Saturday, December 30, 2006

Is it rude to point out...

...that Saddam was executed for crimes he committed while he was a US ally?
As the great Bill Hicks of sainted memory put it:

"How did we know Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?
Um... we checked the receipt."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry, Merry

aaaaaaaaand my vacation starts...... now.

I'll be gone for about a week folks hanging with the family unit. I'll have my laptop and internet access, but I seriously doubt I'll be posting again till New Years eve.

Happy Saturnalia folks, catch you on the flip side.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bill O'Reilly declares war on 8 year old

OK, First watch this:

Mildly amusing little band promo featuring a young paid actress dissing O'Reilly and organized religion. The rational response would be to laugh it off, right? Let's watch how Bill reacts:

Geeeeeeeez-uz........ Bill responds to any attack, even by an 8 year old by having the fits, the shits and the blind staggers.

Really, does it even need to be pointed out how crazed and irrational this response is? It's so batshit insane to suggest that the parents of this child are abusing her, that even The Western Standard agrees with Bill. You know you're crazy when the nutbars at Right-Wing Psychos 'R Us are on your side.

Plus the Nancy Grace stand-in Bill has serving as his one woman craziness echo chamber (What is a 'Child Advocate' anyway? Somehow I doubt it says that on her tax return.), crosses the line so far it isn't even visible behind her when she calls for the girl's parents to be reported to social services and shunned by their neighbors.

Seriously folks, sue. Fox has big pockets.

The biggest insult however, is when Bill dismisses the little girl as obviously not being able to understand what she's being 'forced' to say. Uh Bill, maybe you needed to be held back when you were eight, but at that age I wouldn't have had any trouble understanding a single word of what this little girl is saying - I doubt too many of you reading this would have either - wellll... I suppose I might get some trackbacks from Western Standard readers, maybe I shouldn't make any assumptions about their intellectual development even now....

The most obvious point to be learned from all this? I really wanna check out the Bastardfairies music now...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Fletcher Memorial Home

Pink Floyd
In honour of the recently departed Augusto Pinochet.
"Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?"

Conservatives VS. Farmers

In the marketplace of ideas 'Wheat Board bad' requires massive government subsidization and suppression of opposing points of views in order to survive. Hence the millions spent on undermining the farmer controlled organization over the years by Alberta's Conservative provincial government and the firing of the Wheat Board's President this week by the federal Conservative government for the unspeakable crime of following the lead of farmer elected members of the board and supporting the existence of the organization he headed.

Board President Adrian Measner was fired from his position days after farmers reaffirmed their support for the single desk model by electing pro-monopoly candidates to four out of five positions - this despite government voter suppression. The Harper government knows a majority of wheat farmers support the board which is why they refuse to hold the vote by farmers required to dismantle it while simultaneously hedging their bets by purging Wheat Board voting rolls of single desk supporters. The government justifies the purge by claiming they are trying to remove those who haven't marketed grain in years - included in the purge are likely single desk supporters in Manitoba still recovering from massive flood damage to their fields.

Along with a majority of wheat farmers, the Board's single desk model is supported by the government's of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, all of the federal opposition parties, The National Farmers Union and the National Union of Public and General Employees.

Opponents of the Board's single desk model include southern Alberta farmers who own big trucks and live just across the border from the lucrative US market, front organizations for the Alberta provincial government and big agribusiness corporations and the governments of the United States and the European Union who believe the Board's monopoly gives Canadian farmers an unfair advantage on the global market.

Harper's government claims that all they want is for farmers to have the choice to use the Wheat Board or not, but multiple studies including the oblique conclusions of studies by the anti-monopoly Alberta government clearly indicate that a Wheat Board without single desk marketing would depend on it's competitors for survival and would quickly cease to exist. The inescapable conclusion is that the end of the Wheat Board would mean that family farms would suffer and big agribusiness would flourish.

Harper's Conservatives came to power rightfully decrying the anti-democratic Liberals. Their own anti-democratic tendencies are apparent by now, but are starkest in their all out assault on an organization that is supposed to be run by and for farmers.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AIDS Workers Death sentence in Libya

After torture, suicide attempts, broken bones and a kangaroo court show trial based heavily on confessions forced with beatings and electric shocks, six foreign medical workers were found guilty of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with AIDS in Libya.

Never mind that the six Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor re-canted their confessions and the outbreak started before they even arrived. Letting them go would be admitting that hospitals in Libya are so filthy and unprofessional that something like this could happen independently of anyone making it happen.

The Bulgarian government denounced the verdict but won't pay blood money to the children's families which might allow the sentences to be commuted through the Libyan system of blood debt. They say it would constitute an admission of guilt. The Palestinian government is too busy collapsing into bloody civil war to protect it's doctor.

The US is trying to influence the outcome by financing the medical care for the victims, but Ghadaffi's rule is precarious in the region this happened in and he may feel like he can't risk releasing the health workers.

But Libya is on-side in the fight against terror, so that's all right.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Waiting For the World to Change

John Mayer

Sunday Link Blast - December 17

Blind Boys Of Alabama - Amazing Grace

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Post-Abundance Era

The future, for the first time in centuries will now be defined by having less than previous generations did.

Found at Crooks and Liars:

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, foreign policy analysts have struggled to find a term to characterize the epoch we now inhabit. Although the "Post-Cold War Era" has been the reigning expression, this label now sounds dated and no longer does justice to the particular characteristics of the current period. Others have spoken of the "Post-9/11 Era," as if the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were defining moments for the entire world. But this image no longer possesses the power it once wielded -- even in the United States.

I propose instead another term that better captures the defining characteristics of the current period: the Post-Abundance Era.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rabbit Fire

Rabbit Season!
Duck Season!

My favorite piece of cartoon schtick.

Paddling to the North Pole

Arctic sea-ice retreat is likely to accelerate so rapidly that the Arctic Ocean will be nearly ice- free by the summer by 2040, atmospheric scientists said.

You realize that even if this happens the deniers will still refuse to concede the existence of Global Warming right? Religious thinking, even religious devotion to the Market Über alles is immune to reality.

At some point we need to stop humoring those claiming we shouldn't be doing anything about global warming because there's still a debate about it's existence - maybe we should do it before the coastline cities are underwater?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why Left Wing Liberals should vote NDP

Idealistic Pragmatist responds to a Tyee article asking why people should vote NDP if Dion presents an acceptably left leaning platform.

Pragmatist responds seriously and in depth - boiling it down, I'd say her most important point is that When Liberals get majority governments, they don't keep their promises. I don't think even most Liberals can deny this with a straight face.

Again and again we've seen them campaign to the left and govern to the right. Make grand promises and then become blandly forgetful in the security of a majority.

If you're a Liberal who actually believes in the ideals of Liberalism more than you believe that the Liberal Party should be in power simply because they deserve to be, you should be hoping for a minority Liberal government after the next election. Hopefully a more realistic one than Paul Martin's.

Liberals always talk a good progressive game and then when they win a majority the interests of ordinary Canadians take a back seat to the interests of Bay Street.

Harper's Tories deserve to lose the next election, but the Liberals don't deserve to win. Not without needing the help of the NDP to govern.

Pinochet and his right wing enablers

If there is a Hell, General Augusto Pinochet is burning there as we speak. After coming to power in an American supported military coup against a democratically elected leftist government he held power with torture, death squads and mass murder. And the unstinting support of right wingers in Britain and the U.S. Margaret Thatcher called him one of Britain's greatest friends and harshly condemned any and all attempts to bring him to account for his crimes.

Alberta's own demagogue Premier Ralph Klein claimed that Pinochet had saved Chile and that the elected government of Salvador Allende forced him to take over with their socialistic ways.

But it's OK, he justified his comments by pulling out an old school paper - that was kind of plagiarised, but oh well.

When right-wingers speak of their overwhelming reverence for democracy, Pinochet and his right wing fan club - who still minimize his crimes and defend his record even now - are worth remembering.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stick a fork in it.

An open letter to Canada's homophobe community:

The vote - the third vote - is over. The debate is now over. The Canadian public gets more tolerant and less interested in catering to those dealing with their own sexual issues by hating gays every year. If you couldn't win this fight today with a Conservative government - you never will.

Stephen Harper can stop taking the religious right's calls and, respectfully, those wanting to ever re-open this stupid, divisive, bigoted debate again can have a steaming cup of
Shut the FUCK up.

You lost. Deal.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas toys, the REAL Worst

W.A.T.C.H is World Against Toys Causing Harm, Incorporated no less. They have a dull and worthily pessimistic annual list of the most dangerous toys for sale.

Their list is a little anemic this year, aside from a cheap rocket I would have dearly loved to practice controlled mayhem with at 12. Otherwise the list comes off as nannyish and occasionally preachy. I think Wheelies are brilliant for instance. I would have loved a pair as a kid. Their standards here seem like they would have meant no skateboards or rollerskates or Weebles.

A certain amount of physical risk is kind of inherent to childhood.

The real worst toys sink to new levels of mind-blowing awfulness and cluelessness that has to be seen to believed. For example, McFarlane's Humpty Dumpty. Granted its more intended for the adult toy collector, but it's grotesque and unpleasant no matter who the intended audience.

Then there's this mind-blowing example of unlimited cluelssness to marvel at:

But nothing can beat the soul-searing awfulness of this. The toy you give to the child you hate.

Terrorist Plot to Blow Up U.S. Congress with nerve gas briefcase bomb.

Why haven't you heard about this? The terrorist isn't Muslim.

God's Gonna Cut You Down

Johnny Cash again - featuring some of his biggest fans

Sunday Link Blast - December 3

The Day of the Quiet Man

First Dion, now Stelmach.

It's been a day for the quiet, inoffensive gray insider as Stelmach seems to have driven right up the middle in the Alberta Tory leadership race. He and Dion will have a lot to talk about if, as expected he sweeps the second choice on all of Morton's ballots.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

If You Want To Sing Out

From the great movie Harold and Maude and sung by Cat Stevens

Tories to Liberal delegates: Suuuuuuckers!

Interesting open admission of dirty tricks - I think they may have out-smarted themseves though.

That's the Ball Game...

Start getting comfortable with the words 'Prime Minister Dion'.

The first time as tragedy, the second time...still tragedy.

The best piece I've read about Afghanistan was published in the Globe and Mail on Thursday:

I was born in Russia, drafted into the Soviet army at 18 and sent to Afghanistan in the 1980s. Attending Andrew's funeral, I stood with one foot in the present and one in the past. I remembered my Russian friends, living and dead. Friends like Andrei, who lost his legs in Kandahar near the road on which Andrew would die two decades later. I also remembered the suffering we visited on the people of that country.

I identified with the Canadian soldiers at the funeral mourning the loss of their friend. Like them, I went to Afghanistan believing in "fighting terrorism" and "liberating Afghans." During my first mission, we were protecting refugees escaping an area that was under attack by the mujahedeen. I was deeply affected by their misery, and by the poverty and suffering of the Afghan people in general. In my mind, our presence was "helping Afghans," particularly with educating women and children. My combat unit participated in "humanitarian aid" -- accompanying doctors and delivering food, fuel, clothing, school and other supplies to Afghan villages.

It was only later that I began to wonder: Did that aid justify our aggression?

It's re-printed here if they decide to put it behind a pay wall.

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