Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do or die season for Wilson and Burke

At the beginning of the season I wrote that it was time for Brian and Ron to visit the pogey office. Times up. You've had your chance.

Then the team pulled off that amazing Lazarus routine. Back from the dead. Top of the leaderboard for awhile. Kessel actually looking like he might have been worth a first round draft choice.

The Bruins gave them a reality check tonight. In fairness the game was closer than the final score suggests. But still, Toronto needs to have a team that consistently skates with the contenders, and beats them at least half the time, if Leaf Nation is going to be watching playoff games in Toronto instead of having to drive to Pittsburg or Philadelphia. Or Buffalo.

A big part of the problem is that the Leafs are owned by the teachers' pension plan. Two of the most boring entities under the sun have got to be teachers and pension plans. Put them together, hand them the Leafs, and what have you got? Wilson and Burke. And Kessel.

Bring back Eddie Shack I say.

But as long as there's a steady revenue stream, I don't imagine that the teachers' pension plan is going to be motivated to make any changes.

Kenny's sniper rifles

Back when I worked at the Harjim Machinery Works out in Victoria, one of my mates was a guy named Kenny.

Kenny was a machinist. An absolutely top-drawer machinist. Kenny's hobby was making guns.

Most of the guys at Harjim were first class. There's been many times when I puzzled over how I ever got hired in with that lot. I must have been a pretty decent welder.

Kenny was a short wiry guy. Showed me how to cook the books a bit to put a little extra cash in my pocket. Now and then you'd be working on afternoon shift, repairing some big piece of equipment for MacMillan Bloedel or one of the big mill operators. Joe Shmuck would show up at the door wondering if you could weld a trailer hitch to the underside of his station wagon.

So I'd weld up the trailer hitch, pocket the fifty bucks, and charge the time to Mac Blo. No wonder they went bankrupt.

Kenny was in every way a mild-mannered even-tempered guy. Except in one way. Once in awhile his wife would call. You'd hear him on the phone. It was painful. Fuck this and bitch that for five solid minutes. I figured Kenny had a dark side. Wife abuser.

Kenney built target rifles in his spare time. His guns were held in such high repute that he supplied members of the Canadian olympic target shooting team right till the day he got a letter from the Government of Canada advising him to cease and desist. From now on only registered and approved firearms manufacturers could make guns. I saw the letter.

Kenny invited me out on a fishing trip. Had a boat tied up in Saanich. It was with some trepidation that I knocked on the door of his little cottage in Esquilmalt. The missus answered the door. She's sporting a bathrobe and she's got curlers in her hair. She's easily twice the size of Kenny.

Didn't open the door though. "KENNY, ONE A YER ARSEHOLE BUDDIES IS HERE YA FUCKIN TWAT GET THE DOOR!"

Whoa! A minute later Kenny's at the door. Apologies. The old woman's got a crazy on if you know what I mean.

Sure Kenny. Walks me through the two rooms before the kitchen. Laundry piled knee-high everywhere.

We sit at the kitchen table. There's weeks worth of dishes piled on the countertops. I try to make small talk over a beer. How long you had the boat? Get out much?

Kenny bids the missus farewell.

KIN I FIX YOUS ARSEHOLES A GRILLED CHEEZ BEFORE YA GO?

I stay an extra half hour. Mrs. Kenny whips up a couple of very tasty grilled cheese sandwiches. I come to the realization that maybe Kenny doesn't have a dark side after all. Funny how you can be so wrong about people.

Got a nine pound salmon that day. Biggest fish I ever caught.

Rockets rain on Israel; no one hurt

That's a typical headline in the Israeli media, and of course those are the headlines we'll borrow over here, except we usually leave out the "no one hurt" part.

Those Gaza rocketeers are obviously coming out of the same Madrassas as the shoe bomber, the undie bomber, and those Iranian nuclear scientists who have been on the cusp of a nuclear weapon for thirty years but still can't quite figure out what wires to connect.

Makes you wonder about the enemy, doesn't it? I mean, just how stunned are those people?

Look at the stats for the good guys. When the IDF took out the aging quadriplegic Ahmed Yassin as his wheelchair was being pushed out of the mosque one day in 2004, the Hellfire missile not only dispatched him but sent a dozen by-standers to paradise as well! One missle! Judging by the success rate that Hamas has demonstrated, it would take them about five years and five thousand missles to do that kind of damage.

So I think a lot of the scare stories we hear are just that; scare stories.

Darn tootin' Mister Putin, we intend to defend democracy

Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy for the President's office last week with a promise to bolster military spending in the former commie dictatorship.

This was seen as a thinly veiled threat against America and her NATO allies, who have been busy encircling Russia with a network of anti-missle missles in recent years.

As every school-child knows, the former evil empire is the bad guy in this scenario. How can Putin get away with threatening to increase defence spending just because we've been surrounding his country with missiles?

Putin is no newcomer to the Presidential office of course. In his previous stint in the big chair he was infamous for reigning in the so-called oligarchs who had looted the state during that glorious first blush of freedom after the fall of Gorbachev.

The oligarchs went from being mid-level functionaries under Gorbachev to buying European football teams and commissioning mega-yachts a few years later. Why? Because they knew where the important paperwork was kept. One day a guy is making 1,000 rubles a month and living in a modest flat, next day his name is on the ownership papers to a major state bank and he's buying a villa in France.

That's capitalism my friends! And we all know that you can't have democracy without capitalism.

Let it be known Mr. Putin: we intend to defend democracy. You have been warned.

PM shocked to learn Canada has natives

Prime Minister Harper's handlers were scambling today to explain his apparent belief that Attawapiskat was located in Norway.

Living conditions, or more correctly, dying conditions on the Canadian Indian reservation have made headlines around the world since it came to light that its people were facing the coming winter without adequate food or shelter. Living in tents and uninsulated shacks, the natives feared that many of their number would perish. In the Canadian north the winter temperature can hover in the -20 to -40 range for weeks at a time.

After weeks of silence on the story, Harper today claimed in the House of Commons that Canada's International Development Agency has sent millions of dollars to Norway to help the suffering aboriginals, and it's not his fault that those people spent the money on liquor and bingo instead of houses. That assertion was met with disbelief from the opposition benches.

"Well no wonder they're freezing to death," a Liberal Party spokeperson was quoted as saying, "our government has no idea whatsoever that this is actually OUR problem!"

A spokesman for the government of Norway said the error was regrettable, but assured the media that such a situation was unlikely to occur in his country.

"In Norway everyone is treated with dignity and respect.We actually are seeing more and more native refugees arriving here from Canada. They risk everything in that long trek across the polar ice cap, but they feel they have nothing to lose."

Monday, November 28, 2011

What the hell does unnecessary roughness mean in the NFL?

I was watching Drew and Eli battle it out tonight. Sort of nodding off in front of the TV.

When you're nodding off the rise in crowd noise will roust you out of your stupor. When you're napping and there's a hockey game on, and the crowd roars, you know there's a fight.

If you're catching a few zee's while watching Man U and the Glasgow Rangers, and the crowd roars, you know someone almost scored. Almost being the keyword there. Nothing puts you to sleep like a European football game. No wonder their fans are fighting in the underground and on the trains. They just spent three hours watching their teams battle to a 0-0 draw.

There's absolutely nothing therapeutic about that.

The NFL on the other hand gives you unbridled violence,

So I'm snoozing in front of this Giants/ Saints game, and the crowd roars, and I gain consciousness just in time to see somebody getting a "unnecessary roughness" penalty?

How is such a thing even possible in the NFL?

In the NFL all roughness is absolutely necessary.

That's why I'm watching.

Bagel wars rock Germantown

Authorities in Maryland have no leads in what is believed to be the latest escalation of the Germantown bagel wars.

In the early morning hours last Thursday the dumpster behind Bite-Me Bagels mysteriously caught fire, eventually spreading to the neighboring KFC and a 1977 Chevy Impala parked nearby. The family living in the Impala escaped serious injury.  However, there was significant damage to the KFC and Bite-Me had major smoke damage.

Amanda Robinovitch, proprietor of Bite-Me, pins the blame on Wally Kipling, the owner of Glory Hole Bagels across the street.

"He's up to no good, as usual," she told reporters. "He's been doing everything he can to undercut my business ever since he opened. That grease fire we had last year? I saw one of his kitchen guys running out the back door of my place just before the sprinklers came on. And when are they going to do something about how he's putting the holes in his Glory Hole bagels? It's disgusting!"

Kipling meanwhile blames the escalating tensions on the newcomer on the Germantown bagel scene, Shlomo Feinberg of Jewtown Bagels, who opened his bagel emporium just down the street six months ago.

"Everything was fine till Feinberg opened up," Kipling opined. "Ninety-nine cents for a toasted bagel with cream cheese and lox? Come on, how am I supposed to compete with that?"

As for Shlomo, he accuses the accusers of anti-semitism. "Hey look," he said, "I only called it Jewtown Bagels because the name had a bit of an ironic twist, you know? Jewtown Bagels in Germantown? Come on, how can you not want to try that?

And I've got the authentic Montreal bagel recipe. Beats Amanda's New York City recipe hands down. And as for Kipling, he should be in jail for how he's putting the holes in those bagels of his. You don't even want to know about his cream cheese... So they should just lay off with their anti-semitism."

Germantown police spokesman Willy Knapp told reporters that multiple investigations are underway and that the department is cooperating with federal investigators.

"It's just bagels, folks. Let's all just chill out."

99 billion served, but only 37 customers ordered the salad

An interesting stat came out the other day. The average American weighs 26 pounds more today than fifty years ago.

That's the average. Obviously the under-five crowd aren't contributing much to that number. Your average pre-schooler probably isn't worth more than five or ten pounds to the per-person average. That means that us grown-ups are probably a good forty or fifty pounds overweight. Each. On average.

And keep in mind the Lulu-lemon and three-hundred dollar jogging shoe crowd has never been bigger. So us beer-swilling Dorito-gobbling couch potatoes must be up a good hundred pounds each.

That's a lot of flab. That's a lot of crumpled patio furniture.

Oddly enough, while we've been packing on the beef, somebody's bragging about 99 billion served. Coincidence?

I think not.

Politicians pass the buck while Canadian Indians turn to Red Cross for help

A few weeks ago the leadership of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Canada declared a state of emergency in their community. Many of the residents of Attawapiskat live in tents. The rest of them live in uninsulated shacks without running water.

Winter is almost upon the isolated community, which can see the temperature fall to the -20 to -40 range for extended periods of time. Chief Theresa Spence is understandably concerned that many of her people will freeze to death within months.

Ontario's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Kathleen Wynne, in whose province Attawapiskat is located, feigns outrage over the situation but reminds us that this is a Federal responsiblility.

The Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, John Duncan, who like most members of the Harper cabinet is most at home jet-setting around the word lecturing others on the importance of human rights, implies that it's the Indians' fault. He's sending people to the community, not to bring desperately needed assistance, but to find out what the irresponsible natives have been doing with all the "substantial funding" the government has been lavishing on them.

Meanwhile, here's the Environment Canada weather forecast for Attawapiskat tonight; -14 degrees with snow flurries.

Every Canadian should be outraged.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

PM snubs plea to decriminalize pot

Vancouver mayor Greg Robertson and four former Vancouver mayors from clear across the political spectrum joined forces to plead with Prime Minister Harper to change the direction of Canada's futile war on drugs.

Over 75,000 people in Canada get caught up in the criminal justice system every year because of marijuana related crimes, which wouldn't be crimes if the government decriminalized pot.

The mayors, who presumably have some first hand knowledge of the destructive effects of Canada's draconian drug policies, are united in their conviction that the current laws are counterproductive, ineffective, and outrageously expensive to enforce.

Harper replied that his government was very concerned with the spread of drugs and would continue to make every effort to ensure that the nation's children were safe from the temptations of drug use. In other words, he intends to double up on the policies that have been failing for at least fifty years.

After all, 75,000+ cases a year is a tremendous amount of busy-work for an awful lot of people. From cops to counsellors to lawyers to judges to prison guards, a lot of people have a lot to lose if Canada adopts a sane approach to drug use.

The Harper government intends to ensure job security for those people by introducing tougher sentences for pot infractions in the omnibus crime bill it is currently forcing through parliament.

U.S. vows to get tough with Pakistan

In the wake of yesterdays US drone strike that killed twenty-five members of the Pakistani army the usual suspects are crying out for tough measures against the duplicitous regime of Prime Minister Gallani.

Pentagon hawks called for a full range of sanctions against the Gallani regime, which is believed to be pursuing a secret program to develop nuclear weapons.

What? They've already got nuclear weapons? Does John Bolton know about this?

Well, lets sanction them anyway, and lets get tough on them. After all, what's the Pakistani army doing in Pakistan? That's our turf. Remember, these are the people who gave Bin Laden safe haven. You just can't trust them.

These are the same people who held Raymond Davis hostage after he killed a couple of them. And let's not forget that right next door is where Obama wants to celebrate a great victory over the Taliban. And we know what's right next door to that, don't we?

Iran. Our turf right up till 1979 when the bad people took over. And now they want nuclear weapons too, and if we weren't in Afghanistan what would prevent bad people from loading a nuclear weapon into the back of a Toyota pick-up and driving it all the way to Tehran?

So it's time to take the gloves off. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Joe McQuaid drinks the Kool-aid

Live free or die my ass.

The most influential newspaper in the Granite State has just endorsed that shifty carpet-bagger Newt Gingrich  for the GOP nomination.

What gives? These are the smartest people in the entire US of A. They were driving Subarus when everybody else was still in love with their Torinos and Monte Carlos.

This is a bad omen. This is the Weimar Republic in 1931.

Reading between the lines, or at least a few lines down, I do see a glimmer of hope. Unlike the MSNBCABCCNNFOX crowd at least they've got Ron Paul listed in their polling results. And guess where he's polling? Hard on the heels of Gingrich.

To give McQuaid his due, at least he's not backing Mr. Corporations are People Too.

That's got to count for something.

Iran, Syria, and the second coming of Christ

Thanks to the fickle nature of our news providers we can never be sure whether armageddon is just around the corner or not.

Just when you think the threat is real, that the Iranians are days away from that nuke that they will then drop on the chosen people, the whole thing is swept off the front page by the return of Sidney Crosby or the Eagles' playoff chances or Justin Bieber's latest haircut.

Which makes things difficult for would-be war-profiteers like me. I'm trying to get the timing right on those oil future options. When we whack Iran (and it is a matter of when, not if) my thinking is that oil will spike to two hundred dollars a barrel overnight. Pepe Escobar, probably the best informed writer pondering this stuff today, has mentioned three to four hundred. But you get the timing wrong, and you can kiss your money good-bye.

Get the timing right, however, and every nickel turns into a hundred dollar bill. That's why it's so important to get a good read on the extent to which the agenda is being driven by religious nutters who truly believe that we are living in the end times.

We don't know to what extent the turmoil in Syria is being instigated by Western mischief-making. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, a guy who should be sitting in a cell in the Netherlands by the way, this is an unknown unknown, at least to we the people. What we can surmise is that there are plenty of people in the corridors of power who see Syria as a lever with which to curtail Iran's influence in the region.

The question is, do these people think they are doing God's work? If it's all realpolitik and business as usual, maybe we'll be OK. If decisions are being made by people following a divine plan, we are on the cusp of a great darkness.

Haaretz informs me today that Iran has three new submarines capable of firing missiles. That's a bit disingenuous. Jacques Cousteau had the last submarine that wasn't capable of firing missiles. But when Haaretz, normally a voice of secular reason, resorts to fear-mongering, we have a clear indication that the end-of-days mentality is becoming contagious.

What's interesting about the story is that the Iranians build their own submarines. Israel buys hers from, of all places, Germany. Iran obviously has a very capable industrial infrastructure. We've been shaking our fists at them since 1979. If they are reasonably intelligent people they will have been using that industrial infrastructure to prepare themselves for the day when we stop shaking our fists and start bombing.

Which leads me to believe that the Straits of Hormuz will be shut quicker and longer than we think.

 Four hundred dollars a barrel might be low.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kipling and the Prince of Pot

No, I'm not talking about Marc Emery.

Emery, as far as I know, is cooling his heels in a Mississippi prison, getting three nutritious meals per day and a roof over his head courtesy of the American taxpayer. All for the crime of sending marijuana seeds through the mail from his home base in Vancouver.

I'm talking about the real Prince of Pot, Wally Tucker. I'm not sure what Wally is up to these days, but I'm sure he's fired up the bong a few times while he plans it. Compared to Wally, Marc Emery is a mere pretender to the throne. If Marc is the Prince, Tucker is the King of Kings.

About forty years ago Wally started his own religion. The Church of the Universe. Made the weed of wisdom the official sacrament of his church. Every pot bust after that Wally and his faithful sidekick would show up in court and claim their case was a violation of their religious freedoms.

Usually they'd show up in court naked. That was another pillar of his religion. Thou shalt toke. Thou shalt show up in court with your billy-bong waving around. Hey, you start your own religion, you make up whatever rules you want. You go Wally!

That's a staple truth for anybody who starts their own religion. Isn't that the whole point of starting your own religion? If you're happy with the status quo, why bother? Would Brigham Young have started his cult if he was happy just to be another Christian? Would Jesus Christ have started his cult if he was happy just to be another Jew? Of course not.

That's the thing with religions and cults. A cult needs to acquire a certain critical mass before it's generally accepted as a religion. That's where David Koresh missed the boat, and Jimmy Jones too. And Wally Tucker. They never acquired the critical mass.

So Wally would show up in court, pecker hanging out, faithful sidekick, also naked, in tow. Half a dozen court employees busy throwing blankets over them to hide their unmentionable parts, and the judge never ever gave them the respect that he would give, say, the pope. In the eyes of the judge ( hangin' Hank in most cases) Wally was just another wacko pot-head trying to get his own cult off the ground.

So what's all this got to do with my pal Kipling? Well, for the longest time I thought he was just a fringe member of Wally's cult. After all, he was taking that holy sacrament more times in a day than my Muslim friends bow to Mecca. I actually thought for many years he was trying to recruit me. Trying to build that critical mass as it were.

Then I'm talking to him the other day and he tells me he just saw Wally at the family reunion. What? Ya, me and Wally are second cousins.

"He's spread more pot around than Marc Emery and he gets away with it by calling it a religious sacrament. Emery's in jail and Wally's at the family reunion!"

Whadya expect? They all look the same

A NATO smart bomb took out a few dozen of our Pakistani allies today. That's what's known in military jargon as an "oopsie".

We weren't aiming for the Pakistani army of course. We were hard on the trail of the bad guys. You know, the Taliban. Or Al Qaeda. Or the Taliban Al Qaeda. Ya, that's it, the Taliban Al Qaeda, the ones who want to do us harm.

Obviously a not-so-smart bomb got in the mix with the other ones. That will happen in a democracy.

All for the greater good of course. I'm sure that if the Mexicans took out a few dozen GIs in Brownsville in their fight against the narco-terrorists we'd be understanding too. We'd make allowances. Mexican smart bombs can't be anywhere near as smart as ours, for starters.

So the Pakistanis are just going to have to suck it up. As somebody once said, when you cut down a forest there's going to be a bit of sawdust. I think it was Joseph Stalin said that.

Stalin also said "power is exercised by those who govern, not by those who elect." Bit ahead of his time, that Stalin fellow. Those are apt words when we think of the so-called western democracies today. Who in these "democracies" ever voted for Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya?

Nobody.

Nobody asked us.

Power is exercised by those who govern.

Max Mosley sues Google to save his reputation

When Adolph Hitler was the guest of honor at your parents' wedding, I can imagine that protecting one's reputation is a steep up-hill slog that's never quite over.

Mosley doesn't exactly do himself any favors though. Who would remember his afternoon of wanky-panky with those five hookers a few years ago if he didn't keep dropping his legal briefs all over the place?

He's dropping them in Hamburg now in an attempt to force Google Europe to block any internet searches that might link him to that News of the World front page expose.

Mosley nazi orgy. Nothing. Never happened.

F-1 boss hooker hijinx. Erased from history.

Mosley spanks naked call-girls. Who's Mosley?

Mosley gets whipped. Couldn't be that Max Mosley, could it? The one with too much money and too much spare time?

Gotta run. Apparently Mosley's attorney is on the phone.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Newt Gingrich: serving the public and lining his pockets since 1978

The strangest thing has happened to Newt Gingrich since he decided on a career of public service. He's gotten filthy rich. He's without a doubt a one percenter now.

Didn't start out that way. Newt came from humble roots. But so do a lot of people. For Newt though the humble roots were something to get away from. And has he ever.

When Newt Gingrich first ran for public office, his net worth was negligible. The guy who ran the corner gas station was in Newt's league financially. Not anymore. After more than a quarter century serving the public Newt's net worth is measured in the tens of millions. Not bad for a public servant.

Here's how Newt does it. For a hundred bucks you can become a member of Newt's fan club.

For a thousand you can be in the "limited edition" fan club.

For a hundred thousand you get first dibs on the Newt appreciation dinner tickets, where Newt will come and speak to your community group.

For two hundred thousand a year Newt will keep you in mind when he's presenting new legislation on the floor of the house.

For a million he will present your new legislation on the floor of the house.

Newt Gingrich doesn't discriminate.

If you've got the money he's got the time.

Canada pays consultant $90,000 per day to find cost savings

Oddly enough, the guy in charge of this initiative is Minister of Pork Tony Clement.

Porkmeister Clement was the man in charge of spending on the G20 summit last year, which became by far the most expensive summit in G20 history. Tony made sure as much of the money as possible was spent on his home turf. There'd be roads paved and hockey rinks refurbished where the only conceivable link to the G20 was that some of the big dogs might fly over them in a helicopter on their way to the meetings.

So Tony is no stranger to wasteful spending, that's for sure. That's why it's so mind-boggling that he would need to hire consultants to find the pork. For $90,000 a day!

I'm smelling more pork!

Americans lead world in buying stuff

Did you hit the Black Friday sales today?

Americans hit the malls and the big box stores in the tens of millions today. Both malls and big box stores are American innovations. We're world leaders in every aspect of the shopping experience.

Mind you, shopping is taking on a dangerous edge. A woman in California took the pepper spray to her fellow shoppers to get first dibs on an Xbox. In other parts of the country criminals prowled the parking lots to relieve shoppers of their purchases.

That too is an American innovation. Why rob the store? They've got cameras and security guards in there. Just wait till Mrs. Smith walks through the parking lot with that Xbox under her arm, the one she had to tase the other shoppers to get. Then help yourself. American ingenuity at its best!

Time was Americans prided themselves on being innovative in the stuff they built, not in how they got it. Edison, Bell, Henry Ford, the old school entrepreneurs gave America an edge it held for almost a century.

Alas, there's not much made in America anymore. Check the stuff you bought today. Chances are all of it was
made somewhere else.

But we're still number one at buying stuff!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell

Geez... wish I'd thought of that. Heard it on the RT channel.

I didn't even know we got the RT channel here at Falling Downs. Hidden way up there amidst the pay-per-view porn.

Sure enough, RT TV, the television arm of what used to be the commie propaganda empire. Russia. They're not commies anymore, and their propaganda is a nice antidote to the propaganda we generally get from the mainstream news.

I think what they were getting at with that quote is that we'd all be better off if we'd let the too-big-to-fail shitbags go down the toilet when they were going down the toilet. A toilet of their own making, I might add.

But no. Too-big-to-fail fever gripped the land. We had to save the big insurance companies because if we didn't the big investment banks they were insuring would fail and thousands of Wall Street MBA types would be fighting the illegal immigrants for lawn-care contracts all over Long Island and Connecticut.

Too late now. Not only are they too big to fail, they're too big to bail us out after we bailed them out.

We should have flushed that toilet while we had the chance.

Should I get that 22 ton log-splitter at TSC?

The Tractor Supply Company has a sale on. Seven hundred bucks off the 22 ton log splitter. Regular price sixteen hundred, now on for nine hundred, best price of the year, according to their flyer.

Regular readers will know that I far prefer to split the firewood with the ten-pound maul. But as much as I love the aesthetic of splitting wood by hand, I have to admit there's a pretty big pile of set-aside stuff in the woodshed that I couldn't do the old-school way.

The price doesn't seem too bad. The $700 off doesn't impress me that much. TSC runs a special on this unit every couple of months for $500 off. I'm pretty sure nobody ever bought one at the "regular" price. But at the best price of the year? I'm not sure I could build one for that.

Let's see: couple of hundred for the hydraulic cylinder. Two or three hundred for the 6.5 motor. Easily another couple hundred for various hoses and fittings. The wheels and the coupler will add up to another couple hundred. The steel for the backbone and the axle? We're over a thousand bucks and we haven't put the thing together yet.

I'm thinking Falling Downs is getting a wood-splitter.

Ten things to give thanks for this Thanksgiving

1. We haven't invaded Iran. Yet.

2. Newt may have come out on top in the most recent polls but there's still time.

3. An unofficial unemployemnt rate of 25% means three-quarters of the people still have jobs.

4. Even though the super-committee has failed, at least it keeps their hands out of your pockets for now.

5. Resistance to our invasion of Uganda was less than expected.

6. Hardly anyone noticed we were supporting Gaddafi till the day we weren't.

7. Yankees lost, proving that money can't buy everything.

8. The rapture hasn't happened yet, meaning we can still look forward to it.

9. Karzai still on our side for now.

10. You can get a nice Dodge Ram 4x4 pick-up for under 25 thou. Woulda been 50 ten years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Medals all round as Canada celebrates success of Libya mission

A 21 gun salute and a ten plane (almost the entire Canadian airforce) flyover highlighted a medal ceremony in Ottawa today.

"Today is special because we are celebrating a great military success," Prime Minister Harper told the crowd. "Thanks to us the Libyan people can begin to imagine a future free of fear and suffering."

One can only hope that the next target for the Canadian military will be the Harper regime; that they can liberate Canada's First Nations from fear and suffering. After all, by every conceivable human development standard the Libyan people under Gaddafi had it better than Canada's First Nations have it under Harper.

Meanwhile, according to multiple reports from reporters on the ground in Libya, the people are starting to imagine that things were better under the despot. The rule of law is on hiatus. Armed gangs loot and kill with impunity. The NTC is nowhere near having control over anything with the possible exception of the petrol infrastructure. And when you look at how they are top-heavy with former oil industry executives, it makes you wonder if they even care about having control over anything else.

But Canadians don't get to celebrate victory very often, so let them have this one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Canadian government executive jets fly empty while natives freeze

The Canadian government has a fleet of nine luxury executive jets that get so little use their pilots fly around with no passengers just to keep their fly-time qualifications.

The nine Citation 550's are worth about ten million apiece. According to government data they are used about 2% of their available flight time. What are they doing the rest of the time? Well, sometimes the pilots just go for a spin to log a few hours. After all, if they don't have a minimum number of hours in the air they lose their commercial jet endorsements on their qualifications.

Maybe while they're running those empty jets around at a cost of  two thousand dollars an hour they can fly over Attawpiskat First Nation. That's the reservation in Northern Ontario that declared a state of emergency a couple of weeks ago because they fear their people are at risk of freezing to death in the coming winter.

So far no government representative from any level of government has visited Attawpiskat to assess the situation, let alone do anything about it. That's not for a lack of government executive jets to get them there, obviously.

It's because they don't give a shit.

Taking care of the people or taking care of the luxury jets. Decisions decisions...

Top court upholds polygamy law

The British Columbia Supreme court today ruled that polygamy is indeed a no-no. On the books for well over a hundred years, the law was being challenged by some Mormon types who still cling to the idea that it's cool to have multiple wives.

The think tank here at Falling Downs couldn't agree more. Multiple wives? Most guys I know have enough trouble with one. Some of these guys in the Mormon community of Bountiful out in British Columbia have a dozen. Their top guy has twenty-one.

Twenty-one wives? Isn't that great! Instead of one wife making twenty one different complaints over a period of time, he gets twenty-one making different complaints all at the same time. He goes to the BC supreme court for the right to get nagged at by twenty-one wives at the same time? Who can even imagine such a thing?

No thanks.

Then there are of course the guys whose imaginations never leave the gutter. OOOhhh, twenty-one wives!!! Imagine the wild sex!

I can imagine about fifteen minutes of wild sex before I'm done for the day.

Guess the other twenty are out of luck.

FBI gives up on Al Qaeda, goes after Amish instead

Dozens of FBI agents swooped in on an Ohio Amish community this morning and made seven arrests in the "beard bandit" case.

Contrast that with the FBI's lame response to NYPD efforts to enlist them in the investigation of Jose Pimentel, who according to Mayor Bloomberg was on the verge of unleashing devastating pipe-bomb attacks in Manhattan.

Bloomberg held a news conference the other day announcing the arrest of Pimentel. Seems a platoon of NYC's finest have been shadowing the Al Qaeda operative for almost two years as he planned to assemble a bomb made of match-sticks. Bloomberg was more than a little chagrined about the FBIs lack of interest in the case.

"The failure of federal agencies to get involved in the case is criminal," Bloomberg said. "We hand them this Al Qaeda guy on a silver platter and they won't touch it with a ten foot pole."

FBI spokeman Herb Hancock explained that the agency has become sceptical of so-called terrorist investigations. "Frankly, we're tired of spending millions of dollars following around some dorkshit who can't even light his undershorts on fire just because some undercover cop saw him at a mosque once." the uncharacteristically candid Hancock said.

"We've got our own people in every mosque in the country, and I can say with some confidence that most of these Al Qaeda operatives couldn't tie their shoes without help. We wouldn't touch the Pimentel case with a ten foot pole."

Leaving aside the fact that the shoe-bomber was wearing velcro do-ups, Hancock may have a point. When was the last time all this police work turned up a credible terror threat?

So pull those agents off the Al Qaeda file, and let's end that Amish crime wave once and for all.

FBI busts Amish terror cell

The FBI swooped in on an Amish community in Ohio today and made a number of arrests in a case that has grabbed headlines around the world. The Amish terrorists have been forcibly trimming the beards of other Amish who they consider heretics.

Victims have been targeted for seemingly innocuous offences such as scooping up horse turds after they've visited the Walmart parking lot. The true believers will not scoop the horse turds because they consider that being forced to do so is a violation of their religious freedoms. Walmart security guards and local by-law enforcement officers have other ideas of course.

Arrested are Jacob Isaac Zook, 49, Samuel Abram, 25, Abram Zook, 27, Isaac Jacob Abram, 56, Isaac Samuel, 33, Jacob Samuel Isaac, 60, Samuel Zook Isaac, 19, and Larry Miller, 35.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Goodbye America

Spent a little time watching Wolf Blitzer hosting the Repubican National Security Debate on CNN tonight.

We're screwed.

If these are indeed the brightest lights that the Republican Party can conjure up, we're screwed.

It's a forgone conclusion that the GOP will deposit Obama in the dumpster of history next year. So one of the goofballs on the stage tonight is going to be the next President of the United States.

We're screwed.

Mind you, Ron Paul does come close to making sense sometimes, at least on foreign policy. The rest of this crowd is determined to drive the bus of American Exceptionalism straight into the 19th century. Not only that, but they're determined to take the rest of the planet with them.

We're screwed.

One-mile Farby

Farby was a decent guy. Lost both of his parents to cancer when he was still in his teens.

Mom went first. When Dad went a year and a half later, I rode in the car with him up to the funeral home in Elmira. Elmira was the home of the Uniroyal pant that made the Agent Orange that the USAF dropped all over south Asia back in the day. Also poisoned the Elmira water in perpetuity, but that's another story.

One-mile Farby got the one-mile nick-name because he'd lost his driver's license twice within a mile of his house. Farby lived in Guelph just off Woodlawn Road East. First time he lost his license he was proceeding east on Woodlawn and just kept going where the road stopped. Cops found him passed out behind the wheel down an embankment, just before where the sports fields are today.

Farby hadn't been to court for that episode when he had another one. Heading home late at night he runs into the back of a police cruiser that's part of a drunk-driving check on Woodlawn. He has the misfortune of going before the judge on both counts of drunk driving at the same time.

The judge peruses the paperwork, looks up, and says, they must call you the one-mile man. Both these charges happened within a mile of your domicile. It stuck. He was one-mile Farby forever after.

So Daddy dies and I'm in the '68 Chrysler 300 that Farb is driving to the funeral home. He's pissed. It's normally a 15 or 20 minute drive to Elmira. Farby announces he's gonna let 'er rip. "Gonna keep two wheels in the gravel just so I know where the road is" he says.

440 four-barrel tears up the Elmira Road at 100 miles an hour. Two wheels on the shoulder because Farby doesn't know where the road is. I'm in the back. I know certain death is imminent so I curl up on the floor in the back. Five minutes later we're at the outskirts of Elmira, just before the Uniroyal plant. Farb turns into the cemetary. Various bottles are hidden behind tombstones. There's flashing red lights coming up the cemetary road.

While four or five long-hairs are randomly relieving themselves here and there Farb explains to the officer that we're heading to the funeral home. The cop says take 'er easy, we collect the bottles and continue on our way.

Five greasy long-hairs stroll into the funeral home in motorcycle boots and denim jackets. We're doing the sign of the cross and all that voodoo stuff because we know that's what you do when you pay your last respects. One of the lads leans forward and looks in the box.

Hey, that's not him.

What?

That's not your Dad.

Shit! It's one of these funeral homes where they have multiple visitations at the same time. We're at the wrong visitation!

Found the right room. Paid our respects. Funerals are a dull business, but that was one of the better ones I've been to.

Thanks Farby!

Nice 'vette

There are times when the right come-back escapes you. You think of it an hour later or a day later or even a week later. Then it's too late.

So it was when a little snot on a bicycle shouted out "nice vette" when I pulled in for gas at the self-serve between Clinton and Harriston one night. I knew it was a diss. I just didn't know how to respond.

I was driving a Chevy Chevette. Probably one of the lamest cars GM ever put their moniker on. No wonder the Japanese took us to the cleaners in the small car department.

One of the most humiliating moments in my Chevette occurred at the lights in Teviotdale. I'm heading south, delivering my children back to the tender mercies of their mother in Guelph after a "daddy weekend." There's a transport truck in the main lane stopped at the lights, three or four cars behind it. I figure I'll just pull up alongside in the right-turn lane, and when the light goes green I'll sprint across the intersection in front of that transport.

Light turns green, and godamn it, if that transport doesn't beat me across the intersection. I'm forced onto the gravel shoulder. Then of course the three or four cars that were behind the transport pass me too.

Luckily my children were too young to fully appreciate the extent of my humiliation. The dad who had piloted 150 mph supercars was beaten across an intersection by a ten year old Kenworth pulling a set of trains.

So a few days after that diss from the little shit on the bicycle, I came up with the perfect rejoinder.

Nice Harley, kid.

Court documents reveal G-20 anarchists organized by police

As the trials of 17 activists still facing charges over the G-20 riots in Toronto last year get underway, court documents reveal what everybody already knew; that the supposed anarchist groups were infiltrated through and through by undercover cops.

The RCMP had at least 12 undercover operatives working with the activists for up to a year and a half before the G-20. Their duties apparently included buying the activists lots of beer, driving them to and from meetings, and encouraging them to break the law.

That’s got to be a pretty sweet gig, undercover agent. On top of the 90 thou per year base RCMP salary you get the unlimited beer allowance plus a get-out-of-jail-free card. And the overtime hours spent in bars regaling impressionable young people with imaginary tales of anarchist derring-do would pretty much be guaranteed to double your salary!

So let that be a warning to you, all you budding anarchists. When that new guy starts hanging around offering to buy you beer, take full advantage of his hospitality.

But remember he’s a cop.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Using democracy to kill yourself

One of the First Nations reservations not too far from here recently held a referendum on whether to disband their police force.

Reservations are a blight on our history and shame the nation. From Cook to Cartier to Cabot to the Conservative Party strutting around on the world stage today the history of Canada is one never-ending tragedy for our First Nations.

This is just another footnote. Many reserves have addiction rates and unemployment rates very close to a statistically impossible 100%. The reasons for that go back five hundred years. Things won't be made right by apologizing for residential schools and holding "truth and reconciliation" festivals.

When you've had everything taken away from you and what's left of your culture survives only at the whim of those who took it, it's no wonder bootlegging and drug-dealing are two of the most viable roads to financial success available to young natives.

A majority of the voters in the referendum decided that the police force should go.

The bootleggers and drug dealers can now operate with impunity.

Democracy down and out in the only democracy in the Middle East

Editor-in-chief Aluf Ben of Haaretz convened an emergency meeting of Israeli writers and broadcasters today. Operation Black Flag should be a warning to  friends of freedom everywhere who are complacent about what can happen when a one-time democracy democratically chooses to become a fascist theocracy, and that is the road our friends in Israel are on.

In case you don't follow events in Israel on a regular basis, what is happening is that the settler contingent, the ultra-religious nutters who aren't just blowing smoke when they tell you they are "God's chosen people", are gradually taking over the institutions of the state.

In the not too distant past Israel was a model democracy, at least for her Jewish citizens. Proportional representation is far more democratic in theory than the two party system in America. But over the years, as one coalition government after another clung to power by appeasing right-wing fringe parties, the face of the democracy has changed.

Operation Black Flag should be a wake up call to the diaspora and to the so-called Christian Zionists who blindly support the state of Israel. When such a broad spectrum of professional journalists are alarmed at the direction their country is taking maybe we need to pay attention.

Because if we don't, Iran won't be the only fascist theocracy in the Middle East for much longer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Politicos strut while 200 billion litres of raw sewage flows into ocean

Back in the hippy-dippy days I once found myself in a little town an hour or two south of Rome right on the Mediterranean. No particular reason. I'd scored a chunk of hash in Amsterdam the size of a chocolate bar. After you do that you can end up anywhere.

Stripped off my clothes and ran into the sea. Ahh! What a glorious moment! I was doing backstrokes under the blazing Mediterranean sun when I bumped into something. Reached around, fished through the water, and came up with... A PIECE OF HUMAN EXCREMENT!

Sure took the shine off the moment. I think they'd call that a buzzkill these days. But it comes to mind today because that tireless headline-hound Peter "Pinocchio" MacKay is at it again. At a security conflab in Halifax Canada's Defense Minister announced that Canada is committing a warship to the eastern Mediterranean till at least the end of 2012. The reason? To show everybody, but especially the big dogs in NATO we've been sucking up to, that "Canada continues its leadership role on the world stage."

Oh my! The well of hubris overfloweth yet again. Leadership role on the world stage? Leading cheerleader for the Tel Aviv-Washington Axis is more like it, or the Axis of Evil as it's known in the non-NATO nations. In MacKay's world-view being the number one bumboy to the most dangerous regimes on the planet is a great achievement.

While MacKay sends warships to scoop turds out of the Mediterranean...oops sorry, that was Kurds I think. Didn't read the press release that closely. W made the same mistake once. Anyway, whatever we're doing over there, real actual turds continue to flow into the Atlantic and the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans from Canadian communities that cannot afford to treat their raw sewage. 200 billion litres a year worth of raw un-treated shit straight into the oceans.

Now I suppose our leaders will say, hey, that's Canadian shit. Our shit don't stink. What's the problem? Besides, times are tough. We can't afford to fix it.

That's the problem. We can afford to patrol the Mediterranean with our warships. We can afford smart bombs... oh, sorry, make that "projectiles of democratic values" for Libya, we can afford a billion for a new Defense Department HQ, 25 billions for new warships, untold billions for new prisons and fighter jets and on and on.

But we can't afford to treat our sewage?

Schieffer does his best for the anybody-but-Paul movement

Bob Schieffer embarrassed himself this morning with his efforts to put words in Ron Paul's mouth. Schieffer's very demeanor let everyone know that he found interviewing Paul distasteful.

Two points in particular were cringeworthy. Schieffer claimed that no one in the US government has ever suggested bombing Iran. Schieffer of course knows perfectly well what the Hillaries and the Lindsey Grahams mean when they talk about "all the options" etc. This was just dishonest reportage.

And Schieffer again feigned umbrage at the suggestion that there might have been some connection between 9/11 and the last fifty or sixty years of American foreign policy, as if the thought had never occurred to him before and Paul was some kind of closet al Qaeda agent.

All around a very slovenly performance, Mr. Schieffer.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The coyote scare

One of the neighborhood lads pulled up the drive the other day. Nice kid. Wanted to know if I minded him coming onto the property to shoot coyotes.

When I say nice kid I mean I trust that he's going to have a sufficient degree of responsibility to not shoot the cattle and not shoot my dogs. After all, society deems him sufficiently responsible to drive a pick-up and own a gun.

But I hear from his dad that he's not doing well at school. Shame.

We're pretty much over-run with coyotes in these parts. I was backing the tractor up to the woodshed a couple weeks ago and saw one not a hundred feet from the house. Lucy, the new girl, went after it. She hasn't had the coyote scare yet.

Charlie had the coyote scare. Disappeared one night, showed up a couple hours later, foamed up and panting like she was about to die. Took her hours just to catch her breath. Obviously had a run for her life. Didn't stray too far from the house after that.

Same for Boomer. They're cousins of a sort, the hounds and the coyotes, but the coyote approach is pretty simple: if we can't fuck them we kill them. Boomer ran for her life too. The coyote scare.

So now it'll be Lucy's turn. She'll either join the coyote tribe or she'll never stray too far from the house again. And I wish my young friend well. If you can successfully operate a four-wheel drive truck and a 30-06, but you can't succeed in school, maybe there's something wrong with the school system.

But I'll thank him if he bags a coyote or two.

Only democracy in middle east slides into fascism

It's becoming a fascist theocracy to be precise.

The religious nutters have pretty much taken the place over. Netanyahu's coalition can't govern without the blessing of the far right fringe groups. And the far right is no longer on the fringe.

From the supreme court to the media to the Knesset, the momentum belongs to those who truly believe they are doing God's work.

The IDF, the ultimate symbol of the nation's independence, is now in the hands of settlers who see themselves as doing God's work. Once you're doing God's work the will of the people doesn't matter much anymore.

All of this is aided and abetted and facilitated and funded by well-meaning Christians who also think they are doing God's work.

When God needs guns to get His work done I become an atheist.

Massah begs Sambo for help

There's a great scene in R.K. Narayan's A Tiger for Malgudi in which the tiger anticipates the day when he'll be holding the whip and the Captain will be cowering in fear.

That day has come. Portugal's Prime Minister is in Angloa today, begging cup in hand, pleading for financial assistance from the former Portugese colony. Seems the IMF is putting the screws to Portugal and forcing them to sell off as much of the public infrastructure as possible in order to pay off their debts. You've got to say one thing for the IMF: they're just as happy to screw the former colonizers as they are to screw the former colonies.

Former international basket-case Angola has done well learning the lessons of the First World. While they still have shocking statistics in the areas of infant mortality and so on, their one percenters have become world class. While most of the population lives on less than two dollars a day, the capital city Luanda has become the most expensive city in the world, and the economy is one of the fastest growing on the planet.

All for the benefit of the one percent of course, but that's beside the point. GDP is GDP, and as we all know a rising tide lifts all ships. Eventually. Maybe. Unless you drown first. But I digress.

PM Coelho is in Angola offering up Portugal's infrastucture at fire-sale prices to Luanda's one percenters.

The wheel of karma may turn slowly, but still it turns.

Canada plans billion dollar palace for Defense Department

The Department of National Defense announced today that they will spend upwards of a billion dollars to relocate to the former Nortel site just outside of Ottawa.

A spokesperson for Minister of Defense Peter "Pinocchio" MacKay told a news conference that the purpose of the expenditure was to save money. Apparently the Ministry will be able to close 48 other headquarters once they have opened this one. The Canadian military is famous for its vast real estate holdings, having at last count at least 21,000 properties across the nation, or one property for every three soldiers.

This has resulted in a situation where the armed forces are stretched thin just guarding their own property, let alone standing on guard for the nation. The spokesperson pointed out that the plethora of properties was at one time seen as a strategic advantage. "Back in the Cold War days we deliberately pursued a strategy of having multiple headquarters" the spokesperson said. "The Ruskies could never figure out where the actual command and control centers were."

Meanwhile MacKay, in Halifax for a photo-op with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, reiterated Canada's commitment to the F-35 strike fighter, or the "pig that won't fly" as it is known in USAF circles not yet infiltrated by Lockheed Martin lobbyists.

 "Having all our top people in one headquarters won't make us sitting ducks" MacKay said, "because we're spending 18 billion on those new fighter jets to defend it."

Ten Bible prophecies that have come true


All of the following are predicted in the Book of Revelations. Trust me. I checked.

"And he that smites shall be smitten”.  Clearly a reference to Tiger Woods getting whacked by his wife.
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      "I was dead but am now alive”. Leonard Cohen world tour 2010.

      "There was a great earthquake”. This comes true every other week."
   
      "The stars in the sky fell to earth”. Clear reference to shock and awe.

      "Free men will hide in caves”. Not just hide in them, but live in them. Happening all over America as more and more people lose their homes.

      "They are before the throne of God”. European finance ministers visit Goldman Sachs.

      "Never again will they hunger”. KFC now accepts food stamps.

      "They will long to die, but death will elude them”. How about those Leafs!
\
      "They shall have the power to torment people”. An unmistakable reference to the IRS.

      "The people of the towel shall seek the key to the Abyss”. Ehud Barak will address this on CNN tomorrow.

Hey, look at that, I can predict the future too!

Netanyahu welcomes Bible museum to holy land

Benyamin Netanyahu announced today that a new Bible museum and theme park will be built near Jerusalem by the shadowy NGO Emek Hatanach.

"In the land of the Bible it is absurd that there is no place dedicated to it" said Netanyahu, well aquainted as he is with absurdity. Attractions will include a recreation of the crucifixion, A Moses-parts-the-sea water park and a roller-coaster called the tramway to heaven.

While critics claim that this is a superficial ploy to entice more Christian tourists to the holy land, Netanyahu disagrees. "This is an outreach to our muslim brothers so they can  educate themselves about the history of this jewish cult called christianity" he said. "Understanding one another is the foundation of peace and this development is long overdue."

While little is known about the secretive Emek Hatanach, it has long been suspected of being a CIA front group populated by right-wing christian nutters who believe that a Bible museum in Israel is predicted in the book of Revelations, and that Netanyahu's enthusiastic endorsement is one more sign that the end times are almost upon us.

Gaddafi's poodle captured in desert

Interim Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil announced today that Fifi, a lab-poodle cross, the last remaining member of the former dictator's inner circle, has been taken into custody.

The news was met with celebratory gunfire across Libya. "We have now truly reached a turning point" exclaimed the jubilant Jalil. "Fifi was powerful symbol of the Gaddafi regime and her capture deprives the loyalists of their last link to the despot. May she rot in hell. Allah be praised!"

Rebel forces claim they are holding the labradoodle in protective custody and will send her to The Hague to face war crimes charges. Fifi was on her own at the time of her capture, dragging a bag of kibble towards the Tunisian border.

While the rebels claim Fifi is being well treated, grainy video footage has emerged showing rebel fighters poking her with sticks. Representatives of the International Red Cross have requested access to the Mutt of the Maghreb in the hope that they can prevent her meeting the same fate as her recently deceased master.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The invention that shook the world: kitty litter

This is what I'm talking about when I say there's nothing on TV.

Junior just read me the TV schedule. Ya, it's true, there's a show about how the cat-box changed civilization.

I can sort of see it in a way, almost. Maybe. Before kitty litter came along I guess you'd have to let the cat out to take a dump. Cats being cats, I suppose it would be unlikely that they returned. After all, the cat was a feral animal that survived by eating rats and mice. Our forbears brought them indoors because there were lots of mice and rats indoors. The cats earned their keep because we'd rather have a cat strolling across the kitchen cupboards than a rat. And of course when the cat takes a crap on the countertop, well, you might as well have rats.

Hence the cat box. And kitty litter.

But was it really an invention that shook the world?

They really are desperate to find content for the nine hundred channel universe, aren't they?

Why Occupy Wall Street is doomed to failure





In the not-too-distant past those who were serious about social change recognized that even degrees of change that fell well short of "revolution" required many years of committed action, education, activism, and organizing. That's an aspect of OWS that is nowhere in evidence.


While we saw impressive numbers in Tahrir Square many of those numbers are attributable to the social media aspect of the uprising. On the one hand the mainstream media were correct in labelling Arab Spring the Twitter or Facebook Revolution, but ultimately Arab Spring has gone nowhere for the same reasons that Occupy won't; it's possible to bring a flash mob together around practically any slogan, from "down with Mubarak" to "down with Goldman Sachs" to "lets rip off the 7-11", but once the mob disperses, there is no grass-roots organization that has done the leg-work required to provide a sustained and coherent opposition to the ruling elite.


When you watch the Occupiers dancing around their campfires you are immediately aware of two realities. One, there is a genuine counter-culture vibe at work here, and that's a beautiful thing.


Secondly, these people couldn't organize a two-car train, let alone a revolution. Revolutions aren't built around social media, although uprisings might be. If you want real change you have to be willing to make sacrifices and be committed over the long term.


But it's a start.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Television 101

There's an old TV out in the garage. Late 70's or early eighties. Right in there between the '64 MGB GT and the 1970 Duster. It's got the Carver speakers. I think it's a Toshiba but I could be wrong. Point is it's a keeper. It's those Carver speakers.

The MGB GT is something I got from one of the neighbours a few years ago. It's a restoration project waiting to happen. Interesting car. Sort of a station wagon/ hatch back type of thing. Very pleasing asthetically too. Looks good. Sounds good. Black leather seating with red piping. Smells good. Too bad the undercarriage is rotted out from under it.

Not too long ago the main TV here at Falling Downs went for a shit. One minute we're watching it, and all is well. Next minute all the people are green and there are wee horizontal lightening bolts going through them. Time for a new TV.

The Duster is a replica of one I had back in the day. The restoration has actually been started. They were a wicked quick car in the day. Quickest for the money, that's for sure. The original motor and tranny are sitting over by the wall. Most of the motor. I've got the heads in the basement, where I'm doing a bit of port work with the dremel tool I got a couple years ago.

Didn't do a whole lot of TV shopping but got back here with one of those flat panel jobs. Pretty big. Took forever to figure out what buttons to push to make it work. Had it on for about fifteen minutes. Doesn't matter how big the screen is, when there's nothing on, there's nothing on.

We get five or six hundred channels on the satellite service at Falling Downs. But there's nothing on. Tried to watch a bit a few minutes ago. There's a Sabres/Devils game on. Couple of mainstream news shows. The O'Reilly Factor. Had to turn it off.

Before I turned it off I saw an advert for one of those tablet things. You know the ones. Looks a bit like an etch-a-sketch from back in the day. You can watch TV on them now. But they're all hi-techy and pretty pricey. Showed folks wandering around, watching TV while holding this thing out in front of them.

Aren't they going to be disappointed when they realize there's nothing on!

Obliteration vs. contemplation: why Syria is not Libya

This is a great mystery for we R2P fans who had hoped that the Canadian busybody initiative "Responsibility to Protect" would soon be racking up the frequent flier miles after its roaring success in Libya. We've freed the people of Libya from tyranny, why not the Syrians? Are they not equally deserving of our largesse?

Canadian Defence Minister and habitual liar Peter MacKay reassured the public today that we do indeed stand with the Syrian people in their hour of need. His use of the word "with" is a bit of a rhetorical subterfuge when you read the full text of his remarks. What he really means is this: we are with you, Syrian people, but we are standing well back. Deployment of our projectiles of democratic values, those Paveway smart bombs we were dropping on Libya for eight months, will have to wait. The Syrian government's campaign of violence and terror must end, he said, but then added this: the matter requires more contemplation.

So in Libya we devastate, annihilate, and obliterate. In Syria we promise to contemplate.

Maybe R2P should have been called R2PO.

Responsibility 2 Protect Oil.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Business as usual for Gadaffi's man in London

I was reading up on all the business opportunities available in the new NATO-fied Libya. Free at last, those Libyans. And there's a veritable Niagra Falls of money about to splash into the laps of all the people who are in the right place at the right time.

All that stuff we just spent eight months blowing to smithereens has to be rebuilt. And the NTC has made it known that as a gesture of gratitude they plan to give the juicy reconstruction contracts to the same folks that just finished blowing up their country. So obviously Libya is the right place.

I've got a few business ideas floating around. I'm thinking I could take Lucy and Boomer over and maybe get a contract guarding a pipeline or something. I'd need more than two dogs of course, but the Falling Downs hounds could be the core of my K-9 guard force. They know how to guard their doggie dishes, and I'm sure I could have them trained up for pipeline duty real quick. Just spread dog kibble all along our section of pipeline.

There's lots of pipelines in Libya, so if I get in quick I could corner the market. I'll be a billionaire in no time. But is this the right time? Not quite yet from what I've been reading, but soon, really soon...

So it was in doing this research that I happened upon the website of SOC Libya, a consultancy that will assist the aspiring entrepreneur to exploit the "vast opportunities" available in the country. Not just yet, mind you, but as soon as all those guys with rocket launchers calm down a bit. I'm thinking, oh, but aren't these NTC guys smart to set up an office in London. There's obviously at least one or two Wharton School MBAs behind this stroke of genius.

I'm scouring their website, and suddenly I realize it isn't Wharton School MBAs behind this, it was Gaddafi! SOC Libya was set up years ago. Still has the same guy in charge. Tarek Alwan. Sang the praises of the Monster of the Maghreb, the Tyrant of Tripoli, till well after the revolution was under way. Now he's shilling for the new Libya! Probably never missed a paycheck!

Mr. Alwan is one smart cookie. Maybe he has an MBA from Wharton, I don't know. But if he doesn't, they should offer him a professorship right away.

Bloomberg blows it

What was he thinking?

Perhaps he was looking for his Giuliani moment. Decisive leader, standing strong at a critical crossroads of history. Whatever it was, Bloomberg sent in the NYPD to clear those smelly socialists out of Zuccotti Park last night.

And with great leaders, it's never just about what they do. It's about how they do it. Just pitch all those tents and sleeping bags into a convoy of garbage trucks. I'm sure there's more than a few inner-city Boy Scout Platoons could use those tents and sleeping bags. But no, just dump them in the garbage trucks in the middle of the night. Instead of much needed donations to the Boy Scouts there's more overtime for the trash collectors.

Sealing off the air-space was another stroke of genius. Keep those nosy newspeople out. What are we, some kind of totalitarian state or something?

Bloomberg forgot a couple of critical facts. Fact number one. Manhattan has the highest concentration of trust-fund socialists on the planet. These are people who inherited great fortunes from their uber-capitalist forbears, but because they never ever had to work a day in their lives themselves and they feel guilty about their good luck, they turn into radicals.

Fact number two. Manhattan has the highest concentration of lawyers on the planet. Put those two facts together, and what Bloomberg has now is one great big headache.

He has single-handedly breathed new life into Occupy Wall Street.

Thanks Mike!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Heritage Foundation wants you to have the right to work for minimum wage

But they're against the minimum wage, so what they're really about is your right to work for free! Yessiree Massa, bring back them good old days!

At least in the good old days your owner had some sort of obligation to provide his slaves with food and shelter. Those days are gone, my friend. We have salvaged  human dignity from the depravities of the slave owners. You're free, free at last! Free to try to feed your family and keep a roof over their heads on five bucks an hour. Less if you happen to be "undocumented".

Stepped into a particularly noxious shit-pile today; Right to work creates jobs and choice. Sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and based on some "research" by their labor economist, James Sherk, who never met a worker who wouldn't rather work for less if only he didn't have to pay those damned union dues.

My dear Daddy had a bad case of that attitude back in the day. Worked at a place called Omark, just around the corner from the General Electric plant. Every few years the lads at GE would have to strike for a few weeks, and then settle for a modest raise. Omark would then give their guys, who always made less, the same modest percentage of a raise. If the GE guys won 10% on their ten bucks an hour (we're going back quite a few years here)  Omark would give their guys 10% on their eight. Then the Omark guys would gloat: hey, we're actually ahead, we didn't lose three weeks pay going on strike!

Daddy eventually came round to the realization that the Omark guys wouldn't have got a red cent if the guys around the corner hadn't gone on strike, but it was impossible to explain it to him at the time.

I've worked in big shops and small, union and non-union, and I can say without a doubt you're better off with a union. Not that unions are perfect. In fact, the only place I ever actually got fired from was a union shop. Dresser Industries. Made oil-rigs and overhead cranes. Became part of Dick Cheney's Haliburton empire eventually.

But that's another story. The Heritage Foundation was kick-started by Joseph Coors way back in the day. While I now drink his light beer too often, I've never been a fan of his politics. And I especially don't like anti-worker politics. Yes, it's true that unions protect the halt and the lame and the drug-addled and the lazy. They also protect the worker whose only flaw is that her ass-kissing skills aren't up to company standards. They protect the gay worker and the racial minority. They protect the sick and the old. They raise the bar at the union plants so that the Omarks around the corner have to follow suit.

Look around you. It wasn't the unions who ripped the guts out of the manufacturing economy and sent millions of jobs to China and Mexico. It was the kind of people who support the Heritage Foundation.

Why Mexico is a failed state

Mexico's Interior Minister Blake Mora died this week in a mysterious helicopter crash. As Interior Minister he was the guy in charge of Mexico's increasingly bloody war on narco-terror.

His death comes almost exactly three years after the death of his predecessor, Juan Camilo Mourino, in another mystery aviation accident. Coincidence?

The so-called war on narco-terror swept in with the arrival of Jose Calderon in the Presidential palace in 2006. While Mexico is a nominal "democracy" few doubt that Calderon "won" a rigged election, won it because he was the guy we wanted to win it.

No sooner was he in power than he discovered rampant drug trafficking from one end of his country to the other. All that South American nose candy finds its way to US markets by travelling through Mexico. So, with lots of pressure and loads of money from Washington, Calderon decided he would end America's drug problem by putting the Mexican drug-runners out of business. Since most of the cops in his country are apparently on the take, he decided to make this a project for the army and declared an all out military assault on the drug cartels.

The result after five years, as any fifth grader from LA to NYC can tell you, is that his war on the "narco-terrorists" has had no impact whatsoever on the availability of cocaine in America. It has however taken the lives of over 45,000 Mexicans.

So the lesson Calderon takes from this experience is that if you implement a sketchy policy, and after five years the policy has had no discernable effect on the problem, but has cost the lives of 45,000 of your citizens, the best thing to do is more of the same!

Here's why it will never work. Every time you see the headlines about some cartel leader or another being put out of business, there are half a dozen younger, more aggressive, more ruthless guys waiting to step into his shoes.

Meanwhile, the cartels seem to be able to pull off some pretty impressive aviation accidents.

 And the cocaine just keeps on coming.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why Vladimir Putin is a great leader

Boris Yeltsin gave away the country.

Vladimir Putin took it back. It's that simple.

Within a couple of years of Yeltsin's ascent to power you were reading reports of property values being inflated on the French Riviera by the influx of post-Soviet Russians buying villas there. Oligarchs were crawling out of the woodwork. Billionaires still in their thirties. Shrewd young men who managed to turn their mid-level security posts in the crumbling Soviet empire into unimaginable riches.

By the mid-nineties there were eighty thousand Russian-owned villas in the French Riviera. The newly-minted oligarchs were spreading their wings. Companies on every bourse around the world. Football teams. All at the expense of the Russian people.

Putin put a stop to that. There are still oligarchs of course. But today the ones who remain operate in the interest of Russia, not at her expense.

Unlike the American scenario, where Obama is totally in thrall to the Wall Street oligarchs.

Which is why Putin is considered a hero in Russia, and Obama's ratings have never been lower.

Netanyahu claims Iran closer to nuclear bomb than people think

Netanyahu made that statement today. He first made it in 1992, when he was a mere MK and not the Prime Minister. That's twenty years of shuckin' and jivin'. How many times do you get to cry wolf?

Netanyahu's problem is that Iran still doesn't have a bomb. As long as there is no bomb, there is a window of opportunity. Notice how the R2P folks tend to leave North Korea alone? Sure, let the people eat grass. They have some sort of primitive nuclear device. We ain't gonna mess with them.

Once the Iranians have the bomb we're going to have to let them sit at the grown-up's table. That's what really bothers Netanyahu and his phalanx of cheerleaders in the US Senate. The ayatollas have delighted in poking us in the eye and giving us the finger ever since they kicked out our bumboy in '79 and took their country back.

Let's not forget that it was us that prodded the Beast of Baghdad into attacking Iran back in the '80's, a war that cost Iran at least half a million casualties. Let's not forget it was us who shot down an Iranian airliner in '88 with the loss of 290 civilians. Let's not forget. They haven't either.

Let's not forget that it was the Shah who started Iran's nuclear program. Back in the day of course it was a good nuclear program. We didn't have a problem with that. He was our guy.

Shock and awe. Shuck and jive. The bomb-Iran crowd is gonna to thrive.

Top armchair general promises Iran fire and brimstone

When it comes to tough talk on Iran it would be hard to out-talk Lindsey Graham.

Graham isn't just another armchair general, of course. In addition to being the Republican Senator from South Carolina he's a part-time Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Pops into theater once in awhile when the Senates's in recess to give the troops legal advice. You see, in addition to being a Senator and a Colonel, Lindsey is a lawyer too. He makes sure the guards at Abu Ghraib know how many naked Iraqi prisoners they can pile on top of one another before they've crossed that fuzzy line between harmless fun and torture.

Senator Graham has been making the rounds of the political talk shows lately talking tough on Iran. John Bolton is pretty much a pussy compared to this guy. Forget shock and awe. We're talking fire and brimstone. Destroy their army. Sink their navy. Neuter their regime. By God, I think Grahams got one eye on a presidential bid!

Question is, can we do all that with drones?

Montreal taxpayers hosed for $108 million in bike-sharing schwinndle

Mon Dieu! What were they thinking?

These Bixi bikes folks had a great business plan. Save the planet and line their pockets at the same time. Company president Roger Plamondon quit the other day, admitting that it was unlikely the city would get it's money back.

Montrealers love a great idea and were so enamoured of this one they lent Bixi 108 million to help pull it through a tight spot a few months ago. You'd think that would raise a few red flags somewhere. How do you need 108 million to tide over your bicycle sharing business? Must have been one hell of a persuasive business plan Plamondon was waving around.

Now I don't have an MBA or anything fancy like that, but first thing I'd have done is count the bicycles. Bixi claims to have five thousand bicycles available in Montreal. That works out to over $21,000 per bicycle! Leafing through my trusty Sears catalogue I'm seeing a real nice Schwinn for $160. Guess the other $20,800 per bike was for "overhead".

Mr. Plamondon was last seen pedaling for the border at top speed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Peter Pan sees "much to celebrate" after 158 Canadian troops die in Afghanistan

Canada's Defence Minister Peter MacKay flew into Kabul under tight security for a Remembrance Day photo-op yesterday. He used the occasion to assure Canadians once again that the deaths of 158 Canadians have not been in vain, and declared that all Canadians share a sense of pride in what has been accomplished.

His remarks are in stark contrast to the findings of a UN report released in September entitled The situation in Afghanistan. Seems the UN doesn't share MacKay's rosy assessment of the mess that the NATO intervention has made of the country. Where MacKay wants us to believe that we've given the Afghan people a "chance at a better future" the UN report paints a picture of a country spiraling into ever-increasing violence and chaos.

Even as MacKay was touting our successes, just a few miles up the road two Afghan women, mother and daughter, were being stoned to death for "moral deviation". So much for their chances of a better future. But we should be proud of what we've accomplished.

MacKay's comments come barely a week after the career of American Major General Peter Fuller went down the toilet because he had the gall to tell it like it is. Fuller was the second highest ranking American officer in the country. Spent a lot more time there than MacKay. Might have had some idea of what he was talking about when he claimed that the blood and treasure lavished on Afghanistan has been wasted because we insist on propping up an inept kleptocracy.

But maybe speaking the truth isn't what you want to do when you're celebrating our accomplishments on Remembrance Day.

Braying for Armegeddon

Former bleeding heart and current smarty-pants at large Christopher Hitchens thinks we should do it.

One time commie humanitarian turned Sarkozy flunky Bernard Kouchner thinks we should do it.

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton thinks we should have done it last year. And the year before.  And the year before that.

Hillary Clinton says they are leaving us no option than to do it.

Herman Cain says John Bolton is right.

Michele Bachmann says God wants us to do it.

Benyamin Netanyahu says if we don’t do it he will.

Rick Santorum says we did it in ’53 and it brought a golden age of freedom to those people, right up until those crazy ayatollas took over. We should definitely do it again soon.

Newt Gingrich says we owe it to the people of Iran to do it.

What are they doing?  Attacking Iran, of course.  Because if we don’t do it soon, bad things might happen. 

So let’s prevent bad things from happening.

Let’s attack Iran NOW!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Canada's shame: the ongoing genocide of Canada's First Nations

Did you know that if you are born an aboriginal male on a reservation in Canada today, you are statistically more likely to finish your life at your own hand than you are to finish high school?

That is an utterly shameful and reprehensible statistic. What are the Canadians doing about it?

Nothing.

Oh, there's the predictable platitudes about respect and blah blah blah.

But that's about it. Lots of blah blah blah. No action.

This from a nation that never misses a chance to strut around lecturing everybody else about the sanctity of human rights. The nation that prides itself on being the cradle of the R2P doctrine. The nation that has hundreds of millions of dollars available to bomb Libya while a host of First Nations reservations right here in Canada don't even have drinkable drinking water.

Every Canadian should be ashamed.

The Persian Peril: armchair generals wetting trousers in haste to have at Iran

As predicted here, the Beltway Brigadiers have been soiling their seat cushions since the IAEA report came out the other day. Bet you can't watch an hour of Fox news without seeing three or four talking heads talking their heads off about how we need to deal with the Persian Peril RIGHT NOW!

This is in spite of the fact that the IAEA report reveals absolutely nothing. There's a lot of maybe this and maybe that and maybes and ifs and nothing much concrete. But the news networks are ramping up the booga-booga. We'll be treating those Iranians to a good dose of shock and awe sooner rather than later. The whole thing smells a lot like the build up to the shock and awe we unleashed on Iraq not that long ago.

How did that adventure work out for us? Thousands of Americans dead. Tens of thousands of Americans grievously maimed. A health care bill for those tens of thousand that we can't comprehend let alone pay. The nation bankrupt. To say nothing of the devastation we have visited on the Iraqi people.

The net result? The people we "saved" from Sadam are cosying up to Iran as never before.

In case you haven't noticed, the same gang of cretins think taking on Iran would be a good idea.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's rob the liquor store

One of the pastimes you get into at a certain age is you relive life. The highs, the lows. Yesterday. This morning. Forty years ago. It all runs together in some dreamy technicolor way. You can't even imagine that you're the person who did this or that. The farther away it gets, the harder it is to imagine. But, God willing, you remember it all the same.

The leaves are off the trees here at Falling Downs. The snow hasn't arrived, but it will soon. And it'll come soon and stay long, from what I hear. Global warming. If global warming means more snow and longer winters, shouldn't it be called global cooling? Wish those scientific types would make up their minds. We might have global warming, and we might have global cooling. Don't see how we can have both at the same time.

So you sit around reminiscing. I'm not quite at the stage where I'm sitting around waiting for somebody to wipe the drool off my chin. I can still do that myself. Getting close though.

Let's rob the liquor store. Seemed like a reasonable proposition at the time. The time was either really late at night or quite early in the morning, depending on your perspective. Perspective changes everything, doesn't it?

So there we were, four or five drunken idiots in a car. Can't remember who was driving. Could have been me. Not even sure what we were driving. I think it was Johnny's '69 Super-bee. Had the big-block race motor in it. He'd blown the original motor doing full-on smoke shows around town. Most impressive.

I was a couple blocks away once when he lit it up on the main street of Guelph. A sixty-five hundred rpm brake stand that went on and on and on. I could see the smoke rising over the tops of the buildings on the main street, and that big-block just in full throat, shaking windows for blocks. You do that a few dozen times and you need a motor.

We found one in a '68 Road Runner that had been a NHRA sanctified SS/D race car. Man did that thing make some serious power! Had that motor out of the Road Runner and into the Bee in an afternoon.

We were sitting around somebody's place, like I said, the wee hours, and the realization hit that we were close to running out of booze. One of the lads came up with a brilliant plan: lets break into the Elora liquor store.

I don't know if you've had occasion to make this observation, but when there's a bunch of youngish idiots sitting around drinking for ten or twelve or sixteen hours, they never come up with a bad plan. Every plan is brilliant. And this one was double A+ brilliant because we had INSIDE INFORMATION!

Seems one of the lads had been apprenticing with the sheet metal crew that had done the duct-work when they renovated the old Elora armory into the new Elora liquor store. I was pretty well aquainted with the place myself. Used to walk past it every day on my way to school back in those evil days when I was the only kid at Elora Public who couldn't speak English. It was the armory in those days. Now it was the liquor store. And we had inside information! When this kind of opportunity hits, you gotta strike while the iron is hot!

So the crew loads into the Bee. One of the lads had to be carried out. Pretty much comatose, if you know what I mean. Tends to happen with inexperienced drinkers. Managed to roust himself enough that he got the back window down. Just in time too. Barfing all over the back quarter panel.

We're heading out of town. It's three or fourish in the morning. Stop at a red light at Woodlawn Road. The Bee is just a sitting there with that beautiful thump thump idle. And here's a cop car coming across Woodlawn. Shit!

I think we woulda been OK if it wan't for Buddy hanging out the back window with his knuckles dragging on the pavement. That just says "oh please officer, pull us over." Sure enough, the cop wheels around, the big red light starts a-flashing, I stick my foot into five hundred horsepower of big-block Mopar, and we're on our way up Highway six.

That flashing red light was getting pretty small when we hit the Elora cut-off just past Marden. But we knew the cops had a big advantage. Radios. Did a couple minutes flat out up the flat-as-a-board Elora Road at 150 and then turned up the Ponsonby side-road. Then it was back-roads all the way.

Back roads here, back roads there. Arguments about which way to turn at every back-country stop sign. At the rate we were going it was gonna be daylight long before we got to Elora.

Then we ran out of gas. Shit!

It's these unforseen complications that separate the big dogs from the puppies in the world of crime. In that entire car-load of drunken hooligans I found only one true believer, one acolyte who believed we could still walk to that liquor store and pull off that perfect crime. Luckily it was apprentice boy, the guy with the inside info. That allowed me to keep believing.

We started walking.

We walked and we walked and we walked. The more we walked the more we sobered up. It was a longer walk than we'd imagined. As we sobered up the sun was coming up. Four hours later we get to the Elora liquor store.

There's people going in and coming out. The place is open already. Shit! Can't imagine slipping in through the ventilation system while there's customers in the store. Hell, just getting on the roof is gonna draw attention in broad daylight. We're screwed.

Between us we had enough change for a couple six-packs. Bought our beer and headed back to the Bee.

With the leaves gone I can see lights at the far end of Bass Lake. It's a beautiful time for reminiscing.

World's dumbest nuclear engineers have been "months away" from nuclear bomb for thirty years.

No way around it. Those Iranians are really stupid. The first reports of an Iranian nuclear weapon came out in the early 1980's.

They've been coming out with numbing predictability ever since.

Every couple of years there's another very scary news bulletin:  " Iran mere months away from nuclear bomb".

A few months go by.

The towelheads-with-nukes story fades away, pushed off the front page by more important stuff.

Michael Jackson's bedtime buddies.

Pamela Anderson's breast implants.

Bill Clinton's cigar tricks.

The riff and the raff of American popular culture, or the "pinnacle of Western civilization" as we like to think of it.

Then, out of the blue, those damn Persians are at it again.

Mere months from a nuclear weapon.

This cycle has been repeating itself for well over thirty years now, and if the latest IAEA report is to be believed, they still don't have a nuclear weapon!

How is such a thing even possible?

Where are they recruiting their nuclear engineers?

The South Africans had nuclear weapons, for heaven's sakes, back in the apartheid days, a time when they were being embargoed and boycotted half to death.

The Hindus managed it years ago.

The Paks have done it.

Even North Korea, where the people eat grass while the leaders piss in urinals of gold have done it!

What's the matter with those Iranians?

They've either got to be really stupid, or they're just not trying very hard.

Berlusconi's farewell bunga-bunga to the Italian people

Berlusconi is gone, but not before leaving the Italian people one last bone to chew on: economic austerity measures.

That’s the usual parcel of fuck-the-people measures we see everywhere the “public debt” gets too high. Slash public pensions, slash spending on health and education, slash investment in public housing. All because “the people” have been living too high on the hog, or so our leaders would have us believe. It’s the same shitty stick used to beat the Greeks, the Spaniards… the same shitty stick that the IMF has used to rape developing economies for generations.

What it’s all about is this. Interest rates on Italian government bonds are at record highs. The state needs a bail-out so they can pay the high interest rates to the too-big-to-fail banks buying the bonds. Presto! Massive transfer of wealth from the public domain to the private.

Socialize the losses, privatize the profits. Capitalism at its finest!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bibi's a liar? The short president tells the black president the kettle is a pot


The great Sarkozy has hit the headlines again. For Sarko there is no such thing as bad publicity, so he will take this.

And to call Bibi a liar is not a big deal. Most of the MKs who have worked with him throughout his career have called him a liar at one time or another. The opposition made his lying ways a campaign issue in the last election. I think the official campaign slogan was “Bibi is a liar”. Even his own ministers have made this claim. So when Sarkozy whispers to Obama that Bibi is a liar, the only shock can be that this is considered newsworthy.

For Sarkozy this does however seem a bald case of the pot and the kettle. Seems like just last week we had the petits scandal over the doctored pictures on Facebook; you know, where Sarko was single-handedly bringing down the Berlin Wall. Next we knew he was laying the cornerstone at the Parthenon, cracking the Liberty Bell, christening the Titanic… Sarkozy was there!

So be careful whom you call a liar, Mr. Sarkozy.