Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hagel moots US ground invasion of Syria

The official storey is that he was only talking about a ground invasion of Iraq, but that doesn't pass the "two-second" test. If you think about it for two seconds or more it's obvious the man is confabulating when he limits his fantasies to Iraq.

The goal in Syria all along, since long before the nightmare began in 2011, has been regime change. We want a pliable stooge in the big chair, not a difficult stooge who clings to illusions of sovereignty and independence. That was the problem with Gadaffi and Hussein as well. They were ok being our boys, but they just couldn't let go of that other stuff.

So away they went!

And sooner or later, Assad is going the same way. The Beltway boys in charge of this operation are alright with the long game. The American public seems about ready to accept ground troops in Iraq; after all, they're already there.

Once US troops are again on the ground in the tens of thousands, they can't just chase the ISIS types to the border of Syria and wave them bye-bye. They'll be in hot pursuit all the way to Damascus, whereupon we'll be informed that... whoopsie, we just occupied Syria and we didn't even mean to!

Not a problem... US troops will stay awhile to stabilize the situation before leaving the mess for the locals to sort out, just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya...

By then the forces of freedom and democracy will be occupied elsewhere...

My money's on Nigeria!

Welcome to the Terrorist Propaganda Clearing House

After a round-table brainstorming session that lasted well into the early hours, the think tankers here at Falling Downs have decided to go all in on Big Steve's Bill C-51 anti-terror legislation.

Hence, the Terrorist Propaganda Clearing House. If you are an aspiring terrorist or propagandist, just send us your propaganda at Terrorist Propaganda Clearing House, c/o Falling Downs, along with a cheque for $50, and our team of unpaid interns from the PolySci Dept at the University of Calgary will carefully vet your propaganda. They will check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes before forwarding your entry to CSIS for official grading.

All entries will be eligible for one of the TERRORIST PROPAGANDA CLEARING HOUSE MILLION DOLLAR PRIZES! (Some conditions may apply.)

While the usual freedom-hating pinkos in the Canadian media are all over this legislation, this initiative is our way of supporting Mr. Harper's war on terrorists.

Bullshittin' Baird takes break from Putin-bashing to bash African Union instead

Seems Canada's Foreign Minister has his shorts in a twist over the AU's leadership falling to anti-colonialist stalwart Bobby Mugabe.

According to Baird, the 90 year old Mugabe is a brutal dictator who "has long suppressed the freedoms and dignity of his people." The AU has thusly tarnished its credibility, blah, blah, blah, proving that Baird is the last person on earth to believe it has any.

Ironically, earlier in the week Baird represented Canada at the funeral of another 90 year old despot, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He too may have long suppressed the freedoms and dignity of his people, but he also signed off on a $15 billions deal for armoured personnel carriers built in Canada.

Which to Baird's way of thinking made him a "good" brutal dictator!

Merkel to Greeks; no relief from austerity enema

One can only marvel at the myopic arrogance Frau Merkel demonstrates in her proclamations to the people of Greece. We hope the new government in Greece will stay the course in governing, finally, for the people of Greece instead of for German banks and foreign bondholders.

Let's not forget that much of Greece's accumulated debt is the result of extravagant military spending over the past thirty years, spending always applauded by the same suspects who now expect the Greek people to endure generations of making do with less to atone for the profligacy of the NATO acolytes who ran up the debt.

There are other problems of course. The Greek elite have been world leaders in the art and science of tax evasion ever since taxes were first invented. (by the Greeks, if I'm not mistaken!) PM Tsipras and his finance minister have let it be known they intend to change that, and hopefully they will not be cowed by the threats of the tycoons to move abroad. Since they're not paying their taxes anyway, that's not exactly much of a loss.

The main reason for Merkel's dire warning and Schaeuble's patronizing tone, as if scolding an errant child, is that these champions of the decaying old order realize history has arrived at a moment where too many are seeing that the emperor is stark naked.

"There's no arguing with us about this..."

Let's not argue then. The truth is, the EU and NATO need Greece far more than Greece needs them.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A dollar more

I see where there is a movement afoot to convince the gullible Western consumer that paying a dollar more for a T-shirt made in Bangladesh will lift that Bangladeshi T-shirt maker out of poverty.

It won't.

What it will do is vastly enrich the labour brokers who are the biggest beneficiaries of the supply chain as it exists today.

A penny more would more than double the wage of a garment worker in Bangladesh. That is, if that penny ever made its way to the garment worker.

It won't.

And if the penny won't, the dollar won't either.

Instead, that dollar will be caught up in a supply chain that is dominated by white billionaires.

The "dollar more" campaign will serve to enrich the labour brokers and everyone else will continue to labour in penury.

The low-wage cheap-clothes model of sweat-shop clothing manufacture needs to be destroyed and then rebuilt from the ground up before the people at the bottom can make a living wage.

The Canadian economy hangs by a thread...

That thread is of course more commonly known as the Keystone XL pipeline.

That's the sluice-way to getting Canada's dirty bitumen to the world. It's crucial to Canada because Canadians are smart enough to block bitumen exports at every turn. That's why exporting dirty oil through Canadian pipelines will never happen.

Which is why we're counting on stupid Americans to make it happen with Keystone.

The Canadian dollar has plunged in value from over par to around .76 in the past couple of years. Overall, I'd say that's a bit of an overreaction.  At the same time, we have Big Steve making his pronouncements about the collapsing Russian economy. When you look at the forex charts, the collapse of the Canadian dollar pretty much shadows the collapse of the ruble.

The big news today for the Canadian economy was that Barclay's issued negative reviews for the big Canadian banks. That sent shares of the big Canadian banks into the tank immediately.

What a howler that is! The only reason Barclays exists today is because it was deemed "too big to fail" seven years ago and got lots and lots of free money from the bail-out bonanza.

But now they're pontificating about the stability of Canadian banks, banks that sailed through the bail-out era in fine form without any bailout whatever!

Reminds me of the douche-bag "credit rating agencies" who kept rubber stamping all those sub-prime mortgage derivatives with AAA ratings, and then turned around and gave sovereign nations like Greece and Portugal junk status.

Why would anyone, I mean ANYONE, give a shit about what the wankers at Barclays have to say about anything?

But be that as it may, things are not looking good for the Harperites. Freedom and democracy are looking a little less free and democratic by the day.

The new "anti-terror" regs unveiled today look scary indeed. Looks like it's going to criminalize blogs like this one, if we persist in saying "Palestinians have a right to resist their occupation."

Or "Hezbollah has the right to defend southern Lebanon from Israeli attacks."

As I read it, the new "anti-terror" laws would allow the Harper gang to shut down this blog for making either of those claims.

Canadians have long prided themselves for their benign do-gooderism on the world stage.

Ya...

The deepest plunge into hell comes from the heights of naivete.

Bibi feints right, goes left

Oh, he's a sly one, that Netanyahu!

When the IDF took out that Hezbollah convoy in Syria on 18 January, we thought, "here we go!" It's Netanyahu with his predictable pre-election escalation. It's the time-tested Netanyahu strategy of shaping the landscape in such a way that he makes himself look like the indispensable "strong hand."

Even Israelis who loathe Netanyahu fall for that one again and again.

But the wily fox seems to be taking a different tack. After the 100% predictable Hezbollah retaliation of the past week, we expected Southern Lebanon to be consumed in fire and brimstone. Instead, we get some vaguely conciliatory verbiage about how back-channel messages from Nasrallah indicate that Hezbollah is not wanting an escalation...

What the hell is that all about? Has the Greatest Leader Since Moses gone soft?

So aside from the immediate bombardment of a few Lebanese border villages, there has been no retaliation for the Hezbollah attack, and for the moment at least, it appears that the PM is treating this as a balanced ledger.

Not only that, but today we learn that Israel is cooperating in an investigation into the death of that Spanish peace-keeper who died in that initial retaliation.

Bibi cooperating in an international investigation of Israel?

There you have it! Bibi the "strong hand" is yesterday's man...

He has remade himself as a man of peace, moderation, and reconciliation, just in time for the election!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

So the cops want a sample of your DNA? No problem... or do you have something to hide?

I've been banging the satire button every day because I hope in some small way it helps a few people wake up and see where we're heading.

Then I see bullshit like this and I realize it may be too late...

Everything going wrong in the world still Putin's fault

For some macabre reason, Assad can't get it through his head that he's a man of the past and American-sponsored "democracy" is the way of the future...

Why?

Because Putin still supports him!

Same with those Ayatollahs in Iran. They would have embraced the manifold mercies of USA-inspired reason had they not fallen under the spell of Putin.

Same in Ukraine.

The entirety of the Ukraine populace rose up as one to shed their democratically elected government, and the road to riches was wide open for Monsanto and Cargill except for one man; PUTIN!

Were it not for Putin personally fomenting discord in those eastern areas with his "little green men," the Donbas would today be free and democratic and in the pocket of the international agribiz combines eager to have at it.

Luckily, the CBC has exposed Putin's perfidy, and in the nick of time!

Yes, the Moscow elite, the Russian oligarchs, are turning against Putin!

Perhaps the Moscow Rolls Royce dealership did have it's best year ever in 2014, but that's just the calm before the "oligarchs-turn-on-Putin" storm!

Hate to break it to you, Ms. Ormiston, but Russia's "super-wealthy" are utterly immune to ruble fluctuations. They are well diversified and truly citizens of the world.

They also trust Putin more than they trust Cameron and Obama and the rest of the ever-shifty Western lot.

History is in the process of changing gears. Yesterday's certainties will not be tomorrow's.

Putin has not orchestrated these changes, but he is positioning his country to accommodate them.

Change is in the air everywhere...

We can adapt, or we can lose.

Tim takes it dry

Where's Eddie Shack when you need him?

Eddie once had the idea that he would be the next Tim Horton. Not on the ice, but in the world 'o donuts. For a few years you saw Eddie Shack donut stores here and there around Ontario, but alas, things never really caught fire for Eddie.

We got the news today that 350 Timmies employees, mostly head office folks with many years of service, got pink-slipped due to the new ownership of the venerable coffee and donut chain. It's all about synergies 'n efficiencies, don't ya know.

Mainly of course it's about making some filthy-rich hedge-fund shit-bags even richer.

So, what do you figure the future prospects are for some loyal employee who has worked at Timmies HQ for the last thirty years? I'd say they're pretty much screwed. Maybe, with a bit of luck, they can get a job passing coffee out the drive-thru window at their local Timmies.

I hit one of those pretty much every time I'm out and about. I'm inclined to boycott Timmies, but here's the problem; the success of the chain was built on the backs of the local franchisees. The gal who has the seven or eight stores in these parts is an incredibly hard-working woman who has a reputation for treating her employees well, and has always been actively engaged in the community. I don't want to boycott her.

If we had such a thing as government for the people, Industry Canada would not have rubber-stamped this deal. We do not have government for the people, however.

We have government for international capital.

The same government that allowed hedgies to destroy 5000 jobs at CP Rail while lining their pockets to the tune of billions.

The same government that allowed Caterpillar to shut down a perfectly viable locomotive manufacturer and destroy 400 well-paid manufacturing jobs in Ontario.

We need government that governs for the people of Canada, not for multinationals, hedge-fund managers, and international finance.

There's an election coming up soon. Obviously we've got to rid ourselves of this loathsome Harper crew. The tragedy is that there are no viable contenders on the horizon. Do you seriously think Trudeau will stand up for Canadian workers? He'll offer more in the way of banal pieties, but that will be that.

Regrettably,  now that the NDP has expunged their roots from their mission statement, I can't see anything changing with Mulcair either.

Canada needs to grow it's own Alexis Tsipras, and soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Welcome to the Banana Republic of Canada

Get a load of this;



That's Canada's top soldier, Chief of Defence Staff Lt. General Thomas J. Lawson, having a sit-down with Masrour Barzani, son of Masoud Barzani, the top dog in the imaginary state of Kurdistan.

(Barzani is the guy with the tea-towel on his noggin, in case you're wondering. Lawson is the guy seriously eyeing it because it would definitely make him look less bald.)

The fact that our top soldier only gets face time with the son of the Kurdish leader and not the leader himself should tell you something; not even the imaginary state of Kurdistan takes Canada all that seriously!

But there are other issues that our recent love affair with Kurdistan should bring to the fore. First of all, this father-son stuff should raise some eyebrows. Then again, maybe not... after all, you had Bush and Bush junior, and we might even get Trudeau junior right here in the great white north... so maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree on that one.

Nevertheless, rampant nepotism is generally not the sign of a thriving liberal democracy...

Barzani Jr. apparently exhorted our Defence Chief to cough up lots and lots of guns and bombs so the fabled Peshmerga freedom fighters can keep killing whoever they're killing over there. The actual meeting itself was not revealed to the Canadian public by our government until the Kurds publicized it.

Why?

Well, I have a hunch that the Harper gang is not too keen on having the Canadian public take too close a look at our new besties in the Middle East. Kurdish culture doesn't actually have a lot in common with Canadian values. Google "female genital mutilation Kurdistan" and "polygamy Kurdistan" and you'll see what I mean.

By the way, our latest Middle East mission to help Iraq fight ISIS isn't about helping Iraq at all; it's about helping the imaginary state of Kurdistan.

Another by the way; did anybody else find Harper's remarks about our "evolving" mission, ie "we're gonna kill 'em," to be a little untoward? We haven't heard that kind of blustery bullshit since General Rick Hillier was on his way to Afghanistan to rid that land of the murdering Taliban scumbags.

We know how that turned out.

Anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say, and Harper's done a grand job of getting us in. We're not likely to cut and run until we do, which will be a few hundred billions and a few hundred dead Canadians down the road, when the entire exercise in stupidity becomes an election liability.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, we are yet again proclaiming Israel's right to defend itself by itself. (That "by itself" bit just started mysteriously showing up in Baird's pronouncements in the past year or so... I think it's code for "without consideration of international law.")

The "terrorist incident" in question is Hezbollah's retaliation for an Israeli attack on Hezbollah fighters in Syria a week or so ago. Did the Harper gang condemn that? Don't be ridiculous! Continuous violations of Syrian sovereignty, multiple genocidal wars on Gaza, ever-expanding illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land...
what would Israel have to do to draw a mild rebuke, nevermind a "condemnation," from the Harper gang?

The mind boggles...

The Banana Republic agenda continues on the home front as well. After forty years of falling crime rates, the Harper gang promises to get tough on crime once again in the upcoming session of parliament. Yup, there's always a few votes to be had by getting tougher on imaginary crime.

Crimes against the environment are a different matter though. Check out this headline; NAFTA probe of Alberta tailings ponds blocked by Canada. Ya, we're not gonna let those enviro-weenie tree-huggers in Washington and Mexico City push us around!

Kinda makes ya proud, don't it? By God, I think I have to vote for the guy in spite of everything...


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Leni Riefenstahl to present "Best Picture" award at 2015 Oscars!

Ya, I know she's dead, but she's coming back from the dead to hand Clint Eastwood the "best picture" award for American Sniper...

I just checked it out on my ouiji board and it's all true!

How CBC weasels now define the "middle class"

Here's a CBC story that implies households making $120k per year are more than middle class.

The implication being that the "feds" are overly generous in demarcating $120k per year as a "middle class" income.

I guess I'm sticking up for the "feds" on this one... that's a first!

Frankly, I think $120k/yr is where the middle class starts, not where it stops.

Over my lifetime I have witnessed a continual debasement of where the cut-off point is on who is "middle class."

In his State of the Union address the other night, Obama himself more or less acknowledged that in the USA the "middle class" means folks who are making minimum wage.

In the pre-WWII era, "middle-class" meant you had household help. That would have meant a nanny or a gardener or more likely both.

The fact that Obama legitimises a re-imagining of the "middle class" as folks making minimum wage seems to inform that CBC story.

A $120k household income in Canada means two people working $30/hour jobs. That's nice working class income. Those are folks who might, MIGHT be able to buy a house in a country where the average house price is now in the half a million dollar range.

The working class/ middle class divide got seriously out of whack back in the 60's and 70's. You had your scholarly types a generation behind in what they knew about actual working people and actual incomes.

Your "Sociology of Labour" types would classify a clerk at the mall as a "white collar worker," but the blue-collar welder making three times that income was classified as something lesser.

That same prejudice rears its head in today's headlines, where $120,000 per year income in a household in which both partners are working is allegedly something beyond "middle class."

Bullshit!

On the other hand, these stereotypes suit the preconceptions of the day; middle class families making $200,000 a year or thereabouts are "one percenters."

If your household brings in $120,000 per year you may not be a "one percenter," but you're obviously rich.

And if you've got two minimum wage earners pulling in 35k per year between them, they're the "middle class."

It's a shame that we see this kind of apologia for the status quo at CBC.

We used to be able to count on them to be better than that.

Households making $250K/yr in Canada today are not one percenters; they're middle class.

Households making $120K/yr are struggling.

And anybody at or near Obama's definition of middle class is just poor.

Nevertheless, the fantasy CBC now peddles about a household income of $120,000 per year being beyond "middle class" serves a useful purpose...

And I'll let you figure out what that might be...
















Monday, January 26, 2015

Sh!t falls apart at Falling Downs

The lead vehicle in our fleet here at Falling Downs for the past few months has been a Pontiac Torrent. They stopped building those about five years ago, so I know it's older than that, but by golly, it's been a flawless ride... until shit falls apart!

In hindsight, I should have realized that shit was falling apart even as I bought the damned thing. It looked good and ran mint except for one little thing; there was a slight vibration right around 25 mph. It wasn't there at 20, it wasn't there at 30, but right around 25, there was a slight vibration.

This is an "all wheel drive" Torrent, so you naturally figure the premium you pay for all wheel drive is gonna be made up by the savings accruing from never having to plow your driveway again. And for the first few months, that was looking good!

I'd made a couple of strategic gambles with my snow-plowing technology this year. I scored a sweet deal on a ten year old Craftsman snow-blower over the summer, owned by a auto mechanic, so I figured, hell, I don't think I'll even bother hooking the big snow-blower up to the old Ford tractor this winter. That's always a exercise in overkill anyway.

In the first place, it's a diesel, so you gotta plug it in four or five hours before you plan to blow snow. In these parts you can go from clear blue skies to full-on blizzard in half an hour, so knowing when to plug her in is always more of an art than a science.

You plug it in, wait four or five hours, and you've got the job done in five minutes! See what I mean about overkill!

Unless of course something goes awry with the blower itself. Usually this comes about when I run over some miscellaneous detritus buried in the snow I'm trying to clear. You gotta bear in mind that I got this rig as a hand-me down from my dear Daddy, who replaced all the shear pins with Grade 8 hardened steel bolts just to make sure they didn't break!

Long story short, you find yourself fucking around for hours in the middle of a blizzard, 25 degrees below zero, 125 with the wind chill factored in, trying to replace a master link in the drive chain when your fingers are long past having any feeling.

Anyway, I got that 12 and a half horse 32" Craftsman now, and all wheel drive on the main ride, and I'm thinking, winter?... BRING IT ON!

So we get that blizzard right around new year's eve, dumps two feet of snow, and wouldn't you know it, the electric start on that new 10 year-old-old Craftsman don't work! After a couple of hundred pulls on the rope, I come to the conclusion that ain't gonna work either!

But, have no fear, that all-wheel-drive Torrent gets me out the drive like it's July!

I have been vindicated!

Unfortunately, that little vibration at 25 mph is now a bigger vibration. In fact, it's becoming a scary big vibration. There was a time I succeeded in convincing myself that maybe it was just an out-of-balance tire... that's long over.

I gradually come to the conclusion that this ain't gonna fix itself.

There was a time I used to attempt auto repairs on my own, but truth be told, I always found those three or four bolts and nuts left over after doing a brake job to be a little disconcerting.

Took the Torrent in to the professionals.

The professionals fixed 'er right up for just a tad under a thousand bucks!

Well fuck me!

That's the kinda thing that can just put me in a grumpy mood, if you know what I mean... hell, that's what, 30 or 35 cases of beer?

For fucks sakes!

So next day, I'm a little bummed out, reading my Globe cover to cover and hoping world events will take my mind off my driveway problems. The Farm Manager is doing a load of laundry, and at the outer reaches of my conciousness I hear something that doesn't sound right.

I try to block it out... but it still doesn't sound right.

In fact, it sounds like the washer is trying to give birth.

If a dog or a cat or a cow sounded like that while giving birth, you'd just shoot it and put it out of it's misery.

Then I hear, "the washer doesn't sound right."

No shit!

That Kenmore washer dryer combo is one of those stacking units, with the dryer on top. I must have been a younger man when I stacked them, because, by Jeezus, everything's a lot more unwieldy now. Let me tell you, having to do this for stuff that can't be more than three or four years old just burns my ass!

You buy Kenmore because it's going to last... ya right!

First job is pulling the combo out of the little alcove where this old farmhouse used to have a utility sink when it was built a hundred years ago. That's where I got my first surprise.

We feed a couple of lazy ass cats around here because we figure they keep the mice away. What's behind the washer-dryer combo?

Mouse shit and peanut shells!

The only place they coulda found fuckin' peanuts is ON THE FUCKING KITCHEN TABLE around Christmas time!

For fucks sakes!

We feed these fucking cats and they're snoozing it up while the mouse family marches over their noses and up the table legs and carries off a bunch of peanuts?

And we shower those cats with kitty treats and accolades because they drop half a mouse carcass in front of us once a month?

Fuck!

Me!

But that's not the worst of it.

I distinctly remember, not more than a couple of years ago, I could slide in and out of that alcove like nothing. Now I can hardly get my corpulent belly back there...

I'M FUCKING FAT!!!

Anyway, looks like the bearing in that main tub is gone. Gotta find a hub puller to get the drive wheel off. I know I've got three or four hub pullers here and there, but for fucks sakes, I think I'll just buy one instead of spending 12 hours searching the shop.

I really really AM going to organize the shop next summer.

Ya, shit falls apart...

Luckily, Orville one farm over has been blowing out the driveway... which reminds me, he's probably due for another bottle of brandy soon...




Mr. Baird... PLEASE STOP EMBARRASSING CANADA!

Canada's Foreign Minister is famous for his over-the-top toadying in front of the pro-settler regime in Tel Aviv. Here's a typical effort from a press release of 18 Jan;

“Canada and Israel share similar views on the world stage,” said Baird. “Canada strongly supports Israel’s right to defend itself by itself and its right to live in peace with its neighbours. Canada will fight any efforts internationally to delegitimize the State of Israel, including the disturbing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.”

It's worth noting that his meeting with Israeli FM Lieberman was held in Jerusalem, not in Tel Aviv, a breach of protocol that passed entirely without comment in Canadian media.

Baird is also famous for his hysterical hectoring of Russia, ripping forth anti-Russian rants at the rate of about one a week. Here is his latest masterpiece from 24 Jan;


“Canada is outraged at today’s indiscriminate rocket attacks against the city of Mariupol by the Russian-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine, leaving dozens of innocent civilians dead.
“These attacks come after the insurgents announced their intention to launch a new offensive, in flagrant violation of the Minsk ceasefire agreements reached in September.
“This disgraceful act further demonstrates Russia’s ongoing campaign of aggression against Ukraine and its shocking willingness to sacrifice civilian lives to achieve its illegitimate goals.
“We call on Russia to immediately respect the ceasefire, immediately end its support of these proxies and allow peace to return to eastern Ukraine.
“As Canada mourns the victims of the shameful attacks on Mariupol, we, in consultation with the Ukrainian government, our partners and our allies, are examining our options for enacting further measures to dissuade Russia from continuing along this destructive path. Canada also fully supports the Government of Ukraine’s call for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.”
Note the accusatory tone and the wealth of undiplomatic language... "outraged"... "indiscriminate rocket attacks"... "flagrant violation"... "disgraceful"... "shocking"... "shameful"...
Remember, this is coming from our top diplomat!
Then today we find this press release on the website of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

26 Jan 2015
​With regard to negotiations with Iran, FM Liberman said that Israel's position is that no agreement is preferable to a bad agreement, and all options remain on the table.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Media Advisor)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met today (Monday 26 January 2015) in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
At the meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed the continued strengthening of Israel-Russia bilateral relations and cooperation, and signed a memorandum of understanding between the foreign ministries of the two countries.

Ministers Liberman and Lavrov also discussed Middle Eastern events, with an emphasis on events in Syria and Lebanon. FM Liberman clarified Israel's position and red lines with regard to occurrences on the northern border.
With regard to Iran, FM Liberman said that we are closely monitoring the negotiations between world powers and Iran, and that Israel's position is that no agreement is preferable to a bad agreement. He added that Israel is keeping all options on the table.
FM Liberman also raised the issue of the Palestinian appeal to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and stated that Russia, like other countries, should understand that these moves, aimed at turning the ICC into a political tool, are unjustified and may eventually cause them harm as well.
Ministers Liberman and Lavrov also discussed a host of bilateral issues, including the issue of pensions, visiting lecturers from both sides and other consular issues. With regard to the pension issue, FM Liberman said that it is especially important to resolve the matter now, as we are approaching the 70th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis.

How refreshing! 
No hectoring! No name-calling! The Russian and the Israeli Foreign Minister's can discuss matters on which they have profound differences of opinion, and still manage to sign a memorandum of understanding!
That's how the big boys do diplomacy, Mr. Baird!
And by the way, when your friend Mr. Yatsenyuk claimed the other day that the USSR invaded Germany in WWll, should that not have set off some alarm bells?
Yatsenyuk is a fabulist. Poroshenko is a serial liar bent on drawing any ally he can find into his squabble with the Kremlin, but all we ever hear from you is Russia bad, Ukraine good.
Mr. Baird, you're an embarrassment to your country!

PLEASE STOP!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

These guys aren't fighting a war; they're posing for a photograph

Ukrainian servicemen fire their weapons during fighting with pro-Russian separatists in Pesky village, near Donetsk January 21, 2015. REUTERS-Oleksandr Klymenko

Reuters wants me to believe that these guys are fighting those dastardly pro-Russian separatists.

You know the ones... Putin's boys.

Ya, you've read all about them, the "little green men" and all that stuff. In fact, ever since the shoot-down of MH-317 we've had a non-stop stream of anti-Russian invective.

Yet not the slightest shred of anything that could even loosely be construed as "proof."

Today Poroshenko stood in front of the assembled multitude at Davos and claimed, once again, that thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of Russian tanks have invaded Ukraine... but not a single Ukrainian has managed to upload a single selfie in front of one of those troops or one of those tanks.

That's how we know Poroshenko is lying.


Fuck the future; how the debasement of adjuncts/sessionals and tertiary intellectual workers imperils the academy and beyond

Andrew Bricker, who the Globe and Mail informs me is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, has a really depressing article on page R7 of today's Globe.

Bricker, like a lot of extravagantly over-qualified people, doesn't seem to be able to find a tenure-track position.

This is nothing new. I remember an adjunct professor, or a "sessional" as we call them in Canada, lamenting the fact that he had been juggling sessional gigs for ten years. Over a pint after class he divulged that he sincerely regretted not becoming a high-school teacher. After all, there are no sessional high school teachers. Even the supply teachers are covered by union contracts that, unlike the contracts at the University level, are backed up by unions that still have some schlep.

Quite unlike the Canadian Association for University Teachers.

So if Professor Davis was having a tough time of it back in 1982, it's apparently a thousand times worse in 2015.

Which fact will hurt all of us in the long run.

The sad truth is that full time tenure track appointments in today's universities go to people who can "add value" to the institution.

And value is today measured only in dollars.

In the short term, this is an existential crisis for Bricker and tens of thousands like him. We're creating an over-educated underclass.

In the long run, we'll all be poorer for it.

Bibi claims moral high ground in feud with der Schwartze

The Greatest Leader Since Moses today claimed the moral high ground in his controversial plans to take his election campaign before a joint session of Congress.

It's not crass grandstanding, rather, it is a "moral obligation!"

As is the norm at election time in Israel, the "existential threat" of the imaginary Iranian nukes gets moved from the back burner to the front page;

“As prime minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weaponry that will be aimed at the state of Israel. This effort is global and I will go anywhere I am invited to make the state of Israel’s case and defend its future and existence."

This is of course the classic Netanyahu strategy of fear-mongering that has profited him so handsomely throughout his career. Whip up a little anti-Iranian hysteria, maybe provoke a border incident here and there, and then present yourself as the strong hand willing to face down those threats!

Works like a charm!

There are signs, however, that the charm is wearing thin. The New York Times has gone so far as to warn that Netanyahu's cynical grandstanding threatens to further strain Israel US relations.

However gratifying it may be for Netanyahu to show the Israeli voters that he has more support in Congress than Obama does, there's a creeping Bibi-skepticism taking root beyond the Beltway. 

Israeli intransigence, personified to perfection in Netanyahu, is gradually eroding support among traditional allies. This seems for now to be more apparent to diaspora Jews than in Israel. It's safe to say that Netanyahu's popularity drops off precipitously outside of Congress, even among Jewish Americans.

Pretending that his trip to Washington is anything other than crass electioneering is of course part and parcel of the crass electioneering, but is it really wise to take this opportunity to poke Obama in the eye?   

Brits taking for-profit justice to the next level

I'd always thought the bare-knuckle capitalists south of the border were the world leaders in profiting from the incarceration of the less fortunate. The visionary leadership of corporations like Wackenhut and CCA, combined with an all-out war on America's black underclass (more often known by its politically correct handle, "The War on Drugs") has made it socially acceptable to wring a profit from the confinement of others.

But it looks like the Brits are leading the way in taking this repugnant practice to the next level. Until this morning, I had no idea that Her Majesty's justice ministry has a "commercial arm!"

Who knew?

What better way to boost government revenues than by exporting the Ministry of Justice's expertise in the care and feeding of the delinquent?

Makes sense when you think about it. Instead of farming out inmate management to the private sector, make the Ministry itself a profit centre!

I'm just surprised the Americans didn't think of it first, what with their substantially greater experience in imprisoning vast swathes of their population!

And what better place to start than in Saudi Arabia. No pesky human-rights whinge-bags dogging your every step, because that lot is already locked up!

Sounds like easy money! Top marks to the Cameron crew on this one!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Harper regime dispatches Edmonton toweller to US gulag

I must have been asleep at the switch, cause I never saw this one coming. Seems Sayfildin Tahir Sharif was somehow helping out the bad guys that want to destroy our way of life etc.

Sharif seems to be an other-wise rock solid Canadian who regrettably fell in with the jihadi crowd.

Now he's gonna take his chances with the American justice system.

Good luck with that!

What puzzles me is that I thought Canada didn't extradite people to countries where the death penalty or torture were indulged.

The USA still toasts and roasts their death row losers with reckless abandon, and even the Great Black Hope admits they torture folks, so what went wrong here?

Abe to dispatch stealth killer commando units to Iraq to free remaining Japanese hostage

You have to admit that the murder of that Japanese hostage gives a great big boost to Abe's militaristic agenda.

But I'm wondering how these "stealth killer commando units" are gonna fare out.

After all, it's kinda hard to hide those Japanese eyes...

Then again, a lot of that jihadi crowd likes to wear face scarves, either to conceal their identity or protect themselves from those desert wind-storms, or both.

They're also big on the designer shades, probably for the same reasons.

When you give it some thought, you realize those Japanese commandos will fit right in!

Memo to Islamic State; shoot on sight anyone with a face scarf and sunglasses!

It's those Japanese anti-terror hit-squads coming to get you!

Orwell's Hole

Check out today's latest news from Ukraine at the Kyiv Post. I don't know about you, but I find it telling that Kyiv Post gets it's Ukrainian news from the New York Times!

But just what that is telling you, I'm not sure. The Post is the plaything of Mohammad Zahoor, a London-based Ukrainian oligarch of Pakistani origin who, in the style of an entire generation of oligarchs, parlayed being in the right place at the right time when the Soviet Union collapsed, into a fortune in Donetsk steel mills.

Well, you know how it is with this darned internet; one thing leads to another, and before you know it, the day is half over, and you're reading the National Endowment for Democracy's 2013 annual report on where in Ukraine that US government funded Non-Governmental Organization invested the American tax-payers money in that pivitol pre-Maidan year.

It's a lengthy list, but here's my favorite;

Center for International Private EnterpriseDeveloping Market Economy
$357,707
Building Advocacy Momentum
To build the capacity of Ukrainian business associations and improve the entrepreneurial climate through coalition-based advocacy. CIPE will build the skills of reform-minded business leaders through training seminars, workshops and small grants designed to stimulate advocacy on targeted issues. CIPE will also support partner business associations to advocate for improvements in the entrepreneurial environment with a focus on reducing corruption and improving public-private dialogue.

I think it's hilarious that a country that has spawned a alphabet's worth of super-rich from Akhmetov to Zahoor would need something called the "Center for International Private Enterprise," financed by the US government!

You don't imagine that might be some CIA front, do you?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bibi ups the ante...

I see where the Greatest Leader Since Moses has managed to push back his date before the American TV networks from 11 Feb to 3 March.

What a score that is!

Instead of stealing the media limelight a month before the election, he has managed to push his moment in the spotlight back two weeks, to a mere fortnight before the election!

We are witnessing absolutely genius election rigging!

Nothing sways the Israeli vote like Bibi swanning about in front of a fawning US Congress!

About killing the Beer Store/LCBO booze sales monopoly in Ontario

If I remember correctly, Reg Cohn at the Toronto Star was one of the first mainstream journos to take up the cause, long promulgated by the ultra right-wing Fraser Institute, to deregulate beer and liquor sales in Ontario.

It's a well financed lobbying campaign that hits all the right buttons.

Don't consumers deserve more choice?

Shouldn't the public have more options about where they buy their booze?

Won't private-sector efficiencies reduce the cost of this critical commodity?

Well, no...

Hell no!

I'll tell you right off the top that I have been for decades a very good customer of both the Beer Store and the LCBO monopolies. In fact, in one of my divorce proceedings the other side made an attempt to portray me as an alcoholic, if one can even imagine such a thing!

Truth be told, I've never suffered significant inconvenience by having to visit an actual Beer Store or LCBO to buy my medicine.

Sure, it would be easier to wobble down the street to pick up a six-pack at the local Mac's, but what the hell... could there be more at play here than my convenience?

The imaginary outrage against the Beer Store/LCBO combine is lavishly financed by the convenience store lobby, which is in turn lavishly financed by Alimentation Couche-Tard, which is a great Canadian success story, being today the largest convenience store chain on the planet.

Employees at Couche-Tard stores tend to earn minimum wage.

Employees at the Beer Store and the LCBO make more than that.

I'm more than willing to patronize a semi-monopoly if it means the folks working there will continue to make a decent wage. Saving a dollar or two on a bottle of wine or a case of beer while throwing thousands of Beer Store and LCBO workers into min wage penury doesn't strike me as a bargain.

How sad that both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail have climbed aboard this bandwagon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Flogging the Wogs, Canadian style, circa 2015

At this very moment, Canadian soldiers are in Iraq, killing Iraqis.

(Not at this moment, nor at any moment ever, have there been Iraqi soldiers in Canada, killing Canadians.)

The Prime Minister of Canada thinks it's a good and noble thing that Canadian soldiers are in Iraq killing Iraqis.


Where is the outrage?


Welcome to Winnipeg, racism capital of racist Canada

Maclean's magazine, that Toronto bastion of smug middle-class superiority, has had a team of investigative journos do their homework, and by golly, if they didn't figure out that Winnipeg is the most racist city in all of Canada!

Well, that sure is a kick in the nuts for the Metis mayor and the Black police chief, ain't it?

I don't want to diss Maclean's. After all, that's one of the few print platforms in Canada that still pays actual writers with cheques that don't bounce. Most everything else you read in Canada's print media is written by unpaid interns who are grateful for the McDonalds gift certificates they take home.

But I think what's driving this hate-Winnipeg campaign is museum envy.

That's right; museum envy. Nobody has been more sceptical than the think-tank here at Fallling Downs about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We were from the very beginning taken aback by the droll ironies that inevitably resonate when you park such an edifice in a city with huge issues around racism and poverty.

In the first place, there's something odious about putting human rights in a museum.

But this is not the place for that, so I'll just point out that the Asper's were, in spite of everything else, proud 'Peggers, and they wanted their baby in Winnipeg, not in Toronto or Ottawa.

And that's what has given rise to the museum envy emanating from the eastern elites. It galls those people no end to see such a monument in what they consider a prairie hick-town!

As for the nuts and bolts of the article, nah, I don't buy it for a minute. Is there a race problem in Winnipeg? Absolutely! Is Winnipeg's race problem worse than Regina's or Saskatoon's or Edmonton's or Calgary's or a thousand towns and cities across this great land that we stole from those people?

Absolutely not!




King Abdullah dead! Watch the conspiracy theories fly!

Bandar Bush's fingerprints are all over this!

No, no... it was Mossad!

How about Mossad in a joint venture with Bandar? Maybe Bandar paid Mossad to do it?

Maybe his OPEC mates, not as keen as the Saudis vis that 300 billion haircut they're taking on cheap oil, helped things along?

Obviously the Iranians have a horse in this race too...

And let's not forget the CIA! Ya, that's it, the CIA working at the behest of their Seven Sisters paymasters...

Let's not be too hasty in ruling out home-grown made in Saudi Arabia conspiracies... everybody from the Wahhabi radicals to the League of Women Drivers to the Shia minority. Clearly, he didn't succeed in buying the hearts and minds of everyone.

Or maybe he just died.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

OMG!!! University campuses a cesspool of sin!...

Who knew?

Yup, another non-story from the good folks at Postmedia.

A bit of salacious innuendo, and voilĂ , lots and lots of media attention!

The Universite de Moncton has the same cohort on campus as every other university in the world; young people in their late teens and early twenties, away from home for the first time, trying out their new-found independence.

They do pretty much the same things as young adults throughout history have done when they get away from the parental eye...

This is news?

Making up news out of nothing

I see where John Ivison, one of the few non-interns still writing copy at Postmedia, is in a flap because the project management contract for the Canadian Surface Combatant shipbuilding program has gone to Irving Shipbuilding.

Since the actual building of the ships on this shipbuilding contract was primarily awarded to Irving years ago, anybody with half a brain would realize that the only option for overall contract management was Irving.

So some lobbyists from no-hope outside contractors are now kicking up a fuss? How is this news? That's what lobbyists get paid to do!

There are many legitimate questions about the CSC shipbuilding contract. If all our navy is doing is drug interdiction for the DEA and imaginary terror suppression missions for NATO, do we really need this new fleet? The obvious answer to that is NO!

However, if our government is determined to upgrade the RCN, the ships have to be built in Canada, and the overall contract management can only be managed in Canada.

As the lead contractor, Irving is the only responsible choice for overall project management.

Netanyahu takes election campaign to Washington

Ten days ago the Greatest Leader Since Moses wowed his people with a front-row front-page photo-op at that infamous rally for "free speech" in Paris.

He is about to one-up himself with a spot of political grand-standing in Washington!

And if that is in itself not enough of a coup, he has simultaneously managed an end-run around der Schwartze! The well-known antipathy between the White House and Netanyahu would not have helped Bibi had he arranged this trip via normal protocol. Instead, it would have opened him to accusations of appeasement.

Therefore, Netanyahu arranged an invitation through his acolytes in Congress, by-passing the White House entirely. On 11 February, a mere four weeks before the Israeli election, Netanyahu will be seen on every TV screen in Israel as the man who has the ear of the US Congress, at the invitation not of the President, but of John Boehner. Not only does this avoid the unpleasantness of having to appear deferential to Obama, it shows every voter in Israel that he has more schlep in Congress than the President himself!

An absolutely brilliant strategy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Obama spills the beans; the "middle class" is now anybody with a min wage job!

One thing ya gotta admit about Obama; he gives damned good speech!

Mind you, said speech may not in any way be tethered to what most of us would consider "the real world," but what the fuck, he still gives good speech.

So how do you feel about the admission by the POTUS, that yesterday's "middle class" has ended up in the precarious employment minimum wage ghettoes of today?

Ya, I know how you feel.

If you've lucked out, and things are good, you're saying to yourself right now, "why the fuck am I gonna pay more tax so some fucking loser can do college for free?"

If you're one of the vast majority, who has been victimized by the hedgies and the big banks and their paid-for politicians, you're saying, "hey, maybe my kid's gonna go to college after all!"

All I'm saying is don't get your hopes up.

It was just a speech.


State of the Union Poem, 2015

Mister Speaker

fifteen years into a new century

we turn the page

creating jobs at the fastest pace

unemployment lower

more kids graduating

free of the grip of

foreign oil

for the first time since 9/11

we salute the courage of

our men and women in uniform

humble humble humble

grit and hard work

the shadow of crisis has passed!

growing economy

booming economy

will we approach the world fearful?

or will we lead it wisely?

one way or the other

be assured we will lead

values at stake

meet the newlyweds

it doesn't get much better than that

it is amazing

America is a strong family

America is a strong family

America is a strong family

our country is growing stronger

eleven million new jobs

we can prepare our kids for a new world

more Americans finish high school than ever before

predatory lending practices

at every step

crush jobs

but our stock market has doubled

the verdict is clear

policies will work

when politics don't get in the way

we can't fix a broken system

wages are rising

but here's the thing

we will do more

than do no harm

let's grow the link between working hard

and Friday night pizza

millions of hard-working families

are eager to work harder

to pay more taxes

to follow their dreams

when everyone

shares and contributes

shares and contributes

middle class economics

middle class economics

thousands of dollars

in your pockets

child care is a priority

child care is a priority

my plan

my plan

43 million American workers

have no paid sick leave

I will give you sick leave

as long as you are only sick

for seven days

let's vote to give America's middle class minimum wage earners a living wage

higher minimum wage

higher minimum wage

the middle class lives on the minimum wage

too many bright Americans

cannot seize the American dream

free college

free college

understand you gotta earn it

Tennessee

Chicago

free college

will be my legacy

be like CVS

and UPS

and let's get veterans

off the sidewalk

and into college

hire a veteran

our bedrock companies

know we want them

here in America

in America

let's set our sites higher than

Keystone

21st century business

pay higher wages

China

China

give me power to stop China

we need trade deals

we need opportunities

21st century business

belongs in America

not China

we need American business

to come home from China

sunlight into liquid fuel

one-armed veterans

will play catch with their kids again

in America

in America

truth is

for far too long

we've let loopholes

loopholes

loopholes

make hard-working families make ends meet

stronger

stronger

in the new century

a safer more prosperous world

leverage our power with

a higher minimum wage

around the world

we stand united

with terrorists

we've learned some lessons

in Afghanistan and Iraq

and Syria

we are leading a broad

coalition

this effort will take time

lots of time

lots of time

let's make war on ISIS

to demonstrate our diplomacy

let's make war on Russia

to reassure our NATO allies

America rules

Russia is in tatters

Cuba

hand of friendship

millions of hard-working Americans

can soon have a cheap holiday in Cuba

we halted Iran nukes

we prevented a nuclear Iran

all options are on the table though

just in case

American people

expect

American people

expect

terrorism

cyber-attacks

if we don't act

troops

scientists

are rolling back

future pandemics

we are making sure

other nations

play by our rules

and if you don't listen to me

there'll be rising oceans

and hunger

which is why

we've done less than nothing

to tun back the clock on global warming

values

values

our new torture will be restrained

we love Muslims and Jews

and Lesbians and the transgendered

as Americans we love justice

as everyone can see

we cherish civil liberties

as everyone can see

our abusers have

strengthened safeguards

against abuse

exceptional

exceptional

exceptional

bedrock values

how ironic

too many people in this town

ride high on the hog

profit from the gravy train

over and over and over

I have mourned

with grieving parents

we are our brother's keeper

our sister's keeper

our neighbour's keeper

the world's keeper

we are always

looking over our shoulder


imagine if we did something

different

imagine if we were decent

imagine

imagine

for all our blind spots

we want to help our neighbours

we value the dignity

of every citizen

we are still more

we are

the United States of America

we are a family

a strong family

the exceptional family

God bless this country!




Canadian sniper

Quite a few years ago, on a flight out of Saint John, I found myself seated beside a buff young fellow who was a proud member of the Canadian Forces. He's just heading back to Ontario after a spell at Gagetown for sniper training.

We get to yacking, and it turns out we'd both had some colourful experiences at the University of Guelph. All of his seemed to involve excess alcohol consumption, primarily at a campus pub once known as the Roundhouse.

Buddy had a thing about alcohol consumption. I'd been in self-imposed exile in New Brunswick for a time, and inquired of my seat-mate as to the current price of a case of beer in Ontario. He didn't know the price of a case of beer, but he did know the price of a keg of beer!

My pacifist proclivities aside, I confess I found his trade quite fascinating. The idea of hitting a target the size of a dollar coin from a kilometer away has a morbid fascination. And if you can hit a dollar coin a kilometer away, a human head at a kilometer and a half, or a human torso at two kilometers, is well within the operational capabilities. That is some scary shit!

Under the circumstances, I chose not to share my own tales of target-shooting prowess. I'm actually quite a contender with the air pistol when shooting beer cans at 25 feet. Don't laugh - air pistol is an Olympic sport!

I am reminded of this story because of an item in our news today. According to Brig-Gen Mike Rouleau, our Canadian Forces advisers in Iraq found themselves in a tight spot recently, and had to "defend" themselves by deploying snipers to put down the bad guys.

Nice try Mr. Brig-Gen, but I'm pretty sure nobody anywhere would consider a Tac-50 a "defensive" weapon! Which means that Canada is well on its way to becoming actively embroiled in the latest round of Middle East butchery, which Big Steve solemnly promised us would never happen when he dispatched this latest team of advisers to Iraq on nothing more than a personal whim.

So Buddy has the better sharp-shooter story, but he agreed I had the better Roundhouse story.

One night way back, after putting in an honest eight hour shift, we got lost on the way out the parking lot.

There must have been about fifteen old and very recent friends in my '69 Chrysler Newport at the time. That's a car that even by the bloated standards of a bygone era was considered a land barge. You could easily fit five in the front seat, another five in the back, and the number you could transport in the cavernous trunk was limited only by whatever personal space issues the passengers may have harboured, and at three AM that tended to be an issue that didn't come up.

The Newport is rear-wheel drive but front-heavy, like all great American cars of the time. So as we head down the steps between Johnston Hall and the Mackinnon Building, the car kinda teeter-totters forward, and all of a sudden the driving wheels are a foot off the ground...

We're stuck!

Well, thank God for all those passengers!

We were able to physically man-handle that two and a half tons of Detroit Iron down those steps in no time at all, and off we went!

Nowadays, of course, everybody from skateboarders to mountain bikers think they own those stairs. Just remember, I owned them first, with a 1969 Chrysler Newport.

They really should put up a plaque.

Red flags galore as Islamist Canadian mayor moots alcohol ban

Well, he may not have actually "mooted" an alcohol ban yet, but believe me, when Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi floats thought balloons like this one, you know it's in the air!

Ah, but the wild west is sadly much tamer now than it was in the good old days of the permanently pickled Ralph Klein. Calgary has been gentrified and politically correctified in these post-Ralph times. The red-nosed redneck wouldn't have a chance in the new and improved Calgary of today.

All things considered, that's not necessarily a bad thing... but for God's sake, Nenshi, lighten up, will ya?

Municipal politicians are people too!

Dissidents in Leafs Nation succumb to police state

So much for freedom of speech!

Apparently the full weight of the police state will henceforth be unleashed when dissident Toronto Maple Leaf fans express their ire with team management by tossing their team sweaters on the ice.

Really? Toronto cops have nothing more important to do? Maybe there's room for a little surgery in that Police Services budget after all?

And how about Dion Phaneuf piping up about the fans "disrespecting the organization?"

Dude, the organization has been disrespecting the fans in this town since way before you ever laced on a pair of skates! Shut-up already and maybe try upping your game!

Third-world-style thuggery the new normal in Canada

I didn't even realize Canada had currency controls.

Maybe they only apply to A-rabs heading to the Middle East (and you can bet this dude wasn't heading to the "only democracy" in that benighted neighbourhood).

There must have been boners galore as the the proud men and women in CBSA uniforms salivated over the $38,000 they stole from some hapless schmuck trying to leave the country. When the various "terror" entities in the Middle East are lavishly funded by any number of terror-fightin' sovereign states to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, we can safely assume this paltry seizure in Calgary bears no relation to terror whatsoever.

Here's the high-minded boiler-plate the CBSA shills spew to justify stealing $38,000 from someone not even charged with a crime;

“The CBSA not only stops dangerous goods from entering Canada, but also prevents funds from leaving to potentially support illegal activities overseas,” said Nina Patel, district director of the CBSA’s prairie region, in a news release.

That doesn't mean it was insignificant to the guy they stole it from. Probably some Lebanese dude heading home with his life savings after washing dishes in Calgary restaurants for the last twenty years.

Now it's up to him to prove he's innocent. That noble concept of "innocent until proven guilty" is so last-century.

Monday, January 19, 2015

For Pape Samba Kane; selected readings from our Mali files!

Dear brother Kane,

I notice where you have been lamenting that "few are objecting or ringing the alarm bells" as Hollande the Conqueror re-colonizes Mali. For your reading enjoyment, and to help restore your faith in humanity...

Hollande the Conqueror earns his spurs  (Jan 2011)

That's the foolishness  emanating from the greatest French philosopher who ever walked the earth, the great BHL, the man who is so great that he is universally recognized just by his initials alone.

Did I mention that the man considers himself great? A "celebrity philosopher," no less.

This is the supposedly liberal humanist philosopher who couldn't get the Nations of Virtue bombing Libya soon enough.

The same humanist who has been bitterly disappointed that those same nations failed to heed his advice to apply the Libya blueprint to Syria.

But in this topsy-turvy world of war-mongering liberals, there is also a voice of reason. In a profound irony it happens to come from the right wing of the political spectrum.

You will remember Dominique de Villepen as the Foreign Minister who spoke against the Iraq war. He is speaking out now against this disasterous course France has embarked on in Africa.

Unfortunately the country at large seems for the moment to be swept with war fever.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Hollande all alone in Mali after Chad Pres declares "mission accomplished"

Francois Hollande, aka "the Conqueror," aka "the Crusader," is finding things getting a little lonely in "Operation Spurs for Hollande."

France's only ally in the ill-advised (well, BHL advised it, so I'm sure at some level it must have been a stroke of genius) Mali adventure has served notice that the Chadians are outta there. Yup, President Idriss Deby may be black, but he's not stupid and he's not consumed with hallucinations of restoring past glory to his nation.

Unlike Hollande and his top military adviser Bernard-Henri Levy.

So now the French are good and stuck...

Look for AFRICOM to ride to the rescue real soon!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

No spurs yet, but a camel for Hollande

The biggest news story out of Mali in the past week was that the grateful dark people have presented Hollande with a new camel.

This is to replace the last camel that the grateful dark people presented to Hollande, which was unfortunately eaten by the (obviously hungry) dark people entrusted with its care.

Dark people will do that.

But where are the spurs?

When Hollande launched this ill-advised adventure, the unctuous imbecile BHL was crowing about Hollande's remake as a man of action. Hollande was "earning his spurs."

That struck me as fatuous nonsense then, and it remains fatuous nonsense.

Hollande's poll numbers at home are plummeting. In Mali they eat his camel. His allies have abandoned him. His stretched-too-thin boots on the African ground keep liberating the same towns over and over again.

And all the while his treasury bleeds red ink.

At least he has a new camel for consolation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

After saving Africa from Africans, Hollande the Conqueror turns gaze on saving Middle East from Arabs

Hollande may be drowning in the polls, but he must be rising in the estimation of the esteemed BHL.

It was BHL after all, the man who saved Libya, who egged on the hapless Hollande in his pursuit of those mythical "spurs." And for Hollande, nothing else matters so long as he has the regard of the great BHL.

But those poll numbers are astonishingly dismal. Hollande has actually had the distinction of being named the worst politician in the world!

That can't possibly be fair... have those pollsters not heard of Stephen Harper? Or Bobby Mugabe?

Nevertheless, it is now estimated that if an election were held in the near future, both Le Pen and Sarkozy would make mincemeat of the hapless Hollande.

Be that as it may, the Conqueror has moved on from his rout of the evil-doers in Africa. Yes, there are still some loose ends to tie up, but by and large, African resources in the CAR and Mali have been made safe for democracy.

Thankfully, that has freed up the resources of the Republic to bring peace and freedom and democracy to Iraq yet again, as if they haven't had enough already.

No doubt Hollande is hoping for a bump in his polling numbers from this bold new venture.

Fat chance.

Does he not realize that there are more Arab immigrants in France than in any other of the Nations of Virtue?

He thinks bombing their homelands will make him more popular?

He really has been suckling at the BHL teat for much too long...

The only news event that has ever bumped Hollande's polling numbers was when he was caught out bumping that actress back in the spring.

Perhaps those invasions between the sheets are what Hollande does best. Forget the spurs, François, and for God's sake, stop listening to that imbecile BHL!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mali coup leader abandons hunger strike because "tummy hurts"

What else is there to read between the lines of this story?

You will recall that Captain Amadou Sanogo first took power in an accidental coup a couple of years ago. He and a few mates get shit-faced one night and have a drunken whoop-up at their barracks, staggering about firing their machine guns in the air and drunkenly baying for regime change.

The hapless civilian President catches wind of this, figures it's the real thing, and high-tails it for the border.

Next day Sanogo and his pals wake up from their drunken stupour and find out that they've taken over the country! For real!

Against his better judgement, the US-trained Sanogo decided to run with it, at least for a little while. For his troubles he's now been tossed into the brig while the French liberators figure out what to do with him.

Here's a bit of advice for Francios Hollande, who has been desperately casting about for a Mali exit strategy:

Three Point Plan for Mali Exit

  1. Declare Mali a constitutional monarchy.
  2. Declare Captain Sanogo the "King".
  3. Wish him well and get the fuck out of there!
Sounds like a plan to me!

With election less than two months away, Netanyau duly ramps up the provocations

It remains to be seen how Nasrallah will respond to yesterday's wholly unnecessary and manifestly illegal attack in Syria.

While serving no strategic purpose whatsoever, this cynical bit of electioneering allows Netanyahu to escalate tensions so that he can then pose as the "strong leader" just in time for the elections. Cynical beyond measure and dangerous beyond belief! What could go wrong?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's official; support for BDS is now "anti-Semitism" in Canada

John Baird made news today when he was seen running from a barrage of shoes and eggs directed his way when he had the chutzpah to show his face in Ramallah. The Palestinians, due no doubt to the troubling impact their religion has on their thought process, see Baird as an Israeli stooge.

After giving the Palestinians a stern lecture on the importance of the rule of law etc, he decamped to Jerusalem, where he signed six "memoranda of understanding" with Avigdor Lieberman, his Israeli counterpart. The cumulative effect of the memoranda is to totally hand off Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East to Israel. Canadian foreign policy hasn't been independent for some time, but today's signings make it official.

Included in the memoranda is this gem, governing "public diplomacy cooperation." That means Canada will not only blindly support Israel behind the scenes; we are now committed to make sure we are seen to be doing so in public!

Here's the bit that equates BDS with anti-Semitism;

 Deeply concerned by efforts to single out the State of Israel for criticism and isolate the State of Israel internationally including calls for a boycott of the State of Israel, for the divestment of investments, and for sanctions to be imposed on Israel,
Recognizing that the selective targeting of Israel reflects the new face of anti‑Semitism,

We're there, folks! Look for the Harper gang to push through something in the next anti-terror bill that incorporates this development, and criticism of Israel will be a crime in Canada.

Israeli helicopters flying support missions for Islamic State

The news that Hellfire missiles fired from Israeli attack helicopters took out a Hezbollah convoy in Syria today is vindication for those who have claimed that ISIS/ Islamic State is a US-Israeli creation designed to ramp up fear and convince the public, especially the American public, that greater involvement by US troops is required in Syria.

The fact that this is yet another act of war by Israel on one of its Arab neighbours will go completely unnoticed in Western media.

UNDP boss celebrates "progress" in Haiti

Sophie de Caen is the Canadian currently holding the post of Haiti Senior Country Director with the United Nations Development Programme. In other words, she is the de facto ruler of the country. She has a PR fluff-piece on view at Al Jazeera celebrating the progress made by the UN and the "International Community."

The article is most illuminating when one considers what has been left out of it.

Not a word about her MINUSTAH army of occupation, widely despised among the Haitian people.

Not a word about the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by those supposed peacekeepers.

Not a word about the dysfunctional crony government that governs for the elite and is happy to maintain the status quo (i.e. grinding subsistence-level poverty for the 99%, in perpetuity).

Not a word about foreign "investors" like Donald Pierson who are prepared to sabotage development projects in order to extort hundreds of million of dollars out of the poorest people in the hemisphere.

Instead, in the rich tradition of idealistic Canadian do-gooderism, de Caen bemoans the fact that only 4% of parliamentarians are women.

There are of course all the usual invocations of liberal do-gooder jargon...

resilience agenda...  institutional capacity... governance systems... and of course, everybody's favourite, long term sustainable development.

Here is a radical proposal for Madame de Caen and the rest of the International Community.

Go home!

Leave Haiti to the Haitians. Let them develop their own culture, their own economy, their own country. Stop interfering with their elections. Stop removing elected officials who are not sufficiently deferential to Washington and Paris.

The only vision that the do-gooders have for Haiti is one of perpetual poverty and dependency. "Development" is code for handing resources to foreign conglomerates and making Haiti's poor the new bottom rung in the global sweatshop hierarchy.

Haiti deserves better.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How does Dr. Paul Craig Roberts come up with his crazy conspiracy theories?

Hey, just because the dude was once an associate editor of the Wall Street Journal doesn't mean he knows anything.

Roberts has been running amok all over the internet lately insinuating that the Charlie Hebdo operation may not have been what we have been led to believe it was.

For Roberts and others of his ilk, this excerpt from a 12.1.15 CNN International story provides all sorts of fodder for speculative innuendo;


Authorities have released few details on why they've zeroed in on the Kouachi brothers. But they have pointed to one key clue found inside a getaway car the gunmen apparently used: Said Kouachi's identification card. It was discovered by investigators as they combed the vehicle for clues after impounding it.
"It was their only mistake," said Dominique Rizet, BFMTV's police and justice consultant, reporting that discovering the ID had helped French investigators

Damn! Of all the things that could fall out of one's pocket in the midst of a terror op, why does it always have to be the ID card!

Not a set of house keys, not a crumpled receipt from the deli, not a condom packet, not some loose change, not a bag of weed, but the goddam ID card for fucks sakes!

Here's a Guardian story from 2002 about the happy coincidences that abound when the Nations of Virtue are investigating terror attacks. Not least among the happy coincidences post 9/11 was the fortuitous coincidence of Mohamed Atta's passport fluttering safely and unsinged to earth, there to be picked up in the midst of all those mountains of 9/11 rubble by a particularly sharp-eyed investigator!

Folks, this can not be mere coincidence. Nor is it evidence of "conspiracy." 

This is the hand of God at work in our world!