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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Safdie, Moise

Israeli Canadian Architect who designed Expo 67’s leaky residential community, Habitat. Also designed the new Vancouver Public Library, which seems to suggest he’s gotten better or that he’s evolved into a Roman.

Salmon Fishery

West Coast equivalent of cod fishery. It is being destroyed by general over-fishing of both salmon and herring stocks, inability to institute sensible pollution control regulations, and the same infestation of incompetent fisheries biologists and statisticians that led to the collapse of the East coast fishery.

Salutin, Rick

Grumpy longtime House Communist at the Globe & Mail, and Rosedale party animal. Now House Communist for the Toronto Star, but relegated to the back pages so Stephen Harper’s media SA don’t discover he’s still alive.


Wheat-growing province and birthplace of most of Canada’s social democratic institutions, such as medicare and common sense. Along with most of the good ideas that have influenced Canadian politics since 1945, the province is rapidly divesting itself of socialist and grain-farming population in order to become a zone of fast-silting hydroelectric and irrigation projects for the U.S. cornbelt. It is also the only province with perfectly straight borders.


Canada’s most functional and integrated city, and among the few where Biculturalism was taken seriously. About 90 percent of Ottawa’s competent bureaucrats are from Saskatoon. Most are bilingual women with red hair.

Saturday Night

In the old wintry Canada, Saturday night was for listening to Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts, for getting drunk and running pickup trucks into snowbanks after one’s favourite team won or lost. In the summer Saturday night was also an excuse for a pissup, for punching out one’s loved ones, drowning in a boating accident, or all three of those. By the 1990s, Saturday night has become a “winter quality time” period for urbanites, usually spent at expensive restaurants sipping newvo bojoly or as part of all-weekend seminars to hone real estate, investment, or interpersonal skills. Country or faux country dwellers spend winter saturday nights in hospital emergency wards after drunken snowmobiling or skiing accidents.

Saturday Night Magazine

Ontario arts journal at one time a major Atlantic Monthly wannabe designed to convince Toronto residents that Canada’s culture was viable and its writers that magazines could actually pay writers a decent fee for services. Now an advertising flyer written and edited exclusively by people on Conrad Black’s cocktail party list.

Saul, John Ralston

He wears bedroom slippers in public and looks like one of those kids who got beaten up on a lot in elementary and high school, but appearances can be deceiving. He’s the only genuine intellectual he-man this country has. Despite being the Governor-General’s consort, he has the ability to anger Alberta’s right wing intellectual Mafia by announcing the end of Globalism, all while remaining Canada’s best (and perhaps only) liberal philosopher-at-large. He has also inspired the wrath of Canada’s Anglo academic community, mostly because his books actually get read. revised by David Banerjee

Schafer, R. Murray

Acoustical educator and Canada’s most original and unorthodox musical composer. His thirty year project to free serious music from the concert hall has met with limited success, but has been a tremendous lot of fun for anyone he’s involved in it. Shafer’s sub-project is getting people to do whatever it is they can’t possibly do, at which his success rate is very high. He despises pianos, which explains why he was the first recipient of the Glenn Gould prize.

Scott, Barbara Ann

Does anyone other than television figure skating commentators remember who Barbara Ann Scott was and did? She’s what Grace Kelly would have been like if she’d spent her life in a pickle jar instead of marrying a Prince.

Seal Pup Harvest

A sore point for hungry Newfoundlanders, who know that the cod stocks ain’t coming back so long as the eastern seaboard remains overpopulated with seals being personally chaperoned to lunch and dinner by middle class econightmares in yachts. If only chickens and our domestic poor were as picturesque as baby seals…

Secret War

Ongoing in Canada since 1979 between Bond/Banking Sector (BBS) and Real Estate Sector. Unrealistic real estate profits depend on high rates of inflation and stable Real Interest Rates (see RIR), while inordinate BBS profits depend on low inflation and high RIR. Until 1988, Real Estate did very well. Since then, BBS has won every battle, which is why most of Canada’s major real estate developers have quietly disappeared into bankruptcy and the smaller ones all changed the names of their companies between 1988 and 1991.

The Senate

Vestigial British institution originally designed to protect traditional property rights and privileges from the belligerent, ill-bred pigs elected to Parliament. In Canadian practice, it has become a pasture for elderly, belligerent, ill-bred parliamentary pigs who have lost their seats. Recent governments, while making grunting noises to the public about disbanding the Senate, have turned it into a partisan institution with powers parallel to those of Parliament. This alteration has led to paralysis of both bodies, leaving effective power in the hands of the Prime Minister and his close friends in the U.S. State Department and Trade Secretariat.

Senator Corker, Bob (R – Tenn.)

Four ways Bob Corker skewered Donald Trump


Image copyright GETTY IMAGES


On Sunday morning, Donald Trump went off on a Twitter tirade against a member of his own party.

This, in itself, isn’t exactly huge news. It’s far from the first time the president has turned his rhetorical cannons on his own ranks.

This time, however, his attacks were particularly biting and personal. He essentially called Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a coward for not running for re-election.

He said Mr Corker “begged” for the president’s endorsement, which he refused to give. He wrongly claimed that Mr Corker’s support of the Iranian nuclear agreement was his only political accomplishment.

Unlike some of his colleagues, Mr Corker – free from having to worry about his immediate political future – didn’t hold his tongue.

That wasn’t the end of it, though. He then spoke with the New York Times and really let the president have it. Here are four choice quotes from the Tennessee senator’s interview with the Times and why they are particularly damning.

“I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.”

You can’t really sugarcoat this one. Mr Corker is flat-out saying the president is a liar – and everyone knows it.

The senator, in particular, is challenging Mr Trump’s insistence that he unsuccessfully pleaded for his endorsement, but the accusation is much broader.

Mr Corker and the president used to be something akin to allies. The Tennessean was on Mr Trump’s short list for vice-president and secretary of state.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stands next to Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) during a campaign event at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on July 5, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Bob Corker at Trump campaign rally in July 2016. Image copyright GETTY IMAGES

Those days are seemingly very much over now – and it’s not like Mr Corker is going anywhere anytime soon. Although he’s not running for re-election, he’ll be in the Senate, chairing a powerful committee, until January 2019.

The president’s margin for success in that chamber is razor-thin. If Democrats can continue to stand together in opposition, he can afford to lose only two votes out of 52 Republican senators. That’s why healthcare reform collapsed in July – and it could be bad news for tax efforts.

From here on out, Mr Corker isn’t going to do the president any favours.

“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”

Frustration in Congress has been growing over what Republicans feel has been the president’s inability to focus on advancing their agenda. Getting a sharply divided party to come together on plans to repeal Obamacare, reform taxes or boost infrastructure spending is challenging enough. Doing so when the president stirs up unrelated controversies on a seemingly daily basis makes things all the harder.

One of the president’s gifts has been his ability to shake off negative stories by quickly moving on to a different subject. That worked brilliantly during his presidential campaign, but it’s less effective during the legislative slow grind.

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks during the confirmation hearing for former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, U.S. President-elect Donald TrumpÕs nominee for Secretary of State, before Senate Foreign Relations Committee January 11, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Corker at the confirmation hearing for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Image copyright GETTY IMAGES

For months, Republicans in Congress have been grumbling about this in the background and among themselves. Occasionally, someone like Mr McConnell will lament that the president doesn’t understand how the Senate works.

Mr Corker has now stated it loud and clear. And, what’s more, he says almost everyone agrees with him. They’ve kept silent until now because they still hope to pass conservative legislation that the president can sign or fear Mr Trump’s legions will back a primary challenge next year or stay home during the general election.

If that calculus ever changes – if it becomes riskier to stay silent than speak out – Mr Trump will be in real trouble.

“A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true.”

Time and again, Mr Trump has appeared to undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others in his administration who are attempting to use soft diplomacy to deal with a range of international crises.

The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iran’s compliance with the multinational nuclear agreement, the ongoing dispute between Qatar and its Persian Gulf neighbours, the unrest in Venezuela and, most recently, North Korea’s continued ballistic missile tests have all been the target of the president’s offhand remarks and Twitter invective.

Some administration defenders have said this is all a part of Mr Trump’s strategy – an updated version of the Nixon-era “madman theory”, in which the president forces adversaries to give way because they fear an unpredictable US leader’s actions.

Mr Corker isn’t buying it. There’s no strategy, he says, just the possibility of chaos – which he hopes Mr Trump’s senior advisers will be able to avoid.

“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”

There’s now a growing collection of John Kelly face-palm photos that serve as a testament to the chief-of-staff’s reported frustration at dealing with the president.

Mr Trump goes off-script to praise torch-bearing white nationalists at a rally in Charlottesville, and Mr Kelly is captured closing his eyes and rubbing the arch of his nose, as if attempting to stave off a migraine.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Senator Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. September 22, 2017.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally. Image copyright REUTERS

The president calls North Korean leaders “criminals” in a speech to the United Nations, and Mr Kelly straight-up buries his face in his hands.

The White House communications team is often left scrambling to try to explain or reframe an indelicate presidential “joke” or remark that directly contradicts what was until then the official administration line.

Even though Mr Kelly has brought some discipline to the West Wing staff, the president still marches to the beat of his own drum – and continues to have unfettered access to his phone’s Twitter app.

Bob Corker is only the latest person – politician, journalist, sports star or celebrity – to feel the mercurial president’s uncontainable ire.



Popular movement in Quebec and Alberta aimed at forming right wing republics under the political and cultural guidance of France or the United States. Separatism began in Quebec as a social democratic movement designed to invert traditional domination by anglophone Canadian business interests. In Alberta, the sources of the movement can be traced back to a longstanding wish of Albertans to reify creationist theories, along with absolute enforcement of missionary positions in social and sexual politics.

Serial Rapists

Police device designed to delude the public into believing that there is such a thing as a one-timer rapist. Everyone who rapes will do it again if not restrained.

Shaw Festival

Niagara-On-The-Lake tourist sanctuary and opportunity to sell pot pourris and other smelly foreign-made semi-crafts to people with poor-to-neutral tastes.

Shield, The Canadian

Semi-circular rock formation surrounding central Canada mistakenly believed by many Canadians to be a legitimate defense against Soviet missile attacks and U.S. cultural, economic and military invasions. In the 1990s, the formation is proving to be a corralling zone for incoming U.S. and globalist economic and cultural roundup/exterminations of indigenous behaviors.

Siberry , Jane

From her birth in 1955 to first recorded output in 1981, Siberry spent her formative years  assimilating influences and developing her musical vocabulary, a journey which continues to this day.  She recently said that she is inching her way towards her prime, and expects there to be further delays. Siberry uses her musical vocabulary to “flesh out” the sounds she would like to hear herself, to please her own aesthetic, for which we are blessed to be taken along for the ride . Her songs often have complex structures, and Siberry herself recently asked, while trying to learn her own new songs in preparation for an upcoming tour “why why why can’t I write country songs?” It can be said that both Siberry and her music are about nice. Some people love her for this, and some don’t. In a world where bad seems dominant, more fashionable and easier to do than nice, the niceness that Siberry presents is a refreshing respite from the evening news and workaday horror show. She is paying forward, not just for herself but for all of us.

(R.”Snap” McDilleaux)

Singh, Jaggi

Canada’s favourite anarkid. He made a name for himself by getting pepper sprayed at Vancouver’s APEC Summit in 1997, and kept it by repeating the mantra “Globalisation tastes like McDonald’s, looks like Disney, and smells like shit.” Almost expelled from Toronto’s ultra-Catholic St. Michael’s High School for having a balanced opinion on abortion, he is now CBC’s go-to guy for any protest over 500 people. He openly espouses a ‘diversity of tactics’, which means trying to do something meaningful to prevent the continuing rape of the developing world. He’s one the few people on the Canadian left who actually owns a copy of the North American Free Trade Agreement even though anarchists do not believe in ‘owning’ anything. David Banerjee


Greater Vancouver’s public transit system is an international transit joke, . It works on the same principle as a Lionel toy train, with each car have roughly the same capacity as a London taxi. The opening day per-ride operating subsidy was about $6 So, why was it built? Well, when the local planners came up with conventional Light Rail transit in 1980, then-Municipal Affairs minister Bill Vander Zalm told his people to find him another technology. They found ALRT: $400 million more to build, 1/2 the capacity, but wait! They didn’t have to pay any uppity bus drivers to drive the trains. The teen gangs and muggers love the system, international transit experts still have the giggles and the per-ride subsidy, with inflation is up around $28 a ride.

Smallwood, Joey

Folk historian, anecdotist, character, first Premier of Newfoundland. Newfoundland hasn’t ever gotten over him, judging from the parade of latter-day Joeys who have followed him into the office. (see FRANK MOORES, BRIAN TOBIN)


A substance used for scenery and skiing enhancement. Typical flavours are corn, powder, fresh and yellow, the latter of which is a future export item to the United States. Snow is illegal on flat surfaces in Quebec, where it is replaced with copious amounts of salt whenever those filthy English Canadian pigs in the federal government tamper with the weather and cause it to snow on native French speakers.

Social Credit

Canadian sociopolitical movement centred mostly in Western Canada. Originally grounded in the biblical prohibition against usury, and turn-of-the-century economic and social theories of Major Douglas that suggest that monetary supply should be determined by productivity rather than by thieves, hysterics and morons. Out of that sometimes sensible ground has grown a series of xenophobic right wing political movements that want to shoot the poor, ethnics, trade unionists, educated people and anyone else who doesn’t desperately want to own a Cadillac. (see W.A.C. Bennett, Ernest and Preston Manning, the Reform Party, APEC and large elements of the post-Levesque Parti Quebecois.

Softwood Lumber Tarifs And Treaties

Pressured by U.S. lumber producers envious that Canada still has trees to cut and wanting to force Canada to adopt the American-style system of private ownership of forest resources, the Clinton Administration began slapping tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports in the mid-1990s. The Bush Administration, not surprisingly, saw no reason to lift the tariffs without major concessions from Canada, something which the Chretien government wasn’t about to do. All of this was troubling for the Canadian-based forestry corporations for two reasons: 1.) it was preventing them from mowing down the remaining Canadian softwood forests and cutting them into spaghetti (2×4 studs) and 2.)it created backdoor incentives for Canada’s wood-cutters to initiate value-added manufacturing, which the corporations dislike because it involves employing workers. Paul Martin brought in Canfor CEO David Emerson to negotiate an end to the tariffs on behalf of the corporations, and Stephen Harper coaxed Emerson to cross the floor of parliament to continue his corporate philanthropy. The agreement to end the tariffs, now more-or-less concluded, reinstates Canada as a Third World style spaghetti cutter and log exporter, and will ensure that the hinterlands remain relatively free of value-adding manufacturing and workers who might join a union.

Solomon, Evan

Personably articulate founding editor of Shift Magazine, which began as one of those parent-funded suicidally well-intentioned literary journals Canada produces too many of and has lately become an inflated instrument of pop/technology culture a la Wired magazine. Evan has moved on to CBC television, where somebody clearly likes him despite the frat-boy demeanor and the squeaky voice. He’s in serious danger of becoming the youngest good old boy in Canada.

Speaker’s Corner

Toronto Queen Street demographic microfacility in which culturally distressed or distraught individuals seek loved ones, complain about personal problems and the government, or crowd together in groups to make smartass remarks and sing badly enough to humiliate themselves. There are those in the media who see this as a relevant statement of contemporary democracy, while others wonder what making an ass of oneself on television has to do with anything.

Squeegee Kids

Youth culture’s way of letting the rest of us know that for anyone under 25, this is a Third World country. The responses to these kids from older and wealthier elements of the community sometimes appear to be guided by the Mexican government, other times by the Three Stooges. Now legislated out of Ontario.

Stevenson, Tim

Tim Stevenson, rainbow gloves.

Tim Stevenson, rainbow gloves.

Long-time, openly gay, Vancouver city councilman Tim Stevenson, one of the city’s hosts for the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, trekked to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympic games, opening February 7, on one of the few sensible political junkets of the year. It’s also one of the shrewder junkets, since this trip will definitely not hurt the councilman’s re-election prospects in gay-friendly Vancouver.

Tim Stevenson, Team Canada.

Tim Stevenson, Team Canada.

Stevenson is protesting Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws in Russia and lobbying the International Olympic Committee to include anti-discrimination provisions in its charter documents. Stevenson arrived fully armed with rainbow socks and gloves.



Stewart, Jon

Probably the smartest man in the American media, and a comedian to boot. His “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is more politically astute and honest than anything else on American television, and has earned a huge fanbase both for its humour and its lack of the usual bullshit.

He elevated himself to near-god status on October 15th, 2004, when he appeared on CNN’s “Crossfire” and did what anyone with a brain has long dreamed of doing: making fun of Tucker Carlson’s ridiculous bowtie and calling him “a dick” on national television. He’s in this dictionary because he’s what sane Canadians want Americans to be like.

Stoyko, Elvis

Brilliant, innovative miniature figure skater. There must be something fundamentally good about a country where someone like Stoyko isn’t forced to drive a forklift for a living. Generally considered way too heterosexual by some of his colleagues, who think his idea of “artistic statement” too much resembles the fisting gestures from their S&M bathhouse fantasies.

Stratford Festival

Canadian tourist jewel. Now that the government is disappearing, some say the festival is being held together by a facade of brassy pretension, pomposity and a municipal tourist scheme to open a graveyard for famous stage actors, if any can be found.

Structural Adjustment

Econopolitical ideological device originally developed by IMF/World Bank for use in bankrupt Third World Countries. The device diverts national and personal incomes and productivity to pay off debts incurred by corrupt government officials as foreign aid. Was supposedly meant to finance loony Western-style industrial megaprojects, but was actually spent on arming militias and luxury autos and villas for borrowing officials families and political allies. Invariable result of Structural Adjustment is elevated prices for essentials, collapse of social services, and increased income gaps. Now being applied to industrialized countries, including Canada.

Stuckless, Gordon:

One of the many fiends Rosie Dimanno and Christie Blatchford are making a living trying to hound straight into hell, Stuckless is the sexual predator who used his Maple Leaf Gardens job to screw up the lives of dozens of sexually gullible kids. End of story and off to hell? Yes, but at the same time, it seems evident that Stuckless is a monumentally talentless and mediocre human being, and the kind of man there were literally thousands of in small towns across Canada a generation ago. These men did little harm back then, not because their urges were much different than those of Stuckless, but because parents and kids alike had them sniffed out and wised up before they got started. Maybe Blatchford and DiManno need to think about how today’s big cities aren’t just places rich in money-making opportunities, and how the media-enjoined moral hysteria that has turned everybody with a public sector job into a potential molester may be disabling our ability to spot the real ones under our noses.

Student Loans

Our governments encourage kids to mortgage their souls by running up forty grand in student loans, then demand that they pay back the loans six months after graduation even though the only jobs available for them are minimum wage service industry McJobs. When a few kids go south on the loans, the governments froth at the mouth about moral degeneracy and then, in what they propose to the media as a conciliatory gesture extend the payback period a few months. The way we offer Latin American banana republics a better financial deal than we do our own children, says more about our social investment priorities than a dozen righteous ministers dithering over the quality of education .


Moonscape created by nickel mining debris made this mid-Ontario disaster the ecological equivalent of hell. Once used to train moon-bound astronauts, it is now being recycled by the film industry as a prime set for post-nuclear holocaust science fiction flicks.


Loosely affiliated chain of five daily red-neck tabloids noted for faux cheese- and beef-cake photos, stratospheric right-wing columnists, and stripper-show ads. Owned by Rogers Communications and not to be confused with heavenly orbs or the Vancouver Sun, which is a Southam paper edited by ex-staffers from the Globe & Mail heavily censored by CanWest Global.


Corporate term for male intellectuals of academic background skilled in framing visible trends, generalized themes and ideas in terms vague enough to appeal to business executives and government leaders at luncheons and seminars. Canada has a longstanding tradition of Superminds stretching back to Harold Innes and Marshall McLuhan. Pierre Trudeau, incidentally, wanted to be one when he was a young man. [De Kerckhove, Derek][Ogden, Frank] [Powe, Bruce] [Kroker, Arthur]

Surveillance Canada

Do you suppose this definition is under surveillance? You can bet your sweet patootie it is.

The mid-June 2013 “revelations” and subsequent uproar about major information gathering programs by the American National Security Agency (NSA) has reopened a debate about privacy, spying, state secrets, and surveillance. Almost every aspect of the discussion is contested (e.g., the word “revelations” above is in quotes because there’s an argument about whether something new has been revealed or whether it’s all just “old news”). That means this is one of the murkier of public debates currently underway.

Big-Brother-iFacebookStart with the recent cultural shredding of privacy. For younger people, there’s a relentless abandonment of privacy taking place on Facebook and countless other “social media” sites, including an astonishing number of web cam masturbation postings by young folks that inevitably end up on your local/global porn site. At another level of the disappearance of privacy, the social media sites are collecting every bit of data produced by their “users” and then “mining” the data to sell commercial products to those customers. Sometimes this produces the irony of people who don’t seem to mind being data-mined by social media corporations who are outraged when governments do the same thing in the name of national security, usually under the banner of preventing “terrorism.”

The matter is further confused by general ambivalence about states, government, and societies, as well as by clashing political positions on the role of the state. On one side, you have an ideological devotion to “transparency,” usually coupled to an anarchist distrust of all government, which completely rejects the notion of a legitimate state secret (presumably including encryption systems to protect privacy and pieces of knowledge.)

On another side, you have leftists suspicious of any and all actions of the United States as purely imperialist policies designed to subordinate all other polities on the globe. Since all U.S. actions are malevolent, all revelations of secret U.S. policies are heroic, according to this view.

Big brother is notOn a third side, you have people who assure us that nothing at all is happening, that the vast spying programs are already well-known, completely lawful, and that the “leakers” of secrets deserve to be subjected to ad hominem attacks for being creepy, paranoid, etc. These views are regularly found in the pages of the conservative National Post and Ottawa Citizen. On the even further right, there are wilder conspiracy theories from the ranks of the demagogues of talk radio and TV.

Hmm. Try to think amid all this noise. Oddly, the most moderate position in the surveillance debate is proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama, who talks about a need for “balance” between necessary national security snooping and valued rights to privacy and freedom. Naturally, Obama’s middle-of-the-road pragmatism is the most unpopular position on offer, especially among mobs of screamers.

True, Obama’s position doesn’t quite recognize the vastness and depth of the surveillance programs, and how dangerous they are to a common sense notion of civil liberties. But, then, everyone else is slightly worse — from worshippers at the shrine of transparency, to libertarians and anarchists who don’t want much of a state at all, to self-declared revolutionaries, on the left and right, secularist and Islamist, who see only U.S. imperialism while remaining cheerfully untroubled by equivalent Chinese and Russian snoopings or the absence of freedom among the warlord and theocratic failed states.


Suzuki, David

Science writer, popularizing ecologist, fruit fly vivisectionist and television host. A lot of people dislike Suzuki for his arrogance and single-mindedness, but whatever style problems he presents, he’s the only science-based intellectual in the country trying to integrate long range ecological planning with contingency and common sense.


Okay all you adults. It’s getting so you can’t take public transit or go to the mall without being afraid that a gang of crazed teenagers is going to swarm you and steal your money, right? But before we toss them in all in the slammer, let’s take a deep breath and ask ourselves why they’re angry, and what’s making them crazy.