Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cross Dressing Tories . . . .

The Libs have new ads that are pretty clever. Check 'em out here.



Hey, if it helps to get harperco out, I'm for it . . . .


Banker Blunder ? ? ? ?

Funny. Didn't see anything about this in the MSM accounts of bushco's World Bank nominee. (Compliments of AlterNet)

Bush Sends Another Neocon to Head the World Bank
By Sarah Anderson, Foreign Policy in Focus
. Posted May 31, 2007.



The man who tried to equate resistance to corporate globalization with the terrorism of al Qaeda now takes over the World Bank following Paul Wolfowitz's scandal-ridden tenure.

Sounds like a bushco team player to me . . . .

Too Little Too Late, george . . . .

Let's see now: We're how far away from the end of bushco? I calculate just over 20 months 'til
Inauguration Day, 2009.

george today is calling for climate change talks and meetings between countries "over the next 18 months." Why is he leaving the implementation of any substantive improvement in air quality and energy conservation to the next President? The jerk has had over 6 years in office to accomplish something in this regard.

Oh yeah, I forgot: He's been too busy fighting the waronturrur.

And just whose idea was that, george ? ? ? ?

The Times, They Are A'Changin' . . . .



There's still a long way to go . . . .


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That was Then, This is Now . . . .

This article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution is a great synopsis of Vancouver's journey towards livability.


In Vancouver, civic leaders see a livable city

By MARIA SAPORTA The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 05/28/07

In the 1970s, Vancouver residents waged a 10-year battle to keep freeways from its urban core. They successfully defeated a plan that would have run a highway through its Chinatown and run along its downtown waterfront.

Now a traffic light at the edge of city limits signals that the interstate from Tijuana to Canada has come to a stop and is now a city street.


"We are the only North American city of any significance without an interstate at its core," said Gordon Price, an urban affairs professor at Simon Fraser University, who used to serve on Vancouver's City Council.

The reporter gives an excellent review of what a city as an entity can do to shape it's future.

Having spent most of our time together in the city of Atlanta and now looking forward to living in Vancouver, we can appreciate what a "real city" should be . . . .

Something Doesn't Smell Right About This . . . .

From today's Vancouver Sun Letters to the Editor:

Too many owners treat their pets like children

I loved Marilyn Baker’s commentary. My guests, babysitters and children are always stepping on dog poop on the boulevard on Angus Drive. It isn’t a few dog owners who don’t get it, it is the majority. I can’t step into my alley without a neighbour’s off- leash dog running up to me. I can’t let my rabbits run around the front yard on a nice day because someone’s dog will bolt through the hedge to kill them.

People are treating their pets as children. They take them everywhere — even places I don’t take my kids. I believe it is a phenomenon associated with close living. People subconsciously feel they can expand their personal space in public areas if they have a dog with them because people will give them more room. The pet owner then gains more control and power.


For example, when I bent over to try on shoes in Freedman Shoes a few months back, I felt something sniffing my butt. I knew immediately that it wasn’t human.

Dogs are not children and don’t have the same rights. Dogs don’t need to go shoe shopping, clothing shopping or antique shopping. We don’t allow children to jump up, smell or lick passersby. If dog owners start to realize not everyone wants their dog around, like parents realize not everyone wants their children around, people will be more tolerant.

PENNY MUSSIO
Vancouver

As "drf" noted: "Poor, poor, Penny" . . . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Movement, At Last ! ! ! !

The scene:

Yours truly enjoying a Dixie Chicks video of "Travelin' Soldier" in recognition of Memorial Day courtesy of a Crooks and Liars blog entry.

My email audibly announces "You've got post" in it's very proper British accent. I flip open the email program to see the new mail with "Documents to Submit" in the Subject line from our immigration attorney's office.

Needless to say, I quickly told "drf" to get up from his PC in his "office" and come over to open the email together. At that point "Woo Hoo" were the only words that came to my lips!!

As a little sidelight to this development: On Friday, May 18 I had sent an email to the attorney's office noting the length of time our application had been in the New York City consulate with no word. They sent an email that day noting the dates and requesting information on the file from New York. Monday, May 21 was Victoria Day with government offices closed. The date the consulate sent the request for further information and the Initial Assessment was Tuesday, May 22. Coincidence? ? ? ? Who knows . . . . . We're excited, anyway!

So, what they have requested:

1) Medical examinations
2) Updated, completed applications from both of us
3) Updated financial statements/proof of funds
4) Right of Permanent Residence Fee for both of us

The interview has been waived (Yay! No trip to NYC!), and updated police records and fingerprints were not requested. This last one surprised us, as ours were submitted way over a year ago - Hey, we'll take any breaks we can get.

So that's where we are now, Gang.

We'll be following all the "Cool Immigrants" soon, if all goes well . . . .


Monday, May 28, 2007

One More Reason to Get the Hell Out of Here . . . .

And now to add a little fuel to the fire:

Ala. Web Site Action Angers Activists

By BOB JOHNSON The Associated Press Monday, May 28, 2007; 1:30 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists.


The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.





Read the whole article here.




In keeping with the spirit of the post below, we have now hit rock bottom . . . .

Bottoms Up . . . .

From Reuters this morning:

Gay Australian pub wins right to ban straights
Mon May 28, 2007 2:09AM EDT


MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An Australian hotel catering for homosexuals has won the right to ban heterosexuals from its bars so as to provide a safe and comfortable venue for gay men.

In what is believed to be a first for Australia, the Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal ruled last
week that the Peel Hotel in the southern city of Melbourne could exclude patrons based on their sexuality.

Australia's equal opportunity laws prevent people being discriminated against based on race, religion or sexuality.

But Peel Hotel owner Tom McFeely said the ruling was necessary to provide gay men with a non-threatening atmosphere to freely express their sexuality.
"If I can limit the number of heterosexuals entering the Peel, then that helps me keep the safe balance," Peel told Australian radio on Monday.

McFeely said that, while the hotel welcomed everyone, its gay clientele had expressed discomfort over the number of heterosexuals and lesbians coming to the venue in the past year.

He said there were more than 2,000 venues in Melbourne that catered to heterosexuals, but his hotel was the only one marketing itself predominantly to gay men.


Victoria's state human rights commission backed the ruling, saying it was in line with equal opportunity guidelines defending the rights of groups subject to discrimination.

Commission chief Helen Szoke said the hotel's gay clientele had experienced harassment and violence. "(They) also have felt as though they've been like a zoo exhibit with big groups of women on hens' parties coming to the club," Szoke told reporters.


McFeely told the radio that the hotel had received homophobic telephone calls since news of the ruling was made public.
© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.






Yeah, but think of the $dollar$ bills these guys will lose out on from the straight girls . . . .



Saturday, May 26, 2007

Liberal's Just Another Word for Gay . . . .

Saturday night humour (I think) . . . .


Oil for Food . . . .

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-WA, gets it, re: Iran/CIA/Oil as we noted previously. He puts Iraq into context: It's always been all about the oil.

As the first commenter says in the AlterNet article:

"I mean that someone who speaks so honestly on American foreign policy can actually be a member of Congress defies belief. We only need another 400 like him to have something resembling a representative legislature."



Would that the rest of our elected "representatives" actually were.



"Representatives", that is . . . .

Food for Thought . . . .

As a follow up to this previous post, Catnip over at Liberal Catnip has an excellent analysis on the Democrats' current stand on the Iraq debacle.

As a MoveOn supporter it has definitely given me pause.















Read it and see what you think . . . .

Friday, May 25, 2007

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire . . . .



If the man was Pinocchio, imagine how long that nose would be . . . .


Thursday, May 24, 2007

How Appropriate . . . .

H/T Liberal Catnip.



'Ya Gotta Love It . . . .

One Scoop or Two ? ? ? ?

From Frances Madeson over at AlterNet:

The FBI May Have the Inside Scoop on You

Think surveillance is for terrorists? Think again. Under the terms of the Patriot Act, a ton of your personal and financial information may already be in the FBI's database.



I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but worth bringing to the forefront of our psyches, nonetheless.

Somewhere I saw the aforementioned legislation referred to as the "pat-riot act".


Quite apropos, don't you think?


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture ? ? ? ?

Welcome The Newest Cheney

cheneys.jpg From a White House release:

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcomed their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. His parents are the Cheneys' daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer


Uhhhhhhhh . . . . . .

Where are the parents ? ? ? ?

Dems Better Than Repugs ? ? ? ?

Those voters in the US who espouse the Democrats to be the saviours of the system better think twice.

Not only yesterday's "cave" on the Iraq funding bill but crap like this on trade policy - also noted here - should make one think twice about how much better the US would be under the dem's. (Please note that once again, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is on the correct side of this issue - Unlike other Democrat "leaders".)

We need a thorough house cleaning, top to bottom to have a chance at a government really of and for the people.


Chances of getting that?


"Slim to none" comes to mind . . . .

History Repeats Itself . . . .

Come on, citizens of the world, are we the only people that can see the similarities??

bushco authorizes CIA covert action in Iran. Seems like back in '53 the same scenario was initiated by the US. Never mind that Mossadegh was democratically elected by the Iranian people.

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Idiots . . . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We Hope They're Wrong Again . . . .

The NOAA has released their dreaded - for those of us on the Gulf Coast, anyway - tropical storm and hurricane prediction for the 2007 season.

We're hoping they are as inaccurate with this year's prediction as they were with last year's in which they predicted 13 - 17 named storms and 7 -10 hurricanes. The actual count in 2006 was 10 named storms and 5 hurricanes.

Another bad analysis by the experts would make us very, very happy . . . .

We're Number One . . . .

Oh boy, the US is number one in a lot of categories. Aren't we just so damn proud?!?

The thing is, the categories we're number one in are those that don't give one a warm and fuzzy feeling. That is, unless you're into war games or maiming and killing other human beings.

No surprise that we lead the world in weapons of mass destruction - sad nonetheless. But hey, as long as the military - industrial - congressional* complex is happy with our position, I guess that's all that matters, right?

Compliments of TomDispatch and Frida Berrigan:


A Nation of Firsts Arms the World By Frida Berrigan

They don't call us the sole superpower for nothing. Paul Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S. might back when he was a mere deputy secretary of defense -- hyperpower -- still fits the bill.

Face it, the United States is a proud nation of firsts. Among them:

One of the more disturbing "firsts" is this one:

First in External Debt:

The United States owes $10.040 trillion, nearly a quarter of the global debt total of $44 trillion.

If you think that won't come back to bite the economy in the ass one day, you're dreamin' . . . .

*Yes, in Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 address to the nation, he did include the Congress in the equation. Funny how that's been minimized over the years.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill on Jerry . . . .

Bill Maher's eulogy to Jerry Falwell is irreverent, as expected. Enjoy by clicking on the photo . . . .


Compliments of Crooks and Liars.

That Was Then, This is Now . . . . Unfortunately.



Late last week former President Jimmy Carter was commenting on current President george bush and his abysmal job performance. No surprise here, Jimmy is not too impressed with george's performance in office. (He did clarify today that perhaps his remarks were "careless.") The White House is striking back.

Personally, I'd much prefer an "irrelevant" Jimmy Carter representing US interests around the world than a bungling bush.

No contest . . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good News ! ! ! !

Our "blog friends" Tom and Emilio of Canadian Hope got good news from CIS today!!

They're moving closer to crossing the 49th!!

We're happy for you, guys!

Counting the Days . . . .

A lot of us are counting the days 'til mr. bush and company are forced to vacate the Executive Offices - witness the countdown clock on the right, please.

This piece in McClatchey Newspapers (formerly Knight Ridder) today is a testament to that future event.

Hang in there, America: Competent leadership is just 600-plus days away

By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY - McClatchy Newspapers

As of May 17th, there were 613 days left until Jan. 20, 2009, and the end of our long national nightmare as President George W. Bush and his Rasputin, Vice President Dick Cheney, shuffle off to their necessarily well-guarded retirement homes and onto the ash heap of history.


Read the whole article here and start watching the clock with us.

Time marches on . . . .

No Confidence ? ? ? ?

The senate Democrats are considering a "no confidence" vote on al gonzales.

No confidence my ass - Why not an impeachment charge for lying under oath to congressional committees?



Enough of the nicey-nice. Do your job and bounce the bum . . . .


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crying Wolfowitz . . . .

Don't feel too badly about paul wolfowitz losing his cushy job at the World Bank.

I'm sure he'll soon reappear as a fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, or the chairman of Exxon.

People of his stature don't go away. They only reappear from under another rock to continue their destructive practices . . . .


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wait Just a Damn Minute . . . .

So now al gonzales has a miraculous return of his memory regarding the fired US Attorneys. Today he's blaming the decision to fire them on his Deputy, Paul McNulty, soon to be vacating the position. What's going on here? Did he get a major infusion of ginkgo biloba after all??

The press and Congress need to call him on this instant revelation. He was either lying when he said "I don't recall", "Not to my recollection", "That's not the way I remember it" before the congressional committees or he's lying now.


Those are the only two options . . . .

Ding Dong, He's Dead . . . .

H/T to Dave at The Galloping Beaver for alerting me to this.

It's not nice to speak ill of the dead - so I've heard - but the fact that this example of a human being has gone "to the other side" doesn't make me at all sad.

Jeffy Falwell has done so much in our society to spew hatred, vitriol and lies my only thought is "good riddance."

If that makes me callous, so be it . . . .

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Look Mom, They're Spying on Me . . . .

This week's episode of FRONTINE on PBS promises to be a good one if you're concerned about citizen's rights to privacy. As noted at the end of the synopsis below, if you don't get a PBS broadcast the program will be available Wednesday online at the link provided.


FRONTLINE http://www.pbs.org/frontline/ Tuesday, May 15, 2007 on PBS After 9/11 former Attorney General John Ashcroft says President Bush told him, "Never let this happen again." Ashcroft tells FRONTLINE how he interpreted the president's injunction, "Now not letting something happen is different from proving something happened. The old business of the Justice Department to be able to prosecute the criminal and declare victory is not good enough when you lose 3,000 people and the criminals purposefully extinguish themselves in the perpetration of the crime."

In "Spying on the Home Front" this Tuesday, correspondent Hedrick Smith and producer Rick Young investigate what the new 'prevention' paradigm means to civil liberties here at home. In one case, the FBI conducted a data sweep on 250,000 Las Vegas vacationers after receiving a non specific threat that Al Qaeda was interested in Vegas as a target.


In another case, a curious employee at AT&T in San Francisco learned that the whole flow of internet traffic in that office was being diverted to the National Security Agency which had installed a 'black box' in a super secret room. One expert says that it appears NSA set up these boxes in 10-15 AT&T sites across the country with the ability to intercept about 10 per cent of all internet traffic.

There's much more. The Government Accounting Office found 50 government agencies with nearly 200 data mining projects underway. In the age of the super computer, private companies are amassing vast amounts of data about all of us. From home mortgages to spending habits, virtual digital dossiers are being created every day. Correspondent Smith wonders what happens when the government does this kind of data mining, moving from our tradition of individualized suspicion, to checking out everybody to find who are the bad guys.


The former head of counter terrorism for the FBI, Larry Mefford, told FRONTLINE: "I can give you more security, but I've got to take away some rights. And so there's a balance."

For a look at how the balance is being struck today, we hope you will be able to join us Tuesday, but if not, "Spying on the Home Front" will be up and streaming the day after broadcast on our Web site, where you'll also find more background on this story and the opportunity to express your opinion about the report at
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/homefront/


Worth a look . . . .


Friday, May 11, 2007

All Dressed Up . . . .

There she goes . . . . All dressed up in that white gown again!







Pope Benedict XVI wafts incense around the altar during the canonization Mass of Antonio Galvao on Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.



Friar Galvao began a tradition among Brazilian Catholics of handing out tiny rice-paper pills, inscribed with a Latin prayer, to people seeking cures for all manner of ailments. Although he died in 1822, Brazilian nuns still toil in the Sao Paulo monastery where Galvao is buried, preparing thousands of the tiny pills for free daily distribution. Each one carries these words: "After birth, the Virgin remained intact. Mother of God, intercede on our behalf."

After canonizing Friar Galvao, the pope embraced Sandra Grossi de Almeida, 37, and her son Enzo, 7. She is one of two Brazilian women certifed by the Vatican as divinely inspired miracles justifying the sainthood. She had a uterine malformation that should have made it impossible for her to carry a child for more than four months, but after taking the pills, she gave birth to Enzo.

"I have faith," Grossi recently told The Associated Press. "I believe in God, and the proof is right here."


So if we could get Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline or Bristol-Myers Squibb to hire those nuns to stuff rice paper pills with verses, who knows what they could cure?

I can just see the television ads now. The possibilities are endless . . . .


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

He Really is Stupid . . . .

Direct quote from mr. bush today at the site of the Kansas tornado:

"We offer our prayers and condolences to those who died."


How does one offer condolences to a dead person, anyway? Inquiring minds want to know . . . .


What an idiot - again. (see post below)

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Man is Hopeless . . . .

mr. bush today welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to the White House:

"The American people are proud to welcome Your Majesty back to the United States, a nation you've come to know very well," Bush said. "After all, you've dined with 10 U.S. presidents. You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- in 1976."

As the audience laughed, Bush paused and glanced at the queen, then ad-libbed, "She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child."


What an idiot.

Could there be a more embarrassing representative of a nation ? ? ? ?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Television Ad Ruminations . . . .

It's been less than a week that I've been back in Florida occasionally watching network television. Complete with commercial advertising, of course. One of the many nice things about Canada is that network television there has an almost complete lack of pharmaceutical company advertising. Could that possibly have something to do with the Canadian health care system? Of course it does.

It does bother me that Canadians have no information or concerns about major "we've got a pill for that" conditions, though:

Assorted allergies, including allergies to allergies;
RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome);
ED (Erectile dysfunction - Be careful about that 4-hour thing, though!);
COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
BPS (Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate);

GERD (
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease);
Not to mention toe fungus . . . . . .



Another commercial I saw today was touting General Electric's environmentally friendly process of turning sea water into fresh water. The
ad showed a diesel-powered fishing boat with a lot of ruddy-looking seamen hauling in a huge net filled not with fish, but fresh water contained in . . . .

wait for it . . . . .



PLASTIC BOTTLES !




Nope . . . . . 'Ya can't make this stuff up, only a crack Madison Avenue advertising agency could.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Get Us Out of Here . . . .

'Ya know, enough is enough. I'm really getting tired of this sh_t . . . .

If this represents the basics of the "Traditional Values Coalition", thank goodness we don't share their definition of "values" . . . .

Christian leaders oppose bill on hate

Group says measure attacks freedoms of speech and religion

By Karoun Demirjian - Originally published May 4, 2007

WASHINGTON: A hate crimes bill passed by the House yesterday, extending coverage to people victimized because of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, is attracting opposition from an unusual coalition of Christian leaders.

Proponents say the bill - similar to one the Senate is expected to pass in the next few weeks - is a moral imperative. But some Christians are depicting it as a "thought crimes" bill attacking 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and religion. A coalition of evangelical, fundamentalist and black religious leaders is mounting a furious assault on the bill, airing television ads and mobilizing members to stop its progress. President Bush has said he might veto the measure.

Can we leave the building now ? ? ? ?

Dinner Date Dumped . . . .


From CNN today:

Iranian minister walks out on dinner, blames musician -
POSTED: 9:00 a.m. EDT, May 4, 2007

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) -- Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats where he was seated directly across from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ostensibly because a female violinist entertaining the gathering was dressed too revealingly.


"I don't know which woman he was afraid of, the woman in the red dress or the secretary of state," * State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday, regarding the actions of Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday night.


* With comments such as these by State Department officials, is it any wonder people around the world have a diminished view of the United States ? ? ? ?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bowen Bon Voyage . . . .



Tomorrow is return to Florida and departure from Vancouver.






Mixed emotions, definitely . . . .



It will be great to see "drf" and "the four legged child", but it's not so great to leave Vancouver.





Yesterday, a spur of the moment decision took me to Horseshoe Bay and the BC ferry to Bowen Island.







Since I had never been, and the day was free, why not?





A 30 minute bus ride and a 20 minute ferry ride had me in "downtown" Bowen in less than an hour.





(These photos should be very familiar to Bowen Island resident Alison of Creekside blog . . . . .)




Back to reality tomorrow morning . . . .
Next post from warm and sunny Florida.