Banana Counting Monkey

Saturday, October 05, 2002:

You could be a Democrat if.....

You mock Ronald Reagan for having been an actor before he was President, citing this as obvious proof of his "stupidity".

You believe that
Barbra Streisand and Rob Reiner provide good advice to the Democrats.

BCM // 3:20 PM


Wednesday, October 02, 2002:

Compare and Contrast

Saddam Hussein: Two Son-in-laws defect to Jordan, waning the world of Saddam's imperialistic plans and weapons programs. Saddam persuades them to return as all is forgiven. Once they return, Saddam lets them know he was kidding about the "forgive and forget" part and has them tortured to death.

George W. Bush: 2002: Democratic Congressmen escape to Iraq and warn the world of Bush's imperialistic plans.
They return of their own accord and are subject to questioning by the dreaded reporters of FOXnews.

BCM // 11:17 AM


Tax n' Spend? Nawwwwww

Toronto City Council, showing its usual fiscal good sense,
passed a law yesterday requiring that Councilors cannot pay for their work related expenses out of their own pocket, but must use their office budget of $53,100/year.

City council voted yesterday that councillors must use taxpayer-funded office budgets -- not their own cash -- to pay for postage, printing costs, photocopying and other expenses.

"I'm not going to change my ways; I'm going to spend out of my own pocket," said Ford, who estimated he spends a few hundred dollars of his own money on office expenditures each year.

City records show Ford is the biggest penny-pincher when it comes to spending taxpayers' money to run his office. He spent only $2.04 of his $53,100 office budget during the first half of the year.

Councillor Joe Mihevc proved to be the big spender during the same period, shelling out $35,085 or 66% of his office budget.

"I treat the taxpayers' money as if it was my own and they don't -- and they hate it," Ford said of his colleagues.

"They want to bring me in their cult of spending, which I refuse to do."

Why? Because one of their number was only spending $2.01 of his budget, wheras others have spent as much as 65% of their budget in the first six months of the year. Apparently Toronto City Council is capable of taking decisive action when it comes to their own personal embarassment. Fix the problem? Sure- legilate against personal responsibility! The Taxpayers' money is there to be used!

Councilor Ford has demonstrated that he has more qualifications to be Mayor than any other councilor by his restraint alone.

BCM // 10:14 AM


Oh Happy Week

This week,
Brotherhood of the Wolf comes out on DVD, and War of Honor comes out in hardback.

Oh, and March to the Stars has its first eight chapters posted on the web too. Love it.

BCM // 8:07 AM


Bushie Behaviour

Last month we were treated to the German Chancellor Schroeder using America bashing for electoral purposes. Bush didn't reply publicly with an "oh yeah? Well you're #@$%^&*($$!!!" No, he let his displeasure be know privately, and the folowing week, small moves were made to let the Germans know that the comments weren't appreciated. Indications are that this incident may chill german-american relations for some time.

Today in National Review,
Stanley Kurtz wonders why Bush isn't saying anything about the two Democrats who went to Baghdad and publically called him a liar a warmonger and a cheat.

"Where are the condemnations? Why haven't Democrats openly distanced themselves from these foolish and scurrilous remarks? The truth is, Republicans, including most especially the president, have been almost shockingly quiet about this. What McDermott and Bonior said and did was infinitely worse than the remarks that led to Sen. Daschle's angry denunciation of the president on the Senate floor. It is the president who has shown bipartisanship here. But at this point, honor and honesty demand that Bonior and McDermott be called to account for their actions."

Why doesn't Bush come out and hit back at these people publicly insulting him? Why? Because he's an adult. This is how mature people handle being insulted. Flinging insults back and forth is fine for the High school cafeteria, but is inappropriate for the leader of the world's only superpower. Much better to express your displeasure once in a civilized manner and then take appropriate action.

Had Bush come out an publicly blasted Schoeder back, would we be seeing this? (Via IP)

" GERMANY edged closer to a U-turn on its policy towards Iraq yesterday by making clear that new evidence of President Saddam Hussein’s weapons plans could dilute its resistance to a war.

Statements by two Social Democrat foreign policy specialists have indicated a shift as Berlin begins to buckle under the strain of its argument with the Bush Administration.

The German business community has been piling the pressure on Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor. German exports to the US are already suffering from a strong euro-dollar rate and weakening American demand. Now there is the fear of a consumer boycott. "

Had Bush come out shooting, Schroeder would have been able to cash Bush as a bully, and continued US bashing as being heroic defiance. By not doing so and instead infliciting costs on Germany for taking the position, has made it that much easier for Germany to make up with the US.

Letting Rumsfield blast the German comments (the comments, not the people- no ad hominem attacks) and then refuse to meet with the German Defense Minister was the "consequence" part of the strategy- letting the Germans know that there were going to be costs for taking the anti-american position.

Hurling ad hominem attacks then doing nothing about it and pretending to be the best of friends two days later is something that the rest of the UN can engage in if they like. The serious issues of the world require a more serious approach than that favoured by 12 year old children.

BCM // 7:13 AM


Random Coolness

Just reading Lileks'
latest bleat and noticing (for the second time) that he plays the computer game Tropico;

"Tonight while doing the evening Twirl (Gnat wants to play the “Chunk Swirly Twirl” from Olie Polie every night, followed by the theme from the Tropico game) Jasper went into a barking fit, so I picked up his front legs and danced him around. He grew wide-eyed with alarm - spiral down into madness if you must but don’t take me with you."

I love it, just that random similarity. Cool, we play the same computer games.

BCM // 7:01 AM



In case anyone wonders why I haven't bothered to correct the "Comments" code, its because when I follow their instructions and go to
this page to get the new code, it gives me nothing but that page. No new code, nada. Kinda Silly.

I guess that's what I get for using free systems. I'm at their mercy because what am I going to do? Not pay?

I do check fo the comments though. I do appreciate when people leave their input. It's one of my favourite parts of blogging actually.

BCM // 6:56 AM


Random Thought

It's amazing just how important emailing friends who you haven't communicated with for a while becomes, when you've got studying to do for an imminent exam.

BCM // 6:28 AM


Aid to Afghanistan

In this
critique of Ted Rall's "work" in the Comics Journal (Via Instapundit), there's an instructive summary of the benefits that the US's liberation of Afghanistan has bought.

"First of all, he ignores the $4.5 billion in international aid to Afghanistan that wouldn't have been sent had the Taliban remained in power. The Ahmed Rashid books he cites ad nauseum should have taught him that the Taliban were known for pushing aid organizations out of the country for such "violations" as being Christian. The World Food Program reports that food aid is now successfully reaching 6.6 million people in Afghanistan. According to UNICEF, who, coincidentally, also voiced opposition to the bombing campaign at first, the international aid agency is now able to go forward with the "biggest logistical operation for many years" in Afghanistan. In an aid update from January, UNICEF workers immunized 572,000 children in Kabul during the first two weeks of 2002, "six times higher than the total immunization coverage in 2001." They also vaccinated over 700,000 children against measles during the first two months of 2002, in a country where, as Nicholas Kristof pointed out in the Feb. 1 New York Times (hard to miss, Ted), "virtually no one had been vaccinated against the disease in the previous 10 years." That alone will save the lives of at least 35,000 children each year. Kristof also quotes Heidi J. Larson of UNICEF saying that she expects maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan will halve as a result of improved health care over the next five years. That's another 112,000 children and 7,500 pregnant women saved each year. So, contrary to Rall's rhetoric, the lives of women in Afghanistan seem to be improving in at least some ways "that matter." Consider that more than 1.5 million schoolchildren have been enrolled in Afghan schools this year ... double the number of children in school last year. All of the girls, who the Taliban prevented from attending school, are going to school for the first time in their lives. It's safe to say, then, that not everyone in Afghanistan is fueled by a desire for revenge against the United States.

It is, as Christopher Hitchens has said, the first time in history a country has been bombed back out of the Stone Age."

Right. Ousting the Taliban has been no improvement at all. Everything is jusyt the same as it was before. The Taliban's rule is preferable to the nationa-building of the US. Whatever.

Well, the Comics Journal had me agreeing with them until they went onto their "Bush is an appointed dictator!" rhetoric. Some myths will never die.

BCM // 6:26 AM



Saw in the National Post the other day a story about Chretien. (No link available from NP. Their online site is remarkably spotty when it comes to keeping articles I find.) Apparently he has an eithics advisor who is paid $1 CDN a year.

Who says you don't get what you pay for? He're a man who knows his worth- whether how much is advice is worth, or how much use it will be to the PM.

BCM // 6:20 AM


Little Differences

I haven't seen a Lucky Rabbit's foot in years. Is this just one of those tiny changes that herald a change in public opinion towards animals? A minor victory for PETA and their ilk? Perhaps, but I don't really care that much. I can live without a lucky rabbit's foot.

I cannot live without my veal parmiagana and filet mignon. Touch that and DIE!

Matt Labash speaks about his struggle with PETA and his love of juicy animals.

"I've always harbored a secret soft spot for my friends at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This is not an easy admission. For the only thing I like better than eating meat once a day, is eating meat two or three times a day. If they made meat desserts, I'd push for four. Meat and I--we've had some great times together.

To live with myself, I cheat, pretending that animal welfare is of great importance to me. I don't hunt. I give my pet labrador--or "companion animal" as PETA would have it--inordinate amounts of table food (he especially likes meat). And whenever I go to restaurants, I order veal--doing my bit to ensure that those poor calves don't have to spend any more time in one of those wretched crates.

But there is one other thing I do, which is to quietly root for PETA. It doesn't really matter how provocative their latest media campaign is. When they stripped Kim Basinger and Christy Turlington down to their birthday suits, having them declare they'd "rather go naked than wear fur," I could think of no other apparel I would have rather seen them in.

BCM // 6:08 AM


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