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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Harper imploding? Let's not start the chicken dance just yet

Well, yes, the early indications are heartening.

Mr. Sinister thinks we're a couple of unscripted questions away from a meltdown.

Torontoist catches up with Craigslist troll catchers

... or does it?

Link here.

Story's got legs, but whether it passes the smell test is another matter. Harpobots are too obsessed with message control to leave something like this sloshing around on the floor.

(H/t BigCityLib.)

CBC gets it wrong on Elizabeth May and leaders' debates

We're going to hear a lot more obfuscation and misdirection before the controversy over leaders' debates settles down, but The Corp's performance this morning didn't help.

On Metro Morning, Matt Galloway was asking, in essence, if so many people want to see Elizabeth May included in the debates, why don't more of them vote for her?

I had to give my head a shake.

Um, Matt? Wanting to see someone included doesn't have to imply partisan support. It could just as easily be a matter of principle.

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Elizabeth May, the 'consortium' and our democratic dysfunctions


Too many bytes, too much ink and attention devoted to the looming Iggy-Harpo smackdown. (Any time! Any place! Bring it on, mofo!) It may happen, it may not, and I'm still undecided about whether it's a good thing or not.

Lost in the drama, I think, is the discussion of how the door got slammed in Elizabeth May's face.

Iggy and Harper, one on one?

Two white guys in ties

Tricky business, this. What's a good non-partisan guy supposed to do?

Looks like Iggy (14:44 this afternoon) and Harper (16:33) are getting set to drop the gloves. (If anyone's got a screen grab of Harpoon's initial tweet, email me.)

Elizabeth May excluded? What Coyne said

Seriously? What century is this? Can you say "arbitrary?"

Welcome to OB's inaugural edition of What Andrew Coyne said. Dude's been making good use of the Tweeter on this one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whoever shouts the loudest

It doesn't have to be the truth. It just has to be repeated over and over and over, and drown out everyone and anyone else.

The Big Lie. Now where have we seen that before?

Astroturf, or an army of virtual Harpobot trolls?

This could be worse than we thought.

George Monbiot flagged this just over a month ago. Mind you, when I think of how Harpobots are spawned, I think more of things like this ...

Trolling for trolls! Again!

They're baaaack.

With all the same code words, too: left-wing bias of the major media outlets, we'll supply the talking points, and we're counting on you to construct facts ...

What planet do these people live on? Not only are they relying on hiring penny-ante shit-disturbers, they're not even trying to hide it.

(h/t BigCityLib, Kady O'Malley)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Updated meme: Harper is a small man

Well, perhaps the Harpobots have turned the page on all that shrill and reckless fearmongering about coalitions, especially given Harper's hypocrisy. No doubt they'll keep the armies of Attack ParrotsTM busy with a daily diet of coalition hysteria, but the ShrillHarper meme is there for that.

Let's update, my progressive friends. Modest suggestion in this regard: the quality of Stephen Harper's character.

Nobody could possibly be this dumb ...

... could they? It's got to be a setup.

Ad on Craigslist goes trolling for trolls. Hilarity ensues.

Note to Harpobots: first rule of astroturfing is, don't let people know you're astroturfing.

(h/t Sabina Becker, Susan Delacourt, Joanna Smith and a whole host of others ... )

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stop the attacks on mentally disabled Parkdale residents

Time out from talk of elections.

Sixty-two-year-old George Wass died earlier this week after someone attacked him on the steps of a Parkdale rooming house last Friday. He was hospitalized briefly and then released. He had been kicked repeatedly in the head and the ribs. He suffered two cracked ribs, cuts to his head and face, a black eye, and had trouble breathing. The autopsy said he died from blunt force trauma to the chest.

It was the fifth attack on a mentally disabled Parkdale resident since January. It's believed that the same person is behind all the attacks.

This video from Paisley Rae is a response to George's death.

Can't really add much to it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another late-evening edition
of What Beijing York said

And finally tonight:
We have to actively kill those memes - costly election, unwanted election, economic stability and scary coalition government.
How can Canadians by and large be cheering on demands for democracy on the "Arab street" while re-electing a party found to be in CONTEMPT of Parliament? Hopefully more Canadians will put two and two together and realize that they have to put a stop to the erosion of our freedoms and democracy.

What are we speaking of, when we speak of democratic infrastructure?

OK, so I was on the Tweeter today, and I was being a bit of a smart-ass (All together now: Really, OB? We're shocked. Shocked!) about the leaders of the three main parties.

This one's for Montreal Simon

Day like this, can't deny the guy a little measure of enjoyment.

Rock on, bro.

Election strategy and modest aims

Guys: If you accomplish nothing else, just don't let them turn the word "coalition" into a scare tactic or an epithet.

OK? Think you can handle that? kthxbye.

More to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another malignant election

No surprise. The blogosphere is all a-buzz with talk of impending election. Some of its progressive inhabitants are almost swooning with the thought that we might, finally, be able to rid ourselves of Spiteful Steve.

It's a nice thought. And yet ...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Energy policy and the nuclear option: Saunders doubles down

In an in-depth essay this weekend, one of the Globe's senior foreign-affairs writers urges us not to shy away from building more nuclear-energy plants just because of that spot of bother in Japan.

Libya yes, Bahrain no

So the Western war machine is revving up to go to work in Libya because it's a clearcut situation of humanitarian intervention.

It's obvious, isn't it? An entrenched autocratic regime, enriched by oil revenue, brutally repressing the popular aspirations of its own people.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

About those attacks on Planned Parenthood ...

Yeah, well. The title of this post isn't as Google-friendly as I'd like, but ...

Shamelessly stolen from Sabina Becker. She uses a lot of bad words, but "vagina" isn't one of them, and it shouldn't be considered one. That goes for the delightful deBeauxOs over at Dammit Janet as well.

Let's not get too excited about the new anti-Harper ads

So the Liberals have released a couple of new attack ads highlighting Harper's vulnerabilities and making Iggy feel all warm and squishy.

Great. So you can sling mud and get your guy to wear fuzzy sweaters. I'm sure the Conbots are quaking in their boots.

Ignatieff's yawning silence on ethics and transparency

A big "hell, yeah" to Steve V over at Far and Wide.

The Harper GovernmentTM has, for as long as I can remember, been leading with its chin on the question of open government and accountability.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stephen Harper talks about Japan: grace and sensitivity personified

OK, so I'm piling on. Sue me.

Guy takes an earthquake and rapidly spiralling nuclear disaster and tries to milk it for political advantage. Links here, here, here, and here.

Just when you think he can't possibly top himself. Thousands of deaths, a country devastated and about to go radioactive, and he's thinking, hmmm, can I spin this for votes?

Steve? You are one Class Act, buddy.

Ottawa cop charged with sexual assault in Stacy Bonds case

Well, well, well.

The Special Investigations Unit has charged Sgt. Steve Desjourdy with sexual assault in connection with an incident dating back to September 2008. Links from CBC, Globe, and CTV.

Today's shiny object: the word "barbaric"

Oh dear. Justin Trudeau seems to have made a boo-boo – er, gotten tangled up in the semantic weeds (Cue the Jesus Facepalm).

Watch as the Conservative Attack ParrotsTM crank up the squawking and the national conversation gets sidetracked into a giant foofaraw about honour killings.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Michigan and the shredding of government of, by and for the people

Wisconsin we all know about. Rachel Maddow had a stomach-churning segment recently about Michigan. I urge you to watch it. I'm trying mobile blogging so I can't post the video just yet, but you can find it easily.
Full-blown corporate feudalism, fascism, whatever you want to call it. It's on the march. Democratic governance is on the endangered-species list down south, and you'd have to be on Fantasy Island not to think it's in the crosshairs up here as well.
More to come.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Harper's contribution to the energy debate

The disaster in Japan is, even now, putting a spotlight on the question of nuclear power and whether it's a good idea to emphasize it in the planning of energy policy.

I'd like to say something sensible, perhaps suggesting that if we're going to talk about less expensive ways of producing energy, then we also need to find ways to ensure that the costs of production don't fall disproportionately upon people who are already disadvantaged.

And that's a policy objective for any context – local, provincial, federal or international.

The Japanese earthquake and the nuclear energy question

The Fukushima nuclear plant, about 150 miles north of Tokyo:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Chara hit on Pacioretty
and the NHL's feckless response


By now we all know what happened, of course, but what's really telling is the sequence of events in the aftermath.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And George Carlin too, while we're at it

Michael Moore might have been bang-on with his analysis (see previous post), but he wasn't the first to make it.

The late George Carlin, in what might have been his finest moment ...

Wisconsin update: Rethugs strip fiscal dimensions, pass union-busting bill

... so they could do an end run around the procedural rules requiring quorum for the enactment of fiscal legislation.

SIU re-opens another G20 investigation. Stop me if you've heard this before

Well. Who'd'a thunk it?

This time it's a guy whose arm and shoulder were fractured. Shockingly, the SIU couldn't get conclusive evidence after interviewing eight witness officers. They're re-opening the investigation only because additional evidence has come to light.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hey, PMO cyberweasels?
Correct this

Well, while I've been running on at the mouth about labels and meaning and context, CK's been setting things on fire over at Sister Sage.

Now what's all the fuss about?

"Oh, fiddle de de dee! Don't I even get a chance to take a bath?"

Yes, well. Some of the comments on Thursday's post take me, with more than a little justification, to task for what may have been an excessively facile argument about the slippery and elastic nature of political labels.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

At this point, labels don't matter

Not looking for a big theoretical or semantic foofaraw about partisanship and party affiliation and whether the Liberals, New Democrats, Bloc and Greens can set aside their differences long enough to get rid of the Harpoon Junta.