Monday, October 24, 2016

Walloons save Canada from CETA

CETA, the latest "free trade" boondoggle, negotiated by the Harper gang but now fully embraced by the Justinians, has been dealt a hopefully fatal blow by the Belgian state of Wallonia.

Trade agreements are so beloved by Canada's opinion makers that it has for a long time been deemed unnecessary to explain WHY these deals are good for us. They just are.

CETA offers little or nothing in gains for the average Canadian, but brings a whole lot of risks.

CETA will open up labour mobility for Canadian workers!

In fact, that will be Canada's biggest "win" under the agreement.


Yup, Canadian workers will be able to collect those massive EU paycheques our brothers and sisters in France and Germany take home!

Only one problem with that scenario; why would an employer in a high wage EU country hire Canadians, when they've got ready access to workers from EU members like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Slovakia, where wages are typically less than half of what they are here or in Western Europe?

They wouldn't.

But under CETA Canadian employers would have access to those eastern European workers.

CETA also opens up government infrastructure programs to foreign companies. So, in the event that Toronto ever gets around to letting contracts on that $3 billion one-stop subway line Mayor John Tory has been touting, there's nothing to prevent a EU conglomerate from bidding on the contract and then building it with Bulgarian labour.

And this is a good deal for Canadian workers?

Get the fuck outta here!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ten things I learned from today's Globe and Mail

1. Elizabeth Renzetti wants me to know that she appeared alongside Margaret Atwood at a fundraising breakfast this week. Her column on A2 was devoted to sliming Donald Trump, who really doesn't need any help with that. She is very sad that "a sizeable proportion of the electorate" is prepared to vote "an alleged groper" into the Oval Office. Don't cry Liz; it's happened before.

2. It must have been a busy week for Renzetti. In addition to rubbing elbows with Atwood, she's got a feature interview with Bruce Springsteen in the Arts section. Not only is he a mega-zillionaire rock star, I learned that he is quite an audacious political pundit with some astute insights. He likes Hillary and thinks she'd be a very good president, whereas Donald is a real danger to democracy. Who knew?

3. The Focus section is mostly focused on Donald Trump this week. Tabatha Southey assures us that "there's little to remark upon in WikiLeaks heavily hyped document dump." Really? Wonder what Brad Marshall, Luis Miranda, Amy Dacey, or Debbie Wasserman Shultz would think about that assertion? She's also alerting us to the fact that Bad Vlad, Donald's hero, is probably behind this WikiLeaks outrage. The most recent document dumps also illustrate that, while Obama may be right that it's impossible to rig an American election, the Podesta emails convincingly demonstrate that the Dem hierarchy is determined to try.

4. Joanna Slater and Affan Chowdry inform me that the suggestion the election could be rigged is "preposterous." Whew! Good to know!

5. Joanna and Affan also make the observation that Al Gore was gracious after being swindled out of the 2000 election. They're worried Trump might not be as gracious. Yes, when the preposterous happens, it's good to have a gracious loser who is happy to roll over... for the good of the country, of course.

6. Still in the Focus section, John Ibbitsson informs me that to steal the election would require corrupting the media, the pollsters, and the vote itself. On the last point, google "hacking voting machines." For the former, see what you can find in those innocuous WikiLeaks revelations.

7. John also throws in a plug for the journalism profession, informing me there's a "crusading tradition of the craft." Sorry John; the tradition of progressive muck-raking journalism was dead by the time Washington unleashed shock and awe to vanquish Saddam's arsenal of WMDs, to the enthusiastic cheer-leading of your profession. And that was a quarter century ago. Get real!

8. John quotes professor Arthur Lupia of U of Michigan who assures us that "voter fraud is a myth." Good enough then, I guess. That tidbit follows a paragraph which references Project Veritas. Two high-end Dem operatives, one of whom has allegedly made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, lost their jobs this past week after they admitted hiring people to stir up violence at Trump rallies. Corruption? What corruption? Shades of Hitler's Brown Shirts?

9. Slate's culture podcast host Stephen Metcalf gets a guest slot in the Focus section. He informs me that in the Trump camp "...preparations are being made for a ghastly finale, in which populism is turned loose on democracy itself." Wow! That's some scary shit!

10. I don't want to leave the impression that Canada's newspaper of record was only about American politics today. I did in fact learn about Adam Capay, a young native Canadian man who has spent over 1,500 days in solitary confinement. Thank you Patrick White!

For that The Korean charged me $5.75. I'm returning the paper tomorrow to get my money back.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pot-addled hillbilly screwed now that baseball season is over

Well, I guess it's not over if you're an Indians fan.

Speaking of which, did you hear about the Canadian do-gooders who went to court to prevent MLB using the term "Indians" and the Chief Wahoo logo?

They lost. Cleveland's MLB team are still the Indians, and their mascot is still that fake Indian chief.

I was surprised at the loss. MLB must have sent some pretty high-powered pinch-hitting lawyers up here to make that happen.

I get the point of the do-gooders; that buck-toothed Indian chief is derogatory in every way.

Here's my problem.

Native Canadians have had the dirty end of the stick for about 400 years.

When the do-gooders score a symbolic victory like getting the Cleveland Indians to change their name or drop their mascot, a lot of well-meaning people figure, hey, the work is done!

These symbolic victories take the pressure off governments to do anything meaningful.

So the Cleveland MLB team changes their name, they get a new mascot, and everything is happy happy except that the vast majority of North American native people still live in sub-standard housing, still have sub-standard health care and education, and still have incarceration rates and suicide rates that should make every social justice warrior blush.

But nobody sees that shit anymore because, hey looky here!... what a great symbolic victory we just won over Chief Wahoo and the dominant white racist culture.


Anyway, for a Toronto sports fan I guess we've got the Leafs to look forward to...

And those Blackhawks.

Jays done

Gotta admit I didn't join the Jays till the 8th. No, the sunlight streaming onto the front stoop was just too much of an attraction.

I had a choice.

Watch the sun set over the far ridge behind Bass Lake...

Or watch the sun set on the Blue Jays.

Turned out I got to watch both sunsets.

Hey, maybe next year!...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

There'll be nothing "sunny" about Canada's deployment of "peacekeepers" to Mali

Regular readers will already know that the think tank here at Falling Downs has their money on Mali being the destination of choice for Justin's yet-to-be-announced peace-keeper mission.

We came to that conclusion after a careful analysis of the Canadian-owned gold mines per capita stats in various African nations.

Ya, I know that might seem a bit cynical. Hey, maybe PM Sunny Ways has a new formula. If so, please let the public see that new formula!

I'm personally expecting more of the Harper era not-so-sunny tie-in between our investors and our peace-keepers.


A once proud and prosperous region of Africa rendered a shit-hole by the Nations of Virtue.

The beating heart of colonialism lives on via France's involvement there, according to the commies at the World Socialist Website.

Oddly enough, the beating heart of colonialism also keeps on beating there according to the neo-fascists at the John Birch Society.

When the far left and the far right agree that Mali is a nation fucked over big-time by the former colonisers, I'm ready to buy in.

Obviously, PM Sunny Days is too... but just what is he buying into?

For my (tax) money, I'd rather see those "peacekeepers" up in Attawapiskat building some decent housing or something...

Or maybe some flood barriers in Winnipeg...

Or some social housing in Toronto, where the minimum wage has you making under two thousand a month before deductions and a one bedroom apartment will set you back... about what you just made that month!

Too bad about the groceries and all that other shit... hey, not to worry; that's why we have such a nice network of foodbanks!

Come to think of it, we've got all kinds of shit right here at home that our money and manpower could address, instead of spreading more colonialist goodness in Africa.

This amigo presides over a failed state

When the wildly over-hyped "Three Amigos Summit" played out in Ottawa last summer, the news consuming public was treated to a tsunami of bullshit about how great NAFTA has been for all concerned and how photogenic the two most recently elected amigos were.

We haven't heard much about Mexico since, probably because when you spend virtually all your news resources smearing one Donald J. Trump, there's really not much room left in the schedule to broadcast actual news.

Frankly, I had no idea that three Catholic priests were murdered in Mexico in September in the space of a week, or that fifteen priests have been murdered in the past four years, until I accidentally stumbled over the story at the Guardian. But I sure was acquainted with Mr. Trump's potty-mouth, which has been by far the biggest story in American media for the past few months.

That British website certainly indulges ample anti-Trump fear-mongering on its own account, but at least they still find the energy to report other stories.

That's quite an interesting stat plopped in there near the end; over 97% of crime in Mexico is either never reported or never investigated. A further stat the story doesn't mention; of the less than 3% of crimes reported and investigated, over 90% are never solved.

Those are failed-state kind of numbers, are they not?

Monday, October 17, 2016

What's new in the "war on terror?"

Well, the good guys are about to put the boots to the bad guys in Mosul.

And that's a good thing, of course!

Read around a bit and you'll find plenty of stories that claim thousands of Mosul jihadis have already been spirited to Raqqa in Syria. By the US allies.

Yup, no point killing them in Iraq if they can be useful in making regime change in Syria,

I suspect the Mosul operation will go swimmingly well.

The Raqqa operation, not so much.