February 18, 2006

Bud Talkinghorn: Saturday Comment

Limousine Liberal hypocrisy

Usually the targets of laughter at the contradictions of others are conservatives. However, conservatives like Rush Limbaugh--a perpetually stoned man calling for heavy mandatory drug sentences--and Stephen Harper--"We want an elected Senate" ***--do not have a monopoly on hypocrisy. In the United States, that great poobah of liberalism, Noam Chomsky, who states that the very idea of private property is anethema to him, owns a $850,000 house and a $1.2 million "cottage" in Wellfleet, Mass. Not the reality, but the "idea", you understand. This is reported to us by Peter Schweizer, in his book "Do as I say (not as I do) Profiles of Liberal hypocrisy."

Then there is Michael Moore, the scourge of all things conservative. He is on record as saying, "I don't own a single stock." Schweizer then goes on to list numerous stocks held in Moore's name. Included is one for Halliburton stock, the company Moore claims is run by "thugs". The author sees Moore as the archetypal hypocrite, who, when investigated is "particularily pathological, in the way everything he says is 180 degrees from what he does." Of course we have our own uber-hypocrites. Take John Ralston Saul, who often criticizes Canadian "elites", but once elevated from obscure social commentator to the bright lights of Rideau Hall, started asking people to refer to him as "Your Excellency". Even as he clutched the homeless issue to his breast, he was living very large on the taxpayers' dime. But no piece on hypocrisy could neglect our ex-PM's legacy.

Martin castigated the Quebec sovereignists, while making Jean Lapierre, the co-founder of the Bloc Quebecois, his chief lieutenant for that province. He used a private clinic while telling us we mustn't. He tightened the tax haven loopholes, but left the one he uses as legal. He maintained the Charter is untouchable; yet blurted out during the debate that he would yank out the notwithstanding clause--our only defense against a rampant "activist" Supreme Court. Finally, he had the gall to try to shame America at the UN Climate Change Conference. He scolded it over its "lack of conscience" about emission control. The truth was that since 1990, America's record has been double ours--only an increase of 13% to our whopping 23% increase. He was simply playing up to the UN's leftist and thug nations who love to bash America. How, after all these reported hypocricies, he did as well as he did in the election is a mystery. Maybe it was his urban ploy to ban all handguns. Another billion dollar boondoggle, but so what? Outside the city's ghettoes, most Torontians haven't any handguns anyway. A safe election gambit, that one. He and Chretien should make up and create some fabulist version of how they erased the democratic deficit in Canada.

© Bud Talkinghorn--Just not to kick a man when he is down, I didn't get into how Martin claimed that the Conservatives were the real reason for Quebec's anti-federalist sentiment. Liberals were.

*** Bud, PM Harper might still change the law and give Canada an elected Senate, or at least, its first elected Senators. In making his Senate appointment, he said that the new Senator Fortier would go to the people. Harper used the tools he had to give representation to Vancouver and BC, the latter particularly important with the cost overruns related to the Olympics and construction and the business expansion related to ports, rail and pipeline(s). Personally, what I see as problems with the appointments are:

* There is not a compelling reason to give special representation to those who have not voted for Conservative representation. Apportion ministerial positions to those areas which elected Conservatives.

* All MP's are supposed to represent the interests of ALL of Canada, not just their own patch. Emphasize this for a change from the Liberals.

* Two elected Senators from Alberta are waiting to sit in the Senate; it is time.

* Did the rest of Canada get a hearing when most of the important positions in Canada were held by Quebeckers and Francophones? (j0ke question) Why add to the assumption that somehow this is "owed" to Quebec? Already every government nook and cranny--think civil service and their union--is top-heavy with Francophones. Why? It is demonstrably unfair to a large segment of Canada, that group who speak English.

Finally, everyone, stop telling Anglophones not to notice; we're tired of it. We can see; we can read; we know exactly what has been going on. Now, get over it. Address our concerns. NJC, Anglo

Celebrity is ruining golf

It is bad enough that any game that Tiger plays in becomes a Tigerthon. This is half-way reasonable if Tiger is leading the tournament; however it even extends to Tiger flailing around in the rough, twelve strokes off the lead. Still nothing could surpass this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Open. Sure, it is a celebrity event; that is why it is five days long. In the past, the network would give over most of the first three days to the antics of Bill Murray, but then zero in on the pros. This year the celebs were the focus for four days. Meanwhile Mike Weir was shooting the best rounds of the tournament. He appeared twice to my recollection. What is next? All five days devoted to how George Lopez's new series is going, or some such? Heck, why not cancel the pro part altogether, and turn the event over to Hollywood Access? It is a bad sign indeed, my golfing friends. The Olympics have been going into that touchy-feelie dark side for a while now. We don't get to see the 25th place Nigerian skier actually ski, but we will be treated to a half hour "backgrounder" on his struggles to make it. True fans must protest this smarmy emotionalism that is engulfing sport's programing. Show us the actual players as they perform please.

© Bud Talkinghorn

I concur; I hate the way the programming does not specify which sport is going to be shown; at least, what I looked at was not listed in the schedule of events to be shown. I stumbled upon skating when looking for something else. Mixing sports with a little here, a little there, and a whole lot of interviewing the individuals involved -- not a good idea. I want to see the performances with a little commentary. I love the breathtaking display of those who skateboard the half pipe, but I hold my breath for them. I don't want to watch some sports such as the bobsled run or cross-country skiing. Some sports are meant to be participatory, not watched and cross-country is one of these. Let us choose.

I love the ice dancing, along with other figure skating events. I am waiting to see Dubreuil and Lauzon tomorrow; they are simply wonderful to watch, also Sasha Cohen, and a few others. Does anyone else think the emphasis on jumping--quads, for example--has gone too far? I don't want to see these healthy looking people get hurt. Could we have more artistry and less potential for damage? Or is that a personal view not shared? NJC

Manufactured news

Over and over again we are shown the pictures of British soldiers meting out street justice to rioters in Iraq. Now it turns out that as the riot broke out, a mortar round had been lobbed at the Brit headquarters. The teenagers were throwing rocks (gasoline cocktails also?) at the British troops. From the film clips, it appears that the soldiers had cornered some ring leaders. Nothing like being an armchair general and micromanaging the events to exclaim, "unacceptable brutality". Really? As one British soldier told BBC, "That time period was one of sheer hell. All day long, we fought against vicious rioting, while the nights were filled with armed attacks. Probably some of the same people involved" Let's not turn what happens in every soccer hooligan riot and its cop aftermath into another Abu Graib. They were simply lucky that the soldiers weren't Iraqi.

It goes without saying that any bad news for the coalition forces is good news for the liberal media.

© Bud Talkinghorn

The tears of Africa are a constant

Many decades after freedom from colonialism, most of Africa is sliding into a "fifth world" state. Thousands of Sierra Leonians cannot even tie their shoe laces because their arms or hands have been amputated during the civil war. Children in Liberia, Uganda, and the Congo are irredeemably scarred by being forced to fight for various warlords--often told to kill their own family to show loyalty. AIDS stalks all of sub-Saharian Africa. Even relatively successful states like Botswana are ravaged by huge AIDS rates. Zimbabwe, once the food basket of southern Africa is now a basketcase, where the starving population is kept alive by Western food aid--it helps if you are ZANU supporter. South Africa has gone from being the most prosperous state to a future as another failed state. Despite a horrendous AIDS epidemic, Mbeki, the President, believes that poverty, not HIV, causes AIDS. He also refuses to condemn that neighbour monster, Mugabe. The Muslim North Africa is mired in a battle between the fundamentalists and the more Western oriented governments. The race back to the 7th century versus evolving into something better is the essence of that struggle.

Africa has become the darling issue for Chretien, Martin, Lewis, Annan and, of course, Bono. Despite untold billions pumped into African countries, there is little progress to show. Many are worse off than when they were colonies. Part of the problem--besides corruption, civil wars and tribal superstitions--is that Canada spreads its CIDA aid too widely. We aid over 150 different countries, so no country gets concented attention. It would be efficacious to narrow that down to 10 or 15. Pick some countries that has shown some degree of self-reliance and are relatively unkleptocratic. Isolate areas that would make the greatest advancement for the average citizen. Monitor the funds so they don't go to the "big Man's" tribe only. Uganda seems to be trying to rise up, but is bogged down by an insane rebellion by the Lord's Army, so give the central government military advisors also. The Congo is basically a lost cause, so send our peace keepers there over to Uganda. If a few countries begin the voyage to democracy and progress, it might influence their neighbours. Finally, we could give those targeted countries a break on tariffs for their exports. A co-ordinated effort is the key. Simply shovelling money to the kleptocrats is not an option anymore. Canadians want to see real benefit to the tax money supplied.

An example of misguided funding is to the UN's Stephen Lewis, who wants billions spent on AIDS drugs for Africans, while most experts support sexual education to stem the neverending explosion of new cases. Uganda used that approach and it is working. If Lewis's remedy were applied, the overload of new cases would swamp any contribution. It is time to stop trying to mop up all Africa's tears and center on the potential survivors.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Today's Holy Horror Show

Cinema verite has reached greater peaks. If you can't afford to subscribe to the Terror channel--"thrills and chills galore"-- then merely check out our productions. The Osama Media Group, in conjunction with the Saudi Orphan Association and al-Jazeera, brings you the best in vibrant entertainment. Check out the enclosed program notes.

"Yesterday, we video-taped the blowing up of 200 young Western tourists, our attempt at film noir. Critics complained about the lack of visuals and Yankee victims, but we're capable of moving the drama a notch higher. Today's program presents a thousand terrified Russian elementary children, surrounded by rigged bombs and machine guns. We don't want to give away the finale, so stay with this riveting three part series. You won't forget the explosive ending!" Now for a sneak preview of an upcoming attraction. What should happen to Iraqi apostate children accepting candy from the infidel Americans? Follow the decision filmed in gore-a-scope. For up-coming beheadings, check your local al-Jazeera channel guide.

Join with millions of Muslims around the world who consistently give us two bloody thumbs up. You too will be screaming, "Encore! Encore! Allah akbar!"

© Bud Talkinghorn

Rousing the Rabble, Latin and Muslim style

I am always shocked when people are shocked at how easily certain groups can be aroused to murderous fury by their leaders. It might be instructive to examine two past examples from others on Argentina and Nigeria. When the Falkland War broke out in the early eighties, the Argentines rushed to the presidental Casa Rosada to proclaim the military dictator, General Gaultieri, a hero. The fact that the entire country had cursed him and rioted over his abysmal rule for the week preceding his invasion, was lost in the nationalistic hysteria. Gaultieri was so convinced that England would never attack over a pile of rocks in the South Atlantic that he staked his reputation on the reconquest of "Las Malvinas" (as Argentines called the Falklands). He and the Argentines never counted on Margaret Thatcher's resolve. When the British prevailed, the same mobs returned to the Galtieri's Casa Rosada to throw him out of office. The final result for Argentina was an economic collapse that eclipsed their previous malaise. By 1984, it took 732,000 pesoes (or more since the number rose so fast) to buy a greenback. The same kind of demagoguery has been used by numerous Latin American countries to win elections. In Venezuela's case, Hugo Chavez, its leftist leader has reduced his country's GDP by 23% in his five year reign, this, despite the country's vast oil reserves.

Further back in time, there was the Biafran war. Nigeria is roughly split between the Islamic north and the Christian / animistic south. Of all the tribes, the Ibo were the ones to most advance through British colonial education. After the independence of Nigeria, it was the Ibo who became the administrative and educational elites. The least educated were the Hausa and Fulani of the north. Mired in an Islamic distrust of Western education, they bristled at being ruled by the Christian Ibos. Kano was the epicenter of this xenophobia. The answer was to slaughter them. The Ibos fled southward, but were rebuffed by the other southern tribes, who also resented their dominance. Finally, the Ibo gathered in their traditional homeland in South-East Nigeria, where they claimed independence and renamed their area Biafra. Through military force and a starvation policy, they were defeated in 1970. Nigeria began its slow retreat into economic and social decline. The northern provinces have enforced sharia law; inter-religious conflict with the infidels amongst them has become endemic. A full-blown religious war is not out of the question. The murderous frenzy by Muslims during the Miss Universe contest in Abuja is but one of numerous such mindless rampages. If Biafra had been remembered, we shouldn't be surprised.

© Bud Talkinghorn


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