Thursday, June 30, 2011


Happy Canada Day.

Had so much fun at WGAF that I stuck around for awhile. 

So much to process.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, reeking 0f DNA: "But, officeur, ah wahs merely trah-ing to give ze maid, 'ow you say, ze tip." 

Osama, we now know, had bin Wankin all this time to some primo porn. He just wanted to blow us all up with his torpedo of love, like Domi-nookie. Or Charlie Sheen. Or Newt Gingrich. Or Ah-nuld, the Sperminator. Or Mel Gibson. Or John Edwards or John Ensign or David "Depends" Vitter, he of the diaper fetish. Or Mark Sanford, who rode his bone down the Appalachian Trail and out of office. Or the king of them, the Most Aptly Named Person in History, Anthony Weiner, who never put his wiener to actual use, preferring to use it as a prop.

Penises sure are funny, blowing up in people's faces and all.

Sarah Palin, continuing her political cock-tease with the media who follow her around as if she was a Serious Person Who Will Run for President, says, à propos of doing just that, that she has "the fire in my belly." I have just sent her a note to reassure her that she won't burn in hell if she decides not to bring this one to term. Maybe hubby Todd can quench that fire with his own torpedo, maybe grow themselves another Palin. Baby name? Schmuck. 

Palin is headed to Britain soon, according to reports, and she made all kinds of noise about wanting to have a get-together and a cuppa with Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Maiden herself, or, as I like to think of her, Mrs. "Very-very-adjective-indeed". To her everlasting credit, The Thatchrix sent word through her fart-catchers that Palin "is nuts" and should sod off. This will knock a few years off Mrs T's sentence in Purgatory, when the time comes. 

The recent election was a bit of a shocker, revealing the sea change beginning to take place in Quebec around the "national question." The nuking of the Bloc and the  rending of the PQ in its wake throw Quebec back into play for federal parties. Layton was the main beneficiary this time, but the NDP is not institutionally grounded in Quebec the way the Liberals are. Some sort of understanding between these two parties would deliver the lion's share of the seats to a progressive party. Don't hold your breath.

However, even when everything seems dull and grey, there is always Conrad, Lord Black of Crossdresser, who thought he could get up in front of judge Amy St. Eve and impress her by reciting Kipling's "If" in its entirety: ("If You Can Keep Your John Thomas in Your Trousers While All About You Are Using Theirs, My Son"…). Apparently, the rumour that Her Honor scrunched her nose, sniffed, and complained "it smells of Biggles in here!" cannot be confirmed. Bottom line: another year in the slammer for Canada's own Churchill.

The least we can do in this time of travail is lower the poor man's taxes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Animal Husbandry

That theme park known as England-land is having a big do tomorrow, when poor SOD (son of Diana) William Saxe-Coburg-Gotha marries poor little rich girl Kate Middleton. They will then go on to squib out two suitable human offspring, so that England-land may endure. Diabetics are encouraged to crank a double dose for the big day.

Everyone is going to be there, including assorted dictators, torturers and other seldom-do-wells. Unless, of course, they're two former Labour Prime Ministers, Blair and Brown, who are not considered worthy to rub shoulders with this august assemblage. 

Join Dick tomorrow, starting at 3 a.m., as he streams his pithy insights into this historical event. Look for him on cable station WGAF. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stockaholics everywhere in panic after supply cut off

Japan reels in the face of a near-apocalyptic earthquake and tsunami, followed quickly upon by nuclear meltdown and mass evacuation.

And Stockwell Day decides to shuffle off the political stage. (No word on whether noted self-proclaimed Stockaholic Ezra Levant has been put on suicide watch.)

What does Day know that we don’t? 

The conventional wisdom is that this “clears the decks for the Tories” as they prepare for the election that is surely coming this way soon, as predicted in these pages last year.

It has been a while since his clownish and gaffe-ridden performance in the 2000 election and afterward as leader of the Canadian Alliance (basically the Reform Party in lipstick), which saw his own party splinter in Parliament, followed by his subsequent turfing in favour of Stephen “L’état, c’est moi” Harper. Since losing reins, he has pursued a much more low key profile, eventually earning a reputation in the Harper cabinet for being not a total disaster. In fact, he is considered a senior statesman. Draw from the latter statement what conclusion you will.

Day’s lowered profile was, to a considerable degree, a function of the short leash Harper put on all his ministers, who are drawn from a less than overflowing talent pool. Whatever he felt about this Day kept to himself, and so can be credited in the end with being a good Tory soldier.

The stars all argue for the wisdom of the move. Day has been in government railing about government for 25 years. He has seen what life in Harperland is like. The horizon offers only more of the same, more Stockboy than Stockwell; it certainly doesn’t offer another shot at being PM. Elections are coming every 30 months now. It’s as good a time as any. Time to kick back and start collecting that sweet government pension.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

National Headshot League

cartoon: Aislin, Montreal Gazette, March 9, 2011

Seven years ago this month, then-Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi mugged Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore from behind, broke his neck and ended his career. Another day at the office. Moore had delivered a head shot to Bertuzzi's teammate Markus Naslund several games before, giving Naslund a nasty concussion. For this, Moore was assessed a grand total of zero minutes in the penalty box, and was suspended a grand total of zero games. 

From that day forward, the Canucks, from coach Marc Crawford to team enforcer Brad May, issued dire warnings about what might have to be done about Moore. Hockey, you see, is this sport that preaches that referees ruin the game by calling penalties, and that players should be left to settle their differences among themselves. This pattern played itself out all too predictably in the case of Moore and the Canucks. In the moments after the Bertuzzi mugging, Canuck coach Marc Crawford was seen (on this video still) registering this greasy shit-eating grin of approval.

Mission accomplished, Marc.

Bertuzzi, sued by Moore for well over $30 million, has since gone on to spread the love, claiming that Crawford had been calling for Moore’s head in the dressing room. That night, it seemed like the only thing the Canucks could do right. Colorado was drubbing them, and so the Canucks, with no prospect of winning the game, went to the next order of business on the hockey agenda: settling scores. Bertuzzi would not have attempted his cowardly attack if there were a chance he might cost his team a win, but with the game out of reach, hey, why not break the guy’s neck?

It is a measure of the NHL’s debased culture that most of what issued forth from the mouths of hockey wise people was concern about how poor Todd Bertuzzi was taking it all. Todd dutifully wandered up to a microphone with a prepared statement, and bit his quivering lower lip while blubbing how sorry he was.

In this 2004 file photo, Vancouver Canucks hockey player Todd Bertuzzi cries as he apologizes for sucker-punching Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalance during an NHL game.
CHUCK STOODY/CANADIAN PRESSIt was a most unconvincing performance, but Bertuzzi needn’t have worried. For going to work one day and breaking the neck and ending the career of another person in the workplace, poor widdle Todd was suspended for fewer than 30 games. (The NHL and its apologists will try to convince you that he sat out for well over a year, while omitting to mention that everyone in hockey sat out for the entire subsequent year because of the owners’ lockout. Bertuzzi’s suspension—if by that we mean not being allowed to play hockey while everyone else plays—amounted to the rest of that season and the playoffs.)

Not bad for nearly killing someone, eh?

As for Steve Moore, he immediately became persona non grata in hockey. While the troglodytes pulled out their hankies and dabbed their eyes thinking about how all of this was affecting poor snivelling Todd, Steve Moore quickly found himself flushed down the memory hole, shunned even by his own teammates. That’s hockey for you, instilling those good values, as Sarah Palin might be tempted to say.

Since then, the Bertuzzi-Moore saga has been winding its way through the courts, and even though Bertuzzi might be retired by the time the issue comes to trial, his day of reckoning (and that of Marc Crawford) will come. In the meantime, the league seems to be in a rush to make sure someone dies on the ice.

Last night they nearly got lucky. Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara ran Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty’s head into the stanchion for the rinkside glass near the Canadiens bench. As he rode him along the boards at the bench where there is no glass, Chara, who had no business even touching Pacioretty since the latter did not have the puck, pushed Pacioretty at the last second, ensuring that Pacioretty’s head would hit the stanchion even harder. Pacioretty ended up, like Moore, with a broken neck. He is surely finished for this season, and possibly for the rest of his career. He is 22 years old.

Just as the hockey trogs circled the wagons after Bertuzzi’s cowardly assault, much of the noise emanating from the usual places today are clucks about how Chara didn’t mean to do what he did, Chara’s not a dirty player, Chara’s a good guy. In typical hockey cult rationalization, they say, as Damien Cox alluded to today in the Toronto Star, that had the play taken place along the boards where there is glass, nothing would have happened. True. And if the play had taken place in the parking lot, obviously there would be no evil stanchion for Pacioretty to break his neck on. Stupid stanchion.

So now seven years later, we have another player mugged by an opponent, and left with a broken neck, and possibly a finished career. It has been reported that Pacioretty came within a millimetre of having his spinal cord severed by the hit. Sidney Crosby, the best player on the planet, is not playing because the league doesn’t give a shit if someone wants to use his head as a piñata. Marc Savard, a teammate of Chara’s, is finished playing for this season after yet another concussion, and likely for good. Brett Lindros, Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine, Paul Kariya, Adam Deadmarsh, Matthew Barnaby, Keith Primeau, Jason Botterill, Jesse Wallin, Steve Dubinsky, Mark Moore (brother of Steve Moore), Stu Grimson, Cam Stewart, Brian Bradley, Marc Savard, Nick Kypreos, Chris Therien (for a fuller list, see the roster of players whose careers were ended or shortened by headhunting grows longer every day, and it is likely also to include Sidney Crosby, who until he was blindsided in January (and criminally allowed to play again, only to sustain a second concussion within days), was on his way to a record season in scoring. Don't expect him back this season.

The NHL is committing suicide.
Evidence mounts every day about what blows to the head are doing to athletes, and the NHL, for its part, responds by quivering in fear that if it did anything about this epidemic of deliberate infliction of traumatic brain injury, it would turn its players into pansies and then Mike Milbury would hurt their feelings on TV. Do we not appreciate what the trauma of being called a pansy does to players, people? Will no one think of those poor thugs?

Don’t believe me? Today the league announced that Chara will not have to serve one nanosecond of suspension. Exactly zero games. Something about Chara not meaning to, it was a clean play, a hockey play, and so what about Pacioretty's neck? It's not as if he was killed or anything. Move along now, nothing to see here.

A proud day for the Boston Guins. A proud day for the NHL, its thug culture and its gecko commissioner Gary Bettman (whose response to criticism from Air Canada was a surly invitation to auto-copulate). A good reason for Sidney Crosby to think twice before returning to offer his head up to yet another goon the NHL is scared of alienating.

The league and all its fartcatchers, enablers and exculpators don’t have to worry about chronic traumatic brain injury. They exhibit all the signs already.

"C'mon, get up, you pussy. It was a good, heads-up hockey play."
Aislin, Montreal Gazette, January 26, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

…But I Tumesce

What does the Pope do when gripped by tumescence, even if it is only of the matutinal, bladder-assisted variety? It is, of course, inconceivable that, being an adult male of the species homo sapiens, he has not experienced it.

In any event, ha! Made you think of the Pope with a boner.

I had never even once been tempted to conjure such an image, but it came to me after hearing of yet another pearl of wisdom from Herr Ratzinger on the subject of marriage and family life. From the Associated Press on January 22:

Pope Benedict XVI told priests Saturday to do a better job counseling would-be spouses to ensure their marriages last and said no one has an absolute right to a wedding….

He said the right to a church wedding requires that the bride and groom intend to celebrate and live the marriage truthfully and authentically.

“No one can make a claim to the right to a nuptial ceremony,” he said….

Benedict said priests had an important pastoral job to discern whether would-be spouses are prepared and able to enter into a valid marriage.

A laudable goal, getting young couples to think seriously about the seven and a half years they will spend together. But is there any less qualified a group of would-be counselors than a contingent of celibate males in robes, barred by vow (not that that seems to have mattered to many of them) from any knowledge of physical intimacy and its place in family life?

There are many Serious Catholic Apologists who would have you believe that the Church’s pedophilia crisis has no relationship at all to the celibacy of its clergy. Noted vein-popper William Donahue, head of the so-called Catholic League, as well as at least one senior Vatican official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, answer with the vile smear that the problem is that these offending priests are gay. Yet this crisis can easily be seen, if we are to give a moment’s sympathy to the perpetrators, as a product of the general ham-handedness of the clergy when it comes to responding to the appearance under their robes of a stiffened pee shooter, something that, as was pointed out, befalls all male great apes. Confronted by an onset of penile ossification, all too many priests, many of whom were marked for the priesthood before they were old enough to know how to responsibly handle this thorny challenge, have sought out convenient targets to discharge their urges. This usually means children, who are easier to gull and scare into silence.

From such as these—celibates with no knowledge of sexuality and its place in a committed relationship, or alternatively, those who have quenched their tumescence in the orifices of the vulnerable and innocent—the Church would require young couples to receive counseling.

Sounds like a formula for success.

No Child’s Behind Left

Those familiar with the ongoing revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy will recognize, in the title to this post, Christopher Hitchens’ grim humour (somehow I cannot imagine Hitchens having any other kind). The spectacle provided by the leadership of what increasingly resembles (in addition to whatever else it is) a pedophile cult, as it frantically trims, slices and parses its way through the thicket of accusations of abuse from all corners of the world, might inspire a cringeworthy pity for its fecklessness if it weren’t for all the lives it ruined and destroyed.

It should be clear by now that the leadership of the Catholic Church, expert as they are in casuistry, have been engaged in a vast exercise of jesuitical turd-polishing in the face of its worldwide child sex scandal.

Now from Ireland comes the latest coprolite, another instance of Church lying and evasion.

As reported by the Associated Press on January 18, 2011:

A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to policea disclosure that victims’ groups described as “the smoking gun” needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.

The newly revealed letter... documents the Vatican’s rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland’s first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.

The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.

When challenged in lawsuits that name the Pope as a defendant, the Vatican insists he cannot be sued because it is a nation state, that thereby the Pope, as head of state, is immune from prosecution, that priests and others who commit these crimes do not “work for” the Vatican, and that the Vatican cannot be held responsible for what is done by these miscreants. Yet this so-called nation state also claims jurisdiction over sex crimes committed on the soil of other sovereign nation states by those it claims to have no power over. The polite term for this is sucking and blowing at the same time, something that, sadly, the Church and the pederasts among its clergy are all too good at.

It is clear that the clerical side of the Catholic Church has never listened to radio station WWJS. If they had, they might have heard these golden oldies, straight from the lips of a certain Jesus of Nazareth, yo: “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…. [I]f you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

You get the picture: Jesus clearly wanted pederasts to get the cement shoes treatment. This, I submit, gives you an indication of how seriously He would have dealt with this latter-day corruption of the innocents, and of the enormity of the Church’s (including this unworthy Pope’s) response to it, which has been to coddle the criminal and punish the victim, further compounding their sin. Der Kurrent Pope himself has voiced the typical self-pitying response of the Church: “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign ... to discredit the church.

Hitchens responds to the response:

On April 10, the New York Times—the apparent center of this “planned campaign”—reprinted a copy of a letter personally signed by Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI]  in 1985. The letter urged lenience in the case of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, who had tied up and sexually tormented two small boys on church property in California. Kiesle’s superiors had written to Ratzinger’s office in Rome, beseeching him to remove the criminal from the priesthood. The man who is now his holiness the pope was full of urgent moral advice in response. “The good of the Universal Church,” he wrote, should be uppermost in the mind. It should be understood that “particularly regarding the young age” of Father Kiesle, there might be great “detriment” caused “within the community of Christ’s faithful” if he were to be removed. The good father was then aged 38. His victims—not that their tender ages of 11 and 13 seem to have mattered—were children. In the ensuing decades, Kiesle went on to ruin the lives of several more children and was finally jailed by the secular authorities on a felony molestation charge in 2004. All this might have been avoided if he had been handed over to justice right away and if the Oakland diocese had called the police rather than written to the office in Rome where it was Ratzinger’s job to muffle and suppress such distressing questions.

Until now, this Pope has said nothing directly about the role he played in protecting child rapists from justice. Instead, he whines that the shame brought upon the Church is a result of a concerted campaign by those who expose crimes by its clergy, crimes that Jesus himself stated should be punished by throwing the perpetrators into the sea with millstones tied around their necks. Only when the light of day was shone on the Church’s ugly secret did Herr Ratzinger respond, with words of regret crafted to deflect moral and legal accountability, all the while defiantly insisting that the Church continue to call its own balls and strikes.

Until he confesses his own sins, as the Church requires every Catholic to do, until he releases all internal Church documents that would in any way shed light on all cases of child rape by clergy and the actions undertaken to protect these monsters from answering to the law, until he resigns and accepts whatever punishment is meted out by due process of the law, Ratzinger cannot expect anyone to accord him the least deference or respect. Until that time, the institutional Church will continue to be seen as morally rotted out.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tomorrow's Yesteryear

Where was I?

It’s been a mere 499 days since last I visited this space. Jesus and Mohammed clocked in at a mere 40 days away from the world before emerging refreshed and raring to take it on (actually, in their case, take it over). Pikers.

Just so there’s an entry for 2010:

When last I wrote, I was bemoaning the unraveling of the Obama project south of the border. It would take another half-year before health care reform was passed, and the result was, unfortunately but perhaps inevitably, a Rube Goldberg device. (I earlier predicted it would be an abortion, but since it mostly doesn’t kick in for a couple of years, the judgment will have to wait.) There was some financial reform, but given the propensity of this president to cater to Wall Street (his closest economic advisers coming from the ranks of those whose criminally irresponsible speculation with others’ money led to the crash in 08, including Robert Rubin), it is difficult to feel hopeful that the same thing that brought on the current Great Recession will not blow up in our face again. Obama has done bugger all to address the pit in this pustule: those who destroyed the livelihoods and retirements of millions around the world have not only been restored to their pre-Crash selves with money from the very people they had just finished ruining, they have gone on since then to award themselves record bonuses in the thousands of millions.

As if this weren’t enough, after spending the mid-term campaign season drawing a line in the sand on the Bush tax cuts, Obama folded, handing those who could not possibly need it a several-hundred-billion dollar windfall that only pours vinegar onto fresh wounds. Incredibly, he joins Bush in the pantheon of those deserving to be honoured for their work with the overprivileged.

Having said that, Obama remains by far preferable to anybody from the Grotesque Old Plutocrats, with their collection of cranks and wankers. He has to be given credit for finally getting “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed. And when you look upon the last days of this officially sanctioned anti-gay bigotry, and think of John McCain’s performance, you can not but be thankful that at the moment, it is Obama and not McCain who is entrusted with running the country.

McCain has shown himself unable, or rather, unwilling, to climb out of the vat of bile he has been swimming in since Obama whipped his ass by 10 million votes. Like that other GOP whore, Mitt Romney, who now pretends to rail against basically the same health care plan he himself implemented in Massa2shits, McCain has shown no hesitation in, as Sarah Palin would put it, refudiating everything he has pretended to stand for. Nothing so defines this shriveled erstwhile “maverick” in his political and personal decline than his tortured and petulant rearguard action to demonize gays in the military, this while his own wife campaigned to eliminate the bigotry fueling an epidemic of gay suicides. Following in the steps of that other one-time war hero Randy “Duke” Cunningham, McCain is further proof of the sad truth that military exploits do not automatically confer personal integrity. Public discourse can only get better once this cynical old poop, the man who brought you Sarah Palin, shuffles off the stage.

Would that it were otherwise, but here in the Great White North the political landscape is particularly barren at this juncture. Despite a succession of big events designed to boost his profile—the Olympics, the various summits—Harper has not been able to move the needle into majority territory, after 5 full years at the tiller. There will no doubt be an election this year, probably in the spring, and it will spell the end of either Harper or Ignatieff. If Harper were to win but still be unable to secure a majority, look for enough grumbling to surface that he will decide it’s not worth it for him to carry on, and will head for some soft corporate sinecure.

After all of 5 years, Harper finds himself with a gauzy legislative record. Unable to do anything of substance with his minority government, Harper and his Great Big Cabinet of Unsurpassed Tory Talent have been reduced to feeding bite-sized cubes of red meat to their hard core hyenas. On more than one occasion, it was reported that a Russian aircraft flew really close to Canadian airspace in the Arctic, but actually did not enter it. Gasps were audible all across the droolosphere as Tories took to their fainting couches. In the end, a little froth was stirred up, and all the little Vic Toews in Reformworld could go home and snort about how they gave it good to the Russkies. It also justifies spending up to $24 billion on new planes to counter this dread threat.

Lacking a majority, Harper has not been able to pursue a more vigorous, Repugnican agenda. As John Ibbitson recently noted in the Globe, the Tories are seen as adrift.

All of this should give some comfort to Michael Ignatieff and his Liberals, but they too seem to have hit a ceiling of 30% in support, which simply will not deliver them power unless in some kind of coalition with the NDP and the Bloc.

For whatever reason, the Liberals under Ignatieff have failed to light a fire, forced by circumstance not to force an election and thus effectively neutered in the House. This makes it difficult for the leader to affect a macho posture—remember “if you mess with me, I’ll mess with you til I’m done”? The spectacle last year of Iggy and Steve waving their dicks, each daring the other to trigger an election—en garde, varlet, sample my flesh blade!—was low-grade reality TV.

Anyway, it is a sad comment on the state of political leadership when the Liberal party can’t muster the mojo needed to take on a Tory leader who wears his tie to bed each night.

Ignatieff’s ascension to leadership was sold to many as the second coming of Trudeau: a heavyweight intellectual come to do his duty and give his country the gift of his leadership. Unfortunately, he has had all the impact of a 3 nanoton bomb.

Recent history provides a simple test of leadership and judgment, and that is the Iraq War. When Frat Boy Smirk embarked on his project to reshape the Middle East, it is helpful to remember that both Harper and Ignatieff supported this lunatic adventure, none more so than Harper, who was positively viagrified over the prospect of playing army in the sandbox with W. When Chretien nixed Canada’s participation in this right-wing circle jerk, Harperbot, with the laughable Stockwell “Wet Suit” Day in tow, waxed apoplectic about letting down a friend in need. They were joined by other solons who rushed in to bray about this historic mistake, in particular noted intellectuals Ralph Klein and chief Mike Harris fartcatcher Ernie Eves, reassuring Oedipus Tex that Canadians supported him even if their leaders didn’t, despite polls putting support for Chretien’s decision at 75%. A proud moment, to be sure.

As for Ignatieff, he signed on to Iraqapalooza at first, (the spectre of renovations to vast areas of the geopolitical map no doubt appealing to his intellect), even permitting himself to muse about circumstances where it would be okay to use torture, but had the menschitude to apologize for it later in the New York Times.

In any event, Harper can’t continue his smoke-and-mirrors government for much longer without finding a fight to pick, and Ignatieff can’t afford to be seen caving to Harper one more time, so expect to see Election Night in Canada sometime during the Cup playoffs.

Break out your vuvuzelas.