Metroblog

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

20 August 2009

Stupid Liberal* Tricks

Premier Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals* (who are conservatives) have just announced that, for some reason, they've lost $2 bn in revenue that they projected we'd have since June. Extrapolated to the end of the year, that suggests that their financial projections--the ones they fought the election on (you remember--the election which included the promise of no new taxes?)--are off by about $6 billion.

Or in short, Gordo is a lying ©µת+. An utter bastard. A worthless political skin stuffed with $#!7, piss, and corruption.

Anyone who was watching the election (that is to say, roughly 12% of the people who actually bothered showing up) knew that both the BC Liberals(wac) and the NDP were using maximum-rose coloured glasses for their projections. Carole James and the NDP missed their big chance to say "I told you so" by accepting the government's goddam lies figures wholesale. Which was convienient, as the NDP promised a bundle of goodies they couldn't pay for in the first place, PLUS they promised to do away with our carbon tax on gasoline.

But the cynicism of outright lying on the major points of one's platform is breathtaking.

I'm sick to death of this cynicism and corruption. Voters need to goddam well engage. From now on, anyone who complains about taxes with receive a withering "And who did YOU vote for?" from me.

Persons answering that they didn't vote, or meant to but missed the bus, or had a podiatrist appointment, or similar, will be beaten vigorously about the head and neck with a bottle filled with slips of paper on which shall be written all the campaign promises made and broken by the Campbell government.

It'll probably have to be a gallon bottle. Never mind--I'm going to have to drink at least that much to ignore how badly these @$$#013s are screwing this province.

We were already swirling around the bowl before Gordo's Commandos gave the chain an extra yank. Here's to the next decade of defecit spending as we try to cover the shortcomings of another uselss pack of "greed-is-great" mongrels.


*The BC Liberals--Because when you behave like a pack of federal Conservatives, it's just a name, and means no more than their promises.

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12 August 2009

Mee Mee Meme Me MeeMeeeeMeee Me. Me

Because some things are too good not to share:



Personally, I always figured he was the hidden genius behind the show, just as R2-D2 is the hidden mastermind who leads the Rebel Alliance.







Oh, the Wildlife-ity!

Raincoaster has been following the threads of the Great Meerkat Conspiracy, which has explained so much in terms of the rarity of fairies, the reduction of fish stocks, and the shortage of four-leafed clovers (they got the leprechauns first, don'cha know).

However, now ominous news reaches our peepers of the newest soldiers in the Meerkat War With Fish and People.

It is truly the saddest of news, for once-respectable raptors have now been recruited into the ravaging ranks of the Meerkat Army.

Read it and weep:
Eagle smashes car windshield with fish
Two targets with one bird, eh?

This, as Rick Mercer used to say on "Made In Canada", is not good.

We urgently await a statement from G Eagle on whether this indicates a change of eagle allegiance in the Total War Against Terror, Intrigue, And Meerkats (TWATIAM).

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

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11 August 2009

Conservatism: The View's Great With Your Head Up Your Collective

I'm honestly wondering whether Conservatism isn't merely a political viewpoint, but a psychotic disconnect.

Case in point: Our own Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is blaming Canada for the recent imposition of visa requirements on Mexicans, which you may recall was a summer surprise from his government.

That is, asked to explain his government's actions, Harper goes for the "It's not my fault--The country I'm trying to rule over just likes brown people too much!" defence. No surprise there, really.

Gutless, brainless, unconscionable ... And speaking of that:

I'm still glad I don't live in the United States. Because apparently Republicans have no idea what the term "discourse" means.

Invited to have a town-hall debate on health care reform, they respond with a) death threats, b) invitations to bring guns to said meetings and be violent, oh, and c) faking their own beatings. More on the Passion of Kenneth Gladney here.

The distortion and lying by shills for the Repugnicans reached its peak with Sarah "Moose Head" Palin's nutty claim that under the Obama proposal some sort of bureaucratic health board would pronounce on the fitness of her offspring to live
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Well I can understand why Palin would be worried about a panel with the power of life or death judging the usefulness to society of the mentally deficient. But even if such a panel were convened, they'd surely have enough humanity to spare her: culling mental defectives in the Palin family would likely leave no-one to care for poor Trig, who has Down Syndrome.

Your Republican Party: Fighting for the rights of the common folk to remain ignorant, fearful, exploited, and ill. Huzzah!

--And god damn them to hell.

In my own province, the BC "Liberals"--who are Conservatives (It'd take too long to explain--Here's the Wikipedia) are mulling over cutting some six thousand surgeries in Vancouver, and also closing a third of Vancouver emergency rooms during the Olympics.

The reason is that the Liberal government told the health authority to suck it up and refused to even negotiate funding a $200 million shortfall in budget because all spare money is earmarked for the Olympics--which is also why we're getting a "Harmonized Sales Tax"--which isn't a tax grab, apparently, but purely co-incidentally adds taxes to items previously spared them.

What's most disturbing about this non-tax-grab is the cynicism behind it. The Campbell Liberals campaigned specifically on a promise of "no new taxes" after adding a 2¢ "carbon" tax on every litre of gas. Note: I support the gas tax. Consumer-level carbon taxes are pretty much the only way to make significant change. However instead of the money going to green initiatives, the goverment plugs it into general revenue to bolster their abysmal budget figures.

Bear in mind that all health changes instituted in the past fifteen years have been from the BC Liberal Conservative party. So if the health authority is scrod--and I believe it is--the people to blame are fairly easy to spot.

You may remember the Olympics--the ones that are some 100% or something over budget and climbing? Turns out that the BC Liberals based part of that budget on the willingness of employers to pay their employees to work at the Olympics instead of, well, at work--Like, y'know, at their businesses.

For some reason that doesn't seem to be working out. So the BC government is going to second its own employees--that is, civil servants from the force that the first Campbell government slashed to its barely-functional bones--to do the Olympic jobs instead of, y'know, providing government services.

Oh, and that's on top of the massive incentive program already offered to BC government employees who volunteer at the Olympics--they actually get paid to take paid leave.

The Olympic security budget is $900 mil, up from an estimate of $180 million--I think they assumed Superman would be available, so the shortfall is understandable. But Superman is likely to be covering for the cops who are also being drafted into the Olympics' service. Courts will be all-but-closed for most of February in BC.

Conservatives just don't connect with reality anymore. They've earned their tme in the wilderness and should just go away and let the adults handle things until therapists find a cure.

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10 August 2009

A Thought Occurs

A friend posted a link wishing that "track pants were sexy, Mondays were fun, and guys were simple."

And I thought "Pardon?"

How many guys do you know who'll spend an hour getting ready for a night out, then collapse in tears because "I'm a mess!"?

How many guys do you know who own twelve pairs of shoes, and not one "walking" pair?

How many guys ever looked into the eyes of a woman they're in bed with and said "Honey--Are you sure this is a good idea?"

As a metaphor for trying to understand the nature of women, one should first acquire five jigsaw puzzles. Now remove ten percent of the pieces from each and throw the remainder through the laundry. Place all pices in a basket with large holes, shake it up. Now put on a blindfold and oven mitts and try to assemble a picture.

Guys are simple. It's dealing with the other half of humanity that makes us prime candidates for therapy.

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08 August 2009

Safety Catch .22

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.
~From Joseph Heller's 1961 novel

Just today we receive the announcement that several idiots who filmed themselves illegally shooting flightless baby ducks from their truck and making humourous comments such as "Mama's dead, don't need that one anymore," have been caught.

I have avoided commenting at the various threads on the health club shooting beyond saying that the shooter (may his name be rapidly forgotten) was a zeta-male loser with a grudge and a gun. The part I'm avoiding is the obvious bit about the NRA's unofficial creed: "Guns don't kill people--People with guns kill people!"

The point is that it's fairly clear that many people who get themselves a gun are precisely the sort of people whom no-one would want to have one.

So I propose a simple policy: I call it "Safety Catch-.22"

Since the desire to have a gun often seems to indicate the unsuitability of the applicant, anyone who applies in their own name to own a firearm will be immediately disqualified from doing so.

However, in the interest of fairness and all other requirements met, a license may be granted to anyone who can persuade another person to apply in his or her name.

I mean, think about it. People who know multiple murderers often say "Yeah--he creeped me out." Do you think anyone who knew the gym shooter, or the Columbine kids, would have signed off on getting them guns?

A friend mentioned, by pure happenstance yesterday, that one of the Columbine shooters' "girlfriend" acquired one of the weapons they used. I'd just like to say, "Have a nice life you dopey troll," and to suggest that perhaps the person making the application in your name should have to be a total stranger to you.

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06 August 2009

Law With Tongues of Flame ... But No Teeth

As I sit here with the smoke of a local forest fire in my nostrils, I notice this from CTV:
Despite B.C. fire turmoil, people still taking risks

Updated Thu. Aug. 6 2009 1:51 PM ET

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -- Despite international attention to B.C.'s burning forests, some people are still lighting camp fires and discarding cigarettes in the woods.

Forests Minister Pat Bell had first-hand experience last weekend when he had to tell some Shuswap campers to put out a campfire they were burning in the woods.

Bell says if he had a ticket book, not only would the group have received a $345 fine, but an administrative penalty as well.

The minister says there is zero tolerance for fire in the woods and already more than 50 tickets have been issued to people breaking the rules.

Bell says fire activity in the province is at the highest level seen in his lifetime, with more than 2,300 started this season, 800 more than at the same time in the horrible fire season of 2003.

About 400 aircraft and 4,000 people are working on the fires which have cost the government more than double the original budget at $135 million.
Oooooh a $345 fine! I'm friggin' trembling.
Let's compare that with the damage from forest fires in BC this summer: Roughly $200 million in insurance claims alone, to say nothing of the cost of fighting the fires.

Wow--$345 in return for possibly contributing to millions in annual damages. Who the hell are we kidding?

Let's see what Australia does, shall we?

Looks like, depending on how you interpret it, you could go to jail for up to fourteen years in some states. Good damn idea! Here's New South Wales' rules for lighting fires under a ban:
Penalty for offences

For lighting or causing a fire during a Total Fire Ban
Up to $5,000 fine and / or up to 5 years in jail
Higher penalties can apply in certain circumstances.
Now there's a fine fine!

Makes $345 look pretty arbitrary and weak, doesn't it? Why couldn't it have been $567? Or 8,910? Or 212,223?

Personally, I want ramming a car off the road to be covered under self-defence when the idiot in said car is seen to have jettisoned a ciggie butt. And although I'm a big fan of gun control, I feel that shooting someone who ditches a butt improperly in a forest fire zone should be reduced to a misdemeanor. Call it "unsafe discharge of a firearm" or something.

I'm really a big law-and-order guy. Ask me about my plan for traffic control through random sniping sometime.

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05 August 2009

The Best Statement I've Yet Heard on Climate Change

"And the very same people who told you that weapons of mass destruction were real are telling you that climate change is not."
Indeed.

One should consider one's sources. They were wrong about the economy, about the Iraq misadventure, and about so many other things ... Why would anyone trust them on anything at all?

From this video, found on Pharyngula.

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04 August 2009

My Dear Suite101.com

Hi Guys:

Since your email came from "noreply@suite101.com" (an address I've learned is morally equivalent to "go₤µ¢λyourself@suite101.com") I can't write back to you, but of course the World Wide Web is indeed wide, and so I've decided to post a reply to your reply to my "application" to write for you.

In short: Go ₤µ¢λ yourselves.

Does that seem rude? Do I sound less-than-impressed by your considered and thoughtful response from "noreply@suite101.com"? Well let me try to put this in terms you genii (reach for your dictionaries--one genius, two genii) can understand:

If you were arrested, would you prefer that the charge sheet state:
"You are being charged with committing malicious parking in a handicapped zone"
--that being the sort of thing I suspect you do for kicks.

-or would you rather it read thusly:
"You are being charged with one of the following possible offences:
1) Mopery and dopery on the spaceways
2) Extreme flatulence in a public conveyance
3) Malicious parking in a handicapped zone
4) Knowingly and with malice aforethought bringing out photos of your children to show the unfortunate clerk while the lineup gets longer behind you at the grocery.
5) Keeping a number of cats exceeding the number of rooms in your home."
Me neither, so let me enlighten you as to your approach when dismissing someone who actually took a fair bit of time to adapt and edit some work your readers might have enjoyed while I was applying to write for you.

Rejection from employment, if presented as a form letter, should never imply that a human ever looked at the submitted samples. It's obvious no-one with eyeballs (or any other kind) has seen what I submitted.

In that case, why provide the following advisory?
Your application to be a Contributing Writer to Suite101.com has been declined for ONE of the following reasons:

* your areas of expertise and samples did not reflect the search interests of our Web audience;
* your educational and employment experience did not suggest authoritative expertise re the subject areas you wish to cover;
* the tone of your samples was better suited to a site either more or less formal than our own;
* your writing sample may have had serious errors in language use, structure, grammar, spelling, or punctuation;
* your writing suggested a first-person, experiential, or opinion-based approach to material rather than an objective journalistic style that quoted verifiable sources.

Due to volume of applicants and limited editorial staff and time we are not able to field inquiries requesting more specific reasons for declining this application.
To quote a sergeant I once worked for, "Why couldn't you just have told me to ₤µ¢λ off?"

If anyone had truly read the samples I sent, then you wouldn't need this broadsheet multiple-choice approach. You'd have been able to say "We're sorry, but we're really not looking for that sort of material." Or "Your work is far too classy for a $#17-ass pack of grammatical illiterates such as ourselves," or even "We're sorry, but you spell like a Brit, and we cater to the Alabama trailer-park demographic. They don't understand the word 'neighbour.'"

Instead, you ran my samples through some sort of filter designed to mine the money-making stuff. So if my spelling didn't suit, or my turn of phrase was maybe a tad over-elaborate, it wasn't going to get through. If I didn't submit samples on the topics you failed to specify you need covered, then it wasn't going to get through. If, in other words, any thought, reading comprehension, or intellect was required to make sense of my prose, that wasn't going to do it for Suite101.com.

However, I'd like to thank you for the laugh I got when I spotted the following at the bottom of your form letter:
You are welcome to reapply at a later date should your credentials and samples change. We wish you the best with your writing career and thank you for considering Suite as a publishing platform
Let me make a slight grammatical correction for the sake of clarity, albeit from a "first-person, experiential, or opinion-based approach to material rather than an objective journalistic style that quoted verifiable sources":

"₤µ¢λ off."

Now perhaps we understand each other a bit better.

Oh,I can handle rejection alright. But form-letter rejection trying to pretend anyone with authority, or even a human, saw my work gets right on my nuts, in case you genii hadn't guessed.

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