Monday, December 29, 2008

I want to be this dog

It's all about the Bugs Bunny-esque tunneling.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everything We Need In a Prime Minister

Conservative Reporter thinks Stephen Harper is everything we need in a Prime Minister. She was especially moved by a photo from Stephen Harper's trip to Auschwitz, in Poland. She writes:
"Our Prime Minister taking time to reflect on the horrors suffered by those who never left Auschwitz, Poland. No one told him to do this, he just did it. He left the others in his party and walked to a private spot, and to his own thoughts."
Coincidentally, a CP photographer was also in this private spot to capture the moment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sometimes Shoe Trumps Pen

Usually I like Globe editorials, but the whingeing in "A disgrace to journalism" was a bit much.

The tone reeked of the sort of privilege enjoyed by Western journalist who sip $4 coffees, secure in the knowledge that he or she probably won't step in raw sewage on the way home from work, be kidnapped by gangs, or rounded up by U.S. forces for suspicion of being a terrorist.

Yeah, I know journalist probably shouldn't go hucking their shoes at world leaders, BUT when Muntadar al-Zaidi sat down at that press conference, he was faced with two clear choices...

He could jot down more of Bush's bullshit folksy comments re freedom, staying the course, and the determination of the Iraqi people as have tens of thousands of journalists before him, OR he could pull off a shoe and smack the smarmy sack of shit in the head in the most profound act of disrespect he could muster under the circumstances.

Seeing as Bush is unlikely to face any consequences for his malfeasance in Iraq, I think al-Zaidi made the right choice... unless of course he finds himself bagged, tagged and bound for Guantanamo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

They Should Make a Movie About This...

From the New York Times:
"Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have filed charges against the chief executive officer and other executives at National Lampoon Inc. [NLN-A], saying they tried to inflate the company's stock price."
Might help with the legal fees. It would also help it it was funny.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Canada May Have Missed the Worst of the Mortgage Crisis, But You Can't Blame the Conservatives for Lack of Trying

From Saturday's Globe and Mail:
"Just yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty repeated the mantra that the government acted early to get rid of risky mortgages. What he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper do not explain, however, is that the expansion of zero-down, 40-year mortgages began with measures contained in the first Conservative budget in May of 2006."
If only they'd been in office longer, we too could be enjoying the kind of meltdown we're seeing south of the border.

Will this effect Harper's recent surge in popularity? A month ago, I'd have said this would be a heavy blow, but seeing as how clumsy partisan attacks, blatant lies and stoking the flames of separatist have won him support, I couldn't begin to guess at what Canadians look for in a leader these days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

American Neo-Nazi Indicted Over Threats to former Canadian Human Rights Commission Employee, Richard Warman

Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant will be de-knotting their panties for weeks when they read this. Imagine... arresting somebody for stirring up hate? That's like totally against free speech and stuff.

In her essay, The Controversy Entrepreneurs, human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis slaps around the previously mentioned hysterical twosome, and explores seven commonly held misconceptions when it comes to free speech and human rights:

FALSE. Free speech is one of our most cherished values, but it carries special responsibilities—including legal responsibilities. Years of case law have established over and over again that speech has its limits. Treaties like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantee speech, but they also limit speech that harms the rights or reputations of others. Canada acceded to the ICCPR in 1976. More than 150 other countries have also signed on.

Libel law was partly responsible for cleaning up the profession of journalism by removing character-assassinating screeds written by irresponsible hacks. Journalism’s post-war reputation for trustworthiness has been built upon respect for balance and the very limits that Steyn and others now say do not exist. Generations of writers and editors who publish responsibly should beg to differ. The challenge is ensuring the media understand that human rights are part of the legal environment in which they operate. Libel is not the only lawful limit on speech.
Shocking, I know! But, how's that for making you want to read on?

Greek Style Unrest Spreading

Coming soon to Canada?
"The unrest that has gripped Greece is spilling over into the rest of Europe, raising concerns the clashes could be a trigger for opponents of globalization, disaffected youth and others outraged by the continent's economic turmoil and soaring unemployment."
Not really our style. Oh sure... a bit of graffiti here and there, maybe a torched car or two in Montreal, but we'd have to see some major fuckupery on Harper's part before Canadians took to the streets. That's not to say he isn't up to the job.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, Canada

Always with the "eh" jokes, but funny regardless. The Daily Show examines our political crisis.

Best bit: "I didn't know Celine Dion had a sister?" Somebody's going to be crying into his pillow tonight.

"The Feminization of Cities, Society, Politics" or Protect the Sanctity of Your Bodily Fluids

Frank Hilliard writes:
"Anyway, while mulling over this victim-oriented approach to crime, imagine my shock this morning to find an article in The Toronto Star, that bastion of Liberal thought, that explains what's happening; poisons in the environment are feminizing males! Eureka!
Chemicals commonly found in food wrapping, makeup and baby powders are having a gender-bending effect – feminizing male populations of wildlife and humans, a scientific report reveals.

"This research shows the basic male tool kit is under threat," says author Gwynne Lyons, a former health adviser to the British government.
God, I'll say. And since these chemicals are concentrated in the cities, they're the first to go left, as it were; the first to want to find a strong figure to replace the man they either used to have, or were themselves."
Frank, it's only a matter of time before these toxins begin altering your precious bodily fluids and turning you into a metrosexual. May I suggest drinking rainwater exclussively?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bob Rae Pushing for Online Voting Scheme As Most Messy Way to Lose Party Leadership to Ignatieff

It hurts to agree with anything written in the National Post, a publication with its collective head stuck so far up Tory ass, it's a miracle they can actually type, but Kelly McParland nails it when she asks whether the party that brought us Dion's TV tape could actually pull off an online leadership vote as suggested by Bob Rae.

Tom Flannigan, The Man Behind The Man

A long, but interesting read (did I mention long?) from the October, 2004 issue of The Walrus, profiling Tom Flannigan, the man, and ideological driver behind Harper and the nation's current Conservative movement. An excerpt:
"In Harper, Flanagan finally had his dream candidate to carry the neo-conservative torch: an alter ego whose benign boyish good looks belied the radical agenda they shared. Says Cooper: “Tom understands that Stephen is a guy who has the capability of changing what the country looks like.” Flanagan took a leave of absence to join the three-year campaign that began with Harper’s takeover of the Canadian Alliance and ended with his annexation of Peter MacKay’s Tories and his ultimate face-off against Martin last June. Some friends were astonished Flanagan opted for a role as Harper’s chief of staff, not one that would tap the sort of risk-calculating he’d honed in his 1998 text, Game Theory and Canadian Politics. But in fact Flanagan and Harper had already spent years together pondering every possible policy and tactic. “Stephen has an incredible strategic sense,” Cooper says. “It’s like playing chess: he can always see five or six moves ahead.”
If this really is like a game of chess, the other guys are playing checkers.

Oh, look... Tom has a piece in today's Globe and Mail.

Do We Look Stupid? Wait. Don't Answer That.

If there is doubt in anyone's mind that the coalition strategy has backfired, take note of a recent Compass poll which places Harper in reach a majority government. This in and of itself may be a strong indicator that the coalition's judgment has been way off base. That and picking a failed leader to take them into the biggest fight of the past century. Sheesh.

Still, how can Canadians be suckered in by Harper and the gang? Do they buy all this talk about the coalition being a threat to democracy for pursuing a perfectly legal parliamentary strategy? Or that partnering with the Bloc make them "traitors" when the Conservatives - er - I mean the Reform Party was pursuing exactly this strategy themselves?

I know Stockwell Day has denied this, but dude... do we look stupid to you? (don't answer that) It's easy to claim that the lawyer responsible for negotiating the deal acted alone, but a little harder to ignore the fact that a paper Harper co-wrote a paper with Tom Flanagan entitled Our Benign Dictatorship, which entertains partnering with French separatists - I mean sovereignists - in order to carry out a conservative vision of Canada.

Poll via the lotusland soapbox

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Harper Youth

Can this be for real?
"During the past week, while the nation wondered if the government would fall, junior Conservative staffers were ordered to be outside 24 Sussex Dr. by 6:15 in the morning. Their job was to stand there in the dark with the temperature well below zero and wait for the PM to appear. Their instructions were to applaud, wave and sing O Canada loudly as the motorcade pulled out of the gates and drove Stephen Harper to work."
Is this what the kids are doing for kicks these days?

Conservatives, Liberals, NDP & Bloc Have Pooched Us Good

Full disclosure. I didn't vote Conservative in the last election, BUT I wasn't terribly worried by the notion of the Conservatives scoring another minority gov. Stupid, I know.

I actually believed Stephen Harper when he talked about trying to make this Parliament work. Sure the guy has those cold, dead shark eyes, but did you see the clip of Rick Mercer's sleep over at 24 Sussex? He's not without charm.

But not two weeks into the new session, after telling his MPs to tone things down a notch, buddy goes and starts a shooting war, targeting party finances, federal unions, and pay equity for women. What exactly did he think would happen?

Did he think they'd just choke down yet another shit sandwich? Risk calling an election maybe? It's clear he didn't anticipate the coalition, and why would he? It's not a crazy idea in and of itself, but with the three parties in their current state, I wouldn't trust them to paint my house and not fuck it up.

Again, let me state, I'm not oppose to the notion of a coalition gov, but I just don't think these guys can pull it off without hurting their parties, and possibly giving the Conservatives a majority next election, which, let's face it, is probably no more than six months away at best.

In fact, it looks like Canadians, fearing a lengthy recession, are coming down in favour of Harper, despite him being the sneaky sort of douche who tapes other party's phone conversations. (Better hope he doesn't get his hands on your bank card an PIN, he might just clean you out.)