Monday, July 25, 2016

Elizabeth Warren flushes career down toilet

Liz Warren gave the speech of a lifetime at the DNC just now.

Her abject toadying to Clinton was embarrassing in the extreme.

You know you're screwed when your political campaign needs a Jerry Springer endorsement

I've whiled away the afternoon watching the CBSN coverage of the Dem convention. So far the only hopeful note has been struck by those Bernie delegates who refuse to join Bern in his "roll over and die" routine.

And while it's noteworthy that Jerry Springer has arrived on my screen with his Hillary endorsement, I'm wondering what that really means for the Dems?

We're in deep shit, Trump is leading in the latest polls... these leaked emails are gonna kill us... time to bring out the heavy artillery... Jerry Springer.

Jerry Springer?

The Dems are schlonged.

Wheels falling off Hillary campaign

Been watching the Dem convention for the last hour or so. Seems to me that there's a whole lot of denial in the air about the significance of the email scandal. What more proof do people need before they admit the system is rigged?

How delusional do you have to be to believe that the same establishment that rigged the system is, for the next couple of days of speechifying, embracing the "progressive values" that were so obviously absent throughout eight years of Obama?

Bernie motivated a lot of mostly young people with his anti-establishment rhetoric in the primaries. He motivated them by speaking out against a lot of stuff that the establishment candidate personifies: big banks, big money in politics, Wall Street, imperial over-reach, just to name a few.

Nope, there's not a lot of those young folks gonna be voting for Hillary.

I said it last February and I'll say it again; Trump will bury Hillary in November.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Heat wave in Hicksville

It's been damned hot in these parts. Lawns are brown. Tempers fray readily.

It's a "heat dome," the internet tells me.

The old double brick pile here at Falling Downs can fight off the heat for two or three days, but if the high heat goes on much longer it becomes a sweat lodge. That's when we head for the shore.

So today we toured into town to pick up the Saturday Globe & Mail and then set up the lawn chairs on the south shore of Colpoy's Bay, over Big Bay way. There's plenty of shade and always a breeze coming off the bay, and of course, you've got your carte blanche to avoid all the household chores for the day.

Instead, we spend the day alternating between reading the paper and throwing sticks in the water for the dogs to fetch. Glorious indolence!

And 100% fully legitimised by that heat dome! It doesn't get much better than that!

You'll see a variety of boat traffic going back and forth in the course of an afternoon, and that's always fun too. I'm still negotiating the boat purchase with the Farm Manager. I've earned a few points lately with the new gas fireplace now gracing the living room, so it's just a matter of time.

There's every kind of watercraft you can imagine on Colpoy's Bay, from fifty foot cruisers to sailboats of all sizes to kayaks and canoes and the ubiquitous jet-skis. And it was a jet-ski that caused a double-take today.

The little park where we park our lawn chairs is a fave destination for scuba buffs from far and wide. That's not a hobby that I get. Like, you could run out of air and die... nah, that's not for me. But more power to the folks who get it. They've always got the little "diver down" buoys marking their spot. One day last summer we were sitting in our regular spot, the diver down buoy was maybe fifty feet off shore. A pair of jet-skis were screaming along the shore - must have had a good 50 mph going on. One of them dekes to the outside of the buoy, the other one, believe it or not, cuts between the buoy and the shore.

Holy heck... a guy or gal could be coming up for air in that zone and have their noggin' detached by a high-speed jet-ski... another reason not to scuba dive.

But no, that's not the cause of the double take today. Today, we saw a trio of jet-skis heading our way. Two that appeared to be racing, and one lagging a little behind. Up front, one machine was piloted by a single adult male; the other by a pair of teenage boys.

Here comes jet-ski number three, and it's... a woman in flowing robes wearing a headscarf?

It's the mom! It's a Muslim Canadian family out on jet-skis!


I haven't felt such a burst of positivity for the future of Canada since that time I was sitting by the water at Sibbald Point Provincial Park and a couple of sari-wearing middle-aged Indo-Canadian women paddled by in a canoe.

I think we're gonna be OK.

That's so Canadian, eh?

Adriana Barton had such a damn fine story in my Globe and Mail today I have to admit it brought a tear to my eye. Her multi-page feature in the Focus section takes a close look at an outfit called "The Dudes Club." That's a sort of mutual support group for the most down and out of the down and outers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

I spent a couple of days and nights in the neighbourhood about forty years ago. It was the kind of place where Lysol & Coke was a popular beverage among the older crowd and heroin was everywhere. It was rough then and the various cycles of new drug fads, crack, meth, what-have-you, haven't smoothed things out. Downtown Eastside is the end of the line, the end of the ride.

The Dudes Club (Dudes is an acronym for Downtown Urban Knights Defending Equality and Solidarity) is a bi-weekly get together that focuses on men's health issues. Not just the kinds of health issues around drinking Lysol and injecting drugs, but the psychological issues that give rise to those behaviours. By all accounts it is a very successful program.

A doctor by the name of Paul Gross seems to be the spark-plug of the operation. We are told that Dr. Gross, who volunteers his own time and serves as medical director, runs the program on a budget of $15,000 per year.

A few paragraphs later we get this;

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are evaluating the program as part of a three year, $270,000 study...


As in WTF kind of a society are we when we scrape together $15,000 to fund a life-altering program that helps some of the most vulnerable among us, then find $90,000 per year to "evaluate" it?

That's so Canadian, eh?

Russian balloonist claims world record; immediately disqualified for doping

Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov set a new world record by single-handedly circumnavigating the globe in a helium balloon in eleven days, shattering the previous record set by American Steve Fossett in 2002. Fossett managed the feat in thirteen days.

Unfortunately Mr. Konyukhov's triumph was short-lived. On landing in the Australian Outback he was immediately surrounded by a team of Canadian lawyers who forcibly removed his trousers and wouldn't give them back until he had provided a urine sample.

Subsequent testing confirmed what most informed observers had already suspected; when a Russian sets a record, they must be cheating. Leading anti-doping activist Dick Pound announced the results at a press conference in Australia. "Hopefully this will send a message to Mr. Putin that doping in sport will no longer be tolerated."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Smug CBC journos still think Trump is the problem

Trump is not the problem.

He's probably not the solution, either.

He's a symptom.

Here's CBC stalwart Terry Milewski marvelling that our new PM has managed to keep his cool while vile Trump has been bad-mouthing both NAFTA and NATO.

Sorry. As much as I want to like Trudeau and want to dislike the Manhattan condo pitch-man, I don't see the issue here. It's high time somebody bad-mouthed both NAFTA and NATO.

Too bad that bad-mouthing has never come from anyone in the Canadian political or media firmament.

In Canada, the political elite and their media sycophants don't need to tell you that NAFTA has been nothing but good for you, because they've spent 25 years telling you that already, so they assume you know.

And questioning NATO is of course far beyond the pale, because after all, NATO is our last line of defence against Putin's aggression. Everybody in Canada knows this, because every Canadian media platform has been telling us forever.

Sorry. I'm one of the heretics who thinks that when you stack up "Putin's aggression" against US/NATO aggression over the past quarter century or so, it's more than obvious who has been the aggressor.

How refreshing that a US presidential candidate would want to visit that reality.