Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Although US Government lies by press conference are so common they're (apparently) not noteworthy any more, FEMA external affairs chief John Philbin has been fired for holding a fake news conference about fake news with fake questions from fake reporters. Specifically, the fake news conference was addressing all the fake aid being made immediately available to all the wealthy, predominantly white victims of California's recent wildfires. This is in contrast to the real news conferences about all the fake aid to the predominantly black victims of Hurricane Katrina.
As this is a global-warming-related issue, Mothra has directly interceded, crushing Philbin's career, like a bug.
Mothra, Guardian Spirit of the Earth, smites you FEMA! Beware her wrath!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have been away from you, walking the dark paths of my own soul. But I return to you Enlightened, and bearing a message of Salvation.
I have given my heart to Our Lady And Saviour... Mothra.
Whenever the nefarious King Ghidorah attacks Earth... usually starting with Japan... all it ever takes is for someone to open their heart to the eternal warmth and love of Our Gigantic Insectoid Mistress, chant her sacred song... and Mothra will arise to smite the menace.
Unlike other religions, this actually works, and I can prove it.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach recently announced that Alberta would be collecting almost-but-not-quite reasonable royalties from Big Oil. Big Oil had previously said they would take their money and go away if Stelmach did this.
Naturally, as all Albertans, I was quaking in terror at the thought of the petro-giants taking Alberta's Big Money Fix away.
Immediately after Ed made his announcement, I fell to my knees in prayer to Mothra, that we all may be saved.
And guess what? Petro-Canada has announced that they're still gonna buy oil from us, like they needed it or something!
Praise you Mothra. We are weak, but you are strong.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Government spokesman Tom Olsen says the premier hasn’t met with any energy industry officials since the royalty report was released, but the deputy premier is willing to identify who he’s met with from the energy sector."
Oh, I get it. You didn't shoot anyone, but that darned bullet of yours sure did...
Stelmach was always big on the whole "open and transparent" and transparent thing. It's just a shame that by "open and transparent" the Conservative government was talking about being "open and transparent" about it's complete contempt for the voters or sustainability.
Maybe Ed needs to get some quick bullshit PR for hire mercenaries to parachute in and save his ass...
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thanks for all the prayers. I'm glad you liked the titanium golf clubs, but you don't need to thank me: they were a business write-off for one of your clients. But thanks for the thought anyway.
Misdirection is actually the reason I'm writing to you today. I read your recent column at World Net Daily about evolution, and I think it's time I cleared up a few things for you.
First of all, biblical literalism: I know how you guys love to bend and stretch things to fit the exact words you see in that Bible in front of you. That's why you folks are constantly pushing the notion that the universe is about 6000 years old, based on Bishop Ussher's interpretation of the Old Testament.
Joe: science has moved on a little since the 1600s. I can prove it, too. You, for example, have a web site ...not a scroll.
I understand that you feel the need to defend your faith. That's great. A lot of good has come from that in its time, even if much of it has been from people like Mother Theresa who secretly doubt Me. And you'd be amazed how many perfectly nice atheists there are out there. Honest!
What I'm trying to say here, Joe, is that you have a brain. Whether you want to blame that fact on Me, or on Evolution, don't you think it's a shame you aren't using it? Again: faith is one thing, but doing crazy intellectual back-flips to justify the letter of the law but not the spirit? That's the sort of thing that pisses me off. It makes me blowing-up-Gomorrah cranky, but of course that's not really my style.
Joe: think. Biblical literalism has its limits. Or are you trying to tell me you don't eat pork and regularly "suffer not a witch to live"?
Seriously, dude. Think about it.
Anyway, I have to go now. There's a planetary nebula in Andromeda that's turning out really nicely, and I want to go watch. Try to be a little smarter and kinder to each other, okay? It would be a terrible disappointment if you guys gave in to your own worst instincts and blew each other up.
Of course, if you do, I have some amazing plans for the bandicoot in about four million years. They'll do me proud at least, I'm sure.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Then why would George W. Bush condemn a puffball non-binding House Resolution calling the extermination of a sub-set of your species exactly what it was... genocide?
Don't give me any of the "political" reasons. I want to hear a human reason.
Otherwise, you're next.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
00:22 Smash-cut to a young woman pleading for mercy on what seems to be some sort of operating table. I love symbolism in a movie. The surgery represents modern global entertainment conglomerates. The unseen surgeon is the director, a guy named John Stockwell. The victim pleading for release from the pain is you.
Stockwell apparently received an Emmy nomination for an episode of "The L Word." He then got a deal to direct this abomination, which should have been called "The S Word."
1:10: The credits. A nice quick montage of a tour bus driving through scenic downtown nowhere in Brazil, overlaid with newspaper clippings (in English) about missing US Tourists in scenic downtown nowhere, Brazil. A lot of movies can be summarized by the two-minute trailer: this one breaks new ground in that it can be summarized by its own opening credits.
3:40-5:05: Here we have the two lines of dialogue per person set-up where we establish who the Turistas are, and why we should care about them. Mission: Not Accomplished. One of them is quite loud and rude though, which is a stunning reversal of stereotype about American tourists.
3:50: "Hola, everyone! I'm your bus driver, Señor Plot Device! I'll be driving the bus like a complete idiot just long enough to crash it and strand you tourists in the middle of nowhere. Have a nice day..."
3:54: The first of many gratuitous swimwear shots, and we aren't even off the bus yet.
5:05: Proof that a bus crash can actually be pretty damned boring.
6:20: The name Michael Arlen Ross flashes on the screen for the writing credit. His previous writing credits include... actually, there's no evidence he could write anything, in this movie or elsewhere. He did edit "Wrong Turn" though, which according to IMDB.com is a tale of "cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding." I'm guessing it's a documentary about a Mitt Romney fundraiser.
6:20-6:35: We are given a second chance for the cipher/characters to introduce themselves and give us a reason to care about them. Strike two!
7:20: Alex, the loud jerk American, has been in Brazil long enough to get lost in the jungle, but hasn't figured out that the local language is Portuguese, not Spanish. Does no one read up on a place before they go there anymore?
8:16: "Hi, we're oversexed Englishmen. Don't worry, we'll be dead before this is all over."
8:42: Vultures circling. "Do they know something we don't?" Yes. Vultures have an unerring instinct for where a young actor's career is headed.
9:05: Trouble with some of the locals. Apparently they're upset because tourists have been spreading some kind of rumours about an organ-stealing operation in this neck of the rain forest, or something like that. At least it gives someone a chance to shout at the main cast, which should have happened before they signed on for this thing.
10:06: "We're in the middle of nowhere, a long way from town, but there's a bar on the beach! Woo hoo!" This is also the exact same thought process a moth goes through on his way to rendezvous with an open flame.
11:45: Let's go swimming, but oh darn... "I left my top in Rio." Yes, and you left your common sense at home when you let your agent hook you up with this travesty, so get topless honey. It's your only chance to redeem your career.
11:50: Oh. You're lovely, don't get me wrong, but I was wrong about it redeeming your career.
13:51: Meet Insanely Hot Brazilian Woman #1, and her friend IHBW #2. They too are apparently members of the Plot Device family, who must be breeding like rabbits.
14:45: The Swedish Tourists: they're as young, stupid and drunk as every other non-Brazilian in the bar. Don't worry, they'll be dead soon.
15:00: "Brazilians are so friendly!" Not after they see this thing...
15:45: A little alcohol helps our heroes come to the conclusion that being lost and drunk in the middle of nowhere beats anything resembling what the Lonely Planet Guide said to do in a situation like this. Besides, there will probably be another bus along in a while, and it can crash us somewhere newer and even more exciting!
16:15: The Mysterious And Sinister Brazilian Doctor is doing charity work in the free clinic. We know he's sinister because the handlebar moustache-twirling, black top hat, and evil laugh are sure signs. He gets a phone call from IHBW #1, who promises delivery of the packages, or something.
17:20 "Hi, I'm Kiko the charmingly inept local. American girls are pretty. Please mock my language skills. It will distract you from the question of -- how you say in English? -- who wrote this piece of shit in the first place."
18:55: An ominous looking Brazilian Dude is watching a static-y broadcast of Hogan's Heroes in Portuguese, making him the best-entertained person in this entire situation, myself included. It's time for him to go do his work, which involves shady guys making cash payments and looking ominous. This guy has the ominous thing down.
22:15: Lots of close ups of female asses shaking on the dance floor. I've never watched "The L Word," but based on a description of the series I once heard from a couple of construction workers, it must be just like this scene.
23:15: My God! IHBW #2 only slept with Obnoxious Englishman #1 because she's a hooker? Yup. She puts her clothes back on and leaves, taking his money, never to be seen again. This girl is the smartest person in the movie, and I admire her for that.
24:20: People are the same all over the world: leave your drink unattended, someone's going to slip Roofies into it. One note: based on the direction of this scene, I doubt like hell the director has a lot of experience with tranquilizers. Or movies.
24:50: Son of a bitch! We were drugged and robbed and our bodies were dumped right on the beach, right in front of this bar! And where did the Swedes go? Screw the Swedes! Screw the cash and the credit cards and the passports and the ID!
They got Nana's wedding ring!!!
26:10: Swedes On A Stick: The Swedish couple are being paraded through the jungle by a group of locals led by Ominous Brazilian Guy. The Swedes are swinging from sticks like missionaries in a 1940's Tex Avery cartoon.
26:50: My Portuguese isn't that good, but here's a rough translation of what the Brazilian thugs have to say:
"This looks like an excellent place to put the victims down, wander 50 feet away, and smoke cocaine!"
"Why yes Nigel, I do believe that's a smashing idea!"
"My, this is excellent cocaine. I hope we tied those Swedes up loosely enough."
"This reminds me of a tale Lord Winthrop told at the Club last Regatta. He said that -- oh heavens, the Swedes are escaping!"
"Lord Winthrop said that? How odd."
"No... the Swedes are escaping!"
"Good thing, that: we're nearly half an hour in and nothing interesting has happened yet."
"I found the scantily-clad Brazilian women interesting."
"You can get that on the Internet for free, without having to endure this dialogue."
"Oh my, yes. Dirtylatinamaids.com. I highly recommend it. They do more than windows!"
"Ha, ha! How witty. Ah, goodness me... Off with my machete now, tally ho!"
27:45-28:10: He-Swede loses a couple of fingers to the machete. She-Swede, sensibly, runs off a cliff. Their suffering is over. Yours has just begun.
Seriously, this is the dullest de-fingering I think I've ever seen. Lamer than that industrial safety video from 1980 they show to all the new employees.
29:35: "Someone in this town must know what's going on!" Yes they do. A bunch of stupid college-age foreigners got drunk and doped in some hostile foreign backwater and were robbed, and may soon be dead. Brazilians are just too polite to point out the obvious.
29:36 to the end of the movie: Why bother? It's all downhill from here.
Maybe Faith and I are turning into old farts, but mindless, stupid, badly-thought-out slasher horror was done so much better in the 80s. Like "Sleepaway Camp" which was really truly atrocious on every last level, but at least managed to entertaining, even if by accident. "Turistas" wasted millions (and hopefully a couple of careers) for nothing.
-Canadian National Resources says they'll cut drilling operations up to 65 percent.
-Petro-Canada (Remember? The guys who were supposed to be looking after our national interests? Me neither) Boss Ron Brenneman: "...acknowledged the system should 'share the upside' with Albertans through higher royalties when prices are high.
'But right now at current prices, investment can't tolerate much higher royalties."
...which raises questions about which alternate universe Ron fills his tank in.
Prime Minister Harper, in a sudden display of common sense (at least politically), is staying the hell away from the issue.
It's time for reason and common sense to prevail equally on ALL sides of this issue. In that spirit, I offer this sane and wise counter-punch:
Encana killed Santa Claus.
Calgary's annual Santa Claus parade, originally planned for November 18th this year has now been canceled. This is because traffic downtown is hopelessly bunged up (as it will be for a year) in order to construct the breathtakingly fugly Bow Building, which looks like it was designed by a cyborg Albert Speer.
In the meantime, Christmas will still arrive as scheduled in Venezuela.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Chimps, it seems, are better at some decision-making processes than humans. Imagine a game where you are given X number of tokens. You then offer Player 2 Y percentage of those tokens... 50 percent or 5 percent or 80 percent or whatever, your choice. A human player of this game will usually offer up something around 50 percent of the take. Humans also have a tendency to reject an offer if it falls well below the 50 percent threshold, even though rejecting that offer means that the human in question gets nothing. In other words, the average human will tend to reject a gift of twenty bucks from someone like Donald Trump. A chimp, on the other hand, will gladly take Trump's twenty without question and go spend it... or whatever chimps do with their money.
It's a little like the current situation the Alberta government is in -- except the chips are petroleum, and Alberta has all the chips.
In (I swear!) completely unrelated news, Canadian Natural Resources has joined the ranks of those petroleum companies who want to take their bat and ball and go play somewhere else if Alberta dares to increase oil revenues to match reasonable standards elsewhere.
My analogy may be a little weak, I admit. After all, chimps are not noted for having the grasp of language, culture and psychology required to be deceptive bastards like oil companies and other humans.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The downtrodden, Dickensian waifs of Big Oil continue to pout and wail at the notion that Alberta might actually dare ask for a proper share of petroleum revenues. Weighing in recently: Pedro van Meurs in the Financial Post, who used to run an oil company. He figures the situation can be worked out.
"'What Americans don't understand is that the two systems are very different. In the U.S. system, the royalty rate is written in your lease; it's a contractual agreement. In Alberta, that is not the case. An Alberta lease says you shall pay whatever royalty the government decides from time to time.'
'Statoil, Shell, Total have good lawyers and know perfectly well that Alberta's royalties can change," he said. "Leases are loud and clear. The province doesn't even have to consult."'
Which is all fine and well, except that of course The Financial Post feels compelled to end with:
"Of course, that's all very well and good, but the oil companies also have the right to not do business in Alberta either. That's why an industry-government commission must arbitrate a fair deal."
This is Diane Francis writing, after all... not Santa Claus. But humour me: go read that article, then read this. Does charging the same percentage royalty for a well near Edmonton as you would for a well near El Paso really seem so greedy or ill-advised, particularly since even an increased cut for Alberta still means lucrative write-offs for start-up costs?
Since there's so much Oil Industry fear-mongering going around of late, I thought I'd do a little freelance work and throw out something shocking to get Big Oil's attention.
That's right: dreaded South American strongman, part-time crackpot, and enemy of foreign investment, Hugo Chavez. He nationalized the oil industry in Venezuela. He didn't increase royalties, he didn't take away investment incentive... he bloody well nationalized it. Foreign investment in Venezuela's petroleum industry is (technically) illegal. Surely, no true Albertan would want something that radical, would they? After all, that would drive away business.
So: why is Venezuela America's Number Four supplier of oil?
My guess is that it's because America is jonesing for oil, and Venezuela has it. And I'm guessing America pays for it with the same cash they buy oil from Alberta or Saudi Arabia or Cote D'Ivoire with.
So, anyway, Big Oil... you were saying something about leaving...?
Friday, October 5, 2007
Now China is poisoning The Boy Scouts.
Here's some rainy-day fun for you: here's the Boy Scouts Law. See how many of these China, those who would cheapen us all with globalization, and those who apologize for them are breaking!
A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
Finally: honest, straightforward Republican leadership!
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away
When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn't see him there at all
Why hasn't the American Right collapsed into a terminal bout of cognitive dissonance yet?
No one should be surprised that the petroleum companies are threatened by the Alberta government's admission they they should be charging more for the hand jobs, and no one should be surprised that The National Post is in the front row of the cheerleaders. Today's Post nicely manages to compare increased royalties to the crucifixion of Christ under the emperor Tiberius.
(By the way, if the Canadian public applied The Tiberius Standard Of Accuracy to The National Post, that paper would have been thrown to its death ages ago...)
Hill & Knowlton is the international PR firm behind getitrightalberta.ca, a polished and professional web site disguising itself as a grassroots movement of Alberta pro-oil citizens that sprang up seemingly overnight in response to the Alberta oil royalties issue. This underscores Hill & Knowlton's "24x7x365" readiness to respond to a crisis. Of course, we aren't talking about the kind of crisis where things are burning down and lives are threatened... we're talking about the kind of crisis where the livestock suddenly demands slightly better feed. Business Edge even ends their article on the matter with the phrase "Can Alberta get it right in 2007?"
The fear and rhetoric building up around the Oil Royalties issue reminds me of the buildup of fear and falsehoods about Iraq before the invasion(s). And maybe that's not entirely coincidental.
Our dependency on oil is a bad habit. Hill & Knowlton has lots of practice at defending those. In 1954, H&K helped the tobacco industry try to dismiss the recent notion that smoking might not be such a good idea. And let's not forget Hill & Knowlton's stirring defense of torturers, corporate criminals, Enron, Scientology, and polluters, among others.
Will Albertans (and their government) cringe in superstitious terror about losing their oil money, or will they realize that oil is money... more so than ever... and it doesn't belong to the companies to extract it and sell it, any more than a pimp owns his prostitutes?
Thursday, October 4, 2007
These profits come at a price: namely, bad service. According to The Edmonton Journal: "Between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2003, there were 1,245 quality-of-service complaints against Telus to the CRTC from telephone subscribers in Alberta and B.C., compared to 216 the year before. Due to the massive effort needed to maintain and restore service in B.C., Telus fell behind in repair and installation calls in both provinces."
Again, I was there. And yes the B.C. situation was a mjor contributing factor. But unthinking corporate profit-motive was at least as big a factor.
It's a good thing Telus applied for an adjustment to how the CRTC defines "quality of service" in case it happens again (funny... I could have sworn that Telus PR flak Shawn Hall said that having call takers in Manila would make the next disaster go more smoothly). And applied for another "Q of S" adjustment for when they held the TWU's feet to the fire when that union... the guys who were trying to tell you this was going to happen... was locked out.
Of course, that's just this year's adjustment applications. Feel free to have a dig through the CRTC web site for more. Telus isn't going to tell you about them.
Telus customers will be receiving a rebate in time for Christmas because of all the inconvenience... a whole two dollars and seventy-three cents worth. Or, put another way, about an hour's wages for an outsourced Telus customer service rep in Manila. About half the time it will take you to fix any issues with your account.
Oil still runs the world, and ask any addict: the hand that supplies the crack rules the world. Even the oil companies themselves seem to be having a harder time than anticipated swallowing that, unlike Paul Jackson, who may have thrown himself behind a rapidly-losing cause. Paul, like much of the Alberta Establishment, is more than willing to keep licking corporate boots in exchange for the occasional bit of change that accidentally falls on his head.
For those of you (like Paul) who fall to their knees in superstitious terror at the thought of the petro-teat being removed, there's always getitrightalberta.ca. It's a web site started by regular, ordinary Joes like you and me to help save Big Oil from the scraping peasants of Alberta.
Regular, ordinary Joes who, as daveberta.ca points out, just happen to be Hill & Knowlton, a big PR firm that specializes in (among other things) rapid, made-to-order spin control for large interests when they feel threatened by the rabble. I'm sure these people are serious, concerned Albertans, and their area code and address is just some sort of typo.
Thanks, Dave, for doing the job that the local media don't seem to have time for. Boot-licking can be awfully time-consuming.
Since this may be the only time I mention petrochemicals and "beaver" in the same blog entry, here's a plastic cowboy video for all the Albertans out there: "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" by Primus...
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Ann Coulter Is A Single Female, And Is Therefore Stupid And Shouldn't Vote, According To Ann Coulter
If you need any more proof of the creeping neuropathy afflicting the American Right, look no further than Ann Coulter. Prepare yourself for more stupidity from the author of "If Democrats Had Any Brains They'd Be Republicans" which hits book store shelves like a big flaming sack of crap today.
Here's the current state of Ann's brain, according to a recent interview with her The New York Observer:
-In the rush to blame Bill Clinton for 9/11, we've overlooked the complicity of History's greatest Monster: Jimmy Carter:
"Jimmy Carter got the whole thing started, Bill Clinton let it build, build, build, build, build. He wouldn't deal with it, because he had no credibility on deploying the military. He was a pot smoking draft dodger, and so when he was presented with credible evidence that this or that country was behind a terrorist attack, he’d just have to look the other way: “No, don't let me hear that. Call in Monica!”
...which raises the question: did Jimmy Carter secretly direct Ronald Reagan's foreign policy for eight years? And if so, why isn't Jimmy taking credit for the fall of the Soviet Union? Oh, right: Jimmy's too busy building hiding places for al-Qaida in Georgia.
-Ann Coulter doesn't trust members of her own (alleged) gender:
"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women."
You're right. All single women are idiots except you, Ann honey. It's utter stupidity to let those left behind most by the US economy in the last decade vote. Well, second most, anyway. Why didn't Ann have the cojones to invoke Jim Crow while we're at it? Of late there's been more noise about using Voter Registration to keep poor folks from voting... why not add a quick, Olympic-style gender test at the polls?
-And finally, this twisty bit of non-reasoning as to why "The Left" (read: "living organisms") treat Global Warming like it's their "religion" (read: "an established fact"):
"Because we can't prove them wrong for a thousand years, and I think the other thing about it is, it goes back to Chesterton’s statement: that when people stop believing in God, the problem isn't that they believe in nothing, it's that they'll believe anything. And that's what you constantly see with people who don't believe in God: They're always imitating the most ridiculous, primitive religions. And it is like a primitive religion, thinking if we just change these lightbulbs, we can change the temperature of the ocean. It's the craziest thing! Even primitive people wouldn't believe something that silly."
Funny, I thought "they" had been "proven right" a few years ago. Of course if Global Warming is a religion, then climatologists must be its priests. You can hide a lot of collection plates under those lab coats, you know. I'm just disappointed Ann didn't write us a list of which religions are the ridiculous, primitive ones. I'm guessing "Pentecostal" isn't on her list. Off the top of my head, I'll bet she's referring to voodoo.
You know, the one where you make a false image of something you hate and attack it from the comfort of your own home, rather than confront the issue directly. Ann, of course, knows better than to use pins and dolls, when a word processor is so much less work.
Ideology is one thing, but the American Right is acting more and more all the time like there's an actual neurological issue. Ann has recently lost the ability to understand basic human social behaviour. Rush Limbaugh continues to slander the troops his ass pimple wouldn't let him join, and Bill O'Reilly continues to lie about liars lying about him.
This sort of thing worries me. What if it's contagious? Never mind the Democrats... someone call House!
And isn't it amazing that a stupid girl like Shirley Manson of Garbage could have written a song about stupid girls like stupid Ann Coulter years ago, with hardly any help at all from boys?
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
If you get tired of trying to figure out the Paul Jackson "Liberals bad / Conservatives good" doublethink in today's Sun, take heart: apparently the regular Sunshine Girl feature (always a gold mine for amateur silicone researchers) has been replaced with "Fourteen Year Old Hookers Of The World." Today we have Maura, who apparently won the Chilean equivalent of Canadian/American/Armenian Idol. Nice work Maura! I foresee an exciting career in entertainment for you... making your fortune 20 bucks at a time.
Alberta -- sitting on near Saudi-sized reserves of petroleum -- has clearly been screwed economically. The clear evidence is there. Paul mentions that Alberta has the country's strongest economy (oh, right, no he doesn't) while mooning over his big autographed picture of Brian and Mila Mulroney.
A note for non-Albertans: back in the 70s and 80s there was a thing brought in by the Federal government called The National Energy Program. Long story short: Alberta was making a lot of money, the rest of the country was hurting, so some of the wealth was redistributed. Ever since then, Albertans like Jackson have complained that the NEP "collapsed Alberta's economy and started a recession that swept coast-to-coast."
In fact, the NEP was so evil that it did that to most of the world's economy. Of course, during the same period of time I was a college student, so maybe that's why Germany's economy was running so rough at the time.
Paul Jackson goes on to complain that the NEP cost Alberta "a good $100 billion, or so is the case when one gets all of one's statistics from Brian Mulroney. By my math, that means someone owes me about 50 grand.
Lousy left-wingers, where's my SUV?
With luck Paul will pick up his own paper today and read the front-page story about how Alberta's oh-so-Conservative government sat back knowingly while losing out on nine billion dollars in oil revenue over a three-year period alone. Auditor-general Fred Dunn says, in a masterpiece of Canadian understatedness: "The principles of transparency and accountability, I believe, were not followed." Or in other words... "folks, looks like you got screwed."
Good thing I don't have that SUV. The infrastructure around town is starting to look pretty shaky. I suppose all the road crews are Liberals too...
Monday, October 1, 2007
Wal-Mart: Always Pavlovian Pricing?
And speaking of responding to stimuli, Technorati.com rang a bell and told me to do this:
So I did.
Encana has no problem with spending money -- they have loads of it -- if it involves bulldozing some of historic downtown Calgary to make room for a hideous, Borg-inspired eyesore with their name on it. There's all kinds of tax breaks to be had when it comes to producing an eyesore -- which Calgary already has enough of.
Randy Eresman, Encana's CEO, has said that Encana's coughing up its fair share "will have immediate and long-term impacts on working Albertans" and that "We would greatly regret seeing these job opportunities evaporate."
Screw you, Randy. Go dig more holes in Wyoming if that makes you happy. You and I both know where North America's biggest petroleum reserves are. And since you've been in the oil business for so long, you seem to have forgotten how the free market works. So, a reminder:
Eresman was born and raised in Alberta, but suckling at the teat of petroleum apparently makes brothers of greed-heads everywhere. It's just a shame for him that oil can't be outsourced like labour or cheap Wal-Mart flop flops that save you money but cause a rash.
So, allow me to gently rephrase the Our Fair Share report for you: You want some of this? If you don't, there's another drunken, moneyed sailor on shore leave right behind you. Stop wasting my time. You here to do business, or just gawk at our fishnets?
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Bill has also issued a challenge to his critics, saying that, if he could, he'd "strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed ... I would -- but I can't." Among other things, Bill is tired of Big Media implying he's a racist. After all, we all know that black people don't listen to his radio show anyway. That's what he says. Big Media "ran up to Harlem and they fed black Americans bogus [Bill O'Reilly] quotes" because "Now, the black Americans up there, they didn't listen to The Radio Factor."
Way to not generalize about black folks, Bill.
I honestly don't know if Bill O'Reilly is racist... at least I can't prove my suspicions. But I do know movies, and I know movie reviews, and there's a field of endeavor where I can back up my assertion that Bill O'Reilly is a loudmouthed, empty-headed idiot. And since Bill has physically threatened Big Media (lock your door tonight, Big! Make sure Mrs. Media and the kids don't let any strangers in), I thought I'd be polite and offer up a piece of Little Media as a practice run. Namely, me.
Bill: you are an idiot who apparently wouldn't know a decent movie if you saw one.
But of course, you don't even know how to read a review. Here's the August 23rd critique of Ricard Roeper's article about "High School Musical 2":
"In said column, Mr. Roeper says that he doesn't believe critics would hammer High School Musical simply because it is wholesome. Roeper goes on to say that conservatives might distance themselves from the movie because it embraces 'liberal' (his word) values like tolerance and interracial dating.
That's right, Richard, all those mean conservatives would never like anything tolerant, would they?"
Now, here's what Roeper actually said:
"'When will Hollywood learn that films without sex and obscene language frequently sell like hot cakes?' asks the Culture and Media Institute.
You mean films 'The Lion King' and 'The Little Mermaid' are profitable? Who knew? Hollywood already realizes there's a market for family films -- just as there's a market for hard-R films such as '300' and 'Superbad.' Family-friendly movies such as 'Finding Nemo' and 'Ratatouille' make hundreds of millions for the studios -- and TV shows such as the super-corny 'American Idol' and the Disney Channel's 'Hannah Montana' are hugely profitable as well.
One more thing for the conservative movement to consider before they get too attached to the "High School Musical" franchise: It could be argued that the primary messages contained in both "High School Musical" movies are quite liberal.
As one parent and certified Disney-phile told me Monday, 'As wholesome and family-friendly as these films are, both 'High School Musical' films promote tolerance, interracial dating and rejection of elitism -- all "liberal" themes that drive those religious right-wingers nuts.'
Let the backlash begin!"
That wasn't conservative-baiting, Bill. But it was thoughtful of you to twist something that backed the notion that Hollywood knows it can make money off of kids into what you wanted it to say. Too bad you didn't finish the job and point out the blatant themes of family violence in "The Lion King" and the interspecies lust of "The Little Mermaid."
Frankly, I'm surprised Bill hasn't rushed forward yet to defend one of the greatest movies ever made about traditional conservative values... namely, the conflict between individual rights and the good of a larger society. Maybe one of his PR monkeys will read my blog and invite Bill to write a review.
Here's a clip. Come and get it, Bill, thou globby bottle of cheap, stinking chip oil!
Friday, September 28, 2007
As a long time, old-school Star Trek fan, I don't think I have an inherent bias against any attempted re-booting of the Star Trek franchise. Worst case scenario: if it's that bad, I'll ignore it.
The one question that still resonates with me, though, is this: if you're going to spend, say, 50 million dollars on a brand-spanking new Star Trek movie, with all the inherent financial risk that implies for a film studio, why not shell out a few more bucks to complete a CGI version of The Secret Of Vulcan's Fury, an almost-complete near-feature film with performances by the entire original cast... including the deceased ones?
Anyone out there with Paramount listening...?
Neocrit (noun): a neocon hypocrite, particularly one who makes a living selling it to the rubes.
Examples: Bathroom sex enthusiast Larry Craig (who awaits a court ruling on whether or not it's possible to write laws but not understand how even the basics of the law works) 9/11 "hero" and terror pimp Rudy Giuliani (who is now milking the corpse of the World Trade Center nine dollars and eleven cents at a time), and upholder of the law/accused child molester wannabe John David Roy Atchison, whose Myspace page describes him as an "experienced, understanding, Daddy.” Feel free to vomit: I know I do.
Today's neocrit example: Rush Limbaugh.
Rush, who of course is anti-gay (especially when it comes to Elliot Sanders, who claims to have had a gay fling with Rushy in 1971) has recently decided to show some of his special brand of tough love to those US troops in Iraq who, after having gathered first-hand evidence, have decided that the war is a bad idea.
Or, as Rush likes to call them... "the phony soldiers."
Real patriots, of course, fall into two categories: those who follow orders without question, and those like Rush who would love to have the opportunity to kill Godless foreigners, but just couldn't. In this case, Rush slipped past the draft because of, literally... a cyst on his ass. He tries to deny it, of course. But denying it doesn't make it less true.
Sure. Maybe a boil on his ass kept Rush from doing his patriotic duty.
And maybe it was completely innocent when he travelled to the Dominican Republic with four men and 29 Viagra tablets mislabelled as belonging to someone else, leaving his wife behind in the US of A. Beats me. I'm not a proper journalist like Rush Limbaugh: I just look up facts and verify them.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
There are the usual rhetorical delights, such as opening with a suggestion that Ahmadinejad run for the Democratic leadership "the name 'Mahmoud Ahmadinejad' is surely no more frightening than 'B. Hussein Obama.'"
Oh snap, Ann.
And then Ann melts down.
"Only when Ahmadinejad failed to endorse sodomy did he receive the single incident of booing throughout his speech.
Responding to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals, Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals in Iran: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals, like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it."
First of all, no one asked him to "endorse sodomy." The booing occurs (and is accompanied by a lot of laughter, Ann) because President Ahmadinejad claims there's no gay people in Iran, just like there's no camels in Texas (except, of course, for disreputable foreign camels).
I have an idea: Take a moment to gather your children around the computer. Uncle Chironboy wants to boost their self-esteem by showing them that they're smarter than a famous grownup!
Okay kids: a famous lady just said something very silly about the video clip I'm about to show you. Watch it and listen to how the audience reacts to the man in front of the microphone. Then I'm going to ask you a question. We'll see who's smarter at reading people!
Now, kids: why is the audience reacting to what this man is saying the way they do?
a) Because they are infuriated Sodomites spurned by someone they thought would make all their dreams come true by endorsing their Democrat-driven lifestyle?
b) Because the man just said something very silly.
Good God A'mighty, Ann: Is your core audience all shut-ins with TVs locked on Fox News and no Internet? They must be: it takes a minute of listening and about ten neurons to figure out what a twist-top you are.
Now let's have some pearls of wisdom about those rampaging killer darkies in Jena, Ann honey. You know you want to.
I can hardly wait to see what The Puppet Press has to say about all this. We already know that Ann Coulter is eager to roll in this particular stink. But for the most part the Bush Fifth Column seems to be keeping away from this no-win scenario. The best I've found so far: Kristen Fyfe, whose defence of Larry Craig consists of pointing out that San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair is coming up, and liberals won't be making a big stink out of that.
Maybe if there was a big parade of gay people who had voted loudly and repeatedly to outlaw themselves we would, Kristen.
Seriously, though: have a look at townhall.com some time. You'll find such wonders as:
Michael Medved's near-defense of American Slavery. "WHILE AMERICA DESERVES NO UNIQUE BLAME FOR THE EXISTENCE OF SLAVERY, THE UNITED STATES MERITS SPECIAL CREDIT FOR ITS RAPID ABOLITION" (stop shouting, Mike!). Yeah, Medved: it only took a Civil War. Besides, there was lots of slavery before America... and we all know how America loves using the pre-1700s Muslim world as a role model.
Dennis Prager, who points out that since both liberals and conservatives are capable of lying, therefore liberals are lying weasels.
Mary Katharine Ham, who points out how foolish and out of touch with the world Columbia University was to invite Ahmadinejad... just like they didn't have their finger on the pulse of an important (but distasteful) issue like Hitler, whose ambassador they played host to in 1933. Way to not spot someone of significance, stupid Columbia University with your stupid classes and stupid books and stupid freedom of expression!
Finally, Michael Barone, who favours us with this toxic bonbon:
"Polls show that the public approves of Petraeus' performance and endorses his recommendations for going forward with the surge -- the first margin of approval for the administration's course of action in a long time."
Hey! I think I just figured out where Ted Byfield gets his sources from! It's the same alternate universe Michael Barone lives in!
You know... the one where Spock has a beard...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
(All Bill O'Reilly comments are taken from his review of "Redacted"... which he hasn't actually seen yet)
ROGER: "Redacted" is the latest from master director Brian DePalma, lavishly filmed and--
BILL: DePalma wants the world to see this horror in living color.
ROGER: It's an exploration of American foreign policy, reduced to very intimate personal terms.
BILL: Speaking before journalists in Italy, DePalma said: "The movie is an attempt to bring to reality what's happening in Iraq to the American people ... the pictures are what will stop the war."
Here's how stupid that statement is: Overwhelmingly, American forces in Iraq have behaved with restraint and are trying to protect Iraqi civilians from terrorists who blow up women and children. That is the reality, pal. Your movie takes the exception and attempts to make it the rule.
ROGER: Yes, but every war has seen its share of atrocities. It's not the sort of thing anyone really plans... it just happens. That's war. It's one more reason to avoid war in the first place.
BILL: "Redacted" will play around the world and may well incite young Muslim men, already steeped in hatred toward America and the west, to act on their hatred.
ROGER: You don't think the invasion of Iraq was provocation enough to cause that? You honestly think someone is going to build a pipe bomb and use it because a Brian DePalma movie pissed them off? How many people do you figure were needless killed because of widespread disappointment with "Resident Evil: Extinction"?
BILL: The American military is doing important, noble work. Brian DePalma and the others who back him should be ashamed.
ROGER: So, my question is... if freedom makes us superior to them, why are you opposed to it?
BILL: My question is, why make a film like this? Most people will avoid it; who wants to see that kind of stuff? It definitely smears the military, and may even put our forces in physical danger. Why do this?
ROGER: It's called "freedom of expression." It's what makes our way of life superior to those of the fanatics, and surrendering that freedom is "collaborating with the enemy" as surely as handing them a gun.
BILL: It's freedom of expression, they say. Well, just because you have the right to do something, doesn't make it right.
Fair-minded Americans should realize that in any war, mistakes will be made; horrifying things like Abu Ghraib will happen. These things need to be dealt with, but not exploited for political gain.
ROGER: How is being anti-atrocity political? That implies that those who support the war must be pro-atrocity. I think people owe it to themselves to see this film.
BILL: They are hurting their own country.
ROGER: Okay, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I give it "thumbs up." Next, we review "Good Luck Chuck" with Jessica Alba, a romantic comedy in which --
BILL: -- a bunch of far-left Hollywood loons want to denigrate the country!
One vital mission the player must finish is infiltrating a Rudy Giuliani fundraiser, otherwise level boss Giuliani will gain access to the nuclear stockpile, thus ending the game.
Although Rudy comes equipped with a plasma cannon built into his chest, and wave after wave of henchmen, his greatest weapon is one players of previous Halos haven't encountered before: The Rhetoric Bomb.
Rudy is encountered at a Young Republicans fundraiser/Halo LAN party where funds are being raised $9.11 at a time.
Instead of individually picking off all the grunts and honor guards protecting Rudy, dodge left around the couch and make a run straight for the kitchen, where Rudy sits drinking a Heineken. Dodge the sycophants -- their energy swords are fully charged with rhetoric, which replenishes itself when in Rudy's vicinity. Fend off the Young Republicans with grenades. If you are playing on hard or legendary level, you will have to do this multiple times.
Once the henchmen are cleared, Giuliani can be defeated as follows:
Dodge left, duck behind the stove, and double-tap X to ask Rudy why, if he's such a hero of 9/11, do New York fireman generally despise him for leaving the FDNY tragically underfunded on 9/11.
This will slow Rudy down enough for you to dodge right and press Y to ask him about his role in downplaying the health effects of the WTC bombing when, apparently, he knew better. Or should have.
At this point Giuliani will attempt to use the Rhetoric Bomb and start talking about family values. Before the bomb can detonate, quickly press Y,Y,X then jump in order to unleash a question about how any sane adult could be married to his second cousin for 14 years without knowing it, then have the balls to have it annulled (pleading ignorance) when the press figures it out.
Rudy then keels over and dies. After this, the player finishes the Heineken to replenish his shields, and then it's off to the ruins of Salt Lake City to face Mitt Romney.
Monday, September 24, 2007
One thing you'll notice going through these reports: a recurring use of the phrase "about 40 elected officials and civic leaders."
I would probably be a terrible journalist. If I was writing this story up for, say, US News And World Report, I'd be asking all sorts of foolish, Un-American questions, like:
-"...about 40 elected officials and civic leaders?" I was arrested once at a demonstration. The strange things is, the politicians are what we were protesting against. No elected officials chose to join us. Why are "elected officials" (who by definition already have a public platform) out waving placards and shouting at a guy who hasn't even shown up yet? Why did these "elected officials" feel compelled to get out and wave placards the day before Ahmadinejad showed up? Is it so that the major networks could run this story on Monday morning, and set the stage for further protests of questionable origin?
-Who are these elected officials? Not one news story, anywhere, seems to ask this question. It might help answer Question #1.
-Did any of these "elected officials" realize that the UN General Assembly is in New York, and that implies that foreign leaders who aren't as American mainstream as Newt Gingrich might show up occasionally?
-If all these "elected officials" showed up to protest all at once, is there any chance they're all members of the same political party?
Again, I'd probably be a terrible journalist, because I've gone over all the reports I can find about the Sunday protests, and all the professional journalists covering it seem to have known better than to waste our time and theirs asking such (apparently) pointless questions.
As I write this, CNN is interviewing a student protester... one of many we're assured, despite the fact that he seems to be by himself at the moment. I was at a University last week, and damn... this kid on CNN sure has a crisp, Republican hair cut compared to the students I've seen lately.
Of course, so does everyone on CNN these days.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
...as opposed to Hillary Clinton recently calling Dick Cheney "Darth Vader" recently. Jeez, Hillary, don't be ridiculous. Everyone knows that, eventually, Darth Vader turned his back on The Dark Side.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The apology was made... to China. Mattel is now claiming that the majority of the recalls were because of design flaws. Design is Mattel's thing, so the story goes. China just does the assembly.
But of course if these things were being made at home, they'd be made to the standards at home, wouldn't they? Or did Mattel decide to switch so much manufacturing over to China on the same week they replaced all their design engineers with accountants and people who slept their way up in Marketing?
Chinese word of the day - kowtow: to bow, as before the Chinese Emperor, such that one's forehead touches the ground. Mattel may not know a safe toy when they see one, but they know which side their bread is buttered on.
At this very moment, something dark and frightened is bubbling up inside of me. Maybe it's a foreboding thought about a world where the worst of the fundamentalist hyper-capitalist forces have merged with the totalitarian giant of China to form a huge globalized amoeba of unthinking appetite... or maybe it's just gas. Yeah, I'm sure that's it: gas. All I need to do is burp and clear it away.
Did Simplicity let all their design engineers go, too?
I (and so many others on the Internet) am of such a leftish and/or libertarianoid bent that sometimes I find myself engaging in the same unthinking criticism of conservative types that I risk falling into the the trap of Ann Coulter-ism. Almost. But sometimes one finds truth among the trash. Or maybe it's just a case of a broken clock being right twice a day. Or maybe I'm just so desperate for signs of hope in the US that I'm hallucinating.
Once again, Pat Buchanan (of all people) has nailed it as to what the hell is wrong with neocon foreign policy, and does so in a way conservatives can appreciate.
By now you've heard this from Colin Powell:
"What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?"
Buchanan translates this into terms the average conservative can empathize with:
"Consider: Between 1942 and 1945, Germany and Japan, nations not one-tenth the size of the United States, saw their cities firebombed and their soldiers and civilians slaughtered in the millions. Japan lost an empire. Germany lost a third of its territory. Both were put under military occupation. Yet, 15 years later, Germany and Japan were the second and third most prosperous nations on Earth, the dynamos of their respective continents, Europe and Asia."
"Powell's point is not that terrorism is not a threat. It is that the terror threat must be seen in perspective, that we ought not frighten ourselves to death with our own propaganda, that we cannot allow fear of terror to monopolize our every waking hour or cause us to give up our freedom."
Okay... it's not exactly Pat singing "Give Peace A Chance." But it's a huge breath of fresh air from the conservative end of the spectrum. My God... can you imagine a world that is a better place than it is today because Pat Buchanan won in 2000? The mind absolutely boggles.
And as for other conservative-types that I despised yet (as time goes on) I can (ulp) respect more and more... despite more and more fascists, greedheads, and loonies adopting that label??
"The greatest honor history can bestow is that of peacemaker."
In the meantime, New York continues to welcome tourists... unless your last name is Ahmadinejad, and once-honorable conservatives like John McCain want to use force to keep you away.
I think I need to lie down.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Among America's enemies (other than non-Americans) listed in the book:
Seriously: it turns out that the path to hell is paved with ink, just like Kat Von D, whose anatomy I've studied in detail (for theological purposes only, I assure you). Just to prove it, here's part of an Internet post from a former body piercing artist turned to Jesus by "The Marketing Of Evil":
"Self-inflicted castrations, lobotomies, amputations, disfigurement of every conceivable nature, suspensions – we do these things to each other and ourselves without a second thought."
Castration? Lobotomies? Amputations? Dude: if that was what you did for a living, maybe it wasn't the work of the Devil... maybe you were just working in an insanely bad piercing shop. A nipple ring I can understand... but now I'm picturing two nipple rings joined by a chain running through some one's frontal fucking lobes.
To summarize: Evil. Marketing. Evil being marketed.
Now, a public service announcement:
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Here are today's top entertainment stories. Go ahead and click on the picture. It gets bigger, but it doesn't get more entertaining...
Speaking as an expert in both film production and multi-layer plastic sheeting, I can see how the director of the second film might have difficulty maintaining an engaging plot. But man... that static condenser film... that's a must see. God only knows what kind of mayhem those weapons-crazed North Koreans could get out of something like that.
I should know... I have one myself. You probably have one too, behind your refrigerator. And it's absolutely true: you can increase energy efficiency by 10 percent if you keep it clean and dusted off...
(Click on the picture to make it bigger)
Here are actual questions from the debate, followed by actual movie-quote answers:
Q: At President Bush's press conference in Canada last month, Fox News asked him this question: "Can you say that the Security and Prosperity Partnership is not a prelude to a North American Union similar to the European Union?" George Bush did not deny that goal, he just ridiculed the question. Will you assure us that you will abolish all plans to promote the economic integration of North America?
VADER: "Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends."
LECTER: "He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? "
ZOD: "The closer we come to an atmosphere with only one sun... a yellow sun... the more our molecular density gives us unlimited powers."
Q: What do you intend to do to counteract the homosexual agenda?
VADER: "Leave them to me. I will deal with them myself. "
LECTER: "Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying."
ZOD: "I defy you! Come and kneel before Zod! Zod!"
Q: As you will see by the ultrasound video on the screen, science confirms the undeniable unique person in the womb... if elected, what will you do to make our laws consistent with our science and restore legal protection and full rights of personhood to every American waiting to be born?
VADER: "Bring me all passengers, I want them ALIVE!"
LECTER: "You think if Catherine lives, you won't wake up in the dark ever again to that awful screaming of the lambs. "
ZOD: "He cares. He actually cares for these Earth people."
Q: There is no question that Jihadists have as their goal the harming of America and its citizens. What would your strategy be to protect our streets, our people, and our American way of life from the designs of radical Islam?
VADER: "The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now."
LECTER: "What a collection of scars you have. Never forget who gave you the best of them, and be grateful, our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real. We live in a primitive time, don't we, Will?"
ZOD: "I am General Zod. Your ruler. Yes, today begins a new order. Your lands, your possessions, your very lives, will gladly be given in tribute to me, General Zod! In return for your obedience you will enjoy my generous protection. In other words you will be allowed to live."
Q: We all agree there is a great need to stop illegal immigration. However, what are the most urgent measures needed today in the area of legal immigration?
VADER: "You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor!"
LECTER: "Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black."
ZOD: "We have all that we need without you."
Q: Tell us about your personal faith, and what it means in your life:
VADER: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
LECTER: "God has power. lf one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is. God's a champ. He always stays ahead. He got 140 Filipinos in one plane crash last year. Remember that earthquake in ltaly last spring?"
ZOD: "Why do you say this to me, when you know that I will kill you for it? "