Friday, December 31, 2010

Air Farce New Year's Eve 2010 TV Special is Funny as Hell


Tonight's Air Farce New Year's Eve 2010 TV special delivered a ton of laughs. It should soon be available on the CBC website, until then here's this:

Funniest Sketch

Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton are trapped in a sinkhole below parliament, reminiscent of the Chilean mine disaster. Underground, they hold a vote for who should lead them to safety. Harper votes for himself, Ignatieff votes for himself, Layton sternly crosses his arms across his chest, lamenting "I don't have a damn of winning anyways."

Later, the rescue capsule arrives at the surface, but it's one man short. Harper and Ignatieff step out, cleaning their teeth with toothpicks, Ignatieff burps. They've eaten Jack Layton!

Second Funniest Sketch

I N C E P T I O N Gordon Campbell

Leonardo Dicaprio plants the idea of the HST into BC Premiere Gordon Campbell's mind to sabotage his leadership and force him to resign. Drums drums… HORNS!!!... unsettling HORNS!!!...

Monday, December 27, 2010

On This Day in 1836: Charles Darwin Sails on the HMS Beagle



Excellent! In a way, the sailing of the HMS Beagle sounded the death knell of creationism. Good riddance! Creationism is an imaginary circle-jerk of proudly ignorant religious idiots and fools lying to themselves and each other to defend their childish magical beliefs.

Fear and Loathing in Lost Cables: Julian Assange Wikileaks Update - MSNBC Interview


As the world goes crazy over the Wikileaks cables, Julian Assange remains the most rational one of the bunch, speaking simple truths about what's really going on. Those calling for his death are the real terrorists:



@11:00
"When people call for deliberate kidnapping and assassination of others, they should be held to account. They should be charged for incitement to commit murder."
What Assange says is true, and should include Tom "I'm feeling very manly today" Flanigan, former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and current professor of political science at the University of Calgary, who stated publicly on a national CBC television broadcast:
"I think that Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract or maybe use a drone or something."
Here's the video, one of only a few to survive the Ministry of Truth's efforts to erase it from history:




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas





Friday, December 24, 2010

B.C. Man Free After 27 Years of Wrongful Imprisonment


Merry Christmas Kary Henry!


Learn more about the wrongful conviction of a dozen more Canadians in this CBC report: Canada's Wrongful Convictions.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dealing Effectively With Ignorant Blog Trolls


Bulletproofcourier commenter Bob Devine rejects the study that proves Watching Fox News Makes You Stupid because
"The universities these days are probably the only places there are with a larger lefty bias than the [CBC]"
What a wonderfully stupid thing to say. Here's how I thoroughly spanked the ignorant Mr. Devine:


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Watching Fox News Makes You Stupid


Fox News: USA Misinformation Machine

So says this study (PDF download) by the University of Maryland, summarized here:

91 percent of Fox News viewers believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
They are all wrong.

72 percent of Fox News viewers believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
They are all wrong.

72 percent of Fox News viewers believe the economy is getting worse
They are all wrong.

60 percent of Fox News viewers believe climate change is not occurring
They are all wrong.

49 percent of Fox News viewers believe income taxes have gone up
They are all wrong.

63 percent of Fox News viewers believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
They are all wrong.

56 percent of Fox News viewers believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
They are all wrong.

38 percent of Fox News viewers believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
They are all wrong.

63 percent of Fox News viewers believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)
They are all wrong.

If Fox News ever comes to Canada, I hope Canadians are equipped with a better Baloney Detection Kit (H/T Carl Sagan) than their American citizen counterparts.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tis the Season to... Threaten Children?


Really, Denman Place Mall in Vancouver, really?



This reminds me of religious nuts who abuse their children with nightmarish, threatening ideas about sin and Hell: "Follow the rules of our magical imaginary being or you will suffer!"

I'm planning to return soon and ride that sled for all it's worth. Stay tuned for pics. Meantime here's my favorite biology professor riding a dinosaur at a creation museum:


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua: Two Dicks on the Beach


As the reality TV show Survivor: Nicaragua approaches it's season finale this week, some viewers are still doing a double-take at a scene from last week's episode, which prominently featured a driftwood log resembling male genitalia:

Screen capture from Survivor Nicaragua: two dicks in the same frame.

But surely it's a just a coincidence. Driftwood comes in all shapes and sizes, just like cloud formations, where everyone sees something different. Or like Jesus & Mary appearing on toast, waffles, walls and ashtrays (video!).

Friday, December 10, 2010

VPD now on Twitter @VancouverPD


Vancouver Police are now on Twitter:


LOL, the above is actually a gr8 parody based on this incident (video included).

The real VPD Twitter account is located at twitter.com/VancouverPD, read more about it at The Province.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bill Blair, Toronto’s chief of police, is a lying asshole


So says Mike Brock as he eviscerates G20 Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair at theVolunteer.ca:
Bill Blair’s attempts to keep talking about his interpretation of the rule as being “five meters” being a mistake, distracts from the broader story. That, the [illegal] searches occurred throughout the city.

Considering that Bill Blair must be aware of this, given the preponderance of evidence, in any rational world, I will publicly, and with all the legal implications that go with it: call him a liar, call him untrustworthily, call him incompetent. Not only that, but in a truly just world, he would be the one who is under arrest. For violation of the public trust, and violation of civil rights.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon. Assassinated 30 Years Ago Today


John Lennon and the Beatles contributed more to society than all the Popes combined*




*Broiling black/grey mass of evil tentacles that reach out to spread hate, homophobia, ignorance and HIV disease across planet Earth.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

CCTV Cameras, But No Traffic Control Lights?


Traffic lights might be a better investment than traffic cameras at these uncontrolled intersections:



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wikileaks Canada Cables: CBC's Anti-American Plot Lines


The Border Pissed off the USA
Make some popcorn, sip a soda and be entertained at the wonderful detail and literary flourish contained in this 2008 brief about anti-American CBC TV shows produced by the American embassy in Ottawa and distributed to the FBI, Dept. of Homeland Security, CIA, White House, DEA, US Customs and Border Protection...

Seriously, if you take the time and read the whole thing, I guarantee it will raise your consciousness:






----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7209
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 000136

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KPAO CA
SUBJECT: PRIMETIME IMAGES OF US-CANADA BORDER PAINT U.S. IN
INCREASINGLY NEGATIVE LIGHT

OTTAWA 00000136 001.2 OF 003

¶1. (SBU) Summary: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
has long gone to great pains to highlight the distinction
between Americans and Canadians in its programming, generally
at our expense. However, the level of anti-American melodrama
has been given a huge boost in the current television season
as a number of programs offer Canadian viewers their fill of
nefarious American officials carrying out equally nefarious
deeds in Canada while Canadian officials either oppose them
or fall trying. CIA rendition flights, schemes to steal
Canada's water, "the Guantanamo-Syria express," F-16's flying
in for bombing runs in Quebec to eliminate escaped
terrorists: in response to the onslaught, one media
commentator concluded, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that
"apparently, our immigration department's real enemies aren't
terrorists or smugglers -- they're Americans." While this
situation hardly constitutes a public diplomacy crisis per
se, the degree of comfort with which Canadian broadcast
entities, including those financed by Canadian tax dollars,
twist current events to feed long-standing negative images of
the U.S. -- and the extent to which the Canadian public seems
willing to indulge in the feast - is noteworthy as an
indication of the kind of insidious negative popular
stereotyping we are increasingly up against in Canada. End
Summary.

"THE BORDER" -CANADA'S ANSWER TO 24, W/O THAT SUTHERLAND GUY
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

¶2. (SBU) When American TV and movie producers want action,
the formula involves Middle Eastern terrorists, a ticking
nuclear device, and a (somewhat ironically, Canadian) guy
named Sutherland. Canadian producers don't need to look so
far -- they can find all the action they need right on the
U.S.-Canadian border. This piece of real estate, which most
Americans associate with snow blowing back and forth across
an imaginary line, has for the past three weeks been for
Canadian viewers the site of downed rendition flights, F-16
bombing runs, and terrorist suspects being whisked away to
Middle Eastern torture facilities. "The Border," which
state-owned CBC premiered on January 7, attracted an
impressive 710,000 viewers on its first showing -- not
exactly Hockey Night in Canada, but equivalent to an American
program drawing about eight million U.S. viewers. The show
depicts Canadian immigration and customs officers' efforts to
secure the U.S.-Canadian border and the litany of moral
dilemmas they face in doing so. The CBC bills the
high-budget program as depicting the "new war" on the border
and "the few who fight it." While the "war" is supposed to
be against criminals and terrorists trying to cross the
border, many of the immigration team's battles end up being
with U.S. government officials, often in tandem with the
CIA-colluding Canadian Security and Intelligence Service
(CSIS).

¶3. (SBU) The clash between the Americans and Canadians got
started early in the season and has continued unabated. In
episode one a Syrian terrorist with a belt full of gel-based
explosives is removed from a plane in Canada while the
Canadian-Syrian man sitting next to him is rendered by the
CIA/CSIS team to Syria -- a fairly transparent reference to
QCIA/CSIS team to Syria -- a fairly transparent reference to
the Maher Arar case. Fortunately for the incarcerated
individual, the sympathetic Canadian Immigration and Customs
Security official recognizes the mistake and shrewdly causes
the government to rescue him from a Syrian jail through
organized media pressure. The episode ends with a preview of
things to come when one of the Canadian immigration officers
notes with disgust, "Homeland Security is sending in some hot
shot agent."

¶4. (SBU) Episode two expands on this theme, featuring the
arrival of an arrogant, albeit stunningly attractive female
DHS officer, sort of a cross between Salma Hayek and Cruella
De Vil. The show portrays the DHS official bossing around
her stereotypically more compassionate Canadian colleagues
while uttering such classic lines as, "Who do you think
provides the muscle to protect your fine ideals?" and "You
would have killed him. Let the American justice system do it
for you." Her fallback line in most situations is "it's a
matter of national security."

¶5. (SBU) But the one-liners and cross-border stereotypes
really take off in episode three, in which an American

OTTAWA 00000136 002.2 OF 003

rendition aircraft with three terrorist suspects on the
"Guantanamo to Syria express" crashes in Quebec and the
terrorists escape -- however, not before killing a Quebec
police officer, whose sympathetic widow appears throughout
the show. The DHS officer's answer to everything is American
firepower, but in this episode even CSIS gets a chance at
redemption as the CSIS officer in charge challenges her. Ms.
DHS barks back, "You really want to talk territorial
sovereignty, or should we talk about getting the terrorists
back?" After being chased through the woods of Quebec by a
cross-culturally balanced CSIS-JTF2 team which kills a
15-year-old terrorist in a shootout, the bad guys are finally
cornered on the side of a pristine Canadian lake. Then,
after a conversation with Washington in which she asks "can
you bypass NSA and State?", our DHS official calls in an
air-strike on the terrorists without Canadian concurrence.
Canadian planes, another official has explained, are "already
deployed to Afghanistan, helping our neighbors fight their
war on terror." With only seconds to spare before the bombs
are dropped on the Quebec site, the planes are called off
when the CSIS-JTF team affirms positive control over the
terrorists. Finally, in a last-minute allowance for
redemption, the CSIS officer informs his DHS colleague that
the captured terrorists will not be turned over to the U.S.
but will stand trial for the death of the Quebec police
officer. She does get the final word, though, hissing the
classic phrase "you people are so nave," before the screen
goes blank.

DEA ALSO TAKES SOME HITS
------------------------

¶6. (SBU) If that isn't enough, "the Border" is only one of
the CBC programs featuring cross-border relations.
"Intelligence," which depicts a Canadian intelligence unit
collaborating with a local drug lord-turned government
informant, is just as stinging in its portrayal of
U.S.-Canada law enforcement cooperation. Through its two
seasons, the program has followed plot lines including a DEA
attempt to frame the Canadian informant for murder, a CIA
plot to secretly divert Canadian water to the American
southwest, and a rogue DEA team that actually starts selling
drugs for a profit. A columnist in conservative Canadian
daily newspaper "The National Post" commented, "There's no
question that the CSIS heroes on 'Intelligence' consider the
Americans our most dangerous enemies."

EVEN THE LITTLE MOSQUE GETS IN TO THE ACT
-----------------------------------------

¶7. (U) Even "Little Mosque on the Prairie," a popular
Canadian sitcom that depicts a Muslim community in a small
Saskatchewan town, has joined the trend of featuring
U.S.-Canada border relations. This time, however, the State
Department is the fall guy. A December 2007 episode
portrayed a Muslim economics professor trying to remove his
name from the No-Fly-List at a U.S. consulate. The show
depicts a rude and eccentric U.S. consular officer
stereotypically attempting to find any excuse to avoid being
helpful. Another episode depicted how an innocent trip
across the border became a jumble of frayed nerves as Grandpa
was scurried into secondary by U.S. border officials because
his name matched something on the watch list.
Qhis name matched something on the watch list.

GIVE US YOUR WATER; OH WHAT THE HECK WE'LL TAKE YOUR COUNTRY
TOO
--------------------------------------------- ----

¶8. (U) And it appears that the season is just warming up.
After CIA renditions, DEA murder plots, DHS missteps, and
unhelpful consular officers, a U.S. takeover of Canada may
have been the only theme left for the CBC "H20" mini-series.
The series was first broadcast in 2005, when it featured an
investigation into an American assassination of the Canadian
prime minister and a very broad-based (and wildly
implausible) U.S. scheme to steal Canadian water. A two-part
sequel, set to be broadcast in March and April 2008, will
portray the United States as manipulating innocent, trusting
Canadians into voting in favor of Canada's becoming part of
the United States. Then, after the United States completely
takes over Canada, one brave Canadian unites Canadians and
Europeans in an attempt to end America's hegemony. Another

OTTAWA 00000136 003.2 OF 003

program could prove more benign but will certainly include
its share of digs against all things American: Global TV
reportedly is gearing up for a March 2008 debut of its own
border security drama, set to feature Canadian
search-and-rescue officers patrolling the U.S.-Canada border.

COMMENT
-------

¶9. (SBU) EKOS pollster Frank Graves told Poloff he thought
that at this point such shows are reflective and not causal
in determining attitudes in Canada. They play on the
deep-seated caution most Canadians feel toward their large
neighbor to the south, a sort of zeitgeist that has been in
the background for decades. As one example, a December 2007
Strategic Counsel poll showed that nine percent of Canadians
thought U.S. foreign policy was the greatest threat to the
world -- twice as high as those who were concerned about
weapons of mass destruction. What Graves does find
disturbing -- and here he believes that the causal or
reflective question is not important -- is that support for a
less porous border is increasing in both Canada and the U.S.:
in the U.S. because of generalized fear of terrorism and in
Canada because of concern over guns, sovereignty, and the
impact that a terrorist attack on the U.S. would have on
trade. Graves has detected an increasingly wary attitude
over the border that he believes could lead to greater
distance between the two countries.

¶10. (SBU) While there is no single answer to this trend, it
does serve to demonstrate the importance of constant
creative, and adequately-funded public-diplomacy engagement
with Canadians, at all levels and in virtually all parts of
the country. We need to do everything we can to make it more
difficult for Canadians to fall into the trap of seeing all
U.S. policies as the result of nefarious faceless U.S.
bureaucrats anxious to squeeze their northern neighbor.
While there are those who may rate the need for USG
public-diplomacy programs as less vital in Canada than in
other nations because our societies are so much alike, we
clearly have real challenges here that simply must be
adequately addressed.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Questions raised:

1. Did this Jan. 25, 2008 information ever gain traction/reaction in US Agency circles? Did Canadian citizens experience any US backlash from the CBC's alleged "anti-Americanism" after this Ottawa cable was released in 2008? [Ed.: Marc Emery?]

2. How do I get this job? Watching TV and writing reports about how TV writers use neighboring countries (is there any other kind?) as dramatic foils in their action scripts seems like a very easy job for very easy money. Where do I sign up, CIA?

3. Will Marc Emery be mentioned in the Canada cables yet to be released?

There are two thousand more leaked Canadian cables coming down the pipe, so we will see.

Stay tuned!