Friday, June 23, 2017

When your national pride is contingent on killing a man two miles away, you're f*cked

Lots of hoo-ha and boo-ya and chest thumping in Canada today about that remarkable story of a Canadian sniper setting a new record for a long-distance kill.

So far, the only noteworthy political voice calling this gloating into question has been Angry Tom.

Must say I was pleased to see that the Globe and Mail saw fit to print several letters to Ed from folks appalled by the news coverage around this disgusting story.

One of those letters actually drew a line from this story to future Islamic terrorism in Canada. That's a letter-writer who'll be getting a visit from CSIS in short order.

Good luck to you, pal!

How to fight terrorism while sponsoring terrorists

This Mohammad bin Salman dude who is now boss of Saudi Arabia has quite a track record for such a youthful world leader.

He's the architect of the collapse in world oil prices, a strategy that has been an epic fail. It has hurt Saudi Arabia more than any of the intended targets.

He's also the architect of the Yemen war, which is an unmitigated disaster and also an epic fail.

And as of this week, he's also the heir apparent to the leadership of the sclerotic state of Saudi Arabia.

Ya, Saudi Arabia is fucked.

Oddly enough, President Trump wasted no time offering congrats to this incorrigible youngster. He sees an eager vassal keen to do the bidding of Uncle Sam, and that's true to a point.

There are any number of policy initiatives taken by this imbecile that threaten catastrophic blow-back not only to Saudi Arabia but to the Middle East in general.

Sucking up to Israel will never fly in the Arab street. Perhaps it's a valid concept among the princelings in the Kingdom, but it will never find favour among the masses.

The Trump initiated quarantine of Qatar is another goose on its way to being cooked. If you've read this far you already know the hilarious demands that MBS and his Arab acolytes (all US vassal states, by the way) have made of Qatar.

Shut down Al Jazeera. Theoretically this should raise the hackles of freedom of speech advocates worldwide, but thus far the condemnation of this initiative has been muted.

Break commercial ties with Iran. After all, as Trump and the entire upper echelon of US power-brokers never tire of reminding us, Iran is the mother ship of terror networks world-wide.

Stop supporting terrorism. There's no question that Qatar has supported terrorism... in Syria. A far bigger sponsor of terrorism has been the very state that MBS is now the putative and temporary head of. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and Hezbollah are only "terror" entities in countries where Israeli lobbying has succeeded in rendering them as such.

How many 9/11 terrorists hailed from Qatar?

How many from Saudi Arabia?

Kick Turkey out of their base in Qatar. This could get interesting. The US has a far larger base in Qatar. The US and Turkey are NATO allies. Turkey is essentially a Muslim Brotherhood hood. That won't change anytime soon. Read up on Erdogan's approval ratings. He's doing much better than Trump.

Interesting times indeed!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Canada is number one!

A couple of life-times ago I was on a flight from Saint John to Toronto, seated next to a dude in the Canadian Forces. He'd just spent six weeks at Gagetown for a spell of sniper training.

Over a few brews we sort of bonded, especially after he let it slip that he'd been expelled from the University of Guelph.

Expelled from U of Goo? That got my attention! UG is one of my alma maters. Try as I might I never succeeded in getting expelled. Have I mentioned the time I got my car stuck on that stairway between Johnson Hall and the academic building next to it? Ya, it was the end of a long night at the Bullring... but I'm getting off topic here.

While I was never expelled, I did get intimately acquainted with university governance. I was on a first name basis with several members of the "senate." You can see why Buddy's story caused me to pay attention.

Buddy went to Gagetown to get his sniper qualifications. If I remember correctly, that involved lots of practice, and for your final exam you had to put five out of five shots through a loonie-size target from a thousand metres.

Buddy passed his exam!

So when I read today that a Canadian sniper had set a new world record for a long distance kill, you can appreciate why my thoughts immediately went to that long ago flight from Saint John to Toronto.

Our latest Canadian hero has set a new standard in sniperdom by killing a man three and a half kilometres away. With one extremely well executed shot.

Boo ya!

I hadn't been back to Ontario for a year or so, and I enquired of my new friend what the price of a case of beer might be these days.

He didn't know the answer to that, but he knew the price of a keg right down to the penny.

I guess that's the difference between the folks who actually succeed in getting expelled from university and the also-rans.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

As dream of starter home fades in Toronto, it's time to look elsewhere

All the Very Wise People who have been promoting Toronto as a go-to destination both for tech businesses and their attendant employees forgot one little detail.

Yes, Mr. Florida, I'm calling you out.

They're not gonna come to Toronto if they can't afford to live there.

And I truly believe we have achieved that critical mass.

The big dogs in global business are busy as can be in grinding wages down.

Meanwhile, their ideological cousins who control the local real estate markets are busy as can be bidding up local prices to international levels.

That's why a 450 square foot condo in downtown Toronto is worth half a million bucks, which is pretty much what my farm three hours away is worth.

Who do you think has a better quality of life? The guy on the farm or the guy in that condo?

Why the Toronto Star deserves to fail

I'm looking at the front page of the business section of today's Toronto Star. Four stories are introduced to us on the front page.

Dream of starter homes fades in TO.

HBC's activist investor has been here before.

Wynne welcomes Amazon in Canada.

Airports ban ads from passenger aid company.

In the first story, Tess Kalinowski informs us that Toronto's chief planner, Jenn Keesmaat, is sad that regular folks can no longer afford a single family home in Toronto. But she is happy that when a family of five squeezes into a 500 square foot condo, they leave a smaller footprint.

Well, I guess that's nice.

But Keesmaat also informs us that Toronto home-buyers are competing with global capital.

So tough shit, I guess. My question would be this; does Jenn Keesmatt draw her generous salary for planning a city for global capital, or does she draw it for planning for Toronto residents?

Too bad the Star never asks this question.

Then Jennifer Wells has a reasonably informative story about a big-league finance sharpie, Jonathan Litt, who is offering unsolicited advice to Hudson Bay Company on how to stay afloat. Monetize your real estate!

HBC is run by another finance sharpie, Rick Baker, who has done very well by doing exactly that. This is the guy who made billions selling the Zeller's leases to Target, and is now making more billions selling them again after Target went tits up.

Seems retail is stressed because "disrupters" are turning the retail world upside down!

So here's the next story; Wynne welcomes Amazon in Canada.

Oh ya! Amazon! The "disrupter" par excellence!

HBC is on the ropes and Target and Zellers are long gone but we should welcome, as Wynne does, the "disrupters." Apparently if we are not on board in destroying our retail infrastructure we will be "followers" instead of leaders...

Alrighty then!

So far the Star has told us it's OK that Toronto only builds housing for "global capital" and retail is fucked anyway so let's spread 'em wide for Amazon.

Last story on the front page of the Star's business section today tells us that a company that helps airline passengers get compensated for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights has had their adverts blocked from Toronto's only international airport!

What a surprise!

What's the common theme in these four tales from the front page of the business section on the Toronto Star?

The way I read it, they're telling the regular folks to fuck off and suck it up. Big Biz knows best!

Remember, this is Canada's "liberal" newspaper of record.

Remember too, that although the Star can't afford to hire someone to connect the dots between their various stories, they can afford to keep a correspondent in DC to catalogue the lies of Donald Trump, because... that's what Canadians are really interested in?

All of these stories would be toxic to Star founder Joe Atkinson, a guy who believed that the common man deserved at least a little bit of truth-telling.

Meanwhile, the five multi-millionaire families who have controlled the Star forever are busy lobbying the government for subsidies so they can stay in business.

I say, let 'em sink.

We already have a CBC.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This story stinks

By now I'm sure you've heard the sordid story of the woman in Mississauga who demanded that her child be seen by a "white doctor."

No.

Fucking.

Way.

And this allegedly happened in Mississauga, one of the most ethnically diverse constituencies in all the land?

Get the fuck outta here!

I have no clue how any white person would manage to live a life in Mississauga without regular and intimate contact with brown people.

Especially if they have any contact with... the health care system?

The judicial system?

The education system?

Their neighbourhood Tim Hortons?

This story is bullshit from end to end and top to bottom.

Here's my theory; this "story" was an end-of-semester project by theatre arts students from York or Ryerson. Now that it's gone viral, they're guaranteed an A+.

If I'm wrong, this story is far stinkier than I ever could have imagined.

Frogs and lawnmowers

Frogs and lawnmowers are not a healthy combo. At least not for the frogs.

Just to be clear, after the Stumpy episode I instituted frog-friendly lawn-mowing protocols here at Falling Downs.

Yes, frogs have the right-of-way at all times.

If you're not sure where Froggy went, shut down the mower and do a search in the immediate vicinity.

I think this frog-friendly approach I've taken is at least partially responsible for the fact there's no frog shortage in these parts. In fact, at certain times of the year you can't drive down Concession 20 without annihilating dozens of them. You're literally driving over a carpet of frogs.

But today I witnessed something I've never seen before. I'm pushing the mower through the grass in the side-yard between the house and the barn, when a good sized frog launches himself right onto the mower deck.

That's no big deal. It's happened before. But whenever it's happened before, the next hop is to get the fuck outta there!

Not this dude. No, he just settled in, a couple inches behind the motor, and enjoyed the ride! Ya, for ten minutes or so he just sat there as I pushed the mower back and forth.

Had all his appendages from what I could tell, so it wasn't Stumpy.

Spawn of Stumpy, perhaps?