Nunc Scio
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
  ROBERTSON TO CHAVEZ: Momma Was Misinterpreted When She Said Knock You Out
Predictably, Pat Robertson is retracting his statement calling for the assasination of Hugo Chavez. Good for you, Pat. You're learned the location of another of life's little 'uncrossable lines'. Equating feminists with witches and child murderers, bad. Inciting murder, also bad.

To be fair, I think ol' Patty was misinterpreted when he said american special forces should 'take out' Chavez. He probably meant they should take him out and show him a good time. I hear Caracas has some lovely restaurants, and poor Hugo doesn't get out much. Plus, if a detachment of Navy Seals starts dating Chavez, it could do wonders for US/Venezuelan relations.

Yes, once again, a bat-shazbot crazy TV evangelist with little connection to reality has shown us the way. Thank you, Pat Robertson, for being you.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
  ROBERTSON TO CHAVEZ: Momma Said Knock You Out
Pat Robertson, host of the popular (in certain demographics anyway) '700 Club' and founder of the Christian Coalition, believes the USA should 'take out' Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Apparently, Chavez is literally hell-bent on spreading communism and Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Americas. This may come as a surprise to Chavez, leader of a country that is 96 per cent Catholic and, at least according to the CIA Factbook, a democracy. Moreover, Venezuela is heavily dependent on its oil exports. Last time I checked, the international petroleum industry relies heavily on capitalist markets. I'd like to know Robertson's sources on his communist islamist accusations...although I suspect "his ass" is the likely candidate.

More to the point: Why in the Hell should Chavez, let alone any intelligent human, care what Pat Robertson has to say? Why does CNN cover this man when he lets fly with some more of trademarked dumbassery? Seriously, Pat, stick to what you know best: fundamentalism and lobbying for the restriction of human and civil rights. You're good at that.

Make no mistake: Chavez is not a great leader. Between fits of revolutionary fervor, his obsession with Simon Bolivar and his occasional delusions of grandeur, he's done some whacky things. But he is doing something that ensures his political survival- listening to and governing for poor people. As one itinerant farmer said during a recent spate of demonstrations in Caracas, "He's an idiot...but he's our idiot."

The best way to settle this feud, if Chavez can stop laughing for long enough, is to have the two contenders slug it out in some sort of a cage match. This solution makes about as much sense as Robertson's suggestion. If ol' Patty wins, Chavez resigns. If Chavez wins, Robertson would be forced to listen to an intelligent person explain why he's an idiot a la "A Clockwork Orange". I'd say the smart money would be on Chavez.

Using the cage match model, The United States won't be forced to break that pesky law (again) that makes it illegal to assasinate foreign leaders. Also, it might help prevent geriatric moonbats from shooting off their mouths and making death threats.

In that spirit, props to Venezuela for calling Robertson on his neo/theocon bullshit. Said Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel:

“The ball is in the U.S. court, after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country,” Rangel told reporters. “It’s huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist statements like those.”

What? Hyporcitical Americans? I'm shocked. I really hope this %^$%#^& moron doesn't get away with his stupidity again.
Friday, August 19, 2005
  Black: Your Last Name and Your Future
You hear that, Conrad? The sound of your impending incarceration? The final stroke in a long and painfully awkward fall from overstuffed grace?

Does it sound like a ticking clock? Or maybe the incessant sound of footsteps getting closer? Or maybe just the sound of a door slamming as your atavistic, social climbing wife leaves for greener pastures?

If it sounds like I'm taking perverse pleasure in your troubles, you're damn right. The thing is, Conrad, you made it so easy to hate you. Your smugness, your arrogance, your ridiculous biography of FDR, your 'unique' style of corporate management...all of it adds up to make you the personification of pride going before a fall. I am vaguely comforted that the universe still sees it fit to punish hubris. You remind me a bit of Oedipus, except you didn't marry your mother and haven't yet gouged out your eyes. Still, even with his parental indiscretions, I find the ol'King of Thebes a much more sympathetic character than your blustering, pompous self.

To quote a favorite movie gladiator of mine, the time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end. And since that was all you were good at, I wonder what you'll do next. Perhaps your wife will let you hock one of her $10,000 handbags...that should be enough to open a laundromat or something.

I'll come by periodically to wash my socks and laugh.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
  'Peace Mom' Movement Focused on Symptom, Not Disease
My heart goes out to Cindy Sheehan, as it does for everyone who has lost someone in a confused and confusing 'war'.

Still, I can't help but feel the participants in last night's vigils are missing the point. There'a a tendency among progressives to demand the return of all American soldiers from Iraq. This would be a disaster. The United States made one hell of a mess, and they have a clear moral responsibility to clean it up.

In other words, they're stuck. While a military victory over the insurgency is practically impossible, American troops are needed on the ground to prevent civil war, while Iraqi leaders desperately attempt to broker some kind of a political system. An immediate withdrawal of troops would destroy Iraq. It would also violate America's responsibility to Iraq, a responsibility created the moment American boots hit Iraqi soil.

The continuing calls for withdrawal also ignore another moral duty- punishment of the person(s) who got the United States into this mess in the first place. Spin it however you want, but the President of the United States (or as Homer Simpson calls him, Commander Cuckoo Bananas) lied to his constituents, put some pearls on a fundamentally flawed PNAC agenda, and sank his people waist deep in a quagmire. If a little fellatio in the Oval Office can get you impeached, surely this qualifies for regime change a little closer to home.

The United States can't leave Iraq. But they can get rid of the man who put them there- George W. Bush.
Monday, August 15, 2005
  You Locked Out My Morning
I wandered out of my bedroom this morning, bleary-eyed and hungry. Hungry for granola, and hungry for news. What had become of my world during my slumber? What issues and events would dominate my day? What would a Canadian curling star have to say about the weather in Chibougamau? So many questions.

So, as I always do, I switched on CBC Newsworld, eager for some approximation of enlightenment. Instead, I was greeted with a re-run of "Hot Type" with Evan Solomon. Although I found his interview with Tom Wolfe to be mildly interesting, it failed to provide any context on the Gaza Withdrawal or Toronto's latest gun-related homicide (sidebar: gun-related? More like gun-caused, unless the gun was somehow a spectator or told someone to commit a crime. Seems 'gun-related' ignores a pretty specific causal relationship between a firearm and getting shot).

I was confused. Where was my CBC? Why was some unrecognizable reading the top-of-the-hour news in a darkened studio? Where did I leave my pants?

And then I remembered. Ma Corp has locked out its employees. I am left with CBC News, Ghetto-style.

Please, CBC admin and Canada Media Guild: don't force me to watch CTV. Get a new contract, and come back to work. I miss my news.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  Well, You've Got to Admire His Nerve
Niger President Mamdou Tandja has achieved the lucrative triple crown of bad third-world government.

His comments in today's Guardian are an astounding feat of political legerdemain. He manages to:

1. Deny his people are starving (the old "they look fine to me" cop)
2. Criticise the UN and other NGO's for having some nefarious agenda
3. Ask for more money.

Brilliant. With this kind of political vision, I wonder if the citizens of Niger weren't better off with the locusts.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
  Sweet, Sweet Satire Courtesy of the Spaghetti Monster
This is amazing.

A brilliant amateur satirist has sent up the whole "Intelligent Design" (read: christian fundamentalist pseudo-science) movement in American public schools. His device? The all-powerful spaghetti monster. His point? If you can teach intelligent design alongside evolution to allow students to decide which theory makes sense, then you should also teach that the world was created by a giant spaghetti monster. Since both 'alternatives' to evolution are based on a total lack of evidence, they should be equally valid.

Sweet glorious music.

We need more people out there calling the ID folks on their make-believe garbage. Here's my read (and I apologize for lacking the subtlety of the spaghetti monster guy): If you believe in intelligent design, you believe in magic. And, you lack the capacity for rational thought. Just saying.

Of course, the Intelligent Design folks try to dress it up. But like the old saying goes, you can put pearls on a pig, but it's still a pig. This is just a thinly-veiled fundamentalist attempt to squeeze their medieaval world-view into a school system which wisely kicked religion out of the classroom long ago. We need answers, not fairey tales.
Monday, August 08, 2005
  Peter Jennings 1938-2005
I'm sure everyone has heard by now about the death of Peter Jennings from lung cancer at the age of 67. I just wanted to add my own small tribute to a great journalist and anchor. As we lose more and more of these trusted faces, I'm left to wonder who will take their place. In an age of ideological reportage, Fox News and the subordination of truth to spin, we need more than ever professional journalists who will faithfully tell the story. The landscape is a bit bleak, but I'm hopeful a new generation of Kronkites, Brinkleys, Rathers and Jennings will come to the fore.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
  Al-Qaeda - The Ultimate Pyramid Scam

Oh, those wacky extremists. Give 'em a video camera, and they go nuts.

Al-Qaeda Deputy Ayman al-Zawahri has turned up in a new video where he warns the UK that Blair's policy will result in more 'volcanoes of wrath' and other such colourful euphenisms for the cowardly targeting of civilians.

But what strikes me about this new video, other than the fact that Zawahri is bat-shazbot crazy, is how Al Qaeda is a giant, violent pyramid scam. Look, we all no Zawahri had nothing to do with the 7/7 attacks. He lives in a cave. But whenever some misguided and murderous idiot with a deathwish blows himself and a few innocents up, Al Qaeda gets all the credit. It's like how we call all facial tissues 'kleenex', despite the fact that White Swan and Puffs have been making a quality product for years.

There's something so irritatingly immature about men who take credit for other people's actions. Basically you have a bunch of fanatics with a ambitious political agenda who are too scared to do anything about it. So they trick other people into doing their dirty work (the dirtiest dirty work around, as far as I can tell) and then make a fun little movie and tell the world how hardcore they are. Weak. I hope to god these guys are brought to justice, so the world, and there brainless followers, can see them for what they really are. Although satisfying in the short term, a well-aimed JDAM bomb will only make them martyrs. And some other clown will get on camera and tell us all about it.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
  Aren't smart people grand?
Those of you who read this blog (hi mom) will recall last week's post on how peace in Northern Ireland could teach some lessons to other regions in crisis.

Of course, I had no idea what those lessons might be.

Fortunately, my historical and prescriptive shortcomings are more than compensated for by some really smart folks.

Rami G. Khouri, editor of the Beirut Daily Star weighs in with his thoughts, and some fairly prescient advice for dealing with some of the more destructive problems in the Middle East. Here's a sample:

Yet, occupation, subjugation, resistance, and terror are ending in Northern Ireland. This suggests—once again—that terror and political violence are sparked by historical realities, and they can be stopped by other acts of sensible history and wise diplomacy.

Sounds good to me.
Welcome to the Nunc Scio blog. Politics. Media. Culture. Now you know.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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