Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Go get some mental help, Mr Alberto Gonzales!" (video)

This little video will make you happy :)

Today you are resigning, Mr. Alberto Gonzales! You should go back to Texas today, and get some mental help and read the constitution, sir.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New backronyms for SPP: how about Secretive Profiteers Plot?

The following at Saskboy (originally from James Bow) made me think:

Incidentally, the name of the proposed “deep integration” between Canada, the United States and Mexico is somewhat telling. The “Security and Prosperity Partnership”? An award for most compelling (and concise!) bit of positive spin should go to the government worker who came up with that title. Imagine: “how can you be opposed to this?
Indeed. And I think we (those who oppose the undemocratic nature of SPP) have failed in coming up with our own answer to the positive spin on these meetings. Yes, 'deep integration' has a 'ring' of some sort, but aren't we already deeply integrated with one another? Isn't the whole world a lot smaller than say a generation ago? So why should 'deep integration' be such a big deal? It's not all that easy for us to explain in a couple of sentences what the problem is with 'deep integration'.

So what IS the problem?
I consider the main problem with the SPP that it is undemocratic (only the wealthiest CEOs and the three amigos are invited) and highly secretive (everything is behind closed doors). 'Deep integration' does not cover these negatives, therefore I came up with a (derogatory) backronym for SPP:

SPP = Secretive Profiteers Plot.

This backronym covers its secretive nature, and the fact that (apart from the three amigos) only extremely wealthy CEOs conspire at these summits.

What it doesn't cover (at least not directly) is how undemocratic it is, so if you can come up with a better one then please leave a comment. Good ideas never come too early.

Two other ideas I had: Symposium without Public Participation | Securing Profits before People.
Others suggested: Screwing People and Planet

- Saskboy: SPP Protest Fallout
- Wikipedia: backronym
- Wikipedia: SPP

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Disappearing SPP protesters; Stephen Harper has got some explaining to do

Aren't we all agreeing that it is overly obvious that:
- the three protesters caught on video were provocateurs
- the police knew who these guys were.

But maybe the police is right and the provocateurs were not police but hired by people higher up in the command? The fact that the RCMP is so secretive about it ("for security reasons") tells us that we can in all honesty start speculating about how far up this goes.

And if the RCMP is not going to be open and transparent about what happened with the three provocateurs (in any normal circumstance people that are being handcuffed will generate a paper trail), shouldn't the Prime Minister be held responsible for the disappearance of three protesters? Montebello was his party, wasn't it?

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the PMO is behind this. Harper's earlier comments on the SPP demonstrations ("it's sad") showed nothing but contempt for the protesters. Is it then that "outrageous" to think Harper's got something to do with it?

Stephen Harper has got some explaining to do.

- Wikipedia: List of people who have dissapeared
- Dominion: What Stephen Harper's video feed may have missed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SPP Protest Provocateurs; where did they go?

Where did the provocateurs go?

That's the question we need to focus on.
In Canada, nobody gets handcuffed without a paper trail.

The Surete du Quebec police has some explaining to do. If these provocateurs weren't police, then why were they not arrested?

The explanation given by the Surete du Quebec police doesn't make any sense.

Update: more on Harper's contempt on SPP protesters

- Wikipedia: paper trail

Something fishy about SPP and boots

These were the boots that the policemen were wearing (click picture for larger version):

And this is a detailed picture of the boots that the "provocateurs" were wearing (click picture for larger version):

Lots to read about "the provocateurs" in this Toronto Star article.

My favourite line of the day?
Coles: "The SPP is a fraud, just like those three so-called activists were."

Update: Paulitics has even a more detailed picture on the boots, showing that ALL officers were wearing the same boots, as did all the provocateurs. Visit his website to see the picture.

- Wikipedia: SPP
- Wikipedia: provocateurs

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rudy Giuliani's candidacy; all about fear mongering (video)

- H/T Huffington Post
- Wikipedia: fear mongering

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

ProgBlog, Cherniak and MMP

For those who haven't been following the latest MMP vs. FPTP battle, Jason Cherniak is one of the few Liberals that does not seem to have a problem with the current FPTP system; on the contrary, he and his cronies claim that FPTP is superior to all other systems. This is how they put it: it's "By the People, Of the People, and For the People... And not for the parties!" Yeah, whatever.

What bugs me most about Jason's position, is that he thinks he can get away with this kind of crap. I mean, if you're a progressive (progressive-bloggers-banner still on Jason's site? Check... he's got two!! he's got two!!), then shouldn't you at least share the opinion that democratic reform is desperately needed? Does democratic deficit ring a bell, Jason?

MMP might not be the best system in the world (I personally prefer STV), but it's at least a BIG step forward from the antiquated FPTP. And, if MMP isn't the right system for you, then what system is in your vision Jason, a better one than the current?

Nothing from Jason and his conservative cronies, no alternatives given. That means that the No-MMP camp isn't really against MMP, but it's against progress. Why? Because they give no other alternatives to the current misere of FPTP.

Isn't sticking with the old stuff, merely because it's NOT the new stuff called conservative? When will ProgBlog finally dump the hypocrite?

UPDATE: If you agree with me that Mr. Cherniak should be removed from ProgBlog, then please send a message to the ProgBlog moderators, as described by Scott in the comment section.

The ProgBLog email-addresses can be found on the home page of ProgBlog (bottom left corner); take action and keep ProgBlog progressive!

- Jason Cherniak: Campaign to defeat MMP
- NO to MMP
- Progressive Bloggers
- Wikipedia: STV | MMP

Monday, August 06, 2007

Michael Ignatieff gets mugged by reality; What took that genius so long?

Political Blogging from "the Concern Troll":

I'll write a longer post about Ignatieff's horrible article in the New York Times Magazine. Probably one of the most disingenuous, unapologetic and shameful opinion piece on the topic. Right up there with the neoconservative hacks of the grubbier kind (Jonah Goldberg comes to mind).

I'll just say a couple of things for now: first, it's been 4, 5 years? 5 years? What took that genius so long? Could it be political expediency (he looks like a fool in Canada, and so long as he did not publicly recant, he could not hope for a potential cabinet position at a later date)? And what's with trotting out Churchill and Aristotle? and the circuitous arguments?

Just say it Ignatieff: you were fooled. For all your intellectual refinement and philosophical sophistication, you were fooled. Just like a gullible undergraduate. You were played by your neoconservative colleagues (we were there, we all know who they are, so please, no Iraqi exiled and no phony heroic tales of you strolling through the Qandil mountains...).

Now you're left holding the bag. So how does it feel to get mugged by reality, fool?
- The Concern Troll: At long last, Michael Ignatieff gets mugged by reality
- Ignatieff is unrepentant

Ignatieff is unrepentant

Joseph Palermo's article "Michael Ignatieff "Getting Iraq Wrong" in the Huffington Post should not be missed. Here are some of my favourite parts:

In yesterday's New York Times Magazine, Michael Ignatieff, the former Harvard professor and Canadian politician, offers his long-awaited assessment of the invasion of Iraq, which he had previously heralded as the glorious beginning of a new American imperial order. [...]

After fluttering around for eight paragraphs with intellectual ornaments to obfuscate the fact that he is not going to admit he was wrong, Ignatieff finally gets around to mentioning Iraq:

Benchmarks for progress in Iraq can help to decide how long America should stay there. But in the end, no one knows -- because no one can know -- what exactly America can still do to create stability in Iraq.
Here Ignatieff sounds a lot like Donald Rumsfeld's "known unknowns," and, like Rumsfeld, he obscures the only realistic option left for the United States, which is to get out of Iraq now and end the occupation. [...]

Ignatieff continues:
The costs of staying will be borne by Americans, while the cost of leaving will be mostly borne by Iraqis.

Here he is dead wrong: the Iraqi people have borne and will continue to bear the catastrophic human costs of both the American invasion and the occupation of their country. [...] This notion is just another argument for staying the course in Iraq, and Ignatieff knows this. [...]

Pathetically, Ignatieff tries to play on the human sympathies of his readers:
I went to northern Iraq in 1992. I saw what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds. From that moment forward, I believed he had to go.
But he doesn't explain why he didn't bother to read about the Reagan Administration's support for Saddam throughout the 1980s. He must know that the U.S. lavished on the Iraqi dictator generous agricultural credits, precursors for chemical weapons, and even satellite intelligence data, as well as vetoed U.N. resolutions condemning Iraq's September 1980 invasion of Iran. [...]

But the assertion in this article that made me the angriest is this:
We might test judgment by asking, on the issue of Iraq, who best anticipated how events turned out. But many of those who correctly anticipated catastrophe [...] opposed the invasion because they believed the president was only after oil or because they believed America is always and in every situation wrong.
This statement is a political attack on those who, unlike Ignatieff, got it right from the start. [Ignatieff is] the one who waxed eloquent about the glories of American imperialism and American power; he's the one who ignored international law and world opinion to further abstract notions of American hegemony and preventive war; he's the one who was a cheerleader for "shock and awe" knowing that innocent people were going to die; and he's the one who promulgated an exaggerated sense of American innocence as he still does in this wretched piece. Ignatieff is unrepentant.

[...] Ignatieff's blindness to history continues when he writes:
[Those who opposed the war] did not necessarily possess more knowledge than the rest of us. They labored, as everyone did, with the same faulty intelligence and lack of knowledge of Iraq's fissured sectarian history.
This assertion is patently untrue. Hans Blix, Mohammed ElBaradai, Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern, David Albright, Robert Baer, Joseph Wilson, and many others all knew the Bush Administration was cooking the intelligence and rushing the country to war; dozens of people resigned from the CIA and the State Department in protest prior to the invasion; over 14 million peace protesters demonstrated worldwide on February 15, 2003; the U.N. rejected a resolution authorizing the use of force; and the Arab League, the Islamic Conference, Germany, Russia, France, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Organization of American States, and the Organization of African Unity, all opposed the invasion. Ignatieff here is repeating the Bush-Cheney lie; the mantra that "we all got it wrong," therefore "we" are all blameless. It is just a device to deflect accountability for the disaster.

A person with Ignatieff's intellectual gifts knows he is deliberately making a bogus argument to shield himself from responsibility. That doesn't sound like a mea culpa to me.

- Read the whole story in the Huffington Post: Michael Ignatieff "Getting Iraq Wrong"
- New York Times (2007): "Getting Iraq Wrong" - Michael Ignatieff
- New York Times (2003): "The Burden" - Michael Ignatieff

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Osama's latest stategy revealed

Osama on the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge:

- H/T Truthdig.com

Saturday, August 04, 2007

South Asia floods kill 1000 and displace 20 million

2007 Radio New Zealand - Posted at 5:36pm on 05 Aug 2007

Aid agencies have launched urgent appeals for help for the victims of the devastating monsoon floods which are hitting northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Almost 20 million people have been forced out of their homes as some of the worst monsoon floods in years cover vast areas of northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

More than 1,000 people have been killed or injured by rising waters, and aid agencies say the figure is expected to rise. Many others are trapped in villages at risk from landslides, snakebites and disease. Hundreds of thousands have lost their homes, livestock and fields.

Fourteen million people in India and 7 million in Bangladesh are in urgent need of food, water and medicines. The governments of both countries are trying to deliver supplies.

The United Nations Children's Fund says the scale of the crisis poses an unprecedented challenge to the delivery of aid. And a spokesman for the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Davendra Turq, says people should be prepared for more flooding.

In Nepal, the situation is beginning to improve in one of the worst hit areas, Janakpur.

- Radio New Zeeland: Monsoon floods force millions from their homes
- Wikipedia: 2007 South Asian Floods

Friday, August 03, 2007

Blocking Lefty Blogs, US Style.

When even the land of the free senate leaders start to block access to blogs, then you know bloggers are doing at least something right:

Mike Bishop Blocks 'Blogging for Michigan' from Senate Employees

Apparently bankrupting the state isn't all Michigan State Senate Republican Leader Mike Bishop wants to do. This time he's gone after one of Michigan's best lefty blogs, Blogging for Michigan.

After a post went up today on BFM about the wrong-doings one of Bishop's cronies, out-of-touch Senator Bruce Patterson (R-Canton), Mike Bishop's Chief of Staff Matt Miner, called Secretary of the Senate Carol Viventi and instructed her to block access to all blogs from the Senate offices.

- Daily Kos: MI State Senate Republican Majority Leader Declares War on Blogs
- Wikipedia: Internet Censorship: Canada | USA

Thursday, August 02, 2007

'Stolen Generation' Aborigine wins test case

Finally, a breakthrough:

Australian aborigines renewed their calls yesterday for an official apology to members of the "Stolen Generation", following a landmark payout to a man taken from his family when he was a baby.

Bruce Trevorrow, 50, was awarded A$525,000 (£220,000) by the South Australian Supreme Court as compensation for a lifetime of problems, including depression, alcoholism and the loss of his cultural identity. The court found that the state government had removed him from his parents without their consent in 1957.

Mr Trevorrow is one of about 100,000 mainly mixed-race children who suffered that fate, as a result of official assimilation policies that were only abandoned in 1975. Members of the Stolen Generation have been seeking compensation since 1997, when a national inquiry found many of them had suffered long-term psychological effects. Mr Trevorrow is the first successful litigant.

The size of the award astonished observers, and was welcomed as a breakthrough.

- the Independent: 'Stolen Generation' Aborigine wins test case
- Wikipedia: Stolen Generation