Friday, October 29, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: WATCH OUT GTA III: SAN ANDREAS...
For the U.S. just search on download.com for "President Forever".
Political junkies and video game nerds unite!
POLITICS AS USUAL: AND HE WAS A DEMOCRAT
(via Neale News)
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2: I HEAR THE NYPD ARE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE.....
No wait. I think I knew when she was going to be fired was when the Big D, on his "The More You Know" segment (where he imparts the wisdom we're supposed to gleam from the highbrow lesson in business operations) tells us "You have to love it". DT says if you don't believe in what you're doing, then you can't convince anyone to buy what you're selling (insert clip of DT at fashion show doing greatest "White Men Can't Dance" chair boogie). Just to connect the dots, the next clip is Lizzy saying "I just can't support the military theme to the ad". Hmmmmm.... all the sublety of Fear Factor, none of the bug eating.
Anyway, I don't want to comment on Flip Flop McGee there, I'd rather talk about the rest of the candidates.
I have to tell you, I'm getting a little bored of all their crap. No matter who is chosen as PM (and its random, don't forget), no matter how competent (I think Andy--who didn't do himself any favours appearing in his street clothes for of his clips looking like he was 6--did a great job), they undermine them from the get go. At first, it was mildly amusing. I get a certian kick out of watching extremely agressive and ambitious young'uns rip each other to pieces (see: Swarming of Stacie "Who me? Crazy?" J). Now its just stupid.
Offender number one: Ivana. I asked my colleague (who also watches the show) what she did last night besides complain. Blank stare ensues. Right. Nothing. And while I don't disagree that Liz had horrible leadership skills, its not like the team backed her up. Kevin was great for handholding her the night before--until her wonderfully articulate sales pitch of the new concept ("So, there's these cops, and they do things and stuff") the next morning. But the rest of the team revolting? What's up with that? You're under a tight timeline and you need to come up with a great product on the fly and you want to go out on the picket line ("Hey hey, ho ho, the crybaby's got to go!")?
Not exactly leadership.
Although they had far superior ads, Team Kaleidescope wasn't much better. Kelly was arrogant and sweet, sweet Maria kept spouting off about sex appeal. A cop ad with sex appeal? What's the tag line? "When was the last time your job helped get you laid"? Or "Boys--learn to use your nightstick"? Now, if it was Maria modelling for the ad with Sandy holding her... I digress.
Anyway, I think this is going to come down to three people: Kelly and Kevin and Raj. Their all competent, solid decision makers with a good head on their shoulders (well, Raj makes up for his weakness in that department with pure entertainment value). The rest of them? Not impressed. And no, I'm not being sexist. The women can get fired with the rest of the men.
There's definitely some fat that needs to be trimmed leading into the finals.
As well, here's a related story about DT's Boardroom dubs.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Best Costume Ever
Whether you're a fan of the movie TRON or not, or whether you dress up for Halloween or not, I HAD to put this story up for a whole lot of reasons. This is SO funny on SO many different levels, especially considering:
- This was NOT for a Halloween costume;
- The costume was for a software conference;
- There are a number of pictures illustrating the construction of the costume;
"I spoke for a few moments about how I wasn't Tron, but a simple payroll withholding calculation program that had gotten overweight by changes in the laws."
I beg of you--read the whole account of his activities. It's worth it. Enjoy!
(via Radwanski's Ramblings)
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO FLY...
The friendly, heavily regulated skies...
The Liberal government is looking to reopen the debate surrounding opening up the Canadian airline market to greater competition.
As you would expect, I think this is a great idea that's long overdue. Believe it or not, I have no interest in seeing "Scare Canada" fail. As well all know, it will be our taxes that will pay for it if it does. But I do have every confidence that the airline could survive in a free market.
They would have to.
Air travel in Canada is as expensive as it ever has been. You'd think you were flying to another continent when you look at how much it costs to travel to B.C. We need competition to drive down prices. And I am aware that some detractors of the place feel that some of the less popular routes (i.e. the non-stop flight to West Assfrost Inlet) will be either reduced or eliminated, I have every confidence that smaller (read: cheaper) carriers will pick up the slack. The market doesn't like a vacuum. If there is demand, businesses will service it.
While I think we need to just get on with it and open it up, I do applaud the Martin government (wow, two Lie-beral compliments in one week) for taking the first step. I just hope this "national debate" isn't code for "endless debate".
POLITICS AS USUAL: MISSING THE POINT
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: WHITE RAPPERS FOR KERRY
The Great White Hope
Rapper and master of controversy Eminem has decided to add something to the political discourse. His new single and video "Mosh", levels his full fury at Dubya. The video is visually well done. While it does encourage youth to get involved in the political process, the "F**k Bush" message might not get them voting Republican anytime soon.
You can check out the video on his website (in the news section), which does require you to register, but is very straight forward.
POLITICS AS USUAL: AND I THOUGHT THE MEDIA WAS MY FRIEND....
Want to really see how reporters/journalists think? Check out Slate's survey of who their contributors are voting for.
Total: Kerry 46, Bush 3
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
ON THE 1S AND 2S: HIP HOP TERMINOLOGY
(n) Scrotum. "And women go nuts just like my bozack" -- Ludacris (Game Got Switched )
(v) Screwed. "If you don't like it, you can get the bozack"--EPMD (Unfinished Buisness, )
Its old school, but you have to respect the history.
POLITICS AS USUAL: TRUTH AT A PREMIUM
Next time your Lib friends talk to you about all the great things Dalton has done (I'd like to hear that list, if it exists) and how he's always "played it straight with voters", I'd like you to take this quote out of your pocket--which you've printed, folded and held on to for just such an occasion--and read it to your misguided friend:
"But the intention remains the same, and it's been very clear from the outset, this is a tax provision found within the Income Tax Act and our intention is that taxpayers will pay this new premium."
So much for it being an OHIP premium. This is a tax on the middle class, period. Oh look--Dalton's pants are on fire.
You might lose that friend for showing them up at a social gathering, but who needs friends that vote Liberal anyway?
POLITICS AS USUAL: INSERT POLITICAL-BASEBALL ANALOGY
Kerry strikes out as Boston Red Sox leave him red-faced
NEDRA PICKLER IN PORTSMOUTH
SENATOR John Kerry’s efforts to portray himself as "just a regular American guy" suffered a blow this weekend when he comprehensively messed up the scoreline at a game featuring his beloved Boston Red Sox. Twice on Sunday, the Democrat said he was basking in the glory of Boston’s 10-9 win on Saturday night.
The problem was, the Red Sox won 11-9.
"Ten-nine, the Sox did fabulous," Mr Kerry said with a big smile as he ducked into church on Sunday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Inside, the minister asked worshippers to clap "if the Lord has done anything wonderful in your life this week", to which Mr Kerry applauded. "I had a special reason to clap," Mr Kerry explained. "The Red Sox won 10-9."
Mr Kerry’s spokesman, David Wade, said the senator got the score wrong because 10-9 was the last update he got during his late-night flight to Florida. The problem is, the score never was 10-9. The Sox won on a two-run homer, meaning they went from nine runs to 11. Regardless, Mr Kerry’s adviser, Mike McCurry, explained to reporters: "The senator had bad intelligence last night."
However, the confusion struck again within hours of his team’s second game. Landing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Democratic candidate bounded off the plane wearing his Red Sox cap to exclaim: "Seven-one Red Sox!"
The Red Sox were winning 6-1 at the time.
They went on to win 6-2.
POLITICS AS USUAL: NOW, IF THEY'D ONLY CUT THE FAT IN GOVERNMENT....
Want a shovel with that?
(Insert old coot voice) "These kids today..." Well, they're getting fatter. First and foremost I DO believe its the parents that need to teach kids good eating habits and incorporate exercise into their daily routine. I don't buy the whole argument that higher levels of obesity in kids is due to the foods they eat.
30 years ago the only thing that was "low fat" was fruit and vegetables! There was no diet pop, or non-fat pudding or low-carb cookies. It was all about the sugar, baby! Coke would melt your teeth and grease wasn't just in people's hair.
I think its the lifestyle of kids today that is doing so much damage. Remember when you WANTED to be on the football team? Every kid stayed out for hours playing street hockey, or tag or whatever? I spent whole summers where I would get up about 8:00, eat breakfast and I'd be gone for the rest of the day, out doing who knows what. I didn't diet. I was just active. That helped my kiddie metabolism keep things in check.
Anyway, not to heap too much praise of the Lie-berals, but this was the right thing to do.
Now, junior.... get off your ass!
Monday, October 25, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: ELECTION REDUX
Especially if you are a fan of Dubya. Poll after poll show that Canadians downright loathe this President, which makes me SO proud. At times, I almost feel "un-Canadian" for supporting Bush's re-election. And the constant defence gets tiring. You get the feeling that this is the most hated President in the nation's history.
Until you look waaaaaaaaay back to 1984.
In that election, where Ronald Reagan was running for re-election against Walter Mondale, the American Left equally hated Reagan's administration. As a column from Jennifer Nelson on SFGate.com reminds us:
"If you buy their version of the Reagan presidency, he invented homelessness, eliminated birth control for the poor and personally killed thousands in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. He created AIDS and apartheid and single-handedly broke the back of organized labor. You think the liberals dislike Don Rumsfeld? Just ask them about James Watt!
Don't forget about Reagan's "assault on the poor." No, the left wing of American politics couldn't just disagree with Reagan's economic policies -- he was assaulting the poor."
Sound familiar? And look how Reagan did. He laid the electoral smackdown on Mondale in the subsequent election. Not that I'm suggesting that Dubya will clean Kerry's clock, but it is reassuring to know that Reagan went through the same crap as well.
It makes me feel better that when the leftist hand-wringers in the media and in the Democratic party talk about how the last four years have been the most controversial in history, I know they have no sense. Of history.
Friday, October 22, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: NEW BUSH AD
Apparently, Bush campaign thingies are saying that the "voter reaction was so powerful that we decided to hold the ad to the end of the campaign and make it ONE of the closing spots".
Guess more are on the way.
What do the hacks/political junkies think? I think the Dems are worried. Know why? Here's the reaction from the Kerry camp:
"They have stooped so low now that they are using a pack of wolves running around a forest trying to scare you. This president is trying to scare America … in a despicable and contemptible way," Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in Boynton Beach, Fla.
That's a spin translation from the original (private) Kerry campaign reaction of: "Damn, thats a #%$@ing good ad."
What say you?
POLITICS AS USUAL: STOP THE PRESSES
About that, anyway.
B! TALK DAILY: APPRENTICE 2: ITS DOG EAT DOG OUT THERE...
At least she didn't have very far to fall. So, wee Stacey J. has been given the boot. I can't say I'm suprised. First, let us quickly summarize the episode. As to be expected, the Big D shuffled the teams, mixing plugs and sockets together. I liked how he chose to do it--he brought them immediately into the Boardroom right after he fired John, made them choose a Project Manager on the spot and then made the PMs pick three "teammates" that they would NOT like to keep on their team, who were then sent to the other team. Ah, the cold sting of rejection.
So, how best to soothe that rejection? Have a friendly confab with your new team members. Everyone seemed to get along. They all seemed to agree. Well, on one thing anyway--Stacey J. is friggin' annoying.
Anyway, this time the task was to run a doggie care business (could be anything--doggie grooming, doggie washing, snoop doggie dogging, whatever). Who ever made the most money won. The new Apex, managed by the (apparently) hot Jennifer M., got right to work. They decided to wash dogs in Central Park for the afternoon. Mosaic, led by "Maestro Fresh" Wes (you have to be Canadian--or just know me--to get that one) got right to dithering. And then grooming. The dogs.
I'll fast forward for you--on both teams, a few worked hard, a few flailed around, a few stood around looking hot (Maria, I'm looking in your direction). I guess when you're exempt, why waste good effort on helping your team? The teams basically took the same approach. The only difference was one team washed, the other groomed. I was having a hard time remembering which one was which. Just get me to the Boardroom, already.
So we're in the Boardroom. Mosaic loses. Apex gets to go meet Giuilani's Wal-Mart grade clone, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Raj kisses ass. Wesley gets to pick: he chooses "Loud things come in small packages" Stacey J and perenial Boardroom guest "Hey! I'm not a virgin" Andy. For once I actually agreed with only bringing in 2 candidates. Maria was exempt, and the other two didn't really deserve to be in there, as they worked hard.
Right from the beginning, you knew Stacey was cooked. Firstly, because "Marky" Mark Burnett kept showing clips of people talking about how annoying Stacey J is. Secondly, because Carolyn couldn't tell what she was doing suring the task, besides rolling up her sleeves and standing at the table (well, she could have been sitting. Oh wait, I could still see her head. She was standing.)
So, Wes, who always seems to have some role in the failure of his team, was called a "complete disaster" by DT. I think its safe to say he won't be making the final cut. Andy lost the team cell phone, which 2004 "Uptight Accountant Stereotype Award" winner and George stand-in Allen Whoever saw as a mistake so large it would have "wiped out an entire brigade" if this was a war zone. C'mon, Big Al--wars? In this day and age? A little over the top, especially for America, don't you think?
The Big D said he didn't like the fact that Stacey didn't take responsibility for anything. She didn't help herself when DT asked her if she felt responsible for the team's loss in any way and she said no. Lioness Carolyn, picking up the scent of blood in the air, decided to once again go for the throat: "I'm still trying to figure out what you do around here". Stacey tried to mount a defence, but she was obviously overwhelmed by the size of the chair she was sitting in. That would throw anyone off; its hard to have your feet firmly on the ground when you can't touch the floor.
So Stacey gets fired. My favorite point was after the wee pile-on and as they're leave to take the long elevator ride back, Wes goes in for the "go team" hug. Stacey recoils back like a sorority gal that's spent the better part of the night at a kegger getting her ass slapped by drunken frat boys. Ah, Wes. It started with your name and its just been downhill from there, eh? Get used to the rejection.
I think its starting to get down to the cream of the crop now. We're seeing the loose cannons and the drooling idiots being shotgunned. The somewhat competent (yet disturbingly homogenous) remaining contestants need to step up their game.
Now, if only they'd fire Ivana.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: FIDEL TAKES A SPILL
That's a shame. Story here.
POLITICS AS USUAL: THIS TERESA'S A REAL MOTHER.....
"I'll get you my little pretty....."
Regardless of what you think about Dubya, who doesn't love kick-ass First Lady Laura Bush?
What idiot counselled Teresa "Let Them Eat Ketchup" Heinz Kerry to attack her? If there's a drag on the ticket, it ain't Edwards.
POLITICS AS USUAL: WEAPONS OF CASH DESTRUCTION
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: HE'S A REAL CL(ASS) ACT...
The Big D
So, it looks like Donald Trump wastes no time in kicking his rivals in the head when they're down. Some of you might know that "The Benefactor"--which centred around Dallas Mavaricks billionaire owner Mark Cuban putting contestants through various tasks to earn $1 million--has been cancelled.
So what does the Big D do? Sends off a memo by fax mocking him:
"I am truly sorry to hear that your show has been canceled for lack of ratings," Trump wrote in the fax - ironically sent to Cuban at the Trump International.
"When I initially called you to congratulate you on 'The Benefactor' - little did you or I realize how disastrous and embarrassing it would turn out to be for you," Trump wrote.
What a prick. But know what? He's awesome.
(via Neale News)
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE BEST DEFENCE IS NO DEFENCE, APPARENTLY....
If Guinea starting stiring up a ruckus, we'd better get some help because they have a better army than we do. So do the Netherlands (those Dutch warmongers), Nigeria and Kenya.
Oh--and we just grounded our NEW Comerant rescue helicopters.
So, are subs are grounded, we have no rescue helicopters, our troops have no equipment and the Canadian public think that our peacekeeping duties are "what makes us Canadian".
See something wrong here?
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: ASHLEY'S STORY
Adam Daifallah has it right--the Republicans are way ahead of the Democrats in terms of the effectiveness of political advertising.
We in Canada are miles behind the American in political ads.
B! TALK DAILY: IS JON STEWART AN ASS?
Is Jon Stewart a pompous ass? A blowhard? The folks at Crossfire seems to think so.
I think he's very, very smart and very, very funny.
Have I been lured in by the siren of political satire? Am I that off base?
Set me straight.
MY SO CALLED-LIFE: NOW YOU CAN RUN YOUR YAP 100% MORE EASILY
Feel free to impart some wisdom.
POLITICS AS USUAL: BELGIUM WHA?
So, I might post reviews of "The Apprentice" on this site, but I'd still like to think I'm capable of comprehending public policies that go beyond "I'd like to make the world a better place". I also think Canada is sorely lacking any kind of bold new ideas or direction and the leadership to back it up. So I read with substantial interest Stephen Harper's newest policy idea, which he outlined in a speech he gave in Montreal. Here's the gist of it, from the National Post:
"Mr. Harper said a future Conservative government would give some federal power to new community institutions set up by English- and French-speaking Canadians. Instead of the provinces getting more power, the linguistic groups could have some jurisdiction over communications, broadcasting and international relations, he said.
"In Belgium, for example, federal authority has been divided not just with geographically based regions, but also with linguistic communities as well. I want my party to consider how this model could be adapted to Canada," Mr. Harper said in a prepared text to a gathering of Conservative supporters in the province.
"Rather than devolving more authority to provinces in areas like cultural affairs and international relations, perhaps the federal government, working with the provinces and particularly with Quebec, could establish francophone and anglophone community institutions for jurisdictions in areas like the CRTC and the CBC, or the Francophonie, the Commonwealth and UNESCO."
In defending his plan yesterday, Mr. Harper said he is merely trying to "adopt federalism to Canadian reality in ways that make all Canadians more comfortable."
Comfortable? I don't even know what the hell you just said. Now, to be fair, the only thing I know about Belgium is they make one hell of a waffle, but not so good on the sprouts. However, I know a lot less about other countries but can understand, in the abstract, how their system of government works.
John Ivison asks this question:
"As if the constitutional picture wasn't complicated enough. Does this mean that if the Canadian Heritage Minister couldn't make it to a UNESCO meeting, and Quebec's Minister of Culture was double-booked, that a representative from a francophone town such as Kapuskasing or Hawksbury might be drafted in to speak for Canada? Nearly one-third of the 200,000 people in Markham, Ont., are Chinese -- do they represent a linguistic ''community'' that deserves some devolution of power to address their special concerns?"
Indeed. Here's Andrew Coyne's take on it:
"I have no idea what this means as yet, but I don't like the sound of it one bit. The federal government already represents the "linguistic communities," in the same way that it represents the racial communities, the sexual communities, etc. We do not divide Canada into two founding genders (though Judy Rebick once seriously proposed it), and there is no strong case for pursuing this strategy with respect to language. It may be slightly different from the old Deux Nations model, inasmuch as it does not propose to equate Quebec with French Canada. But it's still a prescription for trouble."
To some, this might be another policy eyeglazer being lauded by a politician looking for headlines. I think this serves a s a useful litmus test for Canandian political discourse. You might not want to follow this issue on its policy merits, but you might want to watch to see how its received. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Canadians have repeatedly said they are tired of the "soundbite approach" to politics (all sizzle, no substance). How will they react to this proposal?
- Since columnists (who get paid to analyze and offer opinions) are having trouble with this concept, is it just "too complex" for Canadians?
- If so, can a proposal of this nature be boiled down into manageable concepts or ideas that can quickly/efficiently be explained to Canadian voters?
I think it will be interesting to see if this proposal can overcome these hurdles. My guess? It's dead on arrival.
Monday, October 18, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: DEAR LIMEY A##HOLES...
Apparently, the Guardian Unlimited, a UK news publication, has been encouraging Brits to send letters to undecided voters in Cook County in Ohio--which is widely regarded as a swing state. The letters are to explain to these targetted voters why the upcoming election is so important to those in other countries abroad, especially the U.K.
The responses (which were not limited to Cook County) were predictable. Click on the link to read them all, but I have a few choice ones for your reading pleasure. Please excuse the profanity, but I have cut them right out of the article:
"Have you not noticed that Americans don't give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies ... I don't give a rat's ass if our election is going to have an effect on your worthless little life. I really don't. If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah - and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals."
Wading River, NY
"Hey England, Scotland and Wales,Mind your own business. We don't need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidental election. If it wasn't for America, you'd all be speaking German. And if America would have had a president, then, of the likes of Kerry, you'd all be goose-stepping around Buckingham Palace. YOU ARE NOT WANTED!! Whether you want to support either party. BUTT OUT!!! "
"Keep your noses out of our business. As I recall we kicked your asses out of our country back in 1776. We do not require input from losers and idiots on who we vote for in our own country. Fuck off and die asshole!!!!!"
POLITICS AS USUAL: "POLLING THE ELECTORATE"?
'Primetime Live' Poll: More Republicans Satisfied With Sex Lives Than Democrats
New 'Primetime Live' Sex Survey Reveals That More Republicans (56%) Are Very Satisfied With Their Sex Lives Than Democrats (47%)
Oct. 18, 2004- American Sex Lives 2004, a new "Primetime Live" sex poll conducted in conjunction with the ABC News Polling Unit, is among the most comprehensive surveys of its kind in decades and establishes a new, detailed picture of sex attitudes and behavior in America today.
The full results of this wide-ranging sex poll will be presented during a live, hourlong "Primetime Live" event airing Thursday, Oct. 21 (10-11 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network.
The "Primetime Live" sex poll answers many provocative questions that we have all wondered about, but have never dared to ask, including: how many Americans describe themselves as sexually "traditional" or "adventurous"; how often are Americans having sex; what are the sex habits of cheaters; and who is cheating with their co-worker and who is cheating in the workplace.
The poll analysis includes a breakdown by many subgroups, including region, age and even political party affiliation, which is the topic of results released today:
Of those involved in a committed relationship, who is very satisfied with their relationship?Republicans -- 87 percent; Democrats -- 76 percent
Who is very satisfied with their sex life? Republicans -- 56 percent; Democrats -- 47 percent
The poll analysis also reveals who has worn something sexy to enhance their sex life:Republicans -- 72 percent; Democrats -- 62 percent. When asked whether they had ever faked an orgasm, more Democrats (33 percent) than Republicans (26 percent) said they had.
Among the factors that impact the survey results is that more men identify themselves as Republicans and men are more likely to say they are sexually satisfied and enjoy sex "a great deal." Also, Democrats are more likely to be women; and the poll results show that women are more likely to fake orgasms.
The American Sex Lives 2004 survey was conducted by telephone August 2-9, 2004, among a random, anonymous, national sample of adults 18-99 years old. The results have a 2.5-point error margin for all respondents; as in any poll, sampling error is higher for subgroups.
POLITICS AS USUAL: HAVE THEY LEARNED NOTHING?
Is there any wonder public cynicism about our democratic institutions is at an all-time low?
B! TALK DAILY: WHAT, I'M NOT ON THE LIST?
So you don't have to bother tuning in, here is the list. My wifey is obviously proud that two of the finalists are from her hometown, Brantford.
- Tommy Douglas (Great Grandfather of swell Canadian actor Keifer Sutherland)
- Wayne Gretzky (A hockey player--I think finished his career with some Junior A team)
- Don Cherry (Loveable loudmouth and Quizno's shill)
- Sir John A. MacDonald (Only good cabinet is a liquor cabinet)
- Terry Fox (Hero--no sarcastic descriptor--I'm not a monster, you know!)
- Dr. Fredrick "Freddy B" Banting (Invented insulin, insisted on no one profitting from it--should be cause for elimination right there)
- Lester B. Pearson (Named after the airport)
- Alexander Graham Bell (Ruthless CEO of largest Canadian monopoly, Bell Canada)
- David Suzuki (Environmental activism cheapened by "Sidekick" rollover controversy)
- Pierre Trudeau (Greatest PM ever--absolutely nothing negative comes to mind)
Quite a group. You can check out the rest of the list here. Vote early, vote often.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: MR. STEWART GOES TO WASHINGTON
The man himself
I'm not sure how many of you saw the exchange between Jon Stewart and one of the hosts of CNN's "Crossfire", Tucker Carlson (it's a little long at 13:30 minutes). Its doesn't exactly meet the "brutal" description, but it is an interesting exchange.
I think political commentators, pundits, whatever--have lost their collective sense of humour. They bring a guy like Stewart onto their show--which airs on Comedy Central--and they wonder why he doesn't ask "more hardhitting questions". He's a talk show host! It has political content, but its still political satire! And damn fine satire at that.
Now, he was a little sanctimonious in his criticisms of "Crossfire", but he made some great points: It is largely spin. The only debate is between opposing talking points. There is little substantive debate on the issues. And this definitely turns off "non-hacks" from taking an interest in politics.
I think Jon is right--the level of political discourse and dialouge is at its lowest point in history. It has moved away from providing thought out, substantive public policy positions and gravitated towards the soundbites and polling samples. I know, politicians and political parties are only responding to the "24-hour news cycle reality"; but that doesn't stop me from wanting to see change. As partisan as this space can be, I'd love to see some actual dialouge between the Parties on issues of substance.
Not that those bleeding heart Liberal flip floppers would ever allow it.
Friday, October 15, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: A SURE BET?
I'd love to know if anyone decides to "invest". Its not that I don't want to invest in freedom and liberty--I'm just have too much in those markets already and I like to diversify my portfolio.
I'm a little light on "pestilence bonds" at the moment. They seem to be hot stocks right now.
B! TALK DAILY: G.O.P. ON T.V.
Considering how they protrayed the last "fictional" GOP candidate (i.e. navelgazer Gov. Robert Richie played by James Brolin), I can't wait to see how they portray a Republican President.
How many subplots about a VP with close ties to a defence contractor can they produce?
POLITICS AS USUAL: IF THIS IS A NANNY STATE, I WANT A BEDTIME SNACK, AND THEY CAN AT LEAST TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE FOR ME...
I guess I'm split on kicking the McGuinty government in the butt on these proposals. They've introduced a bill banning pitbulls, but have (thankfully) rejected the Ontario Medical Association proposal.
Nevertheless, both proposals are stupid. Is this what it comes down to? Abdicating personal responsibility in favour of by-laws, bans and legislation? If Canada is going to increase its state of "nanniness", then I at least want it to pick out my clothes in the morning.
Look--people know smoking is bad and they know pitbulls are dangerous. Those that light up in the smokehouse that is their car clearly don't care about the effects it will have on their kidlets. How exactly would you enforce such a ban? Have "Cancer Cops" on motorcycles doing RIDE programs sniffing your window for traces of smoke? I can think of no greater punishment for a parent than the doctor telling them that their kid has cancer. If that's not preventative, I don't know what is.
And pitbull owners know their pet has the capacity to rips a child to pieces. The government shouldn't ban pitbulls. They need to enact a penalty akin to vehicular manslaughter. The dog is(like a car) is a potential weapon. You use it incorrectly, someone dies, YOU go to jail for a number of years. They might think twice next time they poke Cujo with a stick for fun.
Either way--doesn't the government have better thing to interfere with? Don't we have a $5B deficit to tackle? How about property tax reform? Fixing hospitals? R&D for the hi-tech sector? Fostering growth? Cutting taxes? While I'm suprised we haven't gone to "Pitbull Threat Level Orange" with these recent attacks, I think we're taking our eyes off the ball.
Let's get some perspective.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2: THE ACHILLES HEEL
So, I'm not as disappointed as much as I normally would be. Mosaic was doomed from the beginning. But they didn't help themselves. From drooling over the models to my man Raj acting like a schoolkid with ADD constantly asking questions, it was just bad. So, here are my main thoughts:
- What's with the King Henry VIII entrance the DT makes each episode? I know he looks like he has some sort of "hair crown", but please. Trumpets?
- John (the PM) was brutal. He sat there with a thumb up his butt while Kelly drove the team. But that paled in comparison to him begging for his proverbial life when it looked like he was going to get wacked. Have some respect for yourself, man! The hostages in Iraq had much more intestinal fortitude than you and they are looking death in the face. I love DT toying with him saying "Can't I be a witness too?", and making him admit he made a mistake.
- Raj, Raj, Raj. His "colourful" personality, which I love, was a real problem on this task. Maybe the gals had it right--segregate the problem child from the rest of the class. He might have a flare for fashion (and, apparently, German) but someone must dress him because he was lost out there.
- Those fashions were straight up hideous. On both sides. I know they are the clothing equivalent of a concept car, but my god. Shoulder capes? I thought one of the models wore the shirt as a pair of pants by mistake.
John the Beggar
Anyway, the girls deserve the win. They knew what they were talking about and floated right through the task. I'm sure the guys couldn't be that upset with missing Cirque de Soliel at the Hugo Boss party. I'm sure they saw enough men in brightly coloured tights for one day (besides Raj).
ON THE 1S AND 2S: HIP-HOP TERMINOLOGY
(v) To really show off and signify their importance to others, people pop the collar of their shirt. "Around here we pop them collars" -- Lil Bow Wow (Bounce with me )
POLITICS AS USUAL: "SLEEPER" ISSUES INDEED
I knew I shouldn't have bought off the rack
Last night's debate? I'll go with Adam Daifallah on this one... B-O-R-I-N-G. However, I did think Dubya was probably in the best form he's been in. And I actually found a non-Fox media report that said he won! From Canada even!
I thought Kerry's reference to Cheney's daughter (in the context of same-sex marriage) was off-base. Isn't it a sign of leadership when someone stands up for what they believe in, even if it has "negative" repercussions on them personally? Although, Kerry might try standing for something.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: MORE JIBJABBERY
I'm sure they do
Those crazy folks at jibjab.com have done it again. I'm sure you've heard about (or seen) the hilarious This Land, their first animated spoof on the U.S. election.
Now, they've come back with a new one, It's Good To Be In D.C..
Check it out--you won't be disappointed.
POLITICS AS USUAL: 1-800-555-LIES
For "Thanks for the Surplus" Press ONE
For "Trail of Deceit (My Staffer's Fingerprints)" Press TWO
For "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" Press THREE
Please select the story you'd like to read now!
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: ALL HAIL TEAM AMERICA!
Kimmy Jong (In Puppet Form)
Who doesn't want to see "Team America World Police"? C'mon, folks, I know that South Park might be a little lowbrow for some, but they have always had suprisingly accurate commentary on current events.
Here's an article that might change your mind. And for my part, there are three reasons why I'll go see this movie:
- It skewers both sides, which is the true definition of "political satire";
- If it makes self-rightous blowhard (and Oscar winner) Sean Penn mad, then I'm sure I'll like it;
- It features a fat Michael Moore puppet, who is blown up when the bomb he's carrying explodes prematurely.
BONUS: Apparently, they filled the MM puppet with ham before they blew it up.
B! TALK DAILY: POT, MEET BIG, OBNOXIOUS KETTLE
October 12, 2004 -- ROSEANNE has nothing but bile for tubby TV talkmeister Dr. Phil: "I want to go on record and say that I hate Dr. Phil and I would fight a grudge match with him if I were a wrestler," she rants to Chaunce Hayden's Steppin' Out magazine. "Dr. Phil is just a used car salesman with barnyard psychology. Once he turns off those cameras, nobody does anything that he says. He's a fat slob talking about how to lose weight. Who wants to hear that? . . . I just hate Dr. Phil and his wife! I shouldn't go off like this, but he's just so stupid and the cause of the dumbing down of America. It's so purely evident if you just watch five minutes of this guy. He's just a huckster used car salesman, scam artist . . . I'd like to knock the [bleep] out of him! Dr. Phil is Hitler! I think he's Hitler reincarnated! When Dr. Phil and his wife had President Bush and his wife on their show, it was probably the scariest thing ever seen on television." Roseanne also ruminates on turning 50: "I do miss PMS — it was the only time of the month I could be myself."
POLITICS AS USUAL: WHAT'S $500M BETWEEN FRIENDS?
Is no one listening to Sheila Fraser? I think she should be asked to form the government.
Maybe then I wouldn't feel the constant need to hold a vice-like death grip on my wallet.
POLITICS AS USUAL: WHO'S THE MAN(SUR)?
Another great article by Salim Mansur in today's Toronto Sun. Once again, putting the U.S. election into clear perspective as to what is really at stake here.
Friday, October 08, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: HAPPY THANKSGIVING
That's one dirty bird!
Folks, I'll be away for the weekend so no posts until at least Monday.
I'll sure you'll find a way to cope.
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: I NEED SOME ADVICE
Ah no. I just love reading advice columns.
I read 'em all, from Dear Abby to Dan Savage. And I love watching TV shows like "Dr. Phil" (although I don't go so far as Oprah--I have standards, you know!). I'm not quite sure why I like reading about other people's problems. It's definitely not because misery loves company. I have a great life with very little to complain about. I don't have a disfunctional relationship with my wife or my family and I'm a pretty well-adjusted guy (now that I've got those voices in my head under control).
I think maybe its because problems are all part of the life experience. I find it interesting to read or hear about what other people are going through. But, I also think its becuase people's woes can be just plain entertaining. Reading about some guy who left his wife after he got his mistress pregnant only to find out that she too is married and no longer wants to have anything to do with him is just awesome. That's real human drama for ya, folks!
Now, of course, I have to endure advice on ettiquette, or sometimes the latest news on glaucoma (that's usually Dear Abby), but it's worth it to hear about all the trials and tribulations of the poor souls that write in.
I especially like when the advice columnist in question is a hardass. That's whay I like Dr. Phil. I don't tune in to watch him tell his guests that "they're all special in a unique way"! I want him to lay the smackdown of these people. Like that women that had 5 different kids by like 5 different men? That's good TV. Or the "Dr. Phil family" who always have a boatload of problems to deal with.
Anyway, maybe I'm just mean. Its not that I don't feel sorry for these people, but sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder how these people get into this situations in the first place. Ok, fine--maybe I like to be a little judgemental. Maybe I just like to feel superior. Or maybe its just like watching a car crash.
Either way, while there are people willing to spill their guts to a total stranger and a national audience, I'll be there to take it all in.
"Faithful Reader in Toronto"
POLITICS AS USUAL: AT LEAST EDWARDS IS ON THE RIGHT TICKET
As reported on Neale News, this little nugget just shows that if VP Candidate John Edwards needs to fill in for serial flip-flopper John Kerry, at least their policy positions would be consistent.
POLITICS AS USUAL: WANT TO ROOT OUT INCOMPETENCE? START WITH THE OPSEU LEADERSHIP
BILL CARROLL (HOST): Before we move on, OPSEU president Leah Casselman joins us. Thanks for doing this; we appreciate it.
LEAH CASSELMAN: Thanks.
CARROLL: The Withering Trillium Award, what are you trying to accomplish with this? What's the goal here?
CASSELMAN: Well, we're trying to tell the premier that there are a couple more broken promises that he needs to step up to. One is we think it's important for the public for whistle-blowing legislation. They've given it to the meat inspectors when they were brought back in, but we think that the public would be better served if all of the public servants had whistle-blowing legislation, and quite frankly, our members have not seen much change since the bureaucrats under the Tories are still running the show.
CARROLL: What does this have to do with the individual performance of managers?
CASSELMAN: Well, those managers under the Tories were given bonuses because of the number of people they were able to lay off, so that has been cancelled by the Liberals, which we're pleased about.
CARROLL: Well, but wait a second. I'm on your website. The Withering Trillium Award is for a manager, a unit manager or employer, that demonstrates in the finest tradition of management a complete lack of understanding, skill, knowledge, fairness or competence.
CARROLL: What does that have to do with the government? We're talking about the managers in the civil service who manage people on a day-to-day basis here.
CASSELMAN: That's right, and we're hoping that this new government will give them a new mandate on how to treat people fairly, because under the Tories, they were very adamant about treating our people very poorly and laying them off on a regular basis.
CARROLL: So you want to publicly humiliate people who have families, wives, kids to go home to; you want to make them look like jerks because you disagree with the government? Why don't you embarrass the government, then?
Why don't you do this for members of provincial Parliament? Why are you picking on people that have to work day-to-day with your membership?
CASSELMAN: Well, probably because of the attitudes that they've shown our membership over the years, and our members are very frustrated with their activities...
CARROLL: Well, what would you think of a manager who did this to one of your members, who put a sign up every month, "The Worst Employee of the Month," and told the world about how bad they were. Is that the kind of management you would encourage, or is that the kind of management you're fighting against?
CASSELMAN: That's that the kind of management we've been fighting against all along. We've been trying to get this Liberal government to recognize they need to change direction. The Premier himself is frustrated he can't get things changed in the government, and...
CARROLL: Alright. So bad behaviour is not acceptable...
CASSELMAN: The Tory bureaucrats are still running the show; no wonder you're frustrated.
CARROLL: Come on, Leah. Bad behaviour is not acceptable for managers but it's OK for you?
CASSELMAN: Our members are very frustrated there's been no change in direction under this new government, and they want to see themselves treated properly.
CARROLL: I thought this story was bad enough. I thought it showed immaturity, adversarial positioning, clumsy poor management technique, but now that I realized you just want to change what the government is doing and you're picking on middle managers to do it, this is worse than I thought.
Don't you see the irony in this? You're behaving in the very worst ways that managers behave because you object to how badly they treat people.
CASSELMAN: Well, if we had an opportunity to sit down and talk to this new government about the direction that this public service should be going in without them listening to the Tory bureaucrats that are still in place, we might be a little more open to sitting down with them, but they're not opening the door for us. Our members are still very frustrated.
CARROLL: You should be ashamed of yourself, Leah. You should be ashamed of yourself that you're picking on people who have jobs, who work for... it doesn't matter what the government is. They didn't elect them. They are just doing their job, and you're going to publicly shame them to make a point about Dalton McGuinty? As someone who doesn't like the McGuinty government, even I'm offended by this.
CASSELMAN: Well, I'm sorry you're offended by it...
CARROLL: Every single caller...
CASSELMAN: ... but our members are very frustrated with this employer...
CARROLL: Every single caller who phoned us is offended by it.
CASSELMAN: ... and the directions of this employer are delivered through their management group, and our members have not seen any change in that direction since the Liberal government was brought in, and their frustration level is very high as well.
CARROLL: So people who are just doing what they're told to do, they're following their instructions, you're going to publicly humiliate to change the instructions? Good for you, Leah. It's a proud day.
CASSELMAN: Well, I think it's a great day for our membership. They're trying to get their frustration out, 'cause obviously the employer won't listen to them. They either can't get through the bureaucracy to talk to the politicians or the politicians are not interested in finding out what's really going on in the workplace.
CARROLL: And all the while we thought it was the Harris government that was so adversarial. I guess you've shown another face now, Leah.
CASSELMAN: [Laughter.] We're willing to fight for quality public services in this province, and if it means taking on the bureaucrats who are stopping us from doing it, we'll do that too.
CARROLL: Oh my goodness. Thank you, Leah.
CASSELMAN: You're welcome.
CARROLL: Leah Casselman, my first nominee for the Withering Trillium Award. I got to stay with this now.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: OUR NATIONAL DISGRACE
I am absolutely disgusted right now. But I'm not quite sure who or what I should be more angry with. Most importantly--its an absolute tragedy that a young man like Lt. Chris Saunders was killed. He was doing his job serving his country and for that he is a hero.
Canadians need to wake up.
Firstly, why was this (used, British) sub encountering such problems on its maden voyage? It was barely in the water and it had a major fire? Here's what The Guardian in the U.K. had to say about our newest acquisition:
"The handover of Chicoutimi - the oldest of the four - was delayed because it was rusty and because it had been 'cannibalised' to get the first three submarines seaworthy"
So, who is responsible? The Canadian people should be demanding answers. The Royal Navy is moving quickly to absolve themselves of any responsibility. They are already pointing fingers at Scottish shipyards that worked on the HMCS Chicoutimi.
But this brings me to my second point. Why were we leasing used submarines in the first place?
Because military spending in this country is a joke.
We spend only 1.1% of GDP on our military. That's less than France and Australia. Its less than Denmark, for god sakes! Yet, we are repeatedly looked upon to take on new peacekeeping missions--a source so many Canadians claim is such a great source of pride. Yet what do I see on the "streeter" interviews asking their opinion on the subject? They cliam that maybe this is proof that military spending isn't and shouldn't be a priority for the government.
It's called a committment-credibility gap, folks.
Or better yet, lets call it "not pulling our weight".
You don't think our national standing on the world isn't tied to the strength or capability of our armed forces in global bodies like NATO or the UN? You bet your ass it is.
But the point isn't about those organizations. Its about the fact that our troops are underequipped, underfunded and understaffed. And they are literally dying because of it. I hope Paul Martin does go visit the troops on the HMCS Chicoutimi. he can look them in the eye and explain to them that it was his budgets that cut military spending. It was his Throne Speech that ignored their needs.
This situation could have been avoided if the goverment took a portion of the money it wasted on AdScam and put it into the military.
This is a national discrace.
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--PROJECT MANAGER? NO THANKS, TEAM!
that Pamela might not make it. However, I knew DT did think highly of her, which I thought might save Pamela's ass in the end. Nope. Oh, well. You HAD to know that if things went south, "Team Catty" would eat her alive. They obviously brissled against her management "style".
And I see their point. Pamela was over the top. I thought she was trying to assert herself by rolling over everyone else. Who tells women (or anyone) in their late 20's to not talk while others are speaking? What are they, 8? But I also saw what Pammy was trying to do: this team is a mess. They have no focus and are completely disfunctional. She was trying to bring some discipline to the team; $10.00 more and she would been a hero. But as George said, a loss is still a loss.
Nevertheless, I still think the big D made a mistake. Pam was one of the stronger team members. But maybe the ladies are taking my advice of not bringing attention to themselves too seriously. The most dangerous role anyone can take on with this group of "Mean Girls" is Project Manager. You know why? Because they all suck. But they don't spectacularly suck. They don't "Omorosa" suck or "Sam" suck. Which means two things:
1) You still always lose.
2) You take the hit because no one really did anything of note, so you can't build a case.
So what happens? You're on the hook and you get fired. As I keep yelling at the TV, these girls better get it together. Last time, you had the group hating one or two girls. This time they all hate each other. Which means that no one believes the PM has any credibility and they don't work as a team. I suspect DT will change up the teams next week.
Best moment: My man Raj running around Arthur Ashe Stadium in his gitch getting tennis balls whipped at him. That's good TV. You might think he's an idiot, but how many guys do you know who have hit on Anna Kournikova? Give the man his due, he's got guts.
POLITICS AS USUAL: GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
"Here's an amazing fact about the presidential election in Afghanistan. One of the candidates is a woman.
Nobody expects Massouda Jalal to win. Still, she's campaigning gamely. She dares to go outside unveiled. She has even addressed audiences of men in mosques. "Three years back, I couldn't imagine being a candidate for anything," she says. "Now I am running for president."
Another amazing fact is that Saturday's election is happening at all. Afghanistan must be the stoniest soil in the world for democracy and women's rights. Inequality is deeply rooted and, outside the capital, women are still chattel. Ninety per cent of them are illiterate. Far from the bright lights and Internet cafés of booming Kabul, the miserable lot of girls and women hasn't changed much since the Taliban were in charge -- or, for that matter, for the past several thousand years.
Women's rights may be enshrined in Afghanistan's new constitution, but nobody's talking about them in this election. One candidate was accused of blasphemy and almost kicked off the ballot because he dared to suggest that women might have an equal right to divorce. Another banned all women singers from television when he was minister of broadcasting. The most pro-women candidate is probably the bloodthirsty warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who likes to campaign from the saddle of a snorting stallion. His running mate is a woman. "When I am president, men and women will join to build up the country," he says.
Well, maybe some day. Right now, working for women's rights can still be fatal. Several female election workers have been raped or killed, and activist Sima Samar, the brave doctor who delivered illicit medical care to women in the days of the Taliban, has to travel with armed guards."
Next time someone tells you they can't be bothered to vote, slap them over the head for me.
POLITICS AS USUAL: MILLER'S FAB-ULOUS OPPONENT
Guess who's running for Mayor?
I don't usually comment on local politics, but I had to bring this to the attention of readers. For those that don't know, FAB magazine is a publication for Toronto's gay and lesbian community.
Although, I'm sure the "Village People" motif on the cover gave it away.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: MY NEW FAVORITE MOVIE
ON THE 1S and 2S: HIP HOP TERMINOLOGY
(n) Money. Acronym for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. From the Wu-Tang Clan (36 chambers ).
Example: "I'm not here to fool around, I'm here to make that CREAM. Dollar dollar bill, y'all".
POLITCS AS USUAL: THE STRONG. THE PROUD. THE STRANDED.
POLITICS AS USUAL: WHITE NOISE FROM THE THRONE
Well, at least Her Royalness finally came in handy yesterday. She read the goverment's Speech From the Throne". Hey--she actually did the job she's paid to do!
How about that Speech, eh? About as exciting and bold as the Corn Bran I had for breakfast this morning.
"Your government promises to do the things your government promised during the election and that your government didn't quite get around to from the budget in February. Please excuse their tardiness"
Unsuprisingly, the media are foaming at the mouth over what will happen with the Opposition amendments likely to be tabled. Here's a piece of another one from Ibbitson at the Globe:
"Traditionally, the Official Opposition would move an amendment to the motion, lamenting Her Excellency's failure to endorse the opposition agenda in her remarks. That amendment would be defeated, proving that the government enjoys the confidence of the House, and away we would go.
The Conservatives have come up with a trick. They plan to introduce an amendment that they believe the Liberals will have no choice but to support. Sources say the amendment will propose that tax cuts for low-income Canadians be added to the Throne Speech's agenda. The Bloc will move a subamendment of its own, probably related to employment insurance. The NDP, which doesn't have enough votes to determine the issue one way or another, is expected to support the government.
What matters is the Conservative amendment. If the Liberals decide to accept and adopt it in order to avoid possible defeat in the House, then the Tories and the Bloc will have succeeded in forcing the government to make the opposition's priorities its own.
Should the Liberals oppose the amendment, then the fate of the government hangs in the balance. If, as expected, Bloc members support the Conservative amendment, then it could pass. In the opinion of Don Boudria, who was Liberal House leader in the Chrétien years, that would constitute a vote of no-confidence and the government would fall. It would then be up to the Governor-General to decide whether to give Stephen Harper a chance to form a government or to dissolve Parliament and call a general election."
Whatever will they do?
POLITICS AS USUAL: AND THAT, DEAR GEORGE, IS HOW YOU KICK ASS....
The Veep did the campaign proud last night. I have to admit, I have long thought he was somewhat of a drag on the ticket, but he earned his paycheck last night.
Check out this commentary by pundit hack Dick Morris in the NY Post today.
Of course, I might be mistaken. I also thought Dubya did quite well, but the punditry have since told me I'm wrong.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS WITH FIBERALS
POLITICS AS USUAL: CLASH OF THE VICE-TITANS
Slate has some interesting commentary re: format.
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE MIGHTY SHELL GAME
Yes, yes, I understand that the Conservatives don't have the money or are organized enough to run an election campaign. And I know that they would pay an electoral price for taking Canadians to the polls so soon. And I do give them credit for the rare accomplishment of getting the government to change the throne speech.
But two things to keep in mind:
- It could just as easily be spun that it was the Liberals lack of consultation and the aforementioned arrogance was the real cause for the government to fall;
- The Liberals are unlikely to give any further concessions now that the Tories have publically stated that they will prop up the government (at least for the time being);
Me personally? I would have taken a "you'll have to see what happens" message going into the House this week. The Libs haven't consulted with the Opposition, so why should the Opposition talk to them?
These Liberals need to be taught that a minority truly is a minority and that they shouldn't be taking anything for granted. If the Conservatives (and NDP and Bloc for that matter) don't start getting some real concessions (not making the government follow though on its promises), voters will be wondering why they don't just give a majority back to the Liberals, since there's no positive difference anyway.
POLITICS AS USUAL: "SPEAKING" OF HARASSEMENT
"Hey...hands off the suit!"
I know it is parliamentary tradition to escort the elected Speaker up to his place in the Commons, but I thought I was watching a scene from "Goodfellas". C'mere you!
Monday, October 04, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: COME FOR THE SUNSHINE GIRL, STAY FOR THE COMMENTARY
Check out today's commentary here.
This one was written last week.
Both offer an interesting take on Bush as President.
POLITICS AS USUAL: A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
POLITICS AS USUAL: LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
Hugh Windsor (Globe):
"When the 38th Parliament opens today, the defence of the Liberal ramparts will be in the hands of a little-known, inexperienced and probably miscast adjutant who could well tumble the government into an unwanted election by misjudging his own or the opposition's firepower.
We're not talking about Prime Minister Paul Martin here, even though some of the cited characteristics may apply, but rather about Anthony (Tony) Valeri, who the PM appointed Government House Leader in the Commons when a more experienced minister turned down the job."
Chantal Hebert (Star):
"Indeed, there is a world of difference between supporting the odd piece of government legislation and endorsing the throne speech.
The very mechanics of the throne speech debate revolve around the non-confidence motion that is moved by the official opposition minutes after its delivery by the Governor-General.
Parliamentary convention stipulates that the first duty of the official opposition is to construct a contrary case to the government, a task that is at odds, on the very face of it, with the notion of endorsing the agenda of the government as set out in a throne speech.
In other minority situations, it has fallen on the third or fourth-placed parties to secure the survival of the government. But the NDP does not have enough MPs to make a difference to the life or death of the Liberal minority. And the Bloc is not a normal third party.
By and large, Quebecers see Duceppe, rather than Harper, as their official opposition leader.
Last June, Quebec voters massively rejected the Liberal option on their ballot. The proposition that the party they elected to speak on their behalf should now turn around and prop up the government platform they voted against is bound to startle many of them."
"Any party triggering a parliamentary crisis - and another election campaign - so soon after the June 28 balloting would incur the wrath of voters.
Harper acknowledged as much in an interview Sunday on CTV's Question Period, saying he's not looking for a quick showdown.
"We have no desire to see an election, none whatsoever," said the Conservative leader. "We want this Parliament to work. The only doubt is whether the Liberals want this Parliament to work."
In theory, Harper could become prime minister without an election - if the Liberals lose the confidence of the House and if Clarkson invites the Conservatives to form a government rather than sending everybody back to the campaign trail."
Sunday, October 03, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: MORE TEQUILA, SHEILA
Classic Crosbie, although you do have to simulate the newfie accent in your head.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: ROCK STARS--IS THERE ANYTHING THEY DON'T KNOW?
Others are like me--shooting off their mouths on subjects they know very little about. And that's fine. I think everyone is a democratic society are entitled to express their opinion, regardless of how ignorant or reckless it is. It doesn't bother me when regular folk write letters to the editor, call into talk shows, run for office etc. In these cases, one person's opinion is just as valid as mine. All [wo]men all created equal, hands across the world, live long and prosper, blah blah blah.
But there's one thing I can't stand: the bully pulpit.
What is a "bully pulpit", you ask? Its when people use their position in society to preach a particular position and/or influence people. Regular people like you and me. Some examples: a pastor telling his parishioners to boycott a certain store he doesn't like. A professor speaking on the "ills" of a particular religion. And a rock star telling his fans how to vote.
It seems the braintrust at MoveOn have organized the "Vote for Change tour", which held a concert last night in Philadelphia. Big stars like R.E.M., sewage-spilling Dave Matthews, Keb'Mo (whoever the hell that is) and of "The Boss" himself, Bruce Springsteen are all telling us to vote Kerry in between sets. That's a bully pulpit.
apparently, according to Bruce, we're in a "crisis in democracy", which is why he's telling us--to vote. I've heard a democracy is really in trouble when it holds elections every four years.
Now let me be clear: I'm not saying he shouldn't have an opinion. Quite the opposite. I encourage people to speak their minds in any medium. But his opinion holds no more weight than mine. He reads the papers like I do, he has access to the same information that I do and he can speak his mind like a regular person. But not as a rock star. I think there is an illegitimacy when movie stars, musicians and basically all of Hollywood use their massive resources to try and influence the outcome of a democratic election.
I don't have a movie studio. My album is only really selling in Denmark. I don't have a Entertainment variety show (yet). So, how can I compete against Bruce Springsteen. I think its unfair and unhealthy when people deliberately use their (unelected, unaccountable) positions of influence to sway voters. There are no spending limits on a concert. There are no filters to them spouting lies if they want to. There's no one to counteract what they say. And that's not right.
If Michael Stipe wants to voice his opinion, he can write a letter to the editor just like the rest of us. Until he and others demonstrate to me that he has the experience, knowledge and has done the research necessary to legitimately comment on the election, foreign policy, or the economy, then he has no business doing so. He wields a very powerful weapon--his fame. And frankly, he hasn't shown me that he's got his facts straight.
If you're going to have musicians encouraging people to vote, then at least have both sides represented. Although admittedly, I think a "Pearl Jam/Ted Nuggent" bill might depress sales a little bit.
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