Sunday 1 May 2011

fierce self-interest

or Hurray! Hurray! It's the first of May. Outdoor screwing starts today! (Ken Bowman)
(Beets! Who knew?)
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript.

Hard choices.“They're not all easy decisions. They're not all smiles and snake oil.”
       (Stephen Harper about Jack Layton)

“We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
       (Obama about Donald Trump)

Not that simple of course, unless one of the so called 'leaders' happens to be running in your riding.

May the gods help us! (Pardon the pun - I certainly don't think Elizabeth May is going to save anyone, not even herself, tho' I wonder if Conrad Black might not think so - see this at the National Post, where he predicts 1 independent.)

Jack Layton rides the wave.Why is Corrigan's view of the wave Jack Layton is riding coloured yellow I wonder? Orange maybe, is that what he wanted but the technology messed up and made it yellow instead? A-and there is a walrus-phallus quality to that wave as well ...

The infamous 'golden shower,' is that it? :-)There is deep symbolism here which I can only guess at. The infamous 'golden shower,' is that it? Piss on you Harper & Ignatieff? Or the Fugs and their immortal River of Shit?

Because meanwhile, the gloves have come off and Sam Pazzano of the the Toronto Sun is wallowing in it: Suspected bawdy house raided in Project Cobra 13, and Layton found in bawdy house: Ex-cop.

If the intention is to discredit Layton it will likely backfire. That's my bet. K-k-Canadians may be priggish & polite in public, but in private they like their blow jobs as well as the next person. And even shady comparisons with Bill Clinton are all to the good. (As long as you forget how our Billy boy stalled on Rwanda while a half-million died.)

787 Dundas Street West, Toronto.Like a golden flame.This kind of thing is about timing. Where does it fit into a 'life scenario'? This was 1996 ... born in 1950 ... so ... ~46 at the time. Who knows what a 46-year-old will do? It may even be quite apt. Our Jack is suffering from prostate cancer we are told, and my reading (based on watching my father go through it) is that he won't be up for any more. So if he had his day back in 1996 (or not) - Good on 'im.

Here's a map to the bawdy house in question - 787 Dundas Street West, Toronto. No longer in business by the look of it but the signage just needs a touch of paint and a new phone number and it's ready to go.

A red sign for the massage parlour, proper thing; but if you click on the Street-View picture to have a closer look you will see some yellow on the sign of the Urban Living shop next door. Oh, and the picture of a golden flame there? It's one'a them yin-yang kundalini things y'unnerstan; nothin' but some throwback memory; it's just a bit of atavism showin' its face, yer Honour.

You have to laugh, as ... THE PLOT THICKENS: Three (apparently blonde) female staff writers at the Toronto Star: Nancy White, Joanna Smith, & Amy Dempsey; have decided to play three witches to Layton's Macbeth. They published this nonsense: Criminal probe launched into leak about Layton at massage clinic, in which they write:
"The entrance to the building is gated and locked, its windows are dark and all signage has been removed. Neighbours said a large sign that once advertised “massage” was taken down years ago."
"He said he went for a massage at a community clinic around 9 p.m. after a workout, and that it was his first visit to that clinic."
"When asked if the place looked sketchy to him, Layton replied, “Not at all. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone in.”"
Except, as anyone can plainly see, the sign has not been taken down, a-and if our Jack mistook the place for a 'community clinic' then he needs a refresher course on the meaning of 'sketchy' sometime b-b-before he b-b-becomes Prime Minister.

Olivia Chow & Jack LaytonThree witches plus one not-a-witch I guess, since Olivia Chow is backing him up as well. But what else could those blondes do? Now that the Star has officially endorsed the NDP (aka NBP - New Baptist Party) and all? They would have been way better to leave it alone. Then again, maybe they have been promised sexual favours for their loyalty?

Bill Clinton made up his own lies - and he got through it ok.

Jackie boy (Master) Sing ye well (Very well)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down,
Among the leaves so green-o.

But seriously folks ... how 'bout them Greenhouse Gas targets?

The Green Party of k-k-Canada says 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 - it's in their platform, not up-front by any means, but in there somewhere. I assume it's to get 5% up on the NDP who are calling on Bill C-311: 25% below 1990 level by 2020 (and 80% by 2050, but that is really no nevermind, not of no import nor relevance, no).

The only fellow with his eye firmly on 'the science' is Lester Brown for my money; and he says 80% below 2006 by 2020.

Here's the problem: How to properly compare these numbers? The only conversion utility I have found is called Sandbag (an inauspicious name it seems to me, and no pedigree); and it only works country by country.

I put this question to Gavin Schmidt of Real Climate during Copenhagen (and got nowhere); and I put it to our Alan Burke about the same time, back when he was mostly a commenter on the Globe and Mail site, now he's over at Climate Insight (and got nowhere); and recently I put it to the Alberta connection, Andrew Leach (see the comments here) and the problem doesn't seem to register with him either.

Last week I offered $1,000 to the girls at Climate Action Network, just as a kicker to get a project on the go to cook up such a conversion utility - and they didn't even answer my email (Doh!?).
Here's a clue.
I was out on Friday night to see Climate Refugees at an event organized by the Toronto Climate Campaign. They couldn't get the aspect ratio right when they played the video - who knows why? It may not have been entirely their fault - there are so many ways for things to go wrong with this bollocks technology. But when the film had ended I said, politely, to the woman next to me, "The aspect ratio wasn't quite right was it?" and she pretended not to understand my question, and when she did, denied there was anything wrong, and then immediately got up and left whilst regarding me balefully over her shoulder.

Whatever mojo I ever had I guess I must'a lost; but I didn't know things had gotten that bad already ... Here:
I am sorry I ever fucken mentioned it OK!
There will be no answer to my question about converting one GHG target to another for the purposes of comparison. I will not know what it is that I have done which has put me so entirely bey-ond the pale ... ok, I can live with that if I have to - just one of those bad machines.

Some are not so fierce ... Three books which have made it onto my shelves in times of fiscal restraint:

Alek Wek, Alek : from Sudanese refugee to international supermodel, 2007.

Zoya Phan, Little daughter : a memoir of survival in Burma and the West, 2009.

One and one is three. :-)Three ... (?) well ... I thought there were three ... and then I was going to add two more ... Chimamanda Adichie & Tsitsi Dangarembga ... memory is shot, can't count either, sorry about that.

The common thread being a personal movement directly from tribal to post-modern, and the kinds of sensibilities engendered; while back at the ranch, the intellectual heavy-hitters are totally stuck in a false & trivial racial dualism:

Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo, Something torn and new : an African renaissance, 2009.

As I was reading the latter this phrase kept running through what is left of my brain, "Ideology viewed as a xylophone."

Santiago El GrandeIn Romans 12, Paul says, "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head."

For many years the contradiction in this verse has felt to me like a huge, square, iron bar, which has been twisted into a knot; a sort of a spiritual tubal ligation, at the scale of, say, the stallion's phallus in Salvador Dali's Santiago El Grande.

You used to be able to stand in front of this huge painting in the Beaverbrook gallery in Fredericton ... maybe you still can.

I have asked every preacher I got half-way close to about this verse, maybe a dozen or two of 'em, and I have never got a good answer - wouldn't even admit the contradiction. Maybe that's why their churches are all empty and being sold to make condominiums? Is that it?

I have been humming this tune all week: On the Good Ship Lollipop, Shirley Temple, 1934.

Are there any adults in the room? Barack Obama on April 27 talking about ... something ...

Thinking of the woman at the Climate Refugees screening dredged up "screamed a bit and away she flew," from Bob Dylan's Talkin' Word War III Blues; so I was going to go out with that; and of course Sony took all of the Dylan stuff down from YouTube long ago ... But I thought, well ... How do they know? So I grabbed the tune at IsoHunt and put a clip up on YouTube with some other name, and all the mp3 tags carefully excised ... and they still knew (?) I guess they have ways of protecting their property. But it must get at least somewhat subtle eh? An embedded watermark hidden among the audio bits ... whatever ...

Is it schadenfreude or equivalent poppycock to think of the songs of our Bob being owned by Sony and such like greed-heads? Hell, even the Government of China seems to have a piece of this guy! But you know, right up at the beginning somewhere, he said a song is anything that can walk by itself ... and so they do ... yep, and me too :-)

So, settling for the possible plump, here is The Kingston Trio and their version of The Keeper.

A-and the last words will go to Rick Mercer:
              March 10 2009 on Attack Ads,
              November 23 2010 on the Senate and C-311,
              January 25 2011 on Attack Ads again, and finally,
              a few weeks ago, March 29 2011 Go! Vote!.

"... because that takes courage, and bullies generally have none." (Thanks Rick)

Life is just a bowl of cherries. :-)Oh yeah, beets ... turns out they help the gout a bit, at least temporarily, like cherries.

Be well gentle reader.

       ... probably not gonna be one ... oh well, here goes:

Lucien BouchardLucien BouchardI went to see Wiebo’s War on Saturday evening, a confused and confusing film - but necessary if you want to have any idea of Wiebo's life since 2002. Andrew Nikiforuk's Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's war against big oil (or at the Toronto Public Library), the book, is much better but it only takes us up to Wiebo's 2001 conviction.

A few things were new to me, not in the film, but the director, David York, was there and answered a few questions:

1. Some sketchy and unconfirmed details of the Encana offer to settle - which apparently included a three-generation gag order (turns out it was AEC and was known about, at least by the National Post: June 19 1998 Mr. Ludwig agrees to sell his property to AEC for $800,000; July 30 1998 Mr. Ludwig rejects a last-minute clause in the purchase agreement with AEC that would exile the Trickle Creekers from Alberta forever.), and,

2. That Lucien Bouchard had become a lobbyist for the Shale Gas Barons.

A-and since this post set out with the intention of shedding some light on 'fierce self-interest' I began to think that Bouchard might make an exemplar, even an epitome; so I have spent the day looking around for 'the dirt' on Lucien Bouchard ...

... a potted sketch at Wikipedia, quite a resumé; here's a cobbled up timeline:
1938 born, so 72 as this is written,
1963-1970 Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) active,
1964 graduated law school,
1980 first Quebec referendum,
1985-1988 Canadian ambassador to France,
1988-1996 Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean,
1988-1990 Minister of the Environment under Brian Mulroney,
1989 marries Audrey Best, he's ~50, she's ~30,
1990 failure of the Meech Lake Accord,
1990-2001 leader of the Parti Québécois,
1993-1996 Bloc Québécois Leader of the Opposition,
1995 second Quebec referendum,
1996-2001 Premier of Quebec,
1999 loses his leg (and hip) to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease),
1999 (?) separates/divorces, marriage lasts ~10 years,
2001 retires from politics,
2001 Senior Partner of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg law firm,
2005 one of the authors of Pour un Québec lucide,
2011 Audrey Best dies of breast cancer at 50,
2011 President of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association QOGA/APGQ.
So what? As usual I don't know what I am talking about and probably can't get there from here anyway ... I have ordered a biography from the library: The antagonist : Lucien Bouchard and the politics of delusion, Lawrence Martin, 1997; which, according to reviews must be taken with considerable quantities of salt; unfortunate timing - too soon after the 1995 referendum for it to be a balanced view, and so on ...

Bouchard Replaces CailléAndré Caillé gets into oil ...He's so cute!André Caillé's PR campaign for Shale Gas.Meanwhile, the oil greed-heads are planning their moves carefully, years in advance; André Caillé is too hot for them; well before the release of the BAPE Report they have his replacement in hand; there is not much drilling going on anyway when the 'possibly 30 month' moratorium is declared; and I guess they hope everyone will just forget about it by the time some connived qualifications to the BAPE report can be tabled.

If the motto of Québec is Je me souviens; then the first operating principle in k-k-Canada must be They will forget, and I would say it works pretty well for them.

- January 25 (the day of Audrey's death) Bouchard takes over as President from Caillé,
- February 28 BAPE Report submitted, ~30 month moratorium,
- March 15 first QOGA/APGQ response by Bouchard, carefully constructed to appear reasonable.

Poor Lucien, he used to be electrifying, now he runs on gas.Label on bottle: Shale Gas Industry.Let me talk to you about gas.Lucien drives the APGQ Shale Gas truck, but the wheels are off.Without gas, tell me how Quebeckers of the future will cook their morning bread?The structure of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association (QOGA) aka L’Association pétrolière et gazière du Québec (APGQ) website is revealing to a degree: the English pages are under a /en/ directory but the French pages are at the root - so the English thing was an afterthought.

Bouchard and Mulroney, working class roots in Saguenay & Baie Comeau - 'pur laine' & 'pur et dur' country, colleagues at law school, determined to make it big. Both repeatedly sold their credibility for cash. QED. I know it's not really that simple - or ... maybe it is eh?

I was watching TV one night and saw Mulroney say, during an election campaign, "we have had to adjust our perceptions," and I have never forgotten it. He would do anything! to be elected.

One thing that did come to me out of that messy film about Wiebo Ludwig on Saturday evening, is that Wiebo is no intellectual - he was a drywaller by trade remember. IF his intellectual stature matched his spiritual stature, THEN they would be REALLY afraid of him; as it is he weeps, as do I.


1. Suspected bawdy house raided in Project Cobra 13, Sam Pazzano, April 29 2011.

2. Layton found in bawdy house: Ex-cop, Sam Pazzano, April 29 2011.

3. Criminal probe launched into leak about Layton at massage clinic, Nancy White & Joanna Smith & Amy Dempsey, April 30 2011.

Suspected bawdy house raided in Project Cobra 13, Sam Pazzano, April 29 2011.

TORONTO - The suspected bawdy house at 787 Dundas St. W. where Jack Layton was found was one of 26 raided by Toronto Police in Project Cobra in the mid-1990s. Asian crime gangs were feeding off the bawdy houses that stretched across Toronto from Chinatown East to Parkdale. Police assigned to Project Cobra hit 26 bawdy houses and laid more than 300 charges.

"Police were cracking down on underage girls from Thailand," a former asian crime unit cop says. "It was unregulated and unpoliced ... it was a lucrative business, the girls were pulling in $600 to $700 for a couple hours work," he says.

The setup at 787 Dundas St. W. impressed the ex-cop. The guy who ran the place controlled traffic with a red and green light system from the second floor where he could see down a stairway to the street. "The setup was amazing ... when the police showed up, the manager flicked on the red light switch -- which told the girls to pretend it was a legitimate business -- rubs only -- keep it clean and the green light meant they could perform sexual services," he says.

"Each room had a window so that the owners could check that the girls weren't being hurt or more importantly, to them, that the girls weren't performing oral sex and later saying they were only being masturbated because fellatio cost more and the owners wanted to make sure they got their money."

Police were most concerned about underage girls brought in from Thailand and Vietnam. The other women in the bawdy houses ranged in age from the 20s to 50.

Layton found in bawdy house: Ex-cop, Sam Pazzano, April 29 2011.

TORONTO - Jack Layton was found laying naked on a bed by Toronto Police at a suspected Chinatown bawdy house in 1996, a retired Toronto police officer told the Toronto Sun.

The stunning revelation about the current leader of the New Democratic Party comes days before the federal election at a time when his popularity is soaring.

When the policeman and his partner walked into a second-floor room at the Toronto massage parlour, they saw an attractive 5-foot-10 Asian woman who was in her mid-20s and the married, then-Metro councillor, lying on his back in bed.

Layton was cautioned by police and released without being charged.

Olivia Chow, Layton's wife, denied her husband had done anything wrong in an e-mail statement late Friday night. "Sixteen years ago, my husband went for a massage at a massage clinic that is registered with the City of Toronto," Chow wrote. "He exercises regularly; he was and remains in great shape; and he needed a massage. "I knew about this appointment, as I always do."

In a letter from his lawyer, Layton recalls "being advised by police at the time that he did nothing wrong."

What police say happened on Jan. 9, 1996, was recorded in the former cop's notebook, which was reviewed and photocopied by the Toronto Sun.

The former Asian crime unit officer, who requested anonymity, details a prior police raid on the "premise currently ID as a bawdy house" looking for underage Asian hookers and a subsequent follow-up visit to the two-storey brick storefront on Jan. 9. At first the policemen didn't realize they were interviewing one of the best-known Toronto politicians who was married to Chow, also a Metro councillor and now the incumbent NDP MP for Trinity-Spadina.

The officer's notebook indicates he asked the suspected john: "Did you receive any sexual services?" He replied: "No sir, I was just getting a shiatsu." The cop: "Why did you have all your clothes off?" The suspected john: No answer. The cop: "Are you aware that there were sex acts being done here?" The suspected john: "No sir."

The woman, who was from mainland China, denied masturbating the suspected john but when the question was repeated became nervous and replied, "I don't know I only come to work today," the cop's notes show. His notes also claim he saw the "female dump wet Kleenex into garbage."

In the interview with the Sun, the officer said: "I asked him for his wallet and I looked at his name and I looked at the last name and it looked familiar. He's registered as 'John' and I thought he's a 'john.'" Layton's Christian name is John. "I explained to him this was a bawdy house and then I asked him the silliest question, 'Are you any relation to the councillor, Jack Layton?' and ... he had that defeated look on his face and he said, 'We are one in the same,'"
the ex-cop said. The former officer said Layton, seemed quiet and mellow and denied that he knew it was a suspected bawdy house.

The police had to decide what to do with the controversial councillor. "To have arrested him and charged him would have served our egos a lot more. Layton was a thorn in the side of the police, siding with the anti-poverty movement in '96 or '97 ... Jack was anti-police," the ex-cop said. "We looked at it and thought do we take advantage of this, or do we look at this like (he's) any other person, put it away and we hope this thing dies a slow death." In the end, they came to the conclusion they shouldn't charge him.

"If we had barged in and he was engaged in a sex act and we had plainly saw it, then it would have been a different story."

The officers said police filled out a suspect investigation card that recorded his name, address, date of birth -- July 18, 1950 -- height and weight. That information would be filed away by a civilian administrator for crime analysts to use in tracking criminals with particular attributes. The former cop is surprised it took so long for the incident to become public.

"This stuff was never leaked out back then. The professionalism was outstanding. I thought this would have come out. This thing within the circle was so well known."

The policemen warned the councillor about the dangers of hanging out in suspected bawdy houses that could be run by Asian triads. "I remembered lecturing him on a lot of these triads, they'd videotape the customers and extort them afterwards. Jack went pale. I said to him you have to understand it's quite possible," he says.

"He came on a bicycle. I escorted him down and he went away on his bike."

Criminal probe launched into leak about Layton at massage clinic, Nancy White & Joanna Smith & Amy Dempsey, April 30 2011.

The Ontario Provincial Police have launched a criminal investigation into the leak of Toronto police information about a visit by NDP leader Jack Layton to a massage clinic in 1996.

Toronto police chief Bill Blair asked the OPP Saturday to investigate any possible breach-of-trust regarding the disclosure of information, said OPP inspector Dave Ross.

In a story that appeared Friday, an anonymous retired Toronto police officer told Sun Media that he and a partner found Layton in a massage parlour, a suspected Chinatown bawdy house, fifteen years ago when he was a Toronto council member. No charges were laid.

The NDP leader has denied any wrongdoing and called the report a “smear campaign.” The report came as the NDP surged in election polls.

The story relied on apparent excerpts from the former officer’s notebook.

An officer’s notes belong to the police department and not to the officer, explained Staff Sgt. Mike Ervick, of Toronto police. When a notebook is complete, the police officer is required to turn it in.

OPP inspector Ross would not comment on what criminal offence may have been committed. “Let the investigation run its course,” he said. Ross added that it’s not unusual for a police force to ask another police body to conduct an investigation.

The Dundas St. W. address identified as the massage parlour by Sun Media is a narrow brick building located a few blocks west of Bathurst St.

The entrance to the building is gated and locked, its windows are dark and all signage has been removed. Neighbours said a large sign that once advertised “massage” was taken down years ago.

On the campaign trail in Burnaby, B.C., Layton told reporters Saturday he had no idea how the story came about. “I do know that this is the kind of politics that Canadians don’t appreciate … They want politics that focuses on the issues that matter to them day to day. And that is exactly what we’re doing on our campaign.”

He repeated his assertion that he did nothing wrong. He said he went for a massage at a community clinic around 9 p.m. after a workout, and that it was his first visit to that clinic.

“The police advised that it wasn’t the greatest place to be. I left and I never went back,” he said.

When asked if the place looked sketchy to him, Layton replied, “Not at all. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone in.”

The NDP’s lawyer, Brian Iler, wrote a letter to Sun News before the story appeared. “The facts are that Mr. Layton had obtained a massage from a massage therapist, but had no knowledge whatsoever that the therapist’s location may have been used for illicit purposes,” wrote Iler.

Iler warned against publishing anything that would insinuate wrongdoing.

Layton said he didn’t expect anything to happen on the legal front right now. “We’ll deal with all that after the action,” said the NDP leader.


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