Friday, October 31, 2008

1/2-hr 2 spare: Credit Where Credit is Due

For a number of reasons, I've ended up with a free 1/2 hour, so I'm at Hamilton's Skydragon Centre enjoying a coffee and posting something other than a YouTube link (my plan of about 2 hours ago).

I'm extending credit where credit is due to the Ontario Liberals.

And, truth be told, it ain't much credit.

I've been down on the provincial Liberals because, aside from the Greenbelt, they haven't done a whole helluva lot for the province besides not being kro-magnum (sic!) Harrisites.

In one post I trashed the Ontario Libs for

So it turns out that they're finally going to reverse some of these destructive downloadings.

Hamilton will save upwards of $18 million after the province announced it will take back the costs of court security and Ontario Works

But don't celebrate yet. This sounds like typical Liberalism, talk nice but act scummy/scuzzy. Observe:
Court costs won’t start returning to the province until 2012 and Ontario Works costs won’t be uploaded until 2010.
In other words, one year after 2009 (when a major recession is expected to hit) the Liberals "promise" to begin uploading expensive welfare obligations. Whatever. I'll still believe it when I see it. But it was known before Harris legislated this nonsense that it was disastrous for municipal finances.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Respect

I was thinking the other day how loathsome it was how the Repugnican Party can't bring itself to extend an iota of respect to Barack ("that one") Obama because he's a black man, even though he's running as the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States.

But then I thought, the office of president is only to be revered for these people if there's a fellow Repugnican in it. The Starr Report's humiliation of Clinton showed that. Obama's skin colour obviously does rub the Repugs the wrong way, but the extent of their boorishness doesn't start there.

I also thought that US-Americans are famous for their marketing and advertising schemes, as well as their whole entertainment industry. If the noble Obama vs. the angry, ugly McCain-Palin campaign really wasn't designed by the marketing department of some shadowy cabal of puppet-masters (and I don't believe it was), it couldn't have been done any better. Just like a Hollywood hero, Obama looks good and says nice things, but doesn't really say all that much.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Comedy Tips For "Conservatives"

Well, the movie that was going to prove to Hollywood Liberal types that there's a gigantic army of "conservative" film-goers who are aching to see some real unapologetic "conservative" culture [I'm talking "An American Carol"] has come, stank and gone, in quick order.

What hard-right ideologues mean when they say "conservativism" can be best summarized as rank stupidity. These are clueless idiots, unaware that everything they believe in is garbage, because their brains are garbage.

"An American Carol" was supposed to be a comedy. It failed at that, because "conservatives" (who can do non-political comedy evidently) don't understand what the joke is when it comes to politics, ... because they're the joke.

In the scene with the Angel of Death in "American Carol" Michael Malone (a parody of Michael Moore) asks to go to Hollywood, because it (like Paris) is felt to be "cool" by the liberal-elitist, anti-American Moore. To his utter dismay Malone/Moore is shown a Hollywood totally dominated by Islamic fundamentalism, which is made even worse for Malone/Moore by a statue commerating his services to the Jihad that brought about this sad state of affairs.

The acting and dialogue in the scene is stilted and flat, but even aside from that, the premise simply isn't funny. A friend of mine said it would've been funny if it were done by leftists parodying "conservative" delusions, but that's something else entirely.

Presenting Michael Moore that way says more about "conservatives" than it does about why Moore deserves to be lampooned. Contrary to "conservative" conspiracy theories, Moore isn't a dupe for Al Qaeda who hates America. That's why the scene isn't funny. What would be funny would be taking off on things like the Republican "family values" Party having prayer breakfasts officiated by pastors high on crystal meth, or fake journalists getting into the White House Press Corps despite their second jobs as gay prostitutes. (Not because homosexuality is funny, but because the Repugs' delusions and hypocrisies about it are.) Similarly, it's funny when bush II is presented as an absolute moron, because he is. Just as most jokes about Bill Clinton being a sex-maniac are funny, because there's an iota of truth in there.

In short, "conservatives" don't just barf your paranoid theories up in front of people and imagine they'll get laughs just because you call them "comdey." Best to just stay out of politics in general, altogether.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Economy For People

That's what we need. Something like Participatory Economics would be immune to the booms and busts that are inherent in an anti-human system based on maximizing self-interest and distributing power unevenly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ooops! Forgot to post.

Evidently it was all the speculators trying to cash in for having been right that US-Americans couldn't make their mortgage payments that really sank the system.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good Article on USA's Destruction of Iraqi Economy

It's called "Wrecked Iraq" from A sample:

One measure of this policy's impact can be found in the demise of the leather goods industry, a key pre-invasion sector of Iraq's non-petroleum economy. When a government-owned tanning operation, which all by itself employed 30,000 workers and supplied leather to an entire industry, was shuttered in late 2003, it deprived shoe-makers and other leather goods establishments of their key resource. Within a year, employment in the industry had dropped from 200,000 workers to a mere 20,000.

Read the whole thing, and then think about these couple of unrepentant dumb-fucks who helped make it all happen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McGuinty: "The Cheque's in the Mail"

Today in the Hamilton Spectator there's an article about Ted McMeekin telling Mayor Fred Eisenberger that the cut-off on yearly emergency grants which made up for the Harris downloading (75$ million over the past 5 years) was going to be compensated with a permanent uploading of some social services to the provincial government.

If true, that's ... okay, I suppose. But this all sounds very bizarre. It's certainly incompetent public relations to announce a massive cut in funding right before a recession when that funding is needed more than ever, and to then say that something else, undescribed is going to be "announced" in a few weeks to make everything better. Why not wait until the new uploading process has been decided and then announce the cutbacks and the new spending simultaneously?

Given the McGuinty government's constant droning about how they're abandoning their anti-poverty initiatives and there's no money in the jar and there's already going to be a $500 million deficit, what are people supposed to think when they announce a $12 million cut to social services for Hamilton?

I'll beleive it when I see it.

(Note, the Spec's website keeps crashing my browser. No links.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Damned Liberals

This time it's the Ontario version of this mewling, cynical breed.

Ted McMeekin, Ontario's Minister of Government Services, has informed Ontario's municipalities that in the coming economic downturn, the McGuinty government will continue to benefit from the Harris government's downloading of responsibilities from the province to the cities.

McMeekin said there will be no social-service bailout on the day his government announced it was tightening up spending because of the impact the world economic crisis is having on its finances.

Ontario has provided the city with $75.6 million since 2004 to offset social service costs. It has come in the form of annual grants and began as $19.5 million in 2004. The city received $12 million this spring.

In other words, cities (such as Hamilton) will have to find millions of dollars in the middle of a recession by either raising taxes or slashing programs that the poorest depend upon, again, in a recession.

McMeekin added cryptically that in a few weeks there'll be an announcement from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services that will mitigate his announcement. It remains to be seen if that's not part of some smokescreen to defuse anger at his government's short-sighted, mean-spirited and stupid decision.

I went to the Ministry of Child and Youth Services and wasn't hopeful of anything substantial coming out of it:

We’re calling on you to help us tackle poverty.

Maybe it means supporting a local food bank, volunteering at a homeless shelter or building a compassionate business that provides job opportunities.

We need you to tell us.

Here’s your chance to make a difference.

If this isn't a textbook example of Liberal hypocrisy I'll be surprised.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Iacobucci Internal Inquiry and Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

So yesterday's post was a reflection of the inhuman heartlessness of Stephen Harper, who responds to allegations of child rape on the part of our Afghan allies with a bullshit public relations "investigation" that will take two fucking years, by which time, Harper's arbitrary election-timed announced withdrawl from the country will have begun. By which time, we'll have continued to assist the Afghan army become an effective fighting force that can maintain the rule of our puppet Karzai, his extortionist warlord allies, and which will be more able to rape children with impunity.

Leftists should focus more on communicating the absolute monstrousness of our system. From the Liberal Party of Canada's perpetuation of absolute poverty and misery on Aboriginal reserves, to the overthrow of democracy in Haiti, to increased homelessness and hopelessness for most Canadians, to the present Harper-Cons ...

In the news today, the Iacobucci INTERNAL Inquiry into government actions that point to Canadian government complicity in the torture of three Canadian citizens, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin is to be released today.

It's probably going to be a thin gruel of rationalizations and stupidity. It's testimony to the cowardice of the Canadian state, covering its incompetence for sending three Canadians to hell.

Also, the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into Residential Schools has resigned, citing betrayal and disrespect from the two other commissioners. I don't know the history there, but Harper's treatment of the Commission has been abominable. He's deliberately restricted its funding, making it almost impossible to do its job.

This is about the Canadian state creating mass graves people. Harper's cynical bullshit is intolerable.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Okay, all sarcasm aside ...

Yesterday's post about this Toronto Star article: "Critics slam Afghan rape probe" (via "pogge") speculated that Harper must think "the troops" (tm.) are stupid ignorant fools, if he doesn't think they're capable of accurately identifying an act of child rape when they see it. That's why he's taking TWO YEARS to conduct an "investigation" into this matter. (Obviously, as the Star article and the pogge post both say, two years from now is closing in on 2011 when we're scheduled to leave, making the whole exercise pointless.)

But all snideness and sarcasm aside; what the hell kind of monster is our re-elected Prime Minister? How cold and cynical do you have to be to respond to accusations (from your own supposedly beloved troops) of child rape with a bullshit public relations exercise??

And how stupid do you have to be to continue to support this imbecile and to type drivel such as this:
The timing of this article and it's [sic] graphic nature makes me suspect that it is meant to upset us rather than seek resolution. I can tell by the emotional responses of anger and shock. Afghanistan was a failing nation, the society needs to be rebuilt and reformed. Atrocities and rape may go back centuries and though abhorrent to our sensibilities, we need to try and stop all of the abuses; from chronic heroin use, domestic abuse, rape and a whole host of others through helping this country lift it's self [sic] up. We don't need to abandon this mission to a draconian regime that will occupy it and probably exact worse abuses that we can imagine. Remember the graphic executions of women in the soccer field played on our televisions before the war. Our military has performed amazing change in southern Afghanistan and we need to publish and promote more of this positive activity before condemning the mission and our military because of a very graphic disturbing article .

[That turd was dropped in the comments section of the article.] Yes, that's right. We mustn't leave because then the Afghan army that we're building and allowing to rape children with impunity will never learn that raping children is wrong, because they won't see the results of the investigation that we're conducting, which will report in 2011, ... I'm being sarcastic again and I can't find anyway to fully convey the insanity of this moron's position.

Seriously, all you Harper-Wargasm supporters, shut the fuck up, now and forever more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

POGGE post about Afghan atrocities

My post for the day is about this "pogge" post: From the Department of Timing Is Everything

Basically, Stephen Harper is going to have the investigation into allegations from CF personnel in Afghanistan about Afghan army and interpretors raping young boys take TWO YEARS to complete.

Because, our troop-supportin' Steve-O apparently thinks that CF fellah's might all be totally stupid or something, seeing things like Afghan soldiers raping children when they're really just playing some strange Afghan sport or something.

Whatever the case, if children actually are being raped by our noble allies, it's going to continue for another two years, until 2011, by which time (as pogge points out) it will be meaningless for public support for "the mission" (tm). Oh yeah, that and Harper's political grave will have been dug by the economic crisis for which both he and "Fuck-head Flaherty" are gravely unsuited to deal with.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Canadian Values

Recently, Stephen Harper said that Canada was becoming a more "conservative" nation. I was horrified and insulted to think we were allegedly becoming a nation of morons and disagreed.

The Tyee has some interesting surveys in their response to Harper's accusation/fantasy/whatevah.

Also, in today's episode of thwap's schoolyard: Lesbian Robots!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Tricky Day

Busy. Working on something else for later. In the meantime, if you haven't read this, read it:

Tom Englehart's "Living in the Ruins: My depression ... or ours?"

Basically he's asking if this financial crisis signals "the big one" and if so, what does that mean?

In these last days, I've thought some about my parents, about their whole generation which lived through the Great Depression, those fathers and mothers who had a "depression mentality" for which we, the young growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, had no patience, and about which we had next to no curiosity whatsoever. I sure didn't anyway. That was so past. Despite the good times, they feared otherwise.

It's unnerving when history becomes yours, when no one can tell you where the bottom is, or what life will be like after that bottom is reached. It's one of those moments when you discover why overused phrases -- I think here, for instance, of "through a glass darkly" -- were overused in the first place.

There is so much, much more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Corporate Tax Cuts and More Imperialism

The Harper-cons and the Liberal rump agree on many things. Corporate tax cuts that will contribute absolutely nothing to the economy will pass, as will any of Harper's plans to back up any of the USA's future imperialist fantasies.

Now that he's been safely, if needlessly re-elected, Harper is back to form, stealing policies he derided, and putting "the troops" (tm) back into combat now that there's no election and Stephen Harper electoral fortunes that their deaths could jeopardize. Harper can also sign-on for any further US American imperialist fantasies, and he can also break his promise about 2011 if he chooses, because the Liberals are all up on such murderous nonsense.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008: Another Harper Minority

Well, there you go Stephen Harper and Canadian capitalism, ... you broke your own bullshit fixed election law to try to get your majority before the anticipated financial collapse hit, and you failed. Sadly though, you increased your number of braying jackasses, I'm sorry, I meant "Conservative" Members of Parliament.

Right off the bat I'd like to say that this might be the best of all possible outcomes. The Harpercons didn't get their majority, so all their Cromagnon social legislation fantasies are going to be put on hold until forever, A-N-D, the same sort of vapid, selfish ignorance that prompts a Canadian voter to put an "X" beside a "Conservative" candidate is the same sort of mentality that produces the knee-jerk impulse to blame international economic recessions on the party in power. You're going to own this one Stevie, and all your droning and yammering about how the opposition isn't letting you respond effectively isn't going to go down well outside of your hardcore supporters of the stupidest people in Canada.

But what about "strategic voting" or "voting smart"? It might come as a surprise to some people, but I'm all for it. I recognize that the Liberals aren't as bad as the "Conservatives." I still think the Liberal Party of Canada should die a quick death, but I feel that way about the "Conservatives" as well. But on social policy, they're much more tolerable, and they're more apt to throw life-saving crumbs to the bottom half of the population in a crunch. So sure, to defeat a Con, elect a Lib if the Lib ran a strong second last time. I have no time for the Liberal Party's self-interested portrayal of "strategic voting" as meaning "vote Liberal or die!!!" but genuine strategic voting would've been a good idea.

A bad way to pursue "strategic voting" and political alliances (if that's what you're really all about) was Stephane "Kyoto?" Dion's cynical promotion of Elizabeth May in Central Nova. The Liberals came in a distant third in 2006. If you want to display genuine generosity, as opposed to promoting a party solely to create another rival for third place that will destroy the NDP, give her a riding where the Liberals came second last time.

As it is, and I can't emphasize this enough, I think under the circumstances I'm happier with the airhead incompetent Peter MacKay back than Elizabeth May with her thoughtless gutter mouth.

What's that you say? "thwap" complaining about a gutter mouth? Well, I'm prepared to grant May a lot for her social activism, for her brains, for her sincerity or whatever else you want, ... but her bullshit outburst about Jack Layton preferring to negotiate with the Taliban and not with her, ... when her and her party were so clearly being cynically used ... was right up there with Stephen Harper's garbage talk about anti-Semitism in the House of Commons. I'm all for hard-hitting criticism, for instance, Layton's holding Paul Martin Jr. responsible for homeless deaths, because in cases like that, IT'S TRUE.

But to make underhanded insinuations of "treason" and "terrorist sympathizer" so breezily, or to fart out self-satisfied claims that not conceding to the Greens pointless vote-splitting means you hate the earth, that's garbage talk. Grow the fuck up May. You'll have plenty of time to do that now that your political career is finished.

Speaking of finished, Stephane Dion's caretaker role of Liberal leader until the Anglos Rae and Ignatieff solved their problems is also at an end. The Liberals will be in "disarray" (like they haven't been wandering around like sleep-walkers since Paul Martin Jr. took over) as they have their leadership convention. This will supposedly make them unable to challenge Harper's economic and foreign policies. That and the fact that they didn't challenge Harper when they had a newly-minted leader last Parliament. There were two reasons they didn't challenge Harper: they didn't have a platform to take to the public to campaign on, and, they AGREE with Harper's policies to such an extent that they didn't want to vote against them. We don't need a united "left" in Canada that includes an enthusiastic imperialist, neoliberal bunch of vermin like the Liberal Party.

Speaking of scams, is it all a scam anyway? Why didn't the NDP say much more about the bipartisan Lib/Con "Security and Prosperity Partnership"? What the hell kind of country is this anyway?

Ah fuggit. I've got work to do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Green Party Vote-Splitting

Via CC, via "Impolitical" comes this list of voting projections. My problems with the Greens? They deny the reality of "left/right" in politics. Anyone who denies that has their head up their ass as far as I'm concerned. "Left" stands for economic and social equality, it stands for anti-racism, sexual freedom, intellectual freedom. "Right" stands for economic and social inequality, deference to authority, deference to outmoded ways of thinking like racism (now denied and hidden due to leftist pressure) and homophobia (barely concealed, and the basis of some political choices) and religious intellectual conformity. Greens come at their environmentalism from a flawed "market-based" perspective. And, aside from a few exceptions (and I do mean you Jim Bobby, and a couple of folks I've debated with on "babble" and "EnMasse") Greens often appear to me as flakes. Flakier than the flakiest acid-burnout hippie-long time NDP supporters I've seen.

Given our archaic electoral system, there's simply no reason that we should have to sacrifice any more ridings in order to support a party whose very existence jeopardizes the chances for the pro-environment policies they champion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Financial Crises & Bad Soap-Operas

If I understand things correctly, all the funny money created by financial chicanery designed to perpetuate and inflate the US housing bubble, which played a large role in sustaining the US economy so that US-Americans could continue to go into debt to buy imports from the rest of the world, ...which, actually, loaned the US economy the money to buy their products with this consumer debt, because the rest of the world was dependent upon recycling US-American dollars for their own domestic economies, ... has evaporated. Financial instruments based on reckless loans to insolvent borrowers and priced as if they were AAA-grade investments, have turned out to be garbage. Especially given the fact that continued trimming of the US-American workforce has made more and more US-American mortgagees unable to maintain their home payments, causing these mortgage package derivatives to become worthless.

To sum up that confusing paragraph, ... the circle of bullshit has run into a bump and the charade is over. But since it was all a charade to begin with, why don't we just invent a new charade, ... a more durable one?

And the bit of reality that crash-landed into the financial speculation based on a housing bubble based on unsustainable debt levels? Let's pretend it was like that episode on "Dallas" where they couldn't figure out how to resolve some plot-lines and so they decided to make the entire season turn out to have been one character's dream so that they could pick up back where everything went wrong!

Remember, it's all an illusion anyway.

Now watch this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Saddest Article I've Ever Read About Afghanistan

Anand Gopal "The Surge That Failed: Afghanistan Under the Bombs" from

Just read it, and then picture the stupid faces of bush II, Rummy, Rice, Cheney, Martin, Harper and Hillier and other assorted scum.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy. Read "Alison at Creekside"

I'll keep some sort of daily output, but it'll be sparse stuff for a long while. In the meantime, go read "Alison at Creekside."

The internet has changed the nature of media, reporting, and what-not. It's changed the political culture of the United States. If you go to places like CounterPunch, commondreams, or Znet, you can find out about all sorts of nefarious US-government and corporate schemes while they're a-borning. Progressive Canada doesn't really compare to that level of analysis as a collective. I'm trying The Tyee and's homepage, but really meaty stuff is few and far between. For my money, Alison is consistently on top of the machinations of the Canadian corporate state. She's been doing a lot of heavy lifting by herself and I don't know how she does it, but she MUST keep on doing it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gnawing thought for the day

I was reading about the police and their tasers again today. Some latest outbreak of cowardly stupidity, and I thought about Robert Dziekanski again. For some fucking reason, four armed, armoured, big and strong men, RCMP constables, came into that room with the glass walls and Dziekanski visibly relaxed. He complied. You can see it in the video for Chrissake's!! And then those four big men electrocuted him after 25 seconds. And then they sat on his chest. And then he died.

And our country was disgraced. And our putrid government belched out an apology. And our putrid RCMP went to Poland to "investigate" their own brutality and incompetency by trying to dig up dirt on Dziekanski's mental health. And our country was disgraced again.

And then we moved on.

But I don't entirely move on. When the concept of "Canada" which is a country where I live, and which contains a culture that has shaped me to some degree (for better or for worse and I think better) disgraces itself, it gnaws away at me.

I don't like our continued oppression of Aboriginal Canadians. I don't like our continued imperialism in Afghanistan. I don't like that we destroyed democracy in Haiti. I don't like the way our mining firms behave in Colombia. I don't like that our "tar-sands project" is the world's biggest single source of pollution. I don't like that our RCMP killed Robert Dziekanski.

I wish there was some way that I could make it stop and then make amends.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama Paraphernalia

I've seen a few black people (way up here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) sporting Barack Obama sweaters, t-shirts, jackets, etc. This is a big deal. This is a gigantic symbol of progress and no doubt a source of deep pride for a people still oppressed and hated by most of the US-American ruling class.

I said earlier, that it was a shame that a woman and an African-American had to go up against each other in order to break their respective barriers. I also said that I would extend good wishes to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama if they won the nomination. As well, I said that I didn't really like either of them. Hillary has said and done some things that just appalled me and Barack says a lot of empty rhetoric with very little substance. At the same time I recognize that this is the nature of the system. You generally can't simultaneously break social barriers AND political-economic barriers, even if you want to.

The importance of the symbolism of an Obama victory can perhaps best be understood in the story of this black man in London, England, whose Obama t-shirt produced an unhinged tirade of racist abuse and three shots (to the face, shoulder and hand) from the lunatic's pellet-gun. Of course, that's London, England. On the other hand, in the USA, these meth-addicted fools (who no doubt blame affirmative action or something for their lot in life) weren't out to volunteer on the Obama campaign when they showed up in Denver for the DNC. They hoped to assassinate him. And then there's this guy: Florida "teacher" Greg Howard.

A Marianna middle-school teacher has been suspended for 10 days without pay after he wrote a racially charged interpretation of a commonly used phrase in the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

It said, "C.H.A.N.G.E. — Come Help A (N-word) Get Elected."

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and speculate on the source of Howard's irrational and ugly racism. [I started on a bunch of nasty insults, but then my fears of legal action got the better of me. It's a shame, it was pretty funny.]

The thing about Obama and his undeniable abilities to play the game is that it might end up making him no more than a symbol. And, given that he listened to the sermons of Jeremiah Wright for so many years without storming out of his church in a snit, and only abandoned him during his race for the presidency, I can't believe that Obama really believes all the shit that he's saying. There's a glimmer of knowledge there, and Obama might as well use it. Because the shit-heads in charge of that country have done nothing but ruin it. While they talk about flag-pins and terrorism and WMDs and nation-building and free markets and all their other empty rhetoric, they've brought nothing but failure. I wish him well, do what you have to do to win, but once that's over, give your head a shake. You fucked up on FISA and you fucked up on the bail-out, and so many other things. You must know that the world view you're pandering to is nonsense. America doesn't have the resources to play stupid anymore.

Last thought: If some stupid racist needle-dick does successfully take a shot at the first black President of the United States, there really should be blood in the streets. Nobody should stand up and call for "law-and-order" and "forgiveness." And non-racist whites should take the lead in taking any white, racist, repugnican Klansman who shoots off his mouth and drag him behind a truck for a while.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Unhappy With This Election

It's not as if I'm upset that the NDP are neck-and-neck for third place with the Liberals. All I really ever expect and hope for out of federal elections is that the NDP hold the balance of power in a Liberal minority government. (Obviously, my oft-stated desire that every party to the right of the NDP wither and die in irrelevance as the population wakes up to the fact that right-wing politics is inhuman and dependent upon ignorance and stupidity still holds. I'm just talking about realistic expectations.) What's upsetting me about this election is the utter pointlessness of it all and the way all the parties are contributing to this sense of intellectual and ideological malaise.

Harper has called an election because he's been trying to pinch in the shit that's dribbling out of him in fear of the likely recession that he knows he can't do anything about in 2009 when he was supposed to face the election according to his bullshit fixed-election "law." Why isn't he being hammered with this?? He says he's the best one to get us through any recession, but he's so lacking in confidence about this that he violated his own law (the "spirit" of it, since the "letter" of the law required a Constitutional amendment, but NOBODY WITH A BRAIN OR A CONSCIENCE gives a shit about his weasel-words) to avoid having to face the electorate. His own actions in calling this election show that he's lying.

Why isn't he being hammered harder on his economic incompetence? Jim Flaherty, his knuckle-dragging idiot of a finance minister, is already a demonstrated nitwit from his record of public-sector destruction, plummeting social indicators, and huge deficits in Ontario. As predicted, Flaherty has launched numerous revenue giveaways in order to cripple the federal government's ability to act effectively in the economy. We're in deficit territory and we've nothing to show for it. This moron is supposed to guide us through what might be a major economic downturn??

Why isn't Harper being hammered for his lies about a "dysfunctional parliament"? Why isn't he hammered for his handbook on parliamentary obstruction? Braindead shit-stain "Wayne" who used to frequent my comments section (before I smartened-up and banned him) assured me after talking to his automaton local "Conservative" MP that "all the other parties do it." Well, given that there's no record of similar shenanigans on the part of the other parties over the last thirty years at least, that's another goddamned lie. Why isn't Harper being slammed for his obvious contempt for the democratic process?

Why isn't he being hammered for his obvious elitism? Why isn't he being hammered for his election stunt treatment of Afghanistan? Including what commentator Beijing York said yesterday; that he's suspended combat operations for the election, so that Canadians can vote without the negative effect of young soldiers dying for nothing so that Stephen Harper can bloviate about Canada being on the "world stage" (killing innocent civilians)?

Why, why, why?

Why are the Liberals even a factor in this election? The party of the "Red Book" of broken promises. The party of year-after-year of "surprise" surpluses, all given away in tax-cuts (even if much of it came from "Employment Insurance" revenue) while healthcare, the environment, education, Aboriginal necessities, and on-and-on went begging?

Why is Stephane Dion supposed to be someone I can take seriously? Environment minister when we were supposed to be honouring our Kyoto commitments, our greenhouse gas emmissions went UP instead of down. That's called failure. Then he names a dog "Kyoto" and tells us to believe him now that he's in opposition. Then he comes out with a "Green Shift" (that might or might not be a good policy) which he stops pushing as soon as it appears difficult.

These fucking Liberals like to blame the NDP for bringing Stephen Harper to power, as if their playing chicken with public healthcare wasn't the reason Layton stopped propping them up. As if, just like Stephen Harper, they believe that the opposition is duty-bound to support them. As if their fall from power and failure in the subsequent election wasn't based on their arrogance and corruption and their own (and their leader Paul Martin's) ridiculousness as a government.

And why the fucking hell did Jack Layton stand by stammering idiot Andrew McKeever after his disgusting (to everyone on pretty much everything) outbursts online? Sure it's a free country and there's free speech and all, but McKeever doesn't have a right to represent anyone. Especially NDP voters who are all for treating women with respect and protecting US soldiers trying to avoid shooting up carloads of Iraqi families in an illegal war. Anyone believing in these values who ended up voting for McKeever would be getting the opposite of what they intended; a sexist, warmongering fascist. The NDP isn't hurting for cash that bad that they had to keep that piece of shit in the race to get some money from Elections Canada.

Gad. Is this all there is? Is this the best we can do?

There's no links with this post, because there's no time and I don't care. I just needed to rant.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Leftist Elitism From "thwap"

All over the blog-o-sphere and the discussion boards this morning:

CBC - "Policy change delayed alarm signal over listeria, inspectors say"

Inspectors said had the alarm bells been sounded earlier, lives could have been saved.

"Bells and whistles would have been sounding if [Maple Leaf officials] had to report positive test findings to an inspector," said one Toronto area CFIA inspector who spoke to the CBC and the Star on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

"We might not have had anybody dead [if company officials were still obligated to report positive listeria findings]. It's terrible."

Read the whole thing.

[Here comes the "elitism" part!] So, what drooling idiot voters will be immune to such a clear example of the murderous level of dogmatism amongst the "Conservative" Party of Canada? These governments kill people. Even after they've been warned, even after boatloads of evidence that the self-regulation of profit-maximzing industries is a contradiction in terms? What am I missing that would make me think somebody bone-stupid enough to like Stephen Harper is actually a sensible, rational and informed person on some sort of level?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It Really is Sunday Afternoon

And I just found out about this:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Useless Morons

Okay, I'm not so sure there's such a thing as a useful moron (useful idiots?) but whatever. The stupid movie "An American Carol" is out. I ranted about it here.

So, if you want to see how pointless it is to even think of debating the bottom 20 percenters of the right-wing, go to any online review critical of this piece of garbage and read the comments of people who want to like this movie and who want it to be a success.

So far I've notice a number of responses, including responding to a well-argued demolition as to why the movie is not funny with "Stupid liberal. Of course you don't like it. You have no sense of humour. You can't take insults as well as you dish them out." and "Thanks to your review, I'm going to see the movie." Neither of which even remotely address the specific criticisms made.

I watched the clip with the "angel of death" taking "Malone" to Hollywood. It's not funny. It's heavy-handed and idiotic. Sadly, Leslie Nielson and Dennis Hopper are mixed-up in this bowl of puke. I guess Hopper was more damaged by drug use than I'd thought.

ETA: These clueless right-wing dolts will claim that "liberal" critics are trashing them, but they'll be just as silent about the fact that this movie will bomb in the same way that FOX's crappy "Half-hour News hour" did, because nobody liked it. The ones without a sense of humour are right-wing morons because humour takes brains of some sort and, well, ...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Children's Rhymes in Other Lands

I didn't watch the debates, because there was no time, and because I don't have a tee-vee. That's all anyone cares about today, so I'm gonna do something random.

The language is from India. It's called "Kannada" and you can get a sense of the lifestyle there by seeing how things are presented to children in what I'm to assume is an everyday, familiar sort of background.

This one is one of my son's favourite dinner-time songs:

This one is probably still his favourite, but it often loads slowly on YouTube so I put it second.

And there you have it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Some snapshots of the US housing crisis

A USA Today article on the human costs of the foreclosure crisis:

Nearly 61% of local and state homeless coalitions say they've seen a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007, according to a study released in April by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

According to the study, which let respondents offer multiple replies when asked where they're headed once their property is foreclosed on, 76% of displaced homeowners and renters are moving in with relatives and friends. About 54% are moving to emergency shelters. About 40% are already on the streets.

Those facing homelessness include the working poor, who were among those hardest hit by the collapse in subprime mortgages. But others are middle-class families who scarcely expected to find themselves unable to afford their homes.

"Shelters are full, and it's getting worse," says Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington. "There are more homeless homeowners, people who first try to downsize, then wind up living with family and friends or in vehicles. At the shelters, there's almost no room at the inn. It's first come, first serve."

Six cities reported a rise in the number of homeless people who used emergency shelter and transitional housing programs in the past year, and 10 cities reported an increase in households with children seeking help, according to a 2007 survey done in part by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The report cites several reasons for the increase, with the rise in foreclosures at the top of the list. Many cities that have seen an increase in homelessness — among them Detroit, Portland, Ore., and Salt Lake City — have also suffered sharp jumps in foreclosures.

From here.

Which also has this-- Study: Subprime mess hits blacks harder
The report also identifies greater damage among black borrowers and neighborhoods than other ethnic groups, regardless of income level. Black borrowers defaulted at a rate of 28% in 2005 and 24% in 2006 — more than any other ethnic group — and more than three times as often as white
borrowers, who defaulted on nearly 8% on 2005 loans and 5% on 2006 loans. “Income seemed to be no protector to avoid this pitfall,” Dr. Colton said.

Among high-income people, 60% of the loans to black borrowers were subprime despite their income levels, the study said. The data suggests there is a new way of victimizing black borrowers, she said, in contrast to older practices when loans simply were not made available to black borrowers and some neighborhoods were victimized through redlining.

Stupid racist mother-fuckers. The only consolation was that those assholes who set black families up for failure so that they could profit from the high interest rates they charged were going to get stung too. But here comes Barack Obama and the Democrats, joining hands with the most unpopular president in US history, to bail them out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Strange Death of Liberal Canada

I was travelling through the outskirts of Toronto today, and I saw one street (a main one) with lots n' lots of Liberal election signs. Big houses, big lawns. The perfect people to vote Liberal. Doing well. Imagine that you can be "progressive" just by not being a knuckle-dragging "conservative" idiot.

But I think those days of easy "progressivism" are becoming obviously dead. The frightened fascists and the totally ignorant greed-heads have their party of "tax-cuts and fuck everyone else" and I think a lot of people in fly-over country are realizing that the Liberal snake-oil of "tax-cuts and pretend to give a shit about everyone else" doesn't work for them anymore.

Pity poor Stephane Dion. Elected to maintain the Liberal tradition of English-French-English-French leaders, and to allow the campaigns of Rae and Ignatieff to continue in the wings. But also fated to lead a party that doesn't have any further justifications for its miserable existence.

Hopefully the Liberal Party of Canada will go the same way as the Liberal Party in the UK. Shee-it, it happened in Manitoba.