Thursday, February 28, 2008

Confidence Schemes

Politics Ad Nauseum

The failure of Canada's Opposition Parties to bring down this minority government on the budget/confidence motion is not so much and expression of confidence in the ruling party, but a reflection of the lack of confidence that they have in themselves to overthrow it.
Canadians deserve a chance to cast their own votes of non-confidence on the ballot come election time. The lack of leadership and trustworthiness on all sides demands that Canadians be given this option.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Vote When You Could Masturbate?

At least masturbation would be more productive. Here in Canada, we have a choice between Stephen Harper, Stéphane Dion, Jack Layton or Gilles Duceppe if you live in Quebec. Oh and Whats-her-face, Elizabeth May, for the Green Party. It may seem like we have a lot of choices, but you would be wrong. None of these people would make a good Prime Minister. Harper is out of step and scary. Dion is an insipid dip. Layton is everything I have come to hate about the NDP since after 1988. And May? What about her? No, really - what about her? Whenever election day is going to be just take my advice: stay in bed.
As for our American cousins, I don't envy you either. John McCain doesn't inspire confidence. He's far too old guard and, frankly, there are some concerning, long-standing allegations about his war record in Vietnam and his time as a POW. Sydney Schanberg, best known for his coverage of the Killing Fields in Cambodia, has written about McCain's reluctance to have the files on certain Vietnam POWs declassified on many occasions. I found one such article at the Village Voice. There are other articles on this subject, including at Vietnam Veterans against John McCain. McCain is scary.
Then we have Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. I have never been a fan of Hilary Clinton and I didn't care for her husband either. I think they are both individuals of questionable character and I wouldn't trust them with the keys to my car, let alone with an entire country. As for Barack Obama, what is all the hype about? The man's rhetoric has about as much substance as the meringue in a lemon meringue pie. He's truly gifted in politspeak. If his words were images, I'd call him an illusionist. I heard him and Clinton debating about the Cuban question. Aside from the usual no imagination, no recognition of the USA's past wrongs to Cuba, the debate just solidified how empty Obama's rhetoric really is. Anyone hoping for change in America si going to find this man a woeful disappointment.
Perhaps it is best I leave you, oh my potential voters, with two poems by e.e. cummings.

the way to hump a cow is not
the way to hump a cow is not
to get yourself a stool
but draw a line around the spot
and call it beautifool

to multiply because and why
dividing thens by nows
and adding and(i understand)
is hows to hump a cows

the way to hump a cow is not
to elevate your tool
but drop a penny in the slot
and bellow like a bool

to lay a wreath from ancient greath
on insulated brows
(while tossing boms at uncle toms
is hows to hump a cows

the way to hump a cow is not
to push and then to pull
but practicing the art of swot
to preach the golden rull

to vote for me(all decent mem
and wonens will allows
which if they don't to hell with them)
is hows to hump a cows

Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal

take it from me kiddo
believe me
my country, 'tis of

you, land of the Cluett
Shirt Boston Garter and Spearmint
Girl With The Wrigley Eyes (of you
land of the Arrow Ide
and Earl &
Collars) of you i
sing:land of Abraham Lincoln and Lydia E. Pinkham,
land above all of Just Add Hot Water And Serve--
from every B. V. D.

let freedom ring

amen. i do however protest, anent the un
-spontaneous and otherwise scented merde which
greets one (Everywhere Why) as divine poesy per
that and this radically defunct periodical. i would

suggest that certain ideas gestures
rhymes, like Gillette Razor Blades
having been used and reused
to the mystical moment of dullness emphatically are
Not To Be Resharpened. (Case in point

if we are to believe these gently O sweetly
melancholy trillers amid the thrillers
these crepuscular violinists among my and your
skyscrapers-- Helen & Cleopatra were Just Too Lovely,
The Snail's On The Thorn enter Morn and God's
In His andsoforth

do you get me?) according
to such supposedly indigenous
throstles Art is O World O Life
a formula: example, Turn Your Shirttails Into
Drawers and If It Isn't An Eastman It Isn't A
Kodak therefore my friends let
us now sing each and all fortissimo A-

ca, I
You. And there're a
hun-dred-mil-lion-oth-ers, like
all of you successfully if
delicately gelded (or spaded)
gentlemen (and ladies)-- pretty

americans (who tensetendoned and with
upward vacant eyes, painfully
perpetually crouched, quivering, upon the
sternly allotted sandpile
--how silently
emit a tiny violetflavoured nuisance: Odor?

comes out like a ribbon lies flat on the brush

Fly Away Home

CD in Play: Charles Mingus, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

Well, it is looking official — I am moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (briefly referenced in Y: Last Man Standing, by the way) If my Mother is reading this, I was going to call to tell you tonight. The wheels seem to be clicking into place and Saskatoon is only a plane ride away by the beginning of June. My application is in to the University of Saskatchewan, all I need to do now is to go and pay for my transcripts.
Geosomin (whom I have known since 1990) and her husband have extended a couple of invitations to me since 2005 to stay with them so I am finally taking them up on it. The opportunity to to really save up for this move has presented itself, so I should have even more cash for this move than I did for Montreal. (and I was able to do pretty well with the amount I saved for Montreal) I should have a job soon after arriving, my own place for July and then on my way to a better future. (I hope)
Some people shudder when they think of Saskatchewan, but not me. I lived there for a little bit and really grew to love the place. It's the only province in this country I do not make fun of. Saskatchewan is a place for people with character. Yes the winters can be hard and this past winter is a perfect example. Yes they have West Nile virus, but then look at all the crap running through Vancouver: MRSA, (three people at work are off because of it) Third World levels of hepatitis infections, etc. Yes, Natives are forming gangs and are getting violent in the prairies - Caucasians, Asians, East Indians, Natives, Filipino's, Hispanics, etc, etc are forming a multitude of gangs and loose knit associations and getting violent. Show me a drawback about Saskatchewan and I can find something else about the Lower Mainland to match it. The Vancouver area has really been changing for the worse and I will be happy to leave it behind.
The move, however, will be piecemeal. I have extensive kitchenware, utensils, etc. I imagine I can ship out my television, DVD, VCR and stereo no problem. Things I will need to buy when I am there include:
- furniture
- bed
- table and chairs
- possibly a new computer
- a bureau ot two
- shelving
- lamps
But then I guess that is what Ikea or Jysk are for. Salvation Army for somethings, but not a bed and furniture. Whatever, it is three months away so I have time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Das Meme

Current clothes: White shirt with a blood stain, black cargo pants and black shoes.

Current mood: Highly agitated. A race car in the red. A mushroom cloud laying mofo. Revved up and ready to rip.

Current music: Hüsker Dü, Everything Falls Apart and More. Mojo Presents, ok computer.

Current annoyance: Too many to list. Work, selfish pigs, needy bunts, invertaebrates, employment, employers, work politics.

Current thing: My Dad turned me on to Malbec wines from Argentina. Solid, very drinkable wines under $10.00 and up to $15.00.

Current desktop picture: Series One Doctor Who Tardis sketches that CBC had for download on their website.

Current book: A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. I picked it up again and have not been able to put it back down.

Current song in head: "Burning Car" by John Foxx and "Bricklayer" and "Punch Drunk" by Hüsker Dü.
Current DVD in player: Office Space.

Current refreshment: Water, though coffee is soon to be in hand.

Current worry: Money, sanity, moving, getting back to school.

Current thought: You really don't want to know.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Long Slow Death of a Minority Government

CD in Play: Blonde Redhead, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

Okay, okay Harper isn't fiendish, in fact, I'd say he's making a bit of an ass of himself. Harper is threatening to crash his minority government yet again. (rolls eyes and yawns) Desperate to force the opposition parties to challenge him on the issue of his choosing, Harper has made the extension of the Afghanistan mission and the C-2 crime bill (yet again) confidence votes. Pretty feeble if you ask me. BillC-2 is pretty broad and something that the opposition Liberals could accept with little problem. The NDP and Block may have their issues with C-2, but I suspect that opposition to the bill isn't uniform within their ranks.
The Afghanistan mission is another thing altogether, however, with the NDP and the Block standing firmly against, the new Conservatives strongly in favour and the Liberals (typically) squirming and fudging their way somewhere inbetween the waves of public opinion. Harper commissioned an ex-Liberal cabinet minister, John Manley, to deliver a non-partisan report on the Afghan mission and give recommendations on whether Canada should stay or go.
Centre-right Manley, not surprisingly, is in favour of staying in Afghanistan providing NATO allies increase their own troop contributions, etc. The Liberals put Canada into Afghanistan so if they vote in favour of staying it wouldn't surprise me, especially given that one of their own has come up with the plan to allow them to save face. Politicians have talked the talk about bringing the government down, but all parties have yet to walk the walk.
All the parties are waing to bring down the government when it suits them to do so and on an issue of their choosing. Our would-be king in the wings, Little Stevie Harper, doesn't play well with others, so the multi-spectrum consensus building that could really make this government work - the kind of government I think Canadians desire - is just a dream. What is the point of being a Canadian Prime Minister if you can't rule with as absolutely as others (political allies and enemies alike) have done so in the past? Our would-be king is playing the baiting and waiting games. By doing so, he believes he is putting himself in a position of strength.
So far, Harper might be able to say that since the opposition parties haven't toppled him yet he must be doing a good job, so why not give him a majority so he can do an even better job? Had the other parties toppled him on the budget or the crime bill he can come back and say the opposition parties don't have Canadian concerns at heart, given that lower and middle income tax cuts and crime prevention are keen Canadian concerns. If they topple him on Afghanistan, Harper can come back and say that they don't support the troops or that they are turing their backs on Canadian traditions and on a poor and destitute people who need international help to get back on their feet again.
A bigger issue on the national level, in my opinion, was the reactivation of an unsafe nuclear plant in Chalk River, Ontario. The government pressed for the re-opening of the Chalk River plant citing that the levels of a particular medical isotope produced there were dangerously low and putting people's lives at risk. The plant had been shut down because radiation levels were unsafe and workers were showing signs of contamination. The recently fired CNSC president, Linda Keen was fired by the Tories for reported "partisanship" and down played the safety hazard posed by restaring the Chalk River plant. Turns out Ms. Keen was quite correct to take her stand against restarting as the risks were 1000 times higher than what is acceptable by international standards.
The government stated that lives would be lost if the Chalk River plant did not resume production immediately. All parties clucked their tongues, stood by as Ms. Keen was fired and then voted in favour of restarting the plant. After the fact it has been posited that the government may have overplayed the medical crisis from the start. New Scientist apparently posits that Canada has set a bad example within the international community taking the actions it has.
But of course nuclear safely is nowhere as important enough to bring down a government... no.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pardon moi, mais...

Je voudrais un coup-de-pied à la tête.