Vancouver Secrets


What a terribly clever name — what an awfully dumb blog.

Post after post is filled with the most appalling misinformation, poppycock and flagrant balderdash… It matters not however because in actuality, it seems to be little more than a shoddy, claptrap vehicle for pushing advertisements selling “How to date a sugar daddy” and something called “lickable ads” — a form of promotion, I dare say, that you probably don’t, or shouldn’t want to know more about; a place where links to “Good Canadian Blogs” include the intellectual pond tailings of dreadful sinkholes of the imagination such as “Blue Like You” and the illiterate, blindingly ignorant partisan claptrap of “Climbing Out of the Dark” — a couple of catastrophic nitwits that feebly struggle to congeal at the top of a pond of toxic excrement; and where still more abysmal adverts from highly dubious hucksters like Yaro Starak (a laughably self-proclaimed “blog mastermind”) flog “profit-making” videos and other such worthless, “get-rich-quick” snake oil, proliferate with abandon. But I digress…

One of yesterday’s installments of the “Vancouver Secrets” blog, concerned the Tea Party “movement” in the USA, that VS claims is “growing at an incredible rate, and should dwarf the anti-war and illegal immigrant protests of the Bush years.” Really… based on what? Could we get some fact-based reality check on that? Because, so far, the motley rabble the tea-baggers have managed to rally to their putatively downtrodden banner has been, at most, a few thousand people here and there. By contrast, at the height of the anti-Iraq War protests, numbers on the streets in protest were in the tens and hundreds of thousands (in London, 2 million) expressing their outrage at that illegal war of choice and impending trillion dollar clusterfuck (when VS and his/her bloodthirsty ilk were enthusiastically cheering it on). So what would it take to “dwarf” those protests? A million? Several million… or tens of millions? And by the way, it should be noted that the so-called “liberal media” pretty much ignored the anti-Iraq War protests too! So much from that pathetically broke-ass meme.

Turning his/her (VS is ANONYMOUS so I’m covering my bases here) focus to more local matters, VS claims that “the far-left has taken over BC long ago…” Excuse me for a moment while I laugh my ass off. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What complete and utter nonsense. The only remotely “far left” government in this fair province departed office, quite sadly imho, after but one term — in 1975! So what on God’s green earth is this ridiculous, horribly misinformed person talking about? With the exception of an eight year interregnum of successive scandal-ridden, ineffectual, stumblefuck NDP governments in the 90s, the governance of this province has been decidedly and quite firmly ruled from the right (the “far right” one might even say) since its inception.

After fatuously claiming that “we’ve learned to quietly live in the nanny state,” VS throws out some stats that are intended to be compelling, but let me show you just how wretchedly dishonest this anonymous douchetool is. He/she refers to “homeless funding that tops $50,000 per homeless,” creating the impression that the government is simply throwing that amount of money onto the street to sustain each homeless layabout in some degree of style and comfort. Well, first of all, there’s no such thing as “homeless funding” and the figure cited most likely comes from a study by David Chudnovsky that found Canadians spend that much “managing” the homeless. Note the key word there missing from VS’s account. And what does “managing” involve? Who knows? To a large extent, policing one might imagine to be foremost, and beyond that various forms of rehabilitation and expenses incurred by the healthcare system looking after these folks that have been damaged for one reason or another.

Oh, but dear me, VS worries that “in a not-to-distant future when we run out of money, we’ll be encountering a ‘get the rich’ mentality the US in now under.” Yeah… the “get the rich” mentality that wants to increase taxes on the top earners by 3% in 2011 (effectively just not renewing the Bush tax cuts). Well cry me a fucking river.

So there we have “Vancouver Secrets”… an anonymous douchetool (thanks, Sadly No! for that) who flogs bogus advertisements, mindlessly spews fact-free garbage, pimps idiotic blogs and is… a proud member of the Bloggin’ Tories — The World’s DUMBEST Aggregator®. But that, of course, is no secret at all.

Update: As if to prove my point in terms of “Vancouver Secrets” being a complete dooche, he/she fires back this morning with a smarmy post claiming that my “tantrum demonstrates why you need to keep conservative views quiet in Canada” and accuses me of being “almost fascist.” Um, okay.

Well, never mind that silliness, let’s get the one point of substance that he/she (wrongly) presumes “set off this whacko”; that being the original statement that “homeless funding that tops $50,000 per homeless.” VS backs up that utterly misleading statement with his/her source material which turns out to be a Vancouver Sun article that, just as I’d suspected, attributes “homeless funding” to the cost of health, corrections and social services spending incurred by the government dealing with people that, the article makes clear are frequently suffering from a wide variety of severe addictions and/or mental illness (or as I said, “damaged for one reason or another”).

VS seems tone-deaf to his/her original context, so let’s rewind the tape:

As the far-left has taken over BC long ago, we’ve learned to quietly live in the nanny state. Our health system that now takes up 60%+ of our budget, homeless funding that tops $50,000 per homeless, and in a not-to-distant future when we run out of money, we’ll be encountering a “get the rich” mentality the US in now under.

According to VS, “homeless funding” is symptomatic of the “nanny state” engendered by the “far left”… Huh? Does this make sense to anyone at all outside the walls of Bedlam (aka the “Bloggin’ Tories”)? Had VS bothered to read the article (and better yet the study) from which the $50,000 figure was plucked, he/she might have noticed that the authors were actually arguing that it would be more cost-efficient to simply provide proper social housing for the homeless rather than incurring all of the incidental expenses resulting as a consequence of the current mismanagement of the problem. But how could VS miss this? It’s right in the pull quote included in his/her snide rebuttal! So what then was the point of the original quote about “homeless funding” if not to be a deliberately misleading canard on par with “welfare queens” and other such bogus creatures of right-wing mythology?

Britain’s Got Talent!


Totally off topic here, but check this out — click on the picture to link to the YouTube video (they don’t allow embedding, unfortunately). This is “nearly 48-year old” Susan Boyle, a currently unemployed lady from Glasgow who lives alone with her cat “Pebbles” and is not only single, but rather sadly, claims never to have been kissed in her entire life, with her performance in the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent, singing “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables.

Oh, go on… Don’t be cynical. Go watch it… Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Fears of a Clown: Live!

So Glenn Beck is taking his “comedy” act on the road… Well, I’m completely speechless. There’s really not much you can add to that.

According to no less a reputable source than Newsmax, Beck calls himself a “poor man’s Seinfeld” and says he’ll mix stand-up comedy with observations from “a modern-day reimagining of Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet Common Sense.” You know, the part where he set loyalist sympathizers on fire…

Paine in the Arse Update: It may be that many “liberals” haven’t gotten the connection with Thomas Paine that Beck is trying to leverage here and how egregious it is. So, if you’ve missed this latest re-styling of the great man’s inflammatory rhetoric from which much of this hysterical nonsense stems, here it is, melodramatically reenacted by Bob Basso, a hyperactive motivational speaker and author, self-described as “America’s #1 Fun Motivator/Trainer” who spends most of his time these days leading corporate pep rallies on luxury cruise ships — seriously, I am not making that up.

Personally, this pisses me off because I happen to be a great fan of Tom Paine. The REAL one, not the cynical fakirs, witless clowns and charlatans simply invoking his name and twisting his words in order to galvanize their phony outrage and self-serving motives with undeserved credence. It’s disgusting.

The Commanding Heights

Part One: The Battle of Ideas

Recently, I stumbled across a documentary series that had appeared on PBS about seven years ago called The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. The film is based on a book by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, first published in 1998 as The Commanding Heights: The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace That Is Remaking the Modern World, which attempts to trace the rise of free markets during the last century, as well as the process of globalization.

The documentary’s website at PBS and Wikipedia entry both provide a wealth of information on the thesis of the book and film, so I won’t bother reinventing the wheel here in that regard. Save to say that it’s very supportive of free-market capitalism, taking the view that “globalization” is generally beneficial on balance in terms of narrowing economic gaps and fostering wider prosperity. Despite being what some might call “neo-liberal” in its stance, the authors of the book somewhat implausibly claimed that there’s no ideological support for capitalism, only the pragmatic fact that the system works better than any other. Much like Churchill’s famous quip about democracy, I guess. Even so, the film expresses some concerns about the possible end of the current era of globalization if inequality in economic growth remains high, and if Third World nations are not offered the proper opportunities and incentives to support capitalism.

I’ve watched this couple of times now and seemed to come away with different impressions each time. Maybe that’s a result of viewing it in a sort of disjointed way. Whether you agree with the largely pro-globalization premise of the authors/filmmakers, it’s very informative (although by no means comprehensive or definitive) as a backgrounder to the subject.

Greenland Hearts Global Warming

From Current TV: Global warming is having a greater impact in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world. Greenland, the cold, harsh land that defeated the mighty Vikings is now facing a force that may destroy its defining feature — ice. But while Greenland’s melting ice sheet may mean chaos for the rest of the world, Adam Yamaguchi finds Greenlanders have some surprising reactions to this climatic upheaval.

This is a really fascinating short documentary, if for no other reason than to provide a more robust impression of Greenland than the one more usually imagined; that of a gigantic slab of glacial ice dotted with a handful of remote settlements. It’s also a fair-minded report (at least I found it so) that doesn’t get all preachy about global warming, but simply relates its effects and the ways in which the people of Greenland are responding to it.

Update: Well, isn’t this interesting. I watched it last night, but now it seems that the documentary has… disappeared completely — from YouTube at least. It can still be viewed over at Huffington Post however.