Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Parliamentary Democracy Strikes Back

Powering up the Speaker of the House
Former MPs, law clerk have a plan to bring decorum to Parliament
By Leslie MacKinnon CBC News Posted: Dec 28, 2012 6:34 AM ET
Two former Liberal MPs and a former law clerk of the House of Commons, weary of what they see as a dysfunctional House of Commons, are working on a proposal to give more power to the Speaker.
Former MPs Paul Szabo and Derek Lee, along with Rob Walsh, the recently retired law clerk, have been brainstorming about how to fix Parliament, and are quietly lobbying for change.

Walsh suggests changing the rules to give the Speaker more power.
"Put something in the Standing Orders (written rules of the House of Commons) that recognizes the well-established traditions of parliamentary practices and call upon the Speaker to see that those practices are respected and not in some manner abused."
As examples of abuse, Walsh cited omnibus bills that amend dozens of acts, or the constant moving of committee business behind closed doors.
"We're talking about obstruction by majorities, using the majority position to suppress the opposition."

 Canadians who despair of the cacophony in question period might be heartened by what goes on in the British House of Commons, where the Speaker has the power to evict members, cut off speeches and adjourn the legislature if things get too rowdy.
In a video on the website of the British newspaper the Telegraph, Speaker John Bercow is shown yelling full bore at MPs, ordering them to sit down and be quiet or risk being kicked out. He admonishes one MP for a "bogus point of order" and tells another "to act like an adult."
Bercow has even publicly blasted his own party leader, Prime Minister David Cameron, for refusing to answer questions about the phone-hacking scandal.

Exasperated question period junkies in Canada might look to the Australian House of Commons [should be "House of Representatives" - DC], where there is a penalty box, or "sin bin," that the Speaker can employ for an hour to hold errant MPs.
"I was in Australia with [former Speaker] Peter Milliken," said Szabo, "and we went to QP, and there were actually two or three people put in the penalty box while we were there, for good reason."

Welcome to a very delayed House of Commons Night in Canada, the first for the 2012-2013 season.  I'm Ron MacLean here with Don Cherry.  Grapes, we've neglected the House of Commons what with the NHL lockout keeping us spinning our wheels, so let's catch up. 

Yeah, well I think the most important thing in the new season is intercourse in the House...

I think you mean "discourse"...

No, "dyscourse" is what we've got now - everybody talking and nobody listening.  Question Period is totally psycho - the Opposition asks a question and somebody from the Government side gives an answer that is from outer space and the exact same as all of the the other government answers on the same day that are all useless.

So from your point of view, what would be ideal intercourse in the House of Commons?

Well as the Australians say, now you're asking me a question.  In my opinion - and this is only my opinion...

Yeah sure, your opinion's like a Papal Bull...

Why are you bringing Belleville into this?

They have an Olympic size rink.

You've managed to confuse me.

Just ignore me.

What should happen is if you're asked a straight question you give a straight answer.  Everybody can agree to disagree afterwards but at least the whole thing gets aired in public, which I thought was the whole idea. Anyway, the good news is that Rob Walsh is on the remember Walsh?

Of course, from the Battle of the Robs.  Former Clerk of the House of Commons - their lawyer.

Go to the head of the class.

I'm more a back of the bus person...

I'm going to have a heart attack from not surprise.  Anyway, Rob and Peter Milliken - the last Speaker of the House, a guy I've got a lot of time for...

Of course there's a lot of time on our hands during the lockout...

I'm starting to think you're a part of the problem, not the solution.  Anyway, Rob and Peter and some other guys who care about Parliamentary Democracy are about to campaign for more power and independence for the Speaker...

I thought you're idea of refereeing was to just let 'em play...

You haven't been paying attention.  The idea of refereeing is not to get in the way of the game, but making sure that cheap shots, diving, and all the other dishonourable crap get penalized.  There's always The Code, but you need somebody to call the rest or it would be anarchy out there.  And you can't have everybody discussing every off-side.

So what does that look like?

Well, you'll find a good summary on the CBC, even though the CBC is mostly latte drinking Volvo drivers.  

I think those people have moved on to Chai tea and the Prius.

What's a Prius?

A hybrid.

Is it a car?


Anyway, these guys in the Speaker lobby have looked at other methods of making Question Period work.  In Britain, the current Speaker is John Bercow...


... and I've got a lot of time for this guy,too.  He tells people to shut up and sit down, and throws people out if they don't answer questions or show proper respect for the game.

And they also looked at the Australian system, where the Speaker has an actual penalty box. The analogies with hockey get more similar, what with bench clearing brawls in Westminster...

Exactly.  You know, the beauty of parliamentary democracy is that it evolves.

.RON MACLEAN eliminating the red line?

Sure, but I think Winston Churchill said it best as usual:
"Thus we arrive, by our ancient constitutional methods at practical working arrangements which show that Parliamentary democracy can adapt itself to all situations and can go out in all weathers."
You never cease to surprise me.  Well, we've got a lot to look forward to in the coming season, even if for now Question Period is an Orwellian grope* through the government's propaganda.

Sometimes you surprise me.

I got that line from a book.  Anyway, I've evolved along with your suits.

Clothes make the man.

Have you considered running for Parliament?

Come on!  I barely got used to Twitter.


He didn't have the right clothes.

Until 2013, that's it for House of Commons Night in Canada.

I'd like to see what happens if van Loan gets in a brawl with Trudeau...

* Dispatches
   by Michael Herr
   Page 99

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa by Stealth

How NORAD blew it.


Ahhh, CF18 Santa Flight this is Winnipeg Centre.


We have you at Vector 91 closing on target SC2012 500 knots. 


Say again?

Whatever. We're up here doing our thing. It's a nice night.


Negative. We do not have radar or visual contact. We have faith in you. It's Christmas. 

Santa Flight, we have lost contact with target. Please stand by. 

At 500 knots?

Roger that.

You know the combat radius of an F18, right?

Santa Flight, please maintain radio discipline.

[hums "Let It Snow"]

Santa Flight. Mission is nominal. Return to base.


Associated Press 25 December 2012
Polio vaccine in candy canes delivered to Pakistan overnight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Smoke on the water...

Just wait out the ads. Trust me.
Smoke on the water by VendeeGlobeTV

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama's crocodile tears

As Glenn Greenwald said about "Zero Dark Thirty," this is Hollywood schlock. Hundreds of children have been killed by the United States in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen. Obama is personally responsible for many of them. Maybe if we had pictures there might be some semblance of decency.

Time to put heat on the Stanley Cup Trust

First of all, it isn't called the Stanley Cup, it's the Dominion Challenge Cup.

Second, the Cup isn't owned by the NHL.  They have a trademark, which is the actual Cup glued on to this wedding cake base.  Whatever these guys hold over their heads after winning, only the wedding cake is the property of the NHL.

Third, it's not clear why American teams are involved in this at all.  If they are, then other countries could just as easily participate:  Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia...

Fourth, if the NHL are going to be incompetent and destroy themselves, there is absolutely no need to include the Dominion Challenge Cup in this disgrace.  It's above all this.  If the Trustees can't figure this out, they should be sued and replaced by more worthy Trustees.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peter Mackay for NATO Secretary General

Pete has run his course as Canada's Minister of National Defence.  He was a stalwart - telling outrageous lies with a straight face.  There's no price too high for this sort of chutzpah.

Now, the F35 boondoggle is going to get him, there's no avoiding it. The time has come to promote him - like Zaccardelli - to a ceremonial post in Europe.  There was loose talk about this when The Fog (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) was appointed, but even Rasmussen doesn't have the smooth bare-faced lying talents of Mackay, and now Pete's time has come.

There will be awkward questions about stupidity.  In fact, stupidity is a treasured talent at NATO, difficult as that idea might seem to those of us who know less.  If you're stupid, you can stand up and tell lies in a sincere way, like Colin Powell.  Or Adlai Stevenson.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

See? Norway was right, Fantino out to lunch.

original post April 12, 2012

Fantino: Don't compare Norway, Canada's F-35 costs

F-35A base aircraft price

Norway's price:  $770 million

Canada's price:   $249.99 million

+ Canadian optional requirements:
  • undercarriage
  • tires for undercarriage
  • hydraulics to raise and lower undercarriage
  • hubcaps
  • ejector seat
  • A/C
  • radio that works
  • winterizing
  • satnav
  • custom paint job
  • astrolabe
  • sextant
  • Head Up Display
  • instruments to connect to HUD
  • wires to connect instruments to HUD
  • wings (2)
  • gun racks (wings)
  • gun rack (cockpit)
  • rear vertical fins (2)
  • elevons (2)
  • navigation lights
  • landing lights
  • spare bulbs
  • AAA batteries 
(to be continued)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fabulosity of the rule of law

"In power politics there are no crimes, because there are no laws." 

George Orwell
Who are the war criminals?
Tribune, October 22, 1943
Marine Corps Brig, Quantico is a Level 1 facility military prison operated at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia. By definition, this means that it can house relatively few inmates (at the time of writing, about 45) and is not equipped for sentences over 90 days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

News flash for Kathryn Bigelow

Bin Laden won!

With a very minimal investment, Osama bin Laden (allegedly but without any admissible evidence) inflicted a narcissistic wound on the United States of America that resulted in narcissistic rage that led to American military adventures in Asia and Africa that have bankrupted the USA and enraged 1.2 billion Muslims.  What's not to like?

Douglas Haig on the future of jet fighters

As late as 1926, as the nation mourned the death of nearly 1 million men, Haig would write on the future of war, 
"I believe that the value of the horse and the opportunity of the horse in the future are likely to be as great as ever. Aeroplanes and tanks are only accessories to the men and I am sure as time goes on you will find just as much use for the horse - the well-bred horse - as you have ever done in the past."
- Wade Davis
Page 15

As far as I know, nobody has yet explained clearly what jet fighters are supposed to do or why Canada needs them.

Friday, November 30, 2012

They hung Keitel didn't they? (part 2)

"To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there isn't already a rulebook" said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Center for Democracy. "But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war]."
The Guardian, November 25, 2012 

Common Article 3, Geneva Conventions 1949

Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the followingprovisions: 
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;(b) taking of hostages;(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. 
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
Commentary, Common Article 3
Sentences and executions without previous trial are by definition open to error. "Summary justice" may be effective on account of [p.40] the fear it arouses, but it adds too many innocent victims to all the other innocent victims of the conflict. All civilized nations surround the administration of justice with safeguards aimed at eliminating the possibility of judicial errors. The Convention has rightly proclaimed that it is essential to do this even in time of war. We must be very clear about one point; it is only "summary" justice which it is intended to prohibit. No sort of immunity is given to anyone under this provision. There is nothing in it to prevent a person presumed to be guilty from being arrested and so placed in a position where he can do no further harm; and it leaves intact the right of the State to prosecute, sentence and punish according to the law.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

World becoming isolated from Canadian reality

New York, November 29, 2012 - Associated Press

"I'm very disappointed," said a disappointed John Baird. "Canada is disappointed."

Despite Baird going out of his way to reveal Canada's position on the Middle East peace process to the UN General Assembly, he felt frustrated that the message didn't seem to be getting through.

"They don't get it," he said.  "The world is in danger of losing touch with Canadian foreign policy."

If that were to happen, a Canadian solution to the Iranian crisis would be even more remote.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The only difference between Obama and Morsi... Obama's getting away with it.

Egyptian protesters attend an opposition rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. More than 100,000 people flocked to Cairo's central Tahrir square on Tuesday, chanting against Egypt's Islamist president in a powerful show of strength by the opposition demanding Mohammed Morsi revoke edicts granting himself near autocratic powers.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

.....or maybe not.

Monday, November 19, 2012


April 4, 1984.  Last night to the flicks.  All war films.  One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean.  Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water. then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it. There was a middleaged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms.  little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood. then there was a wonderful shot of a child’s arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didn’t oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didn’t it aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned her turned her out I don’t suppose anything happened to her nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction they never -
George Orwell

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Susan Rice for Secretary of State


Yes, of course.  Susan Rice as Secretary of State.  That leaves open the post of Ambassador to the United Nations which will go to - let me guess - Anne-Marie Slaughter!  Perfect.  The one-two punch of R2P, conveniently sabotaging the Security Council when that organization fails to be consistent with American mythology, particularly the American "shining-city-on-the-hill, leader-of-the-free-world" mythology.  

Let's talk about Security Council Resolution 1970 on Libya that was passed by an unprecedented vote of 15-0, authorizing sanctions, and a referral of Libya's leaders to the International Criminal Court, as well as various economic sanctions.  It was unprecedented and would have set the precedent of the ICC being a standard of international justice agreed to by the US, China, and Russia.  Robert H. Jackson would rise up from his grave - Holy Nuremberg!
Robert H. Jackson, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, also the Canadian Bar Association in 1949, in his address entitled Nuremberg In Retrospect: Legal Answer To International Lawlessness"...I do think that we have forever laid to rest in the minds of statesmen the vicious assumptions that all war must be regarded as legal and just, and that while the law imposes personal responsibility for starting a street riot, it imposes none for inciting and launching a world war." 

Instead of recognizing this precedent, the weasel Susan Rice then promoted Resolution 1973 that authorized a "no-fly zone" that had 5 significant abstentions including Germany, and then went on to a NATO crusader mission to blow the shit out of Libya, and more particularly, Ghadaffi however you want to spell it.  We are living with the result, the most advertised of which is single digit casualties in Benghazi, - but of course American casualties - and the least advertised being disruption of north Africa extending into Mali, as well as the loss of thousands of armaments - a connection that seems to elude almost all of the American and European MSM - not to mention the total anarchy that has followed in Libya that is struggling without the financial support afforded to the NATO military that was blowing the shit out of it. David Cameron is still pimping for BAE in the Middle East.  His shirt was open the other day, perhaps he'd just finished trashing a restaurant.

Now, Susan Rice and her clueless friends - whose shared expertise appears to have been acquired by talking to each other - are wondering why the Security Council is not big on regime change in Syria, while simultaneously fucking up what had been non-violent and courageous resistance in Syria by supplying various "rebel" groups with weapons, thus turning Syria into a civil war that doesn't look to be ending any time soon, and inadvertently arming its own self described "enemies" - Islamists, whatever Americans mean by that term, it's not obvious - and wanting more military involvement as a result, even if it means bypassing the UN.

Then, to add insult to injury, NATO seems in a hurry to "recognize" the rebels, whoever they are including "Islamists", as the legitimate voice of Syria, having denied the same recognition to Palestinians for 60 years.

You'd think somebody would notice all this.  The good news is that many Americans have - Bradley Manning being an obvious example - and my "thoughts and prayers" for their Constitution are in my heart at this time.  

Fresh hell in Brussels

Excerpt from The War Diary of ISAF's Media Operations Centre NATO Headquarters Blvd Leopold III 1110 Brussels, Belgium Tuesday, Novermber 13, 2012 9:30 AM Au Repos de la Montagne Montagne de Saint-Job 39 Coffee en route to work. Oh, God.  It's four days to the weekend, and now this.  What will we do about Commander's Corner?!  "General Allen paints self into corner" -  the headlines write themselves.  My cell is having a grand mal.  There is a crash emergency meeting in Bar Le 31, Hotel Metropole, to work out our crisis response.  It reminded me of Friday, June 13, 2008, when the Taliban busted open Sarpoza Central Prison in Kandahar without anybody knowing about it, even though they had chartered buses to remove the occupants.  This was worse:  not only a crisis under our noses but probably other anatomy as well.  11:00  Bar Le 31.  The Chief was remarkably coherent for this time of day, although I questioned the location of such a confidential meeting in a hotel lobby.  I was told nobody in their right mind would expect us to have it there.  We heard that there are some 20,000-30,000 possibly incriminating pages shared by the Commander and some woman in Florida who has been described as the "Emily Post of targeted killing."  My curiosity was aroused, and fortunately the Chief shared this information with us as well, by posting it all on the MOC supersecret website that Wikileaks can only dream about.  The question was how to deal with this mass of information to formulate a consistent message that could be condensed into 7 talking points or less.  12:00 We all downloaded the information onto out laptops and adjourned for a working lunch.  15:00 Each breakout group had been tasked to author one talking point.  Unfortunately there was considerable overlap.  The good news was that there were fewer talking points.  These were:
  • Neither American National Security nor NATO security has been compromised.
  • The ISAF Mission is on track to a successful handover in 2014.
  • General Allen apologizes to anybody who was offended by anything but emphasizes he has nothing to apologize for.
16:00 The bar opened.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The beach at Puys

Marie-Josée Lafond 2009

Canadians dead on Blue Beach, Puys, Dieppe - August 1942

 German Federal Archives

On the Left Flank: Berneval and Puys

The situation on the left flank proved to be a disaster even before the first landing. An hour before the scheduled landing time, the ships carrying the No 3 British Commando encountered a German convoy with an armed escort. Fierce fighting followed that disorganized the manoeuvres of the landing crafts and only seven out of 23 reached the Berneval beach. The firing alerted the Germans who met the Commandos with strong opposition. Only one craft escaped the attention of the enemy and 17 men and three officers from No 3 Commando managed to land without being seen. Edging their way through a gully, an unbelievably bold movement, they got near their target, a German artillery position on the hill above Berneval. Unable to destroy it, they took shots at it with such intensity that for an hour and a half, the Germans were unable to take aim at the Allied ships.

The Royal Regiment of Canada, plus three Black Watch platoons and one artillery detachment, experienced unbelievable bad luck on the Puys beach. Their task was to neutralize machine-gun and artillery batteries protecting the Dieppe beach. Problems started during the crossing of the Channel and the barges arrived in disorganized waves, the first ones already twenty minutes behind schedule. By then, the darkness and smoke screens that should have concealed their arrival had been lifted and German defences were on high alert. As soon as they reached the shore, the men found themselves pinned against the seawall and unable to advance otherwise than in full view of the enemy. Since no ship could get close without being targeted and probably sunk, the survivors of the Royals and Black Watch were forced to surrender. Of the 556 men and officers of the Royal Regiment of Canada who sailed for Dieppe, over 200 lost their lives in action and 264 were captured, among them several wounded.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Truth and Truthiness

by Jane Austen

The Romney family had long lived at Edsel Manor in Belmont, Massachusetts, on the northern outskirts of Boston.  They were of old and respectable Mormon stock, and their standing within the surrounding gated communities was very high, as indeed it was in Boston, where young Willard (lovingly called Mitt by his sisters) was once Governor.  The Romney children were fond of summer vacations with their parents, at their rustic cottage in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, although the family Edsel scarcely had room enough for all the children and the dog.

As a young man, Willard attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where families often sent their young men for development of a certain sort of character, in later years referred to uncharitably as "entitlement." As he was maturing to manhood, he found America was at war in southeast Asia, and Willard had to choose between a Mormon mission to civilize savage Parisiens on the one hand, or to serve his country in Vietnam on the other.  It was indeed a difficult decision, but Willard, strengthened by his experience in Utah, found it within himself to sacrifice his military career in Vietnamese swamps to a higher purpose in  the cafes of Paris, a course he was never in later years to regret.  It was perhaps no coincidence that the French had themselves recently abandoned Vietnam in defeat, owing to lack of moral fiber.

On return from France (having acquired a flawless Parisien accent), Willard completed his education at a local college, Harvard, where he became a Doctor of Laws and a Surgeon of Business.  Then, using his own two hands, hard work, and the talent God had so wisely given him, and without any opportunity not equally provided to a farm boy from Mississippi, Willard became rich.

One thing was bothering him however:  some words like "gay" were losing their old meanings and  were, in this instance, being appropriated by the perverse, immoral, and mentally ill to mean "homosexuality."  Fortunately, just when things were blackest, he found a way to fight back.  He discovered that the word "truth" had been appropriated by the reality-based community to mean the way the way the world actually was, as determined by some form of objective measurement or open-minded inquiry.  An answer to this Orwellian distortion of the English language had been unearthed by an obscure philologist named Stephen Colbert, who taught that "truthiness" was the truth that God meant it to be, at least the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, of which the Mormons were perhaps a part.  Unlike the Muslims however.  In another life, Willard thought, he would be a Mormon Missionary in, say, Istanbul, but this he would leave to his sons, or more probably, other people's sons.

With this clarity of mind, and armed with the Sword of Truthiness and the Shield of Ignorance, he decided to become President of the United States.  The rest will be history.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Copycat Proroguer

The Proroguer Omnibus goes to Toronto

I was sitting in the Library Bar of the Royal York in Toronto waiting for a contact I knew only as “Her”.  I had been innocently plying my trade as a constitutional lawyer in Ottawa, although looking enviously south to a land where constitutional lawyers became famous politicians – by trying to destroy the American Constitution – or famous journalists  – by trying to destroy the constitutional lawyers trying  to destroy the American Constitution.  My sympathies were with the journalists but at least both were getting paid.  

Meanwhile back in Ottawa I was hoping for an intermittent gig on CBC Radio explaining the unwritten constitution to people who didn't care, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to people who preferred a strong, stable tryanny.  It was strictly minimum wage.  I was bummed.

Then, there had been a mysterious call from Haiti.  It was an offer to retain my services for an important client who could not be identified on the phone, on account of Jeffrey Delisle having blown the cover of CSIS, ASIS, NZIS, MI6, the CIA, and Rogers Cable, and nothing was secure.  I asked about the job and was told " the Privy Council job in London.”   More could not be said on the phone.  All expenses would be covered lavishly however, and I would be intimately involved in Canadian Constitutional law at a crucial moment.

It was an offer I couldn't refuse.  After a luxurious overnight bus trip to Toronto, I settled into a booth in a dim corner of the bar, carrying a copy of an October 2008  Report on Business, as instructed.  Moments later, a black woman wearing a black sealskin coat and very black sunglasses appeared at my side.  “Mind if I sit down?” she asked, using the agreed recognition code.  “Only if Obama has the hots for you,” I replied, and she slumped gratefully into a seat.  “Screech?” I asked.  “I’d love to, but it would only attract attention. “ “I mean the drink.” “Jack Daniels.”  I was moving up.

“I hope this isn’t another Privy Council trip.”  “No, it’s like that, but not the same people.  We think we’ve got a copycat proroguer.”

“Do you have a suspect?”

She looked carefully around and lowered her voice, “Dalton.”


“No, he’s straight.”

“I meant Dalton Camp.”

“He’s dead.”

The stakes were getting higher.  “Who then?”

She excused herself to go the ladies'.  She returned, handed me a blank piece of paper, and left.  I held the paper over a candle and writing slowly appeared;  “McGuinty.  We will be in touch.  Your room here has been booked under the name 'Tim Horton.'"

The paper burst into flame, setting off the smoke alarms and causing evacuation of the entire hotel.  In the interests of security I ate the ashes. It was more interesting than a guest slot on “The House.”  I retired to my room and ordered up a 24 of Canadian to kill the taste of ashes in my mouth.  It didn't work.

…to be continued.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The International Hockey League

This has nothing to do with far.

The Stanley Cup is not owned by the NHL. They have no rights to it except as conveyed by the Stanley Cup Trust. The trust might be in the pocket of the NHL, but this can be settled in court.

There is currently a lockout in the NHL, and the League seems to operate on the assumption that high quality hockey is only available from the NHL. Sure.

So here's my suggestion for a new International Hockey League, the winner of which is awarded the Stanley Cup. OK, it isn't really the Stanley Cup, it's the Dominion Challenge Cup, but as it has already been co-opted by the NHL, there is no reason it can't be awarded for an international league that extends beyond North America. Lord Stanley had a few choice words to say about professionalism, but in fact the 19th century ideal of sport as manly preparation for war has been overtaken by the fact that the highest standards of sport can only be achieved by full time preparation. So, hockey south of the Mason-Dixon Line is just stupid, a crass marketing scheme like Roller Derby. It might make sense to the NHL owners - a very dubious group for the most part - but it makes no sense to those of us who think hockey is a beautiful game, played right.

Here's my line-up for the new IHL:

European Division

North American Division
New York

Then of course there is the possibility of an Asian Division, extending from Moscow through Kazakhstan to Irkutsk and Vladivostok, with Beijing and Mongolia obvious possibilities, and of course, Shanghai. Would you rather play hockey in Phoenix or Shanghai?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Starbucks of Terror


To:                All al-Qaeda franchises

From:            al-Qaeda Headquarters

Re:                The al-Qaeda experience

The following assumes that there is such a thing as al-Qaeda (as opposed to a bunch of hotheads with fertilizer, like Tim McVeigh), or if there was such a thing, if it was capable of, as the Australians say, organizing a chook raffle.  Or, al-Qaeda might be a mass of random angry people with access to explosives who want the geographicaly-challenged NATO to return to the North Atlantic.  Take your pick.
  1. Our organization has existed for over ten years, providing unequaled terror experiences.
  2. The al-Qaeda experience of 9/11 drew unprecedented attention to our brand.
  3. Following 9/11, there has been an exponential growth of al-Qaeda, with franchises established in Yemen, Sudan, the Arabian Peninsula, Libya, Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Saskatchewan.
  4. We were kidding about Saskatchewan.
  5. The health of our business model mandates a uniform experience when clients encounter our brand ("client/brand disposition matrix"), and quality control ("QC") is therefore crucial.
  6. The need to abbreviate quality control as QC is, well ...part of the whole franchise thing.
  7. Vital elements of our business plan include:  xenophobia (the target market is white, preferably Anglo-Saxon although French is acceptable); willingness to die for customer satisfaction; Semtex literacy; current driver's licence; and an almost  fanatical devotion to the Pope. 
  8. About the Pope....
  9. We are currently recruiting nuclear physicists, longshoremen, and merchant seamen.
  10. Fluency in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, English, French, Russian, Mandarin, Hebrew, German, and Greek will be an asset.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nuremberg disposition matrix

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.  
- George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

The PRESIDENT: In accordance with Article 27 of the Charter, the International Military Tribunal will now pronounce the sentences on the defendants convicted on this Indictment.
Defendant Hermann Wilhelm Goering, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the International Military Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Rudolf Hess, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to imprisonment for life.
Defendant Joachim von Ribbentrop, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Wilhelm Keitel, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Ernst Kaltenbrunner, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted. the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Alfred Rosenberg, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Hans Frank, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Wilhelm Frick, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Julius Streicher, on the count of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, The Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Walther Funk, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences You to imprisonment for life
Defendant Karl Doenitz, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to ten years imprisonment.
Defendant Erich Raeder, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to imprisonment for life.
Defendant Baldur von Schirach, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to twenty years imprisonment.
Defendant Fritz Sauckel, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Alfred Jodl, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Arthur Seyss-Inquart, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.
Defendant Albert Speer, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to twenty years imprisonment.
Defendant Konstantin von Neurath, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to fifteen years imprisonment.
The Tribunal sentences the Defendant Martin Bormann. on the counts of the Indictment on which he has been convicted, to death by hanging.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Holding Obama's balls to the fire...

Tom Tomorrow

The guy talks a good game and I have no doubt he means it.  The reality is he's subverting the American Constitution and trying to organize an American consensus government in which the consensus boils down to American Mythical insanity -  "the leader of the free world" - completely free of the international law it has signed, and determined to impose a Pax Americana on the world despite the fact that the entire American population is about 5% of the world's population, as opposed to the world's Muslim population which weighs in at about  17% of the world's population.

In the rule of law, there's no difference between Obama and Romney. The brutal truth is that neither is interested in the American Constitution.  Apparently, most American citizens are not interested in the Constitution either, they're interested in the myth.

Somebody should point that out in a Coors Light commercial.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The new Paris negotiating table...

The old negotiations...

Vietnam War - Paris Peace Talks
 The four delegations sit at the table during the first signing ceremony of the agreement to end the Vietnam War at the Hotel Majestic in Paris, Jan. 27, 1973. Clockwise, from foreground, delegations of the Unites States, the Provisonal Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, North Vietnam and South Vietnam. (AP Photo)

 The new negotiations...

Good night, and good luck.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Richard Nixon and Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Richard Nixon on Vietnam, November 3, 1969
The defense of freedom is everybody's business not just America's business. And it is particularly the responsibility of the people whose freedom is threatened. In the previous administration, we Americanized the war in Vietnam.
In this administration, we are Vietnamizing the search for peace. The policy of the previous administration not only resulted in our assuming the primary responsibility for fighting the war, but even more significantly did not adequately stress the goal of strengthening the South Vietnamese so that they could defend themselves when we left. The Vietnamization plan was launched following Secretary Laird's visit to Vietnam in March. 
Under the plan, I ordered first a substantial increase in the training and equipment of South Vietnamese forces.
 -After 5 years of Americans going into Vietnam, we are finally bringing men home. By December 15, over 60,000 men will have been withdrawn from South Vietnam including 20 percent of all of our combat forces.
-The South Vietnamese have continued to gain in strength. As a result they have been able to take over combat responsibilities from our American troops. Two other significant developments have occurred since this administration took office.
-Enemy infiltration, infiltration which is essential if they are to launch a major attack, over the last 3 months is less than 20 percent of what it was over the same period last year.
-Most important United States casualties have declined during the last 2 months to the lowest point in 3 years. 
Let me now turn to our program for the future. We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the South Vietnamese for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable. This withdrawal will be made from strength and not from weakness. As South Vietnamese forces become stronger, the rate of American withdrawal can become greater.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Afghanistan, October 1, 2012

"Political decisions will be taken based on his recommendations as to how we will adapt to the transfer of lead responsibility to the Afghans," he said. "The pace will very much depend on the security situation on the ground."

Rasmussen stressed that any accelerated rate of withdrawal should not be seen as "a race for the exits". The end of combat operations is to be followed from 2015 by a Nato-led training mission for the Afghan security forces, which will also require the continued deployment of fighting units or special forces, – "enablers" as they are called in military jargon.

"The core will be a training mission. Of course, we will have to ensure that our trainers can operate in a secure environment so we need capabilities to make sure that our trainers can operate," said the former Danish prime minister, who was appointed head of Nato in 2009.

Additionally, there will be further US forces remaining in Afghanistan under a bilateral "strategic partnership" deal struck between Washington and Kabul.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Black humour from the Third Reich

Julian Assange - enemy of the state
“At the Belgium border crossing, huge numbers of rabbits appear one day and declare that they are political refugees. ‘The Gestapo wants to arrest all giraffes as enemies of the state.’ – ‘But you’re not giraffes.’ – ‘We know that, but try explaining that to the Gestapo!’”
Richard J. Evans
The Third Reich in Power

quoted by
Erik Larson
In the Garden of Beasts
Random House
pg. 386

Saturday, September 8, 2012

John Baird's interplanetary foreign policy

Baird on Mars 

If we sent Iran to Mars, all of Earth's problems would be solved. Now that I think of it, the problems would be even more solved it we sent all the UN General Assembly to Mars except for NATO. And Israel of course. And Australia and New Zealand. Are they part of NATO? OK, anything Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Zoroastrian gets to go to Mars. 

You know, thinking hurts. That's why the government of Canada rejects thinking. We use only guts and cojones because that's what Canadians want.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The hinge of history.....

...meets the doorknob of destiny...

...slammed by a Texan who seems to understand the Constitution.

US District Court judge from Texas smokes Obama's corrupt DOJ

You wouldn't think a guy from Texas would be explaining the rule of law to a so-called constitutional lawyer from Harvard, but that just happened.
"There's a saying that everything's bigger in Texas, and this chief judge lives up to that adage," U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who also served as the District's U.S. attorney from 1993 to 1997, said when asked to introduce Lamberth at a May 2009 speech at the D.C. court. "Nothing associated with this judge is a rubber stamp. . . . Chief Lamberth is both a consummate lawyer and a consummate jurist."
Stem cell judge used to stirring things up

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Entire decision is here.