Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pay it forward

Thanks for the break, Bill.

That was the last line in a reminiscence I wrote a couple of years ago about my time at Harjim Machinery Works out in Victoria BC.

Bill gave me a break.

When he didn't have to.

I don't know if Bill is still around or if Harjim is still in business, but I think that the concept of giving someone a break could use a little encouragement.

The other day I pulled up to the drive-through window at the local Timmies, only to be told that the guy in the black truck two ahead of me had picked up the tab for the next half-dozen strangers behind him.

He was paying it forward.

The very definition of a "random act of kindness."

Try being kind when you don't have to be.

Try giving people a break when you don't have to. It'll make the world a better place in some small way.

Pay it forward.

RIP Gisela Packull

I suppose that one of the great benefits of being an auntie as opposed to being a mom, is that you're always able to extend a loving hand to your wayward nephews even when they are driving their mothers to the brink of despair.

That's kind of how it was with my Tante Gisela.

I know I inflicted considerable pain on my dear mother. The contingencies of being a youth coming up all too often precluded common courtesies like advising Mom in advance that you wouldn't be home for the next three days.

Or the next three weeks.

Sorry Mom!

The aunties never had to put up with that crap, so to them you were always golden.

Gisela was one of those.

Back when we were DP trash living on the wrong side of the tracks in Elora, when Elora still had tracks, Gisela was a second mom to me and my siblings. If my Mom wasn't there, Gisela was.

The Packulls had the upstairs of that house beside the rail-road tracks.

We had the downstairs.

Gisela married my Mom's older brother Horst in the early fifties. That was seen by Gisela's mother as marrying down. Frau Haar reluctantly took the trip to the New World with her daughter and her sketchy son-in-law.

For many years I had nightmares wherein Frau Haar was laying the stink-eye on me from her second story window.

Times changed. The DPs got traction and eventually didn't have to share houses. Horst, who had trained as a millwright in Switzerland, had a good job at the GE plant in Guelph. Over the years he helped his younger brother and about a dozen of the next generation, including me, get their foot in the door at "Generous Electric."

Once we all had our own places, Gisela didn't have to do the second mom thing anymore. Nevertheless, she has been unerringly kind and accommodating with me ever since.

I'll miss you, Tante Gisela.


Brawl breaks out at human rights seminar

Some of the most idealistic young people in the land today are aiming for careers as professional human rights activists.

Don't laugh; there really are such careers. They exist mainly in that segment of the economy known as "civil society," and near as I can tell they'll be spending their professional lives writing grant applications on behalf of NGOs, looking to wheedle money out of the big foundations. In other words, after your four or five years at university you'll graduate with $75,000 in student loans only to spend the rest of your life sitting in a cubicle filling out forms for twenty-five grand a year.

That's not for me, but those youthful idealists will discover the reality for themselves in the fullness of time. In the meantime, one of most highly regarded schools for this sort of thing is York University. York is to human rights education what Wharton is to business education.

And it was at York last week that long-simmering tensions in a graduate class on Human Equity erupted into name-calling and veiled threats. By "veiled threats" I mean the persons making the threats were veiled. And no, this wasn't jihad-comes-to-college; they were threatening each other!

Luckily, before this became a full-on burqa-shredding brawl, an impromptu inter-faith delegation of peace-makers was able to separate the disputants.

I hope they get bonus marks.

John Kerry attempts to chew gum while riding bike; disaster ensues

For John Kerry, it's just a broken leg.

For the rest of the world, it's an unmitigated disaster. Think about it. Those Iran nuke talks, on hold. Negotiations with Putin over the Ukraine imbroglio, on hold. The war on ISIS, on hold.

All around the world, the news cycle is on hold while Kerry is on the mend.

That's not necessarily a bad thing...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Canada's Tards 'o Terror await their fate

John Nuttall, Canada's home-grown terrorist-du-jour, was so fucking stunned that the cops setting him up had a momentary lapse and speculated as to whether they might be dealing with a retard.

They were.

And his erstwhile accomplice, Mrs. Nuttall, aka Amanda Korody, didn't help raise the bar.

These two heroin addicts were too stunned to keep an apartment or a job, but the entire weight of Canada's anti-terror bureaucracy was brought down on them to demonstrate to the country that we are indeed at risk from Islamic terrorists.

What a pathetic crock of shit!


Danger lurks on the to-do list

The Farm Manager likes to keep me moving around. As in, could you get your ass off the couch for ten minutes and hang the wash?

So I do. And it's good for me. Not so much hanging the wash specifically, but moving around.

As far as the wash goes, she's just as happy to shove everything in the dryer, even after I put up that beauty solar dryer aka clothesline a couple years ago.

So there'll be a load 'o Levis spinning round in the dryer, when it's a dry 28 C, 100 F with a nice light dry breeze going on.

But I can explain that.

In the division of duties here at Falling Downs, one of my duties is to pay the hydro bill.

But at least she keeps me moving.

So I was considering the to-do list. This is a woman thing. Guys don't make to-do lists. Unless of course a woman is pushing him into it.

Among everything else that is falling down here at Falling Downs, the railing on the balcony seems to be disintegrating. I've been collecting the various bits as they fall to the ground, intending at some point to patch them back into the railing, or what's left of it.

Here's the thing. That railing, built in 1914, is about knee-level on me.

I love the balcony. It would, if anybody ever got off the couch and fired up a chainsaw to cut back all the overgrowth, afford a view over Bass Lake. As it stands, I pretty much only use the balcony to ruminate over the ying and yang of life, and have a drink, or maybe two...

Which is why that knee-level railing disturbs me. How easy would it be to just bump up against that railing, after a spell of ruminating, and... whoopsie!

So, ya, why does this always come up on the so-called "to-do" list?

By the way, a lot of folks refer to this as the "Honey-Dew" list, as in "Honey do this, Honey do that."

That's not how it works around here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Entrepreneurship in Canada 2nd in entire world!

Oh ya baby! We are number two!

I'm gonna set my scepticism aside for a moment and give that happy CBC headline a closer look.

I was doing OK till I got to the part about the peak age range for Canadian entrepreneurs being 45 to 64.

Hmmm... that would be the cohort most likely effected by corporate downsizing. That's when they decide to become entrepreneurs.

Not a lot of fifty year olds walk away from a successful career to strike out on their own. But a lot of fifty year olds are kicked to the curb in corporate cutbacks, and once the severance package is gone and the pogey runs out, they take a stab at "entrepreneurship" in a last desperate attempt to ward off homelessness and penury, because THERE ARE NO JOBS FOR THEM!

The story pretty much tells you that; "...they're just looking to create employment for themselves."

No shit.

And we're darn good at it too. A whopping 9.4% of new entrepreneurs are still in business after three and a half years... which is another way of saying over 90% aren't!

There you have it, a happy headline atop a story that's bullshit from start to finish.

At least it's nice to know that Peter Josty over there at the Centre for Innovation Studies at the University of Calgary is keeping himself in a job.

Darkies defy Nations of Virtue, re-elect Sepp Blatter to FIFA presidency

In yet another sign that the end of the world, or at least the end of the uni-polar world dominated by the US is nigh, the members of FIFA today voted to put the old scallywag Sepp Blatter back in the big chair for four more years.

According to this story in The Guardian, while the White World (aka the Nations of Virtue) was pretty much unanimous in wanting Blatter out, he had massive support among the lesser peoples in Africa, South America, and Asia.

That must be a tough blow for the American moralists, who can't find corruption on Wall Street because they're too busy looking for it at FIFA. Look for the next round to take the form of advertiser boycotts as the major sponsors, almost universally based in the rich white nations, throw their weight around to achieve what couldn't be attained via the ballot box.

In the under-card, the Palestinians were persuaded in back-room arm-twisting sessions that involved God-knows-what degree of horse-trading, to drop their campaign to have Israel booted out of FIFA.

Waco; the climb-down begins

The Waco Tribune reported yesterday that three of those "violent hardened criminals" arrested in the Twin Peaks fiasco have been released after their bail bonds were reduced from one million dollars apiece to twenty-five thousand.

That'll be the first of many reductions. Meanwhile, the first civil suits for unlawful arrest have already been filed, and there'll be plenty more of those too. So far the State has hired 47 lawyers to represent various bikers, and the city is spending upwards of $8,000 per day in the care and feeding of the incarcerated. This case will bankrupt Waco by the time it's over.

Meanwhile, Sgt Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton has fallen silent...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Silence of the liberal lambs

Let me throw down my "liberal" bona fides right here. I'm well to the left of most so-called liberals in America.

Free public education to the university level.

Single-payer health care.

A guaranteed annual income for EVERYBODY.

Pubic housing on a scale that eliminates homelessness. For everyone.

A tax structure that taxes the rich more than the poor, like America used to do in its golden age.

How's that for liberal?

Having said that, I'm 100% aboard for the second amendment, save for a couple of common-sense caveats.

1) Mentally ill people should not be permitted access to firearms.

2) People who are nominally sane but suffer temporary emotional trauma, like my ex-wives, should have a cooling off period between when they first want that Glock and when they can actually have it. Hopefully the two week period of reflection will keep them out of jail and me out of the grave.

But here's what I don't get.

There's lots of folks in the liberal press who would not in a million years take a police report at face value if it involved the police murder of a black teenager. And rightfully so.

Two weeks ago police in Waco Texas murdered nine people, wounded another couple of dozen, and arrested over 170. The people who were murdered, wounded, and arrested by the police were white, Hispanic, and black.

The liberal main-stream press has entirely embraced the official police version of events.

Not only that, they have bought into some unspoken stereo-type that "bikers" are white thugs who terrorize the law-abiding citizenry of America and get away with it.

Here's an example of the quality of reportage we've been seeing; 6 things you need to know about Waco's deadly clash between biker gangs.

I wasn't there, and therefore I'm not sure to what extent there was ever a clash between biker gangs at Waco. But I do know that the story promulgated by Waco police spokesman Sgt "Pinocchio" Swanton is implausible in the extreme.

What utterly shocks me is that this liberal media platform would take the police version of events entirely at face value.

That's worse than silence; that's complicity in a police crime.



Death changes everything...

That's hardly an original observation... just google it and you'll see.

We've been struggling with assorted health issues among the elders in the clan. A spot of Parkinson's here, cancer here and there, dementia all over the place, triple and quadruple by-passes...

Hold on tight Mabel, the ship is goin' down!

Tonight a very pretty Porsche 944 went slinking through the S-bends in front of Falling Downs, east to west.

Last night a 928 sailed by in the opposite direction.

Last summer during the Cobble Beach Concours we had a million dollar Porsche parade blast past the place. Multiple times. That parade was neither slinking nor sailing; it was positively writhing.

My friend Mike took delivery of his new factory-order hemi Challenger this week. Mike's a guy my age. Couldn't afford a hemi Challenger on the first go-round. Been waiting for his chance ever since.

Lost his wife six months ago. He loved his wife. Fully acknowledged that she was smarter than him. Made more money than him. Better looking too.

He could never have bought that hemi Challenger if she was still in the picture.

Death changes everything.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

US smites FIFA just as FIFA gets ready to toss Israel

There's been rumours aplenty for at least 25 years that the FIFA aristocracy is open to being "influenced" by cold hard cash from supplicants who may be interested in hosting a World Cup.

Until yesterday, nobody has acted on those rumours. It's been business as usual all the way. Then, the dramatic take-down in Switzerland.

You don't think the timing of this take-down had anything to do with FIFA's plans to suspend the Holy Land, do you?

Apparently Israel's banishment was to be the top item on the agenda at that FIFA meeting that was so rudely interrupted by the forces of law and order.

And isn't it more than a little suspicious that the instigator of this take-down would be the USA, a mere bit player in world football?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Lord smites Texas

Floods.

Tornadoes.

Sgt Swanton has provoked the wrath of the Almighty.

Be sure your sins will find you out...


Monday, May 25, 2015

Warriors done without Curry

Mind you, they're getting back in the game.

Without Curry.

I've for a long time held that when the big dog stumbles, there's always lots of second liners ready to step in.

That's true if you're talking about ISIS or Hamas or the Leafs or the Warriors.

It's Sociology 101.

Dallas Morning News clears up mysteries surrounding Waco biker massacre

Read it for yourself.

It was a set-up from the beginning.

The Bandidos were somehow colluding with the police to burn the Cossacks.

According to the Dallas Morning News, their sources "largely corroborate" the police story.

Huh?

Not at all.

Sgt. Swanton was unambiguous in claiming the mayhem started inside the restaurant, not in the parking lot, in his first presser ninety minutes after the fact. He claimed that he'd never seen such carnage in his lengthy career as he'd seen in that restaurant.

In that restaurant.

That's what he said.

So yesterday the Dallas Morning News comes up with a yarn that sources the genesis of the massacre in the parking lot, and then goes on to claim their story corroborates the official police line.

I've got a suggestion that might help clear the air.

Release all the CCTV video that is currently being suppressed by the Waco Police Department.

Release the autopsy results. How many of the bikers were felled by police-issue ammo?

If Sgt. Swanton has been truthful, I want to apologize for casting aspersions on his proclamations.

If he hasn't, I want to know why this story has disappeared.

Either way, we deserve to know the truth.


Why the news blackout on the Waco biker massacre?

When a kid in Ferguson Mo. was gunned down by police last year, the gatekeepers of the news made a point of keeping the (non) story in the headlines for weeks. It's a non story because unarmed youths being gunned down by cops in America is no biggie.

But this was. We heard Ferguson this and Ferguson that for weeks and months.

Somebody in the corridors of power in the news biz made that decision.

Eight days ago nine bikers were shot dead by Waco police under circumstances that bear no resemblance to the official police story.

For some reason, the story has completely disappeared.

That's because the gatekeepers of the news biz have made a decision to bury the story.

Why?

Steve Blaney - what an idiot!

What the hell is a "Public Safety Minister" anyway? Does not that title in itself imply that all the other Ministers are reckless of public safety? It reminds me of the local school board coming up with the extremely well-paid sinecure of "Superintendent of Student Success." Were all the other extremely well-paid superintendents devoting themselves to student failure?

Anyway, Blaney is deemed newsworthy today because he was busy flogging the make-Canada-a-police-state Bill C-51 in front of a Senate Committee.

Apparently we can't have prosperity without security. This is somehow proved by the fact that ten kids from Quebec were turned back last week on their mission to help Islamic State remove the evil Assad from power.

Seems to me we've got two completely distinct issues here.

Prosperity.

Security.

I remember a time when Canada enjoyed both. At the same time.

That was long before we sold our souls in dubious "free trade" agreements of course.

And long before we enjoyed the ministrations of a "Public Safety Minister."

Blaney seems to imply that today we don't have prosperity because we're not sufficiently gung-ho about applauding the latest improvements to the police state apparatus.

Not sure what place those ten Quebec teens have in the equation...

After all, they just want to help Islamic State dislodge the evil tyrant Assad from power. Both Big Steve and former FM John Baird told us time and again how important it was to finish that job.

But suddenly these teens who are voluntarily heading into theatre on their own dime to do just that are terrorists?

And the Harper gang need new security measures to keep them in check?

This simply does not add up.

Harper's Canada - first among sycophants

Less than 24 hours after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter declared his disappointment in Iraqi troops, Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced that he felt the same way!

What a coincidence! Talk about being on the same page! One suspects they are literally on the same page, and that the actual sheet of paper containing Carter's talking points was couriered to Kenney's office immediately after that CNN interview.

The Harperite strategy of reflexive ass-kissing can leave Big Steve in the lurch at times. For example, in trying to impress the big boys in the Beltway with the sincerity of our anti-Iran rhetoric, former FM Bullshittin' Baird closed our Iran embassy.

There!

That'll teach 'em!

So two years later the Yanks are making kissy-face with the Persians, and Big Steve is outside the tent with his pecker in his hand.

Same with Ukraine. We had it pegged over a year ago here at Falling Downs; Why nobody's going to war over Ukraine. What's happening today? Nuland and Kerry were just over paying their respects to Putin, and apparently the word "Crimea" didn't even come up.

Which kinda leaves Big Steve and the Canadian Forces on their own in driving back the Russians.

Or not.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Monaco GP vs. Indy 500 comparison test

This afternoon offered a rare opportunity to view two iconic races at the same time. The Indy 500 was on ABC while TSN had a tape delayed Monaco F1 race on. What's the better race?

Geography

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a two and a half mile oval in the Midwestern plains. Boring. The Monaco street circuit has hills and tunnels and scenic vistas. Monaco wins hands down.

History

This was the 99th running of the Indy 500, but only the 86th running of the Monaco GP. Indy wins.

Speed

No contest. Indy is flat out at 220 mph all day. They rarely top 175 at Monaco.

Drivers

The guy who won Indy today has also won Monaco. Monaco had the youngest driver, Max Verstappen at 17 year old, and the world's best-paid driver, Lewis Hamilton. That gives Monaco the edge on the human interest factor.

Social Relevance

One of the cool things about car racing is it doesn't pretend to have any. It's just another circus to keep us amused when we should be doing more constructive things with our time.

Crashes

This is the main reason people watch motorsports, and Indy had more of them. Also, at Indy you can see more of the track from the grandstands, so the odds are better.

Conclusion

Even though Indianapolis is faster and has more crashes, there's something appealing about Monaco. Those yachts in the yacht basin at the edge of the track, the beautiful buildings in Monaco; it's the more aesthetically appealing venue for sure. I'd call it a tie.


RIP Malene Arpe

Malene Arpe was the funniest woman I never knew. Her two-page spread in the Sunday Star ruthlessly skewered the rich, famous, and self-important in the world of entertainment. More often than not she was the highlight of my Sunday paper.

Gone way too soon at age 50. She will be missed.

Here's why we have Newfie jokes

So the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary pull over a car the other night (nearby a trailer park as the article helpfully notes, just to reinforce a certain stereotype).

Buddy behind the wheel is sober, but Buddy in the shotgun seat is snozzled.  The keen-eyed RNC team on this bust quickly realize the driver only has his learner's permit.

Gotcha!

Even though Buddy and other Buddy were duly trying to do the right thing, they find they've become a news story instead.

Next time they'll just put the pedal to the metal and hope for the best.

US miffed that Iraqis not enthusiastic enough about killing each other

That's the take-away from today's interview with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on CNN.

Seems that after all the training we've given them and all the weapons we've given them, the one thing we can't give them is the will to fight. That's why the Iraqi army will abandon the vast stores of arms we've given them to ISIS and light out for the horizon at the first sign of trouble. There's just something innately cowardly in the Iraqi character...

That's why even if we give them billions more in weapons and training, it'll all go to waste without American boots on the ground.

That, in a nutshell, is where the latest propaganda initiative of the perpetual war crowd wants to take American public opinion, and this CNN spot is just the latest thrust in that propaganda war.

In reality, there may be something at work here other than a lack of will. Maybe ISIS wins their easy victories because they enjoy substantial popular support among the Sunni population. After all, why should they trust the Shia Government? Why should they trust the US? Why should they rise up against the Sunni resistance, aka ISIS, to further the interests of the US and Iran?

They're not cowards. They're just getting wise to the Washington interlopers who have destroyed their country.

And let's hope the American public gets wise too as the drum-beat for more war intensifies.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Why Babcock will fail in Toronto

Toronto is a very fickle market.

The "regular folks," people like me, and probably you too, have pretty much been priced out of seeing the Leafs live.

By the time you add in parking, an over-priced hot-dog, an over-priced beer, two people taking in a Leafs game is a $500 touch.

Contrast that to the sixties, when guys who worked in factories held season tickets. For everybody in their family. I'm willing to bet there's not a single factory worker holding a Leafs season ticket today.

The game has changed.

The world has changed.

The Leafs are the richest franchise in the NHL.

They just made Mike Babcock the richest coach in the NHL.

I think Mike and his agent made a great deal for themselves. Even when this joyride ends in three or four years, (eight year contract means nothing)Mike's gonna be set for life.

All those chairs in the Air Canada Centre are corporate assets on somebody's balance sheet these days. The Leafs have fans, but they don't have real old-school working-class fans any more, the folks who would call in sick and miss a day's pay to catch the Leaf's live.

Ya, that used to happen a lot when you worked second shift.

But that was then.

Now, those fancy seat-owners like to glory in the ownership of a seat at the ACC. The only thing that is more cool among the nouveau rich who rule Toronto these days is having a seat and not using it!

That's the fan mentality Babcock will be facing. The beautiful people will want results right away. Otherwise they'll leave their seats empty. The guys on the ice will despair at the lack of fan support. Morale will go for a shit. A team that should have won (on paper) will just be another bunch of losers.

But the Maple Leaf brand will continue to be the most valuable in the NHL.

It's just a matter of time before Mike Babcock realizes he has been pre-ordained to fail.

Bandidos looting military warehouses to make war on Texas police!

Yup, it must be true... it's on CNN!

Bandidos in the forces are ripping off grenades and C-4 and passing it to their brothers on civvy street, who will use this in their pending war on the police!

Sure they are!

And why not drive off with a few Abrams tanks while they're at it - after all, that's what they'll be going up against.

This story is such obvious bullshit that faces should be red all the way up the CNN chain of command for allowing it on their site.

Biker attacks on law enforcement are virtually unheard of. That's just part of the biker code.

The Waco police ambush - prepping the public for Jade Helm?

In order to get the public onside with the odious Jade Helm exercises to be held this summer, it's important to have people believe that there are evil-doers among us, and that brave men and women in uniform are all that stand between law and order and utter bedlam.

Since 9/11 the threat of jihadist attacks has been the main excuse those in power have used to justify turning America into a police state, but let's face it; the jihadists have been a bit of a disappointment. They're just not a credible threat any more. We need something a little scarier.

After all, you can't justify Jade Helm, a military exercise aimed at the enemy within, without having some realistic domestic enemy.

Voila! Violent criminal biker gangs! Unlike home-grown Islamic terrorists, bikers actually exist! And look at how violent and scary they are! Oooohhh, we really need protection from those violent criminals who are operating right out in the open as if they own America... or at least Texas!

So we get this outlandish story from Waco. Two hundred bikers, hardened violent desperadoes every one, converging on the Twin Peaks restaurant with mayhem in mind. Sure enough, all hell breaks loose. The violence escalates. From fists to blades to chains to at least thirty gun-wielding outlaws firing off hundreds of rounds as the innocent non-biker patrons cower in fear!

Finally they turn their weapons on the police, who, fearing the worst, had conveniently assembled a swat team in advance. That's when the bad guys get their comeuppance. They may be hardened violent criminals, but they are no match for the forces of righteousness. Nine of the evil-doers are immediately dispatched to their reward; a further 18 are hospitalized with bullet wounds, and 170 are taken into custody.

At least that's the yarn police spokesman Sgt. Swanton has been spinning since Sunday.

Too bad it's turning out to be virtually 100% bullshit.

Turns out most of the "violent criminals" had no criminal records of any kind.

Twin Peaks management has shown in-store CCTV video to Associated Press which contradicts virtually everything Sgt. Swanton told us went down in the restaurant last Sunday.

Far from hundreds of criminal bikers converging on Waco with mayhem in mind, this was a scheduled meeting of a motorcyclist lobby group that's been getting together regularly for almost twenty years.

It's time for Sgt. Swanton to come clean.

Release the autopsy reports. How many of those guys were shot by police?

Release all the video evidence. Let the public decide if you're telling the truth.

Release those 170 people (a million dollars bond each???) being held hostage in your war on bikers.




Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pot-addled hillbilly beats Globe and Mail to Saudi human rights abuses by a year...

... and then some!

I see where the ever-tactful Canadian newspaper of record has finally discovered that there may be some serious human rights concerns viz. that 15 billion dollar contract to sell armoured personnel carriers to the Saudi government.

Our good pals the Saudis have one of the most abysmal records on the planet when it comes to human rights. But not to worry; they also have a shit-load of money to spend.

After a thorough investigation the think tank here at Falling Downs concluded more than a year ago that the sale of 5,000 armed and armoured troop carriers would enhance human rights in Saudi Arabia!

Ya, that conclusion may be somewhat counter-intuitive, but I think our research proved our point. The Saudis will use those armoured cars to get folks home safely from the underground gay bars in Riyadh. Not to mention spiriting the Ethiopian guest-workers to the beach.

Or not.

Waco Police find 14,276 weapons stashed at crime scene

And why not?

CNN had the number at a thousand a little while ago. Seems the erstwhile Sgt. Swanton makes up a new number every time he sees a microphone.

So it could very well be 14,276 by tomorrow...

But it could be thirty-seven the day after. There's a refreshing randomness to Sgt. Swanton's estimates. They go up, they go down, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

On top of the whimsical randomness of Sgt. Swanton, it would also be good if the Waco Police Department ponied up some sort of working definition of exactly what constitutes a "weapon." Sgt. Swanton early on claimed that the bikers were doing battle with "chains."

Anybody who recalls a three hundred pound Satan's Choice biker twirling a ten foot length of manure-spreader chain in the parking lot of the Maryhill Hotel back in the day conjures up a very specific memory when they hear the Waco brawl involved chains. That was the equivalent of a A-10 Warthog raining death on the battlefield. But apparently the "chains" they were battling with in Waco are those six inch chrome-plated jobs that connect a wallet to your belt.

If that's a "weapon," one can only speculate as to what else Sgt. Swanton considers a weapon?

Any serious full-patch dude in a reputable outlaw club is gonna have a wad of hundreds in that wallet, each one of which could potentially inflict a serious paper-cut on an adversary. There was probably guys at that Twin Peaks who had dozens of those weapons in their wallets.

To say nothing of the credit cards. A credit card can indeed cause grievous injury if it falls into the wrong hands.

And what about one of those Swiss Army Knives with three dozen attachments? That's three dozen weapons right there in one compact package!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

50 million for Mike Babcock to coach the Leafs?

I guess one way of looking at it is that nobody remotely qualified to take the job was willing to touch it with a ten foot pole at that price.

Sure, it makes him the highest paid coach in NHL history, but look how many other NHL coaches said "no thanks, I'll stay put," when offered the boodle.

Money isn't everything!

But apparently it is for Mike.

That money is spread over eight years, which the sporty journos claim proves that Babcock has been hired to build the team.

Hmm... show me in Babcock's illustrious record where he has actually built a team?

His only Stanley came with a team he had next to nothing to do with building.

If this was Shanahan's decision, expect the both of them to be gone within three seasons.

Air rapidly leaking out of Waco false flag balloon

Have a gander at the Waco Police Department Facebook page and it looks like the ruminations of Sgt. Swanton are still getting broad public support.

At least for now.

But that's changing fast. Stories like this one at NBC News aren't helping authorities make their outlandish story stick. NBC profiles three of the dead "hardcore criminals" caught in the police ambush and reports that they were regular family guys who didn't even own guns.

Then there's the "bikers are domestic terrorists" angle being flogged by the government. We know that because lots of "experts" are willing to sell their souls for a chance to get on TV and say so. 

When you've got a big story like this, it even makes it into the foreign press. It's worth having a look at how it's reported in The Independent.

While this mainstream Brit news platform repeats all the official stuff spouted by Sgt. Swanton, if you read far enough you'll eventually get to this;

Not able entirely to agree is Edward Winterhalder, a former Bandido himself who wrote the book, Out in Bad Standings: Inside the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. “You get a few guys whacked out on meth and everyone wants to help their brothers out and that’s how fights start,” he said. “Most of the guys, around 60 or 70 per cent, are just regular guys. They all have jobs, they have families and they don’t get involved in crime... They all have visual means of support.”

Hmm... regular guys with jobs? As a matter of fact, that's pretty much been the case with any so-called outlaw bikers I've crossed paths with on the road of life.

Then you've got a website called The Ageing Rebel that tells us one of the "hardened criminal gangs" present at the Twin Peaks last Sunday was none other that those hell-hounds, HonorBound Motorcycle Ministry.

Yup, bikers for Jesus.

The entire tale made no sense when it first hit the headlines on Sunday afternoon. The more that actual facts emerge, the less sense it makes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How Washington elites celebrate illegal wars but shit on genuine war heroes

The tale of Major Mathew Golsteyn's fragging by his superiors should be a cautionary one for anybody contemplating a career in the military.

Soldiers don't make foreign policy and they don't question it. Soldiers serve their country. If their country sends them into illegal and/or immoral wars, that's something for the soldier to contemplate when he's writing his memoirs as an old man.

In the meantime, he's got a job to do.

By all accounts, Major Golsteyn was exceptionally good at his job. He exhibited the kind of devotion to his men and his mission that is the hallmark of an outstanding leader in the field. He was more than deserving of every accolade he ever got.

Now he's being screwed over by political operatives throughout the chain of command. He's been hung out to dry by guys for whom the "field of battle" is the annual performance review, and they want to make sure they're stroking all the political feathers the right way.

So take note, all you aspiring West Pointers; the trajectory of your future career will be determined not by your bravery, skill, or dedication to the men you lead. It will be determined by your success in negotiating the corridors of power, where legions of ass-kissing back-stabbing careerists will be lying in wait.

Good luck!

Monday, May 18, 2015

How the Bandidos take care of business

So a bunch of middle-aged bikers get into a row at a restaurant in Texas. Next thing you know, the fists are flying, then the boots, then the knives and chains come out and then the guns, as a brawl turned gun battle rages inside a busy restaurant and spills into the parking lot at a strip plaza at the intersection of two busy streets at high noon.

Miraculously, the only persons killed or hurt were a bunch of middle-aged bikers.

If you want some insights into how the Bandidos take care of business, google Shedden massacre. That involved the murder of eight bikers in a power struggle at the Canadian branch of the Bandidos MC. Did these guys go to a busy restaurant at high noon to sort out their differences?

No, they took care of business far away from the public. That's the way it's done.

Something doesn't add up in that Waco story.

Nine bikers executed in Waco police ambush

That is one fishy story.

According to Sgt. Swanton of the Waco Police Department, a police swat team had staked out the restaurant in advance. Presumably the bikers were aware of the police presence... so they're going to start a brawl over what, a parking space? And then pull out the hardware and blast away? In a public space? And nobody except bikers, no restaurant staff, no non-biker customers, no innocent passers-by, no cops, are so much as nicked by a stray bullet? And none of this brawl with fists and knives and chains which escalates into a major gun battle is captured on a single iPhone?

Get outta here!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I'd like to thank all my lawyers and everybody else who worked so hard to make this song a hit

I'm watching the Billboard Music Awards.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do hate myself...

But I did actually hear somebody say those words in the title. If I'm not mistaken it was some guy named John Legend.

I think these awards shows are important. Now that America has been reduced to a couple of dozen hedgie gazillionaires and 300 million "middle class" peons alternating between welfare and minimum wage shit jobs, this kind of spectacle is more important than ever.

It proves that the American Dream is alive and well.

After all, without that illusion, America's formerly working class would have been storming the White House back in the days of Rockin' Ronnie... the only labour leader who ever became president of the United States.

Yes, in America you can in fact put shit on a stick and call it cotton candy... and sell millions!

Oops, gotta go.. Chris Brown is on!

TTFN!

GOP announce Jindal-Trump ticket for 2016

Well, its not actually the GOP, it's just the think tank here at Falling Downs.

But think about it. That's a combo that could grow legs, and long ones at that.

That's a combo that could take Hillary to the wood-shed.

The fact that whupping Hillary a year and a half out utterly consumes the GOP and the media speaks volumes re: the dismal state of American democracy.

Bobby Jindal. When I was a kid, the idea that a Paki could possibly find himself in the governor's mansion in the great state of Louisiana would have been met with unmitigated ridicule.

Unless he was there to serve tea.

But hey, he's got this far, why not go all the way?

After all, he's proven his bona fides as an unquestioning mouthpiece for big money.

And why not The Donald as his second fiddle? After all, Donald is the great American success story personified... all he did was inherit Daddy's tenement empire. Given the straight line that NYC real estate has made straight up over the past 50 years, how could he not become a billionaire? We'll just forget about all those failed casinos for the moment, which should work out OK, because if there's one thing the American voter is good at, it's forgetting.

The race is on!


Those wacky Mooslims

I was listening to Michael Enright's show on the CBC this morning. He had the anti-Muslim Muslim Hirsi Ali on for an interview that was recorded earlier in the week.

That's because certain death awaits Ali at every turn, due to a fatwa demanding her execution, issued by we're not quite sure who, but it gets her a lot of attention, and she has a new book out, so that's a good thing. Enright's interview was typical middle-of-the-road CBC pablum. While it was obvious he wasn't buying into the bullshit, he refrained from asking any inflammatory questions. That's how he managed to pass a 40 minute show about radical Islam without once alluding to the fact that it has been the West that created radical Islam, lock, stock, and double-barrels.

Take the Taliban for example. A bunch of fundamentalist hillbillies of no consequence, until the US of A found them useful in undermining the secular and relatively successful government in Kabul. Suddenly these fringe players found themselves on the receiving end of billions of dollars of American largesse. The results of that largesse continue to reverberate around the world today.

Momentarily given the spotlight in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," America's midwifery role in birthing violent Jihadism has otherwise faced mass amnesia here. That's why Hirsi Ali can ramble on for forty minutes about how violent Islamic extremism is something that flows naturally out of the Koran.

If we allowed Appalachian white-trash snake-handlers to become the official voice of Christianity, and then funded them billions to make the world a better place, what would that look like?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rock me down that Alzheimer Highway baby

Rock me baby.

Not too long after that video was made, we got this spot 'o news...

Yup, Malcolm got a good head start, but I'll pass the fucker in no time...


What I learned today from Canada's national newspaper of record

We're at $4.75 for the Saturday Globe and Mail at Chow Dong's variety store in Wiarton.

Just so you know... I obviously take the news seriously.

What did I learn today?

Well, I read the whole thing cover to cover, and what I learned is that Islam is seriously messed up.

Yup, there's something wrong with that religion.

Right there on page F3 Elizabeth Renzetti has an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. That's the Somalian woman who has carved out a great career in the West by slamming Islam.

Normally I have a certain amount of respect for Ms. Renzetti. She's generally more on top of things than her idiot partner, who also happens to write for the same national newspaper of record.

Ya, I know...

But I think she dropped the ball with today's story.

Hirsi Ali, like Canada's own Irshad Manji, has an axe to grind and books to sell. The "Islam is intrinsically evil" trope is a big hit in the West. Both Ali and Manji have been flogging it to death, pun intended.

Not that there's anything punny about flogging anything to death....

But back to Renzetti's interview with our prized Islamic rebel Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is apparently Islam's iteration of Martin Luther.

No shit!

So she gotta be great!

Hmm... all I see in that interview is how there is something inherently "wrong" with Islam...

There's gotta be... after all, how else to account for all that extremist Islamic terror?

Well, you could start by addressing France's war on Algeria...

Israel's relentless ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem...

America's (and the me-too ass-kisser states) wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria...

There's something fundamentally amiss in Islam?

The biggest problem with Islam is that the Nations of Virtue have been bombing them to ratshit for the last fifty years.

Unless of course they are totalitarian puppet states who agree to spend their oil booty on lots and lots of bombs and guns manufactured by their betters in the Nations of Virtue.

No wonder the Muslims are pissed off!

Let me tell you about my underpants

What?

You don't want to know about my underpants?

How is such a thing even possible?

I bet if my last name was Kardashian or Jenner you would have a keen interest in my underpants... especially if I wasn't wearing any!

Yup, that's what "Western civilization" has come to.

Frankly, I'm glad your're not interested in my underwear. I'm not interested in yours either.

Underwear is something to be worn, not seen.

I think that's the point that poor chappie down in Guelph was trying to make.

Unfortunately for him, the school board is now convening "focus groups" to get to the bottom of his barbaric misuse of language.

Once you've got a gaggle of sunshine-list education superintendents on your case, you're well and truly screwed.

And even though I'm sure you don't want to hear another word about my underwear, let me leave you with a tip.

Last time I was at Sears they wanted over thirty bucks for a two-pack of name brand undershorts.

Picked up a six-pack of Fruit-of-the-Looms, as good a brand name as brand names get, for $14 at the GT Boutique just yesterday.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Sears.


How to dress like a skank

I see where a high school principal in Guelph has jeopardized his career by using the word "skanky" in an address to students. Seems that with the advent of the warm weather, a certain percentage of his students have been dressing for the beach instead of for the classroom, hence the "dress scholarly, not skanky" admonishment from the principal.

Well!

Needless to say, the Committees to Eliminate Vice in Thought and Language are all over the poor guy.

"Skanky?" Oh my... all of a sudden we're into slut-shaming and oppression of women by the patriarchy and all kinds of stuff that is fuel for the flames of imaginary radical feminism...

Make no mistake; the think tank here at Falling Downs is 100% aboard for letting women decide how women want to dress.

That's not the point here.

Girls in high school are just figuring their stuff out, as are the guys. Unfortunately, a lot of the girls, having been saturated with pop culture representations of what it means to be female in this culture, pick up their cues from all the wrong sources.

Advertising.

Music videos.

After fourteen or fifteen years of being bombarded with the same message, ie the highest calling for a woman is to be attractive to men, it's no wonder that many young women find affirmation in the attention they get from males.

Want more affirmation? Get more attention.

That's why some teenage girls walk down the halls of their high schools in beach attire. They get lots of affirmation for wearing skimpy tops and shorts so short they're gonna get sun-burn on their ass-cheeks.

And that, if I understand the situation, is what Principal Scot Bishop down there at Centennial CVI was trying to address.

So, Mr. Bishop meant well when he pleaded with his students to "dress scholarly, not skanky."

You can bet the kids knew what he meant.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Making Tsarnaev a martyr invites blow-back

There's more than a few unanswered questions about the Boston Bombing, and none of them were answered in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

How did a "terror attack" that approximated the damage of a bad car accident instantly lead to a shock and awe siege of Boston? More went on in Boston than meets the eye, and DT is the fall-guy.

His conviction and subsequent death penalty are erroneously assumed to provide "closure."

It won't.

Instead, it will provoke more people to ask more questions.

For starters, how did these guys who were on FBI/CIA/FSA radar manage to pull this off?

And how did their terror attack happen to coincide with a FBI/CIA/FSA anti-terror exercise?

You can't make these questions go away just by hanging Tsarnaev.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Calgary man fined for FHRITP attack on reporter doing story on FHRITP attacks

OK, so maybe Buddy wasn't the sharpest bulb in the toolshed.

You gotta love the way the national newspaper of record soft-pedals the story; "Calgary police have fined a man $402 for making an obscene remark to a CBC-TV reporter while she was doing a report on obscene remarks made at female reporters."

What is wrong with these guys?

Do they not have mothers? Sisters? Daughters?

How did we get to a place where impressing your buddies with your asshole skills trumps your respect for the women you love?


Big Steve's latest bully attack on Omar Khadr slapped down by Canada's supreme court after record-setting half hour of deliberation

Normally, the supreme court takes months to deliberate over a case.

Harper's latest gratuitous attack on Canada's most famous child soldier took less than half an hour of deliberation.

To say that means the supremes found the government's case "without merit" would be understating things by a wide margin.

They even awarded Khadr his legal costs, to be picked up by taxpayers like you and me. While I'm not happy about that, I realize that's not the fault of Omar Khadr; the blame lies squarely with the Harper gang.
Their relentless bullying of Khadr has been one disgusting shit-show. This is their third loss at the highest court. Are they done yet?

No. They're appealing the decision to grant Khadr bail. No doubt they'll lose that too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Will lawyers destroy pro sports?

I'm pondering this question while watching the Rangers-Caps game seven. They're gonna take us into overtime, and I hate that. As an old guy, I like my regular bed-time. This OT shit can mess up my body clock for weeks.

Anyway, it's occurred to me that pro sports as we know them may not be around in a few years. Why?

Lawyers.

Yup. If you like watching the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat on your TV, you'll soon be able to thank lawyers for making it go away. The NFL just signed off on a billion dollar settlement in hopes it will make a class-action concussion lawsuit go away, which it won't because lawyers are already appealing the settlement!

Oddly enough, the NFL is the only one of the big four pro leagues NOT run by a lawyer. Bettman, Silver, and Manfred all supervise their fiefdoms with the benefit of law degrees in their back pockets. Silver and Manfred might not have too much to worry about in the near future, but the NHL is living on borrowed time.

If the NFL succumbed to a concussion class-action to the tune of a billion dollars, what do you think will happen to the NHL? They move twice as fast as NFL guys and their helmets aren't half as sturdy, and you have twenty years of Don Cherry's Rock 'em Sock 'em videos archived for evidence!

Already you've got this class action.

That class action.

And now Steve Montador's folks are wanting in on the action.

Seems to me when a couple of 200+ pounders run into each other at 30mph, somebody's gonna get hurt. That's a no-brainer. It should have been a no-brainer to those hockey parents who were making all those sacrifices to help their kids make the bigs...

Here's a prediction; in ten years pro football will mean flag football, and pro hockey will be no-contact.

Thank the lawyers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Toronto soccer yob loses job over FHRITP drollery

Apparently there's a trend afoot in the world 'o jocks to express their jocularity and reclaim their masculinity by disrupting female media types with misogynistic heckling while they are on air.

Isn't that hilarious?

It's got something to do with getting vengeance for the last fifty years of being emasculated by man-hating feminists who think they can do manly work like being TV sportscasters. Or something.

Shauna Hunt, a Toronto broadcaster covering a soccer game on the weekend, aired an exchange with a couple of these macho men and it's gone viral. Now one of the dudes finds his job is gone.

Engineer at Hydro One would be a good gig; well into the six numbers I'm sure. Being fired from Hydro One makes it tough to land another gig. That's because a) it happens so rarely everybody will assume there's something seriously wrong with the guy, and b) everybody knows that once you've worked at Hydro One for more than a few months your work ethic has been hopelessly compromised.

So good luck to Buddy on the job hunt, and here's hoping it'll make other guys think twice before impressing their pals with a little "harmless heckling" of the nearest female reporter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Canada sliding eyes-wide-open towards fascism

Definitions of "fascism" could easily fill a library. The great Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci alone spilt tanker-loads of ink on the project of defining fascism.

In the interest of defining our terms we'll jury-rig an abridged definition right here and now; Fascism is what you're left with when the military-industrial complex of a nation-state dominates the levers of policy-making. There you go; short and sweet.

There is no more a perfect example of a fascist state in today's world than the state of Israel. But wait, is that not the "only democracy in the Middle East?" Sure, but that's got nothing to do with anything. Hitler was democratically elected too.

In Israel, the "security" of the state trumps all other considerations. Never more so than with the new more-rightist-than-ever Likud coalition government.

The security of the state is paramount. Anyone who questions Likud policies is a traitor. All criticism of the government is anti-Semitism. All government policy is designed to further marginalize the Palestinians, thereby guaranteeing instability in perpetuity. Instability equals insecurity, therefore we need a massively over-funded military machine, which is massively profitable for the usual war-profiteers, who are then able to fund their war-mongering Knesset pets to create more insecurity and more military spending ad infinitum.

Under the Harper gang Canada has been jockeying to become the single most slavishly devoted cheer-leader of the fascist Likud regime. And with considerable success!

What occupation?

What illegal settlements?

What apartheid?

What war crimes in Gaza?

The Alliance Church crowd around Big Steve is wilfully blind to everything that is so obvious to most of the world, and was obvious even to previous Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative.

Instead, we get FM Baird's embarrassing Toady Tour of Israel.

Big Steve's speech to the half-empty Knesset.

Our prime minister accepting a "World Statesman of the Year" award from an extremist Israeli lobby.

And on it goes, and now it has come to this.

Canada intends to use its hate-crime laws and the odious police-state Bill C-51 to criminalize criticism of Likud policy, no matter how racist and genocidal.

If you criticize the policies of the fascist mob that holds the reins in the Knesset, you are guilty of hate speech.

You are an anti-Semite.

Nevermind that the most cogent critics of that fascist mob have always been Jews. Chomsky. Finkelstein. Uri Avnery. Canada's own Michael Neumann.

Within hours of the CBC story appearing, the Washington Post, hardly an anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli platform, had an opinion piece up slamming the Harperite position and labelling it "very troubling."

And while I don't like to toot my own horn, we had the same story right here months ago.

How does this rabid cheer-leading for the most overtly fascist state in the Western world impact the popularity of the Harper gang?

Harper is leading in the polls a mere five months before the next federal election.

Eyes wide open...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

So I run across Paul Newman in a bar

No, not that Paul Newman.

And not to be confused with my uncle Paul Neumann of Darmstadt, who is no longer in the best of health but could formerly be found in a bar from time to time.

I'm talking about my old pal Paul who showed up in my high school class picture in the GCVI yearbook, a fact neither of us discovered till we were well into middle age.

I typically run into Paul Newman about once every ten years or so.

Paul is apparently well into his old age now. He's getting those monthly cheques from the Canada Pension Plan. That makes him an official senior citizen in my book. And since I have yet to receive one of those, I guess this makes him old and me young.

One thing we had in common is me and Paul were both going to be millionaires by the time we were thirty.

Ha ha ha!

Who knows... without divorces and alimony and child support, one or the other of us might have made it.

So I'm taking Junior for lunch for his birthday at the Stampede Ranch yesterday, and I'm not there for five minutes before I hear "I seen you walk in and I only know one person that ugly; it can only be Dieter Neumann."

Shit... that can only be Paul...

We did the usual reminiscing about who's done what and who has died.

The older you get, the more you know who died. Funny how that works.

I've been exceptionally lucky in the death department. I know Paul's dad Dennis must have passed away a good twenty years ago, whereas mine is still going strong. But those ageing relatives are none of them gonna live forever, and right now mine are stacking up over their final destination like airliners over O'Hare in a blizzard.

Paul and I once shared a car ride from Calgary to Guelph. That's a trip both of us made many times. If things fell the right way you could do it in under thirty hours, which we did. As I recall it, I drove the whole way and he slept the whole way, except when he was briefly awakened by the G-forces as I was doing some dramatic manoeuvres weaving around abandoned gas stations in northern Ontario in a desperate attempt to lose an OPP cruiser.

Ya, it was a blast from the past, and I hope there was a lesson in it for Junior.

All you young folks out there who think the future is gonna stretch out forever, it ain't.

Make your time count.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hermeneutics of the welding shop

We finally got Bubby into a home.

Just temporarily though. She's recovering from a broken wrist on account of her last fall.

That's just one of the shit-sucking side-dramas of getting older. You fall. You break stuff.

You're in a home.

So a couple years ago my old pal Tom had a tree fall and break the roof of his cabin on an island in the middle of a lake out in the Muskokas. Tom and I go way back to when he was an up-and-coming young academic and I was accidentally parked in a fourth year sociology course at the U of G.

In fact, we go back even further than that.

When I was an up and coming welder-fitter at Kearney National in Guelph, I'd often see Tom handing out commie propaganda at the plant gates. That was common around Guelph in the middle '70s. After all, the Communist Party of Canada got its start in a barn off the Silvercreek Road just behind the General Electric plant.

One thing I profoundly respect about the Bubbinator is that all her clan, at least the ones who managed to dodge the death camps in the WW II, came away dyed-in-the-wool commies. Then they washed up on these shores and became entrepreneurs.

Capitalists.

It's a crazy fucked-up thing, but when you talk to elderly Jews you'll find a lot of heart-felt respect for socialist ideals, no matter how rich their families got playing the entrepreneurship game in the New World.

The reason so many got into the entrepreneur game was because that was the most viable path open to them, especially if you arrived here from Russia or Poland without the benefit of a serious education. Interestingly enough, most of your Jewish entrepreneurs who made it big in the New World came from Eastern Europe where they were denied education opportunities.

By contrast, up till the Nazi era, German Jews were, as a class, the most educated Jews and the most educated Germans in all of Europe.

But I digress.

Tom was in a bit of a flap about fixing the roof of his shack out there on his island in the middle of the Muskokas. He was ready to call in a contractor.

Here's something you might want to know about contractors in the Muskokas.

First of all, they assume anyone who has property in the Muskokas is filthy rich, and they therefore price their work accordingly.

My pal Tom is a humble university professor, rather "poor" by Muskoka standards. He is not seen as a lucrative target to the local contractor community.

But he still needs the roof of his cabin fixed. The tree that fell on it fractured a couple of the roof trusses. It wasn't hard to see what the local contractors would recommend; peel off the roof, replace the trusses, replace the roof... you'd get out of that for maybe ten grand, probably closer to twenty.

I got up there and eye-balled the situation. Looked to me like we could jack up the roof, and then through-bolt a couple of pieces of angle iron on the fractured trusses. That would be a "temporary" fix, but "temporary" might mean twenty years.

We headed into town to fetch some angle iron.

I spent my working years, or at least a goodly percentage of them, working in welding shops large and small, from Saint John Shipbuilding on the east coast to Harjim Machinery Works on Vancouver Island. One thing I know is that you can't bullshit welding. Nor can you bullshit a roof repair on an island in the Muskokas.

That roof's gonna stay up or it's gonna fall down.

No amount of bullshit will keep it up if the fundamentals of physics say it's gotta fall...

Kearney National was a good place to fine-tune my chops. I still remember to this day the lads I learned from and worked with.

Dudley. Magician with the pipe bending machine.

Cheech Contini. Me and him did some serious boozing in the back shop on the afternoon shift. He taught me how to cover my tracks.

Manny in shipping...

So me and Tom end up at this little fab shop in Gravenhurst, looking for a few lengths of 1/4 x 3 angle iron with the holes knocked in just so. It's a fab shop that looks just like every other small-town welding joint; everybody who works there looks like they're outlaw bikers waiting for their probation to end.

We just wandered in the back door and helped ourselves to the chop-saw and the iron-worker. Buddy at the front desk when we checked out enquired sarcastically whether my flip-flops had steel toes. Ministry of Labour rules or some such horse-shit.

I told him ya for sure...

Tom got the roof of his cabin fixed for a couple hundred bucks instead of ten or twenty thousand.

Last I heard, that roof is still keeping the warm in and the weather out.












Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not a good week for the Harper gang

First off, we've got the Duffy trial. That's a work in progress, now progressing into its third or fourth week of he-said she-said ennui that seems to cast far more doubt on the good offices of Harper and Co. than it does on Puffy Duffy.

Anybody who followed the Duffster's career back when he had one knew this was a journo destined for bigger and better things. This was a guy with an uncanny knack for sucking up to those in power... or failing that, those who would be in power next.

Sure enough, the Harper gang took the reins in Ottawa and Big Steve gave Puffy Duffy the reward of a lifetime - a seat in the Senate!

By this time the Puffster had nation-wide recognition. Everybody knew Puffy. That's why he was put in the Senate. He was put in the Senate to butter the bread on the government side. Which, according to all the evidence, he did and did well.

He was one of the busiest of the busy senators pushing the party line for Big Steve and the Conservative Party.

Then some of the jealous journos who coveted Puffy's seat in the Senate started asking some embarrassing
questions about how the Senator from PEI actually lived in Ottawa.

That's the kind of hanky-panky that's gone on since the first Senate meeting, but heretofore it was considered uncouth to bring it up.

No more.

At first the Harper gang circled the wagons and hoped the questions would go away.

When they didn't, they tossed the Puffster overboard.

To the astonishment of the Conservative Party elite, he floated.

So here we are, having a trial that will cost tens of millions, to get to the bottom of a "corruption" case that might have involved a couple of hundred thousand.

It's not a trial going well for the Harper gang.

Then we've got the Omar Khadr case. Omar Khadr was set free on bail today by a judge who obviously did not see herself constrained by the diktats of the Harper gang. Omar was a fifteen year old kid who allegedly tossed the grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002.

According to the Harper gang, that was a heinous war crime.

Ya.

In the first place, I suppose if you killed a US soldier in the US, there might be a case.

But killing a US soldier who is a part of a foreign army invading a foreign country... how is that a war crime?

What was particularly odious about the Khadr case is that it unravelled in the shadow of Canada's enthusiastic endorsement of the UN protocol on the rights of child soldiers.

Today a Canadian court granted bail to Omar Khadr, who has been illegally detained since he was fifteen years old, first at Gitmo and then in Canada. At every turn the Harper gang has blocked every move to grant this child soldier the rights that Canada enthusiastically endorsed back in 2000.

Finally, this week brought us the huge NDP win in Harper's home province. Harper and his ilk are the children of an Alberta conceit which posits that Alberta's oil wealth is the result of hard-working Albertans putting that oil in the ground through their own hard work.

That's an attitude that has protected the PC leadership in Alberta for 44 years, and it might have continued had the gravy train of $100/bbl oil rolled on just a bit longer.

But it didn't.

Instead, we've got $50 oil and a huge hole in the provincial budget.

That made folks take a closer look at how their province has been managed the last 44 years.

The PC's in Alberta started up their sovereign wealth fund forty years ago. They've stashed away a whopping 17 billions to look after the people of Alberta after the oil runs out.

Meanwhile, the government of Norway started up a sovereign wealth fund 25 years ago. They've managed to stash away a trillion dollars.

When Albertans look at that, they can't help but realize they've been grossly mismanaged.

By their Conservative government.

All of which adds up to a certain level of discomfort among the Harperites in Ottawa, who will be facing an election in five months.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Libya's new NATO-trained army looking for a few good men.

Unfortunately, when authorities realized they were looking for them in public parks in the vicinity of Cambridgeshire, the training program was quickly kiboshed.

Alas, it was too late for the "alleged victim" in our tale, who spent an impressive 38 minutes having his poop chute violated by our Libyan allies. One suspects the perpetrators may have had access to some of Gaddafi's vast Viagra stores that went missing after the great victory of 2011.

No word on if and when NATO training of the new Libyan military will resume.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Canadian PM Stephen Harper's vanity videos endanger Canadian troops in Iraq

One thing you gotta admire about Big Steve; he is the most savvy media manipulator in the history of Canadian politics. He is up there with the masters like Goebbels and the finest minds of the Soviet Agitprop ops.

Or at least that's what his elite spin team likes to think of themselves.

Alas, sometimes they drop the ball.

Seems the home movie crew released to the internet some of their home movies of Big Steve doing photo-ops in Iraq and Kuwait.

Which would never have been a big deal except that Big Steve's security detail, elite Canadian Special Forces types whose identities can never be revealed, appear on camera!

Leni would not approve!

Christian soldiers of the drug cartels have chopped off more heads than Islamic fanatics of ISIS

The most brutal theatre in America's "War on Drugs" has long been Mexico, especially after W made Mexican president Felipe Calderon an offer he couldn't refuse back in '06. It's been up up and away ever since for the body count... even after Calderon himself had second thoughts and opined that it might be a good idea to consider the legalization of drugs.

And you've got to respect the Christian bona fides of those cartel soldiers; check out how the cartels deal out drugs and violence with religious fervor.

It's a mystery why the "War on Drugs" still has oxygen after years and years and decades of abject failure... then again, it's not much of a mystery at all. The War on Drugs continues to be highly profitable for any number of stake-holders; law enforcement, the military, drone-builders, gun manufacturers, the penal-industrial complex... holy shit, the US economy would go broke without the war on drugs!

So this story can only mean good news to the drugs war profiteers; seems the Jalisco Cartel shot down a Mexican military helicopter at the weekend.

Well!

That has caused the Mexican government to declare "all-out war" on the cartels. Apparently they've just been pussy-footing around till now...

Finally!

You can rest easy folks... the war on drugs will be won for good any day now.


Or not.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Does a degree in "social justice" kill your career prospects?


No.

Not at all.

Junior is doing one of those degrees at York even as I write these words...

Fact is, there's lots of multi-billion dollar foundations out there that are required by law to give out x percentage of their wealth every year.

Given that these foundations are the legacy of the uber-capitalists who have run America into the ground, it may seem an unlikely gambit to have young socialists stepping up to run their foundations.

But all the young capitalists are doing their MBA degrees at Wharton, and they wouldn't be caught dead doing humanitarian shit, other than those token gestures you have to make to create a "well-rounded" CV.

Which leaves a vacuum in the world of philanthropic foundations.

Thank God York University is there to plug the gap.






Warren Buffett believes raising minimum wage would hurt poor people

84 year old Warren and his 91 year old side-kick Charlie Munger were waxing wise at the Berkshire annual pow-wow the other day.

Warren is considered the second richest man in the world after Bill Gates, and Charlie is on the Forbes billionaire list in his own right.

The billionaires think we should not raise the minimum wage, because raising the minimum wage would hurt poor people.

Yup, paying the working poor a decent wage would just fuck them up.

Why can we not just call bullshit on such odious and obvious bullshit?

America is brain-dead.

Australia's gift to civilization

Nope, it's got nothing to do with that unctuous twat Mr. Tony "let the brown buggers drown" Abbott.

Nor has it anything to do with the musings of the vicious cxxt Gina Rinehart.

No, Australia's one and only contribution to civilization was a court decision rendered by one Henry Higgins more than one hundred years ago.

Judge Higgins decreed that a working person was entitled to a living wage.

And in spite of the best efforts of the Abbotts and the Rineharts of this world, that's still the law in Australia.

That's why the minimum wage in Australia today is more than double the minimum wage in the USA.

PM's Iraq PR blitz blows Canadian Forces sex scandal off front page

A mere three days ago Marie Deschamps' report on the culture of sexual harassment in the Canadian Forces was front page news. According to the former Supreme Court justice, a misogynistic and homophobic climate prevails throughout the Canadian Forces. What's worse is that this climate is either condoned or ignored at the highest levels of the military.

That's all ancient history today, replaced by news of Big Steve's surprise visit to Iraq and Kuwait to personally thank the brave Canadian men and women in uniform who are all that stands between civilization and the savagery that is Islamic State.

"With binoculars in hand, Harper gazed out over gently rolling hills..."

What's a little ass-grabbing in the ranks when the future of civilization is at stake?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

After 44 years of rampant mismanagement of its oil wealth, Alberta may throw out Conservative oilygarchy

And vote in an NDP government?

That prospect has got the neo-libs at SunPostMedia in a flap.

Needless to say, your "corporate business leaders" are in an even bigger flap.

Who can blame them? After a 44 year long free ride on one of the lowest royalty regimens on the planet, it's gotta be a shock to see the forces of doom gathering on the horizon.


Big Steve does Baghdad

Stephen Harper paid a surprise visit to Iraq today, to meet up with the latest US-installed stooge in the capital, and also to pose for photo-ops with our brave men and women out on the front lines, training up the Kurds for their fight against the evil-doers.

Those Kurds are a funny lot. They've not let concepts like "democracy" blight their culture, but they're pretty OK with concepts like polygamy and female genital mutilation.

Yup, they're our kinda folks alright!

Earlier in the week Big Steve hosted King Abdullah of Jordan right here in Ottawa. Apparently Jordan is one of our besties in the ME these days.

Jordan is one of those freedom-loving nations where they don't mind torturing folks who don't love freedom enough.

And rightly so!

After all, if your country is not all in with the Nations of Virtue, you're probably some kinda terrorist-loving nest of iniquity...

Whilst in Baghdad, Big Steve pledged 139 millions in "extra" aid to Iraqi refugees.

Ya right!

Don't hold your breath, Iraqi refugees...

Big Steve has mastered the art of the artful photo-op and the empty promise.

How is that fleet of Canadian ice-breakers coming along?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Canadian Forces turn to US for help with rape epidemic

It's true, and it makes perfect sense when you think about it for a moment.

The Canadian Forces are a bit discombobulated by the claims that they are a breeding ground for sexual harassment. So what better authority to appeal to than the proud men and women in uniform who have been raped while serving with the US military?

But here's a shocker; there's actually more men than women getting raped in the US Army!

 Not sure how much mileage the Harper gang is going to be able to wring out of that fact...