Liberal QP Videos: Finally!

After much whining about the issue from this quarter (amongst possibly many others), kudos to the Liberals for finally getting around to posting a video on their YouTube channel that properly reflects the full back and forth exchange in Question Period rather than simply posting their question only; a self-serving (but completely useless and frustrating practice) that effectively left viewers to wonder with uninformed puzzlement about the possible answer (or most likely, non-answer) from the government side of the House in response…

A subsequent one featuring an exchange between Pablo Rodriguez and Dean Del Mastro followed the same format, so that shows some promise that they might continue in this way on a regular basis in future.

Michael Moore on Afghanistan

Appearing on Larry King Live the other night, Moore said that it’s time for President Obama to wind down the war in Afghanistan. “It’s unwinnable. It’s immoral. It’s illegal. It’s wrong,” he said. “We need to leave.”

“There is no middle ground,” he stated. “You’re either going to go all out and fight a big war that can’t be won, or you’re going to bring the troops home and focus on the problems that we have right now…”

I couldn’t agree more. It’s nothing but a bloody and expensive fool’s errand.

Driving With Cox

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Watching young Dr. Cox last night on The Colbert Report talking about his new book Why E= mc2 and debunking the notion that’s been floated by some physicists that people from the future may be influencing the present in order to prevent catastrophic events associated with CERN’s particle-smashing collider from happening, I’ve been enjoying some the videos of him that are around.

Here for example, he talks about the possibility that the world may end in 2012 at the end of the Mayan “Long Count” calendar — in the process pointing out a somewhat humorous flaw in their system of calculation (that should really have been obvious).

The physics of cosmology is endlessly fascinating, so expect to see more of him popping up here from time to time.

Faux Outrages Du Jour

It’s difficult to understand how spray painting graffiti over an image of an American flag can be considered desecration in the technical sense, but unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are exercised over one of the advertisements submitted to a contest sponsored by the DNC’s Organizing for America project dealing with healthcare reform.

So what is it with Americans and their strange, reverent attachment to their flag, anyway? I’ve always thought the tradition of swearing allegiance to it was very peculiar to say the least. By the way, here in Canada there’s no legal penalty for “desecrating” or “outraging” our flag, but in other countries that’s not the case; some of which might surprise you, like Denmark and Finland.

But that aside, perhaps these folks need to take a deep breath and consider for a moment René Magritte’s brilliant painting “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”…

And speaking of haywire symbolism, there’s this juvenile bit of sacrilege by Larry David from last week’s Curb Your Enthusiasm that has a lot of folks upset.

I’m sure Bill Donohue must be fuming with indignant fury about it (while secretly delighting in the fact that it will help sales of his new book Secular Sabotage — cha’ching).

Look Over There… Shiny Thing!

A couple of great bits from this week’s Mercer Report dealing quite funnily with the Conservative Elect A Stephen Harper Majority Government Fund, err, I mean “Economic Action Plan”…

It’s terrific that the Conservatives are doling out buckets of taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow… I guess — certainly one supposes if that happens to be your favoured political team and/or you’re on the receiving end of all the stimulus funds going out the door (quite often the same thing, it seems). Like in say Peter MacKay’s riding that received almost $90 million; fully 13 times as as much as that being spent in a nearby Dartmouth (quite coincidentally currently held by a Liberal MP).

Oh well, that’s politics as usual and buying people’s votes with their own money (not to mention that of their kids and generations of future descendants) is as old as the hills and as Canadian as maple syrup or agricultural supply management systems, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a always tomorrow and surely we all know this can only end badly at some point in time. Eventually, the days of reckoning will come when all that money will have to be paid back to creditors from whence it came… and then what?

We’ve talked here a number of times about what the possible end-game is… sometimes even veering into territory that might be described as a bit conspiratorial; e.g., a nefarious kind of reverse “hidden agenda” where reckless government spending is allowed to get so madly out of control that subsequently there has to be a shocking economic swing in the opposite direction to correct things and somehow balance the books — which, in the process, involves selling off public assets and effectively gutting government to the point where, as Grover Norquist famously said, it could be strangled like a baby in a bathtub (Gotta love the way these folks think, don’t you? Such lovely metaphors.).

At the risk of sounding a bit cynical, maybe Michael Ignatieff and his new team of veteran Liberal advisors should exercise a little selective amnesia and conveniently forget they were egging on Harper and the Conservatives to spend ever more money back when it looked like the sky was in imminent peril of collapse, and instead roughly switch gears and now return to being fiscal hawks demanding to know exactly how the massive amount of debt being accumulated is going to be accounted for. As noted by Tim Woolstencroft of The Strategic Counsel, there are early warning signs “the landscape is starting to shift” when it comes to concerns about the cost of the stimulus.

Or he could simply offer to double funding for the Arts Council…

Healthcare in Pottersville

This feature from CBC’s The National the other night will likely be condemned by so-called “conservatives” who pine for privatization of the healthcare system and practically drool at the prospect of people getting ruthlessly screwed over by insurance companies.

Good luck with that.

As I’ve said many time before in comments directed to right-wing asshats, if you think the American system is so bloody terrific, then please move there as quickly as possible and spare the rest of us the acute annoyance of your endless moaning and whining.

And Now For Something…

Completely Python

I’ve been somewhat distracted over the past few days by the new Monty Python documentary “Almost the Truth” made by the son of Terry Jones that the Bravo! network has been showing, providing as it does wonderful insights into the iconic comedy troupe that I completely idolized as a kid and while this little clip isn’t from that program, it gives some of the flavour of its irreverent reflection on its history and general silliness…

It’s a bit strange watching the films and seeing the clips again, as all the lines come immediately back to mind — especially seeing as I have difficulty remembering much of anything at all these days. As kids however we used to re-enact many of these skits by heart, sometimes even in the shower room after a brutal and invariably filthy game of rugby then doing our best high-pitched, screechy pepperpot imitations to crack one another up…

Anyway, if you want to share your own Python memories, embed favourite Python clips from YouTube in the comments or whatever, feel free to do so

Adventures with Iggy: Sweater Guy

I really don’t know what to say…

But here’s a question for the kids: What does “Big Bear” think about coercive interrogation in the context of a “lesser evil” moral analysis vis-à-vis the global war on terrorism?

Well, give Ignatieff points for not frightening the children… I guess.