Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why Trump picked Bolton as the new National Security Advisor

McMaster was widely touted as one of the "adults in the room" keeping Trump on the leash. No one will harbour any such delusions about John Bolton.

To the contrary; this guy needs adult supervision himself, and lots of it.

Bolton has been consistent throughout his career in advocating for more bellicosity, more interventions, more sanctions, and more war. He is a true believer in American Exceptionalism. Everything America does is great, and if things don't work out, as they haven't in any US military adventure since 1945, it's never because America was in the wrong.

Instead, it's because American leadership has been tripped up by a traitorous media, the UN, pinko liberals, etc etc etc...

Now he'll get to whisper vile somethings directly into the president's ear.

Bombs away!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jordan Peterson shows his feminine side

To be honest, I'd never heard of Peterson until those folks who get overwrought about his lectures made him an international celeb with their attempts to shout him down.

For what? For filling the void left in our culture after the death of Ann Landers? I mean, "stand up straight and pull your shoulders back" is the kind of advice your Auntie Flo gave you when you were fifteen and she was worried you were gonna turn out a callow schmuck.

Look people in the eye... a firm handshake makes a good first impression... yadayadayada, heard it all long before Peterson.

What baffles me is that the guy allegedly trousers tens of thousands of dollars per MONTH for these inanities. Seriously?

It must baffle Pankaj Mishra too. Mishra's been a driven self-promoter for a quarter century, and while he's achieved a certain renown as the exotic "other" in certain high-brow-lit circles, he's certainly nowhere near tens of thousands of dollars per month. That obviously burns his ass big time.

So he struck back. Check out his no-holds-barred take-down of Peterson in The New York Review of Books. I doubt that paid more than a few hundred bucks, but it must have felt good!

So how does Peterson respond? Does he challenge him to a duel? Does he threaten him with a knuckle sandwich or a kick in the balls or an ice-pick to the temple?

No. Jordan Peterson, champion of the classical virtues of manhood, responds with name-calling and a threat to slap Mishra... if he was there, of course.

Dude, that sounds kinda girlie to me.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


I'm not a big fan of taking animals to the vet. Even after the most egregious porcupine encounter there's no need to run to the vet. I remember my old German Shepherd (or "Alsatian" as my elderly Jewish neighbour insisted on calling him) Buddy, who had a truly fearsome killer instinct, lunging up a utility pole time after time in a vain attempt to get at the porcupine who'd already left hundreds of quills in his snout.

Vet time? No way. Me and Buddy, a pair of pliers, and a bottle of brandy shared between the two of us was all it took, at a savings of at least a couple hundred bucks. By the way, if you can't get your  dog to down the brandy, try mixing it with eggnog.

I always figure, worst case scenario, a bullet costs less than fifty cents.

Not that I could bring myself to do that; that's more tough-guy bluster than anything else. But the Farm Manager has a different approach. Even though I've never known her to make a medical appointment for herself, she's really keen on taking the hounds to the vet on a regular basis.

So it was that we took the girls to Wiarton to have their shots updated and get a general assessment of their health.

While I don't want to blow his cover, I'm pretty sure the Wiarton vet is that Bulgarian weight-lifter who applied for political asylum during the Montreal Olympics. His biceps are bigger than my thighs. He can pick up a hundred pound mutt by the scruff of the neck and plop her on the examination table - with one hand.

We'd had some dark conversations around the old girl the last couple weeks. We're not 100% sure of Boomer's vintage, but she's more than likely in her early teens. That would be around 90 in dog years. We've noticed that there's sometimes a puddle under her when she's lounging in front of the fireplace for an extended period. If she's on the couch for a spell she'll leave a wet spot.

So my thinking, as the guy who pays the vet bills, is maybe the only bill that makes sense is the last one, if you know what I mean.

But as the guy who takes her on that 5k walk every morning, I've got another perspective. She's perky as all get out on that morning walk. She has serious quality of life! Sure, she may be tuckered out by the end of it, especially in the summer months, but what the hey?...

Putting down a creature that still has decent quality of life would be a crime.

The Bulgarian didn't seem to think the leakage was a big deal. She's an old girl, he says. A course of hormone replacement therapy should fix her up in no time.

Alrighty! Got out of there for a whisker under five hundred bucks, plus whatever a few months of hormone therapy is gonna cost...

And it's nice to know we can look forward to a few more seasons of Boomer.

Canada to send aging Sea King helicopter fleet to Mali

Top brass at the Canadian Forces have been at wit's end about what to do with their fleet of obsolete Sea King helicopters now that their replacements are coming on stream, a mere 25 years late. Now a win-win solution to the conundrum has presented itself.

The decrepit fleet is to be gifted to the UN mission to restore freedom and democracy to Mali, a benighted land-locked African "shit-hole" nation that has proven remarkably impervious to both freedom and democracy.

The fleet of 18 Sea Kings includes three whirly-birds believed to be fully operable, and the remainder are considered "parts" vehicles. The Canadian contribution to the UN mission will include 750 maintenance technicians tasked with keeping those three operable choppers in the air.

Mali has been over-run with terroristic types ever since the Canadian-led mission to restore freedom and democracy in neighbouring Libya concluded in 2011. It is believed that the mission will last at least until the last Canadian-owned gold mines in the country are completely worked out.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A drive to Tobermory in winter

I've been making a slow rebound from that nasty flu that's been going round, and the Farm Manager's been keen to get out of the house, so this morning she says, hey why don't we take a tour up the Peninsula.

I'm as sick of my company as she is, so I said, why not?

And away we went! First stop Wiarton, to ransom my Globe and Mail from the Korean extortionist. We were hardly out the drive when the CBC news comes on. Top story; Donny J admits to making shit up in his meeting with Justin a few months ago.

How is this the top story? How is Donald Trump pulling a whopper out of his ass even newsworthy? According to the Toronto Star's official Trump Fib Tracker Daniel Dale, Trump is up to 1,314 whoppers as of today. Trump lying is the top story? Surely there are more newsworthy goings on in the world.

Got our Globe, grabbed a pie at New Orleans, and up the Highway 6 we went. Turned off at Colpoys Bay road and headed for Lion's Head.

A hundred years ago the north shore of Colpoys Bay was totally built up all the way from Wiarton. This area was home to a major fishery at the time. In fact, fish from here went all over the world in those pre-globalization days. Entire trainloads of frozen fish departed Wiarton multiple times per week, in an era when you froze fish by storing ice from the bay year round.

Then another unintended consequence of global trade, the sea lamprey, decimated the fishery. Wiarton has yet to recover.

But it's hanging on. It's the last chance to pick up a Globe and Mail before you head up the Bruce. And while there's a couple of liquor stores further north, the Wiarton Foodland is an essential pitstop if your diet gets fancier than hotdogs and KD.

Went through Lion's Head, circled back to Highway 6 because I wasn't keen on trying the Forty Hills Road in winter, and ended up in Dyer Bay. That's a quaint enough cottage community just past the middle of nowhere. Still, a half decent waterfront shack is gonna run you half a million or more.

From there we made our way to Tobermory. I popped into the local grocery and came out with a bag of plums from Chile. $1.99/lb. Under five bucks for a bottle of Aquafina (tap) water and a bag of plums in the dead of winter.

Is this free trade thing  great or what!?

In the Globe there's an opinion piece by Jeff Rubin called "Has global trade liberalization left Canadians behind?" Rubin used to be the top economist at CIBC. He's saying today what I've been saying since the middle eighties... "left behind" is way too kind... left for dead is more like it.

But then, it's one thing to figure this out in 2018 as a big-time economist. Maybe somebody will pay attention.

When I was saying the same thing in 1988 I was a shop-floor workee... what the fuck would those guys know? Anyway, the horses are so long out the barn its beyond ludicrous to think you're gonna corral them now.

Stayed on the no. 6 all the way back. The FM remarked on what a boring drive it was, and she wasn't even driving. She's right though. I've done this drive a hundred times and the only time it's interesting is if you're the last car off the ferry in Tobermory but the first car to reach Wiarton.

That's how accidents happen, she says.

Why Israel will avoid a direct show-down with Hezbollah

Much has been made of the alleged "increased tensions" in the Middle East, due in no small part to both Israeli and US meddling in Syria. The more paranoid factions of the punditocracy see an Israeli or combined Israel-US assault on Hezbollah in Lebanon as imminent, especially in light of Mr. Netanyahu's dire straits vis-a-vis those various corruption investigations.

It won't happen, and here's why. That number is from two years ago. Unofficial estimates have the Hezbollah arsenal at well over 200,000 rockets today, and we're not talking about the homemade stuff the Gaza rocketeers lob into the Negev on a regular basis. We're talking about the real deal.

If you assume a best case scenario wherein the various Israeli anti-missile defences, Iron Dome, David's Sling, and the Arrow program, all function flawlessly, they could be expected to be effective against an initial barrage of a few hundred incoming. They'd be less effective going forward, and they'd essentially be a non-factor after a few thousand, which in the case of all-out war would be a matter of hours.

Then what? Even if the IAF managed to take out half the Hezbollah arsenal in a massive first strike, that'll leave a hundred thousand missiles and Israel with it's missile shield spent. Political rhetoric aside, IDF leadership will never permit this.

What we're looking at is a regional case of MAD lite. There may be proxy battles here and there, but there will not be a head-on confrontation.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Great to know your pacemaker has a ten year warranty...

I was down in Guelph today visiting with my dear father, who is 85 and just had a pacemaker installed. He was pleased to inform me that the pacemaker comes with a ten year warranty.

Let's think about this. Your pacemaker has a ten year warranty, but it quits after two years...

What are you gonna do?

Well, most likely you're gonna do nothing because if your pacemaker fails you're most likely gonna be dead! Shit, they might as well give it a fifty year warranty... who's coming back to claim the warranty after their pacemaker stops?

But it was a lovely visit. He's looking great. Getting a pacemaker used to be a big deal but today you're in and out in a few hours.

Nice opportunity to catch up on the family news. Nephew Sam has found a college course the curriculum of which runs from whitewater rafting to mountaineering.

I know! That used to be shit you did for fun in your spare time!

Now it's a college program? If they'd had that in my day I might have stuck around a bit longer.

And his brother Parker has been accepted at Trent.

I don't mind Trent at all. My daughter spent a couple of years there. In fact, I once delivered her from her Mom's house in Guelph to her dorm at Trent in a minute under two hours. Considering that mere mortals more often than not require over two hours just to traverse the City of Toronto West to East I found that a remarkable accomplishment.

I think they've still got Michael Neumann on staff. I've never met Michael but we've exchanged emails over political stuff. Here's why he should have the undying respect of anyone who cares about truth and justice.

That alone is a good reason to choose Trent.

After getting caught up on family news I had lunch with my dear son Jake. Sometimes I worry about him. He's a bit of a character. Takes after his old man a bit too much for my liking, although he's at least a hundred times more talented than me.

So he finally gives up the straight skinny on what really happened when his band got the slot at the Hillside Festival.

I was there. I knew what happened.

But it was nice to hear it from him.

Four dorkshit wannabee rockstars get a chance to play Hillside!

On hearing this great news they immediately proceed to halve their practice time and double their party time!

Ketamine, MDA, acid, and of course lots of pot and beer for the next two months... they're rock stars now, don't you know?!

Ya, I know. I saw the show. At the time I thought you idiots just blew the chance of a lifetime.

Good to hear Jake concur.

He did offer a post-script, though. He'd set up a web-site for future bookings. By the time he got around to checking it two months later the five bookings they'd garnered as a result of their Hillside show were all in the past.

Lesson for aspiring rock stars; keep your wits about you.