Metroblog

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

29 May 2009

A Nerve-shredding Thought Occurs

In the post below I stated that the Harperites (why dignify them by calling them "Conservatives"?) believed government should be run like a business.

And that's the problem. Have you seen the way business behaves?

Harper's watching the CEOs of Goldmann-Sachs (golden sacks) and the other corporate welfare recipients, and wondering "How do I get MINE?"

He's clearly got the idea that if he bankrupts the company--I mean the country--he'll then be in line for a bailout and a bonus.

Naturally, that too will land on the taxpayer's shoulders. Reminds me of a song dedicated to the predatory practices of the banking industry:



That was from the US bank Capital One--My once and former credit card provider.

However, we do have the Canadian equivalent:

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28 May 2009

Okay, Lemme Put to You a Hypothetical Situation:

You're the elected leader of a large western democratic monarchy. Going into an election last year you said there was no economic crisis. Then you said there was, but it wasn't necessary to do anything about it. Then, having yielded ideology to reality at the insistence of the opposition you said you would have to do something about it for the good of the workin' folk. Then you bailed out international megacorps. Then you said "By the way, there's gonna be a defecit. About $30 bn worth".

So here's where we stand: Having gone from record surplus projections to (optimistic but still abysmal, and vice versa) defecit projections in four statements, this week you say "Actually, er ... It's going to be a wee bit bigger than we thought ... Um ... How does, oh, FIFTY billion dollars sound?"

Faced with calls for the resignation of your obviously grossly incompetent Minister of Finance, staring down the debt hole you gouged in our economy in the service of "Conservative" ideology, and wishing you hadn't completely spent up the surplus $30 billion you were gifted by your Liberal predecessors you:

A) Issue a mea culpa, and like any good CEO, tender your resignation. After all, your ideology claims government should behave like a business.
B) Ask for a vote of confidence in the house and accept the possibility of an election.
C) Take quick, decisive action by firing your finance minister and recognizing that your no-brakes free-market ideology is a failure.
D) Threaten to show old videos of the Opposition leader.

Guess which one our Dear Leader, Steve Harper, picked?

May I suggest that Canada add $300 million to the defecit? That's what it costs to hold an election. And whatever it costs it'll be cheaper to put someone else in power.

The Conservative Party of Canada: Making bad ideas even worse, lying about it, and wondering why the voters don't seem engaged.

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20 May 2009

Yet Another Transitional Fossil Found

One of the common arguments used by creationists used to be "Well, where are the transitional fossils, eh?"

And they had a point at one time. It was difficult to link, for example, birds to dinosaurs, land mammals to whales, and humans to other primates. Surely if one creature morphed into another we should see some in-between forms. But for the past thirty years in particular those transitional forms have been showing up.

Unfortunately, every time a new one turns up the usual response from creationists is "Well that was a separate species, all on its own ..." Which is true. But doesn't mean what they want it to mean.

And every time a new missing link is discovered, the gaps in evolution that have traditionally had gods forced in to account for what we don't know grow a little smaller.

And so we have Ida. Ida isn't a lemur, nor an ape. And yet she seems to be both. The magnificently-well preserved fossil may ... I say may because lo it is way sciency to try and be clear about what we don't know ... Certainty is the province of creationism ... be a link between lemurs and other primates, including us.
Researchers are unsure when and where the primate group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans split from the other group of primates that includes lemurs.

"[Ida] is one of the important branching points on the evolutionary tree," Richmond said, "but it's not the only branching point."
~From National Geographic, emphasis mine.

The question is whether the discovery of yet another transitional is likely to wring some acknowledgement of the truth of evolution out of the theory's detractors. I am unlikely to hold my breath.

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12 May 2009

Hey There (Number Twenty-Something for the "I-Know-I've-Been-Offline-Awhile" File)

Mme and I had a little mini-break last weekend in Banff, the place where everyone is from somewhere else. In one day I was served and had money taken by eight Aussie women. So if you're sitting around in Bundaberg and wondering where all the good Aussi women have got to, you need to visit Banff. If you're a Canadian, sitting around Banff or Whistler and wondering why all the local girls have funny accents, may I suggest Byron Bay? Okay, so half the women in Byron are Dutch, but you're still more likely to encounter a fellow Canuckistani.

Well a lot's been happening in the world, but little of it seemed to require a post:

We were all supposed to $#17 ourselves over swine flu, but it really doesn't seem as bad as all that. The World Health Organization was right to crank up the pandemic alerts, because there was a genuine risk. But I feel that fast precautions may have averted the worst of it. Besides, in the end it's a 'flu. It poses a major risk to those with immune disorders, and to the elderly and the very young. Like all flu do. Wash your hands, quit snogging strangers at the pub, and you're less likely to be exposed.

A friend of mine, Big Jim, posted a link to healthnet or whatever that friggin' colloidal-silver-flogging network is. Just as last time, it's all a big conspiracy by "the six companies that own all media" and their partners, the pharmaceutical industry. Among the claims: Canada is a corporation, because something named "Canada" is apparently registered with the SEC. Media film at the time showed machinery "producing vaccines", and colloidal silver was shortly to be banned (for at least the third time).

When I tore the post apart, he deleted my post, claiming my discussion was "irrelevant". So I asked directly for the names of the six companies. He refused to name them, saying I should Google them--That is, I should go to a mega-corp to investigate the megacorps that have such a lockdown on media that nothing contrary ever gets published except by people who believe the New World Order and the Reptillians are about to overwhelm us any minute now ... Aaaany minute now ... It's coming ... Don't say we didn't warn you ...

Then he closed his post by saying "This is just my opinion. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know."

I could shoe the Kentucky Derby with the irony in that statement. I have as yet refused to go back and re-post my original and see whether it gets deleted again. I mean, he's a friend. Crack-brained and paranoid, but a friend nonetheless.

Meanwhile, the Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry into whether ex-Prime Minister was taking money from an arms dealer has yet to conclude what most of the country already knows: Mulroney was a Conservative (despite Stephen Harper's desperate and lowlife attempts to have his name stricken from the roll) and a profiteering crook. But I repeat myself.

My general feeling is that when you're meeting in a hotel room and trading envelopes stuffed with cash, someone's getting ₤µ©λed. And since neither of the principals in this case is worth that much, it was the taxpayer. Unfortunately justice in this case has ground on so long, and ground so fine, that there really isn't anything left. I just hope we get a verdict and a prosecution, and at least see both men in jail, before one of them cacks out.

Iran released journo Roxana Saberi, thus catching a slight ethical edge on Barack Obama, who's unfortunately handling the abundant evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the Bush administration the way a cat handles a cat-turd on a linoleum floor. Bad enough he's refused to prosecute the torturers and their enablers. Worse that he's not even pumping for a truth-and-reconcilliation commission. But worst, he's failed to repudiate the current regime of domestic espionage.

Still, he isn't Bush, or any other Republican. And that counts for a lot. Especially while the mainstream of the Republican party is echoing Rush Windbag's sentiments that he hopes the country goes down the crapper because it'll apparently prove that Democratic presidents aren't fit to run the show.

The momentous dishonesty of a tubby, rich, white, stogie-puffing pervert and "ex-"drug-addict making such a statement whilst standing amid the rubble of "No Child Left Educated", a tanking economy fuelled in part by tax cuts to fat, rich, white dudes, two failed invasions, and a legacy unequaled since Rome fell, seems to have escaped Mr. Limpbough.

The Pope is touring the Middle East. Yeah. Whatever. Interestingly, the main manufactured outrage over the tour seems to be over the fact that he's a former Hitler Youth member. On this one, I'm with the Vatican. It has ₤µ©λ-all to do with his current positions. First off, many people were HY members in the final days of the war. A trucker buddy of mine's dad was "recruited" to serve on the barricades in Berlin when he was fourteen or so (and recruited at gunpoint into the French Foreign Legion shortly thereafter--I'll tell you the story sometime). And secondly it isn't as though he's touring Israel denying the Holocaust. Finally, for a wonder, his handlers seem to have managed to keep him from making any stupid gaffes like "Condoms raise the AIDS rate" thus far.

The latest shuttle mission is trying to sort out the Hubble space telescope again. This is annoying. Here's why: NASA has a project slated for 2012 or so, it's supposed to create a telescope array--several telescopes all flying around a specified distance from each other--with a baseline around 10,000 miles. We've just discovered several nearby stars with what look to be Earth-like planets in them. With a telescope with a baseline of ten thousand miles, if there's any intelligent life out there, we'd be able to read the license plates on their saucers with that kind of power. I want this to happen soonest. It may be the closest to real space exploration we manage to get to in my lifetime.

Because if we keep re-electing the bozos we're getting, we may need to find some new real estate, soonish.

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