They Walk Amongst Us…

I’m just lost for words. Stunned really, after viewing this:

I wonder if “cellphonic anointments from God” are part of Cingular’s “friends and family” mobile package. And to think that these completely delusional nutjobs might be fixing the brakes on your car, arranging your next mortgage, running for the PTA, the vice-presidency of the United States, or who knows what… even planning to hasten the apocalyptic End of Days maybe.

Great googly-mooogly, what a completely fucked-up world we live in!

No Greens Allowed

Strange as it seems, an unlikely coalition of Conservative, NDP and Bloc Québécois fixers have apparently closed ranks in order to shut out Green Party leader Elizabeth May from appearing in the upcoming federal leadership debates, according to CP reports.

Most interestingly, “NDP campaign spokesman Brad Lavigne confirmed that Leader Jack Layton had refused to attend with May present.”

Bullshit. The Greens have earned a seat at the table, quite aside from their newfound convert (the less said about him the better) tenuously holding a seat in parliament, by virtue of their consistent level of national support over the years.

It’s high time this undemocratic media consortium calling the shots on who MAY be included in our most prominent national form of political discourse stopped playing footsie with the establishment status quo and either started behaving responsibly on behalf of citizens (aka, “consumers” as they prefer to regard them) seeking to be informed, or just get out of the game altogether and turn the whole matter over to an independent non-partisan commission.

But here’s a modest proposal in the meantime…

If this secretive consortium is in fact being swayed by the NDP and Conservatives threatening to withdraw their support if May isn’t excluded, then Stéphane Dion should react accordingly and simply opt out of this ridiculous farce unless Elizabeth May and the Greens are given a seat at the table.

Ball is in your court Mr. Dion…

“Barack Obsama”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Isn’t that just the funniest thing you’ve ever heard? Yes, it’s the “Blogging Tories” favourite muckraking dirtbag, slime-weasel, low-life, wannabe cyber-super-sleuth and man-about-basement, Steve Janke… cracking wise when he thinks no one is really paying that much attention to some of the finer points of his daily masturbation commentary.

Talk about hilarity! Really, what could be laugh-out-loud funnier than equating the hard-fought efforts of a decent, ordinary guy who’s overcome all kinds of personal demons and innumerable societal obstacles in order to achieve the so-called “American Dream” in a truly unique and quite remarkably historical fashion with the nefarious, hateful objectives of a universally loathed terrorist and mass-murderer?

Thanks Steve, for reminding us, yet again, what a completely reprehensible, morally bankrupt, ethically vacant douchebag you really are!

We Bitch — You Get Results

Yeah, as if…

Anyway, here’s the Libs’ first advert out of the gate yesterday for those people with lives who didn’t yet get around to seeing it elsewhere.

As I said, it’s a snappy, upbeat piece — short on specifics (30 seconds, folks… really, what did you expect?) but setting a good (or laughably sanguine) tone at the outset of the campaign in terms of simplistically casting the controversial “Green Shift” in a positive light, as well as being generally optimistic and forward-looking in its approach to the future.

Just as an aside, I have to point out one of the more salient differences between us “progressives” and so-called “conservatives” in that we don’t take offense when one of our fellow-travelers calls the party we happen to side with the “Lying Ratfuck Party” because at the end of the day I think we all realize that comedy is the most (and perhaps only) virtuous truth that escapes unharmed in an election. Of course, I could be wildly generalizing there.

Gun Crazy!

Oh, groan. One day into the election and the Liberals wheel out their first highly divisive wedge issue — gun control! Speaking at an event at Dawson College, Stéphane Dion announced that if elected, he would move quickly to take military assault weapons off Canadian streets. “A new Liberal government will make our cities, our communities, and our schools safer by getting military assault weapons off our streets,” he said. Just in case you may have forgotten, Dawson College was the site of a violent shooting rampage in 2006 in which one victim was killed and 19 others were seriously injured, an incident that vividly rekindled memories of the appalling École Polytechnique massacre sixteen years previous to that.

While it’s hard to take much serious issue with banning the firearms which are the ostensible target of such a proposal — machine guns, semi-automatic rifles, and other such so-called “military assault weapons” — Dion’s vowed crack-down is most likely to be taken by “conservatives” as simply being a dog whistle for more vastly more wide-ranging and intrusive gun control measures, thereby setting the stage for… (ta da!) what promises to be the usual rancorous, overheated, utterly futile confrontation between different factions of our society that seem to divide passionately along this controversial political fault line for various (often self-contradictory) reasons.

Gilles Duceppe has already set out a marker on the issue, somewhat ludicrously claiming that the Conservatives “are fighting for the free circulation of firearms” and perhaps that radical position may have informed the more temperate “me too” thinking of the Liberals in making today’s announcement, but there’s a risk involved here in that it raises another specter of the Liberals’ past — the monumentally flawed implementation of the long-gun registry, a well-intentioned “Trudeauvian” (to borrow the NP’s expression) program of dubious merit that, despite all of its many shortcomings and bureaucratic failings, the Conservative government hasn’t been able to summon enough gumption or integrity to actually terminate.

Ironic

What else can you say about the same bunch of neo-liberal ideologues that for the past thirty years have extolled the glories of free-market economics, while at the same time telling us with the absolute conviction of religious zealots that government control over the economy is inefficient, corrupt or otherwise loathsome, should find themselves presiding over the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, one of the biggest government bail-outs in US history.

Although shareholders, rank-and-file employees and possibly even American taxpayers, all stand to lose on the deal, the news isnt all bad:

Under the terms of his employment contract, Daniel H. Mudd, the departing head of Fannie Mae, stands to collect $9.3 million in severance pay, retirement benefits and deferred compensation, provided his dismissal is deemed to be “without cause,” according to an analysis by the consulting firm James F. Reda & Associates. Mr. Mudd has already taken home $12.4 million in cash compensation and stock option gains since becoming chief executive in 2004, according to an analysis by Equilar, an executive pay research firm.

Richard F. Syron, the departing chief executive of Freddie Mac, could receive an exit package of at least $14.1 million, largely because of a clause added to his employment contract in mid-July as his company’s troubles deepened. He has taken home $17.1 million in pay and stock option gains since becoming chief executive in 2003.

Such is the way of things in our modern Gilded Age.

Family Guys

Harper’s puzzling remark the other day claiming not to know Dion all that well and therefore only being able to presume that he’d been married a long time, has children and is “a family man also,” was if nothing else, perhaps a reminder of poorly socialized our once and future PM is in some respects.

Impolitical shows how deftly Stéphane Dion not only turned Harper’s comment to his advantage, but also cleverly suggested that Harper’s strained portrayal of himself as a “family man” in recent Conservative Party advertisements is an awkward contrivance that seems quite out of place in Canadian politics.

The M-Word

In case you hadn’t noticed, Stephen Harper and his team don’t want to scare off potential voters by actually mentioning that a majority victory might be a distinct possibility in this election and are therefore making a concerted effort to downplay such speculation lest people start considering too seriously what the implications of that may be — something that traditionally has effectively curtailed support for the party. Asked recently if he wanted a majority, he coyly danced around the question. “Voters can’t vote for a minority or a majority. They can’t vote 60 per cent for one party and 14 per cent for another,” he said.

A thoroughly disingenuous, but understandable enough tactic. Also one that, as has been noted here before, is fundamentally illogical, given that the premise of the election is to provide “certainty” in the face of global economic instability that we’re told is just ahead. Presumably, the reliable, risk-free governance suggested by that proposition couldn’t possibly be achieved if another “dysfunctional” minority government was to be the outcome of this exercise, so there’s more than a bit of cognitive dissonance in accepting either Harper’s modest expectations or stated reason for calling an election at face value.

But never mind that, mum’s the word on the majority thingee — at least from the Conservatives themselves, if not their irrepressible partisan supporters, who can barely contain their tumescent ecstasy at the thought of pile-driving the Liberals face first into the dirt then putting the boot in just for fun. Other imagined metaphorical scenarios include burying their corpse in a grave, only to dig it up shortly afterwards in order to gleefully urinate on it. No word yet of any fantasies involving skull-fucking, but it’s early days in the campaign.

While the Conservatives may not want to mention the m-word, all of the other parties in the race most surely will as a vitally important component of their respective scare-mongering campaigns, the only question being how soon they resort to this as being their primary line of attack, rather than as will more likely be the case at the outset, attempting to cast themselves as the party of “change” and “hope” or some other such nonsense.

Obviously, the timing and degree of frantic hysteria (a word that I was told last night stems from vagina, although I’ve since learned that it actually comes from the Greek hystera, which means womb or ovary) associated with the m-word being invoked will be in direct relation to the desperation of the party involved. Gilles Duceppe, for example, is already loudly shouting from the rooftops about the horrific consequences that would befall Quebec under Harper majority rule, suggesting that the BQ really has little else to offer voters these days.