Friday, April 30, 2010

Some California Blues and free prizes

Ry Cooder at least in my mind plays California Blues. Although he may be better known for the CrossRoads movie and heavy delta tunes he has recorded. I like the music he has made with the rythm bands. It is still blues, but just Ry Cooder Blues.

Here's Let's a Ball.

and his Crazy About an Automobile

Cooder turned 63 last week and has some new tunes out with the Chieftans. If you want to download his newest release for free go to the itunes store, click Quick Links, and enter one of these codes...


Each code is good for one download, so I guess it is the first five lucky winners. But hey I only get 4 hits a day.

Top that one pogge two videos and free music downloads :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Harper aborts maternal healthcare

They did not clarify whether we will pull out of the current aid programs that provide funding for abortion services or explain how they would separate abortion services when providing aid for maternal health.

Does that mean that Canadians will not provide funding for local clinics or new hospitals if those clinics or hospitals also provide abortion services? Or support family planning education, if those courses include information about safe abortion timing or I assume if the medical practitioner presenting the information performs abortions. What about the red cross, they also provide blood collecting services to be used when performing abortions.

I guess that leaves us creating a somewhat evangelical alliance with the faith based groups who focus more on conversion and after life salvation than surviving the harsh realities of day to day life in the poorest countries in the world.

I agree with Bob Rae, for a party that doesn't want to reopen the abortion debate, they have now placed abortion back on the front burner. And unfortunately again placed Canada as the greatest roadblock to reaching any kind of consensus at the forth coming meetings.

Main story the Toronto Star here.  A reference from Macleans and plug for Harpers church.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Conservative Commissars dispersed to the major cities

Over the last 18 months the PMO has set up regional offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Apparently their role is to monitor local media and provide feed back to party head quarters for dissemination by the PMO's communication apparatus in Ottawa. 
Additionally they are to facilitate access for the non-english media outlets that support the large and growing ethnic groups in the major cities. 
In other words plant the ethic based press releases that continually flow out of the PMO directly into the local community papers, read by individuals of that particular ethnicity.
Working out of a regional ministerial offices in the three cities, the commissars can now increase favorable messaging to the surrounding ridings presently held by the opposing parties.
Or in reality provide targeted propaganda directly to the door step of the vote rich ethnic communities located in our major cities and of course, all paid for with our tax dollars. 
The the next step in building a one party state.

See Macleans article here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Harper calls in the pros from Norway

Harper has called in Norway to help salvage his forthcoming G8 showpiece initiative, maternal and child health.  
The special adviser to Norwegian Prime Minister flew to Ottawa this week to brief the conservatives on Norway's efforts to reduce the deaths of pregnant women and young children in poor countries. He stressed that family planning, including abortion, could not be stripped out of the strategy. According to Norway the G8 adopted a general consensus about reproductive health last year and safe abortion in countries where it is legal was part of the overall strategy.
Maybe Harper was in the washroom when those issues were discussed.
You can tell this G8 meeting is not going to go well. Harper should really stick to issues that he knows and cares about: the tightening of immigration policies, the building of prisons, eliminating the access to information or the creation of a one party state.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good on you Tyler Laton

This dude ran into his neighbor's burning townhouse last night and saved two lives. Don't usually blog about this stuff, but sometimes attention should be paid. 

Harpers first test of his new house of ideology

The reformatories will be reintroducing their ideological crime bill to eliminate the faint hope clause for convicted murderers via the Senate.

Of course we have no idea of how many murderers there are and how many receive early paroles and of those how many are not truly rehabilitated which is one of the purposes of the faint hope clause. Those would be considered facts and facts play a small part with a government that operates on ideology.

This is the second time for this crime bill, with the first dying with Harper's second prorogation (the one we seemed to get upset about), however it is the first bill that Harper will be introducing via his newly seeded senate.

Critics believe that the bill should be rejected on merit. The faint hope clause serves a purpose that increases the desire to rehabilitate. Without it our prisons become less safe and fewer individuals turn their lives around. In fact it produces more hardened criminals when the are finally released. But again that is just the theory of critics as we have no facts.

However the bill should be rejected because Harper is bypassing our elected representatives. It is further abuse of our parliamentary democracy.

Law and order must be polling well for the reformatories and this bill may be designed to demonstrate that the obstructionist opposition is weak on crime and further justify Harper's need for a majority. It will at least be a test for his new hand picked senate.

Hopefully there remains enough sober thought in the senate to get some of the facts on the table before the new members pass the bill, as they have been instructed. At least our elected members of parliament will then have some basis to reject it for what I tend to believe it is, radical right wing bull shit.

Reference the CBC

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Maybe it is because the racists are now in power

It was the wops, specifically the Italians, when I was a kid growing up in north Toronto. I wasn't allowed to call them that, it was just the term that my father used when he was describing what was wrong with the city or in particular the neighborhood. 

Of course being a TTC bus driver, he had a wider range of groups that he referenced daily, coming home with stories about the damn kikes, coons, micks or spicks, depending which route he was on that month. I had no idea what these people looked like or if they had horns sticking out of their heads, all I knew was that they had done some injustice to my dad.

Despite that fact that many of my buddies at school were Italian or that my dad's best friend from work was Irish, every nationality that was more recent to Canada than those previous was given their own racial name.

During my time in Toronto the Italians were followed by immigrants from India and Pakistan, then Jamaica, and then so many different countries, that we seemed to run out of distinctive names to describe them. That's the way our country grew, depending in which neighborhood, major city or which province you were raised in.

Canada is a country of immigrants and each nationality has had it's own impact on Canada and not just in the so called melting pots of our major cities. Take Saskatchewan, please. (Sorry that was a Henny Youngman line to see if you were still paying attention). It was Ukrainians that introduced Red Fife wheat to Saskatchewan. At one time Saskatchewan was a bilingual province with both English and Ukrainian schools.

Although I had doubts about my father, I never considered my self to be a racist. At best I am a second generation Canadian, with my father being a first generation Orangeman and my mother migrating from England at age six. Unless you are a member of the First Nations or the Inuit, all of our families came from somewhere else.

I tried to raise my kids differently than my father raised me and they and their generation as a whole seemed a lot more tolerant than I ever was, or so I thought. Then Preston Manning led his Reform Party into Ontario during the 1993 election.

decentralization of federal government powers, senate reform, free market deregulation and reduction of government provided services, the ever popular cutting of taxes which seems to go along with eliminating federal powers and resulting social services, dismantling of Indian Affaires, removing Quebec's special status,  criminalizing abortion, opposing gay and lesbian rights and introducing an immigration policy that was based solely the economic needs of the country. 
Sound like a familiar list.

Manning didn't elect any Reformers in Ontario during that election, but he got a lot more support in Ontario that I thought he ever would, especially with the younger people that I worked with, my son's generation. It wasn't the elimination of health care or abortion services or gay bashing that caught their attention and no one seemed to care about government powers or Quebec for that matter (hell we work in Toronto, the center of the universe). It was the proposed changes to the immigration rules that they found appealing.

Apparently immigrants were taking away Canadian jobs and although no one could give me a specific example, immigrants apparently had a special status and were being hired because they were immigrants and as far as the other policies that were included in the Reform Package, well the immigration problem needed to be addressed.

It is called Nativism or Political Nativism. 

Nativism favors the interests of established Canadians as compared to claims or the interests of newcomers or immigrants. It is based on the belief that our ethnicity or culture is important to sustain and that all other groups should be measured in relationship to ours. Politically it manifests itself as opposing open immigration or imposing specific rules or status to the specific ethnic immigrants. It involves measuring the language, behavior, customs and religion of immigrants in comparison to our own.

It is the only Reform policy that Harper has so far been able to openly get away with.

A year ago our immigration minister Jason Kenny sat in on an immigration meeting in New Delhi where he met a woman who had been a Canadian citizen for twelve years, and determined that she couldn't conduct the interview in English. The fact that she was in India or that English was her second or third language didn't matter to Kenny. It became the example for why we have to bring language reforms to immigration.

Selling nativistic policy reform also requires that Canadians understand that our system is too open and subject to abuse. Kenny has tried to accomplish this many times. The one that I liked was comparing our increasing number of refugee claims to the declining numbers in the US. The assumption being that they have proper controls and our system is too open. Of course the minister and the article both forget to mention that the US model is broken, illegal and has caused greater problems

However Harper's and Kenny's political nativism is more than just tightening the rules on language it is about new immigrants accepting our culture and values. Since values are subjective and vary across cultures and are in many ways are related with individual or group belief systems, whose culture and values are we accepting as the norm. 

Is it the Italians that I grew up with, who have now moved to Woodbridge or the Pakistanis that moved into Brampton, or Toronto's gay community on Church Street. I guess it could be communities out side of Toronto (sorry just checking again if you are still paying attention), maybe the  French Canadians in Quebec or the Chinese in Richmond or hey the church that Harper goes to.

In short our nativist immigration minister takes every small event and uses it to describe why we need new tougher immigration policies. It is the only reform policy that they can get any leverage with and they are hammering it home at every opportunity.

Here is a recent example from the Vancouver olympics. Before the giant beavers or hockey game players from the closing ceremonies were packed up, Kenny was ranting about refugee claims following the Olympics. Based on this example Kenny is now proposing designating countries as safe countries. The safe country list will be made up of countries where most of the refugee claims are likely false.

Of course the reality is that only twenty two people claimed refugee status in Vancouver after the Olympics. The last time BC held any international games, there were 730 claims. Maybe we are just not such a desired country anymore, but it was a big enough sound bite for Kenny to propose designating countries as safe countries. Of course which countries are listed as safe is decided by the minister.

Nativism works for Harper and his minister Kenny and it is easily promoted and spread to the provinces. Look at the recent spiel from Kenny about the provinces being too generous to refugees, or Quebec's niqab debacle

Yes it appears that we Canadians want political nativism.

My father died young or at least I think he did, since I have now outlived his age by two years and similar to the city that he drove a bus for his views on immigrants and immigration changed as he aged. They somewhat had to since his fellow drivers, unionists and friends were now white, black, brown, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, and even Jewish.

In his later years he still ranted about passengers, but he no longer labelled them with a racial tag. He once said he was surprised that I never turned out to be racist, based on the way I was raised. He believed it was passed on from generation to generation and realized that he had to change.

He would not have understood the word nativism, hell I never heard of it until today. If my father was still alive today I truly believe that he would look at this Harper government and the nativistic changes that Kenny is proposing to immigration and call them out for who and what they are.

A group of racists, spreading racism and he wouldn't vote them either.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

RIP Mr Woods

Hey Tiger,

I didn't give a shit that you cheated on your wife and screwed everything in a skirt or whether you kept or lost your endorsements. I don't really care that you are back on the course. I hate golf and you could do almost anything and I wouldn't really care. You're just another athlete with an oversized ego trying to make more money.

But using your dead father's voice in a fucking commercial, you really are an asshole.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A more kinder gentler and politer threat of genocide

That's Fat Man, killing 80,000 people. The smaller and less genocidal of the two bombs dropped by the USA in 1945.
Today Obama outlined the new American policy regarding the deployment of their 9,500 plus nuclear arsenal.

We will no longer threaten you with a nuclear attack unless we decide to at a later time.

Read more: The Raw Story

Cute new CBC hidden links may be copyright trap

Seems CBC really wants bloggers to cut and copy their articles after all.

Go to a CBC article and copy a paragraph or a sentence or even the middle of sentence and viola "Read more:" and their link automatically appear.

Example 1: a fragmented sentence

es said the administration decided against limiting the nation's options further because of the danger still being posed by the pro 
Read more:
Example 2: So far the smallest sampling seems to be 45 characters
ement, U.S. President Barack Obama said the p

Example 3: Drop one character and the link is not generated.
ement, U.S. President Barack Obama said the

It all seems silly, since all you have to do is delete the link, but maybe it is a legal thing, where you knowingly deleted their link and therefore they can now demonstrate that you knowingly broke copyright.

Just a thought.

BTW this article links to a CBC article at least twice that I know of.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Imagine if an oil company owned a country

If they had all of the country's resources available to them, they could accomplish anything they wanted.

One of the first and obvious things it would do is use that country to slow down the development of international environmental treaties that would cost the oil company billions of dollars. In fact the country would become the leading voice against any decline in the use of fossil fuels.

However oil companies have been able to stall environmental change for decades just by paying off a few US senators or some Arab sheiks. What I am imagining is an oil company having all the resources of a country made available to them.

They could use that country to make an internationally binding claim to undiscovered, yet recoverable oil reserves, say 90 billion barrels worth. They could use the country's defense department to invent new technologies to run their mapping and seismic testing in these never before developed areas, say the ocean floor under the ice cap. The defense department could also be used to fend off claims made by competing oil companies.

The countries oceanographic scientists could be put to work to invent new technologies to control the inevitable spills and reduce the oil company's environmental cleanup costs when they do occur. In fact they could use the country's coast guard to train the citizenry to deploy these technologies.

Hell they could even get the country to invest in technologies that they themselves should be bearing the costs for. Of course the country's leaders would have to sell these technologies as environmentally sound investments as opposed to say, investing in competing alternative energy sources that would actually reduce fossil fuel consumption.

And all it would take would be the placement of a well oiled, dictatorial regional manager who was capable of implementing divisive policies, creating faux crises and was even willing to override the political will of the countries elected officials, just to hide the collusion that was taking place.

Yes I could imagine such an oil company and such a country.

Be scared, be really scared

If you thought Orwell's 1984 was prophetic and down right scary, here's the 21st century update. This is a presentation by game designer, extraordinaire, Jesse Schell presented at February's D.I.C.E. Summit, an annual conference for video game executives that will scare the bejesus out of you.

This shortened 10 minute version is being called the Most Disturbing Presentation Ever and here is accompanying article from Discovery News. This is not about kid's games.

His full 28 minute presentation is available here.

Canon calling the teapot black

Calling Hillary Clinton's rebuttal of Canada's maternal health initiative a tempest in a teapot. Harper's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon claimed on CTV over the weekend that Hillary Clinton was expressing her personal opinion when she criticized Canada's maternal health initiative, not the policy of the Obama administration.
Unfortunately Mr. Cannon, much like the services offered in your governments proposed initiative represents your party's leader's personal and religious opinions.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Orphans getting chocolate, the holy hand grenade and the spirit in the sky

Duracell hires South African orphans to hack apart the easter bunny.

Knights use the holy hand grenade to kill a rabbit

and my favorite Christian song, written by a Jew and sung by Hindus

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Calgary food tampering caught on film

With a vice like grip on the oatmeal cookies Harper questions a local food bank volunteer about what foods go into the boxes prepared for Canada's veterans. Expect to see more photo ops for Harper, opening hockey rinks and working in food banks across Canada in the coming months.

It is enough to turn you off oatmeal cookies.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A shot of the Blues

There's been way too much feminism being displayed here lately with posts about abortion, women's rights and the like. This blog and Willy both need a shot of testosterone.

Here's I'm a Man by Bo Diddley in a live performance with Steve Crooper on lead.

The first bit is Who do You Love which Bo Diddley also wrote. I'm glad I found this performance, it was only posted on You Tube two days ago. This is the version of the song that I grew up with and although Muddy Waters' cover of the song, Mannish Boy, gets a lot more play around these here parts, I like the original.

I saw Bo Diddley at Ronnie Hawkins' bar, backed by the pre-Band, Band on January 10, 1963 or possibly 64. I remember the date because it was Hawkins birthday. The year and whether it was raining or possibly snowing is harder to remember. The bar was almost empty and they let two fifteen year olds, with phony 21 year old ID in. What amazes me now, was that I was sitting there listening to this kick ass band who were having a party on stage, musicians that I would later idolize and all I could talk about for months, was the two twenty something Go Go dancers, one of whom was wasted, because Bo Diddley kept buying her drinks.

Next up is Leon Russell doing Come into my Kitchen, the arguably least popular of Robert Johnson's songs. There are other versions of this song on the tubes but hey it's Leon's birthday today.

If you made it this far here's Rude Mood, Stevie Ray Vaughan's, Grammy nominated cover of Lightning Hopkins Sky Hop. Wikipedia describes Rude Mood, as a blues shuffle instrumental in 4/4 (common time) and played at an extremely quick 264 beats a minute. I think it is just Stevie Ray whaling away on his guitar, like nobody else could.

I finally realized why pogge posts the blues every Friday night. He gets to listen to great tunes all Friday afternoon as he picks out tracks.


I guess Mound was right

Every major global climate record was broken last year and 2024 could be worse, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday,...