Friday, January 30, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, It's Class Warfare Time

Okay, it's not burning rich people over the spit and making their wives eat their roasted flesh, but it's still setting a maximum salary for private executives, so at least it's a step away from idolizing the rich.

I can't say whether this is a good thing from an economic point of view, but it's nice to see Americans stop touting the majesty and effervescent economic aura of the wealthy.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do They Use Editors at the G&M?

Read this article and try to make sense of it.
The Islamic Hamas movement says one of its members has been wounded in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip.

The air strike comes hours after a roadside bomb along Israel's border with Gaza killed an Israeli soldier and wounded three others.

Okay. So the ceasefire was apparently broken by Hamas's roadside bomb to which Israel retaliated with an air strike. The article points out that the bomb may have been planted before the ceasefire, but that's not the point. The point is: Hamas went first; then Israel.

Read on.
In what appeared to be an unconnected incident Tuesday, Palestinian security officials said Israeli troops along the border shot and killed a 27-year-old man and wounded two others. Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of Gaza's Health Ministry said the dead man was a farmer. The military had no immediate comment.

And this happened before or after the roadside bomb? And how can anything in such a small area be considered "unconnected"?

The article says that Israel declared a ceasefire on January 17 and Hamas followed suit. Except ...
In the days immediately following the ceasefire there was shelling by Israeli gunboats and some gunfire along the border — including the killing of two men Palestinian officials identified as farmers — but there were no serious clashes until Tuesday.

Er, what? In "the days"? How many days? How many shells? Why isn't the fact that Israel continued shelling Gaza after "unilaterally declaring a ceasefire" up near the top of the article where Hamas is blamed for breaking the ceasefire?

If we're supposed to consider the Globe and Mail to be a newspaper, shouldn't they edit these articles so we can tell in what order the events happened? Did the Israelis kill 3 farmers, during a ceasefire, to which Hamas responded by using an IED to kill 3 soldiers? Or was it the other way around?

Events happen in relation to time. Believe it or not, it actually matters which ones happen first.

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The Gullible & Mail

The writers at the Globe and Mail have always been full of naivety whenever it comes to Prime Minister Harper and they're continuing in that vein today.
Stephen Harper's government opened the new Parliament with an atypical tone of contrition, in a Throne Speech that spoke of compromise and consultation and borrowed phrases from opponent Michael Ignatieff.

Mr. Harper had used past Throne Speeches to launch games of political chicken with adversaries, daring them to vote against plans they disliked and then face an election.

Oh, yes. Harper is contrite. Harper is friendly. He's compromising and consulting now. Especially if you compare him to the guy who tried to bankrupt all of the other parties by taking away - retroactively even - their public funding. That works fine for the Party of the Wealthy and its big business donors. It doesn't work as well for parties supported by working people and the poor.

But how gullible is the Globe and Mail?

In the past election, they endorsed him. I wrote about how they highlighted his stubbornness, his vengeful nature and his my-way-or-the-highway history and still endorsed him on account of the fact that he was "a different Stephen Harper". They wrote that he deserved a majority where we would be stuck with him for five years.

Then the real Stephen Harper reared his head, spouting flames, and tried to destroy his opponents with a cheap, back-door bankrupting trick. This got their backs up so thoroughly that had to prorogue Parliament. Now Stephen Harper comes back "contrite" and "compromising" and the G&M headlines the article with "Harper's words carry a softer tone"?

There's a point where, no matter how apologetic he gets, you have to leave a guy who slaps you around.

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Bank Fees Look Like Thievery

I mean, seriously.

TD wants to charge you $35 when you're not using your line of credit. They call it an "inactivity fee". This can't be anything other than thievery.

Think about it.

You have a credit account set aside for emergencies. You haven't used it in years because things have been going pretty well. You get occasional bank statements telling you that it's at zero balance, right where it should be. You grow complacent in examining those statements, all of them being the same after all. One day, one of those statements has a $35 fee on it, probably being debited from your chequing account very quietly. You don't notice because the account still has a zero balance and the fee is off on a part of the page you don't read anymore.

If you had a choice in this scam and if you were warned you would undoubtedly close the account. But they're going to do it on the sly. They always do it on the sly. I've had it done to me on my investing account with another bank. Now TD will do it on a credit line.

Secret fees to feed the bottom line.


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The Media Sucks: Strike Coverage

I wanted to entitle this one, "The Media Sucks Cock", but I've never used the word "cock" derogatorily (or even in the sense of fowl) on this blog, and I don't want to start now.

The York Faculty Strike has been going on for weeks now and what does the globe and mail bring us? There's a strike. No one wants to negotiate. The NDP is stalling. The workers aren't happy. The mediator never really tried to mediate.

And ... the issues are? No, seriously. Why are they striking? I've heard vaguely, from non-mainstream sources, that there's something going on that has to do not with salary but from the fact that the lecturers have to re-apply for their jobs every year regardless of how many years they've been there. Is that true?

How about the OC transpo strike? Ottawa has been without bus services for almost 50 days now. What are the issues there.

Nothing. Just a bland, vapid coverage that allows the right wing blowhards to scream bloody murder about unions.

The media sucks.

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