Thursday, August 28, 2014

Full weight of post 9/11 fascism boot comes down on necks of two gals who got drunk on an airplane

OK, so Lilia and Milana guzzled their duty free booze in airplane loo, and promptly got in touch with their inner arseholes on their holiday flight to Cuba...

Got pissed, got loud, got in a fight...

In a gentler time someone would have told them to sit down and shut-up.

But no, in the post 9/11 world, you can never take chances... Lilia and Milana might be TERRORISTS!

So the Forces of Virtue scramble a couple of fighter jets to escort the airplane back to Toronto.

That's just stupid.

Canada invades Russia

No no no... they haven't moved Baird to Defence.

Canada invaded Russia 96 years ago.

But, it's a true fact that Russia has NEVER invaded Canada.

So when these Canadian big-talkers make sport of their supposed geography lesson to the Russians, at least we know they're not doing it from the moral high ground.

Israel busts major "Hezbollah linked" hashish smuggling ring

Thank goodness this mystery is finally solved!

But notice how seamlessly the War on Drugs and the War on Terror are conflated in the story. These Israeli Arabs were conspiring to smuggle drugs, and that is all the proof you need to tar them with the terror brush!

Hey, it's not their fault the best of the good stuff comes from the Bekaa, which is Shia territory in Lebanon... therefore Hezbollah territory.

The think tank here at Falling Downs was all over this story when the shit first hit the fan, and we opined at the time that if Arab Israelis didn't reach out to their brothers in the Bekaa, Jewish Israelis would be denied some of the best hashish in the world!

Leave them alone already!

They're doing a public service!

How "free trade" is helping Ashley Madison get money for nothing in South Korea

When the government of Canada announced the Canada South Korea Free Trade Agreement they probably weren't thinking about the free trade in spouses that Ashley Madison specializes in.

Nevertheless, Ashley Madison is first into the docket pressing a claim against South Korea for lost profit opportunities. Seems those dowdy Koreans are so backward that they have laws making adultery illegal, if you can imagine such a thing!

The Koreans voluntarily signed on to this trade deal (although it has yet to be ratified, so maybe this case will give them pause for thought) so they shouldn't be surprised. The main purpose of Free Trade Agreements is to enshrine in law the principle that corporate rights trump the rights of sovereign nations.

As for the dozens of times Trade Minister Fast has announced the "thousands of jobs for hard-working Canadians" that will ensue from this deal, that's what's known in the PR biz as a "whopper."

From us they buy raw materials and beef.

From them we buy cars and manufactured goods.

There's a lot more high-value jobs in manufacturing than in modern coal-mining or beef farming. And by the way, the tariffs we charge on their cars will be eliminated over two years - they'll take off the tariffs on our beef over 15 years.

Any jobs created by this deal will be in Korea... with the exception of the lawyers working for Ashley Madison!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Russia invades Ukraine again

What's that, the 10th time this month?

The New York Times has the honest truth for you.

Or not, whichever the case may be.

Frankly, you never know whether you're reading actual news that really happened, or wishful thinking concocted by Poroshenko or one of the fabulists in his cabinet.

This particular invasion has all the hallmarks of wishful thinking. A scary and, if true, very serious incident has occurred, an act of war, in fact!

This is serious business indeed!

For such a serious incident, there is a notable and highly conspicuous absence of evidence. Luckily, an unnamed US military official can confirm, anonymously of course, that there exist, under lock and key, actual photographs of Russian armoured convoys crossing into Ukraine, but unfortunately such evidence cannot be shared with the public for reasons of national security.

How does that make any sense?

But then those bullshittin' babes over at State go on TV talking up the story, and before you can say "your nose is growing", the New York Times is printing up the entire yarn as though it really happened!

American foreign policy has pretty much devolved into sabre-rattling and Putin-baiting. Given the track record over the past few decades, it is difficult to discern why a military confrontation with Russia would be a good idea from any point of view.

Netanyahu's declaration of victory rings hollow

Prime Minister Netanyahu's declaration of victory on Wednesday is unlikely to have fooled anyone, least of all the Israeli people.

The stated goals of Operation Solid Cliff/Protective Edge were variously to eliminate Hamas' rockets, create quiet in the south, and eliminate the tunnel networks.

Some tunnels have been destroyed. So long as a single shovel remains in Gaza, more can be built.

If there is quiet in the south today it is because Hamas are observing the ceasefire; not because the IDF silenced the rockets. Hamas kept up a steady barrage of rockets and mortars right into the last minutes before the ceasefire came into effect, in spite of relentless pounding by the IDF and IAF for more than seven weeks.

Gloating about Hamas' leadership being decimated is irrelevant even if it were true; there's plenty of eager recruits where those came from, and if history teaches anything, it's that the next generation of resistance leaders are generally younger, smarter, and more ruthless. Hamas' prestige has been enormously enhanced by Netanyahu's war and to claim otherwise is either brazenly dishonest or delusional.

The unstated goal, to destroy Hamas - PA reconciliation, was also a complete failure. The fact that it was PA negotiators speaking for Gaza and Hamas in Cairo shows they have been brought closer, not driven apart.

And the damage to Israel from Netanyahu's war of choice?

Immeasurable.

Hundreds of thousands have protested against Israel in nations not that long ago considered solid allies. Countries friendly until two months ago have recalled their ambassadors. Israel's relationship with its single most important benefactor has hit an all-time low.

Israel has never been more isolated.

Some victory.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Canadian tax-payers' complicity in the looting of Tanzania

If you're a regular reader of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs' feel-good press releases about the wonderful things we are doing for the people of Tanzania, you will no doubt be acquainted with programs such as this.

We have many such "help" programs afoot in the Dark Continent, and mostly they seem to hinge on supporting "sustainable development" via the offices of either big ag or the "extractive industries".

The first assumes that the natives of Africa are too stupid to feed themselves, although all the evidence seems to suggest they succeeded in doing exactly that for many thousands of years before enlightened Westerners turned up to help them.

The second assumes that the recipients of our "help" are too stupid to realize that "sustainable development" and "extractive industries" are mutually exclusive fields. Mining and energy companies are in Tanzania or anywhere else to get at the loot, not to provide social services.

The fact that they occasionally succeed in bamboozling the Canadian taxpayer into subsidizing some so-called social programs while they're busy extracting the loot changes nothing.

Which explains why, after everything we've done for Tanzania, it is still possible to read headlines like this; Deadly clashes continue at African Barrick gold mine.