snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
....and that list DOESN'T include Saudi Arabia or Pakistan? You know, the countries behind such wonderfully uplifting moments like 9/11 and the Mumbai attacks. Oh, yeah I forgot. He has business interests there. Just keeping it real folks.

I know it won't happen but I really, really hope the deeply devout, seriously politically active evangelical bloc comes out hard against this type of religious discrimination. I'm not asking anyone to care about refugees fleeing ISIS, the total destruction of the US's standing in the world, or the economic damage of preventing skilled workers from being to reenter the country. What I'm asking is for them to be properly afraid of the precedent being set here because demographics change, and if discrimination is acceptable against one group then how can it be opposed if its ever directed at you?

American conservatives get worked up about the Second Amendment all the time. Lets see if they have the same passion for the First. It's there to protect them too when the wheel inevitably turns.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
I think I'm going to link to some of the so-called rogue scientist accounts that have arisen lately in the US. Normally I prefer to get my scientific data from the press but since I'm pretty sure that won't be possible for the next four years or so this is probably the next best thing. Not that I'm surprised by this of course since Stephen Harper's similar muzzling of Canadian scientists is one of many reasons why my conscience prevents me from even considering voting for the right wing in Canada.

What can I say? I like real facts, not alternate ones.
snowywolfowl: (Canadian Flag)
Kevin O'Leary, the bald mean guy from "Shark Tank" and "Dragon's Den" has entered the Conservative Party of Canada's leadership race and has floated the idea of selling Senate seats to those people able to afford them.

Really. I shit you not.

I'm going to hit the pause button so you can take a moment or two to digest the implications of people being able to outright purchase an office in a democracy, especially given the fact that dirty and foreign money can be laundered into legitimite revenue streams in any country, no matter how stringent their financial laws.

*hold music plays*

Alrighty then. I guess the easiest way for me to explain why I will never vote for the Conservative Party is that I just don't hate my country enough to deliver it into the hands of such people. Although to be fair to Mr. O'Leary I do appreciate him making it clear that the only citizens that would matter to him are those with money. I find the honesty refreshing actually.

Seriously between Kellie Leitch and her xenophobia and O'Leary Trumpism is making a strong push north.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
CNN has an article asking "What type of tailgater are you" and as of today, I know the exact answer.

I'm the guy unwillingly tailgating a Ford Pinto at freeway speeds desperately hoping he doesn't brake, swerve, or otherwise do something stupid that ends up with us all in flames.

In short I'm like every other person right now.

I'd say good luck but there isn't enough to get us through the next four years unscathed so I'll just say "May God help us all".
snowywolfowl: (Canadian Flag)
I've said it before that the most dangerous animal outside of honeybees in Canada are moose and this video shows why. Take a look at where the animal's centre of mass is compared to the hood of the car. That could have been up to 1500 lbs EACH coming through his wind shield at speed and its not unknown for all that meat to end up in the BACK seat of the car.

Yeah. That's scary.

And as for his driving my hat is off to him. If he'd slammed the brakes instead of letting off when he started to slide he'd never have been able to thread the needle and in all probability would have hit at least one of them.

snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Decided to practice on my Drop D tuned strat for the night. It's not a tuning I use a lot for some unknown reason. It is a very useful and fun tuning after all.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Donald Trump wishing his many enemies a Happy New Year is exactly the type of tweet I imagine Joseph Stalin would have sent out just before starting a purge.

Also I really need to pick up "The Art of the Deal". It can go on the same shelf with "Mein Kampf" and "Selected Quotations of Mao Tse Tung".
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Since I don't think anyone needs a recap of the numerous disasters, deaths and other assorted traumas that was 2016 I'll just wish everyone a less brutal, more hopeful 2017.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)

RIP Richard Adams. Watership Down was and is one of my alltime favourite novels.

I think instead of trying to say anything of my own I'm just going to post this quote from the novel that his family used in the statement about his recent passing. It seems an appropriate thing to say about someone who lived 96 years.

"It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

"You needn't worry about them," said his companion. "They'll be alright - and thousands like them."



snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
A Russian ambassador to a NATO country in one of the most volatile regions of the world has just been assassinated and Donald Trump is going to be in charge of dealing with the complex tangled mess.

All I can say is, Merry Christmas Everybody!

snowywolfowl: (Window on World)
Courtesy of a friend's facebook feed here is some really nice music. Now how the hell am I supposed to get stuff done now? :-)


First for my late uncle Mike. I think he'd enjoy this take on one of his favourite band's classic songs:



Next here's a nice take on one of my favourite movie soundtracks pieces. Trust me, what he's doing with his left hand at the beginning is not easy to do well:




And finally this. I think it just illustrates why I love music and finding cool new stuff. It's the only part of my life that never shrinks to nothing but instead always expands to new horizons.



Most of these are from Candyrat Records and can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/user/rpoland/featured
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Yep, sometimes i need to plug into my amp, turn the distortion pedals on and laydown some heaviness to relieve some tension. Sure I may not have a fast left hand, and I really need to invest in a noise gate pedal eventually, but really who cares? I have pleasantly sore fingers and I know a new song now.

Works for me.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
As probably most people know Fidel Castro passed away and I find the reactions to his death interesting. Perhaps evenmore interesting then that are the reactions to the reactions. Lets just say I think it provides an interesting time to comment on the difficulties we as contemporaries have in objectively judging certain polarizing public figures and by just about any standard Castro fits that shoe all too well.

Lets face it. He was absolutely hated by the United States, both for nationalizing Cuban resources that the US made a lot of money from during the preceeding Bautista regime, and for his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The CIA tried to kill him, Kennedy sponsored an invasion against him, and US immigration policy is well, lets just say "special" where Cuba is concerned.  His human rights record is dismal, and the Cuban economy is not booming by any standard.

And yet its possibly to see why he's held in high regard. In an era of Imperial America he was not only willing to stand up to the US, but he was able to do so successfully. Education and health care for Cubans rose in ways that likely would have been unthinkable under a pro-US regime, and his use of health care assistance as a foreign policy tool made Cuba an attractive friend to many places that found themselves on the wrong side of the US. The fact his Cuba was able to do it under an embargo that was of questionable merits in the past few decades only enhanced that stature.

So, how should historians see him? I think he will not be seen as hero or villain but rather as a complex man of a complex time, where things are not easily seen in the terms of black and white that people demand. I also don't think the people of my generation and older will get the whole picture as well because his final chapters have not yet been written. Raoul Castro is still alive, and even were he to die tomorrow the post Castro era would be a time of complexities and shades of grey to rival the times of their lives.

We should let that era come to pass and play out before we judge.

 
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Not that I really care that much over how much it sold*, I'm more interested in the fact that Lawren Harris is my favourite artist among The Group of Seven and their compatriots like Emily Carr and Tom Thompson. There is just something about his stark lines and colour choices that captures the Arctic. Honestly if I ever do make it up there he will deserve much of the credit for inspiring the journey.

Enough blabbering. Here is "Mountain Forms" by Lawren Harris. Enjoy!






*I do realize that there are wider issues of access to culture, and who gatekeeps that access, when big money is thrown around. Let's just enjoy the painting though as a break from more weighty issues. :-)
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
So congratulations to the residents of Las Vegas on their new NHL team, the Golden Knights. It will be a  long couple of years at first until you're in the middle of the road but you'll get there. Here's what I'm hoping for you:

1. That you get a really good goalie. Good news is that with teams only able to protect one goalie on the roster, and several teams having reasonable depth in net you'll get that. Right now the smart money is that your goalie will be Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury. He's good, has a couple of Stanley Cups, including one as a starter, and will steal a few points.

2. You get some forwards who can score: This one is harder. Teams are going to protect their best scorers so you'll get a lot of third and fourth liners, which doesn't bode well for you. Still, you have a good General Manager in George McPhee, and if there's someone out there he can grab he'll likely find a twenty goal guy.

3. That you get some good defence that can at least keep the shot count down: You won't get any great offensive guys but you might be able to defend a bit. Without good defence it won't matter how good the goalie is, and if you get some good defencemen you might be able to swing a trade or two for some offence.

4. That the odds be in your favour: You will get the third seed for the draft lottery and I will be hoping you get that first overall pick. You can usually get a good player although with all drafts its a crap shoot. Trust me, I cheer for Ottawa. We drafted one of the biggest busts of all time with the first over all pick, and the next guy chosen is in the Hall of Fame. :(  We would have been better off if we had drafted Satan himself.

Btw, I'm 100% serious there. Miroslav Satan had 735 points in 1050 games. Not bad for a fifth rounder. :)  Lets just say thats the type of draft that gets your team somewhere. You need those later round picks to come up.

So with all that, welcome to the NHL Las Vegas!
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
You do not live WITH fascists, neo-Nazis, and racial supremists. You live UNDER them, on whatever terms they and they alone dictate. And when you are are no longer able to suit their terms you CEASE living.

History is full of this truth. It doesn't take long for demonization to lead to genocide, especially once they have their hands near the levers of power like they do today.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Lugenpresse!?! Souless golem!?! Hail Trump, with Nazi forearm salutes!?!

No. No. No. No. No.

NO.

Not acceptable. Not acceptable at all.

Its stuff like this that makes worries that Trump will start internment camps for Muslims and others a legitimate worry for so many people. Indeed, its stuff like this that makes America remind me of the Weimar Republic. They've already had a charismatic business elite mobilize fascist radicals to gain economic power and now we will likely get to see them lose control of the attack dogs to all our dismay. You can't just look directly at a camera and say "Stop it" after making demagoguery the whole point of your campaign. It doesn't work that way. It NEVER works that way.

So going forward I will not be using the term "alt-right" to describe this bullshit. Instead I'm going to call it what it is. Fascism, Nazism and White Supremacy. Ugly words yes, but the only words fitting for such ugly thoughts from such ugly souled people. "Alt-Right" implies some sort of alternative right wing philosophy, like "Red Tory" or "Reagonomics". Whatever one thought of those ideas at least they were legitimate ones. What this video showed was not and cannot be afforded the comfort of "oh its just a variation of classical conservatism".

As for the above point, I am not debating it. Trump is the Republican president elect, and he, and his party, have given voice to NAZIS. That is on him, the Republicans, and everyone who voted for the Trump/Pence ticket. Is everyone who voted for it racist? No, of course not and it would be wrong to even subtly imply it. There were a lot of legitimate factors that contributed to how the race turned out, and a more reasonable Republican candidate could have absolutely won against Clinton. But if a person only voted that way because they didn't like Clinton, or were just angry and couldn't be bothered to read up on who was supporting Trump, then they definitely helped create this problem and need to become part of the solution to protect the core values of Western democracy.

My niece and nephews, who are native born white Americans, deserve better than this, as does EVERY American, and citizen of the world, regardless of creed, faith, colour, ethnicity or whatever. I'd also like to think that my late great grandfather didn't spend several years of his life being terrorized on merchant ships in the North Atlantic by these Neo-Nazi's idols only to see his great grandchildren say "Ancient history, old man. Fuck it". If there was ever a time, a place and a way to honour the Greatest Generation than this is it. This is the time.

Don't let Nazism become Normal.

Please.
snowywolfowl: (Canadian Flag)
Namely how in the hell is Canada going to be able to work with the US with Trump in charge? Its not like we can ignore the US, with us being their largest trading partner, NORAD partner, and largest land border. Trump and Trudeau will have to figure something out but Jesus, if we thought George W. Bush was hard to work with...lets just say my mind sees a torturous next four years at least.

Now I'm not actually scared of renegotiations over NAFTA because negotiations go both ways. There are alot of things Canadians would demand as concessions from the US if it was reopened, and if the US walked away, well, there's always the Chinese and European Union markets that need our resources. Frankly I'd rather the economic hardship than capitulate to Trump and if that means getting closer to China, well, perhaps that's how it might have to go. That's assuming at Trump doesn't just invade and kill us all. This is Trump after all, a guy whose shown he can't be trusted with a Twitter account let alone launch codes.

Added to that last point is the fact that I don't know what Trump's exact relationship with Putin is and that is very worrying. As concerned as I am that a Trump administration will try to bully Canada I'm even more worried about where he really stands on NATO. If Russia invaded Canadian territory, would he respect Article 5* or would he just say "Meh. It's just business" and leave us out to dry? If I'm that nervous I can't even imagine what Poland or the Baltic States must think.

Well it is what is. I've always said that electing Trump would have serious consequences for the US's standing in the world and the US has to deal with it. Trudeau will no doubt try his best and maybe the realization that a Trump administration is not likely to be our, or any one else's friend will lead to some good developments outside of the US. At least it gives Canada a golden chance to show once and for all to the world that we are not just like Americans. Provided we can repudiate our own homegrown bigots who will likely be emboldened by this tragedy.

I'm tired. It was a long night. I'm going to bed.

*Article 5 states that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all NATO members. It's been invoked only once, after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
I am so, so, so sorry. :-(
snowywolfowl: (Canadian Flag)
As always it will be a while for the results to really start showing but that's ok. Canadian and American elections may have fundamental differences but they have one thing in common that never changes - the results always walk east to west. Got to love time zones.

The fact is that even if I wasn't worried about civilization I'd still want to watch this. I find this stuff fascinating. Its right up there with history, music, hockey, and aviation so I'm just going to sit back and let it play out.

Let the votes drop where they may.

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