A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

29 September 2006

If He'd Showed Up Today He'd be in Gitmo

Kazahk comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, AKA Borat, appeared at the gates of the Alabaster Imperial Palace yesterday, only to be turned away.

From Yahoo! infotainment:

Borat denounced an official Kazakh publicity campaign running in U.S. magazines as "disgusting fabrications" orchestrated by neighboring Uzbekistan.

"If there is one more item of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine, give death penalty for baking bagels, or export over 300 tonnes of human pubis per year, then we will be left with no alternative but to commence bombardment of their cities with our catapults,"

In response to this terror threat, the current president ordered Borat, who he described as a "rogue Kazakistanian" detained indefinitely and "interrogated strenuously".

Asked to clarify, Bush said Borat will be forced to listen to Newt Gingrich lectures on CD, in between harmless applications of red-hot irons to his buttocks.

The Kazhak government is reported to be relieved.

"We thought we'd have to come up with a reason to arrest him," said a security apparatus official "But this way is easier."

Indeed, ***'s recent legislation of imperial powers for himself has attracted the admiration of the world:

"Why didn't we think of that?" inquired Hu Jintao, signing detention orders for another group of dissidents "He makes us look legitimate!"

"I extend my admiration," said Vladimir Putin, who was shutting down newspapers critical of his regime.

"One day I want to grow up to be just like him," said president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "Oh, wait--I already am."

Fidel Castro was less enthusiastic:
"If there's so little difference between us," he mourned "how can I demonize him without improving my own human-rights record?"

Requiem for America

Not yet. There's still hope Dubya will be impeached.
Besides--Blogger won't let me upload it, for some reason.

Instead, consider this:
Habeas corpus is suspended.
Torture is now the law of the land.

War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
And Big Brother is watching you.

The Democrats sat silent. The Republicans who knew better put up only a token protest.

Dante's Inferno posited that in the centre of Hell there was a frozen lake, in which the souls who had betrayed their fellowman were imprisoned, alive.

It's going to be a crowded place in a couple of decades.

This is why I maintain a fairly scathing stance on Dubya. Every time I think the man can't sink any lower, he does.

He has effectively voted himself imperial power by fiat, without any of the responsibility. The kings of England had to sign warrants to have someone tortured. They had to answer for their judgement. Bush has managed to escape even this. Having been told outright by the Supreme Court that his torture, infinite detention, and kangaroo courts were illegal, he's now made them law.

Let freedom ring.

Thanks to Raincoaster and Jesus' General.

28 September 2006

Cruising Irresponsibly Around YouTube

I found this snippet, in which Jon Stewart gives a big shout-out to the broadcast values of Fox "News".

Fox Television: sure puts that A&E in it's place, don't it?

Also seen while wobbling around the web:Tyra Banks is on Yahoo! Answers wondering "What can we do to help teen girls build self-esteem, overcome insecurities, and form supportive relationships?"


Well for starters how about not pretending anything a supermodel says is important?

How about not defining beauty by the standards of six-foot, one-hundred pound, cocaine-snorting, self-absorbed bimbos?

How about conducting all job interviews by phone, or in a darkened room, so that no-one ever gets hired for their tits?

Is that enough answers, Miz Banks?

The sheer arrogance of this woman, whose career choice defines itself by the degree of insecurity an average woman feels when she gazes upon one of these million-dollar clothes-dummies, asking how to shore up the insecurities of young girls who measure their eating-disorder-prone selves alongside telecast stringbeans with poufy lips appals me.

You wanna give the self-esteem of young women a jolt? I want you to get up on that lousy exploitive show of yours, cram a giant chocolate cupcake into your gob and scream: "It's all fake!"


"Mr. Arar, I wish to take this opportunity to express publicly to you and to your wife and to your children how truly sorry I am for whatever part the actions of the RCMP may have contributed to the terrible injustices that you experienced and the pain that you and your family endured."
It's not enough. It'll never be enough.

How do you compensate a man for the kind of wrong done to Maher Arar?

The answer is you don't. You don't try.

What you do is show that you've learned your lesson.

What you do is ensure that the system of civil protections in place in Canada is never again so violated.

What you do is recognize that terrorism is a crime, like any other. And that the suspension of civil protections is wrong. For anybody. Period.

If only Arar were the only one. But he's not. He's not even the only one in Canada.

27 September 2006

The Old Scout

Nope--not a rusting vehicle built by International, but Mr. Garrison Keillor, a man who has sort of hummed in the background of my life.

Keillor once broadcast A Prarie Home Companion into Canada on a regular basis. He's a genuine, folksy kind of guy; patient, tolerant, and contemplative in his outlook. Positively Republican, in fact.

He has, until lately, been fairly quiet about politics, for a writer/comedian with a multi-million-listener radio show habit to feed.

But since the appointment of the Current Occupant (a term I have used for ages and which I assume he borrowed from me--I acknowledge the compliment) he has become rather more forceful in his statements.

I was browsing back issues of his column The Old Scout when this pretty little thing popped out at me:
"You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz."
Quite so.

I post this as bankers everywhere are taking a firmer grip on their seats to keep from running away to Mexico with their pension funds. In Canada, we already see the likely nosedive of the overheated US economy in the tea leaves, and being chained to the success or failure of the US model we wonder if it might be worth, figuratively, chewing our hands off to get free.

Basically it's a bad day for Canada when a US president relies on family debt outstripping family savings in order to prop up a programme of tax cuts for the rich, followed by billions spent in a futile and unnecessary war.

But it's also bad news when our economy looks rather sturdier, due to 15 years of sound Liberal finance policies (with the mighty exception of the Federal Sponsorship Scandal) and our dollar pokes its head above the 85¢ US mark.

So while the idea of paying off our debt is sound and responsible, one has to wonder if perhaps we might be better off using some of that surplus money in shoring up our social programs. I refer particularly to the medical system and the pension system, both of which are likely to be significantly overburdened in not too short a time.

More significantly: considering our huge surplus (a nice legacy for Harper courtesy of the previous Liberal government) why are they paying off debt by cutting programs aimed at the worst-off of all of us?

Aboriginals, women, the poor--what consistent theme can we find here?

Is it that the disposessed don't vote much?

Or is it that they don't vote Conservative?

26 September 2006

Smackdown & Smackback

Former president Bill Clinton was on Fox News Sunday a couple of days ago. Fox tried to recapture the ground that ABC had lost over their docuficitionary The Path to 9/11.

Having told the former president that they would spend half their fifteen minutes talking about the Clinton Global Initiative, which raised $7 billion in pledges to fight global warming over the weekend, alleged newshound (well some sort of dog, certainly) Chris Wallace waited just long enough to be polite before essentially blaming Clinton for allowing the terrorist attacks of September eleventh, 2001, to take place.

Clinton, then began systematically whacking Wallace, like a puppy-owner with a rolled-up newspaper in hand.

Fox initially trumpeted this as "Clinton goes Wild!" and was broadcasting it in carefully edited snippets, until they realized that people could see the whole thing through the magic of YouTube. Then they started taking down posts as fast as they could. Note: Hanlon says they've caved on that.

For purposes of sheer piss-taking, we present it to you, O Avid Fan, right here:

(Thanks to Raincoaster for her squinty yet alert eye and her earlier post here on the Metroblog about the Gilchrist Militia Numbnuts.)

Meantime, scarcely anyone but the hardest-core *** fans believe that Wallace came off best in that interview. It's always nice to see the journalistic equivalent of a mugging turned on its head.

So this afternoon, the current POTUS felt the need to reply, which he did with his usual aplomb, grace, and verbal agility:

"We'll let history judge all the different finger-pointing and all that business. I don't have enough time to finger-point," he said at a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"I've got to do my job," he added, "and that is to protect the American people from further attacks."

--Via Yahoo! News

Since most of the finger-pointing in this business was directed toward Clinton rather than by him, and much of it from the current chief exec & staff, this seems a little disingenuous.

I think history is in the process of judging already--or else why's *** trying to shield himself from prosecution?


Spam. It's an increasing problem these days. Yesterday my work e-mail was buried in "phar/\/\a-cie" and "This one will jump" spam.

But that doesn't annoy me much, as my workplace employs several IT types who generally make very sure that these messages are deleted, not repeated.

Yahoo!'s initial solution was to ask it's vict--I mean mail clients if they'd like to "create a bulk folder". Yahoo! would then "direct bulk mail messages into this folder" according to the blurb.

That is, sign up for a spam file and they'd send you something to fill it with. I never had any spam in my inbox until the day I failed to scrupulously un-check the box and accidentally created the bulk folder. I deleted it right away, but still I get about four spam messages per day.

I know that's not a lot, but considering that the objective is zero, presumably, I feel this represents failure.

One would think there was a way of fixing this:

Like interdicting any e-mail containing the subject line "pharma", "pharma-cy" or the myriad ways one can mangle that word.

Or simply not allowing mail addressed to (example addresses only) "" or "" to reach "1234Jsmythe@yahoo.zb". I get stuff that misses my address by many letters and sometimes even has the wrong domain name, but it still comes through.

And if Google can have a robot crawl your written content to send "targetted ads" (I use Gmail too, and it's as bad as Yahoo! or worse), should it be so hard to target crap mail that says "All stockbrokers are looking very hard at this company" or "This will for sure get way bigger China co."?

Moreover, every time I flag one of these moron mails, I get this cheerful message from Yahoo!:

But I've been doing this for about two £µ©λin' years! If this crap actually "performs better" every time I do this--why the £µ©λ am I still getting spam?

On the other hand, I really like this Spam.

Loverly Spam! Wonderful Spam!

But I still want Yahoo! and Google to get serious about stamping it out. Do you think if the RIAA got involved there'd be something done about it?

I know! We should all return spam mails with a pirated song attached, preferably something by Metallica. That'd get some action!

Sex and Parliaments

Hockey and sex--some things just go great together!

Retired hockey star Tie Domi has seemingly had an affair with Belinda Stronach--who you will recall ended her relationship with Tory Peter MacKay--last seen as the subject of the "are they or aren't they?" rumours involving his taste for dirty Rice--by crossing the floor and joining what was then the government.

After trying the Liberal party on for size, though, it seems she's decided she still prefers right wingers.

Minutemen, saviours of Amerika

25 September 2006

King Ralph's in Favour of Education

I haven't been around recently--recovering from a cold and entertaining visiting parents.

Now that he's no longer premier of Alberta Ralph Klein is supporting education over "short-term dollars".

Bit of a reversal from "dig it up, gut it, and sell it all". Presumably, too, he's no longer afraid that a more educated workforce wouldn't vote for him.

Me, I say screw it. If I were sixteen and had half a brain I'd be living it up in Fort MacMurry. In fact, I should have quit school when I was sixteen (instead of aimlessly proceeding to the end of my sentence). And if they'd been paying anything like the money they pay now, I probably would've. Of course "sixteen with half-a-brain" is a contradiction in terms (now that I'm older and ever-so-much wiser--and all those fortysomethings are senile).

As it is I look at my collection of payments yclept "house", my collection of debts, and my 40% salary reduction and I think: What the hell is wrong with my timing?

I left high school just as it became impossible to get a job without further education. I joined the Canadian (formerly Armed) Forces just as the cuts began and shortly before the salaries got frozen. I left the Forces and joined trucking as fuel prices soared. And I got into writing--the job I've wanted for years--just as pay rates in the oilfields started hitting record highs.

Had I no responsibilities here I'd be off in a flash. $60-72 K a year for trucking? Watch my tires smoke.

I'm feeling unmotivated and bitter today. All I can seem to think about is the money I ain't made. Perhaps I need less education?

Besides--education is clearly no predictor of worth or success.

21 September 2006

Who Rox? I Rox!

I lerned englesh reel gud in skule.

Your English Skills:

Grammar: 100%

Punctuation: 100%

Spelling: 100%

Vocabulary: 80%

Via M. Fronteir Editor--sorry, that's Frontier Editor.

Sick Days

There's almost no worse way to spend a sick day than actually being sick.


As with many people, when I'm sick I retreat into childhood, and when I'm feeling too rotten to blog, I retreat into YouTube. Here's some of it.

Before the Rutles were the Beatles. But just after the Beatles and before the Rutles were the Wombles.

Ah yes, Great-Uncle Bulgaria, Orinoco, Tobermory, Wellington, Mme Cholet ...

They totally rocked--or at least popped.

For a while there seems to have been a fad for allowing furries to entertain small children.

I suppose we all grew up terribly warped as a consequence. But at least they're not gay, or communist pimps, or cross-dressing nudists.

19 September 2006

Avast Ye Swabs!

What for arrrrre ye runnin' around spewin' yer heathen lingo? D'ye not know that this-here be National Talk Like a Pirate Day?

So drop aft the mainsail and square away yer landlubber tongue. 'Tis not fitting ye should go on with yer cross-grained ways, and we've the tools ta learn yer. Here be a moving picture show what can help even rum-sodden walruses such as yer miserable selves learn the ancient arts of talking like a man with salt in his veins.

If ye still don't feel ready to take on a Spanish Galleon before breakfast, swallow a tot of grog and go claim yer rightful pirate name here {Avast! The original's gone to Davy Jones' Locker--which is number 404.}. 'Twill sort ye out and make ye a real pirate, or my name's not Dry Bone Bronson!

And once yer've sorted out that little detail, dig for yer inner treasure and find out what sort of pirate ye be with this handy (or hook-y) quiz.

What landlubber dares face me now?--For here's my report:

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

If ye've the guts, leave yer personality result and name in a comment below, ye lily-livered son of a tadpole!

Thanks to that scurvy dog, Dave Barry.

18 September 2006

My Mistake

I dropped a long comment over at Cold Desert a while ago.

An anonymous commentor had made the statement that "A moderate Muslim is one who leaves more than a neck when they behead someone". This 'nony and I have met in a few places on the 'net.

I dislike broad generalisations, 'cos they're wrong. So I was a little pissed. Then I read the justification, which didn't actually provide any. It was just a sort of pro-American screed which I think many US citizens might have disagreed with.

But I riposted, point for point. And I must have done a job of it, because the same 'nony (I assume) posted a comment that begins:
"Metro doens't [sic] get it. Never did. Never will."
Which is what he really wanted to say, but you can read the rest of it here if you like.

I replied to that one too, and I actually don't feel that good about having done so.

See, 'nony was here a while ago and made what I thought were some refreshing statements regarding the nature of our discourse together. I kind of hoped there might be a chance for something like a rational dialogue.

Now posting to blogs that I read with remarks like "All Muslims want to behead people" (paraphrasing) is instigation. But it's like The War Against Terror thing. How do I know I'm right if I let the opposing viewpoint try to force me into adopting his tactics?

I want to think about how debate is being framed on this blog. Perhaps there's a chance to salvage this. After all, I'm honestly not trying to blast anyone's worldview apart. Just trying to introduce another way of looking at things.

So I'm going to try an experiment. Keep the rhetoric toned down a little, if I can. After all, as 'Nony said: "Kinda tough having a debate however, if we simply think the other is wrong".

If we approach it with an open mind, maybe we can get past the name-calling and anger. Besides, I'm sure conflict is no good for the digestion, and I'm still partial to Jumpin' Jack's once in a while. Or I would be, did we have one here.

For some reason I'm really craving a Jumpin' Jack's burger right now. First place I ever had blueberry soft-serve ice cream, or Swiss cheese on a burger ... Mmmmm.

17 September 2006

Another Life-long Dream Turns to Dust

I always wanted to be the first to hot-box the space shuttle.

Lest the term "hot-box" confound thee--away here! And by the way--you're so unhip it's a wonder your bum doesn't fall off.

The Pope Blows It

Or does he?

I'm in two minds over Benedict's remarks last week. One--we have been supplied with no context as to these remarks. He was giving a lecture about the place of violence in religion (it hasn't any), and they just sorta fell out, apparently.
In the speech, the Pope referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
--Via Yahoo! News.

Two: it's clear that no self-respecting modern leader should be quoting from a 14th-century text written by a superstitious man who was probably convinced Muslims were born with cloven hooves and who would have shrivelled and died if exposed to the global world of today.

On the other hand, that's what religion is all about: citing the authority of a chain of dead men to prove you have a moral cause. And it's also what history is about to some extent--quoting the dead to show how events can be viewed today.

Three: the Pope should show a little sensitivity--or at least some ₤µ¢λing political awareness.

On the other hand--you don't see huge crowds of Christians and Jews rioting when an Imam suggests going out and killing Christians and Jews (often citing fourteenth century and older texts to justify it).

Nor do the same infidels complain to their courts and governments in the face of some truly vile defamation by Arab-world news organs.

In between the extremes is the truth. Let's face it, most Muslims aren't into beheading people. Jews don't drink the blood of babies. Only idiots believe that the Iraq war is some sort of Christian crusade. These are things that happen outside this little bubble we call reality.

Until we outgrow this obsession of "my imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend", there are always going to be inaccurate statements made by @$$#013s.

I framed that last sentence in those terms deliberately. Perhaps we'll soon see the reason why.

In context, the Pope's remarks were probably harmless, if foolish. Had we been present when he made them we might understand that he was saying that killing for god is like ₤µ¢λing for chastity.

Or we might have thought that he was expressing as official Church policy on Islam a sentiment from the 14th century. But really--is that credible in the 21st century?

It's one thing to think a bunch of 14th-century peasants would regard this as gospel (ahem). And it's one thing to think that 14th-century Muslims would be worried and take up arms against the threat. But it's the 21st century, and we know better now.

Or at least we ought to.

Why I Vote Liberal

Note to people who don't live in Canada: the federal Liberal party is a party of conservatives who don't want to legislate morality. The Conservative party of Canada (currently governing through democratic fluke) was once a party of true conservatives but has sold that birthright to pander to the lunatic fringe; much like the Republican party in the US, for much the same reason, and equally likely to repudiate its leadership once polls show which way the wind blows prior to the next election.

But the Liberal Party has been called "the natural governing party" and for good reason:

The Conservatives are busy futzing with laws about street racing and the age of consent--"feel-good" legislation that has no real effect, why? Because there are already laws in place dealing with those issues.

In between, they're trying to institute and affirm a series of "counter-terrorism" proposals including a domestic espionage program similar to that in the US, and trying deperately to prove that cosying up to Washington will actually do any good in the face of the evidence, and despite the fact that most Canadians are looking at the current White House the way you look at the guy who corners you in the bar and starts talking to you about the aliens, his friend Jesus, or the chip the government's implanted in his head that picks up I Love Lucy (which has an increasing chance of being true, these days).

Another note: Most of us here in Canada like and admire the US as a country, but right now it's like being invited to your best friend's Thanksgiving dinner and finding that his dad isn't wearing pants and keeps drunkely brandishing a loaded shotgun around the table snarling "who took my string? Was it you?"

So the Conservative Party's a washout. But my voting choice is more limited than that: Jack Layton of the New Democratic Party last week suggested negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Y'know, in many quarters I might qualify as a loonie leftie (despite being a conservative). But I just can't see myself voting for a guy who advocates treating the Taliban as a viable option.

The other nutty thing is that the NDP decided to advocate abandoning Afghanistan altogether. And I'm sorry--we helped break it (not that what was there before didn't sorely need breaking), and it's our mess to help clean up.

Yes, I know our erstwhile partner in this has inflicted as many casualties as the Taliban has. I know that they're mired in a pointless sideshow elsewhere. But that diminishes our responsibility not one whit.

So having eliminated two of the three main parties, I'm stuck with the same guys who screwed it up last time, despite chance after chance in their last five years; and who haven't yet managed to choose a leader at a critical time. Oh well, perhaps someone credible will emerge to do the job.

Of course, when you're looking around and saying "someone oughta do something", it often turns out that that someone is you. Maybe I should run for office. Easy work, low hours, high pay ... Hmmm.

14 September 2006

Blogs Don't Kill People

But apparently people with blogs do. I'm just thankful he was so much less sucessful than he might have preferred.

There are lots of links and pages out there if you want to see the murderer's picture. Myself, I feel this is one of those things the internet needs to develop institutional amnesia about.

The real evil of these mass killings (or in this case attempted mass killings) is that the names of the perpetrators tend to hang around while those of their victims are forgotten. And even were we able to expel the names from history entirely, that too would be someone's tragedy. Yet to not forget them is to encourage more of them, hungry for noteriety, fame--maybe some weird human interaction in the only theatre they think counts?

As it is, his picture will bounce around the 'net for a while, then hopefully be forgotten as we rush to find out what Paris Hilton's up to.

I'm posting this so that there'll be a photo of Anastasia DeSousa out here too; maybe for long enough that she'll be here when he's forgotten.

Here's hoping.

13 September 2006

Another Date To Remember

From The Writer's Almanac
It was on this day in 1814 that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner," by witnessing the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. It had been a dark summer for the young United States. Just three weeks previous, on August 24, British troops had set fire to much of Washington D.C., including the Capitol, the Treasury, and the president's house. President James Madison had been forced to flee for his safety. Americans were terrified that the British might choose to invade New York or Philadelphia or Boston and destroy those cities as well.

The British had recently begun using rockets, a new military weapon adapted from Chinese technology. Francis Scott Key was horrified as he watched these rockets raining down on Fort McHenry, at the mouth of Baltimore harbor. He watched the bombardment all night, and he had little hope that the American fort would withstand the attack. But just after sunrise he saw the American flag still flying over the fort. In fact, Francis Scott Key might never have even seen the flag if the fort commander, Major Armistead, hadn't insisted on flying one of the largest flags then in existence. The flag flying that day was 42 feet long and 30 feet high.

Francis Scott Key began writing a poem about the experience that very morning. It turned out that the battle at Baltimore was the turning point of the war. Before the war, the American flag had little sentimental significance for most Americans. It was used mainly as a way to designate military garrisons or forts. But after the publication of "The Star-Spangled Banner," even non-military people began to treat the flag as a sacred object.

Which it isn't--no flag is actually sacred, with the exception of those covering coffins. But flags should be venerated according to their meanings. Like any other symbol they mean exactly what you put into them, as symbolised by the deeds done beneath them. Nazi flags, for example, should be available in public toilets. And one day perhaps Old Glory will again stand for freedom, justice, and peace.

The threat to a flag is not from those who burn it; they're expressing an opinion, that's all. The threat to the flag of any nation is from those who wholeheartedly prostitute her in their personal quests for glory.

12 September 2006

On 12-9

I had intended on explaining that 12-9 (or 9-12) was the day the world actually started to change. But I don't need to: Graydon Carter can tell you better than I can--'specially as I'm a bit bogged down with work at the mo'.
And on this, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, perhaps it's time to review the administration's assertion that that was the day the world changed. It really wasn't; 9/12 was. That was the day the neocons in the White House began using this devastating attack on American soil to further their own dreams of taking over Iraq. That was the day the world began its downward spiral. That was the day the administration began plotting to remove a dictator over there and to create one here.
Stolen wholesale from Vanity Fair, and I think I originally saw bits of this over at Raincoaster, who will whine like a worn-out u-joint if I don't give her a link.

11 September 2006

The Truth About 9/11

ABC is now presenting the ABC-solute truth about the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September (also called 11-9) 2001.

Bill Clinton did it.

You recall what I said about absolute truth, no?

This echoing of the *** White House policy was arrived at independantly, so we are told. Basically, Clinton had numerous chances to take out Osama Bin Laden prior to the attacks. Condi Rice runs around telling the world how concerned Mr. "I hit the trifecta--(thank god)" was about the attacks.

Apparently it's no longer being advertised as"Based on the 9/11 Commission Report". David Cameron has apparently begun carefully referring to it as a "docudrama" and saying spcifically that "this is not a documentary".

Of course. And Dianetics is not a scientific treatise. Got anything we don't know?

This objective "docudrama" was written by a friend of Rush Limbaugh, the wise, compassionate, folksy (assuming your folks grew up in a trailer park, drank Thunderbird, and were related by blood) talk-show host, long known for his balanced and evenhanded treatment of William Jefferson Clinton and anyone conncted with him, and for his refusal to pander to the rabid space cadets who support ***. So naturally one would expect a friend of his to do an honourable, historically-accurate treatment of a story this serious.

Limbaugh is as wise, balanced, and honourable as the preceding two statements are true. (For my Avid Fans who aren't familiar with my style--or are paid-up Dubya supporters--this is sarcasm).

Whatever one may say of anything Clinton did or did not do, GWB was at the wheel when the warnings came in saying "Yo--this dude is SERIOUS!. He's planning to fly planes into buildings to kill people."

Naturally the president couldn't ignore this threat. He leapt into action and did ... something.

I'm sure he did.

It'll all be in the 9/11 Commission's Report. I mean--surely he didn't sit on the warnings like Clinton?

Actually what George Number Two did was go on vacation, thus establishing a proud tradition broken only at times of national emergency--such as when a brain-dead woman's husband wants to let her die. Or presumably if he had to cast a second veto on stem cells. Cause despite the 70,000 dead directly attributable to W. he's all about that "culture of life". Provided it's US-ian and white.

ABC plans to distribute this dramadocu for free to high schools, possibly encouraging the next generation of voters to vote Republican. Because it's getting harder to conceal the voting machine fraud, presumably.

In related news: Disney has acquired the rights to a new mascot. This mascot also comes with large, floppy ears. Want a hint? The last time they used one of these it was called "Dumbo"--probably just incredibly accurate foresight.

Hopefully the youth of today would prefer to elect a president who enjoyed a good blowjob now and then.

Dubya's probably afraid to go there.

Though he might send some soldiers to die in his place. Just like Clinton did--uh, didn't, actually.

It Will Take More

It's September eleventh 2006. It's a day like any other day, lately.

For most of us it's just an ordinary day. There have been greater disasters, with bigger body counts, and the world spins on. In some cases the names of the dead are forgotten, five years after the event.

There is nothing that my two cents' worth will buy. Nothing of greater insight or meaning--if it has any. At best I'm just another commentator.

But there is something that I have came to understand in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks. Something that all Americans of all political stripes should be able to take to their hearts. And something the wider world needs to understand as well: It will take more.

  • It will take more than an Osama Bin Laden to bring America to its knees.

  • It will take more than the threat of terror to stop Americans from living as Americans

  • It will take more than 3,000 dead to stop Americans from exercising the rights their forebears bled for.

  • At least it should take more.

    What will take is the willing acession of the people of the nation to their own subjugation, whether to a foreign yoke, or a foreign ideology.

    The ideology currently in place in the White House, to me, seems foreign to America.

    Today is "patriot day". Today I invite American patriots reading this to search themselves, ask themselves: Am I happy with what is being perpetrated in my name?

    And in the memory of the 3000 dead, and the 3000 soldiers, and the 70,000 other victims whose deaths came from this single act of terror; in the name of the tortured, the inexplicably detained, and the secretly killed, write to your representatives and tell them how you feel.

    I challenge both supporters and opponents of the current regime and policies to stand up and open your mouths. Blog on it, speak on it--but most importantly write to those senators and congressmen--show the moral courage of those convictions.

    If you support the above policies, give 'em an attaboy. Tell them "I am happy that people are being tortured and killed in the name of my "safety" and I accept full repsonsibility for supporting those activities."

    If not, tell them to stop.

    In a government "by the people, of the people, for the people" you support these things in your silence.

    Tomorrow: the Day the World Changed.

    08 September 2006

    Finally, We Know Which is Right

    Hilarious video which I grabbed off of YouTube only after first finding it on A Clockwork Blancmange.

    And from there it's a short trip to this. A clip reflecting the faithful constancy that is compassionate conservatism under the beknighted--sorry, benevolent leadership of the current prez.

    06 September 2006

    Truth From Odd Places

    "It has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held in secret, questioned by experts and, when appropriate, prosecuted for terrorist acts."
    It is the absolute truth. Of course you need to interpret carefully here:

  • The word "questioned" means "tortured"
  • And "experts" means "guys in rubber aprons"
  • Because of that, the "appropriate" time is "never"
  • And he's talking about trying people in front of kangaroo--sorry, military tribunals in Gitmo, despite the fact that he's been told he can't by the supreme court.

  • The US doesn't torture. So said Condi Rice (formerly credible cabinet Secretary) ... It's the absolute truth, if only by means of some truly bizarre acts of literary contortion.

    You gotta love this White House: they tell the absolute truth at all times.

    In mathematics there is a concept called "absolute numbers" in which a number always implies its opposite. Absolute 1 (written |1|) is a quantity whose value can be 1 or -1.

    |The United States does not torture|.
    So said Condi. But wait a second--looky here.
    "The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured."
    (Italics mine)
    Uh, Mizz Rice--shall we tell the president? Oh--and here's a little gem:
    However, [Rice] did not discuss news reports that the CIA runs secret U.S. detention centers in certain East European countries.

    "We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations," she said.[My bold]

    The United States has been asked formally by the European Union, the Council of Europe and several individual countries about news reports about such secret facilities.
    Italics ditto.
    Now what did Dubya say about the New York Times blowing his cover on the illegal wiretaps? Oh--yeah he said that the:
    " ... disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."
    Yup. He pretty much called them traitors for blowing a secret wartime intelligence tool, or calling bullshit on his Gestapo tactics, as you will.

    What would he call someone who disclosed the existence of secret |non-torturing| prisons maintained overseas by the CIA?

    Looks like someone better tell that man to shut up. He might be convicted of treason and shipped off to ...

    Well, we're not going to talk about that.

    05 September 2006

    Why Do I Bang My Head On The Wall?

    As the man used to say: "Because it feels so good when I stop.
    So we all know how Metro spent the Labour Day long weekend, right? He was busy churning out a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Or possibly a work of a heartburned, staggering, genius.

    The 3-Day Novel Writing contest is essentially a trial by fire. Yesterday I found myself deeply moved to read on the discussion board the message:

    I have one hour to go.
    I have failed.

    Oddly, that person came back and managed to chop, channel, and finish their book, in the end.

    I got thirty-plus pages out on Saturday, then stalled at twenty on Sunday. The average length of a three-day novel is apparently about 100 pages. But I'm one of those miserable people who goes around making things difficult for myself*--more in a minute on this.

    Yesterday I pulled out all the stops, stamped my foot to the floor--pick yer metaphor, they're all appropriate. I wrote two pages between roughly 7 and 9 AM. Yet by the end of the day (and the contest), I had managed to write 51 pages in all. Strewth!

    Back to making things harder: If I am running (and I sometimes do this for exercise) I will tell myself "Well, just as far as that rock then ..." However on reaching said rock I will tell myself "You've got a bit more in there--sure you have. So just to the bridge, alright?" Or else I'll deliberately lie to myself about how far I've travelled, how much more work there is to do on a project--pretty much anything to make it a pleasant surprise when I actually achieve a goal.

    So while the 3-Day Novel Contest demads its submissions double-spaced, I tend to write in "1.5", which I find reads more easily and with less scrolling on the screen.

    One of the more pleasing effects is that my 36, 531-or-so words currently occupy 104 pages. Once double-spaced, this should expand by twenty-to-thirty pages, which is even more brag-uppable!

    But it makes things a bit weird when I read of someone who's got 20 kilowords down the pipe and 88 pages.

    As always though, I find myself wondering who entered and has given up? I'm actually reasonably sure that most of us finish. I mean there's a $50 dollar entry fee, and few people opt to spend their long weekend slogging away at their opus for the wrong reasons, let alone pay for the privilege.

    Anyway, I'm glad I did it. And today I'm also glad it's over for another year.

    *No, Justin--this doesn't mean you're right. To my other readers--this is a running feud with a friend who is convinced that I make things unnecessarily difficult. This most latterly culminated in a shouting match held on the ramps (the narrow and unsteady ramps I remind you, Justin!) of an automobile transport trailer.
    A "transport of rage" if you will.

    But I hold no ill-feeling, and to prove it I intend to buy my friend a beer.
    Which I will serve him in a ziplock bag.
    Shaken, not stirred.

    'Tis Done, 'Tis Done, 'Tis Done

    To quote the bard.
  • 36,529 words
  • 104 pages
  • 2 @#%$ cats
  • 1 forest fire
  • 1 tired puppy

  • G'night.

    03 September 2006

    Day Two

    I'm thirty pages in, and I haven't had to cut myself short on sleep, although the housework's piling up a bit. Still not sure what I'm going to do with the baby, but the murderer has met his doom, although he doesn't know it yet.

    Speaking of doom, today's Doonesbury, on why the loonie fringes eventually have to turn and move back to the centre. If *** actually ever managed to make it to the centre, he might be able to get himself crowned--I mean elected--without having to have machines vote for him.

    02 September 2006

    Nine Hours, Nine Pages, So Far

    In my three-day novel. Well I did spend about five hours asleep, so I'm ahead of myself on points. Because that's really who you compete with when you do this.

    Since I have no time to write a blog post: George III vs George III, with thanks to Jeff Inglis of Portland, ME, for his post at the Doonesbury Blowback section.

    01 September 2006

    So Much To Do Today!

    It just hit me that in something over twelve hours from now I'll be sitting down to participate in the 3-Day Novel Contest. And I haven't yet got a clue as to what to write.

    My boss figured out that I'm not as burdened with work as she previously thought, so now I am. Most of my work, including the e-zine, is due by EOD (end o'day). So I have no time to blog.

    And just when Harper's given me a big fat target, too: He wants to arm the border guards (video here), despite evidence that the issue isn't weaponry but loneliness.

    So instead of big-bellied tubs of guts and ego with their heads stuffed with John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Dirty Harry and squirrel $#!7 on one side of the border, we'll now have them on both. How nice.

    Those guys from the Department of Fatherland Insanity are, in my experience, overbearing @$$#013$. Like the Gilchrist Minutemen (named for their performance in bed, possibly) only with uniforms. If they lived in Texas they'd have to chin themselves to see over their belt buckles.

    And the hogleg on their hip (which compensates for the lack of anything to disturb the gracefully curved line of their strained, bulging-at-the-seams polyester uniform pants) is part of the reason. Their love of duty also has a lot to do with dressing up in tight pants, leather and chrome, is my guess.

    Their overweening authority to harrass, hassle and intimidate is another part.

    Two years ago I made a truck trip into the States. I was stopped at the border and my passport demanded, despite the fact that I'd checked the Fatherland Insanity website and it was not required of me.

    On my honeymoon, the border putz demanded mein papieren. When I mildly protested (having checked that same website and again finding that it was not required) I was told "Well you'll need it to fly to Paris, wontcha?"

    One day when I have a lot of time, perhaps I'll return. And when another FI operative leans into my car and says that I'll say "Yeah. But not to get in here, apparently. So can I go now?"

    As it was, I had a new wife in the car and places to go. Since then continued experience has brought me to the belief that all such @$$#013$ are trained specifically to make you as uncomfortable and unhappy to have to be entering the US as possible.

    It comes as no real suprise that Harper, that most wooden and uncomfortable of men (theoretically, until the lab tests come back) would want to welcome visitors to the greatest country on the face of the Earth with exactly the same attitude.

    We don't need guns on our borders. In fact that's one of the reasons the Canada Customs and Revenuers are there--to prevent more of them from coming in.