Friday, November 17, 2017

Now would be a good time to bid adieu to NATO


NATO promotes democratic values and guarantees the freedom and security of its members -NATO

According to this story by Evan Dyer at CBC, our NATO allies France, Britain, and the US, are actively engaged in tracking down and killing their own citizens who had volunteered to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Do these citizens of our NATO allies get the benefit of fair trials or the presumption of innocence or any of that fancy rule-of-law stuff?

No way Jose. Their names get added to a kill list and it's so-long Jihadi John.

That's what "democratic values" have been reduced to in the three most powerful NATO nations.

Do we really want to be a part of that club?

Ever since its reason for being wafted away with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO has been desperate to make itself relevant again.

Let's bomb Belgrade.

Let's liberate the women of Afghanistan.

Let's bomb Libya.... and so on.

Needless to say, none of these busy-work exercises did much for freedom or democratic values.

That's not all. How are "democratic values" faring in Turkey these days? Turkey is the NATO member with the second largest military after the US.

And how do our democratic values stack up against those of our NATO allies Poland and Hungary?

With tiny and entirely irrelevant Montenegro being made a full-patch NATO member just recently, it's beyond obvious that the leadership of the NATO gang sees goading Russia as a great strategy for keeping itself in business.

And just who is leading NATO?

Ostensibly it's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, but every serious person knows that it's the US that calls the shots in NATO.

And as we know, the Commander in Chief of the USA is one Donald J. Trump.

I'll say it again; how badly do Canadians really want to be in that club?


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Copping a feel

Remember that?

If you were a teen guy coming up in the latter half of the 20th century, I'll bet you at least tried to cop a feel. I mean you had to try. It's what your date, not to mention society at large, expected of you.

The girls knew it too.

"Oh! I've been out with Benny three times now, and he hasn't even tried to cop a feel... I think he must be a fag!"

Yup, people talked like that.

I guess it's one thing to try for a feel when you're a teen out with another teen, and it's a little different when you're a fifty year old exec in the entertainment biz auditioning a teenage wannabee.

But here's the thing; all those middle-aged exec types are still teenagers at heart.

Hell, even Silvio Berlusconi still feels like he's a teen at heart!

They're not trying to take advantage of vulnerable kids...

They're just trying to recapture their youth.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Top cops launch medical marijuana biz

You'd think that with his pension for 23 years as a Toronto police officer, his pensions from three different cities where he served as chief of police, his pension from his stint as OPP commish, his MP pension, and his OAS and CPP pensions, veteran crime-fighter Julian Fantino would be spending his golden years under a beach umbrella making origami sculptures with his financial statements.

You'd be wrong!

Fantino has joined fellow top cop Raf Souccar, former Deputy Commissioner at the RCMP, in opening up a medical marijuana joint in Vaughn, north of Toronto.

As the CBC story points out, this is the same guy who once equated the legalization of pot with the legalization of murder.

I for one am glad that "science and the real world" have caused these gentlemen to reconsider the error of their Reefer Madness-inspired vendetta against pot smokers over the past fifty years. The folks still behind bars for their pot-related indiscretions will surely appreciate the irony of this story too!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunny Daze progress report

So how is our PM Sunny Daze working out for you so far?

Frankly, I had high hopes for the guy, but I'm a little underwhelmed... but maybe that's actually a good thing in these days of negative interest rates.

My sense is that those constituencies that had high hopes of him are uniformly disappointed.

Veterans.

Natives.

Potheads.

Now, I don't want to put that last group on a par with the others, nor do I wish to speak for potheads, but it sure seems to me that he's giving the prize away to corporate weed.

And the distribution model is just retarded.

What was wrong with the Canada Post model?

I'm not impressed with the price point either. Ten bucks a gram? Really? I hear that's what folks pay on the street when they buy a gram of pot, but who buys a gram of pot?

I ran into a guy from way back the other day, I'll just call him "Old School," and he had some stuff on offer that, if I'm not mistaken, was also called Old School. Five bucks a gram.

And none of those extra taxes they're now piling onto what they believe will be a gravy train.

Ten bucks for a gram of weed, a one dollar special pot tax to grease political slush funds, and HST on top of that?

No thanks.

No, Canada's adventures in legal weed would have been better entrusted to the Wally Tuckers of this great land, but I guess it's too late for that.

Oh!... that five dollar a gram weed? Thumbs up!

So, Mr. Trudeau, you'll always have your base but you wouldn't have got in without those of us who were giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not sure I can give you the benefit of the doubt next time round.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wash cycle, rinse cycle, news cycle, spin cycle

Niall McGee has a fetching spot 'o news on page B5 of today's Globe. I like the vaguely cheeky tone of the headline; "No earnings, no problem: Investors buy Giustra's blockchain story."

The gist of the story is that legendary Vancouver flim-flam artiste and billionaire Frank Giustra's finger-prints are all over the meteoric rise of Hive Blockchain Technologies Inc, a "start-up" that's turned what was essentially a penny-stock shell company into a billion dollar concern.

Alas, nowhere in the article do we learn any more about Giustra, other than that he "worked with former US president Bill Clinton on philanthropic endeavours."

Did he ever!

All you have to do is type two words into your googlator, "giustra" and "clinton," and you'll be gobsmacked by what comes up. Between 2012 and 2016, scores of legit big-media platforms including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bloomberg, CBC, and the Globe and Mail, ran stories that hinted at the foul odour emanating from the Clinton-Giustra "partnership in philanthropy."

Even the think tank here at Falling Downs got into the act with this effort from 5 November 2016.

Clearly things were building to a crescendo...

Three days later Trump won the US election and that was the end of that story. The "Trump Terror" has hogged the headlines ever since.

Giustra?

Oh ya... wasn't he the guy who did some philanthropy with Bill Clinton?...





Friday, November 10, 2017

Alabama: still putting the fun into fundamentalism

I see where Roy Moore's Senate run has hit some speed bumps.

Looks like they've found at least four women who used to be teens, and when they were teens Roy "Horndog" Moore allegedly had the hots for them.

This alleged discovery has caused GOP bigs like Mitch and McCain to call on Moore to fold his tent.

Which led to the local GOP folks stating, for the record, that they "don't give a shit" what Mitch and McCain say.

Good on them!

But wait! It gets way better!

Mary was a teen. Joseph was way older. They did the oinky boinky, and that's how we got the baby Jesus!


I don't want to rain on their parade, and my credentials as a biblical scholar probably won't hold up to serious scrutiny, but if I'm not mistaken, Mary and Joseph never did the oinky-boinky.

She was a virgin after all. The virgin Mary. It wasn't Joseph who planted his seed in her teenage womb, it was the Holy Spirit!


Joseph couldn't have been the sharpest tool in the shed if he fell for that one.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Change

I've always been a reader.

Got my start reading the funnies in the Guelph Daily Mercury in the late fifties.

Eventually got to the two Pauls, de Man and Feyerabend. I especially liked Feyerabend.

In the popular rendering of working class folks, we're a bunch of semi-literate yobs. There's an element of truth to that.

But there's always been a strong community of readers among us.

Like Johnny, who managed to get through most of the Globe and Mail crossword puzzle every day for thirty years. At work.

Or Andy, the pipefitter at Irving's shipyard in Saint John who happened to hold a degree in German Literature.

Or Dudley, who worked the pipe-bender at Kearney National during the week and partied with Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster on the weekend.

I'm still reading. Mostly I read stuff on my laptop these days, but I still indulge the luxury of the printed page from time to time. Like when the internet goes down.

Which is why I happened to pick up a copy of The New Yorker this evening and read about the legacy of the Sackler family. That legacy includes hundreds of thousands of opiod OD deaths and hundreds of millions in philanthropic gifts.

The two are intimately related.

That's the second time in a month I've read a mainstream take-down of the Sacklers.

And the mainstream has been busier than I could ever have imagined dismantling the legacy of Weinstein and his myriad fellow travellers.

Who ever imagined such a thing?

What's next?

A New Yorker critique of US foreign policy?

A NYT disavowal of capitalism?

A WaPo editorial slamming the occupation of the West Bank?


We are on the cusp of great changes.

Hold on to your hat... and keep reading.