Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vandoos - not really Canadian according to the CBC

The Quebec based Vandoos are now in the process of taking over the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. Good folks, like the CBC, have been licking their chops at this opportunity to forment discord in the dominion and show off their "peace-loving" credentials.

All day long, we have heard from our public broadcaster and others, that Quebeckers are the least supportive of the Afghanistan mission and the Vandoos presence on the field will inflame this anti-mission anger.

Let's consider something very ugly underlying the assumption. The english media would have you believe that Quebeckers couldn't give a rat's ass if a soldier from Alberta or Nova Scotia falls in combat - the only soldiers who matter are french-named soldiers. Its disgusting and completely false - even rabid separatists mourn the loss of a Canadian soldier - regardless of their home province or ability to speak french. While this implied accusation should insult every citizen of Canada's second largest province, the insult, once more, falls on the journalists themselves who perpetually reduce life to simple bits and bites that they themselves barely digest.

Furthermore, it's a terrible situation in which to place the Vandoos themselves. These soldiers have enlisted into the Canadian military in order to provide defense for their country, Canada. But for the convenience of a media artifice, they are constantly reminded that they aren't really Canadians and should be treated as the "special ed" department of the military because, well, they are from Quebec. Whereas the CBC or CTV would cheer and grieve along with the Princess Pats, they place the Vandoos in an aquarium to study their impact on poll results.

Now, I will contradict our media sages. The coming Vandoo leg of the mission will offer Quebeckers a better perspective of Afghanistan since so much of the media, french and english, will be broadcasting every last minutiae of the action. Some will be fingers-crossed and hoping for disaster so that they can knock the Tories down a few points in the polls (let's not pretend its any less crass than that). Others, mostly in the french media, do not have this Afghanistan-Harper-Bush relational triad in mind, and will be keen to show off Quebeckers making a difference in the world.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

RIght-Wing Novelist Contest

You may recall some months ago this site hosted a right-wing rocker contest to pull together a list of bone fide right-wing rock stars with great success. Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, uhhh, uhhh, well, go back to the archives - oh yeah, ZZ Top.

I'd like to do the same for novelists. I am asking you, smart and well-red reader to help me cobble together a list of right-wing novelists that we then can use to make our library / bookstore choices with.

So what makes a novelist right-wing? Well, here's one clue - look at the protagonist.

The Protagonist.
In left-wing land, the heroes of a novel have complicated family histories (e.g., abusive fathers) and this family history is impossible for them to overcome.

In right-wing land, the heroes have stable families who love them. When they don't, they get over it and do not let the book get sapped by a whole bunch of heart-breaking pining for that perfect daddy.

In left-wing land, the heroes make struggle is against the cruel and unfair nature of life, the pitiable and weak nature of her or his own person (and by extension, all humans).

In right-wing land, the heroes struggle against evil, knowing that life hold the possibility of both and her or his efforts will lead to the triumph of good. The heroes do not spend time navel gazing at their own weaknesses and searching for someone to blame those weaknesses on.

Okay - so, my contribution to this contest is the following:

Tom Clancy
Tom Wolfe

As for Canadian content, there is but one right-wing novelist in the history of Canadian literature. This, for the PC diversity freaks out there, should worry them tremendously and they should be demanding that the Canada Council of the Arts put a minimum quota on right-wing literature to ensure diversity in Canadian literature. (Think Yanny Martel would do that?)

Robertson Davies

Now, to you....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

BBQ Steak for Right-Wingers

Slowly, I am assembling a cookbook for right-wingers - since cookbooks, like most sections of the modern bookstore, are overrun by communist, proto-communist, pseudo-communist, disguiso-communist works. It is my mission to spread right-wingery into every facet of life and prove, at every turn, right-wingers do it better. Since I received a recent spate of emails asking me how a right-winger should prepare steak on the BBQ, let me share it with all of you.

1. Purchasing the steak
This assumes you are purchasing a steak's steak - while flank steak and the like are excellent in their place - this is rib eye, faux filet, etc. country. Unlike Liberals, right-wingers do not consume mass quantities of beef and then decry the ravaging toll of the cattle industry on our planet. 8 - 10 ounces per person.

2. Prepping the steak
Bring to room temperature. Cut a clove of garlic and with the cut side (where the oils are oozing out) rub the steak. Put together a home-made rub (sea salt, cracked pepper, chili powder, oregano, cayenne and crushed mustard seed). Rub it in like you were hovering over Halle Barre's naked back and she was very, very tense. Let stand for an hour.

3. Grill steak
The right-winger would approach the grilling Tuscan-style. This means: over a medium flame, place the steak on BBQ, grill to first sight of blood. Flip to first sight of blood. Rotate 90 degrees and flip. Hold a minute or so. Flip. This creates the criss-cross grill marks.

4. Post-Grill
Let the steak stand for about 10 minutes - or about the time it takes to grill up corn.


1) BBQ corn. In their husks, grill corn on the cob. Turn the corn 90 degrees at a time when the husk on the underside is burned. When the entire husk is black, the corn is ready. Remove the husks and butters, careful to leave the carmalized corn for last as it is the most perfect.

2) Red Cabbage Coleslaw. Shred the cabbage, fine dice red peppers, carrot and onion. Dress with 1 part olive oil, 1 part Worcesteshire sauce, 1/2 part honey. Have it sit in the dressing for a few hours to macerate.

3) Tomato-Feta Salad. Tomato slices lie flat on a platter with generously grated feta on top (bulgarian feta if available). Drizzle olive oil, oregano, crushed garlic and balsamic vinegar.

4) Grilled garlic bread.

Note: right-wingers do not serve steak with potatoes in the summer.

Wine? Besides it being red, I don't care, really. But the country of origin for the wine should be: USA, Mexico, Australia, Italy, Portugal - and, foremost, BC wine. Should Ontario go Tory this fall, you can feel free to add it on the list of acceptable domains as well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Montreal, Havana North

To butcher an old saying, I love Montreal but hate Montrealers. Not for the usual reasons - we're the best drivers in the country and we wouldn't be so hard on our hockey team if they'd just, well, you know, win. However, politically, we are a troop of Alice in Wonderlands, asleep in reality, dazed and confused in fantasy. Proof comes from this latest poll showing that our pick for best Prime Minister is Jack Layton.

I'll let you read the pollster's analysis of this and decide for yourself how valid it is. Are Montrealers more left-wing than the rest of Quebec? Sure. But mostly, Montrealers are delusional creatures. Jack Layton's popularity will translate into 0 seats - when voting time comes, Montrealers will still be disco-dancing sheep and vote along political faults long buried since the 70s. Reality will never line up with this wishful thinking. As for the delusion itself, Montrealers behave like abused spouses in a decades long marriage - their pocketbooks are raided by all levels of government in exchange for a mix of indifference and crappy services - but they never do anything about it, even just acknowledging that they could do something about it.

The poll contains lots of good news to warm the heart of any Harpermaniac.

Montreal's no. 2 pick (and no. 1 nationally by Grand Canyon-esque margins): Stephen Harper. In fact, he and Jack Layton are, within the margin of error, tied in Montreal.

As for the local boys, Gilles Duceppe and Stephane Dion are big losers - with the Liberal leader coming dead last. The cleverest of pundits assured us that Stephane Dion would be popular in Quebec but where he should be most popular in this province, he's a Whopper to Stephen Harper's Shish Taouk.

That Gilles Duceppe edges Stephane Dion should give migraines to the Liberal party strategists - Gilles Duceppe can't dress in the morning without changing his outfit three times let alone run the country. And everybody knows that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pope to Everyone Else: You're All Going to Hell

Dear Non-Catholics,

By the time you read this, you may already have stumbled over this newsflash - Heaven is simply out of reach for you sods. Nice, decent sods, but damned ones regardless. So says the Pope.

I think we can all agree this obviously applies to non-Christians - even if its awkward to fault Inuits who for generations lived out of reach of Christian missionaries and even more awkward for the generations of humanity that lived before Jesus Christ showed up. Chalk those lost generations, now burning in the fiery pits of hell, suffering at the pleasure of Balzebub himself, to "shit happens".

However, it may surprise you to find out that a whole mess of Christians will be shuffled to the eternal incinerator as well. I'd recommend that our evangelical neighbours stop crossing their fingers for the rapture - it ain't going to work out the way you planned. Sure, we probably take it for granted that anyone in the United Church wasn't going to make the cut - but Anglicans and those take-the-fun-out-of-life Presbyterians will be huffing mad that they ever bothered in the first place to no avail. Probably most miffed will be Orthodox Christians - they come so close to making it - and if they only doffed their hat to the Pope, Heaven would be theirs.

Some of you may ask, why did the Pope decide suddenly to drop this nugget on us today. Well, let me suggest two reasons.

One, it plays to the converted. At heart, we Catholics like the fact that ours is not a religion of exceptions or blurred lines. The Pope's all about love and friendship, if you can stomach his punishing left hook.

Two, there's competition for souls down in South America. The competition is fierce, fast and spreading faster than a winter flu. This was a friendly reminder that you may have more fun elsewhere, but not forever.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Today's Gazette has a Norman Webster column that overflows with such political insight, you'd think he was channelling John Locke. His thesis? The only obstacle to a Tory majority is Stephen Harper's inability to goof around and tell some jokes. This theme isn't new; it resurfaces in the thinking of folks like Don Martin, Susan Delacourt, Lawrence Martin - all the heavy-guns of our political thinking class.

At first glance, you might think this is a tad insulting to the Prime Minister. As if running the government should be something like producing a new John Laroquette sitcom - the only way it will last to the end of the season is more jokes. And good ones, hopefully.

Then, you kind of get to thinking this is a very patronizing view of the citizenry. As if, in the quiet of the voting booth, its not so much tax policy that makes us vote one way or the other, it's the funny thing the Prime Minister said about a rabbi, a priest and a heap of shaving cream.

But really, poll after poll shows that Canadians are quite impressed with the Prime Minister's leadership and not at all clamouring for him to don a honking nose and oversized shoes.

Only pundits ever make this request. The same ones who, on some slow day in August, will lament partisan bickering or the loss of decorum on the Hill, argue the deciding factor between a minority and majority government should be who tells the best knock-knock joke. In the quiet of the voting both, only they make their decisions as if judges on a Fox reality television show. And we are all the poorer for it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Tale of Two Leaders

Last week, Russia’s president, Vlad Putin, declared that Russia owned the Arctic Ocean – at least up to the north pole. This means Russian ambitions now rub up worryingly against Canadian territory. Your friendly Moscovite oligarch has seen Canada prove out the immense potential wealth in the region (think Nanesivik or Polaris mines) and now thinks nothing of swatting pesky Canada aside to claim those riches for themselves.

Canada’s reaction? Thankfully, muscular, assertive and unambiguous. The government sees the potential, understands the stakes and puts money where our interests lie.

The opposition? Our friends, the Liberals, take a pass on all this complicated national interest stuff, preferring instead to protect Margaret Atwood’s pocket book.