bill C-10

I know we’ve been through this before, but Lindsay has an update on the situation over at Canadian Cynic’s place along with a response from Senator Hervieux-Payette. Also, I hadn’t seen this interview with everyone’s favourite fundie wingnut Charles McVety talking to George Stroumboulopoulos.

“I’m a conservative, I don’t believe in censorship.” — Charles McVety


Monday, April 21, 2008

“It just doesn’t seem to go anywhere…”

Ain’t it the truth?

“New evidence indicates the boring, meaningless, repetitive plot is snuffing out Canadians’ interest in politics. After two years of Tom and Jerry hijinks, an Ipsos Reid poll for Canwest News Service/Global National shows the support for Liberals and Conservatives is virtually unchanged.”

“Muddier and Muddier Update”: Apparently, it seems that according to some nutcases, we live in a dictatorship run by Elections Canada and the Liberals!!! Awwwwkkkkk!!!!

“Who are the Liberals going to use next? Where is their next mole hidden? Dirty politics, the only thing Liberals know how to do well.”

It’s a vast conspiracy!!! It’s all a nefarious, sinister, criminal plot, hatched by those nasty, perfidious Lieberals and their complicit media goons!!!

I can hardly wait for “Trusty Tory” to weigh in on the matter with his usual sober, objective judgment…

Harper Party in a Nutshell: “materially false and misleading statements”

Disclosure of information concerning the Elections Canada/RCMP “visit” to Conservative Party headquarters last week (gory details here) confirmed what everyone already suspected about the “creative accounting” scheme allegedly designed to mislead Elections Canada, exceed spending caps during the last election and defraud taxpayers of several hundred thousand dollars. What’s vastly more amusing at this stage however, was the bungled attempt at “spin control” by Conservative officials yesterday that will certainly do nothing to endear these chuckleheads to the mainstream press for which they have so much visceral antipathy.

Via The Globe & Mail:

In releasing the abridged version of the documents to select media, the party hoped to give Mr. Sparrow, campaign organizer Doug Finley and party lawyer Paul Lepsoe a chance to explain the Tory point of view.

In the end, the plan went horribly awry.

On Saturday night, Mr. Sparrow called a number of reporters to ask them to come to meetings that had been scheduled for yesterday at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa saying it “would be worth their while.”

But media outlets who were not among those invited got wind of the meetings yesterday morning and began to ask what was going on. When one reporter asked in an e-mail about the news conference, Mr. Sparrow replied: “No conference, not sure where you got that from.”

The reporter then flipped Mr. Sparrow back an e-mail in which he had told another reporter who was on the list that the briefing would be at “4:30 Lord Elgin, Boardroom 800. Embargo until 7:30 pm Sunday night.” To which Mr. Sparrow replied: “I meet with journalists privately all the time.”

Shortly after, the Liberals found out about the briefings and advised all of the Ottawa press gallery, some of whom were quite miffed to find they had been excluded. When they threatened to show up at the Lord Elgin, despite the lack of an invitation, the meeting was secretly moved to the Sheraton.

The first briefing for select television outlets took place but, by then, the excluded reporters found out the new location and began to stake out the hotel. That led the Tories to cancel all subsequent briefings, including the one they had planned with The Globe. And Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Finley and Mr. Lepsoe fled from the Sheraton down a back set of stairs.

“Theme & Scheme” Update: If you ever questioned whether “Teh Blogging Tories” and Stephen Taylor in particular were unpaid shills for the Conservative Party of Canada, the ferocious spin surrounding the “In-n-Outgate” should quick dispel any doubts.

Stealing Your Freedom

Peter Hitchens looks at the creeping destruction of time-honoured civil liberties and gradual erosion of laws that protect individual freedom in the United Kingdom by the “New Labour” government of Tony Blair, all in the name of crime prevention, security and anti-terrorism. A very instructive case study of positive/negative liberty in action and perhaps a rather chilling vision of things to come...

“Once, our police were the servants of the law and the people… in a startling change, they’ve begun to carry out the political will of the state. And the state itself, claiming to act in our interests, has been gathering increasingly detailed information on us. These growing databases are only one of the ways in which it seeks to pry into our lives.”


Kinda cute.

Meanwhile, at CPoC Spin Central…

Given the bizarre overture yesterday, the events that are bound to unfold today should be more than a little interesting, no?

Update: It seems Stephen Taylor is already getting in shape for the pretzel logic that’s sure to come.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eres Lo Que Lees

I saw the story about this conceptual artwork earlier in the day over at CC’s place and had a mild chortle over it. Funnily enough though, Ben Stein’s commentary on CBS Sunday Morning this week was about the pet animals that are often overlooked and sometimes abandoned under harsh conditions in the wake of financial setbacks being experienced by many Americans. To the surprise of some perhaps, he made an impassioned plea for a small amount of the taxpayers’ money on behalf of “the absolutely most innocent victims of the housing mortgage bubble — the dogs and cats abandoned by owners fleeing their foreclosed homes or homes they can no longer afford.” It’s extremely doubtful of course that any of the quite worthy suggestions that Stein proposed will receive the slightest bit of funding whatsoever. So in a sense, it proves the point Vargas was making about the hypocrisy of those who profess to be so compassionate about the welfare of animals; the stingy mooks at SDA and numerous others who were duped by this artful hoax being a case in point.

Shock Video: Morten Gungle

A little late night, NSFW entertainment. Here’s a clip from Adam Buxton, wherein he and Joe Cornish talk rubbish over softcore porn collected from TV stations around the world.

Pat Condell: On Free Speech in Canada

What he said.

Not “politically correct” (as if I care), but spot-on for the most part.

And speaking of “blowhards” here’s an update of sorts with Rex Murphy’s comments on the matter from last month.

Chairman Harper’s “Little Blue Book”

Chairman Steve

Take a trip to Harperland and re-discover some of the Dear Leader’s most prized quotations…

“In Harperland, a nation can have many national governments. There, people are not bound by the reactionary need to see a nation as a unitary organism, bound by collectively experienced values and ambitions. There, all physical, biological and political laws obey the Chairman, so that nations comprised of politically autonomous, culturally disconnected entities are perfectly viable—even ideal. Similarly, Harperlanders do not consider the human body to be in optimum physical condition until it has had its limbs and head lopped off and become a body of six sovereign, decentralised bodies.”

Immigration Reform: A Matter of Time (Updated)

If I understand the supposed “reforms” proposed by Immigration Minister Diane Finley that are contained in the budget bill known as C-50 correctly, this will give the minister discretionary power to sometimes whimsically adjudicate cases and, according to official sources, “streamline the processing of the current backlog of immigrant applications” or some such thing. Well, that all sounds quite fine. The Liberals oppose this because… well, that’s what they do — oppose things; also, they contend that such changes will give too much unwarranted discretionary authority to the minister while doing little to make a serious dent in the enormous waiting lists that are currently pending, which they have to take a good deal of responsibility for having helped to create in the first place through their bungling and mismanagement of this portfolio over the years...

As a matter of fact, the “Conservatives” have proudly, and quite rightly, boasted of their “aggressive immigration policy” that’s resulted in the number of immigrants hitting record levels. This may actually be something that doesn’t entirely please many of their more xenophobic supporters if they were aware of it, but as Harper pointed out the other night at a Canada-India Foundation gala dinner in Toronto “We are bringing in more immigrants than any previous government. You can see this has been an upward trend in the past four decades. The Mulroney government had higher immigration levels than (the previous) Trudeau government… Since we were elected in 2006, actual immigration across categories has risen yet again. Including I might add 56,000 new immigrants from India alone.” As well, the “Conservatives” have been quietly funneling tens of millions of dollars into a number of key cities to bolster various support programs for new immigrants.

But let’s concentrate on the matter at hand, which is the assertion that “reforms” contained in the proposed legislation will help clear the appalling backlog (the largest in the world, according to Harper). The most contentious parts of the bill seem to center on allowing the Immigration Minister to establish categories (or otherwise) by which applications will be determined, to prioritize those categories, to set the number of applications that will be processed and to intervene at any time “for the disposition of applications and requests.” Critics contend this is an “executive power grab” but that just sounds like a lot of bollocks to me. Perhaps I’m missing something here, but the proposals don’t really sound terribly unreasonable at all. I rather doubt that they’ll make much difference in the end and don’t seem to amount to much more than a bit of administrative tinkering, so what’s all the fuss and bother about? Apparently, I seem to missing something.

Just as a matter of amusement however, I wonder how long it would take the Minister to clear the backlog with her new-found powers if they were given full reign. On an individual basis, allotting five minutes per case, it would take 75,000 hours, or 3,125 days, or 8.6 years… this, of course presuming that each case was decided every five minutes without stop 24/7 over that period of time. But let’s say, she makes categories for the claimants… and this will help, how exactly? Will they just get rubber-stamped now based on being categorized and/or prioritized? Surely, there must still be some individual review of each application involved, so it’s a little difficult to see how these proposed “reforms” are really going to make any sort of difference whatsoever to the backlog of applicants. But again, maybe I’m just not “getting it” when it comes to what’s so egregiously awful about the proposed reforms.

Update: It seems I’ve been duped and that the “Conservatives” have actually cooked the books in order to support their claims of increased immigration. I really should know better than to take this government at its word or think for a moment that they’d ever be truthful about anything. Consider me chastened.

Furthermore, thanks to Rob for setting me straight and pointing out the following article entitled “Tory bill stifles debate” by Guidy Mamann of the immigration law firm Mamann & Associates.

The Harper government is promoting its controversial immigration bill by promising that it will reduce our backlog, produce faster processing times, and make our system more responsive to Canada’s labour market needs.

The Conservatives propose to accomplish this by giving our immigration minister, Diane Finley, unprecedented new powers.

If I believed this, I would easily support this initiative.

In an interview last week with CTV’s Mike Duffy, Finley confirmed that our backlog now stands at about 925,000 applications. The government maintains that the Minister needs these powers to cherry pick applicants who are needed here on a priority basis. She was asked by Duffy, if under the present system, the department was able to fast track, say a welder who was desperately needed in Fort McMurray. Finley answered “The way the law stands now we have to process the oldest application first. If that person is number 600,000 in line we’ve got a lot of applications to get through before that”.

This is simply not true.

Our current legislation states that the federal cabinet “may make any regulation ... relating to classes of permanent residents or foreign nationals” including “selection criteria, the weight, if any to be given to all or some of those criteria, the procedures to be followed in evaluating all or some of those criteria… the number of applications to be processed or approved in a year” etc.

In fact, in the case of Vaziri v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Federal Court held in September 2006 that our current legislation “authorize[s] the Minister to set target levels and to prioritize certain classes of PR applicants” without even a regulation being passed. Accordingly, Finley has more than enough power under our current legislation to make virtually any changes that she wants subject to the Charter.

So why should we care if this bill passes?

Simply, because we already have far too little debate on the kind of immigration program this country needs. Often when I explain some aspect of our immigration law I am asked “who came up with that?” This proposal will push policy-making deeper into the backrooms. The proposal, which really belongs in an immigration bill, is tucked into a budget bill. It can only be defeated if Stéphane Dion were willing to defeat the bill and force an election which could easily cost him his job. If successful, Finley would be free to govern by decree, virtually eliminating the need for any legislative debate on immigration policy. The publication of the minister’s “instructions” in the Canada Gazette would be no substitute for an open discussion.

The Minister pledged “I can stand hand on heart and say this is good for immigrants, good for business ... and ... good for the country”

I say that the best way to eliminate the backlog and speed up the immigration process is by dedicating more resources to them, increasing our levels, and/or by simplifying the process. If we need people here quickly, the minister can simply issue work permits to those in line with job offers. This bill does none of that and the transfer of power from the cabinet to the minister will accomplish nothing. Hand on heart!

Channel 4 - Greatest Funniest Moments

Clips are: 1) The Numa Numa Dance; 2) Howard Stern-Private Part; 3) Chris Rock (Black People vs. Niggas); 4) Banzai: Mr. Shake Hands Man; 5) Dennis Pennis: Dude makes fun of celebs right in front of them; 6) Beadle’s About - Fake alien landing; 7) Bo’s Selecta 8) George W. Bushisms; 9) Trigger Happy TV.

That Snail Crossing the Road bit at the end from “Trigger Happy TV” is definitely a must-see (go to 17 min. for the start of that segment).

Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser the author of “Fast Food Nation” (an excellent book) talks to Morgan Spurlock who created and “starred” in the 2004 Academy Award® nominated documentary “Supersize Me” about the local and global influence of the American fast food industry.

Schlosser believes that the centralized purchasing decisions of the large restaurant chains e.g. McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut now have an unprecedented degree of power over America’s food supply, as well as “wiping out small businesses, obliterating regional differences, and spreading identical stores throughout the country like a self-replicating code.”

Kids Talk Politics

Here’s another, harebrained, groan-inducing idea from the some pretentious douches at an outfit called “Overactive Imagination Pictures”...

Hey, let’s ask 8-10 yr. olds what they think about politics!

Now really… How completely retarded and pointless is that? Of course, there are always some hopeless slackwits this worthless sort of tripe will appeal to.

Jungle Jitters

Perhaps you may have noticed that Kate has this oh-so-clever new feature over at her place called “Frankly My Dear” which spotlights certain “banned” cartoons from past eras that are… how shall we say… um, “politically incorrect.” In other words, they feature blatant racial stereotypes that were entirely typical of attitudes prevalent sixty or seventy years ago.

I’m not quite sure what “point” she’s attempting to make here. Like you I would imagine, I can most certainly appreciate these cartoons for their relative artistic/creative merits (which are pretty damn considerable — come on… Tex Avery: indisputably brilliant!), while at the same time discounting the obnoxious racial prejudice involved by taking into account the appropriate historical context and all that sociological rot. But do these rather bizarre curiosities from the past really have any place in the present-day political discourse other than as cultural detritus or artifacts of bygone times that, let’s face it, were rather tragically unenlightened with regards to matters of race and ethnicity?

Far be it for me to impute the worst sorts of motives to Kate’s endevour, but I can’t help but think that it’s little more than an attempt to be provocative, and a rather “forced” one at that. Certainly it affords the teeming horde of flying monkeys yet another opportunity to expound ad nausea about the evils of “political correctness” and serves as a handy launch pad for all manner of attacks against the evil cultural perfidy of the sinister “liberal élites” and their grinding, jack-boot clad Stalinist oppression, blah, blah, blah. But I don’t know… it all seems a bit silly to me. Frankly, I don’t really give a damn either, but when you deliberately go out of your way in such a painfully obvious fashion to make an “issue” out of it… well, then maybe I should.