Wednesday, August 31, 2011


For those not hanging on every ripple in Canadian parliamentary politics, the official Leader of the Opposition, having dragged his party across the finish line in a second place showing, from a few dozen seats to over 100 -- an unprecedented surge, so stunning that people far and wide have mistaken it for some kind of sea change in Canadian loyalties -- died before he had a chance to savour his victory.

In reality, the 2011 election was, in fact, a very deliberate demonstration on the part of Quebeckers that they were fed to the teeth with all the other parties and were engaging in a province-wide snit. In addition, the Liberals had elected as head of their party a man as warm and engaging as the haughty, French-looking presidential candidate who-by-the-way-served-in-Vietnam John Forbes Kerry -- I speak of former Hahrvard intellectool, Michael Ignatieff, who parlayed a long and successful career as a perfessor and talking head into a short and clumsy political career back in Canada. He pushed the government into an election which all thinking persons knew he would lose. He did. His once-ruling party has nearly disappeared.

All this put the official leftist fringe into the Official Opposition chair, making lifelong political hack Jack Layton (Head of the New Democratic Party, Canada's official socialists) the Leader of the

Quite apart from his lifelong dedication to every idiot cause on the planet, one had to hand it to Layton that he had taken his merry band of wingnuts to a startling new height in a very short time. And no one would wish on Mr. Layton what happened next: he was found to be in the grip of terminal cancer, and died within months of his political zenith.

It was not hard to muster sympathy even for such a leftist wingnut in this unhappy situation -- but sympathy was taxed when it was clear that, even in death, he was still pandering to the constituencies. There was a smarmy, cliche-ridden farewell Letter to the Nation, straight from the heart -- the heart of Jack, his equally political hack wife, and a sub-committee of advisers; there was the flooding bathos tub of teddy-bear grief and shrines; there was the Prime Minister's absurd (yet politically astute) granting of a State Funeral which morphed (unsurprisingly) into a near Wellstone Memorial.

The final act of this folk opera was the disposal of the remains. Not Gaul, but Jack, was divided into three parts, to be distributed in three meaningful, uh, ridings, as it were, strewn like rose petals at an Augustan triumph.

And of course, all was complete with the rite of Deification: the outpourings of praise so over-the-top that even some reporters (themselves the swooners-in-chief) eventually had to cry "Hold! Enough!"

But if one were to survey the Canadian major media as a visitor from the far side of Mars -- or, alternatively, from the online magazine
Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. -- one could not be blamed for mistaking Jack Layton for the reincarnation of Ghandi and Marcus Aurelius. Hence the KoolAid-sodden outpourings of an innocent young Sarah Palin fan named Adam Brickley. He produced a glowing paean to a politician he'd never really seen in action, entitled Jack Layton: A socialist who earned the admiration of conservatives.

Really? Who knew?

He goes on:
...frankly I found his political ideas to be both appalling and dangerous, but he was arguably the single greatest politician of his generation — anywhere in the world... People will be studying Layton’s achievements and strategies for decades to come.

Then he addresses Jack:

I have a sneaking suspicion that your story is going to be made into a major Hollywood blockbuster someday.
Puh-leeeeze! Chill out, kid!

I couldn't help myself: I had to set him straight. Find me in the comments, and I have some knowledgeable support.

Jack Layton, Superhero. 1950-2011.

Resting in pieces.

Layton looks warmly at notorious Canadian abortionist Henry "Dr. Death" Morgentaler, whose Order of Canada honours Layton heartily endorsed. Morgentaler, appropriately enough, showed up for the funeral.

Friday, August 26, 2011



Betsy M. Galliher
at American Thinker juxtaposes the burial of the best and bravest, with the sinking of the little round white ball into the cup for umpty-thousandth time as the Commander-in-Chief of United States military forces shoots up with his nine-iron and feeds his golf habit yet again.

Some Gave All, Obama Shot Par

Meanwhile, back at the Big White Ranch on Pennsylvania Avenue, there's leakage in them there castle walls. The whole dirt dished on Michelle O's "vacation junkie" habits -- and, as usual, it takes the foreign press to do the dishing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Hat-tip, Swindle Vision, via GatewayPundit. You gotta love it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ODDS AND SODS (Just to prove I'm here)

Me and the spousal unit recently sat down for a re-view of The Last Waltz, cinematic chronicle of the final concert by The Band. [OMG what a sycophantic little schmuck Scorsese is!] As often happens, I sit with the lap-top on my lap (so conformist of me) and do some background and fact-checking while watching a "period piece".

One slice of info unearthed that evening brought a smile to my face: for her pop-crap version of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Joan Baez admits being content to get the lyrics wrong because she just pulled what she thought she heard from The Band's recording without checking them for accuracy -- but, even better, the Baez version spent awhile among the top ten on the charts: the EASY LISTENING charts. BWA-HA-HA!!!!!!

There's also the sad element of doing this sort of thing: checking up on which members of The Band are dead and how it happened. Sigh. On the up side, drummer Levon Helm had throat cancer, lost his voice, recovered it, and is still singing. Though he has a positively alarming set of dentures.


On the 100th anniversary of the founding of the designated "Royal Canadian Navy" and nearly a hundred years since the inception of the famous RCAF, these two branches of the military are finally regaining their original honours, once again to be called "Royal" instead of being a pocket of the unspeakably banal "Canadian Forces" in their generic green security guard uniforms, an entity created in 1968 under the foam rubber aegis of the insufferable Franco-hippie
Pierre Trudeau.

The story is that veterans have been agitating for this change for a chunk of the last decade. But I bet the whole thing got a big boost from the visiting Heir to the Throne, who showed up looking like a plausible monarch, and put on his flight suit to do helicopter search and rescue exercises with the lads. Good show.

Huzzah and Ooh-Rah!!!! Let the Red Ensigns fly again!!!!
That is all.


Remember this post on the kick downstairs of a certain aircraft carrier CO? Well, I hope those who made it happen are proud. Turns out that when it came to morale, the #2 man for the job was pretty much, well, "Number Two", if ya get my drift. [I STAND CORRECTED: change of command on the Big E was not related to any leadership shortcomings.]

Just sayin', if you're listenin' , Corinne Reilly.

Some Grundy/Reilly approved video entertainment for today's USN:

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Will I ever tire of using that phrase to announce my continued existence and return to blogging? Short answer: no.

I'm working on a Big Post, which will have to wait until my head clears (nauseating details of the state of my health we shall forego, but I have suffered an invasion which may or may not have some relation to my having ordered the E-Coli special at a St. John's McDonald's).

In the meantime, I will bring closure to my previous musings on the Great Canadian/Newfoundlandian mini-series, Random Passage.

By the time I had finished tape 3 out of 4, I had begun to get impatient with the characters and their endless personal drammers, so I looked on the internet to see if it was going to unfold as I was privately predicting. It turned out that I was not quite correct on all the details, but I had the gist of it down. Still I persevered with watching all of it, and reached two somewhat related conclusions:

(1) One could be justified in nick-naming this work "Random Sausage" -- I think that's self-explanatory;

(2) If there was anything you could call a "surprise ending" it was the late chapters set in St. John's, in which the EEEEEVIL Catholic Church was portrayed like some collection of cartoon villains, injuring, enslaving, and cheating the poor workmen of the town in order to build a huge cathedral* to the glory of the local Bishop* (called, inexplicably, "your Lordship").

In other words, it's just the typical sort of artistic venture which government grant pimps of Canada cheerfully fund and support with regularity.

*Never mind that the actual cathedral in question was not begun until 1841, several years after the Random Passage story ends (1837), and that Newfoundland did not get its first Catholic bishop until 1847. But, ya know, whatever.

Stay tuned for more important news and views.

Monday, August 01, 2011

GASTROENTERITIS just my latest excuse for not blogging much. It's been a busy time, going from two weeks at Camp Ikon, quick turnaround to Newfoundland, popped home to meet new girlfriend of #3 son, popped back to the Rock, attacked viciously by evil Virus which may or may not be connected with ordering the E-Coli special at a certain St. John's McDonald's.

Time to address more pressing events.

Remember when "WHAT A RIOT!!!" was a colloquialism describing some form of jolly and benign form of having a few laughs and a good old time?

Suddenly the globe, our home, is dotted about with way too numerous sites of genuinely vicious attacks and full-blown mass riots, with looting and arson and beatings and floods -- that is to say, floods of perfectly ridiculous sociological explanations for what drives the "youf" of today to turn so angry and hostile, and to "act out" in this dramatic, excessive (you meant EVIL shurely????) ways.

Since quite a number of these riots, and the accompanying explanatory blather, have been breaking out across the Mother Country, Merrie Olde Englande, I could not help but recall a truly stirring song written in ironic tribute to William Blake's poem/hymn to Britain, Jerusalem -- the song, first recorded on a 1994 mix CD by the artists of the No Masters independent folk label, is called Jerusalem Revisited, with its stinging lyrics penned by one of my all-time favourite songwriters (and a very nice fellow indeed, as I discovered subsequently and in person) Jim Boyes, the bass voice in the Midlands-based trio Coope Boyes and Simpson. Hear the pure and clear tone of tenor Barry Coope, with Boyes and baritone Lester Simpson joining in, making what may be the finest harmonies in modern acapella folksong happening anywhere, anytime.

Free music - Jerusalem Revisited

Now this version of Blake's hymn was written with the kindest possible classic left/Labour/socialist instinct for compassion, and it is sung with an artistry that elicits chills and tears. (I first heard it live at a tiny club in Chesterfield, when Barry was suffering a sore throat and under some stress to perform at all. But he asked us beforehand, what we, the visitors from Canada, would like to hear, and my spousal unit said "Jerusalem," he delivered it, in all its searing poignancy. It was brilliant.)

But.... here's that "but-monkey" that has the potential to slap all the compliments to hell -- I wish it weren't so. But, the more time that has passed since I first heard that song, the more I have been forced to see that the lyrics written in satire constitute a picture of the unhappy truth. At first it was just a line here or there that struck me as too true, in a way the Jim Boyes did not intend. As events have unfolded over all these years, fact has overwhelmed poetry and transformed the song into a prophetic news report rather than the twisted Tory vision that the early stanzas were meant to be. Once upon a time, I could read these lyrics and "tut-tut." Now one must read them and weep.

The first phrase that leapt out at me years ago was "...head full of jagged images/ somebody's crazy mixed-up son"........

Oh my --this post has just had a strange journey in and out of consciousness.  It showed as a "draft" in my Blogger file, which I thought was a mistake, and so I posted it.  Now I see it ends abruptly, so maybe it was an unfinished draft after all.  AGH!  The "jagged images" reference was headed towards a reflection on the agitated minds of the video game generation, which seems self-explanatory if one pays any attention to what's going on in that product line.  That's as much as I care to reflect at the moment.  Maybe another day.

Suffice to say, this was meant to be posted in the latter part of the summer of 2011.  So I'll stick it in roundabout there, and have done with it for now.