Loony Dragoon

Does anyone have the foggiest clue what the heck lunatic gadfly “Fenris Badwulf” is getting at? I know it’s not uncommon for “Christian conservatives” to speak in code, or these days, even in tongues if they’re running for vice-president, but this cryptic gibberish about “Canadian Dragoons” is incomprehensible.

Some lost souls love Dragoons. They have pretty clothes, they are tall, and muscular, and scented, and speak charming words before they rape you. The Sodomites, students of the sublime Tantric arts of anal fist fucking, report that their Dragoon will look you in the eye and lie about carrying the pest. This is not charming or cute like a harp seal pup. This is the face of the rapists, the whores, the pox’ed Dragoons that aristocrats have groomed and bred to squish the taxpayers, which is you.

A wiser course of action is rather to hate the aristocrats than their foul servants. Dragoon-Canadians are schooled in our public schools to seek out and profit from resistance. An honest word will guarantee them a job for life, free of labor, but rich in benefits and pension. But our aristocrats are soft and weak, unused to actual toil. They live in unfortified places, and they wear their aristocratic privilege on their sleeves. You know who they are. And if you are crafty, they will not know who you are. This gives you an advantage, as any partisan, any veteran of the Balkan wars will teach you. The Nazi socialists wore their uniform, and ours do as well.

Fenris started his flamboyant ramble with one definition, so I’ll end mine with another. From The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce: DRAGOON, n. A soldier who combines dash and steadiness in so equal measure that he makes his advances on foot and his retreats on horseback.

The Fundamentals

I’m still shaking my head over McCain’s performance on the Today Show this morning where he trotted out his newly minted definition of what was meant by the “fundamentals” of the economy. “Well it’s obviously true that the workers of America are the fundamentals of our economy, and our strength and our future,’’ he said. “And I believe in the American worker, and someone who disagrees with that – it’s fine.’’ Oy. What a dickhead.

In a departure from every past statement about the economy, McCain now seems to have had a sudden epiphany, as Joe Biden put it earlier today. “We are in crisis. We all know that,’’ he said. “The excess, the greed and the corruption of Wall Street have caused us to have a situation which is going to affect every American. We are in a total crisis.’’ Indeed. But let’s not forget that in Bushworld, one man’s pain is always another man’s gain!

Fear not workers (or should we call them “fundamentals” from now on?)… McCain confidently asserts that despite admitting the exact contrary in the past, he now has the knowledge and experience to fix “the greed and mismanagement of Wall Street and Washington.’’ Kind of like he “knows how to win wars’’ presumably. Or crash planes.

Two Cheers for Economic Sovereignty

James Bagnall has quite a good article in The Ottawa Citizen this morning that provides a concise summary of the current state of the Canadian economy. One of the interesting observations made was how stubborn resistance over the years to foreign ownership of the financial sector has served as a “firewall” effectively insulating the Canadian economy from the great unraveling south of the border.

There are a number of explanations for this state of affairs, but a key one is that Canada’s bankers have resisted copying the more aggressive U.S. financial institutions.

This stance might have been much more difficult had Canadian trade negotiators not consistently opposed the idea of opening up our financial services industry to greater foreign ownership.

For instance, had Lehman Brothers acquired control of a major Canadian bank under relaxed ownership rules, the ripple effect of its demise yesterday would now be a scary thing.

As it is, less than a handful of Canadian firms with direct links to Lehman have been caught short by the investment bank’s troubles. These include: Sun Life Financial, which said yesterday it holds more than $300 million worth of Lehman’s bonds; and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which owns $25 million worth of Lehman securities.

This counts as relatively minor exposure, especially in relation to CIBC’s market capitalization of more than $23.3 billion.

No foreign individual or institution can acquire more than 10 per cent of a major Canadian bank, without the blessing of Canada’s minister of finance.

As of June, the single biggest investor in Canada’s big banks has been a mutual fund owned by one of the other banks — usually no more than five per cent of total equity.

It’s a family compact, in other words. And while this cozy reality has driven free traders to distraction, it also created a risk-averse culture.

While I would argue that free trade has been something of a necessary evil in the context of globalization, that’s benefited Canada on the whole, the way in which we’ve been spared the reckless shenanigans and speculative mismanagement of American lenders and investment houses, and the fallout resulting from that, perhaps offers a critically instructive lesson about the vital importance of exercising our sovereignty in key areas of the economy.

With attention now shifting more to the economy, maybe foreign ownership and economic sovereignty are the kind of emotionally-charged issues the Liberals should be raising and in the process casting doubt about the sort of key changes to our system that might be effected under a Harper “dynasty” (as imagined by some) most likely to be driven by the same sort of right-wing ideology that’s wreaked so much havoc south of the border.

Update: Ha! Elizabeth May just said almost exactly the same thing on CPAC while speaking with talk-show jock Tom Young at News 88.9.

Turning the Page…

How’s that whole “liberal media” conspiracy theory working out these days? Another day, more dire stories (here, here, here and here) of the “stumbling campaign” and behind-the-scenes griping by anonymous sources…

I noticed that Bob Rae was on the road with Dion today stressing the “team” aspect as opposed to Harper’s one-man show. He also got off a good one against the Dear Leader calling him “Herbert Hoover in a blue sweater.”