City Hall Update

I know this is usually Paul Dechene's beat, but he was out of town last week on personal business and missed this rivetting exchange (Break) between the mayor and an unidentified city councillor during debate at a planning commission meeting on the topic of architectural day lighting. And who says municipal politics is boring?

Space Colbert!

Stephen Colbert is at it again, subverting someone's ill-considered write-in vote contest to the greater cause of his own personal glory.

Next year he should get himself voted into the NHL's All Star Game. There can be, what, 12 Habs? One Colbert should be okay.

Also, a note to all Dog Blog posters: our official tag for anything Stephen Colbert-related is "The Genius That Is Stephen Colbert". Thank you.

(via The Stranger)

The Second Battle of Ypres, Fox News and the Battle For Canada

(picture courtesy Archives of Ontario)

When the German army made its first use of poison gas on the Western Front in the First World War, they launched it at Ypres, a sector held by two classes of troops they felt were inferior -- Africans in the French colonial forces, and Canadians. When the Germans launched their first attack with chlorine gas at Gravenfastel, Belgium on 22 April 1915, about six thousand French and French colonial troops died within 10 minutes, and a four mile gap opened in the Allied line of battle
(Wikipedia), where the 1st Canadian Division were in the middle.It was up to them to restore the line until the British Second Army could come up with more troops and artillery to plug the line.

By the second day, the Canadian troops had come up with an unorthodox way of inventing their own gas masks. They urinated onto their handkerchiefs and tied them around their mouths and noses in order to block the poisonous gas. Crude and ineffective, the Canadians used these improvisational defenses to block the German advance, at a horrendous cost: of the 10,000 strong division, more than six thousand were casualties, and 2,000 were dead.
(About.com) How they did this, with inadequate equipment such as the Ross rifle and the Oliver webkit, is beyond my ability to comprehend (Trenches on The Web).

What does this have to do with today? Well, I have a major problem with Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. It's illustrated here (Planet S). The problem is, though, that Canadian soldiers are increasingly asked to do the impossible, and will almost certainly be cast into the dustbin of society by the very same right-wing mushwits who sent them off to war in the first place.

It's no surprise we see gomers such as these clowns (YouTube) -- who couldn't survive the first hour of boot camp be it in the Canadian armed forces or the U.S. -- waxing poetical about our military capabilities. 118 Canadian troops have died in Afghanistan since 2002 -- four are killed in combat the week these guys start telling us how to run our military -- and this is the thanks we get.

Even worse, many Canadian right wing bloggers believe they should show more solidarity to Fox (the propaganda arm of the Republican Party) than to the Canadian armed forces. (Dr. Roy's Thoughts). So much for 'supporting the troops.'

In the end, I call for a decidedly Canadian method of protest. It would be in tribute to the veterans of Ypres, and to our armed forces. Whenever we encounter Fox News gasbags or their right-wing apologists in Canada, we should immediately bring out a cotton handkerchief (Kleenex won't do, it's too light), urinate on it, and hold it over our noses.

If you have better way to tell those idiots to p**s off, I'd like to know about it.

Oh yeah, SaskBoy (Abandoned Stuff by SaskBoy). What he said.

EDITED: a couple of additions. Courtesy Warren Kinsella's commenters, a couple of U.S. military bloggers would like to wipe the walls with those Faux News twits, here (BlackFive) and here (This Ain't Hell).

As well, one of those clowns had a gig at Edmonton's Yuk-Yuk's canceled on him. (Edmonton Journal).