Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Putin's aggression claims another sovereign state

Yes, this time he has attacked Syria.

You remember Syria, don't you? Three years ago the US, along with Britain and France and all those little thriving democracies in the Gulf, had declared that they recognize the Syrian National Coalition as the only legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

The SNC was a great Hillary Clinton success story, comprised of Syrians who had spent the last 25 years in London or Paris or Washington.

Where are they now?

Still in London or Paris or Washington, I suppose. Hillary's Syrian revolution was stillborn.

In the interim, the evil Assad has invented barrel bombs, which, believe it or not, are exponentially more deadly than American Hellfire missiles or Paveway smart bombs. He has been dropping those barrel bombs on his own people, and all the Hellfire missiles and Paveway smart bombs at America's disposal have been unsuccessful in dissuading him from dropping more barrel bombs on his own people.

Installing democracy in Damascus has proven a much tougher assignment than anyone could have imagined.

Enter Bad Vlad.

The mainstream media in the Nations of Virtue are agog this evening at the cynical disregard for international law and human rights exhibited by Putin, as he joins the fight against the very terrorists that America and her allies have supposedly been raining Paveways and Hellfires upon for the past year.

WHAT DOES HE THINK HE'S DOING???

The Nations of Virtue were so close to defeating Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and then Putin comes along and bombs the wretched fuckers?

What is that man thinking?

Latest research shows slovenly housekeeping key to raising healthy children

Not that I want to gloat, but between me and the Farm Manager, we managed to raise up five healthy offspring, and not a one has asthma!

That's because we intuitively knew all along what this story at CBC tells us today; if you want your kids to grow up strong and healthy, let them eat dirt!

Raw milk maverick Michael Schmidt busted again!

I see where the local Health Unit's "Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice" is taking another run at the indefatigable Michael Schmidt.

The local Health Unit serves one of the poorest regions of Ontario with one of the smallest populations, but nevertheless manages to place no less than 73 lucky souls on Ontario's "sunshine list."

Not only that, but they are the proud residents of what is surely the most expensive, on a cost-per-foot basis, office building ever built.

Anywhere!

Ever!

Clearly, these folks are serious about promoting virtue and preventing vice!

Among the vices targeted for prevention are smoking, binge drinking, spousal abuse, drug abuse, child abuse, and, last but certainly not least, the consumption of unpasteurized milk.

Ya, 'cause that stuff can really mess you up!

This time round the locals have teamed up with the York Region CPVPC and caught some of Schmidt's milk mules delivering a shipment of the unpasteurized stuff right into the heart of Richmond Hill... TO A CHURCH PARKING LOT NO LESS!!!

Oh, what dastardly subterfuges these devious criminals will indulge.. a church parking lot! Have they no shame!

Anyway, good luck on your next ten years of legal wrangling, Mike!


US gifts 250 armoured vehicles to Kurds - but holds back the armour!

Here's a howler from the Washington Post!

The Kurds are supposedly America's "boots on the ground" in the battle against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. That's why the US gifted the Kurds a fleet of 250 used MRAP armoured vehicles. You'd think that's the least you can do for our indispensable allies.

You'd be wrong. You can do less by having technicians go to the trouble of removing the side-armour before delivery. In the words of one former American officer, that makes riding in the MRAP in a battle zone akin to committing suicide.

Supposedly the rationale for this spot of idiocy is that the side armour is classified technology and might fall into the hands of the Iranians.

Meanwhile, ISIS, the bad guys America has been targeting relentlessly with over 9,000 air strikes in the past year, have their own fleet of MRAPs, and guess what?



Yup, the Islamic State's MRAPs sport the full side armour!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Most Syrian refugees are not coming from Syria

While they may be Syrians, they're coming from Turkey, not Syria. For the most part, they've been safely ensconced in Turkish refugee camps for years. This is a fact all but invisible in North American media, but freely bandied about in the Turkish press...

Even in these dark days when light-hearted banter is heavily discouraged in Turkish media.

The more interesting question is, why are they coming now? 

They're coming now because the Erdogan regime has been encouraging them to leave. The reasons why the Erdogan regime is doing that at this point in time are obvious enough. When Turkey was first rolling out the red carpet for those refugees four years ago, it was generally assumed that the al-Assad regime would not survive the carefully orchestrated onslaught of domestic "opposition" and foreign jihadis for more than a few months.

Four years later, the arithmetic of regime change has changed.

To the shock of everyone who predicted al-Assad's early demise, he remains in power.

After the Obama-Putin speeches at the UNGA yesterday, it is now obvious that the Nations of Virtue have embarked on a major climb-down.

Assad will be permitted to stay, at least for now.

And since Erdogan never signed up to host those refugees in perpetuity, he's sending them on to the Nations of Virtue in the EU.

The downside of "normalizing" the US relationship with Cuba

Seems that everybody from the Castro brothers to WaPo editorial writers to the Pope have been wetting their undergarments with excitement over the the promise of normalizing the USA-Cuba relationship.

Not so fast!

Look around the neighbourhood...

Mexico has enjoyed "normalized" relations with Uncle Sam since the middle of the 19th century. Mexico trails Cuba on virtually any quality-of-life index. Mexico is for all practical purposes a failed state.

Then there's Honduras and Guatemala, both of them enjoying "normal" relations throughout the era of the Cuban embargo. How has that worked out for them? They too are failed states.

And how about Haiti? Haiti too has long enjoyed normal relations with the USA, and Haiti is the very embodiment of a failed state.

Cuba since the revolution has been a poor country, but with many success stories. All things considered, it is the very antithesis of a failed state.

So why all the jubilation over normalizing relations with the US?








Monday, September 28, 2015

Stephen Harper: big sled, no dogs

That was actually one of the wittier moments in this "debate."

It was Justin who nailed Big Steve with that one.

It happened when the moderator steered the conversation north.

One of the more cogent moments came when Rudy asked how those 15 ice-breakers for the Royal Canadian Navy were coming along. Rudy was rude enough to mention that Russia actually has 40 boats in her ice-breaker fleet, whereas Big Steve only has 40 announcements of an imaginary fleet of 15 ice-breakers.

Big Steve replies by pointing out that his government has expanded Nihanni National Park.

A complete non-sequitor.

Or maybe not.

Nihanni National Park is in the Arctic after all.

Fear and loathing and sheer imbecility at the Munk leader's debate

You gotta feel Peter Munk's pain. A couple of years ago he had the biggest gold mining company in the world. Now he's got the "Munk Debates."

Tonight's iteration of that over-reaching franchise is billed as the "Munk Leader's Debate," and features the three old boy leaders while ignoring the new girl, Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Near as I can tell, the only winner in this "debate" was the unctuous moderator, "social entrepreneur" and careerist extraordinaire Rudyard Griffiths. He was obviously enjoying his most recent fifteen minutes of fame.

I have a hunch that a lot of tickets for this gig were sold via the Ukrainian-Canadian Council. How else to explain the undue prominence given that tired trope, "Putin's aggression?"

Before watching this I read the texts of both Obama's and Putin's speeches at the UNGA. Sure, Obama was obliged to toss in a few bromides about how it's unacceptable for big countries to run roughshod over small ones, but absolutely no one in the place takes that seriously.

Who runs over more small countries? The USA or Russia? And how many refugees are streaming out of Crimea?

The Israel-pandering was quite distasteful too. Apparently none of these charlatans can grasp the fact that it's possible to be "pro-Israel" while being vehemently anti-Netanyahu, anti-settlement, and anti-Likud. In fact, the long-term viability of Israel will depend on allies who are capable of doing just that.

Who won the debate?

Elizabeth May, simply by not disgracing herself by being a part of it.

Bleeding hearts play sympathy card in brazen attempt to sneak undocumented alien into Canada

I suppose the pinkos pushing the Joan Stirling case expected the public to get all mushy and misty-eyed when they went crying to their fellow-travellers at the CBC with their sob story. Stirling is the old bat who has been living illegally in Canada for over 80 years. Now, as a reward for eight decades of malfeasance, she's got the gumption to demand citizenship!

Not only that, but she wants a health card too!

Who can even imagine such a thing? A 99 year old with a health card!... My goodness; that'll be the straw that finally breaks the back of our beleaguered health care system once and for all!

Luckily for all of us, Team Harper is made of sterner stuff. Spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, Watta Dumphuc, explained the government position in an afternoon presser today.

"Rules are rules and illegal immigrants are illegal immigrants," Dumphuc explained. "Even though Ms. Stirling is old stock, this government takes the rule of law seriously. If we were to make an exception in this case, God only knows how many old Chinese guys would come crawling out of the woodwork, and we know there's thousands of them have been laying low at least since the Chinese Immigration Act of '23."

No doubt the pot-head and the pinko would see matters differently. Just one more example of how you can help keep this great nation safe and strong by voting Harper on October 19.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Happy Autumn

The "Blood Moon" and its attendant eclipse were both hidden behind the clouds in these parts tonight.

Word is we gotta wait another 18 years now.

Nevertheless, the equinox is always a big deal.

It's the half-way point.

Half way between this and that. Half way between here and now. Half way between summer and winter. Half way between winning and losing. Half way between hot and cold...

So, settle in and cinch up your seat-belts; we're gonna ride this roller-coaster another 18 years.

Because there's no point checking out before you have, with your very own eyes, witnessed the eclipse of a blood moon.

Happy autumn.


Conrad Black booked for unsafe lane change on Alzheimer Highway

Read this and tell me it's not a back-handed, between-the-lines endorsement of Justin Trudeau?!

Has Conrad finally come to his senses?

Or is he just getting senile?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So you think Stephen Harper runs a nasty election campaign?

He's got nothing on our erstwhile NATO ally, the wily Erdogan.

Big Steve has shown he's not averse to a bit of hate-mongering and a little race-baiting to give his political fortunes a boost ahead of the next election. But that's nothing!

Erdogan has literally set his country on fire in hopes that his AKP will win a majority in the November 1 election, effectively making him the fire chief in charge of extinguishing the inferno he has unleashed.

That's ballsy!

What could go wrong?...

Hmm...

The current conflagration has its roots in the election of last June, where for the first time in recent memory the AKP failed to win a majority. None of that namby-pamby coalition government nonsense for Edorgan... no siree, he wants the whole enchilada!

So he calls a new election for November. Then he rips a few pages out of Netanyahu's playbook.

How best to convince the electorate that they need a strongman at the helm in these dangerous times?

Why, make these dangerous times exponentially more dangerous, of course!

Conveniently, a suicide bombing in the Turkish city of Suruc came along in the nick of time. Next day ISIS took credit, and voila!

The Turks were off to the war on terror against ISIS!

Except they weren't. Even though the 30 Turkish citizens who died in the Suruc bombing were Kurds, Erdogan's war on terror has focused not on ISIS, but on Kurdish sovereignty groups!

That's an unfortunate fact which leads many to conclude that the wily Erdogan has been in cahoots with ISIS all along.

See, Big Steve's not such a bad guy after all.

There's nothing funny about human rights

Well, maybe... maybe not! I suppose it depends which humans' rights we're talking about.

Bangladeshi guest workers in Saudi Arabia?  And the fact that our BFFs in Riyadh spent billions on a fleet of Canadian-made armoured taxis to chauffeur them around... well, I thought it was funny at the time.

Especially funny that this armoured car deal was allowed to pass virtually without comment at the time.

What's not so funny is that it takes an election a year and a half later for the public to notice.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Big Steve channels his Tea Party avatar

Hey lookee!... no tax increases for the next four years!

Big Steve just hit the sweet spot!

But why could he not go all the way? Ban all tax increases in perpetuity!

Even better... why not just OUTLAW ALL TAXES!!!

Ya, that would be a vote-getter!

I sense he's hedging his bets... some small fringe of the Harper base may be aware that they might have to raise taxes to put more cops on the streets and more Indians in jail.

The tyranny of stereotypes

Everybody knows what a native community looks like. Gas-sniffing juveniles, gang-banging teens, drunken adults passed out in public at high noon...

Well, not really.

Most native communities I've ever seen are virtually indistinguishable from their non-native neighbours. But we don't ever hear about them. That's just not news!

No, what we hear about are a few isolated and dysfunctional communities that provide 100% of the bad-news stories about natives.

Which is not to suggest that there isn't much to be done, but the big picture is not nearly as bleak as you might assume after reading a few mainstream stories about our native brothers.

And Mexicans. They'll be the ruin of America, God help us all...

No less an authority than Donald Trump has given Latinophobia a new lease on life. I know for a fact that Mexicans are prized among Canadian employers of Temporary Foreign Workers for their honesty and their work ethic. Could that be because the Darwin effect strands all the unmotivated lazy and shifty ones south of the 49th parallel?

Seems unlikely.

While there's no question that a few bad apples come over in the barrels of both legal and not-so-legal Latinos, you can't deny the contribution they've made to America.

In fact, I've got Mexicans in my very own extended family. Back in the day my dear Uncle Jack and his wife, who were as middle-America as apple pie, after having a couple of kids of their own, adopted a number three from Mexico.

That kid from Mexico had his chance at the American Dream and batted it out of the park. The company he created has been voted one of the best employers in his state.

And we're not talking landscaping; we're talking high-end social services.

He's a success story that's done nothing but contribute to his local community, and every one of the 150 plus professionals who work for him are Americans.

Like Pope Francis said the other day, most of us were foreigners at one time... let's not be so quick to judge foreigners.

That's why I'm a little suspicious of stories like this. Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Finland are allegedly turning up their noses at Finnish hospitality and high-tailing it back to Sweden.

Let's look at the stereotypes being promoted here; Syraqi refugees are fussy ingrates just looking for the best deal on welfare payments etc. We should not rush to judgement on the verity of their refugee claims.

The story appears at Arab News, a news site financed by Saudi Arabia. It is sourced from France 24, the web portal of France's AFP news conglomerate.

Both France, which has been working overtime to dissuade refugees from arriving there, and Saudi Arabia, which has been working overtime at creating refugees in Iraq and Syria, have a vested interest in portraying these refugee throngs as opportunists looking for an easy life in the EU.

And so the stereotype of the Middle East refugee as shifty malingerer takes root, at least among that segment of the population predisposed to think that way in the first place.

I have no doubt that a few shifty malingerers among those refugees will be exposed in the fullness of time. And when they are, they'll get an inordinate amount of attention in our media. But, there were no doubt a few of those shifty malingerers among the European immigrants who flooded into America post WW II.

So the point is, you'll always be able to find a story or two to justify the stereotypes.

But the truth of the matter lies elsewhere.

We need to remember that we were indeed, most of us, foreigners at one time.

And we have to get past the stereotypes.






Thursday, September 24, 2015

Allah smites Saudi Arabia again...

It was about a year and a half ago that the think tank here at Falling Downs published a research paper titled Allah smites Saudi Arabia.

Since then, Allah, bless His name, has been smiting the House of Saud again and again and again.

Obviously the Royal Dickwads aren't getting the message. They persist in promulgating the most backward and reactionary iterations of Islam to be found anywhere on the planet. They remain the primary sponsors of every misogynistic reactionary Islamic cult from the Talibs to al Qaeda to Islamic State.

But we're cool with that. After all, they're on the buying end of the biggest military export "win"  in Canadian history.

Race baiting becomes essential re-election strategy for Harper team

On the face of it, I too would be inclined to agree with the proposition that "a prospective future citizen of Canada should not be allowed to hide their identity at a citizenship ceremony."

Except, when you look into it at all, nobody is "hiding" their identity.

If and when Zunera Ishaq is permitted to wear her niqab at her citizenship ceremony, the entire country will know exactly who that veiled woman is.

By the time she makes it to the ceremony, Zunera will have revealed and unveiled herself countless times to various government functionaries in their semi-private offices. Zunera can do that because her faith dictates that she cover up in public.

As in a public ceremony.

At no point has Zunera Ishaq's niqab been about "hiding her identity."

Our local MP Larry Miller had to do a little back-pedalling when he got on national TV for proclaiming "those people should get the hell back to where they came from" back in March.

But Big Steve himself has been playing the same ugly game.

We're either a tolerant and diverse society, or we're not.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pot addled hillbilly beats Maclean's to the story by a year

Here's Maclean's a few weeks ago; The sinking of the Canadian Navy.

Here's this blog, almost a year ago; Canadian Navy Sinking Fast.

Geez, you'd almost think Scott Gilmour has been reading this blog, no?

Election Santa delivers a timely gift for Big Steve Harper

So a Tunisian and a Palestinian walk into a bar, and before you can say "booga booga" the RCMP, CSIS, the FBI, Canadian Border Services, the OPP, the SQ, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, and regional police services from Peel, Durham, and York as well as Montreal and Toronto Police are convening strategy sessions to get to the bottom of this outrage.

It took years and untold millions of dollars, but get to the bottom they did. Today a court in Toronto convicted the pair, one a drug abuser, the other a schizophrenic, of multiple terror related charges.

SEE!!!

Stephen Harper has been right all along!

We are fighting a war against terror right here on the home front! In mere weeks, every Canadian will have a chance to vote...

Who will YOU vote for?

Pot-addled pussy Justin Trudeau?

Flip-flop artiste extraordinaire Angry Tom?

Or the steady-as-she-goes, tough-on-crime, Jesus loving, Towel-head hatin' (unless they're a few docile brown-nosers available for a photo-op) EXPERIENCED AND SUCCESSFUL PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER?

Take your pick...

And please try to forget that the Tunisian and the Palestinian who walked into that bar all those years ago would never have come up with any "terror plan" whatsoever without the constant coaxing and cajoling and guidance of the myriad anti-terror agencies across North America who invested tens of thousands of man-hours and multiple millions of dollars into making this story happen.




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Going batshit at Falling Downs

About eight years ago, when we signed over ownership to Falling Downs in perpetuity to a cabal of banks, in return for the pleasure of living here, we didn't take the bat-shit threat that seriously.

Then we got a memo from an insurance company; clear out all evidence of batshit before the property inspector gets there.

Apparently batshit moves property inspectors to disqualify your property from qualifying for insurance!

So for many years, we made a point of shovelling out the batshit before the property inspectors toured the attic.

There are of course may reasons why one might want to favourably impress a property inspector...

Anytime you want to bump up your mortgage, they'll send in a property inspector.

But.... we got bats.

We've had bats in the attic since the day we got the keys to this place.

But we've always managed to get them out, at least till the property inspectors leave.

We were proactive this year.

We secured a batch of bat-boxes.

At the beginning of summer we painted them black.

Then we began a three month debate about where to hang them.


Me and the Farm Manager have always been avid campers. We've camped from the back yard all the way out to Kicking Horse Pass.

We just love camping.

But a couple of years ago, the Farm Manager reveals that she's getting too old to sleep on the ground. So she buys a tent camper.

We tried out that tent camper across Manitoulin and all the way to Massey.

Tried it a couple more times over at MacGregor Point.

We loved the tent camper, or so I thought. For some reason the tent camper never got out the barn last summer.

This summer the FM was religiously watching videos about the newest and the latest new campers to come out. Having a vague sense about where things were going, I pulled the tent camper out of the barn and set it up around the end of July. We never actually took a trip with it, but...

I noticed that we didn't seem to have any evidence of bat residence in the attic anymore!

Hmm...

So, the bat-boxes remain on the picnic table where we left them in June.

But they are painted black, as they should be.

The bats seem to have vacated the attic...


We have multiple mysteries to solve here...


And then the other night I stepped into that tent camper. You'll be happy to know that the mysteries have all been solved.

Which is not to say that all the issues have been resolved...  I figure at this point our best bet is to just burn down the tent camper.




How does BC lose 3.4 million computer records when they only have 4.6 million residents?

That tells me they've lost the files of three quarters of their population.

Back in the pre-digital era that would have required a massive logistics operation involving hundreds of trucks looting dozens of warehouses.

Impossible!

Now it means somebody misplaced a hard-drive.

That's progress for you!

America's aristocracy of A-holes

Here at Falling Downs we're detecting the first signs of revulsion by America's mainstream opinion-makers at the excesses of the finance elite.

You know, the kind of folks who inspired us to speculate why the words hedge, fund, manager, shit, and bag are so often found in the same sentence.

The truly vomit-worthy antics of Martin Shkreli have garnered umbrage even from Bezos' Washington Post.

Shkreli, a former Jim Cramer protege, bought the rights to the prescription drug Daraprim, a staple in the drug regimen of many HIV/Aids patients, and promptly jacked the price 5,455%!

Because he could!

What a genius!

How to make America great again without really trying

"Make America great again" is the slogan of Donald Trump's election campaign, a campaign that has uncorked a veritable tsunami of anti-Trump proselytizing on web-sites across the political spectrum.

Here's why.

Trump is not only an outsider, he is, unlike the other candidates on both right and left with at least a tenuous claim to "outsider" status, an outsider with access to bags of cash.

That makes him more or less immune to the lobbying industry. Therefore, while the rest of the field in both parties gives you a range of foreign policy options that range from PNAC (original flavour) to PNAC (new and improved), Trump is free to trumpet (sorry) a truly new idea when it comes to America's foreign adventures.

Whereas every other candidate is waxing hysterical about "Putin's aggression," Trump wants to talk to the guy!

What a concept!

The establishment's take on the Putin "threat" is that America and her allies need to spend more money on defence. At the moment, the US outspends Russia on defence by at least a factor of seven, or seven hundred percent. Add in America's NATO allies, and that ratio rises to over 10:1. Toss in a few non-NATO American allies like Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea, and Israel, and we're getting close to a ratio of 15:1.

Seriously folks, if that ain't stopping "Putin's aggression," no amount of further spending is going to make one iota of difference!

Now let's take a look at Putin's so-called aggression.

Exhibit A has to be the anschluss of Crimea. Hmm...  A majority of Crimeans seem to be quite comfortable with their status. In fact, the vast majority of them voted for exactly that in a referendum.

Then there's Exhibit B. Georgia, another so-called "colour revolution" that failed to blossom in quite the way the master horticulturists in Washington planned. Those two exhibits pretty much sum up the dubious case for "Putin's aggression."

Neither exhibit is anywhere near failed-state status.

On the other hand, what have been the fruits of Washington's aggression over the past generation?

America has left a trail of failed states around the globe over the past fifty years. And for this it has a defence budget 700% greater than Russia's.

Here is step one in making America great again; trim back the US defence budget to parity with Russia's. Just imagine what could be accomplished by lopping 500 + billions off the defence budget!

Every year!

That would entail some sacrifices of course. All those colour revolutions in foreign lands will have to erupt spontaneously without billions in seed money from the American taxpayer.

America would lose it's status as the number one creator of failed states.

The number of people around the world who hate America would plummet!

And just imagine what America could become if even half of those savings were spent at home?

Post-secondary education could be free for every qualified applicant. An honest-to-goodness single-payer health care system would consign Obamacare to the dustbin of history where it rightfully belongs. And a nation-wide program of revitalizing America's infrastructure would create so much work that unemployment and poverty could be eliminated in months!

That's a start. America's rebirth would create even more benefits with some fine-tuning. End the insanely counter-productive war on drugs. End the abomination of for-profit prisons. End the adulation of job-destroying hedge fund operators.

And so on...

America would soon enough be greater than it's ever been!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Retarded headline of the day...

This gem from the CBC informing me that "Oilsands may face severe water shortage..." pretty much blew the gears out of the Lame-O-Meter here at Falling Downs.

We're not worried about the water needs of local native communities.

We're not worried about the water needs of Fort Mac or anywhere downstream of the oil sand developments.

We're not worried about the water needs of agriculture in Western Canada...

All of these are mere afterthoughts.

No, what sets off alarm bells is the thought that an industry that needs four barrels of water to produce a barrel of bitumen could be threatened.

That is profoundly stupid!

Koch millions not enough to revive moribund Walker campaign

The moron from Madison has succumbed to the Trump tsunami and pulled the plug on his run for the White House. That's another way of saying the Koch boys didn't see the point in throwing good money after bad to keep this stiff afloat. Politics is just business, after all, and they were well into the land of diminishing returns on the Walker file.

That leaves four Koch-owned horses in the race. According to the most recent polls, fourth place Rubio is now the top Kochette, polling at 11%, while Jeb is in fifth place with 9%. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are consistently trending downhill and will most likely have thrown in their respective towels by Thanksgiving.

Jeb and Marco combined are trailing Trump by four points.

But, it's early days in the greatest show on earth...

Anything could happen. The think tank here at Falling Downs has been tracking unconfirmed rumours that former President Camacho is considering tossing his beanie into the ring. Just imagine a Trump v Camacho death match for the GOP ticket!

Wouldn't that be a great day for democracy!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Journalism is...

Read this story at CBC and see if you can figure out what "journalism" is.

I couldn't...

Death by TPP

That's the Trans Pacific Partnership in case you don't know.

As per usual, our union leaders are a month late and a hundred bucks short on calling this, the most odious "free trade" agreement ever.

But better late than never.

Big Steve is keen on getting Canada enmeshed in the TPP fine print ASAP. Preferably before the October election.

That will guarantee him many lucrative directorships in multinational corporations once he is consigned to the dustbin of history a month hence.

Ipperwash

I used to go camping there.

Over the years Dudley George became a folk hero of sorts.

The news that there's been a $90 million settlement over Camp Ipperwash doesn't mean the case is closed,

Thanks to the Brotherhood

I can't remember if it was Brother Jeff or Brother Martin who gifted the Malt Master's Edition of Glenfiddich on the occasion of my 60th.

I was never a Scotch guy...

But I am now!

To my dear cousins in Bergen County

You know who you are.

And what I know is that the whole lot of you were way back when refugee-immigrants.

Just like us on the Canadian side.

We're all refugee-immigrants.

Let's join forces and sponsor a new generation of immigrants.

Even better, let's join forces and stop the ugly shit that's turning all these people into refugees in the first place.

Who's hand moves local talent to the big stage?

Or should that be "whose hand?"

It is one of the abiding incongruities of the English language.

Who's or whose?

I come to this as an ELL.  That's an "English Language Learner" in case you're not acquainted with the latest edu-babble.

Yes, as regular readers of this blog have long suspected, English is my second language.

I'm illiterate in my first language too...

But be that as it may, what I'm wondering about today is how the local garage band gets on the world stage.

I'm pondering this after a spell of watching videos of some of my rock and roll idols.

You're watching this or that video of whatever rock and roll icon, and you find yourself saying "I could do that..."

Or even better, "I did that at the Queen's Hotel in Elmwood ten years before the Rolling Stones made it famous!"

There you go; the music business is just another business.

Good management trumps great talent every time...

Piggies converge on trough in Hydro One pre-IPO feeding frenzy

This proposed Hydro One semi-privatization doesn't seem to have any point - other than tossing a few tens of millions to Bay Street folks for doing more or less nothing. After all, I don't imagine this would be a tough sell.

But our genius leader wants to buy off the Hydro One leadership just to make sure they're on board.

This project is STUPID from end to end and top to bottom.

Maybe that's why first the rank and file and now the management have been bought off to keep quiet about it.

My brother Mustafa

About twenty-five years ago or so I signed some papers that made me, along with half a dozen other folks, responsible for a refugee family from Afghanistan.

Yup, I sponsored Muslim refugee immigrants to this great Christian nation.

And I'm about to do it again.

This time, the refugee immigrants will be from Syria.

Unlike twenty-five years ago, the government is now making it more difficult for Muslims to get here. Their "pre-screening" seems to screen out Muslims in favour of "religious minorities" from that benighted land.

Mustafa and his sister were the first of that Afghan family to arrive in Canada. The parents came later. It will come as a revelation to most Canadians that those parents were both university professors in Kabul back in the day. Yes, women were at one time unveiled university profs in Afghanistan. That would be back in the days before we in the Nations of Virtue installed the Taliban in that country.

Afghanistan was a largely secular and democratic nation at the time, but was seen as drifting too close to the Soviet empire.

We fixed that good!

Just like we've subsequently fixed Iraq and Libya...

Mustafa and his sister and the parents have integrated quite nicely into this democratic and secular society.

Now the Nations of Virtue are fixing Syria.

Time to reach out to the next Mustafa.

Hope I die before I get old

There are multiple levels of irony come into play when The Who cancel a tour because Roger...

...IS TOO OLD TO TOUR!!!

Multiple levels...

I take it personally.

Personally, I've obviously got old first, 'cause I'm not dead yet!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Dr. Crispin.

But it's a fuck of a thing...

Ageing.

The Alzheimer highway...

I'll let you in on a secret... there's quite a few places around town where I can get the "senior" discount.

What the fuck is up with that?

As Jerusalem burns...

Netanyahu gloats.

No one has done more to destroy Israel than Binyamin Netanyahu.

Not Hamas.

Not Hezbollah.

Not the PLO.

As Jerusalem burns, Netanyahu is revelling in his success.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Wayner proves he's been a Weener all along

Back in the day, when a lot of beer guzzling mullet-heads in rec-rooms across this great nation watched Hockey Night in Canada religiously, we referred to The Great One as "Wayner," or the Trumpesque "The Wayner," and later in the evening, after a few beers and maybe a bottle toke or two had taken the edge off our religious experience, "Weener."

We were a million Bob and Doug Mackenzies in basements across the land, and the day Peter Pocklington sold The Great One to Bruce McNall, we wept as one.

Both McNall and Pocklington ended up in jail, but not for the crime of trading Wayne Gretzky to the Kings.

For his part, Wayne got over his betrayal by Peter Puck and struck up a bromance with McNall. Today's news that he's endorsing Big Steve shouldn't come as a shock. As great as he was as a hockey player, he's consistently been a failure as a judge of character.




Seems The Wayner's been a Weener all along...

Image result for gretzky harper

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Old boys club circles the wagons to keep new girl out of the election debate

I've been watching the Canadian election debate, brought to me by the national newspaper of record.

Absent from the debate is the leader of the Green Party. She won the last debate, which is why the old boys club made sure that she was excluded from this one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Harper gang determined to milk niqab controversy to the very last racist vote

Yesterday I erroneously referred to the Federal Court of Appeal as the country's "top" court. It isn't. The top court would be the Supreme Court of Canada.

Therefore it shouldn't come as a shock that Big Steve plans to keep the phoney niqab issue alive by promising to appeal yesterday's rejection of the niqab ban by the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. Observant Muslim women who choose to cover up in public would, if the Harperites prevail, join the one other identifiable, or rather unidentifiable group for whom covering up in public has been criminalized; anti-government protesters.

Two years ago Harper's Holy Rollers used their majority to steam-roll Bill C-309 through Parliament. That's a pungent piece of police-state legislation that makes it a criminal offence, punishable by up to ten years in prison, for anyone to cover their face at any gathering that the notoriously thin-skinned Harper gang deems "unlawful."

Makes you wonder where this country is headed, doesn't it? Luckily, there's still one group that's allowed to hide their identity while out and about in public...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Haiti expert admits pot-addled hillbilly had Haiti right all along!

The CBC has a Haiti story on view that pretty much verifies everything I've been saying for years, here and here for example.

Marylynn Steckley, a Canadian researcher, concludes after living in-country for six years that our "help" is destroying the country.

Duh!

And the pot-addled blogger didn't even have to spend six years there to figure out the obvious!

So Bill and Hillary and their Hollywood A-list cheerleaders have brought 5,000 sweatshop jobs to Haiti.

Wow!

5000 lucky Haitians are now working poor instead of unemployed poor!

As Canadians we've been more than complicit in damning the people of Haiti to their never-ending nightmare. We proudly assisted in forcing the democratically elected leader of the country from office. Twice.

That's somehow justified by some vague appeal to a racist truism that assumes us white folks know what's best for everybody else.

(Of course we do! The darkies went and elected the obviously insane Aristide into power... we had to save them from themselves by installing a safe stooge like Michel Martelly.)

Haiti is living proof that we don't.

Not that more proof was needed...

Top court slaps down Harper's racist niqab obsession

It was just this morning that I heard Big Steve on CBC radio expounding on how "all Canadians" are aghast that some of them Mooslim women want to "hide their identity" at the very moment they are being sworn in as Canadian citizens.

What an odious crock of racist shit!

By late afternoon it became apparent that not "all" Canadian's felt that way, including the three judges at the Federal Court of Appeal who said ixnay to Big Steve's race baiting.

Here's a quote from the CBC News website:

The case started with a lawsuit from Zunera Ishaq, a devout Muslim who moved to Ontario from Pakistan in 2008 to join her husband. Ishaq agreed to remove her niqab for an official before writing and passing her citizenship test two years ago, but she objects to unveiling in public at the oath-taking ceremony.
In the Federal Court ruling, Judge Keith Boswell said the government policy, introduced in 2011, violates the Citizenship Act, which states citizenship judges must allow the greatest possible religious freedom when administering the oath.
Boswell asked how that would be possible, "if the policy requires candidates to violate or renounce a basic tenet of their religion."
Alrighty then!
I don't know who Ms. Ishaq will be voting for come October 19, but I have a pretty good idea who she won't be voting for!
Welcome to Canada, Zunera!

Monday, September 14, 2015

How to be a professional blogger.

Don't ask me.

I have yet to make my first penny from my blogging efforts.

I'm an amateur...

I might post three blogs on a busy day. Hell, I've even had reckless binge days where I've posted six or seven!

That's not how the professional bloggers roll....

 Check this out.

Yup, "Goldenmean" has posted well over a 100 times today.

That's gotta be worth what, maybe five or ten bucks?...


That's how the pros roll...

We're not hamsters; let's get off the hamster wheel

I remember, somewhere in the course of my peripatetic voyage through post-secondary education, a prof by the name of Al Jefrey. Might have been Allan Jeffrey... or Jeffries.

Fact is, I don't remember him for his name. I remember him for the few nuggets of wisdom he imparted.

If you've spent any time at all in post secondary education, you'll appreciate the fact that nuggets of wisdom are few and very far between.

Al was one of those profs you could have a beer with. Or a few beers. Or a "what the fuck, it's last call already?" number of beers.

But Al left me with a couple of nuggets.

Nugget number one.

I remember Al saying, and I don't remember how many beers we were into teacher-student bonding at the moment, that he'd rather get screwed over once in awhile than lose faith in humanity.

That made a lasting impression on me. I've adopted Al's philosophy.

I'd rather deal with getting fucked over once in awhile than give up my faith in humanity.

Al's philosophy has become mine.

I've certainly been fucked over more than a few times...

But I still believe, from the bottom of my heart, that everybody deserves another last chance.

Al's other nugget was this; in the global race for all that shit that the global race is about; efficiency, productivity, profitability... we've lost.

Let's face it. Kids in South Korea, who have academic coaches from the time they're two years old, who have tutors from grade three on, who invest 80 hours a week in their education all through their teen years, who strive and connive to get into the best universities and commit suicide when they don't, are always going to kick our butts in standardized tests.

SO WHAT???

How is that a model for anything we should aspire to?

Let's get off the hamster wheel and rediscover what it means to be human.



Sunday, September 13, 2015

What to do when your Lamborghini conks out on a country road in Bruce County

True story.

I took the Mustang Fifty out for a spin yesterday, because she hadn't had any road time to speak of for months. So a mile down the road I pass the most amazing sight... an aging Subaru Outback wagon parked behind a Lamborghini. The hood is up on the Sub. The rear cowl is up on the Lambo.

There's a set of jumper cables tying the two together.

I guess the Lambo stopped to give a stalled Subaru a boost?

Nah...

It's one of those moments when you say "why don't I have my camera?"

An hour later me and the Farm Manager are heading off to our wedding adventure. The Subaru is gone, but the Lambo is still parked at the side of the road. Guess the problem was more than a stale battery. The owner was long gone but he left a minder with the car. Otherwise one of the locals would have had those rims and tires on his pickup truck before the day was done.

The FM snapped a picture with her phone as we drove by.




US air war on Islamic State creates 500% increase in Syrian refugees

According to this story at the Council on Foreign Relations website, there has been a five-fold increase in the number of refugees entering the EU from the Middle East compared to last year. Most of the refugees are Syrians.

So what is it these Syrians are fleeing? Assad's barrel bombs? Islamic State head-choppers? Or America's war on Islamic State in Syria?

What's changed in Syria in the past year? Assad's been dropping barrel bombs for four years. Islamic State has been lopping noggins for at least two. Why the sudden uptick in refugees?

The only significant change is that last August the US and a tiny consortium of half-hearted allies began bombing Syria. According to the US Department of Defense website, the US has bombed Syria about 2400 times since then. America's six coalition partners, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi, UAE, Canada, and Australia, have added a further 120 air strikes between them.

My question is this; could adding seven or eight US/coalition air strikes per day lead to a 500% increase in refugees fleeing the hell hole that is Syria? Even allowing for the fact that a USAF Paveway 500 pounder or a Hellfire missile is likely to cause a lot more carnage than a "barrel bomb," this seems a bit of a stretch.

So what else could account for the exponential rise in the number of Syrian refugees?

Could it be possible that our erstwhile NATO ally Turkey has been quietly opening the gates of the refugee camps and encouraging their inhabitants to seek greener pastures in the EU?

"Go west, young man! Take your wives and children too!"

And why might the wily Erdogan pursue such a strategy?

Here's why.



Not that long ago Assad and Erdogan were pals. Then that odious "uprising" came outta the blue, and Erdogan allowed his NATO overlords to convince him that if he just stabbed Assad in the back, the Syrian regime would crumble, and Erdogan would be a hero, not to mention the man of the day among his NATO peers.

That was four and a half years ago. Erdogan did his part. He stabbed Assad in the back.

Since then, pretty much everything has gone wrong. Instead of being heralded as a hero, Erdogan is stuck with billions of dollars in expenses for the millions of Syrian refugees that his misguided adventure has created.

Flooding Europe with Syrian refugees is Erdogan's way of paying back his NATO betters who have hung him out to dry.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"No clean water for 17 years" - the downside of a Harper Action Plan

I see where our Indian neighbours at Shoal Lake are getting all pissy about not having clean water for 17 years.

WTF is the matter with those people?

How do they fail to realize the magic of a "Harper Action Plan?"

I'm willing to bet that the Harper gang has more than once announced a clean water initiative for Shoal Lake.

But still those ingrates are complaining!

Why can't they just be happy with the announcements, like the rest of Canada...

Why do they insist on results?

What's the matter with those people?...

Kipling's daughters

Regular readers will know Kipling is the ageing pot-head that the pot-addled hillbilly has been consorting with since time immemorial.

Me and Kipling were both high school drop-outs from the medieval education system that failed us back in the late sixties - early seventies.

For my part, I eventually recognized that a little more education might be a good idea.

Kipling wasn't gonna have none of that. He recognized that if you worked your bag off you'd get to the prize long before those egg-heads who went to college.

The "prize" was well-defined. When we were high school drop-outs still in our teens, we knew the prize was a house in the country, a nice home shop, and a stable of cool cars. Me and Kipling agreed that by the time we were thirty there'd be at least a Corvette and a Cadillac parked in the home shops of our country estates.

Not to mention a decent 4x4 truck.

Well, life's got a way of tripping you up.

All of that and so much more was running through my head when I had the privilege and the pleasure of attending the wedding of Kipling's eldest daughter today.

What a wedding!

And what a slap in the face, what an eye-opener, to realize that our kids are getting married when we haven't yet achieved the dreams we had when we were younger than they are now!

Kipling's plan for reaching riches involved getting big in the trucking business. He jumped full bore into brick-hauling. Had a gold-plated contract with Canada Brick. That required taking on about a quarter million dollars worth of debt for the brick rig.

Things worked out super-hunky-dory for about six months. Kipling was delivering bricks all over Ontario and Michigan.

Then the bottom fell out of the house-building racket.

For my part, even after my fancy-pants education, I realized I could make way better money jumping into the housing boom.

I got incorporated.

I got registered with the Ontario Homebuilders Association.

I borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy building lots.

Then the bottom fell out of the house-building racket.

So me and Kipling, instead of enjoying our Cadillacs and Corvettes and our country estates before we're thirty, found ourselves, well into middle age, waking up in the same ditch.

But I digress.

This is about Kipling's daughters.

Kipling may have shunned higher education himself, but by the time he'd had life experience kick the shit out of him a few times, he knew enough to push it on his children.

And he did. That pot-addled hillbilly with a grade ten education never failed to impress upon his two daughters the value of more education.

It worked! 

Both of them are university graduates!

The one who got married today is an engineer. She hooked up with a farm lad who isn't intimidated by a smart woman with an education. That in itself is a blessing, because so many guys are.

He comes from a family of Austrian immigrants who settled here in the 70's, because at that time Canada still welcomed immigrants. They're a close-knit hard-working bunch of folks who, like most immigrants, have added immeasurably to the fabric of this country.

Me and the Farm Manager had to cut out before the serious partying got under way, but we agree that this was one of the best weddings we've ever been to.

It was held in a barn! How cool is that?

And the reception was in a museum!

Get outta here!

These kids twisted the nuts off the coolness factor!

We regret not being able to take full advantage of the open bar. We're getting on in years, and we had a long drive home ahead of us...

But what a joy it was to share this day with Amanda and Phil!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Some questions about the most recent wave of refugees

There are refugees, and then there are refugees.

German media recently featured an upbeat story about a couple of high-end Syrians staying at the home of Albert Speer's daughter in Berlin. One was an ophthalmologist and the other was a medical doctor. Frankly, that's the sort of "refugees" one would expect to find at the home of Albert Speer's daughter.

But alas, not all these refugees are doctors.

Speaking as hillbilly riff-raff, it pains me to suggest that Europe is being overrun by Middle East riff-raff. But this could well be the case.

First of all, where does this sudden deluge of refugees come from?

We have colluded with various Gulf States and our NATO ally Turkey for several years now to ensure that conditions in Syria are utterly intolerable. It is inconceivable that the recent up tick in refugee numbers is due to the state of things on the ground, simply because we've ensured that normal life in Syria is an utter impossibility.

Could it be that the most recent wave of refugees arrive courtesy of refugee camps in Turkey deliberately opening the floodgates?

If so, it would be prudent for the West to revisit its rationale for the massive guilt complex that seems to be driving refugee policy across the Nations of Virtue these days.

The Middle East is aflame because we set in on fire.

Harper claims Canada is number one for accepting refugees; CBC fact check reveals we're actually number forty-one

Check it out for yourself.

More and more often the mainstream finds itself in agreement with what the pot-addled think-tankers here at Falling Downs have been saying all along; Harper's Holy Rollers are a pack of lying weasels!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Harper announces that he will soon announce improvements to Syrian refugee plan that has been announced innumerable times already

It's the classic Harper strategy; bury the 'tards in a blizzard of announcements and hope they don't notice that you're not actually doing anything.

Our shipbuilding programs are a prime example. Big Steve has announced various iterations of our shipbuilding program for at least ten years, each accompanied by much theatrical posing and fanfare. Have any ships been built?

The Harper gang doesn't have a shipbuilding program. They have a shipbuilding announcement program.

Likewise with our program to assist Syrian refugees. We're gonna take in thousands. Months later, another announcement; we're gonna take in thousands; a few weeks later; we're gonna take in ten thousand more Syrian refugees. Over three years. After they've cleared security background investigations. Maybe...

Then the infamous Aylan Kurdi photo goes viral.

Harper announces that we are committed to what he's been repeatedly announcing. Unfortunately, those comprehensive background checks pretty much disqualify Syrians.

But don't worry; yesterday Harper announced that there'll be an announcement coming soon about speeding up the processing of would-be Syrian refugees.

I'm sure that news is music to the ears of the millions of Syrians caught between Assad's anvil and the Islamic State hammer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The fresh face of fascism in America

You can't underestimate how far beyond 1984 we are.

But just consider for a moment the impact that our fresh-faced new tech billionaires are having on the pillars of power.

Youthful nerds like Bezos and Zuckerberg and others harvest hundreds of billions from the "new economy" and suddenly find themselves owners of major media outlets and facilitators of government spying on everybody all the time.

And then they use their own propaganda outlets to convince us that they should be our heroes.

US commentariat exploding in shit-hemmorages as Russia joins battle against ISIS

There's always been a few brazen incongruities about our battle against Islamic State, or Daesh, or ISIS, or ISIL...  this terror meme with many names...

Like, we all agree that the evil Assad has got to go, but when enthusiastic young people from the Nations of Virtue venture to the Middle East to join the battle against the evil tyrant, we brand them "terrorists!"

What up with that?

But now we've got no less an international ogre than Putin himself offering to assist the West in the battle against the head-chopping maniacs of ISIS.

Well, hold the phone...

Putin is not welcome in our losing battle to confront and roll back those most terrorific towelheads of terror!

Not welcome?

How is such a thing even possible?

I'm no expert. I'm not a commentarian for any of the multitudinous think tanks that spew war-mongering drivel against Putin and Assad and anyone else who inconveniences the master plan of the PNAC crowd.

But I've got a hunch...

Just like we don't want those youthful but unreliable freebooters heading over to Syria to "free" the Syrian people from Assad, we REALLY don't need a professional military force over there fighting the terror scourge of ISIS.

Why?

Because they might destroy ISIS and thereby save Assad's skin...

And that would completely wipe out every reason we had for creating the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in the first place!


Harper's Rx for election victory: keep taxes low and towelheads out

Looks like Big Steve isn't about to alienate his base by showing weakness in the face of the unprecedented clamouring of Canadians at large that he "do something" to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees.

He is doing something. He's announcing, over and over, that Canada will admit up to 10,000 Syrians over a period of years, provided they pass strict security screenings. That's essential to keeping Canadians safe, of course, when these folks are coming from a country that features literally thousands of armed terrorist gangs.

And even more importantly, that's almost impossible to do. After all, how do you do an exhaustive background check on somebody who has lived in Aleppo all their life till three months ago? What were they doing six months ago? If they were Assad supporters... well, we wouldn't want that sort welcomed in Canada, would we?

And if they were against Assad, they were probably in cahoots with some terror outfit like al Nusra Front or, God forbid, ISIL itself! We obviously can't let that lot in either!

But in spite of these obstacles, we are making progress. With two hundred thousand Syrians dead, two million in refugee camps, and four million displaced from their homes, Canada has already provided security clearance for nine Syrian refugees.

That's not nine thousand, that's nine.

Yet those braying socialist Harper-haters still claim the man lacks compassion...


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Age chrystal-fondlers take drugs, massive ambulance convoy ensues

Read the story here.

Christian Taliban celebrate Kim Davis

I personally don't believe in gay marriage. At least not for me personally.

However, I'm all for gay folks having the freedom to marry other gay folks. I just don't see the problem. And if there is in fact a problem where I don't happen to see one, I for one am gonna let the Lord be the judge.

And I don't want to be too harsh on Kim Davis. Surely there were options here that didn't involve slapping her in the slammer.

Maybe Betsy, the liberal at the next wicket in the government office where Kim works, could have been summoned...

Kim: Betsy honey, would you mind?... I got a pair of poofers here want a marriage licence... and I just don't feel right with the Lord....

Betsy: Oh honey, you go and take your break. Let me look after this!

Problem solved!

No national headlines.

No jail for Kim.

Move along folks, nothing to see here...

Instead, the whole non-issue went another way.

Now you've got the unseemly spectacle of Ted and Mike fighting over the Kim Davis endorsement.

And you've got your Christian Jihadis proclaiming that they don't need to heed the Supreme Court when they've got the Supreme Being on their side...

Ya right!

Get outta here!..

Who are the internet traffic cops?

I've been doing this long enough to spot unnatural internet traffic patterns when I see them. I've been writing more or less the same (take your pick) obnoxious crap or profound insights for four years. Nothing I've written recently gets any page views after the first hour or so, whereas older stuff is still being viewed. That's not how things normally work.

This started after I published several slams of Big Steve early in September. I swear, some hidden hand hit the brakes. Ever since, a post will get three or four views and turn invisible.

I'm also curious about what happened to my Russia traffic. I'm curious because it's gone from being, over the past couple of years, one of my biggest audiences, to being practically invisible. That doesn't happen without someone making it happen.

Mysteries...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

If a Kentucky court clerk had denied a marriage license to a black couple...

...I think you'd be hearing a lot more outrage than what you've heard since clerk Kim Davis denied a marriage license to a gay couple.

Which presents us with several levels of irony...

Topmost among them being the question, "do black people choose to be black any more than gay people choose to be gay?"

Quick quiz for Middle East beginners

Here's today's assignment, kids.

Part A

Go on your internet and see what comes up when you google "images of Muslims being abused by Israeli police."

Part B

Stay on your internet, and see what comes up when you google "images of Jews being abused by Iranian police."

The fact that you can't find any pictures of Iranian police beating Jews has nothing to do with the relative scarcity of Jews there. In fact, there's a thriving Jewish community in Tehran.

Jews in Iran are protected by government edict.

Did you have any trouble finding pictures of Muslims in Israel being beaten by Israeli police?

Canada: half a million temporary foreign workers but no room for refugees

Big Steve and his side-kick Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander have seriously misread the Canadian street viz the European refugee crisis.

Seems most Canadians just want to help hurting refugees, especially those who find themselves in the headlines now, thanks to the tragic death of three year old Aylan Kurdi.

The Syrians.

Thanks to the photo of Aylan that went viral, Syrian refugees are the cause du jour.

Mr. Harper addressed the issue by re-announcing talking points that he has announced several times before; that Canada will accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years.

In the three years since he first made that promise, the number of Syrians who have actually arrived here has been negligible. In fact, government spokespersons get downright huffy when that question is posed.

It might be 2,000.

It might be 2.

We don't know because the Harper gang won't tell us.

This niggardliness with providing sanctuary to refugees is the worst performance by Canada since the refusal to accept Jews during WWll, documented in Irving Abella's book None is too many.

Since then, every Canadian government, Liberal and Conservative, has atoned for that by offering compassion and generosity to the world's huddled masses.

Hungarians arrived here in their tens of thousands after the 1956 uprising.

The "boat people" of Viet Nam also came in by the tens of thousands in the seventies.

Clearly Canada can accommodate and successfully integrate tens of thousands of refugees in a relatively short time.

The think tank here at Falling Downs has a draft plan pencilled up; we send home half a million temporary foreign workers at the end of their contracts, and replace them with refugee immigrants who are going to make a commitment to Canada.

Not just from Syria, but from Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Eritrea and Somalia.

Sounds like a win-win to me.


Ashley Callingbull for Prime Minister

The Mrs. Universe competition was started up in Eastern Europe circa 2007, as an antidote of sorts to Donald Trump's bimbos-in-bikinis Miss Universe property.

This year's winner was Ashley Callingbull Burnham, an aboriginal Canadian woman who lives on the Six Nations reservation in Ontario.

Google that name, and hold on to your hat. This woman is scary smart. And she's not shy about criticizing both the Canadian government's Department of Indian Affairs bureaucracy nor the aboriginal hierarchy. You only have to listen to her for a couple of minutes to realize she's got way more going on than Atleo or Bellegarde ever had.

Go Ashley!

Twilight in America; can Donald Trump's massive ego save America from itself?

My hunch is that Donald Trump's presidential campaign is, in the first place, all about Donald.

But, it's morphed into more than that. The reality-show veteran is making short work of the pretenders in America's ultimate reality show. Here's a rich guy telling the public that rich guys buy elections. For some reason, the public is willing to believe it when a rich guy says it.

Not that there weren't rich guys in elections before; I'm sure W has never in his life wondered where his next meal was coming from, but at least he had the decency to defer to his base - the .1 percenters.

And the Mormon was a hedge-fund sharpie who held untold millions or possibly billions in offshore tax havens; not that the American media had any problem with that, given that the story was completely ignored.

Trump's a different kind of cat. He doesn't mind giving his fellow billionaires the finger. Nor does he mind giving the mainstream media cabal the finger. Nor does he mind giving the forces of Political Correctitude the finger.

Ya, there's no doubt he's a vain megalomaniac.

But that might be what it takes to get the White House out from under the PACs and the lobbies and AIPAC.

Trump could very well be the best president since Camacho.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Will one picture of a dead toddler be a game-changer?

Not in Canada.

The Farm Manager actually asked me that question.

Will one picture of a dead toddler be a game-changer?

It's a question that has Media Studies 101 written all over it...

We've certainly tamped down on the "sociology" here during the Harper years. You know, the sociology that suggests that when you kill somebody's parents and grandparents, their children and grandchildren make it their life's work to kill you and your grandchildren and grandparents in return...

Yup, a lot of those backward folks in the Middle East buy into that kind of shit.

Which is something the morons in Ottawa should have given some thought to before they embarked on their "let's bomb ISIS" mission.

But, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes...

Lemmy's asthma

I see where the latest Motorhead tour is being seriously compromised by Lemmy Kilmister's health issues.

This seems to go far beyond Lemmy's warts.

They're soft-pedalling potential health issues like there's no tomorrow. It's the "high altitude venues" etc.

Get the fuck outta here.

It's the four packs of ciggies every day and the jug of Jack Daniels...

Lemmy gotta be the poster boy for getting maximum mileage out of limited talent.

And wringing 70 years out of a life-style that every medical professional on the planet would agree should have been over well before 35.

We love you Lemmy!

An honourable politician in the Harper gang? Forsooth... what was I thinking?

It's been a couple of days. For a few hopeful seconds I thought perhaps Immigration Minister Chris Alexander had a "Damascus" moment. Faced with the enormity of the impact the Aylan Kurdi photo made on the conscience of the nation, I'd hoped Mr. Alexander suspended his re-election campaign to reflect on how far on the wrong side of history the Harper gang finds itself.

It appears my hopeful seconds were misguided. All indications are that the Big Steve crowd are consolidating around their utterly contradictory positions on Syria. The evil Assad gotta go, but the Canadian Air Force is over there bombing the crap out of Islamic State, the only force on the ground with any chance of facilitating that outcome.

That's beyond delusional and self-defeating; it's utterly schizophrenic

Be that as it may, the only "Damascus" moment the Harperites are likely to have is when God tells them they have to drop more bombs on Damascus.

As for the refugees, Harper has handled that file like he handles the ship-building file. You don't actually ever have to do anything.

Just keep making new announcements every few months.

That's the beauty of governing by photo-op and press release!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Why is New York Times against Russia joining fight on ISIS?

There's an aura of despair about recent NYT stories about Syria.

Why?

If ISIS is such a scourge, shouldn't all assistance in the battle against the evil-doers be welcomed?

Apparently not.

Why?

Because Russia might actually harm ISIS, something the Western allies currently making war on Syria are loathe to do.

After all, our ISIS flunkies are the guys doing the heavy lifting for Uncle Sam.

Why are the words hedge, fund, manager, shit, and bag so often found in the same sentence?

I don't know either.

But I'm wondering; is shitbag really two words?

Shit bag?

Or is it just one word.

Shitbag.

Crack team of CBC investigative reporters zero in on octogenarian philanthropist with dementia

Michael DeGroote made his fortune in trucking and waste handling and school buses, among other things. I've never heard any serious person suggest that he did not achieve his fortune honestly.

At least so long as you don't count capitalism itself as a criminal enterprise, which is a not unheard of opinion.

But the Toronto Star is all over old Mike. They've got their crack investigative unit digging deep into the whetherornot of whether or not Mike ever did business with any reputed Mafia types in the course of his career.

For fucks sakes! Anybody who had any kind of business career in Ontario in the latter half of the 20th century did business at some point with "reputed Mafia types!"

What does that even mean?

How do alleged "investigative journalists" at the Toronto Star manage to single out Mr. DeGroote for public shaming and humiliation?

Are there not far more and far more serious scandals in the back rooms of Ottawa? Maybe that's where the Toronto Star should be shining a light.

More meddling in Syria required to solve tragedy caused by our meddling in Syria - Toronto Star

Yup, everything is Assad's fault.

Nothing that's happened in Syria in the past four years can be blamed on Qatar or Saudi Arabia or Turkey, all of whom have connived to flood Syria with well-armed foreign jihadis, none of whom would lift a finger to so much as pick their nose without a green light from Washington.

Toronto Star veteran Mitch Potter offers this "news" story which informs the reader that a "no-fly" zone will keep Syrian toddlers safe from the evil Assad, who is responsible for them drowning in the Mediterranean etc.

Sorry Mitch; last time the Nations of Virtue played that card was in Libya.

How has that worked out for Libyans?


Thursday, September 3, 2015

An honourable politician?

Read this story @ the Globe and Mail and then decide.

Even better, don't decide anything right now; wait a couple of days and see where Chris comes down on the issues...

armanaleg

I was sniffing around the Cobble Beach Concours a couple years ago, and for the $45 admission you'd want to be sniffing pretty hard, when I spotted this California Spyder in the Ferrari display right in front of the Cobble Beach Hotel.

The cars all had these little podiums with car and owner info on it.

This particular car had the name of a local young fellow on it, a fellow I knew of vaguely, and who I couldn't quite fathom as the owner of that particular car.

The car sported the personalized license plate, "armanaleg."

So I asked around...

Turns out my young friend with the Ferrari had a horrific motorcycle accident a few years earlier. He lost an arm and a leg.

But he gained a Ferrari Spyder with the insurance money!

I guess I'm thinking about these things due to my recent motorcycle purchase.

I could lose an arm and a leg...

But my new car could be on view at the Cobble Beach Concours next year!


When your conscience doesn't allow you to do your job, you need to get a new conscience or a new job

I see where Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is maxing out her 15 minutes of fame with her principled stand against gay marriage.

That's all hunky-dory, but what the extreme right fundy set is doing here is creating an icon out of someone who should just be ignored.

I'm a principled pacifist, but my gig at Saint John Shipbuilding, building warships for the Royal Canadian Navy, was one of the best I ever had.

Those frigates were gonna get built whether I got a paycheque out of it or not. Just like same-sex couples in Kentucky are gonna get hitched whether Kim Davis approves or not.

Kim, I respect your stand on principal. At the same time, if it's all that important to you, you need to do the right thing and fall on your sword. By which I mean, quit your job.

Being a public servant doesn't entitle you to grandstand on behalf of archaic religious beliefs.

Globalization and mass migration

There's nothing new about refugees. My own parents count themselves among the 15 million ethnic Germans who fled Eastern Europe towards the end of the WWll.

We are constantly reminded by our media that the current wave of migrants/refugees represent the largest population movement since those dark days.

Why? And why now?

Why? Once people are sufficiently desperate, they will risk everything in an attempt to improve their lot and that of their children. Over the past generation we in the virtuous West have done our very utmost to destroy the quality of life in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria.  We have largely succeeded.

While the citizens of those countries have had their quality of life destroyed, technology has simultaneously allowed them to view daily a vastly overblown cornucopia of Western propaganda that relentlessly trumpets the fact that here in the Nations of Virtue the streets are indeed paved with gold. When you've already lost everything but your life, why not risk that in a desperate attempt to make it to The Promised Land?

Hundreds of thousands are seeing the logic in that.

For the Africans the back-story is only slightly different. For the most part they haven't been recently dispossessed by our subterfuges about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction or that despicable ruse of empire, the fatuous "responsibility to protect" doctrine, or R2P.

Instead, they've been dispossessed by the last several hundred years of colonialism, including the neo-colonialism of the supposed "post-colonial" era. They too, thanks to the ubiquity of modern technology, are inundated with Hollywoodesque representations of life in the West. As long as they see heaven in the West and we keep making their worlds hell, those refugee-migrants will keep on coming.


Dead babies - the Canadian connection

By this morning we have a name to go with yesterday's horrible pictures, Aylan Kurdi. According to the Toronto Star, Aylan's family had applied for refugee status in Canada but was turned down.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Let's shed a few crocodile tears for that drowned Syrian toddler while we continue to deny our responsibility for his death

It's some ugly shit unfolding over there...

Migrant boat accident in Turkey

I've walked a lot of beaches in my time but I've never happened on a dead baby.

Hey, didn't Alice Cooper have an album about that?

Well there you go then... Alice Cooper, golf-mate of US presidents, foretold this travesty.


This may pass in the Nations of Virtue. There will be a thousand rationalizations as to why this is not our fault. Fact is, the "Syrian Uprising" has been a Western project from the get-go. How can we possibly avoid responsibility when the collateral damage is washing up on the beach?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No-brainer headline of the week

Hiker lost 9 days in Sierra Nevada regrets leaving her group.

No shit!

I wasn't kidding when I said "no-brainer."

But lost as she might have been, thank God she found her 15 minutes of fame!

What liberals and bikers have in common

On the face of it, not much.

When you dig a little deeper though, a few nuggets might turn up.

Biker culture has undeniable working class roots. Guys who wear patches and ride Harleys work in steel fab shops and truck repair joints and on construction sites large and small.

They're working folks.

Most so-called liberals consider "working folks" their grass roots.

Their bread and butter.

Their "base."

Unfortunately, those liberals also consider themselves "the vanguard of the proletariat."

Sorry folks.

The vanguard has to come FROM the proletariat, not out of sociology or poly-sci programs in Ivy League schools.

I'm sure Louis Proyect could set me straight on everything I've said here.

But at the end of the day, bikers and liberals are both dedicated to improving the lot of the working class.



Harper's cynical manipulation of the Maher Arar file

That's a file open since at least 2002. In fact, CSIS obviously had a file on Mr. Arar well before that.


Mr. Arar was the Canadian dispatched to Syria for "questioning" by the US. Yup, that was back in the day when Assad was still a "good guy" and an ally of the Nations of Virtue. "Questioning" protocols have a little more elasticity in Syria than they do in the Nations of Virtue. "Question" a probable terrorist like Mr. Arar here in North America and all the bleeding heart soft-on-terror types will accuse you of torture.


So to keep our hands clean, we connived with the CIA to have Assad's thugs do the "questioning."


Mind you, that was while he was still a good guy.


There's nothing new in the Arar file, but at least thirteen years after the fact and ten years into the Harper regime, we suddenly get the news that the RCMP is charging a Syrian military officer in the torture of Maher Arar.


Could the timing of this announcement have anything to do with the fact that Harper is in the midst of a too-close-to-call election campaign?


What does the Harper gang get out of this?


A chance to silence Paul Martin, who's been a little too vocal in his support of Justin Trudeau. Martin was PM when the Arar fiasco originally unfolded.


A chance to change the focus from the faltering economy to the evil Assad.


A chance to pose yet again as the tough-on-terror, tough-on-crime strongman.


Are we expected to believe that the timing of these charges is a coincidence?

Obviously!


Otherwise, there would have to have been some pressure from the Harper gang to impact the fortuitous timing of this announcement from the RCMP, and that would be hugely inappropriate.

Maybe even illegal?!


You don't think anybody in the PMO would stoop that low, do you?