Monday, December 27, 2004

From (somewhat) sunny Boca Raton, FL...

I wish you all a very Happy Holi-DRAY season, and all the best for 2005.

Not only that, but for all you kids left behind in the deep freeze of the Great Canadian Winter of 2004-2005, I sincerely wish that you were all here. Seriously. Like... I really mean it, man!

Actually... I had to endure 26-hours+ on the road between Halifax and Toronto, not counting the 3 hours on a snow-and-ice clogged portion of the 401 outside of Scarb-eristan, interrogation by homeland security about my intents in FL, and a slightly cramped flight to FLL.

And what do I get for my trouble: relatively crap weather. But at least it ain't snowing.

I'll be back in T-dot 5 Jan 2005... back in Halifax on 9 Jan 2005. For the time being, don't expect too much rantage from me, since access to a computer is at a serious slim premium. In fact, I'm posting this on an Apple notebook at the Apple Store at Town Center Mall in Boca. Not a bad piece of machinery, this PowerBook G4 with an AirPort Extreme interface, even though I consider Apple products to be nothing more than glorified toys, but that's my opinion.

Anyways... until I come up with something interesting, keep a clean body, a dirty mind, stay tuned and have fun.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Dumb fuck: see YOUNG BUCK

Last month's Vibe Awards was intended to be a celebration of urban hip-hop cultcha.

But, given the genre's reputation for pissy, petty infightin' and frontin', the celebration became a confrontation when some muthafucka tried to bust a move on Dr. Dre's face when he received a lifetime achievement award.

The result was hot heads frontin' and shit. And you know what happens when muthafuckas start frontin'... they start bitch-slappin' each other.

Which led to this bum note by G-Unit home Young Buck:

The rapper, whose given name is David Darnell Brown, was accused in a complaint of stabbing Jimmy James Johnson in retaliation after Johnson allegedly punched Brown's mentor, Dr. Dre, during the taping of the show Nov. 15.

Now, why did that bitch-ass sucka tried to put the smackdown on Dre? Some people say that Suge Knight had it in big-time for the Dr. and that he probably hire some goon to give him some upside-the-head action to make an example.

As I've said before, the genre is infamous for petty infighting. And David's actions doesn't make things any better.

Fuck what the Source said about hip-hop being ruined by Eminem... the immature antics of some of the performers - and thank God that they're all so few and far in between - make the genre no more than an urban "minstrel show", with all the ghetto booty thrown in for good measure. Almost every hip-hop video shown on MTV. Much and BET feature the same tired shit of ghetto boasting, Blaxploitation fantasies and of course, ghetto booty.

And it's a shame that ather artists like Black-Eyed Peas, KRS-One, Public Enemy and K-os are being shunted aside in favour of the more "telegenic" "Gangsta" rappers. Talk about style smacking-down substance. And you thought that Eminem was a factor - remember 3rd Bass, House of Pain or even Cypress Hill? And these ain't no garden variety whiggas either - they held their own by doing what they did best: rhyming to the beat and keeping the groove.

I think it was Chuck D. from Public Enemy who claimed that rap was the Black Man's CNN (I may be wrong but this is my blog, muthafucka...), but I digress - beat poetry, blues, early r'n'b transmitted the same social and political concepts way before someone started messing up the turntables. Sadly, hip-hop is becoming more Springer than Larry King. And that's a shame.

If only the playas would just grow the fuck up and stick to the music.

Who'll be the new Husker Du?

Husker Du - the name evokes mystery, mythology and head-scratchings followed by the occasional "Hmmm" upon listening to the Minnesota trio's body of work.

Nowadays, the band is no more, with Bob Mould currently soldiering on with solo work and activism (and his own blog to boot).

But what of the contenders? Who would carry the torch that the Huskers once held in a genre that I would call "Adult Punk"?

Were Husker Du responsible for the rise of pop-punk (or was it punk-pop) and it's derivatives - adult-Alternative, emo and the ilk? We may debate this until the cows come home. The fact of the matter is what band would fit in with the likes of Husker, Soul Asylum, Urge Overkill and the Afghan Whigs?

Nirvana may come to mind if it weren't for that sad day in April 1994 when Kurt Cobain decided to permanently go solo. For all it's rage, the band made itself surprisingly accessible to the general public that many clones have sprung up. That phenomenon always was, is and ever will be neither new or special in the realm of pop muzak, but in the era of super-sized fast-food muzak production, people wanted more of that sound and that vibe.

Like any other indie band, Husker Du didn't cater to the taste of fast-food muzak junkies - they seemed content with doing their own thing on their own terms.

Do other bands have what it takes to be the next Husker Du? Allow me to roll off the following that I know...

  1. Green Day - SoCal power trio. Started life as your average "ponk" band. Recent offering "American Idiot" showcased mature and political themes;

  2. Blink-182 - Another SoCal power trio. Started life as a rambunctious "ponk" band. Started getting a bit more serious with "Adam's Song" on "Enema of the State". Epynominous last offering started to touch on adult angst;

  3. Good Charlotte - Started off as your average emo-glam-punk outfit. Latest release "Chronicles of Life and Death" is seen as a foray to the dark side;

  4. Sum-41 - Started life as Ajax, ON "ponkers" with a taste for hip-hop and hair metal (see video for "Fat Lip/Pain for Pleasure"). Nearly got asses blown off in Congo. Experience led to latest offering "Chuck";

  5. Billy Talent - Named after fictional guitarist "Billy Tallent" in "Hard Core Logo". Both punk and screemo, they posses serious, yet acessible sensibilities.

By the way... I think that a Husker Du box set is long over-du, don't you think.

Trust me... you do.

Next up: who'll be the new Paris Hilton? Stay tuned.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Hockey: is our State Religion on hold?

I just have to say this...


That's right, at about this time, the NHL and the NHLPA are at a standoff.

Actually, right about now it's a Mexican standoff, since the two warring factions are now faced with the wrath of the media, the fans and players in other leagues who have ice dreams of facing off for the Stanley Cup.

Hockey is what keeps up Canadians talkative around the water cooler. That's right, Yanks... go ahead with your NFL, MLB and the NBA... up here, hockey isn't just a sport: it's a religion.

Like any other religion, you have your practioners and choirboys (Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr), the ushers (also known as "referees"), the novices (rookies), the high priests (Gretzky, Lemieux), the saints (Bill Barilko, Tim Horton, Gil Perreault, Guy Lafleur), the cathederals (Maple Leaf Gardens, le Forum de Montréal, Madison Square Gardens), the laymen (Ray Bourque, Mike Bossy, Theo Fleury), the popes (Pat Burns, Toe Blake, Roger Nielson, Jacques Lemaire), and even a prophet (the Man Himself, Don Cherry!).

There's a congregation (the season ticket holders), tithing (ticket and concession prices), the singing of hymns (Oh, Canada and the Star Spangled Banner) along with the amens (Na Na Naah Naah - Hey Heyy... GOODBYE) and of course the holy sacrements (the entry of players, the dropping of the puck).

Hell... the sport also has its own inquisitors - can you say Bob Probert and Tie Fuckin' Domi, kids?

But today, the practitioners, the laymen, the inquisitors, the choirboys - the lot are locked out due to a contract dispute with powers that be led by Gary Bettman - a former NBA exec who is still trying to get a grip on what hockey - our religion - is all about.

Like all other contract disputes, this is all about money and job security. It isn't as if the practicing clergy is starving - they're gettng paid quite decently for their troubles. But hockey is a game that causes lots of injuries, and the cost of fixing up whatever ails the clergy keeps going up.

The porblem is that neither the clergy and the powers that be could see eye-to-eye as equals. Both parties claim that whatever they propose would be in the best interests of the sport, the fans and the players. Yet there stand these two hulking rocks of Gibraltars saying, "Fuck you - your proposal sucks cock" for the past few months, without mention of compromise, concession or consensus.

In the end, everyone loses, with the fans losing the most. Because without hockey, our winters would be without purpose or meaning. There would be no water cooler conversations or barroom philosophising, nor would there be any point of reference or inspiration for hockey players young and old, since anything normally shown on CBC Saturday nights act as dream sequences, with body checks, hat tricks, power plays, short-handed goals, penalty killings and fighting - err... creative conflict management.

But at least the Saturday night hockey widows would be able to spend some more quality time with their loved ones.

Whatever the liabilities or benefits there may be, these two warring factions should get their shit together and learn to come to a decent consensus before it becomes too late to start a decent season.

Luckily, the smaller leagues are starting to fill the void left by the NHL. If there is a silver lining to this dark cloud of shinny pessimism, it would be in form of the AHL, QJHL, OHL and all the other leagues. But the average Canadian NHL fan is spoiled and jaded - he wants to see the stars now, not under development. And this is where the NHL and NHLPA should take a small step back and survey the damage left by the this lockout, simply because they are hurting themselves by depriving the fans their sport by litigation,

That's all... and there you go.

Is anything sacred anymore?

Oh my God... They've outsourced Santa!

You bastards.

What's next - priests, rabbis, soldiers, despots, voters?

Sooner or later, NHL players may be next!

Horror of horrors! What will they think of next?

(Thanks Michelle Malkin)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Wrong really HATES YOU.

This is something that I posted on the Rottweiler site. I believe it deserves a rightful spot on my blog...

Let me add something a little irrational about the Wrong, a.k.a. the "Left".

People who belong to the Wrong hate the following:

a) the world - imagine: all the injustices, all the holocausts, all the 9/11s are caused by high-order primates who believe that every bright shiny thing would make life a little better. The Wrong hate the world for it's bridges, buildings, roads, transportation, sanitation, prosperity, because in their own minds, they pollute Mother Earth.

Yet, they also hate...

b) the planet - animals killing each other for food, earthquakes, blizzards, dirt everywhere, tsunamis galore: as much as the Wrong believe in saving the planet by protesting against any kind of electricity plant built on their watch, any kind of hunt which might benefit one species because of overpopulation, or any landfill site that eventually turn into greenspace as soon as it gets full, they couldn't stand living out in the wild without benefit of all the products made as a result of our responsible exploitation of resources.

As a result, they hate...

c) humanity - PETA hounds humans irrationally for eating meat, wearing animal-derived clothing, testing on animals and using animals as milk providers, entertainers and companions.

I can understand the food part - it does involve killing and we all know that killing isn't cool. The same with clothes, although no sheep that I know of ever died as a result of shearing. Testing on animals - well, they don't talk, complain or offer recommendations to manufacturers on how to improve on their product.

But PETA, in their infinite, enlightened wisdom, wants to force their beliefs onto all those who partake in animal-derived products. Why? Maybe because a) those animals are too cute to be used; b) they're probably zoophiliacs (look it up, eh?); c) they think all plants hold the cure; or d) because we are on top of the food chain (unless we're lost in the woods or out at sea - then we're probably a close second to bears, wolves, sharks, orcae...)

And we humans are so damn imperfect - fighting wars over skin colour, politics, religion, language, land, resources or some other stupid-ass shit like "pride" or "honour". Ironically, the Wrong have proven to be just as human as the others, taking sides in such nonsensical conflicts such as Arab vs. Jew in the Mid-East. If they care so much about equal rights, why did they side with the Arab? Why couldn't they be impartial? Maybe because they hate...

d) reason - humans reason, humans err, therefore reason can be wrong, especially for the Wrong.

They get so wrapped up in their own paranoid paradigms that they wind up with a completely blinkered view of the world. In an increasingly "cut/copy/paste" mediaspace, the Wrong could edit out all the unpleasant aspects of a balnced report to create a pleasant, warm, soothing literary opiate for the masses. If the truth were to be unbearable, it would either be excised or modified to co-exist in the dreamscape, while sweet, deluded lies either get augmented and glorified or left well enough alone to complete the picture.

If the truth proves to be a little too big to handle, the Wrong would retreat, not because they've been proven wrong, but because they have to manufacture a rebuttal to counter it. As much as they loathe the truth, they truly loathe...

e) themselves - ever wonder why Michael Moore acts this way. Maybe he was taunted so much as a kid. Maybe he was ostracised for being too fat and talkative. Any other poor kid would've stood up and overcome his insecurity. Not Michael - he would take it out on the world, regardless of whether he's right or wrong.

Maybe the Wrong has some serious self-opinion issues that were never resolved during childhood, which festered until it became a cancer of self-loathing and arrogant defenciveness. Deep down inside, those misbegotten denizens would want to bid adieu to a cruel, heartless, carniverous, vivisectionist, unfair and flawed world and do themselves in.

But remember what I said before: killing isn't cool, so in addition to hating themselves, they hate...

f) you - you of the opposing opinion; you of the other side of the coin; you of free thought. Certain desparate people have this dire need of more people to commiserate with. Failing that, they would go on destroying others so that they won't feel alone in the world. If the Wrong desire to do themselves away in an orgy of Jonestown, Guyana proportions, they would prefer to either take some of you with them or meet up with the enemy that they have embraced, hold a flower out as a peace offering, then get blown to a million pieces, their PLUR*-ious notions of peace, love and understanding finally fulfilled in a rose-coloured shower of blood, bone and sinew.

Of course, not all Leftists are stupid, gullible, self-hating and suicidal. George Orwell, author of "Animal Farm" and "1984", was one. Many Leftists have influenced North-American democracy, labour practices and productivity. And don't forget - love 'em or hate 'em - the Soviets did help us win against Hitler and his filthy little minions.

But it's those big-L Leftists and Liberals and big-P Progressives that are screwing themselves over. We North-Americans have progressed so much with market-driven capitalism and are willing to share the secrets with the rest of the enlightened world, yet the Wrong has found itself left out of the picture, hence this very asinine conflict.

So to all the Moonbats out there, you have a choice: agree to disagree, convince that we're wrong, admit that you're wrong, or put a bullet in your heads.

I hope that you'd stick to the first three options.

If you decide on option four, please don't shoot us first.

P.S. - PLUR is a Raver's term meaning "Peace, Love, Unity and Respect", especially amongst other Ravers. Sadly, as more of these "Candy Kids" either grow up or burn out from all the drugs and partying, and unless the World decides to stop disintegrating into sheer pettiness, the whole term is bound to get more moot than ever.

And anyways - PLUR is not a real word, and I've gotten over that shit a long time ago.

If this doesn't make you want to fucking puke, then you must be very fucking DEAD!

Now just think about it... what would drive a thirty-something woman to take the life of a pregnant twenty-something, rip the fetus out of the mother's womb and claim the newborn as her own?

Do you think that shit would be justified? Should we feel sorry for the murderess, the mom or the baby?

Fuck that. There are no words that describe this sick act - which, by the way, has many precedants.

A criminal complaint said Lisa Montgomery admitted she strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett and took her baby. The complaint also said Montgomery lied to her husband about giving birth, although U.S. Attorney Todd Graves declined to give a motive for the crime.

But get a load of this charge:

Montgomery, 36, of Melvern, Kan., was charged with kidnapping resulting in death, Graves said. Montgomery, a mother of two, had been pregnant but lost a child, Graves said, though it was unclear when or under what circumstances.

So I believe that this is some inbred white-trash closet crack-whore who is so despondant about losing a baby, she decided to visit Bobbie Jo on the pretext of buying a dog just so she could kill her to get at the baby, right?

So much for survival of the fittest.


When I was a kid. I believed in Santa Claus.

I also believed that if I were bad, God would send me to Hell.

Over the years, I bacame sceptical of their existences. While I still consider God as the ultimate, singular Great Unknown, Santa Claus was seen as a big, hulking, bearded marketing stragegy in my eyes.

But this year, a miracle happened.

Vince Carter got traded to the New Jersey Nets.

Yes! There is a God!

In return, the Raptors go themselves a whole shitload of players and options along with veteran Alonzo Mourning.

Yes, Virginia - there really is a Santa Claus!

I've always said that given this team's "fuck-it" attitude, they didn't deserve Carter.

And given Carter's often babyish attitude, he didn't deserve to be in this team any longer.

And now the painful process of rebuilding and retooling the Raptors shall begin. I bet that all these players shall have no choice but to play as a team and not like a catfighting group of supermodels.

Either they get it together, or we Torontonians everywhere will have to look elsewhere for our sports entertainment.

Like hockey.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More sick-fuck kids killing each other, fuck!

What the fuck is wrong back in Upper Canada?

Is it in the water? The junk food? The air?

Why does this have to happen?

Two years ago, Orangeville, ON 16-yr-old Robbie McLennan made friends with another teen and started hanging out. That was the first mistake.

Then the two met a couple of drifters from Scarborough and started hanging out with them. That was the second mistake.

Eventually, they decided to have a party in the woods. One of the drifters, a 20-yr-old man, got sick from the booze and puked. Robbie laughed.

That was the last mistake.

The court heard that the 20-year-old charged Robbie, kicking him and punching him. He then forced Robbie to perform fellatio on him, court documents say.
But that ain't all.

He was raped, and then raped with a stick, forced to watch others have intercourse, burned at least five times with cigarettes, urinated on in his mouth, held down and kicked again and again, kicked so hard he had a boot imprint on his head, stoned with 10-kilo rocks, and then left for dead ... with more than 40 distinct injuries.
Bear in mind that this took place over the course of 3 hours, a little bit longer than Mr. Blonde's cop torture routine in "Reservoir Dogs". Three suspects, the "friend", the 20-yr-old and his 16-yr-old girlfriend, were shortly arrested

Now the "friend" has pleaded guilty to second degree murder and will be sentenced in February, 2005. Under Canada's now-repealed "Young Offenders Act" his identity has been protected: this poor little muffin can't be exposed to the prying eyes of a concerned community.

Yes... those poor little muffins who realised that if they were to commit some heinous crime, the most that they could get was 3 years in juvie hall. THREE MOTHERFUCKING YEARS, FOR FUCK SAKES!

Now mull on this - do you think that any adult who commited crimes could be that stupid to immediately plead "guilty" in front of judge and jury? OF COURSE NOT! That fucker would cry "frameup" or "mistaken identity" then concoct an alibi or 2.

Not this poor little baby baby-killer. He settled for a quick "guilty" plea. Under the old system, he would do the 3 years, then get out "cured", "rehabilitated", "remorseful".

Of course, he may also have satisfied his jones of taking another person's life.

So much for "a life for a life".

If you're a kid under 18 living in Canada, it may be "a life = 3 years".

Of course, all this may change: the new "Youth Criminal Justice Act" mind wind up closing some distateful loopholes, meaning that young persons under 18 may be charged with adult crimes in some cases and may receive adult sentencing.

Of course, there may be some exceptions. For youth sentencing, first-degree (pre-meditated / capital) murder could cost up to 10 years while second-degree (non pre-meditated / non-capital) murder would net the offender 7 years. Both crimes would come with extra penalties after time has been served.

However, a youngster may face adult sentences for certain crimes deemed "presumptive", meaning...

a) an offence committed, or alleged to have been committed, by a young person who has attained the age of fourteen years, or, in a province where the lieutenant governor in council has fixed an age greater than fourteen years under section 61, the age so fixed, under one of the following provisions of the Criminal Code:

(i) section 231 or 235 (first degree murder or second degree murder within the meaning of section 231),

(ii) section 239 (attempt to commit murder),

(iii) section 232, 234 or 236 (manslaughter), or

(iv) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault); or

(b) a serious violent offence for which an adult is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than two years committed, or alleged to have been committed, by a young person after the coming into force of section 62 (adult sentence) and after the young person has attained the age of fourteen years, or, in a province where the lieutenant governor in council has fixed an age greater than fourteen years under section 61, the age so fixed, if at the time of the commission or alleged commission of the offence at least two judicial determinations have been made under subsection 42(9), at different proceedings, that the young person has committed a serious violent offence.

There's a whole lot of stuff in the new act, all written in a language known only to those who practice the arcane science of "law". And if you think it may be confusing and unworkable in practice, well NO SHIT, SHERLOCK! It definitely is.

Which is why everything about "young offenders" and "youth criminal justice" should be tossed out, torn up, burned to ashes then flushed down the toilet, because WE LOVE OUR KIDS and we DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYONE HURT.

Just keep it fucking simple. You do the crime: you do the time. And fuck anyone else who believe otherwise.

And for all you civil liberties nutcases: have a look around you, get off the fucking E and start living in the real world, because this generation of young teen thugs may be a lot smarter (and tougher) than you think.

Stop blaming just the parents and the schools for the lack of control: blame our PLUR-ific politicians who have no clue about modern crime.

The Blue-and-White monster goes gizmo gaga!

The monster value store chain, Wal-Mart (it's the new K-Mart, y'know) keeps growing and growing. Just as Starbucks is putting it's store on every street corner on the planet, Wal-Mart is content with putting it's monster market on every single vacant lot available.

But world domination doesn't come cheap.

"Wal-Mart is having trouble generating solid year-over-year growth numbers," said Steve Baker, an analyst with The NPD Group. "One of the ways they can start generating a lot of growth is to expand into categories where they haven't been, especially in high (dollar) value products. Flat-panel TVs is one."
That's right! Wal-Mart is going ahead with its own branded gadgets under the "iLo" marque.

(BTW - is it just me, or is every newfangled high-tech doohickey starting to sprout names begining with the pronoun "I" plus something? i.e. iTunes, iPod, Itanium, Insignia by Best Buy, b'y, etc. Should I rebrand my blog "i-2-Dray" for more traffic? Hmmmm...)

Wal-Mart enjoys a fairly unique position as an electronics supplier. It caters to a broad audience of consumers with more than 3,000 stores in the United States and maintains tight relationships with Asian electronics manufacturers, which it can use to turn out its iLo gear.
Translation: expect peasants from the Middle Kingdom to upgrade their skills from oxen and plough to microchips and solder to make good cheap goods. (China is the new Japan, y'know?)

... Wal-Mart's iLo DVD recorder DVDRO4 sells for about $150, meaning it costs between about $50 and $100 less than similar player offered by other brands. Another DVD recorder, DVDRHO4, which comes with an 80GB hard drive, costs about $280, about $90 less than a similar Toshiba model found on Wal-Mart's Web site. For its part, the iLo music player, with 256MB of memory and FM radio tuner, sells for about $80, around $30 to $60 less than other like devices.
Please note to my fellow Canadians: these are U.S. $ prices that the article's talking about. But don't you all fret. Sooner or later, everyone can afford to pirate good clean copies of "Trailer Park Boys" episodes by the truckload.

Not to mention the fact that Wal-Mart also sells 42" plasma sets for less than US$2000. Now that's what I call a freakin' bargain.

Of course you could also get yourself to Future Shop in Canada (owned by Best Buy, by the way, b'y) for the latest in bargain hi-tech (i.e. the Prima brand).

But Wal-Mart's efforts to expand its consumer electronics sales could be limited by the customers it serves and its reputation as a low-price merchandiser.
Yes... blame us for our geargasmic lust. The traditional Catholic sins of greed and envy drive the hi-tech markets. And of course, who has more bragging rights in the race to keep up and eventually beat up on the Joneses? Someone with the latest big-name monitor or some bargain basement knockoff from the Middle Kingdom?

In the end, the customer will always be right when s/he finds the right diamond in the rough.

And time marches on...

Is there a "Why" anymore?

(This is brought on by the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler's Emperor Darth Misha I's article right here.)

Rick Steves, author of the "Europe Through the Back Door" books and host of the popular public television travel program, "Rick Steves' Europe" asks the burning question: "Can we fight terrorism constructively?".

Let's take this apart...

On Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers collapsed and angry clouds of dust chased U.S. citizens through the streets of New York City. The world was outraged. And the United States was outraged. So much so that -- three long years later -- many Americans still refuse to even dignify the attack by asking, "Why did they do it?"
"Why" is probably the most important of the 5 W's - more important than "what"; way more important then "who", "where" and "when" combined. At least, that's in my humblest of opinions.

When you consider the fact that the United States is the template for most funtional liberal democracies and arguably the most prosperous nation of the G7/8/9/whatever, the answer may be obvious.

But we must understand the enemy to combat them. Let me play the role of one of the thousands of Muslim parents who've named their babies Osama in the past year and look at the situation from the point of view of these devout Muslims offended and threatened by the reach of U.S. power.
This is where things get a little bit out of hand. Part of our human frailty is the ability to objectify, exoticise or eroticise alien cultures/practices/ideologies. Communism and fascism all started out as alien and hostile, but thanks to Mao and his oh-so-stylish peasant suit, Hitler in his über-butch stormtrooper drag and Che Guevara in his proto-grunge getup, people started becoming attracted to them. It takes quite a bit of good fashion sense to win the hearts and minds of aimless people.

Of course, it's doubtful that the ugly Amurrican Steves has ever picked up the Qur'an and went through the Suras, let alone spent some time in an Islamic nation. And watching "Midnight Express" doesn't count. But I'll leave the metaphysics to someone who is better qualified.

Who was actually being attacked on that terrible day? The targets chosen were not symbolic of average Americans (say, a shopping mall or sports stadium). They weren't symbols of the freedoms that this country stands for (Statue of Liberty). Rather, the 9/11 hijackers went straight for the institutions of U.S. might in the world: international corporations (the Trade Towers), the U.S. military (the Pentagon) and -- had the fourth plane reached its likely goal -- our commander in chief (the White House).
The fact of the matter is that something on American soil was attacked. Pre-9/11 America was a complacent, self-centred entity, smug in its own assumption that "big-things" happen to other countries and that the land of the free, home of the Atlanta Braves would end up bailing-out those countries where the "big-things" wound up out of control. Of course, since the Vietnam war, the country was on the verge of cocooning itself into a relatively isolated corner, only to emerge if its interests were in danger of being threatened.

And don't get me wrong: the country still had a viable military as evidenced by Desert Storm (Grenada and Panama don't count, by the way). Yet when Bill Clinton ruled the White House for the full 2 terms, the nation reverted to its comfortably numb state.

If you remember the old-school candy raves back in the nineties, you'd probably remember the PLUR that went around (along with E, K and Crystal). That was Clinton's America at the time. Never mind Oklahoma City, the WTC car-bomb or Columbine. And don't get me started on Kosovo or the occasional strikes on terror targets or Saddam's Iraq - they were all but tiny hiccups in the Prozac nation.

But in the end - it was all business as usual. Corporations expanded, contracted, downsized and expanded again. Money was being exchanged as usual while people struggled with everyday decisions.

But a foreign terrorist attack of such enormity? On U.S. soil? Horror of horrors: it just coudn't happen, right?

Sadly, 9/11 is an example when someone underestimates or dismisses an enemy threat. And throughout the 8 years that Clinton was in power, the enemy was being dismissed, and the policies that spawned it weren't being positively addressed.

A billion Muslims throughout the world have three serious concerns: Palestine needs security and self-respect; they want the American military out of Islam; and they want control of their natural resources (to charge whatever they like for their oil). These are three basic foreign policy questions that any U.S. president could address without compromising the security and interests of America or Israel.
BULLSHIT! Muslims are plagued by so many people claiming to be the Messiah, thus they get caught up by whatever delusions the self-appointed saviour may have, such as: a) Palestine must thrive, so Israel must be destroyed; b) people who praise Allah must live in abject poverty and ignorance in order to be sincere; c) Muslims don't need any help - they're perfect enough as it stands; and d) everyone else is beneath us.

Not all Muslims think like that. Sadly, those who think differently wind up with huge prices on their heads and a one-way ticket to Hell by their respected mullahs/imams/Messiahs. So as far as Moderate Muslims are concerned - assume that any existence of them is nothing short of a miracle.

The United States' overwhelming global dominance is unprecedented in human history. Many Muslims fear the Americanization of their culture. In addition, the United States declares natural resources (such as oil) in Muslim countries "vital to its national security." And our immense military -- as big as the rest of the world's combined and unfightable by means other than terrorism --defends U.S. access to markets and natural resources throughout the globe.

It's clear that maintaining our dominance by force is costly in civil liberties, our moral standing in the world, tax dollars and human lives. So my Burning Question is:

Could we more effectively fight terrorism by understanding what motivates it and then taking away the source of the anger? Wouldn't it be cheaper and wiser to just face our enemy, ask "Why?" and respond constructively?
The problem is that those same Muslims eventually immigrate to the U.S. (and by extension, Canada, and any other "western" nation) because they have virtually no rights in their own countries. No right to prosperity. No right to advance. No right to dissent and speak one's mind. And as I have said before, the United States is an example of a liberal democracy at work. True: there have been times when injustices have been done - it was a liberal democracy only for Whites until after the Civil War, peoples were ghettoised in the latter part of the 19th century, etc., etc. But because people dissented, changes came out easily in the U.S., if not painlessly, compared to other countries.

But most people with half a brain and an acceptable amount of literacy and reading comprehension should be able to have figured out the "why" by now.

If you're a despot whose people are fleeing your dictatorship for better opportunities elsewhere, you'd probably have a reason.

If you're an ambitious cleric who's worried about all those questions regarding your interpretation of the faith and its holy books, you'd probably have a reason.

If you're a "freedom fighter" paranoid about defections because someone has found truth about the "other side", you'd probabaly have a reason.

All in all, if you're someone worried about losing your unquestionable grip on the population because of a "better idea", you'd probably have a reason.

Question answered. NEXT...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Dimebag Darrell - RIP

This is fucking tragic. And stupid beyond all comprehension.

At a Damageplan show in Columbus, OH, some crazed fuck charged onstage at a nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, killing Dimebag and three other people before a police officer shot him to death.

Damageplan had just begun its first song at Alrosa Villa club Wednesday night when the gunman climbed onstage, started yelling and shot (Dimebag) five or six times at point-blank range, witness Chris Couch said.

Supposedly, the fucker was pissed about the demise of Dimebag's last band, Pantera and had singled out the axeman as the cause of the breakup.

This is just plain, fucking pathetic. But then again, these people exist.

My sympathies go out to Damageplan, their fans, and all of Dimebag's friends and families. Big Up, Darrell.

Standing on guard for thee costs money! DOYY!

Tell us something that we don't know about.

A Canadian Senate report stated some shortfalls in our post 9/11 security apparatus.

Translation - as hard as we try to protect the country from the evil Whatsisname, Chummy and the ever menacing Whatever, we couldn't do it any better without manpower and money.

Like... DUH!

The fact that Canada hasn’t suffered a terrorist attack after 9-11 is largely luck, not good planning and preparedness, says a Senate report.

Of course, many people believe that because we are such a peaceful, progressive nation that didn't get behind W when he launched his attack on Iraq, nobody would touch us. Right?

“When it comes to national security and defence — issues that are not part of the everyday lives of most Canadians — the vast majority of citizens trust in luck,” the national security and defence committee said Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, luck is notoriously untrustworthy.”

The report touched on various aspects of national security that needed improvement, and there were many examples that pointed out that the Government was not doing enough to enhance and expand on various initiatives. Case in point: the security on the Great Lakes is virtually non-existent. Any determined criminal/terrorist mastermind could create a virtual pipeline between Ontario and New York without detection.

Of course, one could also point out the illegal cigarette and booze smuggling operations carried out in the Thousand Islands area around Kingston. The Ontario Provincial Police had a very fun time trying to enforce the law in the area, yet those wily smugglers still find a way to ply their clandestine trade, and as long as smokes and booze continue to get taxed higher, there will always be a demand for the contraband.

Even more disturbing is the following revelation...

The committee was particularly concerned with issues like passes for airport workers, which Kenny said are easily forged, and port security, where police in places like Montreal might attend a domestic dispute in the morning, a shoplifting incident at noon and port matters in the afternoon.

In Halifax, seven police officers are assigned to full-time port security, he said — not nearly enough.

“The problem at seaports is huge,” said Kenny, adding that the situation at U.S. ports is no better. “We have no adequate policing at seaports.”

Kenny cited efforts at the much larger seaport of Rotterdam in Holland, which has more than 280 police “working on the port and only on the port.

“The model of Rotterdam is the right one; the models we are using here in Canada are not.”

Not to mention the shortfalls in airport security: we already have 2 incidents where bombs were loaded onto jets here in Canada.

So what will the masters do about this?

My gut feeling is that they will probably get better astrologers. After all, we are a peaceful, progressive nation. Right?

Monday, December 06, 2004

More examples of fucked-up kids these days...

Is it just me, or does each generation have a portion that goes down the toilet?

Is there anything Darwinian about this trend of some kids doing heinous stuff to each other?

If not, here are some examples:

  • Exhibit A: "Boy died defending girl: 'He was my hero and my best friend,' mom says"

    So what were these young punk-ass swinging-dicks thinking when they knifed 16-year-old Drew Stewart, who was defending his pregnant friend?

    Were these fuckoes trying to be tough and build a little street cred so they could join a bigger, more organised gang as soon as they leave juvie? Have they been watching too many episodes of "The Sopranos" and "Oz" and trying to learn so much about being made men and prison enforcers selling "tits" to the Gen Pop? Are they really that stupid to believe this made-up shit, no matter how realistic these shows look? Jesus Fuck.

    The 16-year-old was pronounced dead at St. Michael's hospital after being stabbed outside a Coxwell Ave. restaurant, south of O'Connor Dr., around 1:30 p.m. Friday.
    To the best of my memory, that area is hardly the place to bring your kids, let alone bring one's self at night.

    Drew, who celebrated his birthday last month, was a popular kid who enjoyed all sports, but especially liked playing basketball.

    His mom said she will miss watching his games with the high school basketball team, and watching him play in the backyard with his friends.

    He also played at the local community centre, where last year he was knocked unconscious defending a 12-year-old who was being beaten up, she said.

    "He felt he had to do something," said his mom.

    To quote an old Ferengi Proverb: no good deed ever goes unpunished.

    Here's hoping that the good deed commited on Drew gets it's just desserts.

  • Exhibit B: a Strathroy, ON area teen took his own life after having to endure a long period of bullying.

    He learned how to end it all from the same place where he took his lumps. From the internet.

    Maria Melo said a family audit of her son's computer showed he had visited Internet sites containing information about how to commit suicide.
    So where do we point the finger? At the internet, or the perpetrators?

  • Exhibit C: summing up all this clusterfuck is my favourite X-tian bald dude, Michael Coren, who just stumbled upon a nice little controversy involving an Athens, Georgia teacher and his interpretation of his school's time of reflection.

    As a small frame of reference... when I was growing up, my school started off its day with "Oh Canada" followed by the Lord's Prayer. To me, these two seemed integral and inclusive: we were all Canadians and bound together by the Judaeo/X-tian moral structures upon which the country was founded.

    But because of radical political correctness, the Lord's Prayer was gradually excised and was replaced by a moment's silence when I got into high school. I suspect that some of my peers were either reciting the Prayer, invoking a Kiddush, prostrating towards Mecca or reciting anything from the Grateful Dead or the "Satanic Bible". Maybe my generation didn't turn out so bad after all, but as usual, I may be wrong.

    Anyways, the teacher, Tommy Craft, recited something called "The New School Prayer". A story of it could be found here, courtesy of urban-legend-mongers Coren, a wily, witty ol' bugger himself, added a few more stanzas in the spirit of the "prayer", but then concludes with something else that you, the reader, will have to find out.

Thank God, I'm an adult. Say a prayer for the kids.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

What I did on the weekend of 3-5 December 2004.

Friday: went to work with a sinus headache; sorted and updated a few navigational charts; grabbed 2 extra strength Tylenols for headache; went back to quarters; bought the latest Leonard Cohen ("Dear Heather"), the latest from The Streets ("a grand don't come for free") and a few others; played Diablo II; crashed out...

Saturday: woke up early; helped set up ops room and nav supplies, then slipped Shawinigan; went back to quarters; played Diablo II; ripped a whole bunch of CD's into my PC; crashed out...

Sunday: woke up early; checked email; had breakfast; played Diablo II; ripped a few more CD's into my PC; went to Bravo jetty to receive Shawinigan; stayed on to do cleaning stations; went for quick supper (pizza at Sicilian's on Quinpool); came back to update blog; pissed off because I never bothered buying tickets to the Hip show at the Metro Centre; crashed out...

So far, just another average weekend chez Jacques.

Oh, Joanie Laurer... how could you? (WARNING: XXX-PLICIT CONTENT!)

Way back in the day, Chyna was at the top of her game as the "Ninth Wonder of the World" in the World Wrestling Federation (a.k.a. the WWE). Having freed herself from the clutches of the evil Triple H, Chyna had to prove herself to the rest to the "rasslin'" world that she was the real thing... a woman who could go toe-to-toe, face-to-face against anyone in the ring.

Love her or hate her, you have to give Joanie Laurer a whole whack of respect for going up against all comers, regardless of gender, regardless of attitude.

Fast-foward to the here and now: there had been rumours going around that Joanie and X-Pac, a.k.a. the 1-2-3 Kid, a.k.a. Sean Waltman had made a little... video together. And somehow, someone got a hold of it.

And I thought it was just another tabloid-urban myth-bullshit rap, until I touched down at and stumbled onto this article where I would up seeing more of her anatomy than I could ever care to see.

Of course, since we're in an era of constantly loosening standards, that vid will soon be heading to "adult" video stores pretty soon. It's titled "1 Night In China" (sic). Well, maybe "1 Night Inside Chyna" would be more appropriate, since the company, Red Light District Video prides itself on being "The #1 Name in Hardcore Gonzo Video". The reasoning behind this cunning stunt goes like this...

"The video was something that my boyfriend and I taped for our own personal pleasure," explained Laurer. "However, when it got into an outside party's hands, I said, 'I'll make a preemptive strike and release the video myself.' Besides, I'm proud of my performance in the video and feel confident that my fans throughout the world will love it."

After meeting with Red Light District Video's President, David Joseph, Laurer was certain that Red Light District was the company that she wanted to distribute her movie. "Red Light [District Video] is the only company that I would want to distribute this movie. David is a wonderful person and the success of the Paris Hilton video is evidence that they know how to market and sell a Celebrity-driven sex video," said Laurer.
That's right... Red Light's other claim to fame was the pirating and distribution of Paris Hilton's original video performance. Somehow, that little slip sort of boosted her stock in the mainstream celebrity scene.

Would Chyna's latest video escapade be able to do the same wonders for Joanie Laurer as "1 Night In Paris" did for Ms. Hilton?

Let me put it to you this way: would any guy be man enough to fellate Chyna?