Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Canada passes mask law on Halloween!

Good one!

Those tough-on-crime Harperites are now getting even tougher on crime. The House of Commons has passed a proposed law that will make it illegal to wear a mask to a riot.

It's already illegal in Canada to wear a mask while committing a crime, so the new law doesn't really change anything. It makes some soothing headlines for the type of folks who buy into the tough-on-crime agenda even though statistics show Canadian crime rates trending down for almost half a century now.

The new bill is aimed at the so-called Black Bloc anarchists who tend to show up at any anti-government protest attempting to turn it into a riot. It is well known that the majority of the masked rioters are undercover cops, and they won't face charges anyway, with or without the new bill.

But the Harper gang has themselves some spiffy tough-on-crime headlines.

High school student gets afternoon off for vicious antisemitic rant

I've never been a big fan of professional victims who have nothing better to do than root out antisemitism 24/7, but once in awhile reality gives you a jolt.

Today was one of those days. The Farm Manager has a day job in addition to her farm management duties. She's a Education Assistant at one of the local high schools.

She has been there for a long time and is considered by peers and students alike to be excellent at her job. Today when she asked a 16 year old kid to shut down a computer because he was on an inappropriate site, she was met with a barrage of obscenities focused on the fact that she is a Jew.

She has never made a secret of her background, and until today her Jewishness has been met with respectful indifference.

The sixteen year old's racist, sexist, and antisemitic outburst was met with the administration's idea of appropriate punishment; a half day suspension from school.

What kind of message is that supposed to send?

NATO's ignoble achievement in Libya

Libya's lame duck parliament, which governs nothing beyond the oil industry, today approved another cabinet for Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

A year after the murder of Gaddafi, American media have more or less forgotten about Libya, with the exception of the "Benghazi incident," the murder of the American ambassador in September, and that only because the right end of the political spectrum is using it as a pathetic cudgel with which to smear Obama. See for example Paul Wolfowitz's opportunistic slag of Obama at the American Enterprise Institute site today.

To read reasoned reportage about the state of affairs in Libya it's necessary to read foreign sites. This opinion piece from The Hindu for example provides more context for the death of Ambassador Stevens than anything yet published in America.

Meanwhile, the oil keeps flowing, the oil money keeps disappearing, a tiny handful of kleptocrats allied with the oil industry keep getting richer, and the average Libyan is left stunned and bewildered by the chaos that now reigns in his country.

Democracy off and running in cradle of Arab Spring

Running for its life!

Here's a story about an Amnesty International report released a week ago that for some reason didn't get a lot of notice on this side of the Atlantic.

The story is a little short on specifics, I suppose to becalm the reader who may still harbor delusions about the liberation of the Tunisian masses from the clutches of a Western-backed dictator.

It doesn't mention the woman who was recently charged with immorality after being gang-raped by four liberated policemen for example.

But let us suspend judgement for the moment; building a democracy takes time...

Israel Defense Minister talks tough in London

Ehud Barak apparently didn't get the "shut up" memo that has seen other leading orators in Washington and Israel tone down the war talk recently with respect to Iran.

Speaking to the British Israel Communications and Research Center today, Barak was in full "all options on the table" mode, the kind of talk we haven't heard from Netanyahu or Obama in weeks.

Barak reminded his audience that Israel lives in a tough neighborhood where there is no mercy for the weak.

That is certainly a point that he and Hezbollah agree on!

With respect to the "civil war" in Syria, Barak claimed that the last thing Israel wants to see on her northern border is chaotic failed state, but witnesses claim he was crossing his fingers behind his back at the time.

US to take direct control of Syrian opposition

Hillary Clinton today signalled that the Paris based "Syrian National Council" is to be replaced with a new coalition selected by the Obama administration.

This move has been in the works for some time. If you look at Clinton's remarks from a meeting with the SNC almost a year ago it seems that while the Obama administration considered the Syrian expatriates sufficiently pliable, what they no longer have is any control over the actual fighters.

Today in Zagreb Clinton made it plain that she expects the new umbrella group to take back the revolution from the foreign extremists who have succeeded in hijacking it.

The new leadership will be introduced at a meeting of Syrian opposition groups and their foreign sponsors to be held in Qatar next week.

Gov't of Canada determines that two legs and a testicle are worth $260,000

Doesn't it just amaze you how quickly our leadership class can go from singing the praises of our troops to nickel-and-diming them half to death when they get home?

Here's a story about a Canadian Afghan War vet who suffered grievous injuries while doing his patriotic duty for his country.

The same crew of bureaucrats who never tire of gloating of the achievements of "their" military don't mind playing hardball when those men and women are injured and need our support.

It's enough to make you sick.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chris Christie angles for queer vote in 2016

Never mind the election next week.

We all know Chris is a shoe-in next time round.

But he can't do it without the gay vote.

Which is why he's sucking up to Obama now.

He's got to put a little distance between himself and all the anti-gay stuff  that has grown up around his political career.

Embracing Obama is just the first step.

He'll be heading up a Pride parade well before 2016.

God willing, and if the creek don't rise...

Well by fuck, if the crik didn't riz, right over the bridge!

From nothing on Monday night to a foot over the top on Tuesday morning.

And that was just the beginning of the nightmare.

The power was out.

In these parts we depend on the tender mercies of a semi-governmental entity called Hydro One to put things right when the power is out.

I was a bit reluctant to call them because I knew my account was somewhat in arrears. At the same time, I know they always give a last call before they cut you off.

So I knew this wasn't just about me.

I called.

A recorded message informed me that tens of thousands of Hydro One customers were without power, and I would have to wait my turn.

Well alright then!

So I waited...

Monday, October 29, 2012

NATO's Turkey a powderkeg of contradictions

On the one hand, they're busy as can be doing NATO's bidding with their unquestioning support of the Syrian uprising. As serious people who follow these matters well know, the "support" is much more than that.

Without the connivance of the Erdogan regime the Syrian uprising would have been over 18 months ago. Thirty thousand dead Syrians would still be living their lives.

And as the serious people who follow these matters also know, this idea does not originate in Turkey.

Turkey gets its swagger from having the backing of the NATO gang.

Today thousands of protesters demonstrated in the streets of Turkey against Erdogan and against NATO.

They fancy themselves the heirs of Ataturk, the father of modern secular Turkey.

In some oblique sense they very well may be, but the true heirs of Ataturk are those 300 officers who Erdogan recently locked up.

Elsewhere Erdogan will continue to get away with killing his own (Kurdish) people until his NATO friends no longer find him useful.

The reason those 300 heirs of Ataturk are locked up is because they would never connive with the NATO gang to make war on their neighbor.

The longer that war drags on, the more Erdogan becomes expendable.

What does NATO have in common with the Hells Angels MC?

Have to admit I was something of a Sonny Barger fan in my youth.

Urban legend has it that Barger once offered LBJ his boys to form an elite fighting unit in Viet Nam. The offer was declined.

Not sure what kind of fighting unit they would have made. Don't imagine the yellow guys would have been too impressed with a bunch of fat white guys waving pool cues at them out there in the jungle.

So it's probably just as well that the Angels stayed state-side. 

And while they may not have officially made it to Viet Nam, they did go international. There are chapters in most countries in the free world today.

Nice work, Sonny.

What makes the Hells Angels just like NATO is their basic operational maxim. All for one and one for all.

That's the ethos that gives a full-patch Angel his incredible swagger in any bar in the world. Unless it's an Outlaws or Bandidos bar of course.

And that's what gives Turkey its incredible swagger. All for one etc.

So when plucky little Turkey is busy funneling money and weapons and fighters into Syria over these last 19 months, they know they do not walk alone.

They've got the full swagger of the NATO gang behind them. 

Mitt Romney has a plan to help the US auto industry

He does?

Mitt is a guy who is intimately acquainted with the concept of shipping American jobs to China, so this "Chinese Jeeps" gambit should be a non-starter to say the least.

And Lee Iaccoca knows all about auto industry bailouts, so to see him waxing wise in favor of anti-bailout Romney seems proof enough that old Lee might be a little further down the Alzheimer Highway than we suspected.

I made a small fortune betting on Chrysler shares around the time Lee got that bail-out. Unfortunately my next few bets went south. That wasn't his fault though, and I've had a soft spot in my heart for him ever since.

So to see him endorse Mitt stings a bit.

As for Chrysler, their quarterly results released today show an 80% jump in profit.

And as much as I might not like the two-tiered wage structure or a lot of the other stuff my former union has swallowed, it's better than nothing, which is what Chrysler would be, twice over, without government bailouts.

Richard Falk and the New World Order

On the face of it you might expect to find a little truth behind the claims that Richard Falk is an emissary for the New World Order.

After all, he has aligned himself with such ominous sounding entities as the "World Federalist Institute" and the "American Movement for World Government."

And he is a Jew after all. While I don't spend a lot of time studying the various threads of NWO conspiracy theories I am sufficiently acquainted with their overall thrust to appreciate that the chosen people play a central role.

I am also sufficiently acquainted with the work of Richard Falk to know that he is one of those Jews that the Likud crowd love to hate the most.

He is the classic "self-hating" Jew, which of course is the fate of every Jew who disagrees with the Likudniks.

He has, in their view, violated the sacred trust between God and the chosen people by suggesting that Palestinians have rights too, a view that is utterly blasphemous among the crowd of annex-everything fascists who seem determined to drive the state of Israel into the abyss.

Just recently two of the towering geniuses in the Harper cabinet have piled onto the anti-Falk bandwagon, namely Messers Baird and Kenney. They have taken umbrage over statements made by Falk about western corporations that profit from the occupation.

Why these dolts remain in the Harper cabinet is a good question, and I think the answer is that the Prime Minister likes to keep a few buffoons around because they inevitably make him look a whole lot smarter by comparison.

While I am somewhat ambivalent about Falk's position vis-a-vis those companies, I am totally in agreement that pressure needs to be brought to bear on those who profit from the occupation. What that pressure should look like is not for me to judge, but any analysis of the situation must proceed from the fact that the occupation is illegal and immoral, which by the way is the official position of the Canadian government.

Which brings us back to the New World Order.

It seems this has become a catch-all category for a wide range of folks disaffected with the current state of things. Everything from the out-sourcing of the industrial economy to gay marriage is at some point tied into this imaginary NWO.

NWO conspiracy theories thrive in those societies wherein the working classes have suffered a roll-back in their standard of living over the past few generations. Those would be primarily the folks who took it on the chin when the Reagan-Thatcher revolution cemented neo-liberalism as the state religion in the Anglo American universe.

For over forty years we have watched ourselves get poorer while our oligarchs and plutocrats got richer, and rather than hold the oligarchs and plutocrats and the politicians they've bought responsible, we want to blame Jews or Bilderbergers or aliens or Freemasons for the problem.

Which of course is just fine with our masters.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

NWO uses Hurricane Sandy as cover for shut-down of financial markets

I was sitting around chit-chatting with Junior about how a lot of these headlines we've seen today wouldn't get a C- in his grade 10 Media Studies class.

So he helped me write the headline on this post.

I figure that's at least a B+.

Iran mounts massive gold smuggling ring to circumvent santions

Here's the evidence, straight from a Reuter's exclusive.

Looks like our NATO allies the Turks are ass-deep in the action, as are our other allies in Dubai.

Not sure what that says about our allies...


Uncle Murray gets the last laugh

Oh how happy I would have been to trade a few minutes of weather from that day we buried the guy for what we had today at the unveiling of the monument.

Just watched a couple of talking heads at CNN announce that the first power outages of the "Frankenstorm" occurred just north of Atlanta, 700 miles south of the storm's eye.

Earlier in the day, 700 miles west of that eye, we had that cold front moving through, the one that's heading up to meet with Hurricane Sandy to create that Frankenstorm.

We'd had an uneventful drive down, but just as we're pulling into the Pardes Chaim cemetery all frankenhell breaks loose.

When we get out of the car there's howling wind and rain and sleet and I swear I even saw snowflakes.

Umbrellas were being blown inside out. Toupees and kippas were blowing in the wind...

The attending Rabbi pulled off the shortest unveiling service in the history of death; about seven minutes.

And somewhere Murray Zidenberg was having the last laugh.

Beer-swilling hillbilly scoops Washington Post by six months

Well here's a shocker for you.

Seems those Al Qaeda types we've been handing Stinger hand-held anti-aircraft missiles to in Syria have hijacked the uprising!

Yup, the Washington Post  has the straight skinny.

Oh, where have we heard such insinuations before?

Here for at least the last six months.

Actually, Pepe Escobar was all over the mainstream media (well, not "all over" it, but closer than he normally gets...) a year ago with the story of Abdel Hakim Belhaj moving on to Syria now that Allah's and Uncle Sam's work in Libya was done.

He's not the only one who has been all over this story for at least a year.

Belhaj is either a really deeply embedded double agent or he has one of the most compelling stories in the history of the War on Terror.

He was renditioned to Libya at the behest of the Blair government back in the Qaddafi era. He was eventually released, turned up again in the struggle to overthrow that same Qaddafi who had just released him, and then was off to do God's work in Turkey.

In the meantime, on his R&R breaks he's huddling up with his London attorneys to fine-tune his lawsuit against the British government.

Like I said; the most compelling story of the War on Terror.

Or something else.



With friends like this let's be thankful America doesn't have enemies

Dilip Hiro has a depressing article on the Al Jazeera site today.

Hiro isn't some anti-US raver and he knows his stuff. What he sees when he looks at Pakistan-US relations doesn't exactly fill the reader with hope.

America spends billions trying to buy friends in Pakistan's security establishment. Why?

In the first place, America needs Pakistan's cooperation for the Afghan war. In fact, it needs Pakistan's cooperation just to get out!

As the brief suspension of that cooperation for a few months last winter demonstrated, logistics become far more complicated and expensive when the US is forced to rely on even more unsavory neighbor states for access to the country.

Secondly, the pointy heads in the Pentagon are scared silly by Pakistan's nuclear program. The Paks aren't years away or months away from nuclear weapons.

They've got them.

Genuine viable nukes and the missiles to deliver them anywhere anytime.

According to Hiro the US military has an ongoing commando training program that will go into Pakistan and get those nukes just like they got bin Laden. That's a lovely fantasy but I'm guessing that they guard their nuclear arsenal a little better than they were protecting bin Laden. This plan is a non-starter.

By the end of Hiro's article you realize that the Americans have painted themselves into quite the corner. On the one hand bankrupt America keeps trying to buy friends there. On the other they run roughshod over Pakistan's sovereignty with the widely hated drone campaign.

There are at least two broad lessons to take away from this mess.

When one sees the deference with which the Pakistani security establishment is treated, it's not hard to see why other countries in the neighborhood might want to have nuclear weapons. It's a game changer. You go from being a nobody to being somebody who can wheedle billions in extortion money out of Uncle Sam.

The other lesson is for the American leadership.

How many lives and how much money would be saved if America could stay home and look after America?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Peter Worthington well past best before date

Mr. Worthington has had a good run. But there comes a time when the decent thing to do is fold the tent.

An excruciatingly lame defense of the American Empire recently makes this more than obvious.

Peter asks himself a question. Then he gets an answer!

Then he writes an opinion piece about the experience.

Dude, it's time to step away from the Underwood.

Peter came of age in an era when the Empire stood for something. Even Peter must admit that the America of WWll is not the America of today. During WWll and Korea, it was at least plausible that the Empire had enemies, and that we would all be better off if those enemies were vanquished.

Half a century later, what is obvious is that America has absolutely no challengers on the global stage. Who is threatening the US with embargoes or sanctions or quarantines? Who is cruising their battleships off America's coasts? Who is overflying America with their drones?

Nobody.

The world has changed, Mr. Worthington. And America has changed.

The America you fought for in Korea now officially employs torture and allows it's own citizens to be executed by presidential decree.

No trial, no due process. Is this the America you fought for?

No. It sounds more like the totalitarians you were fighting against.

You've had a good run, but the world you're writing about isn't the real world anymore.

Time to fold the tent.

The crisis in the Somali immigrant community

The Farm Manager is watching a doc about gangs and street violence in Toronto.

Thirty years ago she was a young idealistic teacher's aide in Regent Park, a neighborhood in Toronto that was as nasty as Jane-Finch is today. While I was working in the garage today I came across a photo album she'd put together during that era.

It's full of typical class photos. A bunch of happy mostly black toddlers with their mostly white teachers. With this being Regent Park, it would be interesting to do a follow-up. How many of those toddlers are dead? How many are in jail? How many made it through to become productive members of society, whatever that means?

The latest wave of immigrants who are struggling with their adjustment to society are the Somali's. There's a good bit of ink being spilled by the main-stream press on the fate of the last wave of Somali immigrants these days.

There's nothing new about immigrants struggling to make a go of it. That's been the lot of every generation of immigrants. They got off the boat at Ellis Island or Pier 21 and they got the shit jobs and lived on the 7th floor of a walk-up tenement, whether they were Italian or German or Jews or Irish.

The Jamaicans and the Somali's came later, and society had changed. The life that a shit job could buy in 1930 or 1950 or 1965 is not the life a shit job can buy today. On top of that they have the handicap of their skin color, and as much as we might want to pretend we're past that, we're not.

But let's not make excuses. That wouldn't be fair to those recent immigrants who "make it" in spite of all the obstacles in their path.

One of those obstacles is the dearth of intact families among the most recent immigrants. However tough it might be to make a go of it when you get off the boat and aren't familiar with the language and the customs, at least you've got your family unit to support you.

When you're a boy in one of those recent immigrant communities you are more than likely not to have that. Times have changed. There aren't even enough of the shit jobs to keep the fathers busy. They drift off, totally emasculated by their inability to provide.

The boys grow up in a fatherless home. They too find out soon enough that the shit jobs that are around aren't enough to support a family, but buddy two floors up is clearing a thousand a week selling weed.

Bingo!

There has been a lot of well-paid head-scratching going on for at least a couple of generations now about how to break this cycle.

It's pretty simple. Young people need opportunity. They need hope.

If the gangs offer more opportunity and hope than society does, it means that we as a society have failed.

What are we going to do about it?

When the wheel of karma gets stuck in the mud

Finally culled enough of the crap in the garage to make room for the Mustang Fifty. She's going to be sleeping there till spring.

There's guys who go all out when they park a car for the winter. Take the wheels off, put it on blocks, drain the fluids.

Bit excessive if you ask me. Besides, thanks to the benefits of global warming, I might be able to take her out for a rip in the middle of January.

My buddy Jimmy Lippert, may he rest in peace, always took the battery out of anything he stored. Claimed that was the only way to ensure that there was no chance of a barn fire. Just disconnecting the battery cables wasn't good enough for him. You take the battery out and store it in another room.

I don't know. If batteries can start fires, wouldn't the fire just start in the other room? Maybe that was a bit excessive too.

Back when I stored the SD 455 Trans Am for the only winter I owned her, I didn't disconnect or remove anything. When it came time to pull her out she fired up and I drove away. Simple as that. Kurtz's barn didn't burn down.

Kurtz's barn was just by Ariss Ontario, which was up the road from me. At the time Ariss had two variety stores and four houses. And Bill Bailey.

I met Billy at Marden Public School. He was the first guy I met my age who bragged about feeling up girls boobs. That was on the school bus in grade six, a point in time at which it hadn't occurred to me yet that I would want to touch boobs.

Funny how things change.

So old man Kurtz had a farm outside Ariss and I agreed to pay a hundred bucks to park the Super Duty there for the winter. There were a couple of camping trailers stored there as well. I knew him because I knew a couple of his youngsters, who were more or less my age.

Five years later I was on the ferry between Vancouver Island and the mainland, and I'm sitting there, and I'm thinking I'm seeing a couple of the Kurtz boys, but I can't be, because they live on a farm by Ariss and I'm on a boat in the Pacific Ocean.

So I'm sitting there staring at them and they're sitting there staring at me and finally somebody says "hey man, you look just like....  "

Sure enough. It was them.

The Super Duty was one hell of a piece of machinery. She'd break the tires loose in every gear if you wanted. If the road was a little damp she had a tendency to do that even when you didn't want it.

For me, it was the right car at the wrong time.

Life does that to you. Right car at the wrong time. Right woman at the wrong time. Great job but I just gotta follow the call of the wild...

Finest shoes you've ever owned but they don't go with your suit. Finest suit you ever owned and you've never looked better but by God here comes a hemroid flare-up... The hemroids fade away and the job's working out and the suit and the shoes are working out and the woman is working out and everything is A-plus and then the cops show up while you've got the mother-in-law over with a warrant from five years ago.

Fuck me!

So I get to talking to the Kurtz boys and they've been in the Okanogan for the last month picking cherries, and they did the math and realized that compared to a shit-level job back in Ariss, home base of the Hasenfratz Linamar empire, it was actually costing them money to pick cherries.

So they buggered off and decided to see a few sights.

I knew a variety of Kurtz's back in the day. Even dated one once. One of the girls. That didn't go anywhere. Right woman at the wrong time.

Bill I ran into years later at a gas station in Guelph. He was back for a visit from a job in the Yukon. He'd settled down.

"Ya can't just rape and pillage yer whole life" he said.

He's right.

But it gets me thinking about what goes around comes around.

Karma.

It wasn't till I got to Falling Downs that things seemed to work in harmony. The shoes, the suit, the woman, the job, the friends, the life...

The vehicles tend to be older and rusting, but they start up every day and they're paid for.

For a long time everybody I knew eventually got stuck in the mud. You'd get the dream house with the dream kitchen and your husband would leave.

Or the best job ever and a shop out back and your wife would leave.

And hemroids can rear up any time.

So there's something comforting about finding everything fitting into place when you're well past ever hoping that's gonna happen.

Unfortunately this place is called Falling Downs because it's falling down.

It ain't gonna last forever.



Colossus of windbags: Conrad Black's resurrection tour

You have to admire the guy. Where most in his position (i.e. convicted felon recently released from prison) would keep their head down and their mouth shut, Conrad is off on a book tour proclaiming that he is, was, and forever will be innocent and everybody else is wrong.

Long before the hanky panky that put him behind bars Black was a pioneer in the looting of pension plans. His career has been one long exercise in pushing the envelope of what was legally permissible. Questions of ethics never entered the equation.

At every turn he was applauded by a fawning business press who made him out to be a bold visionary. He's not so much a presence in the business pages anymore, having piddled away the lions share of his fortune in futile attempts to preserve his reputation and avoid jail.

The current book tour in Britain is cementing his status as an object of derision. Perhaps we are just meeting the real Conrad after all these years. He's not a tycoon, he's not a bold visionary.

He's just a vain and somewhat silly man.

Drones and apple pie

Imran Khan should thank his lucky stars and stripes he wasn't given an unexpected side-trip to Damascus when he showed up at Toronto International Airport last night.

US immigration officials working in the Canadian city detained Khan when he was attempting to board a flight to NYC. Khan is the former cricket star, the Wayne Gretzky of Pakistan if you will, who is in the process of reinventing himself as a populist politician in the world's second most dysfunctional democracy.

He has been an outspoken critic of America's "drone 'em good and drone 'em often" terror campaign which has caused hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan.

According to Khan he was unrepentant during his interrogation. Since his opposition to drone attacks is  a central plank in his campaign he assumes American authorities were well aware of it when they issued him a visa.

This is the kind of heavy-handed stupidity that has become the hallmark of America's dealings with the rest of the planet. Khan is the kind of guy who, all things equal, is a natural ally of the West. Incidents like this will only alienate him and at the same time increase his popularity in Pakistan.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crop circles reveal Psy is the messiah!!!

Gangnam style indeed!

We should have seen it coming. As the corner stores all over the world were gradually being taken over by Koreans, we SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING!!!

And it all stands up to the harsh light of reason. Koreans. Corner Stores. Christianity...

THE APOCALYPSE!!!

The end of days.

You really think it's a coincidence that an obscure Korean rapper makes the most-viewed YOU TUBE video of all time?

Lucifer works in mysterious ways. And just like those Koreans, he works 24/7. Believe me, I've seen the evidence right back there behind the barn.

Lundy's cows have been making crop circles back there. They circle around having random shits as they go. But there is no denying it; if you follow the cow pies they clearly spell out P-S-Y = M-S-S-I-A.

I'm not kidding. Feel free to go back there and have a look for yourself.

Of course reading cow shit circles is not an exact science.

Especially after the hounds have rolled around in the cow shit.

In fact, now that I look at it again... well, maybe it says this, maybe it says that...  I'm clearly seeing P-S-Y.. oh wait a minute... maybe that's "my"... not "Psy"...

M-S-S-I... Oh wait a minute... Oh for fucks sakes!

I think the crop circle says "my mistake".

Sorry about that.

My mistake.

Canada pension plan embraces Big Bernie and Johnny Death

Oh my f-ing gawd. Have things actually come to this?

The Canada Pension Plan is putting it's faith in Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, the masterminds of Bernie's multi-billion dollar car racing empire.

My pension now rides with Sebastien Vettel and Lewis Hamilton?

Fuck me.

Much as I'm a fan of anything with a motor that can go fast, it had never occurred to me that someday I'd be banking on it.

How can such a thing even be imagined?

I have to say I am struck dumb.

I'll get back to you tomorrow...

Canada's first Black police chief gets rough reception

But of course it has nothing to do with his skin tone. No, it goes so much deeper than that.

The (need I say, white) critics are in a flap over Devon Clunis' Christian faith. Yup, apparently it's the first time a Canadian city has had a Chief of Police from the Christian faith.

Chief Clunis had the temerity to tell a Christian magazine that it might not be a bad idea if the folks in his town spent a little more time in prayer.

Well, that's a no-brainer. That's what any proper member of any theistic cult would tell anyone in any context. That's just what religious people do.

Clunis just became Chief of the Winnipeg police. Winnipeg has the distinction of being not only the murder capital of Canada, but the leader in child poverty and gang violence.

Now I'm more or less an agnostic, but by God, I think when your city has a reputation like that maybe Chief Clunis is onto something. Hell, I'd be praying too if I lived in Winnipeg!

Winnipeg is an odd little town. Guy Maddin made a great film about coming up there. I've spent some time there myself. (Oxford Arms, mid '70's, home of dozens of down and out alcoholics, drug addicts, etc... ) It's also the home of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, an edifice steeped in multiple levels of irony which will most likely declare bankruptcy long before it opens its doors to the public.

Oddly enough, the Chief's most vocal critic is also one of the Museum's most vocal defenders! Arthur Shafer is an academic at the University of Manitoba, exactly the kind of guy whom one would expect to be celebrating the ascent of a Black man to the post of Chief of Police.

But it's a crazy world! Canada, the country that ships her citizens to Syria to be tortured, and then condemns Syria for not respecting human rights, builds a museum dedicated to human rights, but in the very city that is home to said museum, a Black man cannot be Chief of Police because he is a Christian?

Anyway, congratulations on your promotion Mr. Clunis. It's a tough gig you've got, and I wish you well.

I'll be praying for you!

Prime Minister Bunga Bunga goes to jail

Hold the phone there just a minute Billy-Bob, he ain't in jail yet. In fact, on the same day an Italian court sentenced former PM Berlusconi to four years in prison for tax fraud, it already reduced the sentence to one year, and could very well reduce it to one day by the end of the weekend.

Failing that, Berlusconi has at least two more levels of appeal court through which to drag his case. The man is 76 years of age now, and should be able to draw this business out till well after he has crossed to the other side.

This tax fraud case is not to be confused with the various legal actions concerning Berlusconi's bedroom actions with various underage prostitutes. On that front the defense team is pinning its hopes on the "dic pussicuss" defense, meaning he only talked to the girls. (Not to be confused with "dick pussicus" which would play into the hands of the prosecutors.)

In fact, there seems to be some concern that many of these teens were more than a little familiar with great Italian thinkers from Bertolucci to Visconti. A fourteen year old from Napoli was in the witness stand just last week and was able to quote at length from the works of Antonio Gramsci, so perhaps the man is innocent of these charges after all.

On the other hand, the tax fraud seems rather more obvious. The nub of the matter is that the billionaire PM overstated his business expenses by the hundreds of millions in order to reduce his tax liabilities. According to the defense, this is just the proper thing to do, which echoes Romney's claim that any patriotic American millionaire tax evader would be doing the right thing by parking their fortune in off-shore tax havens.

Between the two cases, plodding through the Italian judicial system on parallel tracks, one gets a measure of the man.

To say he is wildly out of touch with the regular folks would be an understatement of immense proportions.

But he's planning a political comeback.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Netanyahu demonstrates superiority of white folks with Sudan attack

Secure in the knowledge that the Sudanese Air Force won't be bombing Tel Aviv any time soon, Prime Minister Netanyahu this week ordered the bombing of a munitions plant in the Sudanese capital.

Why?

Good question.

Some in the media want to play it as a lesson to the Islamists in Gaza, who might be getting supplied from Sudan.

Sounds a little far-fetched to me.

With Islamists in power right next door in Egypt, Islamists running Gaza, and Islamists controlling the tunnels between the two, it's hard to see how Khartoum becomes part of the picture.

Oh, wait a minute....  Those are BLACK Islamists! If there's one thing scarier than a toweller, it's got to be a BLACK toweller...

That explains it!

Canada ready for war in Mali

Mali? Why not? Now that we've cut and run in Afghanistan maybe we're due for an easier target.

Here's what Canada's newspaper of record has to say.

Canada must respond to Mali's call to arms. In a tidy opinion piece Campbell Clark makes the case for our "responsibility" to participate in the pending AFRICOM-engineered invasion of Mali. After all, we were pumping 100 million a year into that country right up until the moment the house of cards collapsed, and therefore we owe it to ourselves to throw good money after bad.

Nowhere in Mr. Clark's article is there any hint of a connection between the glorious campaign to free the people of Libya and what has happened in Mali since, which is a curious oversight. The reality is that, high-minded rhetoric about freedom and democracy aside, the mess in Mali is the direct result of our meddling in Libya.

Only the future will tell what the results of our meddling in Mali will be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leading French buffoon calls for immediate invasion of Syria

Yes, that would be none other than Bernard-Henri Levy, the "Oaf of Tobruk" who single-handedly brought democracy to Libya last year.

He is now ready for an encore performance. He has retained a film crew to record his high-level diplomatic publicity stunts as he lobbies all and sundry to implement his plans for the salvation of Syria. Hopefully the ensuing documentary, tentatively titled "The Oaf of Aleppo", will be ready in time for Cannes.

Writing in Le Monde today, BHL envisions a joint Franco-American invasion force that combines French leadership and intelligence and Yankee boots on the ground. The mission must by-pass the UN, he informs us, because there remain people in that institution who are not convinced of his towering genius.

The Franco American invaders will ensure that only rebels with "genuinely democratic ideals" will be given weapons. Perhaps he has learned something from the Libya debacle after all, where a year after liberation the country is wracked with internecine violence and is less stable than at anytime in the past 43 years.

That's a minor quibble though. When one is as overwhelmingly brilliant as the great BHL there is no need to allow oneself to be encumbered with triffles like "facts" and "reality".

Spending more to get less: health care in America

The New York Times recently featured a hard-hitting article about the stark choice that American voters face between Obama's vision of health care and that of Romney.

Stark choice my ass.

Obamacare used Mitt's Massachusetts health care reforms as a template for Obamacare, a fact that even hard-core Tea Party types don't deny. The only reason that there is any difference between the candidates positions today is because the Governor has disavowed what he accomplished when he was governor, mainly to placate that same Tea Party wing of the GOP.

In a nutshell, both the Mass plan and Obamacare preserve the status quo, with the additional sop to the health care industry of subsidizing insurance for anyone who can't afford it. The fact that the passage of Obamacare sparked a flurry of buy-outs among health care providers and insurers, a topic we've touched on here before, signals that the industry understands very well that their gravy train is bound for an even more lucrative ride through the pockets of the American consumer.

PBS has an informative article that explores some of the reasons that other developed countries manage to deliver superior health care (when measured by outcome indicators) at substantially lower costs, without excluding the poorest third of their populations.

The stark choice is not between Obama and Romney. It's between Obamney and a single-payer public system.

Why this is not immediately obvious even to near-cretins speaks to the efficacy of the industry's propaganda machine. When private for-profit corporations are responsible for deciding who gets what services, their bottom line is their bottom line. In other words, what you actually need is not.

By definition they need to make a profit. They don't make a profit by providing expensive medical treatments to every policy holder who gets sick.

Research consistently shows that countries with government run health care achieve better results for more people using less resources. The evidence has been around for decades and is indisputable.

But it flies in the face of the great American myth that the private sector is inherently more efficient than government.

The American public is paying the private sector a 40% premium to keep that myth alive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's wrong with kids today?

You see them everywhere. Goofy haired louts with their ball-caps on sideways or backwards and their pants sliding off the ass. They're skateboarding down the road at seventeen years of age tweeting their twitter flock about the new trick they can do on their board while blowing out their eardrums with hiphop shit that isn't fit to stream into your barn. You just want to give them a kick in the pants.

This ain't Henry Felsen's generation. Hell, it ain't even Roger Daltry's generation.

They're loud and rude and really stupid.

And you know what?

They're doing the best they can.

Felsen's generation was driving cars because they could afford to drive cars. Kids today don't drive skateboards and bicycles because they are hard-core environmentalists. They drive skateboards and bicycles because they can't afford stuff with motors.

It's the insurance.

It's the fact that minimum wage doesn't take you as far as it used to.

They're not stupid; they're adapting to their environment.

And they didn't create their environment.

We did.

The elders. The ones who now call them stupid goofs and tell them to get a job and a life and pull that ball cap around for God's sake.

Where are those jobs we want them to get?

And what kind of life do we expect them to find on that minimum wage from Walmart or McDonalds?

They're addicted to their cellphones because that is one of the few status markers that they can afford on a minimum wage.

So the next time you're tempted to make a judgement about a bunch of loud goofs playing with their skateboards, remember what they're up against.

Take a moment to feel some empathy. They're not stupid. They're doing the best they can.


Then give them a kick in the pants!

Haida Indians invite environmental cataclysm with iron dump

Those ignorant natives on Canada's west coast have just pronounced a death sentence on the oceans of the world with their dumping of 100 tons of iron pellets into the Pacific.

Apparently the iron dumping was not properly supervised or approved by smart white people.

The smart white people claim that 100 tons of iron dumped into the ocean might destroy the global ecosystem.

Here's a few iron dumps by smart white people that have as yet NOT destroyed our planet's ecosystem:

Bismarck Iron Dump, North Sea, 1940's  41,000 tonne

Tirpiz Iron Dump, North Sea, 1940's  43,000 tonne

Titanic Iron Dump, North Atlantic, 1914,  46,000 tonne

Derbyshire Iron Dump, Sea of Japan, 1980,  92,000 tonne.

But they dump 100 tons of iron into the Pacific off Haida Gwaii and it's an ecological disaster of unprecedented proportions!

Oh please!

Falling Downs crippled by CIA cyber terror attack!

Holy jumpin' catfish, we were off the net for days!

And I think I know who is behind this.

Mossad!

Yup, the Likud party bosses gave the orders to shut down this aggravating purveyor of anti-Likud truth that is read by at least three or four Israelis every month...

Oh all right then... Maybe not.

The CIA!

Yes, the CIA is behind the cyber attack! And we have proof! The proof is that we have no proof! That is how they operate on the dark side. When there is no evidence whatsoever, it was obviously the CIA!

That is just one of the known knowns in the world 'o spooks. When every other plausible explanation defies comprehension, it was obviously the CIA...

Wait a minute... it could have been CSIS, Canada's own wannabee CIA!...

Nah...

They pretty much stick to sending Arab Canadians to Libya and Syria for "interrogation", and now that the Nations of Virtue have put paid, or almost paid to the evil dictators who run those countries, that's pretty much out.

Oh, wait a minute... the repair dude is here... what's that? The modem?...

Seems the connector plugging into the modem had a broken wire...

Nevermind then.

Qatari visit signals rehabilitation of Hamas

The Emir of Qatar paid an official visit to Gaza today.

I think the general public in the West underestimates the influence that the Qataris have in the region and over American foreign policy.

They are pretty much at a point where they can give AIPAC a run for their money, and after all, money is what it's all about.

Sheikh Hamad is the first head of state to grace the Gaza enclave with an official visit. It comes six years after Hamas won fair and square elections that had been heavily promoted by the Nations of Virtue, who assumed that Israeli stooge Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority would prevail.

Alas, that was not to be. The Palestinian Authority seemed to lose most of its authority with the demise of Arafat

The triumph of Hamas in Gaza was a bitter irony. Hamas originally had at least the tacit support of Israel and the Nations of Virtue, who saw them as a pliable alternative to Arafat.

What a miscalculation that was!

The Qataris are the money and the brains behind Al Jazeera. They are the money and the brains behind the Syrian uprising. When the leader of Qatar pays a visit to those terror masterminds in Gaza, we ignore the ramifications at our peril.

By "rehabilitation" we are not talking about a substantive change in Hamas ideology. We are talking about a PR rehabilitation.

Look for broadly sympathetic features about daily life in Gaza, coming soon to the New York Times.

And it's just a matter of time before we see Piers Morgan interviewing Ismail Haniyah on CNN.

Fighting cyber crime the Canadian way

Makes ya kinda proud to be a Canadian, don't it?

Way back when the Great White North became aware of cyber-crime and its even more vile cousin, "cyber terror", this most virtuous Nation of Virtue resolved to do something about it.

Committees were struck.

Focus groups were convened.

Geeks by the dozen were interviewed and vetted and hired, and the appropriate facilities were leased.

To much fanfare the Canadian Cyber Incident Report Centre was launched in 2005.

By God, we were gonna be on top of that cyber crime 'n terror like you can't imagine. Staring down the threats from teenage hackers to sophisticated cyber criminals to terror masterminds the world over, Canada stood up and was ready to fight back.

So today the Auditor General's report comes out. Seems that while we do have that agency, it doesn't actually do anything. Other agencies routinely leave it out of the loop when computer systems have been compromised. It operates 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday, and doesn't actually "fight" cyber terror; it makes a record of it.

That's the Canadian way, eh?

Palestinians absent from Obamney soliloquy

Which took me by surprise. After all, wasn't this the "foreign policy" debate? And cannot every major debacle in American foreign policy and its disastrous fallout over the past twenty years be traced back to America's dysfunctional Middle East policy?

And the reason for that would be what?

Why, those very people who simultaneously don't exist but refuse to go away.

The Palestinians.

For better or worse, nothing can change in the Middle East until the Palestinian people are included and not ignored in American policy considerations.

Whether the Likud crowd likes it or not.

Candidates promise lots more blood for oil


There was virtually no daylight between Obama and Romney when it came to making preposterous claims for the future of the Empire last night.

 On Syria, both candidates voiced their commitment to arming and maintaining “good” rebels. That means rebels “we” can work with and trust, as opposed to rebels who are happy to take our guns and our money today and shoot us in the back tomorrow.

 This of course means an extensive network of boots on the ground to ensure that we can distinguish between the “good” rebels and Al Qaeda, because after all, those folks pretty much all look the same.

 Boots on the ground will of necessity be carrying around armed Americans of one sort or another, be they “private contractors”, CIA, or regular forces. That means targets for those rebels who do not share our enthusiasm for freedom and democracy, which means our wars and our casualties can never end until these foolish fantasies of middle east hegemony  are abandoned.

 Our reckless love for freedom and democracy has thus far made a shambles of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali. Syria is very much a work in progress but signs are encouraging that this will be the greatest shambles yet and may well take down Lebanon and Turkey with it.

 Now that Ron Paul is safely out of the race there is no one left to raise an opposing voice to this madness.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Al Qaeda no. 2 bumped back to third after old no. 2 returns from dead again

By golly it's hard to keep up with the line-up in that Al Qaeda of of the Arabian Penninsula franchise.

Typically we get the top guy about once a month, thereby earning everyone else in the command chain a move up. Just like the 12 assistant managers they used to have at the K-mart where I worked. M-1 gets sent to head office and the rest move up a number.

Hell, maybe while the original 19 hi-jackers were studying up on how to fly jets these other guys were studying the K-mart management model at Wharton.

But here's where things get confused. Seems we just wrote about the last no. 2 being dispatched to his appointment with the imaginary 77 virgins, but according to Reuters, he's baaaack!

What this will mean to the chain of command remains unclear. I know at K-mart they'd have a "management trainee cull" every once in awhile. Send the hapless shits over to Woolworths or Sears with explosive belts strapped to their hips... metaphorically speaking of course!

Of course it may be too early to start up a new Qaeda franchise somewhere else. That no. 2 may be back, but he won't be back for long.

Those drones are busier than ever.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NHL one dollar away from deal with players

50-50 is quite a climb-down for the toffs who run the NHL.

It's an acknowledgement that the players are at least equal partners.

They need to spend one more dollar, and it's a symbolic dollar. Give the players 50% plus one dollar.

That's a symbolic acknowledgement that without the players there is no game.

Like most other hockey fans, I couldn't care less it Crosby or some Russian makes 6.9 million or 5.9 million or 12 million or 3 million next year.

I don't give a shit for the particulars.

But goddammit, I care about the principles. The workers need a bigger slice of the pie than the owners.

That symbolic dollar will do it.

Let's play hockey!

Oh great, you might be able to buy HBC shares again!...

Canada's oldest company, and one of the oldest corporations in the world, the Hudson's Bay Company, was sold to an American wheeler-dealer in 2006.

That sharpie flipped it to a hedge fund a couple of years later.

The hedge fund sold off the Zellers store leases to Target a couple of years later, recouping their investment in its entirety.

What they've got left will be their gravy.

And now they want to float an IPO for the remaining entrails.

The main value point in what's left of HBC is the Bay chain of stores. Looks to me like the hedgies are trying to get out before Nordstrom comes into Canada and cuts their grass.

Avoid this IPO like it's the plague.

Remember when the Eaton chain came back from the dead?

A lot of sentimental Canadians went for that. How could they go wrong? Hell, I remember buying a nice suit at Eaton's. They even had real tailors in the stores to do the custom fitting.

The Eaton clan profited handsomely from that resurrection, and within a year the brand was dead.

Leaving the Eaton clan mourning at their various estates north of Toronto, counting the money from that final share flotation.

This HBC IPO is deja vu all over again.

Short this puppy before it climbs out of the crib.

The Syria file from the Likud perspective

The common wisdom has it that it would be by far preferable to have a stable autocracy controlling the levers of power in Syria rather than some willy-nilly conglomeration of raggedy-ass rebels, protesters, and misfits.

Not even to mention the Jihadists who have taken over the Syria rebellion.

Here's the countervailing point of view.

The Somalia model.

Maybe Israel  can get along quite nicely with a state of perpetual anarchy next door. After all, it wouldn't be much different than having a Gaza on the northern border.

Let the Muslims annihilate one another in never-ending internecine power struggles.

Feed them lots of small arms but make sure they never get any serious weaponry. If that means that Israel herself will provide AK-47s and RPGs to all factions in Syria, so be it.

After all, it's for the greater good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eek and Meek do a Town Hall

It's quite the spectacle, this town hall debate.

The Republican accuses the Democrat of cutting back on oil and gas drilling on public land.

So how does the Democrat respond? With a vigorous defense of the sanctity of the common wealth?

Nope. He responds by accusing the Republican of misrepresenting the facts, which are that the Democrats have been even more gung-ho about exploiting and despoiling the public good than have the Republicans!

This is what passes for "debate?"

Romney promises to eliminate taxes on the dividend, interest,and capital gains income of "middle class" Americans.

Middle class is a code word for working class today. Working class Americans don't have dividend, interest, or capital gains income.

Hell, a lot of them don't even have jobs!

Oh wait... Romney knows what makes jobs go away and he knows how to bring them back!

Makes sense to me. Whatever Mitt did to make all those jobs go away while he was rapin' and pillagin' the economy while in the no-holds-barred private sector, he just has to do the reverse, and they'll come back!

And you know what? I believe him! It's just a matter of time till Chinese wages pass American wages. At that point, it'll pay the Bain crowd to buy Chinese companies and off-shore the jobs... back to America!

So be patient, folks... happy days are just around the corner!

Washington Post tacks to port in coverage of Syria rebels

Here's  how things looked a couple of months ago. The time for patience was over, and thousands of terrified civilians were waiting for NATO intervention. The editorial board obviously believe Obama is not doing enough for those terrified civilians.

Today they ran this AP story about rebels in Syria.

The article was very informative about who the Syrian rebels were. It studiously avoided any reference to non-Syrian rebels.

I found it a very illuminating article. I was not aware of the extent to which the Syrian conflict was a manifestation of class struggle.

I also was astonished to see mainstream administration cheerleaders mention that the Syrian rebels are being pelted with debris by local residents as they fight for their liberation.

This would would lead me to conclude that the non-Syrian rebels are even less welcome.

It's looking like the establishment are backing away from their support of the rebels.

Four years after Harper's landmark apology for residential schools, the White man still knows best

The Globe has a story about how the "First Nations Financial Transparency Act" is being received by the First Nations. That's a new law that will require band administrators to make public their salaries.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan makes it plain that this law is, like the residential schools, strictly for the good of the Natives. Sure it is! Everything Canada has ever done to the Indians has been for their own good!

If you read Harper's speech four years ago you would have come away with a sense that maybe things would be different. We and they would be "moving forward" together, a movement that would be marked by mutual respect.

How is dictating to Natives what's good  for them evidence of "mutual respect?"

On the face of it there's nothing wrong with public servants being required to make public their salaries. What's different in this case is that band councilors and chiefs may be public servants all right, but the public they are serving are the First Nations public, not the Canadian public.

Any move to make personal finances public needs to originate among the First Nations, not be imposed from  outside.

All this Act will do is help further poison the atmosphere in a lot of Native communities and give the Ezra Levant types lots more fodder for their racist stereotyping of Indians.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ethanol drives up food prices in starving nations

Hey, aren't you feeling good about running your pick-up truck on ethanol?

If you weren't pumping that corn-based ethanol into your gas tank a family of campesinos would be eating the corn!

But what the heck, at least you're doing your part to combat global warming.

Besides, one way of cutting down on the number of surplus campesinos is to stop feeding them. I know it's a hard choice, but who really deserves that corn more; that starving family or your truck?

Corn-based ethanol was a no-brainer from the get-go. No- brainer in the sense that you'd have to be retarded and then some if you think diverting food crops for automotive fuel isn't going to mess with global commodity markets.

Food is just another commodity of course.

Ironically, corn alcohol never had a chance without gigantic government subsidies. So we the taxpayer subsidize the ethanol producers so that starving people with no jobs can pay more for their staples.

But we're doing something good for the planet?

If we could just add a carbon tax into the mix this could be the climax of Al Gore's wet dream.

We've known all along that feeding corn to cars couldn't be good for people. But now the rest of the world has figured it out...

My God, now they'll hate us because we're trying to do something about global warming!

Ontario's "police premier" throws in the towel

I know he originally styled himself the "education premier", but Dalton McGuinty became anything but.

Hiring neo-con economist Don Drummond was the pivot point.

Drummond was a long-time private sector economist whose recipe for economic resuscitation would look more than familiar to anybody who is acquainted with Tea Party doctrines.

Get tough on the public sector. Free up the rape-and-pillage finance sector. Good things are sure to follow.

So McGuinty got busy signing long term contracts with the two biggest police forces in the province, contracts that afford double digit wage increases over the next four years.

Then he took the gloves off. Doctors were the first ones singled out for a wage freeze. Teachers were next, and the entire universe of civil servants was on the agenda after that.

Meanwhile, it's come out that McGuinty shenanigans to relocate a couple of power plants to save a couple of Liberal Party stalwarts their seats in the legislature cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Good-bye Dalton. Maybe Drummond's corporate connections can find you a nice corporate sinecure.

Or maybe you'll be the next OPP Commissioner.

Canada goes all out to woo Dark Continent

Big Steve has suffered a touch of pique. Those Yankee bastards don't want the XL pipeline? Well watch this; we'll find new markets for our tar sludge, right over there in Africa!

The Harper gang sees a lot of potential in developing stronger trade ties with the Dark Continent. They've even got John Baird on the file. In fact, the Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian Foreign Minister "must have confused a lot of people on his visit to Nigeria this week..."

Hell, that's nothing to worry about. John Baird confuses a lot of people wherever he goes. But I'm confused about how we're going to expand trade between Nigeria and Canada.

Clearly they don't need our tar sands, being Africa's biggest exporter of sweet crude. Maybe it's us who want their oil? But that doesn't make sense either. Sure, if Canada had maintained it's industrial economy we could maybe trade manufactured goods for oil, but since Canada no longer manufactures goods, that option is moot.

I personally was on the verge of developing meaningful trade ties with Nigeria a few years ago. This Nigerian prince needed someone trustworthy to help him spirit 200 million US in stolen oil money out of the country. I was flattered that he chose me as an accomplice. I even checked out the story. Sure enough, practically all of the billions from Nigeria's oil industry gets looted before it finds it's way to the people, so the story had plausibility.

All he wanted in return was a Rolex watch and ten thousand dollars, which I sent after spending thirty seconds asking myself if I was willing to sell out my socialist principles for a slice of 200 million. Don't know what went wrong then, but I never heard from the guy again. Maybe I should see if Baird's office can get to the bottom of this.

Anyway, Baird and Harper have been over there for a week charming the Dashikis off the Darkies from Senegal to Nigeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sadly, they have little to show in terms of results, and I think I know why. They just don't know enough about local customs. Here's what I'm talking about. Jube N-cube comes home after a tough day at the platinum mine, and the old woman puts a plate of chicken gizzards in front of him. Ya! I know you're thinking what I'm thinking... TO THE MOON, ALICE!!!

So N-cube gives his old lady a pop in the beak, and the next day he drags her sorry chicken-gobbling ass down to the village court, where, thank God, the elders do the right thing; fine the wife one chicken  and give a stern warning to NEVER cheat the man of the house out of the best chicken parts again. Then just for good measure they also fine the mother-in-law a chicken for having raised such a selfish bitch.

It's obvious that Harper and Baird will need to get better acquainted with African customs. Failing that, they might want to consider taking Dan Gertler aboard as a consultant.

He really really really understands Negroes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Big Steve explains his DRC junket

There's a great video on the Canadian Press site of Prime Minister Stephen Harper explaining his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

That's a bit of a mystery since the Harper government has become very averse to having dealings with countries that don't have the utmost respect for human rights. Like Iran for example.

In fact, Canada closed her embassy in the Islamic Republic because the Ayatollahs oppress their people.

So when he shows up in the DRC not a month later, some folks saw a bit of hypocrisy, maybe a bit of a double standard at work.

He's glad he went to the DRC, he says, because it allowed him a chance to make Canada's concerns know to the DRC leadership.

What are those concerns?

Human rights.

Sexual violence.

Rigged elections...

Last, but certainly not least, transparency in the "extractive industries".

In other words, he's there to shill for Canadian mining multi-nationals.

Propaganda ramps up as Nations of Virtue prepare to invade Mali

Here's a prime example.

Note the urgent tone. Action is required to save the lives of these poor innocents from the depraved Islamists.

The victims are women and their babies. Who can be against saving babies? The baby-bait worked so well back in the lead-up to the first Gulf war that it gets run up the flagpole in pretty much every propaganda campaign since.

The horrible fate that awaits these innocent women and babies is too gruesome to contemplate, but will involve stuffing them into holes in the ground and stoning them to a slow and excruciatingly painful death if we don't hurry up and save them.

Save those babies!

Invade Mali now!

What is of course much more muted in this discourse is the fact that all of this upheaval in Mali is the direct result of these same Nations of Virtue delivering "freedom" to the people of Libya last year.

For practical purposes you could say that we must now invade Mali to save those people from the consequences of our last bout of African meddling.

Does it never occur to the think-tankers and neo-Colonialists that everybody might be better off if we stayed home to mind our business and let those people get on with minding theirs?

It's a Red Bull world

Anybody see that Red Bull infomercial on CNN this afternoon, where that Felix fellow jumped from a weather balloon from 24 miles up?

What a coincidence that this event occurred on the same day that the Red Bull F-1 team's Sebastien Vettel won the Korean Gran Prix.

This afternoon there was a BMX event on that had the Red Bull logo all over it.

Red Bull has come from nowhere to be one of the most iconic brands. It's absolute marketing genius.

That's the kind of marketing success I hope to duplicate with the Big Ass Chair Company. Sponsorship  of sports and culture events as well as one-off publicity stunts like the big jump today. Imagine if Baumgartner has made his leap from a Big Ass chair tethered to that weather balloon. You'd see the Big Ass logo on hundreds of channels worldwide for the better part of the afternoon.

The Big Ass Racing Team is a natural too, although I'm thinking NASCAR might be a better fit than Formula One. Those teams are really hurting for sponsorship money these days, so we can probably get somebody signed up for a couple of free chairs.

The possibilities are endless...

The Big Ass Bass Tournament.

The Big Ass Blues Festival.

The Big Ass Slam Poetry Championship...

Hell, all I gotta do is get going on the chairs!

US sends 106 tanks to guard embassy in Yemen

After the debacle in Benghazi the State Department isn't taking any chances. Tired of being shredded in the media about insufficient security for Ambassador Stevens in Libya, the Yemen tank shipment will ensure the safety of diplomats in that strife-torn country, and also replenish the Yemeni government's supply of tanks after Al Qaeda rebels overran an army base at Ad Koud back in March and drove away with the nation's only armored division.

Other American diplomatic missions will also benefit from enhanced security. Unnamed sources confirm that a nuclear submarine is on its way up the Nile to guard the US embassy in Cairo, and that 10,000 Marines will be deployed in Caracas to protect the embassy in Venezuela after the unexpected election victory of outspoken Al Qaeda sympathizer and suspected communist Hugo Chavez.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Let's drink a toast to Lou Upper

Who the hell is Lou Upper?

Don't know. Never met the man. But according to the web-site of Niagara Steel he is now their guy in charge of special projects.

And here's why we're drinking that toast; Lou has been with the company since 1959!

Let me back up a bit. My journey to the Niagara Steel web-site started with a story about ADF Steel Fabricators being sued by the folks putting up the "Freedom Tower". That's the new build on the site of the 9/11 attacks.

Right away we've got interlinking stories that capture my attention. Canadian structural steel companies building American landmarks is way up there. As long-time readers will recall I was at Frankel Steel when we built the skeleton for Seven WTC, the building that inexplicably collapsed late in the afternoon of 9/11.

So the Freedom Tower needs this Canadian steel that will bring it up to 1776 feet, which the hoary sentimentalists in charge of this stuff have deemed the appropriate height for the building.

ADF Steel isn't shipping until the developers pay up their outstanding tab.

That got me wondering about the state of employment opportunities in the steel fabrication trades. It's something I've been away from for awhile.

ADF is looking for fitters and welders.

Wondered what else was out there, and that's how I got to Niagara Steel. Seems they have some opportunities too.

And they've got Lou!

In these turbulent times this guy has managed to put in his entire working career with one employer. Well over fifty years.

I had my first steel fab job in the early seventies. Lou was an old hand by then. My experience was that welders and steel-fitters who were any good were always able to find a job and make a decent wage. I did that over twenty years and from the east coast to the west coast.

From what I hear from younger folks coming back from Alberta, it's still possible to make that decent wage today.

Mind you, there are some skills required. You can't bullshit welding and you can't bullshit fitting. At the end of the day you built it right or it ain't going to work.

If it doesn't work you'll be unemployed shortly.

Lou must have known his stuff. And Niagara must be a decent gig, because Lou would have had lots of opportunities to go elsewhere.

Looks to me like there are still lots of opportunities. I'm tempted to dust off my resume... I can smell those low-hydrogen rods sizzling already!

It disturbs me that the Harper gang is succumbing to the industry's call to allow foreign steel-fitters into the country. I've got nothing against immigrants; me and most of the guys I worked with were immigrants. All of them when you look at the big picture.

But bringing guys in from Hungary and Romania and Poland when you should be training young Canadians to do this work just isn't right.

I'd like to know what Lou thinks about that.

World Statesman of the Year has no problem sucking up to corrupt president of the Congo

On the face of it this doesn't make a lot of sense. There's big Steve swanning around Kinshasha in the company of some of the most corrupt robber-politicos the world has ever seen, according to all the do-gooder NGO's who make it their business to follow this sort of thing.

Could this be the same Stephen Harper who doesn't want to address the UN because it houses too many corrupt and anti-democratic delegations with darkish skin?

Could this be the same Canadian Prime Minister who closed Canada's embassy in Tehran because, oh my gawd, that filthy regime of towellers OPPRESS THEIR PEOPLE?

By virtually any standard you want to invent, the oppressed citizens of the Islamic Republic have it way better than the oppressed citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But there's the World Statesman of the Year, spending a couple of days hanging out in Kinshasha to address the Francophonie.

But wait a minute. I have a theory.

Think Chabad Lubavitch.

Isn't Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird's "personal Rabbi" a Lubavitcher?

And isn't that World Statesman of the Year award presented by Rabbi Arthur Schneier? Why indeed it is, and he too is a Lubavitcher, and not only does he present the award, he invented it!

Now try to focus here, because this is where things get interesting. A certain Lubavitcher named Dan Gertler has been at the center of DRC corruption controversies for years. He's really tight with DRC President Joseph Kabila, as he was with former President Laurent Kabila till he was assassinated.

Having democratically elected offices pass from father to son is just how things work in some of those places.

Gertler has magical powers to get lucrative mining concessions from the DRC government, even after others have bought and paid for them! And guess what? He is the biggest benefactor of the Chabad Lubavitch House in Kinshasha!

What's extra funny is that a whole string of Canadian mining companies have been screwed over by Gertler's antics in the DRC!

Now before you think I'm shilling for the Canadian mining industry, let me assure you such is not the case.

But you'd almost think Prime Minister Harper should be.

Fear and loathing in the Kingdom

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan isn't the only one getting a little antsy about where the great Syrian adventure might be heading.

UN/Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi paid a visit to the Saudi's last week. It's hard to know the extent to which the House of Saud is driving the Syria debacle. It is widely acknowledged that they have been ponying up the money to fund the insurrection, along with Qatar, but to what extent are they committed to the idea of regime change in Syria?

Interestingly, there was no mention in Saudi media of Bandar bin Sultan being part of the meetings.

Where is Bandar?

But Bandar or no Bandar, at this point the Saudis must be asking just how long they are expected to fund this "revolution".

They would have had the same assurances from the same authoritative sources that Assad couldn't last more than a few months. Bearing in mind that those are more or less the same authoritative voices who talked us into the Iraq war and the quagmire in Afghanistan, it's not hard to see why there might be a few Royals starting to sweat.

The Saudis could be using that money to forestall rebellion among their own Shiite population.

Erdogan being hung out to dry by Western allies

A year ago Turkey's Prime Minister was gung ho for doing the dirty work for his masters in Washington and London and Brussels. He generously made his country available as the staging ground for the jihadi hordes streaming towards Damascus to take down the infidel Assad.

The fall of the Assad regime was imminent, both he and we were assured on a daily  basis.

A year later, Assad shows no sign of weakening, the daily predictions of the imminent collapse of his regime have vanished, the cheerleading from Western media has been replaced by caution over just who those rebels might be, and Turks are taking to the streets by the tens of thousands to protest their government's strategy toward their southern neighbor.

What an irony if Assad were to outlast Erdogan!

Meanwhile, the Kurdish separatist factions have seized their moment of opportunity and are more active  than they have been for years. That puts Erdogan in the unenviable position of braying about Assad "slaughtering his own people" while he slaughters his own Kurds.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been making reassuring noises about standing with Erdogan in the event of a war with Syria. While we should all hope that this promise will never be tested, when the stark choice becomes backing the Turks and having a regional war, or waving goodbye to Erdogan and sending our regrets, it will be bye-bye Erdogan.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jesus and Jimmie and me

Can't say for sure who it was got me and Jimmie car-pooling.

Pretty sure it wasn't Jesus.

I think it was his brother-in-law Rod.

That would be the brother-in-law of Jimmie, not the brother-in-law of Jesus.

Rod had a gas station in downtown Walkerton, and he was a big fan of German Shepherd dogs. He actually collected magazines devoted to the German Shepherd dog.

I was devoted to my own German Shepherd dog, but I had not the slightest inkling that there might be magazines devoted to such devotion.

Rod's gas station used to be the Ford dealership in Walkerton. Rod's dad had let that franchise go for reasons unknown.

One day I pulled in there for gas with my beautiful German Shepherd in the back of the truck. It was around the time of the Walkerton water crisis.

Folks were dying from drinking the water.

Rod and I get to talking, and before you know it, he's got me calling up his brother-in-law Jimmie, because Jimmie runs up to Owen Sound every day and by God, that's exactly where I'm going!

That's how the homophobic redneck and the queer-friendly commie got to be car-pool buddies.

The one thing I really respected about the redneck homophobe was that he was the best car mechanic I'd ever encountered. He had parlayed his expertise into a teaching gig at one of the high schools in Owen Sound.

They'd take in an engine transplant on a Monday, do the swap by Tuesday, and by Wednesday evening the customer would be driving the car home with the new motor.

In most high school shops you're lucky to have a tire changed in that time, never mind a motor.

So me and Jimmie get to car-pooling. Turns out he hates fags and I've got half a dozen in the extended  family.

It's about an hour drive to Owen Sound so obviously we have to find other stuff to chat about.

Soon we're doing this twice a day.

Turns out there may be a couple of Sodomites in his family tree too...

But what really gets him is I used to be a welder in a shipyard. Had every welding ticket you can imagine. Eventually he asks if I mind going to his home shop to check out the welds on this trailer he's building.

A friendship is forged out of mutual respect, even though these two guys have nothing in common.

He respects my welding skills.

I respect his mechanical wizardry.

One day we're heading to Owen Sound in the dead of winter and the sun is just coming up in one of those polyglotal cloud-bespeckled skies that lets beams of winter sun poke through and it is all looking surreal and majestic and magical.

We drive in silence for a couple of minutes, clouds glowing ever brighter with the back-lighting of the morning sun... till finally Jimmie, looking at the sky, says "you don't think we're gonna see Jesus, do ya?"

Not long after that Jimmie got a transfer to a school closer to home, and that was the end of the car-pooling. But whenever I had a serious issue with an internal combustion engine, be it in a car or a boat or a snowmobile, he'd be there.

All I had to do was make the call.

Some time early last year I went to his funeral.

He was still a young man; early fifties. Didn't smoke, didn't drink. The cancer didn't differentiate.

Keep a spot there for me Jimmie. I'll be along soon enough.



Wheelies then and now

My old pal Barney had a 1969 Nova SS with a 375 horse 396 four speed and 456 gears out back. While I have to admit I never personally witnessed this, rumor around the Guelph street racing circuit back in the day was that this car would lift the front wheels on a 7000 rpm launch.

That Reinhart fellow with the '68 Mustang side-oiler used to lift the front wheels at launch. That's something I saw. Right there on the 86 Dragway.

But for the most part, wheelie land belonged to the gravel pit crowd. I know I used to be able to keep the front wheel of my Honda ATC in the air for miles. Used to be a master of the "side-wheelie" too. I could go from here to kingdom come with one back wheel in the air.

Mind you, with 90 cubic centimeters of pep, that wasn't nearly as exciting as Wild Willie Borsch keeping the left front off the pavement throughout a 160 mph run.

But back to the gravel pit. While I was tooling around back there with that ATC, there were some heavy-duty moto-cross guys sharing the dirt. The Honda three-wheeler was a bit of a novelty so quite often I'd have the opportunity to take the latest two-stroke moto-cross technology for a rip while the moto-cross guys tested out my ATC.

I remember when those bikes hit the power band you were doing a wheelie whether you wanted to or not. On one occasion I traded off for a ride on a 250 Honda Elsinore. We were racing around in the pits behind John's Supertest when one of the local land-owners came out to complain about the noise.

She was an elderly woman and I certainly wasn't interested in picking a fight with her, but as I pulled away I unexpectedly hit the power-band. Suddenly the front wheel is reaching for the sky and the back wheel is showering the old bat with gravel. That was enough to cause her son, who had been watching from a distance, to call the police with a bizarre complaint about drug-crazed bikers spraying his dear momma with dirt.

That was an afternoon that didn't end well, at least not right away. Turned out that the son was a bit of a super-car afficianado in his own right, and used to race stock cars down at the Flanboro Speedway. I  talked this incident over with him years later and by God, had we known then what we knew now, my evening at the police station could have been avoided entirely.

But back to wheelies. My buddy Jim Lippert, may he rest in peace, was one of those old-school hot-rodders who could shoe-horn any motor into any vehicle and make it work. His last project before he passed on was putting a Cummins diesel from a Greyhound bus into a GMC pick-up truck.

Personally, I didn't see the point, but by God there were certain things that 600 foot/pounds of torque could do that your average GMC pick-up couldn't.

Like wheelies.

But Lippert had an even richer wheelie legacy. He used to run the auto shop at one of the local high schools. A few of the shop teachers around the area were getting into bragging about the race cars their students were building. They'd source an old muscle car, canvas the community for donations, and eventually sink twenty or thirty thousand dollars into some piece of crap that might turn a low 14.

They were like those would be street-racers who couldn't figure out why their 350 Nova was actually slower after they bolted on that 950 Holley three barrel. They'd mount a set of wheelie bars just in case that 14 second Nova, which for a couple of thousand dollars they'd just turned into a fifteen second car, was going to go over backwards at launch.

So Lippert gets this old Oldsmobile station wagon. Has his students spend a week mixing cement by hand and pouring it into the back. The old girl must have had two tons worth of concrete behind the back seat.

He takes it to the back parking lot at his school, puts the hydramatic 350 in neutral, sticks the pedal to the metal and dumps it into "drive".

The old girl lurches forward, front wheels about three feet off the ground, and she expires right there.

But he had the students record every second of this launch. What you saw in the pictures distributed around the School Board was this 1980 Oldsmobile station wagon doing a wheelie, and the caption that said "shop teacher builds nine-second racer from junkyard parts."

Sorry to let the cat out of the bag Jimmie!

Bed wetters at National Post decry low price of Canadian secrets

Canada has national secrets? Who knew?

And the "journalists" at the National Post are pissed that some pathetic twat in the Royal Navy was willing to let those secrets go for a mere $3000 a month.

Let's just ponder that for a moment. What do you think the top Canadian secrets might be?

Which Chinese companies are bidding for shares in the tar sands?

Who is writing the speeches for the Foreign Minister?

Is the Harper government prepared to legislate those socialist NHL players back to work and save Canada's game?

Is the seal hunt still on for next year?

Are the Natives in Attawapiskat going to swindle the government out of another half dozen mobile homes with their deceitful publicity campaign about sub-standard housing, when everybody knows the real problem is that Natives are shitty housekeepers?

That Navy guy got three thou a month out of the Ruskies for this shit?

Good on him!

I think he should get some sort of award for bamboozling the Russians out of three thousand dollars a month for this "intelligence."

But those Post folks are bitter.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Democracy the big loser in shambolic VP debate

Martha Raddatz proved she wasn't the right person to be the moderator.

Joe Biden proved he didn't have the right stuff to be the VP.

The career political hack from Wisconsin proved that the future of American politics belongs to career political hacks.

What a lame "debate"!

Israel's war mongers elected with overseas campaign money

Haaretz has a thought provoking story at their site today. Writer Chaim Levinson makes the case that the vast majority of campaign financing for Likud and their main coalition partners comes from the diaspora.

Netanyahu himself gets over 96% of his campaign donations from abroad.

Virtually all modern democratic states have strict limits about how much foreign money can be contributed to an election campaign. Not Israel.

When you think about it, it makes sense that the War Party would be financed from afar. Jews in Montreal and New York City don't have the same kind of immediate interest in peace with the neighbors as those who live in Haifa or Tel Aviv.

Maybe it's time to tighten up the campaign finance laws.

Austerity in the Great White North: Harper Gang cuts everything but doubles spending on propaganda

Bruce Cheadle had an informative story in the Globe today. Seems that since they came to power the Harperites have doubled the annual expenditure on advertising. Ironically, most of the advertising campaigns are designed to convince Canadians that the spending cuts are good for them.

Not all Canadians are buying in. Cindy Blackstock, a First Nations spokesperson, says "it's disturbing that millions are being spent on government ads when First Nations children go to school in moldy classrooms."

She might have added "and when entire Native communities live in substandard housing and when Canadian Indians are suffering a suicide epidemic that shames Canada in front of the entire world."

It's not "disturbing", Cindy. It's an outrage and an absolute disgrace!

Canada says bring in the Coolies!

Everything old is new again! Cheap Chinese labor to fatten the purses of Canadian capitalists...

It's all about a "labor shortage" don't you know.

A million and a half Canadians unemployed but we need to import Chinese workers to mine coal?

At least two thousand Chinese miners are expected to enter Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker program to work the Murray River Coal Mine. That's the same program that funnels cheap overseas labor to the XL Meats plant in Alberta. There's a shortage of skilled meat cutters in Canada too!

Especially skilled meat-cutters willing to work for $11/hr. The Somali goat-herders and Mexican peasants think that a king's ransom. And of course it is, if you're from Somalia or Mexico!

The TFW program is a crime against the working people of Canada.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The abortion debate

Who would have thought that Roe/Wade could possibly be an election issue in 2012?

There is obviously a constituency that isn't prepared to let the matter go.

Here is a suggestion for that constituency. It's just a step ahead of the "EVERY SPERM IS SACRED" mentality that informs your position today.

Once we acknowledge (or failing that, legally proclaim) that every sperm and every embryo are sacred, why not make it a sacred trust to see to it that every child who is born has the healthcare, education, housing and employment opportunities that it is our sacred duty to provide?

Does that sacred embryo stop being sacred when it has escaped the womb?

Of course not!

And we'll obviously have a sacred duty to provide for the mother of that child as well. How can that sacred child have a worthwhile chance at life if they must be brought up in poverty and deprivation?

So let's include in the "right to life" agenda the right to secure tenure in decent housing.

Let's include the right to health care and education.

Let's make sure every mother has access to support services across the spectrum, from pre and post natal support to child care to addiction counselling.

Adopt that agenda, Right to Life, and maybe more people would believe that you mean it when you talk about the right to life.

The clash of civilizations

Malala Yousafzai is big news these days.

She is the 14 year old "child activist" who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in Pakistan. Her crime? Speaking out for the right of girls to get an education.

That is a story guaranteed to evoke revulsion across the Western world.

Which is why I wonder about the story. I am reminded of that equally revolting story about the Iraqi troops dumping babies out of incubators in Kuwait. That was another story designed to whip the West into a righteous frenzy of vengeance.

And it worked. The American public was overwhelmingly behind the first Gulf war.

More than twenty years later, the war parties need to ramp up support for a wider war on the Taliban. Who better to raise that support than a "child activist" brought low by a Taliban bullet?

There is utterly no evidence that the Nations of Virtue or our allies in the Towelistans have the slightest compunction about snuffing the life a child, be they a teen, pre-teen, or toddler, boy or girl. In fact, there is a vast archive of evidence to prove that we are absolutely indifferent to the children at the receiving end of our projectiles of democracy and missiles of peace.

They've never been anything other than collateral damage.

But let the Taliban execute a "child activist" and suddenly the lives of children become sacrosanct. There is a medivac jet idling on a runway in Islamabad to take the victim for advanced medical care in Dubai. Headlines around the world scream about the barbarity of our Taliban adversary.

It's all a little too convenient.

I'm betting that before long Malala will have made a full recovery, thanks to the miraculous interventions of Western medicine. She will be spirited out of Pakistan and make the rounds of the talk show circuit. She will be on Good Morning America and Ellen and Oprah and Piers Morgan before she becomes a regular on the dog-and-pony show of those internationally famous child activists, the Kielburger brothers.

And by God, we'll have to do something about those primitives over there in the Pakistani tribal lands before they try to kill another 14 year old.




In defense of Lance Armstrong

Over the past fifteen years or so, as the elite of professional cycling succumbed one by one to doping allegations, it became progressively more absurd to cling to the belief that Lance Armstrong, the most successful professional cyclist of all time, stood alone as being "clean".

With today's revelations in the New York Times it's safe to say the jig is up.

Apparently Lance still doesn't get it. His high-priced team of PR professionals is still beating the drum for his innocence.

Wrong strategy.

What Lance needs to do is fire the lot of them and fess up. Take responsibility. Ya, I doped and I lied about it.

Simple as that. Lance's credibility would be restored overnight.

It's not as if Lance pioneered doping in pro sports. (This blog has written about the clique of European doctors who were the pioneers.)

When all the guys around you are into the HGH strategies and blood doping, how can it be "cheating" if you do it too? Anybody who went with the prevailing winds in professional cycling over the last twenty years was merely creating a level playing field for themselves.

Heard a clip of Lance on the radio this afternoon talking about how the secret of his success was lots of hard work. Then the announcer came on with a sanctimonious pronouncement that "now we know it wasn't hard work; it was doping."

Wrong!

It WAS hard work, incredibly hard. We need to get over our petty moralizing and give Lance the credit he deserves.

Lance is the kind of sports icon who comes along once in a generation, if that.

Lance, dump your PR team and tell the truth.

You'll be bigger than ever.


RIM insiders gaga over BB10

I was down Waterloo way on the weekend and chanced into a couple of old friends who are mid-level employees of Research In Motion.

They've used the BB10 OS and they're not rushing out to buy the iPhone 5. In fact, they're doubling down on their RIM stock holdings.

I've said it before; quite aside from the cash hoard that is growing even as BB loses market share, the intellectual property is easily more than the market cap at the current share price.

RIM is a buy even if BB10 flops.

If it's anywhere what these insiders claim it is, it's even more of a buy.