"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Video killed the radio star

Yeah, we've got you coming and going on the whole music thing this weekend. Just click on the control bar above the radio to pause the music stream and have a look at some music videos.

These first few were suggested by regular reader and hero of the revolution the esteemed Rev. Dr. Democommie  DD, MBE Esq. who has a penchant for Canuckistani roots music.









In response to Comrade Democommie's suggestion, I have a few of my own.



Check out the killer pedal steel guitar by regular reader Stephen from Olde Berlin


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Winter is coming, but it isn't coming fast enough

No, this is not a weather post. The weather in Southern Ontario has been great lately, hail storms notwithstanding. It has been in the mid 30s C, a little humid, but nothing compared to August in Tokyo.
Those in the know will get the reference. I've recently passed on to Mrs. Rev.Paperboy my addiction to the terrific, if slightly cheesy, epic fantasy series Game of Thrones. She watched the first season this week and will likely cruise through the second season next week. Then both of us will go into withdrawal until season three hits the small screen sometime next year. Thank goodness "The Hobbitt" will be out later this year to tide us over.
In the meantime, I whole heartedly agree with Paul & Storm:



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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Contemptuous and contemptible

A lot of people are claiming the immigration and citizenship minister Jason Kenney's "Asshole-gate" is a tempest in a teapot and now that Kenney has phoned Alberta deputy premier Tom Lukaszuk to apologize for calling him an asshole in an email to CPC caucus members, we should forget the whole thing.
Not so fast.
Let me stipulate that I am hardly one to clutch my pearls and stumble toward the fainting couch wailing "won't somebody think of the precious, precious children?" any time anyone uses forceful language. Fuck no, I'm all for a "free and frank exchange of ideas" as we used to call them at one place I worked. Strong, even profane language is a vital part of the communications tool kit and it has a valid role to play even in public discourse and the workplace.
And I'm not disagreeing with Jason Kenney's characterization of Lukaszuk. I've never met him, maybe he is a "complete and utter asshole." He is a conservative politician, after all, so what are the odds? I know Kenney and some of his fellow Reform Party refugees had hoped for the more extreme socially conservative right-wing Wild Rose Party to displace the conservative, right-wing Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta and I know how they tend to throw tantrums when the people fail to give them what they want at the ballot box, but as the conservatives like to point out when they win, elections have consequences.
No, my complaint is the complete and utter lack of judgement shown by Kenney in expressing such strong, negative and especially personal opinions about a prominent senior member of a provincial government.
This isn't one guy calling another guy a name in the bar after a few beers, or even politicians speaking frankly around the confidential cabinet table, this is a minister of the crown using an obscenity to describe the deputy premier to other members of parliament. It publicly demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for both the office and the people of Alberta.
I might think someone in my office or someone my company does business with is an asshole, and I might even mention that opinion to other people I work with, but I certainly don't put that kind of assessment down in writing in any kind of business report, letter, memo, email, phone message or even a lousy post-it note. People are routinely fired for such stupidity.
This speaks also to a larger issue of character. Looking at the kind of buffoons, knuckle-draggers, weasels and flat-out crooks the Prime Minister chooses to surround himself with, you have to wonder after a while if these are really the sort of people we really want running the country.
Consider:

  • The PM's parliamentary secretary Dean Del Mastro is currently being investigated for illegal campaign spending and all indicators are that he will eventually face charges. This is the same MP that was the government's point man in trying to deny and mislead over the ongoing robocall vote-suppression scandal.
  • The PM's former top adviser Bruce Carson was convicted of five counts of fraud before coming to work for Stephen Harper.
  •  Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is an admitted serial adulterer.
  •  Bev Oda, in addition to her love of taxpayer funded luxury, also likes to alter documents.
  • Maxime Bernier likes to pal around with people who have ties to biker gangs.
  • Defense Minister Peter McKay seems to think the Canadian Forces are his personal taxi service.
  • The Conservative Party of Canada itself was found to have broken the election financing laws in the In-and-Out scandal
  • The entire government was declared in contempt of Parliament , an unprecedented event, sparking the last election
This is by no means an exhaustive list either. I haven't mentioned the G20 Gazebo slush-fund, former PM aide Keith Beardsley violation of lobbying rules,  former conservative caucus leader Rahim Jaffer's breaking of lobbying rules (who could forget the 'busty hookers and coke' stories?) and so many, many other ethical transgressions.
And we haven't discussed the things they have been getting done to for Canadians either, like doing their best to defund rival parties, getting rid of the court challenges program, proroguing Parliament to avoid confidence votes and scrutiny of probable war crimes, running the most secretive government in modern Canadian history (the Parliamentary budget office can't even get info from the government on how it is spending our money), gagging public servants, willfully gutting environmental protections and the general tone of vengeful rat-bastardism of the current government.
The Conservative Party of Canada is not interested in good governance, social justice or what is good for the country as a whole. They are interested in getting and keeping power, lining the pockets of their supporters in the oil and finance industries, comforting the comfortable and stepping on the throat of any who would attempt to challenge them.
Kenney's sneering rudeness and lack of judgement is just the latest example of the party's entitled arrogance and contempt for all outside their fascist cadre.



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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chapter IV: A New Hope

Now that Team Coyne's campaign for the Liberal leadership has come out into the light, one wonders if we can convince Parliamentary process expert, ace thumb-typer, tireless CBC news minx and hat enthusiast Kady O'Malley to run against him. With competition like this, Justin Trudeau might decide to run after all. Certainly any of the three would be more likely to get my vote than John Manley.

And for what it is worth, I bristle at both the notion that Justin Trudeau would be some sort of saviour for the Liberal Party of Canada, and at the outright dismissal of him by pundits such as Coyne. Justin Trudeau has shown himself to be a thoughtful, conscientious and hard working MP. Yes, he has showboated a bit, but mostly because the media demands of it of him. People have been mentioning him as a possible Liberal leader ever since he delivered the eulogy  at his father's funeral.
Certainly, he has charisma aplenty, but he also has a sense of civic responsibility and dare I say it, nobless oblige. People can and will complain that the last Canada needs is a hereditary political dynasty like the Kennedys or Bushes south of the border, but as legacy politicos go, we could do whole a lot worse that Justin Trudeau.
After all, this is someone who was born to wealth and power and could have done anything he wanted. He chose to teach public high school in Vancouver for a few years and then work for environmental causes. His political career has seen him continue to fight for the environment and for programs like Katimavik that turn out engaged, public-minded young Canadians. He has shown himself to be honest, open and on the side of the angels on just about any issue you care to name.
I don't think he is going to be any kind of political messiah, but I think the Liberal Party of Canada could do a lot worse.

In other news, thanks again to the wonderful work of the McMaher, the odious Dean Del Mastro appears to be headed for a world of suck. People have gone to jail for much less than this sort of corruption. Maybe those new prisons weren't such a bad idea after all. We gonna need room for more CPC politicos than just Del Mastro and Pierre Poutine in the long run.



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My father taught me so much


and I'm passing it all on to my kids in just this way.

I should hasten to add that my dad taught me to love the Montreal Canadiens, the Cleveland Indians, the great outdoors, good newspapering, good wine and so many, many other good things. Thanks, Dad.

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