Monday, June 30, 2014

Israel on the brink as pro-ISIS riots rage in Jordan

PM Netanyahu looks ready to use the murders of the kidnapped settlers as his excuse to unleash a heavy-handed retaliatory strike against the Palestinian population of both the West Bank and Gaza. Combined with this morning's settler raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque, will that provoke the Third Intifada?

Events unfolding across the border in Jordan suggest that an uprising by the Palestinians at this time could very well sweep through that country as well. There has been pro-ISIS rioting in the southern city of Ma'an for the past week, and in many parts of the Hashemite Kingdom there seems no doubt that ISIS is far more popular than the King.

Reports that Jordanian troops have crossed into Iraq to engage ISIS fighters will not enhance the popularity of King Abdulla, especially if it comes to light that these raids into Iraq include American involvement. According to Israeli website Debkafile there are at least 12,000 US troops on the ground in Jordan. In normal times they might serve as a deterrent to an ISIS incursion.

But these are not "normal times".

The West Bank and Gaza erupting in violence at this point in time would surely inflame the anti-US, anti-Israel factions rioting in Jordan. That would embolden the ISIS fighters poised at the Iraq-Jordan border and at that point the deterrent effect of those US troops would be non-existent.

There are already reports circulating about ISIS plans to "liberate" Jerusalem. Whatever Netanyahu does next will either ramp up the violence further, or help diffuse the situation.

The Halhul murders need to be addressed with a calm and professional criminal investigation, not by striking out in a blind rage looking for vengeance. That will serve no-one but the extremists.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What ISIS sees in Baghdad: Satan's smorgasbord, Beelzebub's buffet, Lucifer's lunch, the Devil's dinner table...

At this very moment you've got Russian technicians assembling those fighter jets for the Iraq Air Force, on the ground in Baghdad, if not doing a whole lot more well beyond...

You've got American "advisers", on the ground in Baghdad and beyond.

You've got Iranian "advisers", on the ground in Baghdad and well beyond...

From the point of view of those ISIS revolutionaries, they've never had such a conglomeration of their enemies together in one place!

No wonder they've got a massive boner for Baghdad!

So we should not be surprised that they are intent on doing God's... I should say Allah's work in the capital of the apostate state of Iraq.

And the fact that they intend to do it in their Nike sneakers and with their American firearms just lends a measure of globalist cred to their Jihad, wouldn't you think?

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has got the momentum going at the moment. I wouldn't bet against them, at least in the short term. Some of the more fragile American dependencies in the area, like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, will collapse when the first Toyotas show up on the horizon.

Others, like the most militarized state in the Middle East, coincidentally also its only democracy, as we are perpetually reminded, have the wherewithal to put up more of a fight.

Hard to believe that an insurgency that we organized, we trained, we armed, and we funded can suddenly have us on edge...

If that's not an argument for staying home and minding our business, I don't know what is.

The clash of civilizations and Satan's sneakers

In a recent article Pepe Escobar gently mocks the ISIS "men in black" for their obvious penchant for favouring the latest Nike training shoes.

As many anti-consumerist activists have been telling you for years, Nike products are an instrument of the devil. Designed and conceived in that greatest of Great Satans, they are then fabricated in that slightly Lesser Satan of the People's Republic of China, from where they are shipped round the world and sold to eager consumers, including, obviously, Allah's most devout acolytes, all to enrich a bunch of Islam-hating American capitalists, their shareholders, and their bankers.

Good luck trying to square that circle!

Bright idea of the day; Lieberman calls for reoccupation of Gaza

Avigdor Lieberman is probably the only Foreign Minister in the world who makes Canada's master of bullshit 'n bluster, John Baird, look calm and reasonable... almost diplomatic!

On a day when Jordan and Saudi Arabia are moving tanks to their borders in anticipation of infiltration attempts by ISIS, when Russian, US, and Iranian "advisers" are all on the ground in Iraq, Lieberman calls for the reoccupation of Gaza. Perhaps his thinking, if that is not too strong a word, is that since practically the entire neighbourhood is aflame anyway, who's going to notice if he sends in the IDF to burn Gaza to the ground?

Fortunately, it is a virtual certainty that cooler heads will prevail. While there is a certain jingoistic appeal to stopping those "Hamas rockets" once and for all, any serious student of the subject well knows that even a week of reoccupying Gaza will claim more Israeli lives than the last five years of Gaza rockets. And that is but the first week.

Nor is there any reasonable prospect that such a venture will actually stop the rocketeers.

What would definitely be accomplished is that Israel's already severely tarnished image in the community of nations would take another hit. Palestinians would be further radicalized, which may not be a great strategy with ISIS already knocking on Jordan's door, and the goal of peace, or at least a manageable non-peace, would recede even further into the distance than it already is.

Hopefully the senior IDF types who are paid to put some thought into these matters will prevail on the political leadership to tone down the rhetoric and keep their powder dry. This is not the time to pour more gasoline on the flames that threaten to consume the entire neighbourhood.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cops boinking under-age girls in cruiser "not illegal" - Montreal Police

Apparently this is all in a night's work for Montreal's finest:

We've previously opined that this may have happened because the Montreal police are so grievously over-worked, but if the revelations by the Toronto Sun are verified, we'd be inclined to be less sympathetic.

"Nothing criminal" here, according to Montreal Police. That guy with the drunken teenage hottie on his lap may have made an error in judgement in letting her "press against him", but it was all in good clean law-abiding fun...

Ya. Right!

Canada FM Baird smears critics with "anti-semitism" slur

Ferry de Kerckhove had a long and distinguished career in Canada's Foreign Service, culminating in Egypt where he served as Canada's ambassador from 2009-2011. As such we might have some cause to assume he knows what he is talking about when he questions Canada's non-chalant handling of the Mohamed Fahmy file. Specifically, he had the temerity to suggest that Ottawa's lethargy may be related to the fact that our very best friends in Israel are quite enamoured of the al-Sisi regime, and neither Harper nor Baird are willing to go against the Likud party line.

To which the Foreign Minister replied with this appalling non-sequitur; "There are some people in this world who want to blame every single problem on Israel, the Jews... it's deeply offensive and ridiculous."

Fans of Israeli PM Netanyahu will recognize this strategy as coming straight out of the Likud playbook. When rational debate fails you, seize the moral high ground by calling your critics names. Not a particularly sophisticated strategy, but it works. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nobody believes in America anymore

They say they do and then they don't.

They say they will and then they won't.

They say they might and then they pretend they never said any such thing.

That's America on the world stage circa 2014.

But in America you've still got a good percentage of the populace believing the bullshit.

Let's nuke the towel-heads and teach them a lesson for the ages.

General Motors failed because unions messed them up.

Detroit went down the shitter because the unions messed up General Motors.

America should subsidize Israel instead of Detroit because that's what the Bible says.

Taxes kill jobs.

The minimum wage kills jobs.

Raising the minimum wage would kill more jobs.

Universal health care is communism.

Obama is a Kenyan.

Obama is a Muslim.

Rich people create jobs.

Poor people are lazy.

The military is under-funded.

Teachers are overpaid...

And so on.

Whatever happened to patriotism and apple pie and all that good stuff?

If this ain't child porn, what is?

There's a story on view at Counterpunch today about how parents in Honduras are sending children as young as seven years old off on a hopeless journey in hopes of gaining entry to the USA.

The Farm Manager and I, who have five children between us, sat under the apple tree and tried to fathom what scale of desperation would have to envelope us before we thought sending a seven year old off on an unaccompanied illegal road trip of thousands of miles would be a good idea.

It is unfathomable.

Yet those Honduran children keep showing up at the US border, only to be clapped into squalid camps and eventually sent back to Honduras.

While this is going on, Messrs Harper and Baird continue to suck up to the government of Honduras, an illegal government that seized power from the democratically elected Zelaya in 2009. Not only do we suck up to them, we legitimize them with free trade deals.


Well, when our foreign policy isn't being dictated by the Likudniks, it's being dictated by Canada's "extractive sector".  Yessiree, there's a few Canadian mining conglomerates, or more properly, international mining conglomerates registered on Canadian stock exchanges, who stand to do well exploiting resources in Honduras.

So the fact that post-Zelaya Honduras is such a hell-hole that parents voluntarily submit their seven year old children for an illegal ride to Texas means nothing in the big picture.

After all, some "Canadian" mining conglomerates stand to make a fortune there...

EU welcomes new "nigger" state

It was all rainbows and unicorns as newly minted Ukraine PM Petro Poroshenko signed a deal for tighter ties with the EU today.

If you take a good hard look at how EU membership has fucked the ordinary people in the weaker EU member states, it's utterly mind-boggling to contemplate what lies in store for Ukraine, which is destined to be the weakest of the weak if and when it gains full EU membership.

Trading the benevolent pragmatism of Putin for the didactic paternalism of Frau Merkel doesn't seem like a very intelligent trade-off, and I suspect that the Ukrainian street will soon be out on the street to verify this assessment.

But America's many engines of democracy have not invested five billions in Ukraine for nothing. Many ordinary Ukrainians are convinced by the barrage of Western propaganda that happiness and prosperity will automatically ensue once they snub Putin and embrace the Merkel austerity enema.

Good luck to them!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wiggins goes to Cleveland

I don't know what the big whoop is about that.

After all, it ain't the first time a tall black dude got drafted by the Cavs...

A certain Anthony Bennett was the number one pick last year. What's he contributed?

And if I'm not mistaken, a certain Lebron made tons of headlines in Cleveland just a few years ago. What's he done for Cleveland lately?

What's interesting about the Canadian surge at the NBA draft is that it hi-lights the shift from committed ghetto kids playing hoops 24/7 in the 'hood, to middle class kids who come up through expensive development programs.

The future of the NBA belongs to those middle-class kids.

Those Alberta tar-sands pipelines will NEVER happen

Which is a good thing. There's already been more than enough "development" of the tar sands without the Northern Gateway and the Keystone XL.

Upping the commitment to new pipelines just means upping the commitment to more rapacious development. As far as I can tell, Big Oil has been getting more than enough tar sludge to market without new pipelines.

I worked out there in the '70's. We were outfitting highway tractors with double and triple axles and stretched wheelbases so they could carry that sludge from the tar-pits to the refineries. It was economically viable then; otherwise we wouldn't have been doing it.

But we are led to believe that the entire tar-sands project now requires pipelines all over the continent,

Today's supreme court decision re: Native land claims is a stake through the heart of Northern Gateway. There's no possible way Big Oil can get all the aboriginal ducks in a row to give this the thumbs up.

Which is a good thing.

Unfettered tar sands development needs brakes, not breaks.

U of Ottawa takes draconian steps to side-step accusations of fostering "rape culture"

Pretty much everybody besides Allan Rock already gets that rape culture is a close cousin of jock culture.

But Mr. Rock, a consummate political insider, is pretending he had no idea.

If that is the case, he had no business being the big dog at a serious post-secondary institution in the first place.

What has traditionally happened, and Mr. Rock is fully aware of this, is that sexual predation on the part of elite athletes is given the nod-and-wink treatment on university campuses.

Obviously, if some drunken undergrad female treated half the football team to a leg-spread, it could only be because she wanted to. After all, it was HER idea to show up at an after-game party and drink too much. We must hold young people to account...

The problem with the U of Ottawa case is that they're punishing a whole lot of people who had nothing to do with the offensive behaviour. While it may be true that some of those innocent guys didn't do enough to call their guilty peers on their behaviour, that doesn't absolve university admin from their responsibility.

I think Allan Rock needs to give himself a suspension.

ISIS: Obama's witless dupes in the Levant

The commentariat is agog at the goings on in the Middle East these last couple of weeks. Listen to 101 pundits and you'll get 101 opinions about what's what and why.

Lucky for you, you've dialled into the one site that will give you the straight skinny, the real goods, the TRUTH.

First of all, be sure that ISIS is entirely a creation of the West. Like the Talibs circa mid 1980's, after being financed and trained and generously armed by the West, they unexpectedly developed an independent streak.

The technical term for that is "biting the hand that feeds you".

Some of the more historically literate pundits claim that what is unfolding today is the realization of the so-called Yinon Plan of 1982. Oded Yinon saw the the future of the greater Middle East dominated by greater Israel, lording it over a bunch of fractured and crippled Arab states.

That may still be the wet dream of hard-core Zionists today, but what they would do well to remember is that Yinon was writing even before the first Intifada. Israel has changed; the neighbourhood has changed.

No longer do Palestinians prostrate themselves before Israel's armed might. They've got four year olds out there throwing rocks at the IDF for god's sakes!

No, I think any meaningful discussion about the current situation would do well to avoid the Yinon Plan as a point of reference.

What's not getting a lot of media traction is the fact that ISIS is running wild in Iraq because they've essentially lost the war in Syria. Those thousands of hardened fighters are marching on Baghdad instead of Damascus for a reason. The reason is that Assad has faced the best we could muster, and he's winning.

ISIS in Iraq these last two weeks is 100% blowback.  Nothing more and nothing less.

This does not mean they will burn themselves out in the wastelands of western Iraq. They've got the will and the fire-power to wreak havoc in places less committed to their expulsion than Assad's Syria...

Like Jordan, for example.

The Hashemite Kingdom is a sitting duck. While the Obama regime may not raise a barrel in anger over the disintegration of Iraq, they will defend Jordan with all available means.

And so will Israel.

No one, but no one, in the halls of power in Tel Aviv or Washington, will tolerate an ISIS occupation of the land just across the Jordan River from the Holy Land. And since we've been arming and training these back-stabbing shits for years, we know they have the fire-power to threaten every city and town and village in Israel.

To summarize; if we'd stuck to minding our own business, none of this would be our problem. Since we've created another Frankenstein, it is our problem. When Jordan is in play, there will be massive US intervention.

And that will be the end of our latest Frankenstein, ISIS.

But it will not be the end of "radical Islam". Every radical we eliminate will have a dozen sons/nephews/cousins etc who will be radicalised by their elimination.

Sooner or later, we're going to have to sit down and talk to our enemies, instead of just making more of them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The murky trail that links the US government to 9/11

The 9/11 conspiracy types who have long linked the US government to 9/11 won't find any surprises here.

It's become overwhelmingly obvious that the US government has of late been supporting elements of al Qaeda in the battle to bring down Syria's government.

Bringing down the Assad government is not a new idea. American policy wonks were having wet dreams about that back in 2003.

James Akin made the case then for regime change in Syria.

James Akin was a top-drawer kind of guy from the oil industry who assumed that it was his prerogative to dictate foreign policy to the government of the USA.

His dreams are coming true, thanks to al Qaeda franchise ISIS.

The question is, when did America begin funding these supposedly anti-American Muslim terrorists?

Given al Qaeda's roots in the Afghan conflict, it would seem that the US has been funding terror since well before 9/11.


Because the war profiteers desperately need enemies.

NEWS FLASH: US has been funding "al Qaeda" for years!

This blog about Ghassan Hitto from well over a year ago pretty much spells out how the US is funding its own enemies.


So it can have enemies!

After all, the death merchants who profit so handsomely from one US war after another have zero interest in peace.

If they can influence foreign policy with respect to Iraq or Ukraine or Georgia or anywhere else that a little local disagreement can be blown into a potentially world-threatening catastrophe, they are good to go.

When you read the various points of view about how ISIS came "out of nowhere" to threaten the imaginary stability of the Middle East, you will realize that no matter which narrative finally triumphs, it is the American/NATO war profiteers who will win in the end.

Even when they lose on the ground they will win on the balance sheet.

And that, from the point of view of the American capitalist war profiteers, is how you spell "victory".

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

If Mohamed Fahmy was in an Iranian jail, would John Baird be "working behind the scenes", or would he reach for his bullhorn?

Foreign Minister John Baird's cowardly claim that Canada is "working behind the scenes" for the release of Mohamed Fahmy, as quoted in the National Post today, belies the truth behind Canada's efforts on behalf of citizens who run afoul of the law in foreign countries.

Can anyone have any doubt that Baird's bullhorn would be going off at full volume were Fahmy incarcerated in Iran or Russia? The denunciations and condemnations would be flying loudly and often. No "working behind the scenes" nonsense from Baird when he's got a quibble with those empires of evil.

But when al-Sisi overthrows a democratically elected government we applaud him for returning hope to the people of Egypt.

When he wins an election in which the main opposition party is banned from participating, we congratulate him on his triumph.

When hundreds of leaders in that opposition are sentenced to death in show trials, we say nothing...

Or is Baird "working behind the scenes" for them too?

Canada joins free-speech bastion China in failing to condemn Egypt journalists' verdict

The Hindustan Times takes China to task for failing to condemn the verdict in the show trial of the three Al Jazeera journalists.

They forgot to mention that Nation of Virtue extraordinaire, Canada, has also been remiss in critiquing this grave violation of journalistic freedom.

But according to Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird, it's not because we don't care about freedom of speech, it's because we're working "behind the scenes" to mend the error of al-Sisi's ways.

So really, Canada is doing more than anyone to sort things out, and this "quiet" approach has a proven track record.

After all, that's how Baird and Harper got their best bud Netanyahu to shut down his illegal settlement-building enterprise.

How CSIS could get Mohamed Fahmy out of that Cairo prison real fast *

* (If they were so inclined.)

There are hundreds of Egyptian students pursuing advanced studies at Canadian universities. CSIS knows who they are.

Most of them come from the elite of Egyptian society. Some of them come from the uber-elite with direct ties to the military leadership. CSIS knows who they are too.

So we play by Egyptian rules for a few days. Make a few arrests. Make a few phone calls;

"Hello dear parents of Egyptian student studying at U of T. I am very sorry to inform you that we have uncovered your son's very un-Islamic activities. As you may not realize, we take the viewing of certain images very seriously here in Canada, as you do in Egypt, Allah be praised! We are very terribly sorry for the burden of shame your little Abdul has brought on you...  but for a small favour we can make this story go away."

That should do it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Messiah takes wrong turn, pops up in Pakistan!

Perhaps He was relying on Google Maps?

Considering that he has a bigger following than any politician living in Canada, you don't hear much about Tahirul Qadri. It's Harper this and Kenney that but Mr. Qadri is 99% below the media radar.  Maybe that's because while he lives in Canada most of his followers live in Pakistan.

And over there he is a definite headline grabber. In fact, he's probably the biggest story in the land at this moment. He has returned home and promised Pakistan a "peaceful revolution."

Suuure!... that's what they all say!

There are some interesting parallels in the career trajectory of Qadri and Fethulla Gulen. Both claim to be peace-loving men of God, messengers for a benevolent Allah. Both spend most of their time living among infidels, Qadri in Toronto, Gullen in Pennsylvania. Both are allegedly being groomed by Western security agencies for leadership roles in the Islamic world.

So what is the significance of Tahirul Qadri turning up in Islamibad at this point in time?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Putin unmasked as anti-fracking activist

That tidbit comes from NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a man who sees all the top secret files and therefore knows what he's talking about.

This assertion is obviously intended to besmirch the anti-fracking movement in Europe by tarring them as Putin sympathizers.

It could however have the opposite effect...

"Say what? Putin is against fracking? Well, by jove, I knew he was against freedom and apple pie, but by golly... against fracking you say? Maybe he's not such a bad sort after all!"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Harper gang back-pedalling on anti-worker agenda

Don't kid yourself; this isn't driven by principle; it's driven by the realization that the next federal election looms closer every day, and they might need your vote.

Just in case the slavish unquestioning support of everything Likud or anti-Russian doesn't do it for them.

So Jason Kenney just noticed that his Temporary Foreign Worker program was working just as it should; making Canadian workers more "flexible". He noticed this because some of the media big boys got on the case we've been making for well over two years, that the TFW program screws Canadian workers, which was the intention all along.

Now another favourite strategy of Harper's base is coming under scrutiny; the unpaid intern. That's where folks work for free in the hope of getting a foot in the door or a reference or something to put on their resume.

Work for free?

Isn't that slavery?

No, actually it's worse than that. In the bad old slavery days the slave owner had an obligation to feed and house his slaves.

Unpaid interns are on their own. Food and shelter is their problem; they cover it with their non-existent pay.

Or their parents cover it.

This obviously creates a situation where kids from the right part of town can afford to work for free and then segue into real jobs, whereas the rest of the kids can keep working at McDonald's.

So don't assume that the Harper gang is going soft. This back-pedalling is not about a new-found love for Canada's working class; it's about an election in the air and Harper needing your vote.

Do the right thing.

Breakfast at Wiarton International Airport

Whoever runs the latest iteration of the restaurant at the Wiarton International Airport is really close to a home run.

The Farm Manager talked me into stopping there for breakfast this morning. The eggs (easy over) were excellent.

The home fries were divine. 11/10 on the home fries, folks.

The toast was brown Wonderbread and boring.

The sausages were OK but boring too.

Not that there's anything wrong with "boring" for breakfast.

I'm there for breakfast, not for excitement.

The Wiarton International Airport is in a death spiral of sorts. The feds have been trying to fob it off on the local community, which isn't sure what to do with it.

If I were them, I'd put together a trade mission to Cartagena to see if some Colombian investors might be interested in buying a small-town international airport in Canada.

That little restaurant could be a gold mine!

While we were there a little airplane with the call letters FBZI taxied up and two old dudes came up for breakfast. That "Z" isn't going to fool anybody. The FBI is obviously on the lookout for those Colombian investors already...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Poroshenko decides to give statesmanship a try

It's almost as though he's stopped taking advice from his friends in Ottawa!

Big Steve and Little John will be grievously vexed that their bestie in Ukraine has decided to tone down the tough talk and turn on the brain switch instead. Poroshenko today announced what he should have announced at his inauguration two weeks ago; a unilateral cease-fire.

Instead, his speech on that occasion was all hell-fire and righteousness. The troubles in the east would be ended in a matter of hours.

It sounded suspiciously as though John Baird's Ukrainian speech-writer had crafted it.

Two weeks and hundreds of needless deaths later, Poroshenko is going to make a new start.

This gesture of goodwill would have been more significant had it been the first hand he played. Now it looks like an afterthought, brought on by the fact that the insurrection that was going to be crushed in hours shows no signs of abating.

Still, better late than never. And a goodwill gesture from one side may well bring about a reciprocal gesture from the other. The hotheads who want war are a distinct minority on both sides. It's time to sideline them and give the ordinary people a chance to get on with their lives.

The ISIS roadmap; after Baghdad, on to Jerusalem

If even half the stuff that Franklin Lamb reports, after having access to senior ISIS operatives in the field is true, the IDF may soon enough have things to do besides shooting down children throwing stones at them.

This is not good news for Israel. Yes, it's one thing to gloat over seeing the Arabs at one another's throats. It's quite another to see them form a cohesive anti-American resistance and rapidly undo a trillion dollars worth of Yankee meddling in the Middle East.

That's why Obama's fence-sitting spell will end quickly, in favour of stopping ISIS in its tracks before it has the opportunity to consolidate its gains and launch the next phase of its campaign to cleanse the Middle East of infidels.

Look for massive US intervention in the coming weeks.

The imminent resurrection of Ahmed Chalabi

There's a blast from the past!

If you recall the glory days of American vengeance, those high-octane months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the name "Ahmed Chalabi" should ring a few bells.

Chalabi faded from view as the Iraq cake-walk became a blood-soaked morass. Rumour had it he was lying low in Iran, living off the many millions the US government had kindly provided for his insights and influence in the Iraqi political sphere.

Both his insights and his influence turned out to be bogus, but that's not preventing no less an authoritative authority than the New York Times to moot him as a future presidential candidate once we rid ourselves of the reviled democratically elected al Maliki.

US policy has never had so many fighting roosters coming home to roost at the same time. ISIS is entirely a US foreign policy creation; trained, financed, and equipped by America via a clique of American allies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey) to oust that evil dictator in Syria. Little did the American policy wonks anticipate that their ISIS puppets might grow an independent streak and head south to Baghdad instead of west to Damascus.

So we are faced with a mess that is entirely the result of American over-reach. America armed and trained the Iraqi defence forces. America armed and trained the ISIS "terrorists" now threatening their bumboy in Baghdad.

We are witnessing blowback writ large...

And Ahmed Chalabi will save the day?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dov Charney; spawn of Satan or business icon?

Or both?

Charney has a very long history of untoward relationships with his employees. When the board at American Apparel finally found their mojo and kicked him out of his own company today, the stock skyrocketed.

While that may be cause for celebration in certain quarters, I would like to inject a note of caution.

Where does this leave the thousands of AA employees who were making a living wage at a US clothing manufacturer?

With Charney side-lined, are we going to see the company fall to some hedgie who comes up with the brilliant idea to keep the brand but off-shore the manufacturing?

After all, you don't have to pay some brown person in LA twelve bucks an hour to sew T-shirts when folks in Cambodia and Bangladesh are clamouring to do the same work for twelve bucks a week.

And only the most naive do-gooder imagines that the twelve-dollar-a-day factories in Asia protect the rights of those young female employees who are most vulnerable.

I don't know Dov Charney and I can't say he's a good guy or a bad guy, but I do know that he built up a clothing manufacturer that is famous far and wide for paying decent wages IN AMERICA in an industry that has absconded lock stock and barrel to low-wage countries.

The jury is out.

You meet the nicest people in rehab

...and I should know. Been there, done that, more than once.

So I can't help but wonder how things are faring out for Mayor Ford.

He had that thing with his fancy SUV being hi-jacked by the cops because some drunken fellow rehab denizen was driving it at the time.

That's nothing.

When my  brother "the Kid" was in rehab, he "borrowed" a car and ended up in the most spectacular crash the locals could recall... the Kid himself ended up 400 meters from the crash site. Shook himself off and walked away.

God looks out for drunks and scoundrels... so long as they're basically decent people of course.

But as I was saying, my personal rehab experiences were enough that I should write a book... my roommate was a kid who ran out of stuff to stick in his arm, and, being in an (obviously) impaired state of mind, decided a syringe of Jack Daniels would be the ticket to nirvana.

His daddy found him turning blue with that needle still stuck in his arm. As a daddy, I cannot begin to fathom the horror of that moment.

As a guy who's been to rehab a couple of times, I can see the humour in it.

I wouldn't want to speculate on how things are going for Mayor Ford in rehab. He's probably the big dog in his program. That's not a good thing.

When I was doing my rehab I was in there with a big-time music producer, a waitress who'd been quaffing a quart of Bacardi a day, and a few senior civil servants who were apparently seriously shit-faced when they were composing the back-grounders for the perusal of their respective ministers.

Maybe that's why we closed the Iran embassy?

Uganda ripe for "African Spring"

Hillary Clinton is received at Entebbe State House by President Museveni on August 3, 2012. Photo/PPU

President Yoweri Museveni has long been a favorite of people who matter in the West, like Hillary for example.

Alas, the old coot is becoming something of an embarrassment. Just recently there was the "kill the queers" bill that he signed into law, albeit after taking the death sentence out and replacing it with life in prison. That kind of stuff is frowned upon in most of our modern Western democracies, and Museveni needs to get with the program. In fact, he'd do his country a favour if he completely abandoned the homophobic rhetoric and promoted Uganda as a gay tourist destination instead.

Now there's a flap afoot over the censure of a TV channel that had the audacity to show footage of the President having a presidential nap in parliament. There are many reasons why a hard-working leader could be tired and need to catch a few winks, but the President's spokesman is just inviting disrespect by claiming he was meditating rather than napping.

On top of that, there are the headlines garnered by the miscreants who smuggled a pair of pigs into parliament to make a none-too-subtle statement about government corruption and the rapacious greed of the ruling class. The politicos are trying to give themselves a 40% pay raise on top of the Western scale pay packets they already award themselves, and this in a country where the vast majority makes do on less than $2 a day.

So Museveni needs to tread carefully. The dustbins of history overflow with our former besties who we betrayed when they became too embarrassing.

There's probably a team in the State Department readying a "colour revolution" for Uganda even as I write these words...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why is US Navy shipping AK-47 ammo?

As everybody knows, none of the services in the US, and none of the NATO partners use the AK-47, so why would the US Navy do exhaustive testing on how to safely ship AK-47 ammo?

This is a story that goes back to KJ Libberts original test report in '93, which oddly enough is no longer available for perusal by the public.

When we look at the mess we made in the Middle East, where we're now supporting a wide range of disparate clans and parties and ethnic groups, many of whom are warring on one another, and all of whom use the AK-47 as their primary instrument of communication, it's not hard to see why Libbert and his uppers in the USN had to do some hard-core testing to make sure US packaging was up to snuff when we're shipping vast quantities of ammo around the globe on behalf of our "enemies".

In short, even back in '93 America knew we'd eventually have to sell guns and ammo to darn near everybody, just to keep the balance of payments balanced.

Mechanical Engineer Libbert, bless his soul, could not have forseen that most of America's enemies at the time would now be people we're shipping AK-47 ammo to.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Surprise! American courts side with American vulture fund to screw 40 million Argentines

That was yesterday.

The cherry on top was the downgrade Standard and Poor's issued on Argentine debt today.

Obviously, in determining the "greater good", American courts have no problem putting the interests of one opportunistic American hedge-fund operator ahead of the interests of 40 million Argentinians.

This is a case that has gone on for years, and revolves around Paul Singers attempts to use the courts to extort face value plus interest on Argentine sovereign debt he bought for pennies on the dollar.

This is a prime example of the sort of destructive economic activity that should be taxed at a rate of 100%.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Canada will continue to condemn all religiously motivated attacks

That's a quote from Andrew Bennett, the littlest dog at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Maternal Health, Mineral Extraction, Mining Affairs, Human Development, and Foreign Aid. Usually it's just the Big Dog, John Baird, who gets to append his name to the stink-bombs flying out of Foreign Affairs HQ.

Bennett, who was allegedly Dean or Rector or Principal or Provost or President of some private Christian College with an enrollment of four or five, (as in four or five, not forty or fifty or four or five hundreds, or, heaven help us, thousands!) was hand-picked by Big Steve to guide the newly-created "Religious Freedom" portfolio through the treacherous shoals of participatory democracy.

The Big Dog keeps him on such a short leash we've hardly had a chance to get to know him!

Maybe he too bristles at the thought of yet another undiplomatic stink-bomb, especially if he has to attach his name to it.

But that's what we do best here in the Confederation of Condemnation.

Screw the veterans, slash defence spending, commit unknown and unknowable billions to the pig that can't fly, but talk the biggest toughest game on the world stage.

By the way, if you scrutinize that title real close, ("critical thinking", I think it's called...) you'll realize that what the Canuck Condemnation Crew is really saying is, "thumbs up for attacking those ______________________________  (fill in the blank), and we appreciate all attacks on pinkos, liberals, leftists, marxists, leninists, stalinists, socialists, environmentalists, and, especially, Islamists, just so long as your attacks are not "religiously motivated".

West Bengal workers lead in labour militancy

While thrashing the CEO with iron bars is going a bit too far, one cannot help but admire the determination of these workers not to accept the back of the hand from their employer.

Contrast that with how workers in North America respond to unilateral employer decisions that impact pay, hours, or whether you have a job at all. Labour militancy here is but a distant memory. If the hedge fund that just bought your workplace wants to "create efficiencies" by shutting down and relocating to a low wage state or Mexico or China, workers are expected to slink quietly into the twilight of redundancy with nary a murmur of protest.

If the place was unionized there may be murmurs of protest, but they'll last only a few weeks while some once-mighty outfit like the Steelworkers or Teamsters haggle for a better severance package for their dispossessed members.

The reality of organized labour in America today is that even the Teamsters and the Steelworkers all too frequently negotiate contracts that leave their members working full time but living below the poverty line.

That's just not right.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BBC presents proof of Putin's perfidy in Eastern Ukraine

Here it is.

Yes, no less an authority than an anonymous senior officer with NATO has confirmed to the BBC that Russia has indeed supplied those dodgy Donetsk separatists with T-64 tanks, and they've got the satellite images to prove it.

Russian Army bigs would do this because they have no idea that NATO has spy satellites. Imagine their surprise when they read this article tonight!

Yes, it would seem we've caught out the Ruskies in another big fat lie!

Quite aside from the fact that those tanks have plenty of propaganda value but virtually no strategic value, a casual observer might want to be a little skeptical about the BBC story.

After all, this is the same BBC that was busy convincing us that Saddam had an entire infrastructure of doom ready to unleash on the Nations of Virtue at 45 minutes notice. If you recall, we had plenty of definitive satellite image proof then as well.

While the fallout from BBC's flawed reporting in 2003 continues to reverberate to this day, that in no way slows down our free press from fanning the flames of yet another war by spreading self-serving propaganda supplied by those most keenly invested in pursuing it.

Phoney Tony claims he's not in it for the money

"It" being the web of consultancy contracts he nurtures through his Tony Blair Associates which have made him a millionaire many times over since he left politics.

He also remains in denial about his role in the destruction of Iraq. Tony was the highest profile international leader to back up W in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. According to Tony, there is no connection whatsoever between the non-stop death spiral that country has been in since then, and that invasion. Blair's backing was by far the single most important bit of foreign support that allowed Bush to pass off the invasion as some sort of international joint action, instead of just another adventure in American imperialism.

Yes, Bush could have and perhaps would have done it without him, but Blair's contribution to the devastation of Iraq, the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, the displacement of millions, remains his legacy.

And if the ICC were ever to consider establishing some credibility by broadening its mandate beyond black African war criminals, Tony Blair would be a good place to start.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

PNAC/AIPAC dreams come true; towelheads killing each other all over Middle East!

If you're a Likud acolyte or a neocon, you have to admit it doesn't get much better than this. In fact, I'd wager you've already cracked the bubbly.

Not only are the towellers slaughtering one another in Syria, but now our ISIS boys are turning Iraq into a charnel house!


I suppose a possible downside is going to emerge when enough of these folks who are busy slaughtering one another step back and consider who is pulling the strings...

That could get ugly.

Canada's "immigration reforms" designed to screw Canadian workers

Thanks mainly to the CBC foregrounding the TFW abuse story that was always ignored by mainstream media, the Harperites have regrouped and refashioned their prized program to defuse the criticisms that it is designed to drive down the wages of Canadian workers.

Unctuous uber-turd Chris Alexander has made public the list of occupations that will qualify for "express entry" to Canada due to our imaginary labour shortage. If you heard his interview on CBC the other day, where after exhausting 101 ways to avoid answering a simple question he simply hung up the phone, you'll understand how he earned the "uber" for his turd badge.

But that's history. The interviewer was just trying to score some cheap points by exposing the vast gulf between Harper government rhetoric and the real world.

And while that is indeed a vast gulf, it's not the story we're following today.

Let's look at some of those 50 occupations that have alleged skills shortages.

Early childhood educators and assistants. Canada's community colleges crank out qualified ECE's by the tens of thousands. Most of them end up working for a wage that puts them well below the poverty line. That's why there's a shortage. Bringing in thousands of Filipinos helps who?

University professors and lecturers. Most freshly minted PhDs I know have trouble stitching together enough sessional work to even come close to the poverty line. THERE IS NO FUCKING SHORTAGE!!!

Investment dealers and brokers. Oh for fucks sakes! This can't be serious!? Virtually every investment house in Canada has been steadily downsizing at least since '08, if not before. Investment dealers need "express entry" to Canada because there is a shortage of qualified people?

Complete bullshit!

It goes on and on like that. There might be half a dozen occupations on that list of 50 that have legit shortages. Instrument technicians might be one; petroleum engineers might be another, and there might be a few more, but in every case these shortages could be readily remedied by educating Canadians who are unemployed or underemployed.

We don't need "workers" to fill a non-existent worker shortage. These programs are designed to drive down the wages and strip the benefits from Canadian workers, so that the multinational conglomerates who will be employing these workers can reduce their labour costs and increase their management bonuses.

What this list proves is that the Harper gang is not about "reforming" an anti-worker TFW program; they're about entrenching it and making things even worse for Canadian workers!

Baird been busy; two condemnations and a congratulatory press release in one day!

Check it out.

The congrats are for the brave Afghan people, especially the women, who voted in the Presidential run-off to determine which western flunky will take the reins of power from our flunky Karzai.

This is most probably a moot question. Whoever is the lucky winner will be lucky to get their loot out of the country once the last US troops leave. Canadian troops, by the way, are long gone, even though we promised the brave Afghans time and time again that "we're not the sort to cut and run."

Then we have the condemnation of the downing of a "large Ukrainian military plane". That plane was ferrying Poroshenko's storm troopers to the east to slaughter his own people. Of course, "slaughtering their own people" is what the guys we don't like do. When our friends do it, it's somehow Russia's fault.

That was the case when 48 pro-separation demonstrators died in Odessa on 2 May. Trapped in a building set alight by a fascist mob, most of the demonstrators were beaten to death or shot to death when they tried to escape the inferno. Canada was gravely concerned, but it was clearly Russia's fault.

Baird's other condemnation today was for the kidnappers of three Israeli teens from an illegal settlement in the occupied territories. Of course that should be condemned, as should the illegal settlements, as should the IDF killing of two Palestinian teens on 15 May, as should the fact that hundreds of Palestinian teens are incarcerated in Israeli jails, as should any number of abominations committed by our besties in the Middle East.

What's most galling about Baird's press releases is that they always claim to speak for "Canada", as in "Canada condemns" or "Canada congratulates"...

Foreign Affairs should post a disclaimer notifying the world that John Baird speaks for John Baird and his Conservative Party, not for Canada.

University of Waterloo recognizes Great White Men

The University of Waterloo once extended to yours truly an Offer of Admittance. Lucky for them I never took them up on it and eventually graduated instead from the U of Goo ("Why in hell would ya wanna go there?... nothing at U of Goo but steers 'n queers" a concerned academic counsellor warned) and Outhouse College, where I distinguished myself as Captain of the Drinking Team.

But enough about me. According to a full-page ad in today's Globe the University of Waterloo flourished after my snub and is celebrating its greatness and commitment to innovation, discovery, and academic excellence by bestowing honorary degrees on ten Great White Men. (I'll admit I'm relying on the pictures in making that judgement, and there's a possibility the Higgins chap has a non-Caucasian ancestor or two in his family tree, and if that is the case I apologize.)

Everybody knows how the honorary degree game is played. Universities honour prominent individuals with their honorary degrees in hopes that some of that individual's perceived prestige will reflect well on the institution. And while I know nothing about the accomplishments of the ten worthies chosen to be honoured at the Spring 2014 Convocation ceremonies, I must say I am shocked that every one of them is a white male.

That such a coincidence would slip unnoticed past the vetting committee at a serious university, in this era of inclusiveness, in this land of diversity, is scandalous indeed!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The inevitable collapse of professional sports in America

If I were a betting man, I'd be going short on any pro sports entity in North America.

Big time sports entertainment depends on a viable middle class market to buy the seats.

We'll always have the TMZ fodder filling the court-side seats at the NBA finals, but what's happening in the rest of the arena?

Geriatric racist Donald Sterling should grab that two billions on offer and run for the hills, because in a few years an NBA franchise isn't going to worth more than a KFC franchise. Maybe less, because we gonna have to eat long after we give up on b'ball.

And seriously, where is the PGA gonna find its market in ten or twenty years? Have a good look at the crowd at Pinehurst this weekend. What do you see? Lots of middle-class middle-aged retired white folks. That's an endangered species.

Going forward, middle aged white folks are more likely to be clerking at the A&P than spending a week at a PGA event.

That's because the "job creators" that the entire Washington elite has been championing with tax breaks and government contracts for the last fifty years has stashed the breaks in offshore tax havens and created only min wage jobs with no benefits.

The folks who find themselves in those jobs don't find themselves at professional sporting events; NBA, NHL, PGA, or whatever.

One of the most visible manifestations of the dwindling market for big time sports is NASCAR. Watch a race these days and you'll see vast swaths of empty bleachers. Ten years ago all those bleachers were filled with paying customers.

All professional sporting leagues in North America were premised on a middle class market with disposable income.

Absent that, those professional sports leagues will soon be as dead as the middle class.

World Cup fever!

Like, what is that all about?

Otherwise sane people book a month of holiday time and refi the house so they can go to Brazil for a month to be accosted by pickpockets and prostitutes.

Oh, and watch some soccer games... or "football" as the fans like to style it.

The aficionados refer to it as "the beautiful game".

I refer to it as a beautiful opportunity for a nap. Most matches you can safely snooze out for an hour when the score is 0-0, and odds are when you wake up an hour later the score will be 0-0. You obviously missed nothing.

Compared to watching a soccer game, a Sunday afternoon watching the NASCAR boys negotiate 2000 left turns at Bristol is a veritable aneurysm of sporting excitement. At least at Bristol there is always the possibility that something might happen.

As I write this I have an eye on the Rangers-Kings game. The Rangers just tied it up. There is more excitement in any ten minutes of an NHL playoff game than there is going to be in the next two weeks in Brazil.

And how about that NBA final! Talk about sporting excitement! The NBA makes the NHL look like soccer! Who could ever image the Heat down 3-1? And seeing 200 points scored in a game is routine... that would take twenty years of dedicated viewership to see in professional "football".

Rangers just went up a goal... sorry, I gotta sign off and give that game my full attention...

If I was watching soccer, I'd be lying down for a nap.

Sather makes pact with Devil to win Lundqvist's game 666

This won't be the first time Glorious Glen made a deal with the Devil... you don't think those four Stanleys in Edmonton just "happened", do you?

Ya, that was all about "the Great One" alright....

Anyway, look for lots of lucky bounces in tonight's game. Glen got out the ouija board and The Great One is all aboard for a Ranger victory.

And you know which Great One we're talking about.

Look for Henrik "the Beast" Lundqvist to play a supernatural game 666.

Go Rangers!

Angelina Jolie tries on "public intellectual" cap

Move over BHL; Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is going to give you a run in the unctuous public moralizer sweeps.

France's most grating gift to public discourse, the man who single-handedly toppled Libyan strong-man Gaddafi (see the Oaf of Tobruk), now has some competition in the realm of world-class pontification by persons with no clue as to what they're talking about.

Mind you, a three-day get-together in London by a few thousand government-funded "civil society" types, to discuss "ending rape in war and conflict" does sound like a do-gooders wet dream.

After all, who could possibly be against ending rape in war and conflict?

And the fact that Angelina co-chaired this shindig with British Foreign Secretary Willy Hague attests to the import this issue has in the halls of power...

Or not.

While Hague was waxing wise in London, the country that Britain and the US "liberated" in 2003 was being over-run by Islamic fundamentalists. As Foreign Secretary, a skeptic might suggest he's had bigger balls to keep his eye on than the noble but tragically whimsical quest to eliminate rape during war and conflict.

While I hate to be the party-pooper, I can tell you right now, no fancy London con-fab required, when rape will be eliminated from war and conflict.

Rape will be eliminated from war and conflict when war and conflict are eliminated.

In the meantime, the do-gooders could focus on doing something about eliminating rape in the college dorms of their home towns.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ontario says "nein danke" to more Thatcherite madness

Preliminary results are showing that Tim Hudak's bold ideas borrowed from Mean Mike Harris, which were borrowed from Ayn Rand and Maggie Thatcher, are not cutting it with the Ontario electorate.

Maybe our education system isn't that bad after all...

Junior channels Kraftwerk... and then some

Junior is getting in touch with his Germanic roots.

Surely any educated listener can find the Kraftwerk influences here...

Iraq blows Ukraine off the front page

It's suddenly big news that "rebels" the US and her proxy hand-maids have been busy weaponizing in Syria for the past three years decided to go next door and put the run to the Iraqi army that the US has invested $20 billions in training. Those trainees can't doff their kit quick enough to get out of the way of the jihadist tsunami sweeping across the west of Iraq.

There is of course much hand-wringing, soul-searching, and gnashing of teeth in the Nations of Virtue about how things could possibly have come to this. Some Beltway think-tankers now claim to have seen this coming...

Well no shit!

America and her NATO flunkies destroyed a perfectly viable and stable country with the invasion of 2003. This latest spasm is just the most recent twist in the bloody death spiral that America unleashed then.

But what's becoming ever more difficult to deny is that the American taxpayer, the little guys who never wanted this war in the first place, have been paying to arm all sides in this catastrophe.

A reasonable question at this juncture would be; does any of the money lavished on all sides in the Middle East make America safer?

Or does in merely make the war-profiteers richer?

Russian tanks advance on Kiev

Operatives in the Falling Downs network have forwarded images of Sovi... I mean Russian tanks heading in the general direction of Ukraine's capital. This confirms a story seen earlier on Deutsche Welle about a Russian tank column having crossed the border into Ukraine.

Pictures don't lie.

The German news organs claim that there are ongoing discussions between Putin and Poroshenko. Of course they would say this, because the Germans are keen on appeasing Putin, just like they tried to appease that Chamberlain chap back in the 30's.

And isn't it just like the sneaky commi... I mean Russians to slip a tank battle group across the border while the world is distracted by the latest jihadi hi-jinx in Iraq!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Egypt government rushes to secure borders... Israel's borders!

Less than a year after the Western-backed overthrow of the democratically elected Morsi government, the "new" democratically elected government of General Abdel al-Sisi isn't wasting any time showing who they're governing for.

Al-Sisi is rushing troops to the Israel-Egypt border to prevent terror attacks against Israel.

While preventing terror attacks against anyone is always a great idea, the optics in this case aren't going to endear the al-Sisi regime to the Egyptian masses who feel cheated out of their democratic franchise by the overthrow of Morsi.

They won't soon forget that both PM Netanyahu and President Peres wasted no time in congratulating al-Sisi on his election victory. The fact of a moderate Muslim being overthrown in favour of a Likud-friendly General has "blowback" written all over it.

We should understand by now that the surest way to guarantee the rise of extremism is to connive in the oppression of moderates.

Will we never learn?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eleven years after Mission Accomplished, the "evil-doers" are clearly winning

Patrick Cockburn has a rather dismal assessment of our battle against militant Islam on view at Counterpunch today.

Seems the trillion dollar War on Terror has made the evil-doers stronger while bleeding the Nations of Virtue nearly to death financially and morally.

Cockburn confines his observations to the Middle East. In reality the picture is even more dismal than he suggests.

Thanks to NATO's foolhardy removal of Gaddafi, al-Qaeda inspired insurrections have become a huge factor in Africa, as far south as Nigeria and east to Kenya and Somalia.

"Stability" in Pakistan is largely a media PR fabrication. There is no question that radical Islam of the jihadist persuasion is much stronger there today than when W made his announcement on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in 2003. The Sharif government mainly controls the country's news media, UN seat, and, at least so far, its nuclear arsenal. But all of that will eventually be in play.

In the past few years we have also witnessed something almost unheard of at the time Bush declared victory; the spectacle of supposedly "westernized" Muslim youth heading from their homes throughout the NATO nations to take up arms against those nations on the battlefields of Asia and the Middle East.

Since the Bush pronouncement, the "bad guys" have gone from strength to strength. If and when Isis and its jihadist allies consolidate their hold on parts of Syria and Iraq, they will have a fledgling state that poses an existential threat to every Arab state in the neighbourhood that has allowed itself to be corrupted by The Great Satan.

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf statelets are living on borrowed time. Our newly installed "strongman" in Egypt is too; we've proven to every pious Muslim that the moderation of the Muslim Brotherhood gets no respect from the West.

When we connive in the suppression of the moderates, we leave the Arab street a simple choice; complete capitulation on the one hand, or armed resistance on the other.

It's not hard to see which side has the momentum.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Canada's PM Harper displaces Obama as leader of Free World

No, while I've birthed some whoppers in this space, I couldn't possibly make up anything that retarded.

All the credit goes to Ezra Levant.

Apparently Obama's stooped and slender shoulders can no longer bear the burden of leading the Free World. He is too busy appeasing Putin, Iran, North Korea, Republicans, Wall Street, unions, the Democratic Party, AIPAC, the gay lobby, the gun lobby, Michelle, and the Taliban.

Thank God Big Steve has stepped into the breach. His appeasement agenda is limited to the dirty oil lobby and Likud.

The best thing about having Harper as leader of the Free World is that while he talks a tough game, he's been steadily shrinking Canada's defence spending. For all his bellicose talk, Big Steve couldn't start a war even if Canada had enemies.

As Winston Churchill supposedly said, it's always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.

Iran's President touring top NATO country

Iran's President is in Turkey to talk trade. Has the wily Erdogan not heard that the Nations of Virtue are not permitted to trade with the Axis of Evil? Does he not care if his NATO membership card is revoked?

I suppose he has no worries because NATO needs Turkey a lot more than Turkey needs NATO. The fact that Turkey has been a long-standing member has always allowed NATO apologists to pretend that the organization is something other than a bullies club for white Christian European nations.

So Iran and Turkey talk trade while the dimwits in Ottawa talk trash. By the way, those Turks will talk to anyone; here's Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressing optimism that Israel and Turkey will soon "normalize" their relationship. That means more trade.

Harper and Baird could learn a few things from Erdogan and Davutoglu.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Everybody wrong on Russia except Stephen Harper and Postmedia News

Matthew Fisher is one of the few non-interns still writing copy for the Postmedia News conglomerate. As we all know by now, Postmedia is less a news org and more an artifice to enrich a few bond vultures.

But no matter, they still get more eyeballs than virtually any other Canadian news platform, which is why it's worthwhile to dissect the nonsense espoused by "roving international correspondent" Matt Fisher.

Yessiree, Canada stands alone in standing up to the bully on the world stage; Russia.

Hmm... how is such a thing even possible?

After all, every one of our European allies has far greater proximity to and far greater experience with Russia. How is it possible that our very own Big Steve is alone aware of the Russian threat?

If you look for them, it won't be hard to find the stats that suggest that Canada is reneging on it's NATO obligations. Canada keeps shrinking it's percent of GDP devoted to military expenditures, to the point where we are now about half of the 2% commitment demanded of all NATO members.

But you'd never guess that from listening to Stephen Harper.

Or Matt Fisher.

So the weasels in Berlin and Paris are all about facilitating Russian expansionism? The only "expansion" we have seen was the repossession of Ukraine, which happened after a referendum and without a shot being fired.

That is a very benign contrast to most NATO adventures we have witnessed this century.

According to Fisher, the Germans are scared that the biggest market for Mercedes and BMW might dry up if they get serious about sanctions. Fisher simply makes this shit up. Russia has never been the biggest or most profitable market for German carmakers.

And Hollande is interested in keeping a few thousand French shipyard workers working. Good for him. That's his job!

Fisher goes so far as to offer a war-mongering quote from WWII era US General Lucias Clay that the only thing Russians understand is force.

Yup, we gotta slap them Russians down, and slap 'em down good so they remember their place. That's the rationale for sending 75 Canadian troops to Poland this week. Yes, we're all business, we Canadians are...

That gesture was too pathetic to even be considered laughable.

The real reason for Harper's anti-Russian agenda, as most people know but Fisher never gets around to acknowledging, is that Harper thinks those million-plus Ukrainian-Canadians will win the next Canadian election for him to reward him for his non-stop Russophobia.

It's a sad state of affairs when this country's foreign policy is dictated by a small bloc of hyphenated Canadians.

It's even sadder when one of our biggest media concerns connives in that sorry undertaking.

Things that break a father's heart

For well over the first year of his life, I walked Junior to sleep every night to the Supertramp LP Crime of the Century.

By his early teens I was driving him to gigs here and there. By then he was showing some promise as a guitarist. By the time he was 16 or 17 he could howl out blues standards that sounded like they came from the belly of a 75 year old Delta lifer...

Then it all went to hell. Electronic music. Future funk. Vaporwave. I have no clue what any of that means.

But if you're anything as a parent, you don't give up on your kid just because he joins a cult or a gang or gets mixed up with electronic music. As painful as it is, you can never give up.

So we keep in touch.

The other day he tells me he's been doing a remix for some guy named Jack Stanton.

Who's that?

Oh some guy who went to Oxford for art.

After five minutes on the Google-ator I realize he's talking about Jack Stanton who just won the Saatchi New Sensations award!

OK, so I still don't get electronic music, but if he's working with guys like this, he must be pretty good at what he does.

Now if I could only get him back to rock and blues...

How to fail as a property manager while trying way too hard

The "MaRS Discovery District" is one of those bright ideas. You can sense that lots of well-educated and well-meaning folks convened many a meeting to convince themselves that both PowerPoint presentations and careers would be made in abundance by this stroke of genius.

The idea is hardly a new one; create a government-funded idea incubator to nurture start-ups into serious new-economy players.

What could go wrong?

According to this story from the Globe and Mail, employment at MaRS has gone from ten to 97 in less than ten years. 37 employees earn into the six numbers. Boss Ilse Treunicht pulls down over half a million a year.

All of those plump pay packets are essentially for managing one mostly-empty office building.

But not to worry; now that they've signed up an infectious disease lab to take the top four floors, the rest of the building will be spoken for in no time!

Or not!

Here's a great idea: let's build an infectious disease lab in the downtown core of Canada's largest city!

And not just any old infectious disease lab, but a "Level 3 Containment Facility" that handles air-borne human pathogens!

And while we're at it, lets put our lab on the top four floors of a twenty-storey building!

What could possibly go wrong?..

Perhaps the reasoning is that the prevailing westerly winds would safely disburse those air-borne pathogens over the less-privileged eastern extremities of Toronto.

Toronto's oopsie might be Oshawa's Armageddon, but Oshawa is screwed anyway, so who cares?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One corporate welfare machine

Bernie Ecclestone is a billionaire today because he figured out a really unique way to lift public money into private pockets, especially his own.

Formula One racing.

The city of Montreal just signed a deal with Big Bernie that will see over $200 million Canadian taxpayer dollars go to subsidizing Bernie's F-1 circus.

Doesn't Montreal have more important priorities?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Here's what happens when news orgs farm out edit

Moncton: Three suspects charged in shooting spree.

As everyone knows, it wasn't three suspects charged, it was one suspect facing three murder charges, among other things.

But this is what happens when news copy comes courtesy of unpaid interns at some word-mill, interns who may be less than adroit in their translation skills.

As everyone knows, big-time news orgs don't need to keep editors on staff because these out-sourcing editing houses, or "out-houses", can do it better for cheaper.

D-day hijinx shows Putin anything but "isolated"

If anything, today's to-ing and fro-ing in France suggests that the NATO leaders are tripping over themselves trying to get face-time with Putin.

CNN tries to put a pro-NATO spin on things by making it sound like Putin is worried about avoiding another round of sanctions.

Meanwhile, Canadian media, who have been wallowing in adoration for PM Harper for being the most "hawkish" G-7 leader in his over-the-top anti-Russian proclamations, got a sharp slap when Obama abandoned the freeze-out-Putin camp by having a cozy chat with the evil Russian dictator at lunch today.

The isolated Putin also met briefly with the guy western media like to portray as his arch-nemesis,
Petro Poroshenko, president elect of Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and dined yesterday with President Hollande of France.

I'd say the only world leader "isolated" is that most hawkish doofuss from Canada.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Netanyahu: thousands of new settler homes no obstacle to peace

I don't know what sort of "peace" you'd be working on when you're building thousands of new homes on occupied territory.

I suppose it's the kind of peace that says "Yassa Massa."

The peace of acquiescence.

The peace of the defeated.

The peace that comes with the abject defeat of the other...

While the dominant narrative in Western media does not yet recognize the Nakba or the struggle for justice in Palestine, we cannot pretend that struggle does not exist.

The more that popular culture regurgitates the truisms of the colonialist narrative, the more clearly we recognize our complicity...

Which is why the fact of the rock and roll rebels, the Rolling Stones, landing in Israel at this moment in history, is fraught with a thousand layers of disquiet...

Thoughts on the Moncton Police Massacre

I am sure that the perp in this travesty had many grievances against the police. Some of them may even have been legit.

After all, policing in general has been on a steady downhill slide since those far-away days when the local cop was somebody you knew by name when you ran into him at the donut shop.

It's a different world today.

Cops are an easy target for any unhinged psychopath. Any suicidal youth who wants to go out in a blaze of glory can choose the "death by cop" option and rest assured that the media will honour him with posthumous notoriety.

That's why I think it would be a good idea if the news business kept the names of these mass killers out of the media.

It will rob the aspiring psychopaths of their last chance at fame.

Knowing they won't be famous in death could be enough to deter at least some of them from their grotesque ambitions.

Canada congratulates Syria on successful election

Looks like uber-windbag John Baird has at last come to his senses; he is finally showing some respect for the impossible situation we, the Nations of Virtue, have forced on Bashar Al-Assad. Read the full text of Minister Baird's statement;

Statement on Syrian Election Results

June 4, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement on the release of the official results of Syria's presidential election, which confirmed Bashar Al-Assad as president-elect:
“We congratulate President-elect Al-Assad on the results of the election. As we all know, difficult challenges face the president-elect in leading Syria toward a more democratic, inclusive, secure and prosperous future, but such a future is in the interests of all Syrian citizens. We continue to stand with Syria in its efforts to confront terrorism, including throughout the Syrian heartland, where Syrian security personnel are confronting a dangerous insurgency sponsored by the Nations of Virtue.
“Canada remains committed to supporting Syria in making a peaceful and meaningful transition to democracy, based on respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
“This transition represents an important opportunity for Syria, one that can provide the Syrian people with the stability and prosperity they desire.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Obama's billion dollar commitment to turn eastern Europe against America

There will certainly be a few leaders in eastern Europe who will welcome the European Reassurance Initiative. After all, there were a few leaders in eastern Europe happy to follow the US into Afghanistan over the objections of their people.

The technical term for such grovelling is "sucking up to the big dog."

It's a popular pastime among certain elements of the European elite.

It is bound to polarize the people on the street. There's a very wide swath of the population that is no more eager to have US troops "protecting" them today than they were to have Soviet troops "protecting" them in the bad old days.

Look for anti-US demos in the streets of Warsaw by the end of the month.

Canada's hypocrisy on democracy

As I write this reports are coming out of Syria that exit polls show President al-Assad leading the presidential election with an estimated 90% of the vote. Small wonder; any meaningful opposition has long been banned and driven underground.

Today Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was announced the official winner of Egypt's presidential election with over 96% of the vote. Small wonder; the only serious opposition has been banned and driven underground.

Here's Foreign Minister John Baird on the Egyptian election;

“The conclusion of voting in Egypt’s presidential election is a key step along Egypt’s path to democracy.
“We are encouraged by early reports that the overall security situation was peaceful throughout the country during the election. Preliminary results indicate the likely winner will be presidential candidate Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. We look forward to the confirmed results of the election.
“Canada is committed to supporting Egypt in making a peaceful and meaningful transition to democracy, based on respect for human rights, freedom and the rule of law. This transition is an important opportunity to give the Egyptian people the stability and prosperity they desire.”

Here he is a few days later on Syria's election;

“It is quite simply fraud to claim legitimacy in rigged elections while simultaneously killing your electorate. A legitimate Syrian government can result only from the country’s transition to a democratic, pluralistic state. Legitimacy comes from the will of all Syrians, not just from fearfully oppressed or blindly loyal privileged citizens.
“Canada refuses to lend these sham elections any credibility. Instead, we will continue to work hard toward a political solution to the conflict and to help prioritize and meet the needs of the Syrian people in their fight for true democracy.”

Two sham elections, two radically different responses... why?

Al-Sisi runs a US/NATO client state. Al-Assad doesn't.

All that fluff about human rights, freedom, democracy, rule of law etc. is just window dressing.

Nigerian generals convicted of arming Boko Haram terror network

Most of Nigeria's history since independence in 1960 has been lived in the shadow of the military. As in many other former colonies, the military left behind by the colonial masters has become entrenched as a "deep state" within the state.

So the story of links between the military and the current terror crisis should not come as a surprise. A democratized body politic can only marginalize that deep state. Ergo, there are many ambitious men in the military who see it in their interest to undermine and destabilize the civilian government.

For its part, the government of Goodluck Jonathan, widely considered the most legitimately democratic government in the nation's history, has done itself no favours by continuing to govern for foreign bankers and oil conglomerates instead of for the interests of his people. His about face on the elimination of the fuel subsidies came only after the people mobilized in massive street protests.

What the military needs from Boko Haram is the creation of unrest, insecurity, and general destabilization. In short, Boko Haram is useful in creating a climate of fear that will engender wide-spread public support when the time is right for the next military coup.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl and the hypocrisy of the Republican hard-liners

Bowe Bergdahl.

You have to admit that's a name that has screen-play written all over it.

I sincerely hope Bowe makes many millions profiting from his ordeal.

He's paid his dues... let him cash in is what I say.

Prisoner exchanges are a matter of routine in any conflict, and a five-for-one tells me the US struck a relatively hard bargain. Far better than the 1,027-for-one that our Israeli friends managed in the Gilad Shalit swap.

Nevertheless, the usual crew of Obama-haters is going ape-shit over this. It sets a precedent. It will encourage the kidnap of more servicemen. It demonstrates America's weakness because, after all, we could have nuked the entire country and REALLY taught the towellers a lesson.

Instead, we've demonstrated that common sense and common decency are not entirely dead in America.

Is that a bad thing?

OMG!!! 15 year old Bieber used n-word!!!

 And as we all know, Bieber is a racist through and through and avoids black folks whenever he can...

C'mon folks, the 15 year old dumbshit on the brink of fame made a crass joke...

Frankly, I never thought it was any of my business or yours that the senile shit-bag Donald Sterling made those untoward remarks to his black mistress.

If anything, this is even less of my business.