Tuesday 22 December 2009


I was going to blog about my disgust with the neo-conservative geniuses who are diminishing Canada's standing in the world with every breath they take, but why bother? Two thirds of Canadians know all about them, and one third of Canadians are them! And eventually they'll be fixed. ;-)

So, let's just forget about the mess we're in for now and enjoy the shopping season, after all we're helping the economy, so they say. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Oh, the picture? That's Wickaninnish Beach in Tofino.

On the other hand, let me add a few thoughts about Harpocisy anyway:

On December 18th, Canada received the Fossil of the Year award at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Once again Harper has demonstrated clearly that he is both a national and an international disgrace. There was a time, for about 45 years during and after World War 2, when Canada punched above its weight - in other words, because of what we did and said, we had an influence far above our small population.

That time is sadly long past, but under Harper, we've slipped to near the bottom of the pile among developed countries. For four years now, we've had a government that has only one, ONLY ONE, concern - getting a majority. Nevermind if the country falls apart in the meantime.

I guess we should be glad in a way, that Harper bothered to go to Copenhagen. Those few foreign leaders who still care about what Canada says and does were able to get another look at him. After all, he did go to the state dinner, couldn't be bothered to attend the climate change negotiations though.

Of course, there was no need for him to try to participate there - he has nothing to contribute. After all, he has no environmental policy - oh no, I forgot, his policy is the US policy. Of course, the US has no policy (forget Obama's speech, anything he proposed has to be passed by Congress, which is owned lock, stock and barrel by the US energy industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military manufacturing industry). So not much, except the tone, has changed since the Bush years.

Canada, though small, is one of the richest countries in the world. Canadians produce more waste and pollution per person than any other country, including Americans. Therefore, Canadians have a greater responsibility to clean up their act than anyone else (and that clean-up includes the Tar Sands). It's not the total pollution, stupid, it's the per capita pollution. Fossil of the Year, indeed!

Monday 30 November 2009

Harper Does It Again, on a Canadian Warship no less

I haven't written much here lately, been very busy. I've also been reluctant to write here because I've been a bit depressed about the way our country is being damaged by the Harper neo-Conservatives shaming it on the Afghanistan and Climate Change issues. But Harper's Republican-style attacks on anyone who disagrees with him today on the HMCS Quebec got me really angry. So I posted the little rant below on the CBC website a little while ago. It's gotten quite a reaction so far. Here it is:

Well, Harper, our very own mini-mini Bush has done it again, surprise, surprise! "If you don't agree with me and with my stooges, you're a traitor, you're un-Canadian, you're attacking our soldiers." And, of course, it had to be done on a Canadian warship, not in Parliament.

It's not our soldiers who are being chastised, Stevie. Our soldiers have nothing to be ashamed of, Stevie. They're in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line (which is more than you've ever done). It's you and your minions who've ignored every warning about torture in Afghan prisons (as if warnings were needed - torture has always gone on there, is going on now, and will go on long after our soldiers, and NATO's, have left. It's a way of life that has nothing to do with the Taliban, that's just the way it is). It's you and your minions who have directed our soldiers to hand prisoners over to the Afghans full well knowing what would happen to them, because you're too cheap to run your own detention facilities, or you don't care because after all they're just wogs.

This argument is not about whether the detainees a guilty of anything or innocent, it's about whether Canada is adhering to the rule of law which is to be followed by countries which claim to be democracies.

Shame on you Stephen Harper, you make Canada a smaller place. In everything you've done since 2006, you've been an embarrassment to this country.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Climate Change Denial Crock of the Week / Birth of a Crock

Just for some (partial) relief from Harpocrisy, here's a little YouTube video I found that could well have featured Stephen Harper, who, being a neo-conservative and a religious fundamentalist, also doesn't think climate change is real. After all, how could climate change happen in a universe that was created only 6000 years ago by an old white guy with long white hair and beard wearing a dress?

Monday 14 September 2009

What they're saying about Harpocrisy

“You know, this is probably the real Stephen Harper. That tape is gold for the opposition parties. This is the side of Stephen Harper that Canadians don't appreciate and now we've got it right in our face.”
Jean Lapierre, CTV’s Power Play, September 10, 2009

“By sounding like the caricature of an American Republican who sees socialist plots in his porridge, Harper is ditching his kinder, gentler, blue- sweater image of last year's election and regressing to his Reform Party days.”
Josée Legault, Montreal Gazette, September 11, 2009

“I think the problem here is that it looks like he's in some kind of secret cabal meeting throwing out republican-style red meat words.”
Peter Donolo, CTV’s Power Play, September 10, 2009

“It does sound an awful lot like the Stephen Harper we saw back when he was leader of the opposition, but it's a Stephen Harper that they've tried very hard to make over . . . They basically, I suspect, blew two years worth of image-making out the door with that closed-door video.”
Liz Thompson, CBC News Today, September 10, 2009

“That's political ambition as bloody raw as it gets and seems a poor fit with public anxiety over a politician whose main perception weakness is being seen as too fiercely partisan to trust with the title of majority prime minister, which is western democracy's most powerful position.”
Don Martin, National Post, September 10, 2009

“By embracing such ideologically-tinted language, the Prime Minister is undermining his ‘Don't be afraid, I’m really a Liberal’ strategy of the past five years. Hence the need to deliver this message in secret.”
Gerry Nicholls, National Post, September 10, 2009

“Canadians’ values are more than this…. Mr. Harper is uncompromising, curt, hard. It reveals that other side of Mr. Harper and it won’t help him.”
Michel Auger, RDI, September 10, 2009

“I was waiting in a waiting room full of people around lunchtime, and this tape played on French television, and I looked at the people's faces in that room, and I thought, if the Conservatives ... think they can win the 12 seats they're missing to a majority ... on the basis of anti-separatist rhetoric, they're welcome to try.”
Chantal Hebert, CBC’s At Issue Panel, September 10, 2009

“The Stephen Harper of recent months has been tightly wrapped. The Prime Minister has criss-crossed the country distributing goodies (a bridge here, a stadium there) while mouthing platitudes about ‘laying the groundwork for Canada's long-term future prosperity.’ But thanks to a mole who attended and taped a behind-closed-doors meeting last week, we have been given an unvarnished picture of Harper. It is not a pretty sight.”
Toronto Star, Editorial, September 11, 2009

Well, back to Harpocrisy

If you ever believed the bit about the warm and fuzzy Harper in his sky-blue sweater last year, well, think again: this is the real Harper, the one who ran out on Preston Manning after a year because he couldn't get his way, the one who quit Parliament after a year because he couldn't get his way, the one who'll say and promise anything in public in order to get stupid people to vote for him. In other words, a totally unprincipled neo-con politician in pursuit of power, no matter how he gets it. Haven't we seen that before somewhere? Take a look at the real Harper talking to the converted (perverted?).

Wanna Be Canadian?

Summer around Victoria

I think before I get back to exposing more Harpocrisy, a few innocent video captures from my upcoming little "travelogue" about the Victoria area are in order, to refresh and calm the mind before the stresses of reading anything about Stephen Harper. ;-)

The first vidcap is of Sidney-by-the-Sea, the last is a detail from the Gate of Harmonious Interest at Fisgard and Government Streets.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Today's anti-Harper Rant

A few more Churchill quotations:

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

"To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."

"A small lie needs a bodyguard of bigger lies to protect it."

You could almost think Churchill was speaking to/of Harper directly.

Why I have a love-hate relationship with the United States

Here are a couple of quotations from Winston Churchill I read recently that explains it all:

"We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities."

"The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong."

Monday 1 June 2009

Some Messages for Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper's $50 billion and counting deficit and spending spree proves just how unprincipled this neo-conservative really is. Almost everything he's done since taking over the government with less than 40% of the national vote (by a strange coincidence Hitler took over the German government with the same percentage in 1933) runs counter to his avowed neo-conservative principles. So, does he have any principles or is he just in it for the personal power?

The Liberals are now slightly ahead of the neo-conservatives - so, is Harper running scared? Why else would he be trying to undermine Canadians' faith in our system of government with his juvenile attacks on Michael Ignatieff?

Well, it's not working, Steve! Here are a couple of YouTube videos to answer you:

Saturday 30 May 2009

Gems from the National Film Board

For some time now, the National film Board of Canada has made many of its films available on its website both for viewing and purchase. I thought I'd put a couple of them on the blog, since the NFB has make embedded player links available for sharing. If you want to explore tha National Film Board website yourself, click here.

Ryan Larkin, 1968, 5 min 6 s
Animator Ryan Larkin uses an artist's sensibility to illustrate the way people walk. He employs a variety of techniques--line drawing, colour wash, etc.--to catch and reproduce the motion of people afoot. The springing gait of youth, the mincing step of the high-heeled female, the doddering amble of the elderly--all are registered with humour and individuality, to the accompaniment of special sound. Without words.

Christopher Hinton, 1991, 5 min 10 s
This animated film about the pesky blackfly is based on the song of the same title, written and sung by Canadian folk singer Wade Hemsworth, with back-up vocals by the McGarrigle sisters. It recounts Hemsworth's battles with this quintessential "critter" during a summer of surveying in Northern Ontario.

There are a few more of these in larger format on my website.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Remembering the Silver Dart

It's ironic that a few days ago Canadians had to remember the 50th anniversary of the destruction of a great plane, of our aviation industry, and of political stupidity of the highest order, and on February 23rd, we should celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada and in the then British Empire. This first flight took place on February 23rd, 1909 in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, near one of the homes of Alexander Graham Bell, whose Aviation Experimental Association had developed the Silver Dart. It was flown on Bras d'Or Lake near Baddeck on Cape Breton Island by J.A.D. McCurdy, a Canadian engineer who was a member of Bell's Aviation Experimental Association.

Just to show you that I'm not totally prejudiced against the Conservative Party, which is of course a perfect target for any intelligent human being, the Liberal government of the day refused to put any money into the development of Canadian aviation, demonstrating that none of the problems of small-mindedness which are plaguing Canada today are new, they've been with us for well over a hundred years. Oh Canada...

Saturday 21 February 2009

Remembering the Avro Arrrow

Fifty years ago, on February 20, 1959 (Black Friday), the Conservatives under John Diefenbaker killed the world's most advanced fighter interceptor, the Canadian-designed and built Avro Arrow and the Iroquois jet engine, then the world's most powerful jet engine. In doing that, they destroyed the Canadian aircraft industry for 25 years and also destroyed the livelihood of about 15,000 highly skilled Canadian workers and professionals at A.V. Roe and another 35,000 who worked in plants that supplied A.V. Roe. They did it because they had no vision of Canada, because they didn't believe in Canadian excellence, they preferred mediocrity then just as Conservatives do now.

Here are a few more pictures of what might have been one of Canada's greatest triumphs:

First flight on March 25, 1958

Jan Zurakowski, Arrow chief test pilot in 1998

The Arrow was the only plane in the world in 1959 that could fly at Mach 2 (about 2,500 km/hr).

Want to know more? Click here for the Wikipedia Arrow entry.

And here's a YouTube video of the first flight.

Monday 16 February 2009

First, there was Pierre Trudeau

With the impending visit of Barack Obama, my thoughts naturally turned tp Pierre Trudeau, one of the few outstanding leaders Canada has ever had. By coincidence, I recently watched a video about his life and I was struck by how similar were some of the things he said years ago to some of the things Obama has been saying recently. So I thought I'd post a few of Trudeau's sayings here (not necessarily those that resemble Obama's, but those that I've written down over the years). Oh Pierre, where are you, now that we need a man with vision and intelligence so desperately?

"We are going to be governed whether we like it or not: it is up to us to see to it that we are governed no worse than is absolutely necessary. We must therefore concern ourselves with politics, as Pascal said, to mitigate as far as possible the damage done by the madness of our rulers."

"A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values. And so it is in the hands of every Canadian to determine how well and wisely we shall build the country of the future."

"Who speaks for Canada? Our strength lies in our national will to live and work together as a people. Weaken that will, that spirit of community, and you weaken Canada. Weaken Canada, and you damage all the parts, no matter how rich some of those parts may be. My friends, you and I must stand up for Canada, and we must see that there is a national government that has the courage to do so as well."

"What a magician this Mr. [Brian] Mulroney is, and what a sly fox! ... In a single master stroke, this clever negotiator has thus managed to approve the call for Special Status (Jean Lesage and Claude Ryan), the call for Two Nations (Robert Stanfield), the call for a Canadian Board of Directors made up of 11 first ministers (Allan Blakeney and Marcel Faribeault), and the call for a Community of Communities (Joe Clark). He has not quite succeeded in achieving sovereignty-association, but he has put Canada on the fast track for getting there."

Friday 2 January 2009

Winter in Victoria?

What a difference a few days make. This is today at 11 am. Happy New Year 2009