Friday, July 31, 2015

If God actually hated homosexuals, wouldn't He sort it out Himself?

He is omnipotent after all...

It's a question that's come up from time to time, whenever I hear some Christian fundamentalist or some Islamic fundamentalist railing against homosexuality.

God good! Fags bad!

If we really believe in this "God" we profess to believe in, could not God sort it out?

It's not just Christians and Muslims who have an issue here; Judaism has its fundamentalists too...

Come to think of it, there's one thing fundamentalist Jews and fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians have in common...

They all hate gays!

In wake of terror attack on Jerusalem Pride Parade, right-wing MK Itzik Shmuli comes out of the closet

And good on him!


It takes serious balls to come out as a gay man in Israeli politics.


I think he needs to be respected for that.


Let's see if his concern for those who are "different" extends to Palestinians, gay Palestinians, Ethiopians, gay Ethiopians, and Israeli Arabs, gay or not.


MK Shmuli is on a slippery slope here. If he truly embraces all those who are "different" he can't remain a right wing Zionist for much longer...


You've made a good start, Shmuli; run with it.

An open letter to Renee Lovelace

Ms. Lovelace,


I read your heartbreaking story of wanting to return to Ghana at Counterpunch.


I don't know anything about you other than what I've read in that story, but I assume that you're at an age where you're giving some thought to where you want to die.


Renee, you were born in Detroit and live in Chicago. What do you know from Ghana?


If you have grown up in Detroit and live in Chicago and have had to cope with systemic racism all your life, I can see where "going back to Ghana" holds some appeal.


But hold on a minute.


You're not from Ghana. You're an American.


True, you have ancestors who came from Ghana in chains 150 or 200 years ago, but you are an American!


My ancestors schlepped around Europe since time immemorial, and were generally at the bottom of the barrel in terms of their social standing. My mother was born into what was essentially feudalism in a place called East Prussia, between the wars. Feudalism is a system wherein the Graff or Baron or whoever is calling the shots, essentially owns the serfs...


Sound familiar?


At some point after the WWII my family made it to the new world, and being white, I guess we had one advantage that you did not.


But here's why I don't want you to be a quitter. When I look at cities like Toronto or Miami today, I see a younger generation that's far more open to change than yours or mine was. I see cities where the racial divides are being dispatched into the dustbins of history by a new generation wherein the millennials who have the opportunity to mix with other races think nothing of doing exactly that.


Blacks and Whites and East Indians and West Indians and Mexicans date and intermarry and are producing a new generation of kids who couldn't care less.


That's where America is going, Renee, and I hope you stick around to see it through.


 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

TPP and the race to the bottom

My Globe and Mail this morning featured no less than four articles about the Trans Pacific Partnership "free trade" deal that is currently being hammered out in Hawaii.

Free trade agreements should at this point in time be understood as a mug's game, at least from the point of view of regular working folks. They help corporate profits and drag down the standard of living in high-wage countries.

I've been a keen observer of the free trade charade since before NAFTA, when Lyin' Brian Mulroney was campaigning on the merits of the pre-NAFTA Canada US Free Trade Agreement. Every time he saw a camera or a microphone he just kept repeating "jobs jobs jobs jobs..."

A lot of people believed him.

What we had to give up to get that deal was the Canada US Auto Pact that dated back to the early '60s, and which had created a thriving car manufacturing industry in Canada. The Auto Pact was the opposite of free trade; it was a focused trade deal that forced the automakers to build cars here if they wanted to sell them here. Auto manufacturing in Canada has been dying a slow death ever since.

Adding Mexico to the deal under NAFTA sped up the de-industrialization of the Canadian economy. I remember hearing the bullshit about how that one was going to lift all ships; the combination of Yankee ingenuity and capital, Canadian resources, and Mexican dollar-a-day labour were somehow going to combine in some magic formula to make North America an economic utopia.

And I guess it was for the corporate shitbags who closed down US and Canadian manufacturing, simultaneously creating America's rust belt and a manufacturing boom in Mexico.

So when we're told that TPP is far bigger and more important than NAFTA, I shudder with dread. The fact that these negotiations have been entirely shrouded in secrecy doesn't make me feel any better.

They've obviously got a lot to hide.

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Latest Ukraine scandal: patriots stymied by lack of approved underpants

No, I'm not making this up.

"Bureaucratic woes" indeed!


No less an authority than Prince Poroshenko himself has called out the Ukrainian bureaucracy for holding up the fight against Russian aggression with their nit-picky regulations on underpants.

Sounds kinda fucked up to me.

We normally think of Greece as the basket case of Europe...

Greece has a quarter the population of Ukraine, but twice the GDP, even in these dark times.

Is it any wonder why?

Former Rand Paul acolytes feeling the rage

Apparently he's a fraud, failure, and a liar...

Well no shit!

Welcome to the mainstream, Rand!

Police body-cams spell end of nigger-hunting

Just a couple of years ago, that police officer in Ohio would have got away unscathed.


But today, he's facing a murder rap, and it's all because of the camera.


Maybe the advances in technology are bringing us some good stuff after all?

Israel in the age of Islamic State

The arrogant Likudniks who have been running the show in Israel for the last 25 years today announced another 300 settler homes on Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

As every Israeli who gives these matters any thought whatsoever already understands, that's going to inflame resistance all over again.

The "resistance" these days is largely confined to teens throwing stones at settler vehicles.

Ya, I know there's those deadly Gaza rockets that never manage to hit anything, but by and large, those stone-throwers are the "resistance."

Their resistance has recently been further criminalized by the introduction of a 20 year jail term for the stone-throwers.

While that is going on, the Likudniks have been cynically annexing the Golan, because what the hell is Assad going to do about it?

We'll just help ourselves to those oil and gas resources while Mr. Assad is otherwise occupied.

Does nobody in the Likudnik power structure see where they are taking their country?

There may be folks high up in the IDF who think they have a handle on what's going on across the borders, and at this point the upheaval is ongoing across every border.

You've got a highly unpopular non-democratic government in Egypt tamping down the fires in the Sinai.

Lebanon is practically an anarchic state, as Syria and Iraq are already.

Jordan is on the brink.

And Netanyahu concludes that this is the moment to announce 300 settler homes in the West Bank!

Yes, it may be great PR to humour some of those IS guys who show up at the border seeking medical attention. But is there a long-term strategy at work in the Netanyahu cabinet?

The closest thing that the Likudniks have ever had to a "long term strategy" is the belief that when and if the shit hits the fan, the USA will come to the rescue.

It might be time to give that strategy a good re-think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outlaw motorcycle gangs terrorize Idaho

I've actually been to Idaho.

Have you?

Friendly folks, helpful as can be, even the outlaw biker types.

This story just screams "bullshit" from end to end and top to bottom.

It's a very lame attempt to justify the expense of that BearCat and all the other military hardware the local cops have accumulated.

Lt. Colonel Stalker gets busted for stalking

You couldn't possibly make this shit up.


There's this careerist in the Canadian Forces who has made it all the way to Lieutenant Colonel.


And guess what; turns out Stalker's been a creeper all along...

McCain v Trump

Donald Trump has never made an issue of his service to America during the Viet Nam War.


I suspect that's because he never served in the Viet Nam War. Nope, Donald was busy studying up at
Wharton. (What, Trump attended Wharton?... and he passed?... he graduated? Who knew?...)


Not having served in America's criminal campaign against Viet Nam can hardly be seen as a bad thing.


Mr. McCain on the other hand, trades large on his heroics in that war. Yup, not only did he serve his country; he survived torture and came out a war hero in that criminal campaign against Viet Nam.


Here's a story called The Horror of John McCain; war hero or war criminal.


There's lots of stories out there in a similar vein. That's why the good senator is not pursuing Mr. Trump's slanders with any enthusiasm.


That's why Trump's comments about Mr. McCain's war record have so quickly faded away.

The Trump factor

I'm sure Falling Downs wasn't the only think tank that labelled Trump's official entry into the 2016 race the "Gong show."

But you have to admit he's made a remarkably good run of it so far.

While Trump has habitually overstated his net worth, he doesn't need to dip into it very much so long as hordes of media types are clamoring for the latest insight to fall from his lips.

As long as that persists, as long as the MSM insists on giving him millions of dollars worth of publicity for free, he won't even have to tap his personal fortune.

What you gotta love about the guy is that he's operating totally outside the orbit of mainstream message massaging.

Millions of Americans think hey, we got enough Mexicans already.

NOBODY, not Jeb or Rubio or that twat from Wisconsin or Hilary or anybody else is willing to stand up in public and say so.

That's a sentiment that resonates with a lot of Americans... hell, I'm willing to bet it resonates with a lot of Mexican-Americans... especially the ones who got here by legit channels.

Ya, he may be a rich-boy doofus, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Ukraine army gets new uniforms in bid to boost morale

Finally a spot of good news for the hard luck Ukrainian Armed Forces - the official ones, that is. In a bid to boost sagging morale, President Poroshenko yesterday unveiled a new line of uniforms for his troops.


This should go a long way towards bucking up spirits. As is well known, the official armed forces are rather shabbily kitted out in comparison to the unofficial private militia units. Much of the existing kit was in fact donated by army surplus stores in the US and Canada.


The fact that the new uniforms will be domestically produced is further good news. This will be a real shot in the arm for the apparel industry. It's been quite a long time since any industry in the country had any good news.


For their next morale-booster it is rumoured that Poroshenko and company are considering providing the military with weapons.

No point letting nine dead bikers go to waste

I see where Waco Police Department spokesman Patrick "Pinocchio" Swanton has declared his intention to run for county sheriff.


Swanton obviously remains pleased with himself over his moment in the media spotlight after the Twin Peaks debacle last May.

Speaking of which, there doesn't seem to be much progress on that case. It's been what, ten weeks? You'd think those autopsies must be nearly complete by now, wouldn't you?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Calling Sister Midnight

As an old guy who ain't gonna do nothin' but get older, I have to say I take a certain amount of comfort from the pop culture icons who have championed my generation all the way down the line.


Guess they're all getting older too!


From rocking and rolling to the Alzheimer highway...


Keep the pedal to the metal!...


There'll be plenty of time left over to drool and shit your pants and wait for somebody to clean up your mess...

CP Rail tries to derail Lac Megantic settlement

Everybody with a finger in the tragic Lac Megantic pie has agreed a settlement.

Everybody, that is, except the US hedge fund Pershing Square which managed to hijack the iconic Canadian company with a mere 10% share-holding.

According to CP Rail, the race to the bottom in railroad safety had nothing to do with them.

They had nothing to do with the small-time operators like "Fast Eddie" Burkhardt, the guy who owned the train that destroyed Lac Megantic.

Fast Eddie is the guy who figured out a crew of two in a railroad locomotive was a safety hazard, because when you got two guys in the locomotive, by golly, they just gonna be distracting one another.

Two mile long tar-sludge tanker trains just gonna be safer with one guy in the cab, not two.

For their part, CP Rail likes to brag about how they revolutionized rail transport in Canada by making trains longer, running them faster, and firing thousands of employees.

Yup, can't see no safety issues there...

Meanwhile, the hedge fund shit-bags who were allowed to rape this iconic Canadian company are going full steam ahead on their share buy-back plan.

Share buy-backs are about as useful to a company as lighting a boxcar full of hundred dollar bills on fire. It's using company cash to artificially pump up earnings-per-share and all that other stuff the money geeks fret over. The intent is to goose share value.

In the case of CP Rail, the share price has tanked about 20% since the Ackman crew started the buy-back.

Luckily, they've still got a few dollars left over to pursue appeals of the Lac Megantic settlement.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Take a deep whiff of Marco Mendicino

Smells a lot like the guy who saved us from the Toronto 18, don't it?

Ya, you remember the "Toronto 18."

Bunch of Muslim kids who were hustled into an imaginary "terrorist conspiracy" by Muslim informants who were paid millions... by Marco and his CSIS/RCMP homies.

That will forever be a stain on Canada's reputation,

So go ahead and vote for him.


Iggy in heels and garters 40 years before Caitlyn Jenner got around to it

Progress is a crazy messed up thing.

Here's Iggy back in the day.

I think Iggy was way ahead of his time.

Then again, you could ask, "to what end?"

Insofar as the queerest of drug-addled queers are merely propping up the status quo, they're not exactly revolutionaries, are they?

Dum Dum Boys

OK, in a perverted way this clip is gonna make ya believe in progress.

Back in the day we couldn't just push a couple buttons and bring up a rock concert.

Aren't you glad you can do that now?!

And it comes just in time. An entire generation of BOOMERS are more than happy to spend the entirety of their retirements watching old music videos...

Talkin' 'bout my generation....

Thank God for that!

Otherwise they might be out there voting or something!

Government doesn't want you to know what you're stuffing in your gob

And rightfully so!

After all, we wouldn't want ADM and Monsanto and Cargill and all the rest of them to feel short-changed after all the money they have spent buying congressmen and congresswomen and senators, would we?

Darn tootin' we wouldn't!

Yup, the GMO advocates in the Senate and the House are all aboard for denying Americans the right to know what they're eating. That's because, even though this thing called the "public" is overwhelmingly against being forced to consume genetically modified frankenfoods, those elected representatives in the House and the Senate understand that they're where they are to represent the folks who give them money, not the folks who elected them.

Ya, I know that sucks, but suck it up and get with the modern era.

That's how democracy works in the USA today!

And generally speaking, once it's working that way in the USA, it's gonna be working like that in Canada and all the other me-too nations too...

So enjoy your GMO Corn Flakes!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The car of the future won't need a driver

No doubt you've heard about the Google experiments with driverless cars. And it ain't just the geeks at Google. Audi, Mercedes, Freightliner, and pretty much every other big name in over-the-road transportation is figuring out how to make cars and trucks that won't be driver-dependant.

That's gonna be a massive bummer for those of us who actually enjoy the task of piloting a motorized vehicle. Alas, those days are coming to an end.

The geeks are winning.

And not only are the geeks winning, they seem to be tied in pretty tight with the Big Dogs in what we might loosely term the "military-industrial-prison-education-agri-chem-NGO" complex.

After all, where would Bill Gates be without those guys?

Or, Zuckerberg, for that matter.

If you're old enough to recall the pre-digital era, you'll remember that files got filed, stuff got done, everybody had a job, and nobody got hacked.

After thirty years of Microsoft/Apple progress, all files get corrupted sooner or later, much less ever gets done in spite of ten times the investment, hardly anyone has a job, and everything gets hacked.

And we are led to believe that this is the result of something called "progress."

But make no mistake; progress continues its progress...

In a few short years you'll get into that driverless Uber-ride that slides up to your apartment within minutes of you having pushed the "need ride" button on your smart-phone.

You can be half or three quarters or even 100% in the bag, and you'll still get to your destination, because in the post-driver era impaired driving will be an impossibility!

It'll be like the old days, when Festus wobbled outta the saloon three sheets to the wind, tumbled into the back of the hay-wagon, and had the horses walk him home while he was passed out in the hay.

Yup, we're progressing so fast, we're almost back to that...

Except tomorrow, when you pass out in the back of that driverless Googlemobile, Uber will have scanned the data-base for outstanding outrages in your digital history.

That's when you'll find out that you can't get out of that handy-dandy driverless car till you've taken care of your outstanding library overdue fines and whatever else might be outstanding on your digital record:


  • traffic tickets
  • overdue bills
  • tax arrears
  • alimony
  • child support payments
Yup, that brave new world driverless car gonna be way more than a car!

Will NATO toss Erdogan under the bus?

And will this signal the rise of Fethullah Gulen?

Gulen has been cooling his heels in America, being groomed for goodness knows what, but definitely something that can benefit the American Empire.

Meanwhile, Erdogan's antics are more erratic than ever. Yes, he's finally taking a stand against ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State/Daesh, after supporting and nurturing the supposedly mysterious Al Qaeda offshoot for years.

But now he's not only let loose the Turkish military on the Jihadists, but on the very Kurdish "allies" that the US and Canada have been busy training up to assist in the battle against the Islamic extremists!

This is a bizarre situation. On the one side, you have NATO training the Kurds. On the other, you have NATO bombing them.

Something's got to give!

When you look at NATO, and you see the US and their poodle Canada doing one thing, and Turkey doing the opposite, it's not hard to figure out what's gonna give...

Goodbye, Mr. President!


Hello Mr. Gulen!

Trainwreck Houser and prescription meds

The latest wacko white dude to go nuts with a gun, John Russell Houser, had a long history of what is euphemistically called "mental problems." Therefore you can bet your bottom dollar he had an equally long history of being prescribed anti-depressants.

We've all seen the advertisements for this stuff... most of the ad is taken up by the warnings, which invariably warn of potential side effects that include wanting to harm yourself and others. If you are on one of these wonder drugs, and you get the urge to wreak havoc and harm yourself and/or others, you should consult your doctor right away.

There is by now a fairly substantial body of literature linking mass shootings to anti-depressant wonder-drugs. Looks like a few of these wretches get to the local gun store before getting around to consulting their doctor.

Mayhem ensues.

And after each new act in this tiresome play, America once again has another discussion about racism or terrorism or guns, but NEVER does America have a discussion about those prescription drugs.

Why not?

Omens of the End Times: Ravens are killing the livestock

The raven is a bird steeped in mythology. In these parts they're up to their old tricks. Read about it for yourself.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2015/07/24/raven-attacks-on-calves-in-chatsworth

Just two weeks ago we watched in wonder out the kitchen window as several mamma cows put the run to a big old black bear threatening their calves.

But they're no match for the raven.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Canada training Kurdish fighters in Iraq while NATO ally Turkey bombs them

We're all well-acquainted with the story of Canadian Forces training up the Kurds in Iraq. After all, they're an invaluable ally in the war on Islamic State.

But here's an unexpected development; today our NATO ally Turkey bombed our Kurdish ally in Iraq!

Obviously NATO is having difficulty finding a singularity of purpose. In the long run, that can only be a good thing. NATO long ago outlived its mandate, and for over twenty years now has been desperately looking for reasons to keep its bloated bureaucracy intact, stumbling from one disastrous busy-work project to the next, from Bosnia to Afghanistan to Libya.

As the only Islamic member of the club, Turkey has long provided a veneer of non-sectarianism to what is essentially a proxy army for US interests. Perhaps when various NATO members are openly pulling in opposite directions, more people will realize that we'd all be better off without this relic of the cold war era.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Harperites impose terror quota on staffers

Seems that Baird-replacement Rob Nicholson has instructed his staff at the Dept. of Foreign Affairs to bring him at least three scary terrorism stories per week as the nation heads down the home stretch towards that fall election.

Yup, gotta keep the 'tards riled up with imaginary terror tales, so as to scare 'em into voting for Big Steve again!

Gotta give Nicholson credit for that bit of brazen assholery. Maybe he's man enough to fill Baird's shoes after all!?

Can Lou Lamoriello turn around the Leafs, or is he yesterday's man?

This is a move that smacks of desperation. No question that the Devils prospered under the stewardship of Lamoriello. Three Stanleys and a .75 make-it-to-the-post-season average may not be Scotty Bowman numbers, but they're certainly better numbers than we've seen in Toronto for fifty years.

If Shanahan's best and brightest idea is to hire the guy who drafted him almost thirty years ago, then I think the Big Dogs who run the show in TO maybe made a mistake with the Shanahan hire.

But hopefully I'll be proven wrong.

If Lou enjoys the same level of success in Toronto that he enjoyed in New Jersey, we'll at least get to see some playoff action three years out of every four. And if Lou stays on for 28 years, by which time he'll be 100, Toronto will see three Stanley Cup parades...

That's the positive spin.

On the minus side, the game has changed. What might have worked for Lou in '95 isn't necessarily going to work in Toronto going forward. Don't forget his last Stanley was twelve years ago.

I'm not much impressed by the new team in the front office, but let's see what the new Leafs can do on the ice.

Sandra Bland autopsy results released in 10 days, families of Waco Nine still waiting for autopsy results after two months

Conveniently, the results of Bland's autopsy confirm the official police story that she suicided in jail. That she should never in a million years have been in jail after her arrest by a totally unprofessional bullying cop remains a fact regardless of the autopsy result.

It should be obvious by now that there's a reason the Waco autopsy results are being suppressed; they won't support the official police story. And yes, they are being suppressed - it simply doesn't take over two months to do nine autopsies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

30 cats discovered in filthy home

When you've got 30 cats in your filthy home, I've got a hunch that whether you're ready to admit it or not, there's some mental health issues that need to be addressed, and you tend to let those slide when you're poor.

Is this "news"?

Or is it first world first responders and journalists having a chuckle at the expense of folks who have lost their place in that world.

This story has the wiff of poor-shaming about it.








Justice in America

I grew up believing America was a great country. I grew up listening to the little GE radio beside my bed, which got a total of three stations; one in my home town of Guelph, and two in Chicago. In the late sixties I fell asleep most nights listening to WLS or WCFL.


While still in my teens I hitch-hiked across the western states, a greasy hairball with no legitimate business being there. All my interactions with law enforcement were cordial. Highway Patrol troopers would wave as they passed me, thumb out on a "no-hitch-hiking" interstate.


Where has it all gone so wrong?


It beggars belief that a young black woman can be tossed in jail for not signaling a lane change. Fortunately, the human rights industry has got its teeth into the Sandra Bland case, and one senses that they're not going to let this go.


Nor should they.


But here's what baffles me; not two hours away from where Ms. Bland was accosted, nine men were shot down almost exactly two months before. There has been a complete fog over the story. We have no idea how many of those nine dead died at the hands of police. The human rights professionals and the media who are correctly championing Ms. Bland are completely AWOL on the Waco massacre.


Why?

Big Steve's "tough on crime" agenda paying big dividends

Yup, Canadians are breathing way easier after the Harper gang has brought down crime for eleven years in a row.

The Harper-friendly SunPostMedia conglomerate is spreading this egregiously misleading story across all its many titles today.

Crime stats in Canada were trending down way before Big Steve got tough on crime. The key to Harper's war on crime has been to lock up more people longer for doing less stuff. The Harper gang is resolutely opposed to any measure that could reduce run of the mill common street crime that us old folks fear the most; like safe injection sites for drug addicts. Or decriminalizing marijuana.

After all, when we don't have to throw the doobie dealers and the pathetic addicts in the slammer anymore, we're gonna have nobody left to criminalize except Harper's various appointees to the Senate and the many high-level political offices Harper's shady allies find themselves in.

Sheldon Adelson exposed as CIA stooge!

Hmm... I don't know if this story in the Guardian  has quite the right slant on things... maybe we should think about the CIA as Adelson stooges?


Sheldon "Midas" Adelson has indeed had a charmed business career. As everybody knows, getting to the top in the casino business takes some heavy duty chops, both legal and extra-legal. Staying there takes even more savvy!


Now, looking at Mr. Adelson, you wouldn't necessarily think this fat old Jew would be able to hold his own in the casino racket. After all, that's a business populated from top to bottom with the toughest of the toughs and Mafiosos of all stripes...


Wanna be a big shot in global gambling? Well, you're gonna have to negotiate your place with the Sicilian Mafia, the Japanese Mafia, the Chinese Mafia, the Israeli Mafia, the Russian Mafia, and any number of international drug cartel leaders and warlords clamoring for a spot at the table.


That is one tough assignment!


So you can see where having the CIA as your enforcers would be a big help in staying at the top of the gaming game.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ashley Madison hack reveals cheater site was faking profiles on an industrial scale

No doubt there's plenty of folks in Ottawa who cheat on their spouses.


Some of them may even use the services of the cheatin' heart website Ashley Madison.


But when twenty percent of the population is allegedly registered with Ashley, you know that there's more hanky panky involved here than what goes on between the sheets.


Looks like Ashley been cheatin' on the investors!


And the clients too!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Farm Manager claims pot-addled hillbilly blogger stinks of marijuana

Ya, I don't know what to make of that either...


I mean, all I did was step out for a breath of fresh air for a moment.


And all of a sudden I stand accused of puffing the weed 'o wisdom...


OK, truth be told, I did in actual fact twist one up a little while ago...


And I did in fact fire it up on the front porch when I stepped out for that breath of fresh air...


Is that any reason to get all accusatory and suggest I "stink" of marijuana?

There could be trouble in paradise if this keeps up...

After years of sponsoring ISIS, Erdogan and Davutaglu pretend they didn't see the blowback coming...

Sure, they're going to increase "border security" now that an ISIS suicide bomber has lit up on their side of the border.

Border security between Turkey and Syria has been a complete joke for at least the past four years. Turkey under Erdogan and Davutaglu has been a no-holds-barred conduit for fighters and weapons heading into Syria to unseat Assad.

But now they pretend to be utterly shocked that the very "terror" entities that they have been feeding and promoting all along have turned on them?

Erdogan (and make no mistake, Turkey remains Erdogan's show regardless of who the nominal leader is) has been playing a double game all the way down the line.

Now that duplicity is coming back to bite him.

Unfortunately, it's the little people who pay the price.

Racism discovered in Israel!

Now I know what you're thinking... get the fuck outta here with your vile anti-Semitic aspersions on the good name of the Chosen People.

But no, this is the real deal. This time the facts are so true that they have fallen from the lips of The Greatest Leader since Moses himself. Truth cannot get truer than that!

So what has brought this stain, this shame upon the Holy Land?

The dispossession of the Palestinians?

The ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin?

The routine sport-shooting of rock-throwing teens?

The serial wars on Gaza?

No, no, no, and no again.

None of the above suggest in any way that racism has reared its head in the Holy Land...

...but apparently a few bad apples in the Beitar Jerusalem fan club are giving the entire country a bad name.

Shame!


How Ukraine can defeat Putin's plan to destroy their country

Having discovered that Putin secretly controls not only the separatists in the east, but also the ultranationalist militias and the Poroshenko government itself, solving the "Ukrainian crisis" becomes stunningly simple; all the Ukrainians have to do is collectively defy Putin by stopping their wars against each other!

Problem solved! Gonna clear some space on the mantle for my Nobel Peace Prize...

Down the bunny hole in Kyiv; all sides in cahoots with Putin!

We're all well aware that Putin is behind the so-called separatists in the Donbas region, because it's frankly impossible to read any news item about Ukraine in any Western media without being repeatedly reminded of that "fact."

Trying to find out what's going on in the fallout between the Poroshenko government and Right Sector boss Dmytro Yarosh is a challenge exponentially more difficult. Well over a week has passed since tensions between the US installed Poroshenko and the country's main ultra-nationalist militia exploded into violence, and it's a week ago today that the President delivered his ultimatum that they be disarmed.

So how's that going? Impossible to tell. It's not a story visible in Western media. I did however make a startling discovery while perusing The Ukrainian Weekly. Turns out those Pravyi Sektor thugs who have been fighting Putin's puppets in eastern Ukraine are themselves stooges of the great chess-master in the Kremlin!

But wait, there's more! The same article informs us that Poroshenko himself has been making secret deals with Putin! Ergo, we are now at the threshold of a three-way civil war in Ukraine, and all three sides are secretly sponsored by Putin!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Big Steve uncorks multi-billion candy scramble just in time for fall election

Yup, the Harper gang done found 3 billions to spread Tory cheer just a few months before a federal election. They've found the funds to spruce up the Universal Child Care Benefit to the tune of $3B, and in the nick of time!


After all, with a federal election mere months away, what better way to get voters all warm and fuzzy about the Harperites than to buy them off with their own money!


Proving once again how important it is to have a completely dysfunctional education system...


If that system did even a half-assed job of teaching the critical thinking they love talking about, cynical stunts like this would be called on the spot.


In fact, if we had a politically literate polity with even marginal critical thinking acumen, the people in power would never dare float out this kind of egregious nonsense in the first place.


Thank God for that education system!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tribulations of a pot-addled hillbilly

I remember, a few years before the Big Crash of '08, there was a scrapyard for sale down Hanover way. Might have been quite a few years... the memory gets a bit hazy as the years go by. Coulda been five years, maybe even ten.

Anyway, the point is, at the time the scrap-yard came up for sale, scrap metal was so low you got next to nothing for it. When scrap was worth next to nothing, Buddy down Hanover way put his scrapyard up for sale for a half million.

For $500 thousands you got the scrapyard, all the relevant permits and licenses, and 50 acres of scrap. If I recall correctly there was a house and a shop on the property as well.

So what's that got to do with pot-addled hillbillies?

Well, first of all, this particular pot-addled hillbilly understands that the market for scrap metal is, like every other commodity, cyclical.

Oil goes up, comes down, goes up again...

Same with everything else from copper to gold to pork-bellies.

Which reminds me; I had a absolutely terrifying incident at the liquor store today.

I've noticed for a few years now that I'm widening out a bit in the middle. If I could be a little more honest with myself I'd probably go so far as to admit that I'm getting fat.

But since I'm still very much in denial, and am getting neither fatter or older, I was shocked at what happened today. Even in denial I should not have been shocked... but let me explain.

For a few years now, it's become evident that as I get bigger around the middle, pants and belts and all that stuff don't fit the way they once did. I used to feel comfy with a 32 waist. Now a 40 feels a bit snug.

But here's where it messes me up; that 40 may feel snug, but give me a couple grocery bags to carry, and for some reason that load makes you inadvertently suck in your gut such that your 40 waist Wranglers want to start sliding down... there's been many a time when I feared the drawers were gonna completely slide off my ass before I got to the car.

Well, today was the worst case scenario, but it was even worse because it happened in the liquor store parking lot instead of the Foodland parking lot.

I've dashed in and grabbed a two-four of Keystone Light. As I'm heading out to the car I can feel the pants starting to slide down. I shift into straddle-walk mode where you try to do that cowboy walk in the hopes that your belt and therefore your pants are gonna stay up.

Almost made it to the car... and then I can feel the belt sliding over my hips... oh my God!

As my drawers are falling off my ass I reach down to catch them, with a hand that was previously holding one end of my case of beer. Wouldn't you know it, the beer case tips wildly and starts spilling bottles all over the pavement.

I don't know whether to save my pants or save the beer, so I'm doing this jig in the liquor store parking lot where I'm trying to do both... and of course, when otherwise reasonable people see you doing this madcap jig in the liquor store parking lot, they immediately jump to all the wrong conclusions.

But I digress.

I saw value in that scrapyard, but I was short about $499 thou on that half million asking price at the time. I tried to interest my pal Kipling, because his daddy had once been in the scrap business and I thought maybe nostalgia would prompt him to take the plunge.

No luck.

I tried to convince my buddy Jimmy Lippert to take a flyer on the scrapyard. I knew he had the resources. All he had to do was sell his country estate and move his family to the scrapyard.

No luck there either.

That scrapyard went to someone else.

About a year later Lippert was telling me about how they took our pal Greg's Ford Exploder to the scrap yard and walked away with over five hundred bucks.

Yup, scrap had gone up. Way up. From next to nothing to well over two hundred bucks per ton.

Fifty acres of it would have been worth tens of millions...

Damn!

Missed the gravy train again!

At least my debacle in the parking lot had a happy ending. Standing in the midst of broken glass and spilled beer with my pants around my ankles, I thought, hey, this is a do or die moment.

The best defense is a good offense. So I hitched up my drawers, cinched that belt up a couple extra notches, marched back into the the store with the empty cardboard case in my hand, and gave them the what-for on their shitty packaging.

Sure enough, I walked outta there with a fresh case of beer.

Never give up!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Rumours of capitalism's death are greatly exaggerated


Paul Mason spins a compelling yarn at the Guardian site today about how we have entered the era of "postcapitalism." Capitalism as Adam Smith knew it died some time ago, and our smart-phones and smart apps are taking us into a brave new world wherein a new generation of humanity will use their smartphones to ring up... a brave new world!

A sharing economy! You know... like with Uber allowing you to share a ride!

Or something...

Bullshit.

That "brave new world" of which Mason pontificates is old news out here in the colonies. Regular readers of the Globe and Mail will be familiar with my favorite economist, Todd Hirsch, and his manifold ruminations about how unemployed loggers will reinvent the economy once their pogey runs out. They'll be inventing new ways of delivering pizza!

And just today Hirsch was joined by Philip Cross, who was given prime Globe and Mail real estate to lecture the readers on how great it is that the economy only provides part time jobs. Cross is way ahead of Mason; in this post-capitalist era, most folks only want part time jobs!

Sure they do!

And self employment is increasingly the choice of older workers!

Well, ya, but that's because a) they just lost their job, b) their pogey ran out, and c) there are no real jobs for 55 year olds. Anywhere.

I guess you could face this reality honestly, and admit that capitalism is failing more and more of us every day, or you could try to paint a happy face on this tragedy and claim we're witnessing the birth pangs of some brave new post-capitalist world.

Mason at least has the courage to suggest that our transition to this new reality could take decades.

Here's a suggestion; maybe, while we're trying to negotiate these jobless decades between the old world and the new, our governments could provide an annual guaranteed income to those who find themselves disenfranchised in the interim.

When Mason, Hirsch, and Cross are advocating for a guaranteed annual income, I'll be joining them in heralding the brave new world.

In the meantime, I'm not holding my breath waiting for the death of capitalism.


About Sandra Bland

There's a great deal of hoo-ha unfolding now as to whether or not this woman did or did not commit suicide in that Texas jail cell.


What I'd like to know, is how did America get to a place where a "routine traffic stop" gets you in that jail cell in the first place?


The initial problem was what?... the turn-signal light didn't work? Well, alrighty Uncle Sam! Lets lock the perp up for the weekend for that burned out tail-light bulb.


From what I've seen of the take-down of this dangerous offender, the only person who should have been locked up is the arresting officer.


There's all kinds of folks busy as can be trying to fan the flames of race hate over this outrage. I will not for a moment suggest that there are not racist overtones in this case.


At the same time, let's not forget that two months ago nine men were shot dead in Waco, in a case that has been almost entirely swept under the carpet. How many of them were shot dead by law enforcement is a question that law enforcement seems extremely reluctant to answer.


None of those nine dead men were black.


Police brutality in Texas is an equal opportunity proposition.


EVERYBODY needs to get off the couch and make some noise!



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pipeline springs leak just as provincial preems sit down to ease pipeline regulations

This is too much!

Just as the Canadian provincial premiers are sitting down to hammer out an agreement on more deregulation for the oil industry, news leaks out about a million gallon oil spill nearby Fort Mac.

I detect the long arm of eco-terrorist Wiebo Ludwig reaching out from beyond the grave!

Wiebo was a bit of an odd duck. He was a "Christian environmentalist," although it didn't seem that either the Christians or the environmentalists were particularly keen to be associated with him.

And Wiebo believed in walking the walk. Went to jail for his direct action against sour gas. Jesus once engaged in some direct action with those money guys at the temple. It's a pity that more Christians aren't willing to walk the walk.

We are all Ukrainians?

Diane Francis has reiterated that daft claim, first made by US warmonger-at-large Senator John McCain a year and a half ago, in a story at Huffington Post.

In what is essentially a thinly-veiled anti-Putin propaganda piece, Francis nevertheless is forced to admit that it was Ukrainian oligarchs, and not Putin, who destroyed the Ukraine's economy post 1991. She may not have noticed, but the oligarch who sits in the big chair today is and always has been part of that club.

So why blame Putin?

Because gratuitous Putin-bashing gets an automatic free pass from lazy editors (or what is more likely, non-existent editors, as media owners fatten the bottom line by thinning out the payroll...) across Western media, and therefore serves, in the case of this article, as cover for some even more odious propagandizing; the presentation of ultra-nationalist far-right ideologues as homespun activists fighting Putin's aggression.

Dmytro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, is passed off as a sincere patriot, which he well may be, but "ultra-nationalist" tends to be a code word for something darker, something synonymous with "fascist." His star has certainly been rising in post-coup politics, to the point where in April he was made an official adviser to the Defense Minister. In the event that the West decides to arm Ukraine, he could well decide how those weapons will be deployed.

In a news event virtually invisible in the West, Yarosh's armed Right Sector militia was involved in a shoot-out with Ukrainian police last week. There is a power struggle underway now between Poroshenko and Yarosh, and if Yarosh triumphs, Poroshenko's days are numbered.

Extremist forms of nationalism find fertile ground in difficult times, as has been repeatedly proven in the past 100 years of European history.

Anyway, we're not Ukrainians and we don't aspire to be, Big Steve's relentless toadying to the Ukraine-Canadian voter population notwithstanding. In fact, maybe Ukrainians should aspire to be a little more like Canadians. We too have a substantial minority in the east who prefer a different language and value different cultural traditions. Are we appealing for international support so we can "defend" ourselves by bombing them into oblivion?

No. Instead, we work hard to make a strength of our diversity.

That's not ever going to be on the agenda of rabid racists like Yarosh.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Donald Trump claims he makes a million dollars a day for being America's number one asshole

I'm not making that up; it allegedly comes straight from Trump's campaign.


According to CNN, Trump made $362 millions last year... almost a million dollars a day!


And what does Mr. Trump contribute to society in return for his alleged million dollars a day that he takes out of the American economy?


I can't figure it out... I'm hoping you can tell me.

Trump; the self made billionaire who inherited a billion dollars worth of real estate in the '70s

Trump has lived large on Daddy's tab his whole life.

What "the Donald" has brought to the table is a never-ending string of Chapter 11 proceedings.

If Donald had just quietly allowed professional managers to look after his inheritance, and kept busy playing golf or dating those Miss Universe teens or something, his actual net worth would be far higher today.

The "Trump is a self-made-billionaire" story is a crock of shit.

But it's got him tons of headlines.

What happened to What Really Happened?

Where has it gone?

Michael Rivero's website has a lot of nonsense on it. Also a lot of good stuff. Apparently he was changing servers for his website last weekend, and oopsie, somewhere the entire site just disappeared!


(update; I'm now able to get WRH with Explorer, but not with Firefox)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Canadian law enforcement setting up the mentally ill in "terror" stings

Anyone who has followed the Nutall/Korody case out in BC is well aware that those two losers were strung along by their government minders till those minders thought they had a headline-worthy case in the mix.

Millions of dollars of state resources were deployed to set up these unfortunates. Had but a fraction of those resources been made available to help Nutall and Korody, this case would never have happened.

Then you've got your VIA RAIL terrorists back in Ontario.

 This case hinged on entrapping a guy with schizophrenia.

Why not?

Those guys are paranoid anyway!

And they're always making stuff up about those imaginary voices and all that shit!

THEY ARE THE PERFECT TERROR SUSPECTS!

And kudos to CSIS and the RCMP and all their foreign handlers for figuring that out!

As a nation, we have well and truly come to a sad place when we can invest public money into scape-goating the marginalized Canadians who are being entrapped in these cases.


Normalizing US-Iran relations means end of Netanyahu's career

And while this may mean the end of Netanyahu's career, it is nothing but good news for Israel!


Hopefully, the end of Netanyahu will also mean the end of the era wherein politicians were allowed to make statements such as "we don't talk to our enemies."


Or it's close cousin, "we don't negotiate with terrorists."


There is a reason Mr. Netanyahu has been all over the international media today with his desperate plea for a rejection of the biggest mistake in the history of diplomacy. Take away that imaginary Iranian threat, and you've taken the air out of the Likud balloon.


Yes, there was a time when Iran was a nascent nuclear power. That was back in the days when our bum-boy the Shah of Iran was running the show. America and Israel were both partners in Iran's nuclear program at that time.


That ended in 1979, and a lot of politicians in America are still bitter about that whole embassy thing.
They haven't trusted the Iranians to be complacent wards of the Empire ever since.


Bibi was quick to capitalize on that, and as Gareth Porter has pointed out elsewhere, the entire history of the post '79 Iran nuclear program was essentially an advertising program designed by Likud and their acolytes in Washington.


The reason that the fall of the extreme right is good news for Israel, is that the fall of the warmongers allows the rise of honest leaders who know that your enemies are the people you need to talk to the most.

Harper gang still in Reefer Madness mode

I see where Rona Ambrose, minister for the department of Just Say No, has grabbed a couple million taxpayer dollars to hammer down the Harperite anti-drug message just in time for the fall election.


You gotta give the Harper dinosaurs credit for something; they keep tilting at the same windmills long after the times have passed them by.


And while I have to admire their tilting, I have to say I'm not impressed that all that tilting comes at the expense of the taxpayer. Taxpayers like you and me, who, "legal" marijuana be damned, are going to fire one up once in awhile whether we have one of those bogus prescriptions or not.


Rona is the Harper cabinet minister who went apoplectic recently over the Supreme Court decision to allow edible pot, as in if you had a legal pot script you were entitled to take your meds in a brownie instead of having to smoke them.


That Supreme Court decision pretty much frosted it for Rona.


Democracy is a dicey proposition in the hands of pot-heads.


So Rona is gonna use a few more millions of taxpayer dollars to try and convince you that she's right and the Supreme Court of Canada and the rest of the sentient world are wrong.

Playwright pissed at poor reviews, attacks theatre with axe

According to this story at the Telegraph, playwright Douglas Gordon was a bit miffed at the reviews garnered by his latest artistic masterpiece, a treatment of the Little Red Riding-hood fable fit for the 21st century.

The Manchester Evening News gave it a 3 out of five stars. It goes downhill from there.

The Guardian gave it 2 of 5 and offered that the play was "humorless and sedate."

WhatsonStage also chimed in with a 2 for 5, while the Telegraph's own reviewer claimed to have caught the "whiff of a vanity project."

Mr. Gordon responded by taking an axe to the theatre mounting his play...

I would have gone for the critics!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anti-establishent rapper files for Chapter 11 in "strategic business move"

Good on you, Fiddy!

It's crazy how that last Forbes rich list still shows you with a net worth of 150 millions more or less.

There's obviously a very sharp crew got your back.

Hope they're all black.

Mr. 50 Cent is trying to protect his ass and his assets from the lawsuit over that sex tape.

Frankly dude, you've been acting kinda white.

Kiss my rebel ass

When I first saw the story about Terrible Ted and Kid Rock collaborating on a paean to the Confederate flag, I thought, well, it wasn't hard to see that coming.


I've been a Nugent fan since his Amboy Dukes days. However, I've never been a fan of his politics. I get the pro-gun stuff, but the richer he got, the more he cuddled up to the most reactionary elements in the Republican party. Ted doesn't seem to get the fact that he's not hanging out with champions of the underdog anymore.


As for Kid Rock, I've never been enough of a fan to care about his politics, but I do enjoy his anti-authority schtick. That's why I thought "Kiss my rebel ass" was a natural for both of them.


So now it's claimed that the entire story was a hoax.


Was it?


Or did some savvy PR professionals jump into the breach and save these guys from embarrassing themselves?


Is it possible that Ted and Kid Rock have succumbed to the pressures of Political Correctitude?

Poroshenko's last stand?

Those of a conspiratorial bent will find it beyond curious that on the very day that Ukrainian oligarch-cum-President Petro Poroshenko is facing his gravest challenge yet, his Prime Minister, Nuland-Pyatt fave "Yats" Yatsenyuk just happens to be visiting Washington!


Coincidence?


After Saturday's shootout between police and a gang of Right Sector neofascists, Poroshenko has ordered the disarming of all non-state militias. This is going to be a tall order, mainly because his "War on Terrorists" in the east of the country depends on those same armed militias to do the heavy lifting. Leadership of the Right Sector responded immediately with a firm negatory, and instead called on Poroshenko to fire the local governor and arrest the policemen who had the gall to shoot at them!


So Poroshenko has painted himself into a corner. He has issued an ultimatum, which is rejected out of hand. As the leader of Ukraine, he now needs to enforce that order or lose what little credibility he still has.


Yatsenyuk, meanwhile, was in Washington ostensibly to drum up enthusiasm among would-be investors. They too deserve to know if Ukraine is governed by the rule of law or by armed gangs.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Trump, El Chapo, and USA 2016

What Donald Trump is doing here is positioning himself as the go-to guy for that constituency that still believes in the War On Drugs.

By default, that also makes him the de facto candidate for the prison-industrial complex.

The War On Drugs and the prison-industrial complex are inseparable twins. One's not gonna last long without the other. The astronomical rise in the prison population since Richard Nixon declared the War On Drugs is what's made the current success of the privatized prison-industrial complex possible.

"El Chapo" and every other so-called drug lord is 100% the product of America's War On Drugs. In spite of that so-called war, Joaquin Guzman and his ilk have been more than successful in supplying the American market with drugs.

Obviously, America has a near-insatiable demand for the stuff. You can't blame that on Guzman.

Nor can you blame Trump for making political hay out of these realities.

These problems would be solved by legalizing drugs.

Canadian tourists disappointed in lack of cheap Greek holiday packages

Every cloud must have a silver lining, and according to this story at CBC, there's oodles of eager would-be tourists in Canada just salivating for a chance at a cheap holiday in someone elses misery.

Why would you give a shit about the suffering of the Greek people in this cataclysmic economic melt-down, when you might be able to score a deeply discounted week at a Greek resort?

As we've said before, tourism is bullshit.

Canadian complicity in Ukraine coup revealed

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Big Steve and Bullshittin' Baird were all over that glorious Ukrainian revolution that the Nuland-Pyatt putsch had sprung on the unsuspecting Ukrainian people... they thought they were on their way to joining NATO and the EU!

Guess the joke is on them!

Instead, a year and a half later, the nation teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, and the fascist militias are in open revolt against the not-so-legitimate government of our bumboy Petro Poroshenko.

Sucks to be a Uke, but at least billionaire Poroshenko's companies are worth more than ever.

He's scheduled to visit Ottawa this week. No doubt we'll be seeing lots of headlines about "Putin's aggression."


(Correction: It's PM "Yats" Yatsenyuk visiting Ottawa tomorrow, not President Poroshenko.)

Burqa wearing Texas woman kicked out of restaurant for carrying gun

I'm wondering if the new Texas law legalizing open carry applies to folks wearing a burqa?

In the interest of consistency, one would think it would.

Wearing a burqa is a matter of religious freedom. Carrying a gun is a matter of the second amendment.

But our operatives in Texas have discovered that there is more to this story. Jesus Apfelbaum, proprietor of Jesus' Best Mex in San Antonio, claims that the customer was not asked to leave because of the gun.

"I respect the law and I respect the second," Mr. Apfelbaum told our reporters. "We didn't kick her out for the gun, we kicked her out 'cause she was breast-feeding right here in our restaurant... you know what that looks like? When you roll up six feet of burlap to stick a baby on your boob, you're basically sitting here naked!"

Burgers boobs and guns

Seems like burger joints are becoming the new ground zero in the struggle for human rights.

Just ten minutes down the road the Irish Cottage burger and beer joint has inadvertently become the focus of the "right to breastfeed anywhere anytime" crowd. The particulars of the story seem to be in some dispute, but I think at the end of the day reasonable people will agree that it's reasonable that babies should be allowed to eat when they're hungry.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles down the road in Texas, the Whataburger chain is setting itself up for a long journey through the legal system because they're denying Americans their second amendment rights while they're enjoying a family meal. This can only end badly for Whataburger.

The think tank here at Falling Downs is hoping to see the march of human rights advance until we see a melding of those two rights. Yup, pistol-packing mammas feeling the freedom to feed Baby, not only at Whataburger and at the Irish Cottage, but everywhere in between.

That's the way God meant it to be.

Get used to it!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Breastfeeding brouhaha threatens to sink new eatery before it gets off the ground

I see where the new Irish Cottage Kitchen and Alehouse down the road in Wiarton is attracting national attention.

Oddly enough, me and the Farm Manager had just been there a day or two before this travesty, and we had a very positive experience.  We definitely thought we'd try the Irish Cottage again.

So what a shock to see these folks in the headlines a few days later.

I wasn't there when this altercation occurred, so all I can say is the folks who run the place seemed totally laid back people who wouldn't dream of interfering with a breast-feeding mom.

If they had a bad reaction when some clientele caused a ruckus about a breast-feeding mom, they need to be cut some slack. They should have booted the complainers out; not the breast-feeding mom.

I think they've acknowledged as much.

They deserve another chance, and they DON'T deserve a trial by media.

Science not settled after all; addiction is not a disease!

Oh for fucks sakes!

How many times did I go through rehab thinking it was going to cure my "disease?"

And now they tell me addiction is not a disease after all?

I just have to buck up and stop being an asshole?

Oh for Christ's sakes... that's been my worst fear all along!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Another reason why SunPostMedia is destined to tank

Conrad and Paul can quibble all they want, but when something this dishonest and retarded shows up in one of their most prized titles, they have cause for concern.

The unpaid intern who wrote this story seems to think that a farming operation with a gross market value of two million dollars is a "big business." This in a climate where the average Toronto house price is over a million.

Where a 50 acre hobby farm commands a million.

Family farms with a 70 cow herd are "millionaire farming companies."

(By the way, this is exactly the kind of story that will kill Big Steve in Conservative-voting farm country, so thanks for that.)

And they're making it rich on the backs of the poorest of the poor, who don't realize that every variety store in the land offers a carton of milk for less than the price of an energy drink!

It's easy to see what the game is here. Those marginally literate people (that's what they call their readers when the MBAs are designing strategies) can be easily swayed by tall tales of millionaire dairy farmers living large on the backs of the poor...

Yes, we may be a nation of imbeciles, Mr. Godfrey, but did you really think we're that stupid?

You see Mr. Godfrey, it's not just declining ad revenue that's sinking the good ship SunPostMedia.

It's the egregious bullshit that you insist on publishing and insulting your readers with.

Conrad Black and SunPostmedia CEO Godfey spar on conference call

Paul and Conrad are two guys who have led charmed lives, although I have to give a tip of the cap to Conrad for making his charmed life way tougher than it needed to be.

Judging by this story, it would seem that Conrad still has some skin in the game after being divested of his empire.

And as for Godfrey, he's way underpaid to be the figurehead at PostMedia cum SunPostMedia. Since the resurrection of PostMedia out of hock a few years ago, the reason for keeping the corpse alive has been to mollify the bond-holders.

Like Conrad?

Wiarton Foodland

For me, the best part of shopping at Wiarton Foodland is shopping at the LCBO across the street. I often have occasion to do that when the Farm Manager is on one of her two or three hour hunter-gatherer forays into Foodland.

These happen all too often for my liking, but what can you do? Sit tight in the parking lot and hope for something interesting to happen, I guess...

Sometimes I'll wander over to the liquor store and take care of that part of the shopping while the FM is taking care of the meat and cheese and produce and breakfast cereal. That's what I did today.

Other times I'll meander around the corner to Sullivan's Butcher Shop. That's a genuine old-school butcher shop, except everybody who works there wears a hair-net these days. I remember when I was a kid, people used to not have to wear hair-nets in the butcher shop. Is there a single case of anyone becoming ill because there was a hair in their ground beef?

Besides, I don't go there for the ground beef. The Farm Manager takes care of that at Foodland. I go there for the fabulous smoked sausages. I usually pick up three; one honey-garlic, one hot, and one maple. It's me and Boomer and Lucy in the car, so between me and the hounds we can easily have these cleaned up before the FM is any the wiser.

She's got a thing about what I should eat for my "heart health," and regrettably, smoked sausages are not on the list.

My understanding is that the Sullivan clan smoke these puppies in their home smoker and bring them to the shop... (apologies in advance if I got that wrong, fellas). How do I know if they're wearing their hair-nets when they're tending the smoker in the back yard?

Point is, I think this hair-net hysteria, along with those gloves everybody wears now when they handle food, is just more bullshit from our $350,000/year "Chief Medical Officer" to justify her extravagant salary... after all, she probably makes more than all the butchers in Grey and Bruce counties combined!

Not that I begrudge her her job. After all, supervising the anti-smoking bylaws and making sure the food-service folks wear their hair-nets and gloves is important work. To say nothing of keeping Michael Schmidt's non-pasteurized milk away from a gullible public...

I mean, I kinda get it in a way. You don't want to be chowing down on a corned beef sandwich if the kid who fixed it just picked his nose. So thank God and the Chief Medical Officer for those latex gloves!... but how do you know the kid didn't pick his nose with the gloves on?

But I digress.

There's big changes in store to how we shop in Wiarton. Foodland-by-the-bay will soon be a distant memory. They're building a new Foodland at the south end of the Flats in the Timmies parking lot.

Ya, I don't get it either. No longer will I be able to wander across the street to the liquor store or around the corner to Sullivan's. I'll have to drive everywhere. Wonder how the Chief Medical Officer feels about that?

Has she not heard of "global warming?"

And that Timmies was in itself a dodgy affair. How many towns have torn down a school to put up a Tim Horton's? Just wondering where our priorities lie...

So me and the hounds have finished off the smokies, and I figure I've probably got time to pick up the medicine at the liquor store. It's super-busy today on account of all the tourists.

Who do I run into but Tommy Chong!

Well, I guess there is a possibility it wasn't him, but if you watch Up in Smoke and then look at this guy you'd see where I'm coming from

What tipped me off is Chong is right behind me in the checkout line, and right up by the counter where they've got the "staff picks" seductively situated for your impulse purchasing pleasure, there's a bottle of something called "Homegrown."

From behind me I hear, "Oh wow man!"

Had to be Tommy Chong.


Two Israelis held hostage in Gaza, but the joke is on the kidnappers

Israeli prisoners can be a valuable commodity for the myriad "terror" outfits operating in Gaza. Gilad Shalit may be the most prominent example; that single Israeli was deemed worthy of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in an exchange that took five years to negotiate.

Perhaps emboldened by the success of that venture,  Palestinians in Gaza are now holding two more Israelis. Alas, it appears the hostage takers may have over-estimated the value of their Israeli hostages. They are Avraham Mengistu, an "Israeli of Ethiopian descent," and an unidentified Arab Israeli.

Obviously, the captors of these prize specimens are not among the sharper tools in the terror shed. One cannot help but imagine the jocularity around the cabinet table as the fate of these "Israeli" hostages is discussed... "how about we offer to free a thousand Palestinians if they agree to take the rest of the Ethiopians and Arabs?"

This will indeed make for some interesting negotiations!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A few weeks ago I thought Ralph Nader was full of shit...

A few weeks ago Ralph Nader had a story at Counterpunch wherein he postulated that Donald Trump was about to upset the GOP applecart.

I read the story, shook my head, and mumbled to myself that Ralph is even more full of shit than usual.

A few weeks later, I'm dealing with this.

Ralph is righter than he's ever been!

There is only one reason I do not out-and-out despise Donald Trump, and that's because he has gone out of his way in his books to give some credit to the ironworkers and carpenters and the cement guys and all the other construction trades for making his shit happen.

The fact that a lot of his shit turned out to be just shit wasn't their fault.

But I am mightily impressed that Ralph was right.

Donald Trump is indeed upsetting the GOP applecart.

I found my baby with another man

Me and the Farm Manager were sitting on the front porch reminiscing about the old times.

The old times were pretty wild, the FM acknowledged.

I agreed.

But for some reason the FM's wild times managed to avoid the judicial system.

Mine didn't.

My wild times seemed to end up in front of Judge Henry Howitt on a regular basis.

Hangin' Hank was a Guelph legend. Word has it that he was so drunk some days on the bench, that the Guelph Police Department used to send two cruisers to assist his drive to the Country Club after a long day on the bench.

One cruiser would drive in front, the other behind. It was like NFL blockers clearing a track for a running back. Hammered Hank never had an accident between the courthouse and the Country Club.

Nor did he ever have an accident between the Country Club and his house atop the Eramosa Street hill, where those same blockers would guide him after his shift at the Club was finished.

So back in my wild years, me and Hank used to get face-to-face on a regular basis.

Nothing serious, mind you... just the usual alcohol fueled juvenile hijinx that overtakes a certain segment of the teen population, sometimes till they're well into their forties.

I remember standing in front of Hank once after having ingested a blotter tab of LSD.

And standing... and standing some more... and some more.

I was just standing there admiring the sheen on the podium in front of Hank. It was shiny.

It glowed.

Ripples of light cascaded off that podium. That light infused the entire room with its warm glow... it was an incredible thing!

I was still standing there, admiring the glow, and somewhere far away I kept hearing the words "you can go now you can go now you can go now"... repeated over and over like a mantra...

Then this dude in a uniform takes me by the arm and leads me to the exit.

What? I can go now?

Holy shit! Case dismissed!

But the most memorable time I ever had in front of Hank was the time I found my baby with another man.

Ya, I know; there's been about twenty million country songs written about that, but I was there.

Sure enough, in true country style, a brawl breaks out.

Now as to the particulars of the situation, truth is I was with another woman at the time I found my baby with another man, and in hindsight, that fact may have been at least partially responsible for her behavior that evening.

Now, I'm explaining this to Judge Howitt, and of course I'm trying to put a profitable (for me) spin on things. Bear in mind that me and Hank are, at this point, if not friends, at least acquaintances.

So Hank hears the whole sordid tale from the mouth of the person who was by then my "ex," and then it's my turn.

So tell me your side of the story, son.

Ya, he called me "son."

Well sir, I was just comforting my friend Miss ****, who had just experienced a break-up with her boyfriend, when this Camaro came along and these three people got out, one of them being my ex.
She assaulted me and I was forced to defend myself, and then the two guys who got out of that Camaro began to assault me too, and I was just forced to keep defending myself until they all got back in that Camaro and drove away.

Well Halleluiah!

That was good enough for Hank...

Case dismissed!

Hangin' Hank was a sucker for a good yarn!



Having successfully brought freedom and democracy to Libya and Syria, France's Philosopher King casts his eye on Greece

I have no idea why, but today Canada's national newspaper of record gave an entire half page over to the international bon vivant and moron-at-large BHL.

The legend-in-his-own-mind BHL has it in for Tsipras and his referendum. Apparently holding a referendum on a matter that is life and death for the future of your country is anti-democratic.

Not only that, but it was an insult to 18 European countries, some of whom rolled over and cried "uncle" when they felt Frau Merkel's jackboot on their necks.

That's why Greece should roll over too...

That's pretty much the extent of the philosophical reasoning you're going to find here.

Russia isolated? Billions of investment dollars pouring into Crimea

According to this story at Pravda.ru, there's no shortage of investors eager to put development money into Crimea.

They're coming from Turkey, China, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, among others. Obviously a lot of folks world wide are more than happy to thumb their noses at the sanctimonious Washington-led sanctions that are intended to "isolate" Putin.

Maybe it's time for the Nations of Virtue to come up with a Plan B; respect the decision of the people of Crimea to reunite with Russia, stop antagonizing Russia, and offer instead some meaningful assistance to the crew of cretins we installed in Kyiv.

By all accounts, things in Ukraine have only gotten worse since the Nuland/Pyatt putsch. Obviously the people of Crimea made the correct choice in wanting nothing to do with it.


Top Canadian journo quits job over political interference

Hats off to Paul Watson, formerly of the Toronto Star, now unemployed!

I had thought that the upper echelons of the journalism profession had been long cleansed of anyone principled enough to walk away from a paycheque over ethical concerns. Obviously Mr. Watson just proved me wrong.

Between the Georgia Straight article and what he hints at on his blog, he's going to have an interesting story to tell. Sounds to me like the long arm of Big Steve has been helping the editorial board at the Star make its decisions about what to print.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

News Flash: Brazil and Canada fight to tie at women's water polo at Pan Am games

News Flash II: Nobody cares!

I'll tell you who cares; the immediate family of the players on those two teams. Beyond that, this is as irrelevant a story as an irrelevant story could be.

The Pan Am games are a faint shadow of the Olympics, but they retain a smidgeon of glory among the kind of folks who have tried and failed half a dozen times or more to bring the Olympics to Toronto.

That's a crowd who figure the Pan Am Games are worthwhile because they're better than nothing.

Maybe we'll get the Olympics on the next multi-million dollar try.

Obama's latest Syria initiative has found only 60 moderate rebels to train

It's been a PNAC wet dream to affect regime change in Syria for at least 20 years, but somehow the media still manage to fumble over the matter as though it's an idea Obama just came up with six months ago.

Hence the desultory reportage about the epic fail in the latest US "training" program of those imaginary moderate Syrian rebels.

Yup, they've only found 60 moderates in all of Syria to train up in their $500 million training program... and they'll be "moderates" till they get around the next corner with their US weapons and training, whereupon they'll hook up with their home crew of Nusra or ISIL homies.

Nobody ever imagined things would turn out any other way.

Those vile Islamic head-choppers are an American fabrication from start to finish.

They are labelled "moderates" for training purposes only.

Has the global economy calmed the Hellenic crisis, or is this the calm before the storm?

Those fuckin' Greeks, eh?

They want dignity?

They have the audacity to want dignity after their banker betters mortgaged the nation for the next 300 years?

Well, I say the EU/IMF/ECB/World Bank crew should do all they can do to withhold that dignity.

After all, debts must be repaid... or the whole system is gonna go down the shitter.

Unless of course you are a major bank too big to fail.

Here's the thing. Our way of seeing things is at a crossroads.

Here's another way of seeing things.

I remember the late fifties-early sixties era when my fresh-off-the-boat father worked in a factory.

Back in the day, fresh-off-the-boat DPs of all stripes could get a factory job and buy a house and a car and believe in the good life. On one household income.

Fifty years later, productivity of the working class has gone up exponentially, but working people are either not working or they've become the working poor.

But it's been a great fifty years for hedge funds and bankers and all the other pillars of the Rumpelstiltskin economy.

Good for Tsipras and Varoufakis for saying "nein danke" and refusing, on behalf of the people of Greece, to take it up the ass anymore.

I think capitalism is great. It can motivate people to do great things. But it needs to be strictly regulated. Otherwise your're going to end up with a half dozen hedgie shit-bags running the whole show.

It's time to re-organize the global economy for the benefit of humanity.

NPR discovers Texas Biker Ambush

Almost two months after the fact, the news hounds at National Public Radio have sniffed out some incongruities in the Waco Biker Massacre.

What? There was tons of just "regular folks" at that biker show-down?

What? There was Christian biker gangs at that biker shoot out?

What in hell does a "Christian biker gang" even look like?

Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and postulate that they probably look like "bikers" who have either "Jesus" or "Christ" or both emblazoned on their biker kit. I don't know enough about the minutia of biker regalia to determine what the difference is between a patch and a cut, but it seems to me that Christian bikers are respected among the biker community.

Respect is of course the common currency in biker culture and among bikers.

I remember a guy who was in my rehab program at the Homewood, one of the premier rehab/ detox destinations in North America to this day, the first time I was going through that shit. He showed me his photo album. He was a full-patch dude in the Satan's Choice, who back in the day were the "outlaw motorcycle gang" to "fear" the most in Southern Ontario.

Every Satan's Choice eventually became a Hells Angel back in the great Ontario patch-over, but that's another story.

A bit of his photo album was biker stuff, the rest was him at Christian revival meetings and doing family stuff with his wife and kids.

There was absolutely nothing scary about the guy once you got to know him. At the same time, things probably wouldn't go well for you if you crossed him.

Respect.

I've never (yet) owned a Harley but I've had respect for biker culture ever since I got to know that guy.

So NPR discovers there may be a element of bullshit in the official Waco story. That doesn't stop them from giving Pinocchio Swanton a free pass on spreading more bullshit.

But it's better than nothing.

Monday, July 6, 2015

More vapid anti-biker propaganda designed to make you feel better about ratting out your biker neighbour

Outlaw motorcycle gangs recruit troops.

No shit!

Actually, those gangs don't have to do a lot of recruiting. The vets tend to find them.

There's a reason for that.

You did that whole band of brothers thing in the Army or the Marines.

Your leaders shipped you off to Vietnam or Korea or Iraq or Afghanistan.

Guys who served miss that band of brothers when they're back in the USA and out of the service.

Those "gangs" pick up the slack.

Rolling Stones destroy motor sports

Hey, I'm not making that up...

Check out the headline; Rolling Stones electrify Indianapolis Speedway.

WTF?

Who is going to watch car racing when it's all about electric cars?

The barely audible whirr of electric motors is simply not on a par with the boner-inducing throb of a V-8

Russian President Vladimir Putin is irrational, quixotic, dumb, and desperate

What you might have missed in the news, is that the same day that those claims were made in the New York Times International Weekly, a Russian rocket delivered a critical load of essential supplies to the International Space Station.

So while we're busy as can be vilifying Putin, he's busy greenlighting a space mission that will save an American vanity project. The last three American attempts at resupplying the ISS have ended in unscheduled fireworks.

I'm really thrilled to be able to get the New York Times International Weekly way up here in the Deep North.

I'm so glad that top US journos like Cohen and Friedman can clue me in to the perfidy of Putin.

Frankly, I think that's the sort of brazen propagandistic overreach that's going to lead to the demise of the Empire.

If a pot-addled hillbilly blogger in Bruce County can see through the bullshit, lots of other folks can too.

Greeks vote NO, sky not falling

Bourse numbers around the world were down a tad today, but not by much.

The Dow Jones was down a quarter of a percent.

Standard and Poors down .4%. Toronto down .6%.

In Europe the Footsie was down almost point eight, while the main German exchange, where you'd expect the major fallout from a Greek NO, was down a mere point and a half.

That's the major stock exchanges of the world telling you that whatever happens in Greece doesn't really matter.

That's a good thing!

What that tells me is that the markets and the people who make them are way smarter than the folks who have been hyperventilating up and down the main-stream media about how a NO vote is going to send the world economy down the shitter.

NASCAR flag ban flops

The response of NASCAR fans to CEO Brian France's call to put away their Confederate flags was pretty much predictable. If anything, there were more Stars and Bars on display at Daytona than in other years.

If anything, it gives you some idea of how out of touch the billionaires who run the big show are with their fan base. It's not a crowd that goes in for political correctitude, and I'm OK with that.

There is something fundamentally phoney about banning cultural symbols on the basis that seeing them may cause someone to feel sad or angry. So the Confederate flag reminds some people of slavery? So what? America was built on slavery. Why pretend otherwise now? Besides, it seems to me that it's more white liberals taking umbrage than actual descendants of slaves.

This flag flap arose out of the recent mass murder by a messed up white kid who took a few selfies with that flag. That's a tragedy that could lead to some good if it lead to discussions about alienated youth, mental illness, prescription drug side-effects, or gun control.

America isn't willing to have any of those discussions, so instead, the conversation veers down this irrelevant dead-end side-street over a symbol.

Putin against the Nations of Virtue

The New York Times International Weekly had a double dose of anti-Putin propaganda on view for us hicks in the sticks yesterday. Right there on page 14, two of America's most esteemed thinkers offer up the straight skinny on Bad Vlad.

Roger Cohen explains something he seems pleased to have just made up; "counterrevolutionary Putinism." This is the result of Mr. Putin having "decided to define his power in conflict with the West." This is extra scary because Putin is obviously "irrational and quixotic." Luckily for the prospects of peace on earth, Putin can be deterred...

All it will take is an increase of military spending in the West and the "permanent and significant deployment of heavy weapons in the region..."

Hmm... NATO already outstrips the Russian Federation in military spending by a factor of ten; does Mr. Cohen seriously believe spending more will change anything?

Thomas Friedman is also perplexed about what's gone wrong with our once-cosy relationship with Russia.

Where did it all go sour? At least Friedman has the decency to suggest an answer to his own rhetorical question; "we fired the first shot when we expanded NATO..."

Indeed!

Unfortunately, Friedman's prescription is every bit as frightening as Cohen's.

"... the most important source of stability in the world today is the health of the United States economy."

18 trillion dollars in accumulated debt, over 90 million Americans shut out of the job market, and Mr Friedman sees a healthy economy?

Almost enough to make a person despair over the state of public discourse in America, isn't it?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

FIFA World Cup of womens soccer/football proves superiority of capitalism

I see where the Yanks are giving the Japs a righteous thrashing.

Does this mean anything?

Well, I guess it means Carli Lloyd is having a really good day...

Does it mean anything beyond that?

Probably not.

The problem with buying that used boat

So you think you've scored a bargain with that 1976 Trojan Tri-fly you just snagged. You'll be cruising the Great Lakes and living large all the way from Toronto to Chicago to Thunder Bay.

Well, maybe not.

First of all, let's look at the best case scenario. Those twin big block Chryslers, assuming they've had a recent rebuild, are going to suck up several thousand dollars of fuel to get from Toronto to Chicago and back.

If they've not had a recent rebuild, you'll probably find yourself towed into the nearest marina not too long into your once-in-a-lifetime Great Lakes adventure.

That's where you'll find out a refit of those 383s is gonna cost you two or three times what you paid for the boat.

This is where a lot of folks go for it. After all, when you've been towed into a Michigan marina in the first week of your once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Great Lakes, there's a tendency to push ahead.

You've already flushed 20k down the shitter; why not follow it up with another 40?

Or, you could pull the plug and quit while you're ahead.

Suck up that bad call you made buying the Trojan and make the best of it.

Part it out.

That's when you get smacked in the head with the truth about old boats. A steel or aluminum hull at least has some scrap value. A fiberglass hull is a liability. If your drive train needs any work whatsoever those twins are worth their weight in scrap.

Unfortunately, you'll have to spend time and/or money fishing those Chrysler big blocks out of that fiberglass hull.

Can you see where we're going here?

When you buy that old fiberglass cruiser, you just paid the owner to take a liability off his hands.

In reality, they should be paying you.

Greeks put dignity and democracy before bailing out foreign banks

What, they're allowed to do that?

That's an outrage!

What if they catch wind of this insubordination in Portugal?

In Spain?.... Italy?

Hell, what if the people hear about this in America? What if Americans find out that bankers don't need to be allowed to call the shots?

Holy Geez... what's next?

We're on a slippery slope here folks... next you know there's gonna be pitchfork-wielding mobs marching on Wall Street chanting "OFF TO JAIL" and "LET THEM FAIL!"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hummingbirds and circumstances

The F-35 has been the most expensive military procurement program in American history. The US taxpayer has sunk close to a trillion tax dollars into this pig that can barely fly. Latest reports have it being skunked by 30 year old F-16s in a mock dogfight.

That's progress!

Me and the Farm manager spent a few hours on the front stoop today. We were very much enjoying the peace and quiet, even as we were discussing what might happen if circumstances change.

We've got a hummingbird feeder hanging in front of the kitchen window. We were watching them all afternoon. We can see them from the stoop.

They can do aeronautical manoeuvres that no F-35 test pilot can even dream of.

Life is pretty damned good when you're sitting on the front stoop. Around here you might have a car or a truck or a motorcycle go by every twenty minutes or so. The cows wander up to the barnyard from their pastures at least once a day.

And there's always the hounds.

But if circumstances change, then what?

Then, instead of sitting on the stoop here in the north woods, watching the cows and the hounds and the hummingbirds, we'll be sitting on a balcony looking down on Yonge Street.

Not sure how I feel about that.

Tourism is bullshit

Tourism.

Back in the hippy-dippy era I too criss-crossed Europe with a knapsack slung over my shoulder. I bought hashish in Amsterdam and checked out some of those store-fronts with the scantily clad ladies in the window.

I was a tourist.

At some level I suppose I contributed something to the economy. But overall I was an obnoxious know-nothing. All things considered, my hosts would have been better off without me.

I think that holds true for the vast majority of tourists today; the hosts would be better off without you. Mass tourism seems little more than a scheme to keep Boeing and Airbus and a handful of international resort developers in business.

There is certainly a niche for legitimate international tourism. The mountaineer who has already climbed all the most demanding peaks in Europe and America may be excused for wanting to take a crack at Everest. The religious pilgrim who wants to see Jerusalem or Mecca or Bethlehem or Amritsar... I think we can cut them some slack.

But for the folks who are just polluting the skies and the seas in search of an all-you-can-eat all-you-can-drink package vacation, what's the point?

Just stay home and stay drunk for a week!


Bomb Iran crowd waxing hysterical over prospective nuke deal

 Because what America really needs most is more war!

All the usual Iran-haters are circling the wagons and warning that the doomsday clock is about to strike midnight if the Kerry negotiations reach a successful conclusion.

Here's Charles Krauthammer; he's got this pegged as the "worst deal in American diplomatic history."

Not to be outdone, fellow war-monger John Bolton introduces an international perspective by claiming this deal is "America's Munich." That's code for Kerry is the dupe Chamberlain to Rouhani's Hitler. If Bolton had his druthers he would have bombed Iran years ago.

But wait, those dastardly towel-heads are even worse than that... in fact, they are even worse than ISIS, if such a thing can be imagined! Yup, no less a fear-monger than the Greatest Leader Since Moses came up with that one!

The prospect of a deal is a little more personal for Netanyahu; he's crafted a thirty year political career out of claiming the Iranians are months away from a nuclear weapon.

Wonder what surprises he has in his tool kit to scare his country's voters going forward?