Another CPoC wtf moment – Gerstein dumps on Soudas for abusing his position… seriously?

So that paragon of virtue, ethics and not abusing his authority Senator Irving Gerstein is outraged and clutching his pearls at the finding that Dimitri Soudas (who is admittedly a scoundrel himself) abused his position and party resources to try and help his missus keep her job in the party welfare system that passes for government thee days.

CBC News has spoken to multiple sources to piece together the events that led to a final confrontation between Soudas — the powerful confidant of the prime minister — and Senator Irving Gerstein, who runs the Conservative Party’s muscular fundraising operation.

This would be the same Gertsein who omitted any reference that he wanted to cover some of Duffy’s costs and instead grandstanded on his “strong” approach to the CPoC’s faulty appointment to the Senate would it? The same Gerstein who attempted to gain access and possibly influence the outcome of an independent audit into the Senate finance scandal? The same Gerstein who was apparently involved in efforts by Harper’s PMO to undermine the independence of the Senate by partaking in backroom discussions in how to get the Senate to do as the PM(O) wanted?

It appears that the only difference between Soudas and Gerstein is that Gerstein is rich and knows where more of the bodies are buried than Soudas does. It is an outstanding turn of events in the cesspool of sleaze that the modern Conservative party has become and illustrates the crass hypocrisy in the party and the subservience of the majority of conservatives in modern Canada.

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MLS dumping on Referees – Any referee who covers games if there is a strike deserves nothing but derision.

Another league, this time the MLS in the USA, has decided to negotiate dishonestly with the representatives of match officials and train a bunch of scabs to undercut the negotiating position of real soccer referees.

Divide and conquer is the way of the dishonest broker and MLS have just joined the ranks of other disingenuous employers who have no interest in negotiating fairly. As such I will not give that organisation of any of their members any of my cash for any of their products. If the way they negotiate is indicative of the quality of their other services, who needs it? I was going to buy some Whitecap and TFC gear for my nephews but not now.

As for the backstabbing scabs – think about what you are doing, why you are doing it and what it says about your character. The only way you got this gig is because you were willing to sell out your colleagues, if you were good enough in the first place you wouldn’t be sucking up to the MLS now.

MLS players should also remember that they will not be getting the best because their bosses are douchebags. Any player who gets injured should consider suing and if injury rates go up a class action lawsuit for willful negligence should be considered.

Posted in Football, Soccer, Sport, UEFA/FIFA | Leave a comment

Russia enters the Crimea – NATO and the West is hoist on its own petard – Kosovo redux.

TDL posts that the Russian’s have crossed from Russia into the Crimea in numbers. He also notes that the West is wringing their hands most spectacularly about this action and will write a strongly worded note to Putin telling him he is a naughty boy.

Back at the resolution of the Bosnian conflict the Dayton Accord insisted that the territorial integrity of Bosnia had to be preserved in any negotiated outcome. This fitted in with the existing model of respecting state boundaries and not rewarding aggression. Large ethnic Serb and Croat communities couldn’t just decide to secede because they were more numerous. But in Kosovo that principle went out  the window and the West en mass signed onto that concept. Sure Condi and GW added a rider to this decision saying that it could not be taken as precedent setting, but that was never going to hold. And it was never going to hold with a nation that is as nationalistically proud as Russia.

Yeltsin was soon dumped and Russians turned towards the tender embrace of a hardman and that hardman was ex-KGB cancer Putin. Putin was elected because the West made Russia look weak and unable to protect their interests on the world stage. the rest, as they say is history or at least history making.

The West through the doltish and expediency seeking stupidity of NATO under GW Bush not only forced Russia back into cold war tyranny, but removed any semblance of international accord to restrict the actions of this tyrant. They set the cart rolling down the hill and decided there was no need for brakes.

What is happening today in the Crimea is a made in Washington and London crisis and illustrates the venality and stupidity that passes for modern neo-liberal governance.

The Crimea is gone, it has been reabsorbed back into the collective. We need to accept that and now think about where Putin will set his sights next and realise just how hugely we erred in Serbia all those years ago.

Posted in Law, Military, Politics | Leave a comment

Ukraine, Russia and the Crimea – the ghost of Kosovo continues to haunt the West

Way back here I wrote a post regarding the precedent that the action of the US and the West had set in wrenching Kosovo from Serbia, altering national boundaries for political expediency and to settle grudges, to show Russia just how powerless the West thought they were and how it was rushed because the US had lost interest and had set its sights on other “enemies of their state.”

The West insisted then that actions in Kosovo could not be regarded as precedent setting and then there was Georgia, the Russian enclaves and a newly resurgent Russia. The West still insisted that no precedent had been set and thought that their words would somehow make Russia forget about their previous hubris.

Now today we have an escalating situation in the Crimea. A predominantly ethnic Russian populated area of the Ukraine that is also home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the parallels with Georgia become more apparent. The wishes of the ethnic Russians in the Crimea mimic those of the Abkhazis and the South Ossetians, but unlike them these Crimeans have a Russian military presence right there amongst them. There is no need for an “invasion” the cavalry is on the scene.

Slate magazine covers the history of how the Crimea became part of Ukraine, but in a true Western apologetic manner appoints blame for the crisis today without respecting the actions of all the previous players in this drama. Kosovo hurt Russia deeply. It was unable to help an ally and it was unable to preserve the concept of the inviolable nature of the boundaries of a sovereign country; something that has been pretty well respected since the agreement at Westphalia. This agreed concept was an acceptable reason for countries to go to war against an aggressor and any invasion or annexation needed serious justification to overcome retaliation founded on it.

The West blew that concept to smithereens with its expedient, arrogant actions in Kosovo and has removed the idea of territorial integrity from the rule book and replaced it with the post modern concept of a “responsibility to protect” via preventative aggression.

After recent events in the Ukraine do the ethnic Russians in the Crimea have anything to be concerned about? A strong argument could be made that they do given the anti-Russian sentiments being displayed in many of the recent anti-government demonstrations in the Ukraine. In much the same way that NATO rushed as a response the over-hyped claims of ethnic Albanians to prevent genocide in Kosovo; so the Russians have a case of a similar nature here too.

NATO messed royally in Kosovo in two ways:

  1. They shattered the existing rules because it suited them at the time and they did it because they could.
  2. They forgot that Russia always recovers and remembers those who took pleasure in its apparent demise.

When will we ever learn?

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So Canada’s attending Sochi is not about hard work and excellence after all?

I read this article by Kurtis Larson in the Edmonton Sun today and it made me appreciate the double standards used by those who want to get their way no matter the harm it does.

Larson is berated by many commenters at the web page for “not understanding what teamwork is” and being “deliberately provocative.” While I have no idea of what motivated Mr Larson to pen the article, the fact that he did illustrated the double standards that govern decisions about attending sporting events in politically dubious places.

Russia is a pretty despotic place, run by and for a few ex-KGB cancer types and their attendant gangster buddies. They keep the church happy and the church helps them keep people in line. In order to do this the church and the state have reinstated that old Russian favourite the Pogrom; only with one small difference the scapegoated victims this time are not the Jews but homosexuals. Moves were made to try and convince athletes to boycott the Sochi games but they were met with the usual self serving hand wringing that usually accompanies such moves.

want to victimize athletes who had worked so hard to make the American team.

Wrote Louganis and then followed it up with

… I’m confident that the best response to the mounting repression in Russia is engagement.

I guess at least he didn’t use the pathetically naive and trite,  “Let’s keep politics out of sport” rationale so beloved of the truly inane.

Well if it is all about not denying athletes who have worked so hard for so long their time to go for gold, what on earth is going on with Junio?

One of four Canadian men competing in Wednesday’s 1,000-metre event, the 23-year-old long-track speed skater quit – disqualifying himself so Canada could win. So he would lose.

He quit so Denny Morrison, in what could be his last Olympics, could have another chance at a podium – the story of these Games.

Why on earth should Junio need leaning on to give up what he had worked hard at, just so someone else who had lost out because of his own mistake could get a mulligan? If it’s all about keeping politics out of sport and giving everyone a chance to shine, then why did the coaches do this. Surely it is to the victor the spoils?

But no! It is never about the high-minded excuses, it’s about politics, the real politics in sports that that occurs among coaches and veterans behind closed doors. The same reason why athletes broke the boycott in South Africa is on display here and it stinks of corruption, hypocrisy and selfishness.

It seems that it’s okay to prop up a beastly regime by attending their publicity seeking sports events and to turn a blind eye to the modern pogroms underway in that plutocracy, with seemingly inviolable principles. But when it comes to internal politics, it’s principles? What principles?

This is yet another reason to hate the olympics and specifically this rich man’s version of them. It also illustrates the hubris that is so apparent in the modern money-grubbing world of international sporting events.

Thousands can be beaten up, killed and oppressed for their sexuality but that can’t stand in the way of a competitor’s right to compete. Team tactics show that those excuses were just that… self serving excuses.

Team Canada leading the world in a way I never thought it would.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Sport | 1 Comment

The Portrait of Dorain (Harper) Gray – Chris Alexander then and now.

Chris Alexander was once a decent person who did good and was appreciated because of it After a few years as a Harper henchman he has changed drastically in appearance and this has become more apparent recently, as he tries to justify the unjustifiable in terms of legalising the stripping of citizenship for party political and possibly racist reasons.

Before

After

Working in Mordor sure takes its toll. If this is what it does physically, imagine what it’s like psychologically.

Chris please stop now, be a human being and don’t try and play the party political game; you are a cog, not the machine.

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Kant’s Categorical Imperative – Stephen Harper and his Seals would do well to keep this in mind when creating legislation.

Well that and the law.

Kant’s categorical imperative basically put is:

“Treat everyone as an end in themselves and not as a means to an end.”

And

“A person should only act if that act is one that should become a universal law.”

These combine to form:

“So act as if you were through your maxims a law-making member of a kingdom of ends.”

So CPoC law-makers, you should understand that you won’t forever be in power, thousand year reigns are so passe and never happen. Now imagine that the laws and powers that you have granted yourselves today are now to be found in the hands of those who oppose your every idea and belief.

How does that feel?

That’s the reason why laws should be debated fully and amended before they are brought into effect. If you mess up and then lose power, the next stage could be very painful for the entire country and possibly the world. That’s why running a country is not to be treated as a hockey game, if you get it wrong you don’t get next week to play again – people die.

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