Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just fucking shocking

There is just almost nothing I can say that covers my feelings at reading these things.
I don't think I can plumb the depths that this pulls the soul down to.
The fact that a) someone, anyone, can defend torture b) there exists no political will to do anything about it and, not least, c) that it could happen in a modern first world democracy, such as the US just beggars belief.
There are others with me on this:
A reminder that torture is bad : The Uncredible Hallq
What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report - Glenn Greenwald -
Thomas Paine v. the Right's torture defenders - Glenn Greenwald -
America Lost

Friday, August 21, 2009

I have an addtional suggestion

How about some fucking handrails here and there. Like right next to the gaping chasms you have all throughout the inside of your Death Star?
Star Wars Design Flaws
The new Star Trek movie, good as it was, has the same huge-drop-no-handrail problem.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Believe me, the stupid burns bright

BBC NEWS | UK | Embassies plead 'big issues only'

British Embassies are pleading to Brits abroad to take them more seriously. Or at least try a tiny, tiny amount to sort their own asses out before calling the mission.
The problem is Brits asking stupid, irrelevant or outrageous things of staff and calling it an emergency.
When you look at the list of calls in this article remember one thing: your friendly gaijin here has heard things you people wouldn't believe. That list is the very least of the calls. They couldn't print the stupid ones because you wouldn't believe them.

Good news

Somebody finally said it. | Opinion | Harper consistently embarrasses Canada abroad

Well in the MSM, anyway. These guys have been on it the whole time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

That explains the pong on the trains...

I currently live in the country that coined the phrase "cleanliness is next to godliness." Coining a phrase and living up to it are two different things.
Shower-shy Britons prove a washout - Home News, UK - The Independent
Britons do not scrub up well with two in five men and a third of women failing to have a daily shower, research revealed today.

Just over one in ten (11.5%) people in the UK only have a proper wash once or twice a week, a poll for tissue product manufacturer SCA found.

This puts us behind France, Mexico and Australia in the cleanliness stakes.

When my father was with the Mounties a group of British police came over for one or another training course. During the lunch break they would remove their ties, play whatever sport fits into the story and available equipment at N Division then put their ties back on and head back for the afternoon session. My father was stunned by this, not least because he could see the faces of the people unfortunate enough to be sitting next to them.

I'm proud of Timmy's today

Today's lesson: when in doubt, vet who you sponsor a bit more thoroughly.
Tim Hortons backs out of anti-gay marriage event
Tim Hortons has reversed its decision to sponsor a Rhode Island rally held by a U.S. group that opposes same-sex marriage, after encountering fierce criticism for the move.

The August 16 event, organized by the National Organization for Marriage, is billed as a "Celebrate Marriage & Family Day." Held in suburban Providence, the rally is to include speeches, a cookout and a ceremony in which married couples are invited to renew their vows.

The National Organization for Marriage is a non-profit organization "with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it," according to its website.

It was formed in 2007 "in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures," the site says.

when criticized, they looked into who they were getting involved with and walked away.
Well done.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I haven't mentioned our favourite Flintstone Paleontologist, Kent Hovind, recently; not least because he's serving years and years in PMITA prison for tax evasion.
Well, small update. Looks like he's still got a few debts to the government that he needs to pay off, in addition to that big ol' debt to society. So resolving those monetary type debts means that his Dinosaur Adventure Land has been seized.
As I keep saying: couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Bye Bye, Dinosaur Adventure Land | Friendly Atheist by @hemantmehta

Update: This video from the Colbert Report.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yahweh or No Way - Dinosaur Adventure Land & Black Market Kidneys
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The UK and Canada Converge

We’ve been back in the UK for a while now. And for some reason the confluence of Canadian and British politics has shined fairly bright to me. The overall story arcs have followed similar tracks, though the Dominion has pulled slightly ahead this lap.

Years ago, there was a Tory government in power that brought in massive changes, privatized several major publicly held companies, pushed the free market as a panacea for everything, cosied too tightly to the US, and truly wore out their welcome. This Tory leader overstayed their time and got dumped by their party. Mulroney walked before being pushed; Thatcher was pushed but when she walked away her cabinet was able to retrieve their knives.

The replacement was a placeholder and little more. Their interregnum time may or may not have had its successes but at the election they managed to take their multi-majority winning party and use their guile to begin “the Wilderness Years.” Campbell and Major disappear.

Red signs go up everywhere and the other party takes over. Because the third party wasn’t going to win, apologies to the New Liberal-Democratic Party. (See what I did there?) Our new leader gets multiple majorities and stays in power a long, long time. And their popularity withers with this time. But they stay on more or less to piss off their annointed successor, the Finance Minister, who looks on at the leader spitefully keeping them from their dream job with thinly veiled contempt. But then rather than be ridden out of town on a horse, the leader steps down and takes off into history, leaving their money manager to pick up the pieces. Said money manager pisses their life’s ambition up the wall in a matter of weeks. Martin and Brown take note because you know it’s true.

Now in the background the Tories regroup. And slaughter several leaders as scapegoats before finally ending up with someone who’s a bit cleaner, a bit fiestier and able to survive in front of the cameras, but most of all understands that it’s just a matter of time before their in.

The election came a bit sooner in Canada, but the story will be repeating itself here in a few months. Harper took over in a minority government, and David Cameron will at least do the same next spring possibly even getting a majority. He would do well to get a few back issues of the Globe and Mail to see what happens next.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Commercials and the Stars. With added Japan!

It's a weird thing watching TV in Japan. There's the endless tarento (talents) who may or may not be the most ironically named thing since the UK got a newspaper called the Sun. Then there are the endless repetitive dramas, often set in a traditional neighborhood, with their derivative story lines.
And then there are the commercials.
But, sometimes you see a commercial that hits a new low for somebody's career.
Like these ones.
The only one missing is Jodi Foster's Mt Rainier coffee commercial.