Saturday, December 31, 2016

Welcome to 2017!... it's so over for the Status Quo, is it not?

Yes it is....

But the big mystery for '17 is what's coming next...

Ya, we know Donny J is on deck... and there's a goodly percentile of the populace who feel the fear at that prospect...

To those who fear The Donald, I say this; relax!

He's a fucking condo salesman, for fuck's sakes...

Well, I guess that's not quite true anymore... that condo salesman is now the President of the United States of America!

There's something wholesome and befitting about having a condo salesman as Pres. Think about it. What's more American and "free enterprise" than selling condos?

All that shit in the Middle East could readily be de-escalated by putting up some Trump Towers in Jerusalem and Damascus.

The new "Cold War" could be put to bed with a few strategically placed Trump Towers in Moscow and Brussels.

What the fuck are you worried about?

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

With three weeks left, Obama finally gets tough on the Ruskies!

Yup, Barry O is slapping and expelling like a POTUS possessed!

Those damned Ruskies are gonna pay for meddling in America's democratic process!

Said meddling is the hack-n-leak of all those DNC e-mails in the days before the election. There's zero evidence that had anything to do with Russia and plenty of testimonials from relatively (relative to folks like Senators McCain and Graham) honest players that these leaks had nothing whatsoever to do with Russia.

Meanwhile, the exceptional nation is not shy about its long-standing program of interfering in the elections of other countries. That independent NGO that just happens to get ALL its funding from the US government is happy to brag about how it interferes in the democratic process in 90 countries!

And that's OK!

Another fine example of fake news

Here's a story from 2012 about a CTV news headline that turned out to be 90% fake.

Mercedes Stephenson claimed in 2012 that Canada delivers half a billion dollars in "aid" to the Palestinians every year. The actual amount is a tiny fraction of that, and it tends to be directed at PA security infrastructure, ie the Kapos who do Israel's dirty work in the occupied territories.

That's Canada's "aid" to the Palestinians!

Funny how the folks most incensed about "fake news" are the very same people who have been making it up and broadcasting it for years!

Obama and Kerry demonstrate their negotiating savvy

Heh heh... they sure pulled Bibi's pants down on that deal, didn't they?

Three months ago they sign an agreement to hand Israel 38 billions in military aid over ten years. I'm not much of a business whiz, but I think the word for that is "leverage," as in Obama had some leverage over the guys on the other side of the table. Once the deal was done, the leverage was gone.

So three months later they demand that Israel stop building settlements in the occupied territories? How inept are these guys?

The think tank here at Falling Downs figures they aren't really as retarded as they appear. What's changed in the past three months? Donald Trump won an election, that's what. And, difficult as it may be to fathom, a Trump presidency shows every sign of being the most sycophantic pro-Israel US government in history.

The Obama regime's eleventh hour recognition of the rights of Palestinians has nothing to do with Palestinians. After all, Obama had eight years to do something and did nothing. He's not motivated by issues of human rights or international law.

This sudden discovery of illegal settlements is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to stir up shit for the next president to deal with.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The view from Avenue Road

The view from our Avenue Road apartment will be a lot different than the views we enjoy here at Falling Downs. Here we've got an escarpment view from every window. There we'll enjoy the view of the side of the building next door. Unless we get that place on the ninth floor, where we'd have a view clear to the lake...

At least until the next wave of condo towers splash ashore along Lakeshore...

Me and the Farm Manager spent the last couple of days in Toronto visiting with Junior and some of the other juniors. Junior is in res at U of T and one of the others has an apartment ten minutes away on St. George Street. When I say "ten minutes" I'm talking walking. We found a three bed place just around the corner on Avenue Road that clocks in at under two thou per month.

We figure we'll rent the master with ensuite to a deserving U of T grad student for $900, and we've got two beds and a bathroom left for around a thousand a month. That's some pretty cheap living for downtown Toronto!

Heck, you could buy a one bed condo in that neighbourhood and even after you shell out half a million in up-front money you're on the hook for at least a thousand a month in "condo fees." Renting is definitely the way to go in these 'hoods.

Not sure how the hounds are gonna take to that. They've never been successfully domesticated, so they could spend their first six months in Toronto culling the poodle population in that building. That might look a little ugly at first blush, but experience tells me these things blow over. Eventually.

You'd be surprised at how many poodle aficionados are secretly grateful that your back-woods hunting dog just killed their spoiled wretch of a city dog.

And for an extra $125 per month you've got underground parking!

I'm thinking once I sell the fleet of parts vehicles behind the barn I'll have a nice down payment on a sweet little Mercedes sedan.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Nooman the Iranian pops boffo idea for new fast food brand

So the other day my Jewish step-daughter gets a call from her employer, Nooman (no relation) the Iranian, who had a sudden inspiration re: the name for the latest decrepit food truck he has added to his fleet.

Nooman buys these old food trucks and they appear with frightening regularity at events large and small everywhere from the GTA to the Niagara region. Frightening because they are so decrepit that they are often towed to their daily assignments, which in my book would make them food trailers rather than food trucks.

Not that such a trifle would slow down Nooman and his burgeoning food-truck empire. The latest addition to his fleet is aimed at the fried chicken crowd. He's got a brainwave about how to brand it. We got the news in a phone call on the first day of Hanukkah, also known as "Christmas eve" to the other half of my family.

Welcome to "Chuck it Up," mobile fried chicken for the masses!

My kid was stunned. What the fuck? Can he be serious?

"Chuck it up," Nooman reiterates. "Is that brilliant or what? I copyright that! That is so brilliant!"

She hangs up the phone and tells us the story. We are overcome with gales of laughter. Hardee-har-har and hahahahaha....

How can Nooman be so retarded?

We're still mopping tears from our eyes when she suddenly exclaims "Oh my God!... chuck it up? I think he meant 'cluck' it up!"

Nooman is an ESL kinda guy and does most of his communication in Farsi. He's made a simple mistake; luckily we were able to head him off at the pass. He has in fact registered his new business as Cluck it Up.

Not Chuck it Up.

Close call...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Trump to bigly up nuclear weapons ante

Trump's pronouncement today that America needs to vastly expand her nuclear arsenal made for a lot of headlines. That makes for ominous headlines alright... let's just hope it's another case of Trump calling for something while doing the opposite.

What's not getting a lot of attention is that Obama has already greenlit the modernization and expansion of America's nuclear arsenal.

Let's just hope Donald doesn't forget who elected him and why. A big reason Trump is pres-elect is that the vast majority of Americans are beyond sick and tired of the serial wars that enrich the war-mongers but drain the national treasury and destroy America's standing in the community of nations.

In theory it's possible to pack your cabinet with billionaires and still govern in a way that improves the lot of the common folks. Those millions of common folks who voted "Trump" are watching. If Trump brings the billionaires to heel, introduces measures to tax their off-shored cash hordes, and does something, anything, to bring decent jobs back to America, those common folks will give him a pass.

If not, America is in deep shit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gulen v. Trump; how will they square the circle?

NATO's biggest challenge going forward won't be President Trump. It will be President Erdogan of Turkey.

NATO, the militarized face of The Nations of Virtue, at least 25 years past its best-before date, is dealing with "incoming" threats for the first time in its history. In the shape of the incoming president of the United States.

Trump seems less than convinced that NATO serves any useful purpose. That's got a lot of NATO careerists nervous. And that's a lot of nervous people. From the top-shelf bosses in Brussels to their multitudinous support staff to the minions in the NATO liaison corps in each of the 28 member nations (could be 29 - is Montenegro in yet?) we're talking many tens of thousands of nervous people.

NATO member Turkey's wily President Erdogan claims that last summer's coup attempt was organized by Fettulah Gulen. Gulen is an international man of mystery who has been cooling his heels at an idyllic compound a couple of hours north of Langley for the past twenty years or so. The think tank here at Falling Downs gives Erdogan's suspicions a 9+ on the ten point plausibility scale that we use to winnow the wheat of real news from the chaff of fake news.

Mr. Erdogan has been insisting that the US extradite Gulen from his Pennsylvania hidey-hole to face "justice" in Turkey. That line would have been funny when Midnight Express came out almost forty years ago. It's exponentially funnier today!

So NATO should probably toss Erdogan over the side (which they arguably tried last summer), Trump is luke-warm (at best) on NATO, Erdogan is cosying up to Putin once again, and Trump (according to mainstream American media) is already in Putin's pocket.

Where does this leave Gulen?

High and dry, you'd be tempted to say, except for a couple of little things. Gulen is the polar opposite of Trump in many ways. One is a under-the-radar introvert, the other a vainglorious attention hog. But they are much alike in other ways. Definitive financial statements for either of them are equally difficult to pin down, for one thing.

Gulen is one of the biggest charter school operators in America. And who did Trump just nominate for Secretary of Education? Why, Betsy DeVos, America's number one champion of charter schools!

So, will Trump dispatch Gulen to face justice in Turkey? Or will Gulen force Erdogan out of office?

It's hard to see how Trump can square that circle.

Fake-news fairies whisk little Bana out of Allepo into the arms of Erdogan!

You gotta admit the wily Erdogan knows a good photo-op when he sees one.

If nothing else, this story proves that the roads from "rebel held" areas of Syria to the capital of Turkey remain wide open, in spite of the fact that Turkey has allegedly joined the fight against Daesh. How else to explain the fact that Bana was only evacuated out of Aleppo two days ago, on a Syrian government bus, and transferred to rebel held territory, and finds herself on The Sultan's lap in Ankara a mere 24 hours later?

That's truly amazing!

But in annals of the wily Erdogan's amazing adventures, it's par for the course. This is the guy who heads the second largest military in NATO but is conniving with Bad Vlad in all sorts of nefarious goings on in the neighbourhood. He's fighting ISIS but fighting the Kurds even harder, even though it's universally acknowledged that the Kurds are fighting ISIS harder than anybody. The guy who embodies the shared values of NATO even while wreaking havoc on his Kurdish population, side-lining democracy in his own country, and jailing more journalists than any despot in the world...

Sometimes it's hard to figure out where the truthiness ends and the fake news begins, isn't it?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Putting the "fake" into real news

Doug Saunders' journalism has been gracing the pages of Canada's newspaper of record for about twenty years now. His current position is "opinion writer on international affairs" or something along those lines. As such, he's more on the analysis and commentary side of things. In other words, his job is to spin the facts into a narrative that his employer is comfortable with. 
The print version of his column today is titled "The fall of Aleppo:Four sobering lessons." His four sobering lessons also appear in the online version of the story, and I have copied them verbatim below. My comments are italicised. 
Doug Saunders' four sobering lessons from the fall of Aleppo
Did Aleppo "fall" or was it retaken by legitimate government forces?
1. The Islamic State was never the main problem. The territorial ambitions of the ultra-Islamist militia have ruined lives, imprisoned regions and showered terrorist outrages on Western cities. But the newly redrawn map of Syria makes the basic fact more clear: the Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) was purely a product of Mr. al-Assad’s decision to resist a mass uprising against his rule. It only remains a threat as long as he continues his fight.
ISIS was "purely a product of Mr. al-Assad's decision to resist a mass uprising against his rule." It was? Virtually any mainstream explanation of the rise of ISIS posits its roots in the US invasion of Iraq. ISIS evolved out of the radical Islamist insurgency that grew out of that invasion. That's the consensus position on virtually every news site. Mr. al-Assad is not responsible for the creation of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. America is.
The Islamic State will not fade away soon. It just used the chaos of the assault on Aleppo to retake the historic city of Palmyra. But the Islamic State is a symptom, not the disease: Nine out of 10 deaths have been delivered by Mr. al-Assad’s state forces. The Islamic State appeared when he lost legitimacy, and will not disappear until he loses power.
"Nine out of ten deaths have been delivered by Mr. al-Assad's state forces."
They have? Not if you consult the Wikipedia entry for Casualties of the Syrian civil war. The article cites various sources including some that are prominently anti-Assad to come up with estimates of approximately 100,000 government combatant casualties and a similar number of opposition combatant casualties. That takes care of about half the casualties right there. The idea that 90% of the casualties have been innocent civilians targeted by Assad is rubbish.
2. Puppet states are back. Post-Aleppo Syria is a manufactured product of Russian and Iranian military and economic aid, period. Not since the Cold War has a satellite state combined a total lack of public legitimacy with total repression of its people in such a horrendous way. Let us not allow this to become a model.
Mr. al-Assad has a "total lack of public legitimacy?" That's not the opinion of Jonathan Steele in this story at the Guardian titled "Most Syrians back President Assad, but you'd never know from western media."  Nor is Saunder's claim supported by this story at Foreign Policy titled "Assad's Sunni foot soldiers" from 2015. Or this story from The National Interest from earlier this year. These are mainstream sources that Mr. Saunders must be very well acquainted with in his capacity as the Globe's number one foreign affairs commentator. The "total lack of public legitimacy" chestnut is a total fabrication.

3. The refugee camps will become permanent cities. Turkey’s Gaziantep and Sanliurfa camps and the surrounding cities each contain around 300,000 Arabs and Kurds (of 2.5 million now living in Turkey) who have fled Mr. al-Assad’s vengeance. Jordan’s Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps contain more than 140,000 people. As long as the Assad regime remains in control, they cannot return; nor can the much smaller numbers of refugees who have fled to Europe and North America. It is time to start acknowledging these new cities, and populations, as long-term realities that could exist for a decade.
A decade? The Palestinian refugee cities scattered about the Middle East have been around for well over half a century. The reverberations from our failed regime change policy with respect to Assad can be expected to last at least as long. Had Turkey and Jordan not connived with the US "regime change" agenda from the beginning, they wouldn't be facing this refugee burden today.
4. The Libyan option was preferable. The decision by the United States (and Canada) to avoid a full-scale military intervention in Syria in 2012 and 2013 was based largely on recent precedent: The long-term invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were catastrophic failures, leaving little appetite for another. But why, after the gas-attack nightmare of 2013 crossed every red line, didn’t we lend our military strength to unseat Mr. al-Assad? The answer, by then, was Libya: The same thing was done there in 2011, when NATO forces lent air support to the popular move to overthrow their own dictator – and now look at the place. A disaster.
But that’s the less horrific option. Libya is an unstable mess verging on a civil war of its own. But it is not the site of the sort of enormous-scale monstrosities, involving hundreds of thousands of deaths, that it would have become if Moammar Gadhafi had been kept in power and permitted to mete his revenge.
We also have to remember, when contemplating U.S. President Barack Obama’s fateful failure to take action (and Justin Trudeau’s promise not to get involved), that the best possible outcome “getting tough” could have produced would have been something resembling current-day Libya. He would be under attack by media and Republicans for provoking this outcome, and Western militaries would be caught in an impossible position. But hundreds of thousands would likely still be alive.
Just wrecking Syria the way we did Libya would be preferable? Libyans enjoyed the highest standard of living in all of Africa under the "despot" Gadhafi. What are they enjoying today? The disgusting arrogance on display here is utterly despicable. How is it our business to decide what's right for Libya or what's right for Syria?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Professional Black Intellectual calls out Kanye West and Jim Brown for their Uncle Tom-ism

Peniel Joseph doesn't waste any time declaring his bona fides in his screed currently on view at CNN. It's right there in his title. If Kanye cared about black folks he'd have voted for Hillary!

And in case you didn't get it, he spells it out again in his first paragraph; thanks to Kanye and all those other un-enlightened black folks who failed to vote for Hillary, black people lost the election.

Sure... because the Clintons have done so much for black folks in America?..

A quick peek at Peniel's Wikipedia page reveals a man who's made a damned fine career out of being a Professional Black Intellectual. Looks like he's founded some iteration of "black studies" programs pretty much everywhere he ever landed a teaching gig.

In the academic world "Black Studies" is a close cousin of Gender Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, etc. All your major institutions of higher learning have indulged these fields of study in the last twenty or thirty years or so because it proves beyond a doubt how tolerant and inclusive they are.

While engineering, business, and the hard sciences remain the meat and potatoes of every worthwhile post-secondary institution, and their alumni provide the gravy for their endowment funds, it's crucial to show that you're a bastion of diversity and have an eye out for the welfare of the oppressed.

There's a word for that.


Mind you, it's given Peniel and many like-minded Professional Black Intellectuals a soap-box from which to mega-phone their insights... such as Donald Trump is a racist douche-bag and Hillary loves black people.

As near as I can tell Trump became a racist around the time he officially declared his intention to run for the White House. Before that he was almost a token honorary white dude among professional black activists.

Why do you suppose that changed once he was in the ring with Hillary?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How Trump can keep the baying populist mobs at bay, in three easy steps

It's beyond obvious by now that Donald's election campaign is hugely at odds with the clique of billionaires and former generals he is surrounding himself with as he builds his management team. Here's how he could quiet the disquiet that's growing around his perceived bait-and-switch tactics.

1. Toss the plebes their dream of a $15/hr minimum wage. At first blush you'd think guys like Puzder aren't gonna think too much of that, but even he can be convinced. After all, that's a lot more disposable income for the sort of folks who like to dispose of their income at Carl's Jr. and similar venues. Just jack your prices to cover the costs. It's a no-brainer!

2. No matter what you call it, (and obviously you'll have to call it something else) give the masses some version of universal health care. That's gonna piss off the big dogs in the private health care business, but most Americans are OK with the idea that their health challenges shouldn't be somebody else's profit opportunity.

3. Go ape on infrastructure renewal. This can create as many jobs as you need to create. Trump can easily siphon hundreds of billions out of the obscenely bloated military budget and use those billions to create millions of jobs rebuilding America. Yup, time to pull the plug on the F-35 and use the money to revamp the I-35 and all those other Interstate highways that have fallen into decrepitude.

Should be a sure thing!

Putin puts finishing touches on Trump take-over with Tillerson nomination

If you've been following the latest fallout from the December 8 fiasco in the mainstream media, you'll already know that it was Putin who facilitated the Trump victory.

Yup, Putin's minions manipulated the election with a series of exquisitely timed leaks designed to cast Hillary in a negative light.

It worked.

And no, Hillary didn't lose because tens of millions of Americans are fed up with the status quo; she lost because of Putin's perfidy, plain and simple. Apparently it doesn't matter how many photo-ops you stage with pop-cult sweethearts like Katy Perry and LeBron James, Putin's got the mojo to push all that pop-culture trash into the ditch. Hell, even the promise of a blow-job from Madonna wasn't enough to entice voters!

To be fair, there are corners of the mainstream where the dominant MSM narrative isn't getting a lot of traction. Here's Doug Henwood at that bastion of (neo)liberalism The Guardian claiming it was Hillary, not Putin, who won the election for Trump.

And here's a wildly untoward opinion piece from Tom Basile at Forbes claiming that the "real" fake news is found in mainstream media. (Like Forbes?)


But in spite of those outliers, it's hard not to notice that there's been a big push to paint Trump as Putin's stooge.

Enter Rex Tillerson. Rex has spent his entire working life on the bridge of the good ship Exxon-Mobil. There's not a president or prime minister anywhere in the developed, developing, under-developed, or un-developing world who doesn't return his phone calls. Promptly.

Isn't that the kind of guy you'd want as Secretary of State?

And although this point is rarely made, Tillerson heads a company that actually has it's own State Department. Not nearly as well populated as that other State Department that operates out of DC, but arguably populated by folks with a much higher level of competence. After all, how many Exxon-Mobil execs needlessly lost their lives in Libya?

So even though the man has zero "political experience," he has tons of successful political experience.

As the regular reader well knows, the think tank here at Falling Downs has been more than a little sceptical about the president-elect's road to the White House. But the more he builds a management team with folks who have serious real-world experience instead of nominating slimy political insiders, the more we think the man deserves a chance.

But we're still a long way from 20.1.17.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

RIP Bob Hutton

I could say, were I inclined to indulge antiquated cliches, that I knew Bob since he was knee-high to a grass-hopper.

He used to hang out around my buddy Kipling's place back when Kipling had a '66 Hemi-Charger and a pair of 396/375 Novas for sale on his front lawn out there at his place on the 24 Highway.

Bob was in his early teens and walked up to Kipling's place to catch the school bus.

It was Kipling who called me with the news today; Bob is dead.

The "hanging around" eventually led to Bob getting married off to Kipling's sister-in-law.

Several years on, of course.

Bob was into the fast cars and he was into the quality home-grown. In fact it was one of Bob's buddies who pretty much introduced my circle of accomplices to the fine art of indoor grow-ops.

If you were gonna be hanging with Bob for the day it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that there would be some quality weed involved.

But we all grew up and everything changed. Bob and I had a falling out over some Mustangs that just had to be rescued from a storage garage over in Kitchener.

Free Mustangs.

All we had to do was winch them onto a trailer and drive away.

I lassoed Bob into the mission thinking it was a no-brainer.

Didn't work out that way. The guy who owned that garage went on to start a major REIT. He also knew I could not be counted on to get a free car out of storage.

Thanks, Bob!

I remember Bob asking me, after he'd been at Hammond's a couple of years, if he should take a chance and enter their apprenticeship program. They had an opening for a millwright trainee. His other options were staying on the line or driving truck for the company.

I said, Bob, you can always drive a truck. Do the millwright thing if you have a chance and if you don't like it, you can always drive their trucks.

Bob took my counsel, got his millwright ticket, and eventually ended up as head of maintenance at the Hammond plant at Edinburgh and Speedvale.

He had a very nice run.

Godspeed, Bob!

Countdown to Armageddon

 It's been busy times here at Falling Downs.

Bubby took another spill recently and therefore the Farm Manager has been splitting her time between the farm and Bubby's place in town. The main thrust of the time in town is to convince the fiercely independent Bubbinator to just say "yes" to a home.

The next day Hillary went viral with her denunciation of "fake news." Yup, apparently it was fake news that crippled her campaign.

It wasn't that Trump thoroughly out-worked her. I mean she was doing one event every other day and he was doing four or five every day. Trump may be a silver-spoon twat, but you gotta admit the man has a work ethic. Not only that, but he actually had stuff to say that resonated with a lot of folks.

Trump was the first political contender to ixnay the "free trade floats all boats" bullshit that has been conventional wisdom for the past quarter century. If nothing else, we should thank him for that.

But back to "fake news."

We gotta be on the look-out for fake news. It's everywhere all the time, especially once you're out of the certified truthiness neighbourhoods out there in the world 'o news. You know what I'm talking about. Play it safe; get your news from reputable news sources like WaPo and NYT and you'll be good. Get your news from some dodgy punks at Global Research or Paul Craig Roberts' website, and... well, obviously you're imbibing Putin's propaganda wholesale.

So on Friday the mainstream news was chock full of fulminations about those dastardly Russian Olympians who have been making a mockery of WADA and every wholesome convention of fair play in sports. Russians are cheaters, was the message. And of course, Russia being the dictatorship that it is, Putin bears personal responsibility for every Russian infraction of the rules of fair play.

I actually had some things to say about that on Friday. Unfortunately, Friday was consumed by the demands of the Farm Manager's holiday party at her day job. Yup, the FM has a day job. The cash flow here at Falling Downs is not sufficient for the lifestyle she is accustomed to, especially in those years when the OPP Air Force flags our herb garden. Even though we keep the herb garden on the neighbour's property, this is the kind of thing that has a very negative effect on the cash flow around here.

So instead of writing a thought-provoking blog, I had to go to a party where grown-up middle-aged types were playing "party games." People were voluntarily dabbing vaseline on their noses so they could safely carry a cotton ball across the room. Because if you could do that faster than your competition, you won the game!

Get the fuck outta here. Some of those folks are actually interesting people who I wouldn't mind talking to. Watching them carry a cotton ball across the room stuck to a gob of vaseline on their nose does NOT interest me.

In any way whatsoever.

Next day, the Russian hacker shit hit the mainstream news fan. Yup, unnamed sources have informed the Washington Post that the CIA has determined that the Ruskies interfered with the US election in favour of Trump!




It's true then! Even as those Podesta emails were ripping the curtain away from Hillary's all-out campaign to undermine Bernie we were being side-tracked into thinking the scandal was not about the Dem hierarchy fucking Sanders, but about the "fact" that the Ruskies were behind the leaks!

That gosh-darned Putin!

So I was about to post a pithy blog about that, but had to defer it because I had a holiday family function to attend in Waterloo. My dear Uncle Werner, who used to be a professor at the University there, started this tradition a quarter century ago. Alas, he is so far ahead of me on the Alzheimer Highway that I don't even have his tail-lites in view anymore, and he hasn't attended his own tradition in years, but nevertheless I make an effort.

Even though it was six hours of driving through various levels of blizzard for a bowl of chilli I'm always glad I made the effort. You get to see those elders who are still more or less with it. And some who aren't.

You get to catch up with the youngsters who are racking up massive student debt at the finest universities in the land.

And you get to catch up with your peers who parent those kids and whose parents are not 100% anymore. It's usually a very therapeutic undertaking. You come away with a new appreciation for your situation. I mean, you can be on the brink of bankruptcy, have seventeen different medical procedures pending, but holy shit, at least you're not in cousin so-and-so's shoes...

That makes six hours of driving through blizzard conditions for a sandwich and a bowl of soup eminently reasonable!

But it did cause a further delay for the next blog post.

So here's what I've been wanting to say ever since Hillary made her anti-alt-news speech last Thursday.

The so-called fake news sites have a long way to go before they catch up to our mainstream outlets in the disbursement of fake news. When you get fake news from InfoWars or Breitbart, who cares?

When you get fake news from the Washington Post or the New York Times, bad shit happens.

Like the war on Afghanistan.

Like the war on Iraq.

Like the destruction of Libya.

Like the current fiasco in Syria.

In every case our honest and reliable mainstream news media delivered up a fully baked loaf of bullshit as though it was "real" news.

The Washington Post and the New York Times peddled the most egregious bullshit as though it were true.

Millions believed them.

Millions died.

So now we are expected to snap to attention because WaPo publishes a story attributed to "anonymous sources" in the CIA who tell us Putin interfered in this election?

Get the fuck outta here!

Yes, interfering in the democratic process is a vile thing, and ya, maybe Putin's minions have engaged in such dastardly deeds.


But take a gander at the home page of the National Endowment for Democracy. Right there on their home page they boast about interfering in the democratic process in over 90 countries!

And if you want to talk about fake shit, how do you like their claim that they are a "private, non-profit foundation."


It's a 100% fake NGO that gets 100% of its financing from the US government! NGO stands for "non- government organization." How is a non-government organization a non-government organization if they get all their funding from the government?

Anyway, these are the sorts of folks who are running scared at the thought of a Trump presidency. If they're scared, they must know something about Trump that I don't.

Not that there isn't plenty to be scared of. I mean how many billionaires and generals and GS alumns can you pack into your cabinet and still pretend you're the saviour of the little people?

The countdown to Armageddon is on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pot-addled hillbilly's blog gets 88 page views in one day

From Yemen!

I shit you not! From Yemen!

Are there even 88 computers in Yemen? Or did the guy with the computer view my blog 88 times?

Who knows?

And I don't know shit about Yemen. Other than it's one of the poorest places on earth, but nevertheless one where lots of folks have ample money for guns and bullets. Long live the second amendment, I guess.

I also know that they've been having the crap bombed out of them by the Saudis. The same Saudis who buy many billions worth of guns and bullets and missiles and bombs and fighter planes and all that shit from the US and the UK.

Rumour has it that both the US and the UK have sales reps on the ground in Yemen to assist in the field trials of all those beautiful weapons systems they've been selling the Saudis.

But that's just the way of the world, is it not?

Anyway, here's hoping Buddy over there with the computer enjoyed what he read today.

Meanwhile, things are moving right along in the cabinet-building process for the president-elect. Seems he found a guy nick-named "Mad Dog" for Secretary of Defense.

I don't know anything about the guy, so maybe it's one of those ironic nick-names. You know, like when the smallest kid in your grade nine class got the nick-name "Big Jim."

Time will tell... although I suspect that what it's going to tell us isn't something we necessarily want to hear.

Like, "it's too late..."

Hard to know what the president-elect has up his sleeve for his next headline-grabber, but it's kinda fun speculating about it, wouldn't you agree?

I mean, it could literally be anything.

A dozen more cabinet posts filled with guys nick-named "Mad Dog?"

Or "Chainsaw?"

Who knows?

Gotta admit I've oodles of empathy for the folks who think the wrong person won. I mean it's gotta suck watching this shit-show unfold. The only thing I don't get is how those folks imagined anything would be better if the fake progressive had crashed through that glass ceiling.

After all, that's who the script-writers had up next. Yup, the first black president had his run, and the first female president was on deck.

You know what happened then...

What happens next?

And here's to you, Yemen guy; thanks for reading! Keep your head down and your spirits up!

I'm raising a pint to you right now!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Made a point of getting into town bright and early, in hope of avoiding last Saturday's debacle.

It worked! I got my weekend newspaper for ten bucks minus a handful of change... and there was nothing in it!

Well, that's not quite true. Mark MacKinnon had pretty much the entirety of the "Focus" section to himself for a major, and I mean major, effort about the origins of the Syrian "civil war." Most of his salient points about the actual origins were spelled out well over four years ago in this story, but he did have some original insights into what's become of the protagonists since then.

I was cheered to see a little less Trump this week. That's almost unfortunate after Trump moots a guy nick-named "Mad Dog" for SecDef.

I'm gonna have to re-see "Idiocracy" again before I make up my mind on that one... introducing your new Secretary of Defence, Mad Dog Mattis!

Get the fuck outta here!

But my actual propornot moment came when I read a story by Paul Waldie, who is apparently the Globe's "European correspondent." That's in addition to MacKinnon traipsing around Europe for months updating a story from 2012.

No wonder I'm paying over five bucks for my newspaper!

Anyway, Waldie gets pretty much a whole page in the first section to pontificate on what's wrong with France. Seems the French are mightily pissed with those gosh-darned socialists who have ruled the roost since 2012. They are yearning for the freedom and prosperity that only a right-wing government can bring.

I know this because nowhere in the story is there any hint whatsoever that there exists a substantial polity to the left of the so-called Socialists of Hollande.

Hollande and his party are "left" in the same sense that Hillary's Democratic Party is "left." As in, not really.

In the last French election the Left Front and a couple of fringe left parties garnered about 15% of the popular vote. By now, anybody who expected "left" policies from the centre-rightist "socialist" Hollande will be thoroughly disillusioned.

Will those voters swing right or swing to the real left? I'm guessing most of them will go to the left.

Even if only half of the ten million voters who marked their ballots for Hollande on the last go-round retreat to the real left, the real left becomes a real threat in the upcoming election.

Not a hint of that in Mr. Waldie's story.

Why? I'm guessing it's because the billionaires who own popular media world-wide would rather not broadcast the fact that there is such a thing as a "real" left.

And Waldie correctly surmises that it's better to tell half the story and keep a full paycheque, than to tell the whole story and have no paycheque.

Friday, December 2, 2016

PostMedia cuts unpaid interns out of the loop

The think tankers here at Falling Downs have long held that most PostMedia content is the product of unpaid interns working feverishly out of a Burlington Timmies; working feverishly but working for free, just to get a few more lines on their resumes, so that when the time comes they can score one of those imaginary paying jobs in the modern media world.

I think they're even more out of luck than we suspected.

We were perusing the Google news aggregator this afternoon when we chanced upon this story at the Edmonton Journal.

When you click on the story, you get a press release from CNW Group, a Cision Company. Yup, you see "Edmonton Journal" in the hot bar but you've got a press release from a private PR company in front of your eyes.

Hmmm....  look around a bit more and you'll soon discover that the Edmonton Journal story cum CNW press release is actually this press release from the Government of Canada!

Now, does that mean CNW, a Cision Company, actually wrote the Government's press release?

I'd guess yes.

But the other thing we must note is that those unpaid interns weren't even allowed to change a single word before it found the light of day under a PostMedia title!

It's bad enough that the pirates who hijacked Postmedia have been shitting on their professional journos for six years, but denying the legions of unpaid interns the opportunity to tweak a press release goes beyond the pale. I mean, they're working for free already!... give them a little something to put on their resumes!

Meanwhile, guess who's NOT working for free?

If you guessed that cabal of money-grubbers around PostMaster Godfrey, you'd be right!