Saturday, March 31, 2007


You've heard the underlying theme that will likely be repeated and imbedded in the tinfoil minds of the CONservatoid lollygaggers -- that Kyoto and the recent changes to the Clean Air Act will be a damaging anchor around Canada's economy.
It likely will frame the whole rationale that Harpor will pitch first to the Governor General, and then to the Canadian public for a late spring election.
His hands are tied, he'll say in that soap-opera-quality acting he's so feign to pass off as resolute firmness. Yep, CanWest and the rest of the media whoredes will eat off the palm of his hand. I'll let smarter and more skillful writers than myself to strip away at that harbinger of a fib -- like how come all the European economies aren't in the toilet currently?

The real sham -- and yes, eventual point to today's diatribe -- is that Harpor himself is positioning himself into being a real anchor himself with the economy, due to ideology.
Consider this: the Cons have sunk what had been planned for nearly a decade and had finally been implemented, national standards for daycare and childcare. The federally funded program would have ensured that early learning was an accepted and implemented initiative that each province would follow through with, each understanding to different degrees its value.
Canada's economy is a bubbling cauldron, but nothing like the scorching metal of China and India. They hold one element over us that we cannot compete with -- a plentiful labour source (cheap or otherwise). Our economy has grown at a great gallop since the mid-70s due in part to the increase of women, especially mothers, in the workplace. For many, it was and is a case of being in control of their own destiny, whether that includes reaching their career goals, achieving financial freedom, contributing to the family in a financial way, or taking on the role of breadwinner in the spinoff of more one-parent families.

With one stroke and then months of ignoring the facts, Harpor has virtually tried to turn back the clock. His monthly baby bonus returns us to a 1950s model, where the cheque is helpful in paying off a few bills but in no way measures up to helping in the expense of day- or childcare.
The So-Cons have gone on long and hard about where they believe wimen are better put to use. And I'll not argue that as part of choice, families should be allowed and not punished for having one parent stay at home with the kids. But it is not the government's job to encourage one by penalizing working parents with a lack of access or choice. Not when the options for many will be much, much worse. Inadequate childcare situations, for one.

Harpor's stand on this, even though it has gone unspoken but not unacted on, is to wedge many women into saying "I can't find daycare/pay for daycare with the money I have on hand... Therefore I must choose to work less/quit work to cut the daycare expense (which here in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver is approximately $800 full-time per month for children 2 and under)"....

He knows he can't state that he wants more women leaving the workforce and getting back into the kitchen, so he lets others say "its about treating stay-at-home parents with respect." But by limiting their options he's willfully hacking away at parents' choices, which include affording $400,000 mortgages, funnelling money into children's activities, spending money on various 'new necessities' like cel phones, hockey equipment, and college planning. These items are all part of economic growth, just as the guy who owns the local sporting goods store, the lady who telemarkets for the phone company, and the local universities which fill their classrooms. While it may not be a decision many are willing to make, because leaving their job even part-time would see less money in their bank accounts, mothers know that they cannot find affordable, accountable daycare easily. Some will find they may be able to make a few sacrifices -- which are quite honourable for those who want to do it, but no more honourable than those working mothers whose career is essential to feeding and clothing the families -- and avoid the multi-tasking hassles that a so-con government would put in their way.
Business will create daycare spaces? Well, that theory hit the bedpan quicker than a Harpor bellyflop into Rideau Canal. Provinces are trying to cover the big hole of funding that appeared not long after Harpor's first mandate. Where's that money going to come from? Hit any large pot holes on the way home from work today?

But the kicker is this: Canada's economy in many regions -- the Lower Mainland, northern Alberta towns, Edmonton and Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina, Toronto, Halifax -- relies on access to workers, skilled and unskilled. Companies in those cities are already finding the pool of employees have been virtually tapped out, to the point that they've increased wages, added bonuses, but many have had to reduce services or expectations. An overheated economy can only run so long before the pot cracks. When the gov't has added another stressor to the situation --- parents who cannot find or afford daycare --- you may just have tipped the scale to an upcoming recession.

Hey, I'm not Nostrodamus or anything, but judging by the wonky economic ideas sloshing out of the Tory toilet, I'm beginning to think that Harpor has his plan down pat should that occur after his majority. Massive cuts to gov't programs, layoffs galore -- remember, when Martin's big cuts in '95 reduced military funding to thin wafer, Harpor stood up and nearly cheered. Of course, he likely thought he could avoid deficit spending before that, but two Flittery budgets later, we're on the brink.
The PM obviously had a heart once -- he was a young Liberal, afterall -- but somewhere he went astray. If his transformation was anything like Doctor Doom, who was a brilliant but power-hungry doctor who turned mad and evil upon suffered a dramatic physical injury, we may be in for some very ugly dramatics before we get to daylight. But at least the fictional Doom was brilliant at something. Harpor as an economist has proven to be more a Curley Joe Derita...
What we need now is the Fantastic Four or a Stephane Dion-led government.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Ouch. It's gotta hurt when you've had your own raison d'etre thrown in your face, even if it is a fictious one at that.
But I guess this is a prime example of Promise Made, Promise Broken. Along with Bullish Braggart Caught, Bullish Braggard Pistol-whipped.
But who would have thought that ol' I-Can-Take-A-Punch Stevie, just two months after heading knee-cap height for the new leader of the opposition with unprovoked and out-of-republican-dirty-campaign-tricks manual with negative ads, can't seem to take his own medicine.
That's what Crown Prinz Harpor has had to face this week, when loose cannon but all-powerful Danny Williams is riding your tail. Caught with another brutal back-flip of major proportions (ahem, the lineup includes, Income Trusts are Sacred!", "We'll stand UP for Canada... unless its just lots and lots of money and a few unfair trade advantages that the US wants, then sign us UP!", "We'll bring accountability back to Ottawa ... but not until we've had our fill!", "I'm for an elected, effective senate" etc), Harpor in his big placebo to Quebec harpuppet Charest, hands over a huge Ed McMahon sized cheque and flips the bird to Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and BC, to name a few. He promised to exclude non-renewable resource revenue from any equalization formula. He put it in writing. He campaigned on it. But when it comes to action, Harpor is just one weak Wallenda-move after another.

Now Williams, a proud and actually financially astute conservatide, unlike our PM, has taken out newspaper ads targeting the Pudgy One: "Is this what Canada stands for now?.. It was a simple, unequivocal promise. And he broke it."

Guess Williams never thought he'd be in the same boat as pensioned seniors, teacher unions, daycare providers, forestry workers, and First Nations people, but there you go -- the list of those royally screwed by Harpor continues to grow.
The ad even quotes a Gaelic proverb that appeared on Tory campaign literature produced for the last election: "There's no greater fraud than a promise not kept."
How apropos.

Trying to divert attention from this mess, and heck, with no minority group or Liberal to smear in his view, Harpor defended his lie with the usual dodge.
"What we're seeing is confrontation for the sake of confrontation," Harpor told the House of Commons (not sure if he was quoting a Vancouver Sun article, but I think a kettle somewhere is calling Harpor's name...).
Williams' words likely won't stick too long, even if the ring of truth is all over it. It's just eastern Canadians squawking again. And you know they are always looking for a handout, right Stevie?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Harpor wants the Canadian voter to think that he's a compassionate, almost liberal-minded (very small l) leader by his solemn apologies to Chinese head tax recipients and to Maher Arar, although he almost took glee in making sure to point out that these incidents happened under OTHER administrations.
Today, however, his lackey of Indian Affairs Jim Prentice told the Globe and Mail's Bill Curry that the apologies won't be extended to members of First Nations who were victims of residential school abuse... "The agreement did not call for an apology," he said. "I don't propose to reopen the provision of the agreement."

Of course the whole settlement for this shameful period of Canadian history, which began in 1974 and ended only 11 years ago, was spearheaded by Paul Martin's government two years ago. Some might call it one of Martin's many 'death-bed priorities', however getting it done was the main goal. The victims didn't care, but wanted what was due. Anne McLellan, then deputy minister, wrote "there is a need for an apology that will provide a broader recognition of the Indian Residential Schools legacy and its effect upon First Nation communities.'

Prentice said the rationale behind not apologizing wasn't legal-based. In other words, there is no political currency when it comes to doing what's right for Canada's First Nations people.
In the Globe article, he added:

"...I think the circumstances are completely different from Maher Arar or also from the Chinese head tax."

Prentice didn't really quantify this... Is it because First Nations people were heathens in 1974 and rightfully reeducated, whether that included a good regular whipping or worse? Or maybe he's just following Mulrooney's timetable, who promised one election to compensate Japanese-Canadians for their internment during WWII, and held off until the end of his mandate before fulfilling it -- after hundreds more had died waiting.
If you strip a child of his history, his language and his pride, are they any better off than someone who had been separated from their wife and family? Had we just insisted that they paid a tax of say $5,000 to get out of it, would that have been better?
Lets face it, the CON-servatoids are now free of all apologies. It's only the Mickey Spillane attitude now for those who aren't blindly partizan in his favour. Harpor has found that the best way to a majority is to be bull-ish on your enemies and cold to those who won't bow down.


Wow, few people could have imagined such a result from last night's Quebec provincial election. Dumont carries his anonymous team of ADQers into official opposition status, scoring more votes than the PQ... Meanwhile, Charest hangs onto his seat by a clown's haircut. And who's in control of the agenda, with the PQ as a solid 3rd party?
Now, before even the dust has settled, some are trying to score this as evidence of a right-turn by the Canadian-Quebec populace. Who knows?
It seems a tad premature to ejaculate on how this is the calm before a Harpor Majority... I like how Red Tory (and ) suggests that the result may be just as equally a slap in the face of both Liberal and Tory, beyond the obvious PQ and Charest snub... As he puts it "Far from having defeated nationalism, Harper (sic) has helped breathe new life into it. Is this too part of his brilliant master plan for the country or simply an unintended consequence of his fumbling quest for power?"

While I reside on the west coast and have little feel for Quebecois thinking, I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to their politics. They've embraced some of the dorkiest politicians (Bourassa, Levesque, Daniel Johnson (not Pierre-Marc) and Duceppe) and celebrated setting their own trends inside their own borders.
But maybe Quebecers woke up Tuesday just as surprised and even a little tres shocked at their decision. Certainly I don't think their communities would embark on a right-of-centre shift with conviction, taking in the whole 'racism as chic' tone that seemed to be emitted from a few ADQ candidates. I wouldn't doubt that their general ennui with Charest, who let's not forget was the man Harpor spread his largesse around the past year, courting him like Burton wooed Taylor. All that's missing was the big zarconian diamond...

But perhaps this is a natural shrug from the Quebecois, who quivered after Harpor's blank cheque of 'Quebec as a nation' bluffoonery, where in one stroke the PMSh upstaged Dion and accidentally handed Duceppe a perfectly good canard inwhich to feast his separatist plot on...

All that's left to ask is: pour Quois?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

ACE up his sleeve

Billy Wilder's world view was obviously tinted by his own long, difficult journey as a Jew in Austria during the early part of the last century. Escaping the marching xenophobic wave that smashed down on Europe (and eventually to other corners) brought him to the America cinema, first as a script doctor, an indemand writer, and quickly a crack-whip director with a cynical sense of humour.
Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, The Lost Weekend all showed the dark fringes of a man who's tempted fate, wrestled with demons and surfaces for his comeuppance (ok, LW had the force-fed happy ending and hid the homophobic angle that was central to the novel).
Off his success of Sunset Boulevard, Wilder used his sharp pen and sharper ear for lemon-juice-on-that-cut dialogue to produce ACE IN THE HOLE, a 1951 slice of cynicism about a no-holds-barred, self-determined journalist Chuck Tatum. Down on his luck and out of a job, Tatum, as played by Kirk Douglas, uses his wiles to wrangle a temporary desk gig in Albuquerque, which he is determined to make his own stepping stone back to the Big City.
Along the way, he digs his heels into a lot of people.
Tatum's tunnel vision for his own story, the one to flog and promote his own faith in himself, is fed by some other motivated ne'r do-wells and gutter-dwellers, along with the ignorant and bored. Nearly everyone stinks with lost hope or faded moralism, which was one reason this film tanked during a period where America was being told they had won their brief battle in Korea, despite the war still being unresolved with signatures today.
This film has remained nearly lost, with rare late-night showings on small market TV channels. No release to video and no dvd has meant that ACE IN THE HOLE, also known as THE BIG CARNIVAL, was one of those 'lost gems.'
Wilder, in later interviews, distanced himself from the film, perhaps because it was so poorly received and was so heavily influenced by his European sense of fatalism. Or maybe he just thought it was a minor work, when compared to The Apartment, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot etc. With a catalogue of that nature, its possible to understand.
Well, despite its neglected release, poor reception and general maligned nature during its day, AITH actually garnished a few awards -- nominated for an Oscar for original screenplay, it actually carted off the Venice Film Festival's 1951 International Award, while Jan Sterling was named the best actress by the National Board of Review. So some people realized (similar to Touch of Evil a fistful of years later) that the movie was a gem.
But now, film noir, classic film fans and general lovers of dark stories should celebrate, as Criterion has announced that they've acquired the DVD rights to this treasure and intend to release it, with no doubt a nicely honed print and abound with extras, this summer.
That leaves THE AFRICAN QUEEN as perhaps the biggest catch still being held off the shelves... and that uncut, only seen in Ponoma edition of Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons.

For a fascinating analysis of this great piece of celluloid, check out


Imagine the outrage from CON-servatoids had a federal Liberal government gone out and handed a huge sum of tokens to Quebec during a provincial election. Imagine that the Quebec Liberal gov't of the day then turns around and announces the money sent to Quebec -- which didn't go to every gov't -- was now going to be doled out as tax deductions.
Howls of disgust and outrage would have come from the right, centre-right and far-right. Alberta would be talking firewall. The MPs from the western provinces would be buying rope and finding the few remaining trees on their acreage for some good ol' fashion justice.
Ok, instead its a CON gov't doing the give-away. King Harpor even tells Quebecers that he'll make deals with the next Quebec gov't, as long as its federalists. This tactic and trait is not something that should surprise Canadians; Harpor has pulled this card numerous times. Some people suggest this is a characteristic of strength.
Others may support the theory that this is a blind, self-centred game-player who has no foresight at the risk he's playing.
Well, in fact Harpor isn't blind, but he is self-centred. He is obsessed, but most politicians -- and Harpor with little true work experience is one of those career politicians who couldn't handle real world tasks without whining to his wife.
But maybe he is stepping up the nature of his game. How else to give Alberta coverage for his previous inclination to 'firewalling' than be creating wedges between Quebec and the rest of Canada? Is it much of a stretch considering how this 'so-called leader' has constantly tossed grenades of malarkey just to create wedge issues?
Don't forget, this is the man who's good buddies with 'The Decider.' He still blames Liberals for not 'standing beside their best friend' during their war on Iraq.
If Charest wins, its a breakaway goal for Harpor. If the other side wins, Harpor sees it as collatoral damage. And he can move towards statism of provinces. All Hail the Chief!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Apparently PM Harpor is getting help from some of the best comedy writers in Ottawa.
The newly minted ‘Green Machine’ PM accused Liberal leader Stephane Dion of being a ‘johnny-come-lately on crime’…

“After spending the last couple of months opposing every tough-on-crime measure, voting down his own anti-terrorism measures, bashing the police in the House of Commons, he now wants to be tough on crime,” Harper said.
“I hope it lasts, because the government has a lot of important tough-on-crime legislation and if this is a sincere conversion, we can get on with actually moving that in the House of Commons,” he added.

The common skeptic may shake his head wondering what kind of beer goggles the Harporites will wear on this, nowing that they parrot the talking points incessantly. Conversions? Harpor has become the world's fattest pretzel trying to twist his way into a majority. Conviction? Apparently where the CONs are involved, that is something you only do after they leave office.

When it comes to law and order, recent Liberal governments can be accused of failing to capitalize and politicize the issue to the extreme. Not that they didn't make the odd attempt. Take an issue and use it, yes. Blow it up and scream ‘FIRE!’ Oh, those are the new Tory practices. Always beats real effective action, I suppose.

Dion had a quick retort to the Bulgey One’s remark…

“He’s stopped being outrageous,” Dion said of Harper’s accusation that he is “against the police. . . . He started to be
“The Conservatives promised 2,500 more police in our cities; they didn’t do it,’’ Dion added. “Where are they? It’s a
broken promise.”

“If he wants to come with something more effective to fight crime instead of having headlines he wants for political reasons . . . I am very willing to co-operate with the prime minister,” Dion said.

In London, Dion told the crowd of about 100 youth that the Liberals are no newcomers to dealing with crime.
“Crime rates fell 22 percent right across the board [under the former Liberal government],” he noted.
“We are Liberals, we don’t believe in filling jails, we believe in filling schools and filling minds,” Dion stressed.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


It's been going on for almost a year, but the coincidence is too funny not to be pointed out.

The major radio station here in greater Vancouver keeps playing these commercials, over and over again. You've probably heard them yourself -- the moronic Barry White-ish singer oozing scary thoughts into the listeners' head... 'You can run but you can't hide - (from the) taxman.'

Somewhere in heaven, George Harrison is getting some legal advice.

It's a commercial for some legal company that specializes in dealing with tax frauds -- people who have been dodging their taxes or made major accounting errors and chose to cover them up as oppose to report to Revenue Canada. Okay, no one should feel too much sympathy for the RC, but as someone who pays my taxes (like you) with as much clarity and integrity as possible, within a reasonable limit ;^) cough-cough! I don't like the idea of scofflaws and wealthy cheats racking up mega savings and multi-millions while our health system crumbles and thousands of thousands of people work their tails off just to put kraft dinner on the table for them and their family.

Now, my partiality says that this is the creeping fact of our new social system and economic denounement. When I was a young tyke, you could talk to strangers, play in the streets and out of sight for hours on end without too much fear (other than from that school yard bully). Comic books were 25 cents and gas couldn't have been much more a litre, if we had measured it that way. Cher was as close to a skank that we ever saw on TV, with the goofiest costumes that were more freakish than alluring.

Now, Britney tries to slip past a pack of pap-perizzi (sic) without any panties on, and Disney does a deal with Snoop Dogg, who also happens to have a huge porn industry of his own on the internet. Never mind these things called Paris Hilton and Flavor Flav... Yes, in my past life I was a prude and learned to sneak a peak at Penthouse without a guilt complex.

But this tax commercial. I have no theory on it other than either Giogardi and Co has seen a growing trend of tax evaders stepping forward in recent years, or believe that there is going to be a rise in tax evasion and catches by the authorities, thus playing on what must be on the minds of many frauds.

Harpor has demonstrated just how ethical he is. Accountability for you, but I'll park my unelected Quebec bagman in the senate to oversee public handouts while quaintly trimming those 'tougher regulations' on lobbiests just so my friends can snuggle up to the trough. I'll denounce and unplug all that the past government did, and then months later call it my own and swagger about my courage.

Harpor has shown his true colours. He's setting new standards for ethics and idealism in politics that others will want to follow. I guess that's where the lawyers see their chance to clean up...

Who me, cynical?

One can only imagine the merry-go-round of policy considerations the Harpor CONservatoids ran through the mill entering their budgetary bull sessions. More money for the military? How about more guns and a few nunchucks for police? Kittens in every pot?
Nope, not even that creative (tho we have no idea what happens behind CON HQ's doors...).Apparently their whole bag of tricks is a litany of 'Yoink!', the game of a chocolate bar on a string.
First it was a bushel of Kyoto-friendly projects like the One Tonne Challenge - yanked from operation. A few months later, or in the average time it takes for a mocking focus group to point out what a moronic idea that was -- and poof! Harpor suddenly has crafted a very similar facsimile. Amazing no one is asking whether killing one project, and a few months later restarting the exact same thing is financially responsible. But hey, we appreciate the faint praise of being copied. Now, he's added the cynical ploy of reinstating funding for Women's Centres, after causing havoc and worry in a service which handles the concerns and tragedies of thousands of women on a daily basis Canada-wide. In other words, 'Hey, there's an election coming up - now you see it! After we are elected to office? Now you don't.'

FROM KAMLOOPS NEWS... In a press release issued Thursday, Kamloops MP Betty Hinton said the $5 million announced by Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda represents a 42 per cent increase to the Status of Women Canada budget, putting it at $15.3 million.

The announcement came on International Women’s Day.

“This is the largest budget in the history of Status of Women Canada,” she said.

The $5 million, aimed at the women’s community fund and the women’s partnership fund, kicks in April 1.

“These enhancements to the Women’s Program will make a real difference in the lives of Canadian women who are facing challenges,” Hinton said.

Archibald said the Vancouver Status of Women office closed Feb. 28 and the department as a whole has seen cuts under the federal Tories.'...

Harpor has learned well, grasshopper. See the pebble wedged between his chubby palm? Yes, it was yours and he took it. Now try and take it away, oh young and impetuous one.
Aha! Not so fast. Imperial wizard is too quite quick, despite his sluggish, Baby Huey girth. Come back when it is election time, and then you shall have what was yours again.