Monthly Archives: December 2010

Christmas Wishes


We’re making no apologies for making very specific Christmas wishes to our readers.  Yes, we’re inclusive in that we recognize all the other holidays, including Kwanzaa, Diwali, Eid, Solstice, Hanukah and the worshipping of obscure Aztec deities associated with fertility or corn, but we happen to be Anglican in this house, so cut us some slack.  Inclusive cuts both ways, in that I include you and consequently you get to include me.

Whatever your particular belief set, we wish you peace, joy, health and prosperity now and through the coming new year.  If you have the time and the ability, share something with someone who needs it. 

Even if it is just a smile.

Merry Christmas.

 

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A New Face on Money


Two of our regular readers, Steve and John have come to a consensus on what is wrong with government and they’re right.  Not politically, but in the sense of correct in their assessment.

Government should be like jury duty.  You go and do a year, pass a few laws, get some free lunches, hear all kinds of salacious testimony and, at the end of the day, vote, sign it off and go home.  If you can come up with some really good excuses “I’m a convicted giraffe abuser yerhonour so’s I can’t be serving on no jury!” you don’t have to be empanelled. 

The same deal should apply for government:  Every year they pick 300 to 500 likely suspects by lottery and that’s the government.  You meet once a week and do what needs to be done, then go home.  At the end of your ‘term’ you turn in the laptop and go.  If you can steal enough to retire on, so be it.  If nothing else, the damage you can cause is limited enough, and likely less harmful than what the current crop of yahoos in Ottawa and Washington have/are/can cause.

Which made me think:  Both the US and Canada have various long-dead politicians on our currency.  In Canada we have Queen Betty the Deuce on our $20.  We also have a drunkard, a stoic and a whoremaster on other denominations.  Meanwhile the US has a slave-owner, a notorious womanizer and a guy with wooden teeth.

The downside of using dead politicians is that some of them were truly polarizing.  Mackenzie King used to hold séances at the PM’s residence to talk to his Mother.  JFK would have boffed a snake if he could get it to hold its mouth open long enough.  Coolidge was so boring, even Mormons ran away from him.  If Trudeau was ever on our currency the toilet paper industry would go broke in a month:  Nobody would buy toilet paper, we’d just wipe our ass on the $5 bill, just like Trudeau did with the country for several years.  And so on.

Here’s the concept:  Every four years (the average life of paper currency on either side of the border) we hold a contest.  If you want to have your face on the currency, you submit two photos:  One, of your head and shoulders, taken in the cheapest photo kiosk you can find.  The second photo is of your back yard, deck or the front of your apartment door.  It costs you whatever the denomination you want to be on.  If you want to be on the $10, it costs you $10.  You want to be on the C-note, it costs you a hun’.  Plus you get your signature on the denomination. 

A random drawing decides who is on the currency for the next four years.  As long as the photos don’t have obviously offensive content, that’s what is on the bill, face and obverse, for the next four years.  If your back yard has a busted trampoline and an ‘89 Trans-Am up on blocks amid all the other garbage, then that’s what we get.  If the front door of your apartment has “Roll Tide!” scrawled in crayon under a battery-powered laughing Santa clutching a menorah, then so be it.  Fire up the presses, we got a winner!

Proceeds and profits go to reduce the Federal Deficit.

Thoughts?   

The G20 ShamWow


A few months ago, back in warm, sunny June we wrote about a very disturbing change in the law in Ontario during the G20 wank-fest in Toronto.  You can read it here.  Short form, for a week the cops could demand ID and/or bust your ass if you were within 5 meters of the G20 security cordon.  The ‘probable cause’ was that you were within 5 meters of the G20 security cordon, nothing more.

Today our Premiere, Dalton “Sorry About That” McGuinty, came out and said that the Ontario government acted with good intentions when it cranked up an old WWII law used to protect courthouses and other public buildings from Nazi saboteurs in 1939. 

To quote the provincial ombudsman, Andre Marin. the government made a ‘premeditated, conscious decision” to give the police wartime powers and to keep the extra powers secret from the public.  We’re fairly certain that Doltboy McGuinty isn’t bright enough to come up with that kind of scam on his own.

Now, yes, the Premiere did overreact, but we’re reasonably certain he ran a two-hour Star Chamber to s-can our rights at the behest of, wait for it, the Federal Government, notably one Stephen, “Call me Stephen” Harper. 

Even the Federal Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews has said “Fooked if we did, check with boss at 2-4 Sussex.  I just keep the lights on and the pencils sharp around here.  G20 was a province thingy.  I’ll have to check with the PCO to make sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s a province deal.  Oooh can I have that shiny thing, mister?”

Will anyone resign over this?  Please don’t make me laugh, my lips are chapped.

Getch Programs Heah!


This is a rewrite of a roaddave from July 2006, back when North Korea first started behaving badly. 

The North Korea – South Korea area has become one big ballgame, but we don’t actually know who is playing.  Consider this the equivalent of buying a program at the ballpark, so you can see the players and their stats.

Let’s look at the line-ups Ken!

North Korea has missiles that work well enough. They have a mammoth standing army with hundreds of artillery pieces pointed at South Korean targets all long the 38th parallel, including the US forces that are doing the police action along the 38th. North Korea might very well have a couple of nuclear weapons that they know work. North Korea also has submarines.

South Korea has missiles. Some of their own, but mostly US owned and operated missiles for defense. South Korea also has artillery pointed at North Korea. There is a significant US military presence in South Korea working the police action along the 38th parallel. South Korea doesn’t have nukes, but they do have a couple of reactors at Ulsan. South Korea also has submarines.

China has missiles. They point a bunch of them at Taiwan. The deal is simple: If Taiwan declares independence from mainland China, the mainland will send a bucket load of badness at Taiwan. China also has much unpleasantness pointed at Russia. China has a huge army that can kick ass and take names. China has nukes, including submarines with nukes onboard.

Taiwan has missiles. Their stuff is mostly of ground to air and anti-ship missiles. Taiwan also has a decent air force to protect themselves from China. The US has been the purveyor of fine weaponry to Taiwan since 1948. Taiwan has all the primo gear the US makes. Taiwan doesn’t have nukes, but they do have submarines.

Russia has missiles. Most of them are pointed at China. Russia also has an army that can kick ass and take names. Russia has nukes including submarines with nukes onboard.

Japan has missiles. Most of them are short range air defense or anti-shipping missiles. They also have a 240,000 person self-defense force that has some good, US provided toys. Japan does have nuclear reactors, but no nuclear weapons. Japan has submarines.

The United States has missiles. A battle group is floating around in the area at all times including Aegis guided missile cruisers that could send rounds right into Kim Jong-Il’s second floor bathroom window in Pyongyang. The US has a big base in South Korea and a couple more in Japan. The US has nuclear submarines, with nukes, in the area.

Here’s the danger, aside from everyone in the area being armed: The Sea of Japan is not that big. You’ve got seven nations rolling around in there in ships and submarines, not to mention aircraft. Of those seven, three nations are somewhat sensible: Japan, South Korea and Russia.

I can’t believe I just wrote that Japan, South Korea and Russia are somewhat sensible, but compared to the other four, they’re like Switzerland on Valium.

The other four are bitter, twisted and looking to pick a fight with anybody. Somebody is going to either screw up or be deliberately provocative. There is historical precedence for this kind of dumb.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident saw a couple of US war ships being snotty off the coast of North Viet Nam in August 1964. North Viet Nam let off a couple of rounds at the ships as their own special way to saying ‘eff off’. That was all it took for Lyndon Johnson to go to Congress and get the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed. That was the justification for escalation of the Viet Nam war by the US.

In 2005 the US released what really happened. The USS Maddox and the C. Turner Joy were shooting rounds into North Viet Nam from international waters. A North Vietnamese torpedo boat came out and let fly with a machine gun. One round hit the Maddox. The rest of the story regarding the Gulf of Tonkin incident was, to be generous, bullshit.

Will a submarine driver for any of the interested parties make a mistake and bump into someone else’s submarine? Would the various governments manipulate that into a “provocative, unwarranted attack on a sovereign nation in the free and open Sea”?

Would that be slim enough justification? For North Korea, it doesn’t take much to set them off. The US is wound a little tight. China operates in a state of perpetual panic regarding Taiwan. Taiwan has had their colour-code terror alert Pez dispenser pinned on red since 1948.

It won’t take much.

WikiLeaks


For the past week, Julian Assange, the proprietor of the whistle-blower site, WikiLeaks, has been tossing buckets of sensitive, secret and classified material out onto the web, for all to see.

We’re of two minds here:  First, releasing classified material is illegal and could be considered giving assistance to the Enemy.  That would be a near-textbook definition of treason in the US.  Except there is no declared “Enemy” unless you count the American people as one.  Ask Homeland Security about that will you? 

At the same time, it is illuminating and entertaining to see, in their own words, what the diplomatic corps has to say about various players and countries, as well as how the various departments work together.

It isn’t as if WikiLeaks is publishing the nuclear launch codes and the dial-in number to start World War III, nor are they releasing real-time troop dispositions, as that isn’t the kind of data they seem to have.  What WikiLeaks does seem to have is more than 250,000 diplomatic cables from around the world, wherein dips and other wankers speak what little they have left of their minds.

Yes, the revelations are embarrassing, (“Putin lets the Russian Mob run the country” or “Hugo Chavez is crazier than a shithouse rat”) but the revelations themselves are not what one would call “new”.

There are some leaks that demonstrate that things really are as bad as we feared.  For instance, US private security firms in Afghanistan hiring ‘dancing boys’ to entertain the workers.  We’re willing to bet a nickel that the cost of the dancing boys was billed back to the Afghani government and the US State Department at four times what was paid and accounted for under ‘sund. explns’ on the invoice.

What seemed to really press the buttons wasn’t that foreign contractors were buying children, but that the revelation might ‘endanger lives’ by embarrassing the Afghan Interior Minister, to the point where the Interior Minister was begging the US Embassy to quash the story.  So far, one can’t quite tell how contractors buggering children will cause American soldiers to die, other than the Interior Minister will be so shocked that the truth has come out, that he loses it and sells US troop distributions to the Taliban. 

Perhaps the simpler answer is that the contractors start to behave like grown-ups.  No story, no threat to lives, move on.

As for the candid comments about world leaders?  The illumination by WikiLeaks is almost entertaining.  This is what is known as diplomatic shame and the more the dips go red-faced, the happier we should be.  It shows us regular folks that the diplomatic corps are such bald-faced liars and reality stylists that we should check two watches and call the speaking clock to confirm what any dip says if we ask them for the correct time.  Incidentally, do you think these diplomats are making $5.65 an hour?  Do you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth now?

Absolutely, the WikiLeaks are showing the diplomatic corps and their various subjects to be corrupt, venal, intellectually deprived, morally vacant, thieving, power-mad, douchebags who have to be physically restrained from trying to either buy or fuck the crack of dawn. 

All WikiLeaks is doing is confirming exactly what we’ve suspected for years.  Our leaders haven’t a clue and they don’t care about anything except their own image and fattening their wallets.

It isn’t news and it isn’t new.

Movember Update IV


As promised, here’s a shot of me with facial foliage.  More correctly, here is a shot of the Movember Team, known as BOC-ITS Mo.

BrosOfMovember

Between us we raised $2,176 for Prostate Cancer Canada through Movember Canada.  The Usual Suspects are (from Left to Right) Brian, Francois, Paul (back) Jason (middle), Keith (front), Some Twit, Gilles, Keith and David.  Not pictured, but just as important for their support are Pierre, Tom, and our Mo-Sistas Nicole, Wendy and Janet.  Photo courtesy Gord Carter, Bank of Canada.

Most importantly would be you, our donors.  Your support is what made this Movember worthwhile. 

We Thank You.