Saturday, June 14, 2008

Late Show: Killer Shrews

They had to eat 3 times their body weight each day... OR STARVE!

No, it’s not a film about cruising the downtown Eastside of Toronto with Kathy Shaidle and Wendy Sullivan, it’s the ultra-low-budget 1959 B-movie cult classic about a genetic science experiment gone horribly wrong.

Attempts by a doctor on a remote island to make humans half-size (so as to reduce world hunger as smaller humans would presumably eat less) inexplicably creates giant, venomous shrews…

The film stars James Best, who went on the greater fame as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard and Ken Curtis, better known as “Festus” on Gunsmoke. This release of the movie also features nostalgic drive-in snack bar promos.

TVO Agenda: Mark Steyn v. Muslim Critics

I just watched this program last night (it originally aired on May 6, but of course we don’t get TVO here in B.C.). It’s not altogether edifying and does at points degenerate into a shouting match, but host Steve Paikin does an admirable job of attempting to create some semblance of a “debate” between Mark Steyn and three of critics — Naseem Mithoowani, Khurrum Awan and Muneeza Sheikh, the three Osgoode Hall Law School graduates that filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Macleans Magazine. Steyn, by the way, doesn’t even have the common decency to refer to them by name on his blog, but simply dismisses them as “The Sock Puppet Three” or scoffs at them as being “Sock Puppet Nellies.”

Some things to bear in mind when listening to Steyn’s by now familiar Islamophobic polemic can be found in a pretty good critique of it by John Gordon Miller. For example: “The article quotes demographic studies showing that 16 European countries, with a total population of 234 million, now have fertility rates of 1.8 or more. Half are above 2.0. Despite near-panic about “inevitably” declining population, then, some European countries are growing quite strongly. They tend to be in northern Europe, from Sweden to France.” Oops. That doesn’t quite mesh with Steyn’s essential premise, now does it? Nor does the fact that, as Miller points out, “Many of these, of course, are social democratic countries with child-care supports (France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, contrary to Steyn’s assertion that such states discourage “the survival instinct”).

Another problem arises with Steyn’s assertion that “the successor population is already in place” because, as Miller notes, “Aside from France (10%) and the Netherlands (5.4%), the Muslim populations of the rest of the countries of Europe are all under 4 percent, and countries like Italy and Britain have Muslim populations roughly equal to Canada’s 2.5 percent. The idea that Muslims in Europe will be in a position to demand special concessions like Sharia law in the near future is unlikely.” There are many more gaping holes such as this in his argument to be found, so go read the whole thing (I’d suggest sticking to the contradictory facts however as the journalistic prescriptions are questionable at best).

Update: I wasn’t going to bother with the first part of the show because I felt Steyn’s views had already had a pretty good airing here over the last few days, but here it is now for full context.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Stupid Design

I was actually pursuing a different line of inquiry altogether when I ran across this video from a presentation called “Stupid Design” by Neil deGrasse Tyson at the 2006 Beyond Belief conference. I’ll get to the other thing in due course. Meanwhile, here’s Tyson (who’s director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History) pointing out some of the glaring evidence for a universe without a designer.

Kooky Like You

Joanne’s Bizarro World

It’s not difficult to grasp the depth of the mental dysfunction amongst The Blogging Tories but some days it’s easier than usual. To wit, this morning we have the sorry spectacle of “Joanne” (aka “Blue Like You”) — a morally sanctimonious and deeply dishonest woman of breathtaking inanity — scurrilously suggesting that disgraced MP Maxime Bernier’s former girlfriend stole the infamous NATO briefing documents that were left at Julie Couillard’s house for several weeks, apparently as an act of “revenge” because “she felt the relationship was threatened.” This crackpot notion is based on nothing more than her own vague suspicion of nefarious doings afoot and the equally baseless speculation of an anonymous “source” cited in the Globe & Mail who claims that Bernier “doesn’t know if he forgot them or if it’s her who would have taken them.” Apparently, it never occurs to any of these reckless dimwits and malicious character assassins that, aside from being a completely ridiculous hypothesis, it’s wholly irrelevant.

Nevertheless, let’s momentarily entertain this silly notion for the sake of argument. Even supposing that the files were stolen by Couillard — which would be a criminal offense — how would this mitigate in any way Bernier’s irresponsible behaviour in allowing the NATO briefing papers to be so easily pilfered from his care by his former girlfriend in the first instance and then, to make matters worse, to have subsequently neglected their whereabouts for several weeks owing to a complete loss of memory and/or total lack of administrative oversight?

But wait… the plot thickens with even more conceivable perfidy brewing deep within the febrile imagination of “Joanne” who then goes on to wonder: “Or could it have been a plan carried out by Couillard with the aide [sic] of some Liberal-supporting, disenchanted bureaucrats within Foreign Affairs?” Hmmm. Indeed. Why it’s assumed the sinister “bureaucrats within Foreign Affairs” hatching this execrable scheme would necessarily be “Liberal-supporting” is anyone’s guess — it’s certainly unsupported by the slightest bit of evidence whatsoever. But since when are logic, facts, evidence, or credible sources needed to fuel the wild speculations of “Joanne” and her ilk?

Things really hit a nadir of insanity in the comments when inveterate right-wing troll and Canadian Blue Lemons contributor “Mary T” weighs in with her own harebrained theories on the matter. “I think many of us suspected something like this from the beginning, and if the msm hadn’t jumped so fast the truth would probably have come out much sooner,” she states. I dare you to decipher the deeply retarded thought-process that permits such an utterly ludicrous conclusion to be arrived at from the foregoing baseless speculation. How on earth would “the truth” have been revealed had not the incident become subject to intense scrutiny by the press and Opposition critics? By magic? Unfortunately, the dreadful “Mary T” doesn’t really elaborate other than to insist again that “If the msm had done their job instead of gotcha politics, along with the opposition, the truth might have got out.” That’s barely coherent, let alone persuasive. Still, like the other brain-addled harpies that frequent the “Blue Like You” salon, “Mary T” remains hopeful “…just waiting for it to come out that she was involved with some liberal or bloc mp in the past.”

And so it goes with these mentally dysfunctional dissemblers. No facts, no credible sources, and worst of all… no sense of decency whatsoever. Here is “Joanne” who purports to be a “citizen journalist” (and a person of faith) recklessly speculating that Julie Couillard committed a serious crime against the state out of petty revenge and/or that professional civil servants engaged in willful misconduct out of partisan political motivation — all without a single shred of evidence. How can anyone take such people seriously?

Medieval Lives: The Minstrel

There was once a minstrel, a happy-go-lucky fellow, wandering the country to sing at the courts of lords and kings. Everywhere he was welcomed with open arms. Strumming his lute and spinning his tales of romance and derring-do, he’d charm the ladies and then move on. What a life. Yes, nice life. Except, of course, it wasn’t like that at all…

Bill on Bill Action

O’Reilly and Shatner… Geez, how’d they find a room big enough for those two egos?

I love the way Bill O finishes the interview, basically saying he didn’t have time to read the book. What a surprise.

And speaking of Bills, pay close attention to the crawl on this clip (usually I ignore them completely, but this caught my eye for some reason). Note where it says “SEN DEMS BLOCK BILL BY AZ SEN. JOHN MCCAIN THAT WOULD INCREASED COLLEGE AID FOR VETERANS.” Now, if that isn’t the biggest load of baloney, ever. It made me do a double-take considering McCain opposed the G.I. Bill that eventually passed by a landslide despite Bush’s veto. Turns out what that referred to is the alternative bill proposed by McCain, along with Sen. Lindsay Graham and Sen. Richard Burr that offered less generous educational benefits than Sen. Webb’s bill and applied only to those troops who’d served 12 years or more. Hey, it’s not called “Faux News” for nothing, folks.

Meet the Natives (Ep.1 — Part 2)

A while back, I posted the first part of the 2007 Channel 4 documentary “Meet the Natives” in which five tribesmen from the remote South Pacific nation of Vanuatu journey to the strange, exotic land of England. I don’t want to leave it at just that however because it’s really quite a delightful and highly entertaining series, so I’ll be posting the rest over the next several weeks.

You can read more about it here.

Saturday Morning Toon: Atom Ant

Crankenshaft’s Monster

Hilarious bio from Wikipedia:

Atom operated out of an anthill in the countryside, where he possessed such things as a mainframe computer and exercise equipment. His powers mostly consisted of the ability to fly, superspeed, and amazing strength.

He was often contacted by the police, who sent him out on assignment. Some of these missions parodied those of Batman. In one episode, the police force was shown to be underfunded and inept, as they relied on Atom Ant to do all their police work. The only two police officers were the chief and deputy chief. The department only possessed one rusted patrol car.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Comments Fixed Now!

Just a little late-night housekeeping matter... The problem with comments noted earlier has now been resolved. Thanks very much to Michael at Intense Debate for the technical assistance in setting things back to the Haloscan system for inline commenting. (And sorry for being such a prick about it when my initial messages weren’t being responded to.)

Afghan Jailbreak: “There is no one left”

CTV News:

The Sarposa Prison was the one at the centre of a scandal early this year, after allegations that prisoners handed over by the Canadian Forces were being tortured.

Canada has since paid for upgrades to the jail and Canadian troops have offered human rights training to the Afghan guards.

Military analyst Mercedes Stephenson said Friday’s attack will be serious hit to Canadian morale, particularly since many of the escapees had been captured by Canadian Forces.

“It’s absolutely a blow to the Canadian mission,” she told CTV Newsnet. “It’s a lot of very hard work that’s been undone.”


Lalani, named ambassador in April 2007, said he’s been hearing doom-and-gloom assessments since he arrived in the country.

“Since I arrived in Afghanistan, people have been telling me that the sky is going to fall. It has not fallen.”

Until now.

Late Show: Reefer Madness

SEE youthful marijuana victims — what actually happens!

The infamous 1936 exploitation film revolving around the tragic events that ensue when innocent high school students are lured by a trio of pushers to try reefer cigarettes — wild parties, a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue!

It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children. Some contend that the exaggerated fear-mongering about drugs was just a subterfuge that allowed the filmmakers to circumvent the Hays Code and show “racier” material than the Code would otherwise permit.

Lil’ Russ — Dead at 58!

Holy shit. That was a shock. I can’t believe we won’t have Timmeh! to kick around any more.

And on Friday the 13th... Wow, talk about bad luck.

Update: So, any guesses as to who might be his replacement on Meet the Press?

Update2: Fox News president Roger Ailes on Russert’s passing.

TDS: Media Failure — Part LXXXIV

Jon Stewart on the news media's dismal coverage of the latest Senate report confirming that the Bush Administration “lied” about intelligence to promote war with Iraq. Further testimony supporting the accusations made so well in the film Orwell Rolls in His Grave.

Mark Steyn Interview (Part 4)

Okay, here’s the last available part of the interview with Steyn on The Michael Coren Show. Hard to take him all that seriously when he refers to Ezra Levant as “a great man”… (He’s definitely a “great” something.) In this segment he touches on the dispute with the “commissars” of the Human Rights Commission. As stated previously, I happen to agree with him on this subject.

Architectural Moment of Zen

Valencia Science Museum

Planetarium of the Museu de les Ciencies Principe Felipe in Valencia, Spain. Another impressive structure by Santiago Calatrava.

Medieval Lives: Damsel

Her parents can’t wait to oblige the bishop with their daughter’s ...well, I would say hand, but that’s not quite what the wicked Ranulf has in mind.

The Medieval damsel is nowadays seen as a beautiful, but helpless woman, forever in need of a knight in shining armor to rescue her. But were damsels really such passive females, or are the stories we think we know about them, simply not true?

Canadian DMCA: Good for Whom?

Creators, distributors or consumers? I’m sure the “Conservatives” would argue all of the foregoing, although critics will undoubtedly beg to differ. Michael Geist, for example, lays out many cogent objections to provisions buried in the “fine print” of the Bill that seem to undermine or directly contradict the benefits to the consumer being touted by Industry Minister Jim Prentice.

“Really what the government is saying through this legislation is that creators or – more accurately, content distributors – can use digital locks ... and through those technologies determine the legal rules and the technological locks trump the exceptions that are in the act for consumers.” — Prof. Jeremy de Beer, University of Ottawa

I don’t pretend to understand all of the implications involved and haven’t a clue whether Bill C-61 is a particularly good or bad piece of legislation, but if, as is claimed by the folks at Digital Copyright Canada “this bill reduces certainty in the marketplace, not increases it” and “it will likely be decades before we fully understand how this bill will be interpreted by the courts,” then it’s somewhat difficult to see how we as consumers (and in some cases creators) are any better served now than was previously the case.

Countdown v. Hannity: Spinning the Election

As my friend “Trusty Tory” is fond of saying: “Blah, blah, blah, blah…”

I have a feeling this campaign is going to get tiresome very quickly — that is, for those who aren’t already profoundly bored by the name-calling and endless game of “Gotcha!”

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 8)

The final part. And a happy ending too!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Late Show: The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin

First episode of the brilliant BBC sitcom from the 70s.

Why Vote Republican?

D’oh! I knew I should have posted this yesterday.

Karma is a Bitch

Shinjuku Cardboard Box

Indeed, most cardboard boxes don’t have high-speed, but there’s no reason you can’t express yourself creatively. Some more decorating ideas from Japan here. Not quite the $400/night JW Marriott Resort and Spa, but a whole lot more interesting.

And remember, per your buddy Kathy Shaidle, the only reason people are “poor” is because they’re “lazy and stupid” and don’t know how to keep their pants on… Oh, and I think she’s got some words of wisdom from Jesus “…about folks who didn’t properly manage their money or other people’s” that you’ll probably find very comforting too.

Have a nice day.

McCain: Calls Bush a “fool or a fraud”

“Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war…” — John McCain

President Bush speaking on a videoconference with troops in Afghanistan on March 13, 2008:

“I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.”

SCOTUS Rules for Gitmo Detainees (Again)

Via the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court today rebuked the Bush administration for a third time for its handling of the rights of terrorism detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying those in custody there have a constitutional right to challenge their captivity in federal courts.

By a 5 to 4 vote that brought strongly worded and remorseful dissents from the court’s conservative justices, the majority held that an alternative procedure designed by the administration and Congress was inadequate to insure that the detainees, some of whom have been imprisoned for six years without a hearing, receive their day in court.

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote. “Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law.”

Justice Antonin Scalia took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench, calling the court’s decision a “self-invited... incursion into military affairs,” and was even stronger in a written dissent joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Harper: Indian Residential Schools Apology

A good day for Canada and Harper.


Anita Neville, Liberal aboriginal affairs critic, called Poilievre’s comments “disgraceful” and “ignorant.”

“I invite him to take a tour of many of the First Nations communities in this country and see how people are living,” she told The Canadian Press.

“The irony of something like this on the day of the apology... And I fear it reflects an attitude or a view that is prevalent among many members of that caucus.”

CTV parliamentary correspondent Roger Smith said many Conservatives are also angry at Poilievre.

“Certainly the content of what he said is very debatable, his timing was not very good at all,” said Smith.

Mark Steyn Interview (Part 3)

Kucinich: Articles of Impeachment (Part 3)

Earlier this week, the House voted 251-166 to send Kucinich’s impeachment resolution to committee, a maneuver that allows the Democratic leadership to freeze the measure indefinitely. While many dismiss Kucinich’s mission as futile and irrelevant, it has accomplished something important and that is to place Bush’s misdeeds into the historical record. In these “times of universal deceit” that’s no small feat.

Bullshit! — Recycling (Part 3)

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 7)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Late Show: The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss

A Story of Rags to Riches... and More Riches

Cary Grant plays Earnest Bliss, a wealthy, bored socialite who makes a £50,000 wager with his therapist that he can make a living for one year using none of his inherited wealth.

The 1936 film is an adaptation of the novel The Curious Quest by E. Phillips Oppenheim (who co-wrote the screenplay). Not exactly top-notch Grant by any means, but there are still some glimmers of the sparkling performances to come.

Pastor Deacon Fred: New Creation Science Museum

Landover Baptist’s Pastor Deacon Fred suggests The Jefferson Memorial as the site to break ground on a federally funded Creation Science Facility in Washington, D.C.

Bonus: How stupid are “Creationists”? They air a “private screening” of Ben Stein’s critically panned junk documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and invite all MPs, staffers and “credentialed media” to attend on the same evening that the House will be engaged with proceedings related to the Residential Schools Apology. More here.

Douchebag of the Day: Pierre Poilievre

Nepean-Carleton “Conservative” MP Pierre Poilievre speaking on CFRA Radio this afternoon:

And that gets to the heart of the problem on these reserves where there’s too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going.

We spent ten billion dollars, ten billion dollars in annual spending this year alone, the budget year 07-08. Now that is an exceptional amount of money. That is on top of all the resource revenue that goes to reserves that sit on petroleum products, that sit on uranium mines, other things where these companies have to pay them royalties. You know, and that’s on top of all the money they earn on their own reserves. That is an incredible amount of money. Now, along with this apology, comes another four billion dollars in compensation for those who partook in the residential schools over those years.

Now, some of us are starting to ask are we really getting value for all of this money and is more money really going to solve the problem. My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work, independence, and self-reliance. That’s the solution in the long run. More money will not solve it.

Yessir, that whole “reconciliation” process is off to a stellar beginning, isn’t it?

I had actually thought that the PM’s apology in parliament this afternoon was sincere, but given the STEPHEN HARPER Party’s reputation for message control over its MPs I guess we have to conclude that it was just a worthless load of bollocks. Well, not exactly “worthless” for as young Pierre is quick to point out, it’s going to cost “billions and billions” of dollars.

Mark Steyn Interview (Part 2)

From his appearance on The Michael Coren Show (guest hosted by Tim Denis) several weeks ago when he was promoting his book America Alone. A number of other blogs (here and here, for example) have previously posted these videos, but in all cases it seems their links have since gone dead (due to “terms of use violation” whatever that means).

Now, I know that many regular readers/viewers probably despise Steyn for one reason or another — he’s certainly not my cup of tea — but his opinions are a least worth giving a listen to, especially in light of all the controversy they’ve aroused through his “show trial” before the Human Rights Commission.

So, check it out if you’re interested, or just ignore it if you’ve already got Steyn’s number and don’t care to listen to his message.

Oh, by the way, not sure where Part 1 of this interview is… that’s why it starts at #2.

Bill O’Reilly: Moyers is “Crazy…Scary”

In case you were curious about how Bill O would edit the tape of his “producer” Porter Barry ambushing Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform, here’s the answer.

Now, it doesn’t matter what he says. It’s just pure rank propaganda. …Isn’t that rude? No, really? Look, he’s a real fanatic, this Moyers. He’s like a crazy guy. …Moyers is scary.

Uh-huh. Bill Moyers is one scary dude, alright. Not like say that voice of reason, Bill “Fuck it! We’ll do it live!” O’Reilly…

Enlightened Cons: Don’t Blame Me!

Shorter, “unambiguous” Raphael Alexander:

That’s right. Canada, a nation of apologists, the “I’m sorry” state, will once again apologize for a history none of us had any part in creating. And I’m getting just a bit sick of it.

Maybe he should explain that to the Australians — another wimpy “nation of apologists” I guess.

Priceless comment from the ubiquitous right-wing troll, homophobic cow and Canadian Purple Blue Lemons contributor “Mary T”: “I can sort of understand the natives continued anger over the whole affair, after all we in AB are still waiting for an apology from liberals for what they did to us via the NEP.”

Dick On: Pornography in America

“Pornography plays several important roles in our society: suicide prevention; promotion of exercise; and it’s a great resource for teaching young people the fundamentals of sex in a new and exciting way. Unfortunately, its third role as a resource for teaching has been vastly underutilized. I plan on changing that…”

Colbert: “Bad move, Canada!”

“Bad move, Canada! You want to hear your glorious hockey theme now, you’ll have to watch it on MY show! ‘Cause I am licensing that song, folks. The theme to Hockey Night in Canada makes everything more exciting. Especially American things…”

I wonder how much Comedy Central paid for use of the music on the show and did they pay CTV/GlobeMedia Inc. for that? Inquiring minds want to know…

h/t: Calgary Grit

Stephen Harper: “Malignant Narcissism”

Harper and Friend

“Stephen Harper has, in an unprecedented act, reportedly removed all images of any other Canadian political leader from the PMO offices as well as from the government lounge of the House of Commons, and replaced them with images of himself. Even the picture of the Queen was removed and replaced with a picture of Stephen Harper and the Queen.” — R.K. Finch

Says a lot right there… Read the whole article though — it’s very insightful.

h/t: CC

Update: Is our PM a petty, mean-spirited, vindictive tool? Yep, you betcha. Oh, and did I mention a hypocrite as well?

Spelling Iz Hard

Your morning moment of irony courtesy of Fox & Friends.

“So many people are trying to dumb down America and the world!” — Steve Doocy

“This [viewer suggestion] was ‘Teach children how to use a dictionary. That is how they will learn to spell.’ But here’s the problem… Do they even sell hardcore dictionaries anymore? Like all on the computer…” — Gretchen Carlson

Behold a list of the 100 most “difficult” words:

Orange, foreign, rhinoceros, properly, vomit, tambourine, tournament, tourist, heaven, engine, exquisite, opposite, advertisement, gnarled, rigid, risen, sinister, spinach, video, vinegar, tie, wheelie, quiet, science, crier, pliers, soldier, Monday, mongrel, monkey, courage, magic, manage, palace, four, journey, gnash, gnaw, gnome, ghastly, guard, miracle, miserable, pigeon, pity, prison, month, mother, nothing, once, smother, son, sponge, tongue, wonder, almost, both, comb, ghost, gross, most, only, post, programme, deny, reply, July, obey, caterpillar, chapel, damage, dragon, fabulous, family, famished, garage, glacier, habit, hazard, hexagonal, imagine, panic, radish, miaow, powder, cauliflower, plant, pyjamas, raft, rather, salami, task, vast, kiosk, kiwi, machine, encourage, somersault, swollen, souvenir.

Kucinich: Articles of Impeachment (Part 2)

“The framers, I think, would have been astonished by the absolute passivity, if not the collusion of the Democrats in protecting President Bush from impeachment. I mean they created a system that was essentially idiot proof, and God knows, we’ve put that to the test in past years, but I don’t think they ever anticipated that so many members of the opposition would stand quietly in the face of clear presidential crimes. And it has many of us who study the constitution quite worried that we have a real crisis here; this is not something that was supposed to happen, it was not something one would predict.” — Jonathan Turley

Bullshit! — Recycling (Part 2)

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 6)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Late Show: Captain Scarlet (Part 2)

“Conservative” Advertising: “Totally Dishonest”

So says resource economist Marc Jaccard of Simon Fraser University. Jaccard is the award-winning co-author of the book “Hot Air” and in 2007 was appointed by Environment Minister John Baird to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Update: A “Blogging Tory” said whaaaaat?

…how about an ad campaign that.... oh, I don’t know....doesn’t look a piece of crap? For God’s sakes, the poster on the Conservative website looks like a "Roll Up the Rim" ad, and the idea of a “talking blob” that looks like it was probably drawn on a children’s menu at Denny’s by a six year old is absolutely ludicrous. If you’re going to criticize Dion’s proposal on the carbon tax, and claim that he will raise gas prices, fine; but, at least try to act like you’re speaking to adults when you do so. Having a talking blob narrate how Dion is going to tax “everything”....I can honestly say I’ve seen “Yo Momma” jokes with more maturity and character than this.

Heh. Now there’s something you’d never hear in a million years from The Trusty Kool-Aid® Guzzler.

Kucinich: Proposed Articles of Impeachment (Part 1)

Things you won’t see on CNN, or the rest of the so-called “liberal media” for that matter...

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment language in a floor speech last night. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war. Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney that was rapidly killed. Gutless Democrats have consistently said that impeachment is “off the table.”

This is the first of five parts.

“Conservative” Defence Bungling

Via The Ottawa Citizen:

Numerous defence industry officials, who asked not to be named, say the problem with the military procurement system is that the Defence Department and Public Works expect top-of-the-line equipment for relatively modest budgets.

In some cases, the government expects custom changes to existing equipment that are unreasonable because Canada is buying such a small amount of gear, according to industry officials. In other cases, procurement budgets are unrealistic. For instance, in the case of the supply ships, industry officials say the military did not take into consideration that the price of steel has risen 40 per cent in the last several years.

More at The Galloping Beaver (of course).

Dick ’08: Portrait of a Whig

A “documentary” on Dick Driben’s unsuccessful 2006 Senate campaign — in which he received a grand total of three votes. “But while many would give up in the face of such failure, Dick has not. He remains determined to give voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless and money to whoever promises to vote for him.”

Medieval Lives: The Monk

Jones investigates the truth behind the cloistered medieval monk, whose ideal of giving up the world for a life of devotion to God and isolation was all too often undermined by an ability to make money out of almost anything, from sheep to iron smelting to... praying.

Bill O’Reilly: On Media Reform

According to Bill O, attendees at the Media Reform Conference are just a group of “far left loons” and “fascists” that are “hurting America”… and baby Jesus too, probably. Desperate to make the conference seem radical, O’Reilly claimed the crew felt they were in physical danger, then asked his objective panel of Fox News commenter Juan Williams and Mary Katherine Ham from the right-wing blog, “Are these just loons to be ignored?”

Bullshit! — Recycling (Part 1)

Penn & Teller debunk certain aspects of recycling, including the increased cost of certain forms of recycling, the detrimental effect that certain forms of recycling have on the environment, and numerous myths regarding landfills.

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 5)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Late Show: Captain Scarlet (Part 1)

Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons • Episode 1 (1967)

Post-Thunderbirds Supermarionation® at its best!

The “Mysterons” are rather curious creatures — at once incorporeal and cybernetic — driven by an entirely inexplicable hostility towards humans. Indeed, their remorseless objective of achieving “ultimate destruction of life on Earth” appears quite unmotivated by anything in particular, but foreshadows the implacable hatred of other such lifeless killing machines as the Cybermen, Daleks, Borg and the Young Republicans.

Heat Wave... Whatchoo talkin’ bout?

Sun… heat? We’ve heard tell of these things and want to know more…

Why Are the “Conservatives” So Paranoid? (Updated)

Perhaps the answer can be found in some of the polling around the idea of a carbon tax or tax shift...

By the way, this is how adults discuss the issue — as opposed to the hysterical fear-mongering, lies and slander that the Conservatives have chosen to engage in.

Update: New poll suggests more Canadians would favour a Liberal government in a polarized vote. Suck long and hard on that one, “Blogging Tories”...

“Conservative” Girls Say the Darndest Things…

Conservatives Love Torture

Perhaps when you get a break from rubbing your hands with glee over the fact some of those evil Mooslims are being tortured by the Syrian government, maybe you can tell us more about those good old fashioned Christian family values you treasure so much…

Obama: Black, Bi-Racial, Moca-Latte?

Zzzzzzzzz... Urgh, can’t we all just get past this? It’s sooooooo boring.

Yoo-hoo… Boycott the Blob! (Updated)

Boycott Esso

For whatever it’s worth, I wasn’t being entirely unserious when I suggested boycotting Esso yesterday. Of course, it’s not just Esso/Exxon; the Conservatives’ new “gas trick” negative advertising campaign at the point-of-sale isn’t limited to just that company, but apparently involves many other gas retailers utilizing high-tech pumps incorporating video monitors, most of which are located in southern Ontario.

Well, the “cosmopolitan elites” (yes, that’s what the “Conservatives” contemptuously refer to many of you as behind your backs)… can make a statement with their pocketbooks on this matter by simply refusing to patronize stations involved in this ad campaign for as long as they feature the Tories’ yammering oil blob.

In the absence of the opportunity to express themselves at the polls, it’s way that the more than 60 percent of Canadians who don’t support the STEPHEN HARPER Party and who feel their misguided, multibillion dollar corporate welfare energy policy and fraudulent, do-nothing environmental program is going down the wrong track can signal their displeasure at the government’s latest insult to their intelligence.

Update: It seems that Paul Wells is putting together some kind of registry, so let him know if the Tories’ ad campaign comes to your local station. Additionally, I guess you can give them an earful, although it might be somewhat unfair to dump on a lowly clerk.

Update2: “I want gas, not hot air.” Heh. Good one.

Headcases (Ep. 7-1)

Hi, I’m Piers Morgan. I put the “tit” into “shameless, name-dropping tit.”

Speaking of Satire…

It’s sort of an art form — some people just don’t seem to quite have the hang of it. Others, sadly, miss the boat completely.

By the way, I’d just like to note that this is third time I’ve posted the “Hockey Night in Canada” theme song on this blog and it hasn’t cost me a dime. Bite me, Dolores.

Same But Different Update: So, CTV has purchased the rights to the iconic ditty for an undisclosed amount. Bravo! Otherwise, GlobeMedia says that “it was headed for obscurity”… Really? Would Canada’s “second anthem” have been inevitably doomed to simply “fade away” as claimed? No, of course not — what nonsense. However, it’s great to know that “It will still be the same music but it will be a different arrangement. It will be exactly the same tune.” Uh-huh.

A “Terrorist Fist Jab”?

Huh… WTF?

Good grief. It’s getting harder these days to distinguish between “real” news and The Onion… Maybe the idea is to make life difficult for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report by rendering satire completely redundant.

Update: Gee, I dunno Damian… Maybe you should ask Charles how long it will be before we see the 57 Flavors of Racist, Misogynist, Anti-Semitic, Homophobic scumbaggery on the McCain website?

Oh, like, say… NOW.

Dick ’08

With all the hoopla over McCain and Obama, it’s time to focus on some of the lesser known candidates in the race for president.

Meet Dick Driben, the independent Whig Party write-in candidate. Dick has run for public office 27 times and has never been elected, so that tells you two things: 1) he’s definitely not a typical “Washington insider”; and 2) he’s got a “consistent, reliable track record.”

Darn That “Liberal Media”

Liberal Media Bias

Gee, I wonder how much a half a front-page advertisement in one of Canada’s largest papers goes for these days… $10,000? $30,000... $50,000, maybe?

What? It was ABSOLUTELY FREE? Never mind.

Medieval Lives: The Peasant

In his 2004 BBC series “Medieval Lives” Terry Jones once again challenges conventional views about history — here taking different archetypal roles in medieval society, looking at traditional views and common preconceptions, and then skewering them with some lesser-known facts. Jones, by the way, holds a degree in medieval studies and is the author of two books on the subject.

Bullshit! — The Energy Crisis (Part 3)

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 4)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Big Oil Sponsoring Conservative Smear Campaign

Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper Party, PM of Canada, Blogging Tories, Big Oil

The innovative campaign will have video monitors on high-tech gas pumps - most are currently found in southern Ontario - calling out a 15-second message to people filling their tanks.

Just who’s tricking who here? The proposed “plan” doesn’t even apply to gasoline.

Simply amazing. Time to boycott Esso/Exxon (again).

Update: My bad. I should have put “plan” in quotation marks, because as has been rightly pointed out, there is no Liberal plan yet… and therefore, nothing for the “Conservatives” to attack; which logically means that their whole campaign is nothing but a pack of LIES and fear-mongering fabrications.

Panic Stations!!!

Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper Party, PM of Canada, Blogging Tories

Just a little something in the same spirit of mature, substantive, thoughtful and level-headed sort of political discourse that our “Conservative” friends appear to favour.

Blaming the Jews

Some extreme anti-Semitics maintain the Jews were behind 9/11, are responsible for the spread of AIDS and other diseases, and that they invented the Holocaust. The Jews are also accused of murdering babies in ritual sacrifice, and of working towards a secret goal of world domination.

In this Channel 4 documentary, journalist and commentator David Aaronovitch travels to the Middle East to find out just how widespread such crackpot views are, what the causes are, and to ask what can be done to combat such thinking.

John McCain: America’s First “Disabled” President?

In a year of truly historic firsts in American politics, is it possible that John McCain could become the first “disabled” president?

According to McCain campaign strategist Mark Salter, the former U.S. Navy “war hero” (who made propaganda films for the Communists during his internment at the “Hanoi Hilton”) has received an estimated $2 million in tax exempt payments from the government because of his limited body movements from having been “tortured for his country”…

Recently, McCain opposed the new G.I. Bill designed to provide full funding of education for returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because it was, he said, “too generous”…

Conservative “Family Values”

A Tale of Two Wives

Hmmm. Makes you wonder how different things might be if Barak Obama was divorced…Especially if let’s say that he’d cheated on his first wife after she was badly disfigured in a horrific car accident and then had unceremoniously dumped her and his first three kids in favour of a former rodeo beauty queen — that also just happened to be the heiress to a politically well-connected, multi-millionaire beer distributor.

Well, maybe it wouldn’t matter. After all, it didn’t seem to be a factor when the former Republican Speaker of the House pressed his first wife for a divorce during the time she was in hospital recovering from cancer surgery. It didn’t seem to bother “conservatives” that he too was an adulterous womanizer that cheated on his second wife and even had sex with an intern! It also didn’t seem to matter when the great “conservative” hopeful Fred Thompson ran for the nomination — yes, he was also an adulterous womanizer who dumped his first wife in favour of an attractive, upwardly mobile young blonde.

I’m not quite sure how this all ties into the vaunted “family values” that the righteously moral, so-called “conservatives” never tire of lecturing everyone about, however. A bit confusing that.

Blockbuster Museum

Bill Moyers: Keynote Address • NCMR 2008

Author, journalist and presenter Bill Moyers address the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, June 7, 2008.


Moyers was speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform, an event that brought together thousands of people dedicated to making America's media system more democratic, diverse and accountable.

Addressing the packed auditorium, Moyers said the work of the media reform movement has “challenged the stranglehold of mega-media corporations over our press” and fostered “alternative and independent sources of news and information that people can trust.”

Moyers cited the recent exposés about government propaganda in mainstream media as a symptom of “journalism in profound crisis.”

“You couldn’t find a more revealing measure of the state of the dominant media today than the continuing ubiquitous presence — on the air and in print — of the very pundits and experts, self-selected message multipliers of a disastrous foreign policy, who got it all wrong in the first place,” he said.

At the root of this crisis, Moyers said, is media consolidation.

“As conglomerates swallow up newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and broadcast outlets, news organizations are folded into entertainment divisions. The news hole in the print media shrinks to make room for ads, celebrities, nonsense and propaganda, and the news we need to know slips from sight.”

O’Reilly’s Ambusher Gets Whacked

Via Crooks & Liars: At the National Conference for Media Reform, Bill O'Reilly producer Porter Barry ambushes journalist Bill Moyers and asks him why he won't appear on The O'Reilly Factor. Moyers, a class act to the last, makes Barry look like the small and petty man he is. But the joke is on Barry, because other journalists turned tables on ol’ Porter and gave him a little taste of the FOX News-style ambush journalism.

The Moderate Voice weighs in:

1. Moyers correctly notes that “Bill is not a journalist, he’s a pugilist…”

2. O’Reilly’s producer starts playing the victim card when he is put on the defensive.

3. In the 70s and 80s there was a controversy over “ambush journalism.” Now there is the “ambush talk show segment.” Same idea (the glare of the camera will make someone agree to talk or else they’ll look bad and guilty) but the goal is to score a pre-arranged ideological point.

4. Note that the O’Reilly producer won’t engage extensively on the question of the kind of show O’Reilly’s show is and what O’Reilly is (he is an ideological entertainer-broadcaster in his present incarnation). It becomes a choice of if you don’t go on Bill’s show you have something to hide or must be afraid — rather than the possibility that some people don’t want to appear on his show due to what the show actually is (and it IS highly entertaining).

Hokey Night in Canada

Excuse me for finding it more than a little ironic that the very same bunch of extreme right-wing Canada-haters that are constantly whining and gnashing their teeth about the country being little more than “a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term” and who want to privatize healthcare, clamp down on immigration, scrap bilingualism, rubbish the Senate, and dismantle national institutions like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — indeed, tear-down every conceivable legacy of the despised Trudeau era, are now waxing sentimental and blubbering over the fate of our so-called “second anthem” that they maintain is an “irreplaceable” part of our national identity…

Since when did any of these intellectual vandals, wannabe republicans and free-market economic miscreants — who’d be quite happy to see this country achieve “competitive parity” in all respects with Mississippi or West Virginia, it should be added — give a toss about things that are unique symbols of the Canadian cultural experience?

Top Toys: Top Trumps

May gets all fuddy-duddy about computer games and challenges a pair of ten-year-olds to a game of Top Trumps with entirely predictable results.

Bullshit! — The Energy Crisis (Part 2)

Bible Study for Birds

Feel free to extrapolate…

Camp Tales: Europe Has Talent…

Okay, maybe not exactly “camp” in the true sense of Leonard Nimoy’s rendition of “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” but this is quite possibly the worst singing, ever... (in a stadium setting).

Failed hopefuls from the Dutch Idol program unironically perform the song Simply the Best during the intermission of a football match in the Netherlands. Gluttons for punishment can revel further in Herman’s catastrophically horrific audition here.

There, top that bit of “heinous fuckery”!

Gratuitous Subtitles

Heh. I’m often quite amazed at when film producers feel that subtitles are necessary and wonder who should feel more insulted — the “incomprehensible” subjects involved, or the viewers.

Architectural Moment of Zen: Ciudad del Vino

One of Frank Gehry’s recent buildings in Spain. This one is a rather improbable looking hotel at the Marqués de Riscal Winery in Elciego, Alava. Many more great photos including interior shots here.

A Very British Sex Scandal (Part 3)