Friday October 31 , 2014

Shit Just Got Real – and Wet

It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, the gradual coming to of North Americans as they/we realize that “don’t worry, be happy – and go shopping” isn’t going to do much to hold back the rising seas.

Of course you’ve seen the news about the sidewalks turned canals of Miami Beach. The city is buying time by building higher seawalls, but it looks like owning waterfront property is about to lose its exclusivity.

We were there, the Plucky Pauper Canucks, just a couple of years ago. I tried to swim in the ocean, but it’s not for swimming, is it.

Oceans are for sailing.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, where our governing politicians name buildings after each other, so impressed are they with their economic stewardship, we all get to share in Alberta’s boom/bust economy – minus its Heritage Fund.

Is there a Heritage Fund even for Albertans?

I’m not sure now I agree with such a thing anyway. I’d prefer a workaday economy and a guaranteed annual income for those of us who’d rather spend our time blogging.

Of course, we’re not developing the tarsands so much as a handful of speculators are plundering our habitat, but reality has long since given way to the siren song of the economy.

I can’t stand the news, anymore, because it’s beyond stupid. And we get regular lectures now at work about how business is down so we have to work harder to increase sales. Except that we’re paid the same whether we increase sales or not. The company expects a certain loyalty, especially from its long-time staff (we have 20-year veterans in our store) in spite of having stripped that same long-time staff of full-time hours and benefits a few short years ago.

One of them was and is the top seller in North America. She’s kind of annoying, but I like her, and I’ve stopped trying to give her advice and encouragement to look elsewhere because she’s really not up to it and what business is it of mine anyway.

It’s hard, isn’t it, minding our own business. I invite a lot of business minders into my life because I share information. They misunderstand my openness as advice-seeking. I just tell anybody and everybody how it is for me because my economy is your economy is Stephen Harper’s economy, and it doesn’t benefit any one of us if we aren’t honest about how we’re faring in it.

I told my Beau this morning that I was thinking of writing to the Globe and Mail business section, giving them a rundown of our finances, and suggesting we’d like to retire soon – just to make them work a little bit.

I refer, of course, to those angst fests in the Saturday edition involving couples with million dollar homes/vacation properties/hundreds of thousands in the bank/fully indexed pensions seeking advice from a financial consultant on how and when they can retire comfortably.

I’m always disappointed when he doesn’t tell them it’s hopeless, kill yourselves now, there’s no way you can ever afford to retire.

But that’s just it, isn’t it. The truth is, I’ve never felt less insecure about money and yet I’ve never made so little of it. I didn’t even make enough last year to pay income tax. And yet, I buy the odd piece from our store now with my discount, a store I never shopped in even when I did make decent money, because what the hell, it’s good for team morale.

I’m a bit of a fashionista, too, I guess, but not that into shopping, anymore, so it’s convenient.

The money I save by not owning a car is worth taking the bus no matter how high they jack the fares, because it’s not just about the expense of owning a car, is it, it’s about not getting in the car and driving to the mall or an outlet and doing some recreational shopping.

It would have been kind of a drag last night watching The National report on Canadians filling up their gas guzzlers, less cranky because of lower gas prices and not because governing politicians had just announced that they were abandoning their support for the unconscionable plunder and polluting of our natural resources, except that one of them more or less put it out there that the real upside to a drop in oil prices is that oil speculators will get dinged.

And maybe that’s as real as this shit is ever going to get.

In the meantime, I plan to keep on keeping on, chronicling as I go, bearing witness to the experiences of others, while minding my own.

Because it turns out my poor dear shark of a co-worker has a lovely property in Portugal she can retire to should any Arctic wolves show up at her door here.

Cripes, she’s got it all over the mayor of Miami Beach, who has to go down with the city, doesn’t he.


Bring Back the Draft

On the other hand, nothing is really a secret, or even a surprise, thanks to the internet.

Or Globally Interconnected Truth & Conspiracy Theory Generator.

We know why certain courses of action are taken and others are ignored or scorned as unmanly, manly being represented by soldiering, literally, which is why women need not apply.

Or maybe women should apply until we outnumber men and soldiering becomes just more unpaid stuff that somebody has to do so it may as well be someone with ovaries as somebody with a penis.

Protect penis owners from unpaid work!

Meanwhile, it’s journalists who are being beheaded by foreign (and domestic!) tribalists.

When was the last time you heard a governing politician thank a journalist for saving us from total ignorance of foreign and domestic affairs?

I feel so badly for kidnapped journalists, too, because they must know as soon as they’re kidnapped how doomed they are, given the likelihood of any governing politicians coming to their rescue, as opposed to using their beheading as war propaganda.

The first masked beheader brought to mind the actor from The Wire, didn’t he. The drug dealer, not the cop.

But it doesn’t even have to be in our own interests for us to go along with politicians authorizing, in our name, the killing of people living elsewhere in the world.

It’s the economy, stupid.

Always remember, no wait, never forget, the economy will save us, but first we have to save the economy.

We can call it Harper’s War (which he loves, by the way) but it’s ours, we’re paying for it. And we’re giving up public services to pay for it, too. So I was wrong, we are making sacrifices for war. We are, we are, we are.

Highway of Taxpayers.

Meanwhile, young Canadian men today prefer computer game interaction to real life interaction because, well, they just do. Is it good? Is it bad? I dunno. Yes? No? It just seems to be the way it is.

Inside/outside, they’re at it, staring straight ahead at a screen or staring down at one in their lap.

But I would say that, wouldn’t I. I spend as much time, expend as much energy, trying to articulate my thoughts about war and what is it good for on the internet as my son does playing the latest global sensation.

He doesn’t see that time as wasted, though, not like I do.

I have friends and rellies with soldiering sons. It’s not something I have any particular respect for in a young man, although I’m intrigued by the young women who sign up. On the other hand, I recognize that young men need something to do while their brains finish developing, which is apparently somewhere between 25 and 30.

My friends and rellies whose sons signed up would be the first to admit that their sons weren’t doing much and had become somewhat burdensome prior to donning uniforms.

I can’t imagine the experience of war will make them any less so, sadly. Better to wait out the lame years, I say.

I just wish more Canadians could see the cynical disconnect between politicians sending some of us overseas to fight in foreign wars while lowering taxes for some others of us. And since the same people seem to be voting for both, I’m starting to think we should all have a more direct say than just in voting as to where our taxes are allocated.

Maybe Revenue Canada could send a tick-off form with our T4s.

Oh, and our T4Es, lest we forget unemployment as a prime motivator for signing up to kill other people living elsewhere, and yes, in our names.

Is it possible that Conservatives don’t want to stop corporations from bringing in temporary foreign workers to do jobs that used to be done by Canadians, while at the same time making employment insurance increasingly less likely, because they want young men (and, I guess, women) to have no choice but to fight?

It would be nice if we could use passive resistance to force them to bring in the draft, at least.

That would put the truth out where we’d have to face it.




Fascist Fucks

I missed all the action over the long weekend (there’s no such thing for retail workers – long weekends, I mean – we get plenty of action – plenty) when Don Martin, a Calgary-based pundit for CTV, apparently used the “f” word to describe Stephen Harper.

I thought that meant he called him a fuck, which I could imagine coming from Ezra Levant of Sun News Network about Justin Trudeau’s dead dad, Pierre, but not really Don Martin of CTV about Stephen Harper.

“Hey Harper, ya fuck!” said Don Martin, never.

“Hey Justin Trudeau’s dead dad, Pierre, ya fuck!” said Ezra Levant, again.

And yes, I did consider the possibility that maybe Don Martin had just had too much jive turkey for thanksgiving (I no longer capitalize our holidays because I’m no longer a patriot) except that out in Calgary I believe the celebratory dinner bird is a cow.

But it turned out that Don Martin only called Stephen Harper a fascist.

Cripes, pretty soon Stephen Harper’s head will be too big to fit into the House, eh?

Meanwhile pundits hither and yawn took the opportunity to go on and on about the deceptive face of fascism and how it pretends to be all friendly and then <wham!> before we’ve even had a chance to elect JT to be our first actually friendly –> fascist prime minister (ditto the capitalization of job titles) leaving Tom Mulcair to fight the good fight in Opposition (which is way too important to leave to JT, and we shouldn’t leave anything to Stephen Harper) we’re fucked.

Also, JT would be our first actually friendly fascist handsome prime minister, not that I didn’t have a bit of a thing for Sir Wilfrid Laurier, back in the day, but that’s a blog entry for another day.

(Not really, there’s not much to say beyond that I had a bit of a thing for Sir Wilfrid Laurier back in the day. I believe it annoyed my older sister so much she threw my halloween candy into a snowbank. Or maybe she just couldn’t tolerate my moderation in all things. My god she was crazy.)

But as I’ve blogged already, I’m not blogging about politics anymore. This time I’m not blogging about it because I keep reading that the country is being run by boys in short pants and not a bunch of fucks in the prime minister’s office. It’s aggravating and I want it to stop. So until it does, I’m boycotting all pundits who refer to BiSPs and not blogging about politics.

Anyway, I was thinking today about how a bunch of fucks like Stephen Harper keep telling us our relative prosperity (relative because the folks – see what I did there? – hanging around outside the Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa asking passersby if they have any spare change don’t look so prosperous to me – and I’m making $1 less per hour than I was in 1982) will disappear unless we continue to let a bunch of oil and gas fucks dump toxic waste into our water and air supply.

I suppose it could be worse and we could be living in Beijing, heading off to become more prosperous every morning in smog masks.

Hey, I wonder if smog masks are made in China, too

And then I realized that, even though Stephen Harper is a tail-ender, like me, it’s possible everything really is about baby boomers and, without even needing to take a vote on it, they’ve decided that it’s going to be all over for everybody after the last of them has bought a one way ticket to “mars” (ditto planets/afterlife, it’s too much, all this senseless capitalization).

Here’s what I mean. I had a sister bookclub member who complained to me all the time about our bookclub, and how much she hated being in it, and I kept talking her into staying because I didn’t realize until it was too late that she couldn’t leave bookclub because she didn’t want to take the chance that it would continue on without her.

So when she finally decided to take her leave, she did it by way of tossing a bomb into the clubhouse and running down the street to join a new bookclub.

(Don’t worry, bookclub survived. I just finished this month’s selection “State of Wonder”  – and boy are my lips tired.)

But you get it, right? Maybe you’ve even thought it? About baby boomers wanting to take us all with them when they go because they can’t stand the thought of life going on without them?

The fucks.

So yeah, I think that’s what we’re facing, everybody – Boomergeddon.

Pass it on.

Oh, and kick a boomer today. Tell ‘em it’s from tail-ender sooey.



Linda and Bill, I Hardly Knew Ye

I read a piece by Linda McQuaig this morning. In it, she references William Robson of the C.D. Howe Institute, whom I knew back in university days as Bill. He dated my best friend at the time and I have to admit I kind of admired him for it.

She was a very strange and troll-like girlfriend for such a good-looking fellow to have. Really strange. And very troll-like. I’m talking almost Marty Feldman-ish  (although she was oddly pretty?) and J.D. Salinger-ish strange-like. Or I guess I mean Holden Caulfield-ish lost-like.

We had a lot of fun, which is cool to remember for me because she didn’t drink – just coffee – or smoke pot (not that I did much pot-smoking, either). Once we were coming home around 3 or 4:00 a.m. from an all-night donut shop and two of Toronto’s finest pulled over and shouted at us, “Hey! What are you doing out after curfew? Get in the car!”

So we walked up to the window and J. who was naturally giggly (when she wasn’t depressed and completely unresponsive to outside stimuli no matter how funny I was being – great training for the comedy club circuit I never went on – even though Punchline is one of my favourite movies) giggled and countered the notion that there was such a thing as a curfew in Toronto.

“Oh yes, there’s a curfew alright. And you girls have broken it. Now get in the car. We’ll get you home.”

I’m perhaps not conveying the lack of choice we had, or maybe I am. That was (is?) the thing with cops when we were young, at least. They had all the power, we had none, and only fools and drunkards would mix it up with them.

The thing was, J. liked to carry a joint around with her in case someone wanted one and she’d given it to me earlier because I was always looking to drink less/smoke more.

It was partly a weight-watching thing, partly an awareness that, even though I didn’t like anything about alcohol, really, it didn’t stop me from drinking it.

It’s funny, I hung out with her a lot and none of our escapades involved alcohol or drugs (minus the joint she always insisted on carrying around with her), so it’s possible I wasn’t the party girl I recall myself being.

I’m working on memories right now because my memories of being a homemaker have been submerged by the great wave of divorce. It’s terrible, really, probably what’s hardest on the kids, parents playing who suffered more for cold hard cash.

Gord forbid one half of the couple could just say to the other half “I don’t want to live with you anymore” and both halves could forgo all the whys, herewiths, and wheretofores, share the kids, and split the existing assets down the middle.

I know, I know – whose middle?

Anyway, she carried on in her giggly but steadfast way about this whole curfew thing, while I panicked quietly about the joint in my pocket.

We didn’t have purses back then. Isn’t that funny? I just remembered that detail. I’d go out with J. and we’d both be wearing painter’s pants and oversized men’s shirts that D. the don from the Caribbean had given us, enough money for coffee and that was it. J. drank hers black, because she was a recovering anorexic, the real kind, the kind who had to be fed intravenously in hospital.

I had cream in mine because, even though I was always flirting with anorexia, I have a lot of self-preservation instincts, too, and looked down the road to old age and osteoporosis, which isn’t in my family at all, so it’s just Forrest Gump’s good luck for me that I did.

Even at my worst I would drink a glass of milk (which I never even liked) to keep my bones strong.

Really, give up, parents. We know nothing that matters about our teenaged daughters, trust me. Their real lives happen where we’d never even think to look. All we see is what they show us and that’s how it has to be or we couldn’t bear it, they and their random survivalist world would terrify us too much.

Anyway, the cops didn’t believe that we were university girls and not runaways until Bill (residence security – an 80-year-old man with a hearing impairment and bad eyesight), who had a special relationship with J. because she was always coming and going at odd hours, vouched for us.

It was a little nerve-wracking there for a minute for me because he wasn’t too sure I lived there on account of my low profile, but if we had a sign-in/sign-out sheet or something to that effect I would have cooperated with it.

I was always diligent about leaving clues for the authorities should I not return home for any reason.

I think I recall the cops thinking it pretty weird that a residence full of young women had such lax security, but it was never a problem until a bunch of hooligans barged by him one night and tried to ransack their way through the residence. It was very hard on him and eventually the university had to hire real security. A lot changed between my second and third year at university, including the expectations of students, who all seemed to major in commerce.

Commerce. Imagine. It’s really such a load of horseshit the way pundits and politicians go on about the good old days.

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that J. and I had to sneak out again to walk off the calories that we hadn’t walked off because the cops had given us a ride home.

But that’s not what this entry is about, because this entry is about income-splitting and how it’s portrayed so often by pundits, including Linda McQuaig, who I also knew back in the day, although after university.

I was at the NDP caucus, when I met her and for some reason I kept confusing her with another Linda. Finally, she snapped “Why do you keep confusing me with the other Linda! We’re nothing alike!” so then I had to remember to deliberately confuse her with the other Linda (a non-abrasive, gentle soul who made guitars) because I have that Woody Allen thing about authority.

Really, I was totally jealous of both Lindas, the one for her spectacular man appeal that rendered them gaga when she’d fly in and out of a room on her broom, the other for her subtle man appeal that was all for naught because she was apparently gay.

Later, my boyfriend (then husband, now ex) and I would play basketball with a group that involved both Lindas, although only the nice Linda played while we were part of the group. But we were a decade younger than these real life baby boomers with high fallutin’ jobs and back-country skills and after two games we took our leave, or rather, my boyfriend (then husband, now ex) threw himself down on the floor and kicked and screamed until I said okay we don’t have to waste another Friday night playing basketball with the Lindas, etc.

I think it was the night one of the male members of the team complained about having to leave off making documentaries at The Journal (CBC) for some other equally preposterous sounding employment to our tail-end boomer ears that did it.

My friend A. from the caucus couldn’t understand our leave-taking and I kind of couldn’t believe that I was in my boyfriend’s camp, either, but there it is, or was.

In later years I would join a bookclub and come to understand how difficult it is for people to break into an established group, not to mention how difficult it is to leave one, but we never got that far with the basketball boomers.

As I tell my kids, it’s never the people, it’s the relationship between the people that either works or doesn’t. Sometimes that matters so much that the trauma of divorce has to happen, sometimes it matters enough that you forgo basketball group dreams of acceptance in favour of watching Dallas or Street Legal with your lame-a-zoid ball-&-chain of a boyfriend.

Income splitting. Well, I was a homemaker, and yes, it was by choice, my choice, but yes, too, it meant that we lived on one income that would have been below $40k in 1990, although secure, too. And I knew other people like me, women mostly, although our landlord back in the day was a stay-at-home dad (and actor) while his wife worked as a casting agent to the stars (not her husband, which always struck me as kind of… pointed).

Other people’s lives and all that.

I get the objection, that wealthy people will benefit more than anyone else, that it’s not going to matter much to middle-class parents, but I’m not sure that the objection isn’t rooted in that sort of old-fashioned notion that work defines us, that we’re all better for making money, that work will set us free or make us better Feminists or boost the GDP.

Because if it benefits couples with one making, say, $60,000 now, while the other stays home with kids, that’s a good thing.

But I would say that, wouldn’t I, because I want people to quit their jobs and stay home with their kids.

Heck, I knew a couple without kids and he stayed home and she worked and they were the happiest couple I’ve even encountered. I’d see him all the time on the dog walk, me with the three kids and dog, him with just dog. We talked politics and this and that and he shared a couple of recipes he thought might help me out. And she was all bustling activity that I’m pretty sure involved screwing a co-worker but THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT HERE!

I’m not sure what it will take to convince ourselves that work is mostly a crock, that people who actually enjoy it would do it for free because whatever it is that they’re doing for money isn’t work to them. That’s how homemaking was for me. It mattered, I felt like I was doing something worthwhile. The cooking, the cleaning, the cooperative games. Going for walks every day, watching cooking shows with the kids (Delia Smith was our favourite), taking in a couple of rugrats when a friend went back to being a psychiatric nurse and I inherited part of her daycare.

The problem wasn’t being a homemaker. The problem was not being a part of the paid economy so that I felt like I had rights equal to my partner. That was the problem. He was part of paid society, I was a dependent appendage. And people can claim all sorts of nonsense about running the home but that’s all it is – nonsense. He who controls the purse strings wins.

Young men really aren’t at their best in relationships with young women, I’m afraid, and sharing didn’t come as naturally to him as it had to me back in the day when there were no kids and I was making twice as much money for doing the sort of job I would have done for free, while he was working retail.

Income splitting would have made a huge difference to us because it would have recognized my contribution to society as having economic value. The fact is, it does have economic value to stay at home – when that’s what you want to do – because you live differently than you would if you were working – when that isn’t what you want to do.

It’s just not valued economically by government because it’s not how we measure our worth as a society, and how we measure our worth as a society is hogwash, the only real measure of a society beginning and ending with how it treats its most vulnerable members.

But good luck with all that these days.

Once again, here I go, like a broken record: I literally – literally – make less money per hour now than I did in 1982 when I was a word processing temp working for an agency in Toronto. And I can guarantee anyone reading this that neither Bill nor Linda, one a tail-end boomer like me, the other an actual baby boomer, have even the slightest clue what it’s like to risk financial security by opting to stay home with kids.

(Although Linda would support a guaranteed annual income, as I do, which puts her leagues ahead of Bill, unless he supports a guaranteed annual income, too. Stranger things have happened than rich people supporting such a thing, although I can’t offhand think of any.)

But let me leap to my current hobby horse, which is that it’s all a crock, all of it, and we should be downing tools, not hacking away at life with them. And this idea that income-splitting is a sexist plot, well, sure it is. But it comes too late so who cares. The partner quite likely to stay home with the kids these days is the husband.

Meanwhile, it’s been probably ever thus that the partner driving the bus of life is the wife. She’s why the marriage. She’s why the kids. She’s why the house.

In many cases, she’s the why of his job, too.

She makes the decisions, is what I’m saying, and even back when I made the decision to stay home, it was all mine. My husband at the time was panic-stricken. It wasn’t until he realized how much easier our lives were (compared to contemporaries with both parents working full-time and trying to manage and pay for kids and kidcare – so everybody we knew) that his knickers untwisted and he could see straight.

And now I’m working in retail, part-time, to pay for groceries and it’s beyond stupid but I kind of like it, too. I’d like it even more if I could be paid the same amount of money to not work in retail, of course, because it’s hard work, physically, and I’d just as soon not do it and do yoga instead.

My point is, working for money is hardly the fulfilling lifestyle so many pundits and politicians pretend it is. I know people who would do their job for free (they wouldn’t, not really, but they like their work enough to say that they would) but I sure as hell wouldn’t (although I’ve come to appreciate the clothing discount more than I thought I would, being a bit of a style maven, as it turns out).

I’d make pie every day. I’d read more. I’d blog. I’d learn to knit. I’d sew clothes for my girls (I’ve already made pajama bottoms for my son). I’d sew clothes for my mother, who has trouble with buttons and zippers. Heck, I’d visit my mother more often, too. She can afford it, money-wise, but I can’t afford it time-wise. All on account of my stupid and pointless job selling over-priced ladieswear to women who already own so many clothes they’ve admitted to buying the same outfit twice, their closets are so impenetrably full.

And I’d commit to reading to grade ones or somesuch useful volunteer activity that shouldn’t be volunteer so much as work done by people on guaranteed annual incomes or parents-at-home taking advantage of income splitting.

I don’t stand to gain from it now, but I suspect there would be a not insignificant reduction in parents working for money, and that, I venture to suggest, would be a good thing, which I guess means I would gain from it. We all would.

And in the end, that may be why it doesn’t actually happen.





The Old Man O’ War

It tells a separate reality, doesn’t it, all the column inches devoted to Justin Trudeau’s response to our current narrative: “Harper Canada Goes to War!” vs what the hoary old men of the Liberal Party would have it be.

As someone who’s pretty hip with the yout’s these days, I’d say he’s playing it just about right. Tom Mulcair is playing it exactly right, of course, but I would say that, wouldn’t I. There’s no ambivalence here for me with regard to dropping bombs and/or aid from planes.

Talk about your mixed messages. Boom! Bandaids!

But I’m misunderstood, too, because I believe we either get in there with our combat boots on or we don’t. Instead, we pretend we’re at war and our soldiers, or, our country’s sons and daughters, as politicians refer to them, are kept out of any real harm’s way because Harper wars aren’t real (for us) they’re just real for people living and dying half a world away.

Please, kids, stop signing up. It only encourages him.

What we’re doing by dropping bombs on Iraq is fueling the fighting, that’s all.

And since the Harper Government doesn’t even hint at calling out Saudi Arabia, which, unless every article I’ve ever read about Islamic fundamentalism is misinformed, funds it, this war is just a whole lot of destructive (for others) self-serving (for General Harper) hooey.

There’s nothing noble, nothing brave, about Harper wars. The General is a boy-man playing soldier with other people’s lives. Why? Because he gets off on it. IS/ISIS/ISIL is his wildest wet dream come true and I wouldn’t put that in print on the internet if I didn’t truly (yes, perhaps madly) deeply believe it.

It’s not just that I’m politically opposed to him. I’m morally opposed to him. And so I wonder at the pundits and politicos who can turn their opposition on and off because he really has made it either you’re with him or you’re agin’ him.

Anyway, I can’t stop any of it, can’t do a damn thing, so I think I’m just going to give up the racket of political blogging – no, really, I mean it this time – and blog about other stuff, real stuff, the stuff of Sooeydom.

One last thing, though, before I switch over to pies (the apple pie I baked last night was the best yet!) – if you ask me (relax, no one ever does) Tom Mulcair is the best Opposition leader we could hope for and that matters more than the pundits and the parties and probably even Tom Mulcair, who would no doubt like to be Prime Minister instead one day, can appreciate.

And it shows the depth of political intercourse in this country that they can’t.



Don’t Worry – It’s Always Worse Somewhere Else

Ugh. My apologies. So crabby. Crabbasaurus Rex. It might be the weather. It might be this head cold I’ve suddenly come down with because women can’t not shop for clothes they don’t need even when they’re sick.

Although I suppose sick is pretty relative these days, isn’t it. I mean, you can probably go in to the office with a cold now that ebola is trying to hitchhike a plane ride to everywhere.

You’d never know the entera virus is much more likely to fell a healthy Canadian than ebola is, though, would you.

It might be having an elderly parent living elsewhere and dependent on the trustworthiness of corporate caregivers. It might be changes in the collegial landscape of the store. It might be an upcoming interview in the old stomping grounds of public service.

It may be trying to plan a trip home to check in on her before store hours ramp up for the season to be shopping and/or a miracle occurs and an interview leads to a new/old job.

I don’t really want to go back to public service, though. It’s too fucked up.

How do we know the psychopaths beheading journalists (insanely brave people and politicians should be shamed and ashamed for slandering them when it doesn’t suit their purposes and coat-tailing them when it does) aren’t Blackwater or Halliburton or SNC Lavalin mercenaries?

I’m just not buying any of it, the masked man with the British accent and now the masked man with the Canadian, possibly American one.

“Authorities” are asking for the public’s help, those of us who watch the nightly news, I guess, in identifying who the latest masked man might be.

He speaks Arabic, apparently, although it’s hard to tell if it’s him speaking behind the mask at all, not that we hear him speaking Arabic, anyway.

I’m watching An Honourable Woman on CBC. It’s okay, but I realized in the first minute of the first episode how tired I am of the Israeli/Palestinian psychodrama. The accents grate on my nerves, the eye for an eye/spy for a spy, who suffered more then, who suffers more now.

All of us. Everybody. Let’s just give Dick Cheney the world and call it a day.

We lost. He won. Somebody had to, it might as well be the guy who shot an old man in the face.

But I read a news bulletin today wherein a bunch o’ bishops from the One True Faith decided now is a good time to stand up for the Palestinians in Gaza by telling the Israelis that they’re not the chosen people because Jesus said we’re ALL chosen people.

No, I cannot get out of here. I’m serious.

On an even lighter note, a young man with Asperger’s asked Doug Ford to apologize for his disparaging comments about people with autism, which he made last summer to show support for his own kind (ignorant boors) who live in his Etobicoke neighbourhood. But, of course, Doug Ford, who suffers from Ignorant Boorism, blew him off.

Really. People. Get a brain, please. If Doug Ford had any idea how offensive he is, he wouldn’t go out in public at all, let alone run for mayor of Toronto.

He’ll have even less of an idea when he wins, too, so get used to a lot of Ignorant Boorism.

Okay. I feel better now.

At least I don’t live in Toronto.


And There It Is

Apparently, the latest homicidal maniacs we’ve spawned in the Middle East have bombed a (the?) French cultural centre in Gaza.

Of course, they’d have to bomb something in Gaza, wouldn’t they. (Although I’m surprised it was left standing for them to bomb. See Israeli domestic/foreign policy, Summer 2014.)

Because now CAWs (Canadian Armchair Warriors) can shout at us “lefties” (i.e. not-heaven-bound non-misanthropes) that IS? ISIS? ISIL? must be stopped by any means necessary.

So congratulations, Halliburton/Lockheed Martin/Boeing and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc. You have won more $$$!

For the record, I assume no responsibility for the series of tragedies that have befallen the middle east during my lifetime, except that I’m a Canadian taxpayer, so, yeah, I guess I bear responsibility whether I assume it or not.

Thanks for that, o ye political class of chauffeured limousines and million dollar security teams.

By the way, that European free trade deal Harper signed on our behalf? It’s all so Tarsands Inc. doesn’t get slapped with a “dirty oil” label. Not that Europeans were planning on buying any of it anyway, not having the facilities to refine it.

Keep voting, Conservatives, hell is just around the corner for us infidels, I’m sure.


CAW – Canadian Armchair Warrior

A commenter on a Facebook friend’s post that more people in Saskatchewan will be killed by drunk drivers in the next month than by ISIS  pulled a CAW (Canadian Armchair Warrior) on me, wagging his finger at my lack of appreciation for how the Conservative Party of Canada’s war on Iraq, financed by all Canadians and which consists of flying over Iraq to drop bombs on it, will protect women and children.

Ah, women and children. Oh, how our men in suits and uniforms love ‘em some women and children.

Just not enough to hold an inquiry into missing and murdered ones here at home.

Heck, hold an inquiry? Provide us all with safe, reliable, and affordable public transportation!

I should have just ignored him but instead I told him he was full of it. As far as I know he’s still blathering forth (ala Mark Steyn, not that I’ve had occasion to read him in a couple of years) about what a traitor I am to the women and children of the middle east for not lining up behind the CEOs of Lockheed Martin, Halliburton (which has two “l”s now thanks to commenter, sheena) and Boeing to rah rah Stephen Harper’s wildest we(s)t dream come true, the A/OK from Obama (of all Muslims!) to bomb Iraq.

I was more annoyed than usual, though, because earlier this morning I read a pundit misrepresent – completely – what Romeo Dallaire said about Harper’s War, which was that we would need to put boots on the ground to have any appreciable effect on ISIS one way or another, meaning that dropping bombs from the air is dropping bombs from the air.

So unless I missed an opposite nuance that said pundit didn’t, Romeo Dallaire is hardly supportive of dropping bombs from the air.

But who cares, right? Because all of this is just more of the same, playing politics with people’s lives, domestic lives, foreign lives, it’s theatre, playacting, the only people to suffer will be the friends and families of the bomb droppers who develop back injuries and/or post traumatic stress disorder because, surprise surprise, the bombs that they drop from the air will kill more women and children than would be killed had they not dropped bombs on them.

And because Conservatives believe that governing is all about lower and lower taxes for the same corporations that have completely messed up the economies of the world by severing the loop that once connected profits to workers, there won’t be any support for them, either.

Please stop boo hooing about your injuries after the fighting, veterans, and either stop signing up in the first place or stop voting Conservative, because we can’t afford both you at war and you after war.

So get over yourselves and pick one or the other because Sooey Says Economics 101 teaches us that you can have your tax cuts or you can have your wars but you can’t have both.

Oh, unless “you” are a corporation living the most rarefied of existences in Harper Canada.

Whatever. Just shoot me if I’m caught wasting my time arguing with a Canadian Armchair Warrior on the internet, please.

Cripes, if only I knew how to knit – then I could leave off the war CAWs altogether and go back to my knitting…



Mystery Solved!

Okay, for anybody wondering why Olivia Chow’s performance is so lame, I’ve figured it out for you – her heart isn’t into being mayor of a city so fucking stupid that it would have John Tory at 39%, Doug Ford at 37% and her at 22%, at any point in the campaign, let alone two weeks before it’s too late and either John Tory or Doug Ford has been elected mayor of Toronto, aka Stupidheadtown.

David Solnacki I stand corrected, you did not drop out too early, you dropped out too late.


Another Q

Is it me? Or does Chris Alexander literally diminish in stature every time he opens his mouth?