Back from the Brink?

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican….” H.L. Mencken

He’s no Teddy Cruz

These words, penned in 1949 by the peerless ‘Sage of Baltimore’ have additional piquancy in the aftermath of the latest American political comedy series masquerading as effective governance.… [Read more]

Frosh Week, Canada-style – Rape Culture

It is usually bad form to reference ones own writings to support a particular cause or contention, but a recent experience with cyber-fandom prompts this modest account. Frosh Week insensibilities, campus ‘rape culture’ fear-mongering, and the wonders of instant digital communication all play their cheerful part.

My future’s so bright, I oughta wear shades

Ten days ago, a video clip of some festive, apparently over-refreshed frosh at St.… [Read more]

The Thin Red Line

In the filthy Syrian conflict, the Obama Administration ‘red line’ drawn has been declared crossed, and now there’s hell to pay. Sarin deployed by the government forces against civilians (Russian skepticism aside) has stirred the international community to encourage America to play the good cop, and selectively hammer Syrian military targets for a bit. Teach these dirty, nerve agent spewing Arab bastards a lesson, right?… [Read more]

Zimmerman

The George Zimmerman prosecution ended with its much-ballyhooed ‘surprise’ acquittal Saturday. Sadly, the trial proves this simple rule. Do not elevate a single violent crime allegation, no matter how seemingly outrageous – it is the 24/7, ‘we never close’, vomit-inducing American society Value Meal – from Florida cracker state sensibility to national Great Republic racial barometer.… [Read more]

Blowing the whistle

The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, the expense damnable.’

‘Maybe just whistle…you know how to whistle, don’t you Mr. Snowden?’‘The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, the expense damnable.’

Lord Chesterfield’s description of sex translates with sublime ease to summarize the perfect civil liberties storm unleashed through the Edward Snowden NSA revelations – a fine, fine mess…American style.… [Read more]

Memo to ‘Queers Against Israeli Apartheid’: Get a closet

Talk about a mood killer. Toronto’s Pride Week, a profoundly social success story on every level imaginable, takes one in the nads from….Queers! ‘Tis not a pretty tale.

One stop shopping for tolerance and diversity

For those of us old enough to recall the 1981 Toronto police ‘Bathhouse raids’, or a smugly dismissive urban Ontario mainstream where the love that dared not speak its name was not ready for prime time, the annual Pride celebrations are testament to human capacity to learn, grow, and even revel in diversity.… [Read more]

You’re so GAY!!’ – Schoolyard slander to Supreme Court sanction

In my own early 1970s Ontario Wonder Years, everyday adolescent language was at once piquant, ironic and flexible. ‘Tool’ was common currency for the least accomplished among us, ‘browner’ for the smarties, and ‘occies’ (occupational) as the blunt, dismissive reference to students with learning disabilities. I am not embarrassed by the memories – it was dispassionate chatter, and I am not at one with the sociologists and associated deep thinkers connecting their dots to elevate mere words beyond their station as purported evidence of ingrained hostility or intolerance.… [Read more]

Funny business: “If you’ve done nothing wrong…”

“If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide…”

The Brits have the best expressions, and events this past week on both sides of the world’s longest undefended border confirming the harsh truths of democracy in the Age of Terror recall a good one – “funny peculiar, or funny ha-ha?” The sinister synchronicity observed between sanctioned NSA snoops and the secret spy directives issued by the Honourable Peter MacKay, our Minister of Defence working his inner Big Brother should scare the bejeezus out of any intelligent democrat.… [Read more]

We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1!

The unthinkable happened this past week. A Canadian not named Justin Bieber got more Google search engine action than President Obama, Lady Gaga, or Michele Bachmann – for real.

Let’s play ‘Spot the Mayor’

Rob Ford, our sainted Mayor of Toronto, achieved this remarkable feat. In an age where media attention and draft beer have the same lifespan (leaving aside the rental payments)[1], His Worship appears to be channeling an inner and rather frightening Marion Barry as he fights the persistent allegation that he may have smoked crack with some less than sterling chaps in the darker recesses of Toronto the Good.… [Read more]

Al Gore….Deus Ex Machina

In the long ago late 1970s, when global warming was a gleam in some radical climatologist / doomsayer’s eye, when a jacked-up, tricked out 1973 Monte Carlo was high automotive art amongst my suburban Ontario pals, I read Bored of the Rings. Hilarious stuff, to a lover of the Tolkien trilogy…Dildo and Frito Bugger, high and mighty satire.… [Read more]

Don’t do it, sir…A Canadian plea to stay out of Syria

Readers of this space know that this Canuck is an admirer of President Obama. An easy call even if the President did not possess his many admirable qualities, given the sad state of his opposition, with knee-jerk abysmalism, and an always tried, never true policy of ‘well, shit, we’re not him’ its ragged, pathetic battle cry.… [Read more]

Terror in Tiny Town

The human rights maestro

You can always count on Canada to provide black comedic relief when it comes to how terrorist threats ought to be blunted. We – unerringly – take an American legislative excess and give that delightful, north of the 49th insouciance to make it our own. Remember ‘extraordinary rendition’ in the wake of 9/11, a dark Rumsfledian Star Chamber vision administered by charming Syrian prison officials?… [Read more]

The (Oily) Road to Damascus

A few weeks ago, I offered a principled case for the Keystone XL pipeline project and its eventual approval by President Obama. I stand by those opinions – and as I explain here, recent Alberta political pronouncements elevate my views from so much environmentalist digital compost to pure gold. Realpolitik is rarely pretty. My bottom line suggestion that ‘hey, until America evolves beyond its fossil fuels fixation, oil’s gotta come from somewhere, so why not your friends?’ may at first seem an affront to any ‘principled case’ claims.… [Read more]

The Steubenville Saga: A View from Up North

This past Sunday in Steubenville, Ohio, two adolescent males were convicted of a searingly self-defining crime, one that will mark these offenders, Cain-like…forever. They raped, by digital penetration, a 16-year-old female so drunk at the time of the offence that only through subsequent reconstruction – via the photos taken of the offenders by others and circulated among those present who did nothing to intervene, while she was repeatedly violated – did she actually understand the enormity of what had happened.… [Read more]

Continued Angst over Argo…

“Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Those who expect real history from Hollywood should have a keeper.” ~ Davies

Cue the Canadian…on three

So it was last week in our land of perpetual mirth and sunshine. The latest cultural tempest in a thimble is the Oscar success enjoyed by Ben Affleck for his film Argo.[Read more]

Stompin’ Tom (1936-2013)

Tom Connors died March 6 – our nation is poorer for the loss.

National icon, straight shooter, his foot-pounding three chord poetry was driven by unabashed love of country – as only a Maritimer can do it. Commercial success was less important to Tom than his ability to connect with Canadians everywhere, simple, unaffected music and unsullied nationalism that was always pro-Canada, not ‘anti’ anyone else.… [Read more]

The (Principled) Case for Keystone

My digital pulpit north of Lake Ontario is no guarantee that brains or intellectual nuance drive every BNV offering forward, but there are elements of the ongoing Keystone XL debate that deserve fuller scrutiny, a discussion that ought to be advanced beyond shallow ‘dirty oil’ polemics.

Only the clean oil from now on

Keystone is not divinely inspired environmentalism.… [Read more]

Senate Follies

“Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement…” Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Never a Senator….overqualified

So nice to see in the land of the free and home of the brave the US Senate remains ever vigilant. Not content to convene a Secretary of Defence confirmation hearing reminiscent of Romper Room, the Republican minority brain trust has let slip their dogs of war and …..sanctioned the latest howler, a once-in-a-century filibuster to ensure that the self-styled Great Democracy® again lives down to its formidable reputation for utter stupidity.… [Read more]

Bread and circuses

“The once athletic sport has degenerated into a contest that for brutality is little better than the gladiatorial combats in the arena in ancient Rome” Beaumont Express, 1904, when 18 US football players died on the playing field.

“I’m a big football fan but, I have to tell you, if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” President Barack Obama, January, 2013.… [Read more]

Warhawk Redux

Looking across the border this week from my Johnny Canuck bully pulpit, I was reminded why the supposed democratic ‘holding to account’ cited as the US Senate confirmation hearings constitutional rationale is the ultimate political pant load. Thank God for our good old Canadian patronage appointments in similar circumstances – ones done mostly behind closed doors, pure as the driven slush, after you catch an eyeful of this Capitol Hill bozo brigade.… [Read more]