July 31, 2009
Until last week, I’d been away and incommunicado for a couple of months, working on a ship without internet access, so I’ve been out of touch with the news. Pretty much all I heard while I was out was the NDP winning in Nova Scotia, the Pens beating the Wings, and Michael Jackson finally going to hell. I must have missed the bit about the federal Tories tanking in the polls, because that *has* to be what’s behind the recent Arctic bloviations by Peter Mackay and official non-pronouncements like the establishment of a web page to show how little much we are living up to our claims to be an “Arctic nation”. And please forgive my cynicism at pronouncements like the promised shipbuilding agreement from earlier in the week.
Speaking as one who works on Arctic issues and has to work with others from other Arctic nations frequently, these are utter embarrassments.
July 31, 2009
As a follow-up to my post regarding the sorry state of journalistic ‘ethics’, I wanted to provide a link to this commentary by Nancy L. Cohen in the Huffington Post. As usual, there is historical precedent that the journalistic community has chosen to ignore and are therefore doomed to repeat.
July 28, 2009
Last night (July 27) on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart got Bill Kristol to admit that the federal government *can* provide better health care than the private sector.
What is it that Jon Stewart v Bill Kristol reminds me of? Oh yeah:
July 27, 2009
I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session in one’s last year in office
Get it? Those that actually finish what they start, that get elected and see their terms through to completion, those that treat those who elected them with enough respect to finish the term they were elected for, are dumb-asses participating in “unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session(s)”. Why would anyone want to vote for anyone so unproductive? If this was spoken by someone as stupid as Sarah Palin, I would attribute it to a rhetorical slip-of-the-tongue, a mis-reading of the sheet as it were. However, it was spoken by someone as egomaniacal as Sarah Palin, and she sees herself as bigger than the average “unproductive” politician. She has heard too many whispers from sycophants like Greta van Susternan and Bill Kristol, she believes her own press, she’s drank of the Kool Aid. And the Kool Aid is that strong that the fact she is quitting to avoid ethics scandals from an office in which she accomplished nothing aside from “going national” doesn’t seem to have registered with her.
And are the locals who call themselves “Palintologists” okay with being used as stepping-stones.?
These are of course sadly not the words of someone stepping out of the limelight of high office – it is larded with too many references to “free speech” and reverance for (hiding behind?) “the troops” for that. In short, it’s rote Republican fare. These are the words of one attempting ascention to higher office by first quitting a lesser one in some kind of reverse-failure ploy – a strategic Jedi mind trick in which a defeat is a “strategic withdrawal”, a Dunkirk. That this might work, that this incomprehensibly stupid person could potentially have even the remotest chance at high office in the once-most-powerful nation is a testament to the smallness and divisiveness of its domestic politic.
Should you want to bathe in her stupidity, please feel free, you can watch her entire speech here. In reality it’s perfect – a perfect collection of barely-related soundbites, just right for the 30-second journalism of the day. (A journalism that has been recently maligned around these here parts, I note.) I recommend a strong drink and a chair – she’ll make you dizzy. Or sick. Or, if you’re Bill Kristol, apparently hard.
July 26, 2009
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the Hutterites’ cultural taboo against photography does not absolve them from the requirement to have their pictures on their Albert driver’s license. The Hutterites’ belief is based on a selective interpretation of an arcane law a Commandment from the Jewish Book of Folktales Old Testament, and is on it own a demonstration of how religious bullshit works. The Commandment in question reads as follows:
You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
No likenesses of anything. Any thing. Any thing. What is a book if not a likeness of a thing? The Bible is a book, isn’t it?
July 23, 2009
No comments needed, really.
July 17, 2009
Cop denies threatening Hyde before Taser used
At the time the scuffle broke out, Special Const. McCormick had just taken out a tool with a closed 10-centimetre serrated blade to remove the drawstring from Mr. Hyde’s shorts.
A barely distinguishable comment on the audio recording — that Kevin MacDonald, a lawyer representing Mr. Hyde’s sister, interpreted as, “We’re just going to cut one of those balls off” — apparently refers to a knot at the end of the drawstring.
Mr. Hyde became agitated at that point as Special Const. McCormick and two of his colleagues — all of whom are over six feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds — struggled to subdue him. The struggle ended in a nearby hallway, where Mr. Hyde’s heart stopped before police revived him with CPR.
I don’t know about you, but if someone is approaching me with a serrated blade and says “We’re just going to cut one of those balls off”, I don’t immediately think that person is planning to cut the drawstring to my shorts. I might freak out a bit and panic, too. Even without the paranoia that often accompanies a schizophrenic episode, which is the condition Mr. Hyde was in at the time. I’d probably freak out enough that I’d be “doing the effing dance”, as some officer politely describes being tasered on the same tape.
July 14, 2009
They sponsor a bill to prevent human-animal hybrids from being created! Take that, Democrats! What side were you on when the centaurs started taking over the planet? You were sitting on your freaking hands, not preventing the superior half-humans and their eggheaded genetic masters from ending our race as we know it! You didn’t foresee the hordes of satyrs from taking over the fields, the schools of merpeople from controlling the oceans, nor the flights of avioids from filling the skies! You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!