Friday, April 20, 2007

Some of my best friends are angels.

Harper's dresser talks to supernatural beings.

Friends of Michelle Muntean, who maintains Harper's image when he travels, say she claims to commune with angels.

They say the angels relay messages from the dead, and the former TV makeup artist occasionally stuns people with the details.

So that's where he's getting his policy advice from. But which shoulder are they sitting on when Ms. Muntean is applying the eye-liner and lipgloss?

Time to learn how to dress yourself, Mr. Harper.

Look like Mr. Harper's hairdresser and make-up artist is getting a little more attention.

"Even if she was being paid a very low wage, this is not something taxpayers should pay for," said Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch. "I would hope that any prime minister would be fully capable of dressing himself and combing his own hair if he’s going to reach this position."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!

I knew I wasn't seeing things.

Close-ups of Stephen Harper, a horrible thing all by themselves, have shown what looks suspiciously like eye-liner and lipstick, presumably to give him the doe-eyed, dew-kissed look. But his sunburn, as revealed in the house of commons this week, couldn't be covered up.

An article in the Toronto Star reveals that he travels with a make-up and image consultant. He's tried to get her to move full-time to Ottawa, but she likes Toronto better. Maybe she feels the gig in Ottawa wouldn't last very long. One can only hope.

Maybe he should learn how to put on his own make-up. It's not so hard. Women have been doing it for years.

"The marks, which look more like a painful sunburn than a tan, have been the subject of speculation and several questions to PMO officials since Parliament resumed. And they apparently cannot be disguised by makeup that Harper is known to wear for TV appearances and other big events.

...[P]arty insiders say Harper is notoriously sensitive about receiving advice about his image and has swiftly put a series of subordinates in their place when they bring up the subject. Muntean [Harper's image consultant] remains the only person he tolerates tips from. Over the years she has become a cheerful fixture in his entourage, a vivacious blonde who stands out among the tense handlers that surround him.

She worked for years in television, and wound up as CBC Television's head of makeup in the 1990s. Muntean eventually struck off on her own as a private consultant, and began advising Harper during the Conservative leadership race. She went on to assist him in the last two federal election campaigns.

Sources say Harper has become her main client, and he has tried unsuccessfully to have her move to Ottawa from Toronto."
Reminds me of a remark one of my high-school teachers made when in despair over some of her less promising students: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Only one word for this - eeeeEWWWWW.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

War without end, amen!

Defense Minister Gordon O'Conner decided to buy 100 used tanks from the Netherlands because he sees even more wars in Canada's future.

"Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor said the government was looking past the current war in Afghanistan and towards the future when it decided to purchase 100 mothballed tanks from the Netherlands.

"We see Afghanistan is the future. Afghanistan and these type of engagements are the future for 10, 15 years," said O'Connor."
Oh, hurray. He sees wars.

I see dead people.

But don't worry. The Taliban don't show any signs of return, only roadside bombers.

"What we're seeing in Kandahar province is increased activity of these people who have set IEDs. But we haven't noticed at this time, anyway, any large numbers of Taliban returning into our province."
Oh, well, that's alright, then.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Drink Canada Dry

Harpercrits and the Conference Board of Canada are busy arranging the sale of our vital resources, including water and energy, to the U.S. Since the U.S. is running out of water and energy due to their massive overconsumption and refusal to conserve or alter their lifestyle in any way, the country to the north is the new place to pillage. The fate of other countries that have what the U.S. wants should give us a foretaste of what will happen to us.

[N]orth America, and particularly the United States and Mexico, will experience water scarcity as a result of arid climates coupled with growing populations and increased water consumption.

...One such option could be regional agreements between Canada, the United States, and Mexico on issues such as water consumption, water transfers, artificial diversions of fresh water, water conservation technologies for agricultural irrigation, and urban consumption.

...Water control presents even greater challenges, because international water policy is primarily rooted in decentralized state laws in the United States and in provincial statutes in Canada. Consequently, the federal governments of these two countries have limited jurisdiction over water control issues.

Since provinces, municipalities, and other local groups now have jurisdiction over these resources, the secret meeting at the end of April will discuss ways of wresting this control away from them and into the sweaty hands of the New Canadian Government. They will justify this removal by either fear-mongering or disguising it as a benefit.

When did losing control of the necessities of life to a government that nobody trusts suddenly become a good thing? Since the (neo)Conservatives told you so. Now, just lie back, close your eyes and think of Stevie or Peter. It will make what is about to happen much nicer.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Creation stories

Part of Stephen Harper's "celebration" at Vimy last weekend included the mention of a "creation story" - how Canada suddenly became a country because more than three thousand of its young men were massacred in one day in just one more battle of a bloody and pointless war. So bloody and pointless was it that its vindictive treaty provisions plunged Germany into poverty and set the stage for Hitler and the Second World War.

Creation stories are for pulpits and firebrand ministers. I was surprised to see that hardly anyone picked up that blatantly religious/mythological reference, except the lunatic right-wing fringe who worked so hard and paid so much to get the Harpocracy into office.

But the connection of Vimy to Afghanistan was just too much. When the news of the inconvenient deaths of six more young men from CFB Gagetown, NB by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan raced through the assembled company, Harper and Hillier were seen by several reporters to consult with each other in whispers. They may have been trying to ignore it and hoping that no one else had heard. Tough bananas, guys! Canadians on the whole are way ahead of you.

There is nothing, NOTHING, about Afghanistan that is similar to Vimy, except that young people are dying for no reason, a connection that was remarkable in the speechifying for its absence.

Canada became a country a long time ago. It does not need to be recreated into a war-mongering, selfish, vicious and nasty little country by the all-form-and-no-substance neo-Conservative New Canadian government run by the Harper cabal. It was quite a nice country. It even managed to recover from the Mulroney infestation it went through a couple of decades ago, although there are side effects from that dark period that still plague it. The thought of Harper as a majority prime minister is like the horror of a fever dream.

Kurt Vonnegut, someone who had actually been through the horrors of war, didn't think much of the Bushite policies that Harper seems so fond of. He died yesterday at the age of eighty-four. In a commencement speech at Syracuse University in 1994, he told the graduates about the greeting he received from his uncle when he returned home after the Second World War.
When I got home from World War II, my Uncle Dan clapped me on the back, and he said, ''You’re a man now.'' So I killed him. Not really, but I certainly felt like doing it.

...As I have told you, I had a bad uncle named Dan, who said a male can’t be a man unless he’d gone to war.
We are already a country, Mr. Harper. We don't need to kill any more people to prove that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Vimy and election vigour - what happened to "Never Again!"?

Lawrence Martin, in his column today in the Globe and Mail, puts the case that Stephen Harper may use the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge to whip Canadians into a patriotic froth, after which he can drop the writ for a spring election.

I'd like to think that even this would be below Harper, but I doubt it.

He's already using that tried and true Bush-administration tactic of conflating anti-war sentiments with anti-soldier sentiments (garbage, of course). He was going to go to Vimy taking only his Conservative buddies, since everyone knows that the only true Canadians are (neo)Conservative, but a howl arose from the two-thirds of the country who aren't Canadians (sorry - Conservatives), so he invited (how kind of him) representatives of the rest of Canada to go as well.

If anything comes out of this, it should be that governments show their abject failure when their only resort is to go to war. Young men and women pay the price with their blood, families are left with lifelong sorrow, civilians die, and countries are left diminished in every way.

I wonder if the War Amps will send a member of their organization to the ceremonies. Their series of documentaries in the late nineties told of their experiences, of the horrors of war, and their wish to leave the children of Canada a legacy of peace. Their message was, ""In a war, everyone suffers...
we must never let it happen again."

And Stephen Harper couldn't commit Canadian troops to war-without-end in Afghanistan fast enough.