Friday, January 30, 2009

US Army Reporting Record High Suicides

CNN and other news outlets are reporting that 2008 and 2007 saw record highs for Military Personal killing themselves. The 2008 rate was 20.2 per 100,000 which is much higher than the civilian rate. This translates 128 suicides last year with a number of deaths still being investigated.

The deaths appear to be fairly evenly distributed among soldiers in the various stages of deployment and post tour.

It surprised me to learn that the US Military only started tracking this information around 1980. I imagine the rate during the Vietnam era was high as well.

In keeping with military tradition, the officials don't understand why their prevention programs are not working and promise to study the problem.

Some informal suggestions why soldiers give in to despair:

  • Mental illness is ignored and regarded as a stigma, unamerican and unmanly.
  • Their Command-in-Chief lied about the mission and created a deep social schism.
  • Unable to get needed therapy because of neo-conservative attitudes to funding.
  • Financial. Not enough pay. Not helping sick soldiers with their debt.
  • Facing an enemy in Iraq who hated them and played dirty.
I'm afraid that most of these soldiers will end up being nameless victims. The military tends to not honor or talk about these types of deaths. In many ways society failed these men and it is an added injury that they are not honored. I think these same problems are emerging in the Canadian Military. Please recommend this post

Much Shorter Budget Analysis

One day later...

Harper is sneering and calling people names.
Ignatieff looks like an idiot.
Layton is back to fighting the Liberal Party.
Duceppe is missing. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bart Simpson: Scientologist

Via the Daily Beast

Keep in mind that the story is anecdotal, and the images in the video are from the video creator not Nancy Cartwright. Even so, Bart makes the perfect Scientologist.

Update: Since posting Fox had the video removed due to copyright reasons. I'm guessing some substance hit a fan somewhere.

The gist of it was Nancy Cartwright allegedly robo-phoning people leaving a message using Bart Simpson's voice and persona. It was an invitation to her speaking at a Scientology event.

Please recommend this post

Michigan Utility Lets 93 Year Old Freeze

BAY CITY, Mich. - A 93-year-old man froze to death inside his home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills, officials said.

Officials said, perfunctorily, and with the usual business like detachment. The man who had no family was behind on his payments had his heat and power curtailed in one of the worst winters in several years.

The Utility installed a throttler on his house that prevented only small amounts of Electricity to be used. However, it tripped off and the man froze without heat or power.

The most ugly part of the tragedy was the Utility's Manager piously observing:

"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbours need to keep an eye on neighbours," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."

And businesses don't need to check on their customers or explain things to them. In any other type of business this would probably be negligent homicide. Please recommend this post

Sabres 10 Oilers 2

Worst losing score in Oilers history.

MacTavish described it as a debacle of monumental proportions. Like him or no, he has a way with words. The SS Schadenfreude sailed into Port Calgary this morning and hasn't stopped blowing its horns.

They sang the anthem, dropped the puck, and Buffalo scored in the first 10 seconds. Not a good sign. I left after the first goal and got to the gym 15 minutes later and it was 5-1.

In the last 5 minutes of the game the Oilers fans were on their feet cheering for the Sabres.

The Oilers play Minnesota on Friday night. Please recommend this post

Post Budget Rutabagas

Thinking about yesterdays vigorous budget presentation by God's Own Finance Minister:

The pay equity issue is huge for me and others. Unfortunately Michael Ignatieff has not mentioned it. Is this important to the Liberal Party? Please tell me it is. Denying pay equity resolution shows Harper is small minded, parochial and petty. Old news. Harper probably doesn't care that this issue is not going away and justice delayed is more expensive later on.

Flaherty kept pronouncing leverage to rhyme with beaverage not beverage. Drove me nuts. How about we leeeeeverage you into the opposition.

Iris Evans, voted the Alberta Legislature's best dressed MLA, doesn't like the budget but admits she has not examined it in detail. Iris has a vague feeling Alberta is being screwed. I wouldn't worry, this feeling is bred into Alberta PC's DNA. They can't get elected without it. It does play well with the yobs doesn't it. After several rounds of personal and corporate tax cuts, after reducing energy royalties, the Alberta Government now demands the Canadian tax payer throw them a bone. Even after repeated and bizarre accusations the rest of Canada just wants to steal Alberta's money. Truly surreal.

The Mayor of Calgary likes the budget because like all of Alberta, Calgary is 10 years behind on infrastructure. Bronconnier needs Federal money because the Alberta Premier plays games with provincial taxation sharing for merely petty reasons.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce thinks the budget is OK, but wonders how we're going to get people to spend more money. They never ask the question what money? Also, the human side of our economy is that gratuitous spending and over-consumption on credit is one of the reasons we got here.

A news outlet in Calgary is quoting Jack Mintz as cautiously optimistic of the budget. They identify him as an academic at the University of Calgary, which he is. They failed to mention he was on Flaherty's advisory panel. Bizarre non-disclosure, though its possible they don't know about the panel.

The tax breaks are inconclusive in terms of stimulus. Similarly home renovation credit only target a group of people who a) benefit from a tax credit b) have money to do renovations. Flaherty has no business referring to any economic policy as permanent. Here today, hopefully gone tomorrow.

No mention of child care, elder care, or mental health. Do you think the need for mental health care will go up or down in the next couple of years?

This one thing I remember from eight years of Mulroney and 30 years of Alberta Tories. Infrastructure spending is political influence peddling. I would expect every penny of it to go into Conservative Ridings. Conservative MP's will now fan out to their ridings with those large cardboard cheques.

Many Conservative bloggers and columnists are rejecting the budget as too liberal. Straying off the dogma is rather odd for them so I think there is a story there. Could be they realize that Harper wants power with our without conservative principles intact. Please recommend this post

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama Ends War on Terror?

Convoluted. A fluff piece asserts that Barack Obama has ended America's war on terror. Yahoo cites a feed from AFP which in turn has a non-value added rehash of a Washington Post editorial. Yahoo lazily identifies the Washinton Post as 'the media'.

Since the WP's editorials are behind a firewall its hard to know which one the recyclers are referring to. A search of the phrase 'declares an end to war on terror' reveals a number of editorials and light-hearted obituaries on the war.

It seems that the proposed closing of Guantanamo Bay, the closure of illegal CIA torture dungeons in foreign countries, and the widespread rescinding of President Bush's legal orders and opinions on torture, somehow equates to the ending of the war on terror.

Having listened to many of President Obama's speeches in the Presidential Election, not to mention his inauguration speech, it seems to me he didn't get the talking points memo about ending the war on terror. He always struck me as rather belligerent and hawkish. If you're a terrorist somewhere wanting to test this new leaders resolve you can either believe the Washington Post or the incoming missiles.

Changing some tactics and strategies yes, ending no. President Obama may well end up being too hawkish for many liberals, but there is no amount of gratuitous violence that would satisfy conservatives. See Gaza. I've seen this movie before. No fairy tale ending.

I think i get why the Washington Post is pushing this distortion.

During the election the strategy of McCain-Palin intellectual juggernaut was to try and say Barack Obama would be soft on terror. In its most extreme forms people who should have known better claimed Obama was a secret magic Muslim who was the head of a secret magic advance front of Jihadists. At times it was screamingly hilarious were it not for the fact that it was landing on such fertile ground. You can scar someone for life by threating to take away their Bible and their pork.

The Washington Post is just tapping out some morse code to the half-wits. Danger danger, be afraid. Please recommend this post

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Republican VP's: Mostly Creepy

Photo of former Vice President Richard Cheney leaving the Capitol Building with a charming sneer.

It occurred to me in a moment of non-productivity that most of the post-war Republican Vice Presidents have been creepy for one reason or another. Thankfully, the voters didn't add Sarah Palin to that list, however she would have fit right in.

When Eisenhower warned about the Military Industrial Complex he was probably thinking of his Vice President Richard Nixon. Nixon as Vice President from 1953 to 1961 was shrill and obnoxious. Should have been a clue.

Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in 1973 due to serious criminal charges. His gift to history was some cheesy alliterations. Nattering Nabobs...etc.

Agnew's resignation invoked the 25th Amendment for the first time and Gerald Ford became the Vice President. Ford was mostly innocuous, but I have this major issue against him: The elevation of Chevy Chase to the status of a serious comedian. Shame, sir, shame.

When Nixon resigned Ford became President and the 25th Amendment was invoked for the second time making Nelson Rockefeller Vice President. Rockefeller was mostly harmless. But despite coming from one of the world's richest families he failed numerous campaigns to become President. Probably too smart or too liberal for his party.

As Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush (Daddy) faded into the background when Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. He was probably reading My Pet Goat. I also remembering him throwing up near or on the Japanese Prime Minister.

Two words: Dan Quayle. Original idea behind Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Richard Cheney. If you're the President you probably won't like it much if the media keeps writing the same story line over and over again, that your Vice President is actually the one in charge. Cheney advocated torturing children, disregarded international law, and deliberately put Valerie Plame's life at risk out of mere pettiness. Not to mention a wife who wrote shitty Lesbian soft core novels while taking homophobia mainstream.

Corrections: Rockefeller became Vice President not President.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post Inauguration Soundtrack

The literacy and emotion of Barack Obama's Inauguration speech was astonishing to me. During the era of George Bush and Stephen Harper I forgot what a good communicator sounds like. The velocity of our dumbing down has at least been impeded somewhat. For better or worse, at least Barack Obama will speak in complete sentences. I think he will go over the head of many Americans, especially the fundamentalists and the National Post. Nuance, metaphor and poetic language are lost on many people. Expect Chuck Norris to be mad a lot.

(Aside: When Joe Biden swore to uphold the Constitution I could have sworn I heard the Chief Justice quip well that'll certainly be a change...)

After the Inauguration I put on some music.

1. America - Simon & Garfunkel
2. Aspice, Domine - Choir of Magdalen College Oxford
3. This Land is Your Land - Billy Bragg
4. Looking out My Back Door - John Fogerty
5. Le Démon Sort L'Enfer - La Bottine Souriante (A thrown bone to the religious right)
6. In A World Called Catastrophe - Matthew Good
7. Amazing Grace - Unknown female singer with a mournful beautiful voice.
8. Intuition - Feist
9. Let Em In - Paul McCartney and Wings
10. Best Things in Life - Michael Carey

Thank you Mr. Bush, the receptionist will validate your parking on the way out and give you some coupons. Please recommend this post

Insult the Queen Day

An Australian novelist Harry Nicolaides has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for writing a novel in which he apparently insults the Royal Family of Thailand. That would be a Thai prison he's going to not an Australian one. I suspect and hope he will spend a short time there and then be pardoned. Even though Australia produces the worlds shittiest literature there is no excuse for not allowing people to insult Royalty. The Royal Family of Thailand cannot be insulted as it interferes with their important work of creating political stability, which I hear they're very good at.

I only bring up this sad story to make a point that our Monarch is much less thin skinned and can take our incessant jibber jabber about her and her family.

I could sit here and write that Her Majesty is a useless god-forsaken git with a DNA damaged Heir who took 40 years to barely comprehend the rules of Polo. I have no fear that the police will show up at my door. For I am a Canadian, and I can freely say rotten and profane things about my head of state. I may even write a novel.

God Save our Queen, really. Our Monarch is sanguine and gracious, prone to walking through the gas lit streets on Christmas eve, unafraid of being accosted by lonely liquored men. She peers into our dimly lit front windows and views our impoverishment with love and understanding. In this age of coups and usurpations by godless socialists and Felquistes a patriot can't be too vigilant. Her Majesty is the only glue holding our exemplary democracy together. She stares down our perils so we don't have to.

God only knows why someone wouldn't be a loyal monarchist these days.

In my next post I'll make fun of God. Please recommend this post

Mayerthorpe RCMP Murders: Plea Bargains

If you're not familiar with the story, on in March of 2005 four RCMP officers were ambushed and killed north of Edmonton in a small town called Mayerthorpe. The killer, James Roszco, was a life long petty criminal who had a vendetta against the local RCMP and had repeatedly made threats. The killing of the officers raised all kinds of questions about the training and protocols of officers working in rural areas. All four were quite young.

It was really a very black day for Albertans. I remember this cloud of darkness that was over everyone for several weeks. I remembered Ralph Klein making silly comments about gun control.

The investigators always believed that the killer had some type of help and last year layed charges against two local men Shawn Hennessey and Dennis Cheeseman. Charges of first degree murder were laid against the two but in court today they each plea bargained to manslaughter. The Crown is asking for sentences of 10-15 years.

It seems that on the day of the murders the two men drove the killer back to his farm where he hid awaiting the arrival of the officers. I'm sure other details will emerge as to their collaboration with Roszco.

The crime was cited as the single most serious loss of life for the RCMP in over a century, and certainly the most serious crime in Alberta. As the Globe article suggests, getting these charges out of the way may finally permit an inquiry as to how the RCMP management failed these young officers.

However I'm not hopeful as the RCMP have established a pattern of investigating and clearing themselves of blame when things go wrong.

The murdered officers were Constables Brock Myrol, Anthony Gordon, Leo Johnston, and Peter Schiemann. Information about the various memorial projects for the officers is here. Please recommend this post

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oilers Trade Extra Goaltender For Goaltender

The Edmonton Oilers have traded goaltender Mathieu Garon to the Pittsburgh Penguins for centre Ryan Stone, goaltender Dany Sabourin , a fourth round pick in 2011, a strip mall in Bassano , 19 Facebook friends, a llama, some class B Nortel Shares, half a bottle of Sambuca, 10 tickets to an yet to be announced Toby Keith concert and a red turtleneck.

I haven't figured out what the goaltender depth chart will look like now, I suspect they'll make the two not-Dwaynes fight it out for #2. Ryan Stone was born in Calgary, drafted in 2003 and has played 8 NHL games with 1 point. The fourth round pick is a faceless hard nosed cipher who will change the game of hockey forever.

MacTavish just held a press conference and said the trade was unlikely to affect the current line up. Oilers fans better hope Roloson stays healthy and competitive. Please recommend this post

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Suspicious Amount of Angst over a "Dead" Coalition

Gratuitous use of quotation marks. Everyone's doing it.

My friend drove me to a coffee shop near my house this morning. It was just long enough to be forced to listen to Rutherford encourage and affirm phone-in lying. I thought about opening the door and bailing out into a snowbank but everything is melting here.

I'll paraphrase:

Dave: Go ahead Corky your on dumbass radio.
Corky: Yeah, Dave I went to school and what not and know a lot about government type things and what not. And I know that the Governor General can't hand over power to separatists. She's literally not allowed to.
Dave: You're right you're right. The Bloc have avowed to cut the country in half. You're so right.
Corky: I am that.

For brevity, I left out the caller's preamble about how Stephen Harper is the best Prime Minister Canada ever or will ever have.

Even a Junior High student could list off the fallacies and the lies in this all too common type of exchange.

This is getting so repetitive, but once more:

  • The Bloc Quebecois is not part of the coalition. Never were never will be. They agreed not to vote non-confidence for some period of time that's it. Why can't these people follow a simple news story and get the basic facts?
  • The Governor General can ask the opposition to form a Government and has done so in the past. Period. There is no litmus test of what the opposition parties have to believe in.
  • The Bloc Quebecois is not in any position to advance the Separation of Quebec, or anything really. I call bogey-man. Referendums occur on the Provincial level. The Provincial Parti Quebecois is currently out of office. Separation, right now seems kind of low on the priority list of Quebecois.
  • Dave and his friends don't care about Quebec separation one bit. They would be more concerned if their cats had anal gland problems. They only care about Stephen Harper implementing an agenda favored by only 40 some percent.
Fighting bullshit is hard work and mostly thankless. I'd like to thank all the progressive and liberal bloggers who spoke up on the coalition issues with far more eloquence than I have.

(Update: and thanks to blogger for stripping out my bullet points.) Please recommend this post

Blatchford: Harassment Not a Problem

The headline should have warned me away: Watchdogs of sexual harassment as eager to bite as they ever were. Ted Byfield called and wants his animus back. It out Wentes Wente, pray you avoid it. (Obscure Shakespeare reference.)

Only Blatchford could start a column with:

Perhaps Mr. Brazeau will be shown to be a sexist pig, as well as the regular sort. And there's no question that, given the sexual abuse chronic in some native communities, it is a complaint to which aboriginal organizations should be particularly sensitive.

And finish with:

But sexual harassment, particularly when it involves merely words, jokes or injured feelings, is much less worthy of our attention.

Well, unworthy of Blatchford's attention maybe. Those of who own or run businesses and organizations know that sexual harassment has an additional often unconsidered layer that is primarily economic. If you don't have a sexual harassment policy that employees and contractors explicitly assent to then you are asking for trouble. Even without lawsuits when an organization is infected with lax attitudes to harassment, even of a minor nature, they become dysfunctional and horrible places to work. This usually means a loss of income or respect. They become places good people flee and losers thrive. If you are sued because of harassment incidents you may find yourself shutting down your business and putting everyone out of work.

Harassment does matter. There is no minor harassment in the work place. Blatchford is wrong. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shiny Things in the Mail

The Monastery of St. Carmel sent me a Rosary in the mail today. I'm not Catholic and have no connection with any Catholic groups so I'm not quite sure how they know me or why they think I would want a Rosary. Nonetheless, its quite attractive no? In a case of cruel symbolism I received the Rosary along with my year end mutual fund statements. Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be.

Lets take the Rosary for a test drive. Pray with me.

Bead 1: Lord, help certain people to stop being an overbearing pigs. You know who I mean. We've discussed this before.

Bead 2: Lord, help the women of the world get the birth control they need, when they need it. Help your church to change its obstructionist ways.

Bead 3: What about McVety? Lord that man ain't right.

(I think this is working)

Bead 4: (Some private thoughts about lust)

Bead 5: Not to belabor the point Lord, but I really think we need to get birth control out to the third world.

Bead 6: So why can't women be Priests? Lord?

Bead 7: Can I have a new Mustang.

Bead 8: Lord, help your Church to end their gay bigotry. Its so not you.

This goes on for some time. Probably far longer than necessary. Please feel free to add your own prayers. Please recommend this post

Mac T Up In the Air

Last night (Monday) the Edmonton Oilers got on a plane for a three game road trip out east. Once the plane got airborne (is that a word?) Coach Craig MacTavish pretended he was the Prime Minister on an election tour and came to the back of the plane to talk with reporters. Near the toilet.

The Oilers are in deep trouble and rumors are swirling about all kinds of changes upcoming. It is known that Pat Quinn has talked with at least 3 NHL teams about a head coaching job. My pure speculation is these three teams are Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Edmonton. I have no idea if the Oilers would hire Quinn, but nothing would surprise.

Also before leaving for the trip the Oilers recalled their 3rd Goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers from the Junior team. This seemed rather odd to me to recall a goalie just for a 3 game road trip. Especially since the coach told reporters he likely won't be played. Conspiracy minded people will say the Oilers are working on a goalie trade while out east. Possibly. Lets throw that rumor around shall we?

Also the Oilers left behind Robert Nillson from the road trip for undisclosed reasons. Again, you conspiracy theorists need to work this one over. Later, Nilsson was added to the injury list with a mild concussion. Probably caused by repeatedly banging his head against expectations. In a post game several weeks ago MacTavish said he had seen enough and had enough of Nillson.

All the reporters in the scrum posed interesting questions, but MacTavish is very good at talking to the media and not answering questions. One of the pro-violence reporters from 630Ched wanted to know when Steve MacIntyre would be fighting next.

Unless something really changes, I doubt they'll make the playoffs. As a long time fan I hope they make some changes. Please recommend this post

Local Media Punked (Again)

Or the case of the fictitious yellow bellied yobs.

On 14 Jan 2008 Jason Brunelle was driving near Bassano Alberta. He claimed he stopped to help some people who appeared to be broken down, and then was severely beaten up. The Bassano RCMP investigated but there were no witnesses and no suspects. He claims he fought off his assailants then drove to his home (or a gas station) in Strathmore where he called the police. Brunelle was taken to hospital as he did indeed have injuries to his face and head. Brunelle then phoned his story in to QR77 and the Calgary Sun and they promptly wrote it up as fact. It remains unclear as to whether any journalists actually talked to him face to face. The Calgary Herald also wrote about the incident.

Yesterday a quiet news release came out from QR77 reporting that Brunelle has been charged with mischief and that the Bassano RCMP believe the story was fabricated. He will appear in court in February.

Brunelle, while describing his ordeal, also told the Calgary Sun that he had previously been hit by a truck and survived by holding onto the grill, fell off a roof and was saved by grabbing a power line, and once fell into a bonfire. In professional journalism and police work I think these stories would be referred to as "clues".

I don't entirely blame the media for writing up this story, however they didn't express even a shred of doubt about completely unsubstantiated claims. When I read the story as written by Michael Platt on 15 Jan 2008 (less than a full day after the incident) I actually felt sorry for him. He so desperately believed and wanted it to be true because it affirmed the world view of right wing tabloid journalism, that godly good Samaritans (us) are under constant siege from godless yellow bellied scum (them).

Too bad Platt ran out of real estate in his column. He could have thrown in some bits about Jamaican gang members and the immigration system and it would have rounded it out really well.

And its a good thing that Brunelle's injuries didn't require a blood transfusion otherwise Michael Plett would have had to demand the return of the blood. Please recommend this post

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pat Condell: Atheist, BC Lions Fan

I was just watching Pat Condell's latest rant about atheism and faith. A little into the video I noticed he was wearing a BC Lions T-Shirt. Don't tell Wally. Anyway, its worth watching.

Please recommend this post

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Weird Dream

I haven't been sleeping very well for some time. I took a break last night from feeling horrible about the inhumanity in Gaza and my own strange circumstances, and promptly fell asleep then had a weird dream.

A well known Canadian singer/songwriter came to my house to sing for me. She sang a few of her songs but not the one in particular I wanted to hear. I then proceeded to chase her around trying to get her pants off. Farcical consensual frolicking. It was like those dreams where you run and run and run and never go anywhere.

No, it wasn't Ann Murray.

But like all my dream sex I ended up frustrated as the well known singer/songwriter changed to Al Franken in the blink of an eye. Feel free to NOT comment on the deep meaning of that. Franken started going on and on about how Republicans always cheat in elections and that all he wanted to do was make sure all the votes were counted yada yada yada. I told him to STFU.

Then I was in someones driveway wearing not much in the blistering cold wondering if I should go knock on their door.

Top that.

I'd like to take some time to think about this, but right now I'm running late, and feeling a bit week in the knees.

By the way, Franken is ahead in the Minnesota Senate recount. With the count all but complete the only thing remaining to deal with is the lawsuits from the losers. One wonders how a professional comedian will fare among a group of amateur comedians. Please recommend this post

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Midwinter's Hodge-Podge

Its a cold barren wasteland here:

Cold. Blowy. Bitter. And cold. I never want to spend another winter in Alberta as long as I live. Seriously.

The dog was good company on Christmas Eve. Farting, burping, growling, and taking peoples shoes [corrected from shows] God knows where.

And the Christmas Tree that wouldn't stand still so I could take its picture.

And all Santa brought me was a big pile of year end paper work. Taxes. Budgets. Death by a thousand paper cuts. Riveting stuff. This is why they invented January. Doldrums ne plus ultra.

Brother can you spare me a dime?

Please recommend this post

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Extending an Imperfect Palestinian Analogy

Did I spell analogy correct? Good.

Analogies are good for abstracting a complicated problem. A good analogy has just the right amount of detail. A bad analogy leaves out or hides important details.

While in Edmonton I caught a weird bit of talk radio about the violence in Gaza. The idea of talk radio being a relevant way to discuss complicated issues is a whole separate topic. Suffice it to say this medium does not support critical thinking, or even compassion apparently.

A caller phoned in and got his 15 seconds of fame to say that if Airdrie were firing missiles into the suburbs of North West Calgary, Calgary would most certainly be morally obligated to fight back. If you're unfamiliar with Calgary, Airdrie is a little bedroom community just north of Calgary, with a population of around 34,000.

As usual I was left going but but but but ..... This is a perfect example of a simple minded analogy that leaves you feeling empty.

We can add some details to this analogy to make it more useful.

1. This little town of Airdrie is completely surrounded by the City of Calgary.

2. Airdrie has an unemployment rate of over 80%. The unemployed used to have jobs in Calgary but they cannot go there anymore because of the road blocks on the only highway.

3. Airdrie has little food, broken down sanitation systems, and no utilities that work. Occasionally, they hear that the United Nations is concerned.

4. The City of Calgary gets military hardware and an unlimited supply of cash from the United States. Nothing Calgary does to Airdrie seems to really bother the United States.

5. Airdrie elects a town council but no one recognizes its authority and dismisses calls them as terrorists. The town council cant function anyway, because they are internally deeply divided.

6. Everyone elsewhere in Canada automically assumes the City of Calgary is doing the right thing because they are the only democratic city in the region.

7. Christian preachers refer to Calgary and Airdrie as the Holy Land and engage in gratuitous anti-Airdrie rhetoric.

8. The Canadian media will only play one news clip about Airdrie over and over again, and that's the one where the half crazed lunatic is yelling Death to Calgary!

I could go on, but you get the point. Analogies are only useful if they help explain something. Please recommend this post