Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dear Mr. Obama

I read this with sad recognition:
In other words: it makes no difference to us how much we stomp on liberals' beliefs or how much they squawk, because we'll just wave around enough pictures of Michele Bachmann and scare them into unconditional submission. That's the Democratic Party's core calculation: from "hope" in 2008 to a rank fear-mongering campaign in 2012.  Will it work?  The ones who will determine if it will are the intended victims of that tactic: angry, impotent liberals whom the White House expects will snap dutifully into line no matter what else happens (even, as seems likely, massive Social Security and Medicare cuts) between now and next November.
The Liberal Party of Canada used "Scare the lefties" for years, and it worked very well-- until it didn't. I think you are where the Liberals were about eight years ago. I will not give away the ending, but let's just say it didn't end well for them. I have always called you the"Paul Martin" of American politics. Every day you get closer to sharing his fate.
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Attention Bob Rae

Bob Rae, the apostle of centrism, should read Krugman's latest. In particular, he should cut the following out and paste it on his desk for future reference:
Which brings me to those “centrist” fantasies.

Many pundits view taking a position in the middle of the political spectrum as a virtue in itself. I don’t. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside in the middle of the road, and I want leaders who do the right thing, not the centrist thing.
Bob has an unerring instinct to go to the middle, but when the middle involves deciding how much medicare should be privatized, for example, that instinct is a dangerous liability.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Worst. President. Ever? It is a compelling case. I think it is a tie with Bush Jr.
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Rich Man's Justice

Let's sum up. In the last few days, Rob Ford has had a hefty election law violation fine waived and has avoided being charged with distracted driving. Rob likes to portray himself as a man of the people, but you and I know, we wouldn't be treated as well as Mr. Ford if we broke the law. Ford is just another rich and powerful guy who flaunts flouts the law, consequence free. Same old same old.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Winnipeg Jets

Proudly supporting the flag/troops. I have no doubt this will be a popular choice. The militarization of our national game has been ongoing for years and it also has the blessing of the pope.
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Shorter Margaret Wente

The reason I am shouting "Nothing to see here!", at the top of my lungs is, I am really afraid you are going to take a close look at my friends' writings and discover why Mr. Breivik loved them so much.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Jack Layton

If anyone can beat cancer it is Jack Layton.
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Government Of Sneaks

The PMO's art commissars are trying to purge an artist, for political thought crimes -- on the quiet. Let's make some noise.
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Mark Steyn Sees The Truth

And then starts tap dancing as fast as he can. Sorry Mark, you are not being "fitted up", but called out. No need to fit you up, your writing speaks for itself.
Some of us believe this is an early skirmish in the Eurabian civil war. If the insurgents emerge emboldened, what next? In five years' time, there will be even more of them, and even less resolve on the part of the French state. That, in turn, is likely to accelerate the demographic decline. Europe could face a continent-wide version of the "white flight" phenomenon seen in crime-ridden American cities during the 1970s, as Danes and Dutch scram to America, Australia or anywhere else that will have them.
Obviously, Mr. Brevik was obviously impressed with your "analysis" and was eager to take up arms in the "civil war".

Update: As for his point that Brevik attack was against another party and not Muslims, well, that is pretty slick, but weak. In the first place, he is pulling that "fact" out of his ass (if you read the list of the dead here, you will see at least one Muslim sounding name), and second Steyn should know that in religious wars apostates are always treated worse than infidels.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011


Even if you grant that the guy who killed over 90 in Norway was disturbed, he was still attracted to the ideology espoused by the right (anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, ultra-nationalist). Will anyone on the right ask why this is so? Do they have the courage to look at their message unblinkingly? Or, are they going to deny the connection and cling to the belief that none exists?
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Right Wing Empathy

Via Warren Kinsella, Michael Coren says, well, I will just quote him verbatim:
Tragic irony. The teenagers at the socialist youth camp on the Norwegian island who were victims of terror had just demanded that Israel remove the separation fence – the wall – that has saved any number of innocent, Jewish children from Islamic terror gangs. They also condemned Israel for, well, pretty much everything, and showed no empathy at all for Jewish suffering, and the experience of living with terrorism for more than sixty years. So sad, but so typical.
So, is he saying that since these kids disagreed with Likud, they had to be massacred to learn a lesson? Maybe they have had the do gooding socialist shot out of them. Very nice.
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Well Thank God He Is A White, Right-Wing Christian

The right can now play it down as the work of a lone nut. If he was a brown Muslim, well, let's just say they would have portrayed him as typical. Take a look here and read the comments, you can see both arguments at play on same page (with a side of schadenfreude against lefty Europeans).
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Shorter Cosh

A right wing terrorist killed over 80 people in Norway, so Norway should adopt right wing penal policies.

I call that the Obama Solution.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

God Bless You, Elwy Yost

Sad news. Elwy is gone. Elwy Yost is the reason I love films as much as I do. He is an even bigger reason why I like old films and classics. He was one of a kind and he has now gone to join Ford, Lubitsch and the rest in that great cutting room in the sky. So long Elwy. Thanks for the memories.

One of the movies Elwy showed on Saturday Night at the Movies was The Big Clock, staring Ray Milland. It is one of my favorite thrillers, and it is all thanks to Elwy.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Meek May Inherit The Earth

But the accountants have first dibs on Toronto. Poor Toronto. Btw, the group responsible for the report calling for the gutting of Toronto has this as its company song. Surely, they must know what they are doing.
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Interesting Omissions

The government released a list of war criminals living in Canada, today. I note that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense were left off the list. A clerical error, I am sure.
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Of Crime And Statistics

Two things occur as I read the latest evidence that crime is down. First, thank God unreported crime is still high and second, thank God this government is going to burn Stats Can to the ground so we don't have to consider statistics when throwing money into jails.
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Poor Paul Krugman

I rely on him for accurate economic analysis. I may have to stop going to his page though. It is hard watching someone you admire, sink into despair. That is the problem with actually seeing what's going on, but being powerless to stop a coming disaster. And it is going to be a disaster on a scale we haven't seen in 80 years.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tomorrow's Headline

Right wing media, "Shocked! Shocked!", to be thought of as right wing.
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I'm An Old Man! I'm Confused!

Did anyone else get an Uncle Leo vibe from Murdoch's "old man" routine yesterday? It is the oldest trick in the book, the old "I can't be guilty because I am a doddering old coot".

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Deja Vu All Over Again

Does this sound familiar?:
As Cameron rushed through South Africa and Nigeria on a whistle-stop trade tour, aides urged reporters to focus on other issues. "Perspective" was a word that came up repeatedly, and loyalists lined up to repeat that point in parliament on his return.

"Outside the Westminster bubble I'm getting the impression the nation's had its fill on this subject," Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said.

Despite their bluster, opposition Labor party MPs have little desire to push this to breaking point just yet.

Labor is still struggling to regroup after it was ousted from power last year and does not want to provoke an election as it adjusts to Ed Miliband, a new leader yet to win over the public.

A Labor party backbencher told Reuters Wednesday the party had "a lot of work to do" before it was ready to fight an election. That includes rebuilding depleted fundraising coffers after donors fled the party in droves.
It should. If you substitute Liberal for Labour, you could be reading any newspaper from Canada from 2006 to 2011.
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Dear Mr. Plamondon

I just read with interest, your editorial on iPolitics, regarding public sector pensions and I need to clarify some things with you. Is it your contention that the best way to bring seniors out of poverty is by reducing the pensions of public sector workers? You seem to suggest that this is a matter of fairness. Is it fairer to lower the pensions of public sector workers rather than fight for better pensions for private sector workers? The central thesis of your piece seems to be that since private sector workers have had their wages and benefits stripped by their employers, the best way to remedy the situation is by stripping the wages and benefits of the public sector. Am I incorrect in that reading and if so, how? Nowhere in your piece is any mention of the rise in CEO pay packages during this period and a rise in income disparity between the rich and the poor. If you are really advocating a solution to disparities of income, I should have thought this might be an area to explore. I am curious as to why you left this out? I don't want to cast doubt about your motives, but one might conclude that you are trying to foment intraclass hatred between private and public sector workers as a means of distributing more wealth to those who do not need the help. Surely I am mistaken?. Surely conservatives would never think to do that? All the best, Greg.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Pension Madness

The solution to the looming pension crisis is obvious, expand the CPP's scope to help out the self employed. But, that would mean government involvement (horror of horrors!) and as we all know, this government hates government. It hates it so much, it is willing to throw the self employed into the loving hands of the banks, who will skim off a good percentage and risk their retirement savings in the casinos of Wall and Bay Streets. This is a stupid, ideologically driven "solution" that will enrich the banks and not much else. But, it is acceptable to Alberta, so it is the only option being considered.

Update: A new study backs the most reasonable approach to pension reform. It will of course, be ignored because it is reality based.
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Just Say No To Terrorism

The Republican Party is holding the United States specifically and the world economy in general, hostage. Obama, if he had any stones at all, should never have negotiated with them at all. He should have labeled them what they are, terrorists, and refused to deal with them until they dropped their threats to bring down the economic system. We are where we are today because Obama thought he could appease the hostage takers (with offers to throw the pensions and health care of the next generation of Americans under the bus). He should have known better.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

We All Support The Troops...

Until they come home and want us to spend money to mend them. Then they are just another obstacle to cutting taxes.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The World They Made

If you want to know the state of the relationship between democratically elected governments of the West and the multinational corporations, all you have to do is look at the case of the Parliament of Westminster and News International. The British parliament is very upset with the way Rupert Murdoch runs his business. Its members are outraged that the citizens of Britain cannot be sure that their privacy is not being violated for profit, on a daily basis. But, they don't want to be labeled "anti-business" (especially in the Murdoch papers) and tell Murdoch straight out that his company cannot carry on with its bid for the rest of the Sky Network. So, they are reduced to pleading with Murdoch to do the decent thing and ignore the potential for huge profit. Fat chance.

The sovereign nation of Great Britain, through its elected representatives is pleading, cap in hand, to a corporation to act in a civil manner. This is a blatant example of what is going on, all over the world. Parliaments are now nothing more than the servants of the corporations and the corporations know it. Welcome to the New World Order.

Update: Murdoch has volunteered to drop his bid ( volunteered is the operative word). I guess pleading on your knees does work sometimes.
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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Attention Americans

These people are going after the real villains of the crash. They are the real Tea Party, not the Koch Kommandos.
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Why We Fight

The slogan must be "Pensions for all", because make no mistake, this government is after your kids' pensions and hoping you will not care.
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This Is Not The Country You Have Been Looking For

You have to hand it to the propagandists in the PMO, with all their happy talk about our brilliant success in Afghanistan. They know how to spin bullshit. Just because "our success" is neither true, nor sustainable doesn't mean people won't buy the line. Canadians, in their hearts know the truth, but grab onto denial with both hands, because worshiping dead heroes is better than admitting failure. This report from the Globe, will I suspect, have any impact on the flag waving in Canada:
Whatever has been achieved over the past five years is sometimes called “fragile progress,” but that delicate phrase does not capture the sense of looming disaster many locals feel, a fear that the foreigners built a system that will soon collapse.

In dozens of interviews with locals – governor to farmer, police chief, hairdresser and Taliban – people expressed appreciation for all the construction projects, the schools and roads, but described the overall situation as terribly precarious.

They do not trust that the corrupt Afghan government, installed by foreigners, will be strong enough to stand by itself. Even senior government officials doubt their own comrades, and those misgivings are stronger at the lower ranks: A bodyguard for the governor mused about joining the Taliban; a policeman begged the Canadians to stay because he feared that his family would be killed.
And when it all turns to crap, which it will in due course, the PMO will either blame the opposition (Taliban Jack destroyed the morale of the Afghan people) or else claim that it is all the fault of the primitives in Afghanistan, who never appreciated the sacrifices of our dead heroes.
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Sunday, July 03, 2011

I Don't Judge A Man...

By his sexual orientation, but by the state of his dress. Charles Adler gives a hysterical "Some of my best friends are Gay" defense of Rob Ford. This is a case where the defense is about as stupid as the original offense.
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Friday, July 01, 2011

Socialism, Conservative Style

Lemon socialism that is. It is a wonderful brand of socialism wherein profits are private and losses are nationalized. It is also called "bend over taxpayers" in certain circles.
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And Just To Add Some Spice

I have always loved this song. Always. I know, it is a separatist anthem and I don't care. The imagery is beautiful, human and dare I say it, quintessentially Canadian.
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God Love Ya Canada

My wish for you on your birthday is a return to the sense of common purpose and possibility that made the railway a reality.
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From Krugman, who else:
And don’t believe the nonsense about the benefits of spending cuts that has taken over much of our public discourse: slashing spending at a time when the economy is deeply depressed would destroy hundreds of thousands and quite possibly millions of jobs.
Of course, our government will ignore this and we will suffer, and the rich will just keep getting their tax breaks.
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