Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Talking tough

The cupboardly man is talking tough regarding two regions of the world with the potential to blow-up. Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Palestine are flirting with major war and insurrection.

Our PM may think it is low risk to mouth-off to Putin or declare some kind of weird love for right-wing Israeli governments, but sometime in the next year or three he could find himself facing requests to back-up his words with actions.

He ought to shut-up and tread carefully.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Soft targets and red herrings

The mentally questionable individual who posed as a decorated jumper from the RCR is a soft target and irrelevant. The scorn presently being heaped on him from military circles is unsurprising, but Mr. Gervais is a red herring. Stephen Harper has worn unearned RCAF wings and members of his government has appeared in uniforms complete with rank and unit insignia, not to mention received unentitled salutes.

The military members and police, serving and former, crying blasphemy at some random civilian might ask themselves if they are also willing to heap the same vitriol on the politicians who do likewise and cause real harm for veterans, not their simulcrum.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interstellar

Interstellar is an interesting revision of the same themes apparent in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Time features large and the idea of literally warping time is now theoretically possible. The vastness and complexity of the universe, or multiverses are increasingly known to us. We have devices in space now that can look at the some of the oldest light in the universe. We have caused a particle to exist in two places at once.

And yet, despite all of this knowledge about our position in spacetime, that is our position in existence, we cling to old fears and identities. We still scream at each across lines on maps, or colours of skin, or whatever confabulations tell us we are somehow divisible from each other like fire and water, not beings made of the same matter as the stars around us.

What we are so much more than we claim to be.

Canada and Australia, alone in the world

G20 Summit lead-up, 2020

The world was not shocked today when the remaining G20 countries declined to extend meeting invitations to Canada and Australia over their stance on climate change. The intransigent position on fossil fuels taken by the national governments of these two countries distrupted last year's summit as the other G20 nations all but finalised a new energy agenda. An unidentified official from Japan suggested that Canada and Australia were excluded for both their roles as fossil fuel producers and that the main goal of this year's meeting was the finalise binding commitments on clean energy production across the G20.

The French foreign minister went even further, saying bluntly that the two countries were harmful to the G20 and a danger to the future of the Earth and said that if their over-leveraged economies were not already in steep decline due to the loss of major international markets for coal and oil and the maquiladorisation of the Canadian labour market, sanctions would be an option. "In five years or less, their economy will collapse anyway because nobody buys dirty fuel," the minister said to reporters.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Putin and Ensign Teal

Apparently, they've had a bit of chat.
Putin approached Harper and stuck out his hand. Harper responded: “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine.”
“Mr. Putin did not respond positively,” said MacDonald but declined to offer further details or whether there were similar comments by other leaders there.
I wonder if the Russian leader said something like, "Or you'll do what? Tweet?"  Canada has zero capacity to leverage or pressure Russia on its own and our contribution to any NATO or international response in military strategic terms is negligible. We are insignificant in this regard.

In pre-Conservative days, there might well have been a role for Canada as a quiet mediator and broker of deals aimed at avoid disastrous confrontation. Macho talk is childish and absurdly counterproductive. This country has no independent means of backing up tough words and effectively must hide behind NATO and NORAD collective security agreements should something more serious that rhetoric transpire.

High noon in Ch√Ęteauguay

Good lord.

The police officers in the municipality — located on Montreal’s south shore — donned their new uniforms today, complete with cowboy boots, dark cowboy hats pinned with a sheriff’s badge, and lapel badges shaped like stars. They are protesting against Bill 3, a bill tabled by the Quebec government in June that would see municipal workers’ pension plans reformed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Abbot and Harper: expended energy

The uncomfortable and awkward weirdness that are the combination of the dudebromate Australian PM and the spiteful vacuum of anti-humanity that is the Canadian PM when they're together results in some profound stupidity. 

In Canada, the falling price of oil and the approaching cost parity of renewable and green energy, in addition the really big energy consumers making climate deals, is making the prospect of Canada tarsand energy superpower status ever dimmer. In Australia, where the PM is all about the coal, things are also looking a little less lucrative.


Still, these two clowns insist on leveraging their national economies on increasingly unviable energy sources because they hate hippies or something. Good luck with that.

Especially, because approaching just over the horizon is the destroyer of fossil and conventional nuclear energy world.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BNP tries to do Remembrance Day. Fails.

This is hilarious.

The British National Party (BNP) suffered an embarrassing slip-up after tweeting a Remembrance Day reminder a day late. The far-right group posted the message at 6.50am this morning before apologising and deleting the tweet.
I understand how the nationalism they like in the struggle against their Hitler might confound them a little.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Diktats from the cupboard

CBC is reporting that at the last minute the cupboardly-man got that idea that Canada should make a claim on the North Pole. Which specific North Pole, he didn't say.

It is hard enough if you've ever had the misfortune to work for someone who operates like this. Last minute changes happen, and some overactive leaders get panicky near deadlines,  keeping everyone stressed.

However, requesting a last minute paragraph change or something similar is very different from demanding lawyers and civil servants craft an argument for Canada to radically redraw its geographic boundaries to include the most significant geographic feature on the planet. A move, as the article points out, that has massive geopolitical repercussions.

Sectionable, he is.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Pay no attention to the liar in the cupboard

Nothing demonstrates cowardice in a politician as much as attempting to sneak things, which should be completely public, past the citizenry in a clandestine fashion intended to hide the truth.
Boris laid the groundwork here.

Why is the coward bearing the title "prime minister" so hell-bent on sole-sourcing the F-35? BECAUSE HE'S MADE A DEAL HE HASN'T TOLD YOU ABOUT. He's hiding something - he always is!

A little more for you.

F-35iness

Aviation Week is reporting that it has evidence showing Canada has asked for a switcheroo with four formerly US-bound production F-35s so that Canada would receive these airframes next year.

Four isn't anywhere near the total figure of 65 that was in play before the Conservatives were embarrassed into rebooting the fighter procurement process so that it was in line with Canadian legal requirement for a competitive procurement process.

The Aviation Week report, if accurate, suggests the Conservatives are still trying to somehow game the procurement process to favour that annoying little aeroplane from Lockheed Martin. 

I'm sure the lawyers at Dassault, Boeing, Eurofighter, and Saab are watching this very closely indeed.



Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Oil prices and the future of the middle-east

Part of the cost of US fracking and rise of renewables is the growing irrelevance of the oil producing countries of the middle-east and the appalling scale of violence that may follow in these places.

This would happen anyway as production peaked in Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC states in the region, but the appearance of alternative energy sources means that the rest of the world will carry on instead of run out of energy.

The past decade of violence and the recent rise of ISIS might pale in comparison to what happens should unrest spread to places like Saudi Arabia as oil revenues fall and people retreat into the false security of religion and ideology. This could just be early days.