Posts Tagged ‘American politics’

Damned socialists! They’re everywhere!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Yet another glaring example of right-wing paranoia is rearing it’s many-eyed head in the States. No death panels this time, though. Rather, President Obama is being accused by the wacko right of trying to “indoctrinate” America’s kids as part of some sort of socialist plot to take over the country. Or all of the IHOP franchises in the Greater Milwaukee area. Or something el se. I dunno. The goals ain’t clear.

This socialist speech exhorts America’s kids to engage in the following repulsive and seditious activities:

  1. Study hard.
  2. Don’t let failures define you.
  3. Pay attention to your teachers.
  4. Don’t quit on yourself.

Brrrr…. shadows of Lenin, Castro and Trudeau are looming! Of course, only loony-tunes are spouting off against the speech – like this moron from Texas, for instance.

“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement,” one father in Texas told the press, as if the elected leader of the free world were part of a secret Bolshevik cabal.

OK. Well, obviously this guy is just out of one of those places where padded rooms and happy pills are the norm, right? Shurely he doesn’t speak for the GOP? Right?

I am appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” declared the Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer, calling Mr. Obama’s planned broadcast from a school in Virginia an attempt at “indoctrination” that made a sneaky end-run around American parents to reach their children, and thus represented an “invasive abuse of power”.

Oh.

Since when is it an issue for a person who is respected by many in his country and indeed around the globe to try to inspire young people? Would the Republicans and their minions prefer the President to tell students to do the following?:

  1. Slack off.
  2. Your failures are who you are.
  3. Treat your teachers like crap.
  4. When the going gets hard, give up.

Of course not.

But, just like the ridiculous images of “death panels” that the wacko right have been throwing around, this self-righteous indignation is designed to widen the schism in American society. That between liberals and conservative, black and white, rich and poor and urban and rural.

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Health care, and all things in the public good…

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I have yet to post anything about the weird health care debate in the States.

But courtesy of and inspired by a wise Canuck blogger at Enormous Thriving Plants, I now must urge you to read the following great post about why we really do need a government and how they can, believe it or not, run a public program well and efficiently.

My health care in my country is just fine, thank-you.

Why does the conventional wisdom rail against all things state-run? It is as dogmatic as religion. Unfounded in fact and rooted in myth and fantasy…

Very entertaining post… thanks.

get.a.brain.morans

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The American Election

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I thought I would scribble a quick note about the election to the south of the 49th.  I had meant to do this quite a while ago but between work demands (been travelling quite a bit – I am writing this in the business centre of the Montreal Delta) as well as things to do around the house, and being a daddy and a hubby, I just haven’t found the time.

Today stands to be one of the most important in our neighbour’s long history. The choice that Americans make today will resonate for decades to come and around the world. We in Canada cannot ignore the ground shift that is happening in the States. I believe there is a fundamental change happening in the way Americans – particularly young Americans – view their country and their leaders.

It is suddenly important and cool to participate in the electoral process.

And this is, for the most part, due to one guy – Obama.

He has inspired our neighbours at a time when they needed it it the most. Years of blundering by Bush. A deficit and debt that is staggering. A loss of respect around the world. A confused and rudderless domestic policy. All of these have been the trademarks of the past 8 years.

I am not saying that Obama and the Democrats will have a magic pill at their disposal. The once proud country has been dragged into a deep and hollow abyss that will take some effort and pain to climb out from.

Friends and family have from time to time accused me of being anti-American.

This is not the case.

I dearly respect our southern kin and think that the American experiment has been one of the greatest achievement in the annals of human history. And I truly weep to think what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al have done to belittle this accomplishment. True, I am a proud Canadian and share that Canadian paranoia-envy-wonder that is so typical of my fellow citizens. But I try to temper this with the recognition that Americans are a fine people with a rich heritage that deserve our respect and admiration.

So – in closing – if there are any Americans who are reading this post, please, PLEASE do the right thing today and do not make the same mistake three times in a row! Vote for a future that may reposition your country to that level that it deserves to occupy.

GOOD LUCK TO THE PLANET TODAY!

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The Greens make the Big Time!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The Mothercorp reports that the Green Party has its first MP!

Mr. Blair Wilson is an ex-Grit Independent MP for the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding. He was kicked out of Liberal caucus last year after allegations surfaced about spending irregularities in his 2006 campaign. Allegations that were unfounded according to Elections Canada.

The Green leader, Elizabeth May, has seized upon this development to claim her spot in the televised leadership debates that will take place during the next campaign; likely to take place this Fall since Stevie is just itchin’ to go to the polls.

I think May has a point. Her party is hovering around 10% in the polls with higher ratings in traditionally leftward leaning ridings. Of course, the ReformCons say “nope, sorry Liz… but ya can’t come and play in our sandbox.” And frankly, I don’t expect the Grits to say anything much different from the Reformer tone. The Greens would in all likelihood not drain any votes from the Neocons, but they would indeed do so from the Grits.. and the Dippers too.

In any case, this development further stresses my own decision-making matrix as I am forced once again to choose between who I truly support (The Greens) and who I feel I NEED to support in order  to fend off a full-frontal attack by the NeoCons (i.e., vote for the Grits… which in my riding actually ain’t so bad since our MP is strong and his views on important issues fit in quite nicely with mine).

Well, it looks like the writ will be dropped next week, so I had better get my mind into election mode real quickly!

Of course, all of this will be taking place while another election takes place in the country to the south of us. Lawrence Martin of the G&M has a great piece in Saturday’s edition about how the continental political landscape may look later this fall.

For political junkies like me, these are good times…

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Why Steven Harper is breaking his own law

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Sigh.

Here we go again. It looks almost certain that Stevie and his neocons are going to break the fixed date legislation that they themselves introduced only a short while ago.

Harper is claiming that Parliament has become dysfunctional and that he needs to be sure that the Government can put their agenda into place before proceeding.

I have 2 issues with this:

  1. Parliament is not dysfunctional. Yes, Committee hearings have become a circus because ReformCons have been ignoring summons to appear and they have been using their handy-dandy PMO (Karl Rove-ish) contrived manual on how to make Committee meetings dysfunctional. But these are the PMO’s antics – not those of the other parties.
  2. Not going to the House to test a claim of confidence but rather using the opposition leaders’ willingness to meet with his holiness is pretty damned cheeky; if not illegal. Unfortunately, the days of GG Byng are long gone and it is doubtful that our current GG will do anything but dissolve Parliament and trigger an election as the Harperites want.

So why is Mr. Harper so desperate for an election now and not willing to wait until his goivernment has been brought down legitimately on a matter of confidence?

The reasons are simple:

  • Liberal candidates are winning in all four of the by-elections currently underway – the Conservatives didn’t anticipate this shift, and they cannot afford the perception that they are losing traction.
  • Harper’s concern is only enhanced by the continuing Elections Canada investigation into the Conservatives alleged “in & out” scheme.
  • the House of Commons continues to investigate Brian Mulroney’s dealings with KarlHeinz Schrieber.
  • A late fall ot early winter election would ride on the coattails of a likely (yes, likely) Obama win to the south and this would benefits the Grits.
  • The economy will continue to feel the effects of the recession in the States.
  • The visions of more poor boys making the trip home from Afghanistan in caskets are not pleasant.
  • The somewhat distant possibility that M. Dion will begin to appeal to Canadians.
  • Conservative polling numbers remain stagnant in Ontario and Québec.

So Stevie is rolling the dice and calling Stèphane names as a prelude to one full-blown hissy fit that he’ll launch as soon as the writ is dropped. Like a bully in the schoolyard, he has beaten up all of the other kids and now is taking his marbles and going home.

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Attack ads

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I don’t know about you, but I think attack ads used in political campaigns are not only despicable and cater to the whims of the lowest common denominators, but totally remove any semblance of honest and constructive debate from a political battle.

The penultimate attack ad is this one – shot at the height of the Goldwater / Johnson campaign in 1964.

A little while back, the McCain camp put out this ad, implying that Obama is more celebrity than substance and that being popular in the public eye doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ready to lead the country.

Note the clip of a certain Paris Hilton? Well, Paris put together her own clip as a retort to John McCain. I must say, my opinion of Ms. Hilton has multiplied a thousandfold upon seeing this!

Of course, our own little Stevie Harper, being an admirer of all things negative, cynical and especially American, hires his own team to sic his attack ad dawgs on anything and anyone that disagrees with the Conservative dogma.

All told, these ads, while they do make for some good chuckles, deflect attention away from real policy debates. Stephen Harper wants to debate the environment? well, put something on the table to talk about it and then talk about it! Demeaning an opponent’s argument by attacking the debater is a debating no-no and such attacks are called ad hominem – meaning that the attack is against the person rather than the argument or point. This implies, of course, that the person making the counter-point has no or little basis to pull apart his adversary’s point.

Alas, the Harperites are flush with cash and we can expect more of these inane ads as we gear up for what likely will be a fall election in this country.

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