Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rest In Peace Grumpy!

And thanks for the memories!

Grumpy Jenkins was one of the founding fathers of Pro-stock racing.

I never met Grump but I saw him race a few times. In fact, I saw Dyno Don Nicholson beat Grump's Camaro with a 427 Comet side-oiler.

There's probably twenty or thirty people left on the planet who know what that means.

Thanks for the memories, Grumpy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3cnc-77ZE

The manure monorail

Busy day at Falling Downs.

I've got several brush piles along the fence line at the east side of the property that are just waiting for the torch. That's what I did today, took care of one of those brush piles.

That's a Falling Downs spring ritual that often leads to a bit of drama. You set that brush pile ablaze and before you know it 20 acres of dry grass is up in flames. Then you've got all kinds of hassles with the dweebs at the Township Office trying to explain how you thought your 2007 burn permit was still valid in 2012, not to mention the bill from the volunteer fire department.

Anyway, we managed a "controlled burn" (and here I might add that all my 20 acre grass fires have been "controlled burns", so stick that up your pipe and smoke it Mrs. Macdonald at the Township Office) without the involvement of the volunteer fire department, which made it an exceptionally happy day here at Falling Downs.

So after that busy day I had to take some down time in the Muskoka chair on the south side of the barn. It was nicely out of the North wind that was blowing today. That's when I got to thinking about the ingenuity that went into the manure monorail.

That Muskoka chair pretty much sits underneath the infrastructure for the manure monorail. I've only been the owner of Falling Downs for four years, and I'm guessing the monorail was defunct for thirty years or more before I got the place, but in its day it was a technological marvel.

The monorail has multiple spur lines to all corners of the barn. The idea was that you shovel the manure into a bucket that hangs from the monorail, then push the bucket out of the barn and tip it somewhere in the barnyard. The monorail has a swivel boom that can put your bucket of cow, pig, or chicken shit down pretty much anywhere within a 180 degree radius.

Nowadays that bucket has been replaced by a Bobcat. Barns no longer have interior stabling, because that slows down the skid-steer, and nobody except hobby farmers keeps anything other than beef cattle in one of these barns anyway.

But even though the bucket is long gone, the monorail still goes out to the barnyard. The boom creaks from side to side in the wind. It's a great place to sit and marvel at the way things used to be done.

Welcome to Bola Granola

I always thought it might be a fun gig to run a B&B.

On the other hand, I dread staying at any place that bills itself a B&B. You know that somebody is making your bacon and eggs while seeing their kids off to school. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't particularly like the sense that I'm intruding on someones family life.

When I lived in Saint John me and the missus of the time and our kids used to spend weekends prowling around southern New Brunswick. In Chance Harbour somebody named Mahwinney put up a purpose built B&B overlooking the Bay of Fundy.

Given that the place was only half an hour from where we lived, we didn't ever stay there, but I'm wondering how they fared out as a commercial venture.

I think given the right setting, you could make a viable business out of a B&B. Chance Harbour would certainly be one of those settings.

You'd also need a certain minimum scale to make such a venture viable. Renting out your spare room and calling your place a B&B doesn't really cut it. I think what I want to do would be more like a small Inn. Kind of like Newhart had going or John Cleese in the Fawlty Towers thing.

Oh, maybe that's why I thought it was a good idea...

Newhart.

Cleese.

The Bola Granola B&B. Eight guest rooms each with a view of Georgian Bay. Private baths. Smoking permitted only on the balconies and the outdoor patio area. Bola Granola is outside the range of any cell-tower or internet provider, so leave your electronic shit at home.

That in itself has to be worth an extra fifty bucks a night.

And for the breakfast part of your B&B experience, just help yourself to a bowl of granola.



Welcome to Bola Granola!


Hillary convenes conclave of Arab dictators to plan "inclusive democracy" for Syria!

Hillary is hanging out in Riyadh today with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE.

What's on the agenda? Why, a good dose of democracy for America's enemies in the Middle East! First and foremost, Hillary is rallying support for arming the armed opposition in Syria. The evil dictator Assad refuses to go gently into the twilight of democratic reform, so obviously the armed opposition needs more weapons to make Assad see the error of his ways.

Also on the agenda is more democratic reform for Iran. Democratic reform in this case means crippling sanctions aimed at deterring Iran's nuclear program in the short term and affecting regime change in the long term.

Not on the agenda is democratic reform for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE.

Friday, March 30, 2012

George Grant pees pants in vitriolic attack on Galloway's election victory

Grant didn't mince any words in his condemnation of Galloway's triumph in the Bradford by election.

Galloway is a hypocrite. He hates women and moderates. He hates freedom and democracy...yadayadayada...

Grant is the toothsome mouthpiece for the Henry Jackson Society. That's a think tank that works tirelessly for democracy in the Arab world so long as they do it our way. When democracy throws up unpleasant results, like a Galloway win in Bradford or a Muslim Brotherhood win in Egypt, Grant is aghast.

Grant likes to put a liberal slant on his neo-colonialism. We, the noble West, only intervene in the benighted Muslim nations when they've made it obvious they can't manage themselves. Giving primitive towelers the right to run their own affairs is a recipe for ruin.

Get over yourself  Mr. Grant. Your primitives are smarter than you think.

Drone-ageddon; we can't beat them on the ground but watch out for death from above

That's the US Army circa 2012.

Run out of Iraq.

Run out of Afghanistan.

Mocked and taunted throughout the Middle East.

But watch out for our drones.

We've definitely got drone superiority.

Those teenage gamers in charge of the video screens in Nevada can still kill with the best of them. The Pentagon was pleased to announce the latest drone scores today. We got five terrorists in Yemen and four in Pakistan. At least we think they were terrorists.

Hard to confirm.

We don't actually have the resources on the ground to go to the scene and find out.

Like all technological advantages in war this advantage won't last long. The other guys sooner or later will figure out how to defeat them.

They'll also figure out how to make their own.

It's happened with every single wartime innovation from tanks to airplanes to nuclear weapons.

Paki drones over California...

Coming soon. After all, we've set the precendent.

Celebrating poverty; how Fox News spins economic reality for young people

Back in the dark ages any teen with enough get up and go to land a part-time job at the corner gas station could own a car.

A car meant freedom. You could visit the girl or the liquor store or the drug dealer or the church in the next county any time you wanted. Freedom.

That was the dark ages. We've had a lot of progress since.

Among other things car ownership was a status marker. Owning a car marked you as someone who was free to visit the next county or the next state whenever you wanted, for whatever reason.

That was the dark ages.

We've made a lot of progress.

By the time the '90's rolled around, car ownership among teens had pretty much died out. A teen might be able to afford the latest Nike sneakers, might be able to afford a Bulls jacket, but probably couldn't afford to own a car.

Minimum wage doesn't go as far as it used to.

Today any teen can walk up to a cell-phone kiosk in any mall and walk away with a phone that works. That's the new coolness factor. Minimum wage will cover a minimum cell plan.

You can't visit the next county or the next state, but you can text your "friends" all over the world.

This is what Fox News is talking about when they crow about web-savvy teens not wanting to drive.

It's not that they don't want to; they can't afford to.

But the no-spin folks can spin that into a feel-good story.

Smart phones have replaced cars as status symbols; Fox News

Fox has a take-your-breath-away expose on their website about how young people who are web savvy are less interested in driving.

Seems that kids who are spending all their free time texting their friends are less interested in owning and driving cars than kids who aren't as internet-addicted.

The think tank here at Falling Downs has a simple explanation.

Young people today can't afford cars.

The minimum wage jobs that have traditionally been the mainstay of teen employment don't pay enough to permit car ownership anymore. Time was that a typical teen who worked a minimum wage job at Mickey D's or Safeway could afford a ten year old Ford or Chevy or Toyota. They'd spruce it up with a few custom parts and celebrate the freedom that a set of wheels provided.

It's got nothing to do with being internet savvy.

CNN:Is the war in Afghanistan unraveling?

Thats the lead to an article on CNN's home page right now. March of 2012.

Is the war in Afghanistan unraveling?

How retarded would you have to be to have that thought cross your mind for the first time in March of 2012?

The war in/on Afghanistan has been unraveling since that first blush of victory eleven years ago. Eleven years ago we'd put paid to the Talibs and their Al Qaeda cohorts. A few short months of carpet bombing, lots of on-the-ground help from the Northern Alliance, and the Taliban were supposedly on the run.

The war has been "unraveling" ever since.

Today, even as over 100,000 ISAF troops remain on the ground, the Taliban are in control of almost all of the country outside the major urban centers. And those major urban centers aren't safe zones for ISAF troops. Rather, they are combat zones.

Is the war in Afghanistan unraveling?

No.

It's over.

We lost.

Why old guys matter; here's two with balls the size of watermellons

The Occupy generation has a lot to learn from the courage of these guys.

Uri Avneri just wrote an article hailing Marwan Bargouti as the Mandela of the Middle East. Uri is an Israeli Jew and Marwan is a Palestinian serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for terror crimes. What gives?

Avneri has been a fixture on the Israeli political scene since before Israel was a country. Nobody can doubt his bona fides as an Israeli patriot. At age 89 it's obvious that he doesn't feel the slightest compunction to toe anybody's party line. He's about peace, peace above all and after all, and he's not reluctant to gore the sacred cows of Israeli politics to make his point.

George Galloway is of a later generation, but still an old guy. He just smoked the Pakistani Labor candidate in a predominently Pakistani riding in a by-election for the Brit Parliament. Why would a plump middle-aged white guy be more attractive to ethnic voters than the candidate from their own ethic group? Because George tells it like it is and doesn't grovel before the political machine.

Hope lives!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The never-ending war on America's working class

The war on America's working class has gone on far longer than the war on terror or the war on drugs or the war on poverty.

The war on America's working class is the grand-daddy of all domestic wars.

The high-water mark of working class America's standard of living came with the Teamster's Master Freight Agreement of the late '50's. That agreement set a standard that spread out over all union contracts in all sectors of the economy.

It also attracted the attention of government. The Kennedy administration determined that the workers were getting too large a slice of the pie. All of a sudden Robert Kennedy was investigating corruption in what was then the most powerful union in the land.

It's been a downhill slide ever since. Where are unions now? A lot of your academic types want to pin the decline of unions to Reagan's destruction of the air traffic folks. That's because a lot of your academic types want to absolve the Kennedy administration.

And everone is keen to forget that unions created the modern middle class in America.

Jimmy Hoffa created America's middle class.

Former Columbian President and anti-drugs crusader comes out for legalizing drugs

You can bet that former President Trujillo knows the "War on Drugs" as well as anyone. When he was President of Columbia he was an enthusiastic partner in America's war on drugs. His government took down the Escobar cartel.

Twenty years on he's having second thoughts. Why?

Because he's not running for office and he's no longer sucking up to America and he feels free to tell the truth.

And the truth is that the War on Drugs has been a complete disaster.

Richard Nixon declared this war a couple of generations ago. It has cost America billions upon billions of dollars. It has filled America's prisons beyond the breaking point. It has filled prisons south of the Rio Grande even beyond that. It has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

Ask your kid if they can buy drugs at their high school.

That's what would would be called an epic fail if we didn't have all kinds of reactionary politicians running around claiming that success is just around the corner.

Like Joe Biden's recent cheerleading trip to Mexico to reiterate America's commitment to the War on Drugs and remind the lesser people that exercising common sense will incurr the wrath of the Big Dog.

When Trujillo was in office he was considered a safe ally, a guy who could be relied on to do America's bidding and who in turn relied on America for support.

Now that he's not running for office, he can tell the truth.

Stop the idiotic war on drugs.

Legalize, regulate, and tax.

How to tell who's who among America's Middle East allies

Ain't that a brain teaser?

First question is, what allies do we have in the Middle East?

Well, one of course. Our best friends in the Holy Land.

Then there's our besties in Saudi Arabia.

Any others? Well, there's all those Gulf statelets. They don't really count as independent countries. They are essentially Saudi protectorates.

Egypt? Guess that went down the drain with Mubarak.

Jordan? Hmm... maybe. But their poor King is busy trying to be friends to everybody all the time, and when push comes to shove he's not going to be a very reliable ally. Besides, what does Jordan bring to the table besides a vote at the UN?

So America has two allies in the Middle East.

Israel and Saudi Arabia. The only democracy and the biggest oil exporter.

The only democracy costs America an arm and a leg and a prothesis every year just to keep them on the friend side of the ledger. They cost the US a lot of money.

We need them to keep an eye on our only other ally, the House of Saud. We love the Saudis. They rob us blind with their over-priced oil but at least they're decent enough to buy a lot of weapons from us, and that's one of our few viable exports.

If America could break its addiction to Middle East oil we could unfriend both of them.

And America would be a better, richer, safer place.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

British Columbia's chief medical officer comes out in favor of legal pot

Dr. Perry Kendall today joined four former BC attorneys general and four former mayors of Vancouver in calling on the federal governemnt to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.

The plea is likely to fall on deaf ears in Ottawa however. The Harper gang is busy trying to turn the clock back instead of forward. Part of their new get-tough-on-crime agenda includes mandatory prison sentences for anyone found guilty of cultivating more than five pot plants.

Kendall makes the well-known point that the war on drugs has been an abject failure. He notes that in spite of the estimated five billion dollars that Canada has spent fighting the war on drugs in the past ten years, marijuana remains universally accessible.

He joins a growing chorus of senior politicians and law enforcement types who have dared question the prevailing anti-pot orthodoxy.

Just today a former President of Columbia and the chief medical officer of Nova Scotia also went on the record calling for an end to the "war on drugs".

Gingrich campaign running on empty as Adelson flirts with Romney

It's pretty much over for Newt.

It wasn't that long ago that Sheldon Adelson stated that he was prepared to put another 100 million into the Gingrich campaign. Seems he's had a change of heart.

Newt pink-slipped at least a third of his campaign team today because he can't afford to pay them. Obviously Adelson refuses to throw good money after bad.

Meanwhile there are all kinds of reports floating around about chummy get-togethers between various Adelson reps and people in the Romney campaign.

Looks like Sheldon's next 100 million is going somewhere else.

Canada hedging bets on F-35 purchase

Canada's commitment to the F-35 program is looking less and less commited as time goes by.

This week Junior Minister of Defense Julian Fantino went out of his way to point out to critics that the contract to buy the fighter plane that doesn't fly isn't actually signed yet. You only talk like that if you're leaving an exit open.

Could be all political smoke and mirrors of course. The Harper gang is revealing the latest budget tomorrow. It's widely expected to be a slash-and-burn nightmare. Expect cuts to everything except prisons and the defense budget.

In that climate it's hard to justify the F-35 deal. The cost keeps going up as the performance benchmarks keep coming down. Most of the "allies" in the joint strike fighter project have already abandoned the plane or seriously cut back on their commitments.

Ironically, it's the allies who Harper and MacKay claim are the reason for our purchase. We need the plane to be able to fight alongside out allies.

Fight who?

That's a separate but obviously related topic. NATO membership is a major point of pride among a certain species of Canadian military types who fancy themselves big players on the world stage.

If one of our NATO allies like Turkey or Albania get themselves into a shooting war, the rest of NATO is obliged to help them out.

Canadians should look at a map, read up on Turkey and Albania, and then decide if it's time to scrap not only the F-35 contract but the NATO alliance as well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Doobs 'o despair blaze across Canada as Leaf Nation mourns 7 straight playoff fails

It's official; no post season for the Leafs this year.

Seven for seven in the can't-make-the-playoffs category.

That's a perfect record!

Hey, at least we excel at something...

Had to twist one up myself, and I have to say the zig-zags got wet from the tears rolling down my cheeks.

But, unlike the Leafs, I worked at it. I'm OK now.

Hopefully this will lead to someone other than the think tank here at Falling Downs calling for Burke to step down.

When you were hired the Leafs had gone three years without a playoff look.

You were hired to turn that around. You're obviously well-connected at the political level with the owners, and you had that Stanley Cup ring you lucked into in Anaheim.

Now that you've made it seven in a row, Mr. Burke, please do the honorable thing and step down.

You're a great guy and you've done a lot for some really important causes, but none of that good stuff that you do requires you to be the GM at Leaf Nation.

Do the right thing.

Gun battles rage as rival Libyan militias fight over stolen cars

Reuters reports that scores are dead and many more wounded as rival militias do battle in Sabha, Southern Libya's largest city.

Gunfire broke out when one group of militiamen tried to steal a stolen car from another group.

The central government, the so-called "National Transitional Council" or NTC, reportedly sent a contingent of 600 troops to the city in an effort to quell the violence.

The government troops had a quick look around and beat a hasty retreat.

This incident underscores the toxic legacy left by last year's NATO intervention in the country. Central authority is non-existent, the streets are a battleground, and the gang with the most ammo prevails in the end.

But at least they're free!

The flawed arithmetic of Iron Dome

Much has been made of the Iron Dome system's success in shooting down missiles being fired into Israel from Gaza. "Success rate of 90%" became conventional wisdom on the basis of a couple of dozen successful  intercepts of home-made rockets.

In February 2012 Major General Aviv Kochavi, head of military intelligence, stood at the front of a packed auditorium at the Herzliya Conference and announced that at any given moment at least 200,000 missiles were pointed at Israel.

News reports of the time sourced at least 150,000 of those missiles in Iran. The rest can safely be assumed to be in Southern Lebanon or in Gaza itself, in the hands of more sophisticated people than the rogue elements who routinely fire their home-made Qassams at every opportunity.

The supposed 90% success rate has given the Likud gang justification to declare full speed ahead in ordering more Iron Dome batteries, so that every corner of sovereign Israel might be protected. Ten to fifteen additional batteries should do it, they claim.

As usual, the Likud enablers in the US Congress wasted no time in climbing aboard this initiative. Last week Congress introduced the Iron Dome Support Act, intended to financially support the spread of Iron Dome systems across the Holy Land.

This is obviously good news for Rafael, the Israeli military-industrial success story that is profiting mightily from Dome-mania. But in what sense is it good news for the people of Israel?

It isn't, and here's why.

A single Iron Dome battery costs in the range of 50 million US dollars, before missiles and installation. The ten to fifteen batteries deemed sufficient will run into the billions once they are fully operational. The US Congress will soon face domestic headwinds if they think they can get away with bankrolling that. Sooner or later the Israeli taxpayer will be on the hook.

On the other side, a Qassam costs less than a thousand US$ to build. They can build them in perpetuity. A rocket costs less than a washing machine. Every time Iron Dome is engaged it takes at least two missiles at US 50,000 each and a billion dollar infrastructure to bring it down.

And quite aside from the absurd cost of defending Israel from home made rockets, Iron Dome isn't even intended to protect against the 200,000 much more sophisticated missiles Major General Kochavi was talking about in February, the missiles that will be unleashed in the event of a "real" war.

That's the enigma of Iron Dome; false promises, a false sense of security, massive profits for Rafael.

The Obamacare fraud

The Supreme Court's consideration of the constitutionality of Obamacare pretty much misses the point. The Obamacare written into law in 2010 bears little resemblance to the universal health care Obama promised when he was campaigning for the 2008 election.

It was, in the end, a bait and switch. Obama promised universal health care. What America ended up with is a law that compels everyone to buy private health insurance.

Not that this subterfuge was Obama's doing. It was the result of fierce resistance to single-payer universal health care by the private insurance industry and Obama's desperation to be seen as delivering something, anything, after having made health insurance the biggest board in his campaign platform.

Americans have an inherent belief that anything that the government does the private sector can do more efficiently. In the case of many consumer products and services that's undoubtedly true. Competition, the profit motive, and all that invisible-hand-of-the-free-market stuff does tend to deliver a lot of goodies in a very efficient way.

But there is a fundamental conflict between societies need for health care and a company's profit motive. As a private insurer you're not going to be profitable for long if you make a habit of insuring sick folks. Sick folks just aren't profitable. They need health care, and lots of it! The money a private insurer pays out getting your kid that desperately needed operation is money taken away from the profit.

That's no way to run a business!

So Obamacare became the toxic compromise. Force everybody to buy private health insurance. That's a solution the health care sector could live with. After all, with single-payer the private insurance industry would cease to exist overnight. And who else gets the government to pass a law requiring every citizen to buy your product?

The insurance industry was appeased, and Obama got to pretend he'd done something about America's health care crisis.

The best thing that could happen at the Supreme Court is that the entire issue gets sent back to the drawing board. Obamacare isn't universal health insurance and Obama shouldn't get away with pretending it is. Americans need to ask themselves why they have the world's most expensive health care system but the health outcomes trail those of every industialized modern economy, and are even challenged by countries like Cuba.

Health care needs to be about people's health, not about corporate profits.

Monday, March 26, 2012

When you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow

That's been the guiding maxim behind American foreign policy for decades now. Sometimes it works. Mostly it doesn't.

I'm reminded of this quote on hearing the news that three more NATO soldiers went to their reward today at the hands of their Afghan "allies".

The "good" Afghans pretend to be as perplexed about this as we are. Here's Provincial Police Chief Abdul Nabi Elham on the latest killings;

We don't know the motivation for this. Our investigation continues.

Let me help you out a bit with that, Chief Elham. There's a reason your country is known as the graveyard of empires.

Every time the invaders think they've got your people by the balls, and that your hearts and minds are going to follow, you've proven this theory wrong.

You've had your balls grabbed by pretty much every empire over the past five hundred years. In fact, well before the NATO ball-grabbers came along the Soviets had an even firmer grip on your testicles. Look what happened to them.

I think it's time for a bit of a re-write of this old chestnut.

When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds are planning how to cut your throat.

Tempers as frayed as the hip scarves at Moroccan Belly Dance Festival

These are mad days in Marrakesh.

Only a few days before the scheduled opening of the 3rd annual International Belly Dancing Festival protesters have taken to the streets demanding... well, you've got quite a variety of demands.

First of all you've got your hard core Sharia advocates who believe that women should only be seen in public wearing a full length burlap sack. To them the mere thought of belly dancing is immoral. They want the festival cancelled or held somewhere else, like in Hell maybe, where all the loose women who will be shimmying their stuff are headed anyway.

Then you've got your somewhat more worldly types who are alright with belly dancing but are outraged that a couple of Israeli women have entered the festival. That's a sellout of Moroccan sovereignty to the forces of Satan, welcoming Israeli belly dancers to an Islamic country. They'd be OK if just those land-stealing Israelis weren't invited.

Then you've got your nit-pickers. They're secular Moroccan ultra-nationalists who don't have an issue with hip-shaking or Israelis, but they're upset that posters for the event are available in eight languages, none of which is Arabic. They'd be happy with a new poster.

On top of all the hip-shaking controversy is the problem that a certain segment of the population is deeply sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, who are having their annual "land day" anti-celebration just before the festival opens. The fact that that a couple of Israeli gals are going to be shaking their hips while millions of Palestinians sit in the West Bank watching illegal Israeli settlements go up makes the festival a focal point of outrage for these folks.

The think tank here at Falling Downs has come up with a solution; move the festival to Falling Downs. We welcome everybody here.

Bring your hip scarves, bring your hookas, leave your politics at home.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh for f@cks sakes...

I didn't even realize it was happening. The farm manager alerted me to the phenomenon.

I drive into town to pick up the papers and my Timmies. I settle into Zaida's La-zee-boy, open the paper, and before I know it...

"Oh for fucks sakes!"

Madonna to bring peace to Middle East. Yup, she's giving a peace concert in Israel. Not a free peace concert, but a sold-out regular ticket prices make-Madonna-richer concert.

For peace.

Oh for fucks sakes.

Bloomberg consoles bankers at Goldman Sachs.

Oh for fucks sakes.

McCain declares Afghan victory.

Oh for fucks sakes.

Obama says if he had a son he'd be black.

Oh for fucks sakes.

In the New York Times some twat journalist has the latest scoop on how Iran is expanding its sphere of influence by supplying rebels in Yemen. I figure I'm reading an informative article until they start talking about the foiled Iranian plan to kill the Saudi ambassador using a Mexican drug dealer and an Iranian-American used car salesman.

Oh for fucks sakes.

Netanyahu claims Iran just hours away from nuclear weapon.

Oh for fucks sakes.

Harper claims Iran will use nuclear weapon on Israel.

Oh for fucks sakes, he's been listening to Netanyahu.

Randy Carlyle is gonna save the Leafs.

Oh for fucks sakes...

Reuters reports Toweliban have quit negotiations with US over Afghanistan's future

And who can blame them?

The trigger was apparently Sargeant Bales' rampage. If that's true it means they stayed at the table throughout that Koran burning fiasco, which is nothing other than a huge gesture of goodwill on their part.

But I suppose enough is enough. There's a difference between burning books, even holy books, and slaughtering innocent civilians.

Negotiating with the US was always a bit iffy to begin with. After all, the Talibs are Afghans for the most part. It's their country.

Why should they be negotiating about what slice of the pie they're going to get when they know the whole thing is coming their way at the end of 2014?

Or sooner.

Canada's former socialist party elects new leader

Sometimes, when the excitement of watching the Leafs miss the playoffs for the seventh year in a row becomes too intense, I like to downshift to something a little more sedentary. Canadian politics.

So after the Leafs lost to the Rangers in OT last night I caught a bit of the NDP leadership convention.

They've got themselves a new leader to replace the late Jack Layton.

Thomas Mulcair. Used to be a Liberal in the Quebec parliament. Now he's the official Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament, and the leader of the NDP.

He's going to be going head to head not only with the Harper gang, but with the interim leader of the Liberal Party, former Ontario NDP Preem Bob Rae.

Confusing? You bet!

But the fact that an NDPer can seamlessly morph into a Liberal and vice versa is the least of it.

I'm of the generation that remembers too well Bob Rae's tenure as leader of Canada's richest province. Socialist ideals met capitalist realities and it wasn't pretty. By the time Mike Harris and his ultra-right conservatives consigned Bob to the dustbin of history in the next election Bob had achieved two things.

He brought casino gambling to Ontario, and he made bicycle helmets mandatory.

So much for the socialist agenda.

Now that Bob's climbed out of the dustbin to become acting leader of the Liberal Party, and a former Liberal is at the helm of the NDP, what remains of that agenda?

Not much. In fact, as the NDP becomes more and more a centrist party, I think it's just a matter of time before it absorbs what's left of the Liberals, in much the same way that the once upstart Reform Party ate the old Progressive Conservatives.

That would open up the left of the political spectrum to a new party that could return to the socialist roots that the NDP have steadily distanced themselves from.

Watch for the Marxist-Lenninist Party from Falling Downs!

Why an AK-47 is better than a Platinum Card

Seems one of our NATO rebels got into a bit of a spat over his unpaid bill in Libya's finest hotel yesterday. Apparently he and a few of his homies have been enjoying the hospitality at the Turkish-owned hotel for free.

Since September!

Now, most places I go to these days you can't even get into without a credit card that works, never mind leaving without paying. Shows what I know.

So instead of some humble excuse-making about how there must be a mix-up at American Express, NATO-boy decided the best defense would be a good offence.

He and his posse shot the place up and kidnapped the hotel manager.

Within hours NATO and the government of Turkey were involved and an embarrassing international incident was narrowly averted.

No word on who paid the bill.

As country goes down toilet Pope Benedict urges Mexicans to pray

Pope Benedict put on a nice Sunday mass for 350,000 folks in Sinoa Mexico this morning. Arriving on a Mexican Army helicopter, the 85 year old pontif delivered a lovely pep talk. The myriad problems facing Mexico, grinding poverty, rampant corruption, the catastrophic war on the drug cartels, will all go away if Mexicans would just spend more time petitioning the Lord in prayer.

While I hate to second guess the Holy Father, I think the problem with Mexico is that the people have been praying too much for too long.

Heeding the advice of two former Presidents, legalizing drugs, and ending Calderon's US sponsored drug wars doesn't take prayer. It takes getting off your knees, going out into the world, and organizing against Calderon.

Changing the economic realities in a country that boasts the world's richest man while leaving the masses in poverty won't happen because folks spend more time in prayer. It'll happen when they get off their knees, go out into the world, and make changes.

All the problems Big Ben highlights aren't created by God and they're not going to be changed by God. People, not God, made the mess, people permit the mess to continue, and people can change things.

They should pray for the courage to get started.

Dick Cheney finally gets a heart!

We'll, he's the heartless bastard of American politics no longer. Doctors in Virginia successfully implanted a heart in the 71 year old Cheney over the weekend.

Oh but that he could have found a heart fifty years before. The world might be a different place. A kinder, gentler place.

Those heartless drunk-driving convictions back in the '60s needn't have happened.

As an American with a heart he would have done his patriotic duty and served his country in Viet Nam instead of getting one deferment after another.

Operation Desert Storm might have spared hundreds of thousands of Iraqis if Cheney had a heart. the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan might never have happened if Cheney had a heart.

The corruption scandal that cost his only private sector employer $250 million dollars might never have happened.

But look at the bright side. Now that he has a heart, Cheney could spend the next fifty years undoing the legacy of his last fifty.

That heart might not be wasted after all.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

V. Putin, the leader we love to hate

The Globe and Mail has a review in today's edition of Masha Gessen's biography of Vladimir Putin, The Man Without a Face.


The Globe farmed out the review to Amy Knight, a Putin critic of long standing. In effect you have a review by a certified Putin-hater of a book written by another certified Putin-hater.

That's the state of journalistic integrity these days.

Anyway, the review mainly tries to establish that Knight is the superior Putin-hater. Gessen relies too much on ten year old(or more) stuff that is already in the public domain, according to Knight.

Here's my favorite part of the review; huge kleptocracy has emerged under Putin.


Oh really? Apparently these people have succeeded in blocking out the Yeltsin era.

Do they not remember the free-for-all that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union? Mid-level apparatchiks became billionaires overnight. By the mid 1990's over 75,000 Russians owned property on the French Riviera.

That kleptocracy did not emerge under Putin. It was brought to heel by Putin.

And that apparently is what keeps the Putin-haters in business. Without Putin, Russia would be a pliable client state willing to dance to our tune.

With Putin, it isn't.

How's that "freedom" thing working out for Libya?

Not that great, apparently.

Here's the view of a couple of academic types writing in Britain's The Telegraph. Elections scheduled for this June absolutely positively must be delayed. The Libyan people simply aren't ready for the burden of free elections.

Our academic friends do make a couple of interesting observations, though. Libya has a sovereign wealth fund of over $65 billion.

There's a shocker! You mean Gadaffi didn't steal all the money?

Here's another shocker; according to these writers, Libyans have "the highest literacy rate in Africa and a well-defined role for women in leadership roles."

Who knew? What a stunning accomplishment for the NTC to achieve the highest literacy rates in Africa in a mere one year after deposing the evil dictator! And leadership roles for women? Bravo NTC!

Oh, wait a minute... oh I see, these were accomplishments achieved by the evil Gadaffi.... well nevermind then.

And here's a letter to the Guardian by a couple of wankers in the Brit parliament. They're pretty keen on having the World Bank and the IMF manage that sovereign wealth fund.

Doesn't the USA call the shots at the World Bank and the IMF? So a solvent country with a $65 billion cash reserve needs America's help to manage their money?

How retarded would you have to be to think that this makes any sense whatsoever?

Messers Duncan and Burt also helpfully point out that Libya is struggling because it suffered under 42 years of dictatorship and an internal conflict.

The 42 years of dictatorship brought Libya the highest standard of living in all of Africa.

Internal conflict? Ten thousand bombing runs by NATO is an internal conflict?

So how is freedom working out for the people of Libya?

Who knows, but at least it's giving the pointy-headed interventionists in the NATO countries something to crow about.

While you're busy with March Madness the Pentagon is busy getting America deeper into an African quagmire

The African Union announced today that US "advisers" will play a key role in a multi-national force assembled to hunt down Joseph Kony.

Who are the nations in this "multi-national" combine?

The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and South Sudan. The leaderships of all of these countries (with the qualified exception of S. Sudan) have far more blood on their hands than does uber-terrorist Joseph Kony.

Those are the countries that the US is teaming up with. Kinda makes you proud, doesn't it?

Kony's star was very much on the decline before the Kony 2012 video went viral a couple of weeks ago. Almost 90 million people have watched the video. Kony is so far past his best-before date he wasn't on anybody's radar a few weeks ago. He's been hiding out in the jungle with no more than a few dozen followers.

Now he's the excuse the Pentagon needs to get in deeper in Africa. Here's African Union spokesman Francisco Madeira on the American contribution;

The Americans are playing a pivotal role. They support us militarily, they support us with equipment, they support us with intelligence and training.


Hmm... where have we heard that before?

The new Kony Command will be based in, of all places, South Sudan. If you follow international news you'll know that's the world's newest and freshest country, having gained independence from Sudan just last year.

You'll also know it has oil.

Coincidence?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Farmageddon

I was having one of those "what-if" conversations with Junior tonight.

What if we attack Iran?

What if Iran manages to close off the Strait of Hormuz?

What if oil goes to $200 a barrel? Or $400?

Had to reassure the youngster that these scenarios wouldn't be the end of the world.

After all, not too far down the road, we've got our Amish friends.

Tough lot, those Amish.

Seem to fare out OK without the benefits of indoor plumbing or running water. Get their water from a hand-pump out in the yard. Head for the outhouse when they have to take a dump.

So when the infrastructure goes down due to the Persian nuke attack and the Strait of Hormuz blockage, what's it gonna mean to our Amish friends?

Nothing.

It will be business as usual.

No power in the power grid?

Well, since they're not hooked up to the power grid, it'll be business as usual.

No running water?

Say what?

No diesel available at the corner gas station?

These folks run their farms all year long without diesel.

So when all our cities are cast into anarchy by Persian perfidy, our Amish neighbors will just keep keeping on.

Oh, there will be one major difference; when none of the "modern" farmers can run their farms because the power grid is down and there is no diesel fuel available, the value of the stuff our Amish neighbors produce with their 19th century technology is going to go straight through the roof.

They'll be the future.

Canada embarrassed by Mali coup

In the past year alone Canada has spent well over a hundred million dollars  on "foreign aid" for Mali.

That makes Mali one of the foremost recipients for Canadian foreign aid. And most of that money has been spent "training" Malian armed forces.

Those would be the Malian armed forces who just finished ransacking the Presidential palace. The Malian armed forces who just overthrew a democratically elected government.

Is that what we've been training them to do?

I would think not, but you have to look at other examples of Canadians training armed forces.

Haiti.

Afghanistan.

It's not exactly a great record, is it?

Mali is at once different and the same. Canada's huge investment in Mali's armed forces has way more to do with Canadian mining multi-nationals working in the country than it has to do with anything else.

We have more mining activity in Mali than we do in Afghanistan and Haiti combined.

Just makes sense that we would train their armed forces to protect our mining operations.

But apparently those training missions have been an epic fail.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Israel ramps up war on drugs

As if they don't have enough wars to fight in the Holy Land.

But here's the scoop. Israeli Police are going to update once a month the list of what is what in the drugs world, just to stay ahead of the youthful consumer market.

No matter how much else is going on, ya gotta keep the kids away from drugs.

After all, those "kids", if they haven't served in the IDF already, will be there soon.

And then they'll be privy to insider prices on the best hashish in the world, the notorious Bekaa Valley Blonde.

So lets have a wholesale war on drugs before the kids can get it wholesale!

Obama plays favorites over Iran sanctions

We're getting tough on Iran. Yessirree, these sanctions are gonna hurt real bad...

Today Obama officially exempted ten Euro countries and Japan from sanctions designed to discourage them from importing Iranian oil.

If you compare a list of exemptions to a map of Europe you'll see that the so-called sanctions are right next to meaningless.

You'll notice that Luxembourg is not on the list of exemptions. We're getting tough on Luxembourg. Oh, they didn't import Iranian oil anyway? Hmmm, maybe that's why we're getting tough with them.

Lichtenstein and Monaco too. Watch out, irrelevant European statelets; we're gonna come down hard.

Meanwhile, Iran's biggest oil customers, India and China, continue to do business as usual with the Islamic Republic.

And of course any sanctions plan just opens up huge profit opportunities for middlemen like Glencor in Switzerland. Once that oil is on the tanker, who really knows where it came from? It becomes an exercise in creative paperwork.

Glencor is a world leader in creative paperwork.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Israel's refinery is still getting its crude oil from that network of creative paperwork.

US loses key Africa ally and it's Gadaffi's fault

Up until today the land-locked African country of Mali was a key US ally in everything from the war on Libya, the war on terror, the war on drugs, and the war on Chinese influence in Africa.

All gone in the blink of an eye.

No wonder the White House is leading the chorus of "international" condemnation of the coup that has Mali President Toure running for his life. "International" in this case means the usual basketful of US vassal states in Africa and beyond.

It's interesting to see how Western media are spinning this story. Up until today Mali has been consistently portrayed as a model African democracy. Sure, it's one of the poorest countries in the world, but their President is democratically elected, and they play along with all the standard US initiatives like the war on Gadaffi and the war on drugs, so obviously they are good guys.

The democratically elected President was ousted by "renegade soldiers" according to CNN and Reuters. Fox had them as "drunken soldiers". Hey, I guess that would explain why you'd want to overthrow a "democratic" US-friendly government in one of the world's poorest countries...

So how was this Gadaffi's fault?

Mali has for many years had issues with its Taureg minority. The Taureg are a nomadic tribe that wander in and out of the various countries around the Sahara. They suffered the usual litany of abuse that nomadic people everywhere in the world suffer, but they found a friend in the eccentric Gadaffi.

Gadaffi not only allowed the Libyan-based Taureg the same rights as all Libyans, but he welcomed Taureg from neighboring countries into his military. When Gadaffi was deposed by last year's nine month NATO campaign, tens of thousands of them headed home, looting military stockpiles along the way.

When they got back to Mali they joined up with their fellow tribesmen who have been staging a long-term struggle for independence from the most stable democracy in Africa.

With their ill-gotten booty from the looted Libyan military stockpiles they've been easily kicking the shit out of the regular (US sponsored) Malian army. And it's that army that today pushed our ally President Toure out of the Presidential Palace.

Another one bites the dust.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Global warming? Bring it on!

Spring has sprung at least a month early in these parts.

And it's a beautiful thing!

Didn't even bother hooking up the snow-blower to the tractor this winter. Managed my snow issues with four trips with the walk-behind.

The birds are back, including the Canada Geese.

Most of the folks in these parts see them as a major pest. They decimate the corn crops later in the summer.

When we paddled our canoe through the marsh across the way last spring we came upon one nesting pair of Canada Geese after another. On relating that escapade to the local farmers they unanimously agreed that we should have smashed every goose egg we came across.

I can't do that.

But what I could do, if the winters around here keep getting warmer, is introduce 'gators into the marsh.

There's at least half a dozen pet stores in the Toronto area that will sell you a breeding pair of alligators.

I think they'd thrive there. Tons of frogs to feast on. Beaver, muskrat, stray dogs, lost fishermen... and millions of goose eggs!

And a thriving 'gator population would inevitably up the tourist draw in these parts.

Nevermind whale-watching; you could do 'gator-spotting right here in central Canada. And 'gator hunting, once the 'gator population achieves a critical mass.

Hell, our future depends on more global warming...

Bring it on!

What's so bad about global warming?

This past weekend I was enjoying the balmy weather here in almost-north Ontario and reading about snow storms in Arizona.

That isn't supposed to happen in the middle of March.

I personally don't have a horse in this global warming debate. Seems pretty obvious for a whole lot of reasons that we need to slow down on using up our resources.

The Alberta oil-sands debacle is a case in point. Yes, it's technically feasible to get that gunk out of the ground and distill the petrol out of it. But at what cost? And why do we have to get at it as quick as possible? What's the rush?

Fracking is another case in point. All of the studies paid for by big oil have showed again and again that IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR FRACKING CHEMICALS TO CONTAMINATE GROUNDWATER!

Yet, fracking chemicals mysteriously continue to turn up in groundwater.

Seems to me that anyone with a lick of common sense would say whoa! Hold the phone! Let's get this right before we poison more groundwater! Instead, half of America is falling all over itself lavishing exploration permits on the Big Oil cartel to pump more poison into the ground, where that poison may or may not intermingle with groundwater.

May or may not?

What does common sense tell you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Struggling Bruins blow limp Leafs out of Boston Garden 8-0

Oops, I guess when a global finance conglomerate pays millions of dollars for naming rights to one of the most storied rinks in hockey, we should play along by calling it the "TD Garden".

No matter. The defending Stanley Cup champs have been struggling lately. Been a shade under .500 since December. It's got to the point where your Boston hockey-heads were beginning to doubt a playoff appearance, never mind another Stanley Cup final.

Contrast that to the story in Toronto. The Leafs were coming off a two game winning streak before tonight's game. Yup, two in a row is what they call a winning streak in Toronto.

Two in a row is all it takes to get the Toronto media types speculating about a Leaf's playoff run. As if!

Playoff speculation was crashed into the end boards by tonight's blowout. Nevermind 8-0; they were lucky it wasn't 12-0! Tim Thomas barely broke a sweat on the way to his shut-out.

So you have to wonder who Leaf GM Brian Burke is going to blame this fiasco on? Lately it's been the fans and the media. Together they make Burke's job the hardest front-office job in the NHL, according to Burke. They are unrelenting. You'd almost think they expect their team to show up in the playoffs after four years of Burke in the big chair.

Who can imagine such a thing?

How lawyers are wrecking civilization


The stupidity implied by the above picture cannot be directly attributed to lawyers.

But let me explain.

The guy who parked Allis in this mudhole and then couldn't get her out was guilty of one thing; he didn't have the old brain switch in the "on" position when he made the decision to pull into the corner field.

After sending the back-hoe operator packing I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to get her out, only to have it dug in deeper than ever by the time nightfall set in.

Had to spend a few days coming up with a plan. In the meantime I had to bear the scorn of everybody in the neighborhood driving by and tut-tutting about how that was ever gonna come out of there.

I was able to at least sow seeds of doubt by claiming that Allis-in-the-mud was an "art installation". I called it "Spring Thaw". Pretty sure nobody really believed that, but it kept them quiet for a few days.

I'd almost had Allis out of the mud at one point but I ran out of solid ground that I could claw into and drag her out.

That's not quite true. I could have clawed into the road. Unfortunately the Township guys are sharp enough to figure out that there might be a connection between the tore-up road and my back-hoe parked behind the barn a couple hundred yards away.

I'd noticed that the hydraulics seemed a little out of mojo at the far ends of the boom's reach and picked up a five gallon pail of no.32 hydraulic fluid at the Tractor Supply Company to top things up.

That's when I noticed the warning on the side of the pail. It shows a baby  bottoms-up in a bucket of hydraulic fluid. In three languages I'm warned that "small children can drown in small amounts of liquid."

Great! I'm trying to focus on getting Allis out of the mud and now my already-stressed intellectual resources are preoccupied with babies drowning in buckets.

Hell, if one baby can drown in a bucket, how many could be lost in the mud-hole? Why are they haranguing me with such self-evident nonsense?

Then I realized; it's the lawyers!

They have to bring up every possible eventuality that might ever occur when someone somewhere uses their product with their brain switch in the "off" position.

Hey, if your missus is running a day-care in the back of your heavy equipment maintenance facility, one of the tots could crawl away from day-care corner and end up head-first in a pail of no. 32 hydraulic fluid.

Then somebody might sue.

So the real purpose of all these silly warnings is to make sure people can wander through their days with never so much as a passing nod to something called "common sense".

Lawyers are killing common sense.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Israel loves Iran

No, not the war-mongering weasels in the Knesset. Not those Israelis. But some regular folks who have been put off by the daily promises of "all options" etc. have taken matters into their own hands.

Haaretz is carrying a story about a couple in Israel who have started a Facebook page called "Israel loves Iran." Apparently there's plenty of regular folks in Iran who are prepared to reciprocate the feelings.

This leaves you wondering if maybe social media can facilitate an end-run around the political elite in both countries. It would be a beautiful thing. Let Bibi and Ahmadinejad duke it out, mano a mano. Maybe the UFC could make it part of their cage fighting pay-per-view spectaculars.

And the regular folks in both countries could get on with their lives.

Senator McCain spills the beans; Afghanistan has been a triumph!

That's got to come as a surprise to most folks who have been watching our "progress" over the past eleven years.

But there he was on Meet the Press this morning, assuring America that we've decimated the Taliban. Not only that, but the vast majority Of Afghans absolutely love their NATO/US liberators and would like us to stay indefinitely.

Which is what McCain is lobbying for. And he cites a number of historical precendents. Aren't American troops still in Korea and Japan and Germany? Haven't they been there indefinitely? Don't all those people love us?

So what's the rush pulling out of Afghanistan? Besides, even though the Taliban are decimated, as soon as we leave al Qaeda is gonna be all over the place.

What we should be rushing, according to McCain, is the liberation of Syria. That Assad chap is pretty much the most evil dictator in the whole world. For some obscure reason we should back up al Qaeda chief Zawahiri's call to free those poor Syrian folks from their government.

It was one of those McCain performances that leaves you scratching your head. Is he really privy to so much insider info that any of this nonsense might make sense?

Or is he just smoking way better stuff than us regular folks?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

BBC finally finds some good news about Libya

The BBC was amongst the foremost war cheerleaders during NATO's nine month bombing campaign in the country last year. In the chaos that has ensued since the NATO "victory" the BBC has been all but silent.

That changed today.

The lead on BBC's newscasts all day long was the arrest of former Gadaffi side-kick Abdullah al-Sennusi in Mauritainia.

Big news, this.

Maybe now the Libyan people will find closure, according to the Beeb.

Closure is one of those Western concepts lifted out of new-agey psycho-babble that means absolutely nothing outside the world of middle-class Westerners. Any Libyans who might find "closure" with the arrest of al-Sennusi already live in London anyway.

Then of course there was the requisite hand-wringing over where al-Sennusi might see a trial. The BBC provided a steady stream of talking heads speaking for the imaginary interum government of Libya who claimed that Libya was fully capable of providing a fair trial.

Libya isn't capable of ensuring that drivers stop at red lights. Libya can't even maintain those lights. The only thing functional in the new Libya is the oil sector.

If the BBC were interested in doing a news story about Libya and their favorite war they might want want to delve into the reasons for that.

In the meantime, at least they've got al-Sennusi.

IAEA inspectors are CIA's eyes and ears in Iran

That's just one of the not-so-new revelations that aren't generally acknowledged in polite circles, but which the New York Times just blabbed to the universe.

What's even more revealing is the tone of unapologetic belief in American Exceptionalism that permeates the article.

Not that there's anything new about that. What's remarkable is that in this week of a rapidly disintegrating war effort in Afghanistan this kind of chest-thumping isn't more muted.

After having made a complete mess of both Iraq and Afghanistan, America's newspaper of record operates under the assumption that it is a self-evident truth that it is America's unique mission in the world to monitor, threaten, intimidate, cajole, and otherwise bully anyone of whom our ruling class does not approve.

The Times at least puts a little lipstick on this pig. For sheer unadulterated jingoistic war talk find yourself a transcript of the exchange between Senator Joe Lieberman and Admiral Jonathan Greenert at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings this past Thursday.

Greenert and Lieberman seem to believe war is on its way.

We're just not sure of the timing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kony 2012 mastermind conveniently busted for masturbating in public

Wow! That's got to be a tough one to explain to the mother in law at the family picnic!

I was a little up-in-the-air about that whole Kony 2012 thing. I always thought there were bigger fish to fry.

Rumsfeld?

Cheney?

W?

Anyway, these do-gooders went after Joseph Kony, a bit player in the anarchy that is Africa. I'm sure they were as shocked as anyone that their little mini-doc got the traction that it did.

And they're probably just as shocked that their masturbation habits are suddenly front page news!

Hey Whitey, where's your green card?

I'm glad all those slave-descendants at Southern Miss had to appologize for asking that Latino guy about his green card.

The slaves all got into the promised land without a green card. Just chains and shackles and you're good to go!

I remember when me and Kipling, whiter than the driven snow, tried to cross the border back in '77 or so. We were on our way to Alberta. Wanted to cut out that thousand mile detour north of Lake Superior.

Black woman in a custom's uniform decided these two white long-hairs were probably going to stay in America and steal jobs from... illegal immigrants?

Can't say I know what her thought process was, but we were turned back at the border.

Years later my dear brother had a similar mishap. He'd been seeing a Kentucky gal for years and they were about to tie the knot. In Kentucky. Gets to the border and announces his intentions.

Not so fast, pretty boy! Y'all don't just waltz in here and marry yourself off to our women!

So the poor bastard had to back-track a couple hundred miles, try another border crossing, tell a lie, and then go to Kentucky and marry his sweetheart.

They just celebrated their 20th anniversary.

Hey Rodriguez, where's your green card?

It's amazing what passes for racism these days.

Where's your green card?

When I was a kid the white boys on the north side of the street used to yell "hey Paki, where's your camel?" to the East Indian side of the street.

That all sorted itself out. The white kids went to the factories that closed down twenty years before retirement.

The East Indian kids went to university. They're all tenured professors now.

That's an over-generalization of course. I do know of a couple of white kids who went on to become tenured professors.

And there was a couple of Pakistani kids who actually worked in the hands-on parts of the shops I used to work in. Pakistani welders. Who can even imagine such a thing?

But the racial stereo-types live on. All Jews are rich. Blacks are lazy and prone to addictions. Native American's are lazier than Blacks. Chinese are hard-working and frugal. White males get all the good jobs.

And so on...

There's always the guy who'll prove the stereo-type right of course. But by and large, my observation of a fair bit of life has led me to conclude that people are people.

Doesn't matter if you came here from England or Ireland or Nigeria or Germany or Pakistan. You came to make a better life for yourself and your children.

Get on with it.

Does Iran have the right to defend itself?

Harvard law professor and uber-patriot Alan Dershowitz went all out today in an interview with Newsmax.

He's got a major hate on for the website Media Matters, who have at times been critical of Israel. He singled out M.J. Rosenberg as someone who should never be read and in the unfortunate event that he is, should never be taken seriously.

Why? Because M.J. Rosenberg has been critical of Benyamin Netanyahu. Can you imagine such a thing? Critical of Bibi?

Rosenberg is obviously as anti-semetic as it is possible to be.

Dershowitz also has a special circle of hate reserved for George Soros, who provides Media Matters with some of its financing. Apparently when way-too-rich people support liberal causes something unnatural is going on.

The core of Dershowitz's snit seems to be that neither Soros or Rosenberg support an immediate attack on Iran. That in itself is evidence of anti-semitism on planet Dershowitz. By his reasoning every Jew in the world needs to march in lock-step with the Likud nuke-em-now agenda.

Every Jew who doesn't agree with Alan Dershowitz is an anti-semite.

Ironically, there is far more criticism of Likud policy and of Netanyahu in the Israeli press than is ever seen in American media.

So where does that leave our friends... oops, I mean our enemies in Iran?

Well, Dershowitz reiterates that endlessly reiterated truism that Israel has the right to defend itself. That might mean attacking other countries before those countries have actually done anything.

Lets turn it back to Al. Does Iran, as a sovereign country, have the same self-defense rights as Israel?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peace and prosperity just around the corner as Libya reopens stock exchange

They're celebrating this week from Tripoli to Benghazi. True, you can't walk to the market for fear of a militia shake-down or worse. There is no government. Everything except the oil sector is in ruins...

BUT THEY GOT THEIR GODAMN STOCK EXCHANGE UP AND RUNNING!

This good news comes via the BBC, a major anti-Gadaffi cheer-leader right next to Sarkozy, and we now know he had a few things to hide.

I'm a bit old-school on this kind of stuff. I don't believe "news" media should be cheer-leading one way or the other. But having cheered on the NATO rape of Libya, the droids at the BBC can't stop themselves from cheering more, hence this good news about the Libyan stock exchange.

Their source is one Ahmed Karhoud, who is apparently the general manager of the newly re-opened bourse. Here's what Ahmed has to say;

This opening sends a sign to the world that Libya is now a stable country where the economy is kicking off again. We still don't have a government but we have the infrastructure to become the financial hub for North Africa.


OK BBC, you're quoting a guy who admits Libya doesn't have a government but holds it out as the HQ for African finance?

And this is what passes for responsible news reporting these days?

Gandhi, Mandela, MLK,... have WHAT in common with Syria?

Here's what the think tank at Falling Downs is talking about when we claim that Al Jazeera has lost its claim to being a reliable news source.

Dr. Larhi Sadiki's faux editorial is so extravagantly far-fetched that I hope the legal representatives of Messers Gandhi, King, and Mandela will serve notice.

It is always a winning strategy to lard your cause with great names. However, when you invoke the three greatest names of non-violent resistance in support of your armed insurrection, surely that is a bridge too far.

Obviously some Syrians have had enough of Assad. Some of those, spurred on by a misguided belief that NATO would be prepared to deliver a "Libya, the sequel", took up arms. The arms and the encouragement have been orchestrated from outside the country from the very beginning of Syrian Spring.

While it's fanciful to invoke the names Mandela, King, and Gandhi, no serious person harbors any illusions about what would ensue if "protesters" in South Africa, India, or the USA took up arms against their government.

In every case we'd be doing exactly what Assad is doing.

Mayor Bloomberg visits Goldman Sachs to deliver hugs and best wishes

Mayor Mike went a-calling on Goldman Sachs today. Seems the banksters are a bit down in the dumps because of that nasty farewell letter one of their departing VPs got into the New York Times the other day.

In case you missed it, Greg Smith told the world what the world already knew; the folks at Goldman are more interested in their own bottom line than they are in yours.

I'm shocked that anyone on the planet thinks this revelation is newsworthy.

Then again, I'm a bit behind the spirit of these times.

I was shocked that Romney made it out of town without tar and feathers after that "corporations are people too" episode.

I'm shocked that anyone even considers voting for Newt Gingerich under any circumstances.

I'm shocked that Sheldon Adelson keeps shoveling good money into a lost cause.

And I'm shocked that Mike Bloomberg would want to go on the record as a Goldman Sachs fan.

Doesn't he have to be re-elected at some point?

Gun lessons at Falling Downs

Never point a gun at a person.

That's the first lesson in gun safety. Unless you intend to shoot them.

I remember a few years ago I was giving Junior the walk through on the latest Glock in my collection (which I don't have any more, in case any of my readers at various law enforcement agencies are wondering) and as we were wrapping up I said don't mention this to your school chums because I don't have all the paper work quite in order just yet.

So Junior says, don't worry, I assume everything around here is illegal so I never tell anybody anything.

And that was before we had the still! Ya have to love a kid like that!

This comes to mind because I was taking a few target shots at the old Allis-Chalmers today. It's really pissed me off. Fired her up this morning meaning to head back into the field where I'd carved a breach into the old stone fence a few weeks ago. Did a rather poor job of it. Figured I'd clean things up a bit.

Get into the corner field and whoops, if the fucker don't sink right down to the axles. Damn! And I just went through that field a few weeks ago!

Spring has sprung and the frost is out of the ground. That eight ton back-hoe can't go where it used to.

I'm trying to lever my way out of the field. That's the beauty of hydraulics. Made it all the way back to the road. Then there was nothing to grab onto to pull myself out. I mean I could have clawed into the road, but then the township guys would be all over me. No point drawing unnecessary attention to oneself.

So Allis is sitting in the mud waiting for things to dry out a little. Could take weeks.

In the meantime I've been using it for target practice. I can hit it from the front porch.

Bullet holes add character to farm machinery.

Who could commit such an act?

CNN has that headline on its site at the moment. They've consulted a lawyer and a neuropsychologist to tell us that the poor bastard who snapped and went on a kill spree in Afghanistan might have been suffering from "stress".

No shit.

We shouldn't need lawyers and neuropsychologists to figure that out.

It's stressful to have to leave your family behind for months on end? Who knew?

It's stressful to be assigned to a foreign land and risk your life every sleeping and waking moment just by being there? Who knew?

It's stressful to spend months wondering if the next step you take will be your last? Who knew?

It's stressful to wonder every waking moment if the guy you're training plans to kill you?

So a guy breaks under the stress and all of a sudden we need a lawyer and a neuropsychologist to figure out that there is stress in these missions?

Given enough stress, I'm guessing every one of us could commit such an act.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Iron Dome and the illusion of security

According to media reports there have been 300 rockets launched into Israel in the past four days.

According to media reports 56 of them have been stopped by Iron Dome.

What's wrong with this picture?

It typically requires two anti-missile missiles to intercept one incoming. If 56 were shot down that would require 112 anti-missile missiles.

The cost of an anti-missile missile is a matter of conjecture. Estimates range from $100,000 to one million US. These missiles will eventually bankrupt Israel even it they never hit anything.

What used to happen with Gaza missiles before Iron Dome?

Mostly they fell into the Negev and blew up some sand.

But now hundreds of millions of dollars are to be spent to counter this threat. In fact, Netanyahu has promised dozens more Iron Dome batteries.

The Iron Dome system is a re-named American Patriot anti-missile system. Perhaps there have been improvements made since the American system proved a dismal failure in the first Gulf war.

Perhaps not.

What is known is that if a "real" war were to break out, the Iron Dome would be up against far more sophisticated stuff than what's flying out of Gaza these days.

If Iron Dome is scoring 56/300 against the Gaza Grads, what will it do when a real war breaks out?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hillbilly blogger scoops Santorum victory

Ya folks. We had it pegged here at Falling Downs way before any of the big dogs.

So what does this Santorum victory portend?

Fucked if I know.

And a big fat sorry to all you Bible folks who are uncomfortable with that turn of phrase.

Fucked if I know.

Santorum is the voice of the "Evangelical right."

I've been in and out of the "evangelical right" depending on how Jesus feels about me on any given day, and I have to say it is more than scary to imagine that we could have a guy in the White House who will leave the decision about pushing the big red button up to Jesus.

If the Gospels are to be believed, Jesus was a pretty cool dude.

Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile. All that socialist shit that you find in the Bible if you actually take the trouble to read it.

That ain't Sanctorum's Bible.

Falling Downs think tank takes field trip to Toronto

And if you thought that the Falling Downs think tank was a one-man operation you'd be sadly mistaken...

The shores of Georgian Bay are just brimming with former Poly-Sci, Sociology and History professors put out to pasture. These people are my veteran sources when I distribute my opinions here on the Falling Downs site.

Unfortunately, almost all of them are more or less beholden to the Alzheimer grasp.

So I hired a bus and sent it round the Penninsula to pick up all the Professors and Professors Emeritus.

It was a short bus, and you know what that means.

Retards.

And here I've got a bus load of the brightest minds of the twentieth century, at least until they lost their marbles.

No matter.

We stopped at the Licks at Spadina and Bloor. Just off the U of T campus where many of my bus cohorts had taught. We enjoyed the best burgers you could possibly imagine.

The gal running the place, Hanna, happens to be the daughter of the Farm Manager.

But don't let that fool you. That particular Licks is the number one burger joint in Toronto. Here's a tip; you don't need that slab of back-bacon on top of your burger. You probably don't need the fistfull of cheese either. It's Toronto's best burger without that shit.

Anyway, I got the folks away from Licks and we're done our trip to the Royal Ontario Museum (cut that back to a half hour in and out - but you gotta promise it to get them to go) and here we are heading out of town.

I tell the bus driver, head up the Bayview, and make a turn onto the Bridle Path. That's where the rich folks live.

So we did. Me and a dozen former Professors with Alzheimers disease. The short bus is negotiating the Bridle Path.

It wasn't at all like I remembered it, thirty years ago when I was scouting out a building site there. Other folks besides me have carved all the four-acre lots into half acre lots, and each half acre lot has a faux 19th century French manse sitting on it. It's absurd!

Even a few of my bus guys, hampered as they are with the curse of Alzheimers, knew that we were not looking at the real deal of the who's who anymore.

So I feel a bit cheated. If the who's who of the Canadian Establishment have vacated the Bridle Path and left it for a bunch of nouveu riche wannabees, where are they now?

Peter C. Newman, where are you when I need you?

"New" Leafs one for five under new coach

Hey, it's not your fault Randy.

In fact, I quite liked the profile one of the Toronto papers had this weekend. You like drinking beer with your buddies.

Guess that doesn't translate into wins on NHL ice.

But it's not your fault. I was watching this Florida game with the farm manager, and she happened to blurt out that the last time the Leaf's won the Stanley cup she was jumping up and down on her parents' bed in celebration.

She was hoping her kids would be able to do that.

They're pretty much too old for that. We're now hoping for grandchildren jumping up and down in celebration.

Everything coming out of the front office seems to say maybe it'll be the grandchildren who celebrate the Stanley Cup.

With two minutes to go and your team down 4-2 the moron on Sportsnet opined that "the Leafs aren't out of it yet!"

We all knew better.

Final score: Leaf's 2, Panthers 5.

Santorum sweeps trailer states

Alabama and Mississippi.

Where God hates homos and feminists. He's undecided about Blacks.

Those folks know their stuff. Evolution in the classroom? Not so fast you pointy-headed fag science teachers...

Does it not say right there in the Bible that GOD CREATED HEAVEN AND EARTH?

So, you're saying God's word is not good enough for you?

No wonder America is in the dumpster...

Canada gets cold feet on F-35 file

Until today the purchase of at least 65 of Lockheed's new war planes that don't work was a done deal in Canada.

Nevermind that a host of allies and even some branches of the US military wouldn't touch the F-35 with a ten foot stick.

It's too complicated.

It's too expensive.

And it doesn't work!

Today Julian Fantino stood up in the House of Commons and used all kinds of weasel-speak to signal that we're on board, but not really.

I have to hand it to Fantino. He's been a target here for his over-the-top law-and-order campaigns. His campaign to stamp out homosexuality in London has forever put him on the negative side of the ledger among liberals and libertarians.

His street-racing initiative was even stupider. Wonder if any gay street racers got caught up in that? Heaven help them!

Anyway, he's got a partial redemption from the Falling Downs shit-list for disavowing the F-35.

How to make the price of gas go down

I was reading where Obama drops a couple percentage points in the polls evey time the price of gas goes up. He's going to be the "gas president!" What a legacy!

Now the price of gas going up is a favorite focus of armchair economists everywhere, me included. Who benefits from the price of gas going up? Well, in the first place, it's your big multi-national oil companies.

Exxon and all her little brothers and sisters have oil wells all over the world that were profitable when oil was twelve dollars a barrel.

Now that oil is $120 a barrel, do you think it is more profitable or less profitable for Exxon and the other sisters?

I remember when the first wave of Alberta oil sands development was coming off the drawing boards and into the oil-field service shops that I worked in. $12 a barrel was the magic number.  No wonder they're expanding those tar-sands as fast as they can; if they were breaking even at twelve bucks a barrel, what are they doing now?

Meanwhile, we've got an entirely new dimension to consider; fracked shale.

Nobody has any idea how big that's gonna get. Some of your more educated states have concluded that when fracking chemicals show up in drinking water, that's a cause for putting a moritorium on fracking. Luckily the oil industry can then move right along to the next state, where they don't rush to such hasty conclusions.

Bottom line, thanks to fracking technology, ( and so sorry about your tap water, but I'm sure there's no connection...) America is awash in energy as never before!

Well, it's about that global oil market. As you know, way too much of that global oil has to pass through the Straits of Hormuz just to get to your local gas station. And we all know who is on the other side of those Straits.

Iran.

Everytime somebody in the GOP race makes idle threats against Iran, oil traders bid up the price of oil. Everytime Obama talks about all options on the table, oil traders bid up the price of oil. Everytime Netanyahu invokes his holocaust vocabulary to talk about Iran, oil traders bid up the price of oil.

Want lower gas prices?

Stop talking shit about Iran!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hillary takes break from condemning Syria to profess her profound shock and sadness at civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Can't be easy being the Secretary of State these days.

Every time she saddles up for another self-righteous charge at the bad guys, the reality of America's eleven year slow-motion destruction of Afghanistan comes back to bite her.

She's a true believer though. Yesterday's homicidal rampage hasn't dampened her enthusiasm for bringing peace and prosperity to the Afghan people.

"This terrible incident does not change our steadfast determination to protecting the Afghan people and to doing everything we can to build a strong stable Afghanistan."

One can imagine how thrilled the "Afghan people" must be to hear this.

After following this unmitigated disaster for eleven years, the think tank here at Falling Downs has come up with a simple plan for the US administration to follow that will drastically improve the Afghan people's chances of achieving peace and stability.

Leave!

Sarkozy's Gadaffi links exposed

President Sarkozy has been having a tough time of it in his campaign for re-election.

One day he's moving to the left to thwart the inroads made by the Socialist contender. Next day he spouting anti-immigrant nonsense in an appeal to the far right. He's all over the map.

So this won't help his cause. A French news site claims to have documents proving that Sarkozy's last campaign, the one that made him President, was financed by none other than Muamar Gadaffi.

You remember him, don't you? The Monster of the Maghreb. The Tyrant of Tripoli. The guy who Sarkozy suddenly turned on in 2011. No wonder Gadaffi had to go.

Giving 50 million euros to the aspiring leader of France should at least buy a little friendship. Makes you wonder what other NATO leaders have dirty little secrets that they hoped would disappear with Gadaffi.

Iraq music critics go nuts on Emo fans

Here's more proof that the democratization of Iraq, that exercise in American altruism that destroyed Iraq and bankrupted America, remains a work in progress.

Hide those Green Day CD's Iraqi music fans. A leading cleric has decreed that "emo" is satanism. Probably wouldn't be hard to find American clerics to second that opinion. In fact, rock and roll has been "the devil's music" since Ike Turner recorded Rocket 88.

Unfortunately for Iraqi emo fans, unlike in America, when a cleric in that country calls you a satanist, there are lots of devout followers who immediately see it as their duty to kill you.

And that's what's been happening. Tight jeans and spikey hair is enough to get you killed. The death toll is into the hundreds.

Barber shops are reporting record trade and baggy trousers are selling out.

Long live rock and roll!

US denies visa to Israeli parliamentarian over terror links

Member of the Knesset Michael Ben Ari has been denied a visa to attend a conference in the US.

The National Union MK is closely aligned with the Kach Party of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. Due to Kahane's advocacy of violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians Kach is outlawed in Israel and is considered a terror organization by the US State Department.

National Union is less radical than Kach but does not support any kind of self-determination for the occupied territories.

The Israeli government responded by cancelling the trip, which was also to include three other MK's.

Hitachi expands where Caterpillar fears to tread

There are a lot of similarities between the operation that Caterpillar shut down in London recently and the Hitachi plant in Guelph, about an hour up the road.

Both operations were old-school manufacturing concerns. They made stuff. The work force enjoyed decent wages and brought a high skill level to the job. Lot's of steel-fitters and welders. Both the Caterpillar plant and Hitachi workers were represented by the same union, the CAW.

We know what happened with Caterpillar. Moved their operations to Indiana, which recently joined the ranks of the right-to-work-for-less states. They're hoping to trade the $30/hour London jobs for $12/hour Indiana jobs. Even thought Caterpillar earned record profits last year, they should be able to squeeze even more out of their new workers.

Hitachi meanwhile believes they can do just fine in Ontario. Same labor pool, same wage structure. They are doubling the size of their workforce in Guelph. They obviously see a future there. Sure, they could go on a union-busting rampage too, exit to a right-to-work state, screw the workers and add the savings to the executive bonuses.

Instead, they're doing the right thing.

Journalistic integrity alive and well and heading out the door at Al Jazeera

When was the last time you heard of an American journalist quitting their job because they felt their employer was interfering in their work?

It doesn't happen, at least not in the big leagues. CBS/Fox/CNN/ABC/NBC all want you to believe that they are bastions of objectivity and journalistic integrity. That's why their staff never quit their jobs. They are truth tellers working for the American news machine. What kind of bias could there be?

Over the past decade or so Qatar based Al Jazeera has elbowed its way into the big leagues of international journalism. They've gained a reputation for beating the American networks to the big stories, especially in the Middle East, and presenting the stories in a way that might get some noses out of joint in Washington but which is enormously popular in the rest of the world.

Al Jazeera was celebrated internationally for it's integrity and objectivity. The fact that W wanted to bomb their Baghdad offices during the Iraq war just enhanced their reputation.

Alas, that reputation took something of a hit during NATO's war on Libya last year. The Qatar government, sponsor of Al Jazeera, had been feuding with the Colonel for many years, mainly because of Gadaffi's repeated calls for the masses in the Gulf states to rise up and throw their unelected American-supported elite out of office.

The anti-Gadaffi bias in Al Jazeera's coverage of that war was obvious to anyone who followed it. No longer was Al Jazeera the unbiased voice observing a standard of integrity that the New York Times and the BBC could only dream about. Al Jazeera had joined the club.

Evidently the Qatari royal family who fund Al Jazeera are no fans of Syrian President Assad either. While they still coast along on the strength of a reputation made years ago, their actual coverage makes it clear that they have become the official propaganda outlet for the Free Syrian Army.

At the same time, the network has studiously avoided coverage of the uprising in Bahrain, another oil-rich pro-US sheikdom right next door to Qatar. This obvious bias in favor of Qatar's friends and against her perceived enemies has become too much for some of the staff at Al Jazeera's Beirut office. As of this week at least three high ranking staffers have quit their jobs in protest.

What a concept! Putting one's integrity before the security of a paycheck. That's something we don't see in America anymore.

Pentagon Apology Center working overtime

They cut the ribbon on the new Pentagon Apology Center in the nick of time.

The apologies have been flying thick and fast. The "golden shower snuff video" (rogue soldiers), the Koran burning (honest mistake), the Kapisa shootings of seven civilians this week (honest mistake) and now the Panjwai slaughter (rogue soldier making honest mistake or perhaps sleep-walking).

General John Allen, top gun in Afghanistan, has apologized profusely. Leon Panetta has apologized even more. Even Obama tore himself away from watching college basketball to personally offer Afghan President Hamid Karzai an apology.

The message is this; we are honorable soldiers. We are in your country to  kill bad people honorably. Every once in a while a rogue soldier slips through the cracks and brings us dishonor. Or an honorable soldier makes an honest mistake. Please bear with us in these last months before we hand your country back to the Taliban.

We're doing the best we can.

52% of Mississippi Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim

That's according to a poll released today.

That puts Mississippi in a class by itself. In no other state does the Obama-is-a-Muslim tent hold over half the GOP voters.

Obviously the good folks in Mississippi don't go in for that fancy-pants news spin that's peddled by your pointy-headed elites.

And that's not the only measure by which Mississippi is in a class by itself.

Mississippi leads all states in infant mortality. Mississippi has the lowest teachers' salaries, the fewest number of university graduates, among the poorest results of any measure of education outcomes and the lowest median household income in the entire country.

Someone with an interest in connecting the dots might be able to make a  case for a causal relationship between lack of education, poverty, and the appeal of discredited political rumors.

It won't be me though. I don't want to stand accused of being a pointy-headed elitist.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Canada's Foreign Minister lectures on democracy while his party's dirty tricks are exposed at home

Foreign Minister and busybody at large John Baird was in Myanmar this week for a visit with Suu Kyi. Baird reassured Suu Kyi that Canada had her back and would be on the lookout for vote fraud in the next Myanmar election.

Meanwhile, back in the Great White North, the "robocall" scandal is gathering momentum. Seems that last election day all sorts of nefarious goings-on were on going, ostensibly for the benefit of Baird's Conservative Party.

Automated calls ruled the phone lines that day, advising voters to head for non-existant polling stations. Oddly enough, known Conservative sympathizers didn't get any of these calls. Even oddlier, known Liberal and NDP sympathizers did.

The goal was obviously to keep Liberal and NDP voters away from polling stations on voting day. If this story came out in Russia we'd be all over that evil Putin stealing the election.

Here in Canada, Harper stands up in the House of Commons and claims it was the opposition that organized these dirty tricks, just so they could accuse the Conservatives of election fraud after the Conservatives won the election.

As unlikely as that seems, nothing in this scandal so far has prevented Harper's minions from roaming the globe and delivering their self-righteous message of democratic virtue.

Defending yourself to death

It's business as usual in Gaza.

Hellfire missiles rain down on Gaza. Grad rockets rain down on Israel. Everybody on both sides claims the right to self defense.

This most recent exchange seems to have been triggered by the targetted killing of Zuhir al-Qaisi, chief of the Popular Resistance Committees, a Gaza militant group that generally defies Hama efforts to reign it in. In fact they see Hamas as having sold out. al-Qaisi was dispatched to his reward on Friday.

According to the IDF they had sound information that he was planning a major terror attack in the Sinai. I don't doubt that for a moment. There isn't a Palestinian radical group or terror cell that isn't riddled through and through with informants.

After al-Qaisi's demise it didn't take long for the retaliatory Grads to start flying out of Gaza. And then of course it didn't take long for the IAF retaliatory strikes against the retaliation. Everybody is retaliating now.

Everybody has the right to defend themselves.

Santorum sweeps Kansas

Kansas, also known as "the land that time forgot", has come through for Rick Santorum.

Santorum's campaign was aided mightily by the endorsements of Dorothy and the Tin Man. Apparently the cowardly Lion threw in with the Romney camp.

Kansas has a large percentage of so-called Christian conservatives who are naturally attracted to certain aspects of the Santorum schtick. There's a mellow yearning for the certitudes of the Eisenhower era, when gays and women and blacks all knew their place.

They're also cool with Santorum's foreign policy ideas, which harken back to a mythical bygone era. Santorum appeals to folks who think America has always been God's blunt instrument on earth. Not quite the "chosen people", but certainly the people chosen to make sure the chosen people can do as they please.

It is written, after all...

Rapture postponed indefinitely

Tell me it ain't so... Harold Camping has fessed up.

He got it wrong.

Camping is the guy who claimed that the Lord told him that The Rapture was going to happen last May 21.

May 21 came and went. No Rapture. Camping announced that somewhere between the Lord's lips and Camping's ear the message got mixed up. He was off by five months.

Five months came and went. Still no Rapture. Damn!

By then I'd lost faith in Camping, if not in the Lord. Mind you, he got me good the first time. Not that I was one of those dupes who sold all my stuff and sat on the front porch with my bags packed, waiting. But I did let the phone and electric bills slide more than I otherwise would have.

So now Camping admits he has no clue when the Rapture might be. He's going back to the Holy Scriptures for a thorough reread. And not a moment too soon; Camping is 90 years old. How much rereading does he have time for?

I've got a bit of friendly advice for Harold, and I hope he takes it in the spirit of brotherly love in which I intend it. Why not take a page out of Pat Robertson's hymnal and campaign for the legalization of marijuana instead of the end of the world?

Then both Reverends would be on board with that other Reverend, Wally Tucker. Wally and his Church of the Universe have been advocating for the decriminalization of the weed of wisdom for almost fifty years now.

Like Wally says, why hold your breath waiting for The Rapture when you can have a little bit of rapture every day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Corporations are people too

And as people, you know they have feelings.

Corporations feel bad when workers want benefits and higher pay.

That makes corporations feel sad.

That makes them so sad that they want to go to a right-to-work state to feel better.

Sometimes corporations have to go all the way to China before they feel better.

We should care more about how corporations feel about things.

After all, corporations are people too.

Newt pisses off Christians by claiming Catholics are Christians too

Newt, the serial adulterer, is striking out in his attempt to reach the evangelical demographic in the deep South.

He makes one statement after another equating the Church of Rome with Christianity.

As all true Christians know, papists are not true Christians.

And if Newt Gingrich was a true Christian, he'd know that already.

The Pope-worshiping hordes who profess fealty to Rome are not Christians.

They are Satanists.

Netanyahu goes home empty-handed

That's what the Israeli press has been saying about the visit with Obama and the speech at the AIPAC conflab.

Sure, he had his moment of glory. His AIPAC cheerleaders didn't miss a cue for a standing ovation. He pushed all the predictable buttons. Played the holocaust card to the max.

WE ARE LIKUD AND WE PEDDLE FEAR!

Standing ovation!

Only Likud can save Israel from a world of Hitlers.

Well, it sells at the AIPAC conference but it doesn't sell at home.

The consensus in Israeli media is that he totally overplayed his hand. Obama didn't sign on. Netanyahu came home looking like the over-reaching political opportunist that he is.

And that's not a bad thing.

Romney touches up fake accent on tour of Southern States

Mitt is working hard on losing his Canadian accent.

He was working hard on his "y'alls" today in preparation for the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.

Y'all come on down and vote fer yer uncle Mitt!

C'mon y'all, corporations are people too!

Y'all must be dumber than a post if ya do. Y'all gotta keep in mind that Mitty done made himself hundreds of millions shuttin' down yer factories and sendin' the jobs somewhere else.

And y'all should keep in mind that Mitt is keen, real keen, on bringing us into another war in the Middle East.

He's not about appeasing those Persian towellers like Obama been doin'. No siree, Mitt's gonna open up a big fat can 'o whup-ass on those folks.

So give yer head a shake and vote for Mitt!

That Mormon got moxie!