So…oblivious and hypocritical Canadians exist?

It’s too bad. The majority of the citizens of the nation to my north seem so nice, and they managed to avoid our kind of political embarrassment, so it’s jarring to see some individuals who are total jerks.

Like Andrew Scheer.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for praising Gov. Gen. Julie Payette in the wake of Payette’s suggestion that “divine intervention” did not play a role in the creation of life on Earth.

It is extremely disappointing that the prime minister will not support Indigenous peoples, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Christians and other faith groups who believe there is truth in their religion, Scheer said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Respect for diversity includes respect for the diversity of religious beliefs, and Justin Trudeau has offended millions of Canadians with his comments‎.

Hang on there, Andy. You’ve just mentioned a bunch of groups, Indigenous peoples, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Christians and other faith groups who hold mutually incompatible beliefs about the nature of the universe, and who openly express their beliefs in the public square. Do you think Christians ought to shut up about Jehovah and Jesus because it might offend those who believe in Wakan Tanka? Or is the only group you’d like to silence the atheists? Or how about those millions of Canadian atheists? Should they be offended when you pray to your nonexistent deity as part of official business?

Speaking as an atheist myself, I can disagree and find some beliefs stupid and silly without being offended, and without demanding that people’s beliefs be suppressed.

Also, here’s another Bad Canadian, Jordan Peterson. He’s personally dragging down the reputation of Canada single-handedly. His latest? He is doxxing students who organize rallies to protest his speeches, and siccing his mob of happy fascists on them.

The event, “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses,” would have featured prominent conservative speakers. The planned protest rally posed a potential threat if the two groups were to clash, and Ryerson University felt that it did not have proper security for the event. In one of his tweets, Peterson called the protest’s student organizers “communists (really).”

One of the students’ profiles is no longer publicly available on Facebook. The other student, Christeen Elizabeth, has chosen to keep hers available. She feels Peterson’s action should not be taken as a threat, but rather as validation. “When he doxxed me, he validated me,” she said. “He validated everything that I was saying.”

Elizabeth has received extensive hate mail and harassment via Facebook, some of which have bordered on death threats. “These are his fans,” said Elizabeth. “These are the people he’s pandering to. This is why I take issue.”

Oh. Those two students have managed to rescue the reputation of Canadians everywhere. Good on you, Christeen Elizabeth! Hang in there, silenced student!

11 minute hero

I guess Donald Trump’s twitter account was suspended for a brief 11 minutes yesterday evening — a departing employee took a moment to give us a fleeting respite from the flatulence erupting from the White House. But of course, Twitter was quick to declare this a mistake and to switch the ass-trumpet back on, because they love their popular fascists.

Twitter took responsibility for the outage. In a tweeted statement, the company said Trump’s account was “inadvertently deactivated due to human error” by one of its employees. The account was unreachable for 11 minutes.

Twitter later said the deactivation “was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”

That ex-employee deserves praise for doing what the Twitter management is incapable of doing.

Isn’t it about time we left Twitter en masse for a more responsible service?

The politics of resentment

Do you want to know how a corrupt, incompetent, sleazy plutocrat and reality TV show host became president of the United States? It’s not because he’s doing good things for some underclass, or because he’s representing the under-represented, or even because the Russians told people to vote for him. It’s actually because a lot of resentful white people felt like waving a middle finger at everyone. Here’s a beautiful example of that phenomenon, the ‘hobby’ of “rolling coal”, that is, tricking out your truck so you can make it spew dirty black clouds of smoke at people.

Entire dissertations could be written about rolling coal. Even more than Trump’s ascension, it seems to perfectly capture a moment in time, an inarticulate yawp of protest from angry white men. They feel disdained and overlooked and they will blow thick black smoke in your face until you pay attention.

There’s no faux nostalgia involved. Unlike with, say, hunting, there’s no tale of rugged rural self-sufficiency to draw on. This is not some sturdy heartland tradition with which meddlesome elites want to interfere.

Rolling coal is new; it just caught on a few years ago. It does not improve the performance of a truck. It has no practical application or pragmatic purpose of any kind. It is purely aggressive, a raw expression of defiance: I can pollute your air, for no reason, and no one can stop me.

It makes sense. Donald Trump is the political equivalent of just vomiting disgusting sludge on people.

This is not rational. They’re spending thousands of dollars to modify their trucks to be less efficient, just to spite people.

But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. Your bill will not stop us! Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.

Why don’t you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country, Mr. Blue wrote. I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.

Remember this when they start babbling about freedom. It’s only freedom for them, and they’re not going to tolerate the freedom of others to drive a more efficient and ecologically sound vehicle, like a Prius…and some like to fog bicyclists as well.

Deep fat fry the rich? Stuff ’em with greasy cheese? Gotta think about appropriate fates.

I had Papa John’s pizza once, long ago, and did not care for it at all, and haven’t had any since…which means a boycott by me isn’t going to change anything at all. But since “Papa John”, John Schnatter, is a terrible human being, sure, boycott the place. He’s an evangelical Christian/Republican who hates the poor except when he can suck the money out of their pockets for crappy pizzas. He’s now blaming the NFL for a major financial loss, because somehow the fact that he advertises heavily at games where players are now kneeling to protest racism means viewers buy less pizza? I don’t quite follow the logic, but OK.

Of course, no boycott is going to hurt Schnatter. He’s built a personal fortune of $800 million off his terrible pizza chain, so really, he could not sell a single pizza ever again and he’d still be living on the lap of luxury, praising Jesus and refusing to pay the hired help a decent wage. I guess I’ll have to add his name to the long list of Up Against the Wall nominees.

By the way, how did the boycott of Chik-Fil-A’s homophobic executives go? Nothing seems to get in between awful, exploitive fast food franchises and the American public.

The Battle of Tollense Valley

Here’s an odd little article about some significant archaeological discoveries in Germany: the site of a major Bronze Age battle is being excavated in the Tollense Valley. On the order of 2000 men fought in it; radioisotope analysis reveals that the men came from a couple of distinct geographic areas, and that some of the fighters were presumably mercenaries. At least 130 men died — that’s the number of skeletons that have been dug up. It was a huge conflict, possibly over a nearby causeway, for its time, 3200 years ago.

Yet no one knows who these combatants were, or what they were fighting for, or even who won.

Just keep that in mind next time someone asks people to die for a cause.

Weapon of choice?

Is this how it’s going to be, mass murder by rental truck? It’s another terror attack in NY, with a guy plowing at high speed down a bike lane in Manhattan, killing at least 8.

I do notice that officials were very quick to declare this an attack of terrorism — the driver is reported to have shouted “Allah Akbar” as he took off. Curious, isn’t it, that everyone was slow to call the same behavior in Charlottesville an act of terror…I guess “MAGA” isn’t enough of a sign.

Money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy against the United States

The first indictments have come down, and the targets are Paul Manafort and his crony, Richard Gates. I suspect it’s the money charges — money laundering and tax evasion — that are really going to hurt Manafort and Gates. If conspiracy and treason could get you in trouble, we’d have to arrest most of the members of the Republican party.

Let’s hope these two are just the start.

Both sides

Ladies and gentlemen, behold our new Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft.

I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.

She is a “business consultant”, her husband is the CEO of a coal company, and they donated $2 million to the Trump campaign.

I wonder if she thinks her dodge was clever? Because it wasn’t.