Sunday, January 30, 2011

Assange is right and his enemies are wrong.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, pg. 189

So maybe Julian Assange is a pain in the ass. So were Newton, Galileo, Darwin, Jesus, and Florence Nightingale. So what? Show me anything WikiLeaks has published that's incorrect. As for the need for "discretion," it must be obvious to anybody who can read that "discretion" failed to prevent the Iraq and Afghanistan disasters.

Assange might suffer from a lack of peer review, but he has no means of getting any.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Worst and The Brightest

"Regardless of policymakers’ Ivy League pedigrees, U.S. foreign and defense policy routinely operates on a village-idiot level of information. "
James Bovard

And so - inevitably - Stephen Harper's foreign and defence policy routinely operates on received wisdom from the village idiot.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Conservative Base

Three guys in a coffee shop in Red Deer...

...who don't care about habeas corpus as long as oil flows. It always polls 30% or slightly more, which leaves deomocracy in the hands of the rest of us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Operation Medusa, September 2006

"NATO launched Operation Medusa on Sept. 2 [2006] with the aim of clearing out Taliban fighters from a Panjwaii district near Kandahar. NATO said its troops killed 512 Taliban and captured another 136."

Meanwhile back at the ranch, four years and 150+ lives later, Canada hopes for a "calmer spring."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anonymous in Tunisia

I don't think Anonymous is getting enough respect for its role in the Jasmine Revolution.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tunisia in Disneyland

There's no substitute for crass thievery.

Some members of Ben Ali's inner circle managed to get out of the country in the days before his hasty escape, and are now holed up with a security team in a VIP suite at the Disneyland resort just east of Paris."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bubbles In Flames

Burning the Great Firewall of China

So I'm trying to plan rationally for the future, which is a little difficult. However, some things seem very clear.

The United States is broke, and has only to realize the fact before all hell breaks loose. The Housing Bubble is still deflating, the Commercial Real Estate Bubble is swollen ominously in the wings, and the Municipal Bonds Bubble....well....let's just say that borrowing money from the Chinese to finance pointless land wars in Asia seems unsustainable.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are desperately trying to acquire commodities with their great stocks of American dollars, before the currency tanks, hyperinflation takes over, and all Chinese investments in America become worthless as the American consumer market for Chinese manufactured goods disappears in a small puff of smoke.

Then, China will desperately try to feed its own population, and maintain standards of living despite the quite sudden manufacturing glut and factory closures.

In this context, the sale of Alberta to China will make good business sense, and the arming of the Canadian border with Chinese mercenaries to keep out starving American rabble will be a done deal.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moose file class-action lawsuit...

...over collisions with Newfoundland vehicles.

Eddie Greenspan has announced he is representing moose in Newfoundland and Labrador in a class action lawsuit against the government.

"More than 700 of my clients have been killed and injured as a result of careless operation of motor vehicles in the province," he said.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rearranging Deck Chairs on USS Manifest Destiny

Welcome to The USS Manifest Destiny, the most advanced society the world has ever known, one destined to be the leader of the free world, and eventually the emprisoned world, because of everything. My name is Eric Holder, and I will be your Customer Service Director on this Vogage to Infinity.

Shortly after departure, there will be a perfunctory lifeboat drill, because there are no lifeboats on this unsinkable Shining Ship on the Hill, marooned by an unseasonable drought, making the lifeboat drill even more useless. Instead, we will have a Rearranging The Deck Chairs Drill, which we hope you will find both educational and amusing.

Thank you for your attention and have a pleasant voyage.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Boys From Beijing...

...and the American Constitution in the 21st Century

"Second: Over Christmas, the United States was amazed to discover that China had fielded a fleet of short-range ballistic missiles that allow it to strike aircraft carriers throughout the region. This is not a Cold War development aimed at the U.S., but one designed to thwart any regional challengers.

"Still, American generals reacted with alarm – not because they felt threatened with attack, but because they had suddenly discovered that they, like their country’s banks and corporations and consumers, have become irrelevant."

Doug Saunders, "Look east and south: Witness the end of post-colonialism"
The Globe and Mail, January 8, 2010

...and from the still fabulous if horribly neglected American Constitution:

Section 9 - Limits on Congress

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

[emphasis added]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Iraq in retrospect

So much for the "widowmakers."

So much for The Globe.