Monday, December 24, 2007
And for those of you looking for Saint Nick, try here.
And to my brother Iain, get a nice tan on the beach in Cambodia!
I would also like to thank Dion and Iggy for their Christmas cards.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Its all fine and dandy to talk about how qualified Mark Warner is as a candidate, but may I remind you he is a Conservative, who probably was calling us corrupt 6 months ago. Yes, he is well educated, and seems to be a Liberal, but until he renounces his CPC membership, he is still not a Liberal.
I think we should find qualified Liberal candidates first, who are members of the Liberal Party of Canada, and volunteer for the LPC. If Mr. Warner wishes to join the Liberal Party of Canada, he is welcome in my books. From there, he should use the traditional way of winning a nomination.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Which ones did you readers enjoy?
I would like to thank Liblogs and Progressive bloggers for accepting me onto their blog rolls!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In no particular order....
1) I have no time to give to your campaign outside my riding, and I don't beg for you to help me out.
2) Do not add me to your elect group if you are located outside of the GTA where I live.
3) If you are outside Ontario, do not add me to your group, especially provincial elections in provinces where i have never even visited.
4) No, I am not interested in going to your fundraiser on a weeknight on the other side of the city/province/country
5) No, I do not have any time to volunteer on E-day, I am busy looking after my own riding.
6) Unless there is any discussion, most wall postings are totally useless in these groups. consisting of go (insert Candidates name here), you can do it! Don't bother having a wall.
7) Unless your group has good policy debate, and isn't a showcase for some pet project, I do not consider it a policy group. I consider it a press release group.
8) DO NOT EVER SEND OUT EMAILS TWICE IN 1 MINUTE! I WILL TRACK YOU DOWN, and politely ask you to stop.
9) I have officially decided to take a moratorium on rival candidates facebook groups for the same Liberal riding nomination, as I have no vested interest in that riding. It's not fair for me to be taking sides.
10) Any facebook group started by me is extremely important, and everyone should join because it adheres to these 10 rules.
If you have any other rules please feel free to ad to them. These suggestions may come across as harsh, but I have yet to really see any benefit of half these groups. Yes, they get the idea out there, but I have noticed a lot of groups have the same people in them. What do you think?
Vote for this post if you are part of a political facebook group
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I think these stun guns should be outlawed, or replaced with a safe alternative that doesn't have a killing side effect.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Other questions? Is Pauline Marois going to pay for a PET scan machine for Montreal like Saku Koivu did? Are all Montreal Canadiens fans bilingual? Will the PQ demand the French Language police attend habs games and give tickets out to fans who are chanting only in English? These are important questions, if you are an idiot.
I am just trying to illuminate the backwards absurdity of the Quebec Separatists.
Monday, October 29, 2007
We need to fight the Conservatives right now, while they have bad fiscal planning and no real plan's for cities! Let's take the fight to them. We shouldn't shy away from an election scrap, we should take it on full steam ahead. We have the best ideas, best platform, and best leader. We just need to tell the rest of Canada this. They will find out, and they will turf out Harper and his cabal of sycophants.
Great parties, much like Great sports teams rise to the occasion, it is time for the Liberals to hit back, and look at the scandals just from this minority government. It's time to for bloggers to stop saying the sky is falling and embrace their Liberalism. Paranoia behind a computer monitor is so five years ago.
So, anyone know how the vote is going to go?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The Rugby world cup final is on Saturday, and it will be live on pay-per view here in Canada. I predicted a France-New Zealand final. France beat New Zealand in a dramatic quarter-final in Cardiff. The Final will be England against South Africa.
I was totally wrong with my prediction, and I couldn't be happier in the case of England. Much like my Ontario election prediction, I didn't have high enough expectations for England. My favorite moment of the tournament had to be this drop goal where England put the game out of reach against France. It was a brilliant drive put together by the English forwards, and poise and patience in the drop goal by Jonny Wilkinson (The Beckham of Rugby, except he wins World cups). England came into the game, as gamblers, and they had adopted the Kenny Rogers song of the same name, as their team song! And they gambled against the French big time!
The defining moment of the match in the eyes of the French, was this awesome last second ankle tap tackle by the English Flanker Joe Worsley which saved the game! France never got any closer, and the English pack took control of the game.
What put England Over the top against France?
This video message from Kenny Rogers.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
After the strong Liberal Victory I have some notes.
Once again, Scarborough is a sea of red. We are the reddest part of Toronto, and therefore the best part of Toronto (in a Liberal sense).
My seat prediction was off by about 4-5. I guess I was being Conservative on my estimates, I won't be too conservative on anything else. It was great to see people from both the Federal and provincial parties working together in the new Pickering Scarborough-east riding.
It will be interesting to see what happens in regards to cabinet. It would be nice to see my MPP in cabinet, but its something to wait and see about.
The Federal parliament can now get back to business as the biggest and most powerful provice has been painted red. Is this a message to Harper and his Bushites.
Memo to NDP: do you know if you have official party status? Jack is next.....
Memo to PC's: So, does this mean John Tory is free to run for mayor of Toronto next time? Anyone is better than Miller at this point.....
Memo to CPC: we don't want an election, we already had one here and we will all vote Liberal again.
Memo to LPC: get your act together, Ontario is yours for the taking.....
Thats all for now.....
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My predictions are usually wrong in both sports and politics. I say between 50-67 seats for the Liberals and a majority government.
I am predicting that Wayne Arthurs is going to win Pickering Scarborough-east. Wayne has what it takes, in my opinion and is also the best candidate in the riding. I am also pulling for the old city of Scarborough to be at its reddest! Every Scarborough riding should be going Liberal again. Fortress Scarborough!
Vote for this post or you could choose not to exercise your democratic right to vote for this post
Next up, my rugby world cup semi-final predictions....
Allez les Bleus! (France)
Swing low, Sweet Charriot! (England)
Go Bokke! (South Africa)
Vamoose Los Pumas! (Argentina)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Once again New Zealand choked, I predicted it. I have a theory, the Kiwis do this fearsome dance before the match called the haka. I think the players get so fired up by doing this dance, it takes the competitive edge off the big game. The opponents also face the dance directly, and get the adrenaline flowing. Maybe, just maybe, it is an advantage to the opposition to face the dance, and front up, and from the looks of the French, they are fired up!
New Zealand lost to France 20-18, but the New Zealand press decided to take the low road and blame the English referee. The French played with more poise and passion then the Kiwis. They had the finishing touch in the second half. I think maybe next world cup, the Kiwis should drop the dance. This is a rugby match, not a cultural exhibition. But, anyways, take a looksy, this is the HAKA. I love the look of contempt on the French players, as the Kiwis make strange facial expressions.
France challenge the Haka
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Friday, October 05, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Now I am just undecided, so yeah.
I might vote in an advanced poll later this week, I do know that I am voting for Wayne Arthurs to represent the riding of Pickering Scarborough-east. MMP, no-MMP, I'm not really in a state of mind to particularly worry in that regard.
I am more worried about the impending start to the hockey season, as a Leaf fan, its very important.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Are Iranian's ashamed of this guy?
My favorite comment at a press conference "Ahmadinejad later reiterated that he knows of no homosexuals in Iran - but wouldn't mind knowing where they are. "Give me an address so we are also aware of what happens in Iran," he said during a news conference after his speech." thanks to New York Daily News for that.
Is Iran the only country with an electorate that makes America look smart? They elected an uneducated fool who's beliefs on the holocaust mirror neo-nazi's. Can somebody please take this clown to Auschwitz?
The real question should be, do you really have any power, or does the Ayatollah just trot you out to make idiotic statements?
If Iran is such a wonderful place, why do all the young people want to leave?
What does Iran have that Israel doesn't have?
a: A shadow government that controls the politicians and tortures their own citizens.....
Lets not get started on homosexuals and women's rights?
He comes across like he lived in the middle ages, and that's where he should be....
I love how he plays up the Palestinian cause, considering the great love Persians and Arabs have for each other. That was sarcasm. Total opportunism there, just like that speech, he makes Hugo Chavez and George Bush sound polished and eloquent.
Anyone who said he was daring, or tough in his speech to Columbia and the UN. This guy is a one trick pony, the Ayatollahs trot him out to spew the same rhetoric. The Clerics have reduced the Presidency of Iran to chief agitator/mouthpiece.
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Sunday, September 23, 2007
Seriously, put that along with the Real Estate meltdown, and sub-prime loans. Ahmadinejad is probably the least worry for the average American citizen. Though I am sure Fox news thinks otherwise.
Second note of the evening, I was looking on the Internet, and once again, I somehow figured out that Newfoundland was having an election. Then I read somewhere that Saskatchewan is going to be having an election. Why does everyone have to go and copy Ontario? With all these elections totally not getting any attention in the Centre of the Universe (Toronto). The Toronto Raptors get more media attention than these elections.
I missed the debate, I'm going to have to take other people's words on it. Speaking of debates, there should be a debate about the Referendum. I am against MMP, but I think a debate like the Leaders debate would give more media coverage that is desperately needed. Yes, can someone high up in the media and the political world arrange a referendum debate? Liberals for MMP, what do you have to say about this? Liberals against MMP, what do you have to say about this?
I noticed our great blog leader Jason Cherniak is taking endorsements from all the bigwigs in the Liberal Party. Now I know why my one sentence wasn't included, from a previous post. Though I did endorse him before most of them, so that makes me like a better endorsement person. I am supporting Jason because he brings with him the ability to organize a huge region electronically. The Central region president can't be everywhere all the time. Jason brings the internet connectivity skills necessary to keep in touch with people from Mississauga, to Haliburton. Jason is the right person for the job in this regard.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007
No, he is not Happy Gilmore's caddy.
No, he doesn't live in a cardboard box.
No, he is not a caveman.
Yes, he actually is French.
Sebastian Chabal, brought into the French rugby team's line-up for their crucial match against Ireland in the Rugby World Cup, has become a folk hero across the country. He has yet to start a game in the world cup, but after blistering performaces against France and Namibia as a reserve, Bernard Laporte had to start him.
He is seen as an icon for French masculinity in the face of those Paris metrosexuals. Chabal, with his unique appearance gets the loudest ovation's when he enters a game. Plus he looks really intimidating. His nickname is Sea bass, which he was given at his English professional club team. Apparantly the French translation for Sea bass means something along the lines of Wolf of the Sea. Now thats a cool nickname...
Try calling this guy a surrender monkey? I dare you.....
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
First things first, this a by-election, secondly, now the NDP can really screw things up by propping up the evil Harper regime. Thirdly, most of the people involve at leadership, well they don't even work in politics anymore. Most of them are back at school, or in full time employment too busy to worry about plotting against Dion.
Looks to me that the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of LPC(Q). They had an incompetent team in Outremont, and totally blew it. Campaigning is a rough and tumble job, requiring 24 hour attention to details. From the sounds of it, the Quebec productivity gap showed itself with the Liberals. Justin Tetreault gave an excellent analysis of the problems with the campaign. From his description, you can assume that the Liberals did just about as much as they could to not win. All I am saying is someone should take responsibility for a badly run campaign. People should get fired for this, as this area was totally winnable. But, I will say this, the NDP offering to change Federalism to win votes really shows that they will do anything to hold the balance of power, even prop up a neo-con regime. Are they really helping the Progressive cause keeping Harper in government?
Does anyone outside of Newfoundland and Labrador know there is an election going on there?
Seriously,holding the vote one day before Ontario's guarantees minimal national press coverage, and minimal interest outside of The Rock.
Dalton's tv ads are great, totally positive, and focusing on the work they have done, and what they plan to do. Whatever happened to John Tory, and his promise to be a positive politician. Looks like same old Tory, same old story!
The Toronto Maple Leafs pre-season starts tonight! GO LEAFS GO!
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Monday, September 17, 2007
I work at a high school (for disclosure, lets also says its a Public high school), and the crap I hear coming from the blogs reminds me of the grade 10's. Fake email addresses, with fake messages, from people dealing with journalists on the east coast? It's facebook gossipping by the children, before I blocked the site on the classroom computers. Outremont this, Outremont that! Please, this is interrupting the more important Ontario Provincial campaign. What if the byelection, was Toronto Centre, and Bob Rae was campaigning. Wonder what those headlines will say? The national media would be all over Toronto Centre, but the only urban riding up for grabs is Outremont so its the target for hackery.
I would like to thank Jason Cherniak for removing Fuddle Duddle from Liblogs. He disliked Toronto, which is a sign of evilness in my books. Every Liberal person should love Toronto and the votes it always delivers. From this tangent I would also like to state that I endorse Jason Cherniak for Central Region President. More to come later.....
Back to the important matter of the provincial election.
Well, anyways, I would like to thank Warren Kinsella for pointing out Frank "new medical fees" Klees is finally unveiling the real Tory health strategy. The Newmarket-Aurora Conservative is the true believer in the 2-tier system. All this talk about education, has really taken the spotlight away from health care. If there is one thing that I detest besides money for private religious schools, its paying to go to the hospital. Once again, thank you Conservatives for showing people you really don't want to win, and you want to screw us all over!
Everyone should visit this most awesome website, it's about youth and the issues they face. I really hope first time voters take a look. Do first time voters even read blogs? I'm going out on a limb and assume they don't.
Canada choked huge against Fiji in the Rugby World Cup on Sunday. That means we have one winnable game against Japan, and a chance to show Australia our mettle. My new favorite team is now Argentina. After the English got demolished on Friday and Canada not being able to come back in the second half against Fiji. I am thinking Los Pumas have a great chance to get to the Semi-finals at least. Argentina are one of the toughest squads in the world, throw out every Latin American soccer stereotype. These boys can play Rugby.
Friday, September 14, 2007
I'm wondering why a trustee on the biggest school board in Canada would be in favour of taking money out of Public Education? To me this is very disturibing! He is supposed to be entrusted with serving public education, not running for a party defunding it!
I woke up this morning to hearing John Tory spin around like a tire in sand on Metro Morning! Andy Barrie went right at him on the education question, as he did with Dalton earlier in the week. John Tory decided to spin this differently! He now wants to bring 50,000 more people into the public education system. Thats his new rhetoric for defunding the system for the faith based religious schools. This sounded so silly I laughed and turned the radio off. If you want to bring 50,000 more students into public education, fund it even better than before. But the religious right does have a right to indoctrinate their children. Let them do it in their private schools.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory described the homicide as symptomatic of a larger problem - the Liberal government's alleged failure to crack down on violent crime.
"We simply let this kind of thing go on," Mr. Tory said. "We simply have to deal with this kind of crime and the causes of this kind of crime."
So, all violent crime between 1995 and 2003, who's fault was that? So much for the different politician!
Cracking down on violent crime, especially in Scarborough requires more than tough sentences, it requires community outreach, as well as integration of the various ethnic communities. According to the Globe, this was a Tamil gang reprisal. Scarborough has many different ethnic groups that have different problems involving poverty, crime, and education. John Tory seems to think cracking down on violent crime is the only solution. Nothing about improving the community, or the situation in which they live in. Once again, John Tory doesn't understand the issue, and tries to turn it into Liberal bashing.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
damn what a weekend to start the world cup! The Minnows have spoken, and they came out swinging. Canada had the lead against Wales at half time, but they broke my heart in the second half! We almost had them, now we have to beat Fiji big time, and hope the Welsh choke. The Welsh have a history of choking, both in 1991 and 1999 losing to Western Samoa. Canada's national mens rugby team is so under-appreciated. While English players get paid Hundreds of thousands of dollars to play for their country, the Canadians get a golf shirt. I'm serious, they get free travel, and clothes, that's about it! Rugby is such a huge school sport in Ontario, the future looks good. All we need to do is get rid of 3 down football and play rugby! Thats my dream!
Props to Argentina for winning beating France in Paris. Wow, Vamoose Los Pumas (Argentina's team is nicknamed Los Pumas)! The Pumas put on an impressive display against the home favorites, shattering the psyche of the French nation, that is until France plays again and dismantles the Irish. They looked desperately bad against Namibia. Yes, Rugby is a world game, Georgia and Namibia are both in the world cup. Can't say that about hockey, or American football!
Looks like about 3 people in my non political group of friends know there is a referendum! It's about bloody time, and the papers have finally started to pick up the story. Once again John Tory is making a fool of himself with this idiot plan to allow private schools to get public money. Keep it up John, NO ONE LIKES IT!
Was it just me, or did i see Conservative signs on highway 11 north of Barrie on the weekend. How illegal is it to put signs up before the start of the election? Typical Conservative cheating, just look at Cherniak's expose on Harper and creative accounting and add spending.
So, APEC has no credibility at all when it comes to the environment, what else would we expect out of John Howard. Howard is no statesman, I remember how he bad he looked in 2003 when he handed out the Web Ellis Cup (Rugby World cup winners trophy) to the English captain, without even shaking his hand or congratulating him! All because they beat Australia in double overtime in Sydney! Howard has no class, and no idea about climate change. He is Bush's Kangaroo!
There I did it! I put rugby and politics together....
Friday, September 07, 2007
France Versus Argentina kick off the pool games in what expects to be an awesome opener between 2 of the best scrummagers in the world. This world cup could be a coming out party for both Canada and Argentina who hope to make it to the quarter finals, are confident and ready to show the world that the western hemisphere is ready to play.
World Champion's England look like also-ran's and the English people believe that their World Cup chances rest on their performance against the mighty Springboks of South Africa in a pool match to decide their fate in the tournament.
The perennial favorite's, the New Zealand All Blacks come into the the tournament with huge expectations, they haven't won the trophy in 20 years and have the hopes and dreams of New Zealand resting on their shoulders. They might choke, they did in 2003, and 1999, maybe just maybe they will win this year.
That leads to the hosts, France. They won the European 6-nations championship this year, and beat England in warm up matches. The French will play to huge partisan crowds in Marseilles, and Paris, and in other sports, the French often rise to the occasion at home. My prediction is for a New Zealand-France final.
The games are available on Setanta sports, I just found out Rogers is continuing their preview till next Friday, so enjoy the live matches.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I think I found John Tory's education plan, it was labeled Pandora's box! Good thing he opened it, today!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
But here is why I prefer the status quo, MMP doesn't go far enough, its a compromise system, and I think if we are going to change the system we shouldn't compromise we should do something radical and democratic. The preferential choice system that Jason Cherniak supports has it's merits, as the Liberals would be able to capitalize on our second choiceness. Proportional representation also has its merits.
But MMP just doesn't satisfy my suburban view, I was just thinking how my strange suburban riding would probably grow to be 3 times it's size, and increasing the size of ridings wouldn't work, if the list politicians only had offices at Queen's park.
I really tried to wrap my head around this MMP idea, and no one really gave me a good reason as to why it is better. I also felt that it came across as a compromise, that is so typically Ontarian. So, I am against it as a suburban Liberal, it doesn't mesh with my point of view.
Secondly, tomorrow is my last day of lazy freedom, back to helping children on Tuesday! And lastly, I would love to see more open debate in the mainstream media about this referendum. I did a straw poll of a group of my non-political friends, and none of them knew about the upcoming referendum! The best way for this vote to work properly is if everyone knows what it is about.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Yeah, I'm on the fence so to speak. I am undecided on the vote this fall. Plus, I don't feel like dusting off some poly sci books on comparitive electoral systems. But I could use some convincing...
I don't like either system, I don't like the floating MPP's, but I really hate how Northern Ontario ridings have half as many people as my urban riding, when they generate 10x's less tax dollars.
Does the list system reward insiders?
Can someone please convince me to support their side? I don't want talking points, I want answers...
Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss....
Monday, August 13, 2007
On the provincial side of things, this election is going to be close. It is going to be too close, we need to remind the public, that all the skeletons of the Eves/Harris regime are running in ridings across Ontario. Yes, they came out of the closet, and are hiding behind this Bill Davis prodigy (John Tory).
What is really pissing me off?
Well there is this one thing that is really pissing me off, pardon my language, but its John Tory and his crazy idea to take 500 million dollars out of public education, and put it into faith based schools? What is this? South Carolina? Mississippi? Its like, lets forget all the good, the Liberals have done, and start to gut the education system. This is the most anti-Canadian, anti-multicultural education policy ever.
Faith based schools are good at alienating religious communities from the places where they live and segregating the youth of different religion. To me this preaches intolerance, and is one of those simplistic Tory ideas that they think will get them votes in ethnic areas. Simplistic Tory ideas usually result in bad spending, longer wait times, and budget deficits. Yes, who can remember the government who brought in the balanced budget law running a deficit of a couple of billion.
Thats all for now,
Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back
-Bryan Johnson, Lead Singer, AC/DC
Sunday, April 08, 2007
But, I really do not understand Montreal fans.They lost the game on Saturday night (in which was a crappy badly played game) , and suddenly they want death to Toronto! Starting New York Islander's fan clubs on facebook!! Did they forget the last 40 years? What is wrong with you people? You have won 10 cups since 67' and we have won 0. Get over yourselves please! Don't play the original six rivalry, it ended 40 years ago.
In my lifetime, Toronto has never had a playoff series against Montreal, and for the most part of my life Toronto was in the Western Conference. Since we rejoined the East, we destroyed Ottawa 4 times, and lost to Buffalo in the conference final in 1999. All which pushed mutual hatred between those respective franchises to healthy levels.
So, it makes perfect sense to me for, Ottawa fans to hate the Leafs with a passion, along with the Sabre fans who are subjected to playing their home games in Buffalo out cheered by the Legions of Leaf Nation invading HSBC Arena.
But I really don't understand in my day and age, why habs fans have to really get their hate on. They must really miss the Quebec Nordiques, or they have given up hating Ottawa because they haven't had the opportunity to beat them in the playoffs. Cheering for the New York Islanders, its so juvenile. Next time, please start counting all those Stanley Cup's before you start WHINING about the Leafs.
Also remember, you are #3 to us, we tend to take it a lot more seriously when we beat Ottawa and Buffalo (which in the new NHL is not very often) . See you on the golf course.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Secondly, I am working on 2 distance education courses through the wonderful Athabasca University, they are driving me batty, as I am trying to finish them very soon. Writing essays after work is such a drain mentally and physically. This really makes me wish I was an undergraduate again, as having unlimited, and crazy hours did allow me to get some work done!
I will make up for this come June, that I guarantee, but until them please bear with me and I will sporadically update this wonderful blog! By then, we might just be in full election swing, and I will have lots of opinions!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Terrorized by 'War on Terror'
How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.
In The Post's Outlook Section
But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Support for President Bush in the 2004 elections was also mobilized in part by the notion that "a nation at war" does not change its commander in chief in midstream. The sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger was thus channeled in a politically expedient direction by the mobilizing appeal of being "at war."
To justify the "war on terror," the administration has lately crafted a false historical narrative that could even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By claiming that its war is similar to earlier U.S. struggles against Nazism and then Stalinism (while ignoring the fact that both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were first-rate military powers, a status al-Qaeda neither has nor can achieve), the administration could be preparing the case for war with Iran. Such war would then plunge America into a protracted conflict spanning Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and perhaps also Pakistan.
The culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle. It acquires a life of its own -- and can become demoralizing. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"; nor is it the calm America that waged the Cold War with quiet persistence despite the knowledge that a real war could be initiated abruptly within minutes and prompt the death of 100 million Americans within just a few hours. We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself.
That is the result of five years of almost continuous national brainwashing on the subject of terror, quite unlike the more muted reactions of several other nations (Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, to mention just a few) that also have suffered painful terrorist acts. In his latest justification for his war in Iraq, President Bush even claims absurdly that he has to continue waging it lest al-Qaeda cross the Atlantic to launch a war of terror here in the United States.
Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs, usually described as experts on terrorism, are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. That puts a premium on the presentation of credible scenarios of ever-more-horrifying acts of violence, sometimes even with blueprints for their implementation.
That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified 160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival.
Just last week, here in Washington, on my way to visit a journalistic office, I had to pass through one of the absurd "security checks" that have proliferated in almost all the privately owned office buildings in this capital -- and in New York City. A uniformed guard required me to fill out a form, show an I.D. and in this case explain in writing the purpose of my visit. Would a visiting terrorist indicate in writing that the purpose is "to blow up the building"? Would the guard be able to arrest such a self-confessing, would-be suicide bomber? To make matters more absurd, large department stores, with their crowds of shoppers, do not have any comparable procedures. Nor do concert halls or movie theaters. Yet such "security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality.
Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. Consider, for example, the electronic billboards over interstate highways urging motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" (drivers in turbans?). Some mass media have made their own contribution. The cable channels and some print media have found that horror scenarios attract audiences, while terror "experts" as "consultants" provide authenticity for the apocalyptic visions fed to the American public. Hence the proliferation of programs with bearded "terrorists" as the central villains. Their general effect is to reinforce the sense of the unknown but lurking danger that is said to increasingly threaten the lives of all Americans.
The entertainment industry has also jumped into the act. Hence the TV serials and films in which the evil characters have recognizable Arab features, sometimes highlighted by religious gestures, that exploit public anxiety and stimulate Islamophobia. Arab facial stereotypes, particularly in newspaper cartoons, have at times been rendered in a manner sadly reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic campaigns. Lately, even some college student organizations have become involved in such propagation, apparently oblivious to the menacing connection between the stimulation of racial and religious hatreds and the unleashing of the unprecedented crimes of the Holocaust.
The atmosphere generated by the "war on terror" has encouraged legal and political harassment of Arab Americans (generally loyal Americans) for conduct that has not been unique to them. A case in point is the reported harassment of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its attempts to emulate, not very successfully, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for a panel discussion.
Social discrimination, for example toward Muslim air travelers, has also been its unintended byproduct. Not surprisingly, animus toward the United States even among Muslims otherwise not particularly concerned with the Middle East has intensified, while America's reputation as a leader in fostering constructive interracial and interreligious relations has suffered egregiously.
The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without effective and prompt access to due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism, and convictions for would-be terrorists of any kind have been few and far between. Someday Americans will be as ashamed of this record as they now have become of the earlier instances in U.S. history of panic by the many prompting intolerance against the few.
In the meantime, the "war on terror" has gravely damaged the United States internationally. For Muslims, the similarity between the rough treatment of Iraqi civilians by the U.S. military and of the Palestinians by the Israelis has prompted a widespread sense of hostility toward the United States in general. It's not the "war on terror" that angers Muslims watching the news on television, it's the victimization of Arab civilians. And the resentment is not limited to Muslims. A recent BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries that sought respondents' assessments of the role of states in international affairs resulted in Israel, Iran and the United States being rated (in that order) as the states with "the most negative influence on the world." Alas, for some that is the new axis of evil!
The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. "war on terror" against "Islamo-fascism." Only a confidently determined and reasonable America can promote genuine international security which then leaves no political space for terrorism.
Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, "Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia"? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is the author most recently of "Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower" (Basic Books).
Saturday, March 17, 2007
What really impressed me about the interview was Chavez talking about his passion for eradicating poverty around the world. The use of his country's oil money, not to line the coffers of shareholders, but to help out those less fortunate. Though i did like some parts of the interview, i would have preferred if it was more professional as descended into a Barbara Walters interview about trivial things.
Such trivial topics included
-how many coffee's Hugo has a day?
-what its like to meet Saddam Hussein?
-does he hate America?
-will he stop selling America oil?
-does he love his family?
-will he get married again?
and a few others.
Now, these were amusing at the time, but I would rather hear about the medical deal with Cuba rather than whether Hugo is a coffee addict. I would have also liked to hear if the Venezuelans are trying to act against the Monroe doctrine, in terms of their influence in Latin America.
The Venezuelan government has become a lender to other states in South America, using their oil wealth to influence other countries. Thats just a few thoughts on this, as I have been suffering from writers block. Its good to be back blogging.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Well, lets just say that she never received the memo about the Middle East then.
Finally, the Americans' have realized that Latin America is just south of Texas and Florida, and full of progressive politics, and progressive technology. To the dismay of the Ne0-cons, the region is full of independent left-leaning leaders who no longer bow at the feet of the IMF and World bank. The 20th century left Latin America at the mercy of these institutions, and forced dramatic and destructive economic policy on the region as a whole.
So now, the Americans see Latin America as an asset once more. The Bush administration is paying attention to a region it long neglected, as Chinese interests have moved into countries like Mexico and Brasil. The amount of Oil coming out of Latin America is also an issue to be explored.
But with the American follies in the middle east, comes contempt and lack of respect for what formally used to be a visit of Cesar to the provinces. It's bad politics anywhere (except Israel) to play up the relationship with the Bush Administration. So, lets see if the FTAA ideas get anywhere, more like nowhere.
Lets hope Bush and co. enjoy the frosty reception and realize taxing ethanol imports from Brazil to the tune of 40 cents a gallon will get them nowhere fast in terms of finding a non-Arab source of oil. Western hemisphere relations are very important, and I think the current Canadian government has no real strategy in dealing with anything south of Mexico.
That's just a few of my musings on that part of the world.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
First off, I found that debate was stifled on the constitutional amendments. That the Unlimited slate were telling people how to vote, and that in general the people addressing the issues were in essence only paying lip service to the true spirit of democratic debate. I thought that debate should have allowed people to talk for more than 30 seconds, as most speakers barely had time to state their name and riding in an introduction. I just like open debate, and had very little interest in the amendments, as I officially age out of the Young Liberals in August.
Another interesting point I thought of, was the total conflict of interest, in which the regional coordinators were taking a stance on the accountability amendment. I personally was in favour of the amendment for the reason that anything involving further Liberal Party accountability is good. Plus, I think there should be an accountability component for all the OYL executive, so they can't just sit on their titles and do bugger all.
Thirdly, I did enjoy my regional meeting, and found that it was a good session that involved real issues and gave me a chance to actually complain about a few things. I found my outgoing central region coordinator be receptive, and our incoming coordinator has my ear. So all in all, I hope that this meeting leads to more teamwork within the central region.
This region has a lot of potential, as the 905 and surrounding is underutilized in terms of the amount of seats we should hold. We all have the same suburban issues in terms of organization and issues. The Central region young liberals should hopefully have some good events this year (before September).
All in all, it was an interesting experience, and I felt that there was some good work done. But there is so much room for improvement in the organization, I won't exactly hold my breath for anything truly innovative or revolutionary to come out of the OYL this year.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I am going to have to be impressed, I don't like slates, as I find them undemocratic and lacking purpose in a single party. I also don't like how bloggers whore themselves out to endorse someone like they are really that important. Especially for volunteer positions, within the young Liberals. I have had a few beefs with their lack of action in the past. Now we can get new people who hopefully can put up a better front now.
Only time will tell.....
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The other word is embolden, which is spelled just like embroidery. Cut through the language and the rhetoric, and it really means. Yep, it just makes someones enemies stronger. This is just a distraction word, to hide the debate about war in the United States. Watch the Conservative clowns start saying it about the Taliban.
Its monkey see, monkey do, both in the so-called New government and in our dumb print press.
Politics is so stupid sometimes, especially the arcane language and silly catchphrases used in it.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
It's a matter of prescience
No, not the science fiction kind
It's all about ignorance,
and greed, and miracles for the blind
the media parading, disjointed politics
founded on petrochemical plunder
and we're its hostages
If you stand to reason
you're in the game
the rules might be elusive
but our pieces are the same
and you know if one goes down we all go down as well
the balance is precarious as anyone can tell
this world's going to hell
this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
We can't do nothing and I think someone else will make it right
You might not think it matters now
But what if you are wrong
You might not think there's any wisdom in a fucked up punk rock song
But the way it is
cannot persist for long
a brutal sun is rising on a sick horizon
It's in the way
we live our lives
exactly like the double-edge of a cold familiar knife
and supremacy weighs heavy on the day
it's never really what you own but what you threw away
and how much did you pay?
In your dreams
You saw a steady state a bounty for eternity
but now the wisdom that sustains us is in full retreat
this mythologic hopeful monster isn't worth the risk
We can't have vision for the future if it can't be fixed
We need a fresh and new religion to run our lives
Hand in hand
the arid torpor of inaction will be our demise
Oh, Kyoto now!
Friday, February 09, 2007
This isn't the only time I've been pissed off at that station. Their morning show has become a dumbed down mouthpiece for John Tory, and I have no time for their dumbass antics. I am glad I made the switch to Sirius. Alt Nation and Octane are 10x's better than edge, and if I want dumbed down crap, I could always listen to Howard Stern in the morning.
The by-election results, they were predictable. NDP were campaigning on one issue in York South-Weston, the MPP wage increase. It worked, using their typical smoke and mirrors, aka the greedy MPP, which is far from the truth. Typical NDP rhetoric, don't get me started on their anti-business and anti-working policies. MPP's are underpaid, and thats the truth of it, they deserved the raise.
Burlington has to be the most right wing suburb of the GTA. They seem to love the Cons, though the further you get from downtown TO, the more likely people are going to believe the tough on crime crap from the Cons. Markham, of course was the only upside of the evening, they ran a really good campaign, and were extremely well organized. Congrats to Michael Chan and may he enjoy better campaigning weather this fall.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Stop Stephen Harper playing with scissors
On early learning and child care
Name: Stephen HarperYear: February 6, 2006 - February 6, 2007
Universal child care Comments - Stephen has some trouble understanding basic concepts. His major term project, the Universal Child Care Plan, is not child care. It’s also not universal and not a plan.
Parent choice Comments - Stephen sent the cheques as promised but ignored parents who told him they need quality child care. He needs to improve his “active listening” skills.
Balancing work and family -Comments - If Stephen did his homework, he would know research shows parents need quality child care to balance work and family. Stephen needs to complete his assigned readings.
Access -Comments - Stephen uses scissors and words carelessly. He cut funds to child care and hasn’t delivered promised new spaces. Centres are closing, parent fees are up, and there’s no expansion. His “spaces initiative” won’t fix that. He needs to understand that actions and words have consequences.
Honouring agreements -Comments - Stephen doesn’t play well with others. He said he would honour agreements then went back on his word. He needs a time out to learn about fair play.
With marks like these, I'd recommend remedial studying for Stephen, as well as having him repeat whatever grade he is in. Thats just my opinion!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Garth will find that debate is alive and well in the Liberal caucus. We all know that most MP's in the government are muzzled like Pit Bulls in Ontario are. I for one welcome his pragmatic policies, and another red spot on the map in Southern Ontario.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Got to love the curriculum up here though, no interference from neo-cons. Climate change is a reality, and everyone should lower their ecological footprint! I only use 3.9 earths. That's below the Canadian average.
How much do you use?
Friday, February 02, 2007
The best music that has positive and angry messages comes from our neighbor to the south. The toxic political atmosphere there also tends to provide a reason for bands to fight the system with their views. Here is a list of bands that I like in no particular order that are poetic, enraged, and smart in their lyrics and music.
System of a down These guys are huge, and mainstream in the metal scene. They have a sound like no other in their scene. They play at a frantic place, with songs dealing with apathy of the middle class, capitalism, and the war in Iraq. They are the band that took up the torch the Rage Against the Machine dropped when they broke up in terms of activism. I suggest you listen to Bring your own bombs as well as Hypnotise, songs that laments on the average rich, middle class, American kid, not worrying about anything except partying and having a good time, while American society is descending into a fascist state as well as a giant prison. Or Toxicity, calling for disorder and the end of the capitalist system. System are very active in social causes around the world, and their website is almost a site for political activism as it is a site about one awesome band. Being of Armenian descent, they have tirelessly worked for the increased recognition of the Armenian Genocide. And have proven to be effective ambassadors in their case.
Rise Against Rise Against are coming on strong. I have been a fan of these guys since they were on fat wreck records. Their songs are incredibly poetic, and seriously loud and aggressive in a punk sort of way. They have passion in their music unmatched in their genre, and songs like Blood, red, white and blue lament the state of affairs in the US. One their last album the sufferer and the witness. Their first single on the album (ready to fall) had an accompanying video that was a propaganda video about climate change and cruelty towards animals. These guys also walk the walk and talk the talk driving hybrid cars and being totally straight edge. The one cool thing about this band, is that their lyrics are extremely smart and not as blunt or goofy as say Green Day's American idiot. Their 2004 release Siren songs of the Counter culture was 10x's more intelligent than American Idiot, in terms of slamming the neo-cons with one song, State of the Union address. They then address the American fear mongering with the poetic "life less frightening" talking about living in a world where its not nearly as dangerous as they want you to think it is "there no war outside our head, why are we losing." I could go on and on about these guys for hours ( they are all over my ipod playlist) . But I should really let their music do the talking.
Pennywise Pennywise have been around for almost 20 years. They are the kings of the California punk scene. They are also the band that came out with songs protesting the WTO before it became the cool thing to do. Their songs are full of anger and rage, and speak through a strong voice. Their post 9/11 album from the ashes pulled no punches, and hit hard issues like dissent, media control, and overthrowing the American government. These guys are legends in the punk scene, just listen to bro hymn, waiting, WTO, and Wouldn't it be nice....
Bad Religion Bad Religion are the godfathers of modern punk music. They also have a potential theme song for the Liberal party. Everyone should listen to Kyoto now! Thats a song that talks about climate change and the oil influence. Their lead singer Greg Graffin has a PHD in Evolutionary Biology, he has even been on The Hour. Seriously, Dr Graffin is one smart guy. Their comback cd in late 2001, The process of Belief really hit home, with songs like "Sorrow", Kyoto now, and the Defence, taking a sober view in a post 9/11 period of war mongering and cheerleading. Also check out 21st century digital boy, parodying drugged up soccer moms, and lazy suburban teenage life. So good, yet so smart.
There you have it, a small list of some of my favorite political bands. I didn't include Rage because they aren't actively recording music. Here is a couple of Youtube videos, of some songs I like. Check em out.
Rise against Prayer of the Refugee
System of a Down - BYOB Bring your Own bombs
Bad Religion 21st Century digital boy
From Willies official, and extremely busy website
There was no shadow on the ground
Which means that spring will come around.
Flowers will bloom and life will begin
The waters will warm then we can jump in.
Children will laugh as they learn to ride
Boaters will rise and fall with the tide
The golfers appear out on the greens
People line up to taste new ice creams.
A warm breeze will brush on your cheek
The waters will rise on some of the creeks
Farmers will plant their first set of crops
Windows and doors will open on shops
The Town of South Bruce Peninsula is worth driving to
If your looking for springtime activities to do.
Ride a horse, catch a fish, hike the trails, if you can.
So many things to do you might need a plan.
If you don’t have time to enjoy everything.
Feel free to visit again in the spring.
There’s plenty to do throughout the whole year.
Especially now that spring time is near!
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This is so typical for the American administration with their holier than thou attitude towards just about everything they can't understand or agree with. The real question is when are we going to see this type of behavior from the Harper Government. They have tried in so many ways to import the neo-con attitude and agenda. I hope we get rid of them before they have the chance. Will John Baird personally edit all climate related press releases from Environment Canada? Lets hope not!
A general fear of change, and or conflict with colleagues? ok, the firing of Milton was handled badly I know, but I can compare that to say Harper's total flip flop on the accountability act, and its absolute lack of any real transparancy!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
So, I predicted like 2 months ago, that Ethiopia was going to invade Somalia, and 2 months later they are already leaving after throughly whipping the rag tag Islamic court's armed forces. Ethiopia, is following the Powell doctrine (exit strategy in war). Looks like the influence of the American occupation of Iraq is playing a role in the swift removal of Ethiopian troops.
The European Union has pledged something in the line of $15 million Euros to pay for the deployment of an African Union Peacekeeping mission. But of course, those Islamists have to make things stupid. The 100 or so rebels left have actually decided that they are going to fight the African Union peacekeepers, and try and kill them. Looks like we are in for more trouble in the horn of Africa. Not good . Lets hope this part of the world is fixed and European and Africa influence can bring peace unlike the Islamists, and the American war lords have.
Despite its attempt to actually brand itself as different from any previous Government, Stephen and his white boys continue to forget they are in government and are acting like they are in opposition. My theory is that they are really incompetent, and are afraid of what they will do as a government, and instead have chosen to cover their ears and go lalalalalalalalala, were not in power lalalalalalalallala. This theory is based in my own Centre-left biases though, based upon the incompetence of the Republican Administration down south in its handling of various things. You know because this governemnt admires George, and his cronies, so I guess Stephen can try and be as inept and lame duck as dubya.
And John Baird, and his holier than thou attitude about the environment. Where does he get off on that? I remember John Baird being the biggest climate change denier in the old Harris government. It only took him a tour around Stanley Park to realize that its real? Does that make angry man Baird a visual learner? Did he get angry, when he saw all the trees on the ground in Stanley Park? Did he start yelling at the trees like he yells at Liberals?
I don't know, but we are in for more of this garbage in the H of C. I'd expect this type of behaviour in a school yard, but please keep the house to proper debating of real issues. If you want to dwell on the past, we can talk about all those balanced budgets, and discuss Tory follies like the Airbus scandal, with a Brian Mulroney action figure that "Kicks back".
Back to Parliament, I've seen more maturity in a grade 9 math class. Who are you going to blame when you lose the election? The voters maybe?
Monday, January 29, 2007
This reminds me really, why I totally find Canadian politics boring sometimes. It's when we start to think like American politicos that makes me want to hurl. The attack ads, the permanent campaigning and mudslinging.
It really made me realize why as an undergrad I really enjoyed branching out and learning about politics in other countries and avoiding the Canadian Political courses as I thought they would bring in too many of my personal biases and cause me to be bored and fall asleep in lecture. North American politics is starting to look more homogeneous, thats not good. We don't have a congress, we shouldn't have elections every other year, and our senate is unelected for a reason. Because it is a powerless stamp of approval based in British tradition to be sober second thought on government.
I really wish that this session of Parliament could start with a serious debate about climate change, and a solution to our nation's problems. Yes, there will be an election soon, but its the Conservatives own fault if they bring in a neo-con budget that punishes women, and hurts those who are voiceless, an helps further destroy the Environment. I'd happily campaign against that record.