1 #BOSTON It’s pretty clear by now that the numbnut(s) who killed three and maimed nearly 200 with the IEDs at the Boston Marathon finish line weren’t as sophisticated at, say’s Al Qaida’s attack on London’s transit system in 2005. Had this been a sophisticated terrorist operation, the bomb blasts would have been set off around the time when the first runners crossed the finish line (thereby attracting the international sports media) instead of around the four-hour mark (around the time when the dedicated amateur joggers finish, which is the time when a lot of the reporters and camera crews leave the scene and are busy filing their stories about the winners). As well, there would probably have been blasts along more areas of the route, in the MTA (Boston’s subway system) and in the area of Massachusetts General Hospital, where most of the wounded were treated.
As well, the time around Patriots’ Day is a time for the American milita movement to get active. The ATF attack on the Branch Davidian compound was on April 19th: Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building was also on an April 19th. (Until the late 1960s, Maine and Massatchusettes celebrated Patriots’ Day on April 19th, the anniversary of the first battle in the American Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord. Now, the two states celebrate the public holiday on the monday nearest April 19th.) But that’s not going to stop a lot of American politicians and mouthbreathers on the talk radio claiming it was those Arabs doing that again. Such as The New York Post.
And Stephen Harper says there’s a right way and a wrong way to mourn those deaths in Boston, and his is, of course, the only right way. Geez Louise, I swear he’s now telling his followers that when he dies, he’ll be back in three days.
2 #CDNPOL (1) Speaking of out of control Conservative MPs with God complexes, Edmonton-area MP Peter Goldring is using the ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ defense in his drunk driving trial. Because it works so well for Kevil Lowe, I suppose.
3 #CDNPOL (2) Reading about Saskatoon-Acute State of Paranoia MP Maurice Vellacott’s tirade against the electoral boundaries commission makes me very scared for the future of democracy in Canada. If he loses his riding in the next election or if the Cons lose the next election, Vellacott and other Saskatchewan Cons will blame the commission for jury rigging the ridings into Liberal or NDP strongholds instead of accepting the judgement of voters.
4 #REATEAH Rosie’s second-favourite alt-weekly, The Coast contrasts the overkill Halifax RCMP have used in busting people allegedly possessing and/or cultivating marijuana with the apparent lack of effort they made in investigating the Parsons case. It’s a very damning article, and if the RCMP had any shame or wren’t too busy playing dress-up or teaching horses how to dance, they should be embarrassed to be a member of such a police force. It’s a sad note when people (such as the late girl’s father) now, apparently, have more faith in the investigating powers of Anonymous than of the RCMP. But it doesn’t make sense for a police force whose members sexually harass its own female members to investigate sexual assaults.
5 #BCPOL The election campaign is under way in British Columbia, which means that Tom Hawthorne (one of the best writer/reporters that the University of British Columbia student newspaper has ever produced) and Tom Barrett now have a running series of stories about the history of weirdness in Left Coast politics. Honestly, it started early, when the man who became B.C.’s first premier changed his name from Bill Smith to Amour de Cosmos (Lover of the Universe).
6 #BOYCOTTRBC BC labour unions are pressuring the Royal Bank of Canada to change their attitude towards the foreign workers program. But since RBC is Too Big To Fail, they’re probably not going to do it.
YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN In 1990 I was watching the Junos on TV when this woman, who was wide as she was tall, sauntered onto the stage and unleashed a voice and a song that froze me in my tracks. About halfway through the song, about three dozen men in lighted miners helmets walked through the hall, singing the chorus as they strode to the stage. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a more moving sight in the history of Canadian music, as Rita MacNeil and The Men of the Deeps moved like ghosts, telling of a hard and dangerous life that we, in our affluence, had chosen to ignore.
MacNeil died on April 16th from post-surgical complications. She was 68. As her Toronto Star obituary illustrates, she was a working-class hero in a Springsteen mold – worked a bunch of menial jobs while trying to get established as a performer, was under observation (see: spying) by the RCMP for the radical idea of equal pay for work of equal value for women, and she became a godmother for the Nova Scotia music scene.
I’m sorry to say that my search on YouTube has failed to come up with that video. The only video I could find of Ms. MacNeil’s performance of that song was from a 2009 performance, and her voice was shot. So, we’ll make do with a fan video of her most famous (and moving) song, Working Man.