Monday, February 29, 2016

Why are mainstream media soiling their shorts at the prospect of a Trump sweep @supertuesday?

Just for fun, go to a few of your usual GOP cheerleader news sites and check out the op-eds...


Here's why; even though Hillary's club represents more or less the same constituency as the GOP, a Hillary victory would leave the cherry-picking machinery in foreign hands.

The big dogs showering super-pac dollars on the GOP want that machinery in their hands.

And if that fucking Manhattan Liberal Mr. Trump steals it out from under their noses...

...well, that's worth shitting your pants for.

How to cut millions out of police budgets without really trying

Police department budgets have been much in the news of late. In fact, if you believe the bullshit, the Toronto Police Budget is so wildly out of control it threatens to bankrupt the city. Most of this budget hysteria is of course carefully crafted propaganda designed to soften up the citizenry to the desirability of turning well-paid unionized police jobs into poverty level bylaw enforcement officer jobs.

It's in that context that the revelations about the Nuttall-Korody case in Vancouver caught my eye. According to the CBC, Vancouver PD  paid out almost a million in overtime to officers working on the Nuttall-Korody entrapment project.

But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg! The CBC story reveals that there were over 240 officers working on this file at peak entrapment moments! While there's no detailed breakdown, it's obvious that just the "investigation" phase of this project ran into the tens of millions of dollars.

Then of course there was the lengthy trial itself, which ran into further millions, and assuming our "terrorists" are now sent to the big house for lengthy sentences, we can spend multiple further millions providing their room and board.

If you've read anything at all about these two sad-sack "terrorists" you'll realize that they were a couple of losers at the end of their string, easily strung along in this great terror conspiracy they were unwittingly being woven into. "Unwittingly" would be the key term here - what a pair of dimwits!

These were desperate down-on-their-luck people; easy prey for the grandiose scheme they were entrapped in. Had but a small fraction of the resources devoted to their entrapment been made available for their upliftment, Korody and Nuttall might have been able to make their lives manageable.

But then we wouldn't have this politically expedient terrorist threat!

In Toronto, no one knows how many millions were spent out of the police budget to frame up the "Toronto 18." A couple of professional Muslim informants made out like bandits in that case, netting millions for their undercover (ie frame-up) work reprogramming a gang of paintballers into wannabe terrorists. Presumably that case sucked up even more police budget than the Nuttall - Korody case.

Then you have your VIA RAIL terrorists, wherein multiple further millions of police budget were squandered in nailing a mentally ill guy and his opportunistic sidekick, all for the sake of convincing the public that we have oh so much to fear!

So here's the essence of my plan to save police departments many millions of dollars; if your terror "sting" investigations require dozens or even hundreds of officers working months or possibly years to coax along some gullible marks to commit some indictable offence, they're probably no threat to the public to begin with.

Clarence Thomas stuns Supreme Court by waking up, questioning lawyers

Supreme Court insiders are agog today over the fact that Justice Clarence Thomas actively participated in a court hearing for the first time in ten years!

Justice Thomas has always claimed that his silence is due to the fact that he relies on written arguments in rendering his decisions and therefore does not find it necessary to participate in court proceedings. Insiders note that while that excuse may bear an element of truth, the reality is that Thomas has snoozed through the great majority of court hearings over the past ten years.

Lawyers appearing before the court have often been astounded at the sight of Justice Thomas slumped in his chair with his eyes closed and his mouth open. "If his snoring got too loud or he started drooling, Scalia would gently elbow him in the ribs to wake him," one insider revealed.

Perhaps the passing of Justice Scalia has caused Thomas to approach his judicial duties with renewed vigour. After all, he is now the point man for the Court's right wing, and there's nothing snooze-worthy about that.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pot-addled hillbilly plans secret underground railroad to flood Trump's America with Muslims

I've been working on the Farm Manager to ditch Falling Downs and move back to the Maritimes.

Already have a spot picked out, right on the ocean, a mere twenty minutes north of Calais, Maine. I know the neighbourhood well. Used to frequent the highways and byways of the Quoddy Bay area back when I toiled at the drydock. The bay was a thousand fishing boats, one RCMP patrol boat, and a US Coast Guard presence so slight you could go months without seeing any sign of it. The Canadian Border Patrol had a wee office on Deer Island, where it was not unusual to find a locked door and a sign advising you that they'd be back in fifteen minutes.

Life's been good here at Falling Downs, and it's sad to think of leaving, but the time may be nigh upon us. We're not getting any younger. I miss the taste of sea salt in the air. We enjoy good health, more or less, for now at least, although the twin spectres of creeping dementia and pending manganism haunt me daily.

The Farm Manager is up and down about my plan. Her main objection seems to be what are we gonna do for money. I did some research, and it turns out there's lots of jobs in the general area. Mostly "seafood processing" jobs. In fact, there's such a shortage of workers that one of the local companies had to dump tons of lobster at the landfill just because they couldn't find workers.

Dig a little deeper into this labour shortage, and a couple of things become apparent. First of all, the seafood industry on the east coast has, over the past ten years, become heavily dependant on "temporary foreign workers." That's because the locals balk at standing in a refrigerated building in rubber boots, gloves, and aprons for forty-four hours a week ripping apart lobsters for minimum wage.

But world events have conspired to change these very local circumstances, and that's where the pot-addled hillbilly sees a once in a lifetime opportunity. Now, I know the regular reader will be skeptical, (hi Bob!) because most of my once in a lifetime opportunities have ended in bankruptcy court, but I think I'm on to something here!

Consider the aforementioned world events:

  • the rise of Trump
  • Trump's  promise to ban Muslims from America
  • the flood of Muslim refugees out of countries that America's foreign policy (ie bomb Muslim countries) has made uninhabitable
So here's how it's gonna shake out, and no, me and the Farm Manager aren't going to be standing on one of those seafood processing assembly lines for nine hours a day, soaked through and freezing cold as we rip the claws off live lobsters... temporary foreign workers from Syria and Afghanistan and Iraq are!

As Donald Trump well knows, most of those folks who have walked to Germany REALLY want to be in America, and they know Trump won't let them in. They also know that Canada is right next door. So they see a chance to go to Canada as temporary foreign workers, and bingo! Next thing you know, the labour shortage in east coast seafood plants is solved! 

But that is only step one in my brilliant plan. Once these folks are here in their thousands, nay, tens of thousands, step two kicks in. 

These folks have already demonstrated that they are not averse to paying smugglers to get them over borders, and there's tons of locals in New Brunswick who have been making a mockery of the Maine - New Brunswick line for generations. Hell, when I worked at the drydock, there was guys who'd take your booze order on a Thursday and it would be waiting for you in the parking lot on Friday. So now, instead of making ten bucks taking a forty pounder of Crown Royal into Canada, they'll be making a thousand delivering a Syrian migrant to Bangor!

And me? I'm just the broker... keep my hands clean and collect the money!

What could go wrong?

But time is of the essence, as they say. With the creeping dementia, there's always the risk I could forget parts of this plan, which is why I wrote it down here. 

And the pending manganism - that's a variant of Parkinson's disease brought on by exposure to welding fumes, can leave me vibrating like a cheap sex toy when I'm having a bad day.

So we gotta move fast.

When you click on this blog and find the name changed to "The View From Quoddy Bay," you'll know we're there.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chris Christie first establishment Republican to break ranks and back Trump

The think tank here at Falling Downs once pegged Christie as the guy to beat for the Republican nomination. That was before Bridgegate though, and we correctly called that as the deal breaker in Christie's run for the White House more than two years ago.

So what's going to be the quid pro quo for today's endorsement? There's the obvious innuendo floating about that Christie is desperately angling for the VP slot, and perhaps that's the case. On the other hand, there's more than a little truth in Christie's claim that Trump is the only guy who can beat Hillary.

How do we know it's going to be Hillary? As they say, the fix has been quite obviously "in" from the beginning. Machine politics is being micro-managed much more efficiently on the Dem side. Bernie's popular appeal isn't going to upend the Democratic establishment like Trump's is in the process of doing on the Republican side.

What Bernie and Trump have in common is that they are both, for lack of a better word, "protest" candidates. They both appeal to voters who have lost faith in the political establishment. Assuming that Hillary becomes the candidate, Bernie's disillusioned followers will be more likely to vote for the other anti-establishment candidate than for Hillary.

Trump has no official political baggage, but even a casual perusal of his public positions on any number of issues suggests that he's got more in common in terms of principles with Bernie than with the GOP establishment. Sure, he dismays the purveyors of political correctitude with his bellicose populism, but at heart the man is a dyed in the wool East Coast Liberal.

That's why, from the point of view of the Trump camp, taking on an establishment running mate like Christie would be risky. It would suggest that Trump is on the way to being co-opted.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

About that Ezrin - Kanye feud

I have to admit I've got a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Bob Ezrin. He and I graduated from the same rehab program way back when.

Not only that, but he's produced some of the best rock albums of the last 40 years.

Kanye West, on the other hand, claims to be 53 millions in debt for...  for what?

For telling it like it is? Welllll.... not really.

For staging massive publicity stunts designed to promote himself?


For living a billionaire's lifestyle on a millionaire's income?

I'm not really sure what exactly Kanye is famous for, other than being mixed up with that Kardashian gang, but I totally get Ezrin's speculation about Kanye's actual talent level. I'm pretty sure the stable of artists sampling Kanye's wares thirty years from now is going to be really really small and totally inconsequential.

Whereas the stable of artists Bob has produced will be sampled in perpetuity by the upper echelon of tomorrow's creatives.

Fox News goes Trump positive

Even a couple of weeks ago you could not have imagined a headline like this; What is a Trump Republican? GOP front-runner building diverse coalition.

What that tells me is Fox is trimming its sails and keeping their options open. We may be a long way from an endorsement, but at the same time we've come a long way from the network's obvious attempts to trip up Trump in that first debate.

Maybe that was Rupert's way of testing Trump's mettle. In any event, the most influential media network in America is now inventing Trump-friendly memes (Trump Republican) and claiming he is building a diverse coalition, neither of which were conceivable in the very recent past.

For many years the Murdoch empire has been happy enough to serve as the house organ for the GOP establishment. If Trump has a strong showing on "super tuesday," Murdoch may well gamble on abandoning that establishment in favor of a Trump endorsement. That would herald the crumbling of the old order and the birth of a new era.

Just imagine; a NYC liberal at the helm of the GOP, with an endorsement from Fox News!

How messed up is that?

That would be the biggest yank on America's cultural leash since Chris Rock noticed that the top rapper was a white guy and the top golfer was black.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

US aghast that China may be "militarizing" South China Sea

Hey, that's OUR job, according to US Admiral Harry Harris...

Harry Harris (do you figure this guy got more than his share of hazing?) is mightily discombobulated over the fact that China "might" be militarizing the South China Sea.

Hey Harry, lighten up. There's a reason this particular sea is called the "South China Sea" and not the South USA Sea.

Look at a map or someting.

At ease, Admiral...

It's called the South China Sea and not the South USA Sea because it's none of your fucking business who militarizes it and why.

How about you about face and figure out what to do with the 50 million Americans living below the poverty line instead of worrying about the South China Sea!

News Flash: Saudis using Canadian-built combat vehicles for combat purposes!

Well isn't that just a shocker!

What did the dweebs in Ottawa think the Saudi's were going to do with those combat vehicles?

Give the Indonesian guest-workers rides to the beach?

Ferry the at-risk Riyadh fairies home from the gay bars after a night on the town?

What, they've been reading this blog or something?

How retarded are these people?

Of course combat vehicles get used for combat!

Two years too late, Canada's mainstream media are waking up to the fact that Canada sold thousands of combat vehicles to one of the most enthusiastic human-rights violators on the planet?

JournalismIS... what?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Perils of the poet's life

I see where a blocked poet in China was seeking a spot of inspiration on the mountain, as poets will.

Then he couldn't get down!

Poet seeking inspiration stranded on cliff for hours

No word on whether he found his muse.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Trump will bury Hillary in November

Today's results bode well for the prospect of serious change in DC.

On the Dem side, Hillary is the anointed candidate of and for the establishment. Bernie is more likely to be Trump's VP candidate than Hillary's.

What a lot of folks in the mainstream media seem to struggle with is that Main Street America is sick to death of "the establishment." That would be the establishment on both sides of the aisle.

For far too long the "establishment" has been running a two horse race out of one stable; the one owned by the corporate aristocracy. That's the military-industrial aristocracy, the oilygarchy, the pharma mafia, and all the rest of them. They've got Hillary firmly in their pockets.

Donald Trump, fortunately, is something else again.

A free-range outsider who isn't in hock to any interest group in the beltway. A real estate promoter who has always counted on a viable middle class to buy the stuff he puts up. A viable middle class, in Trump's world view, trounces all that war-mongering exceptionalism that flows so readily out of the mouths of every other candidate.

If there's ever going to be change in the way things work in Washington, Donald Trump can make it happen.

New research reveals billionaires underpaid

Yup, the good folks at Fox News crunched the numbers, and they found that billionaires are good for us. In fact, the Forbes 400 "created or control ten million jobs across the country."

Not only that, but it's a proven fact that successful entrepreneurs reap a mere 3% share of the value of their enterprise. Three percent!

The other 97% is their gift to society!

Nor should we even think about raising taxes on the super-rich, because they'll just hire more tax lawyers, or stash their money in tax havens, or leave the country.

Or all of the above!

So what America really needs is more billionaires creating more jobs and paying fewer taxes.

THAT would truly make America great again!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Something's gone terribly wrong with how we train our police

Me and the Farm Manager were somewhat acquainted with a local kid who had dreams of becoming a cop. That's not a bad dream to have; hell, any kind of dream for kids today is a good dream to have... these are tough times for dreamers.

So this skinny brown kid heads off to one of the many colleges offering the "police foundations" course. That's an invention of the community college system intended to offer pre-police-training training to aspiring police officers. Thirty or forty years ago these programs did not exist. Now they are ubiquitous.

The community college system spews out at least ten times more "police foundations" graduates than will ever find real policing jobs. Most of them will spin their wheels in various iterations of security guard work. It's a hyper-competitive job market for "police foundations" grads.

We saw a picture of our skinny brown friend after his first year of police foundations. This skinny kid had morphed into a hulk. He was massive. Massive in a way that just screamed ROID ALERT. I don't care how much time he spent in the weight room - his new physique could only be the result of steroids.

Police college is a hyper-competitive environment. It stands to reason that people will do whatever they can to stand out. Only the buffest and toughest police foundation grads are going to be the ones getting interviews for real police jobs. Every student will do whatever they can to be seen as the buffest and toughest.

If you're going to land a gig in any regular police force in Canada, you'll be looking at a six-number annual pay within two or three years.

And if you don't, you'll be doomed to min wage security guard jobs.

Naturally, normal looking smart people are going to miss out. That's why sheer adrenalin and raw stupidity took over when our local cops had that murder suspect cornered on the GO bus last night.

Once they knew, or thought they knew, that their suspect in this murder investigation was on this bus, all they had to do was meet the bus at Union Station and quietly have a couple of officers accost him. That's how a reasonable person would have handled the situation.

But no, since this operation was in the hands of roid-addled hyper-macho crime fighters, they had to close off one of the busiest highways in Toronto, inconvenience thousands of people, endanger the lives of the other passengers on the bus, and create worldwide headlines that universally lampoon police stupidity.

It all comes down to police training.

Keystone Kops ride again!

Cops do the darndest things sometimes, especially when they're the guys who didn't graduate near the top of the class at the police academy.

This has got to be a classic knee-slapper!

Police intelligence tracks down a murder suspect. They figure he's on a GO bus between Hamilton and Toronto. They set out in a high speed convoy, force the bus over, block traffic, and they're ready for the take-down.

This is where it gets good. They order the busdriver off.

Then they order him to lock the door.

Great! They've got their man! He's locked up on the bus... along with two dozen other passengers!

To serve and protect indeed!

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

UK foreign policy "a dog returning to its vomit"

That's the word from former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford.

Ford eyeballs the latest Cameron strategies for the UK to involve itself further in the Syrian debacle and is completely revolted, as am I, but he's got a little schlepp that comes with his opinion, having been a serving UK ambassador in the time of Phoney Tony.

And of course the UK is also a full partner in the planning for a re-liberation of Libya, because that's entirely gone for a shit since the last time the Nations of Virtue liberated it. You'd think a reasonably intelligent person would stop and think twice, maybe three times, about what we plan to accomplish this time round.

Then again, that dog returning to its vomit probably doesn't give matters a second or third thought either.

Why we need a condo salesman in the White House

I'm amazed at the opprobrium some of my "progressive" friends have been directing my way since I started posting positive stuff about Donald Trump.

Positive in the sense that, with apologies to Bernie, Trump is the candidate from either side who has the most potential to affect REAL change on America's criminally dysfunctional political system.

That's because he's the only candidate calling out the entire system as criminally dysfunctional.

But my friends are all "oh he's a racist and a sexist and blah, blah, blah, and oh he's going to ban Muslims from the US and build a fence in the middle of the Rio Grande!"

Relax already!

Stop hyperventilating already!

Ever been to the unveiling of a new condo development? Remember all the bells and whistles and rainbows and unicorns you were promised in the sales pitch?

And how much of that was delivered when you took possession?


That's why I'm not worried about the Muslims and the Mexicans.

Five years on, NATO's criminal destruction of Libya still Gaddafi's fault

After all, he forced our hand. Had the Nations of Virtue not dispatched the vile ogre, he'd still be slaughtering his own people in their millions to this day...

At least that's the nonsense professional apologist for Empire Dr. Guma El-Gamaty has on view at Al Jazeera today. He trots out all the usual canards that he's been trotting out for the past five years; the mass rapes, the imminent genocidal massacres that NATO stopped in the nick of time, the claim that "no Western troops set foot on Libyan soil." (A lie that was debunked even as the war was going on.)

Mr. El-Gamaty's sour grapes are understandable. When he became a much-favoured "Libya expert" on mass media back in 2011, he hadn't been to the country in almost thirty years. He was a British academic with no profile whatsoever in Libya, but for a few brief months he seemed destined for great things. The neo-colonialist "liberators" had him pegged for a prominent leadership role in the new era of democracy they were ushering into Libya.

Must have hurt to see his glorious future go up in smoke.

Speaking of going up in smoke, the record shows that the "rebels" were a lot less enthusiastic than what El-Gamaty recalls. I remember news stories about hash-addled rebels keeping their powder (and their hashish) dry while waiting for the NATO big dogs to do the heavy lifting.

The Libyan revolution was a fraud perpetuated by the Nations of Virtue on the people of Libya, who continue to pay the price today. From the highest standard of living in all Africa, free or deeply subsidized housing, health care, and education, to a bankrupt, violence-ridden failed state, only an idiot could continue to claim our liberation of Libya was a positive accomplishment.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Anatomy of a dismal weekend

I see where there may be some conspiracy theories brewing re: the demise of Justice Scalia. Found dead on a remote ranch in Texas? My guess is he was watching the NBA all-star boondoggle and couldn't take the excitement.

Well, as they say, when your time is up, your time is up. If that hadn't finished him off I'm guessing he would have succumbed to the Grammys tonight. Speaking of which, since when are the Grammys on Monday night? WTF is up with that?

There I was cosied up in the La-Z-Boy in front of the TV last night, waiting for the Grammys to come on...


...and waiting...

And waiting some more, and guess what?

No fucking Grammys!

No, the shifty fucks have moved them to Monday night, if such a thing can even be imagined...


So it looks like Junior is off to U of T in the fall to study the dismal science. Called up a couple of dismal scientists I know and they claim that's a reasonable enough choice. Frankly, I thought they could have done a little more on the scholarship end of things. If I gotta re-mortgage the place to put a kid through school I would have preferred he go to Wharton.

Like Donald Trump.

You know you're drunk when this happens...

So Buddy is on his way to wherever, and being in a bit of a rush, decides to take a shortcut.

Gets his car stuck on the rail trail and calls 911... of course he does.

What else could you possibly do when you find yourself drunk and hopelessly lost, your car irretrievably bogged down on a snowmobile trail in Grey County?

Us locals know we're stupid, but it never fails to amaze us how stupid folks from away can get when they get here...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Erdogan doubles down on Armageddon

I see where the wily Erdogan is instigating an act of war on neighbouring Syria. He's shelling the very Kurds that the US and Canada have been "training."

Insofar as this is true (and you have to hedge your bets, because the story is sourced from that one-man intelligence network run by Rami Abdulrahmen who hasn't been in Syria for twenty years) it would be perfectly logical for Syria's military to retaliate.

Then what?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

His excellency Paul Kagame and the taint of genocide

There's no doubt that Paul Kagame, favorite African house-pet among the bigs in the Nations of Virtue, was mixed up to the ying-yang in that Rawandan genocide a few years back.

Kagame is in Toronto this weekend, and I'm not, so I lost my chance to confront him while he's enjoying face time with the NBA types who are affording him a warm welcome.

Giants of Africa and all that patronizing shit.

Nevertheless, this story from Canada's national newspaper of record does manage to raise a few questions, although I was flabbergasted that the word "Congo" never comes up.

But still, good for the Globe!

It's gotta be tough to take on a guy who has become an icon of virtue.

What you'll really have to search hard for is any video evidence of that sit-down where Kagame and Simon Wiesenthal were congratulating one another for their respective roles in ending genocides once and for all...

That is truly cringe-worthy.

More bullshit about the shady underbelly of the world 'o real estate

Marsha Lederman, who has apparently kissed enough ass to get the page two opinion slot at Canada's national newspaper of record, today holds forth on the criminal conspiracies that are driving Vancouver real estate values.

She's waxing wise on the shadow flipping that many Vancouver realtors allegedly engage in. Here's a quote: ...a real estate agent resells a property multiple times with increasingly higher values before the sale closes, giving the agent multiple commissions...

I don't pretend to be an expert on the real estate business, but as I understand it, a real estate agent gets paid only when a deal closes. If an "agreement of sale" contract changes hands a few times before a deal closes, this does not in any way mean the agent got multiple commissions.

Shame on Marsha for sliming the real estate industry with this tawdry innuendo.

How to invent news when there isn't any

Have you heard about the crisis in Canada's largest big-city police force?

Yup, there's a crisis with that runaway budget. It's "out of control," as we've been told innumerable times by every news platform in the land.

The front page of Canada's newspaper of record has an ominous foreshadowing of the ugly stories to be found inside today's edition, and front and centre, taking up a full third of the front page, is a picture of a Toronto Police badge and the words "THE RECKONING."

It's gotta be bad if a serious news purveyor like our national newspaper of record goes all caps on the reckoning.

The reckoning starts with a very scary graph on page M1. Oooohh is it scary! It takes up almost half a page to show us that the Toronto Police Services budget has gone from 600 millions in 2001 to an astonishing 1.1 billion today!!!

Oh my goodness! No wonder Toronto can't afford to fix potholes!

Naturally, with a buildup like this I'm gonna read the story for sure. Sounds to me like some of those professional journos are earning their pay for once... unless those guys are unpaid interns...

Sure enough, three paragraphs in I stumble over the out-of-control billion dollar budget meme.

Oddly enough, nowhere in the entire story do I encounter the words "inflation" or "population growth."

I suppose that's because if you took those factors into account, the actual increase in policing costs per person has been entirely inconsequential. Yes, it's gone up marginally, but that's it. There's no story here to speak of.

So what's with the big hoo-ha?

Here's a brief quote from page M4 that gives away the game; "...bringing in lower-paid civilians to performs (sic; proof reading has gone down the shitter in this age of efficiency) traditionally done by officers."

So THAT'S what's up! There's a crisis in the out-of-control police budget, and we can only wrestle that crisis down by turning reasonably well-paid unionized police jobs into shit jobs!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fate (with a little help from Uncle Sam) hangs Gulen's garland on front door of Erdogan's palace

Erdogan's power-play is in its death throes.

The think tank here at Falling Downs has been entertaining speculations re the Erdogan Gulen feud for some time.

You can't put all the blame on Erdogan.

It was his NATO betters who convinced him to be point man in the Assad regime change. Assad wouldn't last more than a few months, at the most.

That's what they told the reluctant Erdogan.

After all, Assad and Erdogan used to be pals!

But no, Erdogan took the counsel of the NATO brain trust... and there he is today, issuing ultimatums to the US; you back the Kurds or you back me...

...that long silence you heard was the sound of Gulen's garland being hung on the front door of the palace.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"Shadow flipping" comes out of the shadows

Here's a story from CBC about a time-honoured tradition in the world 'o real estate; assigning a contract.

That's where, having sealed an agreement to purchase, you sell that agreement to a third party.

This has been going on since forever, and it's actually where the free-market highway meets the rubber of contract law.

If I'm not mistaken, one of the Vancouver papers broke this and coined the "shadow flipping" meme, and then the CBC ran with it.

This "flipping" happens in virtually every new condo development. Most of the folks who buy at the intro are looking to sell their contracts on.

This story, such as it is, is not about a handful of opportunists looking for easy money; it's about a handful of desperate journalists looking for one last kick at the can.

Meanwhile in Cairo

Two and a half years ago the Nations of Virtue, hyperventilating hypocrites forever prattling about the virtues of human rights and democracy, applauded as one while Generalissimo Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi dispatched the only democratically elected government in the history of Egypt into the dustbin of history.

That military coup allegedly saved Egypt's nascent democracy, as military coups often do, especially when the deposee is out of favour in the capitals of the West, as was Morsi.

The consensus among people who follow these matters is that human rights in Egypt are under al-Sisi worse than under Mubarak and much worse than under Morsi. Yet the Generalissimo is made welcome when he travels abroad to visit with the Prime Minister of England or the President of France.

It was therefore interesting to see how that great liberal news purveyor, The Guardian, handled two separate but related Cairo stories today. Pile of trouble; gigantic red carpet stirs up Egyptian media storm is about the Cairo authorities laying down a few miles of red carpet so that the presidential motorcade could drive to an engagement... on the red carpet!

Is that messed up or what?

That's the kind of wanton display of excess and tastelessness that you'd expect from a bankrupt banana republic, isn't it? Which perfectly describes Egypt, although I'm not sure they grow bananas in their banana republic. Guardian editors even found the story worthy of a little punnery, if you'll notice. And of course, it goes without saying that any country where a media storm of anti-government outrage can still be stirred obviously has a reasonable level of press freedom.


We'll call that the "good news" story.

Here's today's other Cairo story; Thousands of academics demand inquiry into Cairo death of Giulio Regeni.
Regeni was an Italian citizen and a student at Cambridge who had as a sideline the writing of critical stories about the Generalissimo's fascist state under a pseudonym. His remains were found in Cairo bearing obvious signs of torture.

My question is this; will the fate of Giulio Regeni in any way cast a chill on the warm welcome al-Sisi receives when he next visits the capitals of the Nations of Virtue or the pages of The Guardian?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

LinkedIn today, Facebook tomorrow...

The smarty-pants good-news purveyors who have been touting the inevitable triumph of the supposed new economy would do well to take some lessons from what happened to LinkedIn share value on Friday.

As in 40% of market cap done gone... in one day!

LinkedIn today, Facebook tomorrow, Alphabet the day after?

Who knows?

The crazy thing about disruptive technology is it keeps disrupting.

You never know what it's going to disrupt next...

Friday, February 5, 2016

There's good news and bad news out of the sunny new Canada!

Here's the good news; we're lightening up on the sanctions we had on those towelheads of terror over in Iran. Yup, even though Big John Baird done shuttered the embassy, those folks come to their senses and figured they'd rather give up their nukes than mess around with Canada.

Too bad the good news comes a day after Iran announces they're buying 8000 airplanes from every airplane manufacturer in the world EXCEPT Canada's Bombardier.

More good news; Canada is gonna reopen their Tehran embassy. Unfortunately, the former embassy is now leased out to Starbucks, so the government has retained AE Lepage to find a new venue in Tehran.

Here's the bad news; POTHEAD minions have already signed off on the TPP. The usual experts have already decreed that this is nothing other than GOOD GOOD and GOODER news.

I've been around long enough to see that every "free trade" agreement gives what's left of Canada's working class another kick in the teeth, so if you're one of the few working class Canadians with any teeth left, why not belly up to the bar and cheer for the TPP!

Video Stars

As the regular readers will know, my dear son Jake is a bit of an undiscovered musical genius. I suppose it's a good thing he's undiscovered, because if he were ever to be discovered, uncovered, recovered, or rediscovered, it could seriously impact his budding career as a prep chef.

But he, like hundreds of millions of others, has been mourning David Bowie recently, and that shines through in his latest creation.

Nice work, kid.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Leafs still suck on ice, but new jerseys sure look sharp!

I see where the new Maple Leafs brain trust has unveiled a new logo.

And not only do those new jerseys look sharp, the new logo is apparently fraught with deeper meaning!

I suppose that partially compensates Leaf Nation for the fact that the new management team, old-boy NHL insiders every one, haven't been able to unveil a new attitude on the ice.

That's quite a team... Shanahan had what qualifications to be President of Hockey Operations?

Lou last won a Stanley in 2003. That's 13 years ago. The world has changed and so has the game.

And Babcock? Well, good for him for finally getting that set-for-life contract, but seriously... what's he brought so far?

As far as I'm concerned, you could have saved many millions by offering Don Cherry the combined President/GM/Coach position, and I'm sure he would have been happy to do it just for the coach's paycheque.

Hell, Don could lace up the Bauers and he'd be the first Pres/GM/PLAYER-coach in league history!

And he'd do more on the ice than some of the stiffs out there wearing that new logo.

Return of Quings - cashing in on Queer Fear

This "neomasculinity movement" that's been getting way too much free PR is nothing more than a bunch of insecure dudes worried about their sexuality in this age of gender fluidity.

More specifically, it's about one particular insecure dude who recognizes that he can cash in on the queer-phobia of his generation.

It's amazing the free publicity he's wringing out of the mainstream media. You don't need to talk about him, you don't need to give him free attention, you need to ignore him and let him sink into well-deserved obscurity.

The putative mastermind of this imaginary "movement" is obviously media savvy enough to know what buttons to push to unleash millions of dollars of free advertising. Hey, he's an entrepreneur building a brand - can't blame him for that! And all these well-intentioned mayors and MPs and congressmen and media pundits are apparently not media savvy enough to realize they're helping him do just that.

They should know better.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More hokum from the great Ai Weiwei

There can be few sentient beings in the plugged-in world unacquainted with the heart-wrenching photo of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose lifeless body was photographed on a Greek beach some months ago.

It's a photo that resonated on many levels. It shamed many into donating to charities that have been assisting in the resettlement of refugees. Here in Canada it triggered an outcry over the foot-dragging by the Harperites in bringing refugees to this country.

But for Ai Weiwei, the picture was an inspiration.

Ai Weiwei as Alan Kurdi

Yes, in case you were not familiar with the refugee crisis before, now that the great Ai Weiwei has taken up the cause you have no excuse for your ignorance...

More tastless self-aggrandizing hokum from Ai Weiwei.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cam Newton; my kinda niggah

What I like about Cam is he doesn't much apologize for anything.

That's what I liked about the black dudes at Budd Automotive and Frankel Steel and Saint John Shipbuilding. They were just guys who did their job, just like you did yours.

As a brother on the shop floor I respected them and they respected me.

What's "black" got to do with anything?

Mind you, we were "brothers" in the working class, not brothers in the racial sense. Once you leave the shop floor, "black" has too much to do with just about everything.

Renting an apartment.

Getting a job.

Getting pulled over by the cops.

Getting shot by the cops after you get pulled over...

There's a lot of ugly shit that falls on the heads of those black brothers who were my equals at Budd and Frankel and the shipyard that never falls on mine.

Just because I have white skin.

It's not the professional social justice activists who are going to change this.

It's guys like Cam Newton.