Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Shelby KR500 will NEVER have a V-6

Get the fuck outta here!

I must have pushed a wrong button on my laptop recently, because all of a sudden I'm the recipient of shit like this.

Ford is gonna totally disgrace the Shelby brand by stuffing a V-6 in a Mustang and calling it a Shelby KR500?

Get the fuck outta here!

I remember the first time I saw a 500. It was parked on Waverley Drive in Guelph. Had brake scoops and hood scoops sprouting out all over the place. I was a grade seven student at Waverley Drive PS and was walking down to the plaza where the cool kids were learning to smoke cigarettes.

That gold KR500 gave me a boner.

Couple of years later, once I had a driver's license, I pulled up beside a 1969 KR500 at the lights on Silvercreek Parkway at Speedvale. That's where two lanes merge into one to this day.

Mr. Fancy Pants in that KR500 got a surprise that afternoon...

Don't fuck with a 340 Duster!

But I still like the sound of the Ford V-8s and I love what Ford has done with the Shelby brand.

Please tell me they're not gonna flush it down the shitter with a V-6 in something they call a Shelby 500.

Buddy beats 200mph speeding ticket

The bad news is he won't get his bike back.

But there's plenty of good news to go round.

First of all, his lawyer Mike Mulligan is gonna have a ton of guys knocking on his door.

Nice job, Mike!

I'm also thinking that by the time the dust settles, Randy will have his wheel back after all. British Columbia isn't Texas. We still have the rule of law here.

And finally, a shout-out to Judge Higgenbotham. Astute work dude! Bet you have an R1 tucked away in your garage, eh?

The Bastion

I may very well have met Hermann Nieweler, but I can't say I remember him.

Hermann's got a obit/tribute to a life well lived in the Globe and Mail today, mainly on account of his Hermann's Jazz Club out in Victoria. Hermann was one of those post WW2 DPs who came here with nothing and made something out of it.

The jazz club happened after my time on the West Coast, but I certainly perked up at the reference to the Bastion Inn!

The Bastion!

Holy Mother of God!

Hermann owned the Bastion?

I've spent some time in rough dive bars from coast to coast, but the Bastion out in Victoria, circa 1980 or so, was absolutely one of the roughest!

You could make a commodity deal across the room with a tip of the cap and a nod.

I remember a waiter, Russian or Greek with hardly any English. He comes to the table to take your order. He's wearing a nice knee-length fur coat. Pulls up his sleeves; he's got a half dozen time-pieces on each forearm.

"You like watch? Good price on watch! Hundred dollar! Regular two thousand... you like fur coat? Good deal on fur coat..."

I never bought a watch or a fur coat at the Bastion, but I bought a few commodities and lots of beer.

The Bastion was the kind of place where when a drunken brawl broke out nobody would notice. I remember sitting there, well lit in my dark corner, when a trio of cops march in. They're standing there scanning the room. They're obviously looking for somebody.

While they're scanning the room, there's two drunk guys having a death match right in front of them. Buddy A drops Buddy B with a boot to the groin. Buddy B staggers to his feet, wobbles towards equally impaired Buddy A, grabs him by the hair, and smashes his face into the edge of a pool table, about ten times... blood everywhere... right in front of the cops, who correctly conclude that everything considered, it's best for all concerned to pretend they're not seeing any of this!

The place was a fucking zoo!

But believe it or not, it never got out of control.

Hermann Nieweler was obviously one hell of a zoo-keeper!

Rest in peace, Herr Nieweler!

Waco judge orders release of Twin Peaks video tapes

Waco Tribune reporter Tommy Witherspoon is live-tweeting from the courtroom that Judge Matt Johnson has ordered the release of the security videos from the Twin Peaks massacre to an attorney representing one of the 177 bikers corralled on May 17.

Those would be the same tapes that Sgt. Patrick Swanton initially assured the public would entirely verify the official police version of what really happened on May 17. Somewhere along the line the Waco PD had a change of heart, and the City has been fighting desperately to prevent their release.

Something about tainting the jury pool...

Ya, I guess it might taint the jury pool if Sgt. Swanton were to be exposed as a serial liar.

Is Al Jazeera embarrassed to recycle Heritage Foundation propaganda?

I see where Luke Coffey has another of his drearily predictable anti-Putin diatribes featured at Al Jazeera today. Given the astonishing frequency with which AJ permits him to restate the same opinion, they must like him a lot.

What puzzles me is why they are so coy about identifying who he works for, offering up only that Mr. Coffey is employed at "a Washington DC based think tank." It's hardly a secret that Coffey works for the Heritage Foundation, only the richest and most influential by far of the hundreds of far-right think tanks in DC. Referring to the Heritage Foundation as a Washington based think tank is like calling the USA a country in North America; true, but a tad disingenuous.

As for Coffey's latest insight, we are told (for the umpteenth time) that Putin's aggression is an existential threat to the Baltic states and to the free world at large. Russian concerns about NATO's "pre-positioning" of US military hardware in Eastern Europe is "nonsense," because as everybody knows, NATO is strictly a defensive organization.

There might be some folks in Serbia who would disagree...

Or Libya...

Or Afghanistan...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Who's paying the bills for Pussy Riot?

Seems the wild and crazy punk rock feminists pretty much stole the show over there at the Glastonbury Festival. Yup, a couple of the gals were doing some creative performance-art stuff with Pyot Verzilov, who may or may not be the former Pete from Mississauga. Pyot was pretending to be a Ukrainian separatist and the girls were pretending to give him a good anti-Putinist thrashing.

Most serendipitously, Pussy Riot is getting wall-to-wall PR all across Canada, on the very same weekend, for headlining the Toronto Pride Parade!

So here's my befuddlement. You don't get on a stage at Glastonbury for nothing. And you don't get from Russia to Berlin to England to Toronto for nothing. And you don't headline one of the most iconic Pride Parades in the world for nothing.

Where's the money coming from?

As far as I can tell they're not making anything from their musical and video endeavours.

They've never had a paid gig, at least not paid for by the folks who hear it.

Yet they are globe-trotting celebs, whoever they are.

Where's the money coming from?

Israel proves it's possible to intercept Gaza flotillas without killing anyone

That news flash just in!

Actually, they've always known how to do that, which just proves that those nine deaths on the Mari Marmara were a calculated message to the would-be blockade busters.

Pussy Riot take pride of place ahead of Cyndi Lauper at Toronto Pride Parade

I was just perusing the PrideToronto website and was utterly shocked to see the fake Russian "punk band" Pussy Riot take an honoured position ahead of Cyndi Lauper and David Furnish.

Putting them ahead of Furnish is almost understandable. After all, his claim to fame is having married Elton John.

But putting Pussy Riot ahead of Cyndi Lauper in the list of "honoured positions" is unconscionable.

Countdown to sixty

In a couple of months I'll be a senior. Sixty. I'll be able to apply for the whatever they call it when you turn sixty.

I'm in denial.

Truth is, I'm heading headlong for one of the markers of old age, and I have yet to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

Fuck, does that ever suck.

Just recently I was toying with the idea of buying out Ernie's Fish and Chips down Chesley way. It was on the market for the longest time. Came with it's own building on the main street, with an apartment above.

I've always wanted to run a restaurant. Me and the Farm Manager could live in the apartment. She could become the Fish Manager, or maybe the Chip Manager, or even the Fish and Chips Manager.

Anyway, while I was mulling it over in my mind for months, someone more decisive swooped in and scooped Ernie's from underneath me.

I wish them well.


So what else is on the table when you're turning sixty?

I was hoping the Harperites would get their shit together and actually start up that long-promised ship-building program. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Irving Shipbuilding in Saint John. I could handle an encore performance.

Unfortunately, the rate at which they're rolling that out leads me to conclude I'll be well into my 90's before they need marine steel-fitters on the project. By then it may be too late.

But maybe not. From all reports the Rolling Stones are totally rocking this latest "Zip Code" tour, and they're all in their 90's.

Maybe there's hope for me yet!

FBI goes hard-core

Here's everybody's fave G-man back in the day...

But that is so last century! Meet the FBI in 2015...


That's what we call progress in law enforcement!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Monument Madness, or where Big Steve jumped the shark

The proposed Mother Canada monument out in Cape Breton is creating quite a stir.

And really, why wouldn't it?

I mean, who makes this shit up?

But Mother Canada is just the lead-off batter in Big Steve's trifecta of gauche war memorials. After despoiling the pristine shoreline of Cape Breton with Mother Canada, the Harper gang hope to visit another episode of wanton gauchery on downtown Ottawa.

Meet the memorial to Victims of Communism. As far as I can tell, all the victims of communism were communists, so why do we need to build them a monument on monumentally valuable real estate in downtown Ottawa?

But wait... just because you don't live in Cape Breton or Ottawa, and there's zero chance that your morning walk will expose you to one of those Harperite aberrations,  Big Steve's got more in store!

Yup, 250 unsuspecting Canadian communities will become home to derelict Afghan war wagons, as a memorial to our great victory over those scumbag murdering Taliban.

As the clock ticks down to the next federal election, Canadians should be asking themselves if all these Harperite memorials truly represent their country.

About the CBC and that African-Canadian war hero from 1857

HMCS William Hall named after first African Canadian to win Victoria Cross declares the headline at the CBC. It's all part of the Harper gang's program to reinvent Canada as a "warrior nation" by celebrating war heroes of the distant past.

We are celebrating Mr. Hall's exploits in 1857 by attaching his name to a not yet built ice-breaking vessel in the many times announced but not yet begun Arctic Patrol Vessel program. His name is to go on ship number four. Whether the Arctic Patrol Vessel program ever builds four ships is a matter of conjecture, but there's no denying that the selection of an "African Canadian" certainly underlines the fact that Canada is not only a Warrior Nation, but a diverse and inclusive one.

Whether it's kosher to call a man born 38 years before Confederation an "African Canadian" is a minor quibble at this remove. Seems to me there couldn't have been "Canadians" of any ethnicity before there was a Canada; we were just subjects of the British Empire; but let's get back to our Warrior Nation past...

1857 was a tense and trying time for the British Empire. Here in British North America the colonial government introduced the Civilization of Indian Tribes Act, the precursor to the Indian Act and the entire project of assimilation that was recently labelled cultural genocide by the Chief Justice of Canada's Supreme Court.

At the same time, in another part of the British Empire, those other Indians rose up against their colonial masters in what has become known as the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The uprising was ruthlessly suppressed by the colonial masters, and India remained a British colony for another 90 years.

It was in the context of suppressing that mutiny of the Indian people against their colonial oppressors that William Hall, an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy, was awarded the Victoria Cross.

That may say rather more about our glorious warrior past than the Harper clique intended.

Canada names another imaginary Arctic Patrol Vessel

If you're keeping track, HMCS William Hall is the fourth of the new Arctic Patrol Vessels to be named by the Government of Canada. Assistant Defence Minister Julian Fantino was at the Africville Museum in Halifax yesterday to announce the good news.

The bad news is that there isn't actually a ship to which the Royal Canadian Navy can affix that lovely name. First announced in 2007, Canada's Arctic fleet has been the subject of numerous photo-ops and good-news announcements since, although no ships have been built!

That may be about to change, however. Apparently Public Works Minister Diane Finley is so fed up with the lack of progress that she barged into the Irving yards in Dartmouth last week, rolled up her sleeves, fired up a cutting torch, pulled down her goggles, and personally began cutting steel for the first of the patrol ships!

Or maybe that was just another photo-op?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Let's stop "helping" Haiti

I see where the CBC has a story on how health care in Haiti is gonna go straight down the shitter without more help from Canada.

This story is an example of a genre of reporting that was very popular in the 60's and 70's. Us First World folks had lots and lots of solutions to the problems of those Third World folks.

Don't worry, Dark People! Big Ag will solve your problems with agricultural productivity. Big Pharma will deliver a knock-out blow to those tropical diseases that lay waste to your working population.

Let us open up a few "free-trade" zones so your unemployed masses can experience the zen of industrial discipline by undercutting the $35/month textile workers in Bangladesh!

And God forbid that you Dark People rock the boat of First World munificence by electing some wild-eyed radical like Jean-Bertrand Aristide as your leader.

After everything we've done for you, how dare you do that to us?

Yes, Canada has helped health care in Haiti. Canada has also helped destroy democracy in Haiti.

On balance, maybe Haiti would be better off without our help.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

US keeps starting stupid wars because they're highly profitable

Which war profiteers have profited from the Ukraine escalations these past couple of years?

Who is profiting from the carnage in Syria?

America has been arming all sides in Iraq for over a decade. That's been very bad for a lot of Iraqis but it's been very profitable for some American war profiteers.

In fact, the entire "War on Terror" has been way too close and way too profitable to a constellation of war-industry insiders who also happen to be State or Defence insiders.

There's no such thing as a bad war as long as you can make a buck on it.

Al Qaeda is just a Pentagon fabrication

And therefore, al Qaeda's slightly-more-sinister brothers in terror, the Qaeda offspring known variously as al-Nusra, ISIL, ISIS, and Islamic State, can safely be deemed Pentagon spawn too.

The think tank here at Falling Downs had our suspicions way back in '11, when it became obvious that those "Libyan rebels" NATO was continuously driving forward were nothing more or less than particularly lazy and particularly drug-addled al Qaeda "terrorists."

Once we had facilitated their triumph over the evil Gaddafi, it was on to greater triumphs!

That's why the US and her eager minions in the Gulf have been busy helping al Qaeda and its manifold mutations bring freedom to Syria for the last four years!

When you step back and think about it, back far enough so that your head is at least briefly clear of the propaganda smog, you can see the win-win here.

Fabricate an enemy and arm them to the teeth.

Bomb them to ratshit.

Arm them to the teeth again.

... repeat cycle.

It's been going on for years now.

Hand-wringing and soul-searching as Canadian media discover we sucked up to one of the worst human rights violators to sell them armoured cars


Yup, apparently Canada made a deal a year and a half ago to sell 5,000 armoured personnel carriers to the Saudis.

That was described by our Foreign Minister of the time, one John Baird, as our biggest export "win" ever!

This blog and plenty of other sources flagged that deal at the time as highly dodgy, to put it mildly.

Nice to see that the Globe and Mail and the CBC are catching up!

Bupkis; that's how much military aid Canada is prepared to give Ukraine

Defence Minister Jason Kenney came clean today about how much lethal weaponry Canada is prepared to donate to Ukraine so it can fend off the forces of Bad Vlad.


As in nothing.


Apparently the Canadian Forces don't actually have any lethal weapons, at least none that they're willing to share out to a bankrupt failed state.

Especially if that failed state is in an on-going squabble with Vlad the Bad.

Yes, Big Steve will continue talking the good talk at least till the autumn election; after all, there's a million Uke-Canuck votes hanging in the balance, and the Harper gang is doing all it can to convince those folks that it's doing all it can to repel "Russian aggression."

But they're not.

And that's probably a good thing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why Jon Stewart is wrong about Dylan Roof's terrorist cred

The word "terrorism" is one of those slippery handles that serves many masters.

It is always a term intended to heap shit on the people you're talking about. I think the English teachers call that a "pejorative."

It's a propaganda term, a political term.

That's why we time and again see last year's terrorist morph into next year's statesman, as has happened in the Middle East and in the UK, and most noticeably to Nelson Mandela.

Terrorist today. Icon of freedom, hope, democracy, everything good under the sun the next day.

So what happens when we apply this slippery propaganda term to Dylan Storm Roof?

As in, "Dylan Roof is a terrorist."

What does that word mean to America?


That's what America has been fighting a no-holds-barred battle against since 9/11, is it not?



When we affix that label to Dylan Roof, we excise him from the body of that great dysfunctional family known as America. That label marks him as an outsider, an enemy, someone we've been fighting for years.

That's not who Dylan Roof is.

Dylan Roof is very much a member of that dysfunctional family.

Dylan Roof is every bit as American as apple pie and the second amendment.

Calling him a "terrorist" allows America to avoid looking at itself.

Why banning the Confederate flag is stupid

So far, we've got a lot of "voluntary" bans; Walmart and Amazon and so forth putting a finger to the wind and responding accordingly.

That's kosher, I guess. They are market-driven companies responding to the demands of the market.

I think we have to respect their freedom to do what they do in terms of what they stock on their shelves.

What we should be all over them about is wages and working conditions.

But that's another discussion.

Sadly, it's not hard to see where politicians are going to start cashing in on the issue-du-jour and try to legislate the Confederate flag into oblivion.

That would be a massive mistake.

In the first place, that's a move that would run face-first into the first amendment.  Secondly, that would motivate a lot of your second amendment stalwarts to notice the first.


Every public square in America will be overtaken by flag-waving open-carry aficionados, and you know what flag they'll be waving!

Why are nine dead in Charleston infinitely more newsworthy than nine dead in Waco?

On May 17 local police and several federal law enforcement agencies were involved in the shooting of 27 civilians in Waco Texas, nine of whom died of their injuries. The Waco Police Department immediately came up with a far-fetched yarn about a pre-meditated biker battle, into which law enforcement was only drawn when they themselves became targets. The story hit the headlines but had virtually disappeared within 36 hours.

One month later a mentally unstable sociopath murdered nine people in a Charleston church. That story too hit the headlines, but unlike the Waco murders, this story has staying power. A week after the fact, the Charleston nine remain at the top of the news cycle, while the Waco nine are long forgotten.


Why has one story been suppressed while the other gets non-stop headline treatment across all mainstream media platforms?

After all, Waco is the more important story.

Charleston is about race, hatred, mental illness, and above all, the frightening access that mentally ill people in America have to firearms. Since that latter point is not a discussion America is willing to have, the conversation instead turns to symbols.

Maybe it's time to ban the Confederate flag...

Waco, on the other hand, is about the deliberate perversion of due process. It's about half a dozen government agencies conspiring to deny justice to those caught up in the case. It's about shielding the culpable individuals and organizations from being brought to justice. More than that, it's about the national media colluding in that conspiracy.

Nothing to see here, folks...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Remembering when Canada used to build ships

The Harper gang held a photo-op/presser today where Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced that the government was entering into "preliminary discussions" about turning a used oil tanker into a Royal Canadian Navy supply ship.

Back in the day, the government used to make an announcement when they'd signed a contract to have Company X build X number of ships.

And then the ships actually got built! I know, because I worked at the Irving yard in Saint John in the early '90's.

Saint John Shipbuilding.

We built real ships!

But not no more. Now they have the photo-op/presser when they're announcing "preliminary discussions."

What the fuck does that mean?

Well, we're sorta thinking about building a few ships... what do you guys think about it?

That's pretty much the way it goes these days...

Just announcing that you're planning to start talking about stuff qualifies as a Harper Action Plan.

Al Qaeda terrorists discovered in Israeli ambulance

Here's a confusing story out of occupied Golan in Syria.

Seems a Druze mob ransacked an IDF ambulance that was ferrying wounded al-Nusra fighters to an Israeli medical facility for treatment. Also inside the ambulance were two IDF soldiers, presumably there to protect the terrorists from the Druze mob.

Here's what the Greatest Leader Since Moses had to say about it;

"This is a very grave incident. We will not permit anybody to take the law into their own hands, and we will not allow anyone to hamper Israeli soldiers in the course of their duty," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"I call on Druze leaders to act immediately to calm tensions."

Isn't that rich! The Golan Druze, under illegal Israeli occupation since 1967, are expected to stand by while the IDF supports the al Qaeda franchise in Syria!

At least the PM inadvertently confirmed something many have suspected; that it is part of an IDF soldiers duty to support al- Nusra Front. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

P. Diddy was just a pissed off Daddy

I know the feeling.

You've paid the bucks to have Junior in the game, but they just can't seem to find any game time for him.

Or her.

Been there.

And it looks like P. Diddy been there too...

Ya, when the coach isn't playing your kid, you just want to give that coach a punch in the head.

Which it looks like P. Diddy might have done.

As for me, I figure it's best to just come to grips with the fact that maybe Junior's not gonna make the team.

But I'm not P. Diddy.

Into a jobless future 2; the hedge fund edition

So I offered a brief synopsis of a world without jobs.

What will this mean to the dudes at the very top of the capitalist food chain? No offence intended, but they will inevitably be dudes. For a whole lot of reasons I can't get into here, there don't seem to be any women in the upper echelons of the hedge fund racket.

While it's no longer a novelty to see women at the top of the corporate hierarchy, that's no longer the top of the capitalist food chain. The biggest dogs in the corporate world can take home tens of millions a year. The biggest dogs in hedgie-land take home billions!

They do it by taking over companies, or even entire conglomerates, and laying waste to them. Pull a staged bankruptcy to get rid of those pesky union contracts. Loot the pensions. Off-shore the manufacturing, or at least move it to a "right-to-work-for-poverty-wages" state.

Maybe women just don't have the testicles to be that mean?

Anyway, the big dogs in the land 'o hedge funds are exclusively male.

So how's it gonna shake out for them when the working class has been completely decimated?

First of all, once you take the consumer out of consumer-driven capitalism, there's nobody left to buy the shit that those corporations make, whether they make it in Georgia or Monterey or China.

Robots don't buy cars or houses or a million consumer gadgets.

Suddenly all those corporations that provide consumer gadgets are worthless.

That means there's nothing there for the hedgies to dismember and flip.

Then what?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Into a jobless future

Here's a story that shines a light on one small corner of a future without jobs. The men and women currently driving the big dump trucks in the Alberta tar pits will soon be replaced by robo-trucks.

They're not the only ones of course. Eventually over-the-road drivers will be replaced too. And it's not just drivers. Pretty much the entirety of the paycheque economy is vulnerable, if not sooner, then later. Fast forward far enough, and it's not likely that there's going to be much demand for human labour.

What then?

Ahmed Mansour case a test of German sovereignty

Everybody knows that the ascent of Generalissimo al-Sisi to the big chair in Egypt could never have happened without the connivance of the Nations of Virtue, and especially the US.

For all the clap-trap about "democracy" that spews non-stop out of Washington, it was clear that the election of Morsi was one of those aberrations of democracy that could not be countenanced by the West.

Democracy is great so long as the right people are elected.

Electing the Muslim Brotherhood was not what we expected.

Democracy in Egypt has been effectively rejected.

And der Fuhrer Herr al-Sisi is by the West protected...

We shall see now how far Frau Merkel will push against the wishes of Washington. Honouring an Egyptian arrest warrant in Germany dishonours German sovereignty and independence, especially when that warrant comes from an illegitimate regime steeped in everything antithetical to the supposed virtues of the Nations of Virtue.

Freedom of expression.


The rule of law.

Good luck tomorrow, Mr. Mansour... much hangs in the balance.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dylann Roof and "terrorism"

I see where no less an authority on terrorism than Jon Stewart has decreed that Dylann Roof is a terrorist.

I think that's giving Mr. Roof way more credit than he is due.

Nine dead in Charleston. How often do nine dead in Baghdad or Kabul or some other hell-hole of America's making make the news?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Dylann Roof didn't come out of nowhere. He came out of a winner-take-all culture that needs to scape-goat the losers.

He found his scape-goats in a church that was so full of kindness that they welcomed him in.

Labelling him a "terrorist" shifts the narrative to America's "war on terror." As a Jon Stewart fan of long standing I would like to think that's not what he had in mind.

Dylann Roof is not a terrorist. He's an American. He's an American so alienated from his country that a shocking act of mass murder seemed to him to be a credible act of protest.

Dylann Roof was wrong.

So is Jon Stewart.

Killing Cupcake

My friend Martin is responsible for this.

Martin is a back-to-the-land kinda guy. Ran for the Greens in the last election.

Me and a couple of dozen other people voted for him.

He didn't make it into parliament.

Cupcake was a sheep who thought she was a dog. The reason Cupcake thought she was a dog is all because of Martin.

I'm fully acquainted with animals who think they're something they're not. Once when Junior was little we brought home a almost-hatched chicken egg when school let out for the summer vacation. Set that egg under my desk lamp. Sure enough, it hatched!

Once you get over the miracle of reproduction, you gotta ask yourself, now what? So I've got this tiny baby chicken following me all around the house, and that's exactly what I'm thinking...

Now what?

So we go to the chicken hatchery down in Hanover. I want to buy one or two baby chickens. The folks there look at me like I'm fucked in the head. They're used to selling baby chickens to big-time chicken farmers by the tens of thousands.

And here's this dumb-fuck standing there who wants to buy one or two baby chickens?

Whereas I hatched a baby chicken who thought it was a human, Martin raised a sheep to think it was a dog. Cupcake was rejected by its sheep mama, but glory be, it was accepted by the family dog! So from its earliest times, Cupcake followed the dog around. It came in the house with the dog, went out to play with the dog, fetched sticks with the dog...

When the dog ran off and had to be repatriated by the SPCA, Cupcake was right there with her!

When the dog was snoozing away the afternoon on the living room couch, Cupcake was snoozing away on the other end of the couch!

Trouble was, Cupcake didn't remain a cute baby lamb. Cupcake got bigger than the family dog. Suddenly, Cupcake leaving a pile of sheep turds on the living room rug wasn't funny any more.

Cupcake had to go.

And just this week, she did.

I'm hoping for an invite to the BBQ.

Why there's nothing funny about that hilarious anti-biker propaganda

The land of the free and the home of the brave has pretty much morphed into a police state.

If you're a Muslim in America you probably know that already.

If you're Black in America you've always known that.

But I think the white-ass homeboys are starting to figure it out. Take that Waco debacle a month ago, just as a for instance. At last count, a mere 23 of the 177 "violent criminal bikers" are still in jail. The rest are out on greatly reduced bail bonds, and there's all kinds of legal action shaping up around illegal arrests etc.


But the general public isn't there yet. They're still chewing over the official story about gangs of violent criminals descending on Waco. If you read the comments at the Waco Trib website, you'll see a lot of otherwise intelligent people have bought the official story, lock, stock, and barrel.

They're thanking Waco PD for keeping their city safe!

A police state needs enemies to justify its existence. If you don't have any, you have to invent them. We're witnessing that invention process even as I write these words. Earlier today I made light of the hilarious anti-biker propaganda coming out of Paso Robles in California, where the police department pretty much barricaded itself to fend off an imminent attack by an "outlaw biker gang."

Anybody who knows anything about so-called "motorcycle gangs" would have marked that story as bullshit immediately, as would anyone with a modicum of critical thinking skills. That's why I found the story hilarious.

But there's a goodly cross-section of otherwise decent folks who will automatically buy into the bullshit. If the police say so, it must be true.

That's not funny; it's frightening.

More hilarious anti-biker BS!

Authorities in California are ratcheting up the anti-biker PR to credibility-defying heights with this effort.

Police in Paso Robles cordoned off the streets around the police station last night in anticipation of a possible attack by the Vagos MC.

Because that's what "motorcycle gangs" do; attack police stations!

Multiple officers from departments all throughout the county are currently surrounding the police station as a precautionary measure...

Ya right! There follows a list of five local police departments plus the California Highway Patrol, all of whom will no doubt be billing the tax-payers for over-time pay.

And if you think the story's not retarded enough, wait till you get to the part about the "bullet bouncers!"

Who makes this shit up!?

I can see why Chief Robert Burton isn't making himself available for comment; I'd be embarrassed too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

How to pay $270,000,000 for a helicopter

As in 270 millions. Of dollars.

Ya, I don't know either, but apparently the Canadian Forces have figured it out.

I did the math on that story. $7.6 billion divided by 28 helicopters comes out to about 270 millions per.

Sounds outrageous to me. And remember, this is the buy that's gonna replace the 50 year old Sea King.

They've had fifty years to shop around, and this is the best they could do?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waco update: first they shot the bikers, now they steal their stuff

Here's how things work in America today. To say things are "unresolved" with respect to the Waco biker massacre would be an understatement of epic proportions.

What we know for sure is that most of those hardened desperadoes are walking out of jail after their lawyers negotiate 98% write-downs of their bail-bonds. That obviously wouldn't be happening if the State had the slightest hope of a case against them.

But that's not going to stop the forces of law and order from stealing the property of the folks they set up there in the Twin Peaks parking lot a month ago. Nope, a smattering of Harleys, a few pick-up trucks, and a Toyota Venza are soon coming to a police auction near you.

Apparently some of these vehicles had a handgun in the glove-box.

A handgun in the glove-box of a pick-up truck in Texas? Who can even imagine such a thing?

Or in the saddle bag of a Harley...

And apparently having a Bandido T-shirt is cause for having your truck or motorcycle stolen by the police.

Funny how the Waco PD has plenty of time to get the forfeiture paperwork ducks in a row but no time to clarify to the public why virtually everything in Sgt. Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton's original press briefing has changed numerous times since.

White gunman kills nine Black church-goers - Jews to blame!

I'm a regular reader of Mike Rivero's What Really Happened website. There's always been a lot of dodgy shit there, but a lot of good stuff too.

But when I read this pathetic attempt to pin the SC tragedy on some vague Jewish conspiracy, linked to at What Really Happened, I thought, hey Mike, ya gotta get some quality control happening in what you allow on your site.

Questioning what kind of pharmacology products Mr. Roof was on is fair game.

Speculating about how Obama might spin this tragedy for political purposes is fair game.

But "arch Zionist gun control hoax?"

Get the fuck outta here!

This is the kind of story that delegitimizes genuine resistance to Israel's crimes in the West Bank and Gaza.

Teen tart takes down Senator, tsunami of self-righteous shaming ensues...

Let's call her Ms. X, this "mere child" who carried on an affair with a married fifty year old Senator.

Mere child or not, under Canadian law Ms. X is deemed mature enough to enter willingly into a sexual relationship. Given the facts of the case, we must conclude that Ms. X made a good selection in terms of who she would enter into a sexual relationship with. One can only assume she had the choice of multiple zit-faced teen suitors with no prospects.

Demonstrating a robust sense of self-interest, Ms. X passed by all those eager teens and settled for a man of means and substance; Senator Don Meredith. Not only was he a Senator, he was a man of the cloth, a minister in the Pentacostal Church!

A more perfect baby daddy one could hardly imagine!

Mere child? I think not! This woman had her shit together! She made some smart choices!

Alas, the Lord spoke unto Senator Meredith, telling him to cut that shit out, on account of he already had a wife and all.

So he did.

Whereupon Ms. X spoke unto the Toronto Star, starved for juicy stories in this post-Ford era, and spilled the beans...

Now it's all over but the weeping, gnashing of teeth, finger-pointing, tut-tutting, cluck-clucking, and high-fiving in the Star's newsroom.

Senator caught with pants down

I see where yet another Harper appointee to the Senate has returned the favor by publicly disgracing both himself and the man who appointed him.

Who does this guy think he is?  Berlusconi?

 Where does Big Steve find these guys? Obviously the background checks leave a little to be desired. Maybe the PMO and the RCMP were too busy figuring out ways to keep Omar Khadr behind bars to do the necessary due diligence on Bruce Carson, Arthur Porter, Patrick Brazeau, and now Senator Don Meredith.

Reading Meredith's Wikipedia page you quickly realize Mr. Meredith may or may not be a man of God, a Doctor, and a university graduate. You would think that degree of ambiguity in the man's background would raise some red flags.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Crimes of the educators

Ran across this gem on my random internet ramblings this evening.

Yes, it's obvious that educators are guilty of crimes against humanity, insofar as their endeavours have produced a public sufficiently gullible to accept that Obama's America shares a page in the history books with Pol Pot's Cambodia, Hitler's Germany, or Stalin's Russia.

Unfortunately, this calibre of imbecility didn't erupt under Obama.

Sam Blumenfeld was born in 1927.

His co-author was educated in a firmly pro-American-exceptionalism pre-Obama era.

Not that Obama has in any way backed down from the doctrine of American exceptionalism.

But folks who have been educated in the no-fault era wouldn't know that. Nor would they recognize that Blumenfeld and Newman are wall-to-wall bullshit.

Thinking back to the last election cycle, I recall that moment when Mitt Romney castigated a critic for forgetting that corporations are people too.

Corporations are not people.

America in general gave Mitt's egregious insult a free pass; after all, the Supreme court had given the corporations-are-people nonsense a pass too.

So it must be true!

By the way, nobody on the supreme court had the misfortune of getting their primary education under "common core."

Yet they were fully able to come up with such an outrageously moronic ruling.

And when they did, they weren't tarred and feathered or run out of town or strung from the nearest lamppost.

No, American education has been heading down the shitter for a long time, and it's a phenomenon that has nothing to do with Obama and very little to do with educators.

It's a by-product of the Zeitgeist.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Over 130 of those "criminal bikers" corralled in Waco Biker Massacre out on bail

And most of them out with drastic reductions in their bail bonds. Like from a million down to $25k in most cases. That's 98% off! Wish I could get that at TSC!

Obviously the state knows they don't have a case.

In the meantime, the public is still waiting for the CCTV video we were promised by Sgt Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton way back when.

What really happened?

Studly Canadian Forces heroes hard-wired to molest female colleagues - Chief of Defence

Well thank God there's a military man not afraid to tell it like it is.

General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence for Canadian Forces, explained today that the reason for the CF culture of sex abuse is that the lads are "biologically wired" to grope and grab at every opportunity.

I recall my days at Saint John Shipbuilding, when the women were coming in as electricians and welders and pipe-fitters. While ship-yard dudes can never claim to be as macho as soldiers, a lot of them were biologically hard-wired to grab and grope too.

Mr. Irving was ruthless about firing the grabbers and gropers. It was quickly understood that a female electrician or welder was just another electrician or welder.

The grabbers and gropers got re-wired real quick!

The ICC; easing the White Man's Burden one African leader at a time

That was the title of a blog post I wrote three years ago.

What's changed?

Well, other than a few more Black dudes doing prison time, and a couple more having had close calls, escaping their fate only because of their perceived value to the Nations of Virtue (Kenyatta?), nothing. The ICC still can't find a White war criminal anywhere in the world!

That a supposed "international" court based in a country with a rich history of slave-trading and colonial exploitation should spend its energies exclusively on ferreting out criminality among its former victims is a grotesquerie beyond belief.

Screwing Mexican workers is a win-win

Here's a nifty read from the CBC about Canadian manufacturers decamping to Mexico, as they've been doing ever since Lyin' Brian Mulroney lulled us into bending over for NAFTA.

Seems the big car builders are flocking to Mexico to take advantage of wage rates a quarter of what they are in Canada. And who can blame them? Those mollycoddled Canadian workers are cry-babies well known for demanding a so-called "living wage," not to mention pensions, benefits, sick pay, health and safety legislation, overtime pay, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Those hard working Mexicans are thrilled to make a quarter of the Canadian pay packet without ever imagining all that other stuff is even imaginable!

But imagine my surprise when smack-dab in the middle of a story about auto parts and car builders, we get to meet Mr. Bill Hammond of Hammond Power Solutions.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit I've met Bill a couple of times before, back when he was doing the show-and-tell leading up to the Hammond IPO, which must be close to 25 years ago. I'd been busy building up a modest but tidy position in the shares pre-IPO, buying up warrants from folks who worked there, and I was hoping to make a killing when the shares sky-rocketed after their listing.

After all, that's what had happened to Linamar, another Guelph success story.

In the event, I would have done OK in the first couple of hours of trading, but no, I had to hang on for the big kill... and it was a big kill alright...

I got killed big.

So it's interesting to meet Bill again after all these years;

Bill Hammond. whose company has been making electrical transformers in Guelph, Ont., for about a century, says Mexico has made great strides in addressing its quality problem.
"There was a time when Mexico had a reputation of building shoddy product," he says. "We're finding now that global manufacturers are more than willing to accept products coming out of Mexico because the quality levels are as good as they are out of the United States or Canada."
Hammond is among the Canadian companies to have set up shop down south, with three plants in and around Monterrey. Workers like Crisanto San Martin came to the plant with no experience eight years ago, but have slowly risen through the ranks thanks to their diligence, hard work and eagerness to move up.
"They gave me good training," San Martin says. "When I got here, I didn`t know anything, I didn`t even know what an electrical transformer was. I didn't know any of that and they told me, 'Don`t worry, don't be afraid, you will contribute your part, you will do this,'" he says.
Hammond says his Mexican workers make about 10 per cent of what corresponding workers in Canada would. Although San Martin says it's not enough to live on — his wife still has to work, he laments — he's grateful for his job, and notes that Hammond pays better than most other factories in the area.

Note that where the other manufacturers are thrilled to be paying out a quarter of a Canadian wage, Bill's got the Mexicans down to 10%! And listen to his peon Crisanto; it's not enough to live on, but he's grateful for his job! 

Then note that even though Mr. Hammond pays a quarter of what the big boys pay, it's still way more than the local employers pay.
Contrast that to the aggrieved attitude of Canadian workers!
Truly a win-win!

Trump for President! Let the gong show begin! Best bet since President Camacho!

He merely toyed with us last time round.

This time he's for real!

And if he fizzles, at least he's spending those tens of millions in political donations building his brand!

Let the hilarity begin!...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hundreds of western corporations head to St. Petersburg Economic Forum in spite of anti-Russian sanctions

Doesn't look like those sanctions are taking much of a bite out of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Looks like most of the corporate Big Dogs from the Nations of Virtue plan to be there, sanctions or no sanctions.

That makes Big Steve's histrionics re the evil Putin look even more ludicrous.

But not as ludicrous as the school of thought that blames Putin for anti-fracking protests in the virtuous west.

No matter the merits of Russia's claim to Crimea; the more Putin is identified with anti-fracking and anti- GMO ag, the more popular he will become among progressives in the West.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why can International Criminal Court only find war criminals in Africa?

Looks like the indefatigable war-criminal-hunters at the ICC have nabbed another international war criminal; Sudan's Omar al-Bashir. Like all the other war criminals the ICC has brought to justice, Mr. Bashir is a Black African.


Mr. Bashir is being held in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he had arrived to attend an African Union meeting. Pending the outcome of some jurisdictional squabbling between the SA government and the courts, Bashir will be flown 8,000 miles to the Hague for his date with justice.

The think tank here at Falling Downs has some helpful tips for the International Criminal Court. 

It's only 5,000 miles from the Hague to Crawford, Texas.

It's under 4,000 miles to Washington DC. There should be good war criminal pickins in those parts.

Well under 3,000 to Tel Aviv.

And London England, home of one Tony Blair, is a mere 300 miles away.

Best of all, less than a hundred miles down the road in Brussels, a motherlode of war-crimes suspects can be found at NATO HQ!

So give those Africans a break already! It's called the INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court, not the AFRICAN Criminal Court.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pentagon poised to gift heavy weapons to pro-Russian militias in Eastern Europe

Ya, I know that's not what the headline in the New York Times says.

The US is just parking the hardware in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.

Just like they parked dozens of Abrams tanks in Yemen to deter Houti aggression. Guess who's driving those tanks around Yemen now?

And those 2500 armed Humvees that recently fell into the hands of ISIS in Iraq; they were left in Iraq to deter ISIS aggression.

Seems that some folks at the Pentagon have missed their wake-up calls.

Either that or they're just profoundly stupid.

Of miracles and bullshit; how Texas is being set up for Jade Helm

Be afraid... very afraid!

Especially if you live in Texas!

May 17 you had that infamous incident of outlaw biker terrorism in Waco.

Not a month later you've got this terrorist attack on Dallas PDHQ.

Thank God Jade Helm is just around the corner to save Texas!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rock Stars on the Alzheimer Highway

My dear Uncle Werner, once one of the top guns in that academic shooting gallery labelled "the Reformation and how some dumb-ass German friar changed history," is way ahead of me on the Alzheimer Highway.

But we share a gene pool.

If I'm not mistaken, he was about the age I am now when he found himself having trouble hiding the slippage.

I'm watching a YouTube video of ACDC in concert.

For the most part, I'm not big on this thing called "progress."

But watching ACDC or Iggy or the Stones or Mott the Hoople live any time you're in the mood... well, that's gotta be good for something.

That's progress, I guess.

Overall, though, I truly believe mass culture, "pop culture," if you will, is a dead end going nowhere.

The fact that 14 year olds go to see Roger Waters today tells me that pop culture has been stagnating for a long time.

While the culture stagnates, the cultural icons are sailing down that exit ramp that merges with the Alzheimer Highway...

Welcome one and all!!!

Where to get the other side of the Waco Biker Massacre story

You've all seen the official story all over the (mainstream) place.

Vicious brutes converge on Waco. Criminal biker gangs. Violent criminals every one.

There's another side to the story.

I've tried in my own small way to bring the other side of the story to the readers of Falling Downs.

With this, and this and this, among others.

At least we're making an effort here at Falling Downs. This is a huge story that is being swept under the carpets of political correctitude before our eyes.

Police violence is only noteworthy when brown people are the victims.

And even though the gallery of the 177 perps corralled in Waco shows plenty of brown folks, the mainstream news won't touch this story, because "biker gangs" are hardcore white-trash criminals, and we wouldn't want to rock the boat too much on that narrative...

After all, you wouldn't want Rev. Al Sharpton heading up a demo in Waco in support of bikers!

Not that we're in any danger of that happening.

The best source by far for the other side of this story is the Aging Rebel.

Well worth a look if you're interested in what really happened in Waco on May 17.

Canada's political elite prostrate themselves before U-2 frontman Bono

Well, this is embarrassing!

Bono is gonna take time out from his current tour to hold audiences with Big Steve, Mr. Mulcair, and that youngster with the fancy hair.

I can kinda see where Bono is on the same page as Big Steve. After all, Big Steve's initiatives to save all the women and girls in the less-fortunate world rely on pretty much the same corporate sponsors who sponsor Bono's career.

By meeting Bono, Trudeau and Mulcair are signalling that they're part of the same club.

Bad move, boys.

Progressives of all stripes are long over corporate stooge Bono. Too bad you missed the memo.

Wacked in Waco; when Police lie it proves their integrity

We're closing in on one month since that infamous "brawl that became a shoot-out" between biker gangs in Waco. Still no autopsy results. Still no video footage. Still so many unanswered questions.

Like, just for instance, how many of the nine dead and eighteen wounded were shot down by the police.

In fact, the story has pretty much disappeared. Certainly nobody anywhere near the mainstream media is questioning the official story, as promulgated in its manifold iterations by Sgt. Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton from day one.

I was watching those live pressers from Waco on that fateful Sunday, and it was the sheer implausibility of Swanton's version of events that first drew me to this story. The fact that the story kept changing just made me more suspicious.

The Waco Tribune editorialized about the biker massacre the other day. To their credit, they allow that the bikers have some valid points. At the same time, they had this rather novel explanation as to why Sgt. Swanton keeps shifting the narrative;

The fact that Swanton continually revised information — and in a crisis situation — speaks of his integrity.

There you have it. He's not lying; he's "revising information."

And that proves he's a man of integrity. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why Putin gets an hour with the Pope while Canada PM Harper only gets ten minutes

It's completely obvious, isn't it? Bad Vlad has been a naughty boy and has many sins to atone for, whereas Saint Stephen is a Godly Man of Impeccable Virtue. What would he have to atone for?

Either that, or the Holy Father makes time for Putin because Putin matters, whereas Big Steve is a political lightweight of no consequence.

Take your pick.

More proof that Canada is governed by morons

So Health Minister Rona Ambrose is outraged that the Supreme Court has decreed that consumers of medical marijuana will no longer be forced to set it afire and inhale it into their lungs in order to consume it.

Outraged, no less!

Yup, you can legally get a prescription for marijuana in Canada, but it you deviate from the technicalities of the law and bake up a batch of special brownies, you're a criminal. The only way to legally take the stuff is by smoking it.

That's just stupid!

Until today, when the court ruled in favour of common sense. Now, that five year old prescribed marijuana to control his epilepsy will no longer have to fire up a fattie to take his medicine.

Ms. Ambrose claims she is outraged because marijuana has never gone through the formal testing and approval process to scientifically prove it is effective and safe. That's another way of saying Big Pharma hasn't given weed the thumbs up, but that's because they fear it'll cut into their obscene profits. Here's a list of Big Pharma products deemed safe but later withdrawn because they were found to have unintended side effects, like killing people.

So Ms. Ambrose is outraged, but somewhere high in the sky, Wally Tucker is smiling!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pope ignores US pressure to politicize Putin visit

That's got to be a troubling thing; a Pope who won't take direction from Washington.

What next?

Sanctions against the Vatican? Drones? A Hellfire missile to the dome of St. Peter's?

How do we get His Holiness to understand that Putin is really the devil?

And if that's not enough, did you see the pictures of Putin yucking it up with Italian PM Matteo Renzi? It's like they're two old golfing buddies who haven't seen one another in a while. What's the matter with that guy? Hasn't he read fellow G-7 PM Harper's many exposes denouncing the Russian leader?

Big Steve stares down Russian navy

PM Harper aboard HMCS Fredericton fending off Russian warships in Baltic

Big Steve struck fear into the hearts of the Russians with a blistering speech to the 250 crew of the HMCS Fredericton.

The Royal Canadian Navy’s presence here is the physical demonstration that Canada stands up for what is right and good in a troubled world. 

We Canadians are a peaceful people.  
We believe in freedom, democracy and justice.  
We believe that might in and of itself does not make right.
But now just beyond NATO’s borders, we see new efforts to subvert free peoples and redraw boundaries by force.
The ongoing conflict in Moldova, the Russian offensive in Georgia in 2008, and now the invasion and annexation of parts of Ukraine by Mr. Putin.
Putin’s actions have cost the lives of more than 6,000 Ukrainians as well as the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians aboard a passenger plane.  
Mr. Putin’s recklessness threatens global stability, regional stability, and has spread fear among our eastern allies.
That, my friends, is why you, the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy, are here.
Inspired by the will to defend, dissuade and de-escalate the conflict.  
Canada has joined our NATO allies to show our solidarity with our longstanding allies and with new democracies in Eastern Europe as they once again reject Russian imperialism.
All Canadians are filled with admiration and with the deepest gratitude of your services rendered here and elsewhere in the world.
And on behalf of all Canadians I’m proud to thank you for your service to our country.  
Until you return home safely, we will keep you in our minds and hold you in our hearts.  
May you have fair winds and following seas.
God bless all of you in your work.  
God bless Canada.

Is that not a splendid campaign speech?

We are a peaceful people, except when we're not. We believe in freedom, democracy, and justice, at least for NATO members. 

For Haitians and Palestinians, not so much.

And what up with that God bless Canada stuff? The Bible says blessed are the peacemakers. If we were serious about peacemaking we'd get our air force out of Iraq and Syria, our warships out of the Baltic, and our selves out of NATO.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Those whacky CBC personalities! If they're not groping women they're brokering secret art deals!

It must be a horrific burden to be a "CBC personality."

Look what happened to Gomeshi!

Apparently he was getting a lot of mileage out of his rough sex schtick till somebody spilled the beans.

All of a sudden sexual assault wasn't funny anymore.

Gomeshi was the first and last guy in a long time to be publicly lynched by the CBC.

Till now.

Evan Solomon facilitated the sale of some Canadiana between folks he was personally acquainted with.

Apparently that's as bad as being an accused serial sexual predator; too much for the CBC.

The think tank here at Falling Downs thinks we're falling all over foregone conclusions here.

The real reason Mr. Solomon is in the shit-house is that he is not sufficiently deferential to the party line.

I'll let you figure out which party that might be.

Is American education beyond redemption?

I've had some feedback lately that suggests there are folks out there who do not realize when they're reading satire. For example, I'll say hey, what a great idea to nuke the towelheads, and I'll get hate mail from folks who think I'm advocating the bombing of Muslim nations.

That leaves me with something of a conundrum on my hands. Is it actually possible to explain irony or sarcasm to someone who didn't recognize it the first time round?

This falls in the category of having to explain a joke, a conundrum that comics have been acquainted with since forever.

I'm not a comic, nor would I wish such a career choice on my worst enemy, but it does leave me asking questions about where things are at with the education system.

The fact that someone may have rudimentary reading skills after graduating from the system gives me hope. The fact that they cannot shake wheat from chaff thereafter fills me with dread.

There are dark days ahead.

Jade Helm to save Texas in nick of time!

Operation Jade Helm isn't slated to begin for a few weeks, but the way the patsies are rising to the bait, it may have to be moved forward.

Originally I thought it was just the bikers being set up as "domestic terrorists," but it looks like the folks pulling the strings behind the curtain are going all-out for maximum ethnic diversity among the patsies. Seems we've now got the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam joining the "criminal biker gangs" in the cross-hairs.

Thank God Operation Jade Helm and its tens of thousands of brave men and women in uniform are waiting in the wings to make Texas safe again!

$21 million Senate audit uncovers less than $1 million in questionable spending

They call it the "Senate scandal."

Canada's auditor general Michael Ferguson today made public the results of the most thorough audit ever held into senate expenses. His team looked at 80,000 expense claims totalling $45 millions over two years.

What did they find?

Less than a million dollars worth of dodgy expense claims.

What did this witch hunt cost the Canadian taxpayer? Somewhere in the neighbourhood of $21 millions according to this story from Globalnews.

Now that's a scandal!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bikers are the new "domestic terror threat"

Have a gander at this story.

Ex-biker gang leader's brother slain in burned Gary home

GARY, Ind. (AP) -- Authorities say a man found slain inside a        
burning Gary home over the weekend was the brother of a former Outlaws Motorcycle Club leader who's facing federal racketeering charges.
The Lake County sheriff says 68-year-old Gerald Yager was handcuffed and his throat was slashed.
Sheriff John Buncich tells The (Munster) Times all signs point to arson for the fire that broke out about 4 a.m. Saturday at Yager's home.
Buncich said Yager was an Outlaws member, but wasn't as involved as his brother.
Federal prosecutors in Milwaukee have charged 59-year-old Randy Yager with participating in murders, bombings and arson aimed at rival clubs in the 1990s. The former Crown Point, Indiana, man was arrested in Mexico last October 17 years after he was first indicted.
Copyright 2015: Associated Press

Does that picture have anything to do with the story of Gerald Yager?


That picture and its caption are lifted wholesale from the Waco frame-up a couple of weeks ago.

Anybody who knows anything about biker culture knows that while there may be "biker wars," they generally take place far from the public eye. When innocent bystanders get hurt it is a rare and regrettable exception to the rule. 

So why has our media been working overtime to conflate so-called "outlaw bikers" with a vast criminal network that poses a threat to the general public?

Because America's security infrastructure needs a credible terror threat, and the towellers have been a big disappointment. 

Bring on the bikers...

Canada PM "Big Steve" Harper too busy to keep up with news

When the G-7 invented itself back in the '70's, it was an exclusive club for the seven biggest economies in the world. Canada squeaked in, but just barely.

Today Canada sports the 11th largest economy in the world but remains in the G-7, while four countries that have sailed by us in terms of their economic clout (Brazil, Russia, India, China, the "BRIC" countries) are not in the club.

It's not that their economies don't cut it; it's that they don't "share our values."

We are the Nations of Virtue. It is important that members share the values of the Alpha Dog, which our Mr. Harper excels in doing. The G-7 flirted with permitting Russia into the club, back when Boris Yeltsin held the big chair at the Kremlin, but the infatuation cooled off rapidly once Putin came to power. Unlike Boris, Putin was never keen on taking instruction from Washington, and after the Kiev coup (or the Crimea "annexation," take your pick) they stopped inviting Putin altogether.

Big Steve's got an election coming up later this year, and he's pulled out all the stops in wooing the million plus Ukrainian-Canadian vote. He doesn't actually provide any meaningful assistance to the Poroshenko regime, but he's hoping to win those votes with a lot of tough talk against Putin.

Here's his most recent rant;

"Mr. Putin runs an entirely different system … he runs an economy that is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates. It is not at all like our economy, it doesn't share our interests, it doesn't share our values, and so I think we need to have discussions where we can really rally the shared interests of the Western democratic world."

I especially like that bit about the Russian economy being not at all like those in the Nations of Virtue. Instead, it is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates. Here's a few recent stories Mr. Harper obviously missed:

From the US Department of Justice, a press release announcing that Bank of America has paid a $16 billion fine for financial fraud for events leading up to the collapse of 2008.

From Reuters, the story of a six billion dollar fine against four too-big-too-fail banks for "brazenly cheating their clients" by manipulating foreign exchange rates.

From Financial Times, this tale of a $2.5 billion fine against Deutsche Bank, for manipulating the interbank lending rate to its advantage.... and there are plenty more stories where those came from.

And we haven't even touched on how the oligarchs won the day with the odious Citizens United ruling!

So, assuming that Mr. Harper is correct when he claims that the Russian economy is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates, he's obviously wrong about it being an "entirely different system."

In fact, that would make it pretty much a mirror image of our system!

As tar sands collapse Canada pins economic hopes on seal penises

As oil sands projects are mothballed across Western Canada and employees pink-slipped by the tens of thousands (it's so bad that even some Temporary Foreign Workers are getting the chop) Canada is looking east to save the economy.

As in all the way east to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the Harper gang have announced seal quotas of 400,000 harp seals, 60,000 grey seals, and 8,000 hooded seals for this year. That's a lot of seal peckers.

Apparently there's folks in Asian countries who'll pay big bucks for a seal penis. Or at least they used to before Viagra was invented.

The wishful thinkers at the Fur Institute of Canada have cooked up a plan that would see a nine month hunt provide work for forty seal-hunters at a cost of $9 million. Allegedly the Harperites are "studying" the plan.

Here's a better plan; pay each of those seal-hunters $50,000 a year to stay home. That's a grand total two million bucks. The government saves seven million, PLUS saves us the embarrassment of being known as the internationally reviled seal-slaughtering penis peddlers, the target of animal welfare groups around the world, and the laughing stock of the G-7.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The rise and fall and resurection of the American muscle car

The original rise of Detroit muscle coincided all too conveniently with my own coming of age. I was totally oblivious to the first generation muscle cars, the 421 Pontiacs, the 426 wedge Mopars, the 409/409 Impala SS with two four barrels that could run a low 14 off the showroom floor...

But it hit me around '67. I remember the exact moment. There was a used book store on Quebec street, right behind Woolworths, where a chain-smoking 90 year old woman peddled second hand books and magazines.

I'd go in there to get last month's Car Craft  for ten cents when it had been fifty cents at the magazine rack at the corner store.

One day when I'm around 14 years old I walk out that store and there's a Comet Cyclone sitting there by the curb, idling.

Thrumpa thrumpa thrumpa...

Gave me a boner...

From that moment I was hooked on muscle cars.

Me and the pack I ran with went through a wide variety of the genre. Kipling had one of only eight '66 hemi Chargers sold in Canada. Barney had not one, but two 396/375 Chevy Novas. I went through several 340 Mopars and ended up with a '73 Super Duty Trans Am. Most of these cars could run well into the 13's.

Then a Great Darkness descended on the land.

Car Craft explained to me that smog regulations and insurance companies had conspired to kill the muscle car. And for a while things looked pretty bleak.

The demise of American muscle. Sure, you had the occasional bright spot, like the Buick GNX, but over all, the genre was close to comatose.

But things were stirring. By the late '80's you could buy a five litre Mustang that was capable of a 14 flat. A little further on, you could buy a Subaru WRX capable of 13's.

Holy shit! We're back to Hemi ET's in a four cylinder Japanese car!

I think it was the WRX that re-ignited the horsepower race. The engineers in Detroit who had given up on muscle saw what the Japanese guys could do with four cylinders, and suddenly they were motivated again. Yes, you could indeed meet smog rules and still make big power!

The muscle car has been coming back ever since!

All three American manufacturers now have 500+ horsepower offerings on their dealers' lots.

The American muscle car has now by far surpassed anything we saw in the so-called golden age of muscle cars.

You can walk into your local Dodge dealer and drive away in a Charger or Challenger Hellcat.

700+ horsepower.

An eleven second quarter in a car with air conditioning and power windows.

It's almost enough to make me believe in progress!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The quiet death of a Canadian success story

Sentinelle Medical was a cutting edge manufacturer of MRI technology based in Toronto. It was spun out from the Sunnybrook Research Institute where its technology had been developed with a combination of public and private investment. It was an innovative leader in the field of MRI technology used in breast cancer screening.

In 2010 the promising upstart was bought out by American health-care tech conglomerate Hologic for $85 millions. Sentinelle remained a largely independent entity within Hologic and kept its operations in Toronto.

In November of 2013 so-called "activist investor" Carl Icahn bought 34 million shares in Hologic, which gave the hedge fund tycoon about 12% of the company. He promised to shake things up to "unlock shareholder value," which is another way of saying he was going to slash and burn whatever he could to goose the share price and make himself wealthier. Apparently the one thing billionaires never have enough of is money.

How Icahn and his ilk can pull off their rapacious plundering with relatively minor stock positions isn't that much of a mystery. The business press tends to portray "unlocking shareholder value" as an altruistic public service, regardless of how much damage is done to the company, its employees, and the communities they are a part of. As in the case of the Ackman takeover of CP Rail, accomplished with a mere 10% ownership position, the other shareholders tend to shut up and go along for the ride.

The new Icahn installed board of directors at Hologic deemed Sentinelle to be insufficiently lucrative, and by late 2014 Sentinelle found itself in the hands of Inviro, the health and wellness division of Philips, the Dutch multi-national of light-bulb fame.

The Toronto operations were promptly shuttered, throwing the Canadian employees out of work.

At least they can take comfort in the fact that Mr. Icahn did indeed unlock shareholder value; his holding in Hologic is worth about $500 millions more today than when he bought in a year and a half ago.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Turtle time at Falling Downs

It looked like the turtles were done. As in done in by the brutal winter we just had.

Global warming be damned, it's getting colder in these parts. Normally we see the turtles climbing out of the marsh and laying their eggs around the middle of May.

This year, there were no turtle sightings around the middle of May. In fact, we're damned near the middle of June before we see any turtles, but at least we're seeing them, finally!

There's gotta be something in turtle genetic code that compels them to walk over at least one road before they can lay their eggs. That's what I saw this morning. On the morning hike with the hounds, I saw a big old moss-back snapper heading back to the swamp on the south side of the road after laying her eggs on the north shoulder.

Meanwhile, another old moss-back is busy laying her eggs on the south shoulder, and as I head home I see her lumbering across the pavement to the creek on the north side of the road. A turtle's date with destiny is not complete until they have crossed a paved roadway.

Not that it matters.

The raccoons will get all those eggs no matter which side of the road the old mama moss-backs bury them on.

That's why we shoot the raccoons.

Waco biker massacre gets fresh new spin

Almost three weeks after the fact, we get a brand new spin on what happened at the Twin Peaks on that fateful Sunday, and, no surprise, it bears no resemblance to the scenario fed to the public by Sgt Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton 90 minutes after the fact, or the version offered up by Mr. Bowtie a couple days ago.

According to First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett, the Cossacks arrived first and fanned out across the patio at Twin Peaks, lying in wait for the Bandidos.

(A complete contradiction of the fabled Washington Post version of events, by the way.)

This, we are told, is plainly evident in the CCTV video footage.


Funny how that's not what Sgt Pinocchio saw.

Nor is it what Associated Press saw on the CCTV videos made available to them by the proprietors of Twin Peaks when they were desperately trying to wiggle out of the massive frame-up that they correctly sensed was about to destroy their business.

Here's an idea; why not make that video footage public?

If there's nothing for the police to hide, why work so hard at hiding it?

Once again Cathal Kelly succeeds in making himself the story

That lad got chutzpah!

Cathal Kelly showed up on my radar when he turned a sports reporter's free trip to Sochi to cover the Olympics into a flaming anti-Putin screed.

That got him a job at the Globe and Mail.

But he's at it again.

Yup, handing the FIFA world cup of women's football to Edmonton was a mistake, because when folks the world over tune into the FIFA world cup of women's football, what they're really looking for is the skyline of the host city.

And let's face it, Toronto does have a much more aesthetically pleasing skyline than Edmonton.

Frankly, I don't believe for two seconds that anyone who troubles themselves to dial up the FIFA world cup of women's football gives a shit about what the host city's skyline looks like. I've read enough of Kelly's stuff to know he knows that too...

But he doesn't let that hold him back.

How "free trade" screws the public

This is just one very small example.

Last month the WTO ruled that the USA's food labelling regulations violated international trade agreements because they require companies to list the country of origin on the packaging of meat products.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me that the consumer in the US or anywhere else be privy to where the meat came from that they're eating.

But according to the WTO, that puts non-domestic producers at a disadvantage.

Hell, non-domestic producers SHOULD be at a disadvantage!

Swiss cheese should have an advantage in Switzerland.

Canadian bacon should have an advantage in Canada.

USA beef should have an advantage in the USA.

That's why we have nation states...

So we can take care of our own!

That's just not allowed under all these "trade agreements" our leaders have been rushing us into these last 25 years.