Monday, September 30, 2013

The Jews are OK, but the nazi pogrom against the Roma continues

Since the Hitler era, we have seen the establishment of Israel, which has become the bully of the Middle East, replete with a tidy arsenal of nuclear weapons and a perpetual free pass from any UN condemnation courtesy of big brother in Washington.

Nobody gonna mess with those folks.

Those other denizens of the gas chambers of the nazi empire, the Roma, have got what?

A crisis in that bastion of human rights, Sweden, where it has come out that there is a secret registry of all Roma living in the land.

To what end?

Another crisis in socialist France, where opinion polls made public at the weekend revealed that a full three out of four Frenchmen are in favour of kicking the Roma out of the country.

And yet another door slammed shut in that multicultural paradise, Canada, where last year the Harper government took Hungary off the list of countries whose emigres are eligible to be considered for refugee status - because as everyone knows there is no possible way that anyone from that capitalist democracy could possibly be facing persecution of any sort.



What could possibly be the problem?

Neo-Thatcherites double down on stupidity

So the austerity enema isn't working?

Well alrighty then... just jam that hose up there a little further and double the water-pressure!

Something's bound to give...

That's the Osborne-Cameron prescription for UK prosperity.

Let's see now... doesn't work, haint worked ever, and haint ever gonna work, but lets double down anyway because we haint got no other ideas.

If there's ever been a buncha discredited twats laying ruin to the empire, it's gotta be this lot.

They truly are intent on out-flanking Blair in the arsehole sweeps.

Seven more years of pain?

Hey folks, it's time to rise up...

Tell the twats to fuck right off.


Kenya troops loot shops during Westgate Mall terror

If that's how Kenya's soldiers deport themselves while hunting down Islamic terrorists in the country's finest shopping mall, how do you suppose they conduct themselves in their occupation of Somalia?

Reports of rape, looting, arbitrary arrest and summary execution of Somalis by Kenyan forces have been rampant in the two years since the Kenyan invasion.

Perhaps this has something to do with the enmity that al-Shabaab harbours for their Kenyan neighbours?

Could this have motivated the Somali reprisal?

Or do they just hate Kenyans for their freedom to shop?

And let's not forget that both the President and Deputy President of Kenya are wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

In spite of all this, Western media manage to portray Kenya as a beacon of freedom and prosperity, a model for all Africa to emulate.

Perhaps we're not getting the whole story?

Canadian Foreign Minister Baird empties the UN

Here's a screen capture taken at the 15:26 mark of John Baird's speech to the UN today. This is an event that will be treated with the utmost reverence on the evening news at CTVCBCGlobal tonight, and you can bet they'll all stick to the closely cropped shots of Baird talking.

So what did Mr. Baird have to say in the empty hall? John dropped a couple of impressive references to Homer and Cicero. Offered up the usual bromides about Israel's right to exist, because apparently in Canada there is still some confusion about the matter. Warned the world about the ulterior motives behind Iran's recent "charm offensive". Expressed concern for little girls and Syrians. Denounced the evil dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people.

If you want to know what he didn't talk about, you'll find it here in this handy fact sheet compiled by Canada's Assembly of First Nations.

There you'll learn that First Nations people in Canada live in Third World conditions; die younger, have higher rates of tuberculosis, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, are imprisoned at exponentially higher rates than white Canadians, and are suffering a suicide epidemic.

Some would see the plight of First Nations in Canada as the continuation of 500 years of genocide by the colonizers. 

Apparently John Baird doesn't see it at all.

If he did, he'd stay home to do something about it instead of minding everybody else's business at the UN.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Talking to Uncle Sid

First of all, Sid ain't my uncle.

I don't think, technically speaking, he's even an "uncle" to the Farm Manager. Maybe a second cousin once removed or something.

Anyway, I ran into Sid at the family get-together about a month back.

Usually I only run into Sid at family funerals.

So I grabbed Sid's hand for a good old farm-style handshake, "hey good to see ya Sid... I only see you at funerals!"

I should mention that Sid is 87 years old. Still goes to his office at his law practice every day. Still got all his marbles, and they're all rolling in the right direction.

I think he does real estate law mostly. You can probably do that till you're 150. After all, what can go wrong? The title searchers do the title search. The lien checkers check for liens. The legal secretaries and assorted unpaid interns do the rest.

When all those folks have done all your work, you give it the stamp of approval and off you go!

Now that's just a general rant about real estate lawyers. I don't mean for a moment to suggest that's how Sid rolls.

But Sid is one savvy dude. When I mentioned about only seeing him at family funerals he rejoinders, without a moment of hesitation, "ya I know! Everybody I know is dead!"

What a great guy to have a beer with!

Here's to ya, Sid!

Canada greenlights industrial-scale marijuana grow-ops

Obviously the Harper gang wants to let a bit of the pot-scented wind out of Justin Trudeau's sails.

And they're doing it in the typical Harper way.

To hell with the cottage industry types growing organic weed for the connoisseurs. So what if some hillbilly can come up with a hundred pounds of organic additive-free primo; the Harper gang wants to shut those guys down and deal with "legitimate businessmen" who have a verifiable track record of financially supporting the Conservative Party.

"Legitimate businessmen" who will undoubtedly be one or two degrees of separation away from Asian crime gangs or the bikers, the very groups attempting to monopolize the illegal trade now.

Maybe this is the quid pro quo attached to Harper's billion dollar gift of subway construction funding to the drug-dealing Ford brothers of Toronto?

Susan Rice claims US still supporting moderate Syrian rebel

Four days after a coalition of Syrian rebel groups rejected the leadership of the US sponsored Syrian National Coalition, Susan Rice appeared on Fareed Zakaria's show on CNN to assure the American public that the US continues to support the moderate rebel in Syria.

Falling Downs field operatives tracked down the moderate rebel, Captain Abdul Barakat of Battalion One of the Free Syrian Army, at the Best Western in Istanbul for a Q & A.

FD: Captain Barakat, how is it you are able to fight Assad from your suite at the Best Western in Istanbul?

AB: I am temporarily on furlough, a little bit of R and R, and much needed, I must say.

FD: So you maintain command of your troops in the First Battalion from your command centre here?

AB: What troops? It's not called the First Battalion, it's Battalion One, because it has one guy. Me. Battalion Two had two guys but they defected to the Islamists.

FD: So when were you last in your country?

AB: I was in my country just last week.

FD: Where in Syria were you, and what was the situation on the ground?

AB: Syria? I wasn't in Syria, I was in my country. I live in London. Situation on the ground is tense. That Cameron is an idiot, worse than Blair.

FD: Oh... so when were you last in Syria?

AB: I flew in with Senator McCain a couple of months ago for a photo op. That's me there in the picture, right behind the Senator.

FD: So... do you actually have any fighters on the ground in Syria?

AB: Of course! We are all brothers united against Assad... every fighter is my brother!

FD: But do you command any of them?

AB: This the problem from the lack of support from USA. We need heavy weapons. Tanks and drones too, and no-fly zone across country. If Americans step up support, maybe nice shock and awe from Hellfire missiles and Pavemaster on Assad for a few months, then I have command in Syria, but America shameful for lack of help for Syrian freedom fighters. All they supporting now is State Department pay bill at Best Western, but Abdul left to fend for self on bar fridge tab.

FD: Well good luck to you, Captain Barakat, and thank you for your time.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Deluge of horrible headlines will let Watsa get Blackberry for cheap

You have to wonder what's behind the rash of headlines like this one.

Headlines to the effect that T-mobile, the smallest of the big-four mobile providers in the US by a wide margin, would no longer sell the Blackberry, were all over the media this past week.

When you dig into the story a bit you find out that contrary to what the headline says, T-mobile will continue to sell, display, and provide service for the Blackberry.

Combine that headline with the near-billion dollar "loss" announced this week and leaked last week, and therefore reported continuously for two weeks worth of business news cycle, and it's not hard to see why there's been a lot of downward pressure on the share price.

So the T-mobile story is essentially a misrepresentation, the billion dollar loss is actually a "writedown", and the Fairfax offer to buy the company at nine bucks suddenly looks generous.

At least if you take those headlines at face value.

Here's a story from Forbes a few days ago that puts a value of over $20 on the stock.

While that may be a little optimistic, Prem Watsa's dream of buying the company at $9 is a little too opportunistic.

Was Tim Giardina Sheldon Adelson's man in the Pentagon?

I hear the scoffer's crying "so what!.. he's got plenty more!"

Which is no doubt true, and he's got plenty of friends in the ranks of the elected as well, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a fellow on board, or in your pocket, who has personal access to the most sophisticated nuclear arsenal on the planet.

But think about it; what do you suppose the credit limit is going to be when a Vice Admiral in the US Navy sidles up to the roulette table in one of Sheldon's Macau casinos?

Friday, September 27, 2013

TMZ reports Obama and Rouhani are dating

They didn't report that, and as far as I know Obama and Rouhani are not dating, but they might as well be judging by the shocked tone of a lot of American media.

By God, they're talking on the phone...

What the hell could that mean?

Obama might earn that Nobel after all!

Be a dabbler, not a diehard

I was chatting with a fellow who used to be a shop teacher in the local high school.

He was whining on about how training all the kids all the time that they have to be the best and it's a hyper-competitive world and if they're not in the top decile they have essentially flushed their lives down the toilet, may not be doing the kids any favours.

Ironically, while he's still a teacher, he's not a shop teacher anymore, because the school board has been closing down all the old-school technology programs. You know the ones; those archaic throw-backs to a time when people knew how to fix cars and repair plumbing.

We're in the cyber era now. Nobody needs toilets anymore. We're shitting digital, aren't we?

Call the virtual plumber.

But Buddy may have had a point. Brainwashing the youngsters into believing that the world runs on some sort of dog-eat-dog perversion of meritocracy may look good in a Ministry of Education policy paper, but it ain't the real world.

And further following the line of reasoning put forward by Buddy, he suggested the students do a mental experiment.

If all the six-number folks at the school board head office stopped going to work, how long would it take you to notice?

If all the $18/hr custodians in your school stopped going to work, how long will it take you to notice?

The respective answers are of course never and immediately.

Yet we want to motivate every child to work really hard and over-achieve their entire life so they can become the guy who will never be missed.

What's wrong with that picture?

In hindsight, I've concluded that he was getting at something important.

I had a prof at U of Guelph, Ken Menzies, who was always threatening to write "the" book on the best of all possible societies.

Now I know what you're thinking; "oh great, another Ivory Tower wanker is going to share his utopian fantasy world!"

But Ken wasn't like that at all. In fact, Ken was so laid back that he never got around to writing the book.

Nevertheless, over many pints I was able to plumb his mind and get to the nitty-gritty of his perfect society.

Ken figured that we all would be better off if all the jobs in the society/economy were rotated regularly among all the citizens.

Common sense would of course impose a little bit of structure on such a practice. Virtually everybody could have a shot at being a convenience store clerk for a year, but I'm not sure we'd want just anybody checking into the neuro-surgeon job for a year.

But as a general policy, I have to say Ken's vision has some merit.

We'd all get a chance to dabble in a bit of this and a bit of that. You'd never become a diehard about anything.

And while such a mindset is foreign to our way of looking at things now, think of where we could go with it.

If everybody had spent a year as a trash collector, there would be no public support for the politicians who get elected by promising to privatize trash collection.

We'd realize that the trash collector merits a living wage, just like everyone else.

We'd realize that we need to pay taxes to provide this living wage.

I suspect Ken's utopia would run into rough water when they sent riff-raff like me in to run a hedge fund while the hedge fund managers do their garbage collection stint.

Then again, that might be a win-win too.

When Steve Cohen finds himself making license plates for a couple years, I could just slide in there and run SAC Capital Partners.

The minions need never know!

Dabbling vs. diehardism benefits other pursuits as well. If you're pissed off at US foreign policy, settle for tossing a few tomatoes at the local US consulate.

Forget about the suicide vest. That's got such an aura of "finality" about it, which is fine if you happen to be one of those Christian or Muslim fanatics who think you're going to spend eternity at the feet of Jesus or with 72 virgins respectively, but in reality it just means you're over.

Not to mention that your friends and loved ones will be stuck on no-fly lists forever.

And when you're throwing tomatoes at the US consulate, forget about rotten tomatoes. That just leaves a lot of rotten tomato goop on your hands and really messes up your accuracy.

So give up those fantasies about being the best of the best at this or at that; if you don't like your year as high school custodian, just wait till you get your year as school board superintendent.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pop culture and academic freedom; the David Gilmour shitstorm

David Gilmour has stirred up a hornets' nest of political correctitude with a candid interview he gave to Hazlitt.

While there's no shortage of folks scrambling to climb aboard the shit-on-Gilmour bandwagon, it's disheartening to see that no senior admin at U of T has found the balls to throw down the academic freedom card.

That's the same spinelessness that allowed Tom Flanagan to be hounded out of the University of Calgary earlier this year. Increasingly the "academy" limits itself to recycling pop-culture verities and cowers in fear when one of its own is being crucified for violating popular conventions.

David Suzuki set the tone for socially sanctioned intellectual bashing with his attack on Phillipe Rushton back in the 1980's. Suzuki proved that a media personality had far more popular credibility with the general public than an academic insider, and defenders of the principle of academic freedom were few and far between in Rushton's case, and have been fewer with every controversy since.

Once the academy internalizes self-censorship to appease the prevailing winds of popular prejudice, the rationale for having an academy in the first place is cast into doubt.

Paul Kagame; our kind of African

This weekend Canada is rolling out the red carpet for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

This is the same Canada that in 2009 refused entry to British blowhard MP George Galloway.

Don't get me wrong, I quite like George, and it's rare to see an MP in Britain or the colonies take the kind of aggressive stance on certain unpopular issues that George does. But at the end of the day, George is a dyed in the wool democrat who believes in free speech.

Paul Kagame is a dyed in the wool autocrat who doesn't.

Freedom of the press in Rwanda shares a small leaking lifeboat with gay rights in Rwanda; both the press and the gay community are free to shut the fuck up and hope for the best, and if that doesn't save their skins, well, they only have themselves to blame.

So why are we enamoured of Paul Kagame? There is no question that Kagame has milked his supposed role in ending the Rwanda genocide in the '90's. That's the ticket that has earned him respectability in the polite circles of Western society.

Less noted in those circles is Kagame's leadership role in the continuing destruction of the DRC. Kagame has long played a leading role in what is currently the longest-running and bloodiest war on the planet, the Congolese civil war, while at home, Kagame's record on human rights tends to make Gaddafi and al-Assad look not too bad.

So why do we lionize Kagame, but Assad and Gaddafi had to go?

Here's a hint; there's gold in them there hills of Rwanda, and there's a number of companies in Canada with great connections in Ottawa who are just aching to help those plucky Rwandans get it out of the ground.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Our" Syrian rebels abandon ship

Here's a story that's got to have hearts sinking at the Pentagon.

After everything we've done for them, after all the promises made by Hillary and then reaffirmed by Mr. Kerry, the good guys among the Syrian rebels have decided to join the bad guys among the Syrian rebels.

It's not a happy day for the America firsters.

After all the sweat and tears Hillary put into crafting this nice America-friendly Syrian opposition, the ingrates on the ground have decided to throw their lot in with the aQ crowd.

Now what?

Secret Bowie tapes uncovered at Falling Downs

Yup, they were in the barn, right in the hayloft under a pile of raccoon turds...

He's using a pseudonym, as he often does, but this is obviously quintessential Bowie.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hasso and Bobby

Here's a blast from the past.

Back in the day when I was DP trash coming up, we lived on the wrong side of the tracks in the tidy puritan village of Elora.

I remember this shit like it went down last week.

Charlie Hill lived on the wrong side of the tracks too. Not that Charlie was the sort to give a shit.

I enjoyed the celebrity that went along with being the only kid in grade one who couldn't speak the english language.

Try that in a puritan english-speaking village.

Celebrity may not be the right word.

But Charlie's daughter Donna didn't seem to mind walking me to school every day.

I got beat up later.

By grade three or so I'd got a bit bigger and was able to turn the tables on some of the local boys who thought kicking the shit out of a DP was the honourable thing to do. After all, their Daddys had too often come home missing a limb or two, and would spend the rest of their truncated lives selling pencils and apples from their perch on a mechanic's creeper in front of the Iroquois Hotel.

There came a point where I never got beat up again, and in fact I can't even remember the last whuppin.

So the years rolled by, and Charlie Hill, the one-legged well-driller, became one of the earliest and most loyal clients when my dear DP daddy got out of the factory and into the real estate business.

Ya, sounds crazy now, but that kind of mobility was possible back in the day.

Donna Hill married a guy named Modesto, who came from another branch of the extended DP family. Me and Modesto actually made the front page of the Guelph Daily Mercury, all smiles as we were tinkering under the hood of an Edsel that was destined for a charity auction.

It was auctioned off to raise funds for our high school shop.

As it turned out, our shop teacher's brother won that Edsel in the auction that followed our restoration.

That's the sort of coincidence that would raise eyebrows today, if not make headlines.

But back to Hasso and Bobby.

We had that big yellow brick house just south of where the Gorge Family Restaurant is today in Elora. That, by the way, is another DP success story, but not one I'll get into now.

My family lived in the downstairs. My uncle Horst and his family lived in the upstairs. Horst had a millwright ticket that he'd earned in Switzerland. That made him a shoe-in for a welding inspector job at the General Electric plant that opened up in Guelph in the middle fifties.

Horst's family had a dog named Bobby. It was almost always chained to a tree between the chicken houses and the barn.

Bobby's tree.

Our family had a dog named Hasso that almost always ran free.

Times changed, and the dogs had to go. Horst gave Bobby to a work mate who lived a few miles away, and we never saw him again.

Our free-range Hasso was fobbed off on a work-mate of my Daddy who lived 50 miles away.

A few days later, Hasso had found his way back home.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Prem Watsa's Blackberry bluff

According to media reports, Prem bought big into Blackberry way back when the shares were going up up up. Some reports peg his average purchase for his 10% BBY stake in the $30 a share range.

If that's the case, Prem is down a good billion or so on his Blackberry file.

Just as we predicted here yesterday, Mr. Watsa has moved on Blackberry, at the shamefully opportunistic price of nine bucks a share.

I guess it's not that shameful if you've got a 10% stake that you paid more for than what you're buying the other 90% for today.

But there is no reason to let Prem walk away with the company at nine bucks.

Tony Blair takes time out from JP Morgan sinecure to shill for global warming

Phony Tony's got himself on the front page again.

This week he's an expert on climate change. Have you noticed the subtle shift in emphasis that the carbon tax crowd has taken over the last year or so? It used to be "global warming" this and "global warming" that and global warming out the ying yang...

They don't talk about global warming much anymore, do they?

But that godam climate change is gonna be the death of us, ain't it?

The reason the JP Morgan/Al Gore/Tony Blair crowd has such a keen interest in "climate change" today and "global warming" last week is because they've got the answers, don't you know! The answers involve convoluted carbon credit exchanges that work like this;

  1. Cabal of big banks and commodity brokers set up carbon credit exchange.
  2. Every entity that has a carbon footprint will need to pay a fee to that exchange.
  3. Exchange members will have the sole right to exchange carbon credits for cash!
  4. Gross carbon output will continue to rise, but aforementioned cabal will profit from every ton of carbon produced, thereby propping up real estate values in Mayfair, upper east side, and wherever else the new golden boys of capitalism, the carbon brokers, choose to put down roots.
That pretty much sums it up. On the other hand, there are real reasons why real people might want to turn thumbs down at the continuing excesses of the fossil fuel oligopoly. Traditional belief systems the world over value mother earth, and humanity's role as stewards of nature. You don't have to be a climate change fanatic to realize that wasting a hundred barrels of fresh water to dredge up one barrel of tar sands sludge is profoundly stupid.

Or that injecting poisons into the earth to "frac" reluctant oil and gas formations is foolhardy to the point of criminality.

Or that merrily forging ahead with nuclear power when there is no known solution to the problem of nuclear waste is beyond reckless.

Yet all of these technologies are underwritten with great enthusiasm by the same gang of self-dealing opportunists who have for a generation been flogging the global warming/climate change guilt trip!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The never-ending "collapse" of Blackberry

The past week or so has brought us lots of hand-wringing about the future of Canada's supposedly iconic tech company, Blackberry.

The national newspaper of record used the word "collapse" in their headline.

CBC speculates that the company has no future.

The National Post sees a "death spiral" and wants Ottawa to step in.

None of this is news.

Here's Nat Barookhian over two years ago; RIM Blackberry hanging by a thread.

Here's the geeks at Brighthand a year and a half ago; RIM's freefall continues.

The fact of the matter is that given competitive technology, which the critics generally agree the company has provided in their last iteration of the Blackberry, the company can keep going indefinitely with somewhere around 1-2% of the global market.

The death spiral, such as it was, came after the record years of 2010 and 2011, when the senior management of the time were resting on their laurels and plotting to overthrow Gary Bettman.

The widely headlined "billion dollar loss" of the last quarter is one of those accounting fictions that doesn't necessarily mean real money was lost. The latest staff downsizing is an acknowledgement that the days of pretending they're heading back to the glorious heights of '09 are over.

Those five thousand job cuts will translate into more imaginary write-downs going forward. They also translate into roughly 2 billion per year in cost savings. That should allow the debt-free company to run profitably on an annual sales volume of around 10 million.

The only real question around Blackberry's survival is whether it can maintain a niche of that very modest size.

Prem Watsa is one guy reading the doom and gloom stories with keen interest. I've heard he uncorks another magnum for every negative story in a major news outlet.

He's the guy who's going to take the company private, but he'd rather do it at $8 a share than $18.

Former tycoon and IRA man well down Alzheimer Highway

You know where you're heading when you "forget" a sack filled with 140,000 euros that you'd stashed in the bathroom vanity. It's not the same as forgetting where you last stashed your baggie 'o weed.

Tom McFeely has lived an interesting life.

Wonder what he remembers of it?

The Canadian way; funding cuts for Native groups, handouts for billionaires

Times are tough all over. That's why we all have to tighten our belts.

Especially our Native neighbours. God knows they've been living high on the hog long enough. Just listen to Atleo whining about clean water and infrastructure... get over yourself, Shawn!

We're all in this together...

Or maybe not. Just this past week International Trade Minister Ed Fast found a few millions to spread around among the lucky participants of the Global Opportunities for Associations Program. Right Honourable Ed made the announcement at one of the Linamar plants in Guelph. Linamar itself will be a beneficiary of the program due to its membership in the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association.

Right Honourable Ed's announcement came a month after Linamar announced record Q2 financials.

Sales up 9% to over $900 millions in the quarter.

Profit up almost 40% to over $90 millions...

Yup, these folks need a government hand-out for sure!

But let's not be too harsh with the Harperites; they are merely doing God's work on earth.

Just like the Good Book says right there in the Gospel of Mathew, chapter 25, verse 29; "For unto everyone that hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."

Carry on, Ed.

Sorry about your luck, Shawn.

Israeli commandos prepare to liberate shopping mall in Kenya

I wonder if they're going to call it "foreign aid"?

This one-ups the Canadian policy of subsidizing their mining companies and calling it foreign aid. The Netanyahu government is signalling that the IDF now stands on guard for Israeli capitalists anywhere in the word their investments might take them. 

That could bode ill for the suits at Potash Corp if they try to take another run at Israeli Chemicals. Before you know it you'll have IDF special forces rappelling up the HQ in Saskatoon. And be warned, any would-be African potentate who might try to rein in Dan Gertler's rampant entrepreneurialism in the Dark Continent. 

Frankly, this is a good move for big capital, Israeli or not. No more lip service to antiquated notions of the integrity of sovereign states and all that claptrap.

After all, it's money makes the world go round, and when we send armies across borders to protect it, they're really protecting it for all of us...

Aren't they?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The rise of poverty in Frau Merkel's Germany

The never-ending applause for the "economic miracle" that is Germany needs a reality check.

True enough, the relatively robust German economy may be "the strong man of Europe," but relative to what?

Relative to Greece and Spain?

Even a dwarf can be the tall man of Europe, provided he stands next to a fellow of even more diminutive stature.

Here's a story about the rapid growth of food banks in Germany. You will note in the graph that the number of food banks in Germany when Frau Merkel became Chancellor in 2005 stood at 480.

By 2012 that number had surpassed 900.

Selke's argument is actually far more interesting than the simple rise in the number of food banks would indicate. He claims that food banks allow us to ignore the structural problems that create poverty by applying band-aid solutions to treat the symptoms.

He may be right, but at least people get to eat.

Al-Shabaab goes to the mall

Al-Shabaab, the Somali al-Qaeda acolytes, have been declared defeated on a regular basis over the past several years, most recently by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Turns out they're not defeated at all, they just went to the mall.

And not just any mall, but the most prestigious mall in all Kenya.

In fact, one could make a case for this not being a Kenyan mall at all, but an upscale Israeli mall transplanted into Nairobi. Apparently the Westgate mall was such a favorite among tourists from the Holy Land that it even housed a synagogue on the premises. 

Westgate Mall; a taste of the Holy Land in the heart of the Dark Continent.

Having just passed the 12th anniversary of 9/11, one could be forgiven for imagining that the forces of al-Qaeda are on the rise, rather than on the run, as we are frequently led to believe.

"Our" good FSA rebels in Syria have been defecting to the "bad" al-Qaeda rebels in droves.

Our man in Abuja, Goodluck Jonathan, is not having much luck rooting out the al-Qaeda linked Boko Haram.

Libya, Mali, and on it goes...

Recent indications are that AFRICOM intends to gets serious and rid the Dark Continent of the al-Qaeda virus once and for all.

If our past successes are any indication, then we'll really be in trouble.

Fanning the fading embers of Syrian war

Just as the war-mongers were feeling down in the dumps about the fast-fading prospects for war on Syria, along comes The Telegraph to restore a glimmer of hope.

The Telegraph is reviving the tale of Syrian General Zaher al-Sakat in what it claims is his first interview with western media. While the story of al-Sakat's having refused Assad's orders to gas his own people has been around since last April, the Telegraph interview does reveal some new and oh-so-alarming new info.

Assad has already given those chemical WMDs to Hezbollah!



Gaddafi forever!

As in; we will blithely continue to blame the long-departed former dictator for the complete mess that the Nations of Virtue created when they so boldly engineered his demise in "Operation Odyssey Dawn."

A few days ago the esteemed international human rights careerist Ian Martin had an opinion piece in The Guardian decrying the dearth of international support for Libya's imaginary nascent democracy.

While imploring us to see "Libya's travails in its own terms," Martin also reminds us that those travails stem from the fact that the country was "left by Gaddafi devoid of almost every institution of modern governance."

Yup, it's all Gaddafi's fault!

Martin gives us a few paragraphs singing the praises of democracy in Libya, and then offers us this;

What should be the response of those whose concern is for Libya itself? A group of American experts has just written to John Kerry, the US secretary of state, advising him to increase Washington's engagement in the country.

Ah!... let's have a look at those disinterested altruists whose concern is only for Libya itself.

Here is the letter those experts have just written to John Kerry, who Mr. Martin reminds us is the US secretary of state, just in case you said to yourself "John WHO?" when you read the name.

If you cast a glance at the list of signatories and spend a few minutes with your favorite search engine you'll soon realize that this group of disinterested altruists represents a cross-section of folks who lobbied hard for the intervention and have spend the intervening time bemoaning the fact that the anticipated rebuilding bonanza has failed to materialize.

Oh look, there's Jakob Wichmann, founder of JMW consulting. JMW is so proud of their client list, they're more than happy to share a few names with you on their website.

BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell... those are just a few of the names that practically leap from the page.

And then you have Stephen Hollingshead, founder, Friends of Libya Foundation. Stephen is given to uttering such imbecilities as "Libya is destined to become the United States of the Arab World."

As in a shining beacon on a hill, etc.

Here is a small insight into the quality of analysis that Hollingshead serves up;

“When the state crumbled in Iraq and Afghanistan, citizens stood around, hands in pockets, and wondered when the Americans would turn the lights and water back on. In Libya, people just made things work themselves. There is a very strong American-style spirit of individual initiative.”

That's from that "plucky" Libyan newspaper financed by American money, The Libya Herald.

Seems that Libyans have that Yankee can-do spirit that the Afghans and the Iraqis are lacking. Those states mysteriously "just crumbled," and then the lazy towelheads just stood around waiting for the Americans to make it better.

By contrast, the Libyans rolled up their sleeves and got 'r done.

Except that they didn't.

That nascent democracy is more nascent today than it was a year ago. The country is a shambles. It will take a generation or more to restore the standard of living it had before the US/NATO "liberation."

Isn't it about time to stop blaming Gaddafi? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goldman Sachs flunkie to be next US ambassador to Canada

That's not news... that's what we've come to expect!

Bruce will no doubt assist the provincials in coming to terms with the ins and outs of that new top secret TPP deal... the one that will permit the multi-nationals domiciled in the signatory nations to sue those sovereign states for any damages that might be incurred when uppity citizens insist on bullshit like safety standards, environmental standards, minimum wages, health care, pensions... the whole nine yards of the standard socialist wish list.

Bruce, you got here in the nick of time!

You'll be busy for the next couple weeks with the entire Harper cabinet genuflecting and trying to touch your raiments, but they mean well... it's nothing to worry about.

Trust me, they're on your side.

A whole lotta honkin' goin' on

This time of year the Canada geese are tuning up for the big V that's gonna take 'em to the Carolinas and beyond, there to befoul the beaches and the public spaces over the winter months like they do here over the summer months.

The Canada geese are late to the game. The Sandhill cranes have left for their wintering roosts in Georgia and Florida and Alabama. The hummingbirds are gone too, off to Mexico and Guatemala and Panama.

The Sandhill cranes and the hummingbirds are gone. Wasn't a lot of fuss involved. The cranes ganged up for a few days, which is a sight to behold. The hummingbirds just left.

But these geese, by God, do they ever like to make it a dramatic production. They've got more test flights than the new Dreamliner. There's been at least half a dozen test take-offs over Falling Downs just this afternoon.

You can hear these test flights long before you can see them. There's a great honkin' ruckus emanating from the marsh. It gets louder, louder, and louder, till you see the first of the geese...

And then you realize why they need to practice.

There's a point goose, and a partial vee, and then... oh wait a minute... is that another point goose?.. and another vee?.. and oops, there's a batch of newbies flying four abreast... what the hell is that all about?

This does not only look sketchy to the human observer on the ground; it is the source of much ill will among the geese.

You can hear it in the honking.

Honkhonkhonk... over here, you fucking morons...

Honkhonkfuckyouhonk fall in behind I'm the honkin' leader...

Honkhonkhonk myass I'm the fucking leader honkhonk fall in now!...

Honkhonkhonk hey why we gotta fly in a fuckin' V when this straight line is so egalitarian and feels right honk honk...

Oh for honkhonk fucks sakes... fall in you fucking retards... we done this trip for a million generations...AND WE FLY IN A FUCKING VEE AND NOT IN A STRAIGHT HONKING LINE!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greeks need to riot in Brussels and Berlin, not Athens

The word "riot" being mandatory terminology in Western media for the nationwide anti-austerity protests ongoing today in Greece.

The lesson from Greece for every poly-sci major is all about how much a nation state can lose when it gives up being a nation state.

Not that it is some sort of platonic pie-in-the-sky "nation state" paying the price; it is the people of Greece.

Meanwhile, the perpetually smug Merkel enters into the election a formidable favourite. She is, after all, well able to win an election in Germany.

She would not win one in Greece.

And that's the problem with the EU. It becomes a democracy of democracies that favours the loudest voices and the deepest pockets at every step of the way.

That seems to work out for Ms. Merkel.

How is it working for the rest?

Canada pledges more "foreign aid" to Canadian mining conglomerates

This tidbit in the Globe and Mail today is remarkable for its complete lack of irony in reporting the latest ramp-up in Canada's orwellian policy of subsidizing Canadian mining multinationals and calling it "foreign aid."

Indeed, this is simply Harper trying to distinguish himself from the platforms of the Liberals (legalize pot) and the NDP (tax pot) in the next election. Since neither of the other parties have anything remotely this clever in their playbooks I think it's fair to call it a home run.

Apparently when Canadian-based (it's a bit of a stretch to call most of these companies "Canadian"; they are domiciled here for a variety of reasons around liability and access to capital markets) operators make billions in some of the most impoverished countries on the planet, they "support thousands of well-paying jobs across this country", which is a bit of a stretch, if not technically a "whopper."

What Dan Gertler's shake-down of First Quantum might have to do with this policy is unknown, but nevertheless Canadian officials seem to believe that it's their duty to spend tax-payer money on "improving the investment climate abroad" for the mining companies.

But why is it called "foreign aid?"

Big Steve honoured with bird sanctuary in Israel

The proudly rascist Jewish National Fund has chosen to honour Canadian PM Stephen J. Harper by naming a bird sanctuary for him.

Although the PM has never been to the Holy Land, his sidekick, Foreign Minister John Baird, has made several visits and assured him that it's a nice place and deserves our undying and unquestioning support in its existential struggle against the maniacal towelheads who surround it.

In a related development, Gaza authorities today announced the creation of the Stephen J. Harper Turd Sanctuary, to honour the foreign leader who has bested all others with his record of anti-Palestinian rhetoric.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Senator McCain quits politics to run family's frozen food empire

There's lots of folks in the dark on this one, but John McCain is actually the illegitimate half-brother of Wallace and Harrison McCain. Being born in Canada, he wasn't even eligible to run for the White House in '08.

The Nova Scotia McCains fobbed young John off on old Jack McCain early on, after they'd met the late Admiral in the course of negotiating the frozen french fry contract for the US Navy.

While not widely known in the American mainstream, this fact is common knowledge to anyone who has spent some serious time on Canada's east coast.

Says McCain, "I was ready to make this career change ten years ago, but the freedom fries controversy scared me off. Now that Obama has ruined the chances of war with Syria I figure I might as well make the move."

Given McCain's connections with middle eastern democracy movements and freedom fighters it is expected the region will be a major focus of McCain marketing efforts in the years ahead.

Always a glass-half-full kind of guy, McCain is at peace with the career transition. "I've always been a salesman," he told reporters.

"Now instead of selling war, I'll be selling frozen fries."

The think tank here at Falling Downs wishes you well in your future endeavors, Senator.

OMG!!!... one of THOSE people is the new Miss America?!

Nina Davuluri wasn't Miss America for ten seconds before the haters and the race baiters lit up the twitter-sphere with tweets of mortified indignation in torrential proportions.

She's a Paki/towelhead/al-Qaeda terror mastermind in sleeper mode just waiting for that secret message from a-Q HQ.

Relax folks! If Bobby Jindal can be the Republican Governor of the great state of Louisiana, we got nothing to worry about with Nina.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Colorado floods devastate fracking fields

News is slowly leaking out about the many toxic leaks that have been caused by the recent flooding in Colorado.

Ironically, Governor Hickenlooper went on the record just hours before the rains came, pleading yet again the case for rampant, minimally regulated fracking in the state.

How people can even pretend to have debates about injecting poisons under extreme pressure into mother earth is something I simply can't get my head around.

This has always been a no-brainer and a non-starter.

Nevertheless, there seem to be plenty of politicians like Hickenlooper who convince themselves that this is just the strategy that's going to leave a better world for their children and grandchildren.

Let's see if the Flood of 2013 will disabuse them of such nonsense.

Watching Miss America

What? They still do this stuff?

I didn't realize Miss America had survived late 20th century feminism. I just barely got through that era myself, and much the worse for wear, I might add.

Why is Miss Arkansas wearing a slinky dress instead of bib overalls?

Why is Miss Alaska black and Miss Mississippi white?

Why does that crowd in Atlantic City never stop their imbecilic cheering?

The first and last time I was in Atlantic City was the year the US landed on the moon.

It could be just my memory playing tricks on me, but I'm thinking we're not seeing as many anorexic women as we would have back in the day.

I've heard it said that the Miss America contest is as fake as the moon landing.

I don't know why people have to be so cynical. Is it not possible to land a man on the moon in the same universe where we have really great baton twirlers?

Hell, wasn't that Chris Hadfield twirling batons in the International Space Station just a coupla weeks ago?

We all bring different strengths to the game of life, and it is for some to walk on the moon, and it is for some others to twirl batons...

We're now witnessing the swimsuit part of the competition, which the presenter has just informed me is about health and fitness.

Really? There's a lot of feminist studies grads who probably think it's about the objectification of women.

Have to say I don't get it one way or the other.

But it would have been nice to say we're over this kind of stuff.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Senator McCain proposes SHIT

Senator John McCain, former traitor and heir to the McCain french fry empire, today introduced a proposal for SHIT in the Senate.

That's the "Stop Hezbollah and Iran Terror" act, in case you were wondering.

McCain has got his undies in a knot because he resents the fact that Iran and Hezbollah are making inroads on America's hegemonic control of the international terror business.

They're not, actually. American hegemony over international terror is uncontested and undisturbed.

However, McCain is showing symptoms of the paranoia that accompanies great hegemonic empires at every juncture of history.

Hezbollah has been on the SHIT list ever since they successfully harassed the Israeli invaders out of southern Lebanon. That is a non-starter for the McCain crowd of neo-lib/neo-con war-mongers.

As most sentient beings are aware, Israel is the USA's number one proxy... or maybe it's the other way around...

Either way, a black eye for Israel is a black eye for America and vice versa.

In any case, such a bald attack on the hegemon cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, and no one has challenged it more consistently or loudly than the good Senator.

Unfortunately, the folks who actually have their hands on the levers of power and the big red button have been deaf to the Senator's pleas. Even the recent labeling of Hezbollah's imaginary "militant" wing as "terrorists" by the EU has not stopped Hezbollah from being treated as an integral part of the fabric of Lebanese society.

This could be due to the fact that Hezbollah is in fact an integral part of the fabric of Lebanese society, and the only part of that fabric willing to stand against the invaders, something that all Lebanese, no matter how reluctant they may be to admit in public, are eternally grateful for.

As for Iran and their internationally renowned retarded nuclear scientists, well, the world has grown beyond tired of waiting for them to cross Bibi's red line, which he so boldly sold to the world at the UN last year by drawing a red line.

On a cartoon caricature of a Wiley Coyote bomb.

So McCain is, as they say, barking up the wrong tree.

He can propose all the SHIT he wants, but if the plague of international terror is to be rooted out, the uprooting will need to be done not in Lebanon, not in Iran, but in Washington.

The Cobble Beach Concours d' Elegance

I'm not much of a golfer. The woods in my bag are made of, get this, wood.

Needless to say, I've not dropped the $140 it takes to play 18 holes at Cobble Beach. But I could not resist the siren call of the car show that was held there today.

It was a wallet-lightening ninety bucks to get me and Junior through the gate. Actually, I first tried to bullshit my way through the gate by telling the gate-keepers we lived in Cobble Beach, but that didn't get any traction.

We were directed up the road and down a side-road to park in a pasture. That pasture come parking lot was a car show in itself. There were Porsches and Ferraris and Mercedes Benz aplenty parked in that pasture right alongside our Mustang Fifty.

From there we were bused to the Cobble Beach clubhouse.

And what a wild and crazy world we stepped into then.

We saw Model T Fords and Morgans and Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

We saw a 1970 Plymouth Superbird.

We saw a 1903 Oldsmobile.

We saw a 1971 Hemi Cuda that could have been bought off the lot at a steep discount in late '71. They couldn't give that heavy-duty hardware away back in the twilight days of the muscle car era.

We actually saw a Bugatti!

We saw brands I'd never heard of, and I've been a car junkie forever.

Have to admit that wandering about looking at vehicles that would fetch more than my lifetime earnings at auction isn't what I'm about, but when they put this deal on at the golf course not ten minutes down the road, how could I resist?

Besides, all the proceeds are going towards a new helipad at one of the hospitals in Toronto.

I know a few folks who work at Cobble Beach. Next year I'm going to make sure I've got some ID that saves me both the ninety bucks and the bus ride.

I'll be wearing a name tag; D. Neumann, Assistant Salad Chef.

See you there.

Tears for Hollande

France 24  has a bizarre interview with Senator-for-war John McCain this morning, in which he laments the tragic turn events in Syria have taken.

McCain is deeply disappointed that the war he could already taste mere days ago has been snatched away by the perfidy of that punk Putin. In the course of his remarks McCain uncorks this whopper, "All of us seek a peaceful, non-violent resolution to this conflict."

Of course we do, John...

McCain expresses concern for the predicament that French President Francois Hollande now finds himself in. Already through the floor in polling numbers, Hollande must have thought there was nothing to lose when he stepped forward so conspicuously as the only US ally other than Israel to back military action against Syria.

It was perhaps his last best chance at those spurs his spiritual guide BHL has promised him.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The future of farming

We all know the future of farming.

Ag hedge funds buy up all the viable farmland in the world and lease it back to "farmers."

Those "farmers" will be tied in to the big agro-chemical multi-nationals who will guarantee a steady profit stream so long as the lessees agree to use the latest genetically-modified agro-products from ADM and Monsanto and the rest.

These are the "farmers" who feed cities, as the bumper stickers never tire of reminding us.

But there are other farmers who feed families and neighbourhoods, and there is reason to be optimistic about their future.

I recently had a tour of Caitlin Hall's organic farm outside Harriston. No GMO shit on her property. She's part of the Community Supported Agriculture movement. She runs her farm entirely outside the Monsanto-ADM sphere of influence.

And here's why I feel good about the future.

I was there because my buddy Kipling's daughter is interning on Caitlin's organic farm for the growing season. Kipling's daughter is a P. Eng who generally books her time at around $100 an hour. She's at Caitlin's farm as an intern for a $50 per week honorarium.  That works out to about a dollar an hour.

She has a passion for organic farming. She would like to run her own CSA organic farm someday, and she is at Caitlin's place to learn.

So are three other interns who are working for Caitlin this season, all highly educated and very passionate young people.

They have nothing but contempt for the industrial farming promoted by the agricultural hedge funds and the agro-chem multinationals.

These dollar-an-hour interns are the future of farming. They are learning the trade and will soon enough be running their own CSA farming operations.

CP Rail charms Calgary with yet another "oopsie"

That's railroad jargon for when a train laden with highly flammable petroleum products derails in an inner city neighbourhood.

CP Rail seems to have had quite a spate of those since Wild Bill Ackman and his $50 million sidekick Hitman Harrison deigned to free up "shareholder value" by firing thousands of CP Rail employees.

Luckily, this time round there was no leakage, no explosions, no deaths, and no major headlines. But if you have a close read from about paragraph eleven on you can see that the next Lac Megantic is just a matter of time.

The good luck CP Rail enjoyed this week is what's known as "sound management practices."

When a downtown Calgary neighbourhood eventually blows up it'll be known as bad luck.

Those thousands of unemployed CP Rail employees put out to pasture by Hunter and Bill will know better.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

If ya make it to Thursday, Friday's in the bag...

Lotsa shit to think about lately.

I swear Obama had us half way to WWIII before Vlad stepped in with that face-saving Syria strategy.

But that was yesterday.

I read Vlad's lecture in the NYT today.

No, it didn't make me want to vomit.

Fact is, the most powerful man in the world and Nobel Peacer Obama took himself way out there on a scary ledge and Mr. Putin is helping him climb down.

And I thought Mr. Putin done good in reminding us that in the eyes of the Lord we are all equal...

just try to imagine such a thing...

Black and white and yellow and red and christian and jew and hindu and muslim and sikh and all of them, all of them born equal in the eyes of God...

Just who does Putin think he's kidding?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Apple's flawed China strategy

This is how the post-Jobs Apple markets a new product.

In China, the world's biggest mobile phone market, a new Apple iPhone will set you back a month's pay.

For most Americans, it'll be a couple of day's pay.

This is how they intend to gain market share in the world's biggest market.

This strategy banks big-time on the exclusivity gambit, which postulates that if something is rare it is by default expensive, and most people are stupid enough to continue riding that line of logic to a place where things are self-evidently rare just because they are expensive.

I don't think there's a big enough market of really stupid Chinese people to make this strategy pay off.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

We Day; is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a blot on the Kielburger brand?

In a couple of weeks 20,000 screaming teens will converge on the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in a celebration of all things Kielburger.

The Kielburger cult claims to have built hundreds of schools around the world and saved countless third world children from whatever it is they save them from. Their "Free the Children" NGO must not be confused with the much longer established "Save the Children" NGO.

One of the keynote speakers at this years "WeDay" is Liberian president and Nobel prize recipient Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female head of state in all of Africa.

Here's a brief quote from the "Human rights in Liberia" Wikipedia page;

Both nepotism and corruption are indeed widespread in Liberia. Among the country's other very serious human-rights problems are ritualistic killings, police abuse, incidents of so-called “trial by ordeal,” arbitrary arrest, the denial of due process, violence against women, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child abuse, human trafficking, and child labor.

That's not a flattering picture. Furthermore, those idealistic youth would be well advised to delve into Madame President's record on LGBT rights. They would be shocked.

Not that many of those idealistic youth will do that. The Kielburger brand is all about harnessing youthful idealism and energy into a dubious "aid" program that boasts top-drawer corporate sponsorships.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but those 20,000 youthful idealists should be aware that what they're really celebrating is Craig and Marc.

"We got the proof Assad gassed his own people but we can't show anybody 'cause it's top secret!"

The usual war-mongers were making the Sunday morning propaganda rounds on the major networks to spread the word that Assad is beyond bad and only America can stop him.

He gassed his own people, don't you know, just like that Saddam fellow next door. John Kerry has tons of proof but he can't show us because it's secret.

The unbridled arrogance that underlies these discussions is something to behold. Listening to the pro-war punditocracy you would never guess that two of the last three American interventions have been utterly disastrous for America; the third was merely disastrous for the recipients of America's largesse.

The debate, such as it is, is predicated on the assumption that America is indeed the city on the hill; just a little closer to God than anyone else, and therefore has a divine right to make war on the less enlightened peoples of the planet on whatever whim seizes the power-brokers of the moment.

Assad has several strikes against him. While he's been a solid enough guy in terms of keeping the peace with the only democracy in the Middle East, that isn't enough.

He's at the same time been all too palsy with the Ayatollahs. You know the ones; they've been months away from a nuclear weapon for over twenty years now, which when they finally figure it out, they will supposedly use to nuke the Holy Land.

Although few outside Netanyahu's spin circle will speak such nonsense in public, it does seem to motivate a wide swath of AIPAC dependent congressmen and senators in the US, who in addition to their duties lobbying for the Holy Land, still harbor a grudge over the fact that the Iranian masses turned against the leader we had bestowed upon them in favor of a clique of Koran-thumpers who had been living in France for 25 years.

Obviously the ingrates need to be taught a lesson.

Then there is the matter of Assad's obnoxious geographic domination of some crucial pipeline routes. Look at a map. We (and by that I mean Western oil multi-nationals) need a guy running that strategic real estate who is 100% in our pocket, not merely some easy-going despot who is happy enough to take on a few "enhanced interrogation" assignments on our behalf but then goes right back to having tea in Tehran.

No, the jig is up for Assad; he's gassed his own people, don't you know... the US administration has the proof... they just can't show anybody.

We just have to trust them.

After all, it's not as if they've ever lied to us...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

How the coming war on Syria and Iran will unfold

The supposed "missile test" of 3 September offers an insight into the strategy of egregious provocation that will, sooner or later, trigger the calamity that the war-hawks in Israel and Washington have been clamoring for.

In the event, the provocation passed, but the tensions remain. The evil Assad has gassed his own people, just like Saddam Hussein did. We didn't stand for it then, and we won't now.

How or why it has become the duty of the US to impose Israel's agenda on the Middle East is not a topic that our mainstream media dwell on. It's taken for granted. They are "the only democracy in the Middle East" after all.

The fiction that a limited cruise missile strike on Syria will not result in a massive and immediate escalation is just that; a fiction. If "missile tests" fail to attract a response from Syria, an actual missile attack surely will, and that will serve up the excuse for the US/Likud axis to go big.

Once that happens, and it will take mere minutes, we'll find out just how many Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah missiles are pointed at Israel. IAF strikes may take out some of them, a lot of them, even most of them.

They won't take out all of them, not by a long shot. Nor will the vaunted Iron Dome offer any protection after the first few barrages of incoming. The damage to civil society in Israel will be catastrophic. This will be the first war in Israel's history wherein its civilian population will bear the brunt of the retaliation.

That will prompt desperate politicians to take desperate measures. This conflict that Netanyahu and Obama are toying with has the potential to go nuclear. Then what?

Even after devastating attacks on every Israeli city, the IDF will have the capability of visiting annihilation on every Arab capital deemed hostile. Once that happens, whatever doubts may linger about US/Israeli policy constituting a "war on Islam" will be gone. It should be kept in mind that the Islamic world has nuclear weapons too.

There is no possible way to avoid the conclusion that the coming war will be a lose-lose scenario for all concerned. What then is driving events to the brink?

In Israel, the messianic elements have been emboldened by 65 years of easy victories over weak enemies. In America, the toxic combination of the military-industrial-financial war profiteers coupled with the Israel lobby have long held a strangle-hold on foreign policy.

Two out of the last three interventions that the US has undertaken have ended in disaster for America. The third has been a disaster only for the Libyan people, the imagined beneficiaries of America's benevolent intervention. Irregardless, those disasters allowed a clique of insiders in war profiteer circles to profit mightily. Since they cannot conceive of a downside and have never experienced one, they assume the possibility does not exist.

The PR lever that John Kerry has been flogging has utterly no basis in reality. Even if we assume for a brief moment, absent any evidence, that Assad bears responsibility for the gas attack of two weeks ago, by what logic would that entitle the bully on the world stage to "intervene?"

Regime change in Syria has been on the wish list of the usual suspects for at least ten years, and this phony gas attack issue is simply a tool for manipulating public opinion; Saddam's WMDs all over again.

The latest polls show that it's not working this time around. That's not enough. Concerned citizens in the US and especially in Israel have to make it clear to their leaders that under no circumstances will an attack on Syria be countenanced.

Questions of war and peace are too important to be left in the hands of politicians and war profiteers.

Why is this man smiling?

G-20 in St. Petersburg: Putin Plays Cat and Mouse with Obama

Vlad "the Hammer" has been on a roll. He's equally dismissive of all would-be critics from Pussy Riot to Barack Obama.

When Vlad speaks, the world listens.

When Obama speaks, Vlad smirks.

And he's never been more popular.

Friday, September 6, 2013

About the dp's and the Chinese and the niggers and the jews

and all those other folks who don't quite fit the template...

Ya, there was always a template. When I was dp trash coming up, the winds of political correctitude weren't what they are today.

Just as a ferinstance, the "n" word may have occasionally been used in reference to folks with a black skin, but it was far more often used to refer to people, usually ourselves, who were condemned to lives of manual labor because we were not born into the ranks of the university bound.

That's what motivated an entire generation of dp immigrants to get their kids into higher education.

A couple of times I had the pleasure of trading stories with the elderly Italian gentleman who owned the main pub up this way. He knew a lot of the Italian folks who had made their mark down in Guelph back when the Italian immigrant community was pivotal in the evolution of that community.

He was personally acquainted with a lot of the folks you run into in those supposed "mafia" stories about old Guelph. He himself had to make a go of it in that world, and he did.

But he had two kids, and one of them is a professor at a university in the US and the other one is a surgeon in a hospital in Toronto.

He came from a world when his people were "wops" and "dagos" and "eye ties."

Somehow his people survived and became doctors and professors and captains of industry and politicians...

My dp father washed ashore in this great land almost 60 years ago. This was truly the land of opportunity. The locals might not have seen it at the time, but the bohunks and the squareheads and the dagos and the kikes sure did.

They were all niggers then.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

World Peace depends on America attacking Syria

I'll admit I've floated some sketchy nonsense from time to time, but certainly nothing like this monstrous imbecility.

Lieberman and Kyl spell it out for you; if America does not attack Assad now, the world will be overrun with bad people doing bad stuff.

Do you want that on your conscience?

Of course not. Therefore the only sensible thing to do is to call your congressman/senator/local paper and let them know that everyone you know and every decent American you can think of wholeheartedly supports the pending attack on Syria.

Calgary hires Burke to guarantee at least two more losing seasons

Hey, it ain't me saying it; it's renowned Globe and Mail sportswriter Eric Duhatschek right here.

But look at Burkies track record in Toronto! I think this is a brilliant move on the part of Flames management.

According to Duhatschek, the Flames are already eyeballing promising junior star Connor McDavid, who isn't eligible for the draft for two more years.

In other words, Flames hope to come in dead last for two years in a row to guarantee a shot at landing McDavid in the draft.

You da man, Burkie!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

That's not food; it's an eating product

Not an edible product, but an eating product.

The shirt I'm wearing right now is 100% cotton and perfectly edible.

Probably more edible than a lot of processed food products on offer at the local Safeway.

The problem with labeling that fake food as "food" products is that it maintains the fiction that this stuff is somehow related to that nutritious stuff formerly known as food, but now engineered to titillate the taste buds and fill the belly.

These aren't food products.

They're eating products.

AIPAC and "civilized norms"

AIPAC's response to Obama's search for support for an assault on Syria is rich in irony.

By citing "civilized norms," the AIPAC crew invite examination of how the states of Israel and the USA conform to those civilized norms.

America has staged a series of illegal foreign adventures from Vietnam to Central America to Iraq to Libya and beyond. Those adventures have cost millions of innocent lives around the world. America has absolutely no claim to virtue in its conduct over the past 60 years.

Israel's heavy handed conduct in the occupied territories, her relentless policy of colonizing those territories, the outrageously disproportionate response to any real or imagined threat from any real or imagined enemy, all place that country firmly outside any so-called civilized norms.

Yet the America Israel Public Affairs Committee seek to justify an attack on a sovereign nation that has not attacked either of them on the grounds that Syria has violated civilized norms?

Utterly outrageous!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Over-amped cops taze Toronto granny

The Toronto Police Service policy of "shoot first, taze later, then ask questions," is spreading to the GTA.

Today's showdown between the cops and a 80 year old great-grand-mother is the case in point.

What the hell is that all about?

I've met some damn crusty 80-year-old women who can shout 'n cuss and maybe throw a pot in your direction, but I simply cannot comprehend how a rough-and-tough 200 lb cop in body armour would have felt threatened...

Cops aren't what they used to be.

Google mutates next level of branding's evolution

Cross-branding is not exactly a new idea, but Google seems to be taking it to the next level with this gambit.

The next generation android operating system is going to adopt the brand recognition of a popular chocolate bar. It melds the artificiality of internet society with the artificiality of industrially processed eating products.


Heady days for the Oaf of Tobruk

Or "le twat," as he is known in France.

If you're at all acquainted with the folks at the so-called "Foreign Policy Initiative" you'll realize that "le twat" is in good company, namely the company of the same blood-thirsty gang of dipshits who couldn't get Bush Jr. into Iraq soon enough back when they called themselves the Project for a New American Century.

BHL is still chuffed by his glorious rout of the forces of darkness in Libya, and all things considered, finding the disco dandy's name on the list of the usual suspects prescribing more war for America should not come as a surprise.

What should be a surprise is that the man retains any credibility anywhere on the media spectrum. From the disaster that is Libya to the disaster that is Mali to the fact that Francios Hollande still doesn't have his spurs, how is it possible that any serious person cares what imbecilities tumble from the lips of the aging buffoon?

Monday, September 2, 2013

The "credibility" of the USA

I was listening to Senator McCain pontificate on the grave disservice the first black president is doing to the nation by not invading Syria right away.

According to war monger #1, Obama is "undermining the credibility" of the US.

Where in the world does the Senator imagine that America retains any credibility?

The Saudi's have been going behind Uncle Sam's back to pursue their own agenda.

Ditto Qatar and the Gulf gang.

Nobody trusts Obama in the Holy Land.

The Generals in Egypt thumb their nose at America even as they keep taking the billions in aid.

India? Pakistan? China? Does any serious person believe America still has clout over there?

As for Russia, Putin's contempt for Obama is almost palpable, and no wonder.

Everybody in Russia understands who runs Russia.

Everybody in America knows Obama doesn't run America, let alone anything else.

Here is the list of who still believes in America's credibility;

  • mainstream news platforms in the NATO states
  • Francios Hollande
  • the Free Syrian Army
... and two out of three of those are faking their faith.

World fired up about Canadian mining companies

They're fired up in Romania.

They're pissed off in Athens, and they're pissed off in Peru.

In fact, no matter where you go in the world, chances are you can find pissed off locals protesting yet another Canadian mining venture.

That's why the recent Harper government initiative to tie foreign aid to Canadian mining companies is guaranteed to destroy what little is left of the goodwill that the "Canada" brand enjoyed on the world stage as recently as a generation ago.

That was then.

Now we're a nation state in name only, one that exists to provide legal cover to some of the most rapacious mine operators on the planet.

But what do we care? As long as they pay a little tax here and leave their toxic mess somewhere else, everything is hunky-dory!

And labeling subsidies to those mining conglomerates "foreign aid" is what's known as a win-win in neo-liberal political circles.

Tony and the tyrants

Here's Tony with his good friend Assad.

Here's Tony with his good friend Gadaffi.